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Health LINES Penn Highlands Healthcare

Working together for a healthy community.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE The Maternal and Child Centers When To Use The ED vs. QCare Alzheimer’s Disease and Depression Q&A - What is Physical Therapy? Low Dose CT Scan Screening

The Heart Center Quality Care Locally


CEO Perspective


The Maternal and Child Centers


When To Use The ED vs. QCare

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Depression The Heart Center Quality Care Locally Q&A - What is Physical Therapy?


Low Dose CT Scan Screening


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.

As winter has us staying inside more, we hope that you are warm and comfortable while you read our latest edition of HealthLines. There is always a lot happening throughout the Penn Highlands Healthcare system, and this is just a snapshot into what we are doing. Our cover story looks at The Heart Center and introduces you our newest cardiovascular thoracic surgeon, Dr. Louis Russo. He along with Dr. Raj Kaushik care for some of the most difficult illnesses our patients may face. Along with saving lives, they save our patients stress and worry about travel, accommodations and so much more just by providing such specialized care here. We also cover other important topics and hope that the information is something you can use or share. We’ve included information about our Emergency Departments and QCares, and knowing when to use which. Inside this issue, we also offer information about our Maternal and Child Centers, Alzheimer’s disease and our newest providers. Thank you for reading. Sincerely,

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, Senior Coordinator/Editor, 814-375-3495 Mary Jo Herzing, Graphic Design/Web Specialist, 814-375-6539 Holly Shok, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 814-375-6508 Michele Yale, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 814-375-3494

Steve Fontaine, CEO Penn Highlands Healthcare

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.

Next time you’re online Be sure to visit also check us out on

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


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The Maternal and Child Centers Penn Highlands Healthcare’s excellent obstetrics team is privileged to care for expectant parents and their babies. We are committed to making your birth experience as joyful, memorable, and comfortable as possible. Our family centered maternity care strives to make every delivery a unique and special experience. The Maternal and Child Centers of Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Elk offer private rooms in a relaxed atmosphere that welcomes the entire family. Whether the pregnancy is normal or if a patient needs specialized care, an expert team of obstetric nurses, obstetricians, perinatologist, neonatologist and pediatricians is there for you and your baby. Should you need it, PH DuBois is home to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As the only NICU in the region, and with a board-certified neonatologist, critically ill and premature newborns are provided the highest level of newborn care. We offer many other services and programs to support new parents and their infants during their stay with us and to help prepare them for the transition to home. For example, we promote what we call “The Golden Hour,” which limits visitors during the first hour after birth to ensure a safe recovery environment. We also encourage “rooming-in.” Many studies support mother-infant roomingin practice because of its many benefits, both short and long term. These benefits include better mother-infant bonding and increased frequency of breastfeeding since it enables feeding on demand. We also educate parents on safe sleep practices, breastfeeding and safe child care practices. The Maternal and Child Centers also offer exceptional prenatal care and childbirth education classes making it more convenient for you to receive the best care for your baby.

• Complete Prenatal Care • Experienced, Caring Doctors and Nurses • Homelike Maternity Center with

State-of-the-Art Technology

• High-Risk Specialists • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Please visit to learn more about our providers and Maternity Centers. We’re also on Facebook as The Maternal and Child Center.

Education Classes at Penn Highlands DuBois Prenatal Education Class We offer one full-day Saturday class, held monthly. Because classes fill quickly, it is best to register by the end of your sixth month of pregnancy. Cost is $65, which may be covered by your medical coverage/private insurance. Scholarships are available for those who meet eligibility requirements. Please ask when registering.

Breastfeeding Support Group Mom-to-Mom Breastfeeding Connection meets the first and third Wednesday of each month from 11:00 AM to Noon in the OB Conference Room on the third floor near the NICU at PH DuBois. It is led by Melanie Synder, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant. For More Information If you have any questions regarding classes, please feel free to call (our answering service) at 814-375-6643 and leave a detailed message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. To register for one of our classes, please call INFO/Scheduling at 814-375-4636.

