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April • May 2018


generation of

Lynchburg & Southside

providers are making care

better for our communities










OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside





RISING STARS IN HEALTHCARE Ten professionals share how they are making healthcare better for residents in the Lynchburg & Southside communities.


HOW DECLUTTERING MAKES YOU HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AND LEANER While some people live and work well in messy surroundings, studies show most don’t function at optimum levels mentally or physically in the midst of disorganization.


OurHealth Community ON Social Media! Write us, tweet us, or tag us today! #OurHealthLBSS





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The Pulse | People. Places. News to Know.


Calendar | Things to Do in April and May for your Mind,


Health A-Z | Continued... 35 - Financial Health: Seven Keys to being financially fit.

Body and Soul

38 - Family: Is everything blurry? Here's the reason why.

Health Scene | Happenings. Who’s Who. Trending.

40 - Family: Warm weather brings dangerous tick bites. . Warmer months bring prime tick season and signal . it’s time to be extra vigilant about avoiding disease- carrying ticks.

People throughout Lynchburg attended the Horizon's Got Talent fundraiser benefiting Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg.


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


Health A-Z | Insight. Awareness. Mindfulness for the Whole Family. 27 - Teen: Is your teen at risk for depression and anxiety? . How to help your child navigate a brave new world of challenges. 31 - Young Adults: Central Virginia Community College trains students for in-demand healthcare careers.



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


Food and Fitness | Nutrition. Exercise. Prevention.


Referral Reach | Expertise. Collaboration. Connection.


Funny Bone | Humor. Search. Check.

Let fruits and vegetables take center stage in your spring diet plans.

Virginia-based Envera Health improves the experience for consumers, patients and providers.

Spot the Difference: Can you spot the seven differences between the two cartoons?



McClintic Media, Inc. Steve McClintic, Jr. | Jennifer Hungate Laura Bower Karrie Pridemore Tori Meador Heidi McClintic Dalton Holody Terry Brown Photography

CONTRIBUTING MEDICAL EXPERTS William Carvajal, MD, FACS Kristopher Collins, MD Saju Eapen, MD Allison Helgeson, FNP-C, AACC Patrick Kenny, DO CONTRIBUTING PROFESSIONAL Susan Brandt EXPERTS & WRITERS Catherine Brown Brandy Centolanza Rich Ellis Jennifer Lamont Michelle McLees Heather Pippen Christy Rippel

ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Cindy Trujillo | Senior Media Consultant P: 434.907.5255 | SUBSCRIPTIONS Subcriptions are $19.95 per year. To receive OurHealth Lynchburg and Southside via U.S. Mail, please contact Jenny Hungate at


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 © 2018 by McClintic Media, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. OurHealth Lynchburg/Southside 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




Accountable Care Organization Formed by Centra Health

Centra Physician Named American College of Cardiology President

Centra Health has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to form Centra Alliance, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). An ACO is a group of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high quality care to the Medicare patients they serve. These programs aim to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, has been named the new president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He officially assumed his role on March 12, 2018 and will serve a one-year term. A cardiologist with the Centra Stroobants Heart Center, Dr. Valentine first became involved with the ACC in 1993 and has worked his way up the leadership ranks, including previously serving on the Advocacy Committee, as Virginia Chapter governor, as Board of Governors chair, treasurer and on the Board of Trustees. “Being ACC President is a tremendous honor and privilege, not only for me, but for our group practice and health system at Centra,” says Dr. Valentine. “This recognizes the importance and responsibility of community systems to lead with the highest quality of care and clinical research. It also encourages grassroots members who work at the local level to further advance the Mission of the College.”

Under a traditional healthcare payment system, providers and health systems are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Under the ACO model, payment is based on healthcare providers’ performance in measurable ways. Physician-led, Centra Alliance was formed to create processes and clinical initiatives that are designed to control costs, improve quality of care for the community and enhance the patient experience for Medicare patients. To learn more about ACOs, review the CMS Beneficiary Fact Sheet at For more information: visit

For more information:

Announcements New Medicare Cards Go in Effect April 1st Beginning April 1, 2018, Virginians will begin receiving new Medicare cards via mail featuring unique Medicare Beneficiary Identification Numbers (MBI). This is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) from 2015, which requires the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSN) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. New cards will have MBI instead of SSN. There will be a national transition period between April 2018 and April 2019 where both the MBI and the SSN card will be accepted. Virginians will be among the first to receive these cards. For more information:


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

The Pulse



New Alzheimer’s Association Report Reveals Sharp Increases in Alzheimer’s Prevalence, Deaths and Costs of Care For the second consecutive year, total payments to care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will surpass a quarter of a trillion dollars ($277 billion), which includes an increase of nearly $20 billion from last year, according to data reported in the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released this past March. New findings from the report show the growing burden of Alzheimer’s on people living with the disease, their families and caregivers, as well as society at large. The number of older Americans is growing rapidly, so too is the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and the subsequent impact to the nation’s economy. By 2050, the total cost of care for Alzheimer’s is projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion. Given the long duration of this disease, the strain on Alzheimer’s caregivers can last several years and produce serious declines in caregiver physical, emotional and financial well-being. In 2017, 16 million Americans provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support – a contribution to the nation valued at $232.1 billion. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $11.4 billion in additional healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s and other dementia caregivers in 2017. While deaths from other major causes continue to decrease, new data from the report shows that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have more than doubled, increasing 123 percent between 2000 and 2015. For context, the number of deaths from heart disease – the number one killer in America – decreased 11 percent. ALZHEIMER’S STATISTICS •

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018.

Of the estimated 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, 140,000 are Virginia residents.

By 2025 – just seven years from now – the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million – an increase of almost 29 percent from the 5.5 million age 65 and older affected in 2018. In Virginia, the estimated number of individuals with Alzheimer’s will be 190,000.

Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may nearly triple from 5.5 million to 13.8 million by 2050.

Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 with Alzheimer’s dementia (3.4 million) are women.

Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s dementia. By mid-century, someone in the US will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the US, and it is the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older. In Virginia, 2,248 died with Alzheimer’s in 2015, the most recent figure available.

As the population of the U.S. ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death, and it is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

For more information:


The Pulse

Gregg Albers, MD


CVFP Monelison Madison Heights 434.846.8421 (Relocated from CVFP Liberty Mountain)

Mandy Fuqua, PA-C

CVFP Forest Forest | 434.52.6964 (Relocated from CVFP Liberty Mountain)

Michael Gowen, PT, DPT David Lewis, MD Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Amherst | 434.381.6090

Centra Medical Group – Danville Danville | 434.857.3600

Susannah Lichtenstein, DO

CVFP Forest Forest | 434.525.6964

Lee McLennan, MD

Centra Medical Group Bedford Women’s Center Bedford | 540.586.6818

For More of The Pulse Visit: Surinder Singh, MD Centra Medical Group – Danville Danville | 434.857.3600


Preston Stewart, DDS Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics of Lynchburg Lynchburg | 434.237.0125

Holly Turner, DO

Richeson Drive Pediatrics Lynchburg | 434.385.7776 www.richesondrive

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

Do you have health-related news to share for The Pulse? Send to Stephen McClintic Jr. via email at





Point of Honor 5K An opportunity to improve the health of your financial house during this second in a 12-month Money Smart financial literacy series presented by Woodforest Bank. February’s topic is Borrowing Basics. Participants will understand how credit works, types of credit that are available and if they are ready to apply for credit. $30 | 9 am Riverfront Park Jefferson Street near Riverfront Park | Lynchburg More information and to register: w


Sound Healing Journeywork It can be hard to get down past our busy minds. Journeying with sound is an invaluable tool to help us to let go and slip down past the chatter. In this sound journey, master musician Ben Carroll will guide us deep within. From the depths of this mind state much healing and releasing can occur, allowing for states of bliss to permeate our being. When entering this state of mind it's much easier to find our spiritual center, to reconnect to our own intuition, and to tap into higher states of consciousness. $30 (pre-registration) | $30 (at the door) 6:30 – 8:30 pm Yoga Goodness Studio 901 Jefferson Street | Lynchburg More information: w

4.21 Central Virginia AUTISM RESOURCE FAIR April is National Autism Awareness Month and Centra Autism and Developmental Services is hosting a resource fair for parents, families and caregivers to learn more and speak with professionals in the community about the condition. This year’s Fair will offer children’s activities, resource and information booths and refreshments. Child care will also be available (one hour maximum, additional time subject to availability). FREE | 10:10 am – 1 pm Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center | 1701 Thomson Drive | Lynchburg More information: Jill Goughnour at m or

c call 434.200.4447

4.21 Lynchburg Project Lifesaver and Growth Through Opportunity (GTO) Disco Party

Join the party and help two non-profit organizations! Lynchburg Project Lifesaver provides law enforcement, fire/ rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering. The Growth Through Opportunity (GTO) Cadet Program is designed for young adults with unique challenges to gain valuable social experience and job skills by volunteering for the police department. This year's Annual Benefit for Lynchburg Project Lifesaver and Growth Through Opportunity is a 70's Disco Party featuring America's greatest disco band Groove Train with DJ Charlie Rock. Disco attire is encouraged. A group costume contest and free T-shirts will be given to the first 200 guests. $12 – $25 | 7 pm | Phase 2 | 4009 Murray Place, Lynchburg | More information:


