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Commonwealth Health Corporation - Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity

Commonwealth Health Corporation has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more. This is the fourth year CHC has achieved the Platinum Level.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Commonwealth Health Corporation. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Lynn Williams, Vice President of Human Resources. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”

Platinum-level employers:

  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

“At CHC, we support our employees who each have unique wellness needs by offering a variety of health and wellness opportunities,” said Williams. CHC focuses on offering healthy vending options and encouraging smarter choices in its cafeterias. CHC offers incentive-based activity programs, activity/food-based challenges and on-line health workshops, and recognizes employees who achieve health and wellness goals.

The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and well-being a priority.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, visit

The Medical Center Is First Hospital in Kentucky to Implement NICVIEW

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Camera System Connects NICU Babies with their Families

The Medical Center is the first hospital in Kentucky to install NICVIEW, an innovative camera system that allows for streaming video of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The $35,000 investment in the new system will include 10 cameras.

“Bonding with a new baby is so important, but when a baby is born prematurely or sick and must be cared for in the NICU, bonding can be a challenge when parents and their baby can’t be together all the time,” said Caitlin Burklow, Director of Women’s Services for The Medical Center. “NICVIEW allows that bonding to occur by giving parents the opportunity to stay connected with their baby through video streaming even if miles apart.”

The NICVIEW system includes a small camera that is mounted to a baby’s bed or incubator. The system allows for video streaming through a secure online portal. NICU staff can post notes in the portal to share information with parents about baby’s activities.

The portal is accessible from any web-enabled computer or mobile device. All video and information are secured with up to 256-bit SSL encryption, the current web security standard. Usernames and passwords are only issued to parents who consent to use the system. Parents are advised to safeguard their username and password, but parents can choose to share the information with family and friends at their discretion.

The implementation of the new camera system is just one enhancement to The Medical Center’s Obstetrics and Neonatology Services. A recent renovation includes a new waiting area for families, a new triage area in Labor & Delivery and a new Obstetrics Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) in Labor & Delivery.

About The Medical Center Obstetrics and Neonatology Services

The Medical Center is the sole provider of OB services in Warren County and offers the only NICU and Neonatology Services in Southcentral Kentucky. Neonatology Services includes a team of physicians, registered nurses and respiratory therapists who are trained to provide specialized neonatal care for newborns with a variety of conditions including prematurity (babies born less than 37 weeks gestation), infection and respiratory problems. In fiscal year ending April 2014, The Medical Center delivered 2,355 babies. The NICU cared for 215 babies during that same time period.

Barren River Adult Day Care Center Wins Adult Day Care Center of the Year Award for Fourth Year

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Barren River Adult Day Care Center (BRADCC) for the fourth year has won the Adult Day Care of the Year Award as part of the Kentucky Aging Network. The award was presented at the Kentucky Association of Gerontology (KAG) conference in Pikeville, Kentucky.

“We are very excited and honored to receive this award,” said Steve Creekmore, Director of Barren River Adult Day Care. “What makes it monumental is, we have been chosen four years in a row out of the whole state of Kentucky.”

Families know they can receive valuable resource information and guidance from the professional staff. The employees of Barren River Adult Day Care are always available to lend a helping hand as they recognize the struggles families face in caring for a loved one.

“The award is based on recognition for significant contributions through our role in the aging network,” said Creekmore. “Families and clients know that our ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of life of the individuals who we serve and provide valuable information and guidance.”

Barren River Adult Day Care staff use their creativity to develop daily activities that aid memory recall, enhance sensory stimulation, and promote body strengthening.

The Medical Center Is First Hospital in Kentucky To Treat Vertebral Compression Fractures with Kiva® VCF Treatment System

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Medical Center is the first hospital in Kentucky to utilize the Kiva® VCF Treatment System for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). VCFs occur when a vertebra (bone in the spine) cracks, fractures or collapses.

Board certified Neurosurgeon Clark Bernard, M.D. performed the first procedure using the Kiva System at The Medical Center on Friday, May 2. “Patients who have vertebral compression fractures can suffer severe and disabling pain and if left untreated, can experience impaired function and decreased activity,” said Dr. Bernard. “The Kiva system offers a new treatment option that has been shown to reduce pain and restore function and improve long-term results by reducing future fractures.”

The Kiva System by Benvenue Medical, Inc. is the first new, clinically proven approach to the treatment of VCFs in more than a decade. The Kiva System received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the reduction and treatment of spinal fractures in January 2014.

In clinical studies, the Kiva System was shown to match the performance of balloon kyphoplasty, the current standard of care in treating VCFs. Kiva has also been demonstrated to reduce the rate of adjacent level fractures, improve restoration of the curvature of the spine, reduce the rate of cement leakage into surrounding tissue and reduce the amount of cement used.

Used during a minimally invasive procedure, the Kiva implant is designed to provide structural support to the vertebral body and a reservoir to direct and contain bone cement during vertebral augmentation. The implant is delivered percutaneously over a removable guidewire in a continuous loop into the vertebral body through a small diameter, single incision. Once the implant is in position, bone cement is introduced through the implant to stabilize the fracture. The amount of the Kiva Implant delivered is physician-customized during the procedure.

The Kiva Implant is made of medical grade plastic called PEEK-OPTIMA®, which is closer to the consistency of natural bone than bone cement, which is significantly harder. PEEK-OPTIMA is a biocompatible polymer that is widely used and well accepted as a spinal implant.

About Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs)

VCFs remain underdiagnosed and undertreated. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that there are 750,000 osteoporosis-related vertebral compression fractures annually in the U.S. alone, representing a large patient population which is only expected to continue growing as the population ages.

Without intervention, the pain from a VCF may subside as the fracture heals, and the vertebra heals in its deformed, compressed position. This shortened, compressed vertebra alters the normal alignment of the spine, putting the spine at greater risk for subsequent level fractures.

Medical Center EMS Receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition Award

Monday, May 19, 2014

Medical Center EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Bronze Award that recognizes its commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who suffer a severe heart attack known as a STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction).

Medical Center EMS is one of 208 EMS agencies in the United States and one of six EMS agencies in Kentucky to receive one of the inaugural Mission: Lifeline® Emergency Medical Services Performance Achievement Awards. Medical Center EMS is one of four EMS agencies in Kentucky and one of 109 agencies in the U.S. to receive the Bronze Award.

Every year, almost 300,000 people experience a STEMI, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive prompt reperfusion therapy, which is critical in restoring blood flow. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s new EMS recognition program recognizes those emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.

Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide education in STEMI identification and access to 12-lead ECG machines and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the hospital and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Bronze award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for three months (one quarter), and treated at least four STEMI patients for the year.

“We commend Medical Center EMS for this achievement award, which reflects a significant commitment to improve the quality of care for heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline committee and Chief of Medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “All too many heart attack patients in the United States still fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening condition within the recommended timeframes. We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.”

“Medical Center EMS is dedicated to making our unit among the best in the country. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Randy Fathbruckner, Director of Medical Center EMS. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.”

About Medical Center EMS

Medical Center EMS provides emergency medical services for Warren County including basic life support and advanced life support. Medical Center EMS is one of only two EMS services in Kentucky accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).

About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit and