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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's VIA: New Leadership, Same Commitment to Community

The Village Improvement Association (VIA) of Doylestown has a history that dates back to 1895 and includes the founding of Doylestown Hospital in 1923. Current leadership plans to honor the organization's original mission.

The VIA formally inducted into office the new leadership for 2014-2016 earlier this summer. We asked President Linda McIlhinney about the organization and its commitment to our community.

The 2014-2016 officers include: Linda McIlhinney, president; Cory Schroder, 1st vice president; Joyce Hanson, 2nd vice president; Ruth Carlson, treasurer; Beverly Coller Campbell, assistant treasurer; Marie Johnston, corresponding secretary, and Carolyn Kozakowski, recording secretary.

As president, what is your vision for the future of the VIA and its role in the hospital and in the community?

In my new role as president of the VIA, I am honored to follow in the footsteps of many amazing women. The history of the VIA is deeply rooted and our membership is comprised of hardworking women who wish to keep the promise of the founding members of the VIA at the forefront. We will strive to continue to keep health, service and education within reach for those in our Central Bucks community.

How has the organization changed over the years? How has it remained the same?

I would like to think the organization has remained true to its original mission, which is "to enhance the quality of life in our community through service and education." Over the years, we have moved from watering down the dusty streets of Doylestown to founding a hospital, providing educational scholarships to women seeking to improve their lives and that of their family, and, through our Welfare Committee, providing financial assistance to individuals and families in need of life's basic necessities.

How would you encourage area women to join the VIA, and what can they expect from membership in the organization?

I want to encourage every woman in the Central Bucks community to visit the VIA website to learn more about the VIA, the work we do and our membership. The VIA includes more than 300 civic-minded women of various ages, professions and educational backgrounds who come together to impact the community in a positive way. I have been a member for seven years. The VIA has been a wonderful vehicle to join in and truly make a difference in the lives of those living here in Central Bucks. The ladies of the VIA are an inspiring group of women who continually challenge each other to work for the improvement of our community.

Is there anything about the VIA the community might not know about that you'd like to share?

Most people do not know how the VIA, Bucks County Designer House and Doylestown Hospital are interconnected. In 1923, the VIA founded Doylestown Hospital. Today, the VIA is actively involved in the governance of the hospital, a tremendous accomplishment for a small town woman's group.

The Bucks County Designer House and Gardens is an annual fundraiser that benefits Doylestown Hospital and the mission of the VIA. It is the VIA's largest fundraiser. In 2015, we look forward not only to celebrating our 40th Bucks County Designer House and Gardens, but also the 120th Anniversary of the founding of the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Annual Golf Outing Hole in One!

The day after the last round of the 2014 USGA U.S. Open at Pinehurst, another great golf event occurred at a local club.

On June 16, 2014, approximately 27 enthusiastic foursomes set out in a scramble format to compete in the 23rd Annual Doylestown Hospital Golf Outing at Jericho National Golf Club in New Hope, PA. The weather was picture perfect and the course was in great shape. We would like to pay special thanks to this year’s Title Sponsor, The Cowhey Family ShopRite in Warminster, and the Event Sponsors, Burns Mechanical and the McDonald Building Company, for their support and generosity.

The event exceeded our goal and brought in over $65,000 for Doylestown Hospital. Both the Golf Committee and the hospital’s senior administration are tremendously pleased with the success of this year’s outing. "We are grateful to all of the sponsors who supported the hospital and enjoyed a day of golf with us," stated Jim Brexler, CEO and President of Doylestown Hospital.

Many of our golfers just missed a fantastic hole-in-one opportunity to win a brand new car sponsored by The Thompson Organization by only a few strokes!

Many thanks to all of this year’s sponsors for keeping Doylestown Hospital on the Leader Board for excellence in care!

