OhioHealth Van Wert Hospital to no longer offer inpatient maternity services

VAN WERT, Ohio – OhioHealth announced today that OhioHealth Van Wert Hospital will no longer provide inpatient maternity services as of September 29, at 11:59 PM.

The hospital will continue to provide gynecologic procedures, such as hysterectomies or endometrial ablation. Women, who typically chose to deliver at Van Wert Hospital, can deliver at other area hospitals.

“Changes such as this are never an easy decision to make. As we look at the continued trends in labor and delivery, we want to make sure the highest quality resources and support are available for our obstetric and newborn patients,” said Joy Bischoff, president of Van Wert Hospital. “This higher level of support and care is not typically provided by most community hospitals. Across the nation, less babies are being delivered in rural and suburban hospitals.”

Van Wert Hospital will continue to meet the healthcare needs of Van Wert and its surrounding communities. Van Wert Hospital emergency department will be prepared if a laboring patient arrives to the hospital or an emergent delivery is needed.

The Van Wert Women’s Health practice, located at 140 Fox Road, and adjacent to Van Wert Hospital, will continue to provide pre-natal and post-natal care, in addition to the gynecologic care. The practice will continue gynecologic procedures at Van Wert Hospital.



OhioHealth to Provide Mobile Mammography Services

VAN WERT, Ohio – A new OhioHealth mobile mammography unit will make it easier and more convenient for women to get life-saving mammograms, bringing services to the workplace and close to home.

Starting in July, the unit will serve patients in counties near the US Route 30 corridor. The state-of-the-art mobile unit will provide mammography at businesses, healthcare provider offices and community events such as health fairs and church gatherings. OhioHealth expects to see eight to 12 patients in a typical day.

“We at OhioHealth deeply believe that all members of our community deserve access to equitable healthcare,” said Arvinder Bhinder, MD, OhioHealth medical oncologist.  “Life gets busy, and that's where our new mobile mammography unit comes in. We designed this unit to address barriers while also providing the same privacy and care as coming into your doctor's office.”

Stanley Black and Decker in Shelby is one of the businesses that will benefit from the mobile unit. “Removing the barrier of having to take time off work to receive this important screening will be a game changer,” said Ashle Finney, HR director, Stanley Black and Decker. “Our staff appreciates the convenience. They can walk from their work site, have their screening and return to work within a matter of a few minutes. We are thankful to OhioHealth for providing this service to our community.”

Funding for the mobile unit came from more than $1.5 million in donations ranging from $1 to $650,000, said Erin Stine, OhioHealth Foundation senior advisor for philanthropy. “The generosity of our communities never ceases to amaze me,” Stine said. “With the funds raised to launch this mobile mammography unit, we will be able to meet our community members where they are, providing greater access to lifesaving breast screenings.”

Major funders for the project include:

AEP Foundation

Richland County Foundation

S.N. and Ada Ford Foundation

Mansfield Hospital Auxiliary

Marion General Hospital Foundation

The Women’s Fund of The Shelby Foundation

OhioHealth Physician Group – Mansfield General Surgery

Curtis and Deanna Gingrich

Bruce and Cindy Hagen

The Shirley Schluter Cancer Fund and Mansfield Motor Group

Vinson and Teresa Yates

Mammography services are covered by most insurances. OhioHealth will work to ensure that all eligible patients receive mammograms, regardless of ability to pay.

“Early breast cancer is curable,” Joy Bischoff, interim president of OhioHealth Van Wert Hospital said. “We hope that this unit is the first step for our community members to be empowered to take charge of their health. If you see the mobile unit around town, please let it be a reminder to consider early screening for yourself and encourage your loved ones to consider it, too.” 

Those interested in having the mobile mammography unit on site should call the scheduling office at 567-309-2512 for more information.



OhioHealth and Surgery Partners Announce State-wide Partnership for Ambulatory Surgical Care Partnership to provide high-quality, affordable, accessible surgical care for patients across Ohio

by Marcus Thorpe – OhioHealth Media Relations

OhioHealth and Surgery Partners today announced an agreement to form a company that will grow ASC joint ventures across the state. The partnership will enhance relationships with surgeons and provide high quality, affordable, and local care for patients.

“We know there is a tremendous desire from patients to work with a trusted healthcare partner for their care,” Brian Jepson, OhioHealth president, central market said. “OhioHealth is already that partner for inpatient as well ambulatory care in more than half of the state of Ohio. However, to support our organization’s desire to grow beyond our traditional geographic areas, to meet patients where they are in their health journey, and to partner with surgeons across the state, we needed the right management partner. We feel Surgery Partners, the leading independent operator of surgical facilities, is the perfect fit.”

The new partnership will use a phased approach for statewide growth, starting with expansion opportunities within the 50 counties OhioHealth serves, followed by an opportunity review of the remaining 38 counties, allowing for flexibility and intentionality.

“At Surgery Partners, our mission is to enhance patient quality of life through partnership,” said Eric Evans, Chief Executive Officer.  “We are excited to partner with OhioHealth to provide quality, affordable and local care to patients across the state of Ohio. Our two organizations bring together local market knowledge and relationships and a trusted legacy of high-quality patient care with an industry-leading surgical facility management and growth expertise.

In addition to the partnership building an enhanced experience for patients, it will also foster relationships with top surgeons across the state. This partnership offers a unique opportunity for physicians to further invest in their practice, patients, and community and supports continued physician independence. With this flexible arrangement, physicians can continue to have a voice in day-to-day operations as well as strategic decisions for overall long-term strategy while benefiting from the scale and management expertise of OhioHealth and Surgery Partners.

About OhioHealth

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.  

Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 35,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 14 hospitals, 3 joint-venture hospitals, one managed-affiliate hospital, 200+ ambulatory sites and other health services spanning a 50-county area. It has been recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 15 times since 2007.

For more information, visit ohiohealth.com.

Surgery Partners

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Surgery Partners (NASDAQ: SGRY) is a leading healthcare services company with a differentiated outpatient delivery model focused on providing high quality, cost effective solutions for surgical care in support of both patients and physicians. Founded in 2004, Surgery Partners is one of the largest and fastest growing surgical services businesses in the country, with more than 180 locations in 31 states, including ambulatory surgery centers, surgical hospitals, and multi-specialty physician practices.


Overactive Bladder Webinar with Dr. Scott Shie

Van Wert, OH – On Tuesday, February 7, 2023 the Van Wert Health Center for Urology, in partnership with Medtronic, will host a free educational webinar on overactive bladder symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. The webinar will be presented by Scott Shie, MD, Board Certified Urologist.

When a person experiences sudden and involuntary contractions of their bladder muscles and continually feels the need to urinate, this is a condition known as overactive bladder. Symptoms of overactive bladder include uncontrollable urges to go to the bathroom, frequent accidents, and getting up multiple times at night. Overactive bladder condition affects millions of men and women daily.

“Issues related to the bladder can be a sensitive subject. Many who suffer from overactive bladders opt to avoid the issue, negatively impacting their overall quality of life,” shared Dr. Shie. “What we are doing with this sort of event is normalizing the discussion, offering a space free of judgment for people to learn and ask questions.”

The free event begins at 6:30 PM, will last for one hour, including time for questions. Register online: www.vanwerthealth.org/bladder-info

About Dr. Shie:

Scott Shie, MD, earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has 17 years of surgical and urological experience and has practiced in Ohio and Indiana. Dr. Shie is a member of the American Urological Association, Ohio Urological Society and American Association of Clinical Urologists. Dr. Shie has been published in the Journal of Endourology and given presentations for the American Urological Association.



First Baby Born at Van Wert Health in 2023

The first baby born in the year 2023 was top proud parents: Jarrett Hornish (dad) and Alexa Campbell (mom). The baby was named John Hornish, born on January 1 at 8:44 PM and weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 ounces.

The new parents received a large give basket from Van Wert Health to celebrate the New Year's birth, which included board books, wipes, toys, bath supplies, a diaper caddy, and gift card.




Van Wert Health to Join OhioHealth as 14th Full Member Hospital

VAN WERT, Ohio — OhioHealth and Van Wert Health announced today that the board of directors of both organizations have voted to enter into a membership agreement that will make Van Wert Health a full member of the OhioHealth system.

Van Wert Health will become OhioHealth’s 14th full member hospital, a milestone that will be celebrated with a welcoming ceremony in early 2023. The event also marks the beginning of an integration period that is expected to continue throughout the coming year.

The affirmative vote by both boards occurred on December 14.

“OhioHealth is the best partner to deepen our commitment to patient safety, quality, and patient experience. We approached our discussions with them very purposefully, and we ultimately selected OhioHealth because they provide the greatest long-term financial stability along with their unwavering commitment to delivering healthcare locally,” said Tom Turnwald, chairman of the Van Wert Health Board of Trustees. 

“OhioHealth and Van Wert Health share a vision to keep high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare in Van Wert County,” said John McWhorter, senior vice president and chief operating officer, OhioHealth. “Being part of the OhioHealth family ensures that Van Wert Health will continue to thrive thanks to the resources, scale and benefits inherent in a large, quality-driven health system like OhioHealth.”

The membership agreement will bring the 34-bed Van Wert Hospital, its physicians, associates and four outpatient centers and physician practices under the OhioHealth umbrella.

“At our core, we are here to care for the people in our communities,” said Jon Bagley, interim president and CEO, Van Wert Health. “Healthcare is broader than just what happens within the walls of a single facility. This affiliation provides the organizational scale and leadership talent needed to deliver exceptional patient care and to strengthen local access to services.

“Van Wert Health is a natural fit for OhioHealth as we share similar culture and values,” said Bruce Hagen, president, OhioHealth region. “We’re also impressed by their modern facilities, strong team of providers and associates and their unwavering commitment to providing quality care. We are very excited to welcome Van Wert into the OhioHealth family and for the opportunity to serve the Van Wert community.”

On December 14, the OhioHealth board of directors also voted to welcome Guernsey Health Systems into the OhioHealth family, which includes Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, OhioHealth’s 13th hospital. Southeastern Med, located in Cambridge, Ohio, has been renamed OhioHealth Southeastern Medical Center as part of the membership agreement. A welcome celebration for Guernsey Health has been scheduled for January 11, 2023.


About Van Wert Health

For more than a century Van Wert Health has been caring for patients throughout the northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana regions. A devoted team of nearly 500 nationally-regarded physicians, clinicians, nurses, and staff provide exceptional, high-quality care to patients at five locations – all with a unified goal of improving the lives of the people in the communities we serve.

In 2019 and 2022, Van Wert Health Hospital was named one of the top 100 rural and community hospitals in the United States by the Chartis Center for Rural Health.

About OhioHealth

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.  Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 35,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 14 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area. It has been recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 15 times since 2007. 


OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Berger Hospital, OhioHealth Southeastern Medical Center and Van Wert Health. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.  





Dr. Craig Hanson Joins Medical Staff at Van Wert Health

Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health is pleased to welcome urogynecologist and obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN), Craig Hanson, MD, FACOG, FPMRS, to the team of medical staff at Van Wert Health. Dr. Hanson is a fellowship-trained surgical gynecologist experienced in performing minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgeries for women, including reconstructive surgery. He also provides comprehensive gynecological care for women at all stages of life, from puberty to after menopause.

Dr. Hanson is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both OB/GYN and urogynecology. He earned his medical degree from Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine and completed his residency training at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan.

“We’re happy to welcome Dr. Hanson back to Van Wert Health,” said Paula Stabler, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Van Wert Health. “Our patients have long appreciated the personalized, quality care they receive from Van Wert Health, and we know that Dr. Hanson will continue this tradition.”

Dr. Hanson joins Alberto Delgado, MD, and Shane Gerber, CNP, at the Van Wert Health Center, located at 140 Fox Road, Suite 102, Van Wert, Ohio (formerly known as the Medical Arts Building).

Dr. Hanson will also see patients in Paulding, Ohio and Decatur, Indiana.

To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit vanwerthealth.org or call 419-238-3047.


Van Wert Health Honors Veterans with a
Free Meal at Brewed Expressions

Van Wert Health is teaming up with Brewed Expressions to honor veterans in our community. All active and retired members of the United States Armed Forces are invited to enjoy a free beverage or meal on Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11 at either of the Brewed Expressions locations.

This free meal is sponsored by Van Wert Health as a way to honor the heroic women and men who have served our country. Both Brewed Expressions locations are participating in this event.  The Brewed Expressions Café is located at 109 W. Main Street, Van Wert, Ohio and the Brewed Expressions Drive-Thru is located at 1114 S. Washington Street, Van Wert, Ohio.


Van Wert Health Family Physician Elected to National Leadership Positions

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) hosted its National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) in Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 2022. NCCL is the vehicle for AAFP member constituencies (recognized as women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates (IMGs), and LGBTQ+ physicians) to exchange information, share experiences, and develop basic leadership skills with peers from across the country. The conference is an opportunity for AAFP members of underrepresented constituencies to voice their individual and group perspectives.

The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) is proud to have had several members elected to leadership positions while representing Ohio’s family physicians at NCCL. OAFP member John A. Sharma, MD, FAAFP, is one such member that represented the IMG constituency for the OAFP. During NCCL, Dr. Sharma campaigned and was elected as IMG co-convener for the 2023 NCCL. Additionally, he was also successfully elected as a Member Constituency Alternate Delegate to the AAFP’s 2022 Congress of Delegates and will automatically serve as Delegate in 2023.

“I feel honored to represent the voices of my peers and look forward to the OAFP’s continuing guidance to ensure that I am best prepared to advocate for the voices of my constituency at upcoming meetings and, hopefully, be involved to help empower future OAFP constituency delegates to be leaders,” said Dr. Sharma.

Originally from Canada, Dr. Sharma earned his Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Alberta before graduating from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, in 2005. He has spent the last 16 years practicing rural family medicine in the Midwest. He is now a family medicine attending physician at Van Wert Health in Van Wert, OH.

“At NCCL, I learned about organizational structure, networking, resolution writing, providing testimony, and parliamentary procedure,” said Dr. Sharma. “I am thankful to Van Wert Health and their executive team for allowing me this opportunity to grow my leadership skills and bring a new skillset back to the Van Wert community for the ultimate benefit of its residents.”

Dr. Sharma’s diverse experiences and leadership provide the OAFP and the AAFP with a valuable perspective to help address the present challenges in primary care and strengthen the prevalence of family medicine in rural communities throughout the nation.



Van Wert Health to Offer Discounted Sports Physicals for Student Athletes

April 21, 2022, Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health announced their annual initiative to offer sports physicals for local student athletes in grades 7-12 at four schools in the surrounding area. In order to play school sports, all student athletes are required by state law to receive an annual physical each academic year for health and safety reasons.    

All physicals will take place at the respective high school for a reduced fee of $10 each.  Each physical will be administered by a certified health provider, and schools will ensure there is privacy for students during each physical examination.

The sports physicals are not intended to replace a student’s regular physical exam with their primary care provider, but it will meet state of Ohio requirements for student athletes. In the case of a patient not being cleared to participate (from the findings of the sports physical), he or she will need to have a follow up exam with a pediatrician or primary care provider.

Appointments are required for sports physicals performed at the schools and may be scheduled online at: vanwerthealth.org/sportsphysicals


Van Wert City Schools: May 3 and 16 from 8:00 AM – 12:00PM

Ottoville Local Schools: May 11 from 8:00 AM – 12:00PM

Lincolnview Local Schools: May 24 from 8:00 AM – 12:00PM

Crestview Local Schools: June 1 from 8:00 AM – 12:00PM

Each student athlete who plans on receiving a physical must bring a completed Preparticipation Physical Evaluation form. 


