Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Hearing Loss and Issues in Adults
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about hearing loss and issues in adults with audiologist Pam Adkins. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Five benefits of Chronic Care Management Program Valley Health
Living with chronic illnesses can be isolating, but at Valley Health, our goal is to ensure no patient faces these challenges alone. Through the Valley Health CareConnect Chronic Care Management Program, we provide customized, cost-effective care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions so they are able to focus on what matters most: their wellness.
As a bridge between patients and providers, Valley Health’s CareConnect CCM is an invaluable resource available to Medicare patients living with two or more chronic health conditions. Each patient is paired with an assigned nurse who assists them with multiple aspects of their CCM, including provider and lab coordination, medication and symptom management, and developing a personalized care management plan. Assigned nurses are involved in all aspects of their patients’ care and will conduct frequent follow-ups to monitor and maintain the patient’s overall health and wellness.
Chronic conditions may include: Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia; Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid); Asthma; Atrial fibrillation; Autism spectrum disorders; Cancer; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Depression; Diabetes; Heart failure; Hypertension; Ischemic heart disease; and Osteoporosis.
Our team takes a comprehensive, thorough approach to managing chronic care, and that’s what sets us apart. All CCM patient care and support is concentrated in-house in our health centers and Valley Health Systems network. Valley Health does not outsource CCM support. This sustainable effort removes barriers, eliminates the risk of third-party communication delays, and keeps patients’ care close to home.
Valley Health’s comprehensive care plan includes: A clear explanation of how services from agencies and specialists outside of the Valley Health network will be utilized, scheduled reviews and revisions of care plan as needed, list of concerns, expected outcomes and prognosis, measurable treatment goals, symptom management, planned interventions, medication management, and ordering community/social services when needed.
Benefits of CareConnect Chronic Care Management Program
- Personalized care — No two chronic illnesses are alike. The CareConnect Program helps providers and assigned nurses collaborate, analyze their patient’s unique needs, and create a complete, customized CCM plan to improve and maintain health.
- Dedicated nurses — Through the CareConnect Program, patients are to connect with one nurse who will guide them through their customized care plan, answer questions, help with medication management, carefully coordinate with their providers and lab or testing facilities, and more. As a result, patients have the opportunity to build trust with their nurses and feel more comfortable reaching out.
- Consistent communication — In order to monitor their patients’ health and effectiveness of ongoing treatments, assigned nurses must connect with their patients on a routine basis. Continuous communication ensures that any changes are documented for the patient’s record and, if necessary, additional measures can be recommended.
- In-house resources — Our team has a wide array of resources available to patients, including appointment coordination, medication management, and our continuous support and availability. All CCM support takes place within Valley Health Systems’ network, which means there are no third parties involved. CareConnect makes CCM more accessible, more reliable, and more personal.
- Cost coverage — Medicare covers most CCM expenses. Patients should talk to their insurance company directly to discuss copayments.
CCM services are offered at several Valley Health locations, including:
- Teays Valley
- East Huntington
- Upper Kanawha
- Fort Gay
Valley Health’s MyChart website and mobile application has made health care management more convenient than ever. Patients who are registered for Valley Health MyChart can use the app or website to connect with their assigned nurse and providers. Learn more about Valley Health MyChart services and visit our MyChart website to create a free, secure account today....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Hearing Issues in Children
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about potential hearing issues in children with audiologist Pam Adkins. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
How Often Should I Get Health Screenings? A Customized Checklist
When it comes to health care, screenings and check-ups are often unsung heroes. Though these routine visits may not seem particularly significant or exciting, they are an essential tool for maintaining our overall health and wellness. Screenings and check-ups are an extension of preventative care, which aims to prevent diseases before they occur or help patients manage existing ailments before they become more serious — and more expensive.
We’ve all been there: I feel fine. I don’t need to go to the doctor. But even when we feel well, we should not overlook the importance of this consistent, preventative care. Health screenings and check-ups are a vital resource that can help providers detect many conditions or diseases, including chronic and asymptomatic illnesses, before they progress. Waiting until you feel ill to visit a provider can be harmful, and sometimes dangerous, for your health.
Different types of check-ups and screenings are recommended for folks of all ages, medical histories, and genders. Although we may be familiar with certain check-ups, such as mammograms and colon cancer screenings, many people don’t know which types of check-ups they need or how often they should get them. We’re here to help!
In this blog, we’re defining each check-up’s purpose and suggested frequency into one convenient checklist. Be sure to bookmark this blog for future reference!
Please note: Every patient’s health, conditions, and family medical history varies. Your provider may recommend that you have certain exams performed more frequently or start those exams earlier. Always follow your provider or specialist’s instructions.
Using MyChart to schedule your appointments
For Valley Health patients, scheduling these appointments has never been easier. With the Valley Health MyChart mobile app, patients can plan their appointments — including their annual check-ups with primary care providers and specialists — around their schedule.
MyChart is a safe, secure, and convenient resource that enhances patient-provider communications, streamlines scheduling and other time-consuming processes, offers e-check-in options, and shares appointment notes and lab results in real-time. Patients may also request prescription refills, if applicable.