Education Classes at Penn Highlands Elk

Feeding Class This in-depth class covers many topics to educate and support parents who plan to, or are considering breast feeding their baby. The class fee is $10, unless already participating in prenatal education classes. We encourage all parents, no matter their feeding choice, to attend this class to explore the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as receive important safety/car seat instructions from a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

Breastfeeding Group Breastfeeding moms or moms-to-be are welcome to join Katie Pletcher, RN, BSN, CLC, lactation counselor at this support group held at the Community Education Center, 4 Erie Avenue, St. Marys. It is held every other Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

New Baby Day Camp This class is offered to children ages 2-8 who are expecting a new brother or sister. Included is a tour of the Maternal and Child Center and age based education to help siblings prepare for the arrival of a new baby. The class is free of charge and scheduled every other month.

Breastfeeding Class This class is held to give new moms the tools to be successful at breastfeeding. It is currently being revamped. Call us for the class schedule at 814-788-8558.

Call 814-788-8558 or e-mail kepletcher@ for the next meeting date or more information.

For More Information If you have any questions regarding classes or to register call 814-788-8558.

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When to Visit the ED vs. QCare Whenever you or someone you love has sudden symptoms or an injury, you’re likely to seek treatment at a medical facility. Penn Highlands Healthcare offers two different types of services for you to consider when symptoms suddenly appear – the emergency room or a QCare walk-in clinic. But how do you decide which one is right for you? According to Dr. Tabatha Jeffers, director of Emergency Services at Penn Highlands Brookville, “QCare is a great option for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. These facilities are known for their quick care for basic medical issues that would typically require an appointment with a primary care provider.” Dr. Jeffers pointed out that QCare facilities are particularly useful for individuals who do not have an established primary care provider. “QCare accommodates walk-ins, which means appointments are never required. Some common issues that would warrant a visit to a QCare are cough or colds, earaches, sprains and strains, urinary tract infections, tick bites and even physicals for sports or for the Department of Transportation.” Additionally, QCare facilities are a great option for treating these minor conditions outside of normal business hours, with most locations open until 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday and until 5:00 PM on Sunday. While the Emergency Department, or ED, is open for business 24 hours per day, seven days per week, Dr. Jeffers recommends a visit to the closest ED only for more serious injuries and illnesses. “Patients experiencing severe and sudden onset of chest pain or any symptoms associated with heart


attack or stroke should call 9-1-1 or get to the emergency department as quickly as possible,” she said. “Also, patients experiencing sudden and severe abdominal pain, dizziness or limb weakness should go to the ED.” “Because there is no access to a CT scan at QCare, these more serious issues are best treated in the ED,” she said. “QCare can perform x-rays and basic lab services, such as a rapid strep test or flu test, but they are not equipped for more involved imaging or lab procedures that are often required to properly diagnose and treat more serious medical emergencies.” “It is important to note that a patient who presents to QCare and requires more emergent treatment will be transferred to the nearest ED via ambulance,” said Dr. Jeffers. “Additionally, a patient who is not suffering from life-threatening symptoms will never be turned away from the ED.” “At Penn Highlands Healthcare, we are committed to providing our patients the best care in the timeliest manner possible,” she added. “By establishing

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QCare facilities throughout the region, we are creating additional avenues for patients to seek care. These walkin clinics are helping to alleviate the Emergency Departments across the system by treating minor issues and are also improving patient satisfaction by providing appropriate care in much less time.” - A complete list of our QCare walk-in clinic locations can be found on page 15.

Time is of the essence – Call 9-1-1 if you have these conditions: • Stroke: Sudden dizziness, numbness or paralysis, difficulty seeing or speaking or loss of consciousness • Heart: Chest pain with pressure sensation or pain radiating into jaw, teeth, shoulder or back; or palpitations with dizziness; or shortness of breath, sweating and/or nausea or vomiting • Severe abdominal pain • Seizure

Penn Highlands has the RIGHT CARE, RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT HERE. Primary Care

QCare Walk-In Clinic

Emergency Room

When doctor’s office is open:

When doctor’s office isn’t an option:

24/7/365 days a year:

3 Regular physicals, vaccinations and screenings 3 Management of a chronic condition 3 Flu-like symptoms 3 Fever, vomiting 3 Coughs, colds, sinus problems, earaches 3 Sprains, back pain 3 Rashes 3 Minor eye problems 3 Minor cuts and abrasions 3 Minor aches and pains 3 Bladder infections 3 Tick and insect bites


