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Health LINES Penn Highlands Healthcare

Working together for a healthy community.


A NEW NAME, same excellent CARE.



Home Health Private Duty - Home Support SUPPORTIVE CARE Adult Day Services



A New Name, Same Excellent Care

CEO Perspective


Support Care

Illnesses strike.


Private Duty / Home Support Services Hospice Program

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Home Health Services Q&A - What Is A Hospice Volunteer


New Faces




Advice From A Doctor

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HealthLines is a publication of Penn Highlands Healthcare which includes the hospitals of Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Elk. It is produced quarterly by the system’s Marketing Team and is always available on our website at

If you wish to subscribe to HealthLines electronically, sign up at www. Printed copies may be found in the waiting rooms of Penn Highlands Healthcare facilities throughout the eight-county region and at several local businesses. You may pick one up at anytime. For more information, please contact the Marketing Team at HealthLines@ or call on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Penn Highlands Healthcare HealthLines Team Mary Jo Yebernetsky, Writer/Editor, 814-375-3495 Mary Jo Herzing, Graphic Design Specialist, 814-375-6539 Brian Musser, Community/Physician Outreach Specialist, 814-375-6508

We may need to have help as we get older. Life has a beginning and an end. We accept these statements as matters of fact, and we hope that they are something with which we never have to experience or at least not for a long time from now. That is where our home care services at Penn Highlands Healthcare are useful. Newly renamed (as you will see in the story on the next page), Penn Highlands Community Nurses offers care so patients can stay comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. As the name implies, they are nurses in the community serving patients from Bedford to Kane, New Bethlehem to the Moshannon Valley. Penn Highlands is proud to have such services available for the communities it serves. We have teams of professionals that work together to care for those who need it. In some cases, it is short-term care for an ailment, wound or recovery period. For some, it is care for a chronic disease that will not be going away, but we can help the person live a quality life. For others, it is the wish for a peaceful transition on a timetable that we will never control on earth. Whatever life brings you, we hope that Penn Highlands Healthcare can help you where you are and when you need it. Sincerely,

The information in this magazine does not take the place of health advice given to you by your healthcare provider. Always call 911 for any emergency.

Next time you’re online

Steve Fontaine, CEO Penn Highlands Healthcare

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same excellent

PENN HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY NURSES It’s a new day for home care at Penn Highlands Healthcare. All of our Penn Highlands Healthcare home care agencies - home health, hospice and private duty/ support services - are joining together to become a stronger, united team. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to bring together our services provided through all four of the Penn Highlands’ hospitals as one agency. We are consolidating the following agencies: • Community Nurses, Inc. • Penn Highlands Brookville/New Bethlehem Home Health • Penn Highlands Clearfield Home Health and Hospice/Clear-Care Corporation • Penn Highlands DuBois Home Health and Hospice And as of now, we are known as Penn Highlands Community Nurses. The combined agencies already serve patients in more than a dozen counties throughout the state and will continue to do so. Anyone who is already receiving services will not be affected. The same great nurses, therapists, social workers, nutritionists and aides will continue to serve our patients. Under the new name, we are streamlineing operations by establishing a central office for administration and billing. It is headquartered in St. Marys.

“The unification of the Penn Highlands home care agencies will strengthen and grow our ability to care for more people in need of the services we provide,” Brenda Porter, RN, BSN, Service Line Director of Home Care Services for Penn Highlands Healthcare. “We look forward to taking care of your needs today and in the future.”

Coming together to better serve our communities

• Community Nurses, Inc. • Penn Highlands Brookville/ New Bethlehem Home Health • Penn Highlands Clearfield Home Health and Hospice/ Clear-Care Corporation • Penn Highlands DuBois Home Health and Hospice

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SUPPORTIVE CARE Providing extra support to patients with advanced illnesses and their families

Supportive Care is a way to describe the care given to a patient with an advanced illness. It is not the same as hospice care, and it is a little different than home health. Patients with advanced illnesses that don’t have a cure can face unique challenges, like frequent trips to the hospital or doctors’ offices for the management of pain and other symptoms. The goal of Supportive Care is to ease these challenges.