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside



4.28 2

Annual Health and Wellness Fair at McGurk House nd


Organizations throughout the Lynchburg area will be on hand to provide information about their services during the 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair at McGurk House. Door prizes, refreshments and crafts and games will also be featured. FREE | 11 am – 2 pm McGurk House | 2425 Tate Springs Road | Lynchburg More information:

c 434.846.2425

19th Annual

CASA Shoe Sale

Presenting sponsor Consolidated Shoe Company is donating more than 3,000 pairs of brand new shoes, and you have the opportunity to purchase them for $10 a pair, all in support of CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates who are trained volunteers who help our community’s most vulnerable children navigate the foster system. There will also be a raffle available for purchase for fragrances and makeup donated by Elizabeth Arden. Financial sponsorship for the event generously provided by Wells Fargo and BWXT. $20 early bird admission tickets available to the first 100 people to gain entry at 8 am; general admission from 9 am-11 am is a $5 donation; free entry to anyone after 11 am. Kids 12 and under get free admission to entire event. FREE - $20 | 8 am – Noon Heritage United Methodist Church 582 Leesville Road | Lynchburg More information: w

5.1 5.2

Skin Cancer Screenings May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Local dermatologists and Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center are offering free skin cancer screenings to our community. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. When detected early and treated properly, even melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is curable. More than one million cases of highly curable basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Screenings will be conducted in private rooms by a dermatologist or other healthcare professional specially trained in detecting skin cancer. Participating providers include Dermatology Consultants and RidgeView Dermatology. This screening is available to anyone who does not have a dermatologist or who has not had a skin cancer screening in the last year. Space is limited. Free | 4:30 pm Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center | 1701 Thomson Drive | Lynchburg More information: w




5.5 3rd Annual International Festival

Join the City of Lynchburg for the 3rd Annual International Festival in downtown Lynchburg. Vendors, exhibitors and performers representing countries from around the globe will take part in this fun and educational family friendly festival. There will be plenty of food and artisan crafts available for purchase. Sign up early to carry an International Flag for the Parade of Nations!

Free | 11 am – 4 pm | Riverfront Park | 1100 Jefferson Street | Lynchburg More information: w

5.6 Tire Rack


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all 1520 year olds. Tire Rack Street Survival is a hand-ons driving experience in real-world situations using your own car to teach about its handling limits and how to control them. Young drivers will become more observant to the traffic situation they find themselves in and will learn to look far enough ahead to anticipate unwise actions of other drivers. Students with a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit may participate. $95 | 8 am – 4 pm Salem Civic Center 1001 Roanoke Boulevard | Salem More information and to register: w



It’s important to give our brain as much attention as we give to the rest of our body. And the earlier we start, the better. Join Dr. Len Lecci, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Director of Clinical Services at MARS Memory-Health Network for “Your Happier, Healthier Brain,” Sponsored by WestminsterCanterbury-Lynchburg and the Beard Center on Aging at Lynchburg College, Dr. Lecci will share the latest research and advice on practical ways to maintain brain health.

Lynchburg & Southside

$10 | 11 am (doors open at 10:30 am) Syndor Hall – Lynchburg College 1501 Lakeside Drive | Lynchburg


More information: c 434.544.8456


Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Association Looking for a quick lunch that’s good for the body and the mind? Look no further! Join Heritage Green Assisted Living and Memory Care for a healthy salad bar lunch. Just donate $5 to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and make a yummy salad with your choice of toppings, plus a drink and dessert is included! Reservations and To-Go orders are accepted. $5 donation | Tuesday May 17th from 11:30am to 1pm Heritage Green | 200 Lilliam Lane | Lynchburg More information or to order: c 434.385.5102


Your Happier, Healthier Brain

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


5.28 Memorial Day 10K


Run & 2 Mile Walk

(Benefit for Type 1 Diabetes Experience) Celebrate the Memorial Day weekend with the Lynchburg Road Runners at the Memorial Day 10K and 2 Mile Walk. Proceeds benefit T1DE. T1DE is a local non-profit that provides programs to support individuals and families to live long and healthy lives with T1D. This race also offers the opportunity for assisted participants to enjoy race day. An assisted participant is typically being pushed in a stroller “appropriate” for the event (i.e. hand break, tether, appropriate wheels). Both the participant being pushed, and the pusher are required to register for this event. Registration $20-30 | Monday May 28th at 8am Start and finish at DPO Grille, run will be on Blackwater Creek Bikeway | 10 9th Street | Lynchburg More information: w

Café: Maternal MENTAL HEALTH Motherhood is often challenging. Beginning in pregnancy and continuing through the early postpartum days, we are adjusting to a new role, a new identity. Finding time to evaluate our physical, mental and emotional health may seem impossible when managing the needs of an infant or a busy, growing family. However, being a mother shouldn’t mean that we neglect ourselves. Join in and chat with other mothers and professionals about the ways we can evaluate our health and how to nurture ourselves while juggling the needs of our families. Free childcare is available. Free | 10 am – Noon The Motherhood Collective | 2323 Memorial Avenue | Lynchburg More information: w

For More Events Visit: Do you have an event that our readers simply must know about? Tell us about it by emailing Stephen McClintic Jr. at Please submit your information at least three months in advance to be considered for publication in the magazine.



HORIZON’S GOT TALENT The 4th Annual Horizon’s Got Talent – a fundraiser to benefit Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg, a non-profit that serves people struggling with mental health, substance abuse issues and intellectual disabilities – was held on Friday, March 23, 2018. More than 200 people came out to support Horizon Behavioral Health’s mission to promote the health and independence and self-worth of individuals and families in Central Virginia.










1 Emcee Tony Camm (left) with Derek Polley, judge. 2 Damien Cabezas, CEO of Horizon Behavioral Healthcare speaks to the audience. 3 Contestant band Ennui Band. 4 People’s Choice Award winner Natalie Nelms receives her award from Horizon Behavioral Health CEO Damien Cabezas. 5 Judges, emcee and Horizon Behavioral Health CEO (from left): Tina LeValley, judge; Damien Cabezas, CEO of Horizon Behavioral Health; Tony Camm, emcee; McKenna Hamrick, judge, Danner Evans, judge; Pattie Martin, judge; and Derek Polley, judge. 6 Contestant Natalie Nelms. 7 Daniel Kepel Young receives his 1st place award from Horizon Behavioral Health CEO Damien Cabezas. 8 Contestant Ella Range. 9 The Midnight Theory Band won 2nd place. (from left): Michael Wonderly, lead guitar; Arebecca Wonderly, bass guitar; Chris Acuna, lead singer; Lewis Acuna, key board; Anthony Lynch, drums; and Justin Cook, guitar.


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


Questions. Answers. Knowledge. How are senior living communities addressing “brain fitness” through mental exercise? Brain fitness is an important factor for senior quality of life and in decreasing dementia risks. Our community puts an emphasis on brain-stimulating activities for our assisted living and memory care residents.

1-6% of the

US population is affected by a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Patients with NCGS have similar symptoms to those with Celiac disease, though with less inflammation seen in the small intestine.

Our assisted living community offers residents a variety of daily activities focusing on improving brain health including brain aerobics, trivia, scrabble, reading club, and other games of strategy. Residents in memory care have already been diagnosed with dementia, but that doesn’t mean it is too late to focus on brain fitness. These residents enjoy a variety of trivia, reminiscing, and musical activities which stimulate brain health. We also offer a specialized program focusing on activities to help mild cognitive impairment. This program, The Legacy Club, focuses on small group activities that stimulate brain health and fitness. Through these programs and others, we can provide a great setting for seniors to focus on brain fitness.

Recovery time following a knee replacement varies from patient to patient. Recovery time is determined by two factors: the patient’s preoperative limitation of activities and their functional goals following the procedure. If a patient’s goal is to maintain their current functional level with decreased pain this can be achieved in as quickly as a few weeks. As an example, patients can expect to walk immediately following surgery. If the patient’s goal is to regain function lost prior to procedure this can take much longer. The best way to minimize recovery time is to have the knee replacement before serious functional limitation begins: e.g. limiting distance walked, exercise intensity, or loss of activities previously enjoyed. Recovery time is also affected by physical fitness, strength of the extremity and general health. A stronger leg in a patient with well controlled medical problems will see quicker return to activity.

Kristopher Collins, MD Heather Pippen

Executive Director Heritage Green Assisted Living Lynchburg | 434.333.0503


What is the average recovery time for a full knee replacement? What can I do to minimize that recovery time?