  • Title Sponsor: Cowhey Family SHOPRITE
  • Event Sponsors: Burns Mechanical; McDonald Building Company, LLC
  • Dinner Sponsors: Duane Morris, LLP; Independence Administrators; Grant Thornton; John S. McManus, Inc.; SEI
  • Lunch Sponsor: Anchor Property Management
  • Front Nine Sponsor: Provista
  • Back Nine Sponsor: Allied World Assurance Co.
  • Golf Cart Sponsor: Lockton Companies
  • Putting Green Sponsor: Lincoln Financial Group
  • Beat The Pro Sponsor: Allergy & Asthma Specialists
  • Hole In One Sponsor: Thompson Organization
  • Course Refreshment Sponsor: General Painting of Pennsylvania
  • 19th Hole Sponsor: Philadelphia Medical Billing
  • Awards Sponsor: The Norwood Company
  • Prize Sponsors: Univest Bank & Trust Co.; Duane Morris, LLP
  • Hole Sponsors:
    • Business Interiors by Staples
    • Charon Planning, Employee Benefit Consulting
    • David B. Woffindin, VP - Stifel Nicolaus
    • Delcrest Medical Services
    • Doylestown Emergency Associates
    • e-Pharm Pro
    • Financial Recoveries
    • Gateway Communication Services
    • Hay Group
    • HCSC / Miller-Keystone Blood Center
    • Hill Wallack, LLP
    • Independence Fire Sprinkler Company
    • Kramer + Marks Architects
    • McMann Nursery & Landscaping
    • O’Brien & Ryan, LLP
    • Pine Run Retirement Community
    • PNC Bank
    • Repko Williams, LLC, Attorneys & Counselors at Law
    • Stericycle, Inc.
    • TD Bank NA
    • W.B. Mason Co., Inc.
    • W.E. Boger & Associates, LLC, Certified Public Accountants
    • WithumSmith + Brown, PC
    • Winola Health IT
Save the date for our 2015 Golf Outing to be held on Monday, June 15, 2015. To sponsor next year’s event, please call Lisa Repko, JD, Director of Development at 215-345-2124.

Giving Opportunities

Each gift to Doylestown Hospital helps us fulfill the hospital's mission "to provide a responsive, healing environment for our patients and their families." For more information or to pledge your support, please contact our Development Office at 215-345-2124 or make a donation online.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Small Donation, Big Hearts

Two local girls continued a tradition of caring with their donation to the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital.

It was sunny and hot, but it wasn't too bad being outside all day.

"We had a tree," said Anna Sehlin.

The 12-year-old and her friend Ashley Mullen, also 12, decided to set up a lemonade stand in the shade of some tall pines in their neighborhood recently. They knew exactly what they'd do with the profits.

lemonade stand giving to cancer instituteAs their sign stated, all proceeds would benefit the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital.

"We both came up with the idea," said Anna.

Anna's grandfather passed away from brain cancer in 2010. Ever since, "Anna has been touched by those who are facing cancer," explained her mother, Kim Sehlin. "She always wants to do what she can to help families in need, especially because she experienced having a sick family member. She understands the impact it has not only on the patient but the entire family."

Both Anna and Ashley have a history of helping others through school-related community service projects. In fifth grade, they helped lead a food drive for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. This year, they were among the sixth-grade Doyle Ambassadors who lend a helping hand at school and in the community.

The girls and their classmates had a car wash benefiting "Hope for Hails." The fundraiser helped the family of a former Doyle student facing a rare disease with medical expenses. The pair were also part of an effort to raise funds for the War on Terrorism memorial at the Bucks County courthouse in Doylestown.

Ashley says helping others makes her feel good. You also don't have wait until you're older to practice acts of kindness.

"I think anyone can make an impact if they try," she said. Ashley wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up.

She and Anna will attend Lenape Middle School in the fall.

Their donation to the Cancer Institute, presented to Director Betsy Alexander in mostly dollar bills and change in a plastic red cup, may not be large in terms of amount, but it represents something quite substantial.

Besty Alexander, Anna Sehlin and Ashley Mullen
"I think it's great the girls have started doing things like this so early," said Betsy. "When you start when you're young, this becomes a life-long habit of giving back to the community."

She was reminded of the generosity of the many volunteers who give their time helping the staff and patients in the Cancer Institute. Betsy also thanked the girls' mothers, Kim Sehlin and Maggie Mullen, for their part in the process.

Besides, all the little gifts add up. The funds raised by Anna and Ashley are not earmarked for any specific purpose, but could be go toward anything from helping a chemotherapy patient with a co-pay to help with transportation costs.

