Press Releases

Press Releases

Lake Health Foundation Receives Record $2.5 Million Gift Health System’s Mentor Wellness Campus to be Named In Honor of Brunner, Sanden and Deitrick Families 

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, October 1, 2018—The Lake Health Foundation has received the single largest donation in its history: $2.5 million from the Brunner, Sanden and Deitrick families. The gift was announced September 29 at The Glitz, the foundation’s largest annual fundraiser.

In recognition of the landmark gift, Lake Health will name its Mentor Wellness Campus in honor of the families, who are lifelong residents of the area and own Lake County’s largest funeral service company, Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center. The Mentor Wellness Campus, which will now be known as the Lake Health Brunner Sanden Deitrick Wellness Campus, is an 85,000-square-foot facility designed to help residents of Lake and surrounding counties get healthy and achieve optimal wellness. The fully integrated clinical campus, which opened in January, includes health care services to diagnose, treat and prevent health problems, plus LiveHealthy, a membership-based fitness center.

The families are longtime philanthropists, having bestowed numerous gifts to the Lake Health Foundation over the years. The Emergency Department and Chapel at TriPoint Medical Center and the Chapel at West Medical Center are also named in their honor. This latest gift will support the expansion of Lake Health services and programs, including initiatives focused on improving community health and wellbeing.

“We’re honored to further support the growth of Lake Health and its vital role in this community,” said Adam Sanden, a partner at Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center. “These types of endeavors are not about us, but others. The care we provide families closely parallels the compassionate care Lake Health provides patients throughout their journey toward healing.”

Sanden said his family’s connection to Lake Health spans generations.

“My family has had a successful relationship with Lake Health since the 1940s when my grandfather started the business. Every member of our family has been born at a Lake Health hospital and we continue to use the health system for primary care,” Sanden said.

Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health, expressed her gratitude for the families’ ongoing support.

“The Brunner, Sanden and Deitrick families continue to make a profoundly positive impact on our community through their philanthropy and inspirational leadership,” Moore-Hardy said. “We’re extremely grateful for the families’ generous gift, which will support Lake Health’s ongoing commitment to nurturing a healthier community.”

Lake Health Offers Atrial Fibrillation Patients Breakthrough Alternative to Blood Thinners

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, September 11, 2018—Patients with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heart rhythms, face increased risk of stroke and are typically prescribed blood thinners to prevent clots. Now, Lake Health is offering select patients with atrial fibrillation a revolutionary heart implant—the WATCHMAN—that provides an alternative to long-term drug therapy for the prevention of stroke.

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects the heart’s ability to pump blood normally. This can cause blood to pool in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage and form clots. When a blood clot escapes from that area of the heart and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.

“In patients with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, more than 95 percent of stroke-causing clots are formed in the left atrial appendage,” explained Robert Goldstein, MD, a Lake Health electrophysiologist “The WATCHMAN implant dramatically reduces the risk of stroke by closing off this area of the heart so clots can’t form and enter the bloodstream.”

The FDA approved WATCHMAN has been implanted in more than 30,000 patients worldwide, according to implant manufacturer Boston Scientific. Patients receive the device through a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. The WATCHMAN is inserted via a catheter through a vein in the leg and guided to the left upper chamber of the heart. Once there, the implant is opened like a parachute and placed at the opening of the left atrial appendage. The procedure takes about one hour, and patients are sent home after overnight monitoring. Most patients remain on blood thinners for up to 45 days allowing time for heart tissue to fuse with the implant forming a barrier against clots, Dr. Goldstein said.

Having an alternative to lifelong use of blood thinners can be beneficial. While effective at preventing stokes, blood thinners are not well tolerated by some patients and carry potential risks including bleeding.

“For patients who are seeking an alternative to blood thinners, the WATCHMAN Implant offers a potentially life-changing treatment option that could free them from the challenges of long-term warfarin therapy,” Dr. Goldstein said.

Atrial fibrillation patient Bill Crosier was tolerating his prescribed blood thinner well until, in February 2018, he experienced extreme fatigue and dizziness. Tests at TriPoint Medical Center’s emergency department showed Crosier had lost 50 percent of his blood supply. He was bleeding internally.

Crosier received blood transfusions during a one-week hospitalization. Although tests to pinpoint the source of his internal bleeding were inconclusive, one thing was certain: the blood thinner was putting his life at risk.

Interventional cardiologist Paul Zellers, DO, visited Crosier in the hospital and told him about the perfect solution to his problem: the WATCHMAN. On June 11, 2018, the former Willoughby Police and Fire Chief and retired Lake County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, became the first Lake Health patient to receive the WATCHMAN, which was implanted by the physician team of Drs. Goldstein and Zellers and cardiologist Marwan Nasif, MD.

“I can’t say enough about the incredible preparation by the staff before my procedure,” Crosier said. “All of the doctors and nurses were exceptional, and I had no pain or after effects from the procedure.”

Garden Honoring Lake Health Doctors Opens to Public

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, August 7, 2018—Members of the Lake County Medical Society and the Lake Health Foundation dedicated a new garden that pays tribute to local physicians and their impact on the health and well being of the community. The garden, which offers lush greenery and benches for reflection and relaxation, is the centerpiece of the third and final phase of the four-season Wellness Walk that encircles the wooded campus of TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township.

Lake Health surgeon Boris Vinogradsky, MD, proposed creation of the garden that honors 226 physicians who have worked at Lake Health for 25 years or more. Their names are displayed on the garden’s most striking feature—a granite monument sculpted to resemble butterfly wings, symbolic of a doctor’s ability to transform lives. Future honorees will be added to the monument annually.

“It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the contributions of Lake Health physicians who have dedicated their careers to caring for patients in Lake and surrounding counties,” said Dr. Vinogradsky, who is past president of the Lake County Medical Society and has practiced at Lake Health for 15 years. “Their legacy of compassionate, patient-centered care has touched countless lives and profoundly improved the health of our community.”

Willoughby-based Greenland Engineering donated site design services for the tribute garden. As with previous enhancements to the project, the $250,000 expansion was funded solely through donations from members of the community and the Lake Health medical staff.

Opened in 2014, the Wellness Walk is the first of its kind in Ohio to be fully designed and developed from evidence-based research, which has shown that integrating nature with the body, mind and spirit maximizes wellness. Designed for walkers and wheelchairs, the trail provides members of the community with opportunities for physical activity, a leisurely stroll or tranquil rest—all the while surrounded by the beauty of nature. Exercise stations, meditation areas, children’s play areas, a viewing platform, a musical garden and a boardwalk over scenic wetlands can be found along the approximately 1-mile barrier-free path.

“Support for the Wellness Walk has been overwhelming, and it continues to be well utilized by our patients, their families and members of the community,” said Greg Sanders, director of the Lake Health Foundation. “We’re grateful for the generous financial support from local individuals, businesses and organizations, which helped bring this project to life.”

The Wellness Walk is open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk. No bikes or pets are permitted. For more information, call the Lake Health Foundation at 440-354-1900.

Lake Health Earns 5 Rings Award for Creating Safe, Secure Environments for Patients and Team Members 

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 2, 2018—Lake Health has been recognized as one of the top five safest, most secure health systems in the nation by IntelliCentrics, a leading provider of health care verification services. The health system earned a 2017 IntelliCentrics 5 Rings Award for adoption of best practices in vendor credentialing and security access policies to safeguard patients and staff.

Award recipients were selected from the more than 10,000 health care facilities that use IntelliCentrics SEC3URE community technology as part of their ongoing security and compliance efforts. This year’s winners, whose foundations will each receive a $5,000 donation from IntelliCentrics, also include The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Greensboro, North Carolina; Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida – Campus, Miami Beach, Florida; Sanford Medical Center, Bismarck, North Dakota; and The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinic, Iowa City, Iowa.

“Delivering a safe, high quality health care experience for patients, families and team members is our top priority. This award validates that we’ve created a culture of vigilance and awareness and implemented effective systems and security policies to protect patients and ensure that everyone who enters our facilities is authorized to do so,” said Stephanie Hunt, director of Materials Management at Lake Health.

With countless numbers of visitors entering Lake Health facilities every day, maintaining a safe and secure environment is a highly complex task. Hunt said that credentialing vendors, such as pharmaceutical and medical device representatives, is especially crucial because they often require access to patient areas.

“IntelliCentrics technology helps us safeguard patients and their privacy by documenting and monitoring all on-site vendors. This enables us to effectively control access to critical care areas and improve infection control by ensuring that all vendors adhere to Lake Health’s code of conduct, have undergone appropriate training and have required immunizations,” she explained.

Vendors must check in upon arrival to verify they are properly credentialed and meet all requirements for entry. Once confirmed, they are given a badge that defines which areas of the facility they are authorized to access.

For more information about the IntelliCentrics 5 Rings Award Program, and the industry-leading practices introduced by the winning facilities, please visit: www.intellicentrics.com/5-rings-awards/

Lake Health, Local Independent Physicians and Manna Isle Ohio to Partner Together to Build Specialty Hospital in Beachwood

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, December 19, 2017 – Lake Health has reached an agreement with a group of local independent physicians and Manna Isle Ohio to jointly develop a specialty hospital in Beachwood at the corner of Chagrin Boulevard and Richmond Road.


The 69,800 square foot hospital, which is not yet named, will be an acute care hospital with 25 patient beds, operating and procedure rooms, emergency room services, diagnostic services and physical therapy. It will employ 150-200 staff. When it opens by early 2019, the hospital will specialize in orthopedics, spine, urology, general surgery and pain management.

“This partnership builds upon Lake Health’s long history of partnering with local independent physicians to expand access to care within the community and continues our commitment to redefine health care delivery in convenient, patient- and family-centered settings,” says Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health.

The hospital partnership will allow Lake Health’s clinically integrated physician network to continue to expand into eastern Cuyahoga County, offering patients and employers throughout the Northeast Ohio region care that is high quality; cost effective; provided in a convenient location and close to home. The hospital is expected to serve as an additional location for Lake Health’s current physician practices to expand, as well as for new physician practices seeking to partner with Lake Health.

“Lake Health is a natural fit for this hospital project because of its long history of working with and supporting local independent physicians, said John Lin, concept developer for Manna Isle Ohio, which will develop the hospital in Beachwood. “They share our values of allowing independent physicians to practice in a place in which they have significant input in the design, development and operations of the new facility.”



Nicholas Detore, MD, Named 2017 Lake Health Physician of the Year

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, December 14, 2017 – Nicholas Detore, MD, a Lake Health board-certified internist, was named Lake Health Physician of the Year for 2017. Dr. Detore was chosen as Physician of the Year for several reasons, including:

  • Serving as a role model for the Lake Health RITSI Values: Respect, Innovation, Teamwork, Stewardship and Integrity.
  • His constant and unwavering compassion, commitment and excellence in patient care, coupled with a warm bedside manner.
  • Serving as medical director for the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation, office quality director for CPC Plus, and member of the Medical Executive Committee, Lake PHO Board and Patient Experience Champions team.
  • Receiving numerous votes from Lake Health team members.

Dr. Detore was commended for the superior quality of care that he delivers to patients by taking the time to listen and explain. According to team members, “Dr. Detore shows exceptional professionalism and compassion for his patients. He is always respectful, always willing to listen, and always thinking of how best to serve patient needs.”

Dr. Detore earned his medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University and completed his residency at Summa Health System. His special medical interests include diabetes, hypertension and preventive medicine. Dr. Detore joined Lake Health’s medical staff in 2013 as part of Lake Health Physician Group Mentor Internal Medicine.

American Heart Association Recognizes Lake Health for Workplace Health Achievement

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, October 4, 2017 – Lake Health recently received bronze level recognition by the American Heart Association’s 2017 Workplace Health Achievement Index for its commitment to building a culture of health in the workplace.

Lake Health was recognized for its workplace wellness activities including fitness programs such as Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Tai Chi; wellness coaching; a comprehensive employee wellness program that includes a health risk assessment and biometric screenings; annual employee health fairs; a four-month fitness challenge; personal health profiles; nutrition counseling; stress management; and outpatient integrative medicine services such as acupuncture, Reiki, Reflexology and massage therapy.

The American Heart Association created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs.

More than 800 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 67% received either Gold, Silver or Bronze recognition.

“We are truly honored to receive this recognition,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. “Our wellness programming is designed to foster a work environment that supports and promotes a healthy lifestyle among our team members. We the hope the addition of LiveHealthy, a medically based fitness center which will open in January 2018, will continue to support our team members’ wellness efforts.”

Lake Health Seeking Partner Companies and Individuals for 12th Annual Be Fit For Life Wellness Challenge

Lake Health is recruiting local companies and/or groups of 10 or more individuals to participate in the 12th annual Be Fit For Life Wellness Challenge, in which area businesses or groups of adults compete for the most points as they move their way to better health and wellness.

