595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Service Awards Recognize Decades of Dedication

Doylestown Hospital celebrates its Associates each year and thanks them for their dedicated service. This year, several Associates celebrated 40 years at Doylestown Hospital.

It's a popular event. The annual Service Awards Dinner brings together Doylestown Hospital Associates and Administration for a night of dinner and dancing. But there's more going on than a good time.

"The Service Awards are our way of thanking our Associates for making Doylestown Hospital the outstanding organization it is," said Jim Brexler, President and CEO of Doylestown Hospital. "This incredible group of people has spent years striving for excellence and strengthening the team. They share a common goal of making our patients and their families feel comfortable and confident in their care. And they take pride in their work. It shows every day."

In the United States, workers usually stay at a job an average of 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The service awards dinner recognizes Associates who have worked five or more years at Doylestown Hospital. There were 290 of them this year. And that's only those marking anniversaries in 5-year increments. Out of the current 2,196 Associates, 1,294 have been here for 5 or more years.

Those serving 25 or more years are thanked individually with special gifts at the event. There were a lot of special gifts this year.

  • 7 Associates celebrated 40 years
  • 11 Associates celebrated 35 years
  • 11 Associates celebrated 30 years
  • 37 Associates celebrated 25 years

Deb Hulme is one of the 40-year celebrants. She started out in Purchasing at the "old" hospital on Belmont Avenue in Doylestown Borough. She witnessed the great move into the current location on State Street in 1975. "That was kinda cool," recalled Deb.

After 25 years in Purchasing, Deb transitioned to her current position as Accounts Payable Clerk. She has seen quite a few changes over the years, including the addition of The Heart Institute, new construction resulting in the Pavilion and the new Emergency Department.

And yes, she still likes her job. Even though she never imagined having it for so long.

"When I was young, I thought 'I'll stay here maybe 10 years.' Then 10 years passed and computers were coming in and I said 'I'll stay here for that' and so on and so on. The next thing you know, 40 years have gone by. It is amazing," said Deb.

"The fact that so many Associates have worked at Doylestown Hospital for so many years really shows their dedication to the organization, and is the major reason why we are the well-respected community hospital we are," said Barbara Hebel, vice president Human Resources.

The Service Awards dinner is Barb's favorite event of the year. Behind the celebratory atmosphere and fun was some serious appreciation for these special Associates.

"The people who work here give the organization its character. Our Associates are exceptional at what they do, work well together as a team and always strive for excellence. That is our culture, and these are the people who help make it that way," said Hebel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids, Candy and Cavities

Halloween is more than just costumes . . . it's really about the candy! And that brings to mind cavities. Learn what really causes cavities and things you can do to promote good dental health for your children.

Try swallowing this: The average American consumes almost 3½ pounds of candy over Halloween. And kids eat about 7,000 calories on Halloween.

Besides extra pounds and hyperactive energy, those sweet treats may lead to tooth decay. We talked with Laurence Stone, DDS, a dentist on the Doylestown Hospital medical staff, about kids and cavities and what parents can do.

Do Children's Cavities Start With the First Candy Bar?

The truth is that your child's teeth are at risk long before their first exposure to sugar. Tooth decay is actually the result of a bacterial infection, specifically lactobacillus. Infants are born without these cavity-producing germs but typically are infected by their mothers before the age of two through sharing utensils and toothbrushes.

Once infected, children will be prone to decay for the rest of their lives. Sugars and other starchy carbohydrates contribute to the problem because they are the bacteria's favorite food. Bacteria easily turn these foods into acids that eat away at the structure of the teeth by depleting calcium. Once the decay process destroys enough of the integrity of the tooth structure, it collapses, causing a cavity or hole in the tooth.

How Common Is Tooth Decay in Children?

It may surprise you to know that at least 4 million preschoolers (about 40% of all 2-5 year olds) suffer from tooth decay, making it the most common disease in children, affecting even more kids than asthma and diabetes!

Why Has There Been a Rise in Tooth Decay in Recent Years?

