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The 2019 Class of Outstanding Nurses in Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley More Than Measure Up. It Takes Special Qualities to Represent One of the Most Important Roles in Healthcare


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville




MAY • JUNE 2019


CELEBRATING OUTSTANDING NURSES IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND SHENANDOAH VALLEY Our 2nd Annual Celebrating Outstanding Nurses in Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley recognition program puts on display individuals possessing qualities that exemplify excellence in every way. Please join us in congratulating these nine nurses for setting a standard from which we can all learn.


MESSAGES TO MEN: YOUR HEALTH IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR FAMILY. IT SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO YOU. June is Men’s Health Month and there’s no better time to tell the men in our lives how important they are to us. Plus, important health tips geared just to men that they cannot afford to miss.


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The Pulse | People. Places. News to Know.


Health Scene | Happenings. Who’s Who. Trending. Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro officials come together for the communities' first Walk-Bike Summit.


Q&A on Health | Questions. Answers. Knowledge.


Healthy Home | Family. Safety. Improvements. Updating Your Home? Consider These Simple Tips for Making It a Healthier and Safer Place for Your Family. Like all industries, home improvement is one that has seen major advancements in the products, materials and processes used to not only make our lives more comfortable, but healthier too.

40 Kid’s Care | Inform. Educate. Grow Keeping Children Active This Summer and Off Those Screens! Find yourself worrying about what your school-age teens will be doing this summer? Take back the summer with these healthy alternatives for a funfilled and active summer.

44 Technology Spotlight | Local Innovations Robotic Surgery a Boon to Valley Patients Dane Larsen, MD and Augusta Health Care for Women offer robotic surgical procedures for gynecologic needs in Fishersville.


Food and Fitness | Nutrition. Exercise. Prevention. The Benefits of Buying Local Foods! Why buying and consuming local foods is beneficial in more ways than you might think.


Funny Bone | Spot the Seven Differences

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MAY • JUNE 2019





McClintic Media, Inc. Steve McClintic, Jr. | Jennifer Fields Hungate Tori Meador Laura Bower Mark Miller Dawn Cooper, AuD, CCC-A Peter Hallowell, MD Allan Hardy, MD John Hendrix, MD Arvind Madaan, MD Richard G. Rento II, MD Joe Butler Brandy Centolanza Jeanne Grunert Jennifer Lamont Steve McClintic, Jr. Rick Piester

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COMMENTS/FEEDBACK/QUESTIONS We welcome your feedback. Please send all comments and/or questions to the following: U.S. Mail: McClintic Media, Inc., ATTN: Steve McClintic, Jr., President/ Publisher/Editor: 303 S. Colorado Street • Salem, VA 24153. | Email: | Phone: 540.387.6482 Ext. 1 Information in all print editions of OurHealth and on all OurHealth websites (websites listed below) and social media updates and emails is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to replace medical or health advice of an individual’s physician or healthcare provider as it relates to individual situations. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF YOUR DOCTOR. All matters concerning physical and mental health should be supervised by a health practitioner knowledgeable in treating that particular condition. The publisher does not directly or indirectly dispense medical advice and does not assume any responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves. The publisher has taken reasonable precaution in preparing this publication, however, the publisher does not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright © 2019 by McClintic Media, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. OurHealth Charlottesville/Shenandoah Valley is published bi-monthly • Special editions are also published • McClintic Media, Inc. • 303 S. Colorado Street, Salem, VA 24153, P: 540.387.6482 F: 540.387.6483. MAIN: | | | | | Advertising rates upon request.



The Pulse

INFORMATION • EVENTS • AWARENESS New Locations, Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions Flourish Boutique Temporarily Relocates During Cancer Center Remodeling Flourish Boutique, a custom shop that offers products such as wigs, headscarves, prostheses, mastectomy bras and other items specifically designed to help people with cancer look and feel their best, is now open in its new, temporary location the University of Virginia Cancer Center on the first floor in the West Complex in room 1002. Flourish Boutique’s permanent location is on the first floor of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at University of Virginia Cancer Center, and will return to this location upon completion of the current remodeling taking place at the Cancer Center. Flourish Boutique’s services are available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 434.924.9333. More Information: Visit

New Locations, Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions Sentara Martha Jefferson Orthopedics Opens New Location Sentara Martha Jefferson Orthopedics has opened its third office, which is located at 1646 Park Ridge Drive in Crozet. Services offered in the new location include general orthopedic care, hand and wrist services, evaluation and treatment of carpal tunnel, arthritis, tendonitis, back and neck services, along with options available for evaluating chronic and acute back and neck pain; including diagnostic X-ray. More information: Call 434.654.5575.

Mark Anderson, MD, MSc David Ko, MD Blue Ridge Urological, PC Urology Fishersville | 540.932.5926


Carilion Clinic Family Medicine Bridgewater | 540.828.2634

Laura Mays, NP

Carilion Clinic Family Medicine Buena Vista | 540.261.7421

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

Melissa Sikes, NP

Carilion Clinic Family Medicine Weyers Cave | 540.234.9241

Richard Stewart, MD

Augusta Health Primary Care Waynesboro | 540.245.7950

New Locations, Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions Asfa Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa Launches Private Label Skincare Line Asfa Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa announces the launch of its own skincare line, Ziba. Ziba skincare products will give people of all ages and skin types effective, yet affordable access to medical grade skincare. After many years of research and offering other medical grade products to patients, Saied Asfa, MD decided to develop his own brand. “By offering my own personal skincare line, I am able to more easily customize the products and treatments that my patients need, allowing them to have the best possible results,” says Dr. Asfa. Dr. Asfa has been working with an FDA-regulated lab in New York to finesse the Ziba products, which include clinically and scientifically backed anti-aging serums, retinols, chemical peels, face and body creams, and an advanced acne system that Dr. Asfa will be able to customize for each patient’s individual needs. Made in the U.S., and cruelty free, these products will have a lower price point than most of the ‘bigger’ brand names offered by many plastic surgery and dermatology practices and The Ziba line of medical grade skin care medical spas. Dr. Asfa will continue to offer selected products is now available at Asfa Plastic products from some of the other lines he provides, if Surgery and Medical Spa. they are not currently in the Ziba line, including Obagi, Revision, Skinceuticals and Vivier. Clients of Dr. Asfa’s medical spa will continue to have the option of a wide variety of chemical peels and facial treatments, with the addition of Ziba peels and products. More information: Visit or call 540.432.0303.

New Locations, Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions Augusta Health Palliative Care Relocates to New Office in Fishersville Augusta Health Palliative Care has moved to a new location at 57 N. Medical Park Drive, Suite 105, Fishersville. Providers at Augusta Health Palliative Care include: Patrick Baroco, MD, Marsha AlfordAlmarode, FNP-C, Sarah Borchelt, NP, Nina Stewart, FNP-C, and Amanda Wilson, BSN, MSN, FNP-C. More Information: To schedule an appointment, call 540.245.7262, or for other general information, visit palliative-care.

