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

BCH Introduces Leg Vein Ablation Procedure

Cardiology Team and Imaging Services collaborate to bring clinical care option to community 

Thomas P. Smith, Jr., MD, FACCBertrand Chaffee Hospital has introduced leg vein ablation for patients seeking treatment for symptoms related to varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Though fewer than 10 percent of people with vein disease – including varicose veins – seek treatment, left untreated this condition can lead to CVI. This disease affects about 190 million people worldwide and more than 30 million Americans. CVI is a progressive disease that can cause leg pain, swelling, restlessness, discoloration, skin damage and ulcers.

The addition of this procedure is a collaborative effort between the hospital’s Imaging Department and cardiology team in the Heart Center and Leg Pain and Vascular Center. BCH offers this treatment as an outpatient procedure, and began scheduling screening visits in December.

“We are treating symptomatic vein disease and CVI as part of a patient’s overall health. It deserves an accurate medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment and plan,” said cardiologist Dr. Thomas Smith. “It is not just as a cosmetic issue, but one that can have important health implications for the future.”

Leg Vein Ablation Venous DiseaseIn describing the procedure, Dr. Smith continued, “A physician inserts a single-use catheter into a patient’s leg vein, and uniform heat is applied to seal off the problem vein and allow blood to reroute to healthy veins.”

“This is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure where patients can have a comfortable recovery and generally return to normal activities after just a few days,” said Darlene Schrantz, RN, director of patient care services. “Our providers were great advocates for bringing this procedure to our facility, so our patients don’t have to travel outside the area to access this treatment.”

Varicose veins and CVI occur when valves in leg veins that direct blood from the legs back toward the heart no longer function properly. This causes blood to pool in the legs. Although this can occur at any time, there are factors that increase the risks of developing this condition. These include increased age, women who have been pregnant, a family history of CVI, and people who stand at their job for a great deal of time. Leg vein ablation may be an option for individuals who have leg pain, a heavy feeling in their legs, or a family history of chronic vein insufficiency or venous reflux.

“We encourage our primary care and cardiology patients to make this part of their conversation with their providers,” said Primary Care Center Practice Manager Reid Gunnersen. “Minimally invasive intervention like leg vein ablation now may prevent larger health complications in the future.”

For a screening and consultation, call the BCH Heart Center at (716) 592-9644.


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).

2014 News


Primary Care Center Expands with a New Provider

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center is very excited to welcome its newest provider, Lauralee Sprague, NP, in January 2015. She comes to us from TLC Health Network in Gowanda where she has worked for the last 18 years, 12 of those as a nurse practitioner.  A Pioneer Central Schools graduate, Sprague grew up in Sardinia and Machias, and currently resides in Springville with her son. She graduated from SUNY Brockport with a bachelor of science in nursing, and from D’Youville College with a master’s and certification as a family nurse practitioner (FNP).

Sprague is board certified in family practice, and is certified in ACLS, PALS and BLS with an additional certification as a sexual assault examiner. She has experience teaching clinicals and classes in the nurse practitioner program at D’Youville.

“I’m very excited to be returning to practice in the hospital where I was born and the community I grew up in,” said Sprague. “I have special interests in women’s health and pediatrics, and I’m looking forward to providing family-focused and preventative care and wellness at BCH.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Lauralee to the Bertrand Chaffee family, she will be a wonderful addition to our center, especially for our patients,” added Darlene Schrantz, RN, Director of Patient Care Services.

Any patient wishing to schedule an appointment with Ms. Sprague or any of our other providers at the Primary Care Center can call 592-8140.

Sons of Amvets Post 219 Presents Gift to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation

On December 4, Daniel Gallaway of the Sons of Amvets Post 219 in Boston presented a $500 gift to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation in support of hospital and nursing home improvements. This contribution continues the group’s tradition of giving back to community organizations.

Pictured from left: Dr. Jon Baker, surgeon at Surgical Associates of SGI and a foundation board member; Daniel Gallaway, Sons of Amvets post chaplain; Nils Gunnersen, CEO of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital; and Joel Maul, foundation board member.


Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Names Leadership Positions in Emergency Department

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has announced new leadership positions in its emergency department. Lori Hudzinski, M.D. has been named director of the emergency department at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. As a board-certified physician with more than 25 years of service to patients in Springville and surrounding communities, Dr. Hudzinski earned her medical degree from the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., and her undergraduate degree from St. Bonaventure University. Her experience includes years of practice in family medicine, sports medicine, and a fellowship in the Society of Orthopaedic Medicine in London, England. She is board certified in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine.

A Springville native and lifelong resident, Dr. Hudzinski previously cared for patients in private practice. She has received the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s “Bridges to Excellence Recognition” in three areas: Medical Home, Diabetes Physician, and Physician Practice Connections. She has lectured at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and is a past chief of medicine at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Dr. Hudzinski leads a team of medical professionals in the prompt diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries in the emergency department. Depending on a patient’s condition, an ER provider at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital may order blood work, x-rays, EKGs, breathing treatments, IVs, oxygen or medications, and admit or refer patients for more intensive treatment.

Jennifer Siragusa joined Bertrand Chaffee Hospital as nurse manager in the emergency department. Siragusa had worked previously for physicians’ offices and hospitals in the southern tier, including Gowanda, North Collins, Fredonia and at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. She received her LPN and RN licenses through programs at BOCES and Excelsior College. As nurse manager, she handles scheduling for the BCH Emergency Department, regulatory compliance and supervision of nursing staff. As a local resident, Siragusa said that she “appreciates that Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is close to her home.”


A Pizza Fundraiser Night with the BCH Women’s Association 

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association is planning a “Fun”draiser Night on October 28 at the Pizza Hut location in Springville from 4 – 8 p.m.

Pizza Hut will donate 20% of purchases on the fundraiser night to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital — please bring a flyer, which includes the ticket needed, to the restaurant when you pay.

The Jennie B. Turns 40!

Join us as we celebrate 40 years of care to residents at the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home on Wednesday, October 29 at 3:30 p.m. With its start in 1974, the Jennie B. has cared for more than 2,000 residents over four decades.

The public is welcome to our event; light refreshments will be available.

Responses appreciated to Kara at or (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485.


Public Service Announcement for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October

WSPQ 1330AM radio in Springville produced a PSA for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will air on the radio throughout the month of October, and serves as a reminder to all women to talk to their physician about when to schedule a mammogram. The Imaging Services Department at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital offers digital mammography and can be reached at (716) 592-8169.

National Drug Take Back Day on September 27

National Drug Take Back Day is set for Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville has been designated as a site for the collection of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision. The availability of unused or expired prescription medications has turned into a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives by keeping them out of the hands of children and teenagers, and protects the environment by keeping them out of the water supply.

Mark your calendars and check your medicine cabinets for expired or unused pharmaceuticals. This nationwide initiative has taken more than 2,100 tons of prescription medication out of circulation since 2010. Other area take-back locations for Sept. 27 include the North Collins Police Department, the Gowanda Village Municipal Building, and the Village of Arcade Police Station.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association Announces 2014 Fashion Show

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association is planning its annual fashion show for Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Springville Fire Hall. This event continues the decades-old history of support for Bertrand Chaffee Hospital programs, services and facility improvement by the group’s members.

Though this event is officially in its thirteenth year, BCH Community Relations Coordinator Kara Kane recently found an advertisement for the Association’s fashion show in 1961. “I contacted the Concord Historical Society with a question about the hospital’s annual reports, and they came back with a set of really interesting documents from the hospital’s past,” she said. “One of these was a call to action from Eleanor Folts, Mabel Underberg and Bonnie Wilson to promote ‘Fashions in Review’ for the 1962 season.

“They described their event as a ‘giant style spectacular…with originals sewn by the fine seamstresses of Springville…fashions of yesteryear will recall the grand days of 1860, the gay ‘90’s and the roaring ‘20’s,” she continued. “Reading that was a wonderful reminder of the traditions that the people of Springville created and how they endure.”

Women’s Association President Karen Ritenour, who took over from Bonnie Tober in June, notes that the Fashion Show draws in support from many local businesses. “Maurice’s of Springville and Dress Barn in Hamburg are providing our volunteer models with outfits this year, and we’ll have accessories from Sheret Jewelers and Springville Eye Care as well,” she said.