One of the reasons is the prevalence of high fructose corn (HFC) syrup used as a sweetener in most of our processed foods, including juices and sodas. HFC syrup can actually be more damaging to our teeth than other sugars. Sodas are particularly harmful because they are acidic to begin with and lower the pH of the saliva, making it even more acidic.

10 Things to Improve the Dental Health of Your Children

  • Make sure your child has a dental check-up by the age of 1 as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and has regular visits thereafter.
  • Use fluoride supplements if your local water is not fluoridated. Your dentist or pediatrician can supply you with appropriate prescriptions.
  • Limit exposure to sugar and starchy carbohydrates, especially around the holidays. And remember, it's not the total amount of sweets consumed, but the number of exposures to sweets throughout the day that matters most.
  • Set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Make sure your child brushes twice a day (after breakfast and before bed) for two minutes each time. Choose a child-size toothbrush with soft bristles and replace it every 3-4 months.
  • Consider using Xylitol products. Xylitol is an all-natural sugar substitute. It comes from beech trees and other natural plant sources and is "non-nutritive" to the bacteria that cause decay. It is also completely safe. (Studies have even shown that expectant mothers that chew Xylitol gum give birth to children who have healthier mouths.)
  • Never allow infants to sleep or toddlers to walk around with milk or juice drinks. This produces what dentists call "baby bottle tooth decay".
  • Avoid toothpastes containing fluoride for children under the age of 2; they tend to swallow it. Use water or a non-fluoridated toothpaste.
  • For children ages 2-6 years old, use a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste, and make sure they spit it out after brushing. Any more than that is wasted.
  • And remember – when in doubt, ask your dentist. With proper guidance, most children should be able to graduate high school today with no cavities!
Want to do something about all the candy that accumulates on Halloween? Consider taking part in our Great Candy Buy Back!

The Great Candy Buy Back

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

10:00am - 2:00pm
Cowhey Family ShopRite
942 W Street Rd,
Warminster, PA 18974
The Cowhey Family ShopRite has partnered with Doylestown Hospital to buy back your Halloween candy at Health Connections, located near the in-store pharmacy. Donate a minimum of one pound of candy and get a $5 ShopRite gift card. Your candy donation will be sent to troops serving overseas. A representative from Dr. Stone's practice will be onsite to give out toothbrushes, coloring sheets and popcorn packages.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Pediatric Center Now Open

The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center of Doylestown Hospital is open 24/7, 365 days a year. The very first patient was impressed with the new center and doted on by the staff.

He loved the Xbox in the playroom.

And the bacon he got with breakfast.

But you could tell by the smile on 10-year-old Jose Soriano Mendez’s face that the nurses were the best.

And they were thrilled to care for the fifth-grader as their very first patient in the new center, which officially opened for care on October 20.

"It was so exciting. This is what we all worked so hard for," said Amy Speigel, RN, clinical manager of The Della Penna Center. "It worked out fabulously."

Jose's mother, Mary Beth Mendez, brought her son to Doylestown Hospital’s Emergency Department on Sunday night with extreme belly pain. He was diagnosed with appendicitis and general surgeon Richard Murray, MD performed an appendectomy.

Mary Beth was scared, but glad to receive care close to the family’s Warminster home. In March, her young daughter had appendicitis and went to a Philadelphia hospital. Her appendix had burst and she spent two weeks in the city hospital.

This time, Mary Beth spent two nights with her son in Doylestown Hospital before he was discharged on Tuesday. "I'm very happy we could stay close to home," she said.

Local residents Carol and Louis Della Penna were inspired to provide a generous gift to expand pediatric services at Doylestown Hospital. "Carol and I are proud to be able to promote wellness and good care for our children and grandchildren and for all the families in the Doylestown area," said Louis.

As for Jose, he was feeling better by Tuesday morning and said he actually enjoyed being in the brand new center. As the first of two patients being cared for in the first days, Jose received plenty of attention from the pediatric-trained nursing staff. He beat Kim Bentz, RN, BSN twice in the game of Jenga.