For more information call Penn Highlands Community Nurses at 800-841-9397.


THROUGH THE STAFF OF SUPPORTIVE CARE, WE: • Work with and educate families involved with care. • Determine how the patient wants to be cared for and honor those wishes. For example, a patient may decide he/she would rather forgo a medication than suffer the limitations of the side effects. • Provide pain and symptom management to ensure the highest quality of life. • Coordinate care and communicate with various health care providers. • Support the patient and family by involving therapists, aides, clergy and social workers.

For more information about Supportive Care or to see if your loved one might be a candidate, please contact your family physician.

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You may hear the word “palliative” care used for supportive care, and it is really the same concept aimed at assisting patients with serious and life limiting illnesses. WHO BENEFITS FROM SUPPORTIVE CARE? We serve patients with declining chronic conditions who have had two or more admissions to the hospital in the last six months. Some of these conditions may include but are not limited to: • Cancer • Heart failure • Lung disease/COPD • Kidney or liver failure • ALS • Dementia • Parkinson’s Disease If the patient is confined to a bed, has bed sores or non-healing wounds, is unable to eat or drink enough to sustain weight, has bowel difficulties or is overly agitated, Supportive Care may be able to help. Our Supportive Care Team is comprised of highly-qualified and specially-trained nurses, physicians and other professionals. Our focus goes beyond medical care but also meets the psychological and spiritual needs of our patients and their families. We encourage open communication to achieve the highest quality of life possible with respect and dignity.

Private Duty - Home Support Services We all share concerns about our parents and loved ones as they age and are no longer able to live as safely and independently as they once were.

Penn Highlands Community Nurses offers Home Support Services, also commonly known as private duty services. Our well-trained, compassionate personal care aides can help your parent, elderly relative or loved one with a physical disability or chronic illness remain safe in their homes. As a caregiver, you may be stressed from the responsibilities of providing care or you may fear

Our goal is to help you maintain your loved one’s quality of life at home – keeping them safe and comfortable. for a loved one’s safety. The goal of Penn Highlands Community Nurses Private Duty - Home Support Services is to help you maintain your loved one’s quality of life at home – keeping them safe and comfortable. OUR PERSONAL CARE AIDES CAN: • Help with personal grooming like bathing, getting dressed, mouth care or hair care • Help with moving around safely and getting in and out of bed and shower • Medication reminders • Help a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia by grounding or orienting them • Help with errands like grocery shopping • Help prepare meals • Help with household chores like light housekeeping, dusting, vacuuming or doing laundry • Provide companionship and socialization so your loved one is not alone

For more information on Home Support Services call us at 800-296-4065

If your loved one has a need for skilled care and does not qualify for Medicare-certified home health services for the homebound, we also offer the services of a licensed private-duty nurse to assist with ongoing medical needs like medication management and administration, injections, pedicures, catheter care, urine collection, IV therapy, enemas, dressing changes and more.

These services are provided in Bedford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties. Services are provided on an as-needed, hourly basis. Whether your loved one is in need of regular injections or a companion to help them through the day, Penn Highlands Community Nurses Private Duty - Home Support Services can assist you in a variety of ways. Fees are based on a reasonable hourly rate and may be paid by the client, long-term care insurance or by special government programs for those who qualify. Our staff will help you explore all payment options. Call the office toll-free at 1-800-296-4065 to see how we can help!