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

OrthoVirginia Lynchburg | 434.485.8598

Can one have a gluten sensitivity but not full blown celiac disease? Yes. Approximately one percent of the US population has Celiac disease (CD). In patients with CD the small intestine develops an inflammatory response when exposed to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley). Symptoms of CD can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, vitamin deficiencies, rash, headaches and several other symptoms. Recently, a separate disorder known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) has been described. NCGS affects an estimated 1-6 percent of the US population. Patients with NCGS have similar symptoms to those with CD, though with less inflammation seen in the small intestine. Patients with wheat allergy may have similar symptoms as well. In all of these diagnoses, avoidance of gluten containing foods will decrease symptoms. Several studies have also shown that many patients with a history of diarrheapredominantly irritable bowel syndrome feel better on a gluten free diet.

Patrick Kenny, DO

Gastroenterology Associates of Central Virginia Lynchburg | 434.384.1862

Q A ON HEALTH • Knowledge


Questions. Answers. Knowledge. Are there any femalespecific disorders that increase a women’s risk of heart disease? Heart disease is the number one killer of women, affecting approximately 44 million women in the US Smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history, mental stress/ depression, and obesity are risk factors that affect both men and women.

HEART DISEASE is the number one killer of women, affecting approximately

44 Million women in the US

However, there are specific disorders that can place females at a higher risk of heart disease. These factors can include menopause, certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation used for breast cancer treatment, pregnancy complications (high blood pressure, diabetes, and weakened heart muscle during/after childbirth), as well as high blood pressure and Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots) associated with oral contraceptive use. It is important for women across their lifespan to engage in preventative efforts, such as exercise and nutrition, and to follow up regularly with a primary care physician. When multiple risk factors are present, increased monitoring or cardiac evaluation may be needed.

Allison Helgeson, FNP-C, AACC Centra Medical Group Stroobants Cardiovascular Center Lynchburg | 434.200.5252


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside

Is it possible to suddenly develop seasonal allergies in adulthood? Seasonal allergic rhinitis, while more common in young adults and young children, can occur at any age. The oldest patient with new onset seasonal allergies that I have seen was over age 80. Tree pollens are predominant in the spring, grass pollen in the summer and weed pollens in the fall. Regardless of age, the treatment options are similar with antihistamines, nasal sprays and desensitization by means of allergy injections or sublingual drops/ tablets being the mainstays of treatment. Avoidance measures like keeping the windows closed at home and in the car, taking a shower and changing clothes immediately after spending a lot of time outdoors, also help. Patients whose symptoms are not controlled by medications and avoidance or who desire long term benefits should consider allergy shots. Sublingual drops can be considered for people who would rather not do allergy injections.

Saju Eapen, MD

Asthma & Allergy Center Lynchburg | 434.846.2244

How do senior living communities encourage friendship development among residents? Socialization in senior living communities is essential. Most communities offer a wide variety of activities each month that appeal to the resident’s physical, social, cognitive, sensory and spiritual needs. Valley View hosts a quarterly meet and greet event where residents are encouraged to introduce themselves to the newest members of the community and share common interests with their neighbors. This allows residents to form friendships based on activities that can be enjoyed together. Mealtimes are often the hub of social interaction with residents sharing details of their lives with their dining companions in a restaurant-like atmosphere. The laughter that I have routinely heard coming from our dining room over my 24-year career at Valley View assures me that friendships have been made and the transition to our community has been a success.

Freda Payne, Office Manager Valley View Retirement Community Lynchburg | 434.237.3009

Q A ON HEALTH • Knowledge



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside




How to Help your Child Navigate a Brave New World of Challenges words | CHRISTY RIPPEL

Teen angst is nothing new—raging hormones and swirling emotions are a part of growing into adulthood. But sometimes, the “normal” teenage experience goes beyond the normal, and crosses into a real battle with anxiety or depression, or both. More than 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, so the teen years are often when issues crop up. What’s most concerning is that several recent studies have documented an alarming increase in mental health issues among high school and college students. So why are today’s kids stumbling more than previous generations, and what can parents do about it?

Increased Pressure to Succeed Modern parents are often concerned about their child’s performance in everything from the classroom to the cello to the basketball court, at very early ages. This parental anxiety can have a trickle-down effect. Bryan Prinzivalli counsels teens and young adults, many of them college students at Liberty University, at Thriveworks in Lynchburg. “There is pressure to perform, particularly at the college level,” says Prinzivalli. “The pressure of achieving the American Dream weighs heavily on these kids.” While pressures come from many avenues, the success-driven parenting culture has insulted kids from making low-risk mistakes at early ages. Recovering


75 PERCENT of all mental health conditions

BEGIN BEFORE THE AGE OF 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.




Lynn Mc Br i

,L de

Health A-Z


from those small mistakes builds the resiliency to cope with bigger challenges in the teen years—and knowing that mistakes are okay, and life goes on.

Delivering Integrated Care in Lynchburg It’s no secret that primary care settings have become the gateway to the behavioral health system. Now primary care providers need support and resources to screen and treat individuals with behavioral and general healthcare needs, and preferably under the same roof. Johnson Health Center (JHC) in Lynchburg has found the solution in integrated care, the systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare. JHC now provides not only primary care services, but behavioral health services as well.

“Many medical conditions have a mental health component so there is a real value to implementing the integrative model of primary care and behavioral health working together,” says Lynn McBride, LPC, LMFT, Director of Behavioral Health at Johnson Health Center. According to the Center for Integrated Health Solutions, people with mental illness die earlier than the general population and have more co-occurring health conditions. And, 68 percent of adults with a mental illness have one or more chronic physical condition like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. “Because we are co-located, we can work with the medical provider to come up with a plan for both the physical and behavioral conditions for the patient. There’s such a value to putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

PARENTING TO DO: Allow your kids to mess up and accept the consequences at early ages. Don’t bring forgotten homework and musical

instruments, and manage your own anxieties about your child’s performance in school, sports and activities. A bad grade or getting cut from a team are not reasons for panic.

Social Media Woes Previous generations of teens did not have to deal with social media pressures, a 24/7 news cycle and cyber bullying, which can contribute to depression and anxiety in this vulnerable age group. One study showed that when we look at social media, our mind takes all the different profiles and merges them into one. So, if we look at one person who is good at athletics, one who is good at art and one person with a great face, our mind creates one perfect persona, which is impossible to live up to. Teens can also fall into the trap of gauging their self-worth based on the number of “likes” and comments they get on social media. “I think there is pressure to create an online persona, to be someone different or better than you are and that is anxiety provoking,” Prinzivalli says.

PARENTING TO DO: Monitor your child’s social media, even if it means taking some time to learn what platforms they are using. Ask them

to share what they’ve posted with you, and spot check daily to make sure your child is not being bullied, or bullying others. Consider rules about turning in devices at nighttime to limit social media exposure.

Recognize the Warning Signs If your teen shows signs of anxiety or depressed mood, such as sleeping more or less than usual, losing interest in activities, bringing home plummeting grades or experimenting with drugs and alcohol—try talking to your teen before things spiral. There may be deep anxieties underneath the behaviors. “With kids, small things can sometimes seem like mountains—a bad grade, a fight with a friend—but if you say ‘How can I help?’” Prinzivalli says, it can lead to a productive conversation. If you want to ask why your teen was engaging in risky behavior, a better way to engage is with open questions like, ‘Are you drinking alcohol to feel better? Why? What are you stressed about?’ If your child still seems resistant to sharing, suggest a trusted counselor. In many cases, talk therapy, medication or a combination of both can be life changing. And

Health A-Z •

the basics of good nutrition, exercise and sleep are important tools in combating mental health issues.

Is Your Teen at Risk for Depression and Anxiety?

PARENTING TO DO: Approach your child with curiosity rather than anger. Help

your teen talk through feelings—with your or someone else who can help them sort out what is truly bothering them. Family physicians and school counselors can provide resources to address serious issues, including threats of self-harm.

EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Bryan Prinzivalli, LPC of Thriveworks Counseling in Lynchburg.

“There is pressure to perform, particularly at the college level. The pressure of achieving the American Dream weighs heavily on these kids.” BRYAN PRINZIVALLI, LPC


More at

A counselor at Thriveworks Counseling in Lynchburg.



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside




Central Virginia Community College

Trains Students for In-Demand


How many certificate or degree programs can claim both high job placement and exam rates? Through excellent training and student support, Central Virginia

Photo above: EMS students practice treating a newborn. From left: Whitney Hubbard, Steve Wilkerson, Amy McKinney, Casey Hodge, Suki Tucker and Trey Stillman.

Community College (CVCC) has achieved that goal for its Allied Health programs. Part of CVCC’s successful testing and placement rates result from the College’s close relationships with local healthcare employers. “In our community, the two largest employers are healthcare and education,” explains James Lemons, Associate Vice President of Workforce, Business, and Allied Health. “We’re meeting the needs of the community by doing a remarkable job with training.”

