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April • May 2018

IN HEALTHCARE a new generation of

Roanoke & New River Valleys

providers are making care

better for our communities











OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


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Nine professionals share how they are making healthcare better for residents in the Roanoke & New River Valley communities.





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.

JOIN THE OurHealth Community ON Social Media! Write us, tweet us, or tag us today! #OurHealthRNRV

A clean, healthy home helps you stay fitter, keep acute diseases away and prevent chronic illnesses.





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The Pulse | People. Places. News to Know.


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


65 - Spring Clean Your Diet: Let fruits and vegetables take center stage in your spring diet plans.

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


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


Health A-Z | Insight. Awareness. Mindfulness for the Whole Family. 31 - Student: Jefferson College of Health Sciences nursing degree program prepares veterans for a new mission. 34 - Family: Is everything blurry? Here's the reason why. 37 - Financial Health: Seven keys to being financially fit.

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

Food and Fitness | Nutrition. Exercise. Prevention. 60 - Local: Roanoke entrepreneur forgoes medical school to help Roanoke residents eat healthy.

Body and Soul

Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Carilion Clinic hosted its second annual Senses and ScienceAbility: A day of Immersion in Arts and Sciences Explorations. The event that was held on the college’s campus at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital.




Health Observances | Educate. Eradicate. Victory. 72 - .April is Sports Eye Safety Month: Don’t let eye injuries keep you out of the game. 74 - May is Better Speech and Hearing Month: Are speech and hearing problems affecting you? 76 - May is Mental Health Month: The stigma of mental health conditions shouldn’t keep you from seeking treatment.


Referral Reach | Expertise. Collaboration. Connection. Virginia-based Envera Health improves the experience for consumers, patients and providers.


Funny Bone | Humor. Search. Check. Spot the Difference: Can you spot the seven differences between the two cartoons?



McClintic Media, Inc. Steve McClintic, Jr. | Jennifer Hungate Kim Wood Karrie Pridemore Tori Meador Heidi McClintic Laura Bower Heidi McClintic Dalton Holody Shawn Sprouse / Mark Lambert Robert Natt


Cora Beth Akers, SLP Mary Craddock, MSW Saju Eapen, MD Margaret Glenney, MA, CCC-A

CONTRIBUTING PROFESSIONAL Catherine Brown EXPERTS & WRITERS Brandy Centolanza Rich Ellis Jennifer Lamont George Mallory Rob Mangus Michelle McLees Christy Rippel

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COMMENTS/FEEDBACK/QUESTIONS We welcome your feedback. Please send all comments and/or questions to the following: U.S. Mail: McClintic Media, Inc., ATTN: Steve McClintic, Jr., President/ Publisher/Editor: 303 S. Colorado Street • Salem, VA 24153. | Email: | Phone: 540.387.6482 Ext. 1 Information in all print editions of OurHealth and on all OurHealth websites (websites listed below) and social media updates and emails is for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to replace medical or health advice of an individual’s physician or healthcare provider as it relates to individual situations. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF YOUR DOCTOR. All matters concerning physical and mental health should be supervised by a health practitioner knowledgeable in treating that particular condition. The publisher does not directly or indirectly dispense medical advice and does not assume any responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves. The publisher has taken reasonable precaution in preparing this publication, however, the publisher does not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright © 2018 by McClintic Media, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. OurHealth Roanoke and New River Valleys 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.



Camp Carilion Participants

News and Notes Camp Carilion Accepting Applications for Summer 2018 Camp Carilion is for rising eighth- and ninth-graders who are interested in a future career in healthcare. The four-day adventure visits Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Jefferson College of Health Sciences. At each of these locations, students have the opportunity for career exploration through hands-on exercises and interactive demonstrations.

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 require 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 will be accepted. Virginians will be among the first to receive these cards. For More Information:

The camp is designed to prepare the future healthcare workforce by introducing adolescents to a variety of healthcare careers, particularly careers with which they may not already be familiar. The goal is to ensure students who attend camp are more interested in healthcare careers at the end of the week. Promoting healthcare careers at the middle school level allows students to prepare by taking necessary high school classes and planning for college. To be eligible for camp, the following are required: •

Applicant must have a strong desire to learn about healthcare careers.

Applicant must have his/her own transportation.

Applicant must have one recommendation from a school official.

Applicant must write a paragraph titled, “Why I Am Interested in this Camp.”

Application deadline is Friday, April 20, and there is a $50 registration fee to attend. Visit to download the application. For more information, contact Carilion’s student services advisor, Karri Proctor at For More Information:

News and Notes US Senator Mark R. Warner named Jefferson College of Health Sciences’ Spring Commencement Speaker Former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senator Mark Warner will be the Spring Commencement Speaker at Jefferson College on Friday, May 4, 2018, beginning at 10 am at the Berglund Center, 710 Williamson Road, Roanoke. US Senator Mark R. Warner


For More Information:

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The Pulse

Fundraisers 2018 Gifts from the Heart Campaign Underway


Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (CNRV) has kicked off its annual Gifts from the Heart campaign, offering the community a way to honor loved ones while also helping local patients at CNRV. For a $10 donation, one can purchase a heart on the tree in the hospital lobby, which will feature the names of those honored and remembered. The proceeds will be used to purchase socks and extra clothes for families; discounted stays at local hotels; a hospitality cart offering books, snacks and toys for patients and families; and much more. Donations can be made through the Carilion Clinic Foundation by visiting For More Information:

Beth Bankston

Susan Dorsey, MD

Fernando Mogrovejo, DDS, MS

Paul Timmermann, MD Christopher Webb, NP Savannah Wills, PA-C

Chief Administrative Officer Jefferson Surgical Clinic Roanoke | 540.283.6000

New River Periodontics & Dental Implant Center, PC Blacksburg | 540.951.4848 Roanoke | 540.772.4848

Carilion Clinic Dermatology Roanoke | 540.981.1439

Carilion Clinic Dermatology Roanoke | 540.981.1439

Joel Hullett, MD

Carilion Clinic Family Medicine Floyd | 540.745.5700

Julie Lena, PA-C

AFC Urgent Care Roanoke Roanoke | 540.774.0000

Carilion Clinic Neurosurgery Jefferson Surgical Clinic Roanoke | 540.224.5170 Roanoke | 540.283.6000


Acquisitions Dermatology Associates of Roanoke, PC joins Carilion Clinic Dermatology Associates of Roanoke has joined Carilion Clinic. With this addition, Carilion Clinic Dermatology and Mohs Surgery now includes six physicians, a nurse practitioner and master aesthetician, becoming the largest dermatology practice in the region. “Carilion’s approach to medicine and research is where we see the future of our practice, especially as it relates to preventative medical care,” notes Susan Dorsey, MD, co-owner of Dermatology Associates of Roanoke. The expanded practice’s new name has been changed to Carilion Clinic Dermatology and Mohs Surgery. “As Carilion Dermatology and Mohs Surgery celebrates 10 years of service this coming year, we welcome the opportunity to expand our provider base to meet the needs of our community,” says Mariana Phillips, MD, chief of Dermatology and Mohs Surgery. “Providing excellent patient care continues to be our top priority.” Carilion’s existing dermatology practices at Riverside and Westlake continue to operate unchanged. For More Information:

New People New administrator joins Jefferson Surgical Clinic Beth Bankston has joined Jefferson Surgical Clinic (JSC) in Roanoke as its new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Bankston replaces former CAO Karen Tuttle following her retirement in November. “We found a diamond in Beth Bankston,” says JSC's President, William Z. H'Doubler, MD. “We knew how important it was to fill this position with someone who wasn't just qualified, but had a passion for patient care that extends beyond a nine-tofive job. We spent a lot of time in a national search for the perfect candidate and found Beth in our own back yard. She's an experienced, successful leader in healthcare administration and we're thrilled to have her join us.” Bankston joins JSC after working at Centra Health in Lynchburg in multiple leadership roles from 2008 to 2017, most recently as the Vice President of Operations. Prior to Centra Health, Bankston spent eleven years at Carilion Clinic as the director of surgical practices. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Radford University, and a Master of Science in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. “I'm excited to continue building a legacy of innovation in patient care and to keep growing the excellence that has already been established,” says Bankston. For More Information:

