Carilion Clinic: 2008

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Monday, December 15, 2008

VTC Construction Continues

Construction on the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine continues moving forward, though much of the progress isn't visible above ground. You may have noticed what appears to be a large funnel appearing in various places on the site. Workers are creating "Geopiers" - drilling holes and filling them with a stone aggregate material to create solid foundation columns that go down through loose soil to rest on firmer layers.


The other buildings in the Riverside Center, Riverside 1 and the Carilion Clinic outpatient facility, also rest on Geopiers.







Thursday, December 11, 2008

Carilion Clinic Publishes Community Benefit Report

Carilion Clinic has published its first "Community Benefit Report". The report was distributed as in insert in the December 11 edition of the Roanoke Times. It is also available online. You can download the report as a PDF file here.

The Internal Revenue Service has defined "community benefit" for not-for-profit hospitals to include
  • Charity Care (the actual cost of providing the service)
  • Health professions education - training doctors, nurses and other health professionals who will provide care in our communities
  • Critical Community Services - what the health care organization spends to underwrite vital health services that lose money, and would not otherwise be available. Examples include trauma care, medical helicopters, pediatric cancer care, etc.
  • Grants and Contributions to support health-related initiatives in the community.
  • Community Outreach - educational programs, health fairs, free health screenings, etc. provided to the public.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dr. Jeffrey George and his daughter, Hannah


Dr. Jeffrey George and his daughter Hannah, died in a traffic accident on the afternoon of December 3rd. Dr. George joined Carilion Clinic as a cardiothoracic surgeon almost two years ago. We are stunned and devastated by this loss and share the sorrow of their family and friends.

Dr. George's co-workers remember his love for his family, his commitment to his patients and the community, his humor and his friendship.

Dr. Joseph Rowe, who works with Dr. George at Carilion Cardiothoracic Surgery said, "If I were to make a list of a handful of people that I thought were really living their life as the best person that they could possibly be, from a spiritual standpoint, from a family standpoint, from a community standpoint, from an intellectual standpoint, Jeff would be on the short list of people that I would name and I think that he was a guy who could honestly say that he had no regrets about anything that he'd ever done or said.... there aren't that many people you could say that about."

Family, friends and colleagues can express their condolences here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Star Line Trolley Starts November 13th!

The Star Line Trolley begins a regular route between Downtown Roanoke and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Thursday, November 13th.
The Trolley was unveiled for the media today - pictures and Valley Metro's news release are below.








HELLO, TROLLEY!
The Star Line to Debut Nov. 13
New trolley network to connect downtown Roanoke with Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

ROANOKE, Va. (Nov. 12, 2008) – Hop aboard! There’s a new – and free – way to get around.
The Star Line, a new trolley bus with a nostalgic design, debuts Nov. 13 with a weekday loop connecting downtown Roanoke with Carilion Memorial Hospital and stops in between.
With its nostalgic red-and-beige paint to vintage wooden seats, the Star Line, operated by Valley Metro, will run every 10 minutes Mondays through Fridays – and seven minutes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to serve the lunch crowd.
The downtown trolley network aims to provide hospital employees, patients and their families, downtown workers and visitors a convenient alternative to get around without having to drive and find parking.
Carilion employees, for example, will be able to shuttle back and forth between the hospital and other locations such as the downtown Carilion Administrative Services Building, Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the Community Hospital parking garage. They’ll also have a convenient way to visit downtown restaurants and shops.
People who work or live downtown, meanwhile, can be dropped off right at the hospital entrance. “The Star Line fulfills the vision of city leaders and downtown businesses who wanted to increase pedestrian traffic downtown while connecting the downtown core to a growing Carilion campus that will include new offices and Virginia Tech-Carilion Medical School and Research Institute,” says Dave Morgan, general manager of Valley Metro, the bus company that will operate the Star Line.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the Star Line as a unique, fun and free transportation alternative,” added Bill Carder, executive director of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. “The trolley will make it much easier to visit and get around downtown, stimulating business at shops, restaurants and vendors in and around the City Market.”
The Star Line is made possible through a partnership that includes Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Carilion Clinic, the City of Roanoke and Valley Metro.
Each of the trolleys features wooden seats with perimeter seating for 31 passengers. This seating style will help to encourage conversation, as people are more inclined to talk to someone sitting across from them than in front or behind.
The trolleys, manufactured by Double K Inc. of Wisconsin, are wheelchair accessible. Inside will be television monitors to promote local events and tourist information.
The continuous loop begins at the downtown Market, heading west on Campbell Avenue before turning south on Jefferson Street, with stops at Kirk and Jefferson, Church and Jefferson, Highland and Jefferson, and Reserve and Jefferson before stopping at the hospital.
The return route goes from the hospital northbound on Jefferson with stops at Reserve and Jefferson, Jefferson College, and Franklin and Jefferson before turning onto Franklin, down Williamson and onto Campbell back to the Market.
Trolley stops are marked by red and yellow signs accented with a star. The Star Line name and logo was developed by tba Public Relations and Advertising of Roanoke.
For more information and to see a route map, please visit www.valleymetro.com or call (540) 982-2222.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Carilion COO Nancy Agee Elected Chair of Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Calls for providers to improve care, safety and efficiency