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS While CVCC offers credit programs for those who want to pursue the academic route, it also offers certifications for high-demand healthcare jobs through its Workforce Solutions Division (WSD). These FastForward programs do not offer typical college credit, but they do provide valuable certifications with a flexible schedule, ideal for working students to advance their careers or for those who want to enter the workforce quickly. The CVCC WSD currently offers three healthcare certification programs: EMT training, which is also available as a credit program; the phlebotomy certification program offered in conjunction with Centra Health; and the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant program, which prepares students for certification through the National Healthcareer Association.

EMT TRAINING Jason Ferguson, an EMT instructor, has seen the student demographics change in CVCC’s EMT certification program. While the field used to be male dominated, he now sees a more even split between men and women. Vianca Chaidez, for instance, is pursuing her EMT certification. “The program attracted people of all different age groups, backgrounds, and for all different reasons,” she says.

“In our community, the two largest employers are healthcare and education. We’re meeting the needs of the community by doing a remarkable job with training.” JAMES LEMONS Associate Vice President of Workforce, Business, and Allied Health.


Health A-Z


Photos above: Top left: Instructors Lisa Aiken and Wendy Ayers demonstrate pediatric assessment with students Ken Smith, Norma Robinson, Brian Davis, Chris Johnson and Sara McConville. Top right: EMS students Heather Markey and Gary Roakes practice CPR. Bottom left: Vianca, an EMS student, uses a manikin to practice assessment of a patient. Bottom right: Central Virginia Community College’s public safety programs.

Chaidez applied to the program because of its balance of academic learning and handson experience: “As part of the program, we were able to spend a day at the Centra Nursing Sim Center, and we were required to spend ten hours in the field (on an ambulance & at the hospital). Those two experiences were extremely beneficial to me, but more importantly, they were exciting!” As Ferguson explains, because the EMT certificate program is competency-based, students gain valuable hands-on experience. “They initially may be uncomfortable because they’re put in the spotlight,” he says, “but by the end of the course they love it.” Students also love that the Lynchburg area has a high demand for EMTs, in the local hospital systems as well as private transport systems. CVCC’s certification can help them move into those jobs or pursue other goals. Chaidez says she is thankful for her experience and eager to use her skills to help the Lynchburg community.

A WIN-WIN-WIN For more infomration and a full list of programs check out workforce

Lemons describes CVCC’s WSD certificate programs as a win-win-win: “It’s a win-win situation for the student and the health care community, but it’s also a win for the college because we’ve been well-recognized for our contributions.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS


More at Vianca Chaidez, EMT Student, CVCC Jason Ferguson, EMT Instructor, CVCC James Lemons, Associate Vice President of Workforce, Business, and Allied Health, CVCC 32

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Health A-Z • Central Virginia Community College Trains Students for In-Demand Healthcare Careers



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside







In a little over a decade, 30 percent of Virginia’s population will be at retirement age. And although the state ranks seventh in the nation in per capita personal income, many Virginians won’t be financially secure enough to retire when their time comes. Whether you’re nearing retirement or have a few decades to go, managing your personal finances and creating a financially fit home will help you secure the bright future you desire, instead of a difficult future you don’t. Taking control of your money now will also help you enjoy life more fully in the present.

Getting Your Finances, Yourself in Shape Studies show that getting your finances in order can not only relieve stress but also help you stay healthier and more physically fit. When you exhibit control in one area of your life, it tends to spill over into other areas. The qualities you need to be both physically healthy and financially secure are one in the same – focus, organization and, most importantly, self-control. Employing those qualities and these seven basic keys to healthy finances will help you live more securely now and ensure your future.

7 Basic Keys to Healthy Finances That Will Help You Live More Securely Today and Tomorrow



People of all ages, including children, are


when their finances are solid. The good news is that

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START regardless of your age or where you are in life financially.

Determine What Financial Stability Means to You. List out what that means to you personally and for your household. Your finances are essentially your life, so ask yourself where you want to be now, and in the future. This is the plan, or financial roadmap, that determines your future.


Health A-Z



Live Within Your Means and Keep Your Budget. According to Carolyn Kiser, Vice President and Director of Marketing at HomeTown Bank, it’s too easy to spend. “As a society, we are constantly exposed to ways to spend our paychecks. The best way to balance this environment is to create a monthly budget. Track your spending and review your budget often,” she says. With so many apps and free

programs available, creating and maintaining a customized budget is easier than ever. Carolyn Kiser


Don’t Let Debt Weigh You Down.


Studies show that higher debt is associated with higher weight and physical illness. So, it pays in more ways than one to free yourself of debt. One of the methods Carolyn recommends is the Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball strategy. Start by paying off the smallest debt first and then move on to next smallest. This method is effective because “that first victory of eliminating a smaller debt can motivate you to continue to intently tackle and pay off your remaining debts,” she says.


Harness the Power of Automation and Pay Yourself First. Pay yourself into a savings account first, before you pay anything else. Make it automatic, before it hits your account so the money isn’t missed. “Pay yourself like you’re paying a bill,” advises Carolyn.

A good rule of thumb is to save at least 10 percent of your income.


Protect Your Assets, Investments and Estate. Regardless of net worth, everyone should follow basic steps to protect their estate and loved ones. Review beneficiaries, all accounts, your will, properties, and important estate documents. Review your investments and re-evaluate them if necessary.


Take an Active Role in Managing Your Money.



Set Aside a Special Emergency Fund.

Set aside at least six months’ worth of living expenses in a separate savings or money market fund.

Your budget and goals are meant to be reviewed often—at least once a month—so you can see what changes need to be made. Use your budget to find savings opportunities. Set a date and time for this review and keep your own appointment.

Carolyn also advises talking to a financial advisor you trust who can provide you with some additional smart strategies to make sure you’re achieving your own goals of what you want now in life and in retirement. Because happiness comes from controlling your money, not letting it control you.


More at 36

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Make this automatic too and keep it for unexpected events.

EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Carolyn Kiser is the Vice President and Director of Marketing at Hometown Bank.

SOURCES Rutgers ( Sage Journals (

Health A-Z • Seven Keys to being Financially Fit





Is Everything HERE'S THE

Real Reason words | JENNIFER LAMONT

As we get older, it becomes harder to read the labels on packages or see signs far off in the distance. We may figure it’s just an inevitable part of aging.

60 MILLION Number of people around the world who are seeing double because of a condition called computer vision syndrome (CVS).



R. L. Wagoner, OD, of Wagoner Family Eye Care, says that CVS is showing up in the elementary years and affects well over 50 percent of his patients.


But studies show many of us – millions, in fact – are suffering from vision problems that have nothing to do with aging. With much of the global population tied to monitors and mobile devices in today’s digital society, it’s estimated that 60 million people around the world are seeing double because of a condition called computer vision syndrome (CVS). It affects people of all ages, including children. In Lynchburg, R. L. Wagoner, OD, of Wagoner Family Eye Care, says that CVS is showing up in the elementary years and affects well over 50 percent of his patients. In reality, CVS is a repetitive stress injury, similar to carpel tunnel syndrome. Reading or working for long periods on a screen forces the eyes to continually refocus and react to flickering pixels, changing resolutions, glare and inadequate lighting in the room. This constant flexing induces eye fatigue and muscle strain. For those over 40 or with existing vision problems such as undiagnosed eye disease, CVS can cause more of an impact. Although most people won’t suffer permanent damage from CSV, symptoms can persist and worsen over time if left untreated. It can also be worse for people with underlying diseases so it’s important to get a comprehensive, baseline exam at least by forty. “A thorough eye health and vision examination will uncover CVS. The associated eye strain, ocular fatigue and tear dysfunction signs and symptoms are pathognomonic for the condition. However, many patients only have a single symptom, such as stinging eyes, that they have accepted as normal,” says Dr. Wagoner. In that case, he’ll ask more specific questions and take microscopic objective measurements to discover if a patient is suffering from CSV.

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Health A-Z

Custom Computer Glasses Aren’t Just for ‘Techies’

Is Everything Blurry? Here's the Real Reason

“Glasses specifically designed for computer use are routinely written and filled in our office. We conduct the exam in a very specific and customizable way so that each individual patient has his or her needs met. We often take measurements while our patients are sitting at the desk in front of a computer screen.” In some cases, computer glasses are covered by insurance.

If needed, a doctor can prescribe computer glasses for CSV. Different from reading or regular prescription glasses, computer glasses are specialized to alleviate specific CVS symptoms and relax the eye muscles. Often the most popular – and helpful – treatment for CSV, says Dr. Wagoner, computer glasses are customized exactly to the patient’s needs. R. L. Wagoner, OD

An optometrist with Wagoner Family Eye Care in Lynchburg.