The staff of The Della Penna Center provide not only excellent clinical care to the patients, but also provide age-appropriate activities and diversions. At first Jose was frightened to walk down the hallway, but his fear melted as he neared the playroom. "He forgot he was scared to walk," said Amy. "And it was good for his recovery to get up and walk."

Watch Video: The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center of Doylestown Hospital

About Pediatric Care at Doylestown Hospital

Committed to providing family-focused healthcare to the community we serve, The Della Penna Pediatric Center offers private rooms designed especially for kids and round-the-clock care from board-certified pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners and pediatric nurses. When in need of compassionate, quality pediatric care close to home, look no further than Doylestown Hospital.

For health tips and information, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Managing Heart Failure

Heart failure is a major health problem in Bucks County, and in the United States.

Heart Failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood through the body. According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure and it is one of the most common reasons why adults age 65 and older require hospitalization.

Signs of Heart Failure

People with heart failure typically experience an increase in symptoms as the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood through the body. Signs of heart failure include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or run-down
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Swelling in feet, ankles and legs
  • Weight gain
  • Confusion

Managing Heart Failure

While there is no cure for heart failure, there are recommendations for managing the condition. It is important to consult your healthcare providers before making any lifestyle changes.

Tips for managing heart failure:
  • Quit smoking or don’t start
  • Take medicines as prescribed
  • Weigh yourself daily and report any weight gains to your doctor
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Eat a diet low in salt and saturated fat
  • Monitor your fluid intake and blood pressure daily
  • Exercise as recommended by your physician
  • Rest and respect your limits 

Living with Heart Failure

Are you or a loved one living with heart failure? Join us for a FREE presentation on how to manage the condition and still enjoy your life.
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 29 at 7 pm

Where: The Health and Wellness Center
VIA Auditorium
847 Easton Road
Warrington, PA 18976

Presented by: Renee Sangrigoli, MD, cardiologist and heart failure expert

Registration: This is a free program, but registration is encouraged. Register online or call 215-345-2121.

About the Heart Failure Program of The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital

Doylestown Hospital is committed to providing advanced, compassionate care to individuals with all types of heart disease. For patients with heart failure, our award-winning Heart Failure Program includes highly skilled cardiologists and expert clinical care teams who perform state-of-the art procedures and follow evidence-based guidelines for treatment. In addition, our devoted Heart Failure Program coordinator provides support and guidance to ensure each patient receives coordinated care for the best possible outcomes during and after treatment.

Doylestown Hospital's Heart Failure Program has been awarded Certification by The Joint Commission, and the Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Award for the fourth consecutive year from the American Heart Association.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Concerned about Constipation?

A Doylestown Hospital expert on colorectal issues will discuss this common condition -and what to do about it – on November 3 in Warrington.

Okay, admit it. You've probably been constipated at least once in your lifetime. It happens. You're not alone.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems in the United States. Constipation affects an estimated 15% of the population (some 42 million people) regardless of age, race or gender.

However, women and adults over 65 most often report experiencing constipation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Constipation can also be a common problem during pregnancy, following childbirth or surgery, or after taking medications to relieve pain from things like a broken bone, tooth extraction, or back pain.

What is Constipation?

"While it's a common problem, different people have different definitions," says Robert Akbari, MD, a Doylestown Hospital colorectal surgeon. He is an expert in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus, with advanced training in the treatment of these diseases.

Definitions for constipation can include infrequent bowel movements, hard bowel movements or bloating. Infrequent usually means less than three bowel movements a week, although each person differs in how often they have bowel movements. It depends on what's normal for you.

"For me, what's more important is a new symptom versus something you're used to," says Dr. Akbari. "You may have had infrequent bowel movements for years, and that may be the way you're built. A new symptom is more concerning."

What Causes Constipation?

Common causes of constipation include:
  • Diets low in fiber
  • Certain medications
  • Problems with the gastrointestinal tract
  • Lack of physical activity
Not getting enough fiber is the most common cause of constipation. Most Americans eat only about 15 grams of fiber each day. The recommended amount is 25-30 grams per day.