Presale tickets are $8 and are available at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s switchboard and at the gift shop. Tickets are $9 at the door. Refreshments will be served. Sponsorships are accepted until September 22. Contact Annette Kaleta at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1221 for more information. Proceeds benefit Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.


O.R. Staff Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge – Update: The Radiology Department Responds

As part of the global phenomenon of the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS research, the OR staff at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital was nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge by Lori Baker, an anesthetist at BCH. With assistance from Dr. Matt Baker, the med/surg staff was doused with gallons of icy water poured from the Baker’s tractor on the front lawn of the hospital on August 20.

Dozens of hospital and nursing home associates gathered in front of BCH with their cameras to watch as the Ice Bucket Challenge arrived at BCH and Springville. The OR staff announced their support of ALS research and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital before nominating the hospital’s radiology department to participate next.

A video taken by We Are Living in Springville is posted below.
The Radiology Department responded to the challenge on August 22, and issued a challenge to the senior leadership team and their staff.

JULY 2014

A Cookout, Car Seats and a ‘Copter

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital will be the site of WSPQ 1330 AM radio’s “Cookout for a Cause” on Wednesday, July 30 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. This event is part of a series of cookouts that the station does in support of local non-profit organizations. For $2, the classic hits station in Springville is offering a hot dog and a pop, with proceeds going to benefit Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Parents and grandparents who transport children in their vehicles are invited to have their car seats inspected by the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, also from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Technicians will be available to make sure seats are installed properly.

Mercy Flight, which has a helipad at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, will have representatives on hand, and a landing of one of their helicopters is scheduled depending on weather and availability.

Find all these activities in the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital parking lot at 224 East Main Street in Springville. For more information, contact Kara at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 or

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Board of Directors Elects 2014-15 Officers

Board Welcomes Johanna Healy as a New Member

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital board of directors elected its slate of officers for 2014-15 at its June meeting. Continuing as officers are President Timothy Horner of Springville, Vice President Dr. Robbin Hansen of Springville, Secretary Gary Eppolito of Springville and Treasurer Michael Boza of Arcade.

Johanna Healy of Springville joined the board for a three-year term as a director. Originally from Yorkshire, she is a graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in political science and policy studies, and also with a law degree from Syracuse University’s College of Law. Healy was previously an attorney and partner with Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham & Coppola in Buffalo, and currently serves as the attorney for the Village of Springville. She has served on the Donate Life Foundation Board, and is a graduate of the United Way’s Board Governance for Women Initiative. Healy lectures frequently on risk management, insurance, and legal issues for non-profit organizations. She lives in Springville with her husband and two children.

The board of directors meets monthly at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

JUNE 2014

SGI Students Volunteer at BCH and JBR

I would like to express a sincere “thank you” to the SGI high school seniors who participated in the Griffins Day of Giving on May 30, and the National Junior Honor Society students from Springville Middle School who volunteered at our hospital and nursing home on June 13. These groups did fantastic work to weed and mulch our garden spaces, which are very visible to patients, residents, visitors and staff. The middle school students also cleaned out overgrown garden areas in our nursing home’s courtyard, planted annual flowers and repainted picnic tables.

We are fortunate to have such community-minded students who are willing to contribute their time and energy toward service projects. On behalf of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, thank you for bringing your enthusiasm and volunteer spirit to our facility.

Sincerely, Nils Gunnersen
CEO, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital

BCH Women’s Association Holds Annual Installation Dinner

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association held its annual installation dinner at the Apple Dumplin restaurant on June 11. Officers include: treasurer Beth Bolt, first vice president Lisa Yaeger, secretary Judith White (back row); outgoing president Bonnie Tober and second vice president Lori Beeman (front row). (Missing: incoming president Karen Ritenour)

At its meeting, the group also presented a check for $5,000 to Darlene Schrantz, director of patient care services at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, for the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation to apply towards the purchase of IV infusion pumps.

In addition to running the hospital’s gift shop, Women’s Association volunteers coordinate fundraisers throughout the year with a goal of supporting hospital improvements and equipment purchases. These events include the recent hot dog and bake sale, a basket raffle in the spring and its annual fashion show in the fall.

