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.

One-stop Healthcare at BCH

It’s Wednesday – auction day – in Springville, but Jane W.* has other plans. Starting at 10 a.m., Jane pulls up to the front entrance and uses the valet service to park her car for the day. Jane has used a cane to get around for a few years, and the convenience of the valet is one reason she doesn’t mind her regular visits to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

After visiting the registration department to sign in for lab work and imaging tests, Jane heads down the hall to the lab for a series of blood tests recommended by her oncologist. She’ll be seeing her primary care provider later in the day, and the results will be sent to both physicians.

Jane ventures further down the hall towards the Imaging Department. Her oncologist also recommended a chest x-ray, and she will spend the next half-hour with that procedure. Though her specialist is located in the Amherst, Jane has been able to do a surprising amount of the tests, surgical preparation and follow-up at her local hospital. The long trips north have been limited to the cancer surgery itself and in-office consultations with the specialist team.

It’s lunchtime now, and Jane gives her daughter – who works at BCH – a quick call to see if she can take a break. She can, and they eat sandwiches and soup from the coffee shop at the comfortable tables in the lobby.

But Jane is barely halfway through her day at BCH. With some time to spare before her afternoon appointment for a mammogram with the hospital’s new state-of-the-art 3D mammography service, Jane makes her way over to the Jennie B. Her own mother, Gloria, has been a resident at JBR for several years following an injury that required major surgery. Both have lived in Springville all their lives, and for Gloria to remain in her home community for nursing care has been a blessing for her family.

A few minutes before her mammogram, Jane walks back across the campus back to the Imaging Department. After an uneventful mammogram, Jane grabs a cup of coffee at the coffee shop to take her through the rest of the afternoon, placing it in her walker for the ride up the elevator to primary care.

Her appointment at the Primary Care Center with Dr. Heidelberger is one of the last of the afternoon. He reviews the results of her lab work from the morning, before having a discussion about her health conditions and talking through her continuing treatment plan with her oncologist. He makes recommendations for what to do before her next visit in three months.

If ever there were an example of keeping healthcare local, Jane has made it. She has been able to use the hospital’s robust outpatient services and Primary Care Center, and also take comfort that her elderly mother is well cared for at the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.

This is based on an experience of a patient at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Names and some details are changed, and this story is used with permission.

BCH Upgrades Nuclear Medicine Camera Equipment

Nuclear Medicine Camera in Springville at Bertrand Chaffee HospitalBertrand Chaffee Hospital has upgraded its nuclear medicine camera equipment as of March with support from the New York State Department of Health and its Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program.

“This state-of-the-art camera has the ability to perform diagnostic and heart/cardiac studies,” said Lisa Smith, Imaging Department Manager. “This machine has a faster scan time and higher resolution than our previous camera.”

She continued, “This equipment is up and running after an intensive three-month effort, and we thank the community for its patience as we transitioned to this new system.”

“The imaging projects within our grant are a key part of our strategy to offer local health services that are vital to our rural population,” said Nils Gunnersen, CEO. “We appreciate that the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation provided funding towards this project as well.”

Studies available with this nuclear medicine camera include: scans of bone, lung, spleen, thyroid, liver, brain, and breast; scans for GI bleeding and gastric emptying; a white blood cell extremity scan; and, cardiac stress and cardiac non-stress scans.

Nuclear medicine exams will be available weekdays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Please call the BCH Heart Center for appointments at (716) 592-9644.

“Fall into Health” in Arcade

Educational, inspirational and hopeful are three words to describe the “Fall into Health” event at the Arcade VFW on October 19.

Representatives from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital joined Arcade residents and a nurse from the Livingston & Wyoming County Cancer Services program for an evening highlighting the importance of health screenings and the strength of women who have fought and who are fighting cancer.

Rural healthcare was also featured, with ideas about access and services being discussed, particularly around 3D Mammography and support for chronic conditions.

