Carilion Clinic: January 2008

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fictional Television Drama Causes Concern Among Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics is expressing alarm about the possible consequences of an episode of the ABC television show Eli Stone.
The show, about an attorney who has visions due to an inoperable brain aneurysm, includes a storyline about a trial in which the jury grants a large award to a women who claims a vaccine caused her child's autism. The AAP is concerned that this may discourage some parents from vaccinating their children, putting them at risk for devastating childhood diseases.
Most vaccine/autism issues revolve around thimerosal, a preservative containing ethyl-mercury, which prevents bacterial contamination of the vaccine. Several studies have shown thimerosal to be safe, including one recently reported in the journal Pediatrics, that found the mercury compound is pumped out of the baby's body too quickly to do any damage. The FDA has studied and approved thimerosal, and states "widespread rejection of vaccines would lead to increases in incidences of serious infectious diseases like measles, whooping cough and Hib bacterial meningitis." "The critical message is that vaccines are safe", said Alice Ackerman, MD, Chair of Pediatrics for Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital. For more information about autism and vaccines, visit the AAP's web site.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital is Open - Emergency Room is Accepting Patients: Attn: Media - additional photographs and video.

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital re-opened at 1:00 p.m. The Emergency Department is no longer diverting patients to other hospitals.

Details about the incident:
  • A 1" water pipe burst in a 1st floor bathroom shortly after 2:00 a.m. The cause of the break has not been determined.
  • Water to the building was shut off to minimize the damage. At that point the amount of damage and status of the water system was unknown, and it was determined that the hospitals patients should be moved to other facilities to make sure their quality of care was not affected.
  • The hospital Emergency Department went on "diversion", meaning that all area EMS crews were notified to take emergency patients to other hospitals in the area. Ambulances were placed on standby at the Emergency Department entrance to transport any emergency patients who came to the hospital by private vehicle.
  • 20 patients were in the facility. 2 patients were well enough to be discharged. The most seriously ill patients were transferred firs - 6 patients were transferred to Carilion Roanoke Memorial, 5 to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, 1 to Princeton. (Note - Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation sent 13 ambulances to facilitate the transfer, CCPT ambulances are equipped to transport intensive care patients without interrupting their level of care)
  • With six patients remaining in the hospital - it was determined that infrastructure damage was minimal and hospital could reopen soon. Those patients were not transferred. Most of the damage occurred on the floor below the patient care area, where Cardiac Rehabilitation, Patient Records and other support offices are located.
  • The hospital and the Emergency Department reopened at 1:00 p.m.
  • Carilion will contact the patients who were transferred, their families and physicians, and transport them back to CGMH if they choose to return.
For more info on how Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation responded to the incident, visit the CCPT Blog.

Click below to hear CGHM VP and Hospital Administrator James Tyler talk about the decision to close the hospital.

(Left) Cardiac Rehabilitation equipment is covered to protect it from dripping water. (Right) Office hallway in the process of being dried and cleaned. (click for larger photo)

(Below) Medical records office affected by the water leak - staff covered storage racks with plastic sheets, preventing water damage.

Tyler talks about plans to build a new hospital in Giles County - scheduled for completion in 2010

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital to Re-open at 1:00 p.m.

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital will re-open at 1:00 p.m. The Emergency Department will resume accepting patients at that time. Engineers have determined that the water line break did not cause serious infrastructure damage. The hospital's water supply, electricity and computer syatems are functioning normally. Clean-up continues in the water-damaged areas. The cause of the 1-inch water line break has not been determined. Hospital officials are still calculating a damage estimate.

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital Update

The hospital remains closed due to a water line break and the Emergency Department continues to divert patients to other nearby hospitals.
Engineers have inspected the building and determined that the structural damage is minimal.
Work continues on the hospital communication system. It is likely that the hospital and emergency department should be able to re-open sometime today.

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital Closed Temporarily Due to Water Line Break

Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital in Pearisburg is closed due to a water line break inside the building. Water from the break flooded the first floor and basement of the building and may have caused some structural damage. 20 patients were in the building at the time and have been moved to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Once all the patients were safely transported to other facilities, hospital officials began inspecting building damage to determine when the building can reopen.

The hospital Emergency Department is currently on diversion. That means all area EMS services have been notified to transport patients to other area hospitals. Carilion Patient Transportation Service has ambulances on standby at the hospital in case patients with medical emergencies come to the hospital in a private vehicle.

Check this blog for status updates through the day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


ROANOKE, Va. (January 23, 2008) The Tazewell Community Hospital Board of Directors has approved a proposal for the hospital to join Carilion Clinic. This is the final step in a long, successful relationship between TCH and Carilion, which has provided management services to TCH for 27 years. Becoming a part of Carilion Clinic will secure a stable future for the hospital and improve its ability to attract physicians to the region, while maintaining its not-for-profit status and commitment to the community’s health.

“The board made this decision after long and careful consideration of the best interests of our patients and the community,” said TCH Board Chairman Jim Thompson. “Carilion has an excellent track record of investing in its hospitals, and in the communities they serve. Tazewell Community will continue its tradition of service and quality, and the hospital Foundation will be able to expand its important community development role.”