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


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CREATING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY TOGETHER Join our Southeast Roanoke City neighbors for a free event on Clean Valley Day with a community clean-up followed by a neighborhood block party with free food, music, health screenings, fitness, healthy cooking demonstrations and more! This event is a part of National Public Health Week and a collaboration with Carlion Clinic Community Health and Outreach, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Southeast Action Forum, Clean Valley Council and other community members and organizations. FREE | 9 am – Noon Jackson Park Library | 1101 Morningside Street | Roanoke More information: c Shenika Bowles 540.983.4073



The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series is the world’s largest and most successful fundraising and education event for breast cancer. This year, you can help raise awareness and provide significant funds for research and programs in our local communities by participating in the Virginia Blue Ridge Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®! Whether you walk, run, volunteer or donate, your involvement will help save lives and provide priceless support to those in need. If you’re interested in establishing a team and other fundraising efforts, visit $20 - $45 (cost varies based on age and registration date) 7 am: race site opens | 9 am: race start time Rivers Edge Sports Complex | Reserve Avenue | Roanoke More information: w


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

Calendar • APRIL & MAY

4.17 VETERAN’S ART EXHIBIT AND RECEPTION The New River Valley Disability Resource Center presents the Veteran's Art Exhibit and Reception on Tuesday, April 17. The exhibit features works by veterans of all ages and abilities to create a meaningful and visual connection to the local community as well as inspire thoughtful communication. The exhibit will be on display from April 17 - May 19 and will be open for viewing Monday Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Free | 5:30 pm – 8 pm New River Valley Disability Resource Center 53 W. Main Street | Christiansburg More information: c call 540.266.1435 or w


NRV HIKE FOR HOSPICE Lace up your hiking shoes and head to Claytor Lake State Park for the 3rd annual NRV Hike for Hospice! Three levels/lengths of the hike are available for participants. From easy (.75 mile), to moderate (2 mile), to advanced (3 mile), there’s a trek for everyone! Festivities include lunch by Hethwood Market Catering, tunes by Eastern Divide Band, games, fishing, face painting and more! You can register now by visiting the link below. $20 - $25 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm Claytor Lake State Park 6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive | Dublin w



Tyler’s Trek, a family fun event, is a fun run/ walk hosted by Roanoke College to recognize Autism Awareness while benefiting Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC). Enjoy the silent auction during the event with snacks provided after the run/walk. $10 - $15 Registration starts at 3:30pm Walk starts at 4:30pm Roanoke College Campus | Salem More information: w




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ART EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION Everyone enjoys a good laugh, but have you ever considered what it means for your health? From stress release to boosting your immune system and improving your mood, the science is clear – laughter makes for great medicine. This art exhibit is dedicated to honoring Physicians to Women’s Julien Meyer Jr., MD for his longtime service to the community, his patients, and the school, while celebrating two of his many interests – humor and art. Free | 5-7pm Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine 2 Riverside Circle | Roanoke More information: w



Would you know what to do in an emergency? New River Valley CPR presents a CPR, automated external defibrillator (AED) and Basic First Aid combination training course that gives students comprehensive training in emergency care including basic first aid, CPR and how to use an AED. This course helps develop basic first aid knowledge and skills, and the confidence to respond to the most typical life-threatening emergencies. This course is intended for individuals who require or desire CPR, AED and first aid knowledge and skills including emergency response teams in business and industry, adult residential care personnel, teachers, parents and babysitters. $70 | 9:30 am – 3:30 pm New River Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 21 100 Pulaski Street | Radford More information: c 540.391.0594 or w


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


5.5 & 5.19




Dr. Tom's NEW, MEGA-Metabolic Bootcamp is now a TWO-DAY seminar! This event may change your life forever. Learn how to listen to your body and maximize your metabolism without daily workouts and still eat great food! Be Healthy by CHOICE, not by CHANCE. Live Seminar, follow up Q&A session, and Metabolic Workbook are all included in the registration fee. $99 May 5: 9:30 am - Noon May 19: 9:30 am – Noon Oasis Chiropractic and Wellness 41 Summers Way | #103 | Roanoke More information: w


STREET SURVIVAL Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all 15-20 year olds. Tire Rack Street Survival is a “hands-on” 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 learn to look far enough ahead to anticipate unwise actions of other drivers. As students master the application of physics to drive cars, they will make fewer unwise driving actions themselves and understand why they should always wear their seatbelts and insist their passengers wear their seatbelts as well. 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





THE RIPPLE EFFECT Help bring a viewing opportunity to Roanoke! Suicide: The Ripple Effect, an award-winning documentary that focuses on the devastating effects of suicide and the tremendous positive ripple effects of advocacy, inspiration and hope that are helping millions heal and stay alive. The film highlights the journey of Kevin Hines, who at age 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Today Kevin is a world-renowned mental health advocate, motivational speaker and author who travels the globe spreading a message of hope, recovery and wellness. Purchase your ticket by April 25th to ensure this viewing comes to Roanoke! $9.59 (must sell 51 tickets by April 25) 3 – 6 pm Valley View Grande Stadium 16 4730 Valley View Boulevard | Roanoke More information: w

5.14 14



May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Show your support by registering for the 1.5 mile family friendly Annual Walk for Mental Health. Funds raised will go to help the Mental Health Free Clinic for uninsured, low-income adults; the Forgotten Victims program for children age 5-12 whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence; NAMI Caregiver workshops; and advocacy efforts to improve access to mental health treatment in the greater Roanoke Valley. Free (Participants who raise over $100 receive a free t-shirt) 6 – 7:30 pm Wasena Park | 1119 Wiley Drive | Roanoke More information: w

5.27: TACKLE THE TOWER Have you ever jumped from five meters in the air into 17 feet of water? Christiansburg Aquatic Center (CCAC) will let you try! Here is your chance to jump off the 3-meter board or 5-meter tower. Once a month CAC opens their five-meter platform and three-meter spring board to the public. Participants are required to pass a 25-yard swim test before diving. (Note: 5 meters = 16.4 feet) $2 - $5 | 2 – 4pm Christiansburg Aquatic Center 595 N. Franklin Street | Christiansburg 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.


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Senses and ScienceAbility: A Day of Immersion in Arts and Science Explorations On Saturday, March 24, 2018, Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Carilion Clinic hosted its second annual Senses and ScienceAbility: A Day of Immersion in Arts and Sciences Explorations. The event that was held on the college’s campus at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. Additional activities were held at the Taubman Museum of Art. This free event, presented by Jefferson College of Health Sciences, the Taubman Museum of Art and Wells Fargo, provided more than 400 children of all ages and adults the chance to experience the world of science through interactive experiments, activities and presentations. Learn more about the programs and activities by visiting


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys



Questions. Answers. Knowledge.

Seasonal allergies can include:

tree pollens (SPRING)

grass pollen (SUMMER)

Is it possible to suddenly develop seasonal allergies in adulthood?

What are the basic qualifications for becoming a foster parent?

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. Seasonal allergies can include tree pollens (spring), grass pollen (summer) and weed pollens (fall).

There are thousands of children in the foster care system. A stable, loving, supportive foster home is the key to making an impact in these children’s lives.

