Issue 18

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Issue 18

Health LINES Penn Highlands Healthcare

Here. Here for you. Here for our communities.

Fine Details, Big News

da Vinci Xi ®

Robotic-Assisted Surgery • Colorectal Surgery • General Surgery • Gynecological Surgery • Urologic Surgery​



Welcome PH Tyrone


da Vinci® Xi


New Faces


Heart Month


Inpatient Rehabilitation

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, Penn Highlands Huntingdon and Penn Highlands Tyrone. It is produced by the system’s Marketing Team and is always available on our website at For more information, please contact the Marketing Team at HealthLines@ The Marketing & Communications HealthLines Team Kristine Gasbarre, MA, Marketing Coordinator/Creative Writer Mary Jo Herzing, Graphic Design Coordinator/Webmaster Joy Weidel, Sales & Marketing Coordinator 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.

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CLICK HERE Coronavirus What you need to know from Penn Highlands.


Access to Health Providers 24/7 Online MyHealthNow Penn Highlands Healthcare is at the forefront of using virtual technology to enhance and improve access to the health care experience. Through a variety of virtual and digital services— such as online scheduling, virtual visits, remote health monitoring and much more—we offer patients convenient access, any time and any place, to the care they need when they need it most. MyHealthNow represents the Penn Highlands digital services across the healthcare system and can be accessed via your home computer, tablet or smartphone via the MyHealthNow app. Download the free mobile MyHealthNow App for iOS and Android devices or visit us online at MyDocNow Seeing your Penn Highlands doctor just got easier. We are bringing healthcare to you in the comfort of your own home. Penn Highlands Healthcare is proud to offer telemedicine services for our patients through our service, MyDocNow. Call your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. Your doctor will decide what they feel can be seen virtually versus in the office to be seen in person. Please note that not all appointments are appropriate for a virtual visit. See your provider today in the comfort of your own home, at work or anywhere! QCareNow For routine illness or injury, QCareNow gives you 24/7 access to a live provider so that you can get on the fast track to feeling better. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or a computer with a webcam. We use the latest video technology to deliver face-to-face care and consultation, without you traveling to Penn Highlands. The Rehabilitation Center Virtual Therapy Penn Highlands Healthcare is proud to offer telemedicine services for our rehabilitation patients through MyHealthNow. If you need to cancel rehab appointments due to illness or quarantine, that appointment can be kept through telemedicine, if appropriate. Call your therapy provider to schedule a telemedicine appointment. Your therapist will decide what they feel can be seen virtually. MyPennHighlands - NEW! Penn Highlands Patient Portal Get onnline access to see your medical records, communicate with your doctor, view upcoming appointments, renew prescriptions and more. • View Health Information • View Upcoming Appointments • Send a Message to Your Provider • Renew Your Prescriptions • View Test Results Download the free mobile MyPennHighlands App for iOS and Android devices or visit us online at

Penn Highlands Tyrone WELCOME TO THE FAMILY On November 1, 2020, Penn Highlands Healthcare welcomed Penn Highlands Tyrone to our family of hospitals. Penn Highlands Tyrone is the former Tyrone Hospital and Tyrone Regional Health Network. Now the sixth hospital in the Penn Highlands Healthcare system, the hospital has operated as the healthcare leader in Tyrone since 1954 and in 2014 became the Tyrone Regional Health Network to reflect the entities and variety of services that are part of the hospital. Through the years, the organization has been known for its commitment to the public it serves, as PHH Chief Executive Officer Steve Fontaine has noted: “It was clear from our due diligence process that the organization comes with a long tradition of providing exceptional care to the Tyrone community and its surrounding area. This aligned with our fundamental mission at Penn Highlands to deliver quality healthcare that’s based within close-knit, hometown communities.” Penn Highlands Tyrone consists of: a 25-bed critical access hospital that provides general medical and surgical care, along with three primary care physician offices that include Tyrone Rural Health Center Pinecroft Medical Center and Houtzdale Rural Health Center.