The four-month initiative, which will kick off January 1, 2018, was developed through a partnership with Lake Metroparks, the Lake County YMCA and the Lake County General Health District. Each month, the challenge will feature a main fitness event as well as a diverse array of activities and events, each with a specific point value. The goal of each team is to attain full participation from every team member, therefore earning the maximum number of points. Teams that earn the most points are eligible to win the grand prize.

Companies and/or groups of adults interested in participating can attend an information meeting on Wednesday, September 27 at 4 pm at TriPoint Medical Center, Private Dining Room, 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Township.

This year’s challenge includes both competitive sports and recreational activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, health screenings, line dancing and snowshoeing. For many participants, the Be Fit For Life Wellness Challenge provides the opportunity to try new activities and further explore the many trails and recreational facilities that comprise Lake Metroparks.

In addition to scheduled group events, participants can also select individual activities to do on their own. This flexibility gives even time-deprived challengers the opportunity to participate and enables family members to get involved. While they are not eligible to earn points, spouses and children can exercise along with Be Fit For Life participants, providing additional encouragement and motivation.

When the Be Fit For Life Wellness Challenge concludes on April 30, 2018, points will be tallied and the grand prize will be awarded to the winning team. The winning team also will receive Lake Health’s “Heart of the Community” award.

For more information and to register for the information meeting, please contact Sharon Minjares, director of the Lake Health Wellness Institute, at (440) 350-4512 or Sharon.Minjares@lakehealth.org by September 27.

Lake Health Investigating Missing OB Records

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, August 11, 2017 – The obstetrics (OB) department at Lake Health’s TriPoint Medical Center recently suffered a breach of approximately 750 OB patients’ protected health information. No Social Security numbers or patient financial information was compromised.

On or around June 16, 2017, a log book maintained with limited but protected patient health information for Lake Health’s OB patients went missing. The same day, Lake Health representatives launched an internal investigation. The missing OB log book contained information about deliveries. The Ohio Department of Health requires all obstetrics departments to keep a delivery log book. Further, Lake Health maintains secure digital copies of the log book.

We deeply regret this has occurred. It is important to emphasize that no patient financial information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card information or insurance information, was lost. However, as a precaution, we are providing a free identity protection program for patients affected by this incident and will be sending them enrollment information.

We completed a thorough investigation and a risk assessment to ensure the security and privacy of patients’ health information. Further, Lake Health has retrained employees in its OB department, updated its policies and procedures, and converted log books to a secure electronic format.

The privacy and security of our patients’ personal information is of the utmost importance to Lake Health. Our health system is committed to ensuring that privacy and security. We have rigorous processes and procedures in place to detect breaches of patients’ rights and to protect patients in the event of a breach.

Anyone with questions about this incident can contact Lake Health’s Privacy Officer at 866-991-0557 to obtain more information.

Lake Health is required by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (a.k.a. HIPAA) to provide local media outlets this notice. Lake Health is also notifying each individual affected by this incident by U.S. mail.

Lake Health Physicians Win Studer Group Excellence in Patient Care Award

CONCORD TWP., OH, Aug. 8, 2017 – For consistently providing higher-quality care at lower costs while approaching every aspect of the patient experience with an eye toward efficiency and effectiveness, the Lake Health Physician Group has won the Studer Group’s Excellence in Patient Care Award. Studer Group Excellence in Patient Care Award

The Lake Health Physician Group (LHPG) is being recognized in the physician category for significant achievement across all Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG CAHPS) survey composites during 2016.

“We just couldn’t be happier to receive this honor,” said Dr. John Baniewicz, chief medical officer for Lake Health and vice president of the Lake Health Physician Group. “We are very excited that our patients recognize our physicians and offices, not only for the excellent patient care, but also for the excellent communication, service, and compassion they provide every day.”

LHPG is a network of more than 120 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in northeast Ohio that includes both primary care providers and a variety of specialists, including obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, cardiology, weight-loss surgery, sports medicine, general surgery and more. LHPG provides services at more than 31 locations across Lake County and surrounding areas.

Excellence in Patient Care Awards are presented annually to a select group of organizations from Studer Group’s partner base of hospitals, health systems, and physician organizations. To be eligible for an award, an organization must demonstrate outstanding performance and achievement in patient care, employee engagement, or physician engagement.

The awards were presented this month at the 15th annual What’s Right in Health Care® best practices conference, in Chicago, Illinois. What’s Right in Health Care aims to improve health care for patients, physicians, and staff through peer-to-peer sharing of leading practices.

“CG CAHPS results are a good indicator not just of patient experience but also of clinical quality,” says Debbie Ritchie, president of Studer Group. “We applaud our award winners and we’re grateful to work with so many passionate, purpose-driven people.”

Lake Health Honors Nurse of the Year Nominees and Winner

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, May 11, 2017 — In honor of National Nurses Week, Lake Health last night paid tribute to all of its nurse team members at a reception gala at Lake Health TriPoint Medical Center.

As part of the gala, the health system directed special recognition to 15 nurses who had been nominated by their department managers for Lake Health’s 2017 Nurse of the Year Award. The nominees all go above and beyond for patients, serve as mentors who inspire others in the practice of nursing, engage in community activities that impact nursing, and actively promote to others the calling of this noble profession.

Lake Health is pleased to name Robin Rua, who serves in the obstetrics unit at Lake Health’s West Medical Center, as the system’s 2017 Nurse of the Year.

This year’s other outstanding nominees include: Katherine Amos, Betsy Burton, Michelle Carlson, Pat Cassella, Nicole Harrigan, Tom Hink, Amy Kolenc, Kelly Lewis, Patty Molder, Maureen Osborne, Tonia Osborne, Laurie Rodriguez, Missy Tekavic, and Katina Walker.

2017 Lake Health Nurse of the Year Nominees

“On behalf of all of us at Lake Health and the thousands of patients whose lives you touch every year, we are thrilled to recognize each of you, of our Nurse of the Year nominees,” remarked Cynthia Moore‐ Hardy, President and CEO. “Indeed, nurses are the heart and soul of any health system, and Lake Health simply couldn’t achieve its mission of healing with compassion and superior quality without the amazing dedication displayed by each of our nurses all day, every day. Thank you so much for everything you do.”


Lake Health Wins Gold Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award

Healthy Ohio Business Council




CONCORD TWP., OH, Feb. 16, 2017 – For the third year in a row, the Ohio Department of Health and the Healthy Ohio Business Council have awarded Lake Health a Gold Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award. The award recognizes Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs. Lake Health was one of only 12 large businesses in the state to receive the gold-level award.

Lake Health was recognized for its fitness programs for team members, which include Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Tai Chi, and for continuing its employee wellness program, which is a comprehensive employee wellness program that focuses on peer coaching and creating a healthier workplace environment. Through this program, team members are encouraged to complete a health risk assessment with biometric screenings and participate in wellness coaching to develop healthy goals and lifestyle practices. Coaching takes place over a six-month period with a personal wellness coach.

Other activities offered through the Lake Health Wellness Institute include a four-month fitness challenge; personal health profiles; nutrition counseling;stress management program; outpatient services including acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy, and annual employee health fairs.

“Through our comprehensive wellness program we have been able to tailor services to our team members’ needs, as well as help set individual wellness goals and assist our team members in meeting their goals,” said Sharon Minjares, MBA, MS, RD, LD, director of the Wellness Institute at Lake Health. 
Learn more about the Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award Program.

Specially Trained Vascular Access Nurses Enhance Patient Satisfaction, Reduce Infection Rates

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, February 8, 2017—Vascular access devices, such as IVs and central catheters, play an integral role in patient care; enabling delivery of a wide range of therapies from antibiotics to chemotherapy. With the complexity of inserting and maintaining these devices, Lake Health has launched a team of nurses dedicated solely to patients’ vascular access needs.

As Vascular Access Board Certified (VA-BC) professionals, these nurses have demonstrated mastery of specialized knowledge and skills as recognized by the Association for Vascular Access. At West Medical Center and TriPoint Medical Center, they visit patients within 24 hours of admission to conduct an early assessment—including the condition of veins and anticipated prescribed therapies—and provide the most appropriate vascular access device.

Studies have shown that conducting an early vascular assessment often results in a faster start of IV drug therapies, which can lead to a shorter hospital stay and improved patient outcomes.

“Vascular access isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Each patient has different needs and our top priority is to provide the vascular access device that will optimize their care,” said Janet Conley, RN, VA-BC, nurse manager of Lake Health’s Vascular Access program. “We’re specially trained and follow best practice protocols when inserting and maintaining access devices to reduce the likelihood for complications and infections.”

For some patients no IV of any type will be required, Conley said. Others will need a device to facilitate long-term intravenous access, such as a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). The catheter can remain in place for days, weeks and even several months, which means fewer needle pokes and less pain.

Lake Health is one of just a handful of health care systems in Northeast Ohio to use an innovative technology to improve the placement of PICC lines. The FDA approved device, Sapiens TCS (Tip Confirmation System) by Bard Access Systems, provides real-time PICC tip location information without the use of x-ray, thereby eliminating radiation exposure and reducing procedure time.

A PICC is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into one of the veins in the upper arm and then threaded through increasingly larger veins towards the heart until the tip rests at its desired location. In the past, a chest x-ray was needed to confirm final placement of the line. Using the Sapiens TCS, Lake Health’s vascular access nurses are now able to verify accurate PICC placement at the bedside through the patient’s electrical cardiac activity alone.

The system uses ultrasound for vessel assessment, access and real-time guidance as the catheter is threaded through the veins. Magnetic tip tracking, using the Sherlock Tip Location device placed on the patient’s chest, provides audible and visual signals to pinpoint tip position. The Sapiens monitor provides an ongoing real-time ECG for faster and more accurate tip positioning so infusion therapy can begin immediately.

Beyond providing vascular insertion services and family-focused care for inpatients and outpatients, vascular access nurses educate patients and Lake Health staff about best practices in vascular access.

“Lake Health’s vascular access nurses are a valuable resource for our patients and the entire clinical team. Their expertise and compassion redefines the health care experience for patients and their families, enhancing satisfaction and improving outcomes,” explained Olusegun Ogunlesi, MD, medical director of Lake Health’s Vascular Access program.

For Painesville Township resident Tom Lorek, Jr., Lake Health’s vascular access nurses made his stay at TriPoint Medical Center less stressful and more comfortable than he ever expected. Hospitalized off and on for nearly six months due to excessive potassium loss, Lorek also faced an additional, aggravating complication—Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a chronic condition that causes severe burning pain in a patient’s arms and legs, as well as extreme sensitivity to touch.

“Having RSD makes any type of invasive medical procedure unbearable, both physically and psychologically,” explained Lorek, 52. “The vascular access nurses at Lake Health are so caring, skilled and knowledgeable that I felt calm and relaxed during each procedure. I had four PICC lines put in during my time in the hospital and never felt any discomfort, which was amazing.”

Back at home and with his potassium levels under control, Lorek now receives several of his medications through a Mediport implanted in his chest. Every 30 days he sees vascular access nurse Nicole Harrigan, RN, VA-BC, at TriPoint Medical Center to have the port checked and flushed.

“Nicole is my guardian angel. Her kindness and expertise puts me at complete ease so I never have any anxiety about my medical care. That has made a huge improvement in my quality of life,” Lorek said.

Lake Health Study Shows Music Therapy Boosts Patient Satisfaction, Lowers Perception of Pain

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, February 1, 2017—Patients who receive music therapy during their hospitalization are more likely to report a better experience, according to a study by Lake Health. The study also found that music therapy decreased patients’ perception of pain contributing to an enhanced health-related quality of life.

The two-year randomized study included 200 patients between the ages of 30 and 89 years who were hospitalized at Lake Health’s West Medical Center and TriPoint Medical Center. Patients who participated in music therapy received 15-30 minute music therapy sessions—provided by a board-certified music therapist—in their hospital rooms. They also received at least one of the following interventions based on each patient’s specific needs: music assisted relaxation, therapeutic listening, musical diversion, drawing to music, improvisation, lyric analysis, memory sharing/reminiscence, song requests, songwriting, therapeutic singing and/or verbal processing.

Additionally, participants received a complimentary copy of a music-assisted relaxation and imagery (MARI) CD for inpatient and home listening. MARI, a music therapy intervention, uses cued relaxation techniques and verbally guided imagery combined with sedative music to facilitate the relaxation response.

“Clinical studies have demonstrated music is powerful medicine; however, little was previously known about the effects of music therapy on patient satisfaction. We now have evidence that music therapy can enhance quality of care thereby increasing patients’ satisfaction with a hospital,” explained Susan E. Mandel, Ph.D., MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist who served as the study’s principal investigator.

The music therapy study measured satisfaction among both groups of patients—those who participated in music therapy and those who did not—with questions selected from the HCAHPS survey: the overall rating of the hospital and the likelihood a patient would recommend the hospital to others. While there was no statistically significant difference between groups with respect to the overall rating of the hospital during the patient’s stay, patients who received music therapy indicated they were more likely to recommend the hospital to others.

