PIKEVILLE - During the month of May, Pikeville Medical Center staff recognizes National Better Hearing and Speech Month.

Since 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has celebrated this month each May to raise public awareness concerning the speech and language disorders that affect 14 million Americans.

Speech and language disorders can take many forms and can limit academic achievement, social adjustment and career advancement.

“Fortunately, most people with speech and language problems can be helped,” said Speech Therapist Camilla Damron. “Even when the problem cannot be eliminated, we teach patients the strategies they need to cope.  All patients may not fully regain their capacity to speak and understand, but with proper treatment they can live more independently.”

Myra Stephens, Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Assistant Director, said, “Speech therapy is a very important part of our department’s services. In our unit, we treat many patients who have suffered from a stroke, or whose speech has been affected in some way. The treatment our speech therapists provide helps improve our patients’ quality of life.”

As people age, normal changes occur in hearing, speech, language, memory and swallowing. Once an individual turns 55, his or her chances of having hearing loss, suffering from a stroke, or developing dementia/Parkinson’s disease increases, which can lead to related communication disorders.

Warning signs of speech, language, and hearing problems include:

•Sudden trouble talking, thinking, or moving parts of your body-this could be a sign of a stroke

•Turning the TV louder or asking people to repeat themselves

•Trouble remembering appointments or how to do familiar tasks

•A hoarse voice or easily losing your voice

•Trouble speaking clearly, which gets worse over time

Tips for preventing communication disorders:

•Reduce your risk for stroke-stop smoking, control your blood pressure, exercise regularly

•Use helmets and seat belts to prevent brain injury

•Get regular checkups, including hearing tests, to stay in top form

•Protect your voice-don’t yell or talk in noisy places, drink plenty of water and avoid smoking

•Turn down the TV or radio when you talk with others

•Keep your mind sharp by working puzzles, reading and keeping up with current events

•Stay active and social-do things with friends and get involved in your community

PMC offers speech therapy through inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation and Home Health.

For more information, call 606-218-3507.

TOP NURSES: Pikeville Medical Center has named its top nurses for 2013. They are: Tabitha Hamilton (CTVU), Florina Bailey (6E Cardiac), Keith Sayers (Dialysis Unit), Rebekah Hall (Emergency Department), Donna Bates (OB/Gyn), Tondra Blevins (Labor and Delivery), Jackie Caudill (Trauma Department), Samantha Abshire (Oncology Unit), Natasha Triplett (Medical Unit 7B), Jennifer Miller (Medical Unit 7A), Victoria Phillips (Medical Unit 5E), Linda Robinson (Surgical Unit), Ashley Newman (4E/Pediatrics), Joy Bartley (Newborn Nursery), Aimee Stacey (Neonatal ICU), Nina Anufriyev (IPR), Vickie Bryant (Critical Care), Mary Ramey (Physician Practice), Samantha Sifers (OR Surgery), Lisa Slone (PAT/Pre-Op/PACU), Kristy Ratliff (Endoscopy) and Bridget McCoy (Cardiac Services).

Medical Leader | TORIE FOWLER

Medical Leader | JESSICA HOWARD
AND THEY’RE OFF: Runners leave the start line during the first-ever Reclaim Your Life 5K run and one-mile run/walk held on May 4 in downtown Pikeville. Below are Tony Whited (left) and Shelly Francis (right), the top male and female finishers. Whited crossed the finish line in 18:55 to finish as the top runner.

PIKEVILLE - On Saturday, May 4, nearly 130 people participated in Pikeville Medical Weight Loss Surgery Center’s (WLSC) first Reclaim Your Life 5K run and one mile fun run/walk.

The outpouring of support from runners, walkers and event sponsors allowed the WLSC to raise more than $6,000.

The proceeds raised will help underinsured WLSC patients who are in need of extensive nutritional counseling after surgery.

After the race, placement medals were awarded to the first three males and first three females to cross the finish line. The top finishers were:

Tony Whited, Joshua Martin, Randall Watts, Shelley Francis, Kari Corbin and Larrin Thompson. Everyone who crossed the finish line received a finisher’s medal for all their hard work.