RICHMOND, VA (November 6, 2008) Members of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
(VHHA) today elected Nancy Howell Agee, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, chair of the association. Ms. Agee was honored earlier this morning during the association's 82nd Annual Meeting of the Membership at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. She succeeds Michael J. Schwartz, president and chief executive officer, Prince William Health System in Manassas, who remains on the VHHA Board of Directors as immediate past chairman.
In remarks to the membership, Ms. Agee stated, "Our mission and vision are clear: to improve the health status of the communities we serve and to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. We will face obstacles in the coming year that will make our goals more challenging.
But together, we can and will make improvements to the care we provide, making it more efficient and safe...and we can weather any storm so long
as we are unified."


(Here is the entire text of her address to the VHHA membership this morning)

2008 Annual Meeting of the Membership
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Remarks by Nancy Howell Agee, Chairman



It is an honor to stand here today as your new chair of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Our membership is characterized by a healthy diversity, and we each have our own set of unique issues with which we grapple. But, as an association we come together unified by a common purpose to care for patients.

I want to thank my Family. And, I also want to recognize my fellow Carilion Clinic attendees who are here today. Thank you for the work you do every day to make Carilion Clinic what it is today. As Mike mentioned earlier, as an Association, we have done much to further health care in Virginia and collectively we take pride in our accomplishments.

And, yet, we have much more work to do.

As a field, we must make changes to become a stronger, more efficient system of care and be ever more vigilant in protecting our patients and our communities.
There are winds of change all about us, not the least of which is a new political climate. Regardless, our principles and values must remain steadfast.

Our work together is important. In my opinion, there are four compelling issues which should shape our work over the next few years.

First, we need long-term, viable solutions for growing our healthcare workforce. We all know the statistics – and we all know it’s not just nurses. Though, we are making some progress. Just two weeks ago, the Virginia Community College System reported a 67% increase in the number of nurse graduates in their 23 programs across the State. The increase is attributed to implementing several recommendations from our 2005 Task Force. Many of you or your staff provided comments and participated in the Task Force’s hearings on Nursing education.

In addition, several innovative programs have been initiated such as the one announced last Friday between Shenandoah University and Inova Health System to expand the accelerated second degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.

Workforce shortages from Nurses to Pharmacists and Therapists to Physicians are a national topic of discussion. Yet, we need to do more than talk. While we can’t solve these perplexing problems on our own, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that more solutions are forthcoming.

We need to continue educating the public and our Federal and State policymakers on how workforce shortages affect patient care. We need to find ways to fund education and innovative approaches to staffing. From health career camps to raise enthusiasm for health care careers among young people to the recently announced efforts to create the VTC School of Medicine, we must find new ways to assure a viable workforce.

Creating a stronger, more diversified workforce is important, but even the best qualified, mostly highly trained staff won’t enjoy meaningful work if we don’t improve the care we provide.