One incredible fact: when combining the number of years of experience in healthcare among the speakers, which included CFO Teresa Donohue, Imaging Manager Lisa Smith, Board and Foundation Board Member Claudia Miller, Patient and Family Services Manager Renna Thaine, RN, and others, the total was well over 100 years.

Thank you to this amazing group for sharing their stories, demonstrating their resilience, and caring about their community in such a positive and inspirational way.

Another event for the spring is in its earliest planning stages.

3D Mammography – Ready for Patients

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital had a fantastic turnout for its Ribbon Cutting event on October 6 for 3D Mammography!

Special thanks to our board members and foundation board members who were in attendance!

We welcomed Assemblyman David DiPietro, Erie County, NY Legislator John Mills, Cattaraugus County Legislator Richard Helmich, Town of Concord Supervisor and BCH Board Chair Gary Eppolito, Town of Ashford Supervisor Charles Davis, Village of Springville Mayor William Krebs, and representatives from NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan’s office. 

Radiologist Anne Ehrlich, MD educated the many guests about the advantages of digital tomosynthesis and how thrilling it was to have this and other new technologies available at BCH.

This was the first of several events we will have to mark projects funded through the New York State Department of Health and its Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program.

Thank you also to the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce, BCH and JBR staff who wore pink today, and our many friends in the community who inspire us to keep healthcare local! And also, the Cancer Services Program of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, which sent material and flyers to promote their important public health work.

And an extra special thanks to our Imaging Department. #teamchaffee

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Brings 3D Mammography to Community

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has announced that it has added 3D mammography, also called digital tomosynthesis, to services provided in its Imaging Department.

“The actual ‘3-D’ part of the mammography is a software upgrade,” said Lisa Smith, Imaging Department Manager. “There was an intensive period where the software was installed and tested and our staff received training on the new protocol.”

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital converted to a digital mammography system in 2012, with significant support from community donations and a grant from the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation.

“We are glad to have been able to have this in place in time for October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said CEO Nils Gunnersen. “It’s a natural time to remind women to make sure they are getting mammograms on a schedule recommended to them by their healthcare provider.”

Digital mammography involves a two-dimensional image that is reviewed by a radiologist for masses or signs of unusual growths. With 3D mammography, a series of images are taken to create a three-dimensional picture that has more detail and definition.

“Our investment in digital mammography was a significant one, and we made it with the knowledge that we would be able to convert to 3D imaging in the future,” said Teresa Donohue, CFO. “This continues our work to keep up with the latest technologies that we see a need in the community for.”

The funding for this project came from the New York State Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program. BCH will use the $11.3 million award for 3D mammography, an upgraded nuclear medicine camera, a permanent MRI machine and a new structure for primary care and specialist services.

3D mammography appointments are available weekdays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and extended hours from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.


Technology Upgrades and Access to Services Focus of $11.3 Million Award to BCH

Thank you Banner, GrantThe announcement of an $11.3 million New York State grant application by Bertrand Chaffee Hospital came on July 18. This award is the largest in Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s history.

“We’ve created a dynamic set of offerings with our inpatient and outpatient medical services,” said Teresa Donohue, CFO. “What we have aligns Bertrand Chaffee Hospital with the goal of New York State: to ensure that the healthcare system can meet the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers.”

The hospital expects to begin investments in technology that will enhance access to advanced diagnostic capabilities before the end of the calendar year.

“The larger question is, what does this award mean for the future of healthcare in our community?” said BCH CEO Nils Gunnersen. “We took a strategic approach to design our application and outlined projects that are a direct, proactive response to community health needs.” He continued, “Improved access to healthcare leads to better health outcomes, and that’s our ultimate goal for our community. Keeping healthcare local is the essence of keeping our patients healthy.”

