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Centra Today newsletter

Get the latest health news, Centra related updates, and community happenings. A resource to help you live your best life.

Welcome to Centra Today

We are excited to share all that is happening at Centra! Each month, we will highlight new services, spotlight our involvement in the community, feature important dates and events, share exciting developments and explore how our Caregivers are connecting to our mission and our community in their daily work.

We encourage you to take the time to read and find out more about what is going on at Centra today!

Centra Today June

Centra Today May

Centra Today April
Centra Today March

June articles

VBH 100, Stanhope Johnson and VBH Museum Re-Launch

As we celebrate the centennial year of Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH), we’re honoring different aspects of the hospital’s history with various themes. June’s theme is focused on the architecture of the hospital and its museum!

Innovation close to home, Dr. Sackett, Integra D Device Trial

Dr. Matthew Sackett, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and his dedicated team from Centra’s Heart & Vascular Institute have achieved a significant milestone by implanting the first patient in Virginia with the Integra D device as part of an ongoing clinical trial.

Mission Moment, by Jacob Brumfield

At Centra, we proudly uphold our mission of “improving the health & quality of life for the communities we serve.” Every team member plays a vital role in this endeavor, and I am fortunate to contribute to the organizational mission through my role as Director of Critical & Intermediate Care at Lynchburg General Hospital.

My journey into healthcare, Janice Luth, MD

In honor of Dr. Janice Luth’s upcoming retirement from CMG Village, we asked her to share with us how she ended up in the field of medicine along with some of her favorite anecdotes from her 42 years of practice.

May articles

Innovation close to home, Sevaro Technologyi

My journey into healthcare: Candice Oliver, RN

Centra Cares: Bridge Clinic

The Bedford Mental Health Collaborative: Strengthening Community Care through Synergy

April articles

My journey into healthcare, Amy Johnson, NP

As a child growing up on my family’s farm in Highland County, one of the more rural parts of Virginia, I had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Since we raised beef cattle and sheep, I figured I would always work in the agricultural industry, and never thought that I would end up working in healthcare.

Centra Cares, Green with Gratitude

This month, many of Centra’s facilities will be lit up green to commemorate DonateLife Month. Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives and return them to their families, friends and communities.

VBH 100: Generations of Nursing, Melissa Carrico RN

This year, we're celebrating the centennial of Virginia Baptist Hospital and sharing stories from throughout its history of excellent care. Melissa is one of many members of the current VBH Team who were personally impacted by the care they received as a child which led them to pursue a career in the medical field or work at the hospital.

Innovation close to home, Prevent, Educate, Collaborate

As April Rasmussen and her team began to observe cases of human trafficking as part of their role as forensic nurses at Lynchburg General Hospital, they realized that Centra didn’t have a policy related to what steps should be taken when a patient who is a victim of human trafficking is given care at one of our facilities.

March articles

Innovation close to home, 6 months of EmPATH

On September 12, 2023, Centra celebrated the grand opening of the Emergency Psychiatric Assessment Treatment and Healing (EmPATH) Unit located at Lynchburg General Hospital. The unique space, which is the first of its kind in Virginia, serves as an extension of the emergency department that caters specifically to patients in mental health crises.

Centra cares: Emily Edmonds

No matter which department a person works in within our hospital system, the radiating effects of homelessness are evident. Without safe housing, an individual’s mental, physical and spiritual health will decline. I have witnessed this playing out countless times over the years, but I have also seen so many glimmers of hope for those facing homelessness.

Mission Moment, Ryan Miller

I've had the honor of serving as the Corporate Director of Food and Nutrition for the past year. Prior to joining Centra, I spent 15 years as a senior leader in the Nutrition and Food Service Department at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where we provided meals for over 900 patients daily. It's been an incredible journey in the healthcare field.

My journey into healthcare: Cath Truxell, RN-BC

As a little girl, Cathy Truxell didn’t know what she wanted to do when she grew up, but she knew she wanted to be helpful. After graduating from high school, she began working at a drugstore and moved from being a clerk to an assistant manager and then a manager. While she enjoyed interacting with people on a daily basis, she didn’t find the role fulfilling. About this time, she began thinking about what she wanted to do long term, desiring to find a job that would provide benefits and a stable income.

February articles

HVI Care Team

When we think about a patient receiving any type of specialty care, it’s easy to only think about the doctor providing care. However, there are multiple individuals who work together to make the care of patients as seamless as possible.

My journey into healthcare: Dr. Afua Kunadu

I am a first-generation physician and from a young age, I always knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a medical doctor. I was a radio presenter in middle school and during my gap year after high school before college, but there was never a doubt in my mind about my desire to one day become a doctor.