To request or schedule an appointment, log into your account using the Valley Health MyChart website or mobile app. Download the free Valley Health MyChart app through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Seasonal Allergies
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about seasonal allergies with Dr. Ellen Frazier. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Vaccinations Matter: How We Can — and Should — Protect Ourselves and Community
No one wants to get sick. Thanks to vaccines, we have a strong line of defense against many illnesses. Vaccines are a safe, effective method of preventative care, which can stop the spread of preventable illnesses and reduce symptom severity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and effectiveness of vaccines in fighting and preventing the spread of diseases. Although vaccine development is a complex process that requires rigorous testing and regulatory approval, vaccines have proven to be incredibly effective in preventing and eradicating harmful diseases, ultimately paving the path to a healthier future.
Why it Matters
When you get vaccinated, you’re not just protecting yourself. You’re protecting your family, your immunocompromised loved ones, and your community. When the majority of a population is vaccinated, it significantly reduces the overall risk.
People with compromised immune systems are often more strongly impacted by sickness. Immunocompromised populations include: children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems as a result of certain medical conditions, medications, or other medical treatments.
Although the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency expires May 11, 2023, COVID-19 is here to stay. It is important to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
Whether you are insured or uninsured, COVID-19 vaccines are still free to all individuals living in the United States until further notice. Visit Vaccines.gov to find a list of nearby locations.
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
There are many common misconceptions or disinformation revolving around vaccines, their components, their purpose, and their side effects. If you encounter these claims, particularly on social media, we strongly encourage you to consider the source of the accusation and their credibility. Disinformation may deter someone from receiving a vaccine or other medical treatment, which can put them at risk of contracting a preventable illness.
This handy guide, “How Vaccines and Developed and Approved for Use” from the Centers for Disease Control, thoroughly explains the process of vaccine development, trials, and continued monitoring.
Types of Vaccines
There are several types of vaccines available, as explained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including:
- Inactivated vaccines — Involves deceased germ
- Live-attenuated vaccines — Involves weakened germ
- Messenger RNA vaccines — Involves no live virus, involves creation of proteins to “trigger an immune response”
- Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines — Involves extracted elements of germ
- Toxoid vaccines — Involves byproduct of germ
- Viral vector vaccines — Involves “modified version of different virus”
- COVID-19 — Free to all individuals living in the United States, visit Vaccines.gov for more information about accessibility
- Influenza “Flu” shot
- DTaP (Diphtheria and Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” Adsorbed)
- Tdap (Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” Adsorbed)
- Haemophilus b Conjugate
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes Zoster “Shingles”
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
- Meningococcal A, C, W, Y, or B
- Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate
- Varicella “Chickenpox”
You may be advised to get vaccinated for other diseases depending on a number of factors, including: age, occupation, travel, intimate partnerships, immunocompromisation, pregnancy, or whether you are affected by Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Which vaccines do I need?
Valley Health patients will have their vaccination information in their e-health record, accessible through the safe and convenient Valley Health MyChart mobile app or website. Patients who are not established with Valley Health should request their vaccination records from their health care provider.
Need to get vaccinated?
We’re happy to help! Visit one of our six Valley Health pharmacies and request your vaccine. Patients who are not established with Valley Health must bring a copy of their vaccination record. Uninsured individuals may be able to receive vaccines for
What will it cost?
Many vaccines are covered through health insurance. People who are not insured can receive vaccines at low- or no costs through local health departments and other federally-funded health centers. COVID-19 vaccines are free to all individuals living in the United States. Visit Vaccines.gov for more information.
For more information on vaccinations and accessibility, use the following resources:
- Vaccines: Information, Safety, and More, courtesy of the U.S. FDA
- Vaccine Safety, courtesy of the CDC
- Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work, courtesy of the CDC
- Vaccines for Children: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, courtesy of the FDA
- Travel Health Resources, courtesy of the CDC
- *Recommended Vaccinations for Infants through Age 6, courtesy of the CDC
- *Recommended Vaccinations for Ages 7-18, courtesy of the CDC
- *Recommended Vaccinations for Ages 19+, courtesy of the CDC
- *Recommended Vaccinations for Pregnant Women, courtesy of the CDC
* = Downloadable charts available...
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Medicaid and Medicaid Unwinding
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Brandy Andrus about Medicaid and Medicaid Unwinding: what it is and what you might need to do. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Video Game Addiction
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. David Wolfe about video game addiction. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
How to Choose Your Primary Care Provider
In our journey through health care, primary care providers are often our guides, providing personalized care and continuity, critical resources, and long-term support. These providers, often referred to as PCPs, are typically our first point of contact — and first line of defense — when we have a medical concern or need an annual check-up.
There are several different types of health care providers, and it’s important to know which role each provider plays. PCPs are our go-to providers. PCPs can be medical doctors (MDs), Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs), nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Specialists, or specialty care providers, practice in a specific area of medicine, such as pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), ear, nose, and throat (ENT), audiology, behavioral health, recovery, and more.
Is it necessary to have a PCP?
Yes — for a number of reasons. In contrast to specialists, PCPs often treat a broad variety of health conditions and provide preventative care through routine exams, check-ups, and screenings. If necessary, PCPs can make referrals and coordinate with specialists and other providers who are best-suited to address a patient’s specific concerns.
These providers work closely with a patient, often long-term, providing continuity of care. PCPs work to build trust and develop connections with their patients, making patients’ experience less stressful and more comfortable. When you are established with a PCP, you know what to expect, because you know your provider.
This continuous care can also be cost-effective. Through regular visits, PCPs are able to monitor patients’ health and keep an eye on areas of concern, provide early detection, and help manage chronic health conditions. These preventative care measures can often prevent patients from incurring more expensive health care costs later on.
Choosing a PCP is personal, but consider it an investment that will benefit you and your health long-term.