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Hospice Dying is a part of life, though most of us don’t like to think about it. If you ask anyone about dying, we all pretty much say the same thing. We would prefer to go quickly, painlessly and with dignity. The hospice philosophy is about symptom control and providing dignity, according to Brenda Porter, RN, BSN, Service Line Director of Home Care for Penn Highlands Healthcare. Hospice is care that is provided for those who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. A patient doesn’t have to be bedbound or critically ill to be admitted to hospice. Hospice cares for people of all ages, and it’s not just for those with cancer. Being on hospice means that with or without this specific program, the outcome of an illness will be the same. But with hospice, a patient and family will have the support of a skilled team of professionals, including nurses, hospice aides, social services, pastoral care, volunteers and physical, speech and occupational therapists. The hospice team schedules regular visits with patients. A hospice nurse is available on-call 24 hours a day to help family members and others manage symptoms at home. Aides assist with personal care and comfort measures. Social workers can help with financial concerns and


BSN, Hospice Supervisor – Elk for Penn Highlands Community Nurses, said.

identifying resources. Pastoral care can help with spiritual well-being. This set group, along with therapists who provide help with movement and safety, swallowing and speech, try to keep patients comfortable. But there is another part of the team that is different than most other programs. Volunteers are the one thing that differentiates hospice from most other medical services. Volunteers – upon request of the patient or family – can visit patients. They can help with feeding, preparing easy meals, do a little light dusting or tidying up, or write notes to friends. Some have even mowed grass and planted flowers. Volunteers can read cards that people have sent, read a book out loud or just sit and visit quietly. Sometimes, just a presence is all that is needed, and it can allow peace of mind for caregivers who may need a few minutes to themselves for appointments or a trip to the store. All hospice-related visits are scheduled to best meet a patient’s needs. And hospice is not permanent. If at any time a patient or his or her doctor feels that hospice isn’t right, a patient can be discharged. It can be resumed any time a patient or doctor feels it is appropriate. “Our hospice team has actually helped improve symptoms that our patients were having to the point they were no longer appropriate for hospice,” Amber Franco, RN,

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“People think that once they choose hospice, the medical team has given up on them,” Judy Hixon, RN, BSN, Hospice Supervisor – Clearfield for Penn Highlands Community Nurses, said. “That is not true. The hospice team will work with a patient’s primary care doctor to manage the illness for optimum comfort.” As a matter of fact, a patient’s primary care doctor is in charge of the hospice plan of care. The hospice team has resources for him or her, including pharmacists and the hospice medical director. The plan is reviewed by the hospice team on a routine basis, and the hospice medical director is available if a primary care doctor is away. If a person’s medical needs become unmanageable at home, he or she may be admitted to the hospital or a nursing home for care. How is hospice paid for? Medicare and most other insurances have a hospice benefit, Nancy Rosman, RN, BSN, MSN, Hospice Supervisor - DuBois for Penn Highlands Community Nurses, said. The hospice team will verify this insurance coverage. Visits from the team are covered as are items related to the diagnosis, such as medications, supplies and equipment.

Learn more about Hospice at or calling us at 800-841-9397

Some hospice-related items may not be paid for through Medicare and insurance. That is why hospice volunteers have fundraisers, such as: • The Chili Bowl in Clearfield, this year on September 21 • The 300 Club Event in Clearfield, this year on September 24 • The Tree of Doves in DuBois during the Christmas season • ABATE Dice Run in St. Marys, this year on June 3 • The Book Sale in St. Marys, this year during the week of June 18 And all three have butterfly releases (see page 14 for dates and time) in a beautiful ceremony to remember loved ones. Anything over the cost of the butterflies is used for patient expenses. “End of life is not something we like to think about,” Brenda said, “but it is the natural progression of life. Hospice can help to bring comfort to the patient and peace to families at a time when it is truly needed.”

Advance Directive tools are available by visiting us at www.phhealthcare. org/tools

To learn more about the tool called POLST, visit

End-of-life decisions are difficult. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, we encourage patients to have living wills or healthcare powers-of-attorney.

