Issue 16

Page 1

Issue 16

Health LINES Penn Highlands Healthcare

Here. Here for you. Here for our communities.

Advanced Orthopedic Care at Penn Highlands


shortscripts Golf Classic


Safe-T Center at PHH


Advanced Orthopedic Care


New Faces


Diagnosing Lung Disease the Robotics Way


Ask A Doctor

Next time you’re online

Be sure to visit also check us out on

HealthLines is a publication of Penn Highlands Healthcare which includes the hospitals of Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk and Penn Highlands Huntingdon. It is produced by the system’s Marketing Team and is always available on our website at magazine. For more information, please contact the Marketing Team at HealthLines@ or call on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The HealthLines Team Mary Jo Yebernetsky, Senior Coordinator/ Editor, 814-375-3495 Mary Jo Herzing, Graphic Design Coordinator/ Webmaster, 814-375-6539 Holly Shok, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 814-375-6508 Michele Yale, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 814-375-3494 The information in this magazine does not take the place of health advice given to you by your healthcare provider. Always call 9-1-1 for any emergency.

Save the date for the Penn Highlands Healthcare/KTH Architects Golf Classic on Friday, June 19, 2020. Plans are underway for the 2020 Penn Highlands Healthcare/KTH Architects Golf Classic. This one-of-a-kind event is bigger and better this year with the tournament being held in five different locations all on the same day! Tee time will be at 9:00 AM at each of the following courses: • American Legion Country Club, Mount Union • Bavarian Hills Golf Course, St. Marys • DuBois Country Club, DuBois • Eagles Ridge Golf Course, Curwensville • Pinecrest Country Club, Brookville Golfers are able to choose the location they prefer to golf when they register. They can also choose which hospital(s) of Penn Highlands Healthcare they wish to support. This charity event promises to be enjoyable with great golf, skill contests, raffles, prizes, food and drinks all day long. To top off the day, golfers will enjoy a meal immediately following golf at the course played. Golfing for a good cause is always a good day. Add the Penn Highlands Healthcare/KTH Architects Golf Classic to your calendar today! Don’t miss out on the area’s biggest and most exciting golf event of the year! For more information or to register, email or call 814-375-3901.

Facebook We are on Facebook as Penn Highlands Healthcare. Follow us for the latest news from our five hospitals.

Patient Surveys Do you fill out your surveys? Patient surveys are sent after a stay at one of our hospitals. If you receive one, please fill it out. We want to know how we are doing. Some come via U.S. Mail (especially if you are a Medicare patient) and others may come via e-mails and text messages.

Online Bill Pay Penn Highlands Healthcare is making it easier to pay your bill with online bill pay. Visit us at www. You will be given the choice of the five PHH-system hospitals to choose from. Click on the correct hospital to pay your bill. You will need your access code which is located on your statement. The rest of the information is simple – the patient’s name, birth date, address along with payment information from a credit card.

My eHealth Portals Patient portals are available for all patients at www.phhealthcare. org/myehealthportal. Get your username and password at your next visit with your health provider.

Send an eCard Penn Highlands Healthcare invites you to send some cheer to brighten the spirit of a loved one who is in the hospital! A free service, you can send an eCard to patients in any of our hospitals. 2|

SIGN-UP for HealthLines at

Penn Highlands and Penn State University Mark One-Year Partnership Helping Survivors Sexual assault can happen anywhere, including rural areas. When it does occur, survivors turn to the legal system and their local hospitals’ emergency departments for help.

A year ago, the Emergency Departments of Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Huntingdon became two of only four rural hospitals in Pennsylvania to partner with Penn State College of Nursing’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center, or SAFE-T Center. Through a $4.1 million dollar U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime Grant Funding, grant given to Penn State, SAFE-T provides patients who have been sexually assaulted a stronger support system. The SAFE-T Center uses telehealth technology to create a team approach for care. How does it work? The local sexual assault nurse examiner, or SANE, is

partnered with a highlyexperienced and certified sexual assault nurse examiner via a computer video connection. These two examiners work together to achieve the highest-quality evidence collection and most compassionate patient experience. “Having a forensic exam performed with expert nursing assistance in a safe, supported environment can be the first step toward healing,” said Sheridan Miyamoto, Assistant Professor of Nursing and director of the SAFE-T Center. “Every victim deserves expert care, and every nurse deserves support in providing that care.” At Penn Highlands Healthcare, “we see sexual assault survivors as trauma patients, and we elevate their care to that level,” Kim Cicon, MS, RN, CEN, Emergency Department Service Line Director/Trauma Program Manager for Penn Highlands Healthcare, said. “Our SANE nurses have gone above

and beyond. They continue to receive training, and this program – just one year later – has been nothing but positive for the survivor advocate groups, the police departments, the patients who’ve had services and the community.”