Strategy Spotlight, Remote Home Monitoring

I’m humbled to have represented Centra’s Nutrition Services for over a year while overseeing dieticians at Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH), Bedford Memorial Hospital (BHM), Southside Community Hospital (SCH) and Lynchburg General Hospital (LGH). With patients coming to our facilities with medical ailments that range from chronic to severe, they all need Medical Nutrition Therapy to aid their health as they leave our care.

Innovation close to home, the da Vinci Xi System

Many different kinds of surgery can be performed using the da Vinci Xi System. The equipment was first used for urological procedures approximately 20 years ago which led to it being used for deep pelvic and gynecological procedures.

January articles

People of Centra, Tab Culbertson

Imagine a 15-year-old girl with no idea about what she wanted to do with her life. At one time she had contemplated cosmetology school, but without someone to look up to, she lacked career guidance and direction. This girl did well in school, but never spent time thinking about her future and what would come after high school. She hadn’t really thought much about it.

Innovation close to home, TMS

Did you know that Centra Psychiatric & Behavioral Health provides Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy as an innovative treatment for depression?

Strategy Spotlight, Remote Home Monitoring

Centra's stride towards furthering its strategy of One Centra took a significant leap on March 6, 2023, with the launch of the Remote Home Monitoring (RHM) Program. This initiative, conceived during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to extend care directly to patients' homes and ultimately redefine the patient experience.

Mission Moment, Lauren Byrum

For me, carrying out our mission looks like making sure the meaningful stories about Caregivers working across our system are told. I believe these stories serve as powerful reminders of why we’re all here while also helping us remember that we’re committed to the same mission, vision and values.

December articles

People of Centra, Rhae Newbill

If you’ve visited one of Centra’s hospital campuses at night in the last month, you may have noticed colorful lights illuminating their exteriors, but did you know these lights have a story behind them too?

Community Partner, Impact Living Services

Having previously worked in a group home, Paul Tesi had watched over and over again how the 17- and 18-year-olds that were aging out of foster care weren’t succeeding despite traditional methods of assistance and support, so he decided he wanted to do something to change these outcomes and statistics.

Mission Moment, Justin Klein

Throughout my career, Centra has allowed me to grow and develop in each of my roles within the organization while still emphasizing a desire to carry out our mission of, “improving the health and quality of life for the communities we serve.” Although we have faced challenges along the way, I’ve never seen Centra Caregivers involved with our patients waver from that mission.

November articles

People of Centra, Julie Flores

Julie’s partnership with healthcare teams through the care of patient families includes taking them to a quiet location in the hospital, meeting simple needs such as providing water and tissues and calling other family or friends on the family’s behalf.

Community Partner, Habitat for Humanity

Piedmont Habitat for Humanity is a housing organization of Habitat for Humanity International that builds and repairs homes with the goal of promoting affordable home ownership.

Carol's road trip to recovery

While they're not often talked about, approximately 100,000 surgeries are performed annually in the United States. Carol Pomper never would have expected to be among this number in 2021 when she planned a road trip to visit friends in southwest Colorado and stay in locations across the United States along the way.

Mission Moment, Andrea Byers

When I joined Centra as part of the Centra Foundation, fundraising was familiar to me, but the responsibility of raising funds to support local health was completely new. Over the last four and a half years, I have had the immense pleasure of growing into a role that has really “stuck” for me–being what my colleagues often refer to as “the glue” of the team.

October articles

People of Centra, Kelsey Newell

At Centra’s Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center, Kelsey Newell provides genetic counseling services to patients across Centra. Having chosen the field because it mixes both the healthcare field and the human element of counseling, Kelsey is passionate about building relationships with her patients by learning their stories and family backgrounds.

Community partner: Freedom 424

he Freedom 4/24 Team is actively working with Centra’s Forensics Team to develop a Human Trafficking Policy along with education designed specifically for healthcare workers that will be provided to Caregivers in 2024.

Patient & nurse friendship: Tina Tucker & Cindy Turner

At just 18 years old, Tina found herself grappling with the loss of her mother while simultaneously caring for her own five-month-old child, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Overwhelmed by grief and the burdens of life, she turned to comfort in food, a solace that would soon lead her down a path she never expected.

Mission Moment, Kim Kirby

My career began in 1985 as a Radiologic Technologist at Virginia Baptist Hospital where my days were filled with doing upper gastrointestinal studies, barium enemas, urinary tract studies and operating room procedures. A few years later, I was approached about working in mammography, but at the time, I could not see myself as a mammographer.

September articles

People of Centra, Kim Price, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC

A member of the last graduating class of the Virginia Baptist Hospital’s College of Nursing, Kim Price’s warm sense of humor was made evident as she quipped, “they didn’t close the school because of me…it just moved to Lynchburg General Hospital!”