If students are unable to attend a sports physical at their respective school, they may make an appointment with any Van Wert Health primary care physician or advanced nurse practitioner for a sports physical, or may go to the Walk-in Clinic (no appointment needed) for a reduced fee of $25 between May 1 - July 31. 

More information and a link to the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation form is available at: vanwerthealth.org/sportsphysicals



Van Wert Health Hospital this month was named one of the top 100 rural and community hospitals in the United States for 2022 by the Chartis Center for Rural Health

“This designation recognizes the clinical and operational excellence of our team of dedicated physicians, nurses, clinical staff, and support staff.  This honor solidifies their hard work and dedication, and is especially significant coming after encountering a global pandemic,” according to Jim Pope, President and CEO.

To determine the top 100 rural hospitals, the Chartis Center used the Hospital Strength Index, which assesses performance in eight pillars of performance: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge and financial efficiency.

Pope said being included in the Top 100 nationally is a reflection of the organization’s daily commitment to provide the community access to the highest quality of care, delivered with compassion, while remaining a financially viable organization that can serve future generations of northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana residents.

Over the course of the last 12 years, the Chartis Center Index has grown to become the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. The Index framework is widely used across the nation by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints and state offices of rural health, which provide access to Index analytics through grant-funded initiatives.

“We are proud to serve this community and these accolades are really about the quality work our team is doing every day to provide excellent patient-centered care,” Pope said.




Van Wert Health Eases Visitor Restrictions
Beginning Wednesday, November 3, 2021, Van Wert Health – Hospital will ease some of its restrictions for visiting patients in the hospital. In all patient care areas, visiting hours are from 8 AM – 8 PM daily. 

Expanding visitation has substantial benefits to our patients and their loved ones. We look at visitors as an added layer of our patient support team” shared Elizabeth Neuschwanger, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer.  “The virus is better understood now than when it first appeared.  With proper protocols in place, safe visitation is possible.”

The visitation guidelines are available to view online at: vanwerthealth.org/visit.  A summary of the updates includes:

·       Two visitors per day, 12 years or older, for inpatient adults and pediatrics who do not have COVID-19.

·       One adult visitor per day for inpatient adults with COVID-19 and two adult visitors per day for inpatient pediatrics with COVID-19.

·       Labor and delivery patients may have two visitors at a time.  Siblings are welcome to visit and will be counted as one of the permitted visitors.

As a reminder, the hospital screens each visitor at the entrance to the building and everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. If a visitor does not have a mask, Van Wert Health will provide one.

Vaccinations are the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check with your medical provider, pharmacy, or local health department to ask questions or to arrange for your vaccine.




 Encouraging Patients to Resume Cancer Screenings


Van Wert Health is urging people throughout the region to talk with their healthcare provider to resume regular primary care checkups and recommended cancer screening. This has the potential to lessen the negative impact that the pandemic is having on identifying and treating people with cancer.


Throughout the pandemic, many health care resources were redirected to combat rising COVID-19 cases and to prevent the spread of the virus. Elective medical procedures, including cancer screening, were largely put on hold at the onset of the pandemic. The impact was immediate as screening related procedures dropped drastically in March, April, and May 2020 according to the American Cancer Society. Estimates also project 35% of Americans missed routine cancer screening due to COVID-19 related fears and service disruptions. The American Cancer Society foresees that the pandemic-related reductions in health care access and cancer screening will result in a short-term drop in cancer diagnoses and a later corresponding increase in late-state diagnoses and preventable deaths.


“Regular cancer screening tests can improve and save your life,” said Roxanna Toress, MD, Women’s Health Specialist. “There certainly can be life after a breast cancer diagnosis, but the chance of being cured is going to be much higher when the cancer is caught at an early stage. This is because many breast cancers are highly curable when caught early. The best protection is early detection.”


Screening refers to testing individuals who have no signs or symptoms of disease. It is critical to ensure that patients with signs or symptoms associated with cancer undergo diagnostic evaluation as soon as possible. Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women and colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of death among men and women in the United States, yet nearly one in three people for whom screening is recommended were not up-to-date with screening prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


American Cancer Society breast health screening recommendations:

·       Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so.

·       Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

·       Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years, or can continue yearly screening.

·       Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away. Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. Talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.


The Van Wert Health - Women’s Health Team cares for patients in both Van Wert and Paulding.   All of the providers are welcoming new patients, including Jose Crespo, MD; Alberto Delgado, MD; Roxanna Torres; and Shane Gerber, CNP.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 419-238-3047 or online at vanwerthealth.org.


Robotic Treatment for Patients with Enlarged Prostate

Van Wert Health announced today that it is the first in the region to offer Aquablation therapy for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

BPH, or an enlarged prostate, is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate has grown to be larger than normal. 1 in 2 men ages 51 to 60 have BPH, and the incidence increases every decade of life. 1 If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence. The problem with BPH surgical treatments today is that they often force men to trade off between symptom relief and side effects, limiting patients to choose between either a high degree of symptom relief with high rates of irreversible complications (such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, or ejaculatory dysfunction) or low degree of symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications.

Aquablation therapy is a different type of treatment for BPH. It’s an advanced, less invasive treatment that uses the power of water delivered with robotic precision to provide best-in-class and long-lasting symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications, regardless of prostate size or shape. 2,3

“We are proud to be among the first in the region to offer a solution for men with BPH that provides proven BPH relief without some of the compromise of traditional surgical approaches,” said Scott Shie, MD, Board Certified Urologist at Van Wert Health. “Aquablation therapy is the next step to furthering our commitment to precision robotic surgery and men’s health. We are ideally structured to offer advanced, high-level care in a safe and comfortable environment with excellent support staff and focus on a patient-centered approach.”

Aquablation therapy is performed by the AquaBeam Robotic System, the first FDA-cleared, surgical robot utilizing automated tissue resection for the treatment of LUTS due to BPH. It combines real-time, multi-dimensional imaging, automated robotic technology, and heat-free waterjet ablation technology for targeted, controlled, and immediate removal of prostate tissue. Aquablation therapy offers predictable and reproducible outcomes, independent of prostate anatomy, prostate size, or surgeon experience.

Aquablation therapy has proven results. In clinical studies, Aquablation therapy has been shown to provide both best-in-class and durable symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications.2-4

A study within the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which surveyed 300 men living with BPH, revealed 92% of respondents expressed an interest in learning more about Aquablation therapy.5 This data demonstrates the need within the patient population to find relief without the trade-off between symptoms and relief side effects.

For more information about aquablation and the other urological services offered at Van Wert Health, visit vanwerthealth.org or call 419-232-6051.



1.      Roehrborn, CG, Rosen, RC. Medical therapy options for aging men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: focus on alfuzosin 10 mg once daily. Clinical Interventions in Aging 2008:3(3).

2.      Gilling, P, et al. Three-Year Outcomes after Aquablation Therapy Compared to TURP: Results from a Blinded Randomized Trial. Can J Urol. 2020 Feb;27(1):10072-10079.

3.      Desai, M, et al. Aquablation for benign prostatic hyperplasia in large prostates (80-150 cc): 2-year results. Can J Urol. 2020 Apr;27(2):10147-10153.

4.      Bach, T, et al. First Multi-Center All-Comers Study for the Aquablation Procedure. J Clin Med. 2020 Feb; 9(2): 603.

5.      Data from a global survey of 300 patients with BPH. Data on file at PROCEPT BioRobotics.



New Physician Joins Van Wert Health Center for Urology


Van Wert Health is pleased to announce that Colin Linke, D.O. has joined its practice. Dr. Linke joins Dr. Nik Kiehl, Dr. Scott Shie, and Brandi Alwine, PA-C at the Van Wert Health Center for Urology, located at 140 Fox Road, Suite 105, Van Wert, Ohio (formerly known as the Medical Arts Building).


Dr. Linke has been expertly trained in general urology and urological surgery for both men and women.  His special clinical interests include treatment of urologic cancers and using surgically minimally-invasive techniques, including robotic surgery, to treat benign and malignant diseases.


Dr. Linke received his medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University Medical School in Harrogate, Tennessee. He completed his residency in urology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.


“We are privileged to welcome another outstanding and talented urologist here at Van Wert Health,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO.  “Van Wert Health is growing and continually looking for ways to offer our patients additional services along the continuum of care.”


The providers at the Van Wert Health Center for Urology treat a variety of urologic conditions and disorders, including urologic cancers.  The center offers procedures, including vasectomies, along with medicinal and surgical treatments for voiding dysfunction, enlarged prostates, incontinence, kidney stones, male infertility, and other urologic disorders. 


Providers at the Van Wert Health Center for Urology are accepting new patients.  For more information about the services offered visit vanwerthealth.org or call 419-232-6051. 




New Primary Care Physician Joins Van Wert Health


Van Wert, OH – Board-certified family medicine physician John Sharma, MD, has joined Van Wert Health. Dr. Sharma specializes in comprehensive care for newborns, children, adolescents, and adults.


His special clinical interests include preventative and lifestyle medicine, and chronic illness management. He provides quality, evidence-based care in an approachable setting and enjoys collaborating with patients to diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of health concerns to achieve their health goals.


“I am so happy to welcome Dr. Sharma to both Van Wert Health and our community,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health.  “Family medicine is an essential component of whole-patient care and we know Dr. Sharma will be an asset to our patients and team.”


Dr. Sharma earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in Family Medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.


He will care for patients at both Van Wert Health – Rockford (506 South Main St., Rockford, OH) and at Van Wert Health – North (214 Towne Center Blvd, Van Wert, OH).  To schedule an appointment, call 419-363-3008.



Nurse Practitioner Joins Van Wert Health
Van Wert Health is pleased to announce that Abbie Evans, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC), has joined the team at the Walk-in Clinic, located at Van Wert Health North. 

Abbie is board certified and a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses since 2017. Evans has previous experience with family medicine, women’s health, and obstetrics.

“We are very pleased to welcome Abbie Evans aboard at our walk-in clinic in Van Wert,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health.  “Since Van Wert Health North opened three years ago, we’ve set a standard for expert walk-in care with a primary focus on providing appropriate care in the right setting that is expedient and affordable.”

Located off of US-30, the Walk-in Clinic is open seven days a week, with extended hours during the week.  For more information about the clinic and hours of operation, visit vanwerthealth.org or call 419-605-0850.


Van Wert Health to Kick Off ‘Know Your Numbers’ Campaign in July 2021

Van Wert, OH - Getting your numbers checked regularly and knowing what they mean is a great step towards better health. During the entire month of July 2021, Van Wert Health is offering special pricing for selected preventative lab tests.  Anyone in the northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana region is welcome to attend this promotion, guests do not have to be a patient of Van Wert Health in order to participate.

By learning about what numbers and ranges you should be in and how you compare against “healthy” numbers, you can take actions towards maintaining or leading a healthy life. Some of the more well-known chronic conditions like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and diabetes can be prevented by keeping your numbers in healthy ranges.

One of the tests offered during the “Know Your Numbers” month promotion is the Complete Blood Count (CBC), which is a blood test used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia. Several components and features of your blood are measured including: red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. Abnormal increases or decreases in cell counts as revealed in a CBC may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition that calls for further evaluation.

Other tests offered during Know Your Numbers month include:


·       Comprehensive Metabolic Profile ($20)

·       Lipid Profile ($20)

·       Complete Blood Count ($20)

·       Hemoglobin A1c ($25)

·       Thyroid Stimulating Hormone ($25)

·       Prostate Specific Antigen ($30) 

Visitors are invited to walk-in any time during the month of July.  Appointments are not needed.  Participating lab locations include the Van Wert Health Center (140 Fox Road, Suite 106), Van Wert Health – Hospital (1250 S. Washington Street), Van Wert Health – North (214 Towne Center Blvd.), all located in Van Wert, Ohio.

More information is available online at vanwertheatlh.org, including a complete listing of the outpatient lab hours as each facility. Patients with additional questions may reach a staff member via email at vanwerthealth.org or by calling 419-238-8623.


Van Wert Health Celebrates 100th Case on the da Vinci Xi Surgical System

Van Wert Health is proud to announce that its physicians and surgical team have completed the 100th robotic-assisted surgery case on the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.  The hospital began performing robotic-assisted surgeries in December 2020 and celebrated the milestone on June 22. 

“Residents in Van Wert and surrounding communities have access to this cutting-edge technology right in their backyard,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO at Van Wert Health. “We are proud to offer our patients advanced surgical options, keeping them close to home for care and allowing them to get back to their everyday lives as quickly as possible.”

Van Wert Health utilizes the da Vinci XI Surgical System, which is the latest in robotic surgical technologies.  With less patient discomfort and improved results, minimally-invasive surgery using robotic systems has become an increasingly popular option over traditional open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.  Patient benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include a shorter hospitalization period, quicker healing and return to normal activity, reduced blood loss, and reduced post-procedure pain. For the surgeon using the robot, advantages include an enhanced and magnified view of inside the patient’s body, instruments that bend and rotate farther than human hands, and overall enhanced precision and control. The surgeon is 100-percent in control of the robotic-assisted system.

“I have seen such a positive effect since beginning to utilize robotic assisted surgery,” said Thomas Conte, MD, General Surgeon.  “It’s exciting to be part of the growing robotics program at Van Wert Health.”  The Robotic Surgery Program at Van Wert Health was made possible by a generous gift from Bruce & Julie Kennedy.


Van Wert Health Welcomes Dr. Kalogerou and Deb Howell to Rural Health Clinic

March 30, 2021, Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health Physician Group is pleased to welcome Paul A. Kalogerou, MD, and Deborah Howell, APRN, CNP, two Primary Care providers, to their staff at the Fox Road Rural Health Clinic. Both Kalogerou and Howell practice in Van Wert, most recently through Parkview Physicians group.


Dr. Kalogerou, who is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, has over 30 years of experience, having served the Northwest Ohio area since 1992. He graduated from medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He then completed an internship and residency through Case Western Reserve University, at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “We look forward to continuing to help our patients stay well, manage chronic conditions, and prevent disease,” shared Dr. Kalogerou.  “We are especially pleased to join the competent and compassionate team of physicians and advanced practitioners at Van Wert Health.”  


Deborah Howell, a certified member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Indiana State University, followed by a Master’s of Science in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University, in Hyden Kentucky.

“Dr. Kalogerou and Deb’s many years of experience, combined with their clinical skills are exceptional,” said Todd Duff, Vice President of Physician and Ambulatory Services. “Both of them provide a great blend of top-notch clinical care along with a strong passion for providing community-based care.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kalogerou or Deb Howell, CNP, please call 419-232-2077.  They will begin seeing patients on Thursday, April 8.  Patients may also call Dr. Kalogerou and Deb Howell’s former office number at 419-238-7777, beginning April 8, when the phone number will be transferred over to Van Wert Health. 

The Fox Road Rural Health Clinic, part of Van Wert Health, is located in Suite 201 of the Van Wert Health Center, located at 140 Fox Road, Van Wert, Ohio.


Van Wert Health to Lift Some Visitor Restrictions

Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health, which first implemented visitor restrictions in March 2020 to help control the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, today announced it will begin to lift some of those restrictions.  The new visitation guidelines detailed below go into effect Friday, February 26.


Visiting hours are daily from 8 AM - 7 PM.


Pediatric Inpatient
Two healthy adult primary caregivers may accompany pediatric patients. Caregivers are invited to stay in a patient's room for the entire duration of a patient's stay.

Adult Inpatient

One healthy visitor, age 18 or older, at a time may accompany each adult inpatient during visiting hours (8 AM - 7 PM).  No visitors are allowed for adult patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are being evaluated for COVID-19.


Adult Emergency Services
Two healthy visitors at a time may accompany each adult patient.  No visitors are allowed for patients who have tested positive for or are being evaluated for COVID-19.


Pediatric Emergency Services

Two healthy visitors at a time may accompany each pediatric patient. Siblings under age 18 are not permitted at this time.


Labor and Delivery
Mothers laboring and delivering may have a support person throughout their stay, who is invited for the entire duration of a patient's stay.  One additional healthy adult visitor, age 18 or older, at a time may be present during visiting hours (8 AM - 7 PM).


Surgery and Procedures
One healthy visitor, age 18 or older, is allowed to accompany each adult patient to a procedure or same-day surgery.

Two adult primary caregivers may accompany each pediatric patient to an outpatient procedure or surgery.

All Patients at End of Life
Patients who are nearing end of life may have additional visitors present.


Pastoral Care
Pastoral visits and clergy support from a patient’s own faith community are always welcome and will not “count” toward a patient’s approved visitors for the day.


As Van Wert Health begins this phased approach, we continue to support proper social distancing and masking guidelines.  For more information about the added measures Van Wert Health is taking to ensure the safety of its patients, visitors, and staff members, please visit: vanwerthealth.org/patients-visitors/visiting-guidelines






Van Wert Health Announces Scholarship Program

Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health is pleased to announce a scholarship opportunity for 2021 graduating high school students.  The Medical and Healthcare Scholarship Program was founded to support the growth and development of students from all sectors of the human healthcare industry.

“We are honored to offer this scholarship again this year, which reflects the importance of supporting the education of our future healthcare professionals,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health. “We have been reminded how vital healthcare workers are to our community over the past year.  These scholarships will be meaningful to the individuals who have made the thoughtful decision to dedicate their lives to the healthcare profession and caring for others.”

The Van Wert Health Medical and Healthcare Scholarship awards $1,000 to five graduating high school seniors, to be used towards the expenses of tuition, books, and other fees for healthcare related post-secondary education. The scholarship is renewable for $1,000 per year, up to 4 years.

Applications are due April 19, 2021. Printed copies of the application are available at all local high schools or available online at vanwerthealth.org/scholarship. Applicants with questions are encouraged to reach out to their school counselor or Van Wert Health’s Community Relations Department at 419-238-8623.



Van Wert Health Announces Open Call for Photos


Van Wert, Ohio -- Van Wert Health is pleased to announce an open call for photos to be considered for decorating the newest areas of Van Wert Health - Hospital, which is currently being constructed. The open call is for anyone in the northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana region, professional or amateur, with no age restrictions.

When patients, family members, and visitors enter through our doors, we want them to feel welcomed in our new space, and your special photos will be an integral part of that. Photograph submissions may be of any subject, including but not limited to the landscape of our county, photos of special milestones in your life, or of the people who have shaped who you are today. Photos may be new or old (as long as they meet the requirements outlined below). We are building the new Surgery and Inpatient Expansion Project at Van Wert Health for you, the community, and we want your photos to be one more way for you to be part of the region’s newest, state-of-the-art facility.

Photograph Entry Rules
• Entries may be submitted between May 1 – August 2.
• All photos must be submitted as high resolution digital images (300-600 dpi).
• Photos may be black and white, or color, new or vintage.
• Please include the location where the photograph was taken with your submittal.
• Photographs that include people will ultimately need to have a signed photo release if the photo is chosen. We’ll contact you to complete the release form upon final selection of the photos.
• There is no limit to the number of photographs an individual may submit.
There is no fee associated with entering this open call.

How to Submit Photos
• Upload your photos to vwh.wetransfer.com using the email: info@vanwerthealth.org. Please include the following information in the message: name, phone number, and location the photo was taken.
Additional Information
• We will contact you by September 4 if your photo(s) are selected.
• Photos will be professionally matted, framed, and hung in the new hospital.
• Finalists will be invited to a special event to see your photo on display.
• All printed photos become the property of Van Wert Health and will not be returned to you.



Van Wert Health Announces Health Care Scholarship Winners

Van Wert, OH -- Van Wert Health announced winners of the 2020 Medical and Health Care Scholarship, an award for high school seniors pursuing continuing education within health care professions.

The field was extremely competitive this year with applications from over 100 high-achieving students. The selected candidates are a group of ambitious and talented students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, academic excellence, and a commitment to helping shape the future of health care.

“Each year, I am amazed by the accomplishments of our area students. The Van Wert Health scholarship program is an investment in our community – an investment in a healthier future,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health. “The program is part of a larger effort to address the nationwide shortage of healthcare workers. It really is a no-brainer for us to invest in this amazing group of scholars who wish to enter health care careers.”

The 2020 recipients, who will each receive a $1,000 scholarship which may be renewed for a total of 4 years, are:


• Macy Henkle, Parkway High School

• Katie Strayer, Paulding High School


• Jayla Rostorfer, Jefferson High School


• Kylee Hoersten, Ottoville High School



• Claire Eiden, Ottawa-Glandorf High School



• Delaney Eyanson, Van Wert High School



How to Donate Hand-Sewn Face Masks to Van Wert Health

Many individuals, groups and businesses from the community have generously offered to help assist Van Wert Health in our preparedness efforts by sewing cloth masks. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not suggest cloth material as a first-line defense against the coronavirus, cloth masks work well for other conditions and can help conserve precious reserves of N-95 respirator masks.

Hand-sewn masks can be dropped off between 7 AM - 7 PM daily at the hospital, which is located at 1250 S. Washington Street, Van Wert.

Van Wert Health will be hosting a "Cloth Mask Drive-Thru Drop-Off" event at the Van Wert Health Center (Medical Arts Building) on Monday, March 30 from 11 AM - 1 PM. Simply pull up under the canopy and an employee will retrieve the masks directly from your car. 

Place masks in a plastic bag and include a note to indicate whether or not there are pets in your home. Donated masks are thoroughly laundered and sanitized before being distributed (cleaning process is different based upon if there are pets in the home).

A recommended sewing pattern, along with suggested cloth materials, can be found on our website >> http://www.vanwerthospital.org/community/covid-19

Your efforts will help make a difference for the people in our community.



Van Wert Health Releases Local COVID-19 Update and Visitor Restrictions

We at Van Wert Health are working hard to monitor and adapt to the ever-changing situation with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in order to care for patients in the safest way possible, protect our caregivers, contain the spread of the virus within the region, and provide the most up-to-date information to the public. 


We are treating the COVID-19 outbreak as an emergent situation and have assembled an internal team of leaders, physicians, infection prevention specialist and many more who are working with all of our offices to create protocols and new workflows for COVID-19.  Many of the practices related to COVID-19 are the same as for influenza, and we are using our best infection prevention practices to protect patients, visitors, physicians, and staff.


“Van Wert Health’s team of physicians and healthcare professionals include experts with extensive experience in caring for patients with infectious diseases and in activating comprehensive, response management plans when public health threats develop,” said Elizabeth Neuschwanger, Chief Nursing Officer.  “Our team is well prepared if there are 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnoses in our region.”


Tightened Visitor Restrictions

In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other infectious diseases to protect patients and staff members, and in accordance with guidance from the Ohio Hospital Association, on Friday, March 20, Van Wert Health - Hospital implemented a revised visitation policy. 


Intensive Care and Acute Care Units: No visitors allowed for adult patients. 

Pediatrics: Two authorized adult visitors will be allowed for the duration of a patient’s stay.

Maternity: For mothers laboring and delivering, they will be allowed one visitor to be with them throughout their stay.

Emergency Department: One authorized parent/guardian per pediatric patient.

Patients facing end-of-life: We will work with families to ensure that they are able to be with their family member.

Patients who require assistance: One visitor may accompany adult individuals with special needs.

Case by case exceptions may be made if needed. 


We encourage people to remain in contact with your loved ones through phone calls, texting, video chats, etc.  We thank the community for helping maintain a healthy environment for everyone at our hospital. 


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, or minor shortness of breath, and are otherwise healthy and not experiencing a medical emergency, we recommend you manage your symptoms from home.  Unless it’s an emergency, to reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness, stay home.  Do not go to work or public places. 


According to Van Wert Health physician George Trimble, MD, “The majority of people who will be exposed to COVID-19 will experience mild to no symptoms.  Just because you are not feeling well, does not mean you have COVID-19.  Please follow all of the recommended precautions and if you are not feeling well, consult your primary care physician first or call the helpline.” 


Some infections may progress though into pneumonia or bronchitis and individuals more at risk are the elderly and those with compromised immune symptoms.


Anyone experiencing extreme shortness of breath or another medical emergency should seek care at the closest Emergency Room. 


Dedicated COVID-19 Helpline

Patients with questions about their symptoms or unsure if they should seek care should call their primary care physician or call the Van Wert Health COVID-19 helpline, which is now available 24 hours daily – 419-203-9161. 


The possibility of having a contagious illness can be scary.  Our team at Van Wert Health is working together with federal, state, and local organizations to identify and provide care to patients while avoiding spread of the illness in the community. 


“Seeing the community rally around and support each other during the COVID-19 outbreak has been truly humbling and inspiring. Thank you to everyone at Van Wert Health for your continued resilience, hard work, and determination,” shared Neuschwanger.




Van Wert Health – Primary Care Ottoville Welcomes New
Family Medicine Physician


Ottoville, OH –  Justin Laudick, APRN-FNP and the team at Van Wert Health are pleased to announce that Christopher Halasy, MD has joined their practice as a full-time physician and is welcoming new patients at the Van Wert Health – Primary Care Ottoville clinic, located at 290 East Third Street in Ottoville.

“I am elated to welcome Dr. Halasy to our Ottoville practice”, said Todd Duff, Vice President of Physician Services.  “He provides a great blend of topnotch clinical education and knowledge with a strong passion for providing community-based care.” 

Dr. Halasy received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland Ohio.  He completed an internship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Akron and followed that with a residency program at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio.

“I very much enjoy getting to know my patients and helping them achieve better health,” Dr. Halasy said. “I believe it’s important to know each patient personally and their medical history, including family history, as all of these factors have an impact on a person’s health.”

Van Wert Health – Primary Care Ottoville is a family medicine practice providing patients with high quality, personalized health care.  For more information about the Primary Care Ottoville Practice or to schedule an appointment, please call 419-453-3321.




Topping Off Ceremony Celebrated at Van Wert Health Hospital Expansion

Community members, officials and employees celebrated the Topping Off Beam Placing on Tuesday, July 8, 2019 at an early morning ceremony. Nearly 1000 people signed their names to the beam over the past several weeks. Some even wrote poignant remembrances of their beloved historical 60 year old hospital on the 32-foot steel beam.

The Topping Off Ceremony of the beam began with photographs at the beam  itself and then a welcome speech by President and CEO Jim Pope. “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step,” he said, as he thanked the many people involved in the project from planning in 2016 to the construction crew now at work in the building process.

In explaining the Topping off Ceremony, he mentioned that the Scandinavians, in the Dark Ages, when putting on their new roof top, put a tree on top to pay homage to the tree gods (they built their homes of trees) and a coat of arms flag to signify that the place belonged to them. The beam raised to the top layer of the Van Wert Expansion  building has the Evergreen Tree (which will be planted later on the grounds) and the United States Flag. See the picture.

The $46 million expansion project is the largest to date and will house state of the art in-patient rooms as well as new surgical facilities. It is being financed by hospital cash funds, bank financing and bonds (as it benefits the hospital financial picture). Pope said that preliminary research in 2016 showed renovation costs on the existing structure would run into the tens of millions of dollars and would still leave the community with an old building and without the ability to incorporate future needs so the board decided the only way to meet the needs of the community going forward was to go ahead and build a new campus.


According to Jim Pope CEO, the in-patient rooms will be family friendly with plenty of room for private doctor consultations as well as areas for families to gather with their loved one.  The patient beds and rooms will be state-of the-art in communicating with the doctors and nurses at all levels. There will be new acute care and intensive care unit rooms, and all new labor and delivery rooms and C-section suite. There will be private entrances/exits and canopies.

The surgical suites will be larger and tech advanced to provide for all of the new advances now and in the future. A larger and private surgery waiting area is also included. Even robotics were figured into the equation as the planning committee looked far into the future of the health needs here at home.



Left to Right: Jade Painter - Construction Coordinator; Mark Johnston - Project Manager; Jim Pope - President and CEO; and Curtis Zink - Site Supervisor.


Jim Pope with free t-shirts - Top 100 Hospital Award!

Construction on the Surgery and Inpatient Expansion Project began in September 2018 and has seen substantial progress over the past 10 months. “We’re energized about the progress thus far on the project and we are so happy to be celebrating this milestone with the entire community, and ultimately, celebrating the evolution of the project as we move into the next era of health care in our region,” shared Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health.

Left to right: Dr. Jellinger and Radiology Staff

Reverend Demon Johnson provided the blessing after which the beam was raised by a large crane by the Weigand Construction team and placed onto the top of the expansion.

Later that day they began pouring concrete and by Fall 2019, the structure will be enclosed for inside finishing. The project will be completed in October 2020 when the current hospital will be anchored by a new two-story, 84,000 square-foot facility which will help further address the health care needs of residents and visitors in our area.



Beam Signing Marks Milestone in Van Wert Health Hospital Expansion 2019 Project

Van Wert, OH –All area community members are invited to sign their name on a 32-foot beam that will be used in the construction of the Van Wert Health Expansion Project. The beam signing events mark a significant milestone in the largest expansion project for Van Wert Health, which has provided health care services to Van Wert and the surrounding communities for nearly 115 years. Community members, physicians, hospital employees, and volunteers are all invited to sign the beam during any of the designated dates and times.

Guests should enter the Van Wert Health Main Campus (located at 1250 South Washington Street, Van Wert) and park near the large white tent, which will house the 32-foot beam to be signed.

Beam signing dates will be: June 20, 21, 22, and 23 and June 27, 28, 29, and 30, 2019 from 12:00-2:00 PM and 5:00 to 7:00 PM each day. Construction on the Surgery and Inpatient Expansion Project begin in September 2018 and has seen substantial progress over the past 9 months. “We’re energized about the progress thus far on the project and we look forward to celebrating this milestone with the entire community, and ultimately, celebrating the evolution of the project as we move into the next era of health care in our region,” shared Jim Pope, President and CEO of Van Wert Health. When complete, the current hospital will be anchored by a new two-story, 84,000 square-foot facility which will help further address the health care needs of residents and visitors in our area.

Highlights of the expansion project include a state-of-the-art surgical suites, surgery waiting area, all new acute care and intensive care unit rooms, and all new labor and delivery rooms and C-section suite.

Van Wert Health is also hosting a Pretend Play Hospital for children of all ages on Saturday, June 29.

Children and their parents are invited to the hospital any time between 9 AM and 2 PM where a special area will be converted into a land of make-believe where children can play dress up with child-sized scrubs and lab jackets; experiment with medical equipment like crutches, slings, bandages, and gauge; and enjoy play time with Van Wert Health doctors and nurse practitioners.


Van Wert Health Recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health as a 2019 Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital

April 29, 2019 – Van Wert County Hospital, dba, Van Wert Health in Van Wert, Ohio today announced it has been named one of the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Regarded as one of the industry’s most significant designations of performance excellence, the annual Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals award is based upon the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX® from iVantage Health Analytics. “We are proud to be recognized by agencies like The Chartis Center for Rural Health,” said Jim Pope, President & CEO of Van Werth Health. “Our Mission is simple, we want to be the best community hospital. We know that designation has to be earned every day from the patients we care for. It is a journey.”

Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility scored in the top 100 among all rural and community hospitals nationally. Now in its ninth year, the INDEX leverages 50 rural-relevant indicators across eight pillars of hospital strength (i.e. Inpatient Market Share, Outpatient Market Chare, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective and Financial Stability) to determine an overall score for each hospital. Each of the INDEX’s 50 indicators is culled from publicly-available data sources. “In an era of increased complexity and uncertainty, Top 100 hospitals have established themselves as a bellwether for rural provider performance,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Top 100 status is a real indicator of how proactive these hospitals are when it comes to pushing for performance improvement in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient safety, market share and finance.”


Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital Resources: The list of this year’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals, as well as the 2019 INDEX methodology, can be found at www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals.


To learn more about The Chartis Center for Rural Health or to speak with someone regarding the INDEX and the 2019 Top 100, please email Billy Balfour at wbalfour@ivantagehealth.com.


Van Wert Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital and physician group that provides comprehensive healthcare to Van Wert County, Ohio, and the surrounding region. They work to meet the health needs of their patients by continually assessing and improving the quality of care they provide. Van Wert Health has served the region since 1905. Their patient-focused approach is at the forefront of their mission to be the best community hospital.


Traffic Update for First Phase of Van Wert Health Construction Project

Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health is asking all patients and visitors to carefully watch signage while on the main campus of Van Wert Health in order to navigate safety around the construction zones.  The campus is now marked with red arrows to route patients directly to the main entrance of the Emergency Room.  Additional blue arrows, which are painted on the pavement and on signage around the campus, are being used to direct outpatients, visitors, and vendors to an alternate parking lot during the first phase of construction for the Van Wert Health Surgery and Inpatient Expansion Project. 

The expansion project includes a new two-story, 84,000 square-foot facility which will help further address the health care needs of residents and visitors in our area. 




Van Wert County Community Health Surveys
To Be Conducted During September and October 2018

Van Wert, OH – This week, the Van Wert County Health Collaborative, which is an initiative led by Van Wert Health and other supporting community organizations, will begin its survey of Van Wert County residents as part of a community health assessment process. The Van Wert County Health Collaborative is working closely with the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and researchers at the University of Toledo to conduct the survey. Over the next two months 1,200 Van Wert County residents will be randomly selected to participate in a health survey. Residents of Van Wert County who are randomly selected are urged to complete and return the survey.

The anonymous survey asks participants to answer questions about general health, risk and protective health factors, and access to health care. These answers will create a snapshot of the health of Van Wert County residents. The results will guide many public and private agencies in their program planning over the next several years by identifying key health problems. The final community health assessment report will be published in the Spring 2019 at which time the results will be used to prioritize needs and create a community health improvement plan.

If there are any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact Van Wert Health at info@vanwerthealth.org or by calling 419-238-2390.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Van Wert Health North ~ New Ambulatory Center
Community Encouraged to Use Facility

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by Jim Pope and board
Jerry Sell, MD (4th from left side)

With a dream to better serve the region, President and CEO Jim Pope, the Hospital Board, dignitaries, doctors, nurses and employees cut the ribbon at Van Wert Health North’s New Ambulatory Center on June 14 at 8:15 AM. With a large crowd on hand, Jim Pope explained the vision of the hospital in planning the facility and purpose. “Van Wert Health North will provide access to care and make it readily accessible to both area residents and visitors passing through our community.”

A champagne and fruit juice toast and light breakfast followed the ceremony and tours for the large crowd on hand.

Dr. Jocelyn Wray and Mary Pope (above) enjoy refreshments after the ceremony.


Located at 214 Towne Center Boulevard, Van Wert, Ohio at US. Routes 127 and 30 near the Walmart Shopping Center and the Goodwill Store, the 29,000 square foot walk-in facility will give patients access to a walk-in clinic, primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational health, laboratory, and radiology/imaging services, which include an open MRI, CT scan, and X-ray capabilities.  Jocelyn (Foster) Wray, MD Chief Medical Officer and Lawrence Monger, Jr., Monger, MD, Internal Medicine and two nurse practitioners are among those personnel who will lead the team of qualified staff including Kelly (Rutledge) Sutton serving the clinic on a daily basis.

Pope explained that the new MRI is the highest quality open MRI in the region, with a 1.2-tesla advanced high-field magnet. “Unlike a typical MRI in which patients are enclosed in a narrow tube, our MRI is open on the sides.   We can provide high quality MRI images for a wide variety of needs, all for $600 or less,” said Pope.

Pope (above), who has been with VWH since 2016, went on to say that, “At the  Walk-In Clinic we can treat minor, non-life-threatening illnesses, conditions and injuries in patients of all ages – with no appointment required.  Some of the minor injuries and illnesses that can be treated at the Walk-in Clinic include colds, flu, sinus infections, strep throat, ear pain, poison ivy, minor lacerations, minor burns, urinary tract infections, acute back pain, and most pre-participation sports and camp physicals.  We accept most insurance and can bill insurance directly.” Co-pays are also accepted.

Highest quality open MRI in the region - above.

The Walk-in Clinic will be open Monday-Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM.   

Opening date to serve the public is Monday, June 25 beginning at 7:00 AM.

Click on smaller thumbnail pictures below to enlarge them.


Rep from State Rep Jim Jordan's office
presents a flag flown over the Ohio State House

Champagne and fruit juice toasts

Main Lobby
with Mission and Vision

Conference and Training Room
with state of the art technology

Larger exam rooms
with family access in mind

Blanket warmers!

Ellen Rager, Marketing,
leading tours
Opening date to serve the public is
Monday, June 25 beginning at 7:00 AM.

Van Wert County Hospital is now Van Wert Health
Local hospital unveils new brand

Van Wert, OH (April 18, 2018) – Van Wert Health, formerly known as Van Wert County Hospital, is proud to announce the launch of its new brand, which will modernize the hospital and position it for future growth in the community.

“This is an exciting time for us here at Van Wert Health,” said Jim Pope, President and CEO, Van Wert Health. “We are currently working toward making some positive changes at our hospital that will help us provide a higher level of care for our patients.”

The rebranding, which is being developed by marketing agency Boyden & Youngblutt, can take up to 18 months to be fully implemented. Once finished, it will include a new name, logo, tagline and fully integrated marketing campaign to consistently tell the Van Wert Health story.

“Our new brand is a crucial step to solidifying our dedication to taking a leadership role in moving our community to better health. It reminds our patients that we are dedicated to putting them at the center of everything we do,” said Jim.

Van Wert Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital that provides comprehensive healthcare to Van Wert County, Ohio, and the surrounding region. They work to meet the health needs of their patients by continually assessing and improving the quality of care they provide. Van Wert Health has served the region since 1905. Their patient-focused approach is at the forefront of their mission to be the best community hospital.  

News Release - Ellen Rager, Director of Patient and Community Relations


Nurse Practitioner Joins Van Wert Health Family Medicine Rockford

Rockford, OH – Lisa Rolfes, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP), recently joined the practice at Van Wert Health Family Medicine Associates, located in Rockford, Ohio.  Lisa will join medical staff providers Dr. Jerry Sell, Dr. Norman Means, and Rona Dellinger, APRN, CNP.

“Lisa is a tremendous addition to Van Wert Health Rockford, and we are pleased to welcome her to our team,” said Jerry Sell, MD.

Rolfes received her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and received her Master of Science Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Kaplan University, which is headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.  Prior to coming to Van Wert Health Rockford, Rolfes worked for St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio as a Registered Nurse in the intensive care unit and post-anesthesia care unit.  

“I love the field of medicine and caring for patients of all ages,” shared Rolfes.  “I especially enjoy helping patients attain better physical and mental health, and ultimately improving their quality of life.”

To schedule an appointment with Lisa Rolfes, APRN, CNP, please call 419-363-3008.  She is accepting new pediatric and adult patients. 




Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Joins Van Wert Health Pediatrics

Van Wert, OH – Van Wert Health Pediatrics is proud to welcome Teri Grothaus, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP), to their pediatric team in Van Wert, Ohio.  Teri will join pediatric providers Jane Sande, MD, and Allison Harting, Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP).

“We are excited to have Teri join our pediatric team,” shared Dr. Sande.  “She has a gentle and kind-hearted way of working with patients that makes children and their families feel comfortable.”


Grothaus received her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from the University of Phoenix and received her Master of Science degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  Prior to joining the Van Wert Health Pediatrics practice, Grothaus worked for Pediatrics of Lima as a CPNP; at Lutheran Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; and at Dayton Children’s Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

In addition to more than 24 years of experience working with patients, Grothaus is also a national spokesperson for Safe Haven Baby Boxes and has participated in several medical mission trips to Guatemala with Refuge International, a non-profit organization based out of Longview, Texas. 

“I love what I do and am thrilled to be caring for patients at the Van Wert Health Pediatric practice.  I see myself as both a healthcare provider and an advocate for patients and their families.  It’s important to me to not only treat acute illnesses, but to teach healthy habits early on for each of my patients,” expressed Grothaus.

Grothaus spent much of her early childhood living in the Van Wert area and is a graduate of Delphos Jefferson High School. “I’m thrilled to return to Van Wert and to see many familiar faces. My first pediatric nursing position was at Van Wert Health in 1993.  Though a lot has changed since then, I can confidently say that it’s so good to be home.”

To schedule an appointment with Teri Grothaus, CPNP, please call 419-232-2323.  She is accepting new pediatric patients age newborn up to 18 years old. 


Two New Doctors Welcomed by Rockford Community in 2017

Dr. Jerry Sell, long time family physician in Rockford, was host at a dinner reception on February 16, 2017 at the Rockford Community Building. In a letter/invitation to the reception (sent to his patients), he announced that Dr. Norman Means, family medicine physician  from Anchorage Alaska would be joining The Rockford Family Medicine practice. Dr. Means and his wife Tammy were welcomed to the community at the reception. Dr. Sell continues to see patients on a full time basis. Also welcomed during the evening was Dr. Alberto Delgado, an obstetrics and gynecology physician, who already sees patients at the Rockford office.



There was a wonderful crowd of patients and friends who came to visit their favorite doctor and his family and welcome the other two physicians and their families. All members of the Rockford Medicine Staff were there, as well, to visit with the community. Van Wert County Hospital sponsored the event and administrators were in attendance. A delicious meal was catered by the Rockford Carry-out, coffee was provided by Biggby Coffee in St. Marys.

Dr. Norman Means with Dr. Jerry and Connie Sell

Dr. Alberto Delgado



Red Cross Needs Volunteers at Van Wert County Hospital
Van Wert, Ohio -- Are you looking for a way to give back to your community?  The American Red Cross – Hospital Program is looking for volunteers to help in a variety of areas at Van Wert County Hospital.  Volunteering only takes a few hours each week and is a great way to serve others and bring a smile to someone’s face!  If you are interested in volunteering for the American Red Cross – Hospital Program, please call Carol Hennis at 419-203-6030 to find out how to get started.  We’d love to add you to our great group of caring volunteers!


Pictured below are volunteers currently serving in the American Red Cross – Volunteer Program.


Van Wert Medical Services Announces Dr. Gammill as Internal Medicine Physician


VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert Medical Services welcomes Todd Gammill, M.D., as a physician in internal medicine. Gammill joins Christine Ulrich, C.N.P. and Scott Jarvis, M.D. in Suite 105 of the Van Wert Health Center, which is located at 140 Fox Road, Van Wert, Ohio.  Dr. Gammill is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

 “One of the things that I enjoy most about being a physician is really listening to my patients.  I like being able to make an impact on their lives,” Dr. Gammill said. He will treat patients with acute and chronic medical problems and sees adult patients with a broad spectrum of illnesses.

 Dr. Gammill was a cardiologist with Arkansas Heart Hospital Clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas, before coming to Van Wert. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Arkansas in 1979 and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.  Dr. Gammill also completed a Fellowship in Cardiology at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis.

 Dr. Gammill welcomes new patients to his office and accepts most insurance plans.  At his office, you will find courteous and friendly staff, same day appointments, and exceptional medical care.  To schedule an appointment, please call 419-238-7727.


Van Wert County Hospital Holds Grand Opening
for new Occupational Health Clinic

Van Wert, OH --  Van Wert County Hospital announced the grand opening of the Occupational Health Clinic.  Located at the Van Wert Health Center at 140 Fox Road, Suite 106, the new Occupational Health Clinic will provide local employers pre-screening physicals for new employees, drug screens, safety exams, and work injury care in addition to other services.  The clinic is supervised by Jocelyn Wray, M.D., who is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“Van Wert County supports a thriving manufacturing community along with several large employers.  We’re proud that we are able to establish the Van Wert County Hospital Occupational Health Clinic so that local businesses can focus on keeping the local workforce healthy and productive,” said hospital CEO, Jim Pope.

The clinic provides a full spectrum of occupational medicine services to help companies ensure their workers remain healthy.  Additional services at the clinic include drug and alcohol testing, treatment of injured workers, ergonomic/safety initiatives, and wellness programs.  Because the clinic is part of Van Wert County Hospital, patients can easily be referred for additional specialized services that the hospital offers such at CT scans, MRIs, or physical therapy. 

“We developed the Occupational Health Clinic to help employers keep their employees healthy and on-the-job, which ultimately reduces the costs associated from injured workers,” commented Dr. Wray who supervises the clinic. “We can even offer patients same day appointments for acute injuries.”

Businesses and community members are encouraged to attend a grand opening event at the clinic on Tuesday, January 24 from 3:00-5:00 PM for a tour of the new clinic and to see how the staff at the Occupational Health Clinic can help local businesses.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the Occupational Health Clinic, businesses may contact Anne Dunn at 419-238-2390 or via email at info@vanwerthospital.org.



Pregnancy Life Center Receives Donation of Ultrasound Machine

The PLC Health Clinic of Van Wert, also known as Pregnancy Life Center, now has an ultrasound machine which Director Trina Langdon hopes will allow the PLC to enhance its mission to protect the life of the unborn.  The ultrasound machine was donated by the Van Wert County Hospital as part of the PLC’s movement to include medical services for its clients.

The PLC sees a lot of teenagers and clients in their 20s who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.  The ultrasound machine, along with counseling services offered by the staff at the Pregnancy Life Center, will help clients to decide what to do with their unborn baby.  “Even from the early stages of pregnancy, a mother can see her developing child and hear the baby’s heart beat via an ultrasound,” shared Matthew Miller, M.D., Medical Director at the PLC and family physician at Van Wert Medical Services. 

“We’ve dreamt about having an ultrasound machine for many years,” said Langdon.  “We’re so grateful to Van Wert County Hospital for this generous donation so we can continue saving babies and helping the scared young women who turn to us for help.”

In addition to limited ultra sounds, the PLC Health Clinic will provide STI/STD testing as part of their new medical services.  By working with Van Wert County Hospital and Van Wert County Health Department,  the PLC hopes to fill the gap in the community for this much needed service which will be available to both women and men.  All medical services done at the PLC will be free to patients, however, since the lab and medications will be outsourced there may be a charge for them but if the patient has insurance most of the cost will be covered,  if not all.  For patients without insurance, the PLC has set up a special fund to help offset those costs. 

Offering free medical services, although great for the patient, comes at a high price to the PLC.  “We have estimated a yearly cost of $40,000 for us to run the clinic,” said Langdon.  “This includes paying a medical staff, purchasing medical supplies, and covering lab and medication fees for patients.”  For that reason, the PLC will be holding their second annual Health Clinic Banquet fundraiser.  The event will be at Willow Bend Country Club in Van Wert at 6pm on Sunday, March 5th.  Although the banquet is free, there will be a love offering to benefit the PLC Health Clinic.  “Last year, when we held our first banquet, we had to raise $115,000 to cover our start up costs and our community made that happen,” Langdon communicated.  “We are prayerful everyone will show that same enthusiasm this year as we raise the funds to actually run the clinic.”   If you are interested in attending, please contact the PLC by February 20th at 419-238-9177 or plc1@embarqmail.com to make your reservation.

The banquet is underwritten by Van Wert County Hospital, Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio, a grant from the Van Wert County Foundation, and Cooper Farms.  As part of the NPAC’s sponsorship, they are giving away two sets of two tickets to the upcoming David Phelps concert on Friday, April 14th.  Anyone who gives a monetary donation towards the clinic fundraiser this year will automatically be registered for the tickets.  You do not have to be at the banquet to win.  Names will be drawn the week following the banquet.  “We cannot thank our underwriters enough for their generosity,” shared Langdon.  “Each underwriter has been extremely supportive of us and our new clinic.  We are truly blessed to be in such a caring and giving community.” 

Pictured from left to right: Matthew Miller, MD (Matthew Miller, MD, Medical Director at the PLC and family physician at Van Wert Medical Services); Jim Pope, CEO at Van Wert County Hospital; Trina Langdon, Director of Pregnancy Life Center Health Clinic of Van Wert; Heidi Kline, RN, Clinic Manager at PLC; Kim Owns, RTMS, Clinic Staff at PLC.



Dr. Norman Means to Join the Medical Team of Dr. Jerry Sell and Rona Dellinger, CNP

Family Medicine Associates in Rockford, Ohio, a division of Van Wert Medical Services, is pleased to announce that Norman Means, MD will be joining the medical team as a family practice physician. 

Dr. Means received his Medical Degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN.  He completed Residencies at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN and at Duke University/Southern Regional Area Health Educational Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dr. Means is Board Certified in the areas of Family Medicine, Anatomic Pathology, and Clinical Pathology. 

Most recently, Dr. Means has been practicing medicine as a family physician in Anchorage, Alaska where he has been in practice for the past 14 years. He and his wife Tammy, who is a registered nurse, have 3 adult children and 1 high-school aged son.

Dr. Means joins the medical team of Dr. Jerry Sell and Rona Dellinger, CNP at the Family Medicine Associates location in Rockford.  Family Medicine Associates opened in 1979 and is dedicated to providing the best patient care and service experience.  Same day appointments are available, as needed.  Dr. Means is accepting new patients.  To request an appointment, please call (419) 363-3008.

There will be a community reception at the Rockford Community Building on Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  All patients and community members are invited to the reception to welcome Dr. Means to our community and to greet the other medical providers of the Family Medicine Associates clinic.  A casual, buffet dinner will be served at the reception.


Salvation Army Coat and Food Drive

Van Wert, OH -- The employees and patients of Van Wert Medical Services embraced the season of giving this year with a coat and food drive to be donated to the Salvation Army in Van Wert. 

Over 80 new and gently used coats were donated this year along with numerous hats, gloves, scarves, and food items.  The collection bins sat at various offices to allow staff and patients to donate to the Salvation Army and were overflowing by the end of the drive.

“Van Wert can be frigid during the winter months -- the coats will go to numerous deserving individuals and families.  As we enter the season of giving, we are grateful for the staff and patients at Van Wert Medical Services who open their hearts each year to help those in need,” shared Lisa Marsee who chaired the campaign this year and works in the Internal Medicine office at Van Wert Medical Services. 

Employees and patients will continue collecting non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army through December 19.  Community members are invited donate as well and items may be dropped off at any clinical office at Van Wert Medical Services, which is located at the Van Wert Health Center, 140 Fox Road.



Foot and Ankle Specialist Joins Van Wert Medical Services

Van Wert, OH -- Van Wert Medical Services is pleased to welcome Sam Neuschwanger, D.P.M. to its team of physicians and surgeons as a foot and ankle specialist.  Dr. Neuschwanger received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. 

Dr. Neuschwanger’s academic and clinical practices combined with over 35 years of experience allow him to provide the best possible medical and surgical care of the lower extremity. He specializes in general podiatric care, heel pain, ingrown nails, bunions, diabetic foot care, corn and callous care and surgical care. “Foot and ankle problems can be incredibly debilitating and being able to help someone regain their mobility and quality of life is extremely rewarding to me,” shared Dr. Neuschwanger. 

“Both Dr. Neuschwanger and Dr. Charles Hoehn provide top quality foot and ankle care for a vast array of problems.   There are very few small communities that have podiatry care as comprehensive as we do and we’re lucky to have such a strong team of qualified physicians to treat foot and ankle problems,” shared Jim Pope, CEO and President of Van Wert County Hospital. 

 Dr. Neuschwanger is accepting new patients.  Call today to make an appointment to discuss an individual care plan for your feet and ankles: 419-238-8621


Dr. Helen Otteno Joins Van Wert Medical Services - OB/GYN Office


Van Wert Medical Services announces the addition of Helen Otteno, M.D. Obstetrics & Gynecology, to its ever-growing list of specialty physicians.  Dr. Otteno attended St. George’s University, School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Toledo Medical Center in 2016.  Dr. Otteno is a second-generation physician, following in her father’s footsteps, who was a physician in a small town in Romania. 

Women may choose Dr. Otteno or one of the other highly qualified OB/GYN providers as their regular gynecologist for wellness exams, PAP tests, breast exams, mammogram recommendations, and other specialized women’s health needs.  Dr. Otteno has the expertise women need, while her convenient location at the Van Wert Health Center means they don’t have to travel far for comprehensive and compassionate care.  Dr. Otteno, Dr. Delgado and Shane Gerber, CNP are currently accepting new patients.  The office is located in the Van Wert Health Center (140 Fox Road, Suite 201).  Appointments can be made by calling (419) 238-3047. 


Van Wert Medical Services announces Dr. Han as new family physician

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert Medical Services has welcomed Jianming Han, M.D., as a physician in family medicine.

Han joins Matthew Miller, M.D., and Allison Harting, C.N.P., in suite 201 of Van Wert Medical Services to provide exceptional care to their patients’ entire family, from newborns to seniors.

“Joining the family practice at Van Wert Medical Services, I know that I will be a part of a team of great physicians and staff members,” Han said. “I am passionate about providing patient-centered care and  am committed to providing the best possible health care to my patients.”

Dr. Han was a family physician with Bloomington Medical Services in Wooster, Ohio, before coming to Van Wert. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Tianjin Medical University in China in 1996 and then earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia.

Dr. Han made her way to Ohio in 2004 until 2007 where she completed her residency at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo before returning in 2009 to practice family medicine in Wooster.

“Dr. Han truly cares about her patients and about caring for the entire person – body, mind and spirit,” Dr. Jennifer Hohman, the Medical Staff President for Van Wert County Hospital, said. “When working in family medicine, you need to possess excellent communication skills to be able to build relationships with patients who are at various ages and stages of their life. Dr. Han is able to provide medical guidance and do so in a way that all patients can understand.”

Dr. Han is taking new patients at this time and those interested in scheduling an appointment can do so by calling her office at 419-232-2077.

“I am excited to meet more people in the community,” Han said. “Each day I come to work, I am reminded of how great Van Wert residents are and I am happy to be a member of such a wonderful community.”



New CEO Announced for Van Wert County Hospital

Van Wert, OH – June 13, 2016 – The Van Wert County Hospital Association Board of Directors announces James “Jim” Pope as Chief Executive Officer and President.  Pope brings more than 30 years of executive experience to the hospital with strengths in health operations, strategic leadership and planning, and rural healthcare markets.  Pope will begin his new role on July 1, 2016.

After an extensive national search, the Board of Directors selected Pope, who best fit the candidate profile from the pool of candidates.  “The board, medical staff, and leadership are very pleased with Jim’s long-standing, successful career in healthcare administration.  We are fortunate to have attracted Jim’s talents and 30 years of executive leadership experience,” said Gary Clay, Board Chair, Van Wert County Hospital.

Pope will join Van Wert County Hospital following 5 years as CEO and President of Sylvania Franciscan Health, now CHI Sylvania Franciscan Health, a nonprofit health system in Sylvania, Ohio.  In addition to his professional accomplishments, Pope is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

“We believe Jim will be an asset to Van Wert County Hospital and will build upon the legacy of the organization that began over 110 years ago.  Jim is a top health care executive here in the Midwest.  We look forward to bringing his talent to our organization,” Mike Holliday, Chief Financial Officer, Van Wert County Hospital.

Jim has a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University and a B.S. in Management/Health Care from Park University in Parkville, Missouri.  “I am honored to join the high caliber team at Van Wert County Hospital,” said Pope. “It’s obvious that the entire team is made up of dedicated employees and a board of directors who truly care about the hospital and the health care that is provided in the community.”  Jim and his wife, Mary, have been married for 33 years and have four adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. The Popes will be moving to Van Wert at the end of the month.

Van Wert County Hospital will host an open house for the community to meet Pope on Tuesday, June 28 from 3:00-4:30 PM in Conference Room A.



 SLS Teaching the Latest in Minimally Invasive Surgery to Communities with A Need for Advanced, Efficient Medicine

Miami, FL—In response to a need for better quality medical care in developing countries, beginning next month SLS, the largest multi-disciplinary surgical society in North America, will introduce the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques to communities around the world, as well as younger surgeons who can benefit the most from the newest research in surgical education.  Minimally invasive surgery has been shown to minimize blood loss and hospital stay, which is even more important in countries with fewer resources.

“This is an opportunity for us as a society to present what we know to communities who cannot yet capture this kind of education because they lack the resources to attend worldwide medical meetings or come face to face with experts in our field, says Dr. Paul Wetter, chairman of SLS.  “For the first time, we are going to them to teach the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery.”

The SLS course, which will be called “Tips and Tricks in Minimally Invasive Surgery,” will be taught by academics from a variety of medical disciplines in Romania, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Columbia as a part of a ten-city tour that will also reach more industrialized nations such as China, as well as military bases in the United States.  Primarily funded by SLS, the two day course will allow academic experts in general surgery, gynecology, urology and other disciplines to teach basic minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques, using the latest research, which will include specific, common conditions, how to avoid complications, pain, and complex surgical conditions.

“By doing on this, we are bringing a multi-specialty vision in minimally invasive surgery to the rest of the world,” says Dr. Maurice Chung, president of SLS, director of women’s health service, Van Wert County Hospital, Ohio and a professor at University of Toledo School of Medicine. 

The course will also be developed for the military, with the first lecture at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.  The six-hour course, which has not yet been advertised, has already attracted dozens of attendees and is scheduled for February 16th, 2016.

“Supplementing the training of these important institutions and for military based hospitals is important work,” says Dr. Richard Satava, a general surgeon and Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a former senior science advisor at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.  “They are targeting the younger generation of doctors—many that have fewer resources and the greatest need.”

The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of multi-specialty surgeons, including general surgery, urology, OB-GYN and others, SLS advocates for minimally invasive surgery and improved surgical outcomes for all these specialties. It is a voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of roughly 6,000 surgeons. www.sls.org



Family and Church Donate Tablets to Van Wert County Hospital

Van Wert County Hospital recently received a donation this week of two tablets for its pediatrics department. After Albany Roth, (front left) was hospitalized for a few days, the family decided to work with their church, Landfair United Methodist Church in Celina, Ohio, to raise funds to buy the hospital two tablets for children who have to stay for long periods.  The family wanted to say “thank you” to nurses and medical staff for the care that Albany (age 5) received during her stay at the hospital. Pictured below is Director of Patient and Community Relations Ellen Rager (left), with Albany and her mom, Stacey (center), and other family members.   


Marge Clouse Retirement Party - celebrating nearly 50 years at Van Wert County Hospital

Marge Clouse celebrated almost 50 years with the Van Wert County Hospital on Tuesday morning with family and friends.  Clouse started working for the hospital in 1966 as an aide and ward secretary, retired in 1986, and then joined the Lady Board of Managers in 1988. The Lady Board of Managers is a group of dedicated volunteers who assist the hospital by mending scrubs, sheets, privacy curtains and helping with other sewing-related projects.  On Tuesday, Clouse sewed with the Lady Board of Managers for the last time before enjoying refreshments at her retirement party.  “I have enjoyed every minute of it,” Clouse said. “Never once in my 20 years of working 11 to 7 or in the sewing room, never once did I say, ‘I hate to go to work’.”




22nd Annual Tree of Lights Ceremony at Van Wert County Hospital
Van Wert County Hospital’s TWIG III volunteers lit up the tree in front of the hospital’s main entrance for the 22nd year on Monday.  The Tree of Lights service was filled with reflection and music, offering a wonderful way to honor and remember loved ones this holiday season. The tree displays sparkling lights and special star ornaments that were purchased in memory of loved ones.  This year, 40 people gathered to hang the star ornaments to honor and remember family members and friends or in support of the hospital.  Jacob Wilder provided music as the lights were turned on and the ornaments were hung. Pastor William Haggis II gave the invocation.


The annual Tree of Lights ceremony is a TWIG III fundraiser and approximately $2,100 was raised from the event. At the end of the evening’s program, TWIG III President Lisa Dunn presented the donation to Mark Minick, CEO and President of Van Wert County Hospital.

Mark Minick, CEO and President hangs a star on the Tree of Lights.



Eric and Kaila Flory hang a star in memory of their son, Beau Flory.



Van Wert County Hospital

Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Outcomes and Financial Strength



Van Wert, OH, November 2015 – Van Wert County Hospital today announced it has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Outcomes and Financial Strength, reflecting top quartile performance among all acute care hospitals in the nation.


“Van Wert County Hospital is committed to the population of this community and their health,”

Mark Minick, Van Wert County Hospital’s president and CEO, said. “Our number one priority is the patient. We want our patients to receive the best care when they come to us and we are proud to be recognized as one of the top hospitals providing quality health care in similar rural communities. It encourages us as we continue to strive to be better each day.”


The rankings have been designated by the Hospital Strength INDEX™, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX™ captures performance metrics for more than 4,000 acute care hospitals, including over 1,300 rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and

9 pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.


“These top quartile performers should take great pride in this recognition. It showcases their commitment to continuous performance analysis and improvement. On this occasion of National Rural Health Day, it’s an honor to celebrate their achievement as they continue to serve their communities despite the many market, regulatory and financial pressures they face.” said Michael Topchik, senior vice president of iVantage Health Analytics.



The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities


About iVantage Health Analytics

iVantage is a leading business analytic and advisory services company a unique combination of technology, content, and expert advisory services accelerates decision making for the new healthcare. For more information please visit  http://www.ivantagehealth.com.



Delgado joins Van Wert Medical Services, Community

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert Medical Services is pleased to announce Alberto Delgado, M.D., has joined the team as an obstetrics and gynecology physician.

Delgado had been working at Van Wert Medical Services since June as a locum physician, but became an employed physician on Oct. 5.

“The patients, my coworkers and the community members I have worked with during my time here have been more than welcoming and a pleasure to work with and care for ,” Delgado said. “I look forward to meeting more people in the community as I settle down with my family to make Van Wert my home.”

Dr. Delgado attended Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he received his doctorate of medicine. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University’s Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, from 2003 to 2007.

Since then,Dr. Delgado has worked in obstetrics and gynecology at Piedmont Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, Georgia, Spalding Regional Hospital in Griffin, Georgia, and Mercy Regional Hospital in Lorain, Ohio.

“I have worked in a variety of environments throughout my schooling and career,” Delgado said. “My experience will help me better serve my patients here in Van Wert and I hope my knowledge and experience will help to continue the mission of Van Wert Medical Services.”

By joining the obstetrics and gynecology team at Van Wert Medical Services, Dr. Delgado has committed to the department’s goal of staying up to date with the latest developments in women’s healthcare to provide quality patient  care in the community.

“Dr. Delgado has already proven he is a great asset to Van Wert Medical Services in the short time he has been here,” Dr. Jennifer Hohman, the Medical Staff President for Van Wert County Hospital, said. “He truly cares about his patients and their well-being. We are happy to have him as a member of our team and community.”

Delgado is accepting new patients.  Those interested in scheduling an appointment should call his office at 419-238-3047.