Need a doctor? — Visit us at


Advanced Orthopedic Care AT PENN HIGHLANDS At Penn Highlands Healthcare, we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to expand our services and better suit the needs of the communities we serve, making it easier for patients to obtain advanced, high-quality care close to home. By expanding our team at Penn Highlands Orthopedics, we’re doing just that. We’ve assembled a team of experts that includes orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists and a group of highly-trained advanced practice providers, who see patients and perform surgeries in Clearfield, DuBois and St. Marys. “One of our goals is to ensure patients in our region have access to the care they’d normally seek in a larger


city, right here in their hometown,” Keith L. Zeliger, DO, orthopedic surgeon in DuBois and St. Marys, said. “Patients experiencing back pain, fractures, dislocations, torn ligaments or cartilage or other sport or work-related injuries come to see our team every day to discuss treatment methods that may or may not require corrective surgery.” Because of the complexity of the human body, which contains more than 200 bones, six major joints – hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow and wrist – your spine and all of its vertebrae and discs and all of the systems of ligaments, tendons and muscles that hold everything in place, there are countless orthopedic-related conditions that can affect you. The providers at Penn Highlands Orthopedics treat anything from infections and sport injuries to arthritis, osteoporosis and bone tumors. Individuals often associate the need for orthopedic intervention with acute injuries. An acute injury occurs suddenly during activity. The typical result of an acute injury could include fracture,

SIGN-UP for HealthLines at

Click to learn more about Orthopedic Care at Penn Highlands Healthcare.

dislocation, muscle and tendon strains or ligament and cartilage damage. This sudden, often painful, onset almost always results in a trip to the emergency room and, subsequently, an office visit to your local orthopedist for further treatment recommendations.

“One of the biggest challenges that our area has faced is the ability to treat athletes suffering from sport-related injuries,” Matthew A. Varacallo, MD, orthopedic surgeon in DuBois, said. “In the past, many of our local athletes would have to travel to seek medical advice pertaining to their injury. The shortage of comprehensive care within our community meant many additional hours dedicated to travel to obtain treatment. As someone who was born and raised here in DuBois, I am especially proud to be able to offer the same level of care and expertise that is more commonly associated with larger cities.” In contrast to acute issues, chronic injuries are often the result of repetition or misuse of the muscle, tendons or ligaments associated with the movement. They often take years to develop, but if left untreated or inadequately treated, they can result in a lifetime of pain and discomfort. “Many of the surgeries we perform provide pain relief to joints and soft tissue caused, typically, by years of repetitive stress and misuse often associated with lifestyle and

occupational conditions,” Mitchell Rothenberg, MD, orthopedic surgeon in DuBois, said. Some of the most common surgical approaches to orthopedic injuries or illnesses are arthroscopy and joint replacement. There are also various techniques such as fusion, internal fixation and osteotomy that are used to treat fractures and bone deformities or abnormalities. Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure used to diagnose and repair minor injuries and conditions, including torn cartilage, minor muscular injuries and osteoarthritis. When a joint is beyond repair, joint replacement surgery may be used to provide patients with successful relief of their long-term joint pain. Fusions and internal fixations are often associated with acute, generally severe, fractures that need immediate surgery to rebuild the affected bone. These surgeries generally include the use of rods, screws, pins, plates and other “hardware” to reconstruct the bone and allow for proper healing. Another approach to these “bone” surgeries are osteotomies, which are procedures during which the orthopedic surgeon can alter the bone by cutting and repositioning it to improve its structure and function. Many chronic conditions associated with the spine, specifically the lower back, are also successfully treated with these methods. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, through our comprehensive orthopedic approach, we provide dozens of services aside from the surgical options which is a unique service to the region. “Not every condition requires surgery,” Christopher Varacallo, DO, sports medicine specialist in DuBois, said. “There are a number of alternative

