Carilion Clinic: 2007

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Virginia Team Brings Home National Championship.

Pictured from Left; Linda Cochran, RRT; Chase Poulson, RRT; Jeffrey Bobbitt, RRT; not pictured, Linda Stone, RRT

A team from Virginia brought home a coveted national championship in December. The field of competition was not athletics, it was health care. The team of four respiratory therapists representing the Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS), Carilion Clinic and Northern Virginia Community College won the 30th Annual “Sputum Bowl” competition at the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) Annual meeting on December 4th in Orlando.

While the name is intended to be humorous (sputum is defined as stuff you cough up – the trophy is a giant golden spittoon) the 30-year-old competition itself is quite serious. Respiratory therapists help people breathe, and are critically important health care providers. The competition focuses on improving clinical knowledge and decision-making skills.

“The questions that they ask you are very technical, its not trivia, there is a lot of application,” said Chase Poulson, who is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) on the JCHS faculty. JCHS faculty member Linda Cochran, RRT, called the win “one of the biggest rushes of my professional career, above my degrees and getting my diploma.” The four person team also included Jeffrey Bobbit RRT, a respiratory therapist with Roanoke’s Carilion Clinic, and Linda Stone, RRT, an instructor at Northern Virginia Community College.

The road to the Sputum Bowl begins with state and regional competitions which culminate in the annual “Final Four” matches at the AARC national convention. The competition uses “Jeopardy-style” questions that would likely challenge the best Jeopardy players. This year’s finalists had to identify a picture of Amedeo Avogadro, the Italian physicist who developed Avogadro’s Law, which relates to the number of molecules contained in equal volumes of gases at the same temperature and pressure. They also were asked to describe the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation (pH = pKa + log [base]/[acid]) which is used to measure acidity (pH) in biological and chemical systems. All of this to take home a replica of the giant golden spittoon (aka, The Sputum Bowl) and the bragging rights of a national champion.

“This is huge in the respiratory field,” said Bobbitt. “It really means a lot to us, we are national champs for one whole year.”

Friday, December 14, 2007

Recent News Media Coverage

In case you missed it, Carilion was in the news on WDBJ-TV this week. Click on the video below to watch:

Healthcheck story on Carilion Clinic Pediatric Emergency Department. (Sorry about the video distortion at the beginning - bad tape) 12/13

Coverage and Reaction to Governor Kaine's announcement about higher education funding, that includes $59 million for construction of the joint medical school planned by Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech. 12/13

Coverage on the ongoing construction on the Riverside Development at the Jefferson and Reserve site. 12/12

A Cancer Survivor comes back to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital to release balloons and bring a message of hope to patients.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Media Advisory - Potential Stories

During the holidays, it can be difficult to find non-holiday stories. Here are some possibilities. If you are interested, email me to arrange an interview.

Protect Yourself From Head Injuries.
Whether you're into roller blades, skateboards, extreme sports or just driving down the interstate, an accident can change your life forever if you sustain a serious head injury.
A surgeon with Carilion Neurosurgical Care is available to talk about protecting yourself to
avoid serious disability.

In addition, Carilion neurosurgeons can discuss

  • Sports-related head injuries, when to get back into the game after a concussion
  • Breakthroughs in brain tumor treatment
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Spinal fractures and spinal cord injury (when is surgery useful to treat pain from back injuries?)
  • Surgical treatment for Epilepsy and Parkinson's Disease

High profile medication overdose in
California could boost the use of medication bar code systems.

Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife recently filed a lawsuit related to a mix-up that caused their twins to receive a medication overdose. Apparently a pharmacy tech placed vials containing 10 units and 10,000 units of the medication in the same drawer.
Bedside bar code technology, used by Carilion hospitals for the past few years, can prevent such accidents.

Hospital Emergency Rooms unprepared for children.

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that most hospital ER's are not well prepared to treat children. Only 6% of the hospitals who responded to the survey had all the recommended medicine and equipment. Fortunately here in Western Virginia, the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital features a Pediatric Emergency Department. Our specialist in pediatric emergency medicine, Lisa Uherick, MD, can talk about our focus on peds emergency care. She could also talk about holiday and post-holiday injury prevention.

Peanut Allergies Striking Younger Children

A Duke University study finds that children are being exposed to peanuts at a much younger age, and are having allergic reactions much earlier as well.

This despite recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children avoid peanuts until age 3. Contact me to arrange an interview with a Pediatric Allergy Specialists.