Van Wert Medical Services announces Dr. Han as new family physician

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert Medical Services has welcomed Jianming Han, M.D., as a physician in family medicine.

Han joins Matthew Miller, M.D., and Allison Harting, C.N.P., in suite 201 of Van Wert Medical Services to provide exceptional care to their patients’ entire family, from newborns to seniors.

“Joining the family practice at Van Wert Medical Services, I know that I will be a part of a team of great physicians and staff members,” Han said. “I am passionate about providing patient-centered care and  am committed to providing the best possible health care to my patients.”

Dr. Han was a family physician with Bloomington Medical Services in Wooster, Ohio, before coming to Van Wert. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Tianjin Medical University in China in 1996 and then earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia.

Dr. Han made her way to Ohio in 2004 until 2007 where she completed her residency at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo before returning in 2009 to practice family medicine in Wooster.

“Dr. Han truly cares about her patients and about caring for the entire person – body, mind and spirit,” Dr. Jennifer Hohman, the Medical Staff President for Van Wert County Hospital, said. “When working in family medicine, you need to possess excellent communication skills to be able to build relationships with patients who are at various ages and stages of their life. Dr. Han is able to provide medical guidance and do so in a way that all patients can understand.”

Dr. Han is taking new patients at this time and those interested in scheduling an appointment can do so by calling her office at 419-232-2077.

“I am excited to meet more people in the community,” Han said. “Each day I come to work, I am reminded of how great Van Wert residents are and I am happy to be a member of such a wonderful community.”





All-Twig Board Donates Money to Van Wert County Hospital


The All-Twig Board of Van Wert Hospital recently presented the hospital with a  check  for $23,527.31. This donation is used to support patient-centered initiatives.  This year, the Twigs have approved the purchase of a Patient Monitor with EKG Capability for the Surgery Recovery Room, two endoscopy carts for the Health Center Surgery center, and assistance with the purchase of a blood plasma refrigerator for the Laboratory. 

"For over fifty years, the Twig group members have been raising monies for the good of the hospital and community. We have an amazing number of women participating in various Twig projects, as we support each other in friendship and giving.  We wish to thank the members of Twig IV for their endless years of service. They have done  RADA Cutlery Sales, Christmas Poinsettias, and monthly projects for the benefit of the hospital.  We are sorry to have had the group dissolve at the beginning of the year due to declining participating memberships.  We salute them for all of their hard work accomplished with only a remaining few members' efforts.  The Twig groups will be pleased to continue with some of their community projects." stated Sharon Witten, All twig Board President.

Twig groups I and II manage the Hospital Thrift Shop on Central Avenue, handling and selling gently used clothing and household small items and linens at a very reasonable price.  They are now also handling  the RADA Cutlery Sales in the shop.

Twig group III manages the Hospital Gift Shop and the Tree of Light community project at Christmas time.  Members of Twig II group are also undertaking the poinsettia sales for merchants and community clients this year, and will be taking  orders in November for December delivery.

New members are always encouraged to join and share their talents and passions with other volunteers in friendship and fellowship. 

Each group meets once a month and enjoys learning about hospital department services as well as community group resources.

Persons present in picture, left to right:

Nancy Farmer, Twig III representative; Mae Stoller, Twig I representative, Sharon Witten, Twig II Chairman and All Twig Board Chairman, presenting check to Mark Minick, Ella Jackson, Tll Twig Board Comptroller, and Twig IV acting chairman Colleen Krauskop.



Hospital Director of Pharmacy Dave Hipply Wins Award

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert County Hospital Director of Pharmacy Dave Hipply was recently chosen as one of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year.

The Preceptor of the Year award recipients are chosen based on student nominations from OSU’s College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students are asked to nominate any preceptor who mentored, guided and challenged them throughout their education whom exhibited a high regard for students and a great commitment to teaching. The nominees are then reviewed by a selection committee.

Hipply was chosen for his high standards of professionalism, spirit of cooperation with OSU’s College of Pharmacy and commitment to students as a professional mentor.

“I enjoy helping students of pharmacy who have the same desire and commitment as I do to provide quality service,” Hipply said.  “I am honored to have been able to help others wanting to enter a career in pharmacy and I am humbled to have been chosen for this award.”

As a recipient of one of the Preceptors of the Year awards, Hipply received a personalized plaque and was invited to attend this year’s White Coat Ceremony which signifies the students’ transitions into the professional part of their education. Hipply was unable to attend the ceremony in August, but was given his award from Donald Sullivan, director of professional experiential programs at OSU’s College of Pharmacy, at Van Wert County Hospital in September.

“We know that Dave does great work for us at Van Wert County Hospital and it makes us proud to have someone else recognize his commitment as an exceptional mentor in pharmacy,” said Mike Holliday, Chief Financial Officer at Van Wert County Hospital.

Pictured are: Mike Holliday (left), Van Wert County Hospital Chief Financial Officer, Dave Hipply (middle), Van Wert County Hospital Director of Pharmacy and Donald Sullivan (right), Director of Professional Experiential Programs and Clinical Pharmacy Professor at The Ohio State University



Community-Wide Health & Fitness Challenge

Various health organizations throughout Van Wert have teamed together for a community-wide health and fitness challenge.  The challenge, which has been dubbed “Live Healthy Van Wert!”, is a 20-week program to promote healthier living and to reduce and prevent obesity in our community.  No matter where participants are in their journey, this challenge is designed to help everyone find success on their path to a healthier lifestyle.  Everyone in Van Wert and the surrounding areas are invited to participate.

The cost for the challenge is $20 and participants will receive ongoing support from local wellness professionals; optional education sessions on goal setting, nutrition, exercise, and stress; special fitness classes; online resources and chances to win prizes for participating and achieving their goals.  Participants must be age 12 or older.  Registration for “Live Healthy Van Wert” will be at the Health Aware Fair on Saturday, September 12 from 7:00-11:00 AM at Van Wert Elementary School.  All participants who register for the challenge will receive a private assessment at the beginning and end of the challenge which will include height, weight, waist and hip measurements, and blood pressure.  Those who wish to participate but are unable to attend the Health Aware Fair may sign-up at one of the sponsoring organizations from September 14-18.  The challenge will be from September 12-January 30. 

“Live Healthy Van Wert!” is sponsored by Van Wert County Hospital, Gen-X Training Studio, Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center, Van Wert YMCA, and the YWCA of Van Wert County.  For more information about the challenge visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/livehealthyvanwert or send an email to: info@vanwerthospital.org.




Stars Placed on Tree in Honor or Memory of Loved Ones

VAN WERT, OHIO – The volunteer of TWIG III and the Van Wert County Hospital illuminated the holiday sky at the 20th Annual “Tree of Lights” ceremony on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm. 

In keeping with the 20 year tradition, the lighting of the tree in the front of the hospital marks the beginning of the holiday season.  The Tree of Lights is both a remembrance service and a TWIG III fundraiser in support of hospital programs.  For a contribution, family members placed star ornaments on the tree. Thirty five stars were placed on the tree honoring or in memory of loved ones.

The 20th annual event raised $2,300.  TWIG III President Lisa Dunn said, “Since 1994, the Van Wert Community has been tremendously supportive of the Tree of Light project. With the generosity of Van Wert and surrounding communities, we have been able to give over $76,000.00 to the hospital for the purchase of the most up-to-date medical equipment available from this project alone. We are very grateful for that support”.

The evening started with an invocation from Pastor Paul Hamrick from First Friends Church. The Lincolnview Octet performed under the direction of Mrs. Stacy Korte.  Following the check presentation, Lisa Dunn, TWIG III member, read the names on the stars.  As the event concluded, attendees enjoyed a reception in the hospital cafeteria.

About Van Wert Hospital

For more than 100 years, Van Wert Hospital has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments.  As an independent nonprofit community health system, Van Wert County Hospital remains committed to the region’s healthcare needs for generations to come.  Van Wert Hospital is committed to today, focused on tomorrow. Visit www.vanwerthospital.org for more information.





Van Wert County Hospital Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with Proven Program

Join Other Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program Participants in Learning How to Make Healthy Changes in Van Wert

Van Wert Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program.  Van Wert County Hospital is excited to offer this lifestyle change intervention. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants learn the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.

People with pre-diabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years if they do not take steps to prevent it.

“One in three American adults has pre-diabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Anne Dunn, Wellness Program Coordinator & Lifestyle Coach. “The Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program groups meet once a week for 12 weeks, then once a month for 9 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.  Each session is led by trained lifestyle coaches.

The Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program is based on research that showed that people with pre-diabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

Nationwide implementation of the program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to health problems including heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Cindy Cook, Education Coordinator and Lifestyle Coach.  “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, Group Lifestyle Balance™ Program participants make lasting changes together.”

People are more likely to have pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:

·  Are 45 years of age or older;

·  Are overweight;

·  Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;

·  Are physically active fewer than three times per week; or

·  Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

Van Wert County Hospital will be offering two sessions starting July 15th on Wednesdays at 5:15 pm and Thursdays at 9:30 am, both at the Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center. The cost of the program is $299 and includes a pedometer, Calorie King booklet, tracking booklets, participant booklets, support and encouragement toward your health related goals. To learn more about Van Wert County Hospital’s program, call Anne Dunn at (419) 238 – 2390.

The Group Lifestyle Balance™ (GLB) Program being offered by Van Wert County Hospital is a comprehensive lifestyle behavior change program adapted directly from the successful lifestyle intervention used in the National Institutes of Health funded Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).





Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center in Van Wert
Receives Program Accreditation


Van Wert, OH - June 12 2015 - Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center in Van Wert recently received program accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).


“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine congratulates Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center on meeting the high standards required for receiving accreditation as a sleep disorders center,” said Dr. Nathaniel Watson, AASM president. “Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center is an important resource to the local medical community and will provide academic and scientific value in addition to the highest quality care for patients suffering from sleep disorders.”                     


To receive accreditation for a five-year period, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional health care as designated by the AASM.  These standards address core areas such as personnel, facility and equipment, policies and procedures, data acquisition, patient care, and quality assurance.  Additionally, the sleep center’s goals must be clearly stated and include plans for positively affecting the quality of medical care in the community it serves. 


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited a sleep disorders center for the first time in 1977.  Today there are more than 2,500 AASM-accredited sleep centers across the country.


The Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center is Javier F. Pere, MD.  The center is accredited to treat a wide variety of sleep disorders and disturbances including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, insomnia, parasomnias, periodic limb movement, shift work disorder, and more.  Call us today to learn more about how we can help you get a better night of sleep, every night: 419-232-5281


The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is a professional medical society for clinicians, researchers, and other health care providers in the field of sleep medicine. As the national accrediting body for sleep disorders centers, the AASM is dedicated to setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.



Van Wert Hospital Celebrates National Emergency Medical Services Week  May 17 – 23, 2015


National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the brave men and women who respond to medical emergencies.  Observance of this important week runs May 17-23.  This year’s theme is EMS Strong and honors the strong drive within everyone who works together as part of the EMS crew—first responders, hospitals, emergency physicians and public health providers who collaborate together to reduce risk and save lives.

Van Wert County Hospital and Van Wert Medical Services are grateful for the dedication of our local EMS crews who provide the day-to-day life saving of emergency medicine’s “front line.” During EMS Week, or any time, if you see an EMS crew member out in the community, please take a few moments to thank them for their service to our community.  To show our gratitude for the EMS crews who serve our area, Van Wert County Hospital will be providing a meal on Tuesday, May 19 for all EMS personnel and also provide free Continuing Education (CE) hours on the topic of Pediatric Emergencies.


Van Wert Medical Services (VWMS) is a multi-specialty group located in Van Wert, OH. VWMS specializes in Family Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecological services, as well as General, Thoracic, Vascular and Bariatric Surgery.

The Van Wert County Hospital serves Van Wert County, Ohio and adjacent communities as a financially independent nonprofit community health system. Van Wert Hospital ensures that health care services provided are available to all members of the communities we serve.



Know the Signs of Stroke
Van Wert County Hospital is a proud partner in the StrokeCareNow Network.  Fort Wayne and the communities throughout northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and south-central Michigan have significantly benefitted from a collaborative group of 22 hospitals known as the StrokeCareNow Network (SCNN). The SCNN formed four years ago uniting  neurology physicians of Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health, to provide advanced stroke care to rural parts of the region just as it does in Fort Wayne. To find out more, check out http://www.vanwerthospital.org/specialties/emergency-services/stroke-care.

Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center to Host A.W.A.K.E Support Group
Supporting Individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

VAN WERT, OHIO:  The Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center is excited to once again host an A.W.A.K.E. support group meeting for individuals, and loved ones, diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The acronym A.W.A.K.E. stands for Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic. A.W.A.K.E is a national support group dedicated to providing support and resources to individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. 

The A.W.A.K.E. support group will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and will be conducted in conference room A at Van Wert County Hospital. The hopsital address is: 1250 South Washington Street, Van Wert, Ohio. 

Each support group meeting is organized with a specific theme and topic related to disorders associated with obstructive sleep apnea, to facilitate discussion, provide education and resources, and to provide a network of support to the group’s members. The theme this month is, “How Often Should I Get CPAP Supplies?” 

This month’s meeting will follow a question and answer style format. Bev Rowen will serve as moderator for the meeting, throughout the evening. Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions related to CPAP materials and supplies. Trained professionals, in the field of sleep disorders, will be on sight to answer any questions. Following the conclusion of the meeting, attendees will have the option to purchase or make arrangements with medical supply companies for the purchase of CPAP supplies. Vendors on sight will include: P & R Medical Supply Company, Apria, and Derry Drugs. 

“This month’s meeting is a unique opportunity for individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea to receive personalized support and attention from the professionals, familiar with disorders related to sleep, in an informal environment. Attendees are invited to bring their questions to the meeting. We want to do everything we can to help support and provide education to the group’s members,” says George Wolf, Sleep Center Coordinator.  

The A.W.A.K.E. support group meeting is open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. To register, please contact George Wolf at 419-232-5281, or by email at gwolf@vanwerthospital.org

Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center is dedicated to providing the most innovative treatment options, helping to improve the overall quality of life, in a state-of-the-art sleep center facility. 


A.W.A.K.E. is a national non-profit CPAP support group. The goal of A.W.A.K.E is to provide education and support to individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.



VAN WERT, OHIO – Van Wert County Hospital is pleased to announce the grand opening of its newly relocated and renovated patient hospital registration area. The plan for the new registration area location is part of the hospital’s core mission to continually provide quality healthcare in a compassionate patient-centered environment. Patients began registering in the newly improved area on Monday, May 6, 2013. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Patients, registering after 6:00 p.m. or on Saturdays and Sundays, can utilize the emergency department. 

"We are excited to offer the new registration area for the patients of our hospital. Many of our registrants enter our facility through the main hospital entrance. In our new location, our patients will take fewer steps, providing easier access to enter our registration area, and providing our patients with a new location to better serve their healthcare needs” says Denetria Harding, Director of Patient Financial Services.

The hospital’s new registration site provides easier access for patients registering for hospital procedures. Patients entering on the north side of building, at the hospital’s main entrance, will now access the registration area in a direct line of site, in addition to its closer, more accessible, location. The renovated registration area is designed to offer a spacious pre-registration and patient seating area, a private consultation area for patients and their families to discuss confidential personal and healthcare related information, an enlarged employee work room, and a more centralized area for the hospital’s central scheduling department, where patients will continue to call and schedule healthcare appointments. 

“We are dedicated to continually improving our facility and available healthcare treatment options to best serve our local and surrounding communities. We look forward to taking part in the healthcare needs of our communities. We are confident our improved patient registration area will serve to be a more convenient location and enhancement for all of our patients and their family members,” says Mark Minick, President and CEO, Van Wert County Hospital. 