A living will is a document stating what care a patient would want should he or she no longer is able to communicate and is in a possible life-ending situation. Healthcare powers-of-attorney are forms that designate a person to speak for someone when they are unable. Both forms are free to fill out and only require two witness signatures. In Pennsylvania, they do not need to be notarized. But sometimes, things we do in advance don’t quite fit the mold of how a disease or circumstances may progress. That is why another tool was introduced across Pennsylvania in the last few years. The new tool is called POLST, which is short for Pennsylvania Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It is a bright pink form that is filled out by a patient’s healthcare professional - a doctor,

physician assistant or nurse practitioner - only when someone is nearing end-oflife. It is not filled out by you or a family member. The form is brightly colored so it is easily recognizable as it travels with someone as he or she goes from home to a hospital or to a nursing home. The POLST form is recommended for persons who are seriously ill with a life-limiting advanced illness or anyone of advanced age with a strong desire to further define their patient care wishes. The form is intended to provide clear communication for a patient’s preferences for end-of-life treatment. Patients have the right to have or limit treatments as they wish, and those wishes become medical orders that are to be followed. POLST can be specific about care. It is not for people with stable medical or functionality problems who have many years of life expectancy. It is about current care not future care. And the orders can be revoked or changed at any time by the patient.

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HOME HEALTH After a hospital stay, you may be well enough to go home, but you may not have the help or ability for your more complicated medical care. Or perhaps there is a diagnosis that will need constant monitoring from home, and you need assistance. That is where Home Health Services from Penn Highlands Community Nurses can help, according to Brenda Porter, RN, BSN, Service Line Director of Home Care for Penn Highlands Healthcare. Home health is available for patients that no longer need hospitalized but still need professional care, teaching and assessment. For them, health care comes to their home through visits by Penn Highlands Community Nurses staff. Many patients have chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or lung disease, that require ongoing changes in their plan of care. Others may need short-term care with wound care or help taking medicines. Patients may need daily care, one visit a month or any variation in between, according to Karen Warfield, RN, Home Health Supervisor – Clearfield at Penn Highlands Community Nurses. It depends on their diagnosis, but on the average, most patients are visited about one or two times per week. With Penn Highlands Community Nurses, there is a team comprised of registered nurses, personal care aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers and nutritionists. “They do a


great job working together to care for our patients,” Brenda said It is the nurse’s job to assess the physical well-being of the patients by doing such things as taking blood pressure, pulse and heart rates to watching the healing of wounds and listening to lungs. All of that is reported back to the doctors, Kristen Genevro, RN, BSN, Home Health Operations Manager at Penn Highlands Community Nurses, said. “We are the eyes and ears for the physician.” Patients also may be monitored by a professional because of a new medication or a medication change. Home health nurses teach patients about their medications – what they are, what they are for and how to take them. Nurses also help with diet instruction, but at times, a nutritionist is needed to help people with more complex nutritional issues. Many patients come into home health care from the hospital, but they are also referred by family and friends or from a physician’s office or other levels of care, such as the emergency department, nursing homes or a rehabilitation center, according to Kelly Myers, RN, BSN, Home Health Supervisor - Elk at Penn Highlands Community Services. “Some patients are in a recovery phase of an illness that requires rehabilitation services, such as speech, occupational or physical therapies,” Kayleen Porter, RN, BSN, Home Health Supervisor – Elk at Penn Highlands Community Nurses, said. Physical therapists may do strengthening

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exercises to improve their balance and ability to function at home. They also help patients recover from surgeries, such as a knee or hip replacement and get them mobile, again. Occupational therapy creates an individualized plan for each patient to help them return to daily life and activities they enjoyed before. In some cases, they use assistive devices, such as using a grabber to pick up items off the floor or a special tool for putting on socks and shoes. In other cases, they retrain people who want to do things again, like knitting or cleaning house. They may also teach patients new ways to do things, such as sitting in a chair or to do dishes. Speech therapists help people that have memory and thinking difficulties as well as speaking problems. If there have been changes in ability to swallow, there are techniques to improve swallowing abilities. Social service workers provide counseling and education regarding long-term plans, community resources as well as short-term counseling to adjust to illnesses. Home health aides assist people with personal care, such as bathing, shampooing and dressing until a person can take over his or her own duties again. “The aides provide more of the TLC,” Karen said. With home health, there is also the option to use telehealth monitors. These small machines measure patients’ vital signs on a daily basis and send the information over the telephone line where it is monitored by

a nurse. “It helps us keep daily contact and receive vital information for patients so we can identify when the patients are having changes in their condition,” Kristen said. “There is no place like home for healing. When you are ill or recovering from an injury, there is no place you’d rather be than home with the people you love,” Kelly said. “Simply being in comfortable surroundings is proven to be one step toward a speedy recovery,” Kayleen added.

