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Fire safety education saves lives, and through a partnership between the Hudson Fire Department and Western Reserve Hospital, community children are finding fun new ways to learn about fire safety.

The hospital will be providing the Hudson Fire Department with supplies for their fire safety education program. This annual program helps introduce basic fire safety procedures to children in daycares, pre-schools and in bother private and public schools grades K-3. These supplies include a variety of child-specific education tools, such as pencils, crayons, coloring books and other hands-on items designed to engage children in fun activities while educating them.

“For children and adults, knowing how to respond to and prepare for an unexpected fire is paramount to living in safety,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital. “It is crucial to begin teaching fire safety at a young age, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Hudson Fire Department to help educate children about this necessary, life-saving information.”

The Hudson Fire Department preserves and protects the lives and property of the community by providing emergency services. These services include fire suppression, the rescue of victims, hazardous material management, rescue from vehicle entrapment, building collapse or water rescue, and public education on fire safety. The department also enforces safety codes during the construction and lifecycle of a new building.

“The supplies provided by Western Reserve Hospital will help immensely in expanding the type of items we can offer to the children during our fire safety classes,” said Hudson Fire Chief Jerry Varnes. “We greatly appreciate the support from the hospital.”

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Margaret Deacon, an 87-year-old volunteer at Western Reserve Hospital, was recently honored with the United Way of Summit County’s “Outstanding Volunteer” award at the 13th Annual Volunteer Celebration event at the hospital on April 10, 2014.

During the 1950’s-themed event, the hospital also recognized Margaret as the “Prom Queen,” along with Prom King and fellow volunteer Harvey Huebner.

“We strive to cultivate strong, healthy relationships with the community, and nowhere is that relationship more apparent than in our wonderful, dedicated volunteers,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital. “They play an integral role in shaping the patient experience at Western Reserve.”

Serving more than 800 hours annually, Margaret has volunteered over 10,000 hours at Western Reserve throughout her many years of service. As a volunteer department assistant, she helps maintain more than 100 active volunteer files and hundreds of inactive files. She also keeps the department neat and efficient by reporting call offs, scheduling issues and the supply inventory status.

Western Reserve Hospital volunteers assist in a variety of roles, ranging from clerical support in areas such as medical records, human resources, administration and patient transportation and guest services to helping usher patients to appointment locations. Volunteers also provide assistance on nursing floors, surgical wings and outpatient departments.

During the volunteer celebration, guests were treated to a special dinner presentation that included profile videos chronicling volunteer service stories of individuals or groups. Volunteers also received special accolades commemorating each honoree’s commitment and steadfast efforts to serve others in their area.

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Pam Banchy, RN-BC, PMP, Chief Information Officer at Western Reserve Hospital was recently featured in the Becker’s Hospital Review story, “Top Advice from Top CIOs”. The article features Banchy’s expertise of the business side of Information Technology as one of the premiere CIOs in the country who are sharing their experiences, best practices and challenges to educate and inform on a national and global level. The article showcases Banchy’s applicable skill sets from nurse to CIO and Western Reserve Hospital’s latest measures with regard to improving services at all points of care, especially across the technological landscape. Banchy has recently helmed the implementation of a highly advanced Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system  and her team’s continued work is helping Western Reserve Hospital lead health care services in the region. 

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In its ongoing mission to improve healthcare in the region, Western Reserve Hospital will host several free lunch and learn events throughout 2014 that are designed to improve health awareness.

The hospital encourages community members and hospital professionals to attend its free lunch and learn sessions throughout the rest of 2014. Luncheons are offered 12 – 1 p.m. and held on-site at Western Reserve Hospital Auditorium located at 1900 23rd, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223. Space is limited to the first 50 respondents. RSVP required.


  • March 20 – Listen to your heart
  • April 17 – Surviving Allergy Season
  • May 15 – Healthy Skin
  • June 19 – Cancer Awareness
  • July 17 – Cholesterol 4-1-1
  • August 6 – Back to School: Keep your kids healthy
  • September 18 – Proper management of diabetes
  • October 16 – Arthritis: Is there a cure?
  • November 20 – Stay healthy this holiday season
  • December 18 – Beat the holiday stress

To RSVP, call Johanna Tanno, Wellness Coordinator, Western Reserve Hospital at (330) 971-7959.

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Western Reserve Hospital’s Rick Hohan, Director of the Center for Pain Medicine, and Gary Sipps, Ph.D., ABPP, recently testified in support of a bill before the Ohio House of Representatives that seeks to limit the use of opiates to treat chronic pain. Sipps, who was also representing the Ohio Psychological Association, is a longtime advocate of using behavioral health in conjunction with traditional pain treatments. He shared the merits of this integrated approach in the legislation of House Bill 332.

“Chronic pain is a very complicated affliction that varies from patient to patient, and many times emotional and psychological issues arise from living in constant pain,” said Dr. Sipps. “Although prescription medications can be effective, some have a high propensity for addiction, and treating a patient’s emotional needs as well as their physical needs can greatly reduce the need for medicinal treatment.”

In addition to behavioral health, Western Reserve Hospital’s multidisciplinary approach to pain management includes physical therapy, dry needle therapy and several other minimally-invasive techniques in conjunction with traditional pain treatment methods.

Western Reserve Hospital’s Center for Pain Medicine has been a regional and national leader in implementing these new minimally-invasive, multidisciplinary approaches to chronic pain treatment. The hospital’s annual Pain Medicine Conference, which was most recently held in February in Cuyahoga Falls, brings together hundreds of physicians and healthcare practitioners each year to examine this whole-person approach.

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Western Reserve Hospital will once again serve as a Gold Sponsor for the 2014 Stow-Munroe Falls Community Showcase held Saturday, April 5 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday, April 6 (11a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, 3227 Graham Road, Stow, OH. Each year the free community event serves as a great community collaboration to promote health awareness and showcase convenient, local services to bring the community together.

The event draws more the 200 exhibitors and over 7,000 visitors. Parking and entertainment is free and shuttle services are available if needed by guests. The showcase also offers a grand prize drawing on Sunday, April 6th at 3 p.m. when lucky entrants could win a Big Screen TV, a pizza a week for a year from Teresa’s Pizza or a Samsung Chrombook donated by Brandon Heating & Cooling.  


Akron District Pipe Band • Baseball Guy • Bountiful Folk • Buck the Acme Show Dog • All About Dance by Kristen • Dylan Kelley • Singer-Gerard Berroteran • ETC • Kent State Flasher Brass • Juggler-Kevin Delagrange • Marquette School of Dance • Ronald McDonald Magic Show • Sto Notes • Stow Presbyterian Puppet Show • Summit Cloggers • AND MORE!

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For those living with chronic pain, there are many treatment options, and although prescription pain medication can help to manage that pain, it can all-too-often become an addiction that leads to prescription and illicit opiate abuse. And that was the topic of Western Reserve Hospital’s Third Annual Pain Medicine Conference, held at the Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton on Friday, Feb. 21.

Attended by nearly 170 medical professionals and state officials from all over Ohio, the event examined the local and state-wide drug problem and comprehensive treatment plans that address the emotional, physical and psychological needs of patients living with chronic pain. The event was led by Samer Narouze, MD, Ph.D., Chairman for the Center for Pain Medicine at Western Reserve Hospital.

“The pain medicine community needs to understand and incorporate alternative treatments to pharmaceutical pain relievers,” said Dr. Narouze. “Each year, the conference is significant to the region because it allows us to expose the drug problem and draw attention to minimally invasive procedures and a whole-person approach that is far more effective. When we fully embrace this approach, drug abuse will decrease.”

Eighteen physicians and experts presented at the conference, including Orman Hall, Director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, who discussed the drug problem in the state of Ohio, and Chief Jack Davis, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, who spoke about the heroin problem in the local community.

“We had a 31-year-old mother of three overdose with children in her home,” said Chief Davis during an emotional presentation about local heroin abuse. “She had a ten-year-old daughter that called the ex-husband saying, ‘something’s wrong with mom.’ If you’re a parent in here, you know how protective you are of your children, but it shows the grip that this drug has on people.”

In the past, the popular event has served as an annual linchpin for the pain medicine community, attracting hundreds of area physicians, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and medical students to learn about the changes affecting chronic pain management, including new procedures, challenges and medications, while acquiring continuing education credits towards their certifications.

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Western Reserve Hospital announced today that it has selected VitalWare, the leader in business intelligence for ICD-10 and beyond, along with DCBA, to provide ICD-10 upfront risk analysis using the company’s VitalAuditor Jump Start, VitalCDI and DCBA’s professional services. To start the upfront ICD-10 risk analysis, VitalWare analyzed Western Reserve’s claims data and recommended chart audits based on data analytics mined from VitalWare’s robust data repository of over 7,500 natively coded ICD-10 claims.

VitalWare’s team of expert ICD-10 coders then performed audits on the identified at risk claims for documentation and coding opportunities.  Once the audits were complete, the results were handed off and utilized by DCBA to formulate a laser focused Physician Education program for Western Reserve, as well as to establish and roll out their Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) program.  Employing VitalWare’s VitalCDI, Western Reserve will be able to perform concurrent documentation reviews utilizing a dynamic, interactive query methodology to identify cases for review, track the results and outcomes of reviews, and monitor the success of their CDI program. Ongoing dual-coding and documentation audits within VitalAuditor will provide post “go-live” charge capture validation for compliance under ICD-10.

“We have a firm belief that complete and accurate documentation is the key to remediating risk under ICD-10, and chose to partner with VitalWare and DCBA because of their shared belief and unique combined strategy,” explained Pam Banchy, RN-BC, PMP, Chief Information Officer at Western Reserve Hospital. “VitalWare will help us identify where potential risk in our documentation may exist, and work to jump-start a new chart review process by conducting retrospective coding and documentation audits on at-risk claims through their VitalAuditor application on an ongoing basis,” Banchy added. “Initial findings were handed off to DCBA, enabling them to develop focused ICD-10 physician documentation education programs,” said Jill Hiner, VP of Finance and CFO at Western Reserve Hospital. “This will allow for the establishment of a successful, cost effective CDI program at Western Reserve utilizing VitalWare’s VitalCDI,” Hiner continued.

“Partnering with VitalWare, and utilizing their expert ICD-10 Coding and Auditing services, along with their tools, VitalAuditor and VitalCDI, will provide DCBA with the analytics needed to create a laser focused physician documentation training program for Western Reserve and establish a successful CDI program that will take them through the ICD-10 transition and beyond,” commented Randall Guyton, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at DCBA.

“We are excited that Western Reserve recognizes that identifying true ICD-10 financial risk associated with ICD-10 must start with documentation and has chosen to partner with VitalWare and DCBA,” said Kerry Martin, President and CEO of VitalWare. “The expertise of DCBA’s professional services of providing laser focused Physician Documentation Education combined with their successful track record of establishing succinct and cost effective CDI programs utilizing VitalWare’s data analytics and VitalCDI, will enable Western Reserve to educate their physicians in a personalized, concise manner and ensure a successful and smooth rollout of their CDI program.  Western Reserve’s decision to select VitalWare’s VitalAuditor and VitalCDI to assist in dual-coding, documentation audits, and clinical documentation will provide ongoing financial and compliance benefits for their organization,” Martin added.

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Western Reserve Hospital will host a free Cancer and Healthy Heart Awareness Luncheon featuring sleep screenings, valuable presentations from healthcare experts and displays from community businesses and charities at the Summa Wellness Institute in Hudson on Feb. 17, from 12–1 p.m.

The luncheon will feature presentations from Dr. Thomas Myers, Summit Dermatology, who will address cancer prevention and treatment, and Johanna Tanno, Health and Wellness Coordinator, Western Reserve Hospital, who will educate guests on heart-healthy eating. The event will also offer information displays from respected health organizations and more.

 “Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in America,” said Kathy Romito, Community Relations Coordinator, Western Reserve Hospital. “This luncheon will give Western Reserve Hospital an opportunity to educate people in the community with potentially life-saving information while raising awareness about these two very serious health concerns.”

 In addition to learning about cancer and heart disease prevention and treatment from leading health experts, guests will be able to browse displays from prevention and therapy groups and local businesses, offering current cancer and heart disease information and leisurely shopping.

Although the event is free and open to the public, attendance is limited and reservations are required. Contact Kathy Romito at or by calling (330) 971-7408 by Feb. 12 to make a reservation.


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Kathy Romito, Community Relations Coordinator at Summa Western Reserve Hospital, will receive the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award from the Sales & Marketing Executives International association at a Feb. 25 award ceremony at the Tangier in Akron.

Now in its 42nd year, The DSMA program was established to recognize the best in the sales and marketing profession. Romito, who serves on the board of directors for both the Cuyahoga Falls and Stow Munroe Falls Chambers of Commerce, also demonstrates her community leadership by participating in dozens of community and civic involvements. Romito and nearly 30 other sales and marketing leaders will receive a Victor Statuette to commemorate the award.

“We’re very proud of Kathy and her widespread roots in the Northeast Ohio community,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of Summa Western Reserve Hospital. “Her involvement in the community benefits everyone she works with, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this special honor.”

With chapters spanning the globe, SMEI is the only worldwide executive sales and marketing organization and is dedicated to ethical standards, continuing professional development, knowledge sharing, mentoring students and advancing free enterprise.

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