“BCH is a vital community resource, providing much-needed health service, and is a leading economic engine for our region,” said Gary Eppolito, president of the BCH board of directors. “With this award we can accelerate the progress we have made to improve health services for our neighbors.”
Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will keep patients, employees and neighbors informed about progress at each phase through its web site. Input and feedback about our new building will be solicited from patients, employees, medical staff and the community.

This $11.3 million award was included in New York State’s announcement of $44.6 million in projects for Western New York, part of $491 million in investment statewide.


Comments from local elected officials:

NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan: This funding will help ensure that all New Yorkers have access to high quality health care, especially individuals and families who live in rural communities. Investing in medical facilities and programs is something everyone can support in our ongoing effort to make New York a healthier place to live.

NYS Senator Catharine Young: I am thrilled that Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, which serves people in the northern region in my district, also will receive major state funding to upgrade and strengthen their services!

NYS Assemblyman David DiPietro: Keeping healthcare local is important to our rural communities. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is a great hospital with wonderful staff that cares for countless patients daily. I’ve worked hard in Albany to secure $11.3 million in grant funding so Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is able to purchase new imaging equipment, further primary and specialist services and build on information technology services. Investing in quality healthcare is important.

Cattaraugus County Legislator Richard Helmich: “This is truly tremendous in many ways. I am proud that Cattaraugus County Legislature stood up and wanted to be counted in the struggle. I’ll be glad to advocate for Bertrand Chaffee Hospital anytime.”

Town of Ashford Supervisor Charles Davis: Congratulations on your grant and if you ever need any support from the Ashford town board or myself do not hesitate to reach out.  The hospital is a vital part of our community and it’s here because of the hard work of people like you.

Village of Springville Mayor William Krebs: The Village of Springville is thrilled that Bertrand Chaffee Hospital received the Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Grant of $11.3 million.  The grant will fund the needed technology and site development to keep our community hospital competitive in regional health care. Congratulations and thanks to the leadership and staff of our Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Imaging Department Installs New CT Scanner

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has announced that a new, upgraded CT (computerized tomography) scanner has been installed in the Imaging Department.

The CT scanner, commonly referred to as a “cat” scan, takes a series of x-ray images from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the human body. These studies show greater clarity and detail than a single x-ray image, and can typically produce images of the abdomen/pelvis, head/brain, sinuses, chest, neck, orbital cavities (eye) and spine. CT angiography can also scan the arteries and veins throughout the body.

“This equipment has a faster scanning time, lower radiation dose and higher image resolution,” said Imaging Department Manager Lisa Smith. “A particular benefit of this scanner is its advanced cardiac screenings, which will support our Heart Center patients.”

BCH’s CT scanner is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and participates in the “Image Gently” program. This CT scanner complements the other imaging and radiology services at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, including digital mammography, bone density, nuclear medicine, x-ray, MRI and ultrasound. For more information or an appointment, call (716) 592-8169.

BCH Enhances X-Ray Technology

Digital radiography equipment installed in Imaging Department

Digital X-ray at BCHBertrand Chaffee Hospital made a significant investment in its Imaging Department at the end of 2016. The facility remodeled one of the radiographic (“x-ray”) rooms and installed a new digital radiography (DR) machine.

This equipment represents the leading technology in an effort to lower patient dose while capturing high image quality and detail. DR images show finer detail that will help in the diagnosing of injuries and medical conditions.  This new technology will assist in the treatment that patients receive from emergency medicine providers, orthopedists, surgeons, physical therapists and other specialists.

“The images we take with this machine show incredible detail,” said Lisa Smith, imaging department manager. “We can use lower doses of radiation to produce images, and they’re available immediately with no waiting.”

“Our shift to digital radiography also factored in the room design,” Smith continued. “The table helps us comply with the Safe Patient Handling Act, with the height adjusting from one-and-a-half to three feet,” Smith continued. “That makes the process of getting an x-ray much more comfortable and safer for patients.”