Home health helps all ages – including children. Chloe Welder of Punxsutawney has regular visits with Penn Highlands Community Nurses. “They come to see me because I have a brain tumor and brain cancer,” Chloe, age 11, said. This is Chloe’s second round of chemotherapy, and she can get it in her own home through Home Health Services of PHCN. She misses a day of school each week because of it, but she is happy to be home with her parents, Corey and Rebecca Welder. When the nurses visit, “they access my port and they give me it,” Chloe said of her IV medication. “They say I am very good at it because I don’t flinch,” she said of her care. “I stay relaxed.” She surrounds herself with her stuffed animals and watches TV. She said she has been feeling good, and she likes the nurses. They are nice. Chloe also goes to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC every month for follow up and for blood work at the local hospital weekly. “Having home health makes it easier,” Rebecca said. “We don’t have to go to Pittsburgh every week.” “It’s a long trip,” Chloe said. “Sometimes, I have to be up at 3:00 AM, sometimes at 5:00 PM, just to go to Pittsburgh.” She can nap in the car, she said. “Nana is a good driver – nice and steady.” And although Chloe always gets her homework done and does her best at school, she enjoys summer. She enjoys having fun with her family, especially swimming, which she laughingly said she does better than her brother, Timothy, who is 16.

For more information call Penn Highlands Community Nurses at 800-841-9397.

“Chloe being able to receive her chemo at home has allowed her to do what an 11-year-old should be doing- going to school, activities, spending more time with her family and friends,” said Michelle Hemke, RN, of Penn Highlands Community Nurses. “Chloe is tough, she never complains. She is always wanting to help others.” Michelle Hemke, RN and Chloe Welder

Michelle explains that “Chloe along with her mother and grandmother have been making ‘chemo port pillows.’ These are special cushions that wrap around a seat belt strap to reduce discomfort from the seat belt rubbing on a person’s implanted infusaport in the upper chest area while in the car. This is one of the many ways Chloe and her family have turned her situation into something positive. It has been a heartwarming experience being able to help Chloe.” Need a doctor? — Visit us at


ASK THE EXPERT - Do Hospice Volunteers make a difference?

Hospice volunteers are special people. While medical staff takes care of medical needs, volunteers help to make people’s last days comfortable and the best that they can be. Some may sit with those who are at the end of life’s journey. Others may do helpful things for the family or at a hospice office. But no matter whom it is or where, hospice volunteers provide a gift to others. We have asked a few of our volunteers to share why they volunteer and to answer a question about the mission they love so much.

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WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER? It is because my dad had hospice when he was in a nursing home. I was really impressed with the quality of care from the people taking care of him, and I thought I would like to give that back. WHAT CAN A VOLUNTEER DO? Mainly, as a volunteer, I visit with patients. It’s mostly conversing with them. I offer to write things down for them – especially memories that they want to share. Some may not want to talk. I also read to people. Volunteers can do a variety of things. I have helped around the house with tidying up a bit, fixed meals for the patient – like lunches. A lot of what I do is respite for the caretaker. Maybe, I will run errands for them if they want. Lisa Lepovetsky St. Marys

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WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO VOLUNTEER? I started with hospice after my daughter passed away. I attended a grief group and became very interested in hospice. I used to be a nurse. This was a way to get back to helping and occupy my time that would be really worthwhile. OTHER THAN VISITING PATIENTS, WHAT CAN A VOLUNTEER DO FOR HOSPICE? There is so much to do! There’s a lot of background work to be done. There are fundraisers, memorial services, sales and information tables. It’s not necessary to be with patients. Elizabeth “Betsy” Hubler Clearfield

