Press Release Archive | News & Media | St. Mary’s Medical Center

Mountain Health hospitals implementing no visitation policy in response to community spread of COVID-19

Huntington, WV — As part of its commitment to the health care of the community, as well as the safety of patients and employees, Mountain Health Network (MHN) is implementing a no visitation policy for both Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) effective 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12, in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“This was a difficult decision, as we know the importance family plays in a patient’s recovery. But after considering what was best for our patients and employees, it was a decision we had to make,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, MHN. “As community spread increases, we must adapt our policies in order to preserve everyone’s safety. We truly appreciate the community’s understanding and cooperation.”

For both CHH and SMMC hospital visitation, the following restrictions are in place until further notice:

  • No one will be permitted to accompany or visit a patient in the hospital with few exceptions. This restriction also applies to many persons previously considered essential caregivers.
  • One essential caregiver will be permitted to visit or remain with patients who are on pediatrics, labor and delivery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the Neonatal Therapeutic Unit (NTU) subject to the policies of each unit.
  • Compassionate exceptions to this restriction for patients nearing the end of life are to be authorized on a case-by-case basis.

For all CHH and SMMC outpatient clinics (including Marshall Health and HIMG), urgent cares and ERs:

  • Family members or friends will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary.
  • One parent or guardian may accompany minors for outpatient visits.
  • If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient and the caregiver will be asked to wait in their vehicle during the appointment.

Authorized visitors will be identified with a badge provided to them at the entrance screening checkpoints. Additional visitors will not be permitted in the lobby areas. Hospital staff members are required to wear their ID badges at all times.

MHN will reassess its policy on a weekly basis and will make adjustments as community spread allows. MHN officials encourage the community to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact (less than 6 ft. apart).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  •  Cover coughs and sneezes.
  •  Clean and disinfect.
  •  Monitor your health daily.

“It will take all of us working together to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees,” Dr. Burdick said.


Mountain health hospitals revise visitation in response to community spread of COVID-19

Huntington, WV — As part of its commitment to the health care of the community, as well as the safety of patients and employees, Mountain Health Network (MHN) is revising its restricted visitation policies for both Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), effective Tuesday, Sept. 29.

“We know that loved ones are an extremely important part of the recovery process, so we are continuing visitation on a restricted basis to support the well-being of our patients,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, MHN. “However, we need to limit the number of visitors to support the safety of our community members and our staff and frontline caregivers.”

The guidelines for adult inpatient and ICU visitation at both CHH and SMMC are now as follows:

Adult inpatients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility may designate one primary and one alternate visitor who may come into the building with the purpose of visiting the patient during their stay.

Adult inpatients may have only one of these designated visitors in the building each day during the hours of Noon-6 p.m. and during discharge instructions.

The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria OR to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby. Once a visitor exits the building, they will not be allowed to return until the next day.

No visitors for anyone in isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

General visitation guidelines at both CHH and SMMC are:

All visitors should arrive wearing a mask and continue to wear during their entire stay. Visitors must provide their own mask.

Visitors will be screened at the entrance using a brief series of questions.

All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer upon entry and departure from patient rooms and the facility.

Visitors must be age 18 or older.

Compassionate care considerations and exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Exceptions to visitation hours may be made for essential caregivers.

Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit & Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Visitation

Pediatric, PICU and NICU patients who are admitted to Hoops Family Children’s Hospital (HFCH) will be allowed up to two essential caregivers (parents or guardians only) who may come into the building with the purpose of visiting the patient during their stay.

Patients may have only one of these designated visitors in the building at a time.

The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria OR to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby.

Labor & Delivery and Mother Baby Unit Visitation

Labor & Delivery and post-partum patients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility may have one designated support person in labor, delivery, and for the duration of the mother’s hospital stay.

All pregnant women coming in for ultrasounds at a MHN facility will be allowed to have one person accompany them to the appointment. This person must be age 18 or older, wear a mask/face covering, be asymptomatic, and wash or sanitize their hands.

Emergency Department Visitation

Emergency Department patients at a Mountain Health facility may have one person accompany them into the facility/room who must remain in the room with the patient during his/her ER visit.

All other visitors must remain in vehicles.

Inpatient & Outpatient Surgeries and Procedures Visitation

Adult patients having an outpatient procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one designated person accompany them to the facility.

This designated person will be asked to wait in their vehicle during the procedure and will be contacted by the staff throughout the procedure with updates as well as discharge instructions once the procedure is finished.

Visitors of adult inpatients taken to surgery will be asked to wait in the patient room during the procedure.