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital continues to make investments in its clinical technologies. “To have this available for emergency, inpatient and outpatient use means that patients do not have to travel out of the area to receive standard of care for imaging services,” said CEO Nils Gunnersen. “That’s a strong consideration, especially when a patient is dealing with pain or discomfort.”

For more information about the Imaging Department at BCH, call (716) 592-8169. The hospital also offers digital mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, MRI, CT and bone density testing.

News From January-April 2016

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation to Host Fourth Garden Party
Event will raise funds for the ambulatory surgery department’s anesthesia machine 

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation will hold its fourth annual Garden Party fundraiser on May 26 at the Springville Country Club. This year’s event is held in memory of Paul Randall and John Frank.

Each of these gentlemen passed away in 2015, and the Foundation board chose to honor their contributions to the hospital by celebrating their lives at this annual occasion. Mr. Randall was a Bertrand Chaffee Hospital board member and served as its president. Mr. Frank was a long-time employee for BCH and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, serving as the facilities manager.

Funds raised on May 26 will go toward an anesthesia machine for the ambulatory surgery department.

The Garden Party starts at 5 p.m. and concludes by 8 p.m. The Springville Jazz Orchestra and Mike Nugent Entertainment will perform throughout the evening.

The Garden Party began in 2013 as a way to honor the memories of Dr. Craig Wiede and Dr. Richard Nowak, two individuals who served as hospital board volunteers for many years. In 2014, the Foundation paid tribute to Dr. Clinton and Mary Strong, who were committed volunteers in this community and at the hospital.  Last year, Teresa Kessler, R.N. and George Vasiliauskas were honored for their service to patients and the facility.

Tickets are $50 each or $80 per couple. For tickets, information and sponsorship opportunities, call the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 or email Kara Kane at

Your Hospital Matters: Essential Health Care Services

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has received many inquiries from the community regarding funding through the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program. The full text of a recent notice we have placed in local newspapers follows, and it includes a map that shows the distribution of state funds in the eight counties of Western New York.


Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has received many inquiries from the community regarding funding through the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program. Unfortunately, BCH learned on March 4 that the New York State Department of Health has denied our application.

With several hundred rural hospitals across the United States facing bankruptcy or closure, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is in a precarious position. We emerged from financial difficulties of 2008 through smart decisions by our board and leadership team. And with strong community support, BCH established a Primary Care Center and Heart Center as key parts of a long-term plan that emphasized financial stability and deliberate growth. However, BCH’s continued survival is not guaranteed – especially when faced with an unequal distribution of state tax dollars.

In late 2015, New York State Department of Health announced the availability of funding through the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program. This $355 million award was distributed across the state to healthcare facilities that are deemed to be essential.

There was a sense of excitement from BCH, as this award represented a significant opportunity for state funding over the next three years. BCH has not received NYS Department of Health financial support since 2008.

BCH submitted a $7.6 million project, noting that the application suggested that projects under $25 million would be prioritized. The plan outlined would address critical facility maintenance projects, develop space for specialty medical practices, expand primary care space, and upgrade our imaging technology and equipment. Each of these initiatives would have enhanced local access to essential healthcare services for our neighbors.

Though the rejection of our application by the NYS Department of Health was disappointing, we want to emphasize that we are doing everything we can to ensure the future of local healthcare for residents of southern Erie, northern Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties. That will include pursuing NYS support and continuing to educate our patients, our community, and our local and state representatives about the importance of rural hospitals like ours. We thank you for your support and we are proud to be your hospital.

For more information about how you can support BCH, contact our community relations office at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 or email comments to Continue to follow our work here on our web site or sign up for our email newsletter at the top of this page.

BCH Women’s Association Basket Raffle

Volunteers from the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association coordinated their annual basket raffle on Saturday, April 16 at the Concord Town Hall. Nearly 200 baskets were on display for a crowd of community members, volunteers and employees from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Since 1996, this group has raised and contributed about $200,000 in support of projects and equipment at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.