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER? I became interested in becoming a hospice volunteer after attending a health fair at the Houtzdale Fire Co. hall. I noticed the hospice information setup and started looking at one of the brochures on the table. The staff person was very friendly and discussed information with me about information contained in the brochure. She saw I was very interested and informed me of a meeting that was being held at the hospital the next day. I assured her that I would attend this meeting. After the meeting, I was very excited upon learning about all what hospice does for the good of the patient and the community. I joined immediately. It was a short time later that my husband became interested. He saw how excited I was being part of the hospice team that he decided to join. WHAT DO YOU GET FROM VOLUNTEERING? It makes you feel good knowing that you are making a difference in patients’ lives and their families’ lives by just being there for them. They may be down; however, after a visit with them, you could see how you brightened their day by the change you notice in them throughout the visit. It is a very rewarding feeling knowing that when you start walking out the door, they will ask you when you will see them again! Most of the patients pour out a flood of memories. There is always so much to learn from them just by listening.

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER? I started because my mother had cancer, and I saw a documentary about the woman in England who started hospice. When the first training was offered here in DuBois, I went - that was in 1981. Hospice is very rewarding volunteer work; you do the littlest things for people and they are so grateful. IS THERE TRAINING? Yes. Penn Highlands Community Nurses offers training for all hospice volunteers. The training gives you an idea what the people are going through and the different ways to talk to them. It will explain the different services we do. Sometimes, we clean a little, and sometimes, we cook a meal. It’s varied based on the patient. There is other extra training for different programs, such as the Eleventh Hour program where volunteers sit with patients who have no one and they are not alone at the end. Training makes you more familiar with the needs of the patients, and it makes you more comfortable to have the resources. There are also volunteer meetings where we continue to learn and share experiences with others.

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER? After my mother died 26 years ago, I just wanted to do something. She was my best friend…I wanted to give back to God. He was there for everything. (Jerry has been a hospice volunteer for 24 years!) It is rewarding. I get back more than I give. It is an honor to be with somebody at the very end of their journey. HOW OFTEN DOES A VOLUNTEER “WORK”? It depends upon the number of patients and how often a person wants to volunteer. I may have a patient once a month or two or three times a week. I feed a patient regularly at a nursing home once a week. You can make yourself more available than that or once a month. You can tell the hospice staff what time you want to put in. And they never make you feel guilty if something comes up and you can’t do it. Germaine “Jerry” McGranor Knoxdale

Dorothy Mattern DuBois

Gerri and Jake Jacobson Houtzdale

To learn more about becoming a Hospice volunteer call us at 800-841-9397.

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

Gregory Little, MD

Medical Director Emergency Medicine Penn Highlands Clearfield 809 Turnpike Avenue Clearfield, PA 814-768-2470

Danelle Mollura, MSN, CRNP

Autumn Nesbitt, NNP

Xingcai “Cindy” Nie, MD, PhD

Holly Rearick, PA-C

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine 465 State Street Curwensville, PA 814-236-1123

Pathologist Penn Highlands DuBois 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois PA 814-371-2200

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Penn Highlands DuBois 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois PA 814-375-6428

Physician Assistant-Certified Behavioral Health Services Penn Highlands Brookville 100 Hospital Road Brookville, PA 814-849-1845

Find A Doctor Fawn Baldauf, CRNP

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Mt. Laurel Nursing Center & Rehabilitation 700 Leonard Street Clearfield, PA 814-765-2950

Paul Little, DO

Hospitalist Penn Highlands DuBois 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 814-371-2200

Are you looking for a healthcare provider? Do you want to know a little more about who 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.