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SHENANDOAH VALLEY LEADERS TAKE A STEP TOWARD INCREASING ACCESS FOR WALKERS AND BIKERS WITH WALK-BIKE SUMMIT On Friday, April 26th, local officials, government and community leaders in the biking industry, business owners and healthcare leaders gathered on the Mary Baldwin University campus at the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences for the Walk-Bike Summit for Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro. The goal of the Summit, hosted by Augusta Health, is to improve the health, safety and economy of the community by bringing together community partners who want to help get Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro, which is also known as the SAW region, on the path toward becoming a walk-bike community. Pete Eshelman, Director of Outdoor Branding with the Roanoke Regional Partnership, served as the keynote speaker and discussed the importance of leveraging the area’s outdoor assets to create economic growth. Through interactive breakouts, collaborative action planning and goal setting work groups, participants came away inspired and with visions of improving the health and growth of the community. For more information and to learn about future announcements on planning, visit


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville


Questions. Answers. Knowledge.

How can someone determine if he/she has too much belly (visceral) fat? Visceral fat is the type of fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity – it surrounds the internal organs and is therefore more difficult to see. Many researchers believe that some of the health issues caused by obesity stem from the effects of visceral fat. The “gold standard” for evaluating your visceral fat would be MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computer tomography), or DEXA scanning. The problem with these techniques is cost and/or radiation.



LIES UNDER THE SKIN and is what most of us are thinking about when we say we want to lose weight. Allan Hardy, MD Medical Director Augusta Health Gastroenterology

Many people will use Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) to estimate their body composition. Consumer grade devices (2 electrode, foot-to-foot), are not very accurate, and the “professional grade” that uses 4-electrode (feet, hands) are very expensive. An easier (and less expensive) way is to calculate your BMI (body mass index) and match it with your waist circumference. If your BMI is >30 and your waist circumference is >35 inches (women) or >40 inches (men) then you’re probably carrying too much visceral fat. Keep in mind that normal values for waist circumference and BMI can be influenced by ethnicity.

What causes a hernia? What causes a hernia is a great and complex question. In essence, we do not know exactly what causes a hernia, but we do know things that hernias are associated with. A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through the fascia or muscle of the abdominal cavity. Some hernias are congenital, which means they are present at birth, and other hernias are acquired, which means they form sometime over your life. All hernias have these common features: there is usually a combination of pressure and weakness of the muscle or tissue that allows the protrusion to occur. Additional conditions that can increase the likelihood of a hernia are heavy lifting, straining during a bowel movement, persistent coughing, obesity, poor nutrition and smoking.

Peter Hallowell, MD

UVA Health System Surgical Care Charlottesville | 434.243.4811

Allan Hardy, MD

Medical Director Augusta Health Gastroenterology Fishersville | 540.245.7350

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What is “active surveillance” if you have prostate cancer? Because certain prostate cancers grow very slowly, your doctor may determine that this type of cancer may not likely present a significant threat to you. This is only true if the type of prostate cancer is localized, meaning it hasn’t spread beyond the prostate. If that’s the case, you and your doctor can discuss forgoing immediate treatment. Doctors call this approach “active surveillance”. By not rushing into treatment for a cancer that may not cause you any harm, this approach helps many men avoid treatment-related side effects. Active surveillance means your doctor will monitor you closely, watching to see how the cancer progresses, if at all. This requires regular rectal exams, PSA blood tests, biopsy or an MRI. If your doctor notices changes occurring, then treatment discussions will begin. Patients are carefully monitored during this type of treatment, and your doctor will consider many factors before deciding whether this approach is right for you.

Richard G. Rento II, MD Virginia Urology Richmond | 804.330.9105

WHO DO YOU think has the



in Charlottesville & Shenandoah Valley?

POLLS OPEN NOW Visit and click on the 2019 Best Bedside Manner Awards voting button to submit your entries. VOTING CLOSES JUNE 30, 2019, and winners will be featured in the November/December edition! Questions? Email



Questions. Answers. Knowledge. What is thunderstorm asthma? Sudden and intense changes in humidity, wind velocity, barometric pressures and temperature can sometimes result in release of large amounts of pollen allergen particles that can trigger asthma in susceptible individuals.

Such thunderstorm events usually involve communities in a 15-20 mile radius for short bursts of 20-30 minutes. During such bursts



pollen grains absorb moisture and burst to release smaller particles that can penetrate deeper into airways. Arvind Madaan, MD An allergist with Charlottesville Allergy and Respiratory Enterprises


Coughing spells, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath become rapidly severe because of the confluence of allergic triggers and physical weather conditions. Although patients with pollen allergies may be more susceptible, other asthmatics may also be impacted because of such physical weather shifts. Such thunderstorm events usually involve communities in a 15-20 mile radius for short bursts of 20-30 minutes. During such bursts of severe weather and rain conditions, pollen grains absorb moisture and burst to release smaller particles that can penetrate deeper into airways. Grass pollen and fungal spores are the usual culprits. Caution should be exercised when thunderstorms are forecasted on extremely high pollen count days, especially if baseline asthma symptoms are not well controlled. Arvind Madaan, MD

Charlottesville Allergy and Respiratory Enterprises Charlottesville | 434.295.ASAP (2727)

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

Is it true that men are more likely to have hearing loss than women?

What type of skin cancer is treated with Mohs surgery?

It is true that more men than women have hearing loss. The reasons are not biological, but instead due to lifestyle factors. Many men often find themselves in loud situations more than women; both in the workplace and recreationally. While many women have successfully entered male-dominated industries, there are still some occupations that have more male employees. Like construction, where there are numerous loud, excessive noises: heavy machinery, power tools, and hammers. Working in that environment daily for many years can greatly contribute to hearing loss later in life. There are also more men than women in the military, where gunfire and explosions are prevalent. Men also tend to have louder hobbies, like motorcycles, firearms and hunting, and using power tools. Women who work in these loud environments or have similar hobbies often experience the same level of hearing degradation.

Mohs Micrographic surgery is a specialized surgical procedure used in the treatment of skin cancer. It can be used to treat nearly all types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the two most commonly diagnosed, as well as melanoma and other unusual cancers.