3 Flu-like symptoms 3 Fever 3 Vomiting 3 Coughs, colds, sinus problems 3 Earaches 3 Sprains 3 Back pain 3 Rashes 3 Minor eye problems 3 Minor cuts and abrasions 3 Minor aches and pains 3 Bladder infections 3 Tick and insect bites


3 Chest pain 3 Stroke 3 Heart attack 3 Severe abdominal pain 3 Major head injuries 3 Major trauma 3 Compound fracture

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

(bone visible) Shortness of breath Ingestion of poisons Seizures Dizziness Severe burns Shock Snake bites Uncontrollable bleeding


Primary Care Clinics

QCare Walk-in Clinics

Emergency Departments

www.phhealthcare. org/primarycare

www.phhealthcare. org/qcare

www.phhealthcare. org/ed

Always bring your insurance cards, your personal identification, your co-payment and a list of your current medications. If you think you are experiencing a life-threatening condition, call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical attention at the nearest Emergency Department.

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Alzheimer’s Disease and Depression Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans of all ages. The vast majority are 65 and older. It is characterized by problems with memory, behavior and thinking. Symptoms typically develop gradually and worsen over time. In early stages, individuals may have difficulty remembering newly learned information. In later stages, individuals lose the ability to communicate and respond to their environment. Many individuals who experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s, also experience depression, according to Nancy Florio, community relations coordinator for the Senior Transitions Unit at Penn Highlands Brookville. It can be difficult to recognize depression in individuals with Alzheimer’s because the symptoms of depression can be similar to symptoms attributed to dementia, including apathy, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, impaired thinking and social withdraw. Furthermore, because a person with Alzheimer’s experiences mental impairment, it can be challenging for them to voice their feelings of depression, which can include hopelessness, sadness and guilt. They may not even realize they are having these feelings, Nancy said.

Highlands Elk offer specialized treatment of psychiatric disorders experienced by geriatric patients – individuals 55 years and older. All three hospitals have a geropsychiatric inpatient unit. Services are offered in a calm and quiet home-like environment where patients receive the highest quality care for both their medical and mental health needs, according to Pauline Gausman, RN, community liaison for the Generations Unit at PH Elk. Anyone – family members, friends, agencies, hospitals, clergy and physicians – can make a referral to the inpatient units 24/7. Once a referral is made, a member of the geropsychiatric behavioral health team may visit the patient and conduct a face-to-face assessment. The assessment includes a review of the patient’s medical history, a physical

The combination of Alzheimer’s and depression, or even just Alzheimer’s alone, can result in emotional breakdowns that lead to unsafe behavior, including suicidal thoughts or actions. When this happens, an individual may require inpatient care to return to stability. The teams at Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield and Penn


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exam, a depression screening and interviews with the family. “Because a patient with Alzheimer’s faces difficulty with thinking, memory and behavior, so much of diagnosis is based on observation by others,” Nancy said. “This can be scary for families who may not be used to dealing with mental health issues. We’re here to get their loved one the best care possible.” Criteria for admission to the geropsychiatric inpatient unit can include: • Suicidal/homicidal thoughts or actions; • Major depression; • And dangerous behaviors, such as wandering around out in the cold or leaving the gas stove on. Prior to admission, the patient is evaluated at the Emergency

Dementia Support Group

Behavioral Health Services At Penn Highlands

Join the Brookville Area Dementia Support Group that is sponsored by Penn Highlands Brookville, WRC Senior Services, Jefferson Manor Health Center and the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging for family and caregivers of someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

PENN HIGHLANDS BROOKVILLE Behavioral Health Outpatient Center 100 Hospital Road, Brookville, PA 814-849-1396

In 2018, meetings will be every second Monday of the month at the Education Conference Center, Penn Highlands Brookville, Brookville, PA, from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. This support group is free and open to the public.Visit for more information on our guest speakers.