Christos Karalis. MD

Gastroenterologist Penn Highlands Gastroenterology 621 South Main Street DuBois, PA 814-371-0600

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Melissa Lee Michael, CRNP

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Behavioral Health Services Penn Highlands DuBois East 635 Maple Avenue DuBois PA 814-375-6379

On our website,, you can find a provider by name, by location, by specialty or by hospital. You can even search by gender. Also, a complete listing of all our providers is available by downloading our Physician Directory. You can download the entire handbook, a specific search or a single page.

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Health& SAFETY

6 Steps for Preventing Falls Did you know that one in three older Americans falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. And even falls without a major injury can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active. If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor in your life, helping them reduce their risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The key is to know where to look. Here are some common factors that can lead to a fall: Balance and gait: As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and balance— primarily through inactivity, making it easier to fall. Vision: In the aging eye, less light reaches the retina—making contrasting edges, tripping hazards, and obstacles harder to see. Medications: Some prescriptions and overthe-counter medications can cause dizziness, dehydration or interactions with each other that can lead to a fall. Environment: Most seniors have lived in their homes for a long time and have never thought about simple modifications that might keep it safer as they age. Chronic conditions: More than 90 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition like diabetes, stroke, or arthritis. Often, these increase the risk of falling because they result in lost function, inactivity, depression, pain or multiple medications.

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Many falls are preventable. Stay safe with these tips!

1. Find a good balance and exercise program - Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals. Find a program you like and take a friend. 2. Talk to your healthcare provider - Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls. 3. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist - Make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed. 4. Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses - Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet. 5. Keep your home safe - Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas. 6. Talk to your family members - Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.

Penn Highlands Healthcare will be celebrating Falls Prevention Awareness Day in your community on September 22, 2017.

©2016 National Council on Aging. All Rights Reserved.

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Be a Mall Walker! The Penn Highlands Healthcare/ DuBois Mall Walker program is free to join. Walk laps around the DuBois Mall, keep track per quarter and receive a small prize each time you complete the number of laps indicated. At the end of four quarters, walkers receive a PHH/ DuBois Mall Walker t-shirt. Walking inside the mall is a safe way to walk with temperature control and flat surfaces. It’s an easy way to stay in shape. Mall Walker hours: Mon – Thurs 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Fri - 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM Sat - 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM Sun - 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM To join, go to the DuBois Mall office to register or call 814-375-3495 for a form.

Online Bill Pay Penn Highlands Healthcare is making it easier to pay your bill with online bill pay. Visit us at You will be given the choice of the four 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.

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The MS Support Group has recently formed at Penn Highlands Healthcare. It meets at 6:30 PM. on the fourth Tuesday of every month in St. Camillus Hall on the first floor of Penn Highlands DuBois. Who should attend? “People diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or suffering symptoms without a definitive diagnosis, yet. And also friends and family members of someone with MS or caregivers,” said Lisa London of Punxsutawney. She is the volunteer group leader for the group under the direction of Dr. Oksana Palatna of Penn Highlands Neurology. “Our goal is to support not only patients, but the family and friends who may need a better understanding of what their loved one is going through,” Lisa said. “The ultimate goal of this support group is to give individuals with similar problems an outlet to discuss what they are experiencing and draw from the knowledge of others who have been through it, too.”

Community CPR Classes Heartsaver AED and First Aid Training are held regularly throughout the year at Penn Highlands Brookville. Cost is $25 and classes usually run from 5-8 p.m. in the PH Brookville Education Conference Center next to the hospital. Call 814-849-1870 to register.

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Butterfly Release events will be held this summer by the Penn Highland Community Nurses hospice program. At the events, hundreds of butterflies are released to honor and remember loved ones. Some flutter away immediately, and others stay to delight the crowds, resting on hands and nearby flowers. The community is invited to attend any or all of these events, without having to purchase a butterfly. Seating is limited, so guests may wish to bring lawn chairs. SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017 2:00 PM DuBois City Park Parkway Drive | DuBois, PA SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017 2:00 PM Clearfield Fairgrounds & Park Stadium Drive | Clearfield, PA SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2017 2:00 PM Pinecrest Manor Dining Hall Johnsonburg Road | Saint Marys, PA People are invited to sponsor one or more butterflies for $25 each, with proceeds going to hospice program. For more information, please call 814-781-1415 or 800-841-9397.