Here are some of the things you should consider when selecting a PCP:
- Experience and qualifications: What are this provider’s specialties? Do they specialize in the care that I need?
- Accessibility and convenience. Is this provider close to my residence? Are they flexible with scheduling?
- Personal connection. Can I relate to this provider?
- Insurance coverage. Is this provider in my network? If not, what are my options?
- Referrals. Do they have connections to specialists or facilities I plan to visit?
- Virtual Appointments. Does this provider offer telemedicine options?
Need a provider? Today’s a great day to start your search!
At Valley Health, we have nearly four dozen PCPs who provide primary and preventative care across eight counties in the Tri-State area. Simply browse our provider list here to find a provider you’d like to connect with and give their health center call. We look forward to seeing you soon!...
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: ADHD
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. David Oxley about ADHD. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Dental Health
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Vince Powell, DMD about dental health. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Keeping Your Care Close to Home: Five Benefits of Community Health Centers
Local health centers are vital threads in the fabric of our communities. With more than three dozen health centers in 8 counties, Valley Health brings quality care closer to home for patients in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Over the last three years, the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of local health centers in our communities, making it clear that we need them more now than ever. In 2022 alone, our providers saw and treated more than 100,000 patients.
As a staff, we are committed to meet the growing demand by continually expanding our efforts — and our services — to make health care more accessible to more patients. This year, we have opened two new facilities: Pea Ridge, a center for obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health, and the Milton and Harbour Way location, which specializes in optometry.
At Valley Health, our patients know they can rely on us to provide quality, conveniently-based care for a wide variety of health services. Each health center offers a wide variety of specialized services, including audiology, behavioral health, dentistry, ENT, family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, optometry, pediatrics, pharmacies, QuickCare, recovery, and more.
Here are five ways you can benefit from community health centers:
- Timely care. Illnesses and injuries are unpredictable, but having access to multiple community health centers increases your odds of being assessed and receiving treatment in a more timely manner.
- Cost-effective solutions. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 28 million — one in 10 people living in the United States — don’t have health insurance. Community health centers help fill these gaps by providing affordable health care options to uninsured individuals.
- Limiting transmission. Community health centers work in the interest of public health. This means we focus on keeping everyone healthy through proactive measures and management like vaccinations and public education, such as hand-washing, lifestyle recommendations, annual check-ups.
- Familiarity with providers. Local health centers are uniquely positioned at the intersection of community care and health care. Often, our providers live in the same communities as our patients, and they may share local connections. These common experiences can make providers relatable and help build trust with their patients.
- Convenient locations. Another perk of community health centers is their proximity to us and our neighbors. When based in our areas, local health centers can make it easier for folks to visit and take the hassle of a long commute out of the equation.
It’s never been easier to schedule an appointment with the Valley Health team! Find your nearest Valley Health provider here, or if you have a MyChart account, request an appointment within the mobile application. Learn more about Valley Health MyChart services and visit our MyChart website to create a free, secure account today....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Addiction
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. David Wolfe about addiction. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Autism Spectrum Disorder
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. David Oxley, a clinical psychiatrist specializing in pediatrics, about Autism Spectrum Disorder. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Stay healthy today and tomorrow: Why preventative care matters
At Valley Health, we believe preventative care is a key component to staying healthy. Through routine exams, check-ups, and screenings, we work proactively to prevent chronic diseases or illnesses from developing in the first place.
By detecting and addressing health concerns early, Valley Health providers can improve our patients’ health outcomes for patients, lower health care costs long-term, and, in some cases, preventative care may even save lives.
Between our careers, families, and other commitments, it can be easy to put our own wellness on the backburner. Although it may not seem consequential, delaying doctors’ appointments or exams today may pose long-term risks and challenges for our future.
Preventative care helps us as individuals, and it can protect our communities’ health, too, by preventing or stopping the spread of infectious diseases and illnesses. Whether you have an explicit concern or feel A-OK, keeping these records up to date can keep you, your family, and your community happy and healthy.
Some of the benefits of preventative care include:
- Detect anomalies — In the event your provider identifies a concern during your visit, they can refer you for further assessment and treatment.
- Help you keep your vaccinations up to date — When you visit, your provider will review your records and inform you if you are due for any vaccinations or boosters.
- Prevent oral diseases — It’s recommended that we see our dentists every six months for routine cleanings. These exams can detect tooth and enamel health, cavities, and prevent or treat dental diseases.
- Detect hereditary illnesses — Some of us are genetically predisposed to certain diseases and conditions, which is why it’s important that you share your family health history with us. If we have this information in our files, we can take a closer look at areas at risk of being affected and work with you to prevent them, if possible.
At Valley Health, we understand that life can get hectic. Your time is a valuable resource, which is why we work to prioritize it, whether you’re visiting us in person at one of our many health centers or visiting us virtually.
Each year, we strive to provide patients with more flexibility, autonomy, and options than they’ve received in the past, and this year is no exception. In December, we transitioned to our new patient portal, Epic, a software designed to optimize our internal processes and enhance patient-provider communications.
One of the most valuable Epic tools is MyChart, a secure and convenient mobile application and website that enables patients to manage their health care in ways that were previously unavailable.
Using MyChart to your advantage
Managing health care can be hard, but with Valley Health, it doesn’t have to be. Through MyChart, patients now have the ability to take previously time-consuming tasks, like appointment scheduling, rescheduling, requesting refills, reviewing lab results in real-time, and more. These tools not only help patients manage their care or a loved one’s care, they assist us in making health care as accessible as possible.
