17Nov

Top Tips to Stay Connected with Your Loved One During Their Hospital Stay

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to protect you, your loved one, hospital staff, and the public, you will not be able to visit your loved one in the hospital. We want to make sure you stay connected and engaged during this time with a loved one in our care.

Things You Can Do:

Discuss– Who will be the primary contact for the family. We can only share information with family members with the patient’s permission. We know there are many people who care about your loved one. Please choose one person who will talk to the hospital team during their stay.

Plan: How you and your loved one will stay in touch while you are apart. You can use their bedside phone number that the hospital will provide. If your loved one has a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer, you may leave it with them. Make sure the device is labeled and charged. We can connect them to our internet to keep in touch via video chat.

Things You Can Do for Your Loved One and Yourself During the Hospital Stay:

  • Keep a Journal
  • Write down the team members to keep things clear for you and your family.
  • Write down your questions for the team so you can ask them all at once.
  • If you choose, write down your thoughts and feelings to share with your loved one.
  • Do not send flowers or food. We may not be able to deliver cards and other items during this time.
  • Many faith leaders and community organizations are able to connect to you by phone.

Things to Note When Your Loved One Is Admitted to the Hospital:

  • Nurse name and phone number to the nurse’s desk.
  • Your loved one’s bedside phone number.
  • Hospital team names, emails and phone numbers.

 

29Oct

5 Tips To Boost Your Mood Throughout the Day

Everyone has bad days. Maybe you had a rushed morning, spilled your coffee, and the dog got into the trash can again. Or, you may find yourself in a bit of a rut and are in need of a pick-me-up. Whatever it is, there are many different exercises and tools you can do to get a boost. We’ve gathered a few of our favorites and created a helpful guide to keep you going all day long.

Take a minute for mindfulness

There is no such thing as “not enough time” for a quick mindfulness session. It need not be a big production–it takes only moments to re-center and check in with yourself. This can help unite the mind and body to relieve stress-inducing thoughts. Mindfulness is simply to be aware or conscious of yourself in the present, physical moment.

Find a quiet place to sit alone wherever you are. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Try counting your breaths to give your mind a task. Then, start paying attention to the different sensations in your body. Take note of the weight of yourself sitting in a chair, or your clothes against your skin. Continue this for as long as you need, and just keep breathing slow, deep breaths.

Go outside

Sometimes spending too much time in the same place can make you a little stir-crazy. Try going for a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park. Walking, like other forms of exercise, helps release endorphins and dopamine, which are responsible for regulating your mood.

Going out when it’s sunny can be even more beneficial. This is because vitamin D has proven to improve symptoms of depression in patients. So take a seat somewhere or lay out and soak up the sun.

Put on your favorite playlist

Listening to uplifting music or your favorite playlist can also help release dopamine in the brain. When listening to music, different parts of the brain light up as our ears register the changing sounds. This can result in our heartbeat matching the music and even our moods mimicking the mood of the song.

Phone a friend

Some days, you may just need to talk it out and vent to a close friend or family member. Holding in emotions and frustrations can often leave you restless and acts as a poor coping mechanism. You can meet up for coffee or lunch and talk over your favorite food or snack. Or, if pressed for time or the need to distance, a good friend is always a phone call away.

Have a laugh

Laughing is a great way to get a quick pick-me-up throughout the day. Try watching a funny video clip or a quick skit from your favorite comedian. A laugh is good for breaking through a mental fog with a quick blast of dopamine. If you can’t manage a laugh, a smile is a great start, too.

From the Acuity Family, we take pride in offering our patients and community various tools to help their physical and mental wellness. If you find these tips just aren’t doing the trick, don’t be discouraged. Everybody is different. Consider seeking the support of a professional if your mood is severely impacting your ability to function and enjoy your day-to-day life.

27Oct

How a Levittown man survived a 154-day near death battle with COVID-19 complications

On a windy Friday in early April, the 73-year-old Bristol Township man took a walk around the lake at Falls Township Community Park to see if he could finish the nearly 4-mile loop.