Penn Highlands has My eHealth Portals available for all patients at myehealthportal. Get your username and password at your next visit with your health provider.

Looking for an easy way to make a donation to remember someone? Penn Highlands Healthcare offers online donations. Visit us at www.phhealthcare. org/donate. You may then choose the hospital you wish to support, and then possible projects or funds are listed for you to further indicate where your donation should go. If you don’t see what you are looking for, you may choose “other” or “general fund.” If you are donating in honor or in memory of someone, please fill in the necessary information to notify the person or family. We are truly grateful for the longstanding financial support we've received from our neighbors and friends. Your generous gift will make a difference in the lives of our patients. One hundred percent of all contributions go directly to patient care and are used for the purposes designated by the donors. Donations are never used for salaries or other operating expenses. All contributions are tax deductible according to IRS regulations, and are acknowledged for your records.

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Penn Highlands Healthcare is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. As of October 2015, LinkedIn reports more than 400 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories. If you are a LinkedIn member, follow us! We are also on other social medias. We are on Facebook as Penn Highlands Healthcare. Follow us for the latest news from our four hospitals. We are on Instagram where we post photos of daily activities and special events at Penn Highlands Healthcare. We are on Twitter. Providing upto-date information is important to Penn Highlands Healthcare. Take advantage of the many ways we try to keep you informed.

Adult Day Care

Family members with loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other mental and physical disabilities often feel alone, stressed, angry and guilty for having these feelings. Caregiver burnout can affect your own health and well-being. If you are caring for a spouse or parent and worry about them while you are at work, or you can’t leave them alone and feel overwhelmed and like you just need a break, the Penn Highlands Community Nurses Adult Day Center may be the answer. We provide a “home away from home” Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Our facility is located at 625 Maurus Street in St. Marys. Some of the services and activities your loved one will enjoy are: cards and board games, puzzles, coffee and conversation, special guests, field trips, crafts, baking and personal care. Lunch and snacks are provided, too. All this is done under the supervision of a registered nurse and professionally trained personnel. Call for a free visit: 814-781-8253.

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.

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Advice From A DOCTOR

Amy M. Kelly, DO Penn Highlands Family Medicine 814-788-8580

You know home care is available, but where do you start if you want to get it? Your first step is easy. Call the agency you wish to use. You can make a referral for yourself or a family member. If you are hoping to have home health services paid by your insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, a physician’s order for certified home health is required. If your physician agrees you would benefit from home health, he/ she will make a referral to a certified home health agency and will authorize a treatment plan, commonly called a plan of care. If you or your family member makes a self-referral, the agency will contact your doctor for approval to evaluate your situation and to get necessary medical information. Hospice service also requires a referral by the patient’s physician, which can be done at the request of family. A hospice program representative will visit the patient soon after to learn the needs

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HOME CARE SERVICES What is a Referral and Why Do I Need One? and schedule of the patient and family/ primary caregiver. Hospice is covered by Medicare and many insurances. When you, a family member or your physician calls a home care office, you will be asked basic information, such as your name, date of birth, address and phone number. There will also be questions about your doctors, diagnosis, current medical orders and any hospitalizations you have had. Safety is very important. There may be questions about your medications, whether you have had a flu shot, concerns about your personal safety in your home and who your caregiver and/or emergency contact will be. And then, you will be evaluated for admission. It may sound like a long process, but it isn’t. We really want you to have the best care possible and stay in your home as long as you wish/can.

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Penn Highlands Community Nurses are always willing to help guide you through any of this. Feel free to call them if you need their help.


Call Penn Highlands Community Nurses at 800-841-9397. Email us at

Visit us online at www.communitynurses. org/referral

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