Community partner: Miriam's House

A local, non-profit that was started 29 years ago, Miriam’s House works to eliminate homelessness among families and individuals in Lynchburg. First begun in the 90s, the organization served 11 families at a time predominantly through the organization’s namesake home that is still located on Magnolia Street.

New service: Emergency Department Tele-triage

A trip to the emergency department (ED) usually comes about due to an unfortunate accident or medical emergency. Oftentimes, depending upon the number of patients in need of care, individuals have to wait to be seen by a provider which can be quite stressful and frustrating for someone who is in pain.

Mission Moment, Amy Rugh, MEd, LPC

In honor of National Recovery Month, we asked Amy Rugh, MEd, LPC to explain how she carries out Centra’s mission through her role as the Clinical Coordinator at Pathways Treatment Center. Pathways offers empathetic, evidence-driven support for individuals dealing with substance use disorders and associated issues.

August articles

A Decade of Dedication and Impact in Midwifery Care

As a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Katie Page serves as a primary care provider for women from puberty to post-menopause. Practicing in the CMG Women’s Centers that are located in Forest and Farmville, Katie loves being involved directly with the community through the care she provides in clinic and through her collaborative work with the Motherhood Collective (TMC), a branch of HumanKind.

Hometown Heart Heroes: John Dawson's Story

An active individual in his late fifties, John Dawson thought that becoming out of breath during walks with his wife, Jennifer, and their dogs at the Peaks of Otter was just a part of getting older. However, the realization that the cause of his shortness of breath was caused by something far more serious than aging came on October 15, 2022.

Fostering Strong Communities: Centra and HumanKind's Collaborative Care Efforts

Started in 1903 as a residential home for orphans and later expanded to serve adults with intellectual disabilities, HumanKind has a long history of serving children and families in central Virginia. Today with a focus on fulfilling its mission of strengthening individuals, families and communities through care, counseling and education, HumanKind offers multiple programs and services across Virginia.

The Hidden Struggles of Caregivers and the Fight Against Workplace Violence

"As someone who worked as a bedside nurse for many years, I believe the role of a Caregiver is nothing short of the most selfless professions a person can have. When performing this role, you truly do not know what you will face during each day at work."

July articles

Mission Moment, Kathy Kendall

I recently had a community member say to me, “it’s a shame you are no longer a nurse” implying that in my role as Director of Acute Care at Centra Southside Community Hospital, I no longer care for patients. I quickly explained to her that in my position, the number of patients I touch has only multiplied.

An Advanced Practice Provider (APP) story

Brenda Yarber’s journey to becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) at Centra didn’t begin with large ambitions for the future but rather a love for caring for the tiniest of patients. In May of 1984, Brenda graduated from the University of Lynchburg with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the following July she began working in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) at Centra.

Community Partner: Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope began as a grassroots initiative almost twelve years ago. Birthed out of the City of Lynchburg’s Dialogue on Race & Racism, the non-profit was founded by its current Executive Director, Laura Hamilton, with the goal of developing equitable resources and creating bridges to post-secondary education for all young adults in the city of Lynchburg.

People of Centra, Brittney Aagaard

You don’t have to speak with Brittney Aagaard for very long to learn that she has a passion for students of all ages! As the Manager of Student Affairs for Centra’s Office of Medical Education & Student Affairs (OMESA), Brittney leads a team of four coordinators who work to facilitate education programs at Centra such as medical school residencies and college internships.

June articles

Mission Moment, Kara Lamb NP

Cancer Survivorship. What exactly does this term mean? For many, it means embarking on a journey they never thought they would have to go through. For others, it signifies the end of treatments. Many patients that I work with don’t consider themselves “survivors” until their treatments are over.

Centra's Sleep Disorders Center Sleep Apnea Treatment

It’s something that we do every day and that we can’t function without—it’s sleep. Our bodies and our brains require not only a certain amount of sleep in a 24-hour period but for that sleep to be of good quality. When we sleep, our brains organize the information that’s taken in during the day in order to keep what’s necessary and dispose of what’s not.

Men's Health Month, Iron Lives

June is Men's Health Month, a time when we emphasize the significance of annual physicals and screenings. However, it's crucial to remember that health encompasses more than just the physical aspect. Strong health often originates from a positive mindset and outlook.

People of Centra, Starla Johns

Starla began the journey towards a career in nursing when she became a student at Centra College in 2019 and entered the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Program. Starla had always admired the role nurses played in caring for others, but her desire to join the field was confirmed after her personal experience at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital’s (VBH) Labor & Delivery Unit.