Dawn Cooper, AuD, CCC-A Rivanna Hearing Center Charlottesville | 434.205.9741

The advantages of Mohs surgery are its high cure rate for new and recurrent skin cancers (99% for newly diagnosed cancers), efficiency and cost effectiveness. The process also allows for the sparing of healthy tissues which is especially important in areas on the face such as the eyes, nose, or lips where cosmetic results are of concern. Mohs is also utilized for the removal of larger aggressive, or rapidly growing skin cancers on the body. John Hendrix, MD

Dermatologic Surgery of Central Virginia Charlottesville | 434.979.7700



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville



Nurses in Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley

The 2nd Annual Celebrating Outstanding Nurses in Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley Recognition Program Puts On Display Individuals

Possessing Qualities that Exemplify Excellence in Every Way words | JOE BUTLER

Having exceptional clinical skills is only part of what reminding them the main reason they got into medicine makes a nurse stand out in her or his field in healthcare. in the first place: because they care. While there’s no denying the amount of time, effort According to the Virginia Nurses Association, there and intellect that goes into becoming a nurse, it’s often are currently more than 100,000 nurses in the what’s not taught in the classroom that really makes these Commonwealth who all generally possess similar abilities. truly special individuals the difference makers in The class of nurses who make up this year’s list their field. Like compassion and empathy. shows us more about the person, including Resilience and dedication. Resolve what makes each of them unique when it and determination. Selflessness and comes to treating others the way they Nurses are humility. Typically, people in healthcare deserve. It’s either their projects and the catalysts for positions are taught to separate their passions they’ve been involved in for change when it emotions from their jobs, so they may years or the especially interesting make the most objective decisions comes to the pre-nursing careers and backgrounds based on medical science. But anyone that can sometimes add extra health system as who has been cared for by a nurse will perspective to their current duties and a whole. be the first to tell you that being typical provide more opportunities for them is in no way among the many hats they to share their skills and empathy with wear. For nurses, it’s personal, and they prove today’s patients. It’s everything you can think every day that it takes the best balance of humanity of when you envision what makes a nurse notable, and so to see others in need through what often are the worst much more. moments of their lives. But it doesn’t end there. Nurses are often the catalysts for change when it comes to the health system as a whole. They motivate their colleagues, peers and leaders around them to do more and expect less while routinely


Please join us in congratulating the nurses featured in the following pages. We thank each of them for their service, and for setting a standard from which we all can learn.


• Selflessness •

• Determination •

Leah Cribb, RN Field Nurse

Amanda Fox, RN Urgent Care Nurse



In our busy society, most medical professionals rarely have time for house calls anymore; one of the exceptions is those who work in hospice. While some hospice organizations have an actual facility where patients are able to spend their final days, other hospices send nurses directly to a patient’s home to provide physical care and emotional support. This way, the patient can remain in a comfortable, familiar environment surrounded by loved ones. This is the role of Leah Cribb, RN, a field nurse for Hospice of the Piedmont, who brings more than 40 years of selfless, genuine compassion to every family for whom she cares. Although one individual in the family is the person with a terminal condition, part of a hospice nurse’s responsibility is to bring comfort and support to everyone in that individual’s circle of loved ones. Some of this empathy and respect for families during challenging circumstances stems from her own history – Cribb’s mother passed away several years ago while living in a community that, at the time, lacked hospice service. The process was difficult for Cribb, but it did make her realize how valuable hospice care can be in providing quality care at the end of life. Hospice nursing require certain skills and abilities to provide the highest levels of support to patients and loved ones in their time of greatest need. Her knowledge, commitment to the craft of nursing, and ability to create connections with just about anyone are attributes for which Cribb is known and depended on in a role that is not just a job, but her calling.

By the time you read this, Amanda Fox, RN will have three new letters to add after her name: FNP. At press time, she was nearly complete with her studies at James Madison University to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. These credentials have been several years in the making, starting with her being hired for an entry-level job as a med tech at Patient Care Plus, an urgent care clinic in the Shenandoah Valley. Prior to this position, Fox had been working at a fast food restaurant, but once she learned about the opportunities in healthcare, all she could think about was the many ways she can help others by pursing a career in the field. These thoughts encouraged her to go back to school and study nursing. This wasn’t easy, however, as Fox had to balance her job, home and marriage along the way. She overcame a variety of obstacles in her pursuit of becoming the difference maker she envisioned herself as, and it has certainly paid off in more ways than one. Her effort, enthusiasm and leadership have been recognized by co-workers and leadership at Patient Care Plus, which has hired her as their newest Family Nurse Practitioner upon completion of her degree. Colleagues say Fox has always been able to provide superior leadership while remaining humble, compassionate and enthusiastic in all she does. Although she has risen through the ranks, she remains appreciative of the entire Patient Care Plus staff at every level, and encourages everyone to always strive for greatness, no matter their current position. Setting new goals and going after each with passion and persistence is what has defined Fox to this point in her life, leaving no doubt to the unlimited potential she has moving forward into the future.

Hospice of the Piedmont


Patient Care Plus

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• Dedication •

Tracy Kiely, RN/CTL Emergency Department Clinical Team Leader

Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital

Lexington The emergency room is where literally lifeor-death situations take place every day. It’s the place where miracles often happen, and superior care is always provided regardless of the constant chaos. It’s also where Tracy Kiely, RN has worked for several years after previously being in the ICU and cardiac units. As Clinical Team Leader at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital’s Emergency Department, she plays a vital role in making sure all patients continually receive the highest quality care, no matter what is going on in the nearby rooms, or the current patient volume. Recently, Kiely worked on a critical patient who was brought in as a possible overdose. At the exact same time, two crises were simultaneously taking place: poor weather was preventing the EMS team from flying, and there were reports of an active shooter in the community. While law enforcement scrambled to respond to the shooter, the Emergency Department prepared for potentially more patients coming in needing help, which included making sure there were enough beds and supplies plus staff and security. While Kiely continued to skillfully work on stabilizing her overdose patient, she also helped coordinate the department’s response to this still-developing shooter situation, including consulting with physicians and other ER staff to make sure proper resources were fully in place for whatever was coming through the door. Always professional, yet personal, she makes sure patients always come first. She also enjoys volunteering to orient new nurses to the busy ER and also remains cross-trained to work in the Cardiac Clinic should that department ever needs an extra set of hands. When major multitasking is needed, Kiely always is up to the challenge.

• Loyalty •

Karen Martin, WHNP Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Augusta Health Care for Women

Fishersville The female reproductive system is sometimes referred to as wonderful and downright miraculous in how it allows women to naturally bring forth new life into the world. But for many people, especially teens, the ‘secret’ inner workings of their anatomy can often be confusing, if not a little frightening. Over the last 24 years as a Nurse Practitioner specializing in women’s health and 39 years overall since she first began her healthcare career as a registered nurse, Karen Martin, WHNP has made sure that all of her patients receive the most comprehensive care possible, which in her mind starts with educating each thoroughly and completely about their body and health. She wholeheartedly believes that being empowered with information and knowledge is the best solutions for eliminating the fear, uncertainty and sometimes discomfort that patients may feel when it comes to their reproductive health. Since 1994, Martin has been practicing in the Shenandoah Valley, including several years volunteering at the RAM Clinic, a free remote community clinic in Harrisonburg. Her clinical experience has become invaluable to local patients who need help with puberty, fertility, pre-menopause and peri-menopause health concerns, disease treatment and other health needs. Martin especially enjoys working with teens to make sure they learn the right information about their bodies and natural processes at an early age to prevent problems, challenges and even poor health later in life. Her education goes beyond basic biology and terminology: she encourages all of her patients to find ways to be fit and strong in pursuit of their best health possible. Martin truly enjoys serving others, and her kindness, patience and thoroughness are just a few of the attributes that make her the ideal person for a role she was clearly meant to serve others in.


