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Cuyahoga Falls High School students who are interested in a medical career will get a head start this semester at Western Reserve Hospital with the “Health and Wellness Den,” one of four new small learning communities at the high school. The group of more than 70 students met for orientation at Western Reserve on Monday, Sept. 29.

During the orientation, Health and Wellness Den students learned about infection control, patient safety, emergency codes, service excellence and more. As they progress throughout the semester, students will be able to shadow a professional in their chosen field on a one-on-one basis.

“By participating in the Health and Wellness Den, students gain very real experience in the healthcare field that will help guide their future career and college decisions, and our patient-centered staff is delighted to help influence the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital.

Western Reserve Hospital serves as an ideal partner for the Health and Wellness Den because nearly every career in this field can be found at the hospital or one of its satellite locations, including careers in medicine, nursing, environmental services, nutrition, biomedical engineering, lab and radiology technology, hospitality management, administration and much more.

In addition to career-path guidance, the Western Reserve Hospital partnership also allows for programming and experiences that expose students to the many ways in which health and wellness touch and influence aspects of their daily lives. The program also offers fun exercises and rewards, such as group and individual wellness tracking via the exclusive MOVBand, T-shirts for participants and more.

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Western Reserve Hospital received the Gold Plus Heart Failure award and Silver Plus Stroke award from the American Heart Association under the “Get With The Guidelines®” quality improvement initiative. These awards honor hospitals that have met or exceeded the AHA’s specific guidelines for providing outstanding care in different categories. This the fourth consecutive year Western Reserve has received the Heart Failure award.

“Heart failure and stroke are two very critical health concerns, and we proactively look for ways to turn treatment guidelines into lifelines for our patients,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. “We’re proud of our physicians and staff, who make awards like this possible and provide the highest-quality patient-centered care.”

Get With The Guidelines is an AHA quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for patients.

To earn the Gold Plus Heart Failure award, Western Reserve met specific measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while patients are in the hospital. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

To earn the Silver Plus Stroke award, Western Reserve met specific criteria including aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients’ length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are pleased to recognize Western Reserve Hospital for their commitment and dedication to heart failure and stroke care.”

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Western Reserve Hospital and Independent Health Coach Terra Milo are teaming up to provide free, informative healthy cooking demonstrations throughout the fall season.

Milo will lead each of the four Thursday-night demonstrations, which will focus on a specific meal or course, including appetizers, desserts, breakfast and meals for special dietary needs, including vegan and vegetarian diets.

The healthy cooking demonstrations are an extension of the hospital’s popular Doctor’s Order program, which helps identify healthy meal options on the menus of area restaurants.

“Doctor’s Order helps members of the community make healthier decisions when dining out, but now we’re extending that effort and empowering people who want to eat healthy when dining in as well,” said Johanna Tanno, Wellness Coordinator, Western Reserve Hospital.  

The cooking demonstration schedule includes:

Make a Good First Impression: Make a Healthy Appetizer
Thursday, Oct. 2 — 5:30 p.m.

Who Said Dessert Can’t Be Healthy?
Thursday, Oct. 23 — 5:30 p.m.

Start Your Day off Right with a Healthy Breakfast
Thursday, Nov. 6 — 5:30 p.m.

Help!!! Cooking a Vegetarian and Vegan Main Side Dish
Thursday, Nov. 20 — 5:30 p.m.

To RSVP or learn more about the program, please contact Johanna Tanno, Wellness Coordinator, Western Reserve Hospital, at (330) 971-7959 or

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Western Reserve Hospital will host the free annual Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce Women’s Expo from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25.

The Women’s Expo will feature display tables and booths that share pertinent information and tips about women’s health, products and services, as well as free giveaways from community businesses and organizations.

Guests will have the opportunity to win door prizes while meeting and interacting with business owners and leaders in the community. The event is free and open to the public, with free parking available at Western Reserve Hospital.

The Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce Women’s Expo is co-sponsored by Western Reserve Hospital, Summa at Home, Gardens of Western Reserve and Saber Healthcare Group.

To learn more about the Women’s Expo, contact Kathy Romito, Community Outreach Coordinator, at (330) 971-7408 or

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Cuyahoga Falls will celebrate the second annual “First Responders Appreciation Day,” an all-day celebration of the service men and women who are first to respond to emergencies and disasters, on Sunday, Sept. 21. The event is sponsored by Western Reserve Hospital, the City of Cuyahoga Falls and the Cuyahoga Falls Fire and Police Departments.

First Responders Day - Sept. 21

First Responders Day - Sunday, Sept. 21

“First responders bravely serve the community and act as our first line of defense during emergencies that are often dangerous or unpredictable,” said Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters. “First Responders Appreciation Day is a chance for the community to say ‘thank you’ to these unsung heroes who come to the rescue when called.”

The free event will be held from noon – 6 p.m. in Falls River Square. The schedule includes an address from Mayor Don Walters to commence the festivities, followed by a variety of family-friendly activities that include face painting, service trucks on display, rock wall climbing, police K-9 demonstrations, Paws and Prayers with adoptable animals, live music, giveaways, raffles and much more. All attending first responders will be entered into a drawing to win great prizes.

“We have a close relationship with our first responders, and we often see their courageous efforts impact lives in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. “We’re very proud of our first responders, and this is just one way that we can collectively celebrate and show our appreciation for the excellent work that they do.”

Kindergarten through fifth grade students also participated in a poster contest leading up to the event. Students submitted posters to their teachers showing first responders in action or what first responders mean to the community. Based on the poster’s creativity, four winners — two boys and two girls — will be selected to receive new bicycles as prizes.