“We have enjoyed close ties with Tazewell Community Hospital and its patients for 27 years,” said Edward G. Murphy, MD, Carilion Clinic President and CEO. “We share the hospital’s commitment to the community and look forward to working together to improve the quality of care and the quality of life the region.”

Carilion Clinic will make a significant investment in capital spending at TCH over the next 5 years, funding important renovation projects and new equipment. TCH will be in line to receive Carilion’s new electronic medical record system, and will eventually be linked to all Carilion facilities and physician offices. Carilion Clinic will also make a financial contribution to the Tazewell Community Hospital Foundation. The total value of the transaction is approximately $15 million.

There will be no immediate impact on employment at TCH and there will be no reduction in staffing related to patient care. Pending approval by the Attorney General’s office, the transaction will be officially completed this spring.

About TCH

Tazewell Community Hospital began operations on November 26, 1973. The hospital currently has 56 licensed beds and 170 employees. In 2006 the hospital had 1121 admissions and provided $1.7 million in uncompensated care.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Steel Frame Begins to Rise as Carilion Clinic Outpatient Facility Construction Reaches New Phase

Construction workers, aided by a large crane, began assembling the steel frame of the Carilion Clinic outpatient facility on the corner of Reserve Avenue and Jefferson Street this morning.

After months of site preparation and foundation construction, mostly invisible behind a blue barrier, progress on the 200,000 square-foot, $70 million outpatient facility.

Click below for video of one of the first vertical steel beams being set in place

The facility will be four stories high, on top of ground-floor parking. Here are architects renderings of the completed facility - viewed from the intersection of Jefferson and Reserve on the left, and from the center of the complex on the right. Click on the image for a larger view.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Innovative Pathology Services Joins Carilion Labs

ROANOKE, Va., (January 7, 2008) Carilion Labs, an affiliate of Carilion Clinic, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Innovative Pathology Services (IPS), a premier Anatomic Pathology and Cytology Laboratory based in Knoxville, TN. IPS is the largest anatomic pathology services laboratory in East Tennessee with a 39 year history of service to the region. Anatomic pathology and Cytology laboratories test tissue samples for evidence of diseases such as cancer and cystic fibrosis. Early detection through testing can have a significant impact on patient treatment and outcomes. Carilion Labs, a subsidiary of Carilion Clinic, based in Roanoke, VA, currently provides laboratory services in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, with laboratory facilities in Roanoke and Charlotte.

“Bringing IPS into Carilion Labs will enhance our ability to provide our patients with the highest quality pathology and cytology services”, said Bud Thompson, CEO of Carilion Labs. “In addition, current IPS customers will now have access to a full range of laboratory services from one convenient source.”

“IPS and Carilion Labs share a commitment to quality, service and innovation”, said Stephen Swanger, MD, Medical Director for IPS Anatomic Pathology Laboratory. “Joining with Carilion Labs will help us grow to meet our patient’s needs, while maintaining the independence that sets IPS apart from other providers.”

Both Carilion Labs and IPS are committed to a seamless transition for patients, who will benefit from a broader range of services from a single source.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Carilion Clinic development, including joint Carilion-Virginia Tech Medical School plan, named region's top business story for 2007

(For more recent news about the medical school, go here.)

The Roanoke Times places Carilion Clinic's development at Riverside Center, including the announcement of plans for a joint medical college with Virginia Tech, at the top of their list of the region's top 10 business stories for 2007.

Plans for the new college of medicine were announced exactly one year ago.
Word actually leaked out in the Roanoke Times in November, with the official announcement coming January 3rd, 2007 during a visit by Governor Tim Kaine.
Here are links to the original news releases from Carilion and Virginia Tech.

Here is the original fact sheet distributed during the announcement. The announcement received significant local media coverage - click below for a compilation of television news reports.

Developments since plans were announced last year include;

The selection of the medical school's first dean - Cynda Johnson MD, MBA, former dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Governor Tim Kain proposes a $1.65 billion higher education bond package that includes $59 million for construction of the medical school and adjacent research institute.

Here is an animated rendering of the medical school, showing it in relation to the new Carilion Clinic outpatient facility, parking garage and office building.

For some recent news about the medical school, go here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year Blake! Carilion Clinic's first baby of 2008!

Blake Vincent Ordway doesn't appear overly excited to be the Roanoke Valley's first baby of 2008, but he did have a busy night.
Blake's mom and dad, Dana and Neil Ordway of Wirtz, arrived at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital shortly before midnight on December 31st, and Blake arrived at 12:22 a.m. on New Year's day.

Blake weighs 6 pounds, 14 ounces and is 20 1/2 inches long. You can't see it under the cap, but his grandpa says he has reddish blond hair like his mom. Blake is their second child. His big sister is very excited.

Blake is the first New Year's baby to be born in Carilion Clinic's new mother-baby unit at CRMH.

Media outlets - you may use the information/pictures/video/sound in this post for your publications/newscasts/webcasts/ if you like. Check below for a higher resolution photograph and video clips of Blake and his family, along with Blake's mom talking about what it was like to have the year's first baby.

Hi Res picture:

Video Clip 1

Video Clip 2


A special thanks to Joe Dashiell and WDBJ for coming out and interviewing Blake and his family for their New Year's Day newscast. Scroll down for a clip of WDBJ's 5 p.m. coverage.