Valley Health also offers telemedicine options for non-life or -limb-threatening care. This means you can hop on a quick call or video chat, attend your appointment, and return to your tasks — all without the hassle of a commute. For those of us who struggle to keep track of appointments, you can set up reminder notifications.
To sign up for MyChart, visit Valley Health MyChart and create an account. Be sure to download the free Valley Health MyChart mobile app in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, too!...
Valley Health aims to assist patients with Medicaid, alternative enrollment
During Covid, the Medicaid office could not check for eligibility, and anyone with Medicaid was automatically re-enrolled. Beginning March 2023, the West Virginia DHHR (the Medicaid office) will resume examining eligibility. You may lose Medicaid coverage.
Effective April 1, 2023, certain Medicaid and WV CHIP recipients who receive care at Valley Health and other health centers will no longer qualify for health care coverage they received during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Valley Health, we know it’s critical to be informed and prepared for the future, and we believe that responsibility also extends to our patients, too. That’s why we are committed to helping our affected patients by offering support and information needed to make informed decisions about their health insurance.
Some of the efforts Valley Health’s team have taken to best serve our patients so far include: Internal training, phone support, and resource recommendations. Certain members of our staff have received additional training on the Medicaid/WV CHIP unwinding process, which has equipped them with the knowledge needed to answer patients’ questions and connect them with the best resources available.
We will be continuing these services throughout the coming months, and we encourage you to take advantage of these valuable resources. Though this transition is tedious, we will navigate it together.
What does this mean?
Nearly three years ago, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Medicaid and WV CHIP services were temporarily and continuously extended as a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law in March 2020. Through the FFCRA, State Medicaid Agencies were required to assist their beneficiaries with continuous enrollment during the public health emergency. The PHE — and continuous enrollment — will end in April.
At this time, we are encouraging our patients to check their enrollment status and, if eligible, renew or, if ineligible, enroll in alternative health insurance plans. If your Medicaid coverage will be affected by this change, please contact any Valley Health center and request to speak with a front office staff member. They will be able to help you determine your status and guidance as you take the next steps.
Will I be affected?
If you are currently covered through Medicaid but are unsure if this change will affect your enrollment status, please contact a member of our team at any Valley Health center. Our front office staff will be available to assist you in determining whether your coverage will end or has ended.
When should I start this process?
Health care can be tricky to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we’re sharing a few recommendations and resources that will assist you in this transition.
- Get an early start. Though the deadline is distant, we do not advise patients to delay their search for a new insurance plan. It’s never too early to get started, and staying ahead of the deadline will ensure that you have plenty of time to explore options, compare insurance providers, and avoid last-minute stress.
- Ensure your information is up to date. This includes your address, phone number, and an active email address. Having accurate, updated information is the best way to ensure you are receiving all updates and communications from the Valley Health team, your other health care providers, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
- Stay informed. If you receive paper mail from Valley Health, the DHHR, or another health care provider, do not throw it away, as it may have valuable information regarding your Medicaid status and eligibility.
- Request support if you need it. When in doubt, reach out. Members of the Valley Health team, especially our front office staff, can offer assistance or connect you with resources you need to make informed decisions as the select coverage comes to a close. Our Lead Assister, Brandy, may be reached at 304-781-5166.
What if my coverage has expired?
If your coverage is expiring or has expired or you are otherwise ineligible for Medicaid or WV CHIP, you are not alone. The WV DHHR anticipates “between 91,212 and 134,414” Medicaid beneficiaries and “2,184 and 3,494” WV CHIP beneficiaries will lose coverage as a result of this change. But there are many resources dedicated to assisting affected individuals as they search for a new insurance plan and/or enroll in a federal marketplace health insurance plan.
Check out our resource list below for more information on reenrollment, renewals, and finding the best plan for your needs!
Resources for Medicaid, WV CHIP, and other State Programs and Services
- WV DHHR: Programs and Services: A comprehensive list of programs, services, and their descriptions that are available to eligible West Virginians.
- WV DHHR: Screen for Assistance: This simple survey from the DHHR will help you determine if you and/or your family are eligible for health care or other programs and services.
- WV Bureau for Medical Services: Sample of Medicaid/WV CHIP Enrollment Packet: If you are eligible for renewal or due for a review, you will receive a packet like this one from the WV DHHR.
Finding an Insurance Provider
- Medicaid.gov: Renewing Medicaid or CHIP Coverage: For more information regarding Medicaid enrollment, renewals, reenrollments, and alternative plans visit Medicaid’s website.
- WV Navigator: WV Navigator is a non-profit organization that offers free enrollment assistance services for individuals who will become or are ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP services.
- HealthCare.gov: Need health insurance?: Explore the federal Marketplace for health insurance plans that best suit your needs
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Dental Care
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Vince Powell, DMD about dental care. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Diabetes Education
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Penny Skidmore, RN about diabetes education and the services Valley Health offers for folks with diabetes. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health topics that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Early Signs of Diabetes
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. Michael Amos about the early signs of diabetes. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Important Notice: Update your contact information to receive information from WVDHHR about coverage redetermination
Medicaid and WV CHIP members:
The Bureau for Medical Services needs your most up-to-date mailing address and phone number to make sure you receive important paperwork to continue your healthcare coverage.