Study participants were also asked to rate their overall health such as bodily pain, social and physical functioning and mental health. The study found that patients who received music therapy during their hospitalization reported a decreased perception of pain and an improved health-related quality of life.

“Hospitals are increasingly seeking innovative ways to satisfy their patients and improve patient outcomes. Based on this study’s findings, integrating music therapy with inpatient medical care may enable a health system to surpass expectations of care and improve the likelihood that patients will recommend the hospital to others,” Mandel added.

Lake Health has used music to promote healing since establishing a music therapy program more than 25 years ago as part of the health system’s outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. With the opening of TriPoint Medical Center in 2009, Lake Health expanded evidenced-based healing programs, like music therapy, system wide. Earlier this year the health system began offering music therapy to patients in the emergency department to ease anxiety, stress and pain.

“Music therapy is a valuable component of the care we provide our patients,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. “We recognize the important connection between mind, body and spirit, and we’re committed to providing our patients with integrative therapies, like music therapy, to enhance healing and wellness.”

Lake Health Appoints Phillip Brooks as Vice President of Revenue Cycle

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, January 18, 2017 — Lake Health is pleased to announce it has named Phillip Brooks vice president of Revenue Cycle, effective January 23. In this role, Mr. Brooks will have overall responsibility for guiding Lake Health’s revenue cycle activities, including patient scheduling, registration and all patient-related billing activities.

Mr. Brooks has served in an interim capacity in the role since June 2016, implementing a number of revenue cycle initiatives in that time. Prior to joining Lake Health, Mr. Brooks held senior revenue cycle and patient financial services positions at hospital systems and health care consulting firms in Akron, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Cleveland. A former member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Mr. Brooks received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Malone College in Canton, Ohio.

Bon Chul Koo, MD, Named 2016 Lake Health Physician of the Year 

Bon Chul Koo, MD, a Lake Health board-certified radiologist, was named Lake Health Physician of the Year for 2016. Dr. Koo was chosen as Physician of the Year for several reasons, including:

  • Serving as a role model for the Lake Health RITSI Values: Respect, Innovation, Teamwork, Stewardship and Integrity.

  • His constant and unwavering compassion, commitment and excellence in patient care, coupled with a warm bedside manner.

  • His dedication to women’s health and his compassion in breast imaging and biopsy procedures.

  • Receiving numerous votes from Lake Health team members.

Dr. Koo was commended for his consistent professionalism in his field of expertise. According to team members, “Dr. Koo’s main focus is on the well-being of each patient, whether he is doing a procedure or reading patient images. He shows respect for both patients and coworkers and is always available and willing to answer questions and respond with kindness to concerns.”

Dr. Koo earned his medical degree from Kyungpook National University in Korea and completed his residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. His special medical interests include CT scanning, MRI, mammography and minimally invasive breast biopsy. Dr. Koo joined Lake Health’s medical staff in 1985.

Jonathan Archey Joins Lake Health as Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, December 12, 2016 — Lake Health has named Jonathan Archey vice president of Public Relations and Government Affairs. In this role, Mr. Archey will have overall responsibility for guiding Lake Health’s government and public relations activities, developing and promoting the system’s community health needs assessment priorities and acting as Lake Health’s media spokesperson and liaison to local, state and federal government agencies.

Mr. Archey comes to Lake Health from the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) where he served as director of Public Affairs. In that role, Mr. Archey was co-leader of the Ohio Action Coalition, chief editor of the OHA’s Advocacy Adviser, fundraiser for OHA’s political action committee and liaison to the American Hospital Association and national health care groups. Prior to that position, he was director of Federal Relations for the OHA, a legislative aide for the Ohio House of Representatives and a parliamentary intern for the National Parliament of the Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Archey received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Wittenberg University and his master’s degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Washington.

Lake Health Cardiovascular Experts Use Miniature Wireless Sensor Technology to Manage Heart Failure

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, December 2, 2016—Lake Health cardiovascular specialists are using a new miniaturized wireless monitoring sensor to proactively manage patients with congestive heart failure—keeping them out of the hospital and improving their overall quality of life.

The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospitalizations. The sensor is implanted in the pulmonary artery through a minimally invasive heart catheterization, and once per day measures pulmonary artery pressures and wirelessly transmits the data to the patient's physician. Increased pulmonary artery pressures are the earliest indicator of heart failure.

Lake Health is one of only a few Ohio hospitals to offer the CardioMEMS heart failure monitor.

“This new device allows us to intervene very early on; three to four weeks before a patient even displays the clinical signs of heart failure, such as weight and blood pressure changes,” said Robert Goldstein, MD, a Lake Health cardiac electrophysiologist. “By making medication adjustments we can lower pressures, prevent complications and decrease the likelihood of the patient being admitted to the hospital.”
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. The result is increased pressure in the artery to the lungs, causing symptoms like coughing or wheezing, swelling or weakness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

About the size of a paperclip, the CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last a lifetime and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, heart failure patients use a portable electronic unit and a special pillow, which the patient lies down on for 18 seconds to take daily sensor readings. The system provides a verbal confirmation so patients know their readings were measured and transmitted successfully. The entire process is painless and only takes a few minutes. Allowing patients to send critical information about their heart failure status to their physician on a daily basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits, is a game changer.
“It gives me peace of mind to know that Dr. Goldstein is keeping an eye on me,” explained Juanita Gates, 79, who had the device implanted in September 2015. “If my condition changes, Dr. Goldstein calls me with the medication changes I need to make so I don’t have to be hospitalized for treatment or worsening symptoms.”
Although Gates has had two heart attacks and her heart is functioning at less than 60 percent of normal capacity, CardioMEMs has enabled her to enjoy life again.
“Before getting the device, I was weak and spent most of my time at home or at the hospital. Now that my congestive heart failure is well managed, I’m able to spend time with my sister going to VFW Auxiliary activities and taking day trips with the JFK Senior Center in Eastlake,” Gates said.

In a large-scale clinical trial, the CardioMEMS technology was shown to reduce heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent.

“We strive to provide our patients with the most progressive and innovative treatment options. CardioMEMS is another example of cutting edge technology that is helping to improve the lives of our heart failure patients and ensure they stay well,” Dr. Goldstein said

Lake Health Named One of the 99 Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, November 21, 2016– Lake Health was recently honored by Northeast Ohio’s largest employer association, the Employers Resource Council (ERC), as one of NorthCoast 99’s “Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio” for the 15th year in a row.

NorthCoast 99 is an annual recognition program that honors organizations in the 22-county Northeast Ohio region that have implemented programs that attract, retain and create a high level of employee satisfaction. Companies were asked to provide a detailed description of their programs, policies, benefits and what makes them unique from an employee attraction, retention and satisfaction perspective.

Winners were selected based on how their policies and practices align with criteria, such as compensation and benefits, employee communication, community service, diversity, recruitment and selection, training and development and workplace health and safety, which increase the probability they will more effectively attract and retain top performing people.

“We’re thrilled to once again be named one of the 99 best workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio. As the largest employer in Lake County, we are committed to providing a work environment that is responsive to our team members and allows them to nurture and develop their talents,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Health. “It’s their dedication, knowledge, and commitment to providing extraordinary patient- and family-centered care that has been the driving force behind our success.”

Lake Health Offers New Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery
Innovative procedure clinically proven to alleviate debilitating neck and arm pain

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, October 26, 2016—A new minimally invasive procedure performed at Lake Health’s TriPoint Medical Center is giving patients relief from pain caused by herniated or degenerated discs in the neck. Called cervical disc replacement, the procedure involves replacing an unhealthy cervical, or neck, disc with an artificial disc to relieve pressure on surrounding nerves and maintain normal stability and mobility of the spine.

Clinical studies have shown the procedure offers improved long-term outcomes and a faster recovery than traditional spinal fusion surgery. Michael Eppig, MD, a Lake Health board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, is one of just a handful of Northeast Ohio surgeons who performs the breakthrough procedure.

“Five-year data shows that cervical disc replacement is a superior treatment option for patients with two-level cervical disease,” Dr. Eppig said. “Patients typically experience immediate post-operative pain relief and a two-week recovery compared to a three to six-month recovery with spinal fusion.”

Cervical disc replacement also enables the patient to maintain full range of motion of the neck, Dr. Eppig said.

“Spinal fusion, in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined together, results in disc segments that no longer move. This can cause stress on adjacent discs, accelerating the natural wear and tear on the discs above and below the fusion and increasing the chances of future surgery,” he said.

Dr. Eppig uses the Mobi-C artificial spinal disc, which is the first FDA-approved technology for replacement of two adjacent discs at a time. About the size of a dime, Mobi-C is comprised of two metal plates with a plastic insert in the middle. The artificial disc, which is intended to last a lifetime, features a unique design that replicates the natural movement of the cervical spine.

The cervical spine is made up of seven bones, called vertebrae, stacked on top of each other. Cervical discs are found between the vertebrae and act as cushions to help the neck move and bend without affecting the surrounding nerves. If a cervical disc degenerates with age or becomes herniated due to trauma, the space between the vertebrae can narrow and compress nerves resulting in any combination of neck, shoulder or arm pain, tingling and weakness. If left untreated, cervical disc disease can impact sleep, restrict activities and reduce quality of life.

Ideal candidates for the procedure are skeletally mature adults who have tried conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, pain medication, or neck bracing, without showing improvement, Dr. Eppig noted. He also recommends the procedure for patients who have had a previous spine fusion surgery on a different cervical disc.

During the one-hour surgery performed under X-ray guidance, the patient is anesthetized and a small incision is made on the front of the neck. The disc space is opened and the damaged disc is removed and replaced with the artificial disc. After an overnight stay in the hospital, patients are sent home with a soft collar to wear for the first week. Dr. Eppig said depending on the patient and the physical demands of his or her job most are back at work in about 10 days.

The procedure has been life changing for Marlo Rebera, RN, manager of the emergency department at TriPoint Medical Center. Whiplash-type injuries sustained in 2015 left her with a severe neck sprain and pain as well as weakness in her left arm and numbness in most of the fingers on her left hand. MRI and CT scans revealed that one of Rebera’s cervical discs was herniated and compressed her spinal cord 50 percent.
On August 1, Rebera became the first Lake Health patient to undergo the procedure.

“I woke up from surgery pain free and have regained full strength in my left arm,” Rebera said. “The entire experience exceeded my expectations, and Dr. Eppig and his staff were amazing. He is extremely caring and passionate about helping patients get better and regain their quality of life.”

For more information about cervical disc replacement, call 440-350-9595.

It's Time for The Yearly Flu Shot

Now that fall is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about getting your annual flu shot. This year Lake Health’s urgent care and walk-in centers will continue to offer the quadrivalent flu shot, which covers four strains of the flu virus and offers the best flu vaccine coverage available, for $30.
While everyone over the age of six months is recommended to receive the influenza vaccine, high-risk individuals—pregnant women, those with asthma, diabetes or other chronic conditions—remain at risk for serious complications from influenza.

Lake Health is offering the quadrivalent flu shots at the Tyler Blvd. Urgent Care Center, 7956 Tyler Blvd., Mentor; and at the Willowick Campus Urgent Care Center, 29804 Lake Shore Blvd., during the following regular hours:

8 am to 9 pm, Monday through Friday
9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday

Painesville Quick Care Center, 74 South Park Place, during the following regular hours:

9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday

Chardon Campus Urgent Care Center, 510 Fifth Avenue, during the following regular hours:

8 am – 8 pm, Monday through Friday
9 am – 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday

Madison Campus Quick Care Center, 6270 North Ridge Road, during the following regular hours:

8 am – 6 pm, Monday through Friday
9 am – 5 pm, Saturday

No appointment is necessary. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older to receive the flu vaccine at our centers. The influenza vaccination is covered by Medicare.
For more information, call the Best of Health Line at 440-953-6000 or 1-800-454-9800.

Naturopathic Provider Jacob Wolf, ND, LAc, Dipl OM, Joins Lake Health Physician Group Integrative Medicine

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, September 27, 2016 — Jacob Wolf, ND, LAc, Dipl OM, a licensed acupuncturist and diplomate of Oriental medicine, has joined Lake Health Physician Group Integrative Medicine. Jacob is one of approximately 30 practicing oriental medicine practitioners in Ohio.

With extensive knowledge and experience in preventative medicine and alternative treatment options including acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Jacob provides personalized patient care in the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal, menstrual and fertility issues. He also specializes in naturopathic wellness, including non-pharmaceutical patient care strategies and non-prescription supplements.

Oriental medicine, which includes the practice of acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage and nutrition, is a comprehensive health care system encompassing a variety of traditional therapies that have been used for thousands of years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being.

“Oriental medicine focuses on a patient’s entire body and the presence or absence of harmony between systems and energies in the body,” Jacob explained. “I spend a lot of time with patients so I can fully understand how their entire being functions. If there’s an imbalance, I use a variety of therapies to help restore balance in the body.”