Pediatric patients having a procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one parent/guardian accompany them into the facility and remain with patient until the procedure. During the procedure, this parent/guardian may wait in the lobby.

Physician Offices and Clinics Visitation

Patients at physician offices and clinics may be asked to wait in their vehicles or outside the office until appointment. Contact your provider’s office/clinic for information prior to your appointment.

Family members of adult patients will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary. If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany the patient.

Pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian present during the appointment who remains in the exam room with them.

Patients arriving to receive and discuss critical results with their provider may be accompanied by one visitor to their appointment.

Clergy Visitation

Spiritual ministry for COVID-19 positive or isolated patients is through electronic communications only – not at bedside.

Outside clergy intending to visit with a patient admitted to a Mountain Health facility should contact, and coordinate with, the respective facility’s pastoral/spiritual care department.

Mountain Health pastoral care will provide education to visiting clergy on safe ministry and visitation practices.

The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at SMMC are closed to visitors.

“We are asking for everyone’s cooperation and understanding in following the restricted visitation guidelines so that we may continue to offer this important component of patient care,” Dr. Burdick said. “Working together, we can optimize the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees.”


St. Mary’s among nation’s top performing hospitals for treatment of heart attack patients

(HUNTINGTON)— St. Mary’s Medical Center has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2020. St. Mary’s is one of only 140 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor. This is the fourth consecutive year St. Mary’s has received the award.

     The award recognizes St. Mary’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that St. Mary’s has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

     To receive the Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award, St. Mary’s demonstrated sustained achievement in the Chest Pain  ̶   MI Registry two consecutive years (2018 and 2019), and performed at the highest level for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

     “St. Mary’s is committed to the health and well-being of our community,” said Kelli Klaiber, BSN, RN, interim director, St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute. “We are pleased to receive this award that recognizes that commitment.”

     St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute was named a Center of Excellence by Mountain Health Network.

     “As a Platinum Performance Award recipient, St. Mary’s has established itself as a leader in setting the national standard for improving quality of care in patients with acute myocardial infarction,” said Michael C. Kontos, MD, FACC, chair of the NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Steering Subcommittee, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. “By meeting the award requirements set forth in the registry, St. Mary’s has demonstrated a commitment to providing reliable, comprehensive treatment for heart attack patients based on current clinical guideline recommendations.”

     The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

     Chest Pain  ̶  MI Registry empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.

     For more information about St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute, visit www.st-marys.org[1].

About the American College of Cardiology

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.


Campbell named Mountain Health Network CNO

Huntington, WV — Regina Campbell, RN, MSN, has been named the System Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). Campbell has served as the interim CNO since August 2019.

In her role, Campbell serves as the system champion for safe and high-quality nursing care and leads the development of the vision and strategy for nursing care across MHN. Campbell is also the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH).

“Having a nursing voice on our leadership team is extremely important and Regina has fulfilled that crucial role,” said Michael Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO, MHN. “Her leadership has been integral to the system during the pandemic and so I am pleased to announce her permanent position. I look forward to continuing to work with her on nursing strategies that align with our system mission and vision.”

A graduate of St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Campbell received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and her master’s degree from Bellarmine College in Louisville. She was previously the director of St. Mary’s Regional Heart Institute, overseeing its tremendous growth from 2010-2019. She also served in a number of other leadership roles at St. Mary’s, including director of provider relations, the director of St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center, the manager of ER/Trauma Services and the trauma nurse coordinator. She began her career at St. Mary’s as a surgical/trauma intensive care staff nurse.

In addition to her work at St. Mary’s, Campbell served as the director of surgical education and as a clinical instructor for the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. She also coached hospital emergency department teams across the country as a consultant with the global advisory firm, Studer Group, based in Pensacola, Fla.

“Working together with the nursing teams at both hospitals these past several months has been a tremendous experience,” Campbell said. “I look forward to continuing our efforts as we work together to honor our commitment to the health and well-being of our community.”


Mountain Health hospitals resume restricted visitation

Mountain Health hospitals resume restricted visitation

As part of its commitment to the health care of the community, as well as the safety of patients and employees, Mountain Health Network (MHN) is implementing new restricted visitation policies for both Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The policies are effective Monday, June 1.

“We want to ensure that our patients receive as much support as possible,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, Mountain Health Network. “We know that loved ones are an important part of their recovery and so we are resuming visitation with restrictions. We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and cooperation as we work together to optimize both the health and safety of our patients, visitors and caregivers.”

System-wide general visitation guidelines at both CHH and SMMC are:

 All visitors should arrive wearing a mask and continue to wear during their entire stay. Visitors must provide their own mask.