Department to ensure they aren’t experiencing other medical issues that could be causing the unsafe behavior. Once admitted, the average length of stay is about 10-13 days, Nancy said. According to Cheri Bumbarger, director of Bright Horizons at Penn Highlands Clearfield, the goal of the care team is to determine the root cause of the patient’s behavior and stabilize it, whether that’s through medication adjustments, multidisciplinary treatment planning or psychotherapy services, so that they can return to their placement, either at home, a personal care home or a skilled nursing facility. The care team additionally helps patient families to better understand and care for their loved one, Cheri said. “Patients with Alzheimer’s can’t verbalize their wants and needs, so you have to problem solve for them,” she said. “For example, don’t ask them if they want a drink, but rather, show them a glass of water.” Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, and the risk of getting it increases as you get older. By the age of 85, at least 35 out of 100 people will have some form of dementia, Pauline said. “In the early stages of the disease, the person with the disease is aware that something is wrong as their memories fade and freedom becomes more restricted,” Pauline said. “This time is very difficult for the patient and their family.”

Senior Transition Unit 100 Hospital Road, 3rd floor, Brookville, PA 814-849-1850 or 814-849-1844 PENN HIGHLANDS CLEARFIELD Behavioral Health Outpatient Center 1033 Turnpike Avenue, Suite 300, Clearfield, PA 814-768-2137 Bright Horizons Unit 809 Turnpike Avenue, 2nd floor, Clearfield, PA 814-768-2184 PENN HIGHLANDS DUBOIS Behavioral Health Center East Campus - 635 Maple Avenue, DuBois, PA 814- 375-6379 Behavioral Health Child & Adolescent Inpatient Unit East Campus - 635 Maple Avenue, DuBois, PA 814-375-6363 Behavioral Health Adult Inpatient Unit East Campus - 635 Maple Avenue, DuBois, PA 814-375-6337 PENN HIGHLANDS ELK Generations Unit 763 Johnsonburg Road, 2nd floor, St. Marys, PA 814-788-8876

Support through both outpatient and inpatient treatment provides stabilization for the patient, she said. Penn Highlands additionally offers Geriatric Outpatient services at PH Brookville, PH Clearfield and PH DuBois. For more information on Behavioral Health services, please visit

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The Heart Center Quality Care Locally When you’re in need, it’s often your neighbors who can step up to help. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, when cardiac – or heart – care is needed, The Heart Center is here to provide the help and care you need, and it is staffed by your friends and neighbors. Since 2001, thousands of residents of our region have chosen The Heart Center for its full spectrum of 24hour cardiac services ranging from diagnostics to open-heart surgery to rehabilitation. Located on the fourth and fifth floors of Penn Highlands DuBois West, The Heart Center program has expanded recently with the addition of Dr. Louis Russo, board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, to the staff with Dr. Raj Kaushik, also board-certified in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery and Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart Center. Both are universitytrained cardiac surgeons. “We treat a treat a variety of cardiac problems, aneurysms and vascular issues,” Dr. Russo said. At The Heart Center, surgeons perform by-pass surgery and use the latest techniques. They perform valve and aneurysm repair and have a dedicated cardiac anesthesiologist on staff along with two dedicated perfusionists. The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit is also unique allowing a patient to be in the same room for their entire stay. This is beneficial. “The same group of


people are taking care of patients from admission to discharge,” Dr. Russo said. “Patients stay in the same room with people who have the experience of taking care of same type of patients - day in and day out…it is great for patients and their families.” There are also out-patient treatments in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and out-patient Cardiac Rehabilitation to guide patients to a healthier lifestyle through education and exercise. “If advanced therapies are needed, we are well connected with other programs throughout the country,” Dr. Russo said.


New to The Heart Center since November, Dr. Russo noted that “the administration at Penn Highlands Healthcare is clearly dedicated to a high quality cardiac surgery program. That is so important.” “We are a member of the largest cardiothoracic work group and that is The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, or STS, National Database and contribute to it,” Dr. Russo said. “We can look at our quality metrics using STS as a comparable. In many or most cases, we exceed their benchmarks.” “We constantly look at our program and our data to be the best program we can be. It sounds cliché, but it actually happens here,” Dr. Russo said. “We meet on a regular basis to review outcomes and processes. This scrutiny makes for a high level of care.”