BCH Imaging Department Designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR)

The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective, diagnostic care for individuals at high risk for lung cancer.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is one of about 110 facilities in New York State to achieve this designation. Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer, taking the lives of more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

Additional risk factors for lung cancer include the following:

  • Emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Interstitial lung disease, such as pulmonary fibrosis • Occupational and environmental exposures, such as asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, coal smoke, diesel fumes, nickel, silica, and soot
  • High levels of radon exposure
  • History of cancer, including lung cancer, lymphoma, head and neck, and smoking-related cancers
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Extensive secondhand smoke exposure
  • Prior thoracic radiation therapy, as may occur for breast cancer and lymphoma

Our Imaging Department encourages individuals who meet any of these risk factors to talk to their healthcare provider about recommended screenings and imaging studies. Call (716) 592-8169 for an appointment.

MARCH 2016

Freedom From Smoking Program Begins May 3

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will host the American Lung Association’s (ALA) “Freedom from Smoking” program during 2016. ALA-certified instructors will present this eight-session program on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 7:30 p.m. starting on May 3 and concluding on June 14.
This program is designed for adult smokers and features step-by-step plans to help smokers gain control over their behavior. Cigarette smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and can lead to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is a behavior that negatively affects nearly every organ in the human body. It is also a cause of heart disease and stroke.
The program costs $80 and includes a workbook and CD. Registration is now open; to register call (716) 592-9643. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s ongoing community health outreach includes smoking cessation programs and diabetic education. A future session is scheduled for October 4-November 15 in 2016

BCH Accepts Toys and Books from Disney Hospital Care Package Program

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is a participant in the Disney Hospital Care Package Program. This initiative brings new toys and books to hospitals all over the country, and has impacted an estimated 9.8 million lives since its inception in 2012.

“We share these items through as many departments as we can,” said Annette Kaleta, who coordinates the program for the hospital. “We make them available in the Emergency Department, for children who are there being treated or there with a family member.”

“It’s also great to have the books on display in our Primary Care Center,” she continued. “With the number of patients who visit each day, it’s a nice complement to our kids’ activity area as their parents or grandparents are waiting.”

The hospital also uses Disney items when donating baskets to local events, including the upcoming BCH Women’s Association basket raffle on April 16 at Concord Town Hall.

BCH Expands Cardiology Services with Leg Pain and Vascular Center

Beginning April 6, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will introduce the Leg Pain and Vascular Center. This expansion of vascular services will complement the services currently offered by the Heart Center on the hospital’s first floor.

Vascular services include non‐invasive tests like ultrasounds of the leg arteries, carotid arteries and renal arteries. These tests offer a thorough diagnosis for reduced blood flow, which is caused by arterial stenosis, and can cause leg pain and ulcerations. Patients who are experiencing leg pain, leg swelling or non‐healing wounds can call to learn more about the Leg Pain and Vascular Center’s services.

“People who have problems walking because of leg pain or ulcers can benefit from minimally invasive and non‐surgical techniques to improve their symptoms and heal their wounds,” said Dr. Henry M. Meltser, who has worked with BCH to design and coordinate the new center.

Dr. Meltser is an interventional vascular specialist who is board certified in three separate specialties. His training included clinical residency and fellowships at the University of Rochester and Indiana University.

“We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Meltser to Springville,” said Nils Gunnersen, BCH CEO. “Our efforts to extend the types of medical services available to our neighbors continue, and adding these specialized cardio‐vascular options for our neighbors is a great way to keep that progress moving forward.”

Patients who are interested in learning more about the new Vascular and Leg Pain Center can call (716) 592‐9644.

“Spring it On” Fundraiser for Springville’s Hospital 

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation will participate in “Spring It On,” a 24-hour online fundraising event on March 24-25. Created and powered by the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, more than 250 local non-profit agencies are expected to participate this year.