• Leadership •

Tina Richardson, RN, BSN, Student NP

Master Esthetician/Certified Laser Technician, Owner Body Essence Skin and Laser

Staunton Some nurses are happy simply being part of a medical team, offering care to one patient at a time. Tina Richardson, RN, BSN is too, and has spent nearly 30 years working with patients of all ages and health requirements. Today, however, she has taken her nursing skills to the next level by owning a medical spa in Staunton where she and her staff use laser technology to help patients reduce sun damage and improve their skin. She may be the only RN/BSN in the area who is also a master esthetician and a certified laser technician. Along with helping as many patients as possible, Richardson enjoys being able to educate nurses and serve as a role model for not only quality care but as a business owner and a positive leader in the community. Whatever she’s doing during the day or however she’s helping patients, Richardson has found that compassion and kindness must be part of the equation. Kindness helps create the bonds between patients, their family and the nurse. Then, the relationship solidifies and grows from there as the patient looks to the nurse for support, especially if they’re uncomfortable, anxious or scared. If these foundations aren’t in place, the patient experience won’t be as strong. Richardson developed this insight over the last 29 years, including several years in the NICU, where the little patients received quality physical care but their family needed emotional support. Richardson tries to care for all patients like she would want someone to care for her. This means communicating information clearly, giving a touch or a smile, or even crying if the situation calls for it.

Join Us in Congratulating these

Outstanding Nurses #OurHealthCharlottesville


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

• Compassion •

Tracey Shull, RN, BSN Clinical Nurse Manager

Dermatologic Surgery of Central Virginia

Charlottesville and Waynesboro Good nurses don’t always translate to good supervisors, but Tracey Shull, RN, BSN has proven beyond a doubt that she is able to perform both roles well. As clinical nurse manager for Dermatologic Surgery of Central Virginia, she has had an active role in making sure all nurses hired there over the last 17 years have proper training to work in this busy establishment. Right away, she emphasizes the importance of communication and organization for the entire workplace, and that patients also always come first! Part of this effort emphasizes the importance of superior customer service. Here especially, Shull leads by example. Colleagues say she is always eager to go the extra mile for patients, whether it’s working with them in the evening if they can’t make it during traditional business hours or coming in on her day off if necessary. All ages come into the office, and Shull makes sure everyone always feels welcome and appreciated. This focus on others extends to staff as well, and Shull is known to regularly show gratitude to employees for their efforts or to provide extra comfort if an employee is going through a difficult time. Sometimes this can even take the form of filling in for their shift so they can have a break. It doesn’t have to be only a bad time either. Shull is committed to acknowledging employee birthdays, and they get more than a passing greeting. Shull and others make sure everyone always receives a small gift, a card and flowers. Not only is the recipient’s big day brightened but the whole environment is enhanced with cheery flowers and big smiles.


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• Kindness •

• Humility •

Talisa Snow, BSN Clinical Coordinator ICU

Mary Spangler, LPN Operating Room Nurse



The proper ‘fit’ is vital to many nurses. Though some may enjoy having the freedom and experience to practice in any area of medicine they please, others prefer to stick to one discipline or department which they feel especially comfortable and useful in. Talisa Snow, BSN has found her fit: critical care. As Clinical Coordinator in Augusta Health’s intensive care unit, she’s one of several nurses who help patients and family members at especially difficult times. It’s an environment where things are always changing, and not always in a good way, so she and other nurses have to be ready for anything, whether it’s offering encouragement and direct support for patients who continue to fight or condolences to newly grieving family members. Snow also has an important role in seeing if other nurses may also have a knack for this environment. She is always happy to welcome student nurses who want to either shadow another nurse or spend time on shifts themselves. Beyond the day-to-day challenges, Snow always looks for ways to improve efficiencies and processes. As difficult as institutional change can sometimes be, she has been able to lead the efforts among the ICU staff to modify an established catheter placement procedure in order to reduce infections. Following Snow’s enthusiasm, other nurses decided that patient safety was more important than resisting a new procedure simply because everyone knew the old one. While it’s easy for nurses to want to focus only on direct care of ICU patients, Snow is an important voice in telling the staff to keep that focus, but also look for other areas in which everyone can do better.

Operating room nurse roles are sometimes thought to be different from their colleagues with the same position. Neither is better or worse, and both types do share the same goals of helping patients. But operating nurses like Mary Spangler, LPN from Augusta Health often have different daily duties and responsibilities that require supporting the patient, the surgeon and the rest of the surgical staff in a fast-moving and high-pressure environment. Spangler is considered one of the bright spots in operating rooms, and regularly inspires others with her abilities as well as her personality and sense of service. Colleagues say she’s always attentive and helpful and keeps a smile on her face, even on long mornings when there’s a half-dozen back-to-back surgeries scheduled before lunchtime. She makes sure the physicians and the rest of the staff are always prepared for whatever procedure is planned. She also makes sure that any nurses she trains, whether new or veteran, picks up everything quickly, as well as absorb some of Spangler’s general philosophies. She’s received accolades up and down the organizational chart, from surgeons who appreciate the effort she puts into helping them, to fellow nurses who know she always has their back, to the custodial staff who also appreciates that Spangler never seems to mind jumping in to take care of cleaning needs. It would be easy enough to say that other people with other job descriptions are supposed to be responsible for many of these tasks, but Spangler simply sees them all as duties that need to be completed by someone, so they may as well be her!

Augusta Health

Augusta Health Operating Room


More at


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

• Empathy •

Davra Taylor, RN Orthopedic Nurse

University of Virginia Health System – Orthopedic Unit

Charlottesville Davra Taylor, RN prides herself on never, ever providing “routine care.” Although this general and generic term is often used to describe “standard patient needs”, Taylor sees “routine” as the bare minimum that should never define the level of care provided. Instead, she offers above and beyond this lower bar all the time when she’s helping patients, their families and other colleagues as a part of University of Virginia Health System’s orthopedic unit. For Taylor, it starts with focusing on who needs help right then and there in the best way she knows how. Perhaps a doctor or a fellow nurse needs an extra set of hands to position a patient or help getting him or her out of bed. Maybe a pharmacist needs input on a patient’s symptoms to make sure they receive the best medication for a current condition. No matter what the task at hand is, it goes without saying that Taylor is going to give her undivided attention and best effort. Taylor has also found that she especially enjoys listening to and coordinating with another group that some in the medical field don’t always instinctively seek input from: a patient’s visitors. Supportive family and friends often offer to do whatever they can to assist, even if they don’t quite know what is needed or how they can help. Taylor recognizes these individuals might have their own useful input or observations into what the patient may be experiencing or needs. Visitors are often feeling anxious about their loved one’s condition, so she is always happy to find ways for them to take action, even if it’s something small. And providing family and friends with the opportunity to show their support and contribute to a patient’s care can sometimes be the mental and emotional boost needed to make a true difference in the positive outcome she always strives to realize.