Crozier had undergone a hip replacement in February. He was still weak, but doctors encouraged him to keep moving as part of his recovery.

Not that Crozier is one for standing still. Click here to read the full story

15Oct

Tips for Keeping Morale High During a Long Recovery

Recovering from illness or injury can sometimes be a long process— one that is often stressful mentally, emotionally, and physically. This can make it difficult to get through recovery and, in some cases, may prolong it. This is because stress can interrupt the body’s ability to perform various functions. We’ve created this guide with useful tips to keep morale high during a long recovery.

Get some rest

It may sound cliché, but getting enough rest during recovery is essential. This doesn’t just mean getting enough sleep or staying off your feet. To get a recuperative, healing rest, you need to calm your mind too. When sleeping, your body is able to better heal and repair itself. If you add stress into the mix, this can be interrupted.

Try incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine. This could be taking breaks for mindfulness or meditation, spending time outside, or listening to relaxing music. You may even have your own unique practices that help relax you.

Eat a healthy diet

They say “Happiness is a full belly.” Well, they may be right. Eating a healthy diet is essential to recovery because it provides your body with nutrients needed for healing. However, good nutrition is also important for stress management. About 90% of the body’s serotonin is actually found in the gut, not the brain. Ever been “hangry?” This might be why.

Try eating a wholesome, well-balanced diet that includes lean meats and produce. Many of the nutrients found in food are needed for bodily repair. Some even aid the body in absorbing and using other nutrients. For example, your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. We recommend consulting your doctor before starting a nutrition plan or diet.

Talk about it

Sometimes, you just have to let it all out. Recovery is stressful, but you don’t ever have to do it alone. Whether it’s family, your nurses, or your doctors, they all care about your health. If you have concerns, reach out and become more proactive in your recovery. Sometimes, stress during recovery can be caused by feeling a lack of control. Take back control by actively attending and coordinating meetings with your care team and following a recovery plan.

You can also try creating goals for your recovery to help motivate you. Humans, by nature, are task oriented. During recovery, you may not be able to work or engage in your typical responsibilities or routines. Think of your health and recovery as your new job or responsibility. If you find your mental and emotional health is suffering, we encourage you to contact your doctor or speak to a mental health professional.

At Acuity, our goal is to provide exceptional treatments and reliable information for our patients and surrounding communities. We encourage you to speak with your doctor if you find your symptoms or conditions worsening. From the Acuity Family, we wish you good health and a speedy recovery.

01Oct

Understanding and Treating Hospital Induced Stress

It’s normal to experience stress or anxiety before a procedure, when recovering, or while in the hospital for treatment. Whether you are expecting short or long-term care, it’s important to reduce stress as much as possible. Higher stress levels can cause or worsen uncomfortable symptoms. In this guide, we will discuss a few methods to help you maintain low stress levels when in the hospital.

Learn More about Stress

The first thing you can do is learn more about stress, anxiety, and how they affect your body and mind. Stress and anxiety are fight-or-flight responses that protect you from danger. People can experience an increase in heart rate or blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, sharper senses, and more. These symptoms are different for everyone, so it’s important to observe the symptoms you experience and what they say about you.

Learning about stress gives you the power to better manage or control your symptoms. It’s important to remember that your doctors and nurses are there to help you get better. Stress is telling your body to be afraid, but your mind has the power to overcome that.

Create a Familiar Atmosphere

Being in the hospital for extended periods can make people feel homesick and restless. Try surrounding yourself with objects from home that bring you comfort. This could be a stuffed animal, a photo, or a sentimental object. Playing music or your favorite movie can help you create a more familiar atmosphere.

You can also bring more familiarity into your space by spending some virtual time with loved ones. Make time to chat with friends and family whether you’re at home or in the hospital. Discussing your concerns with them can offer you emotional relief. Or, you can talk about something else to help take your mind off it for a while.