Three Fast Ways to Relieve Computer Vision Syndrome While seeing a doctor should be the first step, these three tips can help reduce CVS symptoms at home or work:

A Follow the 20-20-20 Rule. The eye is at rest when it looks in the distance. So, every 20 minutes, focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This habit will help your eye muscles relax. Set a reminder alarm to remember to do so. B

Keep your eyes lubricated. Studies show that people blink less when staring at monitors and digital devices. So, intentionally close and blink your eyes often to keep them moist. Lubricating eye drops also help.

WHAT IS COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME? Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a complex of digital eye strain symptoms that develop from spending


Take frequent breaks for your eyes and your overall health. The 20-20-20 rule above will help protect your eyes from fatigue but your whole body will benefit from getting up and moving around. Stand up, stretch and move for a few minutes every half hour.

hours working and reading on computers and mobile devices. Difficulties such as blurred vision, headaches, dry or burning eyes, difficulty refocusing


and double vision are

R. L. Wagoner, OD is an optometrist with Wagoner Family Eye Care in Lynchburg.

common. In more extreme


and polyopia – a condition

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (


cases, dizziness, nausea that creates multiple images of the same object can occur.

More at






Warmer months bring prime tick season and signal it’s time to be extra vigilant about avoiding disease-carrying ticks. P EX







From ehrlichiosis to Rocky Mountain spotted fever to Lyme disease to Powassan virus, ticks transmit viruses, infections, and diseases that can make you very sick. And it’s not just a hike deep in the woods that puts you at risk. As deer populations draw closer in your neighborhood, you may be just as likely to get that dangerous tick bite in your own yard.

Ehrlichiosis is the Most Common Tick-borne Infection in Central Virginia During spring and summer, Robert Brennan, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Infectious Disease Associates of Central Virginia in Lynchburg, treats three or four hospitalized patients a month for ehrlichiosis. Ehrlichiosis, which is somewhat unique to Virginia, is the most common tick-borne infection in the central Virginia region and it comes from a Lone Star tick. For most people, ehrlichiosis appears as a flu-like illness with fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. If you are elderly, ehrlichiosis can lead to confusion, hallucinations, and kidney damage. You can go from being fine to confused in a week, but once you are treated the illness goes away.

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Nor do you find deadly Powassan virus, which is rare. Only one case has been reported in Virginia and about 100 cases have been reported in the United States. However, medical experts across the country are closely watching this virus. Powassan virus can quickly escalate and cause long-term neurological problems, brain damage, and death. David Gaines, PhD, Public Health Entomologist with the Virginia Department of Health, says Lyme disease is still the top tick-borne disease throughout all of Virginia. “Anywhere in Virginia that is about 2,000 feet of elevation is going to be more susceptible to Lyme disease than lower elevations in Virginia,” explains Dr. Gaines. “Blacklegged ticks transmit Lyme disease and they do very well at higher elevations. In lower elevations, the temperatures are too warm in Virginia.”

Tick Bites are Often Confused for Chiggers Physicians are finding that you may have a tick-borne infection or allergy and not remember the tick bite. Charles (Joey) Lane, MD, an allergist with Allergy Partners of Lynchburg, treats patients with a potentially life-threatening allergy to red meat. Called alpha-gal syndrome, the allergy comes from a Lone Star tick, and its bite is associated with itching. Patients may not remember a tick bite, but they remember getting bitten by chiggers. “What we are starting to realize is that what people call chiggers, may actually be larvae of the Lone Star tick,” Dr. Lane states. “These things are so small when they are babies it can be hard to tell what’s a chigger and what’s a tick.”

Are Some People More Likely to Attract Ticks?


CLEAN THE BITE AREA Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.


SAFE REMOVAL Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick. This can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.


CLEAN THE BITE AREA After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.


DISPOSE OF THE TICK Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Thomas Platts-Mills, MD, who is the country’s leading alpha gal researcher and head of the University of Virginia Health Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (

Warm Weather Brings Dangerous Tick Bites

Dr. Brennan says tick-borne infections cover a broad spectrum in Virginia. On one end is Rocky Mountain spotted fever, an acute life-threatening illness usually in a severe state with liver and kidney damage, and significant mortality. On the other end, is Lyme disease, which usually is not life threatening or associated with fever, but you can have symptoms for a long time. In the middle is ehrlichiosis. “If you survive Rocky Mountain spotted fever or ehrlichiosis, you’re going to be fine,” says Dr. Brennan. Lyme disease is the only one that has the chronic phase to it that people are concerned about. The good news is that we don’t see much Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It’s just not that common in our area.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic. Several tick removal devices are available on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick effectively.

Tick-Related Infections Can Range From Mild to Severe

Health A-Z


Health A-Z



An infectious disease specialist with Infectious Disease Associates of Central Virginia

David Gaines, PhD

The Public Health Entomologist with the Virginia Department of Health

Charles (Joey) Lane, MD

An allergist with Allergy Partners of Lynchburg

Thomas Platts-Mills, MD

The head of the University of Virginia Health System’s Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

System’s Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, doesn’t have a clear answer. However, he says, four people can go up in the mountains and sit on a patch of grass. Two may get covered in ticks and two may not. Dr. Platts-Mills notes there is good data about mosquitoes being attracted to certain people. “I think there is a genuine body chemistry thing with mosquitoes,” he explains, “and I suspect there’s the same thing with ticks and that some people just get bitten all the time.” Dr. Platts-Mills says deer can carry 1,000 ticks and he’s concerned about the number of deer living close to neighborhoods and developments. “We think 50 percent of the people we see with alpha gal got tick bites on their own lawn,” he says.

“I don’t think its good to have the deer on our lawn, which can carry so many ticks when the ticks could be infected with something new that we don’t know about. And then suddenly we have a serious infectious disease having a major effect on the community.” - Thomas Platts-Mills, MD

EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS Robert Brennan, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Medical Associates of Virginia in Lynchburg. David Gaines, PhD, Public Health Entomologist with the Virginia Department of Health. Charles (Joey) Lane, MD, an allergist with Allergy Partners of Lynchburg. Thomas Platts-Mills, MD, who is the country’s leading alpha gal researcher and head of the University of Virginia Health System’s Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Lynchburg and Southside


Tips For


Tick Bites



Reducin g Rocky M exposure to tic o k from no untain spotted s is the best d efense w throu fever, a against gh Sep ehrlichio tember lpha gal, and t ick-bor when tic sis, Lym ne illne e disea ks are m sses. Be se, ost activ ext e. Here ’s what ra cautious you sho uld do: WITH TICKS


Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.

Walk in the center of trails.


Remember many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.

BEFORE YOU GO OUTDOORS Treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone. Check for restrictions on children under the age of three.



Discourage deer. Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them. Regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush. Place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas. Consider using a chemical control agent. Effective tick control chemicals are available for use by the homeowner, or a professional pest control expert can apply them. A single springtime application of acaricide can reduce the population of ticks that cause Lyme disease by 68–100%.

AFTER YOU COME INDOORS CHECK YOUR CLOTHING. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. SHOWER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check. CHECK YOUR BODY FOR TICKS. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tickinfested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body, especially under your arms and knees, between your legs, and around your waist, hair and ears. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (




for Our Communities


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Features • Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40

Meet the


who are making a difference in


Lynchburg & Southside community! words | BRANDY CENTOLANZA

Whether they’ve gone into the field of healthcare intentionally or by happy accident, scores of community healthcare providers and staff are making a difference where they work and live every day. From dentists, doctors, and nurses to those who ensure hospitals are safe environments for all who walk through the doors to others who care for the young and the elderly, those who’ve chosen to work in the healthcare realm do it because they are passionate and truly want to improve the health and wellbeing of their friends and neighbors in their town and beyond. Whether it’s making a cancer patient’s day less stressful or putting a smile on an ill child’s face, these young men and women who’ve been chosen as this year’s crop of Stars in Healthcare – through their clinical and non-clinical positions – have had a positive impact on others in the medical industry as well as their patients and their families. As a result, they are paving the way for a better future in healthcare.




Treating the Total Person Carrie McKinney, a family nurse practitioner with Wyndhurst Family Medicine, decided to go into healthcare because “I wanted to help others and make a difference in others’ lives. I felt that being a nurse was God’s calling on my life and I feel so blessed that he allowed me to further my education and become a nurse practitioner.” Every day, McKinney provides primary care to both children and adults. “I provide preventive care as well as sick visits and chronic disease management for different age groups,” she says. McKinney enjoys working in healthcare because “there is always something new to learn and different challenges to face each day.” Like most who work in the field, her patients are her favorite aspect of the job.

