The Price is Right for Lab Week


National Medical Laboratory Technologist Week started off with enthusiasm and fun as the lab put together a facility-wide “Price is Right” challenge for employees.

This started a week of celebrations and activities to draw attention to the important role of the lab at the hospital for our patients, medical staff, nursing team and employees.

#teamchaffee

Live What You Love: Mary Lou Wright Retires after Four Decades at BCH

Mary Lou Wright has a quote above her computer that states, “Live What You Love.” For all but a few months of her entire professional career, Wright has been part of the fabric of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and its Physical Therapy Department, doing exactly that: living what she loves. That career includes a time period that has extended for more than half the hospital’s history.

Starting in June 1975, Wright applied her bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from the University at Buffalo to part-time roles at Fiddler’s Green Manor and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. “Within a year, BCH asked me to come here full time,” said Wright. Three years later her supervisor relocated to Florida, and she was offered the director of rehab position.

In her first years at BCH, most patients were seen on an outpatient basis. “Back then, therapists were not allowed to evaluate patients,” Wright offered. “We would get a prescription from the physician basically telling us what to do.”

She continued, “As the profession grew, physical therapists became recognized as an integral part of the patient care team. We now perform in-depth evaluations to determine a diagnosis, individual plan of care, and prognosis.”

When asked about how physical therapy has changed across five decades, Wright explained, “So much of the basics of PT have always been the same – heat and cold, massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, exercise – those things have not changed.”

She offered this explanation, “But now, the field has expanded to a more hands-on approach, such as manual techniques, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. There are new advances in aquatic therapy, vestibular rehab, orthotic and prosthetic devices, and even robotic technology…Patients can also have direct access to PT without a prescription, but with some limitations attached.”

It is the responsibility of the physical therapist to determine the best plan of care for each individual. “In a way, we’re like mechanics,” said Wright. “We help with the fine tuning and getting patients to run – or walk and function – better. It’s all about quality of life.”

Wright initially wanted to be a teacher, but when she was entering college in the 1970s, the market for educators was flooded. But for the past 43 years, she has served as a teacher in a different way, working with thousands of patients on their road to recovery from injuries, surgeries and chronic conditions.

“I have always felt I became what I was meant to be, and have loved what I do,” Wright remarked. “I can only hope that I have had some positive impact on the lives of those we call our patients, many of whom I am now lucky to call friends. It is the lives we touch and the relationships we develop that make healthcare such a unique field. I will miss that the most.”

 

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation Announces Garden Party Event

Honorees Include William King and the Cordelian Club

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation’s annual Garden Party is planned for Thursday, May 31 at the Springville Country Club. At its January meeting, the foundation board chose to recognize William King and the Cordelian Club for their many contributions to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.

William King is the current president of the foundation board, and has been a vocal advocate for the hospital as a board member and foundation board member for decades. He spent his career as an electrician contractor throughout Western New York and was the long-time supervisor for the Town of Ashford.

The Cordelian Club – as the first group to be acknowledged with this event – dates back to 1937. Its fundraising efforts, primarily done through their annual dance, have contributed to countless expansion projects, equipment purchases and building improvements over the past seven decades.

Proceeds from this event will be put toward the renovation of the second floor nurses station, covering the acute care services.

The Garden Party starts at 5 p.m. and concludes by 8 p.m. The Springville Jazz Orchestra and Nick Kody & Lydia Herren will provide the musical entertainment. Tickets are $50/person or $80/couple available from the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital front desk or by contacting Kara Kane at kkane@bch-jbr.org or (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Tickets are $50 each or $80 per couple and are available at the BCH reception desk. For information and sponsorship opportunities, call the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 or email Kara Kane at kkane@bch-jbr.org.

Cold Weather and Your Heart Health (American Heart Month)

#Teamchaffee for American Heart Month

#Teamchaffee for American Heart Month

There’s no question that this winter has had more than its share of cold weather. Not just cold – bitter, bone-chilling days and nights that can literally take your breath away. As we look ahead on the calendar to longer days and warmer temperatures, the Heart Center team of Thomas Smith, MD, FACC and Lauralee Sprague, NP has some guidance and advice for protecting your heart in the winter months.

