PIKEVILLE - It’s mid July and that means many people are a turning to pools for quick relief from the heat.

Pikeville Medical Center’s Emergency Department advises everyone to be safe when cooling off in the water this summer.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Everyday, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of death in the U.S.”

“Paying close attention to detail and never swimming alone is the key to safety,” said Michelle Rainey, Assistant Vice President of Cardiac Services, Critical Care and Emergency Services.

“No child should ever be left unattended while swimming and the responsible adult should not be distracted by texting, socializing or drinking alcoholic beverages. The person keeping watch should also know how to swim, and be a strong enough swimmer to rescue someone who’s drowning.”

The main factors that increase one’s drowning risk in the pool include: an inability to swim, lack of barriers to decrease water access (open gate or no gate), lack of close supervision, not wearing life jackets, swimming alone and using alcohol.

Young children are specifically susceptible to drowning in the pool when proper precautions are not taken. Even water less than two inches (6 centimeters) deep can lead to a fatal situation.

To help keep your family safe this summer, adhere to the following pool safety tips:

•Watch children closely when they are in or near water, even if they know how to swim

•Invest in swimming lessons for the whole family

•Use proper fitting, age appropriate Coast Guard approved flotation  devices (life vests)

•Supply plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration

•Control the water temperature, to prevent a drop in body temperature, muscle cramps or hypothermia

•Isolate the pool area with a fence (at least 60” tall), with a self-closing, self-latching gate

•Learn CPR, in case of an emergency

•Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use

•Invest in a power operated pool, safety cover

•Keep a phone poolside

•Do not use floating chlorine dispensers that resemble toys

Source: www.cdc.gov    kidshealth.org and     ndpa.org

PIKEVILLE - Earlier this year, Pikeville Medical Center’s Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Turner and Assistant Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Khoshreza developed a Stroke Advocate of the Month Program.

The program honors  individuals who work on the Stroke Unit/7A and demonstrate excellence through the care they provide patients. 

“This program recognizes members of the stroke unit team who demonstrate extraordinary clinical expertise, compassion, commitment, initiative, problem solving skills, and the importance and impact of stroke’s core measures,” said Turner.

A stroke advocate is seen as the stroke resource person for all of his/her peers in the hospital. 

Turner continued, “The Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center and stroke unit staff are strong, dedicated individuals who display expertise in neurological/stroke skills.”

Each month, a new stroke advocate of the month is nominated by his/her peers and supervisor for going the extra mile.

Look for more Stroke Advocate of the Month winners to be featured in future editions.

Medical Leader | JESSICA HOWARD
ALL SMILES: Oncology Nurse Regina Baker spends some time with patient Frennie Justice during the unit’s July 4th celebration.

PIKEVILLE -  Pikeville Medical Center’s oncology unit (8B) held a Fourth of July picnic for its patients and visitors in an effort to make patients’ hospital stay more enjoyable.

Patient tables were decorated in red, white and blue, and were adorned with American flags.

Nurses served patients hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, watermelon and dessert.

Regina Baker, RN and Day Shift Supervisor, served patients her homemade lemonade.

“The oncology unit staff wants their patients to feel cared for by sharing special times with them during their stay,” said Kathy Khoshreza, Assistant Vice President of Nursing and Assistant Chief Nursing Officer.

Frennie Justice, an army veteran and 71-year-old cancer patient, said, “This is wonderful, really great...celebrating the Fourth of July means a lot to me.”

He continued, “I have been treated so nice here, and the food is great. The only way it could be any better is if I were home.”

The oncology staff hosts many holiday celebrations throughout the year.

When asked what she enjoys most about having special events for oncology patients, Baker said, “Just seeing how happy it makes the patients - to see the smile on their face.  It makes us feel good, knowing they feel good.”

Khoshreza added, “Since opening in March 2002, the inpatient unit dedicated to caring for cancer patients has strived to make the hospital experience a little less stressful.

At times, this means holding a hand, or providing a family member an opportunity to shower. 

These nurses look for anything they can do to help our patients find some continuation of normalcy during this very stressful and sometimes frightening time.”

Medical Leader | SUBMITTED PHOTO
TRAUMA CARE:  Pikeville Medical Center’s trauma team provides around-the-clock care.