Our second important issue is assuring patient safety and high quality of care. These efforts lie directly in our hands. As Mike stated previously, work has already begun on three separate initiatives to improve patient safety in Virginia, and they will continue in 2009 and beyond. The VHHA has asked nursing homes, physicians and nurses to join us in these efforts. To truly be successful, all of VHHA members must participate as well. The buck should stop here. Ultimately, we are the ones responsible. Our patients come to us at times of great need and when they are most vulnerable. They trust us to give the appropriate and necessary care they need. They should expect and receive high quality care free of errors.

Ensuring the highest quality of care and keeping our patients safe should not be obtained at the cost of over treatment. My third issue. Our society has the ability to cook dinner by pushing a button. Little wonder, that our society both questions most of what we do and expects us to provide comprehensive services at low costs and nearly instantaneously. That said, it’s our responsibility to assure that safe, high quality care is provided efficiently.

A litigious environment and fear of not covering every base if someone comes in complaining of a headache, however, should not compel us to provide more services than a patient really needs. Additionally, efficiency should not prevent us from listening intently to what our patients are trying to say. When a patient navigates our fragmented system of care obtaining a CT Scan, multiple lab work and MRI, seeing specialist after specialist all at a high cost and possibly low value, are we truly providing a safe and caring environment? Are we truly advocating for our patients. We must work at improving efficiencies and taking the time to listen to our patients because sometimes a headache is just a headache and aspirin might be the best medicine.

In the October 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Henry Aaron authors an article entitled, “Waste, We Know You Are Out There.” Aaron quotes Peter Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, in his August 2008 notice that “a variety of credible evidence suggests that health care contains the largest inefficiencies in our economy. As much as $700 billion a year in health care services are delivered in the U.S. that does not improve health outcomes.

The challenges to reduce waste are monumental. As Aaron himself points out, unfortunately the U.S. health care system could not be better structured to frustrate the elimination of waste than if it was designed to do so; commercial payors lack leverage; Medicare, by law, cannot exercise supervision or control over the practice of Medicine; patients have little knowledge or financial incentive to avoid waste. And, doctors – whose ethics and training enjoin them to do what is best for patients and whose financial interest may cause them to interpret what is best, perhaps over broadly, have few incentives to root out waste.

And sadly as we may know but much of the public doesn’t realize, scientific evidence to support medical practice is frankly scarce.

Senator, now President-Elect Obama has suggested as part of his health care reform that we earmark 1% of Medicare revenues and a similar amount from private insurers and others to evaluate treatments and to establish a national electronic database on medical outcomes.

This leads to my last point. As an association, we have the opportunity and the challenge to aid the Commonwealth and, indeed the nation, in making material advancements towards reducing health care costs. The U.S. spends two times as much per capita on health care as the average of the ten other richest countries in the world. The U.S. healthcare system is as large as the entire economy of France. Yet, more than one person in six younger than 65 is uninsured. And, while other countries spend less per person than we do, they notably achieve equal or superior results.

To continue following our same processes, ever begging the Government to not cut one more time, is the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results. I am reminded of Charlie Brown’s innocent faith that this time Lucy will not yank the football away.

Let’s face it; both business and labor leaders alike are convinced that employer financed health care is undermining U.S. competitiveness. Many business executives, long opposed to healthcare reform by the Government are now clamoring for Government involvement. Ted Kennedy is working feverishly to draft one big bill to achieve universal health insurance coverage and reform the U.S. health care system. Most authorities suggest that a complete overhaul is unlikely. I would agree with them but for the confluence of Ted Kennedy’s own illness and the respect that he holds by fellow Senators along with a clear message that the American public is fed up with business as usual. Increasing outlays for Medicare and Medicaid threaten a fiscal meltdown. Add to that, the potential for expanded S-Chip and other expenses lead to only one conclusion. There will be less money and more requests for services. Approaching the burgeoning issues in health care like we have always done is just like Charlie Brown’s approach to the football that Lucy held – heedless of experience, hopeful without a strategy and flat on his back.