Update your contact information:
wvpath.wv.gov | 1-877-716-1212 | email@example.com
Spread the word to community members, patients, familiy friends, neighbors, and anyone else who might be enrolled in Medicaid or WVCHIP. For additional assistance, contact the offices listed below....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Hypertension
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. John Apgar about hypertension, or high blood pressure. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Valley Health accepting applications for Minority Health Care Scholarship
Calling all students: Valley Health is now accepting applications for our Minority Health Care Scholarship program! This scholarship is open to current Valley Health patients who register as members of a minority racial or ethnic group and are interested in pursuing a career in health care.
The Minority Health Care Scholarship will be awarded to one recipient, who will receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their post-secondary education or certification in medical/nursing, health sciences, and health administrative fields.
Cost can be a barrier for many of us when it comes to post-secondary studies and certifications. With this award, Valley Health can lessen a portion of the recipient’s financial burden. The Minority Health Care Scholarship may be applied toward tuition, course materials, equipment, and other educational expenses.
At Valley Health, we believe that every investment in our patients’ bright futures is an investment in our entire community. Through the Minority Health Care Scholarship program, we aim to support our current patients — and future health care providers and personnel — as they pursue their goals.
Applications must be received or postmarked by April 30, 2023. A committee will review all submissions over the following weeks, and the scholarship recipient will be announced.
Applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:Valley Health 5636 US Rt. 60, Suite 1B Huntington, WV 25705
To be considered eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicant has received care from a Valley Health within the last 12 months
- Applicant must be enrolled or in the process of enrolling in a post-secondary institution that offers degrees or certifications in medical, nursing, health sciences, and administrative fields
- Applicant must describe future career goals and the positive impact achieving these goals could have on the applicant’s family and community
- Applicants’ patient registration must reflect they are a member of a minority racial or ethnic group. (For example, Black/African-American, Latinx, Asian-American, Indian-American)
Interested in applying? Click here to view the application forms and requirements.
Know a student who’d be a great candidate for the Minority Health Care Scholarship? Share this blog to spread the word!
For more information about the Minority Health Care Scholarship Program, please contact Mandi Pitsenbarger at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing your applications!...
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Obesity and Treatment
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. Michael Amos about obesity. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Consultation Clinics
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. Kellee Boster about Valley Health's consultation clinics. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Clinical Pharmacists
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Pharmacist Joel Turley about clinical pharmacists and what they do. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Eye Health
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Elizabeth DiStefano, OD about the importance of eye health. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Integrated Primary Care
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. Kellee Boster about integrated primary care, or IPC. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Pharmacy Services
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Pharmacist Joel Turley about our pharmacy services. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Addiction Recovery Treatment Programs
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk with Dr. Leigh Ann Levine about our addiction recovery treatment programs. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with Dr. Rebecca Denning. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Take control of your time — and health care management — with Valley Health’s new patient portal!
Take control of your time — and health care management — with Valley Health’s new patient portal!
At Valley Health, we know time is valuable, and that’s why we’re committed to saving yours and maximizing the time you spend with your provider. Recently, we switched to Epic electronic health record (EHR), with a more robust patient portal called MyChart that provides new tools to help you manage your health care needs on your time, at your convenience.
Keeping up with your health care needs can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. Every day, Epic is used by thousands of providers and millions of patients across the globe. As members of the Epic network, all Valley Health patients gain access to these new, innovative resources that simplify the way you manage your health care.
One of these perks is MyChart, a safe, easy-to-use mobile application and website designed to enhance your user experience by giving you more control over scheduling and appointment management and reviewing lab and test results in real-time.
Through Valley Health MyChart, you have a convenient mobile application and website, you can now:
- Schedule and reschedule appointments from anywhere
- e-Check in ahead of your visits
- Complete registration and pay current balances/copays
- Request prescription refills for your prescribed medications
- View test and lab results with provider notes
- Review your medical history at any time
- In addition to the Valley Health MyChart app and website, other benefits include:
- Greater access to virtual visits with your providers
Safe and secure transfer of your health records to other providers within the Epic network
To download the mobile application, visit the Apple App Store™ or Google Play Store™ and download the MyChart application. Then, search for Valley Health Systems (you’ll recognize our logo!) and create an account. Once you’re registered, you’re all set!
We look forward to seeing you in the new year!...
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Female Urinary Incontinence
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about female urinary incontinence, prolapse, and what help is available with Dr. Caleb Huff. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Monday Health Minutes with Valley Health: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
This week on Monday Health Minutes, we talk about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - what it is, what the risk factors are, and what you can do to prevent it. These segments air on WSAZ every Monday at 4 pm - tune in for information about important health issues that could affect you and your family....
Healthcare Minority Scholarship Program
VALLEY HEALTH SYSTEMS HEALTHCARE MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Given the impact education has on the post-secondary opportunities available to those interested, Valley Health Systems is offering a one-time post-secondary scholarship (up to $5,000) to individuals pursuing a career in medicine, health sciences, or health administration who self-identify as a member of a minority group.
1) Applicant consideration given to those who have received care from a Valley Health provider within the past 12 months (is not an absolute eligibility requirement).
2) Applicant must be enrolled, or in the process of becoming enrolled, in a post-secondary program or institution that offers degrees or certifications in the medical/nursing, health sciences, or health administrative fields.
3) Applicant must describe future career goals and the potential positive impact attaining these goals could have on the applicant’s family and community.
4) Applicant must self-identify as a member of a minority/racial/ethnical group (e.g., Black/African-American, Latinx, Asian-American, Indian-American, Native/Indigenous American)
APPLICATION DEADLINE & REQUIREMENTS
Completed Applications must be submitted by May 13, 2022.