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The best part about The Heart Center is that “we are members of the community,” Dr. Russo said. “We (Dr. Kaushik and I) are full time members of medical staff.” The nursing, the operating room and all staff along with the physicians live here. They volunteer, shop, worship, have children in school and belong here. “I’m from central PA. I know this region quite well,” Dr. Russo said. “I was trained completely in PA.” He went to Penn State for his undergraduate degree and to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia for his medical degree and his general surgery fellowship. He then crossed the state for his residency in cardiovascular thoracic surgery at Allegheny Health Center in Pittsburgh. After 15 years in Maine, he returned to the area where he is now closer to his family. Does the size of a hospital matter? “I came to DuBois because for me – whether in a big city or rural hospital – I only operate on one patient at a time… This is a handcrafted program. I am able to practice cardiac surgery in the most ideal way for me. We have a high functioning surgical team and nursing team. They care about quality. This is getting back to basics for me – what I love about cardiac surgery.”

The Heart Center 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 15801


What can The Heart Center surgeons do? The names of the procedures sound very technical, and there are many. The surgeons can perform coronary bypass surgery, thoracic surgery on the chest, vascular surgery for carotid artery disease. They can operate on the lungs and on arteries and veins, too. The most notable procedures are coronary artery bypass grafting, known as CABG, and heart-valve repair or replacement.


Calcium and fat build up along the walls of the heart and block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. A heart attack can occur when your heart is deprived of this oxygenrich blood. The cardiac surgeons can bypass these blockages using a piece of vein or artery taken from other places in your body to bring blood to your oxygen-starved heart muscle. The most common site to obtain veins is your legs.

Heart-valve Repair or Replacement

The four valves in your heart are the mitral, aortic, tricuspid and pulmonic. The job of these four valves is to be

open and close to direct the flow of blood through your heart and out to your body. When they become diseased, you may feel tired, short of breath or dizzy. Often the mitral or aortic valves are the affected valves. Heart valves may become malformed due to hereditary defects or illnesses. Valves may be narrowed or may not close completely. These structural problems can restrict blood flow through the heart, robbing the body of blood, oxygen and nutrients it needs. The restricted blood flow can also cause blood to build up inside the heart, creating pressure that may eventually damage the heart and lungs. Surgeons can either repair or replace valves depending on the amount of damage present. At The Heart Center, biologic valves made of organic tissue or artificial valves may be offered. The surgeon will discuss the best choice with the patient. Biologic valves actually grow into the patient’s own heart tissue within six months. Because these types of valves contain no metal or plastic, it does not require the patient to take life-long anticoagulant, or blood thinner, therapy. Artificial valves can cause blood clots. For this reason, patients with these implants must take anti-coagulants in order to thin the blood.

Raj Kaushik, MD, FACS, FACC, is a board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. He is the Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart Center.

Louis, Russo, MD, is a board certified thoracic surgeon at The Heart Center.

Valve repair, when possible, is a reconstruction to the diseased valve leaflets, or the parts that make up the valve. Need a doctor? — Visit us at


ASK THE EXPERT - What is Physical Therapy? Are you a candidate for physical therapy? If you have trouble moving due to pain, loss of range of motion or decreased strength, you may benefit from working with a physical therapist. Physical therapy is a health care specialty that involves evaluating, diagnosing and treating disabilities of the muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory or respiratory systems. People often seek physical therapy after being sidelined by an injury, such as a torn ACL; healing after a surgery, such as a knee replacement; or recovering after an illness, such as a stroke. The goal of physical therapy is to restore a patient to their maximum level of movement and function. Through exercise, manual therapy and other therapeutic techniques that facilitate healing, reduce pain and increase movement, physical therapy can help people at any stage of life when movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or other conditions. Additionally, physical therapy programs can assist people of all ages in maintaining optimal physical health and fitness. These programs include aquatic therapy, concussion care, lymphedema management, pain management, pediatric therapy, neurologic rehabilitation, orthopedic postsurgical rehabilitation and balance programs. 10 |