"As a mom, I couldn't be more proud of my daughter and her good friend for helping our community and knowing that they are making a difference," said Kim. "My greatest wish is that Anna will continue to do kind things for others and hopefully inspire others to pay it forward."

About the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital

Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the ;Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital offers patients the quality care they expect from a leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment — close to home. Comprehensive services include oncology-certified patient navigators, a state-of-the art infusion suite, Penn Radiation Oncology on site, and access to cutting-edge therapies and innovative clinical trials through the Penn Cancer Network. Visit the Cancer Institute of Doylestown Hospital or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Giving Opportunities

Each gift to Doylestown Hospital helps us fulfill the hospital's mission "to provide a responsive, healing environment for our patients and their families." For more information or to pledge your support, please contact our Development Office at 215-345-2124 or make a donation online

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Lemon Ride

The Della Penna Pediatric Center of Doylestown Hospital is proud to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer.

Join riders from Doylestown Hospital in the annual Lemon Ride this Sunday, July 20 at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown.

The Lemon Ride

Offering four different course lengths for cyclists of all ages and ability levels, The Lemon Ride is a ride, not a race. Courses include a 4-mile Family Fun Ride, a 12 mile ride, a 35 mile ride and a Metric Century (63 miles). All routes start and finish at Central Bucks High School West.

This fun, family event features:
  • Children’s activities
  • Giveaways
  • Raffles 
  • A lemonade stand (of course!) 
Lunch, snacks and a Lemon Ride water bottle is provided for registered riders, as well as SAG (support and gear) support and rest stops throughout the ride.

Stay Healthy on Ride Day

Whether you are planning to ride, watch or participate in activities, you can feel great on ride day by:
  • Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Wearing sunscreen and protective gear (sunglasses, hat, etc.)
  • Always wear a bike helmet when riding

Dedicated Pediatric Care. Close to Home.

When children come to Doylestown Hospital for treatment, it is usually for a routine outpatient procedure or an acute visit to the emergency department. But, sometimes kids have more advanced needs that require overnight observation and treatment. We are pleased to announce that coming late summer, our expert inpatient care will be extended to all ages – including infants, children and adolescents – in the new Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center of Doylestown Hospital.

Participate In The Lemon Ride

Date: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Registration Time: 7:00 a.m.
Start Time: 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (varied by course)
Where: Central Bucks High School West
375 W Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Learn more about The Lemon Ride or pediatric care services available at Doylestown Hospital.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

6 Tips for Atrial Fibrillation and Summer Heart Health

The heat can take a toll on your body and play a role in triggering episodes of atrial fibrillation during the summer. If you or a loved one have atrial fibrillation it's important to know the risks of hot weather.

Remember these tips to help protect your heart this summer:

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Dehydration has been frequently noted as a trigger for atrial fibrillation, or AFib. It is commonly associated with vacationers, who tend to stray from their regular eating patterns and schedule. When travelling, always remember to drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Not only can caffeine and alcohol trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation, they also contribute to dehydration. Both caffeine and alcohol are considered diuretics that cause you to urinate more, which increases your risk of dehydration during hot summer days. Alcohol can also dilate blood vessels and lower your blood pressure, while caffeine speeds up your heart rhythm; both issues can contribute to an episode of atrial fibrillation.

Avoid Exercising or Outdoor Activities in Extreme Heat

Exercise alone can be a main trigger for atrial fibrillation, but mix in hot weather and your chances of another episode increase. It's best to avoid exercising in the extreme heat. Rather, stick to a cool indoor area to exercise.

Grab a Partner

If you have AFib or another type of heart arrhythmia, it's recommended you don't go it alone in the heat. Stick with somebody or have someone check in on you often. If you or your buddy experience heat exhaustion, be sure you know what to do: Get out of the heat and into a cool area, remove any unnecessary clothing, drink plenty of fluids and if not better within 30 minutes, call your doctor or 911.

Wear Light Clothing

Light-colored and loose-fitting clothes are your best choice to keep cool in hot weather. Natural fabrics such as cotton are also best to wear as opposed to synthetic fibers. Light, loose-fitting clothing is less likely to trap heat in your body and can help reduce your chance of heat exhaustion.

Check the Weather

Keep your eyes on the weather forecast and heed any heat warnings. Remember, warnings were created for a reason -- to protect us! Excessive heat is dangerous for everyone, but especially those with a heart condition like atrial fibrillation.

