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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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Western Reserve Hospital received Primary Stroke Certification from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), verifying that the hospital has the capacity to stabilize and treat acute stroke patients, provide acute care and administer acute therapies safely and efficiently.

“When strokes occur, every second that passes increases the risk of permanent brain damage and loss of function, and that’s why we make it a priority to provide exceptional stroke care,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. “By earning our Primary Stroke Certification, our commitment to delivering immediate emergency care to our patients in stroke-related situations has been recognized.”

In order to receive the Primary Stroke Certification, Western Reserve met or exceeded the stringent standards of the program, which required a program director with extensive experience in acute stroke, 24/7 lab testing and advanced imaging capabilities, access to neurologists 24/7, a designation stroke unit, education standards for the staff and much more.

“This certification signifies that Western Reserve Hospital has demonstrated and is clearly committed to providing excellent stroke care to its patients,” said Josh Prober, Chief Executive Officer, HFAP. “Hospitals that have established stroke centers have demonstrated improved treatment, better patient outcomes and reduced costs. Moreover, Primary Stroke centers have the required infrastructure and protocols in place to stabilize and provide rapid and evidence-based care to acute stroke patients.”

HFAP has been certifying stroke centers since 2006. The program provides a three-year certification award with a mid-cycle review at 18 months. For more information about HFAP, visit

 For more information about Western Reserve Hospital and its certified stroke care offerings, visit

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The American Heart Association has awarded Western Reserve Hospital with its highest “Fit-Friendly” worksite honors based on the hospital’s many programs and initiatives that encourage the staff to make healthy choices.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and making the choice to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle can literally be a life or death decision,” said Dr. Michael Bage, cardiologist at Western Reserve Hospital. “We actively encourage our employees to be healthy, and we’re honored to be recognized for our success with this award.”

Fit-Friendly workplaces are selected based on a set of detailed criteria. In order to achieve the highest “platinum” level, workplaces must offer employees physical activity support, increased healthy eating options and promote a wellness culture. Platinum employers must implement at least six physical activity criteria, two nutrition criteria, one culture criteria and at least one other behavior change or cost savings outcome. Fit-Friendly honors are assessed and awarded twice per year.

“As a hospital, many of our employees take their personal health very seriously, and we’re proud to provide numerous effective outlets for them,” said Johanna Tanno, Wellness Coordinator. “Receiving the platinum-level award is a testament to our vision of creating a healthier work environment.”

The hospital’s FITone wellness program offers employees a wide variety of health initiatives, including walking paths, healthy cafeteria options, exercise programs during and after work hours, stress management, self-defense classes and more.  Between January and March, the staff at Western Reserve participated in a weight-loss competition with 13 other organizations, winning second place by shedding a collective 828 pounds.

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Western Reserve Hospital earned the American Red Cross’s “Largest One Day Hospital Blood Drive” award for the third year in a row following the hospital’s signature “Rumble at the Reserve” annual event.

The 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. Red Cross presented the award to Western Reserve Hospital in May.

The Rumble at the Reserve Blood Drive is Western Reserve Hospital’s signature outreach event. Debuting in 2009 as an internal employee blood drive, the event has grown in its success and has continued to break hospital records. In 2010, the drive saw 124 donors. By 2011, that number nearly doubled and the participation continues to grow each year.

“Blood donations are responsible for saving countless lives every day,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital. “Our continued success with the Rumble at the Reserve events demonstrates our firm commitment to preserving life — not only the lives of our patients, but those of people who have survived a potentially fatal experience thanks to donated blood.”

This year, Western Reserve Hospital will hold the Rumble at the Reserve Blood Drive on Aug. 21, 2014. To learn more, call (330) 971-7000.

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Rather than simply accepting well-deserved praise during National Nurses Week, the outstanding nursing staff at Western Reserve Hospital chose to do something truly praiseworthy: They raised $875 for both Richardson Elementary School and Falls Cancer Club.

During National Nurses Week, an annual celebration of nurses that takes place from May 6 -12, the nurses at Western Reserve Hospital created and raffled off giant gift baskets to raise money for the community.

