FHC wins Quality Improvement Award

Roane County Family Health Care (RCFHC) is pleased to announce that they are the recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) award for Quality Improvement.

Family Health Care received an award for placing in the upper 30% of all health care centers nationwide and was one of two chosen as a National Quality Leader in the State of West Virginia. The Center was one of 57 such centers nationally to receive recognition for chronic disease management, preventative care and prenatal care demonstrating the critical role that health centers play in promoting higher quality health care nationwide.

The Center was also one of 1.058 health centers who received funding by demonstrating at least a ten percent improvement in clinical quality measures between 2012 and 2013, showing a significant improvement in the patients served.

The Board of Directors and CEO of Roane County Family Health Care wishes to publicly announce the award and commend its staff for their hard work and dedication to our community and continued patient care.

Margie Starcher Memorial

Memorial Plaque Presentation

Memorial Plaque Presentation

A Memorial plaque dedication ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at Roane County Family Health Care, Inc. for Margie Starcher. Margie was a member of the Board of Directors from 2005 – 2014.

She served as board chairman, Finance Committee chairman and various other positions during her time on the board. Margie was a huge advocate for the Center, Employees and especially its patients. She always strived to bring the best to everyone around her.

Family Health Care is very honored and proud to have the pleasure of her presence as a member of the Family Health Care Board and family. Plaque presentation on behalf of the staff and Board of Directors by Vice-Chairman Josh Downey to Margie’s family; Kenny & Melba Starcher and Will Starcher. Special thanks to Chad Koon at Specialty Graphics for the beautiful plaque.

Health Insurance Marketplace

8 Million people signed up for the health insurance under The Affordable Care Act in 2013-2014. Have you?

The next chance to buy insurance is the Health Insurance Marketplace is November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015. You might be able to buy insurance now if you have a Qualifying Life Event. There is no enrollment deadline for Medicaid & CHIP. You can apply anytime.

If you already have a plan with the Marketplace, you must update to avoid losing your coverage or your monthly premium tax credit. Call us or stop by the office to update information and keep your current coverage.

If you have questions about the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid/CHIP our Enrollment Specialists are here to help. You can contact Cathy Nichols at 304-927-8185 or Amy Landis at 304-927-8190.

View the flyer!

ACA Special Enrollment

Enrollment for West Virginia’s insurance marketplace opens back up on November 15, but certain **life events** may qualify you to enroll before that. Get the facts:


ACA Special Enrollment Infographic

ACA Special Enrollment Infographic

West Virginia Immunization Network Recognizes Excellence

Accepting the 2014 Immunization Award

Pictured from left to right: Emma White, Melony Lambert and WIN Co-Chair Crystal Sheaves

Charleston, WV – The West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN) announced its 2014 Immunization Awards winners at the Ninth Annual WIN Awards Dinner held January 28th at WV Culture Center in Charleston. Awardees included Roane County Family Health Care of Spencer, WV; Cardinal Pediatrics of Morgantown; Dr. Sam Skaff of Skaff Pediatric Group in Charleston; Keeli Morehead of the Monongalia County Health Department; Betsy Elswick of the WVU School of Pharmacy; and Kathleen Napier of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

Roane County Family Health Care won the Immunization Initiative award for improving immunization rates of children in their community.

The West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN) is a statewide coalition that works to create an environment in which all West Virginian’s from the newly born to adolescents to seniors will be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases in order to improve the quality of life. The Center for Rural Health Development serves as the lead agency for WIN.

SLEEP HYGIENE: Helpful Hints to Help You Sleep

Sleep is very important factor in mental and physical health. During deep sleep which is restorative sleep, is when the body makes cells to grow, replaces dying cells, and replaces cortisol which is released during stressful situations. Consequences of improper sleep are: fatigue, trouble concentrating, depression, impaired affective control (anger, irritability, crying spells, etc).

Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. Do not be one of those people who allow bedtime and awakening time to drift. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are tired or not working, going to bed and awakening at the same time is an essential component of good sleeping habits.

Upon wakening get a dose of sunlight outside, even a cloudy day provides enough sunlight to get you awake.

Avoid napping during the day. If you nap throughout the day, it is no wonder that you will not be able to sleep at night. The late afternoon for most people is a “sleepy time.” Many people will take a nap at that time. This is not a good thing to do, but if you do, limit the nap to 30-45 minutes. Naps usually make you feel worse because you do not get to a deep sleep.

Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.

Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate, so be careful.

Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. These can affect your ability to stay asleep.

Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 3 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep. To be beneficial exercise must be aerobic, minimum of 3 times a week and a minimum of 30 minutes. The 30 minutes do not have to be consecutive, it can be broken up into 15 minute intervals.

Your Sleeping Environment

Meditate, pray or use candle concentration to clear your mind.

Use comfortable bedding. Uncomfortable bedding can prevent good sleep. Evaluate whether or not this is a source of your problem, and make appropriate changes.

Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom IS the most conducive to sleep.

Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.

Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body “know” that the bed is associated with sleeping.

Getting Ready For Bed

Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep. Also, baked potato, cookies, bread, pasta, oatmeal, pretzels, and dry cereal.

Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Things such as yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, stretching, and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.

Don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Some people find it useful to assign a “worry period” during the evening or late afternoon to deal with these issues. If your mind is still racing once in bed, get up and write out thoughts, then return to bed.

Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep. Keep your evening boring and quiet.

Get into your favorite sleeping position. If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until sleepy.

Getting Up in the Middle of the Night

Most people wake up one or two times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of night and cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed “trying hard” to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later. Do not perform challenging or engaging activity such as office work, housework, etc. Do not watch television.

Try keeping your eyes open instead of trying to sleep.

A Word about Television

Many people fall asleep with the television on in their room. Watching television before bedtime is often a bad idea. Television is a very engaging medium that tends to keep people up. We generally recommend that the television not be in the bedroom. At the appropriate bedtime, the TV should be turned off and the patient should go to bed. Some people find that the radio helps them to sleep. Since radio is a less engaging medium than TV, this may help for some. The same is true for the computer as it is for television, it is too stimulating.

Sleep Deprivation

If none of the above works, go to bed the same time as always, but get up after 4 hours of sleep and stay awake until the next night, at least until 9:00PM.

Sleep Aides

Over the counter sleeping aides are effective putting you to sleep, but interfere with deep/restorative sleep. Many are addictive. Restoril, Halcyon and Dalmane should be avoided. Sonata, Ambien, Lunesta have minimal impact on deep sleep. Benadryl can impact memory.

Submitted by Susan Greathouse

Licensed Social Worker

Stress Management

Stress is the mental and physical condition that occurs when we adjust or adapt to the environment.

There are two kinds of stress: distress and eustress. Eustress is the kind that supports your life force and energy, helps you feel alive and productive. Activities that provoke the “good stress” are usually challenging, rewarding and energizing, ie sports, a new job, travel, dating, etc. Distress is what we usually call stress that results in deterioration of your system.

Our body reacts physically to stress. We experience a rapid surge in our heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, muscle tension and other physical response. Short term this does not damage our bodies, but long term it does. First symptoms of stress can include headache, fever, fatigue, sore muscles, loss of appetite, upset stomach, shortness of breath, and lack of energy. Long term our body resources are drained and symptoms can include emotional signs such as: anxiety, apathy, irritability, mental fatigue, depression. Behavioral signs include: avoidance of responsibilities and relationships, extreme or self destructive behavior, self-neglect, and poor judgment. Physical signs include: excessive worry about illness, frequent illness, exhaustion, overuse of medicines, physical ailments and complaints.

Managing stress:

Deep breathing is essential because when we are under stress we breathe shallow. We should do this several times everyday.

Mediate, Pray: Just ten to twenty minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief. Listen to music, be thankful, think of pleasant things, or think of nothing. Give God your worries. Find the silver lining. Be glad it’s not worse.

Visualize. Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful situation more successfully. Rehearsal boosts self confidence that reduces stress.

Do yoga, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, stretching.

Eat a healthy diet: we should eat lots of vegetables, nuts and fruits, whole grains, fish. The closer a food is to its natural state the healthier it is. Drink water, cut out as much soda as possible. Avoid alcohol. Lose weight if necessary: watch your portions, keep a food journal, do not go on fad diets, make life long changes in your eating habits.

Sleep: go to bed and arise at the same time each day. Get your healthy amount of sleep each night, 6 to 8 hours is average.

Rest and Stretch regularly throughout the day.
Exercise: You need a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week. The 30 minutes do not have to be consecutive. In addition, include weight training for best overall health.

Get out what is bothering you by talking to someone you can trust or get yourself a therapist. Exercise it out, cry it out, scream it out, pray it out, or write it out. Just get it out otherwise it will eventually explode. Journal, Draw, Dance, Walk, etc.