Keep Yourself Busy

Stress has a way of trapping us in our own thoughts. It’s easy to get wrapped up in an internal dialogue filled with worries and concerns. Whether you’re home or in the hospital, try engaging in activities to distract from your hospital-related fears. This could be reading a book, watching a movie, or mindfully listening to music.

You can also try exercises to help relieve stress and anxiety. This could be practicing mindfulness, meditating, or trying breathing exercises. Don’t feel discouraged if some of these methods don’t work for you–try different things out until you find a routine that brings you a sense of calm. Relaxation exercises can take time to become familiar and routine.  Remember to be patient with yourself.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you have any fears or concerns about your treatment, procedure, or recovery, we encourage you to contact your doctor. Sometimes, unanswered questions about your health and current condition can further exacerbate stress and anxiety. Your care team can help clear up these questions and offer you alternatives and extra measures to make your experience more comfortable.

Your doctor and nurses may also provide some extra assistance to help your anxiety or discomfort. This could be a meeting with a therapist or psychologist, or prescribing a short-term medication to help relax you right before your procedure.

From the Acuity Family, we know how stressful hospital treatments, procedures, and recoveries can be. We pride ourselves on providing our patients and communities with reliable resources to help guide them through experiences in the hospital. If you experience a worsening of symptoms, we encourage you to contact your doctor. We wish you good health before, during, and after your hospital stay.

05Feb

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown Awarded Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown Awarded Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Morgantown, West Virginia – Acuity Specialty Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review on January 21, 2020. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with hospital standards spanning several areas including emergency management, environment of care, provision of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, medication management, and rights and responsibilities of the individual.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As a private accreditor, The Joint Commission surveys health care organizations to protect the public by identifying deficiencies in care and working with those organizations to correct them as quickly and sustainably as possible,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care.”

“We have assembled a dynamic team that is committed to providing the best healthcare in the community,” said Frank Weber, Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown. “We look forward to working with our partners to advance the healthcare continuum in the region.”

For more information, please visit The Joint Commission website.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown (ASHM) is a 25-bed Long Term Acute Care (LTACH) hospital providing acute care to critically ill and medically complex patients. The hospital is specifically designed and staffed to provide intensive care to patients who are either on a ventilator, trauma or have other medically complex conditions such as extensive non-healing wounds, infections, multi-system failures or complications from surgery. Acuity Specialty Hospital of Morgantown operates within Mon Health Medical Center Campus, on the newly renovated 4th floor. For more information, please visit their website at www.AcuityHealthcare.net.

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09Jan

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES RICK CASSADY, CPA, MBA CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES RICK CASSADY, CPA, MBA CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Charlotte, North Carolina – Acuity Healthcare, the country’s only Employee Owned Hospital Company and a leader in long-term acute care, today announced that Executive Vice President Rick Cassady, CPA, MBA, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately.

“Rick is ideal for this job. He’s a trusted and seasoned healthcare executive and leader who delivers results. With his laser focus on operational excellence and 17 years with Acuity, Rick is uniquely qualified to drive our strategic initiatives,” said Ed Cooper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Healthcare. “This promotion reflects our confidence in Rick and his ability to lead Acuity through the challenges facing healthcare today.”

“I am honored to accept this new role and look forward to working closely with our exceptional leadership team to ensure continued growth and expansion for Acuity Healthcare,” said Cassady. “We have a talented team of dedicated employee owners who always put the care of our patients first and I appreciate and value the team. I am excited to lead the operations of Acuity Healthcare and together we will set the future course of Acuity Healthcare.”

Prior to joining Acuity as Chief Financial Officer in 2003, he served as the Area Chief Financial Officer for rehabilitation and LTACH hospitals in Texas. Rick has held senior financial management positions with a large healthcare company in Virginia and Florida. He has also served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for a behavioral healthcare company based in Charleston, South Carolina for several years.