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

Messages to Men:

Your Health is Important to Your Family. It Should Be Important to You Too. words | JENNIFER LAMONT

You’re our protector, our advisor and our guide, even if you don’t always know where you’re going. Sometimes you’re the dad who makes us learn how to change a tire before we can drive. Or the class clown who makes us all giggle. You’re the husband who is a best friend and partner. The guy who makes us roll our eyes but who we know we can’t live without. You’re not a superhero, but, at times, you’re our hero. You seem invincible – and you might feel that way – but you’re not. As the people in your life who love you, we want you to take care of yourself. But we don’t want to nag or constantly remind you, because, frankly, we are tired of doing all the worrying for you. And we know nagging doesn’t work anyway. Men still don’t go to the doctor for checkups as much as women, especially if they feel ‘well.’

Love Your Body Like You Love Your Car June is Men’s Health Month and there’s no better time to tell you how important you are to us – the people in your life who love you, support you and want you around for a very long time. We know you don’t like going to the doctor. Who does? And while some of your reasons for not going are logical, some aren’t. Logically, you know that men who get early, preventive care have a better chance of catching and surviving illnesses while they’re much more treatable and manageable.

Even if you feel “fine” or you think that pain will go away, there’s never a “dumb” reason to go to the doctor. Just as you take your car in for regular oil changes and repairs to make sure it’s running smoothly, you need to treat your body with just as much care. If you think something is wrong with your car, you want to fix it early before it becomes a major hassle. Your health is even more important. It matters. So, here’s what we really want you to know.

Love Letters from Your Family – What Your Loved Ones Really Want You to Know


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Inbox – Email May 20, 2019 at 5:50 PM

Happy Birthday Bro To: Trever Johnson

Happy 50th Birthday to my favorite big brother! Yes, you’re my only brother, but still my fave. That’s why I want to tell you how much I appreciate you for always being there for me. As big brothers go, I got lucky. Did I ever thank you enough for all those times you changed my oil or patched that old VW back together for me? Or for being my protector that one summer at camp? I know I could never thank you enough for helping me move so, so many times. (I swear, I’ll never ask again!). Thank you, big brother, for always being someone I could count on as kids and, even now, you’re always there for me. As your sister, I’m proud to call you my brother. As your family, I hope you’re taking good care of yourself. You know I need you to be here for all the family reunions and help me make fun of the cousins. :)

Reduce Your Risk

Exercising and eating healthy reduces your chances for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. That number jumps to 71 percent if you’re over age 60.

Take care and happy birthday, bro.

Did You Know?

Love always, Your Sis

Replacing fast-digesting carbohydrates (refined, processed sugary foods) with whole foods reduces your chances for developing diabetes by up to 40 percent.

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

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Did You Know?

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Dear Son, What a milestone! Getting to 50 means you’ve done okay so far. Just wait till you’re my age! I wish you the happiest of birthdays, kiddo. It doesn’t matter how old you get, you’re still my little boy. I’ve A little birdie told me always been proud of you, you know that. you missed another There’s not much new happening here since doctor’s appointment. we spoke last. Your father sends his love. His Don’t make me take sugar has been a little on the high side. you there myself. I hope you’re taking good care of yourself. How is the shoulder doing? A little birdie told me you missed another doctor’s appointment. Don’t make me take you there myself. You know your father doesn’t like me driving the car. I’ve enclosed a magazine clipping that says eating greens helps prevent cancer and diabetes, so I hope you’re eating your vegetables and taking your vitamins. And please go the doctor. Don’t be like your father. He won’t eat kale.

Tips for Reducing Slips, Spills and Mishaps Improving your balance and strength can help you reduce the chance of falls and injuries while working, home or at play.

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Happy, happy birthday! Your dad and I love you with all our hearts. Take care of yourself, son.


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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville


Updating Your Home? Consider These Simple Tips for Making It a Healthier and Safer Place for Your Family words | JEANNE GRUNERT

There’s nothing quite like standing back and seeing how magnificent a project has turned out after all the hard work it took, especially a remarkably large undertaking like renovating or remodeling a home. Yet, no matter how much we may love our living space’s new makeover, there always seems to be something that we would have done differently had we remembered or known about it before the job was complete. Like all industries, home improvement is one that has seen major advancements in the products, materials and processes used to not only make our lives more comfortable, but healthier too. Before you begin your next big project, take time to learn more about the options available today that can make your home a healthier place to live in the years to come for you and your family.

Mold and Mildew According to Samantha Vailes, Lead Service Dispatcher/Marketing Coordinator at Vailes Home Improvement of Fishersville, certain areas of your home demand more attention during remodeling than others. “Areas of a home like basements, beneath stairs and in crawl spaces – especially those where furnaces, heat pumps, water heaters and sump and sewer pumps may be located – are more prone to accumulating moisture that can lead to mold and mildew developing,” says Vailes. Moisture behind already enclosed walls can even be present, According to the Centers for Disease Control especially if a home is very old and Prevention (CDC), exposure to mold in or previous remodeling the home can lead to coughing, wheezing, was done incorrectly. throat irritation and skin irritation. People

Did You Know? with existing lung disease should pay special attention to mold issues as they can aggravate the condition.

New Products for Home Health

Are They Worth It? Ads on television or in glossy brochures at the home center tout the latest health and safety products, but are they worth it? For those with ongoing health concerns or young children at home, you may wish to consider one or more of the following add-on products to your new home or home remodeling project.

1. Media filters: Most air filters for HVAC systems fit loosely in their frames. This allows some air to circulate without passing through the filter, and thus without having airborne particles filtered out. Media filters, on the other hand, fit tightly in the frames and trap more dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. And, according to experts, may last two to three times longer.

2. UV lights: UV lights use ultraviolet radiation to kill mold and bacteria in the air. They are placed inside the HVAC system. As air passes through the system, the UV light kills these living organisms and improves indoor air quality. They may also be used to reduce mold and bacteria in water systems. They are well-tested and proven to work, and have been in use for decades.

3. Electronic Air Cleaners:

These provide whole-house filtration by removing airborne dust, pollen, and other miscellaneous particles.


What can homeowners do to keep their homes dry and reduce the risk of mold? “A wet switch or EZ trap into HVAC and water heaters allows the system to cut off upon the detection of water to prevent water damage,� recommends Vailes. She also recommends a whole-house dehumidifier which aids in the prevention of mold development.

Is Summer the Best Time for Home Renovations?

Not necessarily, according to U.S. News & World Report. Electrical work, painting, plumbing upgrades, and even decks and additions can be completed during the fall or winter, too. You may also receive faster service during non-traditional months when contractors aren't as busy. SAMANTHA VAILES The Lead Service Dispatcher/ Marketing Coordinator at Vailes Home Improvement of Fishersville.