Carrie McKinney, FNP Family Nurse Practitioner

Wyndhurst Family Medicine


“Patients make me smile every day,” McKinney says. “Getting to know them and meet them where they are on any given topic is a great benefit of my job. Fortunately, my position at Wyndhurst Family Medicine allows me to not only provide primary care for my patients, but also to listen, laugh, cry, and pray with them—sometimes all in the same visit!” McKinney’s hope is to inspire other nurse practitioners. “I enjoy serving as a preceptor for nurse practitioner students and hope that I can influence the future generations of nurse practitioners,” she says. “Passing along knowledge reminds me of those who passed it along to me, and always brings back great memories. What I am most proud of is the fact that all of ‘my’ students have found their own niches and have been able to help people as well as provide excellent care.”

Putting Smiles on People’s Faces Ry Bohrnstedt, MD, a dermatologist with Seven Hills Dermatology, treats patients with various skin ailments, including cancer, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, allergic contact dermatitis, and other conditions. “I really enjoy helping patients to come up with the best possible solution for their specific condition,” he says. “I enjoy helping patients make an informed decision about their healthcare, one that fits into their unique needs, lifestyle, and circumstances.” He also relishes working with his wife, who is the office manager for his dermatology practice. “She has such a passionate heart for helping people,” he explains. “I am rewarded every day working with a whole staff of people who are there to make a difference in people’s lives.” Dr. Bohrnstedt is also pleased to meet so many different people in his line of work.

Ry Bohrnstedt, MD Dermatologist

Seven Hills Dermatology


“I love the diversity of all our patients,” Dr. Bohrnstedt notes. “There are so many backgrounds and things they have been through. I enjoy helping them and their families make a decision that fits their needs. I enjoy the patient that comes in with a funny joke and brightens up our day when we get busy and forget to laugh. I enjoy trying to help my patients feel comfortable when we are removing a skin cancer and they may be anxious. I enjoy seeing the smile on a patient’s face when they come in and their skin is clear from psoriasis or acne that they have been dealing with for a long time.” Dr. Bohrnstedt is honored to be recognized for his efforts and hopes to continue to make a difference in healthcare in Lynchburg and maybe inspire others to join the healthcare field as well. “I am hopeful that I will be able to have local students come over and shadow, so that I can pass on some of the knowledge that I was so graciously taught by so many people,” he concludes.


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Passion to Improve Posture

Before moving to Virginia, Lynn-Ann Mason, LPTA worked in a private outpatient clinic specializing in osteoporosis, rheumatology, and manual therapy. Currently, Mason is a physical therapist assistant at Appomattox Health and Rehabilitation Center, helping out where ever she can. She has been with Appomattox Health and Rehabilitation Center for more than a decade.

Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40

“My duties are to help patients receive the best care possible and to help them achieve their individual goals and return home faster, stronger and healthier through the Life Works Rehab Program,” Mason says. Mason pursued a career in healthcare because “I’ve always loved fitness and nutrition and helping individuals learn how to live healthier and stronger lives. When it came to deciding my future, I knew the best way to achieve my goals was to become a physical therapy assistant.” She wouldn’t change her career path for anything in the world. “To be honest, I love everything about healthcare,” Mason says. “For the past 24 years, I have experienced such wonders that make my job enjoyable. Knowing that I have the skills and knowledge to help others is very satisfying. My true passion is improving people’s postures everywhere I go. I love posture so much that it is even on my license plate.”

Lynn-Ann Mason, LPTA

Mason especially enjoys working with her patients and colleagues at Appomattox Health & Rehabilitation Center.

Physical Therapy Assistant

“I encourage positive attitudes, teamwork, and setting new challenges,” Mason says. “I am very proud of the trust, openness and confidence that everyone instills in me. I also love knowing that I can help physically and emotionally change a patient’s outlook on their life and current condition.”


Appomattox Health & Rehabilitation Center




Blessed to Help Others Heather Walling Brumfield’s previous experience as a competitive high-level gymnast exposed her to the world of physical therapy. “I spent many days in physical therapy for broken bones, sprains, and surgery throughout my career, so I experienced most of therapy first hand,” says Brumfield, who is now a physical therapist and site coordinator for Centra Rehabilitation’s Nationwide Clinic. She chose to work in healthcare because “I love to help others physically, mentally, and emotionally by decreasing pain and improving function.” Brumfield got her orthopedic clinical specialist certification in 2009 and just recertified this year.

Heather Walling Brumfield, PT

Site Coordinator at Centra Rehab Nationwide Clinic Centra Health


“I have become one of the go to physical therapists in Lynchburg for spine and ortho rehab,” she says. “I have had patients come from several hours away and even several states away to see me based on a patient’s word of mouth. I have a reputation of being able to help those patients who have been to other therapists, chiropractors, and doctors without relief. I have worked hard to get certified to provide active release techniques (ART) for the upper extremity, lower extremity, and spine for the last six years. I am the only physical therapist in central Virginia with this certification at this point.” Brumfield feels blessed to work as a physical therapist. “I love helping patients with their goals,” she says. “I have awesome colleagues at Nationwide. We are a true team. Everyone has their own niche and we all work together to give the patients exactly what they need on a daily basis. I get excited every day when I help someone new. It never gets old. It is the best feeling.”

Motivating Movement and Change Jen Stowers’ first job in healthcare was as an emergency department nurse at Centra Health. “Our Emergency Department is one of the busiest in the state with close to 100,000 visits a year,” she says. “Working in an emergency department is like a looking glass into your community’s ability to provide access to healthcare as well as the social determinants of health. I can clearly define my life in two periods: the time before being an ED nurse when I was blissfully unaware of how broken our system is, and the time after becoming an ED nurse when it became my life’s work to fix it.” Stowers is Chief Care Coordination Officer for Centra Health and Vice President of Nursing for Centra Medical Group.

Jen Stowers

Chief Care Coordination Officer and Vice President of Nursing Centra Health



“I am also the founder and President of the Community Access Network, a federally qualified healthcare center in Lynchburg that is a model for innovative care delivery for complex patients,” Stowers says. “I am most proud of being able to lead change and motivate movement to look at how we take care of people differently. I was able to surround myself with likeminded people and get $11 million to create a clinic that is addressing all the determinants of health. I am proud that I never took no for an answer, and that the clinic opened its doors in January of 2018. I’m also proud that I was able to recognize that I didn’t know how to run it and that success is sometimes letting go and watching others shine. I’m excited for what’s next.” Stowers hopes to continue to work to ensure that all patients are heard and their needs are met, no matter who they are or where they come from. “I love the opportunity to have a lasting impact on another human being,” Stowers says. “I also want to make my dad proud, and for my daughter to know what you can do if you put your mind to it.”

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Inspired Pediatric Care

“In high school, I had the opportunity to enroll in a medical assistant course, and that really sparked my interest in healthcare,” says Teodora Brose, MD. “Once I started working in the field I just wanted to keep learning more and more. Eventually I ended up in nursing school and became an RN but quickly realized that was still not enough.”

Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40

Today, Dr. Brose is a family physician with Central Virginia Family Physicians. Her specialty is in lifestyle medicine. Dr. Brose, who practices in Appomattox, enjoys reaching out to the community to teach people how to improve their health. “I’m always trying to find ways to educate and empower people to live healthier lives through improving their own lifestyle,” Dr. Brose says. “I’m currently doing a series of free educational lectures and Lunch and Learns through Lynchburg Parks and Recreation. Some of the topics we are covering include the role of lifestyle in disease prevention and reversal when it comes to diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and autoimmune disease.” In addition, Dr. Brose has started a meet-up group called Eat Plants Lynchburg, which emphasizes a whole food plant-based nutritional approach to disease prevention and reversal. “We share plant-based meals once a month while we explore health topics as they relate to nutrition,” she says. Dr. Brose was also instrumental in the recent establishment of the program Walk With A Doc to Appomattox. On the third Saturday of each month, anyone is welcome for a brief health discussion followed by a 45-minute walk with physicians.

Teodora Brose, MD Family Medicine Physician Central Virginia Family Physicians


“We had nearly 30 people show up for our first walk, and it was wonderful,” Dr. Brose says. “I want to continue to expand Lifestyle Medicine to our community and grow our current projects. Who knows, one of these days you might find me out of the exam room in the kitchen, cooking with my patients and teaching them how to use food as medicine.”

Family Focused Care “I’ve always had an interest in science,” says Brian Freeman, MD. “I was exposed to biomedical engineering during high school and thought that becoming a doctor would allow me to continue my interest in science while also working with people to improve their lives.” Dr. Freeman is Director of Adult and Family Medicine at Johnson Health Center. He is also an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Liberty University and attending preceptor for the Lynchburg College Doctor of Medical Science Program. “I am a family physician mainly at Bedford Community Health Center in Bedford seeing patients of all ages,” he says. “I also direct the adult services across five Johnson Health Center clinics in the Lynchburg area.” For Freeman, the greatest reward of working in the healthcare field is “helping patients figure out what’s wrong with them, developing a plan with them, and seeing them get better as a result. It’s the most gratifying thing to see someone come into the office with an ailment and then over the next several visits see them improve.” He enjoys developing relationships with both his patients and his students. “I enjoy seeing patients of all ages and expanding my skill set,” he says. “I also very much enjoy teaching primary care to medical students and physician assistants. In my role as Director, I find I am using the same skills I use as a physician to help our providers take better care of our patients including communication, information gathering, and listening.”