140+ 199+ Providers



Bed Critical Access Hospital

Its services include:

• The Breast Cancer & Women’s Health Institute • Orthopedic Clinic • Cardiology Clinic • Company Healthcare Clinic • Tyrone Fitness & Wellness Center The Tyrone Regional Health Network Foundation and the Tyrone Hospital Auxiliary conduct fundraising activities to support Tyrone Hospital and other entities within the network. PH Tyrone will maintain a board of directors representing the communities it serves, and two of those members will be part of the Penn Highlands Healthcare system board. President Anna Anna and her team continue to oversee day-today operations.

A Look at Penn Highlands Tyrone’s Services The Breast Cancer & Women’s Health Institute (BCWHI) exists to provide holistic, integrated breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment approach that supports patient and family quality outcomes, satisfaction and engagement. The institute provides women’s healthcare services through a diverse group of physician specialists and other healthcare professionals, and is also a provider in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Healthy Woman Program, giving access to essential women’s health services to women aged 21 and over who are uninsured or underinsured.


Primary Care Clinics


Rural Health Clinics


Emergency Care

The Fitness & Wellness Center provides a comfortable place to workout with cardio equipment, strength training equipment, and a fitness studio for group fitness classes. They also have locker rooms for member use. The Company Healthcare Clinic helps area employers and their employees achieve their health goals in the workplace and beyond. Services provided are convenient, cost-effective, and tailored to each individual business. Some services may be available at the work-site to meet employers’ needs.

A PH Tyrone Update From Anna Anna, President We have been pleased to join the Penn Highlands Healthcare family as Penn Highlands Tyrone. As we engaged with Penn Highlands leaders to explore the possibility, it was clear that joining such a strong-growing health system would create significant benefit for our patients and community. The PHH executive leadership team have been very present and supportive to us throughout this transition. Being surrounded by a team of fellow hospital leaders fortifies our decision-making and capabilities—and it’s helpful to share equipment, resources and space with our sister hospitals when that might be necessary. We anticipate great benefit from having access to Penn Highlands DuBois as the flagship hospital with a wide range of specialities like award-winning lung care, cardiology, and neurology. Penn Highlands also continues to recruit physicians and other advanced providers to our region. Becoming a Penn Highlands hospital provides a great opportunity for our organization to build upon our strength, while also maintaining our role as an important employer in the region. This affiliation with Penn Highlands will create a sustainable model for our local hospital as well as bring additional resources and expertise to Blair County.


Fine Details, Big News

da Vinci® Xi Robotic-Assisted Surgery After introducing Mako SmartRobotics last August for Penn Highlands Orthopedics patients, this winter for many more surgical patients we are proud to unveil the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System. This will bring highly precise roboticassisted surgeries to patients at Penn Highlands, surgery options include colorectal surgery, general surgery, gynecological surgery, and urologic surgery. These surgeries will be performed at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Meet the da Vinci® Xi certified surgeons:

da Vinci® Xi is one of the first medical robotics systems ever developed, having been first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. Since then, da Vinci’s manufacturer has continued to evolve and perfect its capabilities, as the da Vinci provides maximum precision in hysterectomies, prostatectomies, urological procedures, as well as surgeries for hernias, kidneys, and more.

John S. Banerji, MD Penn Highlands Urology A Service of Penn Highlands DuBois Clearfield | 814-765-1484 DuBois Office | 814-375-9200 St. Marys Office | 814-781-5427

Why is da Vinci® Xi such an advantage to Penn Highlands patients? Several reasons:

• The tiny, wristed components of the da Vinci robot provide your Penn Highlands surgeon access to narrow areas of your physiology, delivering extremely fine precision that is beyond the capabilities of the human hand. • This access allows for a less invasive procedure than traditional surgery might. Think of the minuscule body parts your surgeon can access with the help of high-quality technology—as the da Vinci company has stated, the robot is “a natural extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands.” • All the while, your surgeon remains in control. Surgeons assisted by medical robots typically work from a seated console controlling the robot with computerized commands. This process can take less of a physical toll on your physician than traditional hours in the OR might do. • As a result, procedures performed with the da Vinci robot can lead to faster healing, the highest possible accuracy and an overall better outcome for you.