Carilion Clinic Rehabilitation Using Christopher Reeve Exercise Cycle
One of the challenges people with spinal cord injuries face is maintaining muscle tone, in hopes that one day researchers will find a way to repair the injury. Following his accident, Christopher Reeve used the ERGYS 2. Carilion Rehabilitation Services now has an ERGYS 2 that is being used by area patients. We can arrange an interview with a rehabilitation specialist and a patient currently using the machine. Check out video from the ERGYS 2 site here.

Carilion Family Medicine Recognized for Improving Childhood Immunization
The American Association of Family Physicians Foundation and Wyeth Vaccines have given Carilion Family Medicine a 2007 "Most Improved" award for their work to increase the number of children receiving vaccinations. Carilion used data from its electronic medical record to identify children whose vaccines were not current.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Mr. Smile"

Why is Tom Adams smiling? 6 years ago, the room where he is standing at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital was an empty shell, and thousands of children in the region who needed dental care were in pain because no dentists accepted Medicaid. In addition, pediatric dentists were nearly impossible to recruit.
Today, Tom stands in the newly-expanded Carilion Dental Care - Pediatrics - having raised $1.5 million for the expansion. Tom would also want us to thank the Virginia Health Care Foundation for its continuing support of the project.
The original Pediatric Dental Clinic was dedicated in April, 2001 with one very busy dentist.
The Clinic now has 3 dentists providing care for children, has doubled in size to 3750 square feet, and treated more than 900 patients last month. Carilion is honoring Tom this week because he is retiring... sort-of, he'll still be working with the Dental Clinic part-time. Thanks Tom!! You've helped put smiles on thousands of tiny faces!

The Roanoke Times had more nice things to say about Tom this article in Wednesday's business section.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Congratulations to Nancy Agee, Chairman-Elect of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association

Nancy Howell Agee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Carilion Clinic, was named Chairman-Elect of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) at the Association’s 81st Annual Meeting of the Membership.

VHHA formed in 1926 as a trade association of Virginia hospitals with the mission of helping members improve the health status of the communities they serve. VHHA’s activities focus on four areas: representation and advocacy, education, communication and health care data.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nobody wants to be in the hospital for Thanksgiving - but if you have to, Carilion dietitians and Food Service Partner chefs provide a taste of home

When you sit down to a home-cooked meal of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce, so will hundreds of patients, their families and staff at Carilion Clinic hospitals around the region. Thanks to chefs, dietitians and others working together, it will look and taste a little bit like home. (yes the plate you see above is an actual meal prepared by the folks at Food Service Partners, who operate Carilion Clinic's central kitchen in Roanoke. (FSP operates kitchens in San Francisco, New York and Roanoke)

Because many hospital patients are on restricted diets, the chefs and dietitians have developed recipes that can be safely eaten by just about anyone - without sacrificing taste. For Thanksgiving, it means buying additive & preservative - free turkeys, using low-fat cooking ingredients, sugar substitutes and a special variety of spices that give the food flavor without adding salt (how does it taste? keep reading!) And then ship it out by the truckload! (Food is prepared one day in advance, and shipped out at 5 a.m. each morning, to make sure it arrives fresh)

Roanoke Times reporter Christina Rogers and photographer Justin Cook recently visited our central kitchen for their Thanksgiving article "Cooking for the Masses". We thought you might like to see part of the tour. Many thanks to Executive Chef Jay Brinkley for coordinating a fascinating tour!

How do you roast 800 pounds of turkey? You use a "turkey tank"!

The tank uses hot water - the boneless turkeys are sealed in plastic bags so the water never touches them - they are roasted by the heat. When they're done, the tank circulates super-cooled water around the turkeys taking them from above 140 degrees to below 40 degrees in minutes (this keeps the meat fresh). The turkey is re-heated in a special oven at the hospital.

Here you seen green beans being strained, 50 pounds at a time. You might notice that our kitchen is a lot like yours - pots and pans and utensils - just bigger (ok, you probably don't have a winch and chain)

Rice Pilaf is also on the Thanksgiving menu. Here it is prepared in very large stainless steel bowls and sealed in plastic bags for delivery to the hospital kitchens where it will be re-heated and served. (nothing is frozen, the food is chilled to below 40 degrees, but not frozen to protect quality and flavor - major restaurant chains often use the same technique).