Brian Freeman, MD Director of Adult and Family Medicine Johnson Health Center





Advancing the Field of Physical Therapy Growing up as a student athlete, Catherine Martin witnessed the frustration from teammates after they were injured and unable to participate in the game. This, in part, put her on the path to become a physical therapist. “I knew early on in my life that my life purpose is to help people,” Martin says. “I always enjoyed volunteering and giving to others and realized that one of the best ways I can do this is in the healthcare field.” Martin is a physical therapist and Junior Partner with Rehab Associates of Central Virginia. In addition, she is site director of the Moneta practice. “I am also the Clinical Quality Leader for Rehab Associates, which involves traveling one day a week to our various 14 locations,” she says. “This role allows me to work directly with physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to improve their skills, challenge their critical thinking process, work together on complex cases, and ultimately provide all of our patients with the best care possible.” Martin finds being a physical therapist and caring for her patients’ various needs particularly rewarding.

Catherine Martin, PT Physical Therapist

Rehab Associates of Central Virginia


“I enjoy my interactions with my patients,” she says. “I love to learn about them, meet their family members, and help them address their goals of improving their quality of life. I possess a unique skill set that can make life changing actions in someone’s life, like helping someone return to work to provide for their family or helping a grandparent be able to play with their grandkids during the summer months at Smith Mountain Lake.” Martin is honored to be recognized for her contributions in the field of physical therapy. “Each day I wake up knowing that I will do at least one thing to make a difference in someone’s life,” she says. “My future goals include continuing to advance the field of physical therapy. We as a profession have come a long way in the past ten years, but we still have a long way to go.”

Providing a Platform for Success and Recovery “One of the best parts of my job is sitting down with a consumer and hearing their life changing success stories,” says Lauren Connors, Manager of Communications and Community Engagement with Horizon Behavioral Health. “I get to take those stories and write them down for others to hear or read about on our website, at events, or through social media marketing. There is nothing better than to give people a platform to share their story of success and recovery.” Connors has always been interested in helping those who struggle with mental illness. “This job was the perfect combination for me,” she says. “I get to help people understand why paying attention to mental health is so important and also connect people who need help in the community with Horizon’s services.”

Lauren Connors

Among her roles and responsibilities are “to market all the services Horizon Behavioral Health provides; advocate for Horizon’s consumers; make sure our community understands the services that are available to them; work aggressively to break down the stigma of mental illness in our community; and strive to grow Horizon’s social media so our community can see what is going on at Horizon.”

Horizon Behavioral Health

Connors adds, “I also love marketing the wonderful work Horizon’s clinicians, psychiatrists, nurses, and case managers do. Their work is so important in our community. They are truly helping to save lives, and I love promoting their amazing work.”

Manager of Communications and Community Engagement LYNCHBURG

Currently, Connors is working on a campaign called “Life is Hard, Harder on Drugs,” to help combat the growing opioid epidemic. “We are creating a campaign that shows how people can get more information and get the help they need quickly,” she explains. “My goal is to keep advocating for individuals with mental illness, substance use, and intellectual disabilities and to do the best I can to break down the stigma of mental illness in our communities and our country.”


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Providing Better Patient Solutions

Brian Jalbert’s first foray into the field of healthcare was working with a fire department rescue squad shortly after high school. Jalbert later helped implement an on-campus emergency response team at then-Longwood College in Farmville.

Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40

“I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and that’s how I first started in healthcare,” Jalbert says. Jalbert went on to work as a physician assistant in a family medicine practice and in an Emergency Room setting. Today, he is a physician assistant at Dermatology Consultants. He assists with treatment of patients with various skin ailments, from acne and rashes to screening for skin cancer, particularly melanoma. “I like that, with dermatology, I am visually able to see the results, to see a patient’s acne improve or rashes go away,” Jalbert says. “I like having that tangible feedback. It’s very gratifying for me.” He’s also grateful for his patients. “I enjoy taking the time to connect with my patients and discuss with them any underlying issues as well as potential solutions,” Jalbert says. “That helps me to figure out how best to serve them and fulfill their needs. It’s rewarding getting to know them on a personal level, and seeing them improve is exciting to me.”


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Brian Jalbert, PA Physician Assistant Dermatology Consultants




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How Makes You

Happier, Healthier and Leaner words |JENNIFER LAMONT

Climbing into fresh sheets at the end of a long day or walking on a clean floor are simple pleasures – it just feels good to have a clean home. Especially when there’s a place for every item. Decluttering your life makes you happier, more creative and even more productive.

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That’s because our brains love order. A clean, nicely ordered environment frees the brain to think. Too much clutter, on the other hand, creates mental noise that distracts and stresses us. We don’t even have to be consciously aware of it. Around clutter, the brain is forced to multitask and divide its attention between processing information and making sense of the mess. While some people live and work well in messy surroundings, studies show many people don’t function at optimum levels mentally or physically in the midst of disorganization. Clutter impairs working memory, cognition and creative problem solving skills. It can even affect physical health by making a person weigh more.


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Clean to Stay Lean Organizing doesn’t just create a space that’s more relaxing and inviting to be in. Research shows people with cleaner homes are more active, happier and weigh less. Beyond the beneficial physical exercise of cleaning, an organized home creates a sense of control that can transfer to other areas in life, such as choosing healthy foods and exercising. In Virginia, obesity rates have risen across the state to almost 30 percent since 2015. The physical effort of keeping a clean house is a creative way to work exercise into your day. Conversely, a chaotic environment can lead to impulsive eating of unhealthy foods and a lack of energy. This is especially true for women. Research shows they’re more susceptible to stress from living in cluttered environments. Just viewing their own clutter elevates their cortisol levels. If this stress hormone is chronically elevated, it can impair the body’s fatburning ability. It can also lead to increased fat storage around the abdomen, which correlates to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Simplifying your surroundings is key to reducing stress and possibly your waistline.

Simplifying Your Surroundings is One Key to Improved Health and Happiness Some people are just messier than others because that’s their personality style. They function well in clutter. Even so, it’s common in today’s connected society for many people to simply have too much stuff. The more things we own, the more cleaning required. A disorganized home is sometimes a symptom of clinical issues like depression or anxiety. According to Quinn Hall, LPC, a licensed professional counselor at Healthworks Counseling in Lynchburg, the act of editing down clutter can be therapeutic if a person feels overwhelmed. “I encourage patients to declutter if it’s something they feel they want to work on. I would use decluttering as a way to be more active and motivated,” says Hall. Organizing can help regain control in a way that brings comfort and a more positive outlook.


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Features •

You Can Organize Your Life One Step at a Time

How Decluttering Makes You Happier, Healthier and Leaner

Hall says decluttering in small steps reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed. Some people don’t know where to begin because they’re facing entire rooms or the whole house, and it’s intimidating. An easier approach, says Hall, is to break it down into manageable steps. “I encourage clients to make a list of a few tasks they want to accomplish each day of the week. I advise for the list to have only a few tasks per day.” - Quinn Hall, LPC

If someone is easily overwhelmed, even one small task a day can make a difference. Very few of us get excited by organizing or cleaning, but baby steps are sometimes all it takes to get moving toward a cleaner home and reduced stress levels. In turn, you’ll improve your mood and perhaps even reduce your waistline. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Quinn Hall, LPC is a licensed professional counselor with Thriveworks Counseling in Lynchburg.

SOURCES The National Center for Biotechnology Information ( Virginia Government (


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Spring Clean

Your Diet


He althy Plate

Starting in mid-to-late spring, lots of fruit and vegetables are coming into season. In case you forgot, fruits and vegetables are the best – they’re typically high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories and sodium. Fill at least half your plate with them to get the recommended five cups of veggies and four cups of fruits each day. The good news is that all produce counts, which means canned, fresh, frozen and dried varieties can help you reach your goal. Just be sure to compare food labels and choose the products with the lowest amounts of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. Stick with the simplest forms, without heavy sauces or syrups. If you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies every day, you may be ready for the next step: include more color. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. Some of these nutrients are fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin A and C.

The best way to get all the various nutrients is to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. And yes, white and brown count, too! Eat as many different colors as you can each day.

Challenge yourself for just one day.

How many cups of fruits and veggies can you commit to eating tomorrow?

50% Fruits & Vegetables

Try to pick non-starchy fruits and veggies such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, apples, and berries.


Starchy Foods Such as potatoes, corn, rice or peas.

25% Protein

Preferably chicken, fish or beans.



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Food Fitness •

Chilled Avocado Gazpacho

Spring Clean Your Diet

with Shrimp 8 servings

This no-cook dish with its vibrant color makes a great appetizer or starter soup.