Eric Lundgren, MD, FACS Board Certified General Surgeon DuBois Office | 814-371-8569

David McKeown, MD Penn Highlands General Surgery A Service of Penn Highlands DuBois St. Marys Office | 814-781-1188

Together, the physician and the robot work to care for you, ensuring all the right moves to help you heal and feel like you again.


to learn mor about the

da Vinci® Robot.

The da Vinci® Xi

Penn Highlands has introduced the da Vinci Xi (pronounced “ex-eye”), which comes as the fourth generation of da Vinci robots. The da Vinci brand has spent over 25 years enhancing their robots’ surgical performance to create the Xi, which comes with lighter, smaller arms than past da Vinci models and is designed with streamlined rotation to deliver optimal reach to the surgeon and maximum accuracy inside the body.


Kelly Snyder, DO, FACOG Penn Highlands Life’s Journey A Service of Penn Highlands DuBois DuBois Office | 814-371-1900 Punxsutawney Office | 814-952-5464

The Robotic Center at Penn Highlands Not only do we continue to add new facilities to the Penn Highlands family, we are also committed to bringing you the most leading-edge technology available anywhere. Here, we answer a few patient questions about robotic-assisted medicine.

What can a medical robot do for me?

In short, when a robot assists your surgeon and surgical team in your procedure, you get the greatest accuracy and personalization to your unique anatomy. In recent decades, robot-assisted medical procedures have revolutionized what doctors can learn and do to best serve a patient. For diagnostic and surgical purposes, robotic technology can facilitate less invasiveness—but also greater access to your anatomy that, no matter how skilled a hand your surgeon has, are otherwise difficult to reach. Robotic technology in medicine can deliver the maximum targeted precision down to the finest metrics of your physiology.


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Simply put, a robot-assisted procedure can equip your doctor with the greatest possible capability to help you…and heal you. That’s why at Penn Highlands Healthcare, we are so proud to drive advancements in our robotics program—because when we say we’re here for you, we mean we’re bringing the most current, state-of-the-art technology in the world right to the heart of our communities. For lung procedures, joint replacements, needs related to women’s or men’s health and more, we’re seeing the demand surge among Penn Highlands patients seeking care from our doctors who are utilizing robotic technology.

How does a medical robot work?

In the operating room, your Penn Highlands physician works at a console next to you and operates using the robotic arm—a sophisticated computerized instrument with arms and joints that provide your doctor with the ability to move and maneuver with hyper-precision and extremely fine tools. Your doctor controls the robot, which translates the doctor’s movements in real time. Our robots also incorporate 3D imaging so your physician has the most accurate and detailed view of your unique anatomy. Greater precision, higher performance, less pain. That’s the beauty of Penn Highlands robotics in your life and community.

What types of medical robots does Penn Highlands Healthcare offer?

The Lung Center at Penn Highlands offers services with the Monarch robot, which enables earlier and more accurate diagnosis of small and hard-toreach nodules in the periphery of the lung. Penn Highlands Orthopedics offers joint replacements with Mako, which enables surgeons to most optimally perform hip and knee replacements with as little disturbance to healthy tissues as possible, thereby delivering results to the patient with less pain and faster recovery than traditional joint replacement procedures. da Vinci® Xi supports a number of surgical disciplines and procedures, including those related to the prostate, uterus, urological health, kidneys, hernia repair, and a range of other general surgery needs. See Page 7 for more details


We’re proud to introduce the newest members of our healthcare team. They look forward to being there for your healthcare needs.

