Be Summer Safe Barbour County

Be Summer smart Barbour County

School is out, and kids are more than ready to play all day and bask in the sweet sunshine. But while the kids are soaking up the warm temps, parents and guardians should be wary of the potential dangers that lurk within a perfectly sunny day.

Holly Holbert, Health Educator & BSN at Myers Clinic in Philippi, West Virginia.

Look at the tips provided by Health Educator, Holly Holbert, on how to keep your kids safe this summer.

  1. Protect your skin from the sun! The sun is a magnificent and vital source to the planet and humans; however, its rays can cause skin damage, sun burns and even puts you at risk of skin cancer.  The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes.  That’s why sunscreen is your best friend during the summer months. Sunscreen is so, so important for anyone who ventures outside during a summer day.  Put-on broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before going outside, even on cloudy or cool days.  The higher the SPF number, the more protection provided by the sunscreen.  Lather up the sunscreen, with a thick layer on all exposed skin! Hats and sunglasses should also be a summer necessity. If possible, avoid going outside during peak times, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is at its hottest. Look for shade under a tree, under an umbrella or sun tent. 
  2. Keep an eye on your little swimmers! The perfect summer day is not complete until you’ve taken a dip in the pool or ocean. However, it’s crucial that parents/guardians keep a watchful eye on kids swimming or wading in the water.  Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 years.  Drowning can occur in as little as one inch of standing water.  Oftentimes drowning is silent, and it can happen in an instant. So, be sure to keep younger children and new swimmers at an arm’s length and under constant watch.  One adult should be assigned to pay constant attention to children in the water.  This means to put down the cellphone! Flotation devices can be helpful, but still accidents can happen. While out boating, make sure every individual on the boat is wearing a life vest. And, be sure the driver is knowledgeable on how to navigate the boat and safety features.
  3. Avoid Pesky bug bites and plants this season! When summer rolls around, so do the bees and the bugs. If your child is allergic to bees, it’s important they have an EpiPen on hand. Talk with them about not interacting with swarms of bees or beehives. If you are not allergic, but do get stung, be sure to wash the site with soap and water. Remove the stinger using gauze wiped over the area or scrape with fingernail.  Never squeeze the stinger or use tweezers.  Apply ice to the area.  Be sure not to scratch the sting. If your little one stumbled into a patch of poison ivy or poison oak, the first thing you should do is rinse the skin with rubbing alcohol or dish soap and lots of water. Scrub under the fingernails with a brush.  Rinse with water frequently.  Wash clothing and any items that may have touched the affected area. Though it will be tough, do not allow them to scratch the area as it can lead to infection. Consider applying calamine or hydrocortisone cream.  An antihistamine may be helpful to relieve itching, but only use this according to directions on the package.  In severe cases or if a rash is on the face or genitals, seek professional medical attention. 

With all that in mind, BCHA knows you want your children to have a fun-filled summer but following these tips will give you peace of mind and keep them safe. However, if you find yourself needing care or health advice this summer, contact BCHA for same day, Saturday and evening appointments.

4 Health Tips for the Men in Your Life

4 Health Tip for the Men in Your Life

As the days become longer and the temperatures get warmer, it can be difficult for the hardworking men in your life to remember proper habits to stay healthy. With June being Men’s Health Month, its critical to remind men that their health matters not just this month, but all year round. So, take a look at the tips below and be sure to pass along these helpful hints to the guys in your life!

1.       Schedule a routine check-up/screening: Remind all the guys in your life – no matter the age – that regular doctor check-ups are important to their health. Routine appointments can scan for any unsuspecting changes in a patient’s health that could lead to future health problems — body mass index, cholesterol and blood pressure. Regular check-ups are also helpful with identifying more serious health issues, such as certain types of cancers and diabetes/blood sugar levels. Regularly meeting with your doctor also gives you the opportunity to discuss changes or concerns you may have about your health.

2.       Put good, fresh foods into your body: Having a healthy, well-balanced diet can do wonders for your health. In fact, decreasing the amount of sugars and fats you ingest not only lowers your cholesterol, but can also lower your chance of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. And since it’s summertime, fresh fruits and vegetables are all around for you to gorge on and still be healthy!