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY? Physical therapy has many benefits. Physical therapists are highly trained experts in the movement and function of the human body. The goal of a physical therapist is to promote an individual’s ability to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Pain-free movement is crucial to a good quality of life. Physical therapists are movement experts. They can identify and treat movement issues allowing you to be more mobile, meaning it can help you get back to standing, walking and moving after a surgery, injury or illness, such as a cancer. Physical therapy can help you recover from or prevent a sports-related injury. In addition, it can help with the management of heart and lung disease, diabetes, vascular conditions and age-related issues. George Fatula, PT Penn Highlands DuBois

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WHAT SORT OF ACTIVITY IS INVOLVED? Your first visit will include the initial evaluation and then a treatment. You will be instructed on therapeutic exercises, learn how to manage and care for your symptoms, and receive manual therapy if necessary, and you may be treated with some type of therapeutic modalities. Ongoing treatment is based on the initial evaluation findings along with ongoing reassessment and evaluation. Treatment may consist of a variety of hands-on joint and soft tissue treatment techniques, exercise techniques and pain reducing modalities. Treatments are designed to increase motion and strength, reduce pain, and, most importantly, restore function. Patients are typically involved in an active exercise program at home and are educated in ways to speed recovery and prevent recurrence of the problem. Mark J. Hoffman, MPT Service Line Director Rehabilitation Services and Occupational Health

Low-dose CT Scan Screening

HOW DO I GET PHYSICAL THERAPY; DO I NEED A REFERRAL? Yes. If you think you’re a candidate for physical therapy, speak with your primary care provider or specialist. They can work with you to determine if physical therapy would benefit your situation. Abby Herbstritt, PT Penn Highlands Clearfield

The survival rate from lung cancer is better when caught early, and it often Make an shows no symptoms until it is in a appointment for a later stage. That is why Penn Highlands Healthcare has been Low Dose CT Scan offering low-dose CT scan by calling your screenings for lung cancer.

provider or


HOW FREQUENTLY AND FOR HOW LONG DO I NEED PHYSICAL THERAPY? Your physical therapy plan of care will depend upon your needs. Each patient is different. Your physical therapists will evaluate you and work with you to develop an individualized plan to meet your needs. The frequency and duration of your therapy sessions is determined by your therapists based on your personal needs and limitations. The goal of physical therapy is to maximize independence. Our programs are designed to give you the tools to continue your program at home independently. Dylan Schwegler, DPT Penn Highlands Brookville

The low-dose radiation CT scan is available at all four Penn Highlands Healthcare hospitals: Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Elk. It is noninvasive and involves no prep or fasting beforehand. There is no IV or dye used, and the whole process takes about 15-20 minutes. For those who have ever smoked, the criteria for a low-dose CT scan may depend upon your insurance and your “pack years.” A “pack year” is a year that a person smoked 20 cigarettes, or one pack, every day for a year. For example, smoking one pack per day for 5 years equals “5 pack years.” Smoking two packs a day for one year is two pack years, and for 10 years of smoking two packs per day is 20 pack years. Insurances vary based on age and pack years. Some even go below age 55. It’s always best to talk to your insurance company about what is covered. For those whose insurance companies will not pay for this screening, Penn Highland Healthcare offers a self-pay option to who are ages 55-80 years old and have smoked for 30 pack years. The cost is $99. To make an appointment for a low dose CT scan for lung cancer screening, please speak with your primary care physician or call The Lung Center at 814-375-3770 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday.​

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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.

Tonya Aversa,CRNP Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner QCare St. Marys Medical Office Building 761 Johnsonburg Road Suite 160 St. Marys, PA 814-788-8777 QCare Emporium 416 North Broad Street Emporium, PA 814-486-2202

Jessica A. Ayres, DO Family Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine 465 State Street Curwensville, PA 16833 814-236-1123 Cassandra Swatsworth, PA-C Certified Physician Assistant Penn Highlands DuBois Emergency Department 100 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 814-375-3470

Olumuyiwa Adebona, MD Family Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine 104 Metoxet Street Suite A Ridgway, PA Penn Highlands Family Medicine 1100 Million Dollar Highway 3rd Floor St. Marys, PA 814-772-8122

Penn Highlands Family Medicine 757 Johnsonburg Road Suite 110 St. Marys, PA 814-788-8580

Jamie Bush, CRNP Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner QCare Clearfield Clearfield Community Medical Building 1900 River Road Clearfield, PA

Louis Russo, MD Cardiothoracic Surgeon Penn Highlands Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 145 Hospital Avenue DuBois, PA 814-375-2040

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?