Prior to entering hospital financial management, Rick worked for a large multi-specialty physician practice in central Florida. He began his healthcare financial management career after serving several years in public accounting. Rick is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Computer Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Accounting from Florida Southern College.

About Acuity Healthcare:

Acuity Healthcare is an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital company (LTACH) founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages four LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay. To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net

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04Dec

Acuity Ambassadors Promote Employee Stock Ownership

Acuity Ambassadors Promote Employee Stock Ownership

WHEELING — Amid many variables in modern health care operations, an employee-owned company remains a rarity.

Acuity Specialty Hospital, which has three area sites, operates under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Acuity offers long-term acute care at Wheeling Hospital, Weirton Medical Center and the former Belmont Community Hospital building in Bellaire.

Acuity became an ESOP entity in 2013, said Lisa Bien, vice president of communications.

“We are the only hospital company that is 100 percent employee-owned,” she said.

It has established an ambassadors program to help workers understand their role in an ESOP company and to coordinate community outreach efforts.

“We wanted to get folks to understand about all the employees thinking like an employee owner: how we care about our patients and think about them as family,” Bien said.

Jodi Rusinovich, who became an ambassador about a year ago, said, “It’s a great company. As an employee-owned company, we really care and we take good care of our patients.”

Rusinovich works with the Acuity administration on physicians’ credentials for its Ohio Valley facilities.

A newer ambassador, Eleanor “Elli” Garbark, joined Acuity as a unit secretary in July 2018.

“I love my job,” Garbark said. “It’s a huge breath of fresh air to be excited to go to work, and I love the people I work with.”

Bien said, “We have ambassadors company-wide at all locations. … They meet monthly and talk about initiatives that help support the company. Each location gets involved in their community and their home base.”

Rusinovich said the local program coordinates celebrations for National ESOP Month in October and Acuity Health Care Week in July. Employees collect school supplies and participate in walks to raise funds for health-related efforts in the community.

“We engage with the employees,” Rusinovich said. “We find that being employee-owned, there is more of a buy-in for employees. By taking care of the community and that patient well, that (message) goes out into the community and brings more patients to us. … We have some of the best employees.”

Through employee ownership, “we now see we make a difference. We can make it better,” Rusinovich said.

When issues are raised and suggestions are made, “we take it right to the board of directors and get it discussed. They (employees) can see things progressing. It also progresses out in to the communty,” she added.

Garbark said the ambassadors program “is giving our employees a voice. It’s really getting our floor staff excited and involved in things that perhaps they weren’t involved in before. … We all have a voice and it gets heard. It’s very, very comforting.”

On a personal level, she added, “It’s definitely been exciting to me. I’m not just a secretary. I get to be part of something a little bit bigger. It’s really raised my confidence level. It’s really made me even more excited to go to work every day.”

Citing other benefits, Rusinovich said, “For employees, they’re more engaged. They see a better outcome and see how well the company is doing. They have to feel that they have been a big contributor to that. For the patients, they are receiving the best care they can in this valley.”

As published in: and

Pictured here: Acuity Specialty Hospital employees
Jodi Rusonovich and Eleanor “Elli” Garbark enjoy serving
as ambassadors for the employee-owned company.

08Nov

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES BARBARA SISARCICK, RN, BSN, CPHQ, NHA CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF CASE MANAGEMENT

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES BARBARA SISARCICK, RN, BSN, CPHQ, NHA CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF CASE MANAGEMENT

Charlotte, North Carolina – (November 8, 2019) – Acuity Healthcare, the country’s only Employee Owned Hospital Company and a leader in long-term acute care, is pleased to announce  Barbara Sisarcick, RN, BSN, CPHQ, NHA has been named Corporate Director of Case Management.

Sisarcick is an experienced professional who brings over 39 years of senior leadership expertise in healthcare to our company. She is recognized for her proven track record of being innovative and creative, progressive experience and demonstrated leadership in healthcare operations.