Jacob earned his doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree and completed his residency at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, and his master of science degree in Oriental Medicine from the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture. He received the designation of diplomate of Oriental Medicine from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Prior to joining Lake Health, Jacob served as adjunct faculty and clinical instructor at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Lake Health Physician Group Integrative Medicine is one of only several practices in the country accredited by the American Association of Integrative Medicine. Located at the Lake Ambulatory Care Center in Mentor, the practice is comprised of a highly experienced team that blends modern medicine with evidence-based therapies to treat a variety of issues, including fibromyalgia, nerve and muscle pain, osteoarthritis, stress, chronic fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea, painful menstrual cycles, bladder problems, recurrent sinusitis, headaches, depression, anxiety, insomnia and chemical dependence.
To make an appointment, call 440-255-5508.

Lake Health Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs October 22 at West Medical Center (Main Lobby)

On Saturday, October 22, from 10 am to 2 pm, Lake Health, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Lake County Narcotics Agency and the Lake County General Health District, will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to West Medical Center (main lobby), 36000 Euclid Avenue, Willoughby. Needles and syringes will be accepted in addition to other expired medications. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Lake Health Seeking Companies and/or Individuals To Participate in 11th Annual Be Fit For Life Fitness Challenge

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, September 8, 2016—Lake Health is recruiting local companies and/or groups of 10 or more individuals to participate in the 11th annual Be Fit For Life Fitness Challenge, a challenge in which area businesses or groups of individuals compete for the most points as they exercise their way to better health.
The four-month initiative, which will kick off January 1, 2017, was developed through a partnership with the Lake Metroparks, the Lake County YMCA and the Lake County General Health District. Each month, the challenge will feature a main fitness event as well as a diverse array of activities, each with a specific point value. The goal of each team is to attain full participation from every team member, therefore earning the maximum number of points. Teams that earn the most points are eligible to win the grand prize.

Companies and/or groups of individuals interested in participating can attend an information meeting on Wednesday, October 5 at 4 p.m. at TriPoint Medical Center, Private Dining Room, 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Township.

This year’s challenge includes both competitive sports and recreational activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, band camp, snowshoeing and archery. For many participants, the Be Fit For Life Fitness Challenge provides the opportunity to try new activities and further explore the many trails and recreational facilities that comprise Lake Metroparks.

In addition to scheduled group events, participants can also select individual activities to do on their own. This flexibility gives even time-deprived challengers the opportunity to participate and enables family members to get involved. While they are not eligible to earn points, spouses and children can exercise along with Be Fit For Life participants, providing additional encouragement and motivation.

When the Be Fit For Life Fitness Challenge concludes on April 30, 2017 points will be tallied and the grand prize will be awarded to the winning team. The winning team also will receive Lake Health’s “Heart of the Community” award.

For more information and to register for the information meeting, please call Sharon Minjares, director of the Lake Health Wellness Institute, at (440) 350-4512 or Sharon.Minjares@lakehealth.org by October 4.

World-Class Art, Breathtaking Architecture to Provide Inspiring Backdrop for Lake Health Foundation’s “Glitz 2016: A Masterpiece in Medicine”

700 guests expected to attend gala at Cleveland Museum of Art

The art of healing will be celebrated alongside world-class works of art at Lake Health Foundation’s “Glitz 2016: A Masterpiece in Medicine” on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This year’s Glitz, the 27th anniversary of Lake Health Foundation's largest annual fundraiser, will support the health system’s emergency medicine fund and Wellness Walk initiative.

The white tie event, which kicks off with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m., will feature globally inspired, locally sourced cuisine and dancing to the sounds of The Brass Band of the Western Reserve, music director, Dr. Keith M. Wilkinson. Throughout the evening, attendees can explore world-renowned galleries while enjoying the architectural splendor of the museum’s recent expansion and restoration.

Emceed by Fox 8’s Stefani Schaefer, Glitz 2016 will provide an array of exciting fundraising activities. A destination raffle, “Costa Rica: A Tropical Escape,” will give partygoers a chance to win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare, 5-night hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and ecotourism or adventure excursions. Guests can also participate in a raffle to win a two-year prepaid lease on a 2016 Lexus RC, donated by Classic Lexus. Additionally, a silent auction will be held offering a variety of items such as event tickets, art pieces, overnight getaways and more.

Lake Health Foundation selected the Community Care Fund as this year’s Fund-A-Need. Pledges of financial support from event attendees will support the fund that helps Lake Health provide medical care to all who require treatment regardless of ability to pay. Members of the public can also make a donation to the Community Care Fund in amounts ranging from $10-$5,000 through the BidPal® app.

This year all silent auction items, as well as the Fund-A-Need, will be purchased using BidPal®. Guests will have the option to use their own Wi-Fi enabled device or the BidPal® kiosk. Guests can also visit Lake Health Foundation’s Giving Center before the event to view auction items or purchase tickets.

Sponsors at the $5,000 level and above will be treated to a private VIP experience on the lower level of the museum starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to cocktails and entertainment by violinist Dariush Saghafi, MD, and cellist Chen Chen, VIPs will also have access to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s special exhibit “Art and Stories from Mughal India.”

Tickets for the Glitz are $200 per person, $400 per couple, or $3,000 for a table of eight. Other sponsorship levels are available and a portion of each ticket price is tax deductible. For more information or to purchase event tickets, please call the Lake Health Foundation at (440) 354-1900.


Lake Health and Lake Metroparks to Hold Inaugural Hike for Hunger August 19- Event to Benefit End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, August 10, 2016—If you can hike, you can help eradicate child hunger in Lake County. Hit the trail with your family and friends on August 19 for the first annual Hike for Hunger to raise money and collect canned food donations to support End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County. The event is being sponsored by Lake Health and Lake Metroparks.

End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County is a private, not-for-profit effort to address the approximately 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive at school Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive at school Monday morning.

The fun and interactive event, which is open to all ages, will be held at 6:30 pm at Chapin Forest Ski Center located at 10381 Hobart Road in Kirtland. The 2.2-mile guided hike through scenic Chapin Forest will include multiple stops along the way highlighting impressive geological points of interest.

Hike for Hunger will be held rain or shine. Cost is $5 for children, $10 for adults or $20 for families. Registration is required by calling the Best of Health Line at 440-953-6000 or 800-454-9800. Participants will receive a free cinch bag for donating at least one canned food item.

Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center Receives National Accreditation

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, August 9, 2016—Lake Health’s Bariatric Surgery Center has been designated a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The national accreditation is awarded to hospitals and surgeons following a rigorous review process during which a program proves it meets the highest standards regarding facilities, staffing and protocols for care.

MBSAQIP works to advance safe, high quality care for bariatric surgical patients by ensuring patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success.

“We’re proud to be recognized for the outstanding care we provide our patients throughout their weight-loss journey. The accreditation will allow more patients to have weight-loss surgery at Lake Health since some insurance plans require it,” said nationally recognized bariatric surgeon Aviv Ben-Meir, MD, FACS, director of the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center.

Dr. Ben-Meir has been a MBSAQIP accredited surgeon since 2004. When he joined Lake Health in 2013, the Bariatric Surgery Center was required to complete the accreditation process. As a MBSAQIP accredited program, Lake Health’s Bariatric Surgery Center participates in a national data registry that tracks processes and patient outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

With an emphasis on individualized care and exceptional service, the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center offers a full range of bariatric care services to support patients throughout the entire process, including physical and psychological pre-operative evaluation, free patient education and support groups, pre- and post-operative nutrition counseling and a lifelong follow-up plan to help patients commit to the lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain successful results.

Weight-loss surgery is a potentially lifesaving treatment for obese individuals—those who are approximately 50 pounds or more overweight—who have not had success with traditional, weight-loss strategies such as diet modification, exercise or medication. The Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center offers three surgical approaches for qualified candidates: laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.

Dr. Ben-Meir has performed weight loss surgeries in Northeast Ohio longer than any other local surgeon, having completed more than 4,000 procedures with an outstanding safety record.

“My team and I understand the struggles faced by overweight individuals, as well as their concerns about safety and long-term success,” Dr. Ben-Meir said. “We’re dedicated to helping our patients successfully lose weight and improve their overall health.”

Kevin Chapman can attest to the unwavering commitment Dr. Ben-Meir and his team make to patients. Chapman first met Dr. Ben-Meir in 2006 when he and his wife had the lap band procedure. Chapman initially had success losing weight but soon regained it. In 2014, the 47-year-old Eastlake resident again sought out Dr. Ben-Meir’s expertise to have his lap band converted to a gastric bypass, which has been shown to be a more effective weight-loss tool both short and long term.

“Like my first bariatric surgery experience, I was extremely impressed by the high level of care, clinical expertise and customer service provided by Dr. Ben-Meir and his staff,” said Chapman, who works as a facilities engineer. “I’m thrilled with my results. I’ve dropped 110 pounds and my sleep apnea is gone. I now have more energy so I can wrestle with my kids. Any type of physical activity—especially going up steps—is so much easier.”

Willoughby resident Lisa Smith has also experienced the transformational power of bariatric surgery. Since her gastric sleeve surgery last November, Smith has lost more than 100 pounds and restored her health.

“Before my surgery I was in a downward spiral of out-of-control weight gain after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Even though I had two cancer scares, was pre-diabetic and had sleep apnea, I was in denial about my poor health,” explained 27-year-old Smith, who works as a nanny.

Smith said her mom became concerned and urged her to seek medical help.

“It took a long time but one day it finally hit me that I desperately needed to do something about my weight. I couldn’t put it off any longer. A few days later I attended a bariatric surgery seminar at Lake Health with my mom, who had bariatric surgery in December of 2015,” she said.

Smith describes her bariatric weight-loss journey as the “best experience” of her life. She said she is nearly half her former size and, more importantly, is no longer pre-diabetic and her sleep apnea is gone. Smith’s polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts, is in remission.

Most days you’ll find her at the gym either boxing or in a Zumba class. She continues to chronicle every step of her life-changing transformation on Instagram, sharing intimate details of her bariatric surgery experience and inspiring others around the world.

“I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field and this experience has motivated me to go back to school. I understand the physical and emotional struggles of being overweight and I want to help others achieve their weight-loss goals,” Smith said.

To learn more about weight-loss surgery, view the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center online webinar or register for a free, in-person seminar at lakehealth.org/bariatric.

Lake Health House Calls Program Provides Personalized, In-Home Care For High-Risk Patients

Getting to a doctor’s office appointment can be difficult for individuals who are elderly or living with a debilitating condition such as congestive heart failure. Many go without medical care and as a result require costly emergency intervention and hospitalization. To ensure patients stay healthy, Lake Health nurse practitioners are reviving an old practice: providing care where patients need it most—in their homes.
The Lake Health House Calls program offers personalized in-home primary care and palliative care to patients managing a chronic disease or recovering from a recent illness or hospitalization. The goal of these house calls, explained Michele Pirc, director of Advanced Practice Providers at Lake Health, is to reduce hospital readmissions and improve patient outcomes.

“Because we’re able to spend a significant amount of time with patients at their homes, including assisted living and long-term care facilities, we can deliver a level of care not possible in an office setting,” she explained. “Depending on a patient’s needs, we can provide everything from prescribing medications and removing stitches to ensuring they understand their treatment plans and discharge instructions.”

Pirc said having the opportunity to see patients in their home environment also provides a better understanding of the services they need.

“We can evaluate their living conditions and identify safety concerns, such as fall risks. We also meet with family members and other members of the caregiver team, which helps us see the big picture. That way we can ensure our patients are receiving not just proper medical care but also social services as well,” she said.

On call 24-hours a day, nurse practitioners collaborate with each patient’s primary care provider and an interdisciplinary team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, social workers and case managers to provide effective and seamless care. With a focus on illness prevention and maintaining quality of life, nurse practitioners provide supportive services to manage pain; schedule diagnostic tests and therapies; educate patients about taking medications properly; and facilitate communication among all members of the health care team including the patient and family. Home visits are ongoing until the patient’s health improves and he or she can comfortably resume regular doctor’s office visits.

“Caring for elderly and chronically ill patients in their home environment is ideal. It’s where they’re most comfortable and that can expedite healing,” explained John Baniewicz, M.D., vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer for Lake Health. “For older patients, in particular, in-home care can help them maintain their independence while alleviating stress for caregivers who would otherwise have to drive them to medical appointments.”

In-home care is especially beneficial for patients with congestive heart failure—a condition in which the heart fails to pump blood effectively. The condition requires diligent management and close monitoring, and can often worsen at home after discharge from the hospital. Lake Health recently launched a new program that follows congestive heart failure patients for 90 days following discharge to ensure they stay healthy. Between home visits, patients are monitored around-the-clock using innovative telehealth technology designed to detect complications before they become severe and require hospitalization.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, congestive heart failure is the leading cause of hospital readmissions for those over the age of 65. The primary reasons for re-hospitalization include patients not taking medications as prescribed, failure to follow a dietary plan and not recognizing the early signs of congestive heart failure—such as fluid build up.