When patients are in need of superior health care they turn to the professionals at Van Wert County Hospital. For more information or to schedule a tour of Van Wert County Hospital, call 419-238-8623 or visit VanWertHospital.org. 

About Van Wert Hospital:

For more than 100 years, Van Wert County Hospital has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments. As an independent nonprofit community health system, Van Wert County Hospital remains committed to the region’s healthcare needs for generations to come. Van Wert County Hospital is committed to today, focused on tomorrow. Visit www.vanwerthospital.org for more information. 


Van Wert County Hospital Receives Donation from the All-Twig Board

VAN WERT, OHIO – The All-Twig Board of Van Wert County Hospital recently presented the hospital with a check in the amount of $37,700. The Twig donation has allowed the hospital to purchase and make upgrades to hospital equipment. 

“The Twig Association is a vital organization to our hospital. Each year, the Twigs donate a substantial amount of money, which is raised through their successful fundraising efforts. The support of the Twigs continues to positively impact both the hospital and members of the community year after year, and for that we always remain grateful,” says Mark Minick, Van Wert County Hospital President and CEO.  

Each year, the members of the four Twig groups dedicate their time to raise funds which, in turn, are donated to the hospital to support patient-centered initiatives. This year, the Twigs have approved the purchase of 3 hand therapy work stations for patient hand therapy sessions and hand splinting; 12 sterilization instrument trays for drill and laparoscopic instruments; 1 Sara Stedy stand and transfer aid to support independent patient mobility and reduce manual carrier handling; 2 Holter monitor digital recording systems, providing easier and more accommodating hospital-wide usage, particularly in emergent care situations; 3 hip chairs for the outpatient rehabilitation and inpatient centers, providing comfort to individuals with arthritis and patients who have undergone hip or knee surgery; 1 breath alcohol machine; 1 universal hip positioner device; 1 refrigerator for patient nutrition; and 2 capnograph/oximeters for patient monitoring. 

“For over 50 years, our ladies have been raising monies for the good of the community. It is overwhelming, the number of ladies who participate as Twig members. Together, we are able to give back to our community and hospital. We are and always will be friends supporting friends” says LaDonna Allenbaugh, All-Twig Board President.   

The Twigs maintain four “branches”. Each branch operates various service projects throughout the community. Twig 1 and Twig II Organizations jointly operate and maintain the Hospital Thrift Shop. The Hospital Thrift Shop is open to the public five days a week from 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is closed on Wednesdays. The Hospital Thrift Shop is located 131 East Central Avenue, Van Wert, Ohio, and is a shoppers haven, offering a wealth of household items, jewelry, clothing, books, accessories, and much more. The ladies of the Twig III are highly accredited for their work in operating the acclaimed Hospital Gift Shop and Annual Tree of Lights Ceremony. Twig IV members proudly share their culinary expertise with the community at the Sweet Shoppe every second Thursday of the month, except during the summer months, from 11:00 a.m. – 2 p.m., as well as organizing monthly book and jewelry fairs, and the annual poinsettia sale in November. Since their formation, the Twigs have donated over $1,498,781,68 for the Van Wert County Hospital. 

New members are always encouraged to join and share their talents with the ladies of the Twig groups. “Joining one of the Twigs groups allows you to share your passions with others, to meet new friends and develop remarkable friendships; friendships that will last a lifetime,” says Allenbaugh.     

Being a volunteer is one of the most generous ways to share your time and talents. For more information regarding the Twig Association or to join the exceedingly talented group of ladies, please call 419.238.8623 or visit VanWertHospital.org. 

Photo Caption: Twig members Sonia Mazur, LaDonna Allenbaugh present check to Van Wert County Hospital President/CEO Mark Minick with Jeanne Zeigler, Dot Burley and Barb Adams.

About Van Wert County Hospital

Van Wert County Hospital has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments since 1905.  As an independent nonprofit community health system, Van Wert County Hospital remains committed to the region’s healthcare needs for generations to come.  Van Wert Hospital is committed to today, focused on tomorrow. Visit www.vanwerthospital.org for more information. 


Van Wert County Hospital Welcomes New Doctor

Dr. Ziad Khatib, Internal Medicine, has joined the staff of Van Wert County Hospital. Call 419-238-7727 for an appointment with him as he is now accepting new patients.



Sleep Physician, Javier Pere, M.D., Joins Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center

Sleep Physician, Javier Pere, M.D., Joins Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center
Van Wert County Hospital is pleased to welcome Javier Pere, M.D. to the Sleep Center. Dr. Pere will replace Dr. Chang as Medical Director. Dr. Pere is board certified in pulmonary, sleep, critical care, and internal medicine and will be treating patients with sleep disorders in Van Wert County Hospital’s state-of-the-art Sleep Center facility. Dr. Pere’s office will be located in Suite 109 of the Van Wert Health Center, and he will be available to meet with patients every Wednesday. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

"We are fortunate to welcome Dr. Pere to the Van Wert County Hospital Sleep Center. His knowledge, experience, and leadership will be vital assets to our medical staff and community as our hospital continues to excel at providing to most innovative and quality services to our patients” says Jeanette Ford, Director of the Sleep Center.

Dr. Javier Pere is a graduate of Catholic University School of Medicine, Guayaquil, Ecuador. He completed his residency and internship in internal medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas, earning an Outstanding Resident of the Year award in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1991. Dr. Pere completed his fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences in Houston, Texas. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, Louisiana State Medical Society, Natchitoches Parish Medical Society, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and American Medical Association. 

Dr. Pere is affiliated with St. Rita’s Professional Services. He previously served as Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Department at both Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and Louisiana Extended Care Hospital. He is excited to join the Van Wert County Hospital’s team of professionals and to continue the tradition of providing quality and compassionate care to patients in the communities it serves. 

“At the Sleep Center, our goal is improve the overall health and wellness of each patient we serve. I look forward to meeting our patients, understanding their needs, and providing them with treatment options to enhance their overall health” says Dr. Pere. 

When patients are in need of superior health care they turn to the professionals at Van Wert County Hospital. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pere, call 419-232-5281or visit VanWertHospital.org. 

About Van Wert County Hospital

For more than 100 years, Van Wert Hospital has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments. As an independent nonprofit community health system, Van Wert County Hospital remains committed to the region’s healthcare needs for generations to come. Van Wert Hospital is committed to today, focused on tomorrow. Visit www.vanwerthospital.org for more information




Van Wert County Hospital New Vision Medical Lab receives accreditation based on the results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the (College of American Pathologists) CAP's Accreditation Programs. 

The facility's director. James E. Conley, MD, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the excellence of the services being provided. Van Wert County Hospital New Vision Medical Lab-VWCH is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide.  

The U.S. federal government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program. Which begun in the early 1960s, as being equal-to or more-stringent-than the government's own inspection program.  

During the CAP accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients. inspectors examine the laboratory's records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications. equipment, facilities, safety program and record. and overall management.  

About the College of American Pathologists  

The College of American Pathologists (CAP). celebrating 50 years as the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, is a medical society that serves more than 18,000 physician members and the global laboratory community. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care. More information about the CAP can be found at www.cap.org.


VAN WERT, OHIO - American Legion Post 178 recently presented Van Wert
County Hospital with a $2,500 check as the final installment of their $10,000 pledge in support of the Emergency Services Department expansion project.  "We are extremely grateful for American Legion Post 178's continued support and generosity to the hospital and the Emergency Services Department expansion project," said Mark Minick,
Van Wert Hospital President/CEO.

"We are happy to support our community," said American Legion
Post 178 Senior Adjutant, Les Brown.  "Each year we have a variety of
different fundraisers including an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast which  will be held at the post this Saturday, October 6^th from 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. The price is $6.00."
 Van Wert Hospital's new Emergency Services Department was completed in June 2010.  This 12,000 square-foot expansion added 11 private emergency rooms, a secluded triage area and a covered entrance. The Emergency
Services Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Board certified physicians and staff treat emergencies ranging from minor to major trauma. An additional $2.4 million dollars is still needed.  To learn more about
investing in the gift of health, please call 419.238.8820 or email  arode@vanwerthospital.org.

Photo Caption: American Legion Post #178 Les Brown Senior Adjutant, Dave Myers Financial Officer, Mark Minick Van Wert Hospital President/CEO accepting a check presented by Ken Schultz Post Commander, and Louie

Van Wert County Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Certified by National Association

Van Wert, Ohio – Van Wert County hospital is proud to announce the certification of its Cardiac Rehabilitation Program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The program was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.

Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to help people with cardiovascular problems, e.g. heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, etc., recover faster and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.  Dr. Scott Jarvis, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation, noted, “We are very pleased that the program has become certified.  Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.  Having a program of this caliber in our community is a tremendous resource.  We’re able to help save and improve lives, one at a time, right here in Van Wert.”     

The Van Wert County Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program joins other AACVPR-Certified programs as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation.  AACVPR certification recognizes outstanding programs that follow best practices in patient care and program management.  Susie Perez, a local Van Wert resident, completed her cardiac rehab at Van Wert County Hospital, and stated, “As someone who went through this program, I can attest to the benefits of cardiac rehab.  It was an essential component in my recovery from heart surgery.  It allowed me to exercise with confidence, knowing that I was monitored and my exercise program was safe.  I feel exercise is one of the best medicines.  The cardiac rehab team also provided me with the tools necessary to make lifestyle changes.” 

The AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-reviewed accreditation process designed to review individual facilities for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by the AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR National Certification Committee and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.


Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management. Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.

Shown above are Cardiac Rehab Specialists: Alyssa Evans, Trisha Jones, Alison Hammons.



Van Wert Medical Services Introduces Patrick Bruno, M.D.

VAN WERT, Ohio – It is Van Wert Medical Services pleasure to announce the addition of Patrick Bruno, M.D. (OB/GYN) to our medical community. Dr. Bruno will be joining Dr. Douglas Moore, and Shane Gerber, CNP in the Van Wert Health Center.  

Dr. Bruno, a board certified OB/GYN, received his medical training from the University of Missouri. In addition, he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri. Dr. Bruno’s most recent position was in Monroe, Wisconsin, a community very similar to Van Wert.

Dr. Bruno commented that He and his wife, LeAnn, are excited to join the Van Wert Medical Services family and look forward to participating in everything the community has to offer.

 Dr. Moore stated “I’m looking forward to working alongside Dr. Bruno. He brings a strong skill set and a personality that will fit well in the community.”

Van Wert Medical Services is committed to serving our community and Dr. Bruno will assist in fulfilling that desire. As Van Wert Medical Services continues to grow we aim to add additional providers to the region, while increasing our status as role-models in the community.

Dr. Bruno is currently accepting new patient applications.

Should you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Bruno, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-447-3047 or (419) 238-3047.


Private Donation Places Children's Books in Pediatrics at Van Wert Hospital
Van Wert County Hospital recently received a very generous donation of children’s books for the Pediatrics Unit from Robin Kraner and her daughter Hannah.  Hannah has a medical condition which requires her to spend time at Dayton Children’s Hospital.  Robin, Hannah and with assistance from Stoneco, Inc., Robin’s employer, were able to gather more than 500 books to be donated to the hospitals.  Van Wert County Hospital is very appreciative for the donation.  No child wants to be in the hospital, but these books will help make the stay a little more comfortable. 

Shown from left are: Robin Kraner and Samantha Joseph, R.N., Director of Pediatrics at Van Wert County Hospital.



Volunteers from Van Wert County Hospital and their families spent more than 50 hours cleaning up the areas around the exercise stations that circle the north reservoir in Van Wert.  Volunteers pulled weeds and spread mulch around the stations.   

Anne Dunn, project coordinator, noted, “We were excited to clean up the stations.  As health care providers, our primary goal is to promote good health in the community.  The stations and the walk path are a free, attractive and easily accessible way to get a great workout.”        

Thanks goes to George Brake and the staff of the Van Wert Recycling Center who donated the mulch.  

Photo Cutline: From left: Anne Dunn, Patty Adams, Jeanette Ford, Bernie Hammons.


AEP Foundation Makes Donation to 24/7 Emergency Services Project

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert County Hospital is pleased to announce they have been selected for a $25,000 donation from the American Electric Power Foundation to assist with the 24/7 Emergency Services Campaign.  Randy Payne, Community Affairs Manager for AEP Ohio, awarded the check to Mark J. Minick, President and CEO of Van Wert County Hospital and Andy Czajkowski, Campaign Chairman and owner of Statewide Ford in Van Wert, at the hospital on Wednesday, September 16th. 

Emergency care has been at a critical crossroads for Van Wert County Hospital.  Patient counts increase each year and the facility strains to provide a quality experience due to a severe lack of space.  Emergency Services increasingly is the "entrance way" to the hospital with 80% of the hospital's bed patient care originating from an emergency room visit.  The hospital admitted nearly 17,000+ patient visits through the ER in 2008 and has a projected 20,000+ patient visits within the next two years.

On June 18th of this year, the hospital broke ground on a 12,000 square foot edition projected to be completed in June of 2010.  Mark J. Minick noted, “We are grateful to AEP for their donation to our hospital, our community and our patients.  AEP has proven to be a good “citizen” in the communities they serve.”

Joe Hamrock, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, stated, “The AEP Foundation is making a major commitment to the future of Van Wert and the Van Wert County area.  Supporting communities where we serve and live has been an important initiative for AEP and this project will benefit the entire community.”

AEP Ohio, based in Columbus, Ohio, provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers in all or part of 61 counties in Ohio.  American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.



New Technology Improving Breast Cancer Detection
At Van Wert County Hospital

Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging and Digital Mammography Introduced 

VAN WERT, Ohio – Van Wert County Hospital Medical Imaging is now providing two powerful weapons in the war against breast cancer.   These new modalities are Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) and Digital Mammography. 

The newer innovative technology to detect breast cancer after a questionable mammogram, Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) with the Dilon 6800 Gamma Camera is clearly a step ahead in early detection with VWCH having one of only two units in the state of Ohio.  BSGI, a molecular breast imaging technique, is now available to help your physician detect early stage cancers especially and even in dense breast tissue.    

While mammography and ultrasound are the industry standard for evaluating the anatomy of the breast, neither studies how the breast actually functions.  Mammograms may be difficult to interpret if the breast tissue is dense or scarring from a previous surgery obstructs the view and certainly if implants are present.  In these cases and others, additional testing is often necessary, including ultrasound, MRI or BSGI.  Mammography remains a highly sensitive screening tool and the initial exam of choice, because it is very effective in detecting breast abnormalities. However, higher breast density lowers this sensitivity and, in some cases, mammography provides low specificity (the ability to determine the nature of a suspicious area) as evidenced by the high rate of abnormalities that appear to be cancer, but turn out to be normal.     

Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) uses a proven imaging technique, Nuclear Medicine Imaging in a new way, with a new machine designed for use with the breast.  The patient receives a small injection of a radioactive tracing agent which, because of a faster metabolic rate in cancerous cells in the breast, a greater amount of the tracing agent is absorbed than by normal, healthy cells.  The tracing agent highlights these cancerous cells as “hot spots.”  The Dilon 6800 Gamma Camera is a high-resolution compact gamma camera that detects these “hot spots”.  BSGI takes about 45 minutes to perform.  Because there is no compression of the breast and patients are seated throughout the entire procedure, the examination is quite comfortable.   

Physicians need the best detail possible and the most accurate procedure when mammograms and ultrasound are unable to provide the answers.  A BSGI test satisfies that particular need.  Eric Jelinger, MD, Radiology/Imaging Medical Director at Van Wert County Hospital, states, “BSGI is as sensitive as MRI, but it is much more specific.  For our patients with dense breasts and a strong family history of breast cancer, BSGI gives physicians confidence in saying this patient does not have breast cancer.  Even though mammography still remains a primary screening method, when we encounter a challenging breast case, we can count on BSGI to deliver accurate, fast results.”   