PIKEVILLE - Pikeville Medical Center recently announced the addition of six trauma surgeons - Dr. Frank Lucente, Dr. John Deluca, Dr. Michael Hall, Dr. Richard Umstot, Dr. Aaron Brown and Dr. William Perry.

With more than 100 years of combined experience in treating trauma patients, this team provides 24/7 trauma coverage at the hospital.

Other specialists represented on PMC’s trauma staff include neurosurgeons, orthopedic trauma surgeons, plastic surgeons, emergency medicine physicians and interventional radiologists. 

Dr. Lucente said, “We are a team who has dedicated our lives and careers to taking care of the injured patient in a compassionate and considerate manner. With our combined years of experience in the trauma field, there are not too many injuries we could see that we have not already treated.”

According to the National Trauma Institute, “each year trauma accounts for 42  million emergency department visits and two million hospital admissions across the nation.”

Dr. Lucente defines trauma as a non-age specific, serious injury that occurs from an accident. He says the most common causes of trauma in PMC’s service area are car wrecks, falls in the elderly population and recreational activities.

“Trauma is about the golden hour in saving lives,” said Debbie Parsons, Chief

Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Services. “With the new addition of six trauma surgeons to our surgical team, PMC will be able to deliver quality trauma care. In addition to our physicians, PMC has a very dedicated team of experienced nursing and ancillary personnel who care for our critically injured patients.”     

Dr. Lucente commends the hospital for offering this service.

“It is obvious PMC is very interested in taking care of an important need typically avoided by a lot of other hospitals. Providing quality trauma services takes a tremendous amount of dedication, expense and sacrifice. For PMC to provide a service like this, that is not offered anywhere else in eastern Kentucky, is  marvelous and heroic.”

PMC is currently pursuing a Level II Trauma Center designation.  

For more information about PMC’s trauma services, contact Sandy Tackett, Trauma Program Manager, at 606-218-3586.

Source: http://nationaltraumainstitute.org

PIKEVILLE - Pikeville Medical Center welcomes Interventional Radiologist Dr. Michael Wolujewicz to the Heart and Vascular Institute.  He will begin practicing on July 22.

Dr. Wolujewicz received his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.   He completed an Internal Medicine Internship at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati; a Diagnostic Radiology Residency at the University of Cincinnati; and an Interventional Radiology Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati.

He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Radiology.

His professional affiliations include the Society of Interventional Radiology, American College of Radiology and Radiological Society of North America.

When asked why he chose to work at Pikeville Medical Center, Dr. Wolujewicz said, “I always pictured myself being a small-town doctor, but that seemed at odds with practicing in such a highly specialized and technological field as Interventional Radiologist .  Pikeville Medical Center is the perfect fit – small-town charm and down-to-earth people with a state-of-the-art hospital housing the latest technology that most big-city hospitals would be envious of.”

Dr. Wolujewicz specializes in image guided minimally invasive procedures for dialysis access, kyphoplasty, tumor biopsies and treatment, diseased arteries/veins and joint injections. Other specialties include renal/dialysis interventions, graft and fistula angioplasty and stenting, declots, temporary and tunneled dialysis catheters, ureteral stents, percutaneous nephrostomy, angiography, stenting, angioplasty, thrombolysis, limb salvage, non-healing ulcers and pain management (facet/joint injections, epidural steroid injections).

Dr. Michael Wolujewicz joins Dr. Rami Sartawi in PMC’s Interventional Radiology department. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, hiking and mountain biking. 

His office is located at Pikeville Medical Center, May Tower 1 West, 911 Bypass Road.  For details about PMC’s Interventional Radiology services, call 606-218-4530.

PIKEVILLE - Pikeville Medical Center welcomes Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Raed Al Najjar to the Heart and Vascular Institute.  He began practicing on July 1.

Dr. Al Najjar attended medical school in Jordan and completed his General Surgery residency at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital and Cardiothoracic Surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Heart Institute in Houston.

Dr. Al Najjar specializes in open heart procedures, off pump bypass, valve surgery, lung and chest wall resections and aortic and peripheral vascular surgeries, including endovascular approach trauma.

Dr. Al Najjar joins Dr. Dennis Havens and Dr. John H. Arnold in the Pikeville Medical Heart and Vascular Institute’s Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Department.