Several successful PMC weight loss surgery patients participated in the event. Among these, Tiffany Fronto and Nate Green addressed the crowd and spoke of their positive life transformation post surgery.

Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Amy Johnson thanked everyone for attending and supporting the fight against obesity.

Representatives from several community organizations volunteered their time to help make the event a success. Some of these included the City of Pikeville Police Department, City of Pikeville Fire Department, The Pike County Youth Leadership Team and the Johns Creek AAU cheerleading squad.

Race sponsors included: Alpha Natural Resources, Food City, Texas Roadhouse, The Medical Leader, Rogers Petroleum, Pig in a Poke, Rogers Gun and Pawn, U.S. Bank, National College, Coca-Cola, Custom Signs and Awnings, BB&T, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Shurtleff’s Dry Cleaning and Laundry, Signature Events, Jones Oil Petroleum and Jones Oil Company Inc., Total Pharmacy Care, Velocity Market and Mr. Gatti’s.

PIKEVILLE - Monday, May 6 marked Pikeville Medical Center’s first nursing awards ceremony. Twenty two nurses, representing different specialties throughout the hospital, were awarded as their department’s 2013 Nurse of the Year.

Each nurse honored as a PMC Nurse of the Year was selected by their peers for exceeding certain criteria that represents a model nurse. These standards include: always going above and beyond when providing patient care, setting a superior example for co-workers and being known as someone you would want to care for your family.

“The Nurse of the Year award winners were chosen because they go above and beyond by providing exemplary care, day after day.” said Mary Ellen Smith, Senior AVP/Assistant Chief Nursing Officer. “They are the best of the best, and we are happy and proud to have this opportunity to recognize them.”

Tondra Blevins, RN, is a Nurse of the year award winner, and has been with PMC for 22 years. She said, “I love what I do and I am completely honored that my co-workers think so highly of me that they awarded me Nurse of the Year for the Labor and Delivery Unit.”

“The nurses of the year were selected by their co-workers and supervisors as the nurse they would choose to take care of their own families; what a compliment. Our nurses are caring, compassionate and dedicated to their patients, and we appreciate their hard work and loyalty,” said Kathy Khoshreza, AVP/Assistant Chief Nursing Officer.

PMC’s 2013 nurses of the year are:

•Tabitha Hamilton, Cardio Thoracic Vascular Unit

•Florina Bailey, Cardiac Unit 6E

•Keith Sayers, Dialysis Unit

•Rebekah Hall, Emergency Department

•Donna Bates, Obstetrics and Gynecology

•Tondra Blevins, Labor and Delivery

•Jackie Caudill, Trauma Department

•Samantha Abshire, Oncology Unit

•Natasha Triplett, Medical Unit 7B

•Jennifer Miller, Medical Unit 7A

•Victoria Phillips, Medical Unit 5E

•Linda Robinson, Surgical Unit

•Ashley Newman, Pediatrics 4E

•Joy Bartley, Newborn Nursery

•Aimee Stacey, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

•Nina Anufriyev, Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital

•Vickie Bryant, Critical Care

•Mary Ramey, Physician Practice

•Samantha Sifers, Operation Room Surgery

•Lisa Slone, Pre-admission Testing/Pre-Operation/Post Anesthesia Care Unit

•Kristy Ratliff, Endoscopy

•Bridget McCoy, Cardiac Services

PIKEVILLE  - Pikeville Medical Center will host a free colorectal cancer screening on  Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. – noon at the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center, located beside the Landmark at 127 South Mayo Trail, Pikeville.

Screening physicians will include Pikeville Medical Center General Surgeons Dr. Oon Leedhanachoke, Dr. Grady Stephens and Dr. Timothy Wright.

To pre-register for PMC’s free colorectal cancer screening, or for more information, contact 606-218-4742. Walk-ins are welcome.

Colorectal Cancer is defined as a cancer that begins in either the colon or rectum.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates about 102,480 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2013.

