Erie County Health Department Narcan Use Workshop on September 20

The Springville Regional Services Coalition and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital are coordinating another workshop with Erie County’s Health Department on opioid overdose recognition and Naloxone use. This free event will take place on Wednesday, September 20 at the Springville Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

This class trains people to recognize signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, properly administer naloxone and take the necessary follow-up steps. The information in this workshop can help to save the life of a family member, friend, neighbor or colleague who is experiencing an overdose caused by an opiate or prescription narcotic.

Participants who successfully complete the training will receive a kit containing two doses of naloxone at no charge. This free training is open to anyone 16 years old or older. Register online at or call (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485.

Hotlines for Help: 2-1-1 WNY and Crisis Services

At its July meeting, the Springville Regional Services Coalition continued its discussion regarding local access to social and human services agencies for residents in the Springville area.

One idea from that monthly meeting, and one that we share here in this release, is that there are two existing resources that need to be more widely known by Western New York residents and agencies that work with individuals and families.

2-1-1 WNY is a free and confidential link to health and human services. Dialing three easy numbers – 2-1-1 – on your phone connects to a trained information and referral specialist every day, all day. Callers can be directed to information about basic needs, food assistance, free tax preparation, holiday assistance, housing, job training, legal counseling, mental health services, substance abuse services, volunteer opportunities and other services in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

Another phone number that people should program into their phones is (716) 831-7007. This is another hotline, run by Erie County and Crisis Services, providing callers with resources and referrals to substance abuse, addiction and mental health services. This hotline opened for calls in August 2016 and has referred hundreds of people since to recovery, treatment and counseling programs.

The Springville Regional Service Coalition unites human resource providers, public service organizations and individuals to improve the quality of life for the greater Springville community by facilitating cooperation, collaboration, communication and creation of initiatives. The group meets on the third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. in the village of Springville offices at 65 Franklin Street. No meeting is scheduled for August and the next will be on September 21. Contact to be included in our communications.

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.

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.

Congratulations, Amber Kohn, RN

At its July meeting, the BCH Foundation gave a scholarship to Amber Kohn, RN, to apply to her educational expenses. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Alfred University, and is a nurse in the BCH emergency department. She previously worked on the medical-surgical floor at BCH as a registered nurse and in the ED as a nursing assistant.

The Elizabeth Dedrick Scholarship Fund is a way to support BCH and JBR employees as they pursue degrees and training, that they can then bring to their career in caring for patients and residents.

Congratulations, Amber!

Welcoming Dr. Zahra

BCH Board members, Foundation board members, BCH Medical Staff and employees welcomed Dr. Mahmoud Zahra to the facility with a small reception on Thursday, July 20.

Dr. Zahra joins the Imaging Department as a radiologist.

Top: Dr. Zahra with Lisa Smith, Imaging Manager
Below: BCH Board of Directors President Gary Eppolito, Dr. Zahra, BCH CEO Nils Gunnersen

Great News about the Future of Healthcare in Springville

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital received word this week from New York State and the Department of Health that our application for funding through the Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program was approved.

Additional information will follow, but we want to extend a sincere thanks to area legislators who have been supportive of our application: NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan, NYS Assemblyman David Dipietro, NYS Senator Catharine Young and Cattaraugus County Legislator Richard Helmich. Our deepest thanks, too, to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health for investing state funds in our facility and supporting the future of local healthcare in our rural region.

Our application outlined an $11.3 million investment in equipment, technology and site development over a five-year period. Our projects will improve healthcare access to primary care and specialty services, upgrade imaging and technology infrastructure, and preserve jobs and health services for residents in southern Erie, northern Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties.

BCH Nurses Certified as Diabetes Lifestyle Coaches

Kathleen Hebdon, RN and Sheri Plummer, RN of the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Diabetes Education team have completed the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Lifestyle Coach certification. This complements the Diabetes Self-Management accreditation that the hospital has achieved, and will result in additional services that can be offered to patients and covered by most insurance plans.

Studies have shown that patients who attend weekly sessions in diabetes programs for an extended period of time have been rates of prevention because of the healthy lifestyle habits they develop. After an initial 16 weeks, patients are encouraged to attend a monthly support group. Those who commit to attendance up to a full year have the lowest rates of converting to a diabetes diagnosis.

As instructors, Hebdon and Plummer hear myths and misinformation about diabetes reflected back to them from patients. “Some people think that they just have ‘a little diabetes,” said Hebdon. “But the prevalent thought now is that once someone is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, about 50 percent of their pancreatic function is lost, and by the time they are diabetic, that ratio is 80 percent.”

Diabetes causes more deaths in the United States than breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes is very much a lifestyle disease. “People are resistant to starting diabetes treatment,” said Sheri Plummer, RN. “And they give excuses like ‘I’m too old’ or ‘I’m too out-of-shape’ – but they would not hesitate to start a cancer treatment!” She explained, “Pancreatic changes are permanent and progress with age, and we want our patients to start treatment and lifestyle changes immediately to preserve pancreatic function and delay or prevent having to take insulin.”

Diabetes can be treated by three modalities: medication, diet and activity. “Without exercise and activity, you are missing out on a third of the possible treatment regimen,” said Hebdon. “Our programs can help patients overcome barriers with alternative exercises for all conditions, like arthritis, back pain and immobility, and ways to work those into everyday life.”

For information about upcoming Diabetes Education programs, call (716) 592-9643.

Cordelian Club Presents Gift for BCH Emergency Department

Cordelian Club 2017Thanks to the efforts of the Cordelian Club, the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation received a gift that will fund equipment in the Emergency Department.

The purchase of an ocular tonometer, which measures eye pressure, and additional equipment for the ED will proceed because of this donation.

Each year, the Cordelian Club coordinates a party like no other in town. This year’s theme was a tribute to Prince, and it continued a long tradition of dances that have changed with the times but have always supported the hospital.

Pictured from left: BCH Foundation President William King, Shelly Baronich, Primary Care Center Medical Director William Wnuk, MD, Dance Chairperson Kelly Baker, BCH Foundation Board Member Jessica Sullivan, Cordelian Club President Amy Wnuk, BCH Board and Foundation Board Member Stanley Handzlik, BCH Emergency Department Nurse Manager Penny Gardner, RN, BCH Primary Care Nurse Manager Kim Bockhahn, LPN.

Can Kids Make a Difference?

 Yes, yes they can! Our thanks to two students from Springville Middle School for collecting and delivering a variety of books as part of their Kids Can Make a Difference project. This supply will keep the hospital’s Little Free Library stocked for patients, visitors and employees this summer. The range of classics, fiction and non-fiction means that you should check our library often to see what is new!