 Visitors will be screened at the entrance using a brief series of questions.

 All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer upon entry and departure from patient rooms and the facility.

 Visitors must be age 18 or older.

 Compassionate care considerations and exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

 Exceptions to visitation hours may be made for essential caregivers.

Adult Inpatient Visitation:

 Adult inpatients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility may designate one primary and one alternate visitor who may come into the building with the purpose of visiting the patient during their stay.

 Adult inpatients may have only one of these designated visitors in the building at a time during the visiting hours of 6 am-9 pm and during discharge instructions.

 The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria OR to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby. Once a visitor exits the building, they will not be allowed to return until the next day.

 No visitors for anyone in isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit & Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Visitation

 Pediatric, PICU and NICU patients who are admitted to Hoops Family Childrens Hospital (HFCH) will be allowed up to two essential caregivers (parents or guardians only) who may come into the building with the purpose of visiting the patient during their stay.

 Patients may have only one of these designated visitors in the building at a time.

 The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria OR to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby.

Labor & Delivery and Mother Baby Unit Visitation

 Labor & Delivery and post-partum patients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility may have one designated support person in labor, delivery, and for the duration of the mother’s hospital stay.

Emergency Department Visitation

 Emergency Department patients at a Mountain Health facility may have one person accompany them into the facility/room who must remain in the room with the patient during his/her ER visit.

 All other visitors must remain in vehicles.

Inpatient & Outpatient Surgeries and Procedures Visitation

 Adult patients having an outpatient procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one designated person accompany them to the facility.

 This designated person will be asked to wait in their vehicle during the procedure and will be contacted by the staff throughout the procedure with updates as well as discharge instructions once the procedure is finished.

 Visitors of adult inpatients taken to surgery will be asked to wait in the patient room during the procedure.

 Pediatric patients having a procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one parent/guardian accompany them into the facility and remain with patient until the procedure. During the procedure, this parent/guardian may wait in the lobby.

Physician Offices and Clinics Visitation

 Patients at physician offices and clinics may be asked to wait in their vehicles or outside the office until appointment. Contact your provider’s office/clinic for information prior to your appointment.

 Family members of adult patients will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary. If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany the patient.

 Pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian present during the appointment who remains in the exam room with them.

 Patients arriving to receive and discuss critical results with their provider may be accompanied by one visitor to their appointment.

Clergy Visitation

 Spiritual ministry for COVID-19 positive or isolated patients is through electronic communications only – not at bedside.

 Outside clergy intending to visit with a patient admitted to a Mountain Health facility should contact, and coordinate with, the respective facility’s pastoral/spiritual care department.

 Mountain Health pastoral care will provide education to visiting clergy on safe ministry and visitation practices.

The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at SMMC are closed to visitors. In addition, the cafeterias at both CHH and SMMC will only accept card payments. No cash will be accepted.

Clinical education rotations will also resume in phases beginning Monday, June 1. For more information on the guidelines for students and instructors, visit www.mountainhealthnetwork.org/coronavirus.


St. Mary’s Medical Center and HIMG Announce Planned Acquisition

HUNTINGTON, WV – St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), a member of Mountain Health Network (MHN), and Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) announce today that each of their Boards of Directors have approved SMMC’s acquisition of the assets of HIMG.

SMMC will file an application with the West Virginia Health Care Authority to review the transaction as part of the Certificate of Need process this week. Upon receiving the approval of the Authority, plans will be made to consummate the transaction by September.

“St. Mary’s and HIMG have a long-standing history of working together to serve the community,” stated Todd Campbell, president of SMMC. “We share a commitment of meeting the health needs of the residents of our region and are aligned in our missions to provide excellent patient experience, high-quality medical care and education.”

SMMC will maintain the HIMG name and HIMG physicians will continue to provide services at their current location on Route 60 in Huntington.

“For almost 50 years, HIMG has provided world-class medical services for the Tri-State,” stated Mark Morgan, chief executive officer, HIMG. “In January 2018, HIMG was a founding partner with Marshall Health and Cabell Huntington Hospital to launch the MHC Accountable Care Organization. Through this collaboration we have formed an innovative, highly coordinated, quality-driven approach in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). This partnership has demonstrated the value of working as a team to successfully coordinate and cooperate to benefit patient care.”

“Our founders helped to build the outstanding medical care that the Huntington area offers today,” stated Daniel Snavely, MD, chair of the HIMG board of directors. “Many of my physician partners and I have had the privilege of serving on the medical staffs at both St. Mary’s and Cabell Huntington Hospital. We have been an integral part of helping Huntington grow as a health care destination and look forward to formally joining St. Mary’s and Mountain Health to provide an even higher level of technology, access and quality medical services to the community.”