In summary, we are challenged on to be united in our dedication to health care reform. We must act with thoughtfulness yet dispatch, confidence coupled with wisdom, pledged to face down naysayer’s and meet the challenges ahead.

Together, we can and will make improvements to care delivery, find ways for efficiency and safety and develop sustainable workforce. We can drive out waste and develop health care reform we can all believe in and that Americans can afford.

I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward.


Thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carilion New River Valley Medical Center participates in Full Scale Disaster Exercise with Radford City and Radford University

CNRV joined the City of Radford and Radford University in a full scale disaster exercise aimed at testing the region's ability to respond to a large scale incident with multiple victims.


The simulated chemical spill involved several Radford University students posing as victims, complete with make-up to simulate injuries.



CNRV received 27 simulated patients, and set up a hazardous materials decontamination tent outside the hospital Emergency Department.



Photographs at right from top to bottom: hospital staff set up the decontamination tent outside the Emergency Department; RU students posing as victims walk to the cafeteria after the exercise; CNRV P.R. representatives Debbie Sydnor and Tanya Ferraro staff the media area outside the hospital.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic Join Governor Tim Kaine to Break Ground for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute


More than 300 people, representing Carilion Clinic, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute and Roanoke Community leaders gathered on the parking lot between the Carilion Clinic outpatient facility and the future home of VTC to ceremonially break ground.



The project itself is already underway as bulldozers worked in the background, preparing the site for the building, which will greet the first class of medical students in the fall of 2010.

Click below to watch the groundbreaking, and hear the comments from founding Dean Cynda Johnson, MD, Carilion President and CEO Ed Murphy, MD and Governor Tim Kaine.



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Media Advisory - Groundbreaking for Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School and Research Institute Today - 2:30 p.m.

The official groundbreaking for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute will take place today (Wednesday - October 15) at 2:30 p.m.


Featured speakers include Governor Tim Kaine, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger and Carilion President Dr. Ed Murphy.



The speakers and audience will be under a large tent. A mult-box will be provided for audio.


For background information, details of state funding for construction of the school and research institute, click here.


For more information about the medical school itself, click here.

Here is a direct link to a fact sheet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First Look Inside Carilion Clinic Outpatient Facility


If you've been following the construction of the Carilion Clinic outpatient facility at the corner of Jefferson and Reserve Avenue, you've seen the progress on the outside - here's a look at what's going on inside.

Drywall finishing and painting is already underway on the lower floors.







This is the scene on the top floor, where the metal studs are up and ready for drywall.





Here's a second floor reception desk/nurses's station








Large windows along the exterior hallways provide great views of the Riverside Center and Carilion's medical campus.



Monday, October 6, 2008

New, expanded Gift Shop open at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

CRMH opened a new expanded gift shop on the first floor this morning. The entrance is right between the two main entrances, off the glass lobby. The shop moved into the space formerly occupied by the first floor food court (which moved to new, expanded space on the 4th floor). It will be more of a "one stop" shop for visitors, patients and employees.
Here are some highlights:
At left is a view of one side of the shop from the back, looking toward the front entrance. The shop is too big to capture with just one photograph.



Here's the pink ribbon, breast cancer
awareness corner




And of course the Hokie corner. Hopefully in a couple of years we'll be able to add a new line of Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School sweatshirts to the lineup!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pink Parade 2008!

Fantastic, colorful and enthusiastic turnout at the 2008 Positively Pink Parade at Valley View Mall on September 27th. Proceeds from the event went to support the Every Woman's Life program, providing free mammograms to women in need.
Thanks to all who participated!

Photo Gallery
(click to view larger picture)





























































Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Construction Continues on New Carilion Giles Community Hospital


Work continues on the new Carilion Giles Community Hospital.
Check out the progress reports and a photo gallery by clicking on the picture or going to:

Monday, August 25, 2008

CONSULTANTS IN CARDIOLOGY JOINING CARILION CLINIC

Will bring expanded service, streamlined care

ROANOKE, Va. (August 25, 2008) Consultants in Cardiology (CIC), the largest cardiology practice in Southwest Virginia, will join Carilion Clinic on January 1, 2009.