Some studies have shown that extremes in temperature – heat and cold – can lead to very negative health events affecting your heart. With foresight and smart planning, you can take steps to protect your most important muscle during the winter season.

  • Dress in layers: wearing layers of clothing provides much-needed insulation, and a waterproof outer layer will prevent the inner clothing from moisture. And don’t forget a hat! Cold winds can quickly sap your body’s heat and energy, placing undue stress on your heart. Hypothermia can happen, even in cold temperatures that are not extreme.
  • Take frequent breaks: you don’t need to clear your driveway of snow all at once, for example. Work slowly and carefully, using smaller shovel-fuls, and remember that pushing is easier on your heart than throwing.
  • Recognize the signs of a heart attack: The saying, time is muscle, describes how every minute matters during a heart attack. If you feel discomfort in your chest or upper body (arms, back, neck, jaw, stomach), that lasts for more than a few minutes, or is intermittent, that could be the sign of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, or any combination of those, could also mean that you need immediate medical attention. By calling 9-1-1, an emergency medical team can start intervention more quickly than if you tried to drive yourself to a hospital.
  • When working or travelling in the cold, watch for a lack of coordination, confusion, and drowsiness, particularly in the elderly.

For individuals who have been diagnosed with heart or vascular conditions, speak to your healthcare provider or cardiologist about protecting your heart through all seasons. Call the BCH Heart Center for an appointment at (716) 592-9644.

Administrator Announced for the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home

Carole Francis

Carole Francis joins JBR as administrator

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home have announced that Carole Francis will join the leadership team as long term care administrator this month.

“I am looking forward to getting to know all of the care partners in the community, including residents, family members, employees and volunteers,” said Francis. “As the Jennie B.’s administrator, it is my responsibility to embrace a culture of person-centered care that ensures well-being and a life worth living.”

Francis earned a master of business administration from SUNY Buffalo with a concentration in accounting, and a bachelor of science in education from Buffalo State College. She is also a certified public accountant. Her background in nursing home administration, along with healthcare finance and human resources, has been developed in the long-term care environment. She has more than 30 years’ experience with managing budgets and establishing relationships with residents, families and employees.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Carole to our leadership team,” said Nils Gunnersen, CEO of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. “She brings a wealth of nursing home experience in addition to strong skill sets in the financial and administrative aspects of healthcare.”

Francis begins her work in Springville on January 8, 2018.

high-resolution image of Carole Francis

Soricelli Retires from JBR after 15 years

The Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home marked the end of an era on Friday, December 15 with the retirement of long-time administrator Roger Soricelli after 15 years.

Soricelli, a Java Center resident, has more than three decades’ experience in healthcare administration. He began his time at the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home in 2002 following roles in Batavia, Malone, Olean and Florida. He earned a bachelor of arts in economics at SUNY Fredonia, and a master of arts in administration and leadership at SUNY Plattsburgh.

As the landscape for skilled nursing and long-term care has evolved, Soricelli helped the Jennie B. move with it. An example of this was the development of a short-term rehabilitation program.

“My wife Margo and I have both had very satisfying careers,” Soricelli shared. “Now we are looking forward to spend a lot of time spoiling our grandchildren.”

An announcement regarding the new administrator for the Jennie B. will be made in early 2018.

High resolution image
From left: Tracy Rolfe, Activities, Kathy Paszkiewicz, Admissions, Roger Soricelli, Roberta Murray, RN, Director of Nursing, and Patricia Loveless, Administrative Assistant.

A Sleigh Full of Toys…

Representatives from the Cattaraugus County Town Highway Superintendents Association delivered a sleigh full – or maybe car full – of toys and games to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Emergency Department and Lab on December 15.

The association’s team was making the rounds this month to bring joy and smiles to children in the region. This included stops at Olean General Hospital, Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services and Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.

Association members and their families collected toys, games and gas cards to assist community members during this time of year.

These gifts will be distributed to the hospital’s littlest patients and visitors, particularly as we continue through the holiday season.

From left: Michael Pidsadnick, RN, Lori Hudzinski, MD, Association Secretary/Treasurer Tom Benz of East Otto, Tina Brooks, LPN, Vice President Brad Hurley of Mansfield, Executive Board Member Diane Metz, President Robert Barber of Otto