I love the gravy machine! Once the gravy (or soup, etc) is done, the machine extracts it from the pot and stores it in sealed bags for easy delivery

The finished product looks something like this - Its a bit like having an executive chef come to your house, plan your menu, preparing your meal, serve it, and clean your kitchen. But how does it taste?

For an unbiased opinion, we invited Christina and Justin to sample the Thanksgiving menu for themselves - see the results on the video below.

One interesting note - in addition to preparing food for all the Carilion Clinic hospitals each day, the kitchen also prepares daily meals for the patients and staff at the 800 bed INOVA Fairfax hospital. Northern Virginia knows where to come for good food!

Media Note - Thanksgiving Holiday/weekend

When I get home from work today, I strongly suspect my blackberry will be confiscated. If you need assistance with media-related issues between now and Monday, call the media pager number. If you don't have it, call the main Carilion Clinic switchboard at 540-981-7000 and ask them to page media-relations person on call.
Hospitals and news outlets don't close for the holidays, but I hope all of you get to spend at least some time at home with your families and/or loved ones. That said, if something hits the fan and you need information, page me.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Carilion Clinic Breaks Ground for Outpatient Facility

Members of Carilion Clinic's leadership team and Roanoke City Manager Darlene Burcham ceremonially broke ground for the Clinic's new, 200,000 square foot outpatient facility in Roanoke. The building will serve a a cornerstone of sorts for the Riverside development, which will include an existing office building, the outpatient facility, a 1500 space parking garage and the college of medicine/research institute being jointly developed by Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech.

It was a bit of a blustery morning, so the event began in the adjacent building, but the skies cleared and the wind died down just in time to break out the golden shovels and break ground on the site itself.

Following the groundbreaking, participates and guests warmed up with a cup of coffee in the nearby Riverside Center building, where they were able to catch a panoramic view of the construction site, and see renderings of the finished project.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Media Alert - Carilion Clinic Groundbreaking - Thursday Morning - November 15th - 9:00 a.m.

Members of the media are invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Carilion Clinic outpatient facility on the corner of Jefferson and Reserve. Members of the Clinic leadership team will wield the ceremonial shovels. In addition, information will be released concerning Carilion Clinic's economic impact on the region, including jobs created and tax revenue generated (the numbers may surprise you).

Use the parking lot entrance by the existing Riverside Building, off Jefferson, right across from Roanoke City Mills.
Members of the Clinic leadership team will be available for media interviews following the ceremony.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Cynda Ann Johnson, MD, MBA will join the college of medicine, jointly operated by Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic - in January, 2008

Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech are very pleased to announce that Cynda Ann Johnson, MD, MBA, has accepted the position of Founding Dean of the Clinic and University’s joint College of Medicine. Dr. Johnson comes to Roanoke from East Carolina University, where she was Dean and Professor of Family Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine. She most recently served as ECU’s Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research.

“Dr. Johnson brings a broad and distinguished career as a physician leader, educator, academician, and national leader in healthcare and medical education,” said Carilion President and CEO, Edward G. Murphy, MD. “Her experience and strengths will complement the strong faculty at Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech and further provide the leadership and vision needed to successfully develop and launch our new medical school.”

“This appointment is another step in our journey toward a successful medical school and enhanced translational research programs,” said Virginia Tech President Dr. Charles Steger. “Together we will continue to grow a dynamic and energetic relationship between Virginia Tech, Carilion and the Roanoke Valley which provides leadership in medical education, transforms health care delivery in our region, and contributes important research which informs the well-being and healthcare of our communities.”

Dr. Johnson graduated from Stanford University and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Kansas and a fellowship in Faculty Development at the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. She served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at both the University of Iowa and the University of Kansas. She has been a long time director of the American Board of Medical Specialties, currently serving as Board Chair. Her national leadership roles are numerous across medical education, the field of family medicine, and as an advocate for women in medicine.

“We will benefit greatly from her experience and wisdom leading medical schools and being a national thought leader in medical education,” said Carilion Chief Medical Officer Mark Werner, MD. “Her experience, insights, and wisdom about the role and approaches to translation research will help us to further energize the work already underway across Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic.”

Dr. Johnson will be a member of the Deans Council at Virginia Tech working alongside her fellow deans and with the Provost’s office to integrate the medical school into the University and assure collaborative supportive relationships across Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic, and the medical school. She will be a senior physician leader within Carilion Clinic working alongside the Clinic’s clinical chairs and Chief Medical Officer to provide the same integration and collaboration in their efforts devoted to excellence in medical education, research, and patient care.