For 79-year-old Mentor resident Mary Leitch, the House Calls program has provided peace of mind and helped her better manage her congestive heart failure and a throat condition that makes it difficult for her to swallow. Leitch received her first house call with nurse practitioner Lindsay Cooper in April following a visit to the emergency department at West Medical Center.

“Lindsay is amazing. She has been so kind to me and my husband, Don—spending lots of time at our home to make sure I’m feeling better and I’m taking care of myself,” Leitch said. “Lindsay made sure I understood how to take my medications properly and what tests and treatments I need to help me eat and drink easier. My husband and I now feel more confident about how to handle my health issues.”

On a professional level, Cooper said the House Calls program has enhanced her ability to care for patients like members of her own family.

“Sitting down at their kitchen table with them, I’m able to get to know patients and their families on a more personal level,” she said. “Being at their home I can be solely focused on them and giving them the care they need to achieve better health. That’s what makes my job so rewarding.”

For more information about Lake Health’s House Calls Program, call 440-255-5571.

Second Phase of Three-Season Wellness Walk at TriPoint Medical Center Opens for Use - Nature trail extension funded solely through community and medical staff support

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, July 1, 2016—Lake Health and philanthropic affiliate the Lake Health Foundation officially unveiled Phase 2 of the three-season Wellness Walk that encircles the wooded campus of TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township. The $225,000 extension, which more than doubles the length of the trail, was funded solely through donations from members of the community and the Lake Health medical staff.

Captains Charities—the charitable arm of the Lake County Captains—provided a $100,000 gift toward the project. The Lake Health medical staff contributed $50,000.

Originally opened in 2014, the Wellness Walk is the first of its kind in Ohio to be fully designed and developed from evidence-based research, which has shown that integrating nature with the body, mind and spirit maximizes wellness. Designed for walkers, the trail provides members of the community with opportunities for physical activity, a leisurely stroll or tranquil rest—all the while surrounded by the beauty of nature. Exercise stations, meditation areas, a children’s play area, a viewing platform, a musical garden and a boardwalk over scenic wetlands dot the 1-mile path.

“The Wellness Walk exemplifies Lake Health’s commitment to the health and well-being of every member of the community,” said Greg Sanders, director of the Lake Health Foundation. “We’re grateful for the generous financial support from local individuals, businesses and organizations, which helped make Phase 2 of this important project a reality.”

Signage directs trail users to parking and other facilities. The trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk. No bikes or pets are permitted. For more information, call the Lake Health Foundation at 440-354-1900.

Lake Health Moves Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Center for Geriatric Psychiatry to New Continuing Care Campus - Resort-like campus designed around healing, patient satisfaction

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, June 16, 2016—Research shows a beautiful environment truly does improve healing. That’s why Lake Health relocated the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation and the Center for Geriatric Psychiatry to a new seven-acre Continuing Care Campus just south of TriPoint Medical Center in Concord.

The Continuing Care Campus is leased space within the newly built complex, Concord Village. Lake Health’s space within the complex features an evidence-based architectural design to support healing and increase patient satisfaction. On June 8, Lake Health—with the help of local EMS teams and government agencies—transferred patients from hospital units located inside West Medical Center to the Continuing Care Campus.

The relocation allows for expanded services in both health specialties, enhancing care for more patients. The Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation’s capacity has increased from 8 to 12 patients and the Center for Geriatric Psychiatry’s capacity has grown from 18 to 20 patients. Both units offer private patient rooms with private restrooms and high quality, patient-centered care and treatments.

“The centers for Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Geriatric Psychiatry provide the same skilled staff and resources offered inside West Medical Center. However, the new environment and expanded services at the Continuing Care Campus provide an even brighter future for this outstanding, specialized care,” said Lisa Rubin Falkenberg, director, Lake Health Rehabilitation and Behavioral Services.

Comprehensive rehab care In the Comprehensive Rehab wing, intensive therapy, individualized care and specialized nursing help patients learn to manage lifestyle changes, recover and thrive after injury, illness or surgery, all within a residential setting.

To encourage recovery, patients receive physical and occupational therapy in spacious, natural-light filled areas. The large gym even has direct access to the outdoor patio and gardens. In the fully equipped, functioning kitchen and laundry space, patients can re-learn the skills necessary to return to independence at home. Effective speech therapy and intense rehab nursing are offered just steps away.

“We strive to provide the very best rehabilitation services and care available in the area,” said Nicholas Detore, M.D., medical director of the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation. “This new facility will enhance our ability to provide that superior care. And we’re excited to have so much space where family members can interact and work together with the patient, learning to manage change and regain independence.”

Geriatric psychiatry care In the Geriatric Psychiatry wing, everything is designed with safety and security in mind. Along with individualized assessment and treatment by a professional staff of psychiatrists, physicians, nurses, social workers and therapists, specially-designed spaces offer hope for seniors who are experiencing serious emotional and behavioral difficulties.

The center features activity rooms, quiet rooms, group spaces and a state-of-the-art multisensory room. This room, based on principles of evidence-based design, is equipped with special lighting, music and projectors to create a peaceful and calming environment.

“I’m excited about our new facility in its entirety, and particularly the introduction of the multisensory room environment to help calm patients,” said Bahman Sharif, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director for The Center for Geriatric Psychiatry. “This combination of excellent care in a healing environment will help us better meet the needs of our patients.”

Both facilities are Medicare approved and accept most insurance plans. For more information, call the Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation at 440-953-6251 or the Center for Geriatric Psychiatry at 440-918-6366.

Lake Health Breaks Ground On Perrico Health Center in Willoughby

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 19, 2016—Compassionate, high quality, personalized and easily accessible. This describes the superior level of care patients and their families will experience at the Perrico Health Center in Willoughby, Lake Health officials said during a ceremonial groundbreaking held yesterday afternoon. Lake Health Board of Trustees, members of the Perrico family and community leaders were on hand to celebrate the much-anticipated 26,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art health center set to open summer 2017. It is the first facility to which Lake Health is attaching a donor’s name.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Perrico family for their gift—the largest single donation in the history of Lake Health Foundation—which is making this important capital project a reality,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. “The Perrico Health Center will provide comprehensive, specialized health care services our community needs to get well and stay well.”

Construction will begin in June on the facility located on a 5-acre campus at I-90 and Route 306, across from Lakeland Community College. The one-story facility will be the new home of Lake Health Physician Group Women’s Health Specialists and the Lake Health Physician Group Willoughby Hills Internal Medicine. The campus will also feature Lake Health physical therapy, diagnostic imaging and laboratory services.

Michael Perrico, CEO of Alpha Imaging LLC, said his parents and entire family are honored to support the growth of the organization that is vital to the health of Lake County.

“Lake Health is the heart and soul of health care in this community. As longtime Lake County residents, my family and I have all used so many Lake Heath services over the years. Every experience—from yearly checkups to treatments for broken bones and major illnesses—has been extremely positive and redefined the way we think about health care,” Perrico said.

Perrico said his family, who has been in the medical imaging business for more than three decades, is committed to supporting initiatives that improve the health and wellness of the community. Women’s health services, in particular, became a focus of their philanthropy after Michael’s wife Joyce was diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer at Lake Health in 2007.

Following Joyce’s treatment, the Perrico family made a donation that enabled Lake Health to purchase breast tomosynthesis technology for TriPoint Medical Center. The three-dimensional digital imaging tool allows radiologists to examine breast tissue one layer at a time, unmasking signs of early cancer often not visible with traditional mammography. The family’s latest gift will help fund the purchase of two additional breast tomosynthesis units, which will be used at West Medical Center and at the new Perrico Health Center.

Greg Sanders, executive director of the Lake Health Foundation, said that in addition to the Perrico family’s gift, the Lake Health Auxiliary Board—which supports the health system through fundraising, volunteerism and advocacy—donated $100,000 toward the health center project.

“Since 2001, the Auxiliary Board has gifted more than $1.6 million in support of Lake Health’s progressive health care programs and services. This is yet another example of Lake Health volunteers’ commitment to promote the health and well being of the population we’re privileged to serve,” Sanders said.

Lake Health Board of Trustees Elect Officers/Announce New Appointments

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 17, 2016 – The Lake Health Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Thomas P. Jubeck, a trustee since 2008, has been re-elected chair. The other officers re-elected were Vice Chair/Treasurer Michael E. Mayher and Secretary Paul C. Sirko.

They also welcomed new Board members, Lisa Klammer, Esq., and Frank Jevnikar, MD. They bring a wealth of experience and valuable perspective to the board.

Ms. Klammer is an attorney with the firm Hennig, Szeman & Klammer Co., LPA and the City of Mentor prosecutor. In addition, she sits as an acting judge for Painesville Municipal Court and is a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem to children in custody cases. She is a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio Board of Trustees and has been active in the Lake County Bar Association, Lake Humane Society, Lake Parks Foundation and United Way of Lake County. She earned her Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

A board-certified urologist, Dr. Jevnikar has been with Lake Health since 2003. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio and completed his residency at Summa Health System and Akron General Medical Center. Prior to being appointed to the Lake Health Board of Trustees, Dr. Jevnikar was president of the Board of Directors for the Lake Physician Hospital Organization and chairman of the Board of Managers for the Lake Integrated Physician Health Enterprise.

Other members of the Lake Health Board of Trustees include John F. Platz; Susan McGuinness, RN, PhD; Richard S. Morrison; I. James Hackenberg, Esq; David Steiger, MD; and Robert G. Schiebli.

Kirtland High School Senior Joseph Bates Named Lake Health’s 2015-2016 Athlete of the Year

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 9, 2016—Kirtland High School Senior Joseph Bates was named Lake Health’s 2015-2016 Athlete of the Year and was awarded a $3,000 scholarship to the college of his choice. He was chosen from among senior athletes who were named Student Athletes of the Month as part of the Lake Health Sports Medicine High School Senior Student Athlete of the Month program and who applied for the scholarship. Only high school seniors who were named Student Athletes of the Month were eligible to apply for the “Athlete of the Year” scholarship.

The Lake Health Sports Medicine High School Senior Student Athlete of the Month program recognizes high school senior athletes at Lake County schools who have made a considerable effort to maintain a higher grade point average and perform community service, all while reaching high levels of athletic accomplishment. The program is sponsored by the Lake Health Sports Medicine Program and the Lake Health Foundation.

On the field, Joseph Bates was the team captain of the Kirtland High School football team that appeared in four state championship games, two of which they won. In 2015, he was named the state and district Division VI Offensive Player of the Year. Mr. Bates is also captain of his high school’s baseball team. Off the field, Mr. Bates participated in “Give a Hand, Take a Hand,” a suicide prevention program, his junior and senior year. The program helps high school freshman develop coping strategies to deal with stress, anger, anxiety and depression. Mr. Bates was also a member of the Key club and Foreign Language club and also assisted with Kirtland youth football and basketball camps. This fall, he plans on attending and playing football for John Carroll University.

“Each of our Student Athletes of the Month and the nominees deserve recognition as they went above and beyond in the classroom as well as on the playing field,” said John Smith, director of Sports Medicine at Lake Health. “As our partnerships with the Lake County schools continue to grow, we hope our awards program plays a valuable role in nurturing athletic success and recognizing our students’ growing talents.”

Lake Health Offers Nitrous Oxide for Pain Management during Childbirth

Women who give birth at Lake Health’s West Medical Center in Willoughby now have another option to help them manage pain during labor: nitrous oxide. The health system is one of fewer than 100 hospitals across the country and only the third in Ohio to offer the mild analgesia.
Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide has been used safely during childbirth in Europe for decades and is slowly gaining popularity in the United States. Women inhale the gas, which is mixed with oxygen, through a facemask. Yet unlike at the dentist office where it’s administered continuously, women decide when and how often to use the gas.

“It’s an effective option for pain relief and puts the woman in control of how much she uses,” explained Pam Hetrick, a certified nurse midwife at Lake Health. “Although epidurals are more effective for physical pain relief, nitrous oxide helps with the mental aspect. Patients say it makes them feel euphoric and relaxed. And although they still feel the pain, they aren’t bothered by it.”

How it works: The odorless, tasteless gas is inhaled for about 30 seconds before the start of a contraction to get the maximum effect. Almost immediately, the gas reduces anxiety and the perception of pain.

“The degree of pain relief varies from patient to patient as do the side effects, which can include dizziness, drowsiness and nausea after prolonged use. But the major advantage is that once inhalation has stopped, the gas is completely eliminated from the body after a few breaths of room air,” Hetrick said.

Unlike epidurals and IV narcotics that confine women to bed, nitrous oxide can be used while standing, squatting or sitting on a birthing ball. Plus, it doesn’t slow or halt labor or increase the risk for other interventions, including a C-section. It can also be used any time during labor, even later in the process when it’s sometimes too late for an epidural.

Hetrick said about 40 percent of women who use nitrous oxide also get an epidural. “It helps many women delay getting an epidural as their labor progresses and can provide relief while they wait for the anesthesiologist to arrive. Nitrous oxide can also be used after delivery to ease pain during laceration repairs and other postpartum procedures,” she said.