Regardless of age, the treatment options include 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

weed pollens (FALL)


Asthma & Allergy Center Roanoke and Salem 540.343.7331

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The basic qualifications for opening your home to foster children are that you must be at least 21 years old, possess a means of transportation, have space to accommodate one or more children, be financially stable, clear a background check and complete our free Embrace Treatment Foster Care (TFC) Certification Program (30+ hours). You, and only you, have the ability to forever shape a child’s life and provide them with a future filled with opportunity. Many children in our area are turned away because we do not have enough loving and nurturing homes to support them. You have the power to change that!

George Mallory

Embrace Treatment Foster Care Roanoke | 540.326.3098

How do senior living communities encourage friendship development among residents? Making the decision to move from one’s home into a senior living community is not always an easy one. It can be difficult for someone to leave what is familiar and come to a place where they often don’t know anybody. Senior living communities are a great source of potential friendships, especially if one is leaving a home where they had become isolated. At the Hermitage of Roanoke, we take time to learn about each resident, their likes and dislikes, their history and their own personal story. This information is so valuable in helping us develop programs and outings that bring our residents together, so they can get to know each other. We understand that friendship at any point in our lives, regardless of age, are key sources of happiness and support and a way to share life’s journey together.

Mary Craddock, MSW Hermitage of Roanoke Roanoke | 540.767.6815

Q A ON HEALTH • Knowledge


Questions. Answers. Knowledge. How are senior living communities addressing “brain fitness” through mental exercise? Senior living communities are addressing brain fitness through mental exercise in many facets. As we age, the brain begins to decline and lose its sharpness and quickness. The brain needs to be worked out regularly like your heart and muscles.


About of those individuals with problems of attention, concentration, starting tasks, completing tasks, sitting still, and working under fluorescent lights can be helped by the Irlen Method.

Residents at Our Lady of the Valley have the opportunity to participate in cognitively challenging activities during the day including trivia, word and board games, cards, and incorporating daily chronicles for recall of past history. They are also able to engage in cognitive therapy in rehab which increases mental flexibility. The ability to socialize with other residents and staff alone increases brain fitness that seniors in the home may not have as access to.

Cora Beth Akers, SLP, Rehab Director Our Lady of the Valley Retirement Community Roanoke | 540.345.5111

What is Irlen Syndrome? Irlen Syndrome (sometimes referred to as Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome) is a visual perceptual processing disorder caused by the brain’s inability to process specific wavelengths of light. It is not quite clear what causes this visual processing disorder, however, it seems likely that there are multiple contributory factors. Irlen Syndrome can affect many different areas, including academic performance, behavior, attention, ability to sit still, and concentration. Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome include light sensitivity, reading problems, discomfort, attention problems, writing problems, depth perception issues, and distortion. Some of these visual symptoms are exacerbated by the use of florescent lighting, which is commonly used in schools. Treatment for Irlen Syndrome can include the use of the Irlen Method; the method of using colored overlays (plastic sheets) or specially tinted glasses or contacts to filter light. For some, the Irlen Method alone is the solution. For others, the Irlen Method is just part of the puzzle as there will be other reading/learning problems that need to be addressed.

Margaret Glenney, MA, CCC-A The Sensory Centre Roanoke | 540.525.6108


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How does Private Banking differ from standard personal banking services? Private Banking is tailored for people and professionals with comprehensive banking needs often due to having a higher net worth. HomeTown Bank’s Private Banking team offers our private banking clients a single point of contact to holistically manage their entire banking/financial relationships. Since the group’s inception, many local professionals, businesses and their executives have sought the services of HomeTown Private Banking for their banking needs.

Rob Mangus, VP, Director of Private Banking HomeTown Bank Roanoke | 540.283.6670

Q A ON HEALTH • Knowledge



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys




Nursing Degree Program


The determined middle child in a family of five children, Misty Hairston entered the Air Force Reserves nearly five years ago. “I went to Patrick Henry Community College right out of high school,” she says, “but, because I was one of five kids, I

Photo above: Misty Hairston is one of the many veterans and active duty military personnel who are transitioning into nursing careers with the help of the nursing program at Jefferson College designed especially for them.

knew I would need to join the reserves to help pay for college.” A native of Hawaii, Hairston spent most of her life in Virginia. Now, at 26, after persevering through Boot Camp and special trainings, she is about to graduate from the Veteran’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (VBSN) at Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) in Roanoke.

More Than Double the Number of Veterans Have Benefited From the Program JCHS developed the VBSN program after becoming one of 31 colleges to receive a $1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions. Designated a Military Friendly school by Victory Media for the sixth consecutive year, JCHS has used the grant to help veterans enroll in the program, progress through the program and find work after graduation. Since receiving the grant, JCHS has nearly doubled its veteran population overall.

“The standards for acceptance in the Veteran’s Bachelor of Science in

Saving Time and Money

Nursing Program are still

Some of the veteran support involves validating veterans’ experiential learning and accepting credits in ways that other schools might not. “The standards for acceptance in the VBSN are still very high,” explains Ava Porter, DNP, RN, CNE, VBSN Project Director at JCHS, “but we seek to reward their prior learning that comes from formal training and work experience.” For veterans who have had significant healthcare experience in the military, JCHS looks for ways to save them time and money. “We explore all options to help veterans apply their experience toward the program credits to help the students move through more quickly.”

very high, but we seek to

Hairston did not have healthcare experience in the military, and she benefited from this support when she entered the VBSN program. JCHS accepted credits for her Air Force boot camp and job training, so she was able to opt out of a few classes.

reward their prior learning that comes from formal training and work experience.” AVA PORTER, DNP, RN, CNE, VBSN Project Director at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke.

Accommodating Veterans’ Current Military Obligations JCHS is also able to provide various options and individualized plans of study. Some students, for instance, are on education leave from active duty. Others, like Hairston, are in the reserves.


Health A-Z

• AWARENESS The college provides multiple RN programs, from a traditional 4-year program, to an accelerated track, to the RN to BSN program.

In the Air Force we focus on three core values:

INTEGRITY FIRST, SERVICE BEFORE SELF and EXCELLENCE IN ALL THAT WE DO. I feel I can apply those same core values in becoming the


The individualized plan is just one reason Hairston chose to attend JCHS. “I like that it’s about an hour away from my home in Martinsville,” Hairston says, “but I also really like that it’s a small program.” She came into the nursing program knowing it would be difficult; she wanted a program where the professors know who she is and can help her achieve success. The program’s small size has been important to Hairston throughout her coursework. “All the professors know the students, and they know your strengths and weaknesses,” she says. “They make themselves available, and I love that about them. They truly care.” The professors’ accessibility has helped Hairston transition from community college, where the curriculum was more guided, to nursing school, where the professors work to help students think critically and make good judgments. “You have to know the basics and be able to apply it,” Hairston says. “That comes with repetition. The more you do it the better you get.”

Preparing For Success Over the past several years, Hairston has developed the extensive knowledge and critical thinking skills she needs to succeed. This year, for instance, Hairston was one of six students chosen for the Virginia Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program with the Salem VA Medical Center. Over 100 students applied, so Hairston was grateful for the opportunity to experience additional clinical hours over the course of her senior year. “I wish everyone could participate,” Hairston says. “It’s just you and the nurse, so it’s a great experience.” Through the VALOR program, Hairston has become more aware of the benefits of a JCHS education. “When we’re on the floor,” she says, “a lot of nurses say we’re the best in terms of being trained, disciplined and knowledgeable.” Hairston credits the small class size and close interactions with professors for her excellent preparation. “The professors set high expectations for how we conduct ourselves,” she says. Hairston has thoroughly enjoyed her experience working with other veterans. “I can relate to them, and they are very understanding of the big picture,” she says. A self-described nurturer, Hairston has found her perfect place in nursing. After working as a nurse for a while, she hopes to return to school to get her master’s in education. She wants to teach nursing and have the same impact on her students as her JCHS professors have had on her. Later in her career, Hairston hopes to focus on community outreach. She wants to teach life support skills as well as the skills necessary to help people handle emergency situations. Those skills are particularly important in rural environments like the town she grew up in where healthcare is less accessible. In everything she does, Hairston hopes to be a positive force for others. “In the Air Force we focus on three core values: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all that we do,” Hairston says. “I feel I can apply those same core values in becoming the best nurse I can be.” EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Ava Porter, DNP, RN, CNE is the VBSN Program Director at Jefferson College of Health Sciences


More at 32

Health A-Z • Nursing Degree Program Prepares Veterans for a New Mission





Is Everything HERE'S THE

Reason Why 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).