Dr. Al Najjar said, “You make many choices in this life but none are more important than how you are going to spend your most productive years.  When I discovered cardiothoracic surgery, my career choice was made. When I found Pikeville Medical Center I knew this was the place I could bring my passion to the patients.”

His office is located at Pikeville Medical Center, May Tower 1 West, 911 Bypass Road.  For more information, call 606-218-4530.

PIKEVILLE - Pikeville Medical Center is pleased to welcome Dr. Obaeda Harfoush to its Pulmonary Physician Practice.  He joined the hospital on July 1.

Dr. Harfoush received his medical degree from Damascus University School of Medicine in Damascus, Syria and completed his internal medicine residency at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Huntington, W.Va.

Dr. Harfoush comes to Pikeville after completing his fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Marshall University.

He is excited to practice at PMC and looks forward to serving the large number of patients in the area with pulmonary health issues.

“PMC has state-of-the art technology that will allow me to provide the best care possible for my patients,” said Dr. Harfoush. “Pikeville is a small town, but there’s a large variety of patients here and that’s important to me.  It’s important for me to be exposed to all kinds of patients and help as many people as I can.”

Dr. Harfoush specializes in pulmonary function testing and bronchoscopies as well as the treatment of COPD, lung nodules, shortness of breath, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and pulmonary diseases.

He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Harfoush holds memberships in the following professional societies:  American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, West Virginia State Medical Association and the Syrian American Medical Society.

Motivated by his family to become a physician, Dr. Harfoush has close ties to the diseases he treats.

“Many people in my family had lung disease,” he said. “It was hard to watch them go through that. It motivated me to become a physician, specifically a pulmonologist, so I could help other people in need.”

Born in Homs, Syria, Dr.Haroush resides in Pikeville with his wife, Chamsah, and their four children. He enjoys swimming and playing soccer.

For more information about PMC’s Pulmonary services, call 606-218-4689.

PIKEVILLE - Dr. Raghuram S. Modur retires today, July 5, from his position as Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at the Pikeville Medical Leonard Lawson Cancer Center.

The 66-year-old radiation oncologist spent half of his life treating cancer patients living in the region.

In 33 years of service to PMC, he was instrumental in developing the hospital’s cancer care program. He watched it grow into an award-winning cancer center that has saved thousands of lives and influenced the way physicians  at other hospitals care for cancer patients.

“Dr. Modur was very influential in developing the hospital’s cancer center as well as protocol for providing quality patient care,” said Walter E. May, PMC President/CEO. “He has dedicated half of his life caring for patients at our hospital. Pikeville Medical Center appreciates his deep level of commitment and wishes him well in all future endeavors.” 

Dr. Modur attended the JIPMER Medical School in southern India in the 1960s and 1970s. After completing an internship and residency at JIPMER Hospital, he moved to the United Kingdom and served as a resident at the North Staffs Royal Infirmary in Stoke on Trent (1974-1976). He moved to the U.S. in 1976 to join the Harvard Neurosurgical Services at Boston City Hospital (1976-1977) and did his radiation oncology residency at the University Hospital in Boston, Mass. (1977-1980).

In 2000, Dr. Modur earned the status of Fellow by the American College of Oncology.

PMC was one of four hospitals that offered him a job when he completed his residency program. He accepted the position of Medical Director of Radiation Oncology in 1980 because he knew he could help build and lead PMC’s cancer program. He joked about how he learned of PMC.

“Dr. Gene Combs was a radiologist here at that time,” Dr. Modur said. “He was doing cancer treatments and diagnostic radiology in eastern Kentucky and he needed a doctor to take care of cancer patients. He called my home in Boston and my wife picked up the phone, and he liked her English very much. He said, ‘Oh, we should get them to Pikeville. So, I say that my wife got me the job.”

Dr. Modur was inspired by his father, a general practitioner in Southern India, to become a physician. He followed several of his siblings and moved to America.

He had training in general surgery and other medical fields, but ultimately decided to work in radiology because he wanted to be involved in cancer treatment. His brother is also a radiation oncologist in another state.

When he came to PMC, the hospital did not have a cancer program. Working with other specialists in Pikeville, Dr. Modur helped to establish the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center, which opened in 1996.