Dr. Johnson will begin her role as Dean in January of 2008. The college of medicine will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2010.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Parking Garage Construction Underway

Like putting together a 3-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, the new parking structure at the Carilion Clinic Riverside Center site is already three stories high. Things began moving quickly once the foudation was in place, as cranes began lowering the pre-fabricated sections into place.
The 450,000 square foot structure will hold 1500 cars, and serve the Riverside Center office building, the new Carilion Clinic Outpatient Facility currently undergoing site preparation and the College of Medicine and research institute being jointly developed by Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Blueprint for Saving Lives: Carilion Clinic’s “Heart Alert” Program

Dave Cole, who has developed architectural designs most of his life, was recently saved by a different kind of design — a protocol called “Heart Alert” that outlines steps of treatment for heart attack patients.

Cole worked on the design and architecture of Roanoke County’s Fort Lewis Fire & Rescue Station 9, the same station that came to his aid when he suffered a heart attack in his Salem home.

Station 9 is one of many local fire and rescue stations that had been trained in the program, which was designed by Carilion Clinic to diagnose and treat heart attack victims as quickly and efficiently as possible. It was this program’s design that got Cole from his home to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital’s (CRMH) catheterization lab, where he received the life-saving treatment he needed.

Cole, 54, recently had the opportunity to go back to the building he helped design to meet and thank the rescue team that saved his life, including paramedic Chad Wheeler. In the picture above Cole (left) meets Wheeler (right) for the first time while Dr. Paul Frantz, the Director of Carilion Clinic Cardiac Services looks in.

Wheeler put his Heart Alert training to the test when he picked up Cole, who lived only minutes from the station. Using a 12-lead heart monitor, or electrocardiogram, Wheeler was able to diagnose Cole en route to the hospital, saving time and ultimately saving Cole’s life.

“We train day and night for this,” Wheeler said. “It’s a great feeling to be able to help.”

Wheeler, and Roanoke County Fire & Rescue, began training with the Heart Alert program in February. Station 9 was one of the first stations in the area to implement the program. The protocol is designed to expedite treatment in heart attack patients, when time matters most. Using the Heart Alert program, paramedics are able to identify a heart attack in the field and notify CRMH while en route. This allows them to bypass the ER completely and gives the medical staff in the heart catheterization lab ample time to prepare for the patient and get them the treatment they need as quickly as possible.

“It was one efficient process,” Cole stated. “They knew what they were doing, having had the training that Carilion set up. Everybody had a role and did it, and I’m the one that benefited. I’m living proof that the program’s working.”

Paul Frantz, M.D., medical director for Carilion Clinic’s Cardiac Program, was instrumental in bringing the Heart Alert program to life. He said that through the program, “We’ve been able to dramatically reduce the time it takes to get a patient into treatment, and I believe we are saving more lives as a result.”

Cole is now in cardiac rehab through Carilion Clinic.

He said, “We might build the structure, but it’s the people and the programs that make a medic unit. I’ve got a second chance because of these guys.”

Carilion Clinic’s Heart Alert program has been in operation for more than three years and has already treated over 500 patients. Through its coordinated transportation plan and involvement with 13 community hospitals, as well as local fire and rescue stations, the program has a service radius of over 200 miles.

Listen to Dave Cole tell his story.

Television News Coverage of Dave Cole and the Carilion Clinic Heart Alert program.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


New guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children be screened for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at 18 and 24 months. According to Carilion Clinic Developmental Pediatrician Kathryn Kerkering, M.D., in addition to formal screenings, doctors need to be aware of the signs of ASD, and take the time to ask parents or caregivers about the child's behavior and development at every well child visit.

"Early diagnosis and intervention is extremely important," Dr. Kerkering says. "While there is no cure, we can significantly improve a child's ability to interact with the world, and earlier treatment leads to better outcomes."

Subtle signs that can lead to early diagnosis include:

  • not turning when the parent says the baby's name
  • not turning to look when the parent points and says, "look at..." and not pointing to themselves to show parents an interesting object or event
  • lack of back and forth babbling
  • smiling late
  • failure to make eye contact with people.

More information about autism is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics at The AAP news release is here. You can also download an autism checklist.