“We’ve been taking small steps into the world of online fundraising, starting with our PayPal donation option for last year’s annual appeal,” said Kara Kane, development coordinator. “This activity is a great reminder for our supporters that their hospital is here, every minute of every day, for their health needs.

Spring It On seeks to mobilize supporters to donate to a favorite organization and to highlight the impact that giving has on that organization. “Giving has an enormous impact on what the BCH Foundation is able to make possible for patients and nursing home residents,” Kane continued. “Our neighbors can look to equipment additions like smart IV pumps and a portable ultrasound machine from last year and know that they had a major role to play in those improvements.”

The BCH Foundation has set a financial goal of $500, but another important aim is participation. “To have dozens of our neighbors join in this campaign, just for one day, will be a bonus and benefit for one of our departments,” Kane said.

The BCH Foundation will use its Facebook page [] and email newsletter to reach current supporters and cultivate new ones as part of Spring It On. Donate directly at

Felton-Burns VFW Post 5260​ Gives in Memory of Charter Member William J. Weismantel

BCH Foundation representatives met with members of the Felton-Burns VFW Post 5260 in March to present a plaque commemorating their gift toward the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home in memory of William J. Weismantel.

Mr. Weismantel was a charter member of the Springville VFW post, and an active participant in many other civic activities that benefited the Springville area. Thank you to this local chapter for supporting local healthcare and an improvement to the Jennie B. facility.

From left: Stanley Handzlik, BCH board member and BCH Foundation board member; Bob Bieber; Jerry King; Roy Gill, Felton-Burns VFW Post 5260 senior vice president; Arthur A. Arnold, VFW auxiliary; Mary Weismantel Truxal; Roger Soricelli, JBR administrator; Beverley Stockwell; Kathy Paszkiewicz, BCH Foundation; and, Sandi Ferguson, VFW auxiliary.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

If you noticed an unusual number of people at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home wearing blue on Friday, March 4, here is the reason why: wearing blue is part of a national campaign by the Colon Cancer Alliance to raise awareness about this detectible and treatable disease. Dozens of BCH and JBR employees took part in this activity to draw attention to colorectal cancer and the importance of regular screenings.

The ambulatory surgery department, which sees patients for screening colonoscopies during the week.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer among cancers that affect men and women, and screenings are recommended for adults over the age of 50 or earlier, depending on family history. Check with your healthcare provider to see what screening schedule is right for you.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s ambulatory surgery department works with local surgeons to perform routine colonoscopies as part of regular screenings for colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps. For more information, call (716) 592-2971 ext. 1470.

Cordelian Club Brings Back the 80s with its Annual Dance

he Cordelian Club held its annual dance on Saturday, February 27 to support Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. With its 1980s theme, more than 175 guests showed up with bold fashion choices and big hair, ready for the danceable songs from the best of pop, rock ‘n roll and hip-hop from DJ Rick Manzone.



Heart Health Open House on February 24

Continuing its activities for American Heart Month in February, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will host a Heart Health Open House on Wednesday, February 24 in the Heart Center.

Stop in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to receive a blood pressure screening and material about cardiovascular conditions, our cardiac rehab program and the BCH Heart Center, which is located on the first floor of the hospital.

“Heart health is an important part of your overall health,” said Lauralee Sprague, nurse practitioner. “We want to inform our patients about cardiovascular risks and guide them toward tools, including regular visits to their healthcare provider, to reduce those risks.”

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital established its Heart Center in 2012 in response to community demand for cardiology services. For more information, call (716) 592-9644.

30 Years of Cardiac Rehab at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital

In February, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Cardiac Rehabilitation program. This occasion coincides with American Heart Month, held each February, and is part of a national effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes while raising awareness about heart-healthy behaviors. It also aligns with Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, which begins this year on February 14.

Cardiac rehabilitation is one course of treatment available to patients who have had a heart attack or surgery, a heart or lung transplant, or other cardiac condition. When managed by health professionals, this specialized form of therapy can improve a patient’s overall health in ways that may prevent future heart problems.