treatments, including medications, exercise or other rehabilitative therapies that can often be utilized to relieve patients of pain and drastically improve their quality of life.” Oftentimes, patients wait until their situation and pain levels are unbearable before seeking treatment, considering orthopedic care as a last resort to resolve their pain. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, our physicians are equipped to advise, diagnose and treat patients during any phase of their orthopedic journey. The sooner that an individual realizes the need for treatment and commits to the appropriate care plan, the greater their likelihood for successful treatment becomes. “All too often, patients or their family members can get caught up in the technological advances or current trends in healthcare, believing only that if it’s good enough for my family member or neighbor, then it’s a good treatment option for me,” Mark A. Nartatez, DO, orthopedic surgeon in Clearfield, said. “Our team treats our patients, not their x-rays. This means we provide individualized care designed to meet their specific needs. Our patients participate in the planning and decision-making process for their care, a concept that, in many hospitals and speciality practices around the country, has simply ceased to exist.” To learn more about the team at Penn Highlands Orthopedics and the individualized, comprehensive services they provide throughout the region, visit www.phhealthcare. org.

Penn Highlands Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

A Service of Penn Highlands DuBois Our Orthopedic Team: Mark A. Nartatez, DO Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Mitchell Rothenberg, MD

Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Matthew A. Varacallo, MD

Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Christopher P. Varacallo, DO Sports Medicine

Keith L. Zeliger, DO Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Andrea L. Inzana, PA-C

Board Certified Physician Assistant

Brandon Riley, PA-C

Board Certified Physician Assistant

Jolene Stell, PA-C

Board Certified Physician Assistant

David Vanchure, PA-C

Board Certified Physician Assistant

Office Locations: Clearfield Community Medical Building 1900 River Road Clearfield, PA 16830 814-205-1252 Medical Arts Building 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 311 DuBois, PA 15857 814-375-6200 814-299-7432 Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building 271 Railroad Street Philipsburg, PA 16866 814-342-2740 Medical Office Building 761 Johnsonburg Road, Suite 310 St. Marys, PA 15857 814-834-1686 or 814-299-7432

Need a doctor? — Visit us at



William Hoff, MD, FACS General and Trauma Surgeon

Anthony P. Andrews, MD Opthalmologist and Retinal Specialist

Penn Highlands Eye Center 807 Turnpike Avenue, Suite 150 Clearfield, PA 814-768-8888

Penn Highlands General Surgery 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 313 DuBois, PA 814-375-4000

M. Habib Zubair, MD General Surgeon

Penn Highlands General Surgery 123 South Street Ridgway, PA 814-772-2485 761 Johnsonburg Road Suite 130 St. Marys, PA 814-781-1188

529 Sunflower Drive, 2nd Floor DuBois, PA 814-371-2390

Margo Puhala, PA-C Yin Yin Htun, MD Pediatrician

Justin Cole, MD

Penn Highlands Pediatrics 865 Beaver Drive DuBois, PA 814-371-1510


Emergency Medicine Physician

Penn Highlands DuBois 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 814-375-3470

Luke Haskins, PA-C

Family Medicine Practitioner

Otorhinolaryngologist (ENT)

Penn Highlands Ear, Nose and Throat 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 312 DuBois, PA 814-375-2005

Family Medicine Continuity Clinic 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 315 DuBois, PA 814-503-4305

Penn Highlands Integrated Recovery 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 104 DuBois, PA 814-375-8055

Penn Highlands Pediatrics 865 Beaver Drive DuBois, PA 814-371-1510


Penn Highlands Orthopedics 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 301 DuBois, PA 814-375-6200

Erin Williams, PA-C Board Certified Physician Assistant

Penn Highlands Family Medicine 111 Cobb Street Johnsonburg, PA 814-965-2857 177 Washington Street St. Marys, PA 814-781-7531

Orthopedic Surgeon


Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor 417 Route 28 Brookville, PA 814-849-8026

Behavioral Health Outpatient Center 635 Maple Avenue DuBois, PA 814-375-6379

Matthew A. Varacallo, MD

Marcy Hartle, MD

Penn Highlands Elk Pinecrest Manor 763 Johnsonburg Road St. Marys, PA 814-788-8488

Board Certified Physican Assistant

Tonya Kozminski, DO

Ryan L. Gerritsen, MD

Board Certified Physician Assistant

Meri Orinko, CNM Certified Nurse Midwife

Penn Highlands Life’s Journey 190 West Park Avenue, Suite 9 DuBois, PA 814-371-1900