Should I See a Doctor about Constipation?

If constipation has become an issue lasting more than a few weeks (generally speaking), it's time to talk to a healthcare professional. Tests, including colonoscopy, may be performed to make sure it's not a mechanical issue of the GI tract. Other tests, like X-ray studies, can also be done.

What Can I Do About Constipation?

The good news is that constipation can usually be managed medically, meaning without surgery.

"You can help treat constipation with common sense things like diet, exercise and water intake. The more the better," Dr. Akbari says.

That means getting enough fiber, drinking enough fluids (like water, 6-8 glasses a day) and getting enough exercise. "Remember, fiber and fluids go hand in hand," says Dr. Akbari.

Over-the-counter laxatives and stool softeners might also help. Some people fear abusing these products, using them too often and depending on them for regularity. "Stimulant laxatives are the ones to be most wary of," notes Dr. Akbari.

Physical therapy may also help. "Some people benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy, also know as biofeedback," says Dr. Akbari. His group works with a physical therapy office in Doylestown for this type of treatment.

In rare cases, surgery can be beneficial for severe constipation.

Monday Night Coffee Talks for Women

Monday Night Coffee Talks are back! Our popular series for women features coffee, dessert and a health discussion led by a Doylestown Hospital expert. Learn more about upcoming coffee talks.

November's Topic: Managing Constipation

Dr. Akbari will discuss everything you ever wanted to know about constipation during a Monday Night Coffee Talk for Women on November 3. He'll answer questions following his presentation.

Date and Time:
Monday, November 3 at 7pm

847 Easton Road
VIA Auditorium, Health & Wellness Center
Warrington, PA

Presented by: Robert Akbari, MD, colorectal surgeon

Registration: This is a free program, but registration is encouraged.Register online or call 215-345-2121.
Living with gastrointestinal issues, like constipation, can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and at times, painful. Join Dr. Robert Akbari to learn about the causes of constipation, treatment options and tips on how to get relief.

For more helpful tips or to connect with us, find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cancer Fit Helps Heal Body and Mind

Doylestown Hospital and Cornerstone Fitness have collaborated to create the Cancer Fit program, and it's making a big difference in the lives of cancer survivors.

Patrice R. said she was "ecstatic" when Rachel Saks, MSS, LSW, OSW-C, Doylestown Hospital oncology social worker, called to tell her about the Cancer Fit program. "This program gave me hope and a positive outlook – I needed that," says Patrice, 57.
"I'm starting to feel so much better and I have more energy."
The six weeks of radiation therapy for breast cancer Patrice had completed in August left her lethargic with no motivation.

More Than Just a Workout

Sabrina Willard, Cornerstone Fitness certified personal trainer, worked with The Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital to develop the 12-week program for cancer survivors. Research has shown that regular exercise may reduce the risk of recurrence in breast cancer. Exercise (both aerobic and weight bearing) has been shown to improve fatigue, reduce stress and impact long-term overall health.

"Your quality of life improves, hands down," says Sabrina. "Exercise is important to improve overall function in daily life."

Donna Angotti, MD, medical director of The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital, points to findings from a large, long-term study called the National Nurses Health Study. "The study demonstrated that women who developed breast cancer and then adopted an exercise program, had a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence and a higher survival rate. All that was required was walking at an average pace for 3-4 hours per week."

"Other studies are showing that a BMI (body mass index) under 25 reduces cancer recurrence, but the focus should be balanced between good food choices and increased physical activity," adds Angotti.

Expert and Caring Guidance

Sabrina earned the CET (Cancer Exercise Trainer) certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, which developed the CET with the American Cancer Society. "I wanted to achieve this level of expertise to better serve my clients," says Sabrina.