Asbestos and Lead Paint in Older Homes Remodeling older homes is popular among many people who are either interested in updating their current residence or restoring a location full of character from decades before. But with remodeling an older home comes the risk of asbestos exposure and uncovering lead paint under the wallpaper you might dislike.

Was Your Home Built Before 1989? Homes built before 1989 may contain asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that acts as a fire retardant, but inhaling asbestos particles or fibers over a long period of time can cause breathing difficulties or lung diseases. Common areas where asbestos was used in older homes include roofing shingles, hot water pipe insulation, around boilers, fireplaces, and furnaces, and in pipe joints.

Lead paint may be found in homes built before 1980. The government banned lead additives from paint in 1978, but older homes may have baseboards, trim, or wall paint that still contains lead. [end pull quote] According to the CDC, nationwide, 24 million housing units are suspected of containing lead paint. This paint can chip or become dust and airborne, causing mental problems including poor concentration and lowered intelligence.

Contractors today have many options and can guide you on how to have old asbestos-laden materials and lead paint safely removed. Homeowners have options, too.


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

Community Care Connection What can homeowners do if they have lead paint? For homeowners living in houses that may contain lead paint, the CDC recommends wet-mopping and wiping floors and windowsills frequently to remove any lead particles. Check and remove any peeling paint, especially if you have children under age six living at home who may put hands in their mouths after touching walls or areas containing possibly contaminated paint.

Safety Should Come First When Remodeling a Home Remodeling for aesthetic reasons provides a refreshed and beautiful home, but what about safety? As you’re drawing up your estimates with your contractors for your home remodeling, Vailes recommends you ask about adding safety features to your home including:

Reinforcing handrails Installing grab bars Modifying showers to include grab bars and seats Removing or tacking down scatter rugs Making sure transition strips are correctly mounted into the floor to prevent trips Making sure areas are well lit indoors and out If you’re remodeling your bathroom, consider adding those grab bars and handrails during the remodel. You may not need them now, but you never know when an accident or illness may reduce your mobility, making those grab bars a lifesaver. Even a slip in the shower could be dangerous; a grab bar or nonskid surface added to the tub or shower floor may save a life. Home remodeling is more than choosing new carpet, paint, and fixtures. Oh sure, that's the fun part. But making sure your family is healthy and safe is the essential part of a home remodeling project. Choose your projects wisely, invest in healthy living spaces, and enjoy your home for a long time to come. EXPERT CONTRIBUTER Samantha Vailes is the Lead Service Dispatcher/ Marketing Coordinator at Vailes Home Improvement of Fishersville.


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Finding the right local contractor who specializes in the health of your home is a great place to start with any renovations and remodels. While there are many in the area to choose from, here are a few that stand out for their healthy home services. Remember to always use a licensed professional for your projects.

Indoor Air Quality The indoor air quality of our homes is especially important, considering the amount of time we spend indoors. Allergens, bacteria, mold and other contaminants can negatively impact the air we breathe. Here are a few signs and symptoms that may indicate poor indoor air quality in your home: •

Musty smells in the home

Mold growth

Dry and irritated skin, lips, eyes and throat

Exacerbated allergies

Condensation on walls, windows, and/or ceilings

If you experience any of the above signs of poor indoor air quality, you may want to consider an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Audit. The audit consists of an inspection of all sources affecting the air in your home, including checking humidity levels, carbon monoxide levels, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), proper mechanical ventilation and more.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds? Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

Who to Call For an IAQ Audit? Beck Cohen

Charlottesville | 434.465.6465 | Beck Coen also runs great promotions. Now through June 14, 2019, Cohen is offering rebates on select HVAC equipment, Wi-Fi thermostats, and PureAir™ system. Check out these and other offers at

Radon Radon is a naturally occurring gas, typically found in igneous rock and soil throughout the country, that can have big impact on the indoor air quality in your home. You can’t see it or smell it and it can build up indoors. According to the American Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. In 2013, 12 national organizations representing government, nonprofit and industry developed The National Radon Acton Plan to help reduce radon risk and eliminate avoidable radoninduced lung cancer in the U.S. Most professionally completed radon testing costs around $150. There are “do-it-yourself” tests and kits that can be purchased at a local hardware store for a fraction of the cost, though they may not fulfill the requirements when requested for home sales and purchases.

Currently, The Virginia Department of Health has a limited supply of Radon Home Test Kit available for Virginia residents for only $3. Scan the QR code provided to visit to order yours.

Stepping Up the Safety in Your Home With more Baby Boomers choosing to remain in their own homes later in life, modifying bathrooms and adding grab bars and bath safety products helps make that option a viable one. If you’re not sure what options are best for you and your home, consider reaching out to a local bathroom modification retailer.

Who to Call for Easy Step® Bathtub Updates? Miracle Method of Charlottesville

Charlottesville | 434.214.6161 | Miracle Method of Charlottesville offers the unique Easy Step® tub solution. The process allows easier access to bathing by modifying your existing tub with an opening so you can step right in through an opening in the tub, rather than having to step over into the tub. Miracle Method also offers slip resistant resurfacing for tubs and safety grab bar installation among its many services.



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville



& Off Those Screens! words | JEANNE GRUNERT

School’s almost out for summer. As the clang of the last bell of the academic year dies away, and the custodian pulls the floor buffer from the closet, kids everywhere rejoice.

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But parents are another story. Many working parents find themselves worrying about their school-age children – notably those ages 12-17 – during the summer months, especially as children age out of day camp, summer camp, and summer programs.

l f al nt o .S. e c per the U ing 39 am out olds in e a g e, and b A hav onsol cent seh c hou per ave 95 ens h e a of t ss to . e e c n c a ho ial c artp sm ve so y lo sa y t The ercen t 5 p lmos a d4 , an nline “ a i d o e m re .” ya the tantly s con

“Screens take away from active play, reading, and playing independently.”

With 24 million children between the ages of 12-17, and just over 1.8 million children under age 18 living in the commonwealth, – Kelly Vincel, CPNP that’s not an idle worry. During the summer months, without the structure of the school day or other activities, adolescents tend to gravitate towards their screens. Unlike their parents, who tend to visit Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, adolescents prefer YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Too much screen time can be problematic. “Screens take away from active play, reading, and playing independently,” says Kelly Vincel, CPNP an


The Summer Fun Checklist Here’s a brief checklist to use when discussing with your teens about what interests them so you can plan your summer fun schedule. For every activity on the list, ask your teen to assign a numerical score from 1 – 5, with “1” being “not interested” and “5” being “that sounds great! Let’s do it!” Tally up the results and the activities with the most “5s” are those you might want to add to a “Summer Fun” Checklist of things to do this year.