About the Afib Center

The AFib Center of the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital, is a one-stop resource with invaluable information about degenerative heart rhythm disorder, heart disorder symptoms, and atrial fibrillation treatment options available to you right in Bucks County. Learn more about AFib Center of the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital or to find a physician call 215-345-2121.

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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How to Survive a Heart Attack

The first few minutes and hours are critical in surviving a heart attack.

Doylestown Hospital has streamlined the process of treating heart attacks. When it comes to patients surviving a heart attack (a measure known as 30-day mortality), Doylestown Hospital ranks #1 in Pennsylvania by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), making the best care available close to home. This process has to start with you, and the all-important call to 9-1-1.

Whether you or a loved one survives a heart attack depends on what you do during the first few hours.

Why Are the First Few Hours of a Heart Attack Critical?

How to Survive a Heart Attack
Time is muscle, as the saying goes. In other words, the sooner a heart attack is treated, the more heart muscle is saved. And the better the outcome for the patient.

According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), 85% of heart damage occurs in the first two hours of a heart attack. One of the goals of this international nonprofit organization is to educate people about "Early Heart Attack Care," or the "beginnings" of a heart attack, when symptoms may be mild but should not be ignored. That is the time to take action and get treatment. More than half of heart attack patients experience some or all heart attack symptoms.

Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Pressure, burning, aching or tightness in the chest
  • Nausea
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of fullness
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away. Even if you're not sure, it's better to call 9-1-1 and rule out a heart attack than to suffer the consequences of untreated heart attack.

Getting to the Hospital on Time

Research shows that in the U.S., only about 55% of chest pain patients are transported to the hospital by Emergency medical services (EMS). Yet calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment for heart attack. EMS staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped.
In the Doylestown Hospital community, EMS can transmit EKGs from the ambulance to the hospital to confirm a heart attack, setting the process of care in motion even before the patient arrives.

The Lower the Door-to-Balloon Time, the Better

Nearly all (96%) of all heart attack patients brought by EMS to Doylestown Hospital have their EKGs transmitted prior to their arrival, helping shave minutes off the door-to-balloon time. This measurement of quality in treating heart attack, also known as D2BT, is the amount of time between a patient's arrival at the hospital and when the blocked artery is opened through emergency angioplasty in the cath lab.

Doylestown Hospital has reduced door-to-balloon time and improved patient care by:
  • Working closely with regional EMS
  • Alerting the extended team at the hospital to prepare for the patient's arrival with a single call
  • Having a "Fast Track" protocol to send a heart attack patient directly to the cath lab to restore blood flow to the heart.
In 2013, Doylestown Hospital had an average door-to-balloon time of 55 minutes (well below the national goal of 90 minutes). On one occasion at Doylestown Hospital, that time was just 15 minutes.

30-day heart attack mortality rates

Did you know? Patients who arrive at Doylestown Hospital in an ambulance that transmits an EKG receive lifesaving care an average of 21 minutes faster than those who come in on their own.

Faster Treatment Means Better Outcomes

When it comes to patients surviving a heart attack (a measure known as 30-day mortality), Doylestown Hospital ranks #1 in Pennsylvania and #6 in the nation (CMS). Doylestown Hospital has ranked in the top six in the nation three years in a row. Teamwork and a carefully orchestrated process of care make this possible.
Remember : Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment

"We urge anyone with heart attack symptoms to call 9-1-1 immediately to start the process of receiving life-saving care," says Elaine Schultheiss, coordinator of the Doylestown Hospital Chest Pain Center. "Doylestown Hospital works closely with emergency services personnel to prepare for the heart attack patient even before their arrival at the hospital. The team approach ensures that all heart attack patients receive the care they need as soon as possible."

Chest Pain Center Accreditation

Earlier this summer, Doylestown Hospital again received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from theSociety of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). The Woodall Chest Pain Center of Doylestown Hospital first received accreditation just after Doylestown's new Emergency Department opened in 2010.

Hospitals with SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. For patients, knowing the symptoms and knowing when to call for help can save your life.