The ACS also predicts about 50,830 people will die due to this disease.

With a one in 20 risk of developing colorectal cancer, it is considered the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States.

Colorectal cancer usually develops slowly, and in its early stages normally does not cause any symptoms.

Symptoms generally appear during the later stages, when cancer is more difficult to treat.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

•Belly pain

•Bloody or very dark stools

•Change in bowel habits


•Unexplained weight loss (in rare cases)

The symptoms someone experiences are influenced by where the cancer is located in the colon.

One of the best ways to help prevent colorectal cancer is through regular screenings and testing.

Colorectal cancer screenings can help find suspicious growths or cancer in people who do not have any known symptoms. These screenings are able to detect the disease in its earliest stages, when there is a better chance of recovery.

The ACS recommends screenings for colorectal cancer should generally begin at age 50. 

The age each individual should be screened may vary depending on personal health and family history.

Someone may be at a higher risk for developing colorectal cancer  if they are 50 years of age or older, have type 2 diabetes, have been previously diagnosed with colorectal cancer, have a history of bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer.

Several behaviors that can help reduce one’s risk include:

•Regular physical activity

•Limiting the intake of red or processed meats

•Getting the recommended daily amount of calcium and vitamin D

•Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables

•Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding weight gain around the midsection

•Decreasing alcohol intake


http://cancer.org; http://webmd.com

Medical Leader | LAURA DAMRON
DANGERS OF DRUNK DRIVING:  Pikeville Medical Center, with the help of several local agencies, organized a mock vehicle accident at Shelby Valley High School on May 3 to encourage safe driving.

DRIVING WITH INTELLIGENCE: Pikeville Medical Center emergency services staff resuscitate a crash victim during the mock vehicle accident.

PIKEVILLE - In an effort to educate students on the dangers of drunk driving, Pikeville Medical Center worked with several local agencies to organize a mock fatal vehicle accident at Shelby Valley High School on May 3, one day prior to the school’s prom. 

“Driving with Intelligence” gave Shelby Valley juniors and seniors a realistic picture of the devastating effects that driving under the influence can have on an entire community.

The mock scenario, which began outside the school, involved a drunk driver transporting his daughter and her friend colliding head-on with a vehicle containing two students going to prom. The driver of that vehicle was texting.

The drunk driver was unharmed while his daughter was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other passenger had multiple lacerations.  The two students going to prom had to be extracted from their vehicle and flown from the scene due to significant traumatic injuries.

Hundreds of students watched as several of their peers acting as patients were pulled from cars covered in “blood” while screaming. Pikeville Medical Center’s emergency department staff, first responders, law enforcement officials, the Pike County Coroner and a helicopter transport service completed the realistic reenactment. 

Following the accident, students gathered in the school’s gymnasium to witness the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. PMC’s emergency services team reenacted a trauma scene in which they successfully resuscitated a patient from the accident. Emergency Services Medical Director Dr. Brandon Smallwood educated students on the real-life consequences of driving under the influence.

The hospital’s physical therapy staff was on hand to demonstrate and discuss the intense rehabilitation one undergoes as a result of severe injuries. 

The Kentucky State Police and Pike County Sheriff’s Department set up a “jail cell” in which the drunk driver was contained.  KSP walked students through the legal repercussions of drunk driving. 

Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts stood in front of a fake morgue holding the body of the deceased student as he encouraged the crowd not to drink and drive.

PMC Chaplain Randy Johnson conducted a mock funeral for the student who perished in the accident.

PMC Trauma Program Manger Sandy Tackett and Outreach Coordinator Jackie Caudill coordinated the event.

“Our goal was to reach out to young individuals and make them aware of what can happen when driving under the influence,” said Tackett. “We want them to understand that this could happen to anyone, including themselves. We hope the event left a major impact on the students.”

PIKEVILLE - “I feel awesome,” said 30- year-old Erica Smith of Belfry.

On March 28, 2012, at 254 lbs., Smith underwent gastric by-pass weight loss surgery at Pikeville Medical Center, under the direction of Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Amy Johnson.