Summer Fun Ideas: (SCORE FROM 1 TO 5)

Go canoeing Go kayaking Go fishing Go swimming Go to a museum Go for a hike Go on a family bike ride Schedule a movie night Day trips to see historical sites in Virginia Campfire or fire pit with friends Cooking lessons Craft lessons together like pottery, stained glass, etc. Visit a vintage or artisan festival Volunteer at a local non-profit 42

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

adolescent specialist at Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville. And cell phones can be a real danger. “Distraction with cell phones can make children and teens less able to self-regulate themselves. Studies have shown the more screen time kids get, the less able they are to manage their emotions, read verbal cues, and self-soothe,” says Vincel. Other detrimental effects of too much screen time include both physical and emotional problems. Neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, headaches, sleep disturbance with use of a screen near bedtime, and chronic illness caused by contamination of the phone with viruses and bacteria are all risks from too much screen time. Vision problems are also common. “Small text and bright screens can strain the user’s eyes causing dry eyes, eye redness, and blurred vision,” says Vincel. So no, parents – it’s not your imagination, and you’re not overreacting when you worry about your teens during the summertime. But what can you do?

Take Back Summer from the Screen! It’s time to take back your summer from the screen or limit your kids’ screentime. But instead of nagging them to death over their use of smartphones, make the alternative more attractive.

1. Virginia State Parks Programs: Virginia offers a wealth of beautiful state parks with lakes for swimming, canoeing, and fishing. Camping, hiking, nature programs and other outdoor activities make for great family time, too. Special events include nature hikes, star gazing, historical tours of sites, and more.

Visit for more information.

2. Virginia Public Libraries: Many of the public libraries in Virginia offer summer programs for teens including movie days, gaming afternoons with old-fashioned board games, and similar programs.

Visit for more information.

3. Friend Fun: Plan for a sleepover, a weekend together, or another activity that brings teens together. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. It’s having face time, rather than screentime, that counts.

4. Get On Your Bike and Ride: Dust off your old bicycles, fill the tires, and go for a family ride. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a national organization, offers a guide to converted railway lines statewide that are now smooth, groomed bicycling and walking pathways.

Visit to learn about nine great rail trails in Virginia.

5. Encourage Hobbies: Offline hobbies, crafts, and activities offer a great way to keep kids fit and active during the summer months. Baseball, swimming, horseback riding, and other sports provide demanding physical activity with plenty of time away from the screen. Treat your hometown like a tourist and visit websites like, or that have online guides to all types of activities nearby.

Summertime is when the living is easy, but it’s also a time when parents face many challenges keeping teens active and healthy. Encourage togetherness with family and friends, outdoor time to keep minds and bodies healthy, and enjoy the months ahead. EXPERT CONTRIBUTER Kelly Vincel, CPNP is a provider at Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville and sees patients in the Downtown/Adolescent Center location.


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Technology Spotlight LOCAL INNOVATIONS

Robotic SURGERY in Augusta County Offers Women High Tech Care That’s Local

Dane Larsen, MD standing next to the da Vinci Xi system. words | RICK PIESTER

There’s a definite idyllic atmosphere to Augusta County — Fishersville, Staunton, Waynesboro and vicinity. The beauty of nature is at your doorstep, commutes aren’t filled with traffic jams and everyone shares the values of kindness, compassion and courtesy that good neighbors are known for. The less busy life offers many advantages over the aggressively alternative. But rural and semi-rural locations such as Augusta County are experiencing something of a “boom” in high-tech diagnostic and treatment options. People who live in these areas are gaining the advantages of up-to-the-minute, often lifesaving, healthcare without the time, expense, and worry of traveling to distant locations.

Finally, a midwife referred her for an ultrasound examination. The ultrasound process uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound scans are used in many areas of medicine as a safe, effective diagnostic tool. The ultrasound showed that the source of Williams’ pain and bleeding had been fibroid cysts (noncancerous growths) on her uterus. This in turn led to an appointment with Augusta Health Care for Women, a private medical practice which is affiliated with the Fishersville-based health system Augusta Health.

Is it Really a Robot?

After examining her there, physicians determined that Carol’s best option was a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus.

She then met with Dane Larsen, MD, “Robotic surgery” is something of a misnomer. Every move the robotic surgical equipment makes is who specializes in gynecologic controlled by the surgeon, who sits at a control panel surgery using a surgical robot. in the operating room. The surgical equipment — in this case the da Vinci Xi system — gives the surgeon a high-definition, three-dimensional view of the precise area of the surgery, along with exquisite Carol Williams of Craigsville is a good control of the surgical instruments, in many example of the trend. In a previous position in Plattsburgh, cases more control than is available through the human hand. NY, Dr. Larsen pioneered the use of The 43-year-old mother of two grown children That’s exactly what’s happening here is Fishersville, where an enlightened healthcare community is adopting big-city technology to serve their patients.

suffered through an almost life-long ordeal with excruciating pain and very heavy bleeding during her menstrual periods. The pain, she says, “was so bad that many days I couldn’t even get out of bed, couldn’t leave the house for days.” 44

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville

He Helped Pioneer the Use of Robotic Surgery for Women

robot-assisted surgery to address a variety of gynecologic requirements. Moving to the Shenandoah Valley in 2017, he found a ready pool of surgeons already using robotic equipment for their patients, including surgeons specializing in urology, thoracic surgery, and general surgery.

Now counting the number of robotic surgeries he has performed topping 400, Dr. Larsen says that he “would not consider practicing gynecology without robotic surgery, because it offers me the ability to do quite complex cases with far fewer problems for the patient, much less bleeding, and much more precision in what we can do as surgeons.” Dane Larsen, MD

Gynecologist in Fishersville

But after meeting with Dr. Larsen, Williams was still skeptical. Robotic surgery was something new to her. So she did what many of us do when confronted with the unfamiliar: she turned to Google. “I came home and started Googling it,” she says. “I got a lot of information about it, and finally said, ‘OK. That would be great.’” Williams is no stranger to surgery. She has had a number of “conventional” surgeries, each requiring a rather large incision, a lengthy recovery time, and at times requiring the surgical wound to be “packed”, filling the surgical cavity with material to absorb drainage that helps the body to heal from the inside out. ”Packing” has to be monitored, cleaned, and changed, either at home or at the hospital. In late March, Williams and Dr. Larsen joined forces for her surgery in Surgical Suite #4 (the one with the robotic surgery equipment) at the Augusta Health hospital in Fishersville. She spent the night in the hospital because surgical staff wanted to watch the six small incisions (about 5 millimeters each, less than a quarter inch) that were needed for her surgery. Most robotic surgeries require from three to six incisions, one for the tiny camera and the others for surgical instruments.

With Robotic Surgery, There’s Less Blood Loss and Pain and Less Chance for Infection Speaking about her surgery about a month post-op, she is ready to encourage others to investigate robotic surgery locally. “If I had to have surgery again, I’d have robotic surgery if at all possible,” she says while preparing to return to her work as a retirement community cook. “It’s less down time, less blood loss and pain, less chance of having an infection.” And there are multiple “hidden” dividends to patients in a rural setting. The availability of robotic surgical equipment helps Augusta Health in the competition for expert surgeons of all ages — both brand new and long-established professionals – to practice in one of the many beautiful areas of Virginia, if not the U.S. “It’s been gratifying” says Dr. Larsen, “to see that some of the spectacular surgeons we have in the Shenandoah Valley have started to use this approach out of their care for the patient.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTER Dane Larsen, MD, FACOG practices general and high-risk obstetrics and gynecology at Augusta Health Care for Women in Fishersville. His special interests include robotic surgery, infertility treatment, pelvic organ prolapse surgery, and surgery for endometriosis.