BCH Foundation to Complete Memorial Garden with Engravable Bricks

In 2013, the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation created a Memorial Garden at the hospital’s front entrance in memory of volunteers who have shaped and supported our facility.

This summer, the Foundation is completing this garden with a wall of Memorial Bricks, which will be available to individuals and businesses who wish to have an engraved brick as a permanent part of our garden.

Over the years, hundreds of people have chosen to honor the memory of a loved one with gifts to the hospital and foundation. These bricks expand the options for memorial acknowledgements, and the Foundation will direct the funds raised through this program towards projects at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home.

These bricks come in two sizes: a one-line (20 spaces) brick for $100, and a three-line (20 spaces per line) brick for $250. A limited number of bricks are available, and the Foundation expects to have these bricks engraved and the wall built by the end of the summer. The order form is available on the BCH web site. Other opportunities to support the garden through planters, benches and other garden accessories are possible; please contact Kara Kane at (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485 or for more information.

MAY 2014

Your Health Matters: Stop into the Dairy/Ag Festival Health Expo on Saturday, June 7

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is coordinating the Dairy/Ag Festival Health Expo to highlight hospital services and local resources for health and wellness. Visit the downstairs of Concord Town Hall on Saturday, June 7 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. to meet hospital staff and discover ways to make your health, and your family’s health, a priority.

“Our area is fortunate to have a hospital facility with laboratory, imaging, physical therapy and emergency departments conveniently located for Springville residents and those in the surrounding towns,” said Kara Kane, community relations coordinator. “With services like our Primary Care Center and Heart Center, we want patients to see Bertrand Chaffee Hospital as the place to go get healthy and stay healthy. Our health expo activities and displays are going to reflect that.”

Medical associates from Catholic Health will be providing cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings for adults. Interactive activities for kids and adults are also planned, including a “What Makes Me Healthy” photo booth. The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany and Cattaraugus County will be on site, and information related to healthy living and safety will be available throughout the day.

Since 1946, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville has served the healthcare needs of residents in southern Erie, northern Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties. As a not-for-profit organization, the hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home provide 24-hour emergency care, acute inpatient care, long-term care and lab, imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, surgical and physical therapy services. With more than 300 employees, our facilities are a significant economic driver for the region. Learn more at or call (716) 592-2871.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation Elects New Officers at Annual Meeting

Organization welcomes Joel Maul as a new board member

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation held its annual meeting on May 5, where it welcomed a new member and re-elected its board officers to one-year terms.

President William King of West Valley, Vice President Mary Kwiatek of Springville, Secretary David Batterson of Springville and Treasurer Claudia Miller of Arcade were each re-elected to their positions.

The nomination of Joel Maul to an open seat was unanimously accepted, and he will serve as part of the class of 2015. Since his retirement as the Springville postmaster, Maul has been an active community volunteer, particularly with the Concord Historical Society and Mercantile, the Fiddler’s Green Country and Bluegrass Festival, and the 2013 committee to erect the Seth Thomas clock in the village of Springville. He was recognized as Scouter of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America Greater Niagara Frontier Council in 2014 for more than 50 years of service to the scouting community.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation to Host Second Annual Garden Party

Event will honor the memories of Dr. and Mrs. Clinton and Mary Strong

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation will hold its second annual Garden Party fundraiser on May 29 at the Springville Country Club. The event will run from 5 until 8 p.m., and entertainment will be provided in part by the Springville Jazz Orchestra.

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. Funds raised last year went toward the installation of the Memorial Garden – a courtyard space near the hospital’s entrance –for enjoyment by patients, residents, visitors and employees.

The Foundation is continuing this tradition by paying tribute on May 29 to Dr. and Mrs. Clinton and Mary Strong, who passed away in early 2014 and late 2013. They had an extensive history of service to civic and medical organizations in southern Erie, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties, including Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, Holland Central School District, the Cattaraugus County Home and Infirmary in Machias, and First United Methodist Church in Springville.

Proceeds from the Garden Party will go towards projects and equipment that support patient and resident care and comfort, and facility maintenance, at the hospital and nursing home. 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

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center Introduces Vascular Health Clinic

Dedicated service will offer specialized care and treatment

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center is offering a new service to current and new patients related to vascular medicine. The Vascular Health Clinic will offer specialized care and treatment for conditions like peripheral arterial disease – a relatively common condition that may affect up to one in 20 adults over 50 years of age in the United States.