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Melinda Stanisch, CRNP Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine 275 East Fourth Street Emporium, PA

Rebecca Rocco, PA-C Certified Physician Assistant Penn Highlands Family Medicine 761 Johnsonburg Road Suite 240 St. Marys, PA 814-834-6565

Michelle Jacobson, CRNP Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Penn Highlands Family Medicine 145 Hospital Avenue Suite 205 DuBois, PA 814-375-3910

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, www.phhealthcare. org/findadoc, you can find a provider by name, by location, by specialty or by hospital.

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Types of Primary Care Provider Family Medicine Doctors: Also called family practice doctors, they see people of all ages, including infants, children, teens and seniors. They are educated and board-certified in their knowledge of the body at all ages.

To find a PCP, call 814-375-6644 or visit today!

5 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* Primary care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners care for patients of all ages and become trusted partners in your health throughout the years. The providers at Penn Highlands Healthcare can help you stay healthy, care for you when you’re sick and refer you to specialists, as needed.

To find a Primary Care Office location closest to you, visit us at www.phhealthcare .org/primarycare

Internal Medicine Doctors: Also called internists, they generally care for people age 18 and up though the starting age can vary by practice. They are educated and board-certified in the understanding of the internal organs of the adult body. Some internal medicine and family medicine physicians also can provide care that you might not expect, like routine gynecologic care, dermatology and sports medicine. Pediatricians: Every child needs to see a doctor – in fact, more often than adults. Pediatricians are specially educated to care for children, ranging from newborns through age 21. If your child needs special care, our pediatricians work closely with our specialists so your child can receive the best care.

How do you find the best PCP for you and your family?

1. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Who do they like and why? 2. Will a doctor meet your or your family’s health needs? 3. Think about location. Can you get to appointments easily? 4. Does this physician’s office accept your insurance? Is he or she innetwork? 5. If possible, meet the provider.

* The International Journal of Health Services, Volume 37, Number 1, Pages 111–126, 2007

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ShortScripts Volunteer with Penn Highlands Healthcare Senior Care Facilities Penn Highlands Elk offers both skilled nursing and independent living facilities close to our hospital for seniors. Our facilities provide a safe, home-like atmosphere, with private and semi-private rooms and emergency alarm systems. Whether you require extra medical or personal assistance or do not feel capable of living on your own, we have a range of services available for you. Pinecrest Manor - At Pinecrest, patients receive 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitative therapy personalized to their condition and abilities. From skilled nursing care and therapy to a specialized Dementia Unit, we have the facility and team to meet your unique senior care needs. Pinecrest Manor is located at 759 Johnsonburg Road, St. Marys. For more information call us at 814-788-8488. ELCO Housing - ELCO is a 32unit independent living facility for low income elderly, handicapped or disabled individuals. With a private kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. ELCO offers an affordable, safe living option that allows seniors to remain independent. ELCO Housing is located at 759 Johnsonburg Road, St. Marys. For more information call 814-781-3428.

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Looking for an easy way to make a donation to remember someone? Penn Highlands Healthcare offers online donations. Visit us at 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.

If you have strong desire to help others and make a difference, then donate your time and talents by volunteering at a Penn Highlands Healthcare facility. Our volunteers truly make an impact on the quality of care we provide for the region. Volunteering is for all ages: • Adults • College students • Youth ages 16-18 Steps to becoming a volunteer: 1. Interview 2. Application Process 3. Orientation 4. Training You can apply online at volunteers or for more information, contact: Penn Highlands Brookville 814-849-1448 Penn Highlands Clearfield 814-768-2380 Penn Highlands DuBois 814-375-2316 Penn Highlands Elk 814-788-8603

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. SIGN-UP for HealthLines at

Penn Highlands Healthcare is committed to not only serving those who need immediate medical attention, but providing education and wellness events that help to build healthier communities over time. Get involved in your health and the healthcare of your community. Events are held throughout the year on each of our hospital campuses and across the region to promote, inform and celebrate health and wellness. See what’s going on at Penn Highlands Healthcare this month! Visit us at