“One primary result that we see in our patients is an improvement in the quality of life,” said Sheri Plummer, a registered nurse who coordinates the Cardiac Rehab program. “People are able to return to work and activities, decrease pain, maintain an exercise regimen that keeps them active, and in some cases, reduce the need for medications.”

A typical cardiac rehab schedule at BCH involves an exercise regimen three times each week for 12 weeks. In consultation with a cardiologist, a cardiac rehab patient works with a team of specialized professionals like dieticians and nutritionists. As patients recover from cardiac events like a heart attack, enrollment in cardiac rehab brings them into a controlled environment with regular monitoring of blood pressure. Trained nurses teach patients how to exercise safely and help in the transition to learning how to exercise safely at home.

“Choosing cardiac rehab is a turning point for many patients, setting them on a path to increased mobility and continued independent living,” said Darlene Schrantz, director of patient care services. “We’ve seen patients use cardiac rehab as a way to make remarkable health improvements after a cardiac event.”

Patients have expressed what the cardiac rehab program means to them over the years. “I don’t believe my progression would have been anywhere near as good on my own,” said K.T. “It took a very scary situation in my life and turned it into a very positive experience!”

BCH and JBR Employees Go Red for Women

February is National Heart Month, and associates at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home wore red on February 5 to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke in women.

Between the Heart Center — established in 2012 — and cardiac rehabilitation services — which started 30 years ago — BCH has developed health resources that support better heart health for our community. These services, in conjunction with regular visits to a primary care doctor, can help patients reduce their risks for acute or chronic heart conditions.


Cordelian Club Presents a “Totally 80’s Dance Party” to Benefit Bertrand Chaffee Hospital

The Cordelian Club is holding its annual dance to support Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. The group selected an 80’s theme, and the event will include a basket auction and a raffle for a “boombox of booze.” Dig deep in your closets and attics to find your favorite fashions from the 1980s!

  • What: Cordelian Club “Totally 80’s Dance Party”
  • Where: Springville Volunteer Fire Department, West Main Street, Springville
  • When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 8 p.m. – midnight Music and entertainment by Rock & Roll to the Rescue and DJ Rick Manzone. Beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Tickets are $35 each and available at BCH, Anything Printed, Cordelian Club members and at the door.

The Cordelian Club has a decades-long history of supporting Bertrand Chaffee Hospital with their dance. Past events have helped to fund new “smart” IV infusion pumps, a digital mammography machine, and other hospital equipment. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook at or search “Totally 80’s Dance Party.” This event is for ages 21 and over.

BCH Foundation Supports Equipment Purchases for Imaging, Rehab Services and Diabetic Education

At its first meeting for 2016 on January 11, the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation board members reviewed its work throughout 2015 and took steps to plan for activities in 2016.

With the annual appeal bringing in close to $25,000, the foundation’s board noted new tactics that nearly doubled the results over 2014. “Having a kick-off gift from Mahoney and Sullivan Financial Group was a springboard for bringing more visibility to our year-end fundraising efforts,” said Kara Kane, development coordinator. “But our annual appeal isn’t just about raising money — it’s also our best opportunity to communicate back to donors about how their gifts go to support local healthcare and facility projects.”

Thanks to that community support, the Foundation will fund the purchase of new therapeutic equipment in the rehabilitation services department, materials for diabetic education, and in a major investment, $20,000 toward the replacement of a portable x-ray machine used in the Emergency Department and inpatient floor. An associate scholarship from the Elizabeth Dedrick Scholarship Fund for a medical/surgical nurse to pursue college courses was also approved.

“We take our role in supporting the hospital and nursing home very seriously, and we’re able to fund these projects because our donors believe in local healthcare,” said William King, BCH Foundation president. “Once this equipment is purchased, there will be people each day who benefit, whether they’re coming in a few times a week for physical therapy on their hands and wrists, or having an x-ray taken in the Emergency Department.”