MEDIA - email us to schedule an interview with Dr. Kerkering,

Monday, October 29, 2007

Media Update - 10/29 3:30 p.m. - Community Hospital Status Report - Most Services Back to Normal Tomorrow (Tuesday)

Repair work continues on the damage caused by Friday's water leak, however enough power has been restored to allow most services at Community Hospital to return to their regular schedule.

The Urgent Care Center at Community will be back on its regular schedule tomorrow (Tuesday October 30). The Urgent Care Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 7-days-a-week.

Carilion Occupational Medicine will be open and on its regular schedule.

Carilion's Wound Care Center will be open and on its regular schedule.

Endoscopy services at Community Hospital will be open and on its regular schedule.

Imaging services at Community Hospital will be open on a limited basis. Patients with imaging appointments should call to verify the appointment before they come.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

MEDIA ALERT - Community Hospital Update 10/28 - 3:00 p.m. Urgent Care re-opens at 10:00 a.m. See below for details on other services

Partial Power has been restored to Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, allowing Urgent Care and some other services to reopen on Monday. Some services will be closed or relocated - see the list below for details.

URGENT CARE - Open at 10:00 a.m.
The Urgent Care Center at Community Hospital will re-open Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. The delayed opening will allow staff to throughly test all equipment affected by the power outage. (Staff should report to work at the usual time)

Medical problems appropriate for Urgent Care include:
Minor cuts & lacerations
Colds, coughs, sore throat
Skin rashes
Insect bites / minor dog bites
Minor cooking burns
Minor infections

The Carilion Wound Care Center is OPEN on Monday - normal business hours.

Carilion Occupational Medicine, located on the first floor of Community Hospital near the Urgent Care Entrance is OPEN on Monday - normal business hours

The medical offices surrounding Community Hospital, including offices at the Community Medical Building and the Pediatric Clinic, will be open for business as usual on Monday.

IMAGING - Closed
The imaging department at Community Hospital will be closed on Monday (this includes X-ray, CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, etc). Patients with imaging appointments on Monday will be contacted with re-scheduling information.
Patients who have not been contacted can call the scheduler at 853-0756

ENDOSCOPY - Closed/Relocated

The endoscopy center at Community Hospital will be closed on Monday. All procedures scheduled for Monday are being moved to Carilion Surgical Care - Brambleton, located at 3707 Brambleton Avenue. Patients will be contacted. See the map below for the location of Carilion Surgical Care - Brambleton.

View Larger Map

Friday, October 26, 2007

(Updated - 5:20 p.m.)Community Hospital Update - Urgent Care Relocated to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Through the Weekend

The Urgent Care Center at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital will temporarily relocate to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Saturday and Sunday.
Urgent Care patients should go to the Roanoke Memorial Emergency Department.

A 400,000 watt supplemental generator will be installed at Community Hospital over the weekend to restore normal power to key parts of the building while the electrical system is being repaired.

On Sunday, we will decide whether or not to move Urgent Care back to Community Hospital.

Update - The office buildings around Community Hospital, including the Community Medical Building, are not affected by the power outage, but lost some telephone and computer service as a result of the power failure. Repair crews will be working over the weekend to restore power to these systems so the medical offices will be able to re-open on Monday. We will update the status through the weekend.

Media Alert - Rain Causes Electrical Problem at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital - Urgent Care, Other Offices Closed

A water leak caused by heavy rain shorted out an electrical panel in a mechanical room Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital this afternoon. Part of the building was briefly evacuated. The short caused some smoke in the immediate area, but the smoke did not spread through the building. There was no fire.

The hospital generator is supplying emergency power to the building, but there are power and telephone outages in non-essential areas and the adjacent Community Medical Building.

As of 3:00, the Urgent Care Center at Community Hospital is closed, and medical offices at Community Hospital and the adjacent medical office building are closed. Patients who have appointments this afternoon should plan to reschedule.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Important Halloween Safety Message from Carilion Safe Kids!

(MEDIA - if you would like to interview someone with Carilion Safe Kids about Halloween safety, email me)

Halloween is an exciting holiday for children, but they can be vulnerable to injury on this night.