The fundraiser began as a friendly competition between the inpatient and outpatient nurses, who were tasked with creating an inpatient “indoor activity” basket, which included pampering spa items, and an outpatient “outdoor activity” basket.

But the generosity of the nurses and physicians resulted in the creation of four different gift baskets, with two gift bags each that contained $50 worth of gift cards. The baskets were raffled for a week outside of the hospital cafeteria.

The raffle raised enough money to donate $875 to both the Falls Cancer Club and Richardson Elementary School. Richardson Elementary will use the money to build an educational Teaching Garden, where students can learn about agriculture and biology.

Falls Cancer Club, an independent group of volunteers that helps provide financial and lifestyle assistance to Cuyahoga Falls cancer patients, will use the donation to help finance physician, treatment and pharmacy costs for residents battling cancer.

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In a widespread collaboration, the Cuyahoga Falls community has come together to launch “Not Me, I’m Drug Free,” an anti-drug campaign that unites the Mayor’s office, Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school districts, police department, fire department, community businesses and Western Reserve Hospital in an unprecedented effort to curb drug abuse — especially meth and heroin — in Cuyahoga Falls.

The “Not Me, I’m Drug Free” campaign is designed to educate Cuyahoga Falls area elementary school students about the dangers of using meth and heroin by connecting with them using Facebook, yard signs, posters, T-shirts, incentive cards and much more.

“Drug abuse is a growing problem in Cuyahoga Falls, and we must be proactive as a community to address and minimize this life-destroying problem,” said Mayor Don Walters. “The unique collaboration between my office, the police department, fire department, school district, hospital and local businesses will allow us to provide a consistent, pervasive message throughout Cuyahoga Falls: We are drug free.”

“The effects of these hard drugs are catastrophic to a person’s health and mental well-being,” said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital. “Western Reserve Hospital has initiated a number of effective programs that seek to improve the overall health of the community, and these bold strides toward reducing drug use will play a huge role in helping us achieve that goal.”

The initiative was launched on May 28, 2014 at an event held at DeWitt Elementary School, where Mayor Walters, Dr. Kent, Police Chief Jack Davis, Fire Chief Paul Moledor, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols and Woodridge Schools Superintendent Walter Davis all spoke to the students, parents and community.

“It is vital to educate students about the extreme dangers of drug use as early as possible so they’re equipped with the knowledge to say no if they’re ever offered drugs,” said Nichols.

“We cannot stress this message enough, and I’m so proud of the many people and organizations in Cuyahoga Falls who are seamlessly working together for the safety of our children and the collective good of our community,” said Woodridge Superintendent Davis.

Students and families who abstain from drugs can take advantage of the ‘Free’-wards incentive card, which offers valuable perks on food and family activities in and around Cuyahoga Falls.

Some of these perks include a free set of ear buds at Western Reserve Hospital, free admission to Water Works Family Aquatic Center, free rentals at Family Video, free food and desserts at many area restaurants and much more. Additionally, Bob Earley’s Rockin’ on the River, a free concert series held every Friday night throughout the summer in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, will be featuring the “Not Me, I’m Drug Free” campaign on its jumbo stage screens and promotional materials will be handed out at every event.

To learn more about the “Not Me, I’m Drug Free” anti-drug campaign, or to learn more about the devastating effects of heroin and meth abuse, visit and like the Facebook page at

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Western Reserve Hospital is currently seeking ambitious volunteers to assist with Transport and Ambassador responsibilities within the hospital.

Those interested in volunteering for the position of Transporter would assist hospital departments by transporting materials, patients, visitors, mail and other items as assigned around the hospital. Additional duties may be assigned and include clerical assistance and providing guest relations and assistance at hospital events.

Ambassador positions are also available. In this capacity, the volunteer would serve primarily as a greeter to escort patients and/or guests to their destinations. Some phone usage may be required in this role. Ambassadors may also be called upon to push guests in wheelchair when ushering them to their appointments or destinations.

Positions are limited and all day/time availability of applicants will be considered.

For more information or to request an application, please contact Julia Drinkard, Benefits & Volunteer Administrator, Western Reserve Hospital – (330) 971.7091,

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