Submit completed information to:
Valley Health Systems, Inc.
Attn: Brett Wellman
78 Peyton Street Barboursville, WV 25504
May also submit by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (please add “Scholarship” in the email subject line)
Download the full application here....
Community Connection - Pharmacy Expansion
On Community Connection with Susan Nicholas, Valley Health's Chief Pharmacy Officer Ashley Houvouras, and pharmacist at Milton's location Courtney Barker discussed the expansion of the pharmacy services throughout the years at Valley Health, and all the amazing things pharmacists offer in our communities!...
Recovery Services with Valley Health
Dr. Leigh Ann Levine and Dr. Kelly Boster sat down with WSAZ to discuss Addiction Treatment and Recovery Options with Valley Health Systems....
Dr. Kellee Boster’s Publication on Trauma and Emotion Regulation
Dr. Kellee Boster was recently published in the International Mental Health and Addiction Journal. She helped author, "Trauma and Emotion Regulation: Associations with Depressive Symptoms and Cocaine Use among Treatment-seeking Adults". This piece explored emotion regulation as a factor between trauma exposure and cocaine use, as well as depressive symptoms incurred. The study examined whether experiencing trauma and difficulties in emotion regulation was associated with cocaine use, and navigates the results about targeting those difficulties.
Please join us in congratulating her on this significant accomplishment as we celebrate her hard work and dedication to treatment in behavioral health.
For those interested in reading the article, please visit the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction's website here, or search by DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00713-w...
WSAZ’s Journey through Parenthood - Taking Kids to the Dentist
Two Valley Health providers were featured on another segment of WSAZ's Journey Through Parenthood. Melanie Shafer sat down with Dr. Megan Popp and Dr. Andrea Kelly and discussed when to take your children to the dentist. The two gave Melanie Shafer and the WSAZ audience recommendations on how to get the best start!
When asked about the best time to start bringing your child into the dentist, Dr. Popp said, "We suggest after the eruption of the first tooth. Even if it's bringing them in, using a toothbrush in the chair, getting them comfortable with the surroundings and the loud noises. It's very stimulating."
On the importance of good dental hygiene practices, Dr. Kelly expanded on helping your child floss, "There are little Plackers that have floss in between that you can manage your fingers around better and get in their mouth rather than wrapping the floss around your fingers. We also have puppets that we can demonstrate on to show how floss gets in between the teeth. Flossing is key."
For the full feature of Dr. Popp and Dr. Kelly on WSAZ's Journey Through Parenthood - Taking Kids to the Dentist segment, visit their website at: https://www.wsaz.com/2022/02/21/journey-through-parenthood-taking-kids-dentist/...
WSAZ’s Journey through Parenthood - So You Say You Want to Have a Baby
Valley Health's Dr. Amber Kuhl and Dr. Andrea Kellar recently sat down with WSAZ's Melanie Shafer to discuss the journey into the start of parenthood in the segment, "So You Say You Want to Have a Baby". The two gave Melanie Shafer and the WSAZ audience recommendations on how to get the best start!
"Initially, just trying to maintain as healthy of as a lifestyle as possible with diet, activity, exercise, sleep, decrease stress -- things that are just generally good for all of us," Dr. Kuhl said. "But especially when you are attempting pregnancy. And that goes for both the men who are wanting to be parents and the women who are our patients."
Dr. Kellar followed up "There's a couple of things that we definitely recommend prior to pregnancy, and that would be the additional taking of a prenatal vitamin and just really overall maximizing their health. The other thing that we like to do is just kind of take a look at the current medications that they're taking and if there's any medication that we would advise for them to stop taking. It would give us some transition before they do get pregnant."
For the full feature of Dr. Kuhl and Dr. Kellar on WSAZ's Journey Through Parenthood - So You Say You Want to Have a Baby segment, visit their website at: https://www.wsaz.com/2022/02/02/journey-through-parenthood-so-you-say-you-want-have-baby/...
COVID-19 vs Influenza – How Can I Tell the Difference?
Covid-19 vs Influenza – How Can I Tell the Difference?
Flu season is upon us and with that, it leaves many people wondering if things like cough, itchy throat, and low-grade fevers are Influenza (Flu) or if they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Below we’ve listed how both viruses may present and some tips on how to tell the difference.
- Symptoms typically occur within 1- 4 days of infection
- Most people who have the flu are contagious for about 1 day prior to showing symptoms and older children/adults are typically more contagious during the initial 3-4 days of the illness but remain contagious for around 7 days.
- Highest risk patients include: Older adults, those with underlying medical conditions which include infants/children, pregnant people.
- Symptoms typically occur within 5 days of infection but can appear between days 2 and 14.
- It is possible to spread the virus for about 2 days prior to experiencing any symptoms and sometimes even earlier than that. COVID-19 positive patients remain contagious for at least 10 days after their signs/symptoms first appear however, those who have weakened immune systems can be contagious for much longer.
- Highest risk patients include: Older adults, those with underlying medical conditions which include infants/children, pregnant people
Valley Health is here for you to answer any of your questions regarding signs and symptoms, testing and vaccinations against both the Influenza virus and COVID-19. For more information on our services please call your preferred healthcare provider. Click here for a full list of our locations.
**All information shared here and additional information about both Influenza and COVID-19 can be found by visiting: Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19 | CDC...
COVID-19 and Children
COVID-19 and Kids
Are COVID-19 symptoms different in children than adults?