According to Jon Brisley, MD, Managing Partner at Vistar Eye Center in Salem, more than 40 percent of his patients will experience CVS.

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 computer vision syndrome (CVS). It affects people of all ages, including children who are increasingly becoming more susceptible as digital device usage increases.

What is CVS? CVS is a complex of digital eye strain symptoms that develop from spending 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 common. In more extreme cases, dizziness, nausea and polyopia – a condition that creates multiple images of the same object can occur. According to Jon Brisley, MD, Managing Partner at Vistar Eye Center in Salem, many of his patients also experience headaches, neck pain and disrupted sleep patterns in addition to the blurry vision and ocular discomfort. In reality, computer vision syndrome 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. “I find that more than 40 percent of my patients will experience CVS at some time or another, or are symptomatic if we ask them about their time using digital


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

Health A-Z

media. There is no typical age range, but we find it to be problematic in patients starting in their 20s. It is even more problematic for those over age 40,” says Dr. Brisley.

Custom Computer Glasses Aren’t Just for ‘Techies’ If needed, the doctor can prescribe computer glasses for CVS. Different from reading or regular prescription glasses, computer glasses are specialized to alleviate specific CVS symptoms and relax the eye muscles. While regular glasses are designed for distance tasks such as driving or watching TV, says Dr. Brisley, computer glasses are designed to make things clear in the range of 26 inches or closer. And they can be customized according to the patient’s age, lifestyle and work habits. The glasses work by reducing glare, bringing the screen into focus and filtering harmful blueviolet light which can be harmful to the retina. Computer glasses also help relieve pain in the neck and shoulder by allowing the patients to assume a more natural and comfortable body position because they’re not straining to see the screen better. In some cases, the glasses are covered by insurance. While computer glasses can provide immediate relief, correct posture and seating position is imperative for reducing eye fatigue and musculoskeletal pain. Dr. Brisley advises patients to position their computer in a comfortable position, which means it’s typically “below eye level and located about 22 – 26 inches away.”

Is Everything Blurry? Here's the Reason Why

Although most people won’t suffer permanent damage from CVS, 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 age 40. With a thorough eye health and vision exam, your doctor can discover whether your blurry vision is being caused by digital eye strain or other health problems that may be exacerbating the problem.


is a complex of digital eye strain symptoms that develop from spending hours working and reading on computers and mobile devices.

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:


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 this simple habit.


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.

“It’s important to take short breaks to allow the muscles in your eyes to relax periodically. See your eye doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.”


Take frequent breaks for your eyes and your overall health. The 20-20-20 rule 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. “It’s important to take short breaks to allow the muscles in your eyes to relax periodically. See your eye doctor if symptoms persist or worsen,” says Dr. Brisley. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Jon Brisley, MD is a general ophthalmology with Vistar Eye Center.

SOURCE The National Center for Biotechnology Information (

Jon Brisley, MD

A general ophthalmologist with Vistar Eye Center.


More at









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 38

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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




for Our Communities


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

Features • Rising Stars in Healthcare

Meet the


who are making a difference in

HEALTHCARE in the Roanoke & New River Valleys

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 Rising Stars – through their clinical and non-clinical positions – are making 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.




Patient Advocate and Teacher “I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis,” says Felix Ahenkorah, LPN. “In the nursing profession, you will deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in the routine. Most importantly, I care for and about people, and that sparked my interest to go into healthcare.” In his job, Ahenkorah admits new patients and looks after the needs of each and their families. He also assists with training new nurses and enjoys advocating for patients. “I enjoy hearing their life stories and jokes,” says Ahenkorah. “I enjoy listening to patients. Sometimes, I don’t say a word. I am just there for them. It’s amazing how that works.” He also appreciates being able to make a difference.

Felix Ahenkorah, LPN Licensed Practical Nurse

Springtree Health and Rehabilitation


“Regardless of your specific role in the industry, everything you do will play some part in helping people,” he says. “Working in healthcare allows you to nurture your desire to help others, and at the same time, earn a living. It is filled with challenges and offers the chance to work with people from all walks of life. There is never a dull day in healthcare. I enjoy the uncertainties, coming to work and not knowing what my day will be like.” Eventually, Ahenkorah would like to earn a BSN degree in nursing. He is also working toward a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. “My calling is to care for and about the people God has placed and will ever place in my path, and that is what I am doing,” Ahenkorah says.

Inspired to Help People “I decided to go into the healthcare profession after I had to receive physical therapy myself,” says Trevor Campbell. Following a back injury, Campbell was given the option of either having surgery or going to physical therapy. “I chose the non-surgical route, and I am pain free,” Campbell says. “My physical therapist, Tom Cundiff, is an inspiration to me. I love that I’m now able to help others as someone helped me.” As a physical therapist assistant for CORA Physical Therapy (formerly Professional Therapies, Inc.), “I implement physical therapy interventions appropriate for a variety of physical and neuromuscular conditions to restore patients to their physical and functional abilities. I strive to enhance the overall wellness of individuals as related to movement and health.”

Trevor Campbell, LPTA Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant

CORA Physical Therapy


His favorite part of his chosen field “is treating orthopaedic and post-surgical patients. The most rewarding part of my job is having a patient unable to do something they desire and helping them to achieve their goals. I believe in one-on-one patient care and continue to push myself to learn as much as I can in the growing field of physical therapy.” Campbell is aiming to return to school to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. “I enjoy helping patients achieve their highest functional ability,” Campbell says. “I also appreciate the connections and relationships formed day to day. I love meeting new patients, listening to stories, and sharing my own.”

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A Privilege to Serve Patients Jonathan Gleason, MD and his partner, Kathleen Baudreau, have led the Department of Clinical Advancement and Patient Safety (CAPS) for Carilion Clinic since the department began in 2016. “Our responsibilities include quality, patient safety, clinical risk management, process improvement, human factors, patient advocacy, and accreditation for Carilion Clinic’s seven hospitals and many practice locations,” says Dr. Gleason. In addition to being vice president of CAPS, Dr. Gleason is Chief of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and serves on the Board of Directors for Carilion Medical Center. “Early in my life, an extraordinary family physician took an interest in me while he was treating one of my family members in a difficult situation,” says Dr. Gleason. “This physician loved his patients and his work, and he helped me to understand that medicine was the right path for me as well. I primarily enjoy the privilege of getting to know my patients and partnering with them to achieve their goals.” In addition, Dr. Gleason values those he works along side with in the medical field.

Jonathan Gleason, MD

Vice President of Clinical Advancement and Safety Carilion Clinic



“I greatly appreciate the incredible people that I work with in serving our patients,” he says. “People who work in healthcare have a passion for the wellbeing of others, and a selfless commitment to doing the right thing.” He’s especially proud of his work with CAPS. “Clinical Advancement and Patient Safety has worked along side many from across our health system to reduce adverse drug events, patient falls, hospital acquired infections, readmissions, and many other areas,” Dr. Gleason says. “Every day we get a little better. We have received national and regional recognitions for our work, but I am most proud of the impact of our work on the lives of our patients.”