“We have a 35-year history of providing excellent patient care, and a long and successful relationship with Carilion,” said CIC Cardiologist Jeffrey Todd, MD. “We’ve evaluated the option of joining the Clinic for the past two years and determined it is the best choice for our patients and our practice. This new relationship will open up opportunities for expanded patient services and enhance our ability to continue to improve patient care in the year’s to come”.

“This is an important milestone in Carilion Clinic’s ongoing initiative to provide patient-centered, streamlined care to the region,” said Ralph Whatley, MD, Chair of Medicine for Carilion Clinic. “We’re extremely pleased these excellent physicians have chosen to join us, and look forward to a long and successful collaboration for excellent patient care.”

In addition to cardiology services already offered by the group, such as angioplasty and pacemaker, stent and defibrillator implants, the new Carilion Clinic cardiology group will also participate in developing a Congestive Heart Failure Clinic with the Department of Medicine, an atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) treatment center, expanded imaging services, health screenings, and an expanded Regional Heart Alert Program.

Patients of Carilion Clinic cardiologists will experience the benefits of being on the system-wide electronic medical record (called EPIC, recently launched by Carilion). Cardiologists will be part the Clinic’s interdisciplinary approach to develop clinical protocols and programs that improve care. Carilion’s ability to recruit more cardiologists to meet the future needs of the community will also be enhanced.

CIC’s 100-member team, including physicians, mid-level practitioners and support staff will all join Carilion Clinic. The practice will remain in its current location at 127 McClanahan Street in Roanoke.

The move will be transparent for CIC patients, who will receive more information by mail in the next few weeks.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Patient Safety - An Inside Look at What Hospitals do to Prevent Medical Mistakes

Recent tragic situations involving the blood-thinning medication Heparin is spotlighting the issue of medication errors in hospitals. Recently 14 infants in Texas received overdoses of the drug. The problem has been identified as a "mixing error in the hospital pharmacy" Actor Dennis Quaid's twins received overdoses of Heparin, reportedly do to similarities in the labels on drugs of different strengths.

Click below for an inside look into the pharmacy of Carilion Clinic's Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Pharmacy VP and Hospital Medical Director Anthony Slonim, MD, shows reporter Lindsey Ward the procedures and technology in place to help prevent errors such as this from occurring.


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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Helicopter Retrieval Mission Successful


About about 12:30 Saturday afternoon, an National Guard Blackhawk helicopter successfully used a sling to transport a disabled Virginia State Police helicopter from the a rooftop helipad 15 stories above the ground to a nearby hangar for repair.

The operation want exactly as planned - with crews attaching a tether to the disabled aircraft, flying a short distance and setting it gently down on the ground pad. The Blackhawk then made a second trip to the rooftop to retrieve the helicopter's rotor blades, which had been removed for the transport.

Click below for video. (sorry its a bit shaky)


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Complicating the delicate operation, Saturday afternoon turned out to be one of the busiest Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation's Air Medical program has seen in recent memory. With the disabled helicopter occupying the rooftop pad and the Blackhawk on the ground pad, Carilion LifeGuard's two helicopters made four trauma flights. Another helicopter program also brougt in a patient bringing the total number of flights to5.




Right - Carilion Lifeguard lifts off for another trama call, with the National Guard Blackhawk in the foreground.







Carilion was able to land LifeGuard 10 on the pad next to the Blackhawk, with LifeGuard 11 and the third helicopter landing in a nearby soccer field. The patients were transported to the Emergency Department by ambulance.

The rooftop pad is now clear and open for air traffic. The disabled State Police helicopter is being repaired in the Carilion LifeGuard hangar.

Many thanks to the National Guard, Virginia State Police, and the Carilion Clinic team that participated in this successful operation!

The mission has been successfully completed

The operation is underway

Media Update - Helicopter Retrieval

The helicopter retrieval operation is planned for around noon.

