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).