“We acknowledge that an acquisition during the COVID pandemic is unexpected,” stated Mike Mullins, president and CEO, Mountain Health Network. “While this is a difficult economic time, both boards recognize the acquisition is an important investment for our region’s future and are committed to bringing it to fruition. When complete, HIMG will join SMMC, CHH and Marshall Health as we build an information technology platform to better serve all patients. In addition, we will be better able to recruit talented physicians to our system and offer them the option of working in an academic setting, private practice setting or both. I have the utmost respect for the physicians and leadership of HIMG and look forward to working together.”


Mountain Health Network asks community to wear face masks in facilities and seeks cloth mask donations

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), are committed to the safety of its patients, staff and community.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. In order to properly protect staff and patients, MHN is asking anyone seeking care at one of the hospitals, or other MHN facility, to wear a cloth face covering.

“As we begin to re-open our services, it is extremely important to take all of the necessary precautions to protect our patients and staff,” said Michael L. Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO, MHN. “We truly appreciate the public’s help and cooperation by wearing cloth face coverings for everyone’s protection and to help us conserve our Personal Protective Equipment for our frontline workers.”

MHN staff will also be wearing cloth masks. In order to meet this need, MHN is also asking for the community’s help by donating cloth face coverings.

Instructions and patterns for sewing masks are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html. Donations of bandanas will also be accepted.

If you are willing to donate these items, please contact:

 Rita Barker at 304.526.1319 or rbarker@st-marys.org

 Ace Welker at 304.526.1439 or ace.welker@st-marys.org

 John Fife at 304.526.2032 or john.fife@chhi.org

Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted by the CHH and SMMC foundations.

CHH and SMMC are also continuing their no visitor policy to minimize the number of people in the hospitals. As such, family members are not permitted to accompany adult patients unless absolutely necessary. If an exception of an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient and the caregiver is asked to wait in their vehicle during treatment.

“The community’s support has been incredible during this pandemic and we are extremely grateful,” Mullins said. “We are truly in this together and so we thank everyone for their partnership in protecting patients, staff and community.”


Mountain Health Network urges public not to delay emergency care during pandemic

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), are urging the public not to delay emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MHN emergency departments have seen a decline in patients seeking emergency care for conditions such as chest pain or stroke symptoms. Officials say the decline may be due to concerns about COVID-19.

“We are seeing declines as much as 50% in our emergency rooms,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, MHN. “However, we know that emergencies do not stop during a pandemic and so we are concerned that people are not receiving the life-saving care that they need.”

Though part of the decline can be attributed to people staying at home and not being as mobile, other people may be avoiding seeking treatment because they have concerns about visiting a hospital where patients are being treated for COVID-19, Burdick said.

“We want the community to know that the Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s ERs in Huntington, as well as St. Mary’s ER in Ironton, are open and ready for patients,” Burdick said. “Our emergency departments are taking every precaution to help keep all of our patients safe.”

“We understand people are concerned about exposure to COVID-19 when coming to the ER. However, we are starting to see patients with chest pain, abdominal pain, and stroke symptoms wait too long to be evaluated,” said Larry Hutchison, MD, medical director, SMMC Huntington Emergency Department. “Many of these symptoms represent problems where every minute counts. We have your safety in mind and have confidence that our system will keep you safe while being evaluated in the emergency department.”

Patients can expect to be screened before entering the hospital. If patients answer “yes” to any of the following questions, additional measures are taken.

1. Do you have any of the following?

 Fever

 Productive New Cough

 New shortness of breath

 New body aches

 New sore throat

2. Do you have a pending COVID-19 test?

 If they have no symptoms and had the COVID-19 screening for an upcoming surgery, then they may continue

3. Have you had close contact with:

 A known COVID-19 patient?

 A person in quarantine or awaiting COVID-19 results?

4. Have you had any travel internationally, to New York, or cruise within the last 14 days?

Additional precautions the ERs are taking include:

 Placing patients suspected of COVID-19 in separate waiting areas and treatment areas.

 Vigorously cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

 Requiring all staff members to wear masks at all times.

 Working with area EMS to sanitize ambulances and provide masks and other PPE.

 Enhancing patient safety and patient flow processes.

“Our main goal is to provide emergency care to everyone who needs it in the safest manner possible, so we ask patients to please not delay coming to the emergency room if you have a true medical emergency,” said Beth Toppins, MD, medical director, CHH Emergency Department. “We want to be able to intervene in a timelier manner to achieve the best outcome instead of the patient delaying care until it’s too late.”