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, nitrous oxide is a safe and viable option and there is no evidence of adverse effects on babies of mothers who have used nitrous oxide.

For Lesley Loveland, who gave birth to her second daughter on March 11 at West Medical Center, nitrous oxide helped her manage pain during much of her 26-hour labor.

“When midwives Pam and Iola told me about the availability of nitrous oxide I was intrigued and knew I was going to try it. It seemed like the best option to help me achieve a childbirth that would be as natural as possible,” said Loveland, who was one of the first Lake Health obstetrics patients to use nitrous oxide.

Compared to the drug Nubain, which didn’t provide any relief during her first labor, Loveland said nitrous oxide made her entire body “tingle” and gave her a slight sense of euphoria.

“It took the edge off my contractions and made me feel very calm and relaxed,” she explained. “I felt in control the whole time and only inhaled the gas intermittently—every third or fourth contraction. In the end I did get an epidural, but the nitrous oxide was very effective in getting me through the early and middle stages of labor.”

Jennifer DiGeronimo, RN, nurse manager of Obstetrics at West Medical Center, said the entire Lake Health obstetrics team enthusiastically supported making nitrous oxide available for patients.

“We’re committed to nurturing positive birth experiences, and giving women control during childbirth is a huge part of that. By providing nitrous oxide, women have access to a non-invasive pain relief method that is effective and safe for them and their baby,” she said.

Lake Health Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, April 1, 2016 — On Saturday, April 30, from 10 am to 2 pm, Lake Health, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Lake County Narcotics Agency and the Lake County General Health District, will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to TriPoint Medical Center (main lobby), 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Township. Needles, syringes, liquids and aerosols will be accepted in addition to other expired medications. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Lake Health Joins EmployerDirect Surgical Provider Network

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 29, 2016—Lake Health has signed an agreement to provide surgical services for EmployerDirect, a national leader in value-based health care for large employers with self-funded medical plans. As a member of EmployerDirect’s SurgeryPlus network, Lake Health will provide elective general surgery and gynecology, orthopedic and spine surgery for participating employers located within a 150-mile radius.

Under the agreement, Lake Health will receive direct referrals from EmployerDirect enabling the health system to grow its geographical base of patients.

“In today’s health care marketplace, consumers are willing to travel to get the best care at the best price with no out-of-pocket cost. As an EmployerDirect surgical provider, we’re able to capture patients who otherwise would not seek care in our market,” explained Glenn Sigel, director of managed care at Lake Health.

SurgeryPlus was created to give employers access to the country’s top hospitals and doctors—at a predictable cost. The supplemental health care benefit offers bundled, pre-negotiated rates for planned surgical procedures, resulting in a cost savings. Employers incent employees to journey outside of their markets by offering full coverage for procedures, eliminating deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, and even covering the travel costs of a companion or family member. SurgeryPlus coordinates every aspect of patient care, from scheduling appointments to managing travel logistics.

“All hospitals selected as a SurgeryPlus provider must meet strict benchmarks for quality and patient outcomes,” said Ryan Burke, regional director of Provider Networks for EmployerDirect. “Lake Health was selected because it’s ranked among the nation’s top health systems for outstanding surgical outcomes and high patient satisfaction. Additionally, Lake Health’s facilities offer the latest technology and are easily accessible.”

Since early February, Lake Health surgeons have treated patients who reside in cities such as Columbus, Toledo, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, just to name a few.

“Being selected as an EmployerDirect surgical provider is further confirmation of Lake Health’s commitment to high quality patient- and family-centered care,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. “The partnership will drive new market share to our programs and improve our payer mix, which ultimately will have a positive financial impact.”

Lake Health Appoints Robert B. Tracz, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, March 9, 2016 – Lake Health has appointed Robert B. Tracz, senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). In this position, Mr. Tracz will have overall responsibility for Fiscal Services, Patient Accounting, Material Management, Health Information Management (medical records) and Contracting. He will be responsible for establishing initiatives to optimize the strategic and operational performance of Lake Health, including maintaining a long-term capital plan in support of strategic initiatives and system revenue growth.

Robert TraczMr. Tracz returns to Lake Health after serving as senior vice president of Finance and CFO for Sylvania Franciscan Health (an affiliate of Catholic Health Initiatives). Mr. Tracz was Lake Health’s senior vice president and CFO from 2001-2010.

Mr. Tracz holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in Accounting from University of South Florida and a master’s degree in Healthcare Policy and Administration from Mercer University in Georgia. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

David Herman Joins Lake Health as Vice President of Corporate Finance

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, March 2, 2016 — Lake Health has named David Herman vice president of Corporate Finance. In this role, Mr. Herman will have overall responsibility for Financial Reporting, General Accounting, Budget, Payroll, Accounts Payable, Tax and Treasury.
David Herman
Mr. Herman comes to Lake Health from Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago where he served as director of Accounting and Finance and corporate compliance officer. Prior to joining Swedish Convenant Hospital, Mr. Herman was administrative director of Women’s Care Center for University of Chicago Hospitals.

Mr. Herman received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Illinois State University and his master’s degree in business administration from DePaul University. He is a certified public accountant.

Lake Health Wins Gold Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award

CONCORD TWP., OH, February 3, 2016 – The Ohio Department of Health and the Healthy Ohio Business Council has awarded Lake Health with the Gold Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award for the second year in a row. The award recognizes Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs. Sixty eight Ohio employers were recognized.

Lake Health was recognized for its wellness fitness programs for team members, including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Tai Chi, and continuing their employee wellness program, which is a comprehensive wellness program that includes awareness, identification and recruitment of team members, peer wellness coaching, and creating a healthier workplace environment. Through this program, team members are encouraged to complete a health risk assessment with biometric screenings and participate in wellness coaching to develop wellness goals. Wellness coaching takes place over a six-month period with weekly and then monthly contact with a wellness coach.

Other wellness activities offered through the Lake Health Wellness Institute include a four-month fitness challenge; personal health profiles; nutrition counseling; stress management program; outpatient services including acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy and annual employee health fairs.

“Through our comprehensive wellness program we have been able to tailor services to our team members needs as well as help set individual wellness goals and assist our team members in meeting their goals,” said Sharon Minjares, MBA,MS, RD, LD, director of the Wellness Institute at Lake Health.

The Ohio Hospital Association Has Elected Cynthia Moore-Hardy as Chair of its Board


CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, January 4, 2016 – The Ohio Hospital Association, representing 220 hospitals and 13 health systems in Ohio, elected Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health, as chair of its Board for 2016 after serving as the chair-elect in 2015.

Ms. Moore-Hardy served a term on the OHA Board as a trustee-at-large from 2001-2003. She returned to the Board in 2012 and served as chair of the governance committee and nominating committee.

Ms. Moore-Hardy joined Lake Health in 1988 and was appointed president and CEO in 1997. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the American Hospital Association.

She has been recognized by Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare; American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s Award; Visiting Nurse Association’s Distinguished Woman in Healthcare; Inside Business Power 100 list; Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note; Leadership Lake County Leader of the Year; Cleveland State University’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Nance School of Business; Crain’s Cleveland Business Healthcare Heroes Administrator of the Year; Inside Business 100 Most Influential CEO’s, Politicians and Civic Leaders; YWCA of Greater Cleveland’s Woman of Achievement Award and the United Way of Lake County Outstanding Woman Leader of the Year.

Ms. Moore-Hardy earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Ohio State University and master’s degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.

Lake Health’s TriPoint Medical Center and West Medical Center Earn Highest Grade for Patient Safety in Leapfrog’s Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, November 30, 2015—Lake Health’s TriPoint Medical Center and West Medical Center have been honored for their commitment to patient safety by being awarded an “A” grade in the Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score released by independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group. The report rates how well hospitals across the nation protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

The Hospital Safety Score—the gold standard rating for patient safety—is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national, independent nonprofit. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Hospital Safety Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“Our ‘A’ grade reflects the tremendous collaboration among our physicians, nurses and team members to cultivate a culture of zero harm when it comes to patient safety,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. “It also affirms our commitment to best-practice standards of care and ongoing quality improvement to ensure we excel in all aspects of patient- and family-centered care.”

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score, representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in October 2015, with 773 hospitals receiving an A grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website. Patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Score site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.

To see TriPoint and West medical centers’ full scores and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org or follow The Hospital Safety Score on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Hospital Safety Score mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

“TriPoint Medical Center’s and West Medical Center’s ‘A’ grade is a powerful reminder of its commitment to putting patient safety above all else, and we are pleased to recognize the persistent efforts of their clinicians and staff to protect patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Our families, neighbors, colleagues and friends deserve a hospital that will pull out all the stops to keep them safe, and we urge TriPoint Medical Center and West Medical Center and all other ‘A’ hospitals to preserve and renew their commitment to safety year after year.”

Lake Health One of First Hospitals In United States to Debut New MRI Compatible ICD, Device Prevents Sudden Cardiac Death in Patients with Abnormal Heart Rhythms

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, October 5, 2015— Robert Goldstein, MD, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Lake Health, was the first cardiovascular specialist in the region and among the first the United States to use a new implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) specifically designed to function safely in patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Goldstein implanted the device in 42-year-old Painesville resident Stephen Dowd on September 22.

In the past, patients with ICDs were not able to have an MRI because the powerful magnetic fields might interfere with device function. Manufactured by Medtronic, the Evera MRI SureScan ICD is the first FDA approved ICD designed to allow for MRI scans on any body part. The system includes design enhancements that allow it to safely undergo full-body MRIs, while maintaining the same longevity, proven shock reduction and physical size and shape of previous versions of the device.

“Being among the first in the United States to implant this device—just eight days after it received FDA approval—demonstrates Lake Health’s commitment to giving patients immediate access to the latest technology,” Dr. Goldstein explained. “We’re grateful to have this game-changing technology that helps treat cardiac arrest and enables patients to have MRIs, which allows us to provide even better care.”

Dr. Goldstein said the device is a significant breakthrough since more than one-third of patients with ICDs will likely need an MRI within four years of having the device implanted. MRI is used widely for the diagnosis of conditions such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer`s disease, and muscle, bone and joint pain.

Placed under the skin just below the collarbone, ICDs use electricity to control irregular heartbeats and prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The device is comprised of two parts: an electrode to monitor heart rhythm and a pulse generator capable of producing a lifesaving, high-energy shock. When the heart is beating normally, the device remains inactive. If the heart develops a tachycardia—an abnormally fast heart rhythm—the ICD quickly delivers an electrical shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 350,000 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ICDs have proven to be an effective first line defense for patients at risk.

Diagnosed with nonischemic cardiomyopathy—weakness in the muscle of the heart not due to coronary artery disease—combined with his young age made Dowd the ideal candidate for the new ICD, Dr. Goldstein said.

Dowd had been healthy until May 2015, when he unexpectedly began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain. Dr. Goldstein prescribed medication and fitted Dowd with a LifeVest—a personal defibrillator that monitored his heart continuously. If Dowd experienced a life-threatening arrhythmia, the vest would deliver a shock to restore his heart to normal rhythm.

After several months of monitoring, Dr. Goldstein determined the medication was having little effect and recommended Dowd receive an ICD implant. Dowd delayed surgery, wanting to give the medication more time. While he waited, he experienced several episodes of fainting due to his heart’s inability to pump effectively and get enough oxygen to his brain.

Dowd was finally convinced an ICD was his best option, and on September 22 he became one of the first patients in the United States to receive the Evera MRI SureScan ICD.

“Having this device gives me peace of mind,” said Dowd, a machinist at Slabe Machine Products in Willoughby. “Dr. Goldstein was extremely thorough and made sure I understood every aspect of the procedure. I’m looking forward to a full recovery and an improved quality of life.”

Photos of the Evera MRI SureScan ICD are available here


Local Organization Works To Eradicate Child Hunger

The weekend is typically a happy occasion: a chance to relax and enjoy a break from school and work. But for many area children, Saturdays and Sundays are a time filled with worries about where they will get their next meal.
“The reality is there are children in our community who only eat at school. The free lunch they receive at school on Friday is the last substantial meal they will eat until the free breakfast at school on Monday morning,” said Meredith Everett, who along with Tracy Stanek run the Lake County chapter of End 68 Hours of Hunger, a non-profit dedicated to ending the 68 hours of hunger some children experience on the weekend.

Every week, Everett, Stanek and a host of volunteers bag non-perishable items—such as peanut butter, macaroni and cheese and cereal—providing enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners. Bags are distributed discreetly on Friday afternoons to children in need through the local school systems. The organization also makes home deliveries upon request.

From serving 3 Lake County families when the organization started in January 2015 to 115 today and counting, the need continues to grow. The volunteer-run organization doesn’t receive government assistance and operates solely on donations, with 100 percent of money received going directly toward the purchase of food.