3.       Get that body moving: Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity several times a week gets your body goin’ and strengthens your health. From walking, running, basketball, mowing the lawn, swimming or playing a game of badminton, the guy in your life is bound to find a physical activity he enjoys and that’s good for his health! But what if he doesn’t have the time? No worries and no excuses. Research shows that short bursts of exercise – 10 minutes multiple times a week — can help improve one’s health. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor to figure out the best exercise path for you!

4.       Do your best to de-stress: It’s summertime. And, while that may mean sunny skies and warm temperatures, work and bad news can come at any given time. The lawn needs mowed, but the pipes burst in the kitchen, and of course, household chores are piling up. Stop. It’s important to remind the men in your life (and, yourself included) to relax during stressful periods. Not only can stress take a toll on one’s emotional and mental health, but your physical health can also become affected. Notice the early warning signs of too much stress – teeth grinding/clenching, irritability and tension in the shoulders. Remember that summer is also the season for many to take a vacation or some extra time off to de-stress. 

New Barbour Community Project Assists Patients

New Barbour Community Project Assists Patients

 Students at Studio C located in Philippi chose Project PINwheel to donate to for their annual ‘Concert with a Cause this past Christmas. Christmas charity. Jill Baker, BCHA representative, accepts the donation.

It’s no secret that Barbour County is a close-knit community that Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA) is proud to be a part of. Since 1973, BCHA has strived to make healthcare accessible and affordable for Barbour County residents. For this reason, members of the BCHA staff came up with the idea to create Project PINwheel. 

Project PINwheel, initially named Patients in Need (PIN), was created with the goal to raise money for community members who might need to travel outside of Barbour County to seek healthcare. The money is used to directly assist in covering costs that insurance companies don’t typically cover. For instance, funds are used for lodging, gasoline or food for the patient and family members while their loved one seeks treatment.

“We are hoping this will decrease any barrier people in our community may have to receiving treatments they need,” says Debbie Schoonover, COO of BCHA.

“The staff at BCHA is passionate about this project because they love their community and making an impact on the lives of their neighbors. The opportunity to give back means the world to us,” continued Schoonover. In September, BCHA held their annual bingo fundraiser. Combined with two private donations of sizeable amounts, the fund continues to grow. BCHA along with private contributors have already been able to assist some residents of Barbour County.

“We are all excited about the future of this project and what it means for the residents of Barbour County,” Schoonover concluded.

How to Apply for Help or to Help

BCHA makes applying for help and donating easy, just contact Belington Medical Clinic and ask for Debbie or Connie Williams. Most of the funds for Project PINwheel come from individual donors, many of who were touched by illness or have family members who have been. In addition to individual donation, Project PINwheel has two major fundraisers each year, one of which is the annual Medley Collection Bingo, held each September. “Wherever they come from, donations are greatly” appreciated, Schoonover says.

For more information on Project PINwheel or to contribute, contact Belington Medical Clinic at 304-823-2800 and ask for Debbie or Connie Williams.

Employee Spotlight: Jessie Massimino

Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA) is thrilled to expand their Behavioral Health team with the hire of new Behavioral Health Case Manager, Jessie Massimino. Jessie has joined the team at Belington Medical Clinic and is excited about her future there. We caught up with Jessie to learn a little bit about her past experiences and why she’s excited to begin her new role at BCHA:

Q: What qualifies you for this position?

A: I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Services from Davis & Elkins College in 2010 and have held many positions in the field since graduation.

Q: Are you from Barbour County?

A: No, originally, I’m from Kent Island, Maryland.

Q: How did you make your way to BCHA?

A: After graduating from Davis & Elkins College, I worked in an outpatient children’s mental health clinic while also providing related school-based services for four years.  After this, I worked closely with sexual assault and domestic violence victims for nearly three years before taking on a new role as an Advocacy and Prevention Coordinator.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through your role at BCHA?

A: I look forward to the opportunity to further my education and work with other trained mental health professionals who are and will be providing unique interventions to our community.

Q: Do you have any specialties or professional interests?

A: I enjoy empowering individuals to achieve their fullest potential. I am always interested in learning new ways to engage people in healthy lifestyle change objectives.  

Q: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

A: With this job in particular, I enjoy the diversity in our patient population, especially providing services to patients across the lifespan.

Q: What do you like to do outside work?