PHYSICIANS Matthew Cindric, MD, FACS Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon Penn Highlands Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery Medical Arts Building 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 300 DuBois, PA 15801 814-375-2040 Nii-Daako Darko, DO Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon

Penn Highlands General Surgery Surgicalists Medical Arts Building 145 Hospital Avenue, Suite 313 DuBois, PA 15801 814-375-4000 Sheryl M.S. De Sa, MD Family Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine St. Marys Community Medical Building 1100 Million Dollar Highway 3rd Floor St. Marys, PA 15857 814-781-6758

Allen Dsouza, MD Psychiatrist

Behavioral Health Services 635 Maple Avenue DuBois, PA 15801 814-375-6379 John Ford, MD Oncologist

Penn Highlands Oncology/Hematology 900 Bryan Street, Suite 4 Huntingdon, PA 16652 814-643-8105 Ali Hakim Shoushtari, MD Critical Care Intensivist Penn Highlands DuBois Intensive Care Unit 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 15801 814-375-7712 Michaela Hickey, DO Ophthalmologist

Penn Highlands Eye Center 529 Sunflower Drive 2nd Floor DuBois, PA 15801 814-371-2390

Joel Himes, DO Sports Medicine Specialist Penn Highlands Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Medical Arts Building 88 Hospital Road, 2nd Floor Brookville PA 15825 814-503-4708 David McKeown, MD Colorectal Surgeon Penn Highlands General Surgery Medical Office Building 761 Johnsonburg Road Suite 130 St. Marys, PA 15857 814-781-1188 Brendan Mulcahy, DO Emergency Medicine Specialist Penn Highlands DuBois Emergency Department 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 15801 814-375-3470

ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDERS Sara Wolbert, CRNP Certified Nurse Practitioner QCare Punxsutawney 551 W. Mahoning Street Punxy Plaza Punxsutawney, PA 15767 814-249-7001

Find A Doctor Are you looking for a healthcare provider? Do you want to know a little more about whom your next appointment is with? Penn Highlands Healthcare wants you to know all of your healthcare providers and who is available to help you with your healthcare needs. On our website, phhealthcare. org/findadoc, you can find a provider by name, by location, by specialty or by hospital.

Five Great Reasons to Find a Primary Care Provider 1. Faster appointments and same-day visits for established patients 2. Free annual wellness visits through most insurance 3. Consolidate your health information before you get sick 4. You’re more likely to get preventive care and avoid the Emergency Department* 5. You’re more likely to have better health and earlier disease detection* * The International Journal of Health Services, Volume 37, Number 1, Pages 111–126, 2007

CLICK HERE to find a

PRIMARY CARE OFFICE location closest to you.


More Medical Robotic Offerings at Penn Highlands Healthcare MonarchTM Platform

Revolutionizing lung cancer treatments.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, in part because it presents no symptoms in its early stages. In our region, diseases of the lungs are even higher than the national average due to environmental and lifestyle factors, like radon and smoking. Lung cancer can be severe, and this is why the ability to detect the disease is so important. There are a variety of diagnostic options currently available for lung cancer, but few are ideal when it comes to accuracy, safety, or invasiveness. These limitations can lead to false positives, false negatives, or side effects such as pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and hemorrhage, which may increase health care costs and extend hospital stays. The MonarchTM robot utilizes a familiar controller-like interface that your doctor at the Lung Center at Penn Highlands can use to navigate the flexible robotic camera to the periphery of the lung with optimal reach, view, and control. The Monarch uses a 3D view of the patient’s own lung anatomy, providing your doctor with continuous bronchoscopic vision throughout the procedure. Better views mean greater accuracy for a diagnosis while there’s still time to cure.