“When I came here in 1980, there were only three or four people in the department,” he said. “We had one low energy Linear Accelerator. I believe at that time, we were seeing 120-130 patients with cancer every year. Now we treat between 400 and 500 patients every year.”

Starting the program was challenging. In the early 1980s, due to lack of technologists, Dr. Modur worked nonstop for approximately six weeks caring for patients and assisting in the recruitment of  new specialists and staff.

Internist/Infectious Disease Specialist/Oncologist Dr. Tamara Musgrave, who came on board in 1995, “grew the department by leaps and bounds,” he said.

Dr. Modur’s influence did not remain behind PMC walls. In the 1990s, he was appointed by then-Governor Paul Patton and First Lady Judy Patton to serve on the Breast Cancer Task Force, which studied the occurrence of breast cancer in Kentucky and made recommendations for improvement of care.

While working at PMC in the 1980s, Dr. Modur  traveled to hospitals in Floyd County, Johnson County and Perry County to help them establish cancer conferences, a practice he learned  while working at Boston University Hospital. PMC cancer specialists still host these conferences.

“At these cancer conferences, we bring together doctors of all specialties and discuss the patient’s problems and the best way to take care of them,” he said. “So, this concept was introduced in eastern Kentucky, and now, some of those hospitals have their own cancer care conferences and cancer centers.”

“I always pushed for newer and newer techniques in everything so that we could improve treatment in women’s cancer, like breast cancer and cancer of the uterus or cervix,” he said. “And then, we worked on how to get a higher quality of diagnosis and a higher quality of mammograms, diagnosing early - that was always the aim - how to cut down smoking, cut down lung cancer and how to increase our colon cancer diagnosis. These things were achieved by the doctors participating in these cancer care conferences.”

Dr. Modur is satisfied with his accomplishments at PMC.

“I will be retiring with a happy mind,” he said. “I wonder whether all of us get to do what we want and get to accomplish it and walk away. I feel that I am very blessed and lucky, to have attained my goals in helping people.”

He acknowledged the hard work and dedication of President/CEO Walter E. May, the hospital’s leadership  team,  cancer center physicians, radiation therapists and nurses – particularly the nurses on 8B, who care for cancer patients in the hospital.

By practicing medicine in Pikeville, Dr. Modur was fulfilling something he learned about life decades ago.

“I think people should know if you come to one place, stay there long enough and work hard, you will achieve your goals,” he said. “People should keep in mind that they don’t have to move, but stay in one place and try to improve that place. We’re always improving many parts of the world. We have dreams, but we cannot do it all at one time. We can only do one little area at a time. So if everyone can improve a little bit of an area, the whole place, the whole world gets better.”

He and his wife, Sujatha, raised both of their daughters, Subha and Shobana, in Pike-ville. Subha now works as an advertising executive in New York. Shobana is teaching English at a middle school in rural China as part of a university fellowship.

He is thankful for the people he has met in eastern Kentucky, and he hopes to hear from his patients.

“These eastern Kentucky people are very good, and it has been a privilege to serve them,” he said.

Dr. Modur said the family will “slowly” get prepared to sell their home in Pikeville. When they move, however, they will not stay gone for long. They plan to visit from time to time.

“This place will always be close to our hearts,” he said. “My children were born here and we can never forget this place and we will be visiting here very often. I am from southern India and I do visit my hometown every other year for the past 38-39 years. So we can never say ‘goodbye’ to this place,” he said.

Pikeville Medical Center’s Emergency Department urges the public to be safe when celebrating the nation’s birthday on July 4.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks-related injuries in 2011. Approximately 61 percent of the reported injuries were to extremities and 34 percent were to the head.

Michelle Rainey, PMC  Assistant Vice President of Cardiac Services, Critical Care and  Emergency Services, said, “PMC’s emergency department staff is always ready to treat any kind of injury.”

Rainey stresses the importance of adult supervision when using fireworks and urges the public to seek immediate medical attention if an accident occurs.

“If someone suffers a burn to their hands or face, they should call 9-1-1 and get to the ED as quickly as possible,” said Rainey.

ED Medical Director Dr. Brandon Smallwood said, “When you call 9-1-1, emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treating the patient before he/she arrives to the hospital. The EMS call the ED before arrival to alert our staff of the current situation, allowing us to prepare and provide effective treatment.”