Support Groups

Penn Highlands Healthcare offers a variety of Support Groups to help people deal with illness, loss or stressful life changes. The groups, which are presented by members of the Penn Highlands Healthcare team, are designed to answer your personal questions. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Breast Cancer Support Group Breastfeeding Group Cardiac Support Group Coping With Loss Dementia Support Group Diabetes Support Groups Healing After Loss HUGS for Kids and Teens Mom-To-Mom Breastfeeding MS Support Group Ostomy Support Group Parkinson’s Support Group Prostate Support Group Smoking Cessation Support Group Sleep Health Patrol Support Group Stroke Support Group

Visit us at supportgroups

Next time you’re online, be sure to visit

Where is the nearest QCare Walk-in Clinic and when is it open?

Where is the nearest QCare Walk-in Clinic and when is it open? QCare Cameron County 416 N. Broad Street Emporium, PA Monday - Friday 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM Closed Weekends & Holidays

QCare Clearfield Clearfield Community Medical Building 1900 River Road Clearfield, PA Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sunday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

QCare DuBois DuBois Community Medical Building 621 South Main Street DuBois, PA Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sunday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day QCare Moshannon Valley Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building 271 Railroad Street Philipsburg, PA Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sunday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

QCare Punxsutawney Punxsutawney Community Medical Building 551 W. Mahoning Street Punxy Plaza Punxsutawney, PA Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sunday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day QCare Ridgway Penn Highlands Elk- East Campus 104 Metoxet Street, First Floor Ridgway, PA 7 Days A Week 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM Closed Holidays QCare St. Marys Medical Office Building, First Floor 761 Johnsonburg Road St. Marys, PA 7 Days A Week 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM Closed Holidays The Clinic at Walmart Operated by Penn Highlands DuBois 20 Industrial Drive DuBois, PA Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM Sunday - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving

Need a doctor? — Visit us at

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Advice From A DOCTOR

Grae L. Schuster, MD Radiation Oncologist Hahne Regional Cancer Center 814-375-3535

How has radiation therapy advanced at Hahne Regional Cancer Center? The addition of our new, stateof-the-art treatment machine, a VarianTrueBEAMÂŽ linear accelerator, at the Hahne Regional Cancer Center has allowed us to offer to new exciting treatments, Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, SBRT, and Stereotactic Radiosurgery, SRS, which were previously only available in large cities. SBRT is an advanced technique that involves delivering a few high-dose radiation treatments to a tumor within the body. The primary tumor we treat is lung cancer, but it can also be used in some patients for cancer of the pancreas and cancer of the liver.

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Patients with early stage lung cancer in whom surgery is too risky are the best candidates for SBRT. We deliver five treatments over two weeks instead of the typical 30 treatments over six weeks. The cure rate is about as good as surgery and is superior to conventional combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The treatments are well tolerated and the side effects, both in the short run and in the long run, are significantly less than conventional treatment. We have treated a fair amount of patients with SBRT, and they have all tolerated it well. SRS is similar to SBRT in that a highdose of radiation is delivered to a tumor. It is different in that it is used for tumors that have spread to the brain. Also, only a single treatment is delivered rather than several treatments. Like SBRT, SRS has fewer side effects and a better success rate in controlling tumors than conventional external beam radiation therapy. New Breast Cancer Techniques Another treatment technique we have recently introduced is breath holding. This is used in women with left-sided breast cancers in order to reduce the radiation dose to the heart. This significantly reduces the risk of future radiation-induced heart problems such as coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

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In addition to breath holding, we are now able to offer most women with early stage breast cancer a shorter course of therapy. Traditionally, following a lumpectomy, we would deliver five to six and half weeks of radiation to the breast. Now, based on current guidelines and published medical studies, there are many women who are eligible for a more abbreviated course of only 16 treatments. This would be primarily women with negative lymph nodes who did not receive chemotherapy. The success rate and long-term cosmetic results are the same as a traditional course of radiation..

VarianTrueBEAMÂŽ Linear Accelerator at Hahne Regional Cancer Center

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