2 1/2

cups water



medium avocado

In a food processor or blender, process the water, avocado, and vinegar until smooth.


tablespoon red wine vinegar


Add 2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and salt, processing until smooth.


cups yellow cherry tomatoes and (optional) 8 cherry tomatoes, divided use


Cover and refrigerate the soup for at least 1 hour (it may be foamy and will need time to settle).


large cucumber (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)


medium green bell pepper (chopped)



tablespoon minced, fresh jalapeño (seeds and ribs discarded)

Using 8 cocktail skewers, pierce 1 shrimp and 1 of the remaining 8 cherry tomatoes with each skewer. Garnish the soup with the skewers.


medium garlic cloves


teaspoon salt

NUTRITION FACTS: Per serving. Calories 56, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 159 mg, Total Carbohydrate 6 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 1 g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 fat, 1 vegetable


large cooked shrimp

Copyright © 2018 American Heart Association, Healthy For GoodTM,


A Packed full of VITAMINS

B Loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids

C Great sour of FIBER

Source: Mayo Clinic





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Food Fitness


Lasagna 8 servings

This classic Italian recipe has a healthy twist to include lots of veggies along with some other nutritious ingredients to make it a heart healthy entree that tastes delicious!

Spring Clean Your Diet




tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350° F.


clove fresh, minced garlic OR 4 tsp. jarred, minced garlic



small onion (chopped)


In a saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic and onion and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add kale (or spinach), tomatoes and eggplant (or squash) and pepper and cook 3 minutes. Turn up heat to mediumhigh, add ground beef or turkey and cook until meat browns slightly and liquid is absorbed. Add mushrooms, beans, vinegar, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir in red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dried herbs, ½ teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Mix together mozzarella and one teaspoon dried herbs.

1 1/2 cups fresh, chopped kale (about 3 leaves), cut into bite-size pieces, stems discarded OR 1 1/2 cups frozen spinach (thawed) 3

cups fresh spinach (stems discarded, packed tightly)

21/2 cups eggplant or summer squash, (about 1 small eggplant or 2 squash), cut into 1/2-inch cubes 11/2

cups tomatoes (diced) OR 14.5 ounces canned, no-salt-added tomatoes (diced)


pound extra-lean, ground beef or turkey, 95% lean or more

2 1/4 cups white mushrooms (sliced) 1

cup low-sodium, or, no-salt-added cannellini beans (drained, rinsed)


teaspoon black pepper (divided use)


teaspoon dried, salt-free herbs, Italian blend, divided use


cup low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella (shredded)


teaspoon crushed red pepper


tablespoon red wine vinegar


cup low-fat ricotta cheese


whole-grain sheets lasagna noodles


tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste


ounces canned, no salt added tomato sauce

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; omitting salt, butter and oil.

In a 9x13 ovenproof dish, place 3 lasagna sheets, one third of lasagna filling and half of ricotta in small clumps. Repeat placing the lasagna sheets, filling and ricotta step. Top with 3 more lasagna sheets, remaining filling and top with mozzarella mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

COOKING TIP: This can be made ahead and frozen or leftovers can be frozen and served again another time. Bake at 350° F degrees for 30-45 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is melted.

NUTRITION FACTS: Per serving. Calories 299, Total Fat 7.5 g, Saturated Fat 2.5 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g, Cholesterol 39 mg, Sodium 129 mg, Total Carbohydrate 37 g, Dietary Fiber 7 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 24 g Recipe copyright © 2016 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart ® Program. For more simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit



Virginia-based Envera Health

offers a “one touch” experience so providers get the whole story. words | RICH ELLIS


At the forefront of technology and armed with the knowledge that healthcare providers need support in treating the “whole” patient, Envera Health is unlike many other committed to fixing what’s wrong with our current health system. Their solution—a unified front door approach—improves the experience for consumers, patients and providers. Founded in 2015, Envera Health is an “engagement services partner.” Their approach offers the components of an effective health system. These services are a continuum of managed services and hands-on solutions to advance consumer-driven care to make healthcare better.

“One-touch” Creates a Good Healthcare System Brett Butler, Envera’s vice president of client success, explains that the company partners with providers and health systems to unify their entry points. They serve as a unified front door that spans across all of a health systems’ functions to deliver a one-touch experience. “There’s great work happening in health systems across the country, but that work typically happens in a silo,” Butler says. “For example, a medical group, hospital, and marketing campaign each offer a different experience and they typically don’t talk [to one another] – they’re led by different departments, different data systems, different teams. Through our advanced engagement (call) center and unique CRM-enabled full consumer view, we integrate all of that work into one touch or one conversation.”

Unique Technology Gives Envera a Full 360-degree View of the Customer At the heart of Envera’s services is the company’s state of the art Engagement Center Platform. Built with proprietary technology, this unique nerve center is customer relationship management (CRM)-enabled, creating a full 360-degree view of the consumer. 62

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Think of a patient calling their physician’s office to inquire about a prescription refill. That call could be answered by an Envera Agent, and while the patient is on the line, the agent takes the opportunity to remind them that they’re overdue for a mammography screening and offers to set up an appointment. The agent also sees that this patient responded to a recent marketing campaign for orthopedics and asks if they are interested in registering for an upcoming orthopedic seminar. Prevention is an important focus for Envera’s services, Butler says, as is simplifying patient communication. After a hospital stay or doctor visit, patients can get overwhelmed by multiple calls (sometimes as many as six) related to that visit. With Envera’s services, there can instead be one conversation or one touch via phone, email or text, based on the patient’s preferences.

delivers solutions by providing:


“Envera is a pure services organization,” Butler explains. “In terms of how we partner, we don’t come in and rip things out that are working well. Instead, we meet our partners where they are, and offer services to support what they may be missing.”

Envera Health Delivers Health Solutions for Provider Partners Through Three Distinct Service Lines Envera custom tailors its services by driving growth, increasing access and coordinating care. The company’s growth services focus on identifying immediate opportunities to increase new patient growth and retain existing patients for specific services, such as weight-loss surgery or mammography screenings. In this situation, Envera serves as an extension of the provider team, working across marketing and clinical operations to create a more unified consumer experience while showing the attributable value that marketing can bring to the health system. They analyze and provide measurable results so providers know they’re offering the best care for patients.



Envera’s access services go beyond scheduling and appointment reminders. “Every time you call your provider, having someone answer the phone – that’s a basic level of expectation,” Butler


Referral REACH


explains. “Our goal is to meet the needs of the “whole” patient with a one-call resolution— keeping them loyal and building relationships that last. In addition, Envera might also conduct a comprehensive audit of a partner’s phone system to gauge its effectiveness. For example, there could be 15,000 different phone numbers in a healthcare system but 3,000 of those lines are dead ends as a result of changes that occurred but were never recorded over the years.”

“We’re looping the patient back to the health system, letting them know we care and want them to recover and stay healthy.”

Envera Health representatives proactively contact every patient who has interacted with the health care system or provider through its coordinated care or transition solutions. This connected experience creates more patient satisfaction and closes care gaps. “As patients leave the emergency room, their provider says, ‘We care about you. We want to know that you’re getting better. Expect a phone call as we’re going to reach out and ask you a couple questions.’ That’s our way of knowing you’re getting better,” Butler explains. “That’s what we do for our partners. And on that call, patients can also talk with a live nurse and ask him or her questions – ‘Should my wound look like this? Should I still have a fever?’ We’re really trying to bring that comfort and peace of mind to the patient. We found that it reduces hospital readmissions and significantly improves patient satisfaction. And it works in a hospital or emergency room or even if you go down the street to an imaging center. We’re looping the patient back to the health system, letting them know we care and want them to recover and stay healthy.”

Finding Joy at Work In 2017, Envera Health opened their new 27,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Richmond.

Brett Butler

Vice President, Client Success Envera Health

“There aren’t many companies out there doing what Envera does, and our new office adds one more differentiator,” Butler adds. “Since so many of our employees spend their days speaking by phone with patients who are trying to solve a healthcare problem, they need to find joy in helping patients in those moments of need. So we created a warm physical environment to support making that happen.” Now located along the canal in the heart of Richmond, Envera employees enjoy a full view of the James River. “This really is a differentiator,” Butler adds. “We’re so proud of this new space and encourage site visits. Just reach out and come see it for yourself.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Brett Butler, Envera’s vice president of client success.


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pot the Differences Can you spot the SEVEN differences between the two cartoons?

Visit to see the changes and sign up for our e-newsletter or on our Facebook page for more fun games, quizzes and contests to win great prizes! 66

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OurHealth Lynchburg & Southside April/May 2018  

Lynchburg's Rising Stars in healthcare, plus Financial Health, Depression, and what to know about Tick Bites!

OurHealth Lynchburg & Southside April/May 2018  

Lynchburg's Rising Stars in healthcare, plus Financial Health, Depression, and what to know about Tick Bites!