High speed chase through Frederick County

An email from Virginia State Police reports pursuit of a Chrysler on Interstate 81 from mile marker 303 to exit 302 at high rates of  speed.

At one point the Chrysler slammed on its breaks causing a tractor trailer to slam into its rear.

Using the emergency crossover the Chrysler sped back onto northbound 81 and exited at the 302 location.

Speeds reached over 100 miles per hour down Reliance Road.

The Chrysler at one point crossed the double yellow line to pass several cars before losing control running off the road.

The Chrysler struck two trees which fell on the pursuing trooper’s vehicle.

A passerby assisted the trooper to remove the driver of the smoking and damaged Chrysler.

The driver of the Chrysler, Damon S. Smith of Winchester was taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

The 38 year old Smith faces a number of charges including felony eluding, driving suspended and reckless driving.

Other charges include aggressive driving, operating an uninsured vehicle, expired registration and various infractions during the pursuit.

No other injuries were reported in the incident which remains under investigation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Community Health: A Conversation about Robot-Assisted Knee/Hip Replacement

total knee replacement

We recorded today’s conversation on location at Warren Memorial Hospital with Mesfin Shibeshi DO, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and Grace Speicher, Program and Operations Manager, Valley Health Orthopaedic Clinics, Southern Region. Click here to have a listen to the conversation.

Dr. Shibeshi shared his knowledge and experience with respect to robot-assisted total knee replacement. Using this technology, Dr. Shibeshi is able to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee before surgery, allowing for precise planning of incisions and implant placement. The robotic surgical technology offers a level of personalization and precision that can limit soft tissue damage, preserve bone and reduce post-surgical pain for some patients.

Dr. Shibeshi is using this technology to aid in same-day total knee reconstruction procedures at Warren Memorial Hospital, the first Valley Health hospital to earn the Gold Seal of Approval® for Total Knee Replacement and Total Hip Replacement Certification from The Joint Commission.

Grace explained why certification is important. Certification keeps everyone focused on providing high quality patient care by providing:

  • Patient Education– patients are prepared for their total joint journey.  This is accomplished by distributing a total joint book to each patient, along with teaching what to expect prior, during, and after surgery.  This is a collaborative effort with the surgeon, nursing, therapy and case management involvement.
  • Early Ambulation and Pain Control– Studies have shown the sooner a patient ambulates the better their recovery. In order to accomplish this, pain must be controlled.  In an effort to keep narcotic use at a minimum, they have what is called a multimodal approach which includes a block placed by the anesthesia team during the surgical process, along with a periarticular injection placed by the surgeon.  This approach allows for a longer pain control with less need for oral pain pills.  This is easier on the patient’s stomach, as well as less of a threat for narcotic dependence.

Practice Office in Front Royal:

Valley Health’s Orthopedics practice in Front Royal is located in the multispecialty clinic on the campus of Warren Memorial Hospital. Dr. Shibeshi sees patients in clinic there, and performs procedures in the OR at Warren Memorial Hospital. Info about the clinic can be found here: Orthopedic Care in Front Royal | Valley Health (valleyhealthlink.com)

More information about the robotics and certifications can be found here:

Two Valley Health Hospitals Add Robotic Technology for Knee Replacement

Warren Memorial Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval for Total Hip and Knee Replacement Program

Community Health: Robot Assisted Joint Replacement

total knee replacement

We recorded today’s conversation on location at Warren Memorial Hospital with Mesfin Shibeshi DO, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and Grace Speicher, Program and Operations Manager, Valley Health Orthopaedic Clinics, Southern Region. Click here to have a listen to the conversation.

Dr. Shibeshi shared his knowledge and experience with respect to robot-assisted total knee replacement. Using this technology, Dr. Shibeshi is able to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee before surgery, allowing for precise planning of incisions and implant placement. The robotic surgical technology offers a level of personalization and precision that can limit soft tissue damage, preserve bone and reduce post-surgical pain for some patients.

Dr. Shibeshi is using this technology to aid in same-day total knee reconstruction procedures at Warren Memorial Hospital, the first Valley Health hospital to earn the Gold Seal of Approval® for Total Knee Replacement and Total Hip Replacement Certification from The Joint Commission.

Grace explained why certification is important. Certification keeps everyone focused on providing high quality patient care by providing:

  • Patient Education– patients are prepared for their total joint journey.  This is accomplished by distributing a total joint book to each patient, along with teaching what to expect prior, during, and after surgery.  This is a collaborative effort with the surgeon, nursing, therapy and case management involvement.
  • Early Ambulation and Pain Control– Studies have shown the sooner a patient ambulates the better their recovery. In order to accomplish this, pain must be controlled.  In an effort to keep narcotic use at a minimum, they have what is called a multimodal approach which includes a block placed by the anesthesia team during the surgical process, along with a periarticular injection placed by the surgeon.  This approach allows for a longer pain control with less need for oral pain pills.  This is easier on the patient’s stomach, as well as less of a threat for narcotic dependence.

Practice Office in Front Royal:

Valley Health’s Orthopedics practice in Front Royal is located in the multispecialty clinic on the campus of Warren Memorial Hospital. Dr. Shibeshi sees patients in clinic there, and performs procedures in the OR at Warren Memorial Hospital. Info about the clinic can be found here: Orthopedic Care in Front Royal | Valley Health (valleyhealthlink.com)

More information about the robotics and certifications can be found here:

Two Valley Health Hospitals Add Robotic Technology for Knee Replacement

Warren Memorial Hospital Earns Gold Seal of Approval for Total Hip and Knee Replacement Program

Valley Health receives “A” safety grade

valley health covid-19 vaccine

Valley Health’s acute care hospitals, Winchester Medical Center and Warren Memorial Hospital, earned an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group.