Lake Health recently provided space on the TriPoint Medical Center campus, which will enable the organization to expand operations, and donated $2,500 to help cover the nonprofit’s administrative expenses. Health system employees have also volunteered—packing bags and helping sort donated food.

“End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County is making a tangible improvement in the health and lives of children in our community,” said Gary Robinson, vice president of Government & Community Affairs at Lake Health. “Every bag distributed gives children hope and ensures they receive the adequate nutrition needed to learn and grow.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 30,000 Lake County children and adults qualify as food insecure, meaning they lack access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or utility bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Nutrition is one of the main drivers of health and disease. Children and adults with food insecurity are 2.9 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, poverty-related obesity as well as depression, anxiety and other mental and behavioral issues. Research shows children who receive adequate nutrition develop better lifelong eating habits and perform better academically.

The success of End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County can be measured on children’s faces Monday morning, said Matthew Miller, superintendent of Mentor Public Schools.

“Our students have benefited tremendously from our partnership with End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County. They come to school Monday morning bright-eyed and ready to learn. The organization goes above and beyond to take care of the kids and families who need assistance. Filling this gap helps our kids focus on school, rather than on issues out of their control,” Miller explained.

For families who depend on free school meals for their children, food assistance becomes especially critical when schools close for extended periods. End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County delivered food to homes this past summer and dropped off bags at Mentor community pools for families to pick up privately. The organization is also planning to distribute food over winter and spring breaks.

“The community has been extremely supportive and generous in donating both food and money. We’re all united in the belief that no child should go hungry. By working together we can make sure all children have access to the food they need to thrive,” Stanek said.

More information about the organization can be found on Facebook: End 68 Hours of Hunger Lake County. Those interested in making a monetary donation can visit end68hoursofhunger.org. The organization is always seeking volunteers to pack bags and provide logistics support. To volunteer, call 440-552-5477 or 440-749-0671.

Wasdovich-Duffner Receives Ansell Corporation’s 2015 H.E.R.O. Nurse Service Award

Andrea Wasdovich-Duffner, vice president of Perioperative, Critical Care Services, Emergency Medicine and Pharmacy at Lake Health, is the top recipient of the 2015 H.E.R.O. (Heal, Educate, Reach, Overcome) Nurse Service Award sponsored by medical glove maker Ansell Corporation. The annual award recognizes ten nurses around the country who have made lasting impressions on their peers, their patients, their profession and their communities.

More than 48,500 votes were cast online for this year’s award. Out of all nominees, Wasdovich-Duffner received the most votes. She will receive an engraved plaque, a nursing reference book and a $2,000 donation in her name to Cystic Fibrosis Research, the charity of her choice.

Wasdovich-Duffner,BA, BSN, MSHA, has more than 23 years of nursing experience, with expertise in guiding and directing clinical and medical departments for pre-operative, operating room, same day surgery, and associated services of anesthesia, pre-admissions testing and endoscopy services. She is also responsible for critical care, step down, dialysis, emergency medicine and pharmacy.

Wasdovich-Duffner earned her bachelor of arts degree from John Carrol University, her bachelor of science degree in Nursing at Graceland University in Iowa and her master of science degree in Health Administration at the Kennedy-Western University in California.

“Andrea is an inspiring nurse leader who goes above and beyond to provide high quality, safe and compassionate patient-and family-centered care,” said Susan Sullivan, RN, nurse manager for OR, PACU and Pre-Admission Testing at TriPoint Medical Center, who nominated Wasdovich-Duffner for the award. “She’s highly visible to our front-line caregivers and always models behaviors that are necessary to improve patient outcomes. She also mentors new and existing leaders, sharing her knowledge and expertise with them. Plus, she always encourages us to continuously examine our processes to identify new and innovative solutions that enhance patient care.”

I. James Hackenberg Awarded Ohio Hospital Association’s Dr. Eli Crew Community Service Excellence Award

A lifelong resident of Cleveland and Lake County, Hackenberg has served on the Lake Health Board of Trustees for more than 26 years; longer than any other trustee past or present. Under his leadership and financial stewardship, he has been instrumental in shaping and ensuring the future of Lake Health— one of Northeast Ohio’s few remaining independentJames Hackenberg, Esq., a member of the Lake Health Board of Trustees, received the 2015 Dr. Eli Crew Community Service Excellence Award at the Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) annual recognition dinner held June 9 in Columbus. The award, which is one of OHA’s longest-standing leadership honors, recognizes an individual who has served as a friend to hospitals and health systems and whose support of the health care industry reflects the public interest. health systems.

“As a lawyer, former law director of three local communities and a former acting municipal judge, Jim brings a unique perspective to the Board. He constantly challenges administration, physician leadership and his fellow board members to continuously seek out new and better ways improve patient care. He questions the status quo and often takes a contrary position to ensure all options are explored. Above all, he champions patient satisfaction, never forgetting we exist to serve the community,” said Thomas Jubeck, chairman of the Lake Health Board of Trustees.

Among his many contributions, Hackenberg championed the initiative to replace the aging and land-locked LakeEast Hospital in Painesville with a new, state-of-the-art hospital known today as TriPoint Medical Center. His expertise in real estate and municipal law not only helped the health system search for and ultimately purchase the property in Concord Township but also thoroughly address issues raised by local leaders, businesses and community members. TriPoint Medical Center, which incorporates evidence-based design principles proven to improve healing and patient safety, opened in October 2009 and continues to redefine the health care experience for patients and their families.

Hackenberg has also played an integral role in helping Lake Health successfully compete with larger health systems and navigate the financial challenges of health care reform and reimbursement. In 2007, he led the establishment of Lake Health’s clinical integration program—the Lake Health Integrated Physicians’ Hospital Enterprise—which operates on behalf of Lake Health’s physicians and the hospital. The program combines the latest in evidence-based best practices with innovative data collection technology in a way that aligns physicians’ economic incentives and drives improvement in clinical quality.To further bolster the health system’s financial success and support its medical staff, Hackenberg supported the implementation of a captive medical professional liability insurance company for the hospital and its physicians. He volunteered to work with Lake Health administration to help establish the Lake Assurance Corporation—Lake Health’s wholly-owned subsidiary for professional liability insurance.

“Jim’s integrity, strategic thinking, and commitment to the community we serve are keeping Lake Health a successful and independent community hospital, making it what it is today and helping to ensure its strong future,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health.

In recognition of his many contributions to improve the health and wellness of residents in Lake and surrounding counties, Hackenberg also recently received a Crain’s Cleveland Business 2015 Health Care Heroes Award in the Outstanding Trustee category. In its eighth year, Crain's Cleveland Business’ Health Care Heroes program recognizes honorees for their dedication to improving community health throughout Northeast Ohio. “It’s an honor and privilege to serve my community and help ensure that all Lake County residents, including my family, have access to high quality health care close to home,” Hackenberg said.

For more information about the Ohio Hospital Association’s Dr. Eli Crew Community Service Excellence Award, visit http://ohiohospitals.org/Member-Services/awards.aspx

Lake Health Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs June 20 at TriPoint and West Medical Centers and Mentor Campus

On Saturday, June 20, from 10 am to 2 pm, Lake Health, in partnership with the Lake County Narcotics Agency and the Lake County General Health District, will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to West Medical Center, 36000 Euclid Ave., Willoughby; TriPoint Medical Center, 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Township; or Mentor Campus, 9485 Mentor Avenue, Mentor. Needles, syringes, liquids and aerosols will be accepted in addition to other expired medications. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Lake Health Board of Trustees Elect Officers/Announce New Appointments

The Lake Health Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Thomas P. Jubeck, a trustee since 2008, has been re-elected chair. The other officers re-elected were Vice Chair/Treasurer Michael E. Mayher and Secretary Paul C. Sirko.

They also welcomed new Board member, David Steiger, MD, a Lake Health board-certified radiologist for 29 years who brings a wealth of health care experience and a valuable perspective to the board. Dr. Steiger is chairman of Lake Health’s Department of Radiology. He earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed his residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is a member of Drs. Hill & Thomas Co. radiology group.

Other members of the Lake Health Board of Trustees include John F. Platz; Susan McGuinness, RN, PhD; Don Brinberg, MD; Richard S. Morrison; I. James Hackenberg, Esq; Kathleen Bates and Robert G. Schiebli.

Consumer Reports Names Lake Health Top Performer in CT Scan Radiation Safety

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 13, 2015—Lake Health is one of 13 top performing hospitals in Ohio for computed tomography—or CT scan—radiation safety, according to Consumer Reports. Ratings, released by the organization March 5, are based on the number of “double scans” performed and the steps hospitals take to reduce patients’ exposure to unnecessary, excess radiation.

Last year, Lake Health performed 41,225 CT scans, which combine X-rays taken from many different angles to provide cross-sectional images inside the body. These clear, detailed pictures help doctors diagnose illnesses and internal injuries as well as monitor cancer and other diseases. While most patients benefit from the technology, the increased use of the imaging tool has raised concerns about the risks of radiation overexposure.

“CT provides unparalleled diagnostic capabilities that at times can be lifesaving,” explained David Steiger, MD, chief of radiology at Lake Health. “Although the scans deliver more radiation than a single X-ray, the information gathered is so much more valuable than the risk of exposure involved.”

For example, CT scans can help pinpoint the location of a potentially fatal blood clot in the lungs.They can also render three-dimensional images of the heart and coronary arteries allowing cardiovascular experts to check for aneurysms and blockages without the need to perform an invasive catheter angiography. However, Dr. Steiger emphasizes that the technology should always be used judiciously. The golden rule in medicine is that the benefit of the procedure should outweigh the risk,” he said. With patient safety a top priority, Lake Health has the most effective protocols in place to reduce radiation exposure and minimize risk. “We’ve taken a lot of measures to reduce exposure. The goal is to use the minimum amount of radiation needed in order to achieve diagnostic image quality,” Dr. Steiger said. American College of Radiology accreditation assures Lake Health’s radiology department is staffed with trained personnel, equipment is properly maintained and protocols produce the lowest exposure in order to acquire a diagnostic image. Other dose reduction strategies include: 

Appropriate Use

Minimizing exposure to radiation begins with selecting appropriate imaging for the specific needs of the individual patient. Lake Health radiologists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to consult with referring providers regarding the relative benefits of imaging tests that may or may not involve radiation exposure and encourage the use of alternative techniques that do not involve radiation (e.g., ultrasound or MRI) when they provide the same information as a CT scan or other test with radiation.

Limiting The Area Imaged

Avoiding over scanning is the simplest way to reduce radiation exposure. Lake Health radiology technologists are trained to carefully utilize low dose scout images to ensure they only image the areas needed. Technologists are also trained to contact the radiologist if a physician requests an examination to be done twice, once with contrast and once without. Often it is not necessary to perform both.

Dose Reduction Technology

All CT Scanners at Lake Health are equipped with automatic dose modulation software that reduces the dose to various body parts during a scan. This software tailors the amount of radiation depending on the body part being imaged and the size of the individual. Lake Health is in the process of installing advanced image reconstruction technology that will reduce already low dose scans by as much as 50 percent while providing images with the same diagnostic information.

Quality Control

To further minimize the potential risks of radiation, quality control procedures are routinely performed to assure all imaging devices are operating correctly and safely. All CT scanners at Lake Health exceed all national standards for radiation safety. Lake Health also has a policy of monitoring and proactively evaluating radiation exposure for CT and interventional radiology procedures. Doses for procedures are compared to standard doses, and threshold levels are used to ensure that all imaging tests use the lowest possible radiation dose. “Patients who come to Lake Health for any type of imaging, whether it’s CT, MRI or X-ray, or an interventional radiology procedure can feel confident they’re in good hands,” Dr. Steiger said.

Lake Health Hosts First Annual Bariatric Success Celebration

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 4, 2015I feel better about myself. My weight isn’t holding me back anymore. I can run circles around my children. My diabetes is gone. I walked my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. These are just a few of the personal achievements patients commemorated at the first annual Lake Health Bariatric Success Celebration held May 1 at the Radisson Hotel and Suites in Eastlake.

Thirty-one bariatric surgery patients, who collectively lost a total of 3,663 pounds, celebrated their new bodies and improved overall health with their family members, friends and the Lake Health bariatric surgery team at the gala event. Nationally recognized bariatric surgeon Aviv Ben-Meir, MD, FACS, director of the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center, served as master of ceremonies.

“Bariatric surgery has given many of our patients a second chance at life,” Dr. Ben-Meir said. “It was an honor to celebrate with them and share in their joy as they reflected on how far they’ve come and how dramatically their lives have changed since undergoing bariatric surgery.”

At the event, which included dinner and dancing, each patient was recognized and given their moment to shine. Dr. Ben-Meir shared details of each patient’s life-altering transformation, including total pounds lost, personal achievements since bariatric surgery and impressive statistics on the improvement or resolution of obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure for the group.