National Guard Blackhawk Helicopter Arrives at Carilion Ground Helipad

Preparations underway to remove disabled helicopter from hospital roof

A National Guard Blackhelicopter landed on the Carilion Clinic Patient Transportatio ground pad this morning shortly after 10:00 a.m.

The helicopter and crew will lift a disabled Virginia State Police helicopter of the rooftop pad at Carilio Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where it has been stranded by a mechanical problem since Wednesday.

Click below for video of the Blackhawk's approach to the ground pad.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Media Update - Blackhawk Transport of Disabled Helicopter Scheduled For Saturday

A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter is scheduled to arrive at the Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation ground helipad at 10:20 a.m. Saturday morning (June 28th)

Friday afternoon the rotors were removed from the disabled medevac helicopter that has been sitting on the rooftop helipad at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital since Wednesday, when a mechanical problem prevented the helicopter from taking off following a patient transport.

After the National Guard helicopter lands at the ground helipad, the disabled helicopter will be fitted with a sling, and carried to the Carilion LifeGuard 10 hanger for repair.

Members of the media who wish to photograph the Blackhawk landing at the ground helipad should report to the Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation office between McClanahan at the railroad tracks. You will be directed to a safe area to photograph the landing.

Updates to the transport schedule will be posted here.

Media Update - Blackhawk delayed until tomorrow - other possibilities being considered

We learned this afternoon that the National Guard Blackhawk helicopter will not be able to fly to Roanoke until about 10:00 a.m. tomorrow at the earliest.

In addition, the option of using a crane to move the helicopter off the building and onto a tractor trailer is being considered.

No decision has been made yet, will update as soon as more is available.

Media Update - Blackhawk Delayed

There has been a delay in the arrival of the Blackhawk - could be a couple of hours or more. When we have an updated ETA, it will be posted here.

Media Alert - [updated info] National Guard to Retrieve Disabled Helicopter from Rooftop Helipad


A National Guard helicopter is enroute to Roanoke to retrieve a disabled helicopter from the rooftop helipad at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

The helicopter is scheduled to arrive at the Carilion LifeGuard 10 hangar off McClanahan between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Media arriving at the Carilion LifeGuard 10 hangar will be advised on the designated area to photograph the landing. Please ask for Allie Buth - she will be the media liason on the ground.
Additional info:
The Virginia State Police Helicopter landed on the rooftop pad last Wednesday with a patient. When they prepared to leave, the crew was alerted of a possible mechanical problem. It was determined that the safest course of action was to bring in a second helicopter to lift the disabled helicopter to the ground.
The disabled helicopter will be moved the Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation(CCPT) ground hangar, where it will be repaired.
During this time, Carilion Clinic's LifeGuard 10 and LifeGuard 11 helicopters will use the National Guard Amory Helipad - patients will be transported from the Armory to the hospital via ambulance.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Carilion Clinic in the News
Insight into brain tumors and the medical school officially has a name

Carilion Clinic Neurosurgeon, Zev Elias, MD, provides commentary on brain tumors to WDBJ, following the announcement of Sen. Ted Kennedy's diagnosis.

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WSLS updates the status of the joint medical school being developed by Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech, including the official new name: the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine or VTC.


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World Record Attempt Reveals Interesting Stats - Is your Blood Pressure Medication Working?



A review of the numbers revealed that Carilion Clinic did unofficially break the current Guinness World Record for most blood pressures taken in a 24-hour period, but by a smaller margin than originally thought. The confirmed number of blood pressures recorded during last week's event is 2,329, beating the old record (set in March) of 2302. We are submitting our documentation to Guinness for review.

As we reviewed the numbers, some other interesting statistics emerged. 30% of the people tested had high readings (above 140/90). That matches the national average pretty well. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in three Americans have high blood pressure. The AHA also says that 71.8 % of people with high blood pressure know they have it. In our group, only 53% of people with high readings had been previously told they have high blood pressure. 47% were unaware.

Another area of concern - 537 people tested during the event said they were taking medication for high blood pressure, but half of them still had high readings (above 140/90).

The take home message - know your numbers - even if you're taking medication for high blood pressure, have it checked regularly and if your numbers are too high, see your doctor!