To ensure trick-or-treaters stay safe, Carilion Safe Kids recommends that children:

• always trick-or-treat with an adult until age 10
• only trick-or-treat in familiar areas that are well lit
• cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks look left, right and left again when crossing; always walk, don’t run, when crossing streets
• make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are turning or backing up
• walk on sidewalks or paths; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
• never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars
• wear light-colored, flame-retardant, costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers
• wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls
• carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers
• wear face paint and makeup; a mask can restrict a child’s vision

Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:

• be especially alert in residential neighborhoods drive more slowly and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on and near the road
• be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances take extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
• remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle
• enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
• remember that children are excited on this night and may move in unpredictable ways remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
• reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and pedestrians

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carilion Clinic

Flu Shot Schedule

Please call 266-6000 or 1-800-422-8482 for information, unless otherwise noted. Must be at least 18 years old to receive a shot. Cost: $20 (cash or checks only please).


Nov.1 – Jefferson Center (in conjunction with Women’s Health University)

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 – Carilion Medical Center Pharmacy

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Carilion Medical Center Pharmacy

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Nov. 6 – Roanoke Athletic Club

10 a.m.-noon

Franklin County

Nov. 2 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

8-10:30 a.m. & 1-3 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Nov. 7 – Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

2 – 4 p.m.

Nov. 13 – Franklin County Family YMCA

4-7 p.m.


Nov. 4 – Trinity Ecumenical Parish

7-11 a.m.

Please call 721-4330 to register.

Nov. 10 – Resurrection Catholic Church
Following Mass
Please call 297-5530 to register.

Nov. 11 – Resurrection Catholic Church

Following Mass

Please call 297-5530 to register.


Nov. 7 – Botetourt Athletic Club
10 a.m.-noon


Nov. 3 – Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Please call 458-3557 to register.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Carilion Pole Day!

Steve Arner, Carilion Clinic Vice President for Cardiac Services, waves the green flag to kick off Carilion Poll day 2007 at the Martinsville Speedway.

Check out his flag technique and Pole winner Jeff Gordon in the short video below - great job Steve!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What You Need to Know About MRSA

Alice Ackerman, MD, Chair of Pediatrics for Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital says be aware, use reasonable caution, but don't be too worried about MRSA, and don't let it change your everyday approach to life.
According to Dr. Ackerman MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has actually been occurring in communities across the country for years.
"It's actually happening here later than in many other communities around the country," Ackerman says. "In the bigger cities this has been a problem for the last five to ten years."

(Watch Dr. Ackerman's interview on AP-TV)

She says people should use normal common sense and pay attention to cleanliness.

"If something is overtly soiled, change it or wash it. I would not keep children home from school. Really understanding that this organism is probably much more prevalent than we know. It would make just as much sense to stay home from the local YMCA or WalMart as it would to stay home from school."
According to Dr. Ackerman, if you have
any kind of skin lesion, you should keep it clean and keep it covered. If it doesn't start getting better, see your doctor. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of any kind of infection.

More information about MRSA from the Virginia Department of Health is available here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Helicopters Over Roanoke!

Wednesday, October 10 was a busy day for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital - particularly for Carilion Patient Transportation Services (affectionately called CPTS around here).

A plane crash
and unrelated heart attack resulted in three in-bound medical flights arriving at the hospital at about the same time. Carilion LifeGuard 11 and a Virginia State Police medevac helicopter responded to the small plane crash in Hillsville, while LifeGuard 10 responded to a Heart Alert emergency in the New River Valley (Heart Alert is a Carilion program to identify heart attack patients at the surrounding community hospitals and fly them directly to the hospital's heart catheterization lab for treatment.

Here is some video of the whole thing (low quality - sorry, this is from a digital still camera)

Carilion LifeGuard 10 landed on the rooftop helipad first with the Heart Alert patient, kept the rotors turning and took off as soon as the patient was safely off the pad. As LifeGuard 10 left the pad in one diretion, LifeGuard 11 circled around from the other direction and landed with the first plane crash victim. As that victim was being taken off the helicopter, the State Police helicopter landed at the Carilion LifeGuard hangar down the street and the second plane crash victim was transported the remaining short distance to the Emergency Department by ground ambulance. The plane crash victims are listed in fair condition. The Carilion Patient Transportation Service dispatch center did an incredible job coordinating the incoming helicopter and ground traffic!
The Carilion helicopter crews have flow 7 missions so far today. Its not unusual for Carilion Roanoke Memorial to have three in-bound helicopters, though it is uncommon for they all to land within a ten-minute window.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Carilion Clinic Joins Sepsis Research

Carilion Clinic's Research Department recently joined an interesting clinical trial. "Sepsis" is a medical term referring to what happens when an infection overwhelms the body. It can be fatal. The body's reaction to the infection ends up causing the damage.
Here is the news release we just sent out:


Carilion Clinic Research has joined a national clinical trial to test the drug’s

safety and effectiveness

ROANOKE, Va. (October 4, 2007) Carilion Clinics’ Department of Research has joined a national study to test the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for severe Sepsis – an often fatal reaction to severe bacterial infection. Sepsis occurs when a fast-spreading bacterial infection causes the body’s immune system to overreact.