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


Dedicated to Patient Care and Mentoring

• Rising Stars in Healthcare

“I went into healthcare because it offers many different opportunities for personal growth,” says Ashish Raju, MD. “If you like research, you can pursue this. If you like working more with patients, you can focus on clinical skills. Healthcare allows significant flexibility and opportunity within an ever-changing medical landscape. It's never boring, and always challenging.” Dr. Raju practices general surgery and vascular surgery at Carilion New Valley Medical Center (CNRV), where he also serves as chair of surgery. “As a vascular surgeon, I diagnose, treat, and manage conditions in arteries and veins,” he says. “As the chair of surgery at CNRV, my leadership role entails helping the hospital achieve its mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. I work closely with hospital staff, other department directors, and physicians to ensure the highest standard of care and quality. I oversee and help solve issues relating to surgery at our hospital.” In addition to helping to relieve pain and suffering in patients through surgery, Dr. Raju also takes great satisfaction in being a mentor in his field. “I work closely with medical students and residents,” he says. “I am very proud to train and mentor these individuals who will one day become physicians, surgeons, and leaders in various specialties. I learned a great deal about leadership and patient care from my mentors and colleagues. It gives me great pride to be able to work with the next generation of physicians and share my experiences with them.”

Ashish Raju, MD

General and Vascular Surgeon Carilion New River Valley Medical Center





A Passion to Help People “I enjoy the reward of making patients smile by providing them comfort, and I enjoy that I can be a part of making a difference in a patient’s life,” says Kala Saunders. Saunders is the Home Care Coordinator for Interim Healthcare in Roanoke. Like so many others who’ve chosen healthcare as a profession, Saunders did so because “my passion is helping others and listening to others. I am compassionate and empathetic for what other people’s situations are and what they may be going through. By being in healthcare, I can make a difference by helping someone with a task they may not know how to do or coordinating a need for a patient.” She also takes pleasure in working in the community that Interim Healthcare serves.

Kala Saunders Home Care Coordinator

Interim Healthcare


“I enjoy and thrive off relationships in the community,” Saunders says. “I enjoy the social interaction with patients and with the individuals I market to. I find it rewarding to see our therapy change the lives of patients by making a positive impact on their overall quality of life. I also find it rewarding to provide pet therapy to patients and staff with our pet therapy dog.” Saunders is honored to be recognized for her efforts in the field of healthcare. “I hope that I make a difference by assisting others with coordinating care for patients and families,” Saunders says. “I speak with families daily on plans for their loved ones and provide community resources and different option plans that would be appropriate. I am most proud of taking the extra time and going the extra mile to see results.”

Here to Help Others As a certified prosthetist/orthotist with Virginia Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc., “I am responsible for managing the orthotic and prosthetic care of people who need braces and/or artificial limbs,” says Tyler Manee. “These devices include prosthetic legs, arms, hands, fingers, and braces from top to bottom.” Manee says he’s been drawn to healthcare since childhood. “I believe we are here to help each other,” he says. “My family has a number of nurses who have always been an inspiration to me. My parents passed on a strong value of caring for others and remembering that each person I interact with is a person deserving of my time and attention.” Manee is also co-founder of a 3D printing company that helps bring the benefits of 3D printing into the prosthetic and orthotic field.

Tyler Manee

Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist

Virginia Prosthetics & Orthotics



“In 2013, Tyler Dunham approached me and asked if I wanted to work with him to find a way to 3D print prosthetic sockets,” Manee says. “We taught ourselves how to 3D model and 3D print, developed a process and a patent for fabricating 3D printed prosthetic sockets, and started Additive Orthotics and Prosthetics. We have been providing 3D modeling and printing services to other prosthetics and orthotics professionals for three years now and are working to advance the quality of care in our field with the many benefits of this technology.” Manee hopes to continue to make a difference in his field of expertise. “Helping people achieve their goals and overcome whatever issue brought them to need a prosthesis or orthosis is endlessly fulfilling,” Manee says.

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys




Continuing the Legacy of Providing Better Care Dominique Dempah, MD trained in laparoscopic and robotic hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery in Paris, France and Hong Kong. Today, he performs hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery as well as general surgery at LewisGale Medical Center. “At first, I was interested in healthcare because my parents were in healthcare, but I quickly became very passionate with medicine and surgery in particular,” he says. “Surgery provided a challenging combination of technical and intellectual skills that was very appealing to me.” In addition to his interactions with patients and the opportunity to improve their lives for the better, Dr. Dempah enjoys those he works with at LewisGale.

Dominique Dempah, MD Surgeon

LewisGale Physicians



“I enjoy the opportunity to work with and meet talented and inspiring coworkers and patients,” he says. “I find it rewarding that my job allows me to stay at the cutting edge of surgery while being very humbling.” Dr. Dempah is looking forward to continuing to provide the best possible care for his patients. “Every patient brings a different set of circumstances even when dealing with the same disease process, and I enjoy the creative process of working with each patient to devise and execute the best treatment plan for each individual,” Dr. Dempah says. “I plan to continue to strengthen our program by offering less invasive treatments to a wider spectrum of complex surgical problems.”

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Striving for Excellence

“As part of LewisGale Physicians, I have the pleasure of engaging with a team of physicians, managers, and support staff in primary care and surgical outpatient clinics in the New River Valley,” says Jenna Kinder, area practice manager.

Rising Stars in Healthcare

Kinder’s interest in healthcare began as a teen. “I actually fell into healthcare,” she says. “My family attended church with an X-Ray tech working in a local orthopaedic clinic. The clinic needed help organizing and filing charts. When I was fourteen, the practice paid me to complete these tasks after school each day and then the office manager would drive me home. When I graduated high school and looked ahead, I could not imagine pursuing anything other than healthcare management. With each step in my career, I have fallen more in love with healthcare and the support of motivated people serving the patients in our community.” Kinder can’t imagine working in any other field. “I love being part of an industry that focuses on serving others,” says Kinder. “We have the unique opportunity of meeting someone in his or her time of need and providing resolution through both competent medical treatment and caring individuals who cheer on our patients through the course of their care.” Kinder finds her job particularly fulfilling. “I am continually striving to make healthcare as accessible as possible to those who need it,” Kinder says. “Through making online appointment scheduling for our providers available to our patients, and a consistent focus on the experience patients have in our practices, I believe we have increased our patients’ satisfaction of their care. In addition to creating the best experience for our patients, I also continuously strive to create the best work environment for our employees. As a result, we have made huge gains in reducing employee attrition. It is these factors, our patient satisfaction scores, and our improved employee retention, of which I am most proud.”

Jenna Kinder

Area Practice Manager LewisGale Physicians





Leading By Serving Others “Simply put, I’m in healthcare because I like to help those in need,” says Dustin Morris. Morris started out in the field working in a pharmacy. Currently, he is administrator for Friendship Health-Rehab South, where he oversees all aspects of the facility’s business and healthcare operations. “My duties vary from day to day, whether it’s maintaining appropriate policies, processes, procedures, and outcomes within the facility, keeping abreast of the newest regulations and laws pertaining to skilled nursing facilities or interacting with our residents and their families,” he says. “One of the great things about Friendship is that we have many services, spanning the continuum of care, to help do everything we can for our patients and their families.” The most rewarding part about his job is “without a doubt, serving with our teams here at Friendship. It’s all about the people. Working with the staff, getting to know them, and celebrating their successes is very uplifting and motivating.” He feels the same way about his interactions with residents at Friendship.

Dustin Morris Administrator

Friendship Health-Rehab South



“I find it rewarding that everyone in the building has an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every single day,” he says. “We have an opportunity to help people get better, whether that’s getting them home faster after surgery or being more comfortable if they’re in long-term care. There is nothing better than seeing our patients reach their goals and return to a level of function they did not have before they came through our door.” For Morris, those at Friendship are more than just the patients they are treating. “They are really our guests, each one having a unique story or set of circumstances that has led them through our doors,” Morris says. “Hearing these stories and their life experiences really helps give me perspective not only from the clinical setting, but life in general. Getting to know our guests as they recover makes my job worthwhile, knowing that we are helping make a difference for someone no matter how big or small.”