Since then, Smith has lost 120 lbs. and 39 inches from her body.

Before surgery she was at risk for a multitude of health problems including sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Today, all her levels are normal.

“It’s like I lost a whole person,” she said. “Now, when my little boy looks at pictures of me from before he says, ‘that’s not you mom’.... and I think, that has been me your whole life.”

When asked about her surgery experience at PMC, Smith stated, “It is the best decision I have ever made. It seems like everyone wants to talk about the bad when it comes to weight loss surgery, but I have only good things to say about my experience. I love Dr. Johnson. I think she is so amazing, so intelligent and so confident in herself and what she does that I completely trust her.”

Smith continues, “I am so thankful for what weight loss surgery has given to me. Now, I can play soccer in the yard with my little boy. It’s the little things, too, like shaving your legs or painting your toe nails...things that people take for granted.”

Before surgery, she stayed in the house and avoided others as much as possible. Today, she makes it a priority to live a healthier life for herself and her family. She participates in aerobics classes twice a week and works out with her son in the living room.

In the beginning, exercising wasn’t easy but she stuck with it.“I started working out the day I came home from surgery,” said Smith. “At first it was just one lap around the neighborhood; I worked my way up from there.”

Smith loves sharing her story with others and wants to be a patient advocate for PMC’s Weight Loss Surgery Center.

“I want to help,” said Smith. “So many people have asked me questions about my experience, so I created a weight loss surgery support group on Facebook. The group is closed to only those who have had, or are interested in having weight loss surgery and now has more than 90 members. In the group, members encourage one another by sharing tips, personal experiences, hardships, successes, etc.”

Smith also says PMC’s Reclaim Your Life weight loss surgery support group has helped her tremendously. “I attend every month and it helps me stay on track. At each meeting, Dr. Johnson and her staff discuss a different topic, so I’m continuously gaining new, helpful information.  It’s also a great place to meet new people who are on the same journey I am.”

For more information about Pikeville Medical Weight Loss Surgery Center, please call 606-218-4811.

PIKEVILLE - Beginning Sunday, May 12, Pikeville Medical Center, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, will celebrate National Women’s Health Week 2013.

During National Women’s Health Week, women are encouraged to receive regular checkups, participate in preventive screenings, get active, eat healthy, manage stress, get enough sleep and avoid unhealthy behaviors.

To kick off the observance, PMC is hosting a free Ladies Night Out event on Monday, May 13 from 6 p.m.  - 8 p.m.  at the Mark V, located at 190 South Mayo Trail in Pikeville.

Women will have the opportunity to meet PMC physicians as well as have their health-related questions answered, enjoy free appetizers, take part in free health screenings and visit with local health and wellness vendors. Attendees will also be eligible to win door prizes. 

PMC invites everyone to come out and take part in this special event.

“Women are often the caregivers for their families and, as a result, forget to make their own health a priority,” said Peggy Justice, Vice President of Physician Practice Administration. “PMC’s Ladies Night Out will offer women a special night, just for them, where they can unwind, have questions answered by health care professionals and gain valuable information on how to live a healthier lifestyle.”

For more information about Ladies Night Out, please call  606-218-4509.

Visit http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/ for more information concerning National Women’s Health Week.

Source: womenshealth.gov/nwhw

PIKEVILLE - National Nurses Week, May 6-12, begins on RN recognition day and ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession.

Currently, Pikeville Medical Center employs more than 500 nurses who touch the lives of thousands of patients each year.  Their unwavering commitment to provide the best care possible is why PMC continues to be a leader in health care.

“The nurses at Pikeville Medical Center take pride in providing quality, compassionate nursing care to every patient who comes through these doors,” said Mary Ellen Smith, Senior AVP and Assistant Chief Nursing Officer.  “We’re so lucky to have them, and celebrating Nurses Week gives us an opportunity to show them our sincere appreciation for all of their tremendous work.”

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896.

