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Could I Have the Flu

Or is Strep Throat?

Find out with PCH Direct Access Testing. Flu A and B rapid strep test results in 20 minutes


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PCH Patrick Recieves Award of Excellnce

PCH Patrick Delivers Outstanding Healthcare

Virginia Flex Program MBQIP, Awards PCH Patrick a Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Quality Performance.

The Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) is a quality improvement activity under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) grant program. The goal of MBQIP is to improve the quality of care provided in small, rural Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). This is being done by increasing the voluntary quality data reporting by CAHs, and then driving quality improvement activities based on the data.

PCH Patrick is proud to be a part of our community. This is just another important step in fulfilling our promise to provide superior health care.

Read More on MBQIP:

Senior Health - Don't Own a Walker—Be a Walker

As an older adult, you want to maintain your independent lifestyle, and that means preventing falls and fall-related injuries. A new study offers a simple, inexpensive way to do it.

Hit the Road, Jack!

Researchers across the United States enrolled more than 1,600 male and female participants in their 70s and 80s in the LIFE Study to evaluate the effect of physical activity on mobility-related disability. Results of the study showed that walking as little as 20 minutes every day can significantly improve mobility and prevent disability among older adults—even those on the cusp of immobility.

But what if you don't find walking very enjoyable? Try these tips to liven up your daily strolls:

  • Buddy up. Find a friend to walk with you. You'll want to keep walking just so you can keep talking.
  • See new sights. Tired of the same old route? Walk somewhere new. Explore nearby walking trails or mosey over to a part of your neighborhood you don't normally visit.
  • Invest in new shoes. Are your walking shoes old and ragged? Purchasing a pair of stylish, supportive new shoes might offer the motivation you need to start walking more.
  • Add music to the mix. Thanks to music purchasing and streaming services such as iTunes and Pandora, you can access almost any of the music you enjoyed in your younger years. Rediscover your love of Harlem jazz or jump and jive to your favorite 1950s doo-wop artists.
  • Challenge yourself. Have a bit of a competitive streak? Use it to your advantage by setting goals and beating personal bests. Smartphone apps such as Map My Walk or a fitness-tracking wristband can help you monitor your progress.

To Live at Home, Work Out at Home

  • Improving your mobility is key to protecting your independent living situation. Here are three home exercises that will help preserve your mobility.
  • The Squat—Set your feet hips' length apart and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Squat down and then return to standing position. Repeat 10 times. This will strengthen your upper leg muscles and buttocks.
  • The Sit-to-Stand—Sitting in a chair, bring yourself up to a standing position using only your leg muscles. Repeat 10 times. This will also strengthen your leg muscles and buttocks, as well as your core.
  • The Balance Beam—Walk from one end of your living room to the other, placing one foot directly in front of the other, heel-to-toe, as if you were walking on a balance beam. This will improve your balance and gait coordination, which can protect against falls.

PCH Patrick Introduces Direct Access Testing

Tuesday, March 31st
Direct Access Testing

What is Direct Access Testing
PCH Direct is a Direct Access Testing service that allows individuals to request laboratory tests based on their health concerns and receive results without a physician's order. Parents/legal guardians may also request testing on their children under the age of 18.
What is the process?
Patients with insurance may find this service beneficial, since many routine screening tests are not covered or may not be paid because of frequency limits.

  • -You choose your testing from the PCH Direct Test Menu
  • -You do not need an appointment
  • -Hours: Monday—Friday, 8:00a.m.—4:30p.m.
  • -Register and pay at the Business Office
  • -Methods of Payment: Cash, Check, Credit Card
  • -Payment is required in full at the time of service. Insurance claims will not be filed.
  • -Test results are available for pickup no later than two days or can be mailed to the address given by the patient. Test results picked up by the patient will require a photo ID and will only be given to the patient or parent/legal guardian.
  • -Test results are confidential
  • -Patients with abnormal results will be asked to contact their personal provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, we can supply you with a list of local providers or refer you to the Emergency Department, located in the Hospital.
  • -If testing performed reveals a Critical Value, patient will be contacted and encouraged to seek medical attention.

Who Performs the Testing?
Testing is performed by the highly qualified Laboratory staff at Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick located in Stuart, Virginia. The Laboratory is CLIA Certified ensuring accurate results.

To see our Direct Access Testing Options Click Here

*REMINDER: Test procedures are a screening tool and not designed to diagnose or predict illness without a full medical evaluation. PCH Direct Laboratory only provides information and does not and will not interpret the results. It is the patient's responsibility to initiate medical follow-up to confirm test results.

Busting 4 Winter Health Myths.

Monday, February 16th
Certain myths persist about how to stay healthy during wintertime. How savvy are you?