MAKO SmartRoboticsTM

Mako SmartRoboticsTM arm-assisted surgery is a new approach to hip, knee and partial knee replacement that offers the most patient-specific implant alignment and positioning. The technology enables your Penn Highlands Orthopedics surgeon to create a patientspecific 3D plan to perform joint replacement surgery using a surgeon-controlled robotic arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy. Mako’s assistance in your joint replacement results in fewer and smaller incisions, less blood loss, preservation of healthy bone, less disturbance to healthy tissue, and ultimately faster recovery. Mako’s advantages can deliver high satisfaction for you. While traditional joint replacements can sometimes require several months of recovery before a patient can return to some normal routine activities, in some cases, Mako has the potential to decrease your recovery time by as much as half. Recovery after Mako may also include less swelling and pain than traditional knee replacement surgery.

Health With Extra Heart: Celebrating American Heart Month 2021 February will be one year since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. Unfortunately, the arrival of the virus on our shores took focus away from so many other important health reminders. In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that one in four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, while the World Health Organization cites that nearly one in three deaths is due to some cardiovascular disease. These life-changing, heartrelated events are not only happening “out there”—they’re very prominent in our area, where rates of smoking and unhealthy body mass indexes are significantly higher than in other parts of the country. We understand if COVID-19 might have deterred you from visiting your doctor last year—but in 2021, it’s more important than ever to make sure your vitals are on par. That’s because cardiovascular conditions can make it tougher for your body to fight off illnesses like COVID-19.

Here are three things you can start today to ensure better heart health for the rest of your life: Call your primary care provider’s office to make sure your annual appointment is lined up. If you’re a smoker, look into our annual lung screening for insights about your cardiopulmonary health. For help with your New Year’s weight loss and healthy eating resolutions, learn about Dr. Kavita Goyal’s “Choose to Lose” program by contacting Missy Hill, Program Coordinator. Call 814-371-4361, Ext 5956 or email her at


Here to help you recover, close to home. Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Penn Highlands DuBois For patients who have experienced trauma, stroke or some surgical procedures—as well as these patients’ families— there’s often comfort in knowing that inpatient rehabilitation is available at Penn Highlands DuBois. While a patient recovers from an intensive medical event or service, even when they’ve received their initial treatment somewhere else, they may find significant benefit for their short-term recovery and long-term wellness from the concentrated physical, occupational or speech therapies in our inpatient rehabilitation program. Says Sarah Craft, program director of Inpatient Rehabilitation at Penn Highlands: “In our unit, we work with the interdisciplinary team—the physicians, the nursing team, our therapists and case management— to get patients back to baseline, or as close to that as possible.” Especially in unpredictable weather, this delivers peace of mind to individuals and families throughout our region who can avoid icy weather, bad roads, and hectic city driving when the person they love needs a coordinated care team to help them make their most optimal recovery. Best of all, patients can be admitted to Inpatient Rehab from elsewhere in the Penn Highlands system or “from any hospital from our region,” Craft says,


noting that the Penn Highlands Inpatient Rehabilitation team regularly cares for patients who are transferred from hospitals in Pittsburgh, Altoona and Erie. “We’re here for anyone who needs to come back home,” Craft says. “That way, they’re closer to their family and in the community setting to make them more comfortable so the family doesn’t have to travel as far to see them.” The Penn Highlands inpatient rehab center offers a structured schedule to support patients in recovery after an injury, surgery, or an illness, such as stroke. A Penn Highlands rehabilitation patient is transferred from their own room into our modern, specialized unit, where they work with therapists, aides, specially trained nurses, and physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Therapy gyms are located on the same floor as the inpatient rehab unit, with one wall of glass that overlooks the DuBois hillside. Patients may take in the view while working to improve their function so they can return home.

CLICK HERE to learn how we’re providing you with the SAFEST REHABILITATION SERVICES during COVID-19.

Inpatient Rehabilitation may be with the following conditions: • Brain injury • Spinal cord injury • Sports injuries • Stroke • Orthopedic surgeries • Post–amputation care

Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

• Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Speech Therapy

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