Dr. Smallwood notes that most fireworks-related injuries are burns.

“Burn care begins with first aid,” he said. “Cleansing the burn with room temperature water and covering it with a damp dressing prior to arriving at the hospital is crucial.”

He instructs burn victims not to use creams or ointments on the affected area since they will likely be removed at the ED.

“If firework wounds result in the loss of an extremity, such as a finger,” Dr. Smallwood said, “it is best to wrap the body part in damp paper towels and place it in a plastic storage bag. The bag should be placed on ice in a cooler and transported to the ED with the patient as quickly as possible.”

Sources: http://cpsc.gov; http://nfpa.org; http://kidshealth.org; http://fireworkssafety.org; http://fireworksalliance.org

Follow these fireworks safety tips

•Read fireworks warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting

•Do not shoot fireworks under the influence of alcohol or drugs

•Only use fireworks outdoors

•Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks

•Always have an adult supervising fireworks activities, even sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals

•Buy only legal fireworks that have a label with manufacturer’s name and directions

•Store fireworks in a dry, cool place away from children

•Never place any part of your body directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse

•Keep fireworks away from open flames, including cigarettes

•Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks

•Never point or throw fireworks at another person

•Point fireworks away from homes, and keep them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances

•Light fireworks one at a time

•Never relight at dud firework, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water

•Soak used fireworks with water before placing in an outdoor garbage can

•Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal/glass containers

•Never try to make your own fireworks

•Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash

•Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk of them running loose and getting injured

•Always clean area of leftover debris after using fireworks

•Report any illegal explosives

Medical Leader | CAROL CASEBOLT
RESIDENCY PROGRAM: Pikeville Medical Center administration, board members, physicians, volunteer teaching faculty and staff honored graduating and active residents and welcomed new residents to the hospital’s Osteopathic Residency Programs at a June 25 banquet. 

Pikeville Medical Center’s Osteopathic Residency Program held its annual banquet on Tuesday, June 25, at the Mark V in Pikeville.

PMC administration, board members, physicians, volunteer teaching faculty and staff honored graduating and active residents while welcoming new residents to the program.

Pikeville Medical Center offers three residency programs – Family Practice, Family Practice/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, and Plus One Neuromuscular Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Mark Swofford, D.O., Chairman of GME, recognized 2013 Family Practice graduates Amanda Lowe, D.O.; Bethani Rose, D.O.; April Ratliff, D.O. and Tiffany Salyers, D.O.

Edward Stiles, D.O., F.A.A.O., recognized Anthony West, D.O., as the 2013 Plus One Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine graduate.

Dr. Swofford announced the following Resident promotions: Clint Banks, D.O. and Jonathan Hatton, D.O., – Family Medicine Residency OGMEIII; Angie O’Quinn, D.O., Ashley Adams, D.O., Lesley Duffie, D.O., Chad Carroll, D.O., and Jonathan Tackett, D.O. – Family Medicine Residency OGMEII; Antoinette Justice, D.O., Dr. Teanna Moore, D.O. – Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency OGMEIV and John Colston, D.O.  – Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine OGMEIII.

 John Colston, 2013-2014 Chief Resident, recognized incoming Residents Makayla Kiser, D.O., Family Medicine Residency; Jenna Heinert, D.O., Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency; and Sasha Fach, D.O, Plus One Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency.

Volunteer faculty awards included Medical Volunteer Faculty of the Year, Fadi Al Akhrass, M.D.; Surgical Faculty of the Year, William Hoskins, D.O; and Honorary D.O. of the Year, Dr. Aaronda Wells.

Juanita Deskins, Chief Operating Officer, presented laptop computers to Family Medicine Residents advancing to their second year.

Deskins encouraged the Residents to always strive for excellence and commended them on a job well done.

Maleshea Dunning, D.O., Program Director, said, “I am so thankful to have such a supportive administration and teaching staff. They make all the difference in having successful programs.”

 She continued, “It is heartwarming to see the residents I have worked so closely with, fulfill their goals. I am so proud of their achievements and look forward to seeing them make a positive difference throughout their careers.”

PMC’s dynamic residency programs are committed to providing educational excellence in a rural community setting.

The programs prepare osteopathic practitioners to meet the health care needs of the people located in rural Kentucky.