BSGI has demonstrated a high sensitivity by identifying early stage cancers, as small as 3 mm, and has consistently provided a specificity of 90 percent, significantly helping to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.  BSGI has a 98 percent negative predictive value.  This translates into being 98 percent assured that there is no breast cancer. 

“We’re excited to bring BSGI to our patients because we firmly believe it fills an important need in our area.” noted Teresa Bloomfield, Director of Medical Imaging at Van Wert County Hospital.  With BSGI, physicians can see what matters at nearly one-third the cost of a MRI procedure.  Mammography and breast MRI can leave nagging questions that may require a 6-month wait to determine if a questionable area changes.  With BSGI, that waiting period can often be eliminated.  Instead of 1,000 MRI images, there are 4 to 6 BSGI images taken in the same projections as mammography that correlate very well when deciding if a biopsy is necessary.  Bloomfield also noted, “Ultimately, we believe BSGI will translate into earlier detection and treatment of breast cancer.”  

Van Wert County Hospital is proud to have one of only two BSGI Imaging systems in the state of Ohio.  Mark Minick, President and CEO at Van Wert Hospital, was pleased to announce the acquisition of the Dilon 6800.  “This technology allows us the ability to continue the tradition of serving our community with the best diagnostic tools available.  Our patients can now have the most timely testing and surgical procedures performed close to home, with ease and convenience.”   

Van Wert County Hospital Medical Imaging is also pleased to introduce Digital Mammography.  Digital Mammography changes the way radiologists can see the breast image.  Just as digital cameras have revolutionized the world of photography, so too Digital Mammography has dramatically changed the images as well as the process for obtaining breast radiographs.  With the click of a mouse, the radiologist can enlarge and enhance a single digital image, adjust the contrast, or zoom in on specific areas.  This technology means it’s less likely a patient would need to come back for a second test.   

Ask your physician about the benefits BSGI testing could have for your specific health condition.  For more information about the BSGI test or Digital Mammography, please contact Van Wert County Hospital Medical Imaging Department at (419) 238-8630 or visit www.vanwerthospital.org.  Remember, OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.  STAY INFORMED, STAY HEALTHY, SCHEDULE YOUR DIGITAL MAMMOGRAM TODAY!

Van Wert County Hospital is an independent community health system proudly providing more than a “Century of Caring.” 


Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center Celebrates Anniversary
Van Wert County Hospital Announces Employee Walking Program

VAN WERT, Ohio – The Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center for Healthy Living, a part of the Van Wert County Hospital System, is pleased to celebrate “A Decade of Healthy Living”.  Opened in August of 1999, thanks to a generous donation from benefactor and community leader Gaylord E. Leslie, the Wellness Center has seen nearly 300,000 visits.  There are nearly 400 members currently utilizing the facility.  To mark the occasion, the Wellness Center will be hosting a Public Open House on Friday, July 24, 2009, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm.  The Wellness Center is located at 140 Fox Road, Van Wert.   

The Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center is one of the leading medical fitness facilities in the region.  The dedicated staff includes highly trained fitness trainers and exercise specialists.  They provide professional and personalized care for each client. The Center combines highly trained professionals, innovative and cutting edge programming, personalized service and attended exercise programs. 

Beginning with a physical assessment, each client works hand-in-hand with fitness trainers and exercise specialists to develop an exercise program specific to their goals and needs.  Throughout their workouts, staff members provide heart rate and blood pressure monitoring.  Members personalized programs are continuously monitored and altered as necessary to prevent them from reaching a plateau and helping them achieve the best health possible. 

Simultaneously, Van Wert County Hospital will be launching an employee and volunteer walking program, encouraging participants to be, become or stay active through walking and other physical activities.  Repeatedly, studies show that healthy employees increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and reduce healthcare costs.  Recognizing the health risks of inactive lifestyles, the Hospital’s walking program was created in part, utilizing the American Heart Association’s “Fit Friendly Company” program.  The first part of the program, “Get Moving”, will last for 4-weeks.  More information about the Van Wert County Hospital Walking Program can be had by contacting the Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center for Healthy Living at (419) 238-8691 or by visiting our website at www.vanwerthospital.org/.


Van Wert County Hospital is an independent community health system proudly providing more than a “Century of Caring.” 

Construction Manager Selected for Expansion Project at Van Wert County Hospital

Weigand Construction Company, Inc. was selected as the Construction Manager on the Emergency Services Expansion project for Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert, Ohio. Construction on this project is expected to be complete by June, 2010.

Mark J. Minick, President and CEO of Van Wert County Hospital noted, “We had an excellent field of applicants to fill this crucial role for our project.  Weigand’s extensive experience in healthcare related construction is impressive and we look forward to working with them. There will be a multitude of contract opportunities as we move forward.”

Andy Czajkowski, Campaign Chair of the 24/7 Emergency Services Campaign stated, “As the 24/7 Campaign Chair, we’re very excited as we take this next step, but there’s still work to be done. Ultimately, we all choose what we want to invest in for our community. This project has the widest scope and will save more lives than any other project the Van Wert area has seen. This project is the one to stand behind as you can tell from the tremendous support we’ve already received. As the construction begins, I would like to encourage everyone to find out how they can assist with this vital project.”


Van Wert County Hospital Kicks-Off Capital Campaign for New Emergency Room - Click Here for the article by Dave Mosier of the vwindependent.com





Van Wert County Hospital accepts Donation from Wal-Mart
VAN WERT, Ohio –  Van Wert County Hospital was pleased to accept a generous donation of stuffed animals from Mr. Jeff Welker, General Manager of the Van Wert Wal-Mart.   

Pictured in the photo with Mr. Welker is Diana Pollock, Director of Materials Management and Central Processing at the Van Wert County Hospital.



Kenn-Feld Group, LLC Donates to Van Wert County Hospital Emergency Campaign
VAN WERT, Ohio –   Mark J. Minick, President and CEO of Van Wert County Hospital, accepts a donation $5,000 from the Kenn-Feld Group for the 24/7 Emergency Services Campaign.   

Featured in the photo, from the left are: Steve Lefeld, Judy Marbaugh, Mark Minick, Bruce Kennedy and Tom Burenga.   

VAN WERT, Ohio – By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety, Van Wert County Hospital has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation's health care through voluntary accreditation.  The Joint Commission's on-site survey of Van Wert County Hospital occurred in August of this year.

"Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization's performance and the outcomes of care," says Darlene Christiansen, executive director, Hospital Accreditation Program, Joint Commission. "The community should be proud that Van Wert County Hospital is focusing on the most challenging goal -- to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels."

Mark Minick, President and CEO, takes pride in the staff at Van Wert County Hospital who work hard every day to maintain the highest standards in order to be accredited by The Joint Commission.  "In addition, they appreciate the educational aspect of the survey and the opportunity to interact with the team of surveyors."  Van Wert County Hospital has been certified by the Joint Commission since 1962. 

“We strive every day to provide the finest quality of care available for our community and this honor of accreditation is evident of that fact.”  Mr. Minick also called the accreditation, "proof of an organization-wide commitment to provide quality care on an ongoing basis."    


Van Wert County Hospital is an independent community health system proudly providing more than a “Century of Caring.” 

Technology Investment at Van Wert County Hospital

VAN WERT, Ohio – Digital is not just for cameras but for all services performed in Radiology and Medical Imaging at Van Wert County Hospital.  For more than a year the hospital carefully evaluated, planned and finally transitioned on October 1 to a FILMLESS environment.  This $2 million investment into the Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) is, more than anything else, an Information Technology revolution sending Van Wert County Hospital into the future of medicine.  Electronic medical record continues to be a goal of all hospitals, and digital imaging is a part of that larger picture. The PACS connects the appropriate healthcare person to the knowledge and resources at the appropriate time and location to achieve the optimal health outcome.   

What the acronym stands for is not nearly as important as simply knowing that images previously stored on film will now be archived by computer and electronically available to medical personnel who have the appropriate password and connections.  Additionally, patients can be given a CD with their images/reports instead of having a “jacket of films and reports”.  It should be noted that VWCH will still laser print films for physicians making such a request. 

Van Wert County Hospital chose the PACS System for several reasons, including efficiency, quality, security and timeliness.  This technology has matured to the point that glitches are rare, information is able to be retrieved and obsolescence is avoided.  Images are electronically transferred, and thus the chemical processing, printing and compilation of cases is avoided.  Also, because the images are electronic, the patient’s “jacket” is always and instantly available.  Interpretation will occur in a more timely manner, also improving the turn-around time for reports.   

Quality is also improved: electronic images do not degrade over time, and can be manipulated with the computer to enhance detail.  PACS allows Technologists more time with the patient and less time handling, processing and compiling films for review.  Any technology advances of this proportion cannot be accomplished without intensive training.  For months now, training and education for staff and physicians has been occurring, and this will continue for months to come until everyone has an appropriate comfort level with the system…a system designed to grow with the Hospital and our needs.   

Advantages to PACS includes efficiencies for patients and physicians, better resource management (staff and equipment), reduced waste (environmental issues with chemicals and film), better scheduling and a reduction in exam-to-report turnaround times.  Van Wert County Hospital is pleased to honor its Mission and Vision by supporting advanced technology in outstanding facilities, while being the provider of choice for healthcare to our patients and physicians.    

Van Wert County Hospital is an independent community health system proudly providing more than a “Century of Caring.” 





Van Wert County Hospital Welcomes Home Two Local Physicians
Dr. Jennifer Hohman and Dr. Nat Reinemeyer Return to Practice

VAN WERT, Ohio – Small towns across America often face the challenge of having their “best and brightest” leave and not return.  Van Wert County Hospital is pleased to welcome back Dr. Jennifer Hohman and Dr. Nat Reinemeyer. 

Dr. Hohman graduated from Delphos St. John’s, the University of Dayton and received her Medical Degree from Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  She most recently completed her residency in pediatrics in St. Louis.  The love of her family and the desire to fulfill a significant need of the community convinced her and her husband Darin to return to the Van Wert area. 

On Monday, August 4, Dr. Hohman opened her practice with Van Wert Medical Services and is working along side Dr. Jeffrey Easley and Dr. Matthew Miller.  Dr. Hohman’s practice ranges from birth through age 19.     

As a high school student, Dr. Hohman volunteered her time working with a child with autism.  This experience struck a chord with her that stayed throughout college and medical school.  When she decided to specialize, there was no doubt it would be pediatrics.  Translating from Latin, a pediatrician is literally a “healer of children.”  Pediatricians focus on the physical, emotional and social health of children from birth through adolescence.  They are experts at childhood diseases and dedicate part of their practice to educating parents.     

When a child is ill or in pain, it takes a special skill to be able to communicate to a six-year old, 16 year-old or parent what is happening.  Dr. Hohman has a knack for explaining a procedure, building confidence in a patient or easing the mind of a worried parent.  As the mother of a very active 16 month-old, she has the ability to connect with parents with empathy and compassion.  Dr. Hohman noted, “The most fulfilling part of my job is the bond that develops between me and my patients and their parents.” 

 Dr. Hohman received a scholarship from the Van Wert County Hospital Medical Dental Scholarship Fund to complete her education.  The purpose of the fund is to provide community residents interested in medical professions with the funds to use for medical and dental school.  For almost 40 years, this fund has helped recruit and retain outstanding physicians and dentists for the Van Wert area.   

Dr. Hohman wishes every child could grow up in a loving environment that is safe and educational.  “Love your kids and trust your instincts” is the one statement she desires every parent to hear and live by.    

If you need to visit Van Wert County Hospital’s Emergency Room, you may just see a familiar face.  Finishing his residency in Emergency Medicine this spring at Detroit Receiving Hospital, Dr. Nat Reinemeyer knew he wanted to come home.  In the past ten years he has either studied or worked in Cincinnati, Dominica, Chicago and Detroit.  In June, his wish came true when he started working in VWCH’s Emergency Services Department.  Dr. Reinemeyer noted, “My wife and I are expecting our first child, and we knew there’s no place like Van Wert.  It’s great being so close to our families.”      

A 1997 graduate of Van Wert High School, Dr. Reinemeyer did his undergraduate work at the University of Cincinnati and received his Medical Degree from Ross University.  Being a person in constant motion, it’s no surprise that Dr. Reinemeyer chose Emergency Medicine because of the variety and the pace.  “This field of medicine allows me to engage in general medicine, but it involves almost all other fields.”  His return could not have come at a better time; Van Wert County Hospital’s Emergency Department is in the process of expanding due to the significantly increased volume of patients.      


Dr. Hohman and Dr. Reinemeyer are available for interviews.  Please contact Angela Snyder at (419) 238-8623 to make arrangements. 


Van Wert County Hospital is an independent community health system proudly providing more than a “Century of Caring.” 


Van Wert County Hospital Donates Fetal Monitor

Van Wert County Hospital recently donated an electronic fetal monitor to a facility in Honduras, with shipping sponsored by Dr. Jerry Sell, Family Medicine Doctor of Rockford.  Dr. Sell is involved with missionary work in Honduras and believes the fetal monitor will be a valuable tool for the medical staff that is accustomed to using equipment that is antiquated.  Fetal monitoring is done during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to monitor the baby's heart rate for indicators of stress.  The electronic monitor captures the data and prints the results for review. 

Pictured with the monitor: Sarah Hicks, Tracy Cucciarre, Dr. Sell, Sandy Wannemacher, Kim Lucas

Editor's Note: Jerry Sell is a Parkway Graduate

Datex Ohmeda S5 ADU Anesthesia Machine in operation at Van Wert County Hospital
New Machine Enhances Ability to Assess Patient Level of Consciousness

Van Wert, Ohio (February 6, 2007) – In meeting the mission of Van Wert County Hospital to provide quality healthcare services to the community, the hospital is proud to announce the purchase and implementation of the Datex Ohmeda S5 ADU Anesthesia Machine in each of its’ three operating room suites.   Anesthesia is the general or local insensibility, as to pain and other sensation, induced by certain drugs for the purpose of a procedure.  The S5 ADU machine addresses the patient’s concern regarding awareness under anesthesia by allowing the anesthesia provider to monitor the patient’s brain wave activity resulting in a better assessment of the patient’s level of consciousness.  According to Brenda Wobler, Director of Surgical Services at Van Wert County Hospital, “Patients often ask how we know they are really asleep.  The S5 ADU machine truly integrates the anesthesia delivery and patient monitoring by collecting complete data of the procedure and patient responses related to any changes.  The anesthetic agent is controlled electronically, which allows the gas usage to be monitored more closely with less utilization.”

Van Wert County Hospital evaluated several anesthesia machines before choosing the Datex Ohmeda S5 ADU.   “Tom Lyons, CRNA, trained on these machines at Beaumont Hospital during his anesthesia certification and his input factored into our decision to purchase this particular machine,” says Wobler.    “While all anesthesia machines on the market are safe to operate, the S5 ADU introduces new technologies that address the top causes of morbidity and mortality in anesthesia.”    According to The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation the top three causes are: breathing circuit misconnection or disconnection, vaporizer overdose or under dose, and ventilator not activated correctly, or delivering an excessive tidal volume (Vt) or inspiratory pressure (Pi).  The S5 ADU addresses all of these concerns.
The new anesthesia machines are fully operational at Van Wert County Hospital and will be utilized in operating procedures on patients from infant to geriatric. 

For more information regarding anesthesia safety, visit the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation at www.apsf.org

Pictured: The Datex Ohmeda S5 ADU Anesthesia Machine in an operating room suite at Van Wert County Hospital and Tom Lyons, CRNA.                     

Editor's note: Tom Lyons is a Parkway Graduate.           

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