About the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital

The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is your resource for advanced cardiac care right in your community. We offer the latest minimally invasive treatment options for arrhythmia, valve disease, heart failure and coronary artery disease. Visit the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital for more helpful tips and information on treatment options or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ditch the Itch: A Poison Ivy Primer

We love being outdoors in the summer. That brings us closer to pesky plants like poison ivy, oak and sumac. Our Doylestown Hospital health expert, Cathy Hogan, MSN, CRNP COHN-S, shares some tips on prevention and treatment.

Learn How to Identify Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

It's poison ivy season: What you need to know
You can find lots of pictures on the internet. All of these plants are "woody" plants/vines that grow in predominantly wooded areas.

You should wear long pants, shirts, socks and fully enclosed footwear when walking in these areas. Wear gloves when working around these poisonous plants. It is best if you wear plastic gloves over cotton gloves. The urushiol (the oily, sticky resin that causes the rash) in poison ivy can seep through cotton gloves, and make you susceptible to contracting the rash.

Another way to prevent the oil from getting on your skin is to use a good barrier cream, like Stokoguard or Ivy Block. Presently there is no vaccination.

Urushiol, Poison Ivy Oil and You

The oil from the poisonous plants can be carried on pets, and interestingly enough, pets are not affected by it. Ponds, streams, rivers and lakes can harbor the oils from these plants without ever seeing the offending plant. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects months or even years ago – such as gardening tools – can cause a reaction.

What to Do if You Are Exposed to Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac

Wash exposed skin immediately after contact. Wash in cold water, since warm or hot water helps the toxins get into your pores. Also, if you think your fingernails may be harboring the toxic oil, use a toothbrush under the nail to remove the toxin, then throw away the toothbrush.

Remove and wash clothes (separately from other clothes) and any items exposed to the oil.

How to Treat a Mild Case of Poison Ivy

Apply calamine lotion 4 to 6 times a day to the affected area. Anesthetics and antihistamines applied to the skin play no role in alleviating the symptoms of the rash; however, oral antihistamines like Benadryl can offer minor relief, and probably should be taken at bedtime to offset the side effect of drowsiness. You can apply 1% hydrocortisone cream to decrease the inflammation.

Try This Treatment For More Severe Cases of Poison Ivy

If the rash is severe, meaning on a large part of the body or the face, steroids may be advisable and your pediatrician or physician will direct you appropriately. However, steroids should be reserved for the worst cases.

Also, if you do not have any open areas, you can use rubbing alcohol, which can prevent further spread of the toxic oil. In addition, Betadine can be painted on the area and left to dry to decrease the itch.

Another idea to pull the fluid from the blisters is to make a paste from Betadine and baking soda. Put the paste over the blisters then allow it to dry and crack off. Make sure the area has dried before putting on clothing to prevent staining from the Betadine.

Soothing the Itch

Oatmeal baths are comforting, but in a pinch good old-fashioned oatmeal added to lukewarm water works.

It is important not to scratch the rash to prevent bacteria from getting in. Do not pop blisters even if they are weeping. You should cover them. Cut your fingernails short, resist scratching, or wear socks over your hands to prevent opening areas up.

A comfort measure that works well is to apply ice, but not directly to your skin. Use a cover like a towel over the ice pack. Also, aloe vera secretes a cooling gel from its leaves. Just snap a leaf off and apply the gel directly to the rash. If you buy aloe vera in the store, make sure it contains at least 90% aloe.

Remember This When Dealing With Poison Ivy

  • The best option for controlling the spread of poison ivy is to remove the plants by hand, as the sprays and killers are not environmentally friendly.
  • Never burn the plants, since the oil is vaporized and can be inhaled, causing havoc in your lungs, possibly leading to respiratory failure.
  • Don’t skip the step of washing your clothes or gardening shoes and equipment, since poison ivy and oak residue can stay on objects for up to 5 years.
  • If you develop a fever more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, see yellow scabs or pus, or have tenderness over the affected areas, see your doctor, you may have an infection.

About Doylestown Hospital

Doylestown Hospital is a comprehensive 238-bed medical center serving families throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties and Western New Jersey. The hospital, along with The Doylestown Hospital Surgery Center at the Health & Wellness Center in Warrington; Pine Run Community and Health Center; Lakeview by Pine Run, and VIA Affiliates, comprise the VIA Health System.

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