Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Welcomes Dr. Salvatore Calandra

The Bertrand Chaffee Heart Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Salvatore Calandra will be joining the Heart Center in early May.

Dr. Salvatore Calandra, MD is a Board Certified Cardiologist who has been practicing in the WNY area for the last 28 years. He was a partner with the Cardiology Group of WNY for 26 years and Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab and Intervention for the Catholic Health System for 17 years. He presently is the Director of Cardiology for Mobile Healthcare Partners/Mobile Primary Care. Recently, he has joined the cardiology team at ECMC.

“We need to strive to educate individuals to be proactive in their cardiac and vascular health and to educate our patients to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke,” said Calandra. “Time is of the essence to get to a doctor or seek medical attention.”

“Dr. Calandra brings a wealth of experience to our Heart Center team,” said CEO Nils Gunnersen. “His focus on patient education and dedication to the heart health of our WNY community echoes the mission of BCH and keeping healthcare local.”

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center, located on the hospital’s first floor, provides a comprehensive array of clinical and diagnostic cardiac and vascular services, including outpatient consults, echo, regular and stress echo testing and pacemaker interrogation. For appointments, call (716) 592-9644.

How High is Too High? Blood Pressure Facts from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital

No photo description available.The word “hypertension” might not be in everyone’s vocabulary, but the phrase “high blood pressure” certainly is.

Hypertension describes a condition that accounts for more than 1,000 deaths in the United States each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With approximately one in every three adults walking around with high blood pressure in the U.S., it’s been estimated that only half of those with elevated blood pressure have that condition under control.

“The patients we see in the Heart Center are generally referred to us by their primary care provider,” said Thomas P. Smith, MD, a cardiologist at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. “Our goal is to address cardiac and vascular conditions through medication, diet and exercise programs and other treatment options to improve overall health.”

“With cases of high blood pressure, there are not always obvious symptoms,” said Lauralee Sprague, NP. “By working with patients to control and monitor their high blood pressure, we are reducing their risks for heart disease, stroke and other complications that can result in a lower quality of life or of death.”

So, how high is too high? For most adults, normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic, or upper number) and less than 80 (diastolic, or lower number). Readings that show numbers above “120/80” may indicate hypertension. Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or medications, can cause elevated blood pressure readings. The best advice is to talk to your healthcare provider about your blood pressure and have your readings taken in a clinical setting.

BCH is planning a Heart Health Event on February 26 at 1 p.m. at the Concord Senior Center. Blood pressure screenings and heart and vascular health information will be available.

February is American Heart Month, and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has provided this information to raise awareness about this widespread and serious health condition. Call (716) 592-9644 for information about services at the BCH Heart Center.

Nuclear Medicine Camera – Cutting the Ribbon!

Friends and supporters came to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital as staff, providers, board members and elected officials helped to cut the ribbon for the nuclear medicine camera. This piece of equipment was replaced with an upgraded model in March thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Health and a grant from the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation.

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.

Free Leg Vein Screening – November 9 in Arcade

Heart Center team 2017Thursday, November 9
5-7 p.m., Arcade Volunteer Fire Hall

Leg vein screenings by Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center providers and staff. Featuring blood pressure screenings by the Arcade Volunteer Fire Department.

Appointments required – call (716) 592-9644 to schedule.

Coordinated by Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s Heart Center, and Arcade Volunteer Fire Department.

BCH Adds Blood Pressure Classes for Primary Care, Cardiac Patients

Blood Pressure CuffDue to popular demand, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is extending its blood pressure classes for BCH Primary Care Center and BCH Heart Center patients. Participants receive a free blood pressure cuff and journal.

August 28, 6 p.m.
September 6, 10 a.m.
October 2, 7 p.m.
November 9, 10 a.m.
December 4, 7 p.m.

Sometimes, patients may have “white-coat syndrome,” where nervousness or anxiety about seeing a healthcare provider can lead to an elevated blood pressure reading. A running log, kept at home in a familiar environment, provides very useful data about whether that is the case or not.

“In the Primary Care Center and Heart Center, we are seeing patients bring their three-week blood pressure logs in with them to appointments,” said Lauralee Sprague, NP. “That record gives providers a clearer picture of a patient’s blood pressure, not just at the time of their visit.”

All classes are held at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, patient education classroom (basement). The class is free for all Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center and Heart Center patients, but registration is required. Call (716) 592-9643.

