Michael O’Keefe retiring from Evangelical Community Hospital

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  LEWISBURG – The President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital is stepping down.  Michael O’Keefe has announced that he will retire at the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30.  O’Keefe has held the position since 2004, and before that was Executive Vice President/COO and Vice President of Operations. Roger Haddon Jr. is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Evan, “Mike O’Keefe has been part of a leadership team that has lead Evangelical Community Hospital through its most significant period of growth in the hospital’s 88 year history.  He has overseen significant expansion in the services we provide, all the while keeping the hospital focused on providing exceptional healthcare in…

Evan Hospice hosting 27th Lights of Love

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LEWISBURG- The 27th Annual Evangelical Hospice Lights of Love ceremony will be held this Sunday. Lights of Love is a fundraiser for Hospice throughout the month of December. President of Evangelical Auxiliary Sharon Pierce says the tree lighting ceremony is the biggest event of the fundraiser. Pierce says, “The lighting ceremony is actually the vocal point of the event. We have speakers to talk about some of their personal experiences with Hospice, and then we also go out and officially light the tree.” Evangelical Hospice provides care for people who are at the end of life. Director of Evangelical Hospice Kay Holdren says that Lights of Love is an opportunity to honor and remember loved…

Breast health center takes team approach

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LEWISBURG — “Team,” “group” and “family” are words you hear often when asking staff of the Thyra M. Humphreys Center to describe their approach at treating breast cancer. Andrea Bertram is director of the breast health center at Evangelical Community Hospital. She says while they’ve made many advances in technology, they pride themselves on care beyond medicine.   “Every newly diagnosed case of breast cancer is presented weekly to a team of pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, nursing staff, primary care.” Bertram said. “Basically anybody who is going to see or be with that patient looks at their pathology, looks at their imaging, hears from the surgeon, and has a chance to participate and share ideas.”…

Navigators play key role in breast cancer treatment

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LEWISBURG – Women who are being treated for breast cancer meet many doctors and nurses along the way, but it is often the nurse navigator who they spend the most time with during their treatment.  Billie Jo Day is an oncology nurse navigator and breast health specialist at Evangelical Community Hospital, who says she guides and supports patients.   Day explained, “If there is any kind of barriers to care, whether it be transportation issues, financial issues, whatever things may creep up that would potentially cause a patient to miss appointments or not follow up with something, then I’m there to help them.  I can guide them along the way and seek alternative ways to…

More than $19,000 raised at Cookin Men

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  SELINSGROVE — Cookin Men was a great success, with $19,500 raised for the Thyra M. Humphrey’s Center for Breast Health at Evangelical Community Hospital. The event brings together local celebrity men who create culinary delights for people to sample.   Evangelical Community Hospital says the event was a record breaker, with nearly 350 attendees coming out to taste 21 different creations by 24 male chefs. This year, people could vote for their Fan Favorite Chef by making donations supporting them prior to the event. Eric John of Ritz-Craft Corporation garnered the most donations, crowning him Fan Favorite.   Cookin Men is one of the events taking place during Paint the Valley Pink, a month…

New technology for breast cancer detection

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LEWISBURG – Reading a mammogram is not as simple as black or white. There is advanced new technology for breast cancer detection at the Thyra M. Humphrey’s Center for Breast Health at Evangelical Community Hospital.  Dr. Kenneth Jusko, Medical Director of Imaging Services, says one common thing women may have is something called dense breasts.   Jusko said, “Breasts can have two types of breast tissue.  One type of breast tissue is fatty tissue.  The other is dense tissue.  The fatty tissue is grey on a mammogram, where the dense tissue is white.”   Jusko explains why white can be a problem for them, “A mass on mammography is also white.  So if you have dense…

Evangelical hosting 4th year for Cookin Men

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LEWISBURG – Lots of men love to cook and an upcoming event will showcase their talents.  For the fourth year in a row, Evangelical Community Hospital will be hosting Cookin Men at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.  At the event on October 9, people who buy a ticket can stroll around and visit 20 male chefs, who are preparing appetizers, entrees and desserts to enjoy.   Heather Snyder of Evangelical Community Hospital helps organize the annual event, “It’s an event that we ask local men in the community to cook for a cause.  We really look towards men for this event because we want to showcase that breast cancer doesn’t just affect women in the…

Doctor: Enterovirus comparable to the flu

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LEWISBURG — A respiratory virus that is usually not found in the United States has now spread to Pennsylvania. While it has struck fear in many state residents, Evangelical Community Hospital’s Pediatrician Faiz Rahman says Enterovirus is comparable to the flu.   “The strain that everybody is kind of scared of is the Enterovirus D68,” Rahman said. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think it is worse than the flu. It is one of those things, where most of the time it causes symptoms similar to the common cold, but some of the strains could cause you severe respiratory illness.”   Doctor Rahman says it can affect anyone, but it tends to be worse…

Evangelical’s hospice program is turning 25

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LEWISBURG- Evangelical Hospice will be observing their 25th anniversary Thursday.  The flagship program provides care for patients when a cure is no longer possible.   Lorna Ranck, a nurse at the Hospice program for 20 years, says they help to make the rest of a patient’s life enjoyable. “We help people then figure out how they choose to live through that process.  It really is a remarkable journey when we can walk with a patient and the family through that process and help make them make the best of the time they have and make every moment count.”   Kay Holdren has been the director of Evan’s Hospice for 24 years and says that the volunteers…

Patient status sometimes a ‘tough call’

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LEWISBURG — Have you been to the ER lately? Were you there for observation or were you admitted? — Turns out it makes a big difference.   Deb Runkle, Director of Care Management at Evangelical Community Hospital was a guest on WKOK Sunrise Thursday. She says copays and deductibles are very different for an outpatient and an inpatient, and sometimes it is tough to figure out which it is.   “A patient who is in the hospital for observation would be someone who came in and the physician evaluated them and decided that they needed further studies and testing to see what was going on — but they really did not meet the criteria to…