May articles

Mission Moment by Preyasha Tuldahar, MD

Centra’s mission of, “improving the health and quality of life for the communities we serve,” is fundamental to my practice as a primary care physician at CMG Nationwide. As primary care providers, we play an integral role in shaping the lives of our patients in critical ways.

People of Centra: Carol Barker

Retired Centra nurse, Carol Barker is an example of pursuing your passions no matter what stage of life you happen to be in.

Stroke month, Paul Webb's story

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and feeling a weird sensation across your body. You get out of bed and begin to walk around to see if the strange feeling will subside, but it doesn’t. Suddenly, you notice that you have lost all ability to use your right hand. You go to wake your spouse and when you try to say their name, you aren’t able to speak.

Community Partner: Brook Hill Farm

Nestled among the rolling hills of central Virginia, you will find a farm that is committed to helping horses and helping people. Brook Hill Farm was founded in 2001 by Jo Anne Miller with the goal of providing therapeutic riding services to our community in addition to being a haven for unwanted horses.

April articles

People of Centra: Carter Broocks

If you’ve met Carter Broocks, you remember it. Altruistic, gregarious, lover of all things green and friendly to all furry creatures, Carter has been a member of Centra’s Marketing & Communications Team since 2015.

Mission Moment by Baxter Brennan

My name is Baxter and I’m a part of the care team at Centra’s Autism and Developmental Services Clinic (CADS). I’ve been a Centra Caregiver for 11 years.

Services at Centra: Centra Autism & Developmental Services Clinic

In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, we recently spoke with Dr. Emily Bradshaw who serves as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Centra’s Autism & Developmental Services Clinic (CADS).

Community Partner: Interfaith Outreach Association

As an organization that serves populations in the city of Lynchburg as well as Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties, IOA continues to make an impact on the well-being of our community.

March articles

People of Centra: Wren Roberts

Meet Wren Roberts, the Senior Director of Support Services who is responsible for managing all food, environmental and security services for Centra. Wren began his career in the healthcare industry in 1992 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. Understanding that it is easy to become burnt out in the hospitality industry, Wren decided he wanted to do something more meaningful with his career than just manage a hotel or restaurant.

New service/procedure spotlight: Deep Brain Stimulation and Focused Ultrasound

Dr. Aaron Bond who is trained in general neurosurgery with special emphasis on the treatment of movement disorders, epilepsy and complex spinal disorders is excited to begin offering this surgery at Centra. He has completed multiple successful DBS surgeries and FUS treatments throughout his medical career and is hopeful about the positive impact that these new offerings will make on the communities that Centra serves.

Mission Moment: Tessa Roulston, PA

I have been honored to care for others as an emergency medicine physician assistant (PA) with Centra for over 4 years now. Like many of our emergency services PAs, NPs, and physicians, I work in multiple sites–Bedford Memorial Hospital (BMH), Gretna Medical Center, Southside Community Hospital (SSCH), and Lynchburg General Hospital (LGH).

March Community Partner: Lynchburg Grows

Food serves as an equalizer because it applies to everyone and is one of the first places to start when pursuing a healthy lifestyle. This is why Centra’s partnership with Lynchburg Grows has been a tangible way for our healthcare system to work to fulfill its vision—specifically, being able to advance the health and quality of life for the communities we serve.

February articles

Worth the weight

Sometimes the best way to love someone is to support them as they persevere through challenges. Bobby and Amanda Wethington’s journey to pursue a healthier lifestyle together is one such example of this type of love.

Better days ahead for Bill

Before October 6, 2022, Bill Jenkins chose to forgo participating in many family activities because he “just didn't feel well,” and while Bill was not critically ill, he often had, “bad days.”

The lunch-break volunteer

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, stay at home mandates meant that Centra Caregiver, Kathy Morris’ three teenagers were either spending their days in online classes or sitting around trying to figure out how to fill all their newfound free time.

Centra community partner: Meals on Wheels

One organization in our community is committed to serving those who are homebound by providing nutritious, hot lunches to those in need five days a week, every week of the year.

January articles

People of Centra: Allison Towler

Allison Towler has worked as a Registered Nurse at Centra for 17 years, and currently she works full time in the Radiology Department at Lynchburg General Hospital (LGH).

Nipple Nerve re-sensation

Two surgeons at Centra are carrying out Centra’s vision of pursuing excellence, inspiring hope and advancing health and healing by offering an innovative procedure to women who must undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery.

Centra community partner: Girls on the Run CVA

Centra’s partnership with Girls on the Run has spanned multiple years with Centra awarding several grants toward the organization in addition to the time given by Centra Caregivers who have served as coaches and even on the Board of Directors.