Directed by the Heart Center’s board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Thomas P. Smith, Jr., FACC, the Vascular Health Clinic will offer a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients including a Peripheral Arterial Disease rehabilitation program for the treatment of patients with chronic claudication – or lack of blood flow during exercise.

“The leg and foot pain associated with vascular conditions can be debilitating, and patients sometimes dismiss those symptoms as arthritis or an ‘old injury,’” said Dr. Smith. “Once we can establish vascular disease as the source of discomfort, our clinic will be able to support patients in reducing their ambulatory pain, significantly improve their symptoms of pain on walking and greatly improve their quality of life.

“To do that, we work with patients on a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that incorporates regular exercise, ongoing lab work and ultrasounds as needed, and referral for invasive vascular procedures when indicated,” he continued. “For some, that could mean a smoking cessation plan, while for others it might mean medication and an emphasis on healthy eating.”

“People who smoke, former smokers, people with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and adults with a history of vascular disease, stroke or heart attack have an increased chance of developing vascular conditions,” said Nils Gunnersen, CEO of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. “As a hospital, we are recognizing that risk in our community and establishing a new service that will offer prevention and treatment options.”

Dedicated vascular health clinic days will be scheduled at the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Heart Center each month. For an appointment, please contact the Heart Center at (716) 592-9644 and mention that you are interested in the vascular health clinic.

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

May 12 is National Women’s Checkup Day

Call Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s Primary Care Center for an appointment

Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, wives and friends, take note: National Women’s Checkup Day is May 12, which is part of National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17, 2014). Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health, this annual event has a goal of encouraging women of all ages to schedule an annual well-woman visit with their healthcare provider.

“Recent changes to health insurance regulations have made annual physical checkups available under most insurance plans at no cost to the patient,” said Dr. Lisette D’Eon, a physician at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center. “So many times, women are taking care of their families’ needs that they overlook their own health. This day is a reminder to schedule your appointment to receive screenings for common conditions, refill your prescriptions and have a discussion with your medical provider about your health concerns and questions.”

According to Imaging Department Director Lisa Smith, “It is recommended that women receive mammograms every other year starting at age 40.” She continued, “Women who are at risk for common conditions like osteoporosis can also benefit from a yearly bone density screening along with their annual checkup.”

“Patients diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis may benefit from a physical therapy exercise program to strengthen muscles, improve posture and reduce the risk of falls and fractures,” said Mary Lou Wright, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s physical therapy department director. Coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States, is another factor in maintaining an annual checkup schedule.

“Regular physical exams can help women and their doctors identify symptoms of heart disease in the early stages,” said Dr. Thomas P. Smith, FACC, a cardiologist at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s Heart Center. “By treating those symptoms and helping a patient make lifestyle changes in eating, exercise, or smoking cessation, the risk of life-threatening strokes or heart attacks can be reduced.”

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center opened in 2010 in response to community need, and accepts new patients and most insurance coverage. Learn more at or call (716) 592-8140 for an appointment.

BCH Appoints Dr. D’Eon as Primary Care Center Medical Director

Primary Care Center Announces New, Expanded Office Hours to Accommodate Patient Schedules

Dr. Lisette D’Eon has been appointed medical director for the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center. She will serve as the physician leader responsible for quality assurance at the center. Dr. D’Eon will work in collaboration with Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Edwin Heidelberger, CEO Nils Gunnersen, Director of Patient Care Services Darlene Schrantz, as well as the respective hospital medical staff to include the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine in the management of the primary care practice and the many interactions with the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital services.

Dr. Lisette D’Eon is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, and was the first physician employed at the Primary Care Center when it opened 2010. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University, and a master’s degree in natural sciences and doctorate of medicine from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a member of Catholic Medical Partners.

“I really love working with patients in this warm and close knit community,” said Dr. D’Eon. “I am pleased to have been chosen for such an important role of assuring high quality and patient satisfaction in the Primary Care Center.”