A: I spend a lot of time with my family and our dogs. We spend most of our free time enjoying each other’s company. Being a Maryland native, I enjoying venturing to the eastern shore to spend time with relatives coasting along the bay and crab dipping.   

For more information on Barbour Behavioral Health or to schedule an appointment with Jessie, please call 304-823-4000.

About Barbour Behavioral Health

Barbour Behavioral Health provides outpatient therapy and evaluation/assessment services for both children and adults and continues to grow with the addition of new accomplished staff members and specialized programs. Across the staff, there are therapists skilled in trauma, play therapy, parent-behavioral training, and substance abuse treatment among other specialty areas.

Employee Spotlight: Sallie Hamrick, RN

Provider Spotlight: Sallie Hamrick, RN

Hamrick visiting the Grand Ole Opry.

Belington Medical Clinic is excited to announce the new hire of Nurse Manager Sallie Hamrick, RN. After two decades of nursing, Sallie has the experience to ensure the clinic runs smoothly. We sat down to speak with Sallie and get a little bit more information on her past and why she’s excited to begin her new role with Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA):

Q: What qualifies you for this position?

A: I received my associates degree from Davis and Elkins College in 1997 for nursing, currently take online courses through WVU Parkersburg and will have my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in May.

Q: Are you from Barbour County?

A: No, I’m originally from the Coalton area in Randolph County where I still live.

Q: How did you make your way to BCHA?

A: Originally, I began my nursing career at Davis Memorial before working at Barbour County Good Samaritan. After that I taught nursing courses at Randolph Technical Center in Elkins. I was a board member for BCHA from 2014-2016 and because I live close to the Barbour County line, receive care as a patient from BCHA. I always thought it would be a great organization to work for because I love the small-town environment and that they really got to know patients personally.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through your role at BCHA?

A: I’m just here to make sure things go smoothly. The nurses and medical assistants here are great, I’m just here to make sure they have what they need!

Q: Do you have any specialties or professional interests?

A: I would say geriatrics and education. Especially after teaching for so long.

Q: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

A: I like that I’m still able to interact with patients and sometimes I float around and work with patients. I especially like working with the elderly.

Q: What are things you do as a part of your job that people don’t see?

A: I keep things behind the scenes running smoothly. I make sure nurses have their supplies, medications, schedule, and cover gaps. I also attend a lot of provider meetings and conduct quality assurance. I also teach a CPR course.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I really love to travel. I recently went to Denver and Las Vegas and would really love to go to Ireland, Scotland or Japan soon.

Provider Spotlight: Jamie Wilson, LPC

Provider Spotlight: Jamie Wilson, LPC

Wilson hiking the Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, AZ

Barbour Behavioral Health continues to grow and develop to better serve the needs of Barbour County! In the past year programs such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Substance Abuse Counseling and our upcoming introduction of Neurofeedback Therapy have been expanding. To accommodate patients, we’ve also welcomed specialized and experienced team members to our Behavioral Health Program.

Enter our newest Behavioral Health team member, Jamie Wilson! Jamie has recently joined us here at BCHA as a counselor. We sat down with Jamie to get to know her a little better:

Q: What makes you qualified as a Licensed Professional Counselor?

A: I received my Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Maryland and got my Masters at WVU in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Q: Are you from Barbour County?

A: No, I’m originally from the Eastern shore of Maryland. Chestertown, it’s across the bridge from Annapolis.

Q: What drove your career decisions?

A: My mom lost her parents when she was young and spent time in foster care during her childhood which inspired me to start helping kids in Baltimore. Later I began taking interest in the mental health field when I was working with adults at Johns Hopkins. I made my decision to go to WVU, because of how much I loved West Virginia and the mountains here. It’s definitely different than living on the shore.

Q: How did you make your way to BCHA?

A: I was working at the United Summit Center in Preston County when I got my license and this opportunity came along. I love how progressive BCHA is and that they are working with neurofeedback. I am blown away with their focus on growth. My forty-five-minute commute from Reedsville to Belington is worth it!

Wilson hiking Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through your role at BCHA?

A: I look forward to being certified in neurofeedback because we are really hoping to introduce that to the school population. It’s going to give us real time neurofeedback in the interventions we’re performing with clients.

Q: What are your specialties and professional interests?

A: I would love to combine therapy and exercise in the outdoors and develop some sort of Wilderness Therapy program.

Q: What are things you do that are part of your job that most people don’t see?