“The happiness I felt when Dr. Ben-Meir announced my name and seeing how proud my husband was of me opened a floodgate of emotions,” said Willoughby Hills resident Pat Grace, who was one of the patients recognized. “Bariatric surgery has given me the greatest gift of all: freedom from the prison of obesity. I have reclaimed my life. And through this remarkable journey, I have gained respect for myself and I embrace who I am.”

Grace, who had her surgery in January 2014, is a shining example of how weight-loss surgery can transform lives. After riding the rollercoaster of weight loss/weight gain her entire life, bariatric surgery enabled her to lose 140 pounds and achieve better health. With the weight gone, Grace no longer has asthma, hypertension, sleep apnea, gout or high cholesterol.

“Carrying that extra weight for so many years took a toll. I had both knees replaced and three back surgeries and spinal stenosis forced me to stop working,” said Grace, who was a licensed physical therapy assistant at Lake Health for 20 years. “Today, I feel like a completely different person. I have so much more energy than I had previously and I can do things I couldn’t do before, like play with my grandchildren.”

The realization of how radically her life had changed came five months after her surgery, when Grace was at the horse barn with her daughter.

“My daughter has ridden horses since she was young, but because of my size I could never ride with her. I will never forget the day when I had lost enough weight and was finally able to get on a horse. We both burst into tears because it was an activity my daughter and I had always wanted to do together and now we could,” Grace said.

Grace has made it her mission to inspire and support others struggling with obesity. She frequently shares her story at Lake Health bariatric seminars and is now teaching a bariatric water fitness class she created at the Painesville YMCA.

“We provide a judgment-free environment, where no one has to worry about how they look in a bathing suit. It’s a fantastic way to get a low-impact, productive workout without the added stress and strain on your joints due to the buoyancy of the water. This reduces pain, especially if you have arthritis or compromised joints. Doing water aerobics is fun and it enabled me to lose 25 pounds even before my surgery,” Grace said.

The class also provides another venue for Grace to discuss her bariatric surgery experience and sing the praises of Dr. Ben-Meir and his team.

“I know what it’s like to be obese and how it feels to not fit in. Society can be cruel. I want to shout from the rooftops that no one has to go through life feeling trapped and having to plan their entire life around being obese,” Grace said. “I’m so grateful to Dr. Ben-Meir and his staff. They’re genuinely kind and caring and they’ve helped me achieve the healthy and happy life I’ve always wanted.”

Since opening in July 2013, the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center has helped men and women successfully lose weight and improve their overall health. Weight-loss surgery is a potentially lifesaving treatment for obese individuals—those who are approximately 100 pounds or more overweight—who have not had success with traditional, weight-loss strategies such as diet modification, exercise, or medication. The Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center offers three surgical approaches for qualified candidates: laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.

With an emphasis on individualized care and exceptional service, the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center offers a full range of bariatric care services to support patients throughout the entire process, including physical and psychological pre-operative evaluation, free patient support groups, pre- and post-operative nutrition counseling and a lifelong follow-up plan to help patients commit to the lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain successful results.

“Bariatric surgery is not only about weight loss, it's about restoring health,” said Dr. Ben-Meir. “As pounds are shed, the majority of patients experience complete resolution or improvement of their high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, joint disease, acid reflux and a host of other obesity-associated diseases. This is a true measure of bariatric surgery’s success.”

To learn more about bariatric services at Lake Health, visit lakehealth.org/bariatric to view an online webinar or register for an upcoming educational seminar.

Brian J. Juriga, DO, Named Team Physician of the Year

Brian J. Juriga, DO, co-medical director of Sports Medicine at Lake Health, is one of three physicians named 2015 Team Physician of the Year by the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association (OATA). Dr. Juriga and the other honorees are being recognized for their dedication to student athletes and the schools they serve as well as for their support for the profession of athletic training. Dr. Juriga will receive the award on May 8 at OATA’s annual banquet.

Trained as a family physician with specialization in sports medicine, Dr. Juriga provides high quality, compassionate care to all levels of athletes and their families. Dr. Juriga, who insists on being called Brian by athletes and colleagues, has been the team physician for Mentor High School for the last eight years. In that time he has not only helped athletes overcome injuries and improve themselves physically and mentally but also encouraged them to excel on and off the field. In that same caring manner, Dr. Juriga has also taken on serving at three other schools in Lake County as the direct physician for once-a-week injury checks in an attempt to ensure all the athletes have timely and appropriate care.

“Brian is first and foremost a caring physician,” said John Smith, director of Sports Medicine at Lake Health who nominated Dr. Juriga for the award. “He goes above and beyond to provide outstanding care to all athletes, plus he understands the importance of athletics in the lives of children and young adults. Every day he demonstrates a passion for athletic training and a devotion that’s truly unique to our profession.”

Beyond his sports medicine practice, Dr. Juriga continues to work with the U.S. Paralympics ski team. This assignment has taken him to many places over the years, including Sochi, Russia, for the Paralympic Games in 2014. In each experience, Dr. Juriga has provided excellent care for patients and athletes and helped bolster morale and strengthen unity among the team.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Juriga was also recently named a Fellow by the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. Fellows are held in the highest esteem by the sports medicine community and are counted on to mentor and foster development of the Academy.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my colleagues at Lake Health and throughout the sports medicine community,” Dr. Juriga said. “The athletic trainers at Lake Health are the best of the best and I’m proud to be a member of the team.”

LAKE HEALTH APPOINTS JOHN BANIEWICZ, MD, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, March 2, 2015 – Lake Health has appointed John J. Baniewicz, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer. In this position, Dr. Baniewicz’s responsibilities include oversight of clinical quality, patient safety and evidence-based medical standards at Lake Health along with having overall responsibility for Medical Staff Services and Education. The administrative and clinical leadership of Lake Health Physician Group will continue to be part of his role, and he will also be heavily involved with physician recruitment.

Dr. Baniewicz joined Lake Health in June 1992. In February 2008, Dr. Baniewicz was appointed medical director of the Lake Health Center for Comprehensive Rehabilitation, a role he held until September 2013 when he was named Vice President of Lake Health Physician Group. In 2009, he was voted Physician of the Year at TriPoint Medical Center.

Dr. Baniewicz, who is a board-certified internist, earned his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in Rootstown and completed his residency at Akron City Hospital. He will continue to see patients at Lake Health Physician Group Mentor Internal Medicine.

Lake Health Initiatives Aim To Prevent Sleep-Related Infant Deaths and Reduce Early Scheduled Deliveries

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 31, 2015—Lake Health is on a mission to save lives by raising awareness of the number one cause of preventable infant death: unsafe sleeping environments. The health system recently stepped up efforts to keep babies safe and sound as they sleep by joining the Ohio Hospital Association’s Safe Sleep is Good4Baby, aninitiative launched last year to reduce Ohio’s infant mortality rate by helping ensure infants sleep safely.

Although the U.S. infant mortality rate has fallen steadily in recent decades, Ohio ranks fourth worst in the nation. Every year, more than 1,000 Ohio babies die before their first birthday because they were born too soon, didn’t receive proper prenatal care or slept in unsafe environments. Ohio averages three sleep-related infant deaths per week.

At Lake Health’s Family Birthing Suites at West Medical Center and TriPoint Medical Center, promoting safe sleep is a top priority.

“Putting babies to sleep in a safe way is key to the prevention of sudden unexpected infant death,” said Angie Quirk, director of Women's and Children's Services for Lake Health. “Our caregivers model the ABCs of safe sleep—Alone, on the Back, in a Crib—to show parents and families the type of sleeping environment that is safest for their babies. By teaching and demonstrating these methods we hope to bring more awareness to this issue and reduce the number of preventable deaths.”

Eliminating behaviors that put infants at risk such as co-sleeping and exposure to secondhand smoke are emphasized throughout prenatal care and in parent education classes. Crib signage, posters, discharge instructions and educational materials provided by The Safe Sleep is Good4Baby program reinforce the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that infants should:

Always be placed on their backs to sleep

Sleep alone in a crib or bassinet

Not have blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, toys or pets in their cribs

Sleep on a firm crib mattress with the mattress covered only by a fitted sheet

To further enhance safety, Lake Health no longer uses traditional blankets to keep babies warm. All babies born at Lake Health are now swaddled in a HALOÒ SleepSack wearable blanket. The SleepSack, with fabric flaps that hold baby's arms close to the body, makes swaddling safer and easier by giving babies a secure feeling and freedom of leg movement without danger of loose fabric around the head. All parents receive a new SleepSack to take home thanks to a generous grant from the Hershey Foundation and the Lake Health Foundation. Parents who deliver at Lake Health also receive other gifts including a Lake County Captains’ sleep cap and game tickets.

In addition to in-hospital efforts to educate new parents and families, Lake Health has teamed up with the Lake County Family and Children First Council, Lake County General Health District and local fire departments to raise awareness of sleep-related infant death in the community. Safe sleep messages will soon appear on billboards throughout the county and on the Facebook pages of the local partner agencies, including Lake Health.

To help babies get the healthiest start, Lake Health is also participating in the Ohio Hospital Association’s 39+ Weeks is Good4Baby initiative to reduce early elective deliveries. The program complements the policy Lake Health implemented two years ago prohibiting scheduled cesarean sections and labor inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary. Since that time the rate of scheduled births between 36 and 38 weeks gestation without a documented medical indication declined from 30 percent to less than 5 percent. And more importantly, the number of babies admitted to neonatal intensive care also decreased.

“Full-term pregnancy benefits babies in so many ways," explained Liese Vito, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Lake Health. “The last weeks of pregnancy, although they can be uncomfortable, are very important. Babies aren’t just putting on weight—they’re undergoing critical development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs.”

According to the March of Dimes, each year in Ohio more than 17,000 babies are born before 37 weeks gestation putting them at higher risk for infant death, as well as breathing problems, bloodstream infections and other serious medical complications. As these premature babies grow, they are also more likely to develop significant health problems such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and vision and hearing problems.

For expectant parents who are anxious to meet their newborn, patience and education is key. Lake Health obstetricians and midwives act as partners to support and educate expectant parents about the benefits of a 39-week or longer pregnancy and the dangers early deliveries can pose.

“While every pregnancy carries risks, the risks to the baby are higher if all organs are not developed completely,” Dr. Vito said. “At times, fetal or maternal complications necessitate delivery prior to 39 weeks gestation. Although modern medicine makes it possible for premature infants to survive and even thrive, research shows we shouldn’t force labor or delivery until both mom and baby are ready. It’s a triumph to ‘go the distance’—all the way to full term.”

Women who choose to give birth early may also face their own health challenges. Studies show they have stronger, more frequent contractions during labor; are more likely to experience postpartum depression; and have an increased chance of requiring a C-section. Women who have a C-section have a greater risk of infection and a longer recovery time than women who had a vaginal birth.

“Infant mortality is a complex and multifaceted issue touching multiple areas of maternal and child health—from prenatal care of pregnant women to safe sleep positions for babies. Through our in-hospital initiatives and outreach efforts, we’re committed to reducing infant mortality in Lake and surrounding counties and improving quality of life for both mothers and their newborns,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health.

Lake Health Pediatricians Urge Parents to Vaccinate Children to Prevent Measles

Foreign travel and parents not vaccinating their children are among the reasons for the recent rise in the number of measles cases across the United States.

What you need to know about the measles:

•Measles is common in many parts of the world.

•It is a highly contagious respiratory disease that spreads through the air or on infected surfaces. According to the CDC, the measles virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

•Measles cause a rash, high fever, runny nose, cough, and red watery eyes.

•Measles can be serious; of every 1,000 people who get measles, 1 to 2 will die.
According to Lake Health Pediatrician, Marni Turell, MD, the measles vaccine is safe and one of the most important ways parents can protect their children from this very real disease. Dr.Turell recommends children receive the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at age 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years.

Lake Health Wins Gold: Healthy Ohio Worksite Award

CONCORD TWP., OH, February 4, 2015 – The Ohio Department of Health and the Health Ohio Business Council has awarded Lake Health with the Gold Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award. The award recognizes Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs. Forty six Ohio employers were recognized.

Lake Health was recognized for its wellness fitness programs for team members, including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Tai Chi, and continuing their employee wellness program, which is a comprehensive wellness program that includes awareness, identification and recruitment of team members, peer wellness coaching, and creating a healthier workplace environment. Through this program, team members are encouraged to complete a health risk assessment with biometric screenings and participate in wellness coaching to develop wellness goals. Wellness coaching takes place over a six-month period with weekly and then monthly contact with a wellness coach.

Other wellness activities offered through the Lake Health Wellness Institute include a 12-week employee health and fitness program in partnership with Health 360; a five-month fitness challenge; personal health profiles; medical nutrition therapy; the Weight 4 Life anytime weight management program; stress management program; outpatient services including acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy and annual employee health fairs.

Through our comprehensive wellness program we have been able to tailor services to our team members needs as well as help set individual wellness goals and assist our team members in meeting their goals,” said Sharon Minjares, MBA,MS, RD, LD, director of the Wellness Institute at Lake Health.

Read more: Lake Health Wins Gold: Healthy Ohio Worksite Award