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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

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.

Did y ou

ow? kn

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.


Did yo



ow? n uk

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. Keeping your house clean 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. According to John Heil, DA, a licensed clinical psychologist at Psychological Health Roanoke, we can experience stress from accumulating too many things. “A pathway into this is ‘overwork syndrome,’ where you have too much stuff and not enough time. People are busy, in a hurry and tired. Things get put down and then days accumulate like that,” he says. “If you aren’t meeting your own standard of organization at home or in the office, it creates discomfort and the feeling you aren’t managing your life the way you want to,” says Dr. Heil. Further, a disorganized home is sometimes a symptom of clinical issues like depression or anxiety. Because studies show a connection between clutter and mental health, the act of editing out clutter can be therapeutic. Organizing can help you regain control in a way that brings you comfort and a more positive outlook.


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


How Decluttering Makes You Happier, Healthier and Leaner

Many times, 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 Dr. Heil, is to break it down into steps and work for a set time that’s comfortable.


Organize Your Life in 15 Minutes a Day

>> We would love to hear from you. Write us, tweet us, or tag us today! OurHealthRNRV

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“If you put an hour’s work into it every day, or even a half hour or 15 minutes, you’re going to see an impact from that.” - John Heil, DA

You’ll notice a big change even if you organize for just fifteen minutes a day. An effective strategy is to use a timer, a trash bag and three boxes to give away or move items to where they belong. Set the timer for fifteen minutes and focus on an area that’s especially bothersome. Or begin with easy targets first, such as broken, unusable or duplicate items. Another trick is to focus on 10 things. Find 10 items to throw away, 10 items to give away and 10 items to put away in their proper place. Once the 15-minute timer goes off, you’re done until the next day. These short decluttering sessions will help you gain new perspective and optimism, while reducing stress and perhaps a little weight. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR John Heil, DA is a licensed clinical psychologists at Psychological Health Roanoke.

SOURCES The National Center for Biotechnology Information ( Virginia Government (


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Cleaner Homes ARE


When people talk about living a healthy lifestyle, the first thought usually goes to diet and exercise. But the home or office a person walks into every day has just as much impact on health as food and activity. A clean, healthy home helps you stay fitter, keep acute diseases away and prevent chronic illnesses.


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

A Cleaner Home is a Fitter Home Studies show that people with regularly cleaned homes are more active and weigh less. But it goes beyond the beneficial exercise that cleaning can provide. A nicely ordered environment helps your brain ‘relax.’ It’s free to think, without getting distracted by the arduous task of trying to create order out of its surroundings. In turn, we feel calmer and can process information more efficiently. This increases motivation, a sense of renewed purpose and creativity. In most people, the visual stimulus of a clean environment also reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Conversely, when cortisol is chronically elevated it can impair the body’s fat-burning ability. That leads to increased abdominal fat, which is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

A Cleaner Home Causes Fewer Illnesses Cleaning does more than just increase physical activity. Regular, proper cleaning stops harmful bacteria such as coliform, salmonella, fungi and E. coli from spreading. These germs can populate places and items in a home by the millions. And they’re not all in the bathroom. In fact, research shows there are surprisingly germier places in the home, in terms of micro-organisms. Areas in the kitchen harbor much higher levels of bacteria, including staph and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), than the toilet seat in the bathroom. The worst offenders are sponges, cutting boards, knobs and handles, countertops and especially the sink. The things we carry around or touch every day at home or in the office are portable breeding grounds for organisms. Digital devices, cell phones, keyboards and remote controls all get touched by multiple people, but rarely disinfected. These items and other electronics can harbor more viruses, bacteria and even fecal matter than a bathroom. Carpets and bath towels also breed higher levels of bacteria than the toilet seat. Towels that are damp for 20 minutes or more breed bacteria and mildew in that brief amount of time. Hanging them on a wall-mounted rack to dry, instead of a hook, inhibits bacterial growth. The toothbrush holder, faucet aerator and the wall around the toilet, which are often abandoned territories, are havens for bacteria and mold.

A Cleaner Home Makes It Easier to Breathe Sanitizing surfaces and objects regularly will help reduce the sizable numbers of germs in your home or office. Just as important, though, is keeping the air clean of dust and other pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors but, unfortunately, our indoors – home, school and workplace – can be five times more polluted than the outdoors.

Did you know? The following everyday items can harbor more viruses, bacteria and even fecal matter than a bathroom.












The dust in our homes and offices carries with it a great many unsavory elements that contribute to indoor air pollution, allergies and chronic respiratory illnesses. These can include dust mites, pet dander, pollen, toxic household chemicals, viruses, bacteria, mold spores and parts of bug skeletons. These allergens and other pollutants can become concentrated indoors. One way to lower the air pollution is to make sure your home is sealed properly. Without proper sealing, outside air pollutants get pulled inside and trapped with the dust and other pollutants. “Unfortunately, here in Virginia, we have a high population with allergies and asthma because of our ecological situation,” says Barry Martin, an Indoor Air Quality and Building Science Coordinator for Cundiff Heating and Air Conditioning. He says contaminants such as pollen, car exhaust, pesticides and mold get pulled through leaky ducts, vents and registers from windows, doors, attic accesses and crawl spaces that aren’t sealed properly. This can increase indoor air pollution and exacerbate chronic respiratory illnesses. Treating ductwork with a special sealant called Aeroseal prevents contaminants from getting pulled indoors. Endorsed by the EPA and US Department of Energy, Aeroseal can improve air quality, as well as save energy. Martin says it creates an immediate improvement and is more effective than cleaning the ductwork. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Barry Martin is an Indoor Air Quality and Building Science Coordinator with Cundiff Heating and Air Conditioning. READ THIS EDITION OF

OurHealth Roanoke & New River Valleys ON YOUR TABLET OR SMARTPHONE


SOURCES United States Environmental Protection Agency (


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Features • 3 Reasons Why Cleaner Homes are Healthier





After graduating in 2012 from Virginia Tech with a degree in cellular biology, Jim Thomas, now 33, had planned on becoming a doctor. In fact, he was working on his applications for medical school when a revelation stopped him in his tracks. “It was like an electric bolt went down my spine,” Thomas says. “I knew my purpose in life, and I knew immediately I was going to pursue this instead of attending medical school.” At that moment, Thomas decided he needed to find a way to provide affordable, fast, healthy food to combat the country’s growing obesity problem. He felt confident that he could achieve more by helping people eat better than he could as a doctor prescribing medications for preventable diseases. If he could help people eat healthier foods, he could help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease before they even started.

Obesity Rates Have Quadrupled in the Past 65 Years Jim Thomas Owner of FPS in Roanoke


As a former bodybuilder, research student and someone who was looking to enter the medical field, Thomas is passionate about helping people eat better. He talks at length about our country’s obesity problem, concerned that obesity rates have quadrupled in

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

“If there’s an affordable place to eat with proper portions of healthy foods, people won’t have to think about it.” - Jim Thomas

the past 65 years. He blames the increase in obesity on lack of time to prepare healthy foods, less education on what “healthy” is and less time engaged in physical activity. The health problems resulting from a decrease in time spent cooking and exercising have been exacerbated by the prevalence of cheap, fast, processed food. As Thomas explains, this glut of processed food means people are eating more calories than ever before. “No company says, ‘I’m going to make a little less money’,” Thomas explains. That’s why fast food restaurants continue to sell highly processed foods. Those foods are much cheaper to prepare than healthier foods and enable companies to make a bigger profit. They also allow people to consume many more calories than they need in a given meal. While most people need to consume between 1500 and 2000 calories per day, some fast-food combos contain that many in just one meal. “We’re eating ourselves to death,” he says.