The organization is a national nonprofit which recognizes organizations for protecting their patients from harm in the hospital.

A, B, C, D, or F grades are given based on safety performance measures which includes errors, injuries, infections, and accidents as well as systems in place to prevent harm.

Only 14% of organizations evaluated receive the highest “A” rating.

Valley Health has secured that rating since 2020.

To see the full grades for WMH and WMC, head to HospitalSafetyGrade.org.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Night club shooting leaves Winchester man dead

Early Friday morning, a shooting occurred at the Touch of Texas nightclub in Bunker Hill, WV.

Upon arrival at the scene, authorities found Diata Johnson, 21 of Winchester, VA, shot in the parking lot.

He was transported to Winchester Medical Center but later died from his injuries.

Authorities at the scene identified the shooter but did not release his information.

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information on the shooting should contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department at 304-267-7000.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP investigates fatal crash in Clarke County

Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal single car crash in Clarke County from Tuesday afternoon.

The accident occurred at 4:30 pm along Route 643 when the 2015 Jeep Cherokee ran off the side of the road.

The Jeep collided with a mailbox, telephone pole, tree, and five parked vehicles before coming to a stop.

The driver, Nicole Gray, 33, of Nashville, Tennessee, was not injured and was wearing her seat belt.

The passenger, Michael Ables, 34, of Bluemont, Virginia, was not wearing his seat belt and died at the scene after being ejected from the vehicle.

One of the occupants of the parked cars was transported to Winchester Medical Center for minor injuries. 

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Community Health: A Conversation About Advance Medical Directives

advance medical directives

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today is part of an ongoing community health partnership with Valley Health where host, Janet Michael talks each month to physicians, administrators, nurses, etc. from Valley Health about a wide range of topics regarding healthcare. The guest today was Dr. James VanKirk, Director of Palliative Care for Valley Health, based at Winchester Medical Center about advance medical directives. You can click here to listen to the conversation.

Dr. VanKirk explained what palliative care is: a specialized, interdisciplinary approach to improving comfort and quality of life at any stage of serious illness by addressing symptoms, communications, and next steps. The two talked about National Healthcare Decision Day that happens on April 16 each year. He told us that it’s actually observed for the entire week but advance medical directives can be done at any time of year.

Dr. VanKirk talked about the different types of advance medical directives, how to start the conversation with loved ones, how to decide who you’d like to be “your person” and the steps you should take to ensure your wishes are on file somewhere like your local hospital. An advance directive is a form you can complete so that you can be in charge of your health care if you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself because of injury or illness. “It always seems too early until it’s too late.”

An Advance Directive includes two important parts:

  • Choosing someone to be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. This person is commonly called a health care agent, or may also be known as a Health Care Proxy, Substitute Decision-Maker, or Medical Power of Attorney.
  • Communicating the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want. This is called your Living Will.

For more information, visit their website: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/for-patients/advance-care-planning/

To hear more conversations in this series, visit the podcast page: https://theriver953.com/communityhealth/

Community Health: Advance Medical Directives

advance medical directives

We were on the screen today for a conversation with Dr. James VanKirk, Director of Palliative Care for Valley Health, based at Winchester Medical Center about advance medical directives. This is part of an ongoing community health partnership with Valley Health where I talk every month to physicians, administrators, nurses, etc. from Valley Health about a wide range of topics regarding healthcare. Have a listen to the show by clicking here.

Dr. VanKirk explained what palliative care is: a specialized, interdisciplinary approach to improving comfort and quality of life at any stage of serious illness by addressing symptoms, communications, and next steps. We talked about National Healthcare Decision Day that happens on April 16 each year. He told us that it’s actually observed for the entire week but advance medical directives can be done at any time of year.

Dr. VanKirk talked about the different types of advance medical directives, how to start the conversation with loved ones, how to decide who you’d like to be “your person” and the steps you should take to ensure your wishes are on file somewhere like your local hospital. An advance directive is a form you can complete so that you can be in charge of your health care if you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself because of injury or illness. “It always seems too early until it’s too late.”

An Advance Directive includes two important parts:

  • Choosing someone to be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. This person is commonly called a health care agent, or may also be known as a Health Care Proxy, Substitute Decision-Maker, or Medical Power of Attorney.
  • Communicating the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want. This is called your Living Will.

For more information, visit their website: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/for-patients/advance-care-planning/

To hear more conversations in this series, visit the podcast page: https://theriver953.com/communityhealth/

Valley Health recognizes the Watchman Team at WMC

An announcement from Valley Health (VH) recognizes the Watchman Team at Winchester Medical Center (WMC).

Cardiologist and electrophysiologist Daniel Alexander and his team have completed 100 Watchman FLX implantation procedures.

The Watchman FLX implant is a stroke risk reduction option for patients who wish to avoid a long term blood thinning medication.

The Watchman team at Winchester Medical Center have  helped 157 area residents with the procedures since 2018.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

WMC President announced his retirement

An email from Valley Health’s Public Relations Manager Carol Weare confirms the retirement of Grady W. “Skip” Philips III.

Philips has worked for VH for 8 years and worked a number of positions.

He has served as Winchester Medical Center’s (WMC) President most recently.

Philips has worked as the Senior Vice President of VH and Vice President of Acute Care.

His retirement becomes effective Apr. 30.

VH will conduct a National search to fill his position.

Philips is also very active in a number of community groups and nonprofits and hopes to continue to serve as he and his family will remain in the area.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.