Learn and practice the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Come up with a plan to deal with the situations you can control that cause stress, let go of the situations you can’t.

Be in the here and now. Let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. Be in the moment and enjoy it. Take one day at a time. Take time to be quiet daily. Stop your inner critic from making yourself feel guilty, depressed, etc. Stop telling yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” do certain things. Ask yourself who said you should, where is it written, is it reasonable?

Balance your work and play. Stop being a perfectionist and expecting too much of yourself. Be realistic. Recognize and accept your limits. Slow down. Organize yourself; have a place for everything. Don’t procrastinate. Budget your time. Simplify. Say no. Live within your budget. Give up the idea “More is Better”. Reward yourself (hot baths, a healthy snack, etc). Develop a routine and schedule in your life. Be prepared. Prepare the night before for morning. Write it down. Make duplicate keys. Unclutter your life. Take a break: from kids, work, caretaking, any stress inducing situation.

Let go of who is right. Learn the lessons from our mistakes. You only control yourself, no one else. Let it go. You are not in charge; you cannot force people to do what you want them to do. Take responsibility for yourself. Develop a forgiving attitude. Be kind to unkind people. Be flexible. Quit arguing, it increases stress. Don’t be so critical of others. Is it more important to be right or to be happy? Choose being kind over being right.

Develop a support system of friends, family and co-workers. Surround yourself with supportive, happy people. Set boundaries with those who are not.

Connect with nature. Walk, hike, camp, sit outside, etc…Turn off the news. Give a hug. Listen to music. Connect with your purpose.

Laugh, smile: better than a massage. Watch funny movies, funny TV, etc. Tell jokes. When stressed think how your favorite comedian would handle the situation. Be playful. Share cartoons and jokes, look at life’s contradictions and laugh. Laugh at yourself.

Find a hobby, learn something new. Join a club, team, etc… Connect with your higher power. Pray. Be grateful.

Good Karma – The Dalia Lama

Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk.

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Follow the three R’s:

  • Respect for Self
  • Respect for Others
  • Responsibility for all your actions.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take the steps to correct it.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your life.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Submitted by Susan Greathouse

Licensed Social Worker

RCFHC Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care

RCFHC Receives Recognition from the PCMH Program

Emma White RN, Health Care Quality Improvement Coordinator WVU-Office of Health Services Research, Dr. Sireesha Vemuri-Vijaya, Medical Director, Kip Smith, CEO and Nancy Baaske RN, Director of Nurses.

Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 standards emphasize enhanced care through patient-clinician partnership.

WASHINTON, DC- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced that Roane County Family Health Care of Spencer, WV has received Recognition from the Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care. The PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is tended to by clinician-led teams, who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and partnerships between clinicians and patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. PCMH Recognition shows that Roane County Family Health Care has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, Roane County Family Health Care demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home. The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

Roane County Family Health Care met key program components in the following areas:

  • Written standards for patient access and continuity of care
  • Use of patient feedback materials
  • Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
  • Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care for individual patients and for the entire patient population
  • Adaptation to patient’s cultural and linguistic needs
  • Use of information technology for prescriptions, test and referral tracking and coordination with other health care providers.
  • Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
  • Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance

Congratulations to our staff for all your hard work and dedication to our patients, community and Family Health Care family.

Wanting to plan a family…

The West Virginia Family Planning Program is here to help. The Women’s Health Clinic at Roane County Family Health Care can help you have control when pregnancy happens, which means having children when you are ready. Until you are ready, our Family Planning Program can help you make wise choices. Our clinic provides several methods of contraception (birth control), medical exams, pregnancy testing, abstinence information, health education/counseling and basic pre-conceptual counseling for couples who are ready to have children.

Our clinic may ask you to share your medical history and financial information. Some services are free for those who qualify; others may require a small co-pay based on family size and income. There is no co-pay or financial obligation for those who are under age 18.

Generally, a physical exam is required when someone wants to start taking hormonal contraceptives. Our health care provider will provide counseling on health risks associated with these options. There are many choices for contraception; our health care provider will help you make the best choice. Your exam may also include a pelvic exam/pap screening, as well as testing for some sexually transmitted diseases.

So, a few things to think about before becoming pregnant; ensure good nutrition, get enough folic acid, be physically active, and avoid harmful substances such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, and drugs.

Please call Women’s Health at Roane County Family Health Care to schedule an appointment or for more information regarding the West Virginia Family Planning Program.

Submitted by Lisa Webb, LPN, Women’s Health nurse