“Our cells have receptors that recognize the presence of bacteria and react – we’ve all seen that happen when a small cut or scrape turns red and begins to swell,” said Dr. Ashok Amin, Carilion Clinic’s Vice President for Research. “If the infection spreads throughout the body through blood, then the whole body reacts.”

As a result the patient suffers from rapid, uncontrolled inflammation, which can cause shock, organ failure and death. Because the reaction occurs so quickly, it can be difficult to control with medications currently available. As a result, the condition is frequently fatal.

“Nationally, more than 200,000 intensive care patients die as a result of sepsis each year, and our options for treating them are very limited,” said Alexander Levitov, MD, the study’s Principal Investigator for Carilion Clinic.

The study, sponsored by Eisai Medical Research Inc., is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a drug called Eritoran tetrasodium. The drug is designed to prevent inflammation by blocking the interaction between the bacteria and cell receptors.

“The hope is that if we can reduce sepsis-related inflammation and damage, we can treat the infection with antibiotics and the patient will recover,” Levitov said.

The trial is being conducted at sites across the United States and abroad, and will involve 2000 patients.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Loneliest Road Campaign visits Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital

We had an incredible visit this morning from the Loneliest Road Campaign! They're a group of 7 fathers who have children with neuroblastoma, an aggressive pediatric cancer. They're trying to raise $3 million for potentially life-saving treatments currently unavailable due to a lack of funding. Their efforts could help their own children, and thousands of others, including children in Southwest Virginia who are fighting this disease. For more information, including a link to the campaign's web site, check out our story at
You can also follow their progress on their blog.

Dr. Alice Ackerman, Carilion Chair of Pediatrics, and Dr. Joan Fisher, Pediatric Oncologist, welcome the cyclists to Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital and join them for a news conference.

Dr. Fisher conducts a tour of the Children's Hospital

Click for video of the Loneliest Road crew leaving on the next leg of their journey - have a safe trip guys!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Patient Services Remaining at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital

With all the discussion about moving in-patient services out of Community Hospital, we should also list the services that will remain at CRCH, including:

  • Urgent Care - Beginning Friday morning, 8/21 - 7:30 am to 10:00 pm daily, including weekends
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Endoscopy
  • Wound Care
  • Pediatric Dental
  • Lactation Center
  • Imaging: X-ray, CT and Ultrasound, Monday through Friday - 8 am to 4:30 pm

Move Follow-up, pictures

Ambulances line up outside Community Hospital before 8:00 a.m. , prepared to begin moving patients from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)Meanwhile, nurses make final preparations in the new PICU at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
PICU staff welcome Lucas Abbott, the first patient moved into the new facility this morning. Thanks to Lucas's family for letting us share these pictures, and thanks to Carilion photographer Darryle Arnold for these, and many of the other move pictures posted on this blog!

10:17 Move update - Move complete!

The last pediatric patient from Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital arrived at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital at 10:16. The move is now complete. Over the past 3 days, we have moved a total of 83 patients.
A big thank you to everyone involved in planning and supporting the move.

We will be posting some additional pictures of the first patient to arrive at CRMH a little bit later this morning.

10:10 Move update - Last pediatric patient leaves Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital

The last pediatric patient has left Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. The Pediatric Unit at Community Hospital is now closed.

10:00 Move update - PICU move complete

The last patient from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital has been transferred to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. The PICU at Community Hospital is now closed. Patients will begin moving from the Pediatric Unit shortly.

9:30 Move update - Parking information

Good Morning! The second phase of the move continues on schedule.

Media - if possible, please let your viewers, readers, listeners know that visitors to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital need to be aware of a new parking configuration. We have added a new section to the old Bellview parking garage. The entire garage has been renovated.
The entrance formerly used by the public at the top floor of the garage on Bellview is now an exit. Visitors can no longer enter the parking garage from Bellview Avenue. Visitors to the hospital should follow the blue and white signs to the new parking entance on Hamilton Terrace.