Western Reserve Hospital works closely with the city of Cuyahoga Falls and its first responders, actively supporting the local community with frequent outreach efforts that help promote the health and well-being of the community and its surrounding areas. With outpatient departments in Stow, Kent, Hudson, Green and Streetsboro, Western Reserve Hospital is also committed to providing the highest-quality patient care to the region.

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Western Reserve Hospital sponsored a team of eight runners to compete in the Burning River Endurance Run, a 100-mile solo or relay race beginning in Cleveland with the finish line in Cuyahoga Falls. Dr. Eric Espinal, cardiothoracic surgeon and chair of the department of surgery at Western Reserve, completed the entire 100-mile race alone.

The relay team, called “Western Reserve Ultra Team,” included Cuyahoga Falls Fire Fighters Mike Stanec, Maggie Hobson, Chris Martin, Carl Hayward and Jim Messenger; Akron Fire Fighter Charles Twigg; Colleena Patterson, Fleet Feet; and Johanna Tanno, Wellness Coordinator at Western Reserve Hospital. Western Reserve Ultra Team completed the race in just over 20.5 hours, finishing 21 out of 37 relay teams.

Starting at Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills, the Burning River Endurance Run and Relay covers 100 miles over many of the most scenic areas in Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Summit Metroparks. The event is named after a fire that broke out on the Cuyahoga River on June 22, 1969, lasting only 30 minutes but causing more than $50,000 in damage to railroad bridges spanning the river.  


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Dr. Eric Espinal and Dr. Patrick Blakeslee finished strong at the 5th annual Rumble at the Reserve blood drive, held on Aug. 20-21. Espinal, chairman of the department of surgery, and Blakeslee, chairman of the department of medicine, competed against each other once again to see who could bring in the most donors, resulting in the successful collection of 194 usable pints of blood. Blakeslee, who edged Espinal out of first place last year, again won the most support among hospital staff and public participants, taking the checkered flag in this year’s racing-themed event. All donors received a commemorative T-shirt. Western Reserve Hospital, in partnership with the American Red Cross, debuted Rumble at the Reserve in 2009, and it continues to grow and break hospital records each year.

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On Aug. 20 and 21, Western Reserve Hospital will host the fifth annual “Rumble at the Reserve” blood drive, which this year pits the departments of medicine and surgery against each other in a motorsports racing-themed event. All donors will receive a free T-shirt and be eligible to win prizes.

The 2014 Rumble features Western Reserve Hospital’s Departments of Surgery and Medicine squaring off in a race to see which department can bring in the most donors, with the winner receiving the coveted “Rumble at the Reserve Cup.” Donors are invited to choose which department to support during the drive.

“Summer is one of the most important times to give blood, and right now there is an urgent need for blood and platelet donors,” said Dr. Patrick Blakeslee, Chairman of the Department of Medicine. “Blood donations are one of the most vitally important tools we need to be able to respond to emergencies, so we’re urging our staff and our community to donate.”

As Western Reserve Hospital’s signature outreach event, Rumble at the Reserve has won the American Red Cross “Largest One Day Hospital Blood Drive” award for three consecutive years. Last year’s blood drive took place on Aug. 22, 2013, and raised a total of 223 pints of blood — shattering previous blood drive totals and beating out 57 other competing hospitals.

“Our commitment and dedication to improving the overall health of the community is what led us to begin Rumble at the Reserve years ago,” said Dr. Eric Espinal, Chairman of the Department of Surgery. “The awards we’ve received are both validating of our history and motivating for our future.”

Debuting in 2009 as an internal employee blood drive, the event has grown in its success and has continued to break hospital records each year. This year, Western Reserve Hospital will hold the Rumble at the Reserve Blood Drive on Aug. 20 and 21.

To sign up for Rumble at the Reserve, go to and enter the sponsor code 44223. For questions, contact Western Reserve Hospital Community Outreach Coordinator Kathy Romito at (330) 971-7408 or

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Western Reserve Hospital recently received the Ohio Hospital Association’s 2014 Hospital Safety Award, which recognizes hospitals for successful safety programs and superior employee safety records.

This year, a total of 95 hospitals from all over Ohio were divided into groups based on how many people they employed. The hospital with the lowest injury rate in each group was honored with a Hospital Safety Award. Western Reserve Hospital had the lowest injury rate in the 751-1000 employee range.

“Safety is the cornerstone of a successful hospital, and the excellence of a healthcare system depends first and foremost on providing a safe environment for it to thrive in,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. “This award honors our firm, ongoing commitment to the safety of our patients and staff.”

The OHA presents many different kinds of awards each year, recognizing individuals, hospitals and health systems for their outstanding achievements and excellence in select areas of healthcare. The OHA and the Industrial Commission of Ohio created the hospital safety awards in 1953 to promote workplace safety, and the OHA continues to award the most deserving hospitals every year.

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Families and residents of Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge and the surrounding areas will be treated to free food, face painting, giveaways, inflatable play places and more at National Night Out, a community crime-prevention event. The three-hour celebration will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, at the Virginia Ocasek Party Center on the Summit County Fairgrounds.

Sponsored by Western Reserve Hospital and the police forces of Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge, National Night Out is a family-friendly evening packed with free entertainment, including free food sponsored by Target, demonstrations from local police K-9 units, SWAT teams and fire departments, free blood pressure checks, rides, raffles, giveaways and much more.

“National Night Out serves as an excellent opportunity for the police forces in our community to connect with residents and share the powerful message of safety and crime prevention, all while also having a great evening of free family fun,” said Munroe Falls Police Chief Tom Pozza.

The National Night Out program began in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime-prevention activities, community and police partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Currently, over 37 million people participate each year in more than 16,000 communities across the U.S. and Canada.

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