“Anything that was an emergency before the COVID-19 pandemic still is,” said James Wagenaar, DO, medical director, SMMC Ironton Emergency Department. “If you have chest pain, stroke symptoms, anything dangerous or anything that affects your quality of life, you need to come in. COVID-19 is serious and not to be taken lightly, but it is much less dangerous than a heart attack or stroke.”

CHH and SMMC are also continuing their no visitor policy to minimize the number of people in the hospitals. As such, family members are not permitted to accompany adult patients unless absolutely necessary. If an exception of an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient and the caregiver is asked to wait in their vehicle during treatment.

“Both hospital emergency departments are well-staffed and running smoothly,” Burdick said. “Our ERs are open and ready to serve all the health needs of our community.”

Emergency Symptoms

People who are having any of the following symptoms should seek emergency care by going to the ER or calling 911:

 Dizziness or weakness that does not go away

 Inhaled smoke or poisonous fumes

 Sudden confusion

 Heavy bleeding

 Possible broken bone with loss of movement, especially if the bone is pushing through the skin

 Deep wound

 Serious burn

 Coughing or throwing up blood

 Severe pain anywhere in the body

 Severe allergic reaction with trouble breathing, swelling, hives

 High fever with headache and stiff neck

 High fever that doesn’t get better with medicine

 Throwing up or loose stools that don’t stop

 Poisoning or overdose of drug or alcohol

 Suicidal thoughts

 Seizures

Call 911 to have the emergency team take you to the ER right away for:

 Choking

 Stopped breathing

 Head injury with passing out, fainting or confusion

 Injury to neck or spine, especially if there is loss of feeling or inability to move

 Electric shock or lightning strike

 Severe burn

 Seizure that lasted 3-5 minutes

 Trouble breathing

 Passing out, fainting

 Severe chest pain or pressure

 Pain in the arm or jaw

 Unusual or bad headache, especially if it started suddenly

 Suddenly not able to speak, see, walk or move

 Suddenly weak or drooping on one side of the body


Mountain Health Network thanks elected officials for assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), would like to thank our local, state and federal elected officials for their assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have and continue to work daily with our local, state and federal leaders on many fronts during this unprecedented health event,” said Michael L. Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO, MHN. “Whether helping us secure personal protective equipment, working to change policies to improve our community’s access to health care, or assisting with funding needs, our delegation at the local, state and federal levels has truly demonstrated that when a serious problem confronts our state and community there is a solution through working together. As we move into the next phase of fighting this unprecedented virus attacking our state and nation, it is only fitting that we thank those leaders who have expended dedicated efforts in support of the health and safety of our community.”

MHN thanks all those dedicated leaders who answer the call to serve our community and its public health, safety and welfare:

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin

U.S. Rep. Carol Miller

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson

Gov. Jim Justice

Senate President Mitch Carmichael

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw

Sen. Robert Plymale

Sen. Mike Woefel

Del. Sean Hornbuckle

Del. Daniel Linville

Del. Chad Lovejoy

Del. John Mandt Jr.

Del. Dr. Matt Rohrbach

Del. Evan Worrell

Cabell Co. Commissioner Nancy Cartmill

Cabell Co. Commissioner Jim Morgan

Cabell Co. Commissioner Kelli Sobonya

Lawrence Co. Commissioner Dr. Colton Copley

Lawrence Co. Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr.

Lawrence Co. Commissioner DeAnna Holliday

City of Huntington Mayor Steve Williams

City of Milton Mayor Tom Canterbury

Village of Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum

“This pandemic has united our community in so many ways,” Mullins said. “We truly appreciate everyone working together with us to protect the health and safety of our staff and patients.”


Mountain Health Network assures community that hospitals are safe during pandemic

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), want to assure the public it’s safe to seek treatment at its hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want the community to know that Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center, as well as St. Mary’s ER in Ironton, are open and safe for patients,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, MHN. “No matter which site you choose, you will find experienced physicians and dedicated staff whose primary focus is to meet your needs and assure your safety.”

There are designated areas within each facility for screening, early detection and appropriate isolation of patients presenting with symptoms related to COVID-19. Staff members are also following CDC guidelines for infection prevention for all patients including handwashing, appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and rigorous environmental cleaning.

The “West Virginia Stay at Home” order was not meant to discourage or delay the evaluation or care for persons with symptoms that could be due to serious medical or surgical conditions. The MHN Transport Center has strong connections with local EMS providers and 911 responders to quickly provide the care that you need.