National Nurses Week highlights the diverse ways in which America’s 3.1 million registered nurses (RNs) work to improve the lives of their patients every day, by not only meeting but exceeding the expanding health care needs of America.

According to the ANA, “Now more than ever, RNs are positioned to assume leadership roles in health care, provide primary care services to meet increased demand, implement strategies to improve the quality of care, and play a key role in innovative, patient-centered care delivery models.”

This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is, “delivering quality and innovation in patient care.”

Source: American Nursing Association

Medical Leader | TORIE FOWLER
TECHNOLOGY BRINGS FAMILY TOGETHER: Sergeant First Class Jason Rhodes looks on thanks to SKYPE as his wife gives birth to the couple’s first child. The Kentucky National Guard member was stationed in Djibouti, Africa.

PIKEVILLE - When Sergeant First Class Jason Rhodes and his wife Samantha found out they were expecting their first child, they were ecstatic. 

Unfortunately,  they were about to walk out the door to attend a conference in Lexington for families facing deployment.

“I had taken a test that came out negative, so I threw it in the trash,” recalled Samantha.  “The next morning before we left I happened to look in the trash can and noticed a faint positive sign on the pregnancy test.  When we got to Lexington, I took another test and set it on the bathroom counter.  A few minutes later, Jason came out holding it in his hand.”

The couple was excited to grow their family, but Jason, an SFC in the Kentucky Army National Guard, would be leaving in less than two months for a deployment to Djibouti, Africa.  

Samantha began seeing the physicians at Pikeville Medical Women’s Care Center for prenatal care and Jason was able to attend the first ultrasound before he left. 

“Growing up, I always thought about my wedding day and the day I would have a baby,” Samantha said. 

“I knew the delivery wouldn’t be what I dreamed about, because Jason wasn’t going to be a part of it.  He never got to feel the baby kick, and you never get those moments back.  It was so important for me to have him be a part of it.”

Even though Jason is more than 7,000 miles away, Pikeville Medical Center made it possible for him to be a part of the birth. 

The hospital was able to set up a television used to SKYPE Jason the entire time Samantha was in the hospital. 

SKYPE is a form of technology used to facilitate communication with others using a webcam. 

Samantha said, “I arrived at Pikeville Medical Center to be induced on a Wednesday night at 10 pm.  Within 30 minutes, we were talking to Jason.  We were able to talk the entire time.”

When the decision was made to go to surgery, the hospital transferred the necessary SKYPE equipment into the operating room.  PMC OB-GYN Dr. Rick Mcllelan was on-call and delivered the baby by c-section.

 â€œHaving Jason there, actually being able to hear him talk in the operating room put my nerves at ease.  There are so many men who aren’t able to see their children until after they leave the hospital, and my husband was in Africa and witnessed the whole thing,” Samantha said.  “He was speechless and we can’t thank the hospital enough for that moment.”

Caleb Michael Rhodes was born on April 5, 2013, weighing in at 9 lbs, 5 oz. 

The SKYPE didn’t stop after the baby was born.  Jason was able to stay connected with his new family during their stay at Pikeville Medical Center. 

He watched as they brought his newborn son into the room for the first time, his first feeding and his first review from the pediatrician. 

“It was something I will never forget.  It was the best few days of my life,” Jason said via text-messaging.

“I can’t thank the hospital enough.  The Information Systems department, Public Relations, Rita Crum, all the Labor and Delivery nurses, Dr. McClellan and the physicians at the Women’s Care Center, everyone was amazing,” Samantha added. 

“We are so grateful, and the experience was more than I could imagine.”

Both mom and baby are doing well.  Samantha says they SKYPE Jason at home every day.  Jason is scheduled to return home at the beginning of June.

Samantha is the daughter of PMC speech language pathologist Camilla Damron and her husband Rick Damron.  Her father is Bobby Davis.  She is the granddaughter of PMC chaplain Kaminski Robinson and board member Jo Nell Robinson. 

Jason is the son of Terry and Dan Rhodes of Mt. Sterling and the grandson of Karen and Pat Middendors.