Myth 1: Cold air automatically equals illness. Scared to go outdoors because you're afraid to catch a cold? The brisk outdoor air could actually protect you from getting sick! The germs that cause the cold virus are more likely to live in warmer environments, such as your home. Exercising in the cold can boost endorphin production, which can combat stressful or sad feelings. Find more reasons to head outdoors, including a quick walk around the block or completing outdoor chores. Your immune system will thank you.

Myth 2: Chicken soup can't cure the common cold. Remember how much better you felt after you had a bowl of chicken soup when you had the sniffles? New research suggests that chicken broth can help white blood cells move more quickly through the body, fighting inflammation. Next time you feel a cold coming on, warm up a can of chicken soup, or make your own, including garlic, which can provide antibacterial protection.

Myth 3: You should always drink warm fluids when you're sick. A warm drink can help perk you up when you're feeling under the weather, but it doesn't have to be warm to have the most powerful effect. Staying hydrated can help you recover from a cold, but what you drink can be any temperature. Just stay away from coffees, colas and caffeinated teas, which can contribute to dehydration.

Myth 4: Allergies only occur in the spring. Allergens are often in our home environments year-round. Dust and pet dander may build up during the holidays when things are busier, triggering allergic reactions. Be sure to change your heating and air filters during the winter and take an antihistamine daily to keep allergy symptoms in check.

Winter Safety 101

Ready to enjoy all that winter weather has to offer? Here's how to stay safe.

Dress the part. Wear light, warm layers to keep comfortable outdoors. Wear non-skid shoes and slather sunscreen on any exposed areas of skin, such as your face and ears, to protect against ultraviolet rays.

Take your time. Inclement weather can cause icy patches and slick spots. Whether on foot or in the car, plan for extra travel time and don't rush. Always hold handrails when climbing stairs.

Did You Know?

–The winter season can vary based on metrological data, but is typically defined as December through February when temperatures are coldest, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

–According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word winter comes from the Old High German term wintar, meaning fourth season of the year.

–People are less likely to exercise in the fall and winter, according to a Gallup poll.

Flu Vaccine 411

Hand Hygiene and Flu

Proper hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of germs such as the ones that cause the flu.

According to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, the average person touches his or her face once every four minutes. Germs on the hand can enter the body through the mouth, eyes and nose. The moral of this story is clear—wash your hands.

To cleanse the hands thoroughly, wet them with water, apply soap and then rub them together thoroughly. That means washing the back, front, between fingers and under the nails for at least 20 seconds. Rinse well with clean, running water and dry.

If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend rubbing a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol on all parts of the hands until they are dry.

Myth: The flu vaccine can give you the flu.

Fact: Flu vaccines are safe and cannot make you sick. Depending on which type of flu vaccine you receive, the virus is either dormant or altered, so it cannot harm you.

Myth: You do not need the flu vaccine.

Fact: If you are young and healthy, coming down with the flu may be uncomfortable but it is usually not life-threatening. However, the flu virus is quite contagious and can spread even before you develop symptoms, meaning you may pass it to people who are at risk without knowing it. High-risk populations include children younger than age 5, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems. Getting vaccinated protects you and others.

Myth: People with egg allergies cannot receive the flu vaccine.

Fact: Traditionally, the flu vaccine was prepared in eggs, and there was a slight chance that people with extreme allergic responses to eggs could have bad reactions to it. The FDA recently approved two new flu vaccines that do not use eggs in the virus preparation process. They are called Flublok and Flucelvax. If you have an egg allergy, talk with your primary care physician about receiving one of these new types of vaccines.

Myth: It is too late to take the vaccine.

Fact: When it comes to the flu vaccine, it's better late than never. Cases of the flu may peak in January or February, but flu season sometimes lasts through May. It is also possible to get the flu more than once each season because multiple strands are often active at the same time.

Myth: You only need to be vaccinated against the flu once.

Fact: The flu virus is constantly changing and so are flu vaccines. The flu vaccine is reformulated each year to guard against the latest strains. That means everyone who is approved to receive the flu vaccine should do so each year to be protected from the latest types.

Myth: The flu virus can cause "stomach flu."

Fact: While nausea and diarrhea sometimes accompany the flu, especially in children, the condition commonly referred to as the stomach flu is actually called viral gastroenteritis. The flu vaccine does not treat or prevent gastroenteritis.

Flu season is right around the corner. If you need a doctor to get your flu shot or immunizations please call one of Pioneer's Family Medical Clinics, Stuart 694-6677 and Spencer 957-7007.

At Pioneer Family Medical of Spencer walk ins are welcome! No Appointment is necessary!