“Patients who do not have COVID-19 or a COVID-related issue will continue to receive excellent care in areas that are separated from those dedicated to COVID-19 patients,” Burdick said. “Our environmental services teams are working around the clock to keep all areas of the hospitals disinfected.”

Also, the hospitals are continuing their no visitor policy to minimize the number of people in the hospitals. As such, family members are not permitted to accompany patients unless absolutely necessary. If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient and the caregiver may be asked to wait in their vehicle during treatment.

One essential caregiver is permitted in pediatrics, labor and delivery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the Neonatal Therapeutic Unit (NTU) for the duration of the patient’s stay.

“At Mountain Health Network, we are here to provide advanced medicine and compassionate care, whether it’s for your everyday healthcare needs or in response to a novel coronavirus.” Burdick said. “We are here and ready to safely serve all the health needs of our community.”


Mountain Health Network plan to resume urgent elective medical procedures approved by state health officials

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), has been approved to resume urgent elective medical procedures. Both hospitals submitted their resumption plans to the West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) in accordance with W.Va. Gov. Justice’s Executive Order No. 28-20 and received notification of approval Thursday, April 23.

“We are pleased to receive approval from our state leadership so quickly. We truly appreciate their trust in our plans and I know our team will live up to that trust,” said Michael L. Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO, MHN. “This approval is an important first step, but it does not mean we are completely back to normal business. It will take time to resume standard operations as we proceed with our reopening plans gradually and cautiously to ensure safety for patients and staff.”

All elective medical procedures were prohibited March 31, under Gov. Justice’s Executive Order No. 16-20, but implementation of successful public health measures have resulted in revised projections of rates of infection, demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment and supplies, and hospital utilization.

“Our community has done an excellent job following the guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Mullins said. “These revised projections have paved the way for us to begin resuming more time sensitive medical procedures in thoughtful phases that will ensure our commitment to protect the health and well-being of our patients and staff.”

Both hospital plans satisfied all criteria for approval by OHFLC. To meet those criteria, the plan had to:

 Safely phase in surgeries based on guidelines by the American College of Surgeons (ACS)

 Prioritize scheduling of cases based on needs and urgency

 Provide adjustments in response to any change in public health or surge in COVID-19 cases

 Assure necessary PPE inventory and supply chain support

 Also align with guidelines from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)

In coordination with the Governor’s office and OHFLAC, CHH and SMMC can implement their plans Tuesday, April 28, and cautiously proceed with returning procedures over the month of May. “We will continue to move in lockstep with the Governor’s support and guidance,” stated Mullins. :An interdisciplinary prioritization policy committee has been established to develop a strategy appropriate to meeting immediate patient needs.”

“Our Mountain Health team continues to do an excellent job during this unprecedented health event. We have stepped up our in-house testing and we have successfully managed our PPE and supplies. And, our data collection and management is extremely comprehensive,” Mullins said. “We look forward to once again providing these important health services to our patients. This pandemic has also had a major impact on all of us and so we are anxious to take these next steps. We are also eager to welcome back our employees who have been furloughed or have had their hours reduced due to low census during this pandemic.”


Mountain Health Network Seeking Community’s Help with Cloth Mask Donations

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), are committed to the safety of its employees, patients and the community.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. In order to properly protect our staff and patients, MHN is asking for the community’s assistance through the donation of cloth masks.

Instructions and patterns for sewing the masks are available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

If you are willing to donate these items, please contact:

Rita Barker at 304.526.1319 or rbarker@st-marys.org

Ace Welker at 304.526.1439 or ace.welker@st-marys.org

John Fife at 304.526.2032 or john.fife@chhi.org

Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted by the CHH and SMMC foundations.

“We are truly grateful for the community and their support throughout this unprecedented health event,” said Mike Mullins, president and CEO, MHN. “We thank everyone who has already donated for their partnership in keeping our commitment to the health and safety of our community and our staff.”


Mountain Health Network seeking community’s help with personal protective equipment needs

Huntington, WV— Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), are committed to the safety of its employees, patients and the community.

Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital to that commitment, but as this unprecedented pandemic event continues, the need for PPE and other supplies continues to grow. MHN is now asking for the community’s assistance to help keep its healthcare workers safe.

Both CHH and SMMC are currently in need of:

N95 masks
Face shields
Goggles
Controlled Air Purifying Respirator (CAPR) hoods
Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) hoods
Alcohol and PDI® disinfecting wipes for cleaning of equipment

If you are willing to donate any of these items, please contact:

Rita Barker at 304.526.1319 or rbarker@st-marys.org
Ace Welker at 304.526.1439 or ace.welker@st-marys.org
John Fife at 304.526.2032 or john.fife@chhi.org

Donations are tax deductible and will be receipted by the CHH and SMMC foundations.