A:Definitely cultural immersion. There is a bit of culture shock moving from the city of Baltimore to rural West Virginia. When I moved here I took a quilting class, learned how to can, how to grow a garden, and completely immersed myself in the culture of West Virginia to become closer to patients. The people in this area are some of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met and I’m happy to get to know them.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I love to camp and kayak. I also love Irish Road Bowling. I’m actually the 2017 West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Women’s State Champion.

Barbour Behavioral Health provides outpatient therapy and evaluation/assessment services for both children and adults and continues to grow with the addition of new accomplished staff members and specialized programs. Across the staff, there are therapists skilled in trauma, play therapy, parent-behavioral training, and substance abuse treatment among other specialty areas.

For more information on Barbour Behavioral Health or to schedule an appointment with Jamie, please call 304-823-4000.

Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know

Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again, you are looking for all the best deals possible to cross off items on your Christmas list, but don’t forget to shop for health insurance! Tis the season for open enrollment across the nation. Barbour Community Health Association has been conducting outreach, education and enrollment into the ACA Marketplace for the past five years and is here to continue answering questions you have about open enrollment. To start you off – here is a quick guide to open enrollment:

Am I eligible?

If you are between the ages of 18-64 and are not already covered by Medicaid, an employer, parents or Veteran Affairs, you are eligible. Health insurance sources that use open enrollment include: Medicare, job-based insurance and individual market health insurance.

Return customers? Need to re-enroll?

Come and reenroll with us! New plans and prices are available, and plans may be more affordable than you think. In fact, some premiums are dropping in many parts of the country.

What to bring:

First time applicants should bring as many of the following to speed up the eligibility process:

    • • Social Security Card/Number, identification (i.e. drivers license, government issued photo ID, school ID with photo), proof of citizenship for the applicant (U.S. birth certificate, U.S. naturalization certificate, U.S. passport), proof of residency, proof of income, terminated income, proof of pregnancy, childcare bills, record of medical expenses, utility bills.

Dates to know:

Open enrollment began November 1st and runs until December 15th. Plans bought within this period go into effect January 1st, 2019. If you don’t act by December 15th, you won’t receive coverage for 2019, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Make a plan to enroll early and avoid the deadline rush! If you would like more information, to get a quote, to enroll or to re-enroll request an appointment at BCHA today by clicking here!

Provider Spotlight: Mark Tipton, Psy. D

Provider Spotlight: Mark Tipton, Psy. D

Barbour Behavioral Health provides outpatient therapy and evaluation/assessment services for both children and adults and continues to grow with the addition of new accomplished staff members and specialized programs. Across the staff, there are therapists skilled in trauma, play therapy, parent-behavioral training, and substance abuse treatment among other specialty areas.

Dr. Mark Tipton, Psy.D. recently joined the Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA) team and filled us in on his new role with Barbour Behavioral Health:

Q: What makes you qualified as a behavioral health specialist?

A: I have an MA in Information Sciences from Marshall University, an MA in Developmental Psychology from Antioch University and my Psy. D in Clinical Psychology came from Capella University.

Q: Are you from Barbour County?

A: I’m actually from a little town called Rosamond, California. I first came to West Virginia to attend undergraduate school at Glennville State University.

Q: Why behavioral health at BCHA?

A: I’ve been in this field over 30 years and I’ve come to love working with kids and younger patients. With BCHA I have room for growth and opportunity. I’m also thrilled to be working with such an experienced team of talented counselors and therapists.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through your role at BCHA?

A: The area I am hoping to enhance at BCHA is family therapy. I help parents set limits and teach them how to cooperate with each other in a way that allows their children to grow up in a healthy environment.

Q: What are your specialties or professional interests?

A: My specialties and interests include working with families, delinquents, substance abuse, depression/anxiety, and ADHD. I am looking forward to becoming more involved with neurofeedback and trauma.

Q: How do you personalize treatment?

A: I always critique myself after a session and do some research usually by reading journal literature. Another aspect is taking the initiative to connect with the client by finding out about their interests and then learning about them myself. This helps me connect with clients.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I enjoy hanging out with my wife and traveling to visit our kids. I read Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and like to do some interpretations and enjoy learning about the first-century Roman culture. In high school, I played multiple sports and I’ve been a runner ever since. All five of our kids are out of the house, so we recently decided to foster children, which has been a great adventure for us.