Participants meet twice a week at Cornerstone's Warrington facility, where they do more than work out under Sabrina's careful guidance. She also brings in speakers like Audrey Fleck, Doylestown Hospital nutritionist, to discuss post-treatment nutrition. Others talk about therapeutic massage specific to mastectomy and breast surgery, acupuncture for pain relief, and the stress reduction and healing benefits of yoga. The program caters to a variety of individuals.

"Some people have never exercised, some were very active. But with cancer treatment, they all have been unable to be active," says Sabrina.

Melodye D. was a runner who was very active before her cancer diagnosis. The 48-year-old had a double mastectomy in the spring, right around the time her husband passed away. She hadn't worked out in almost a year when she started Cancer Fit. "I look forward to coming in," says Melodye. "I come here and focus on my health and having fun. I'm learning so much. I feel really good."

Cancer Fit Photo Album

A Range of Benefits for Body and Soul

The benefits of Cancer Fit are more than physical, as the women get to know each other and share their experiences. "There is camaraderie and the women develop relationships. They get a sense that they're ok. It gives them a piece of normalcy so they can move on to the next step," says Sabrina.

"Cancer takes everything out of you – physically, mentally and emotionally," says Mary G., 59, who participated in the first session of Cancer Fit that concluded in June. "The exercise is something you have control over. It helps you get emotionally better. When you're more in shape, you are stronger to fight the next step."

Participants in the first Cancer Fit group met for six weeks, but longed for more. The current session is 12 weeks, which gives the women more time to gradually increase the intensity of the exercise and to bond with one another.

"It has been really helpful to be together. We all gelled right away," says Patrice. "I think it's an absolutely great thing."

Doylestown Hospital uses funds donated to The Cancer Institute to subsidize the program for the participants so they can participate no matter what their financial circumstances. At the upcoming annual Circle of Life auction, there will be a special effort to raise funds for the Cancer Fit program.

Both current and past participants agree the program has changed their lives.

"I felt like myself again after the class," said Julie H., 56, who completed the program in June. "I felt happy. I'm doing pretty much everything I used to do."

About the Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital

The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital combines the compassionate care of experts with state-of-the-art technology to offer personalized breast cancer and well-breast care, close to home. Breast care services include early detection and advanced screening options at the Women's Diagnostic Center of Doylestown Hospital . Experienced surgeons offer complex treatments including nipple-sparing mastectomy. The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital is your resource for total breast health, close to home.

For more helpful tips and information, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breast Health Event Brings Awareness and Education

Doylestown Hospital brought women of all ages together last night to join the conversation about breast health. The Pink Party kicked off with a health fair which included information on breast health services, a celebration for breast cancer survivors, giveaways, raffles, and therapy demonstrations including Reiki, chair massage, acupressure and acupuncture.

Following the health fair, women were invited to attend Lessons from 'The Art of War' for Breast Cancer Prevention, a health discussion led by breast health experts from Doylestown Hospital. The talk began with Donna Angotti, MD, breast surgeon, educating more than 100 women on how to reduce their risk for breast cancer followed by Michele Kopach, MD, radiologist, discussing breast density. An expert panel including Dr. Angotti, Dr. Kopach and Eileen Engle, MD, gynecologist, answered questions following the discussion.

"We hope to empower people not to feel as afraid," said Dr. Angotti, director of The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital, "and to make some proactive choices about preventative measures they can take to reduce their risk of breast cancer."

Pink Party Photo Album

Meet Dr. Angotti at Prevention & Treatment of Breast Cancer

Date and Time:
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 1pm
Cowhey Family ShopRite
942 W Street Road
Warminster, PA 18974
Event is free. For information or to make a reservation, call 215-672-1870. Free childcare is available (please ask when registering).

Watch Video: Pink Party at Doylestown Hospital Raises Cancer Awareness

About The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital

Offering breast cancer and well-breast care, The Breast Center of Doylestown Hospital is your resource for comprehensive care, close to home. From early detection through advanced screening options at our accredited diagnostic center, to complex surgical treatments including nipple-sparing mastectomy, the experts at Doylestown Hospital are your resource for total breast health.

For health tips and information, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.