Jim Thomas Blames the Increase in Obesity on:

LACK OF TIME to prepare healthy foods

Digesting Whole Versus Processed Foods “You also need to factor in the thermic effect of food,” Thomas notes, which refers to the percentage of calories you use digesting your food. For whole foods, your body uses a much larger percentage of the calories digesting the food than for highly processed foods that are already broken down. “If you eat 2,000 calories of whole food, you might be able to use 1,200. If you eat 2,000 calories of processed food, you could have 1,800 usable calories,” Thomas explains. Thomas used to joke that he needed find a way to provide healthy food on the cheap. At the time, he was working for Complete Nutrition, a nutritional supplement retail store, helping customers lose weight. So many would come in wondering why they weren’t getting the

LACK OF EDUCATION about what is “healthy”



Food Fitness


How it works Thomas offers a fully customizable menu to meet the dietary needs and preferences of a variety of customers. The meals are great for people with high blood pressure or cholesterol, Diabetes or even those on dialysis. CUSTOMERS CHOOSE:

A PROTEIN chicken | steak | pork | tilapia black bean burger | salmon

A VEGETABLE broccoli | green beans squash/zucchini | spinach mixed vegetables | asparagus

A CARBOHYDRATE brown rice | white rice | sweet potato | white potato | quinoa THEY CAN ALSO CHOOSE BETWEEN:


A LIGHT MEAL 300 calories and costs $4.99


A MEDIUM MEAL 500 calories and costs $6.99



650 calories and costs $8.99

best results, even though they weren’t following the food and exercise advice. “I was doing everything in my power to help them, but they weren’t putting in the effort to change their diets or exercise more,” he said. When his own long-time friend, Jay Coe, struggled with obesity, Thomas was excited to help him. He put Jay on a fitness regimen, meal plan and worked out with him daily. Jay lost forty pounds over four months. Unfortunately, after moving back to North Carolina, his friend gained the weight back and more. At only thirty-six, Jay had a stroke and passed away. That solidified my mission to make healthy food convenient and cheap,” Thomas says.

Making Healthy Food Convenient and Affordable for Everyone’s Budget During his years working with people who wanted to lose weight, Thomas found they were less likely to eat healthy food because of the time it takes and the high costs. He felt confident if he could provide the proper portion of healthy, whole foods at the same cost of a fast food meal, he could help slow, or even reverse the climbing obesity rate and relieve the healthcare burden caused by preventable diseases. “If there’s an affordable place to eat with proper portions of healthy foods, people won’t have to think about it,” Thomas says.

A Customized Menu that Meets All Dietary Needs and Customer Preferences To be that person who thinks about proper portions and healthy foods, Thomas opened Food Preparation Services (FPS), a business in Roanoke offering delivery and takeout as well as café meals that are healthy, tasty, and reasonably priced. His food costs little more than you would spend at the grocery store, and he saves customers the time involved for preparation. In addition, he uses low-sodium seasonings and a variety of made from scratch sauces to enhance flavors so customers don’t need to sacrifice great taste for healthy foods. The meals are specially designed to meet American Dietetic Association requirements, with each containing roughly 35 percent protein, 45 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent fat. “Our meals are the very definition of ‘Low Carb’ ”, explains Thomas. Thomas makes two to three thousand meals a week for the 300-400 Roanoke customers who identify the value in having someone else prepare them healthy food quickly and affordably. He also happens to be one of those consumers. “I cook occasionally, but I eat a LOT of FPS,” he says. If the health-conscious bodybuilder eats it, you know FPS meals are a good choice!

A Goal to Expand FPS Statewide and Beyond

FPS is open Sun – Thurs. and offers take out and delivery on orders $10 or more with a $3 delivery fee. To learn more and place orders, visit 62

Thomas is passionate about revolutionizing the way we eat. “I don’t need to get rich,” he says, “but somebody needed to do this.” He hopes to expand his service of convenient, wellpriced healthy eating throughout Virginia and eventually across the country. Although Thomas entered this business not knowing everything about running a food business, his passion for helping people be healthier carries him through. He is further motivated by emails he gets from customers that say, “You literally saved my life” or “I’m now off my blood pressure medicine.” At those times, he knows he made the right career choice. In loving memory and honor of Jay Coe and all of our friends and family who were taken too soon.


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OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


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.



OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

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



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Food Fitness

Chilled Avocado Gazpacho

with Shrimp

Spring Clean Your Diet

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




Yogurt Pops with Peaches

• Spring Clean Your Diet

6 servings

Two cups of chopped fresh or frozen fruit can be subbed for the peaches, so you can constantly experiment with these refreshing popsicles.




ounces packaged, plain, no-sugar-added, frozen, sliced, thawed peaches (divided, no sauce added)



cup fat-free, plain yogurt

In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 ½ cups thawed peaches from bag, yogurt, and honey. Process about 1 minute until mixture turns into a puree. (Alternatively, add ingredients into a bowl and puree with an immersion blender.)


tablespoon honey


Transfer puree to a bowl or large liquid measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring. Chop remaining peaches into bitesized pieces and add into the bowl, along with any lingering peach liquid from the bag.


Divide mixture among popsicle molds, filling each one almost to the top. Place in the freezer overnight.


To remove from molds, hold under warm water until popsicle can be easily pulled free.

COOKING TIP: This recipe yields around 3 cups; the amount of popsicles may vary depending on the size of your popsicle molds.

KEEP IT HEALTHY: Decrease the amount of fruit by ½ cup and add ½ cup granola into the mix to turn these into breakfast popsicles.

TIP: Don’t have popsicle molds or sticks? Try pouring the mixer into an ice tray, covering with plastic wrap and poking toothpicks through the plastic into the center of each cube. Once they’re frozen, pull off the plastic wrap and eat a bite-size popsicle.

NUTRITION FACTS: Per Serving. Calories 66, Total Fat 0.5 g, Saturated Fat 0.0 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 32 mg, Total Carbohydrate 13 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 9 g, Protein 3 g. Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 1/2 other carbohydrate. Recipe copyright © 2016 American Heart Association.



EYE INJURIES Keep You Out of the Game words |TINA JOYCE

Each year, more than 25,000 athletes seek treatment for sports-related

Blacksburg Eye Associates

eye injuries and even more go untreated. Sadly, 90 percent of injuries


1440 S. Main Street Blacksburg, VA 24060

preventative measures that can be taken to avoid permanent damage

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Does Your Protective Equipment Meet Safety Standards?

The level of eye protection should be appropriate to the type of activity. Obviously, some sports are considered high risk; full-contact sports such as boxing, football, or mixed martial arts increase potential injury to the eyes. Surprisingly to most, the number one cause of sports-related eye injuries in children over 14 and in adults is from playing basketball. Protective helmets and goggles are quickly being improved and required by most sports organizations, especially in youth sports. Additionally, protective eyewear should also be considered for sports involving bats or racquets but need to meet standards set by the American Society of Testing and Material.



John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO and Colleen H. Mitchell, OD OFFICE HOURS: Mon: 7:45 am – 1 pm, Tues and Weds: 7:45 am – 5 pm, Thurs and Fri: 7:45 am – 6 pm SPECIALTIES/SERVICES: Comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, myopia control, vision therapy, dry eye clinic

are preventable. April is designated as Sports Eye Safety Month, bringing awareness to the risks of sports-related eye injuries and highlighting to vision.

It’s important to note, many hobbies can also pose risks to the eyes and precautions should be taken when biking, rock climbing, or even completing home repairs.