“All of us at Acuity Healthcare appreciate the opportunity to have Barbara join our team. She brings a vast wealth of clinical and business acumen that will support our case management team companywide,” said Ed Cooper, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Healthcare. “Barbara’s expertise is an integral part to continue to provide the best quality care and communication with our patients and families. Our case management team members serve as advocates supporting the patients and families we serve, and we know having Barbara on our team will enhance our efforts.

“I am honored and excited to join the Acuity Healthcare team,“ said Sisarcick. “I look forward to building on the success of Acuity’s strong foundation and commitment to quality care. It’s my goal to take the case management teams to the next level and making a positive difference for our patients and families.”

Sisarcick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from West Liberty University, West Virginia. She devotes a significant amount of time educating elected officials about issues facing post-acute care operations at the state and national levels. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has served as a member of the West Virginia Health Care Association and Ohio Health Care Associations’ Board of Directors.  She served as a member of the American Health Care Association Quality Improvement and Clinical Practice Committees, maintains many other community memberships and serves on multiple nursing boards for local institutions of higher learning.

About Acuity Healthcare:

Acuity Healthcare is an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital company (LTACH) founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages four LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay.

To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net

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04Nov

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES JENN TRALLO SCHREIBER, MSN, MBA, RN, CPPS VICE PRESIDENT, CLINICAL QUALITY AND INFORMATICS

ACUITY HEALTHCARE NAMES JENN TRALLO SCHREIBER, MSN, MBA, RN, CPPS VICE PRESIDENT, CLINICAL QUALITY AND INFORMATICS

Charlotte, North Carolina – (October 31, 2019) – Acuity Healthcare, the country’s only Employee Owned Hospital Company and a leader in long-term acute care, is pleased to announce Jenn Trallo Schreiber, MSN, MBA, RN, CPPS as Vice President, Clinical Quality and Informatics.

Schreiber joined Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey in 2009 and has been an integral part of the Acuity team. Most recently, she served a dual role as the Regional Chief Quality, Safety, and Risk Officer for Acuity Specialty Hospitals in Willingboro and Atlantic City in addition to her corporate role as the CMS Quality Analyst for Acuity Healthcare.

“Jenn brings a wealth of experience to her role, and we are thrilled about her new role for the Acuity team,” said Judy K. Weaver, R.N., M.B.A., B.S.N. Executive Vice President, Clinical Quality and Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Specialty Hospital of Ohio Valley.Her enthusiasm, combined with her expertise and passion for her role is infectious. We are so very fortunate to have her as an integral part of the team.”

“I am so excited and honored to be trusted with this opportunity to operationalize my passion for quality, safety, and informatics at the corporate level,” said Schreiber. “I believe that Acuity Healthcare already sets the standard for excellence in the LTAC hospital industry because of our amazing team of employee owners. I look forward to a new era of innovation in which we are able to better mobilize clinical data to improve patient outcomes through high reliability processes. There is no better team I could imagine with which to realize this goal!”

Schreiber holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New York University, and a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration in Health Care, both from Wilmington University.  She is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety.  Currently, she is enrolled in Harvard Medical School’s Safety, Quality, Informatics, and Leadership Program with an expected graduation date of May, 2020. She lives in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey with her husband Bruce, son Gabriel, dog Hope and cat Mortimer.  Jenn enjoys travel, deep-sea fishing, Excel spreadsheets and Eagles football.

About Acuity Healthcare:

Acuity Healthcare is an employee-owned (ESOP) long-term acute care hospital company (LTACH) founded in 2001 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Acuity Healthcare currently owns and manages four LTACHs in New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia. Acuity is focused on the development and operation of LTACHs and the delivery of specialized care with  improved outcomes. We offer quality care in a cost-effective manner to medically complex patients who require intensive hospital services for an extended length of stay.

To learn more about Acuity Healthcare, please visit us at www.AcuityHealthcare.net

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