“We have been humbled by the community’s response thus far and we thank everyone who has already donated items,” said Mike Mullins, president and CEO, MHN. “We are committed to the health and safety of our community and our staff. We thank everyone for their partnership and support in keeping that commitment.”


Mountain Health hospitals to implement a no visitor policy in response to COVID-19

To continue to prioritize the safety of patients, employees and the community, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) are implementing a no visitor policy effective at noon, Saturday, March 21, until further notice.
 
“After considering what was best for the safety of our patients and employees, we made this difficult decision,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, Mountain Health Network. “The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing and we must adapt our policies to change with it. We truly appreciate the community’s understanding and cooperation.”
 
For both CHH and SMMC, the following policies are in place until further notice:
 
 No one will be permitted to be with a patient with few exceptions. One essential caregiver will be permitted in pediatrics, labor and delivery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the Neonatal Therapeutic Unit (NTU) for the duration of the patient’s stay.  Exceptions, will considered for circumstances such as end of life care  No visitors for anyone in isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
 
For all CHH and SMMC outpatient clinics, urgent cares and emergency rooms:
 
 Family members will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary. If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient.
 
Authorized visitors will be identified with a badge provided to them at the entrance screening checkpoints. Additional visitors will not be permitted in the lobby areas.


Mountain Health hospitals deferring elective operative procedures in response to COVID-19

To continue to prioritize the safety of patients, employees and the community, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) are deferring all elective operative procedures after Friday, March 20, 2020, in response to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
 
The decision, which was unanimously recommended by the combined Medical Executive Committees of CHH and SMMC, was made based upon the guidance from national, state and local public health officials in order to preserve resources and reduce potential exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19. 
 
Both CHH and SMMC will continue to provide emergency surgeries and surgeries for patients whose operative condition represents a threat to their lives or a threat of permanent dysfunction.
 
The areas where elective operative procedures will be suspended include, but are not limited to:   Main operating room  Ambulatory surgery center  Endoscopy sites  Cardiac catheterization/vascular labs  Electrophysiology lab  Interventional radiology  Pain management procedural rooms
 
Minor office procedures are not specifically prohibited, but if the procedure and the office visit are truly elective, they should be rescheduled. Patients will be contacted regarding their specific elective procedures and surgeries. Patients with questions should contact their physician.
 
Each hospital’s medical staff has established a physician-led team for review of all operative cases to determine if they fall under the criteria for non-elective surgery. The review teams will include perioperative leadership, anesthesia, and chiefs of section or specialty surgeons as needed. These restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks with a goal of returning to normal operations as soon as conditions allow.
 
As always, the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection is to avoid becoming exposed to the virus:
 
 Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used.   Anyone who is sick should stay home.  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
 
Both CHH and SMMC have implemented procedures to identify and care for patients in the safest manner possible to protect patients, visitors, and employees. MHN is working together with local, state and national public health officials, the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and first responders to coordinate efforts and to assure an organized response to the community’s healthcare needs. 
 


Mountain teleHEALTH offers patients convenient online, virtual, non-urgent healthcare visits

HUNTINGTON – Mountain Health Network (MHN) is pleased to announce the launch of Mountain teleHEALTH™, an online platform for virtual healthcare visits.

“We recognized the need for quick, convenient and reliable, non-urgent office visits,” said Michael Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO of MHN. “This option is an extension of the excellent care provided at all of our clinics and urgent care facilities and is available 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.”

Mountain teleHEALTH virtual visit service allows users to tap an app on a smartphone, tablet or computer to connect, within minutes, with a medical provider. Health care professionals evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. Patients participate in a video chat, similar to Facetime or Skype, to talk to a health care provider about their symptoms.

On Mountain teleHEALTH, pediatric (ages 2 and up) and adult patients can meet with a doctor to receive treatment for non-life-threatening illnesses such as:

Allergies
Flu
Ear infection
Rash
Abdominal pain
Sinusitis
Pinkeye
Upper respiratory issues
Migraines
Minor burns and lacerations

Clinical services are provided by Online Care Group – the nation’s first and largest primary care group devoted to telehealth and some local providers. Doctors on Mountain teleHEALTH:

Have an average of 15-years of experience in primary and urgent care
Are US board certified, licensed and credentialed
Have profiles, so you can see their education and practice experience
Are rated by other patients, so you can review and select the doctor that meets your needs

“This convenient service offers an alternative for obtaining treatment for those simple conditions with just a click of the app or a browser,” said Stephen Wilcox, MD, family medicine physician and director of Telemedicine at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “It only takes a few minutes to talk to a licensed health care provider and get a prescription sent to the pharmacy of your choice.”