Eye Injuries Should Be Treated Immediately to Prevent Permanent Vision Loss If a major injury occurs, such as impalement, a direct blow to the eye or temple or a puncture wound, a person should quickly be seen in the emergency room. For other injuries to the eye, an athlete should see their primary care eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) at once; delaying treatment can result in permanent vision loss or blindness. “Even small abrasions, contusions, and red eyes need to be looked at by an eye doctor. Do not assume that an eye injury is minor because it doesn’t look ‘bad’ to you. Much of the damage that can occur can be internal and not easily visible to a coach or parent. - John Dovie, OD

“While some symptoms of ocular injury are obvious (pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, black eyes, blood), many of the more sight-threatening issues are not 72

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easily seen and sometimes take several days to become noticeable. Unfortunately, certain eye injuries increase your risk for diseases like glaucoma, and this can happen years or even decades after the injury happens,” explains John Dovie, OD of Blacksburg Eye Associates. “Always be sure to tell your eye doctor about any serious eye injuries you may have suffered.”

Don't Let Eye Injuries Keep Your Out of the Game

It's important to realize not all serious eye injuries have noticeable symptoms immediately. Hindsight may not be 20/20 if an eye injury goes untreated. That’s why prevention is key and proper treatment is vital for long-term vision health. To learn more about safety precautions or recognizing eye injuries, visit eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR John Dovie, OD, FAAO, Blacksburg Eye Associates

SOURCES American Academy Ophthalmology ( Prevent Blindness America (


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Have you heard the startling news that approximately 40 million

Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Center


2030 Colonial Avenue Roanoke, VA 24015

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OFFICE HOURS: Monday through Thursday, 8 am – 5:30 pm and Fridays from 8 am – noon SPECIALTIES/SERVICES: Speech Language Pathologists who evaluate, identify, and treat individuals of all ages with communication disorders, delays, and disabilities and ASHA certified and state licensed Audiologists who provide diagnostic hearing testing, hearing aid dispensing, hearing aid trouble shooting, and auditory processing disorder testing for individuals of all ages.

Americans suffer each year from some form of communication disorder? Surprisingly, hearing or speech disorders impact the lives of approximately 15 percent of American adults – making simply hearing or sharing that statistic even more difficult for many. For almost a century, May has been designated Better Hearing and Speech Month. Many organizations and businesses join forces to educate and raise awareness of the challenges and treatment options for those who suffer from hearing or speech impairments.

Communication Disorders Can Begin as Early as Infancy Beginning in infancy, difficulties with effective communication place significant strain on the lives of those who are directly impacted and their loved ones. “Since even a slight hearing loss can create educational delays, the earlier a hearing loss is identified in children, the brighter their prognosis.” - Michelle Ickes, PhD, CCC-A, an audiologist and Director of Audiology Services at Roanoke Valley Speech and Hearing Center.

Hearing loss can affect patients of all ages and may be caused by ear infections, exposure to loud noises, trauma, harm done to the inner ear and eardrum, illness, or by taking certain medications. Commonly, hearing loss is due to the normal aging process. If a hearing impairment is suspected, an audiologist should be consulted. An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in assessing, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss.

Speech and Language: There’s a Difference Also significantly affecting communication is the verbal transmission of messages. It’s important to recognize there is a difference between speech and language; 74

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a person may have difficulties with one or both. Speech is how a person says words or sounds. Language refers to the words a person uses and how he or she uses (or doesn’t use) words to communicate a message or request. If a person struggles with either speech or language, he or she is referred to a speech/language pathologist (SLP). A SLP will complete testing in the areas of communication, indicated by the referral and information shared directly from the patient or the parent of a child. The SLP then determines if the individual has a delay that is significant, interferes with daily function, or brings attention to the person unnecessarily.

Did you Hear? Speech and Hearing Problems May be Affecting You

New and Improved Therapy Approaches Available “All SLPs use therapy approaches related to the area of delay or disorder.” - Janet Miller, MA, CCC-SLP, a speech language pathologist and Director of Speech-Language Pathology Services at Roanoke Valley Speech and Hearing Center.

“Some specific treatments used may include: LSVT (for voice treatment for Parkinson’s patients), oral motor approaches taught through Talk Tools, voice therapy, Fast ForWord (an intensive computer language program designed to improve receptive language and phonological awareness skills), PROMPT (an sensorymotor, tactile-kinesthetic approach to evaluate and treat sound production), fluency therapy, as well as more generic speech/ language approaches,” explains Janet Miller, MA, CCC-SLP. By bringing awareness to the general public during Better Hearing and Speech Month, healthcare professionals can better assist those with hearing and speech disorders discover support and treatment to aid in communication, improving many aspects of their daily lives. EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS Michelle Ickes, PhD, CCC-A, Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Center Janet Miller, MA, CCC-SLP, Roanoke Valley Speech & Hearing Center

SOURCES American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ( National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (


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Don’t Allow




A healthy mind is the cornerstone of a person’s overall well-being. In the

The Alternative Center, Inc.

US, one in five adults will be personally impacted by a mental health


May has been celebrated as Mental Health Month for close to 70 years. Healthcare professionals and advocates have been raising awareness for mental health to seek support, compassion, resources, and understanding. Sadly, many do not seek needed treatment because of negative or misunderstood stigmas associated with mental illness.

6226 University Park Drive Suite 3210 Radford, VA 24141 2105 Electric Road, Suite 102 Roanoke, VA 24018

N w m

challenges their loved ones face.1

800.289.5841 or

Over 200 classifications of mental health disorders exist with different


degrees of complexity and severity.2 Many symptoms are internalized

rather than addressed; consequently, diagnosis can be challenging and

may require long-term observation and documentation. That’s why

OFFICE HOURS: 9 am to 8 pm by appointment only SPECIALTIES/SERVICES: Anxiety, depression, phobias, post-traumatic stress and addictive behavior. Certified and awarded hypnosis practitioner


condition during their life and millions more will be affected through the

raising awareness, recognizing early warning signs and establishing baseline behaviors are vital.

Don’t Self Diagnose: Seek Professional Treatment It’s highly discouraged for individuals to self-diagnose. Professionals evaluate a person’s concerns by measuring intensity, duration, and frequency of symptomatic behaviors or actions. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by physicians and counselors for diagnosis and treatment, there are five primary categories of mental disorders:





OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


Psychotic Dementias





Seeking professional help can be lifesaving. “Those who contact me are dealing with effects of anxiety, stress, trauma, addictive, and habitual behaviors. Most people who contact counselors are seeking solutions to problems that seem too overwhelming to handle on their own,” explains Michael S. McGee, LPC, MS, DCH, a licensed professional counselor with the Alternative Center in Radford and Roanoke.

• Don't Allow Mental Health Stigma Prevent You From Seeking Treatment

Learning emotional and behavioral regulation skills are very important for many of the young persons who are referred to counseling.” - Michael S. McGee, LPC, MS, DCH

Quality mental health is often overlooked despite being a major component of their overall health. Unfortunately, some people simply focus on improving physical health. Realizing the impact of mental health on physical health and other areas are vital to realize a better quality of life.

Poor Mental Health Can Lead to Other Health Issues “If you are anxious or have many stressors in life for extended periods, then chemical reactions in the body such as long-term adrenaline or cortisol elevation will likely result in physical health issues,” says McGee. “A person may visit their primary care physician for symptom relief. If the person has good mental health, then stress can be reduced and the need for medical attention is reduced.” Proactive mental healthcare is becoming more mainstream, but it still lags in societal prompts compared to the promotion of improving physical health. This May, celebrate Mental Health Month by being mindful of those who suffer. Seek treatment if needed, and implement healthy practices in your own life to improve your mental health. EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR Michael S. McGee, LPC, MS, DCH, The Alternative Center, Inc.

SOURCES National Alliance on Mental Illness,


American Psychiatric Association,



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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. 78

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys

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.


OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Roanoke and New River Valleys


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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! 82

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OurHealth Roanke & NRV April/May 2018