“Dr. D’Eon is very thorough and conscientious with her patients and as a result is an excellent caregiver,” said Gunnersen. The Primary Care Center is conveniently located on the third floor of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. It is staffed with three physicians including Dr. D’Eon, Dr. Timothy Siepel and Dr. Edwin Heidelberger as well as three nurse practitioners, Laurie Brown-Croyts, Tina Vandermeer-Gatti and James Urgo, all of whom are currently accepting new patients.

The Center is very excited to announce new, longer hours to accommodate our patients better. Starting in May, the appointment hours will be extended with a new earlier start time of 7:30 a.m. (M-F) and open until 6:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 5:30 p.m. These new hours will make it even easier to keep healthcare local! For appointments and questions, contact the Primary Care Center directly at (716) 592-8140.

MAY 2014


Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is the latest hospital to join HEALTHeLINK, Western New York’s clinical information exchange. By connecting to HEALTHeLINK, Bertrand Chaffee providers are now able to securely access and share patient health information electronically with other treating health care providers throughout the region to help improve the quality of care and enhance patient safety.

“The addition of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital as a HEALTHeLINK participant provides value to the hospital, its providers, and the patients they serve by allowing the patients’ health data to follow them wherever they go in Western New York for treatment,” said Daniel Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “By providing consent for your treating physicians to access your medical information via HEALTHeLINK, they can see important clinical information where and when it’s needed – at the point of care.”

HEALTHeLINK is a collaborative effort among Western New York’s major health care organizations with the goal of providing physicians and medical staff with immediate secure access to clinical information on patients in their care including admission, discharge and transfer messages, lab and radiology reports, radiology images, and other transcribed reports – regardless of where that information may have been recorded. This information is available to licensed health care providers such as physicians and nurses only when a patient provides authorization by signing a consent form.

“HEALTHeLINK and its connection to our primary care practice’s electronic medical record enables the secure online patient portal for our patients to become more active participants in their healthcare,” said Dr. Edwin Heidelberger, vice president of medical affairs for Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and a physician with the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Primary Care Center. “Our patients will use the portal as a tool to view their lab and imaging results, request referrals and medication refills, and manage appointments.

“We want patients to be involved in their healthcare decisions and outcomes,” Heidelberger continued. “This system will cut back on the time spent playing ‘telephone tag’ with our office, and put patients’ personal health information at their fingertips.” Patient consent forms are available at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital as well as at the HEALTHeLINK website at

Nearly 600,000 individuals throughout Western New York have signed consent forms to share their health information through HEALTHeLINK. To learn more about HEALTHeLINK and the patient consent process please visit or talk with your physician.


Welcome Kara Kane!

We are pleased to welcome Kara Kane as our new Foundation Development and Community Relations Coordinator.  Kara has extensive non-profit, marketing and communication experience and has worked at a local college and IT corporation.  She resides in Glenwood with her husband and three young children.  She looks forward to introducing herself to community members as well as hospital and nursing home staff.  Kara’s goal is to promote community awareness of hospital and nursing home services and coordinate increased fundraising, sponsorships, and events for the Foundation.

Kara can be reached in the hospital at extension 1485 or by email at   We look forward to working with Kara on all her endeavors.

2012 News


Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Imaging Department approved by the ACR for CT accreditation which is good for three years.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has, once again, been awarded a three year term of accreditation in Computerized Topography (CT) as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR)

The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards.  Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.  They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of the facility equipment.

ACR accreditation sites provide a high level of confidence for patients, referring physicians, and managed care organizations that only the highest quality care is being provided.

“We are very excited that we have been awarded this accreditation again and stress that this recognition is not easy to receive” says Lisa Smith, Manager of Imaging Services at Bertrand Chaffee.  The hospital is also accredited in Digital Mammography and MRI.  If you would like more information on this accreditation or to schedule an appointment, call the Imaging Department at 716 592-8169.

JULY 2012

Welcome Aboard!

Laurie Brown-Croyts   Tina Vandermeer-Gatti

In July, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital welcomed two new Nurse Practitioners to the Primary Care Center!  Both are Board Certified and are a wonderful compliment to the physicians in the Primary Care Center.

APRIL 2012

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Heart Center with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, April 30th from 10:00am-11:00am.  The Heart Center is located on the first floor of the hospital just past Ambulatory Surgery.