Mountain teleHEALTH visits are convenient when physician offices are closed, if a patient is too sick to drive or for people who have children at home and don’t want to take them to a physician visit. Mountain teleHEALTH is convenient when you’re on the road for vacation or work and is supported in all 50 United States.

The Mountain teleHEALTH app is available for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded for free from www.mountaintelehealth.com  or Apple App or Google Play stores. Simply download the app, fill out the contact information form, set up a username and password and select a physician to begin evaluation.

It is free to enroll and the cost per visit varies depending on insurance. For more information about Mountain teleHEALTH, please call 304.526.2074 or visit https://mountainhealthnetwork.org/centers-of-care/emergency-services/mountain-telehealth/.


Mountain Health hospitals extend restricted visitation policies to include Emergency Department and outpatient clinics in response to COVID-19

To continue to prioritize the safety of patients, employees and the community, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) recently modified their visitation policies for hospitalized patients to discourage unnecessary visitation. Those policies are now expanding to include additional restrictions for outpatient clinics and emergency rooms.

“As this situation progresses, we will continue to evaluate our policies and make modifications that are in the best interest of our patients, employees and visitors,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, Mountain Health Network. “We truly appreciate the community’s understanding and cooperation.”

For all CHH and SMMC emergency rooms, urgent cares and clinic locations, the following policies are in place until further notice:

Patients are encouraged to come to their visits alone. However, if necessary, visitors will be limited to one per patient in the clinic or facility at a time.
No more than one person may accompany a child to an appointment.
Exceptions to these restrictions may be granted based upon special circumstances and/or with advance approval.

The recently modified visitation policies for hospitalized patients also remain in effect until further notice:

Visitors will be limited to one per patient in the hospital at a time.
Minimal visitation is encouraged. People who are not feeling well should not visit patients at this time and should reschedule their visit when they are no longer sick.
All visitors are required to obtain a visitor’s badge before entering patient areas.
Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit the hospital.
Exceptions to these restrictions may be granted based upon special circumstances and/or with advance approval.

The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at SMMC are closed to visitors. Visitation policies within other care environments may also differ and are subject to additional modifications. Visitors with questions regarding a specific unit’s visitation restrictions, or other concerns, should ask to speak with the clinical manager of that unit.

In addition:

Valet services at both CHH and SMMC have been suspended until further notice.
Volunteer Services at both hospitals have been suspended until further notice.
Clinical rotations for healthcare professions students have been suspended at all CHH and SMMC facilities until further notice.

Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call the West Virginia Public Health Hotline at 1-800-887-4304 for directions. If symptoms are severe and emergency care is recommended, patients should provide advance notice to EMS or call ahead to the hospital emergency department prior to arrival.


Mountain Health hospitals implement restricted visitation policies in response to COVID-19

As part of its commitment to the health care of the community, as well as the safety of patients and employees, Mountain Health Network (MHN) has implemented restricted visitation policies for both Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The policies became effective Friday, March 13, 2020.

“The health and well-being of our community are our top priorities,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, Mountain Health Network. “We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and cooperation as we work together to optimize both the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and caregivers.”

For both CHH and SMMC, the visitation policies, until further notice, are:

Visitors will be limited to one per patient in the hospital at a time.
Minimal visitation is encouraged. People who are not feeling well should not visit patients at this time and should instead reschedule their visit until they are no longer sick.
All visitors are required to obtain a visitor’s badge before entering patient areas.
Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit the hospital.
Exceptions to these restrictions will be made on a case-by-case basis based on special circumstances and/or prior approval of designated leadership.

The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at SMMC are closed to visitors. Visitation policies within other care environments may also differ and are subject to additional modifications. Visitors with questions regarding a specific unit’s visitation restrictions, or other concerns, should ask to speak with the clinical manager of that unit.

Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call the West Virginia Public Health Hotline at 1-800-887-4304 for directions. If symptoms are severe and emergency care is recommended, patients should provide advance notice to EMS or call ahead to the hospital emergency department prior to arrival.

As always, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid becoming exposed to the virus:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used.
Anyone who is sick should stay home.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Both CHH and SMMC have implemented procedures to identify and care for patients in the safest manner possible to protect patients, visitors, and employees. MHN is working together with local, state and national public health officials, the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and first responders to coordinate efforts and to assure an organized response to the community’s healthcare needs.

References

  1. ^ www.st-marys.org (www.st-marys.org)

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