Looking ahead to the spring, the Foundation will hold its fourth annual Garden Party on Thursday, May 26 at the Springville Country Club. Honorees will be announced at a later date.

BCH Expands Diabetic Education Team, Offers “Being Active with Diabetes” on Jan. 21

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has added two new members to its Diabetes Education Team.

Sheri Plummer, a registered nurse, is an instructor for this program, and is part of the BCH Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Jenni Weisedel will serve as a community advisor, and is part of the BCH registration department. They will add to the experience of this seven-member team, which includes a pharmacist, registered nurse, certified diabetic educator and dietitians.

As part of its community outreach, BCH is accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators as a diabetic education site. Courses related to diabetes management, gestational diabetes and pre-diabetes are offered regularly throughout the year. BCH also hosts a monthly diabetes support group on the first Monday of every month from 6 – 7 p.m. Plummer will be teaching the Being Active with Diabetes class.

The Being Active with Diabetes course will be offered quarterly in 2016, with the first session scheduled for Thursday, January 21 at 10 a.m. This program is adaptable for patients with mobility issues or who are concerned about being able to stand. Students receive an exercise book or DVD, which includes individualized activity plans that are suitable for all activity levels, as well as sit-and-fit exercises. The class outlines how regular activity is important for overall fitness, weight management and blood glucose control. Appropriate activity can reduce risk, improve body mass index, enhance weight loss, help control lipids and blood pressure, and reduce stress. The content also includes how to balance activity with food and medication.

Patients must be pre-registered to attend, as insurance authorization is required. Call (716) 592-2871 ext. 1489 to register or for more information.

BCH Diabetes Education Team: Dr. Michael Barnett, pharmacist; Jenni Weisedel, community advisor; Kyle Schwan, registered dietician; Elizabeth Cappola, dietetic technician, registered; Kathleen Hebdon, RN, certified diabetic educator; Sherri Plummer, RN, cardiac rehab; and Nancy Fisher, dietetic technician, registered. Cappola, Schwan and Fisher are also certified dietitian nutritionists. 

Freedom from Smoking Starts January 19 EDIT: Cancelled due to low enrollment

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will host the American Lung Association’s (ALA) “Freedom from Smoking” program during 2016. ALA-certified instructors will present this eight-session program on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 7:30 p.m. starting on January 19 and continuing through March 1.
This program is designed for adult smokers and features step-by-step plans to help smokers gain control over their behavior. Cigarette smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and can lead to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is a behavior that negatively affects nearly every organ in the human body. It is also a cause of heart disease and stroke.
The program costs $80 and includes a workbook and CD. Registration is now open; to register call (716) 592-9643. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s ongoing community health outreach includes smoking cessation programs and diabetic education. Future sessions are scheduled for May 3-June 14 and October 4-November 15 in 2016

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Continues Diabetic Support Group

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital coordinates monthly diabetic support group meetings for Type I and Type II diabetics and their loved ones as part of its community education initiatives.

Interested individuals are invited to participate in this group to share recipes, coupons and information about topics related to diabetes and health in a supportive and welcoming environment. The group will meet at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital on the first Monday of each month from 6-7 p.m. A Certified Diabetic Educator will facilitate the group, and meetings are free of charge.

For more information, call (716) 592-9643. Meetings will be canceled when S-GI schools are closed for a snow day.

The topic for the next meeting on January 4 will be Your A1C. Suggested monthly topics  going forward include: Managing Diabetes (February 1), Insulin: Not the Enemy (March 7), Healthy Eating (April 4), Being Active [movie] (May 2), Carb Addiction (June 6), (Closed July), Diabetic Journey (August 1), (Closed September), Gluten and Diabetes (October 3), Holiday Eating (November 7), Web Sites and Apps (December 5).