Most COVID-19 symptoms are the same for children as it is for adults and include fever, cough, tiredness, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, diarrhea, or vomiting. Children are less likely than adults to have severe symptoms. Some children may not have any symptoms at all (asymptomatic). Serious symptoms may be more common in children who have certain health problems.
What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?
Call your child’s doctor. They can tell you what to do, including testing information and advice to best treat and care for your child.
How are children treated for COVID-19?
Most healthy children who get infected are able to recover at home. It is important that they get rest and stay hydrated. Monitor your child for worsening symptoms, and call your child’s doctor with any questions or concerns.
Can COVID-19 lead to other illnesses in children?
There are rare reports of children with COVID-19 experiencing inflammation throughout the body called Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This can be serious and lead to organ damage if not treated quickly.
Symptoms of this condition include:
- Fever that lasts for longer than 24 hours
- Belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Bloodshot eyes
- Confusion, irritability, or being extra tired
Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any of these symptoms.
How can I talk to my child about the pandemic?
Helping your child feel comfortable during this time is especially important. Talking about COVID-19 shouldn’t increase your child’s anxiety-- knowledge is powerful and gives children reliable and predictable information about what is happening.
Make them feel safe by staying calm and reassure them that you are there to take care of them. Offer them comfort, but be truthful.
Let them lead the conversation, and ask what they already know. This will give you an idea of what they are concerned about, or if they have been hearing the wrong information.
If your child is expressing fear or anxiety, let them know that kids don’t seem to get as sick as adults. You can let them know that precautions like quarantining and social distancing help keep everyone safe.
You can be an example to your children by being vaccinated, washing your hands frequently and encouraging them to do the same, and wearing your mask.
For more tips and tricks on about talking to your kids about COVID-19, PBS has published "10 Tips for Talking About COVID-19 with Your Kids" and is a great resource on ideas about how to start the conversation, or how to help them deal with changes caused by the pandemic.
To help keep little ones busy and give them helpful, age-appropriate information about COVID-19 the CDC published a free coloring book Coping with COVID-19, with printable pages....
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, which appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19, and when do they start?
Symptoms of COVID-19 typically start 4 or 5 days after being infected with the virus. Some people may never show symptoms, or have very mild symptoms.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Trouble breathing
- Headaches or muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or diarrhea
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread through particles from the infected person’s lungs and airway, and usually spreads when they cough, sneeze, or talk near other people.
It is easily passed between families and people who live together, but can be spread at gatherings where people talk closely together, hug, or share food or drink.
People can be infected and spread the virus without even having symptoms, and some strains or variants of the virus may be more contagious.
Can people who are vaccinated still spread the virus?
Vaccines work incredibly well to prevent serious illness and death, but nothing prevents 100 percent of infections. It is possible for a person who has been vaccinated to get COVID-19, and this is sometimes referred to as “breakthrough infections”. While it may seem that lots of breakthrough infections have been reported, most cases of COVID-19 are occurring in unvaccinated people.
Do I need to wear a mask after being vaccinated?
If you live in an area where COVID-19 is spreading quickly, experts recommend that you wear a mask indoors or around other people, or while traveling. Even if you have been vaccinated, it is still possible to get the virus and spread it to others.
What are the different variants of the virus that cause COVID-19?
Viruses can change or “mutate” which creates new strains or variants. Most of the time new variants won’t change how a virus works, but some can affect virus’s ability to spread and may make people sicker.
The more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 the harder it will be for the virus to spread and create new variants.
How long are you contagious?
Most people are no longer contagious by 10 to 14 days after their symptoms started, but it is important to talk to your doctor to figure out when you are no longer considered contagious.
How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?
Most people who get COVID-19 feel better within a few weeks. Those who experience more severe illness may have ongoing symptoms. Your recovery can depend on factors like age or overall health.
Back to School with Valley Health
Back to School with Valley Health
By: Dr. Whitney Fulton, MD | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, East Huntington
I personally think this may have been the shortest, fastest summer ever, but whether we are ready for it or not… school is coming! For some, this is exciting, much anticipated, happy news! School supplies are purchased and lovingly organized in backpacks. First day outfits are painstakingly chosen. Fresh haircuts are obtained.
For others, this fact is undesirable, irritating, or even terrifying. School supply lists are daunting and willfully ignored, and the dread of going back to class is drowned in video games and hours in the pool. Final romps in the playground are stretched as far as they’ll go.
No matter where you and your kids are on this spectrum, Valley Health is ready and able to meet all of your healthcare needs! Our pediatric and family care providers are available for well child visits, immunizations, and sports physicals, as well as on standby to care for any acute injuries or illnesses that may pop up. Our behavioral health team is extensively prepared to help you, your child, and their educational team navigate any mental health needs that may arise. Whatever your need, Valley Health can help meet it!
As we prepare to return to the classrooms, there are several steps you can take now to help make this transition as smooth as possible! If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start working on getting sleep schedules back on track - waking up and going to bed earlier. Those alarm clocks are about to start ringing rather early! For kids entering grades above preschool, avoiding daytime naps will help with reinstating regular sleep routine. Caffeine should be limited after lunchtime. Avoid electronic use for at least 30 minutes before bed, and remove access to phones, tablets, video games, and televisions at bedtime.
Prepare a space in your home that is designated for homework completion. This site should be well lit, relatively quiet, and void of electronic distractions. Plan to have access to basic school supplies like pencils, crayons, scissors, paper, etc for assignments. With your child’s input, create an after school plan so they will be aware of expectations for when and where homework will be done before the school year even begins.