Thanks to Garden Party Supporters

A warm and welcome thank you to everyone who participated in the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation’s fifth annual Garden Party on May 25.

Our celebration of the career of Darlene Schrantz, RN and the life of William McMahon, MD was made possible by a friendly and loving crowd, some of whom were able to share remarks about their work with these two tremendous healthcare professionals.

Peony sponsors included Stansberry and Knight Physician Assistants and the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Medical Staff. Iris sponsors were Arcade-Springville Dental Arts Group, Nils and Erika Gunnersen, Mercy Flight/Mercy EMS, Craig and Tanya Helms, ACM Global Laboratories and Voya Financial. Rose sponsors: 2121 Main Street Pharmacy, Eaton Office Supply, Fiddler’s Green Manor, Freed Maxick CPAs, Julie’s Pizzeria, Fred and Darlene Schrantz, Roger and Margo Soricelli, Springville Door and Window and STC Construction. Ivy sponsors: AllPro Parking, Kelly O’Neal Adams, Patrick Hurley, MD and Susan Fischbeck, MD, Grover and Elizabeth Riefler, and WNY Imaging.

We are grateful for the entertainment provided by the Springville Jazz Orchestra and its conductor, William Cocca, and for the wine tasting station donated by Empire Merchants North.

Proceeds from this event will go toward the purchase of a transesophageal echocardiogram for the BCH Heart Center. Cardiologist Dr. Thomas Smith was kind enough to describe the benefits and need for this equipment to assembled guests.

Thank you for the support for our foundation and our “Gem on the Hill” from the hospital and nursing home employees, medical staff, board of directors and most importantly our community.

Mary Kwiatek
Vice President, BCH Foundation Board of Directors

Five Years for the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation Garden Party

Event will support purchase of cardiology equipment

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation’s fifth annual Garden Party is planned for Thursday, May 25 at the Springville Country Club. The foundation’s board is pleased to announce that the event will celebrate the career of Darlene Schrantz, RN and honor the memory of Dr. William McMahon. Schrantz retired from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in March after a 44-year career in nursing. Dr. McMahon was a longtime physician in Springville, who passed away in 2016.

As the major fundraising event for the BCH Foundation, the Garden Party is a way to focus community support on a single project. The foundation board will use this year’s event to help fund the purchase of a TEE – transesophageal echocardiogram. This equipment will be used in the BCH Heart Center.

The Garden Party starts at 5 p.m. and concludes by 8 p.m. The Springville Jazz Orchestra and Hintz of Thunder will provide the musical entertainment.

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.

Department Spotlight: Heart Center

Visits to the Bertrand Chaffee Heart Center can begin with a simple statement: “I think something could be wrong with my heart.” That phrase is answered by our providers, nurses and staff with another simple phrase: “We can help you.”

Since opening in 2012, the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center has been able to expand to meet the demands of our community. Services and capabilities include outpatient and inpatient consults, echocardiograms, all types of stress testing, pacemaker interrogation, and nuclear medicine. In 2016, the Heart Center enhanced its services by adding the Leg Pain and Vascular Center to complement its cardiac care. Leg vein ablation, an outpatient procedure for varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, was added late last year.

Providers in our Heart Center see patients with cardiac and vascular conditions, and provide diagnosis, treatment options, and referrals for more intensive interventions, like surgery, if indicated.

“Our providers work with patients to manage their cardiac and vascular conditions and reduce the risks for serious cardiac events, like heart attacks and strokes,” said CEO Nils Gunnersen. “Access to cardiovascular care is essential for people in rural communities, particularly as they age.”

The Heart Center’s providers take care to answer patient and family questions with diligence and compassion. Cardiologists Thomas P. Smith, Jr., MD and Cyril Gunawardane, MD see patients in the Heart Center’s first floor location. Lauralee Sprague, NP, works closely with our cardiologists and specializes in heart health. They are supported by a team of nurses and patient service representatives who handle scheduling, appointments, diagnostic screenings, treatment plans and follow up care.

“Heart disease and stroke can have devastating effects, both for quality of life and length of life,” said Dr. Smith. “Our team works together with patients, their families, and their primary care providers to develop treatment plans that have the best possible outcome.” The Heart Center phone number is (716) 592-9644.

Heart Center team 2017
Photo from left: From left: Stacey Hatch, Lynn Miller, Kristine Miller, Judy Ott, Lauralee Sprague, NP, Tammi Kirsch, Thomas P. Smith, MD, Rachel Lis, Ashley Flanagan