For more information on Barbour Behavioral Health or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tipton, please call 304-823-4000.

5 Reasons to Register for Our Diabetes Education Classes

5 Reasons to Register for Our Diabetes Education Classes

The number of people affected by diabetes in West Virginia grows every day. For those affected by the disease, life can seem overwhelming with all the concerns, dietary requirements, and new medications. At Myers Clinic, our job is to make sure you’re armed with the education you need to stay healthy. That’s why we’re offering a FREE 4-course Diabetes Education Class that will be held every Tuesday beginning October 9, 2018, at 2:00 PM. Classes will be taught by Holly Holbert, RN, BSN, and will focus on diabetic tips, best practices, and nutrition.

This class is beneficial to diabetics and those who care for diabetics. The purpose of the class is to promote the health and quality of life of those suffering and prevent complications that can arise with unmanaged diabetes. Still not convinced? Here are the five top reasons to register:

  1. Misinformation – there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding the disease and diabetes education helps set the record straight. Come to class ready to learn, or re-learn, things you may have ignored before or maybe didn’t need to know earlier. What we know about diabetes and how we treat diabetes changes all the time.
  2. Monitoring – including how to prick your finger, monitor your blood sugar, when to test, and what those results may mean. When you learn to look for signs of your diabetes changing, you can better react.
  3. Nutrition – Diabetes is complex, so it has to be managed every day. These classes will help you learn how to eat and exercise, determine and set your health goals, and get the tools to achieve those goals.
  4. Improved Quality of Life – there are no side effects to improving your lifestyle and there are no side effects to eating better and losing weight when done correctly. When you plan for nutrition, your diabetes is better managed and results in a better quality of life.
  5. It’s Free – these classes don’t occur often, so take advantage of this opportunity!

This series is open to everyone and you can register at

Provider Spotlight: Jennifer Parker, PA-C

Provider Spotlight: Jennifer Parker, PA-C

Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA) shines a light on employee Jennifer B. Parker, PA-C at ABU Wellness Center located on the Alderson Broaddus University (ABU) campus.  Jennifer opened up to us on her role at BCHA and the pride she has in knowing her efforts have a lasting impact on the community.

Because of the need to connect ABU students and faculty with healthcare services directly on campus and be easily accessible, ABU Wellness Center was established in the Fall of 2017. The Center provides acute medical care services and primary medical care for chronic health conditions and is located in Burbick Hall on campus.

Q. First of all, tell us a little about your current position and how long you’ve been at it?

A. My name is Jennifer Parker. I am a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) at the newly opened ABU Wellness Clinic on the Alderson-Broaddus University campus. I have been working for BCHA for five years, just opening the clinic at the campus in the Fall of 2017. Prior to that, I worked at Belington Medical Clinic. In addition to my PA duties at BCHA I serve in the roles of Patient Centered Medical Home Transformation Manager and Director of Quality Improvement. My education was completed through the Physician Assistant Program at Alderson Broaddus University and once finished I worked as a PA at WVU Neurosurgery, Spine and Pain Clinic. I currently sit on the Board of directors at National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and am studying Healthcare Administration at The George Washington University.

Q.What drove you to choose this career path?

A. I have always been drawn to the service of people and love the field of medicine. Before entering college, I considered many different roles in health care, but I decided to become a physician assistant because it would be a career that would allow me to provide care at the practitioner level, but would involve less schooling, more flexibility and a schedule that would still allow for time to spend with my family.

Q.What activities do you perform as part of the job beyond what most people see?

A. In addition to practicing clinically as a PA, I serve in a management role for our organization. I serve as the Clinical Director and the Director of Quality & Risk Management. Outside of work, I serve on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant Board of Directors.

Q.Misconceptions do people often have about your job?

A. The more troubling misconception is that one becomes a PA due to an inability to get into medical school. PA school is incredibly competitive with a difficult academic and clinical course load. The misconception seems to be more prevalent in older patients. My younger patients tend to have a better grasp on my profession, which I suspect is due to an increase in the number of practicing PA’s over the last decade.

Q.When not at ABU Wellness Clinic, what do you enjoy doing?

A. When I’m not at work I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.

To contact the ABU Wellness Center or Jennifer call 304.457.0400.