The new Heart Center at BCH will streamline the delivery of cardiac care by offering related services within a single department.  The services which are presently being offered in various locations in the hospital, will include Echocardiography (ECHO), ECHO stress testing, exercise stress testing, nuclear stress testing and pacemaker checks.  “We are very excited to be able to offer excellent cardiology services within the community” says Nils Gunnersen, CEO, “Patients no longer need to travel to Olean or Buffalo to see a cardiologist, or receive cardiac services, which is consistent with our strategic necessity to Keep Healthcare Local” continued Gunnersen.

Clinical cardiologists Dr. Thomas Smith and Dr. Syed Shah are available for inpatient and outpatient consultations as well as all services listed above.  In addition, Dr. Smith is Catholic Health’s Medical Director for Southern Tier Outreach and Dr. Shah is Catholic Health’s Medical Director for Cardiac Outreach.  This affiliation with Catholic Health and Mercy Hospital opens up access to nationally-ranked cardiac care for patients living in the Southern Tier and who are cared for at the Heart Center at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Dr. Smith will be available on Monday to speak with visitors and patients at the open house.  Refreshments will also be served.  If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Heart Center directly at (716) 592-9644.

2011 News


Welcome Aboard!

On November 28, 2011 Bertrand Chaffee Hospital welcomes back Dr. Timothy Siepel to the Bertrand Chaffee Primary Care Center.

Dr. Siepel is originally from Angola and did his medical training at University at Buffalo Medical School.  He has lived in West Valley since 1972.  Dr. Siepel has worked as a family medicine physician since 1972 in various offices including his own practice, Service Medical until 2009.  Since then he has been seeing patients in Derby and is very excited  to be returning to Springville.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Earns ACR Accreditation for MRI

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI is a noninvasive medical test that utilizes magnetic fields to produce anatomical images of internal body parts to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

To schedule an appointment call 716-592-8169.

Welcome Aboard!

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital welcomes clinical cardiologist Syed A. Shah, MD to the new Heart Center at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Dr. Shah is a former assistant professor in clinical medicine in the cardiology unit at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  He is skilled in all non-invasive modalities including echo, stress testing, nuclear, TEE and CTA.  He brings extensive experience in developing outreach practices, relationship building, and business development and management to his new position and office practice.

Dr. Shah is now accepting patients at the Heart Center at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

For information or appointments, call:

(716) 592-8140


Welcome Aboard!

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital welcomes clinical cardiologist Thomas P. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, to the new Heart Center at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, conveniently located on the Bertrand Chaffee Primary Care Center.

Dr. Smith obtained his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medi­cine for both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Iona College, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In addition, Dr. Smith will serve as Catholic Health Medical Director for Southern Tier Outreach. This affiliation with Catholic Health and Mercy Hospital opens up access to nationally-ranked cardiac care for patients living in the Southern Tier who will be treated at the new Heart Center.

Dr. Smith is now accepting patients at the Heart Center at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

For information or appointments, call:

(716) 592-8140

JULY 2011

On July 28th the SEIU Union members at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home ratified a contract.

Management and union leaders, with the help of a federal mediator, were able to come to an agreement which will remain in effect through September 2013.

JUNE 2011

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital consumates Affiliation Agreement with Catholic Health.  Click here to view press release.

APRIL 2011

Digital Mammography now available at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital !

Yes it’s true, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has acquired Digital Mammography – state of the art imaging technology.  Thanks to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation and to the many organizations and local residents who made contributions to our capital campaign, patients will now be able to receive high quality digital breast scans, convenient and close to home.

Thanks to many of the staff from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home for putting together and participating in the annual basket raffle and the Boo Bash held in October of 2010.  Special thanks go to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Women’s Association who have organized many successful events, the Cordelian Club who raises funds for the hospital through a dance each year, and to the Springville Griffins Community Education Foundation for donating their proceeds from the Wine Tasting event last year.  All these events together with substantial donations from individuals from our local community were instrumental in raising the funds to bring this life-saving technology to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.

Patients who are in need this imaging service may call 592-8169 and set up an appointment.

Again thanks to all who help us to Keep Healthcare Local by bringing this life saving technology to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, you deserve the best, and now you have it!