If your child takes medications, review dose timing and who is responsible for ensuring doses are taken (as dosing schedule often varies from summer to school routine). If medication administration forms are required for school time doses, request those from your medical provider before the first day of school.
Many people are still worried about the effects of Covid on school and related activities. Find out what your school’s safety precautions and policies will be, and talk with your kids about these expectations. Thankfully, it appears that all school districts are anticipating that the school year will start with students attending in person, but there will still need to be a number of safety precautions in place. It is best to approach these conversations in a neutral, matter of fact, supportive way. Accepting and following the safety recommendations and encouraging your kids to do the same will help ensure that they can stay in their classroom desks with their teachers and friends! While we still aren’t back to “normal”, we can all work together to make this year better than last!
Reach out to your child’s teacher(s)- the earlier those lines of communication are established, the better! If your school has an open house, plan to attend and introduce yourself! Let them know that you’re invested in your child having a great year, and how they can reach you with any concerns. If there is anything specific they need to know about your child and their needs, the beginning of the year is the ideal time for that information to be shared. Talk to them about concerns you have about your child, and enlist them in helping you monitor.
Most of all, prepare to be flexible. Your child’s needs will change as the year progresses, as will those of the classroom/school/community. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the coming months, but we are all in this together. Valley Health looks forward to partnering with you and your family as we navigate these times together! Stay tuned for regular updates from your Valley Health team, including periodic informational columns on various educational, behavioral, and mental health topics.
A conversation about Chuck Yeager and the Yeager Scholarship with Dr. Mathew Weimer
A conversation about Chuck Yeager and the Yeager Scholarship with Dr. Mathew Weimer
What did receiving the Yeager Scholarship mean to you?
My experience in the Society of Yeager Scholars meant that I had the opportunity to learn in a small group, seminar format that encouraged debate, discussion, and critical thinking. The program also allowed for many once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including studying literature at Oxford University in the UK.
How did being a Yeager Scholar positively impact your life?
The most important impact of this program on my life was that it brought me to West Virginia, where I have been ever since (with the exception of a 4 year hiatus when I went to medical school in Ohio). I’m very fortunate to live in Huntington with my family and to serve my patients and the community in the work that I do with Valley Health. I wouldn’t change a thing, and the decision to apply for the Yeager program back in the late 1990s was, as it turns out, a watershed moment for me.
Did you have the opportunity to meet Chuck Yeager?
I was fortunate to meet General Yeager on multiple occasions, the most memorable of which was flying with him in the fall of 1997 in a P-51 aircraft to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his sound barrier-breaking flight.
Is there anything additional about Chuck Yeager or the Yeager Scholars Program that you would like to share?
The Yeager program is a great asset for Marshall University and the state, especially with regard to recruiting and potentially retaining young people to live in and contribute to the state and region....
How receiving the Yeager Scholarship impacted my life
How receiving the Yeager Scholarship impacted my life
By Dr. Ryan Cicenas
Receiving the Yeager Scholarship was incredible. Of course, having college paid for was a blessing for me (and my parents). However, the opportunity to be part of something bigger was the reason I chose Marshall. Most schools give out scholarships based upon academic achievements. You go to school and earn good grades and they leave you alone. With the Yeager Scholarship, I was joining a program (and a tough one at that). My initial Yeager class started with ten students but only seven graduated together. Each semester for the first two years we had our “Yeager Seminar”. It was a five hour class that replaced the college basic requirements but was much more intense. Each class consisted of three or four professors. Considering the ratio of one professor to 3 students, we were intimidated. The classes helped us to think critically. Extensive writing and speaking assignments never seemed to end. The goal was to produce well rounded students able to tackle any career. Between our sophomore and junior years my class studied together at Oxford University in England. Before that trip, I thought little of the plays of William Shakespeare. Now I can say that I not only appreciate them but enjoy them immensely. The Yeager Scholarship also provided a semester abroad. The following summer I studied at Universitas Nebresenses in Madrid, Spain. I was able to study the language and culture while living with a family in the city. My art class was conducted while walking through the world famous Prado Museum.
The program looked for and encouraged extracurricular activities. As a walk-on, I played football for the Thundering Herd for two years. I was also involved with my fraternity (Alpha Tau Omega) and my church (The Newman Center). The culmination of the scholarship was completing and presenting our senior projects before we were allowed to graduate as Yeager Scholars. My project was titled: The Evolution of Continuity from Aristotle through Calculus. Last came he medallion ceremony where we were given medallions made of the same material as the Bell X1 plane that Chuck Yeager flew to break the sound barrier in 1947.
Graduating as a Yeager Scholar gave me the confidence to tackle any problem and helped me find my career. After finishing my Med-Peds residency at Marshall, I started working as a physician in Bluefield Virginia in a job recommended to me by Joseph Hunnicutt, one of the original forces behind the creation of the Yeager Program. I then met my wife, Susan Stinnett (now Cicenas) at a Yeager Symposium dinner in 2006. She was in the Yeager class of 2000. When leaving my previous job, I interviewed at Valley Health with the administration. Matthew Weimer was present that day and also just happened to be a Yeager scholar at Marshall. So in essence, I can thank the Yeager Program for helping me with my jobs and my family.
I met General Yeager for the first time at the Yeager Symposium dinner in October of 1991 and a few times thereafter. He had a larger than life personality. People naturally flocked to him. He was personable and so down to earth. And stories – he had so many of them and would always share. He was always so proud of the program and the students and never hesitated to express that feeling....
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