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Nothing beats a fresh bowl of strawberries in the spring, a juicy tomato in the summer, or a crisp apple in the fall. While produce is easily accessible at the supermarket, buying fruits, vegetables and other products from local farmers and merchants can be a benefit for not only your personal health, but also for the community as a whole.

WHAT’S CONSIDERED ‘LOCAL’ FOOD? Local food is generally categorized as food that comes from within 100 miles of where you live, though the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) considers anything grown or raised in Virginia as local. This list includes fruits and vegetables, herbs, plants and flowers, meats, cheeses and dairy products, seafood, and other items. Buying local “helps strengthen local economies,” points out Elaine Lidholm, Director of Communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). “Consumer spending at farmers markets keeps money circulating within the local economy, helping to create and preserve jobs


Charlottesville FARMERS MARKETS

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) provides a list of more than 200 farmers markets by region on at

Charlottesville City Market

100 Water Street | Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.970.3371 | f CharlottesvilleCityMarket April – September: Saturdays, 8 a.m. – Noon October – November 23: Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Farmers in the Park

300 Meade Avenue | Charlottesville, VA 229022 434.970.3371 | f FarmersInThePark May – October: Wednesdays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Forest Lakes Farmers Market

1650 Ashwood Boulevard Charlottesville, Virginia 22911 434.531.2733 | f ForestLakesFarmersMarket April – October: Tuesdays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Madison Farmers Market

1110 Fairground Rd | Madison, VA 22727 f MadisonCountyFarmersMarket May – October: Saturdays 8 a.m. – Noon

Staunton Farmers Market

The Wharf Parking Lot | Staunton, VA 24402 540.448.1937 | April – September: Wednesdays and Saturdays 7 a.m. – Noon

farmers markets, you may also wish »to Beyond consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Through a CSA, farmers offer shares to the public: In exchange for a membership, farmers supply patrons with a box of seasonal produce or sometimes even farm products like meats 48 and cheeses each week during the season.

Food Fitness


in rural localities. Consumers visiting farmers markets also spend money at neighboring businesses, supporting the neighborhoods where the markets are located. Buying local is a way to know the farmers who grow your food.”


Buying local is becoming more popular with more people choosing to shop at area places such as farmers markets and more restaurants also opting to use local ingredients in their dishes in a trend known as farm-to-table dining. Not only does the practice of buying local help boost the economy, it is better for the environment and is healthier for you and your family too. “It’s also a way to buy produce, plants, herbs or other products that are justpicked fresh, and thus, more nutritious,” says Lidholm. “Spending long hours on a truck or rail car diminishes nutrients, so fresher really is better.”

“Buying local is also a way to buy produce, plants, herbs or other products that are just-picked fresh, and thus, more nutritious.” Elaine Lidholm

Director of Communications for the Virginia Farmers Market Association

Picking up ingredients for your next meal at a farm stand makes you feel more connected to your food and makes you more aware of what you are putting in your body. It also provides a chance to get to know the farmers and discover foods you may have never heard of before. Prices vary depending on the products, and, while some items may be a little more expensive than your chain grocery store, the benefits to your health make it worth it.

“At a farmers market, people often find products not available at the chain stores like exotic vegetables, or heirloom apples or tomatoes, so price isn’t always a factor,” says Lidholm.


Nearly every community in Virginia has a weekly farmers market, typically in the warmer months when fruits and vegetables are at their peak. The Virginia Farmers Market Association provides a list of more than 200 farmers markets by region on its website ( vagrown). In addition, vendor information is available through the Virginia Farmers Market Association (



Beyond farmers markets, you may also wish to consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Through a CSA, farmers offer shares to the public: In exchange for a membership, farmers supply patrons with a box of seasonal produce or sometimes even farm products like meats and cheeses each week during the season. The arrangement works because you get to know the people growing your food and you receive fresh food full of flavor and vitamins Local farmers also tend to use less pesticides or none at all. Advocates for organic foods – foods grown or produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents – consider these foods to be safer, more nutritious, better tasting, and better for the planet. “When buying directly from a farmer or food producer, you have the opportunity to ask them about their growing practices,” says Kim Hutchinson, Executive Director of the Virginia Farmers Market Association. “If choosing meat from animals that are grassfed or raised in a particular manner is important to you, talk to the farmers about how they raise their animals. There

are also certifications you can look for such as Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Naturally Grown, and Certified Organic.”


In Virginia, food is grown year-round, allowing consumers to enjoy various fruits, vegetables, and other products throughout the year. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers a produce availability chart on its website at pdf/producechart.pdf. “When you eat with the season, buying from local farms, you learn which fruits and vegetables are available each season and enjoy them fresh at their peak: strawberries and asparagus in the spring; tomatoes, corn, and watermelon in the summer; and apples, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes in the fall,” Hutchinson says. “You can also preserve food at its peak through canning, freezing, or dehydrating, so you can enjoy summer flavor throughout the winter. There is also wonderful produce that keeps well like butternut squashes, sweet potatoes, and apples. These are excellent to buy in bulk when they are in season.” When you are shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, be sure to pick produce that is firm, colorful, the proper temperature, and is free of any bruising or signs of pests. Be sure to thoroughly wash items before consuming.

“You can also preserve food at its peak through canning, freezing, or dehydrating, so you can enjoy summer flavor throughout the winter.”

EXPERT CONTRIBUTERS Elaine Lidholm is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Kim Hutchinson is the Executive Director of Virginia Farmers Market Association.

Kim Hutchinson

Executive Director of Virginia Farmers Market Association


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3, 46

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Can you spot the SEVEN differences between the two cartoons?


Edward Wolanski, MD, PC


Evolution Hearing

Be the first reader to email us describing what the seven differences are and you will earn the satisfaction (and bragging rights) of having your name in print in the next edition. OK, START YOUR SEARCH!


Eye One


Fork Union Military Academy


Hospice of the Piedmont

Email with the subject line Funny Bone Charlottesville.


Keller Williams


Mary Baldwin University


Medical Facilities of America


Our Lady of Peace Retirement Community


Patient Care Plus


Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville


Primary Eyecare


Rebecca’s Natural Food


Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia, PLC.

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Christopher Scolari of Fishersville was the first person to email the correct seven differences in last issue’s Funny Bone.


For the full list of answers visit our facebook page @OurHealthCharlottesville.


Rivanna Hearing Center


Rosewood Village

29, 52 University of Virginia Health System 43

Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates


Virginia Prosthetics and Orthotics


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