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  • Van Wert Health North Celebrates Completion

    by User Not Found | Jun 20, 2018
    Kirsten Barnhart, DHI Media News Editor

    VAN WERT – While the facility isn’t open to the public until June 25, a crowd gathered at Van Wert Health North Thursday morning to celebrate the facility with a ceremony and ribbon cutting.

    The 29,000 square-foot facility cost $12.5 million and comes equipped with the latest and best open MRI. The facility, which added upwards of 20 new jobs to the area so far, will give patients access to a walk-in clinic with primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational health, laboratory, and radiology/imaging, which aside from the MRI, includes CT scan and X-ray capabilities.

    The open MRI is a 1.2-tesla advanced high-field magnet that will give patients a cost-effective option to meet their needs for $600 or less.

    “We're going to be that organization that thinks about the patient as we go into the future so that they can afford it,” said Van Wert Health CEO Jim Pope during Thursday’s ceremony. “We’re here for the patient, we’re here for all of our employees that work here, and we’re here for all of you in the community.”

    The walk-in clinic can provide care for non-life-threatening illnesses, conditions, and injuries for patients of all ages with no appointment required. Colds, flu, sinus infections, strep throat, ear pain, poison ivy, minor lacerations, minor burns, urinary tract infections, acute back pain, and most pre-participation sports and camp physicals are just some of the minor injuries and illnesses that can be treated at Van Wert Health North.

    Pope said that if a person is having chest pains or believes they are having a stroke or other similar illnesses they should go to the ER. However, if a person comes to the walk-in clinic with a life-threatening injury or illness, Van Wert Health North staff will be able to find them the help they need. The facility comes equipped with space for an ambulance to enter and receive patients.

    “Most of the things that you would go see your doctor for, you could come here for,” said Pope. “If you can, we would love you to go see your primary care physician, your doctor or your nurse practitioner, but if you can’t get in there or you don’t happen to have one, then certainly we would like you to come here.”

    Van Wert Health North is a walk-in clinic rather than an urgent care, said Pope, because, under a walk-in, the patient’s insurance can be billed differently allowing for more affordable care. If a patient has a co-pay of $25 at their regular doctor, that is what they will pay to visit a doctor or nurse practitioner at the new facility.

    “This is about the people, and it’s about what we do for the people,” said Pope. “Our mission is to be the best community hospital. It’s a journey, and it’s one of those journeys that you’re on that you never quite get to because you always have to get better. Health care is changing; health care is improving.”

    “We want to be the first choice for health care within the region,” Pope continued. “What we’re trying to do in this project that we developed here is this concept of trying to create an affordable place to come to get your health care.”

    The facility includes a walking path around the retention pond. While not a large path, Pope said the idea was to create a healthy living mindset. The facility also includes larger exam areas to accommodate patients and families.

    During Thursday’s ceremony, David Wirt, representing Congressman Bob Latta’s office, presented the facility with a flag that had flown over the capital to recognize Van Wert Health North.

    District 82 Representative Craig Riedel was also present and presented the facility with a declaration.

    Pope recognized those who helped in making the vision of the facility become a reality and a toast was made to recognize the patients who will be treated, the staff who will treat the patients, and to anyone who comes through the doors of the facility.

    “Everybody that comes through this door, our staff, our patients, everyone will be greeted with a smiling face and a helpful hand,” said Pope. “In health care, you don’t want to wish things on people, but you hope that you can provide an environment that when they need it, they will want to come here.”

    For the future of Van Wert Health, Pope said that the organization will continue to move forward and to improve, with another project expected soon.

    The clinic will be open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A public open house will be held on June 24 from noon until 3 p.m., and the facility will be officially open for business on June 25, 2018. Van Wert Health North is located at 214 Towne Center Blvd, Van Wert, Ohio.
  • First Pediatric Flu Death Reported in Ohio

    by Haley Thomas | Jan 10, 2018


    First Pediatric Flu Death Reported in Ohio
    New flu-associated hospitalizations rise sharply in Ohio, across U.S.

    COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is reporting the state’s first pediatric flu death of the 2017-18 flu season, a 4-year-old boy from Montgomery County. ODH also is reporting 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December. There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio since flu season began last October.

    The 2017-18 flu season in Ohio and nationally is looking similar to what was seen during the 2014-15 flu season which at the time was the most severe flu season in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC says that flu activity in the U.S. increased sharply during the first week of January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

    “Flu is difficult to predict,” said ODH Medical Director Dr. Clint Koenig. “It’s not possible to say precisely when this flu season will peak or end or how severe it will be. That’s why getting the flu vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu for everyone 6 months and older. Flu vaccination also can reduce the severity of illness if you do get sick.”

    Flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year. While the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, people who still get sick may have milder symptoms.

    So far, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most common flu viruses circulating this season, according to CDC. H3N2-predominant flu seasons have been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age 65 and older. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30 percent. Vaccine effectiveness against other circulating flu viruses has been about 60 percent for H1N1 viruses, and around 50 percent for influenza B viruses. The flu vaccination also cuts pediatric deaths by 50 percent.

    Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Flu vaccination is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies. There are no flu vaccine shortages across Ohio.

    Other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading the flu include: washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick.

    CDC recommends that healthcare providers prescribe one of two antiviral drugs as a second line of defense as soon as possible to patients with confirmed or suspected influenza who are hospitalized, have severe illness, or may be at higher risk for flu complications.

    “These antiviral medications can reduce the severity of the flu and prevent serious flu complications,” Koenig said. “They work best when started within two days of getting sick.”

    More information about influenza and flu activity in Ohio is available at www.flu.ohio.gov.


  • Flu Activity Increasing in Ohio; Still Time to Get Flu Shot

    by Haley Thomas | Dec 13, 2017



    Flu Activity Increasing in Ohio; Still Time to Get Flu Shot

    CDC says flu vaccination among pregnant women low, putting them, babies at risk

    COLUMBUS – Flu activity in Ohio is increasing. During the week that ended Dec. 2 which is the most recent data available, there were 92 flu-associated hospitalizations in Ohio and 257 hospitalizations since the start of the season. That is above the five-year average for this time of year and significantly higher than the 19 flu-associated hospitalizations during the same week last year and 83 hospitalizations for the season.

    It’s not too late to get a flu shot, and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months and older get one as soon as possible as it is the best protection against seasonable flu viruses. It takes about two weeks for a flu shot to take full effect. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

    CDC says that despite the benefits of flu vaccination, roughly three out of five people in the U.S. have not been vaccinated this flu season and roughly two out of three pregnant women have not received a flu vaccine yet this year.

    “Pregnant women and their young infants are at high risk for serious complications from the flu,” said Dr. Clint Koenig, Medical Director of the Ohio Department of Health. “CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend flu shots for all women who are or expect to be pregnant during the flu season.”

    Flu surveillance data in Australia where flu season is winding down suggests that this year’s vaccine has been significantly less effective against one circulating flu virus strain, influenza A(H3N2). However, CDC notes that vaccine effectiveness measured in Australia may not be predictive of what will happen in the U.S.

    “No vaccine is 100 percent effective but there are many reasons to get a flu vaccination,” Koenig said. “Flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year in the U.S. A study published earlier this year in a pediatric journal shows that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.”

    Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers and some schools.

    While vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading it include: washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.

    More information about influenza and flu activity in Ohio is available at www.flu.ohio.gov.


  • Influenza Season Begins in Ohio; Ideal Time to Get Flu Shot

    by User Not Found | Oct 18, 2017

    Flu vaccination best protection against illness and missed work or school

     

    COLUMBUS – With the arrival of flu season, the Ohio Department of Health is recommending that all Ohioans six months and older get a flu shot now. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

     

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the best protection against seasonal flu viruses. Flu vaccines have been updated this year to better match circulating flu viruses.

     

    “Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick, missing work or school, and prevent flu-related hospitalization and death,” said Sietske de Fijter, state epidemiologist and ODH bureau chief of infectious diseases. “The more people who get vaccinated help protect others, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.”

     

    Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

     

    “If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others,” said de Fijter

    Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

     

    Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers and some schools. While vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading it include: washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.

    CDC recommends that healthcare providers administer prescription antiviral medication as a second line of defense as soon as possible to patients with confirmed or suspected flu who are hospitalized, have severe illness, or may be at higher risk for flu complications.

    More information about influenza and flu activity in Ohio is available at www.flu.ohio.gov.

  • Van Wert County Hospital Welcomes New General Surgeon

    by User Not Found | Sep 28, 2017
     


    VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert County Hospital welcomes Jeremy Stoller, M.D., as a general surgeon. Stoller joins Thomas Conte, MD in Suite 401 of the Van Wert Health Center, which is located at 140 Fox Road, Van Wert, Ohio.  Dr. Stoller is board eligible in General Surgery and specializes in a wide range of procedures.
     
    “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Stoller as an essential addition to our medical staff and to the community,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert County Hospital.  “We are proud to be a hospital with a hometown feel that provides a growing roster of specialists who treat patients right here in our own community.”
     
    Dr. Stoller received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Toledo.  He also completed a six-year general surgery residency at the University of Toledo, which included a dedicated research year in surgical education.
     
    Dr. Stoller welcomes new patients to his office and accepts most insurance plans.  To schedule an appointment, please call 419-238-4909.