SIGN-UP for HealthLines at

Diagnosing Lung Disease the Robotics Way Did you know that lung cancer leads to more deaths than prostate, breast and colon cancers combined? Because it has no symptoms, it’s often found too late. However, a new robotic technology in use at Penn Highlands Healthcare is designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy for small tumors in the lungs while they are still treatable. Since July 2019, Dr. Sandeep Bansal, Medical Director of The Lung Center and Intensive Care Services at Penn Highlands DuBois, and his team have performed more than 70 robotic bronchoscopies. Used to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy, the goal of robotic bronchoscopy is to enable earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung. Not only is Penn Highlands Healthcare among the first in the U.S. to use Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform, but it also is becoming a teaching facility for the technology. Beginning in 2020, The Lung Center will be training physicians from all over the country who wish to utilize the robotics platform for their patients. “We are extremely excited to bring this technology to our region, and we are very hopeful that it will have a positive impact on our future patients battling lung cancer,” Dr. Bansal said. “We

are additionally honored to share our expertise among our pulmonary colleagues thereby impacting patients far beyond our region.” The robotics platform is a complement to The Lung Center’s Low-dose CT Screening Program, which, since its inception, has screened over 5,000 high-risk patients across the region for lung cancer. The screening is for patients with a long history of smoking who meet certain criteria. According to Dr. Bansal, approximately 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. “Just a few years ago, we did not even have the ability to detect lung cancer before it was in very late stages,” Dr. Bansal said. “The advancements we are making in the early detection of this disease are truly remarkable.”

Dr. Sandeep Bansal is shown using new robotic technology designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy for small tumors in the lungs while they are still treatable.

Penn Highlands Healthcare offers CT Lung Cancer Screening at locations throughout the region!

Click to learn more about PULMONARY CARE at Penn Highlands.

Need a doctor? — Visit us at


Advice From A DOCTOR J. Ryan Rice, MD, FACS Penn Highlands Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery 814-503-8368

What is the truth about plastic and cosmetic surgery? It is natural for people to want to improve the way they look and feel. It’s been that way for centuries. First and foremost, the best thing we can do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is no substitute to eating right, exercising, and avoiding unhealthy habits year-round. This not only improves your energy level, your mood and appearance, but most importantly your health in general. That being said, in many cases the natural process of aging will continue despite our best efforts. There are also certain genetic factors that can handicap us in our attempts to achieve the results we desire. There is something to be said for aging naturally, but many people look in the mirror and see an older version of who they feel they are. This can have an impact on a person’s psyche which can translate into how we interact with our peers, friends and family. The fact of the matter is people will avoid certain social situations or won’t take that picture


with their friend or family member because they are self-conscious about some aspect of their appearance. Thankfully the stigma of plastic and cosmetic surgery has decreased in our modern world. We don’t think twice about spending money on makeup and cosmetics, the newest clothes, or the latest gadgets or cars. Improving your appearance, whether it be through noninvasive techniques or with safe surgical practices provided by a skilled knowledgeable plastic surgeon, should not be viewed any differently and can have a greater impact in my opinion. Like anything, these types of procedures must be viewed from a realistic standpoint and in a healthy way. You have to be doing it for the right reasons and going into it with realistic expectations. That being said, it really can improve people’s lives for the better in many circumstances. The good news is that with modern technology and state of the art surgical techniques, there are many options available to us to tweak our image and bring us more in line with the youthfulness we feel mentally. IS IT AFFORDABLE? There is a plethora of tools at our disposal these days to rejuvenate people’s appearance from the invasive to the noninvasive. Sometimes very simple inexpensive injections can achieve a patient’s desired results. Even the more extensive of procedures

Vist us at to learn more.

will almost certainly cost less than any new car (usually less than the down payment) and can have a far greater impact on a person’s confidence for years to come. IS PLASTIC SURGERY ONLY FOR WOMEN? As the stigma of having plastic surgery has decreased, the number of men undergoing cosmetic surgery has skyrocketed in recent years. The most common procedures undergone by men are liposuction, male breast reduction, eyelid surgery, nose surgery, face lifts and ear surgery. AM I BEING VAIN? As alluded to earlier, if done for the right reasons with the right expectations, whatever you do to improve your self-confidence improves your life as well as those around you, especially those close to you. Everybody around you benefits when you are feeling and at your best. Everybody deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. The good news is with the right intentions, the right expectations, with the right guidance, this is often an attainable goal.

Call 8140 503-8368 today to see if you qualify for our $50 Initial Visit Special Offer (a $150 value).