Avita Ontario Hospital
715 Richland Mall
Galion Hospital
269 Portland Way S
Bucyrus Hospital
629 N Sandusky
Physician Referral Line: 419-468-0961
Aug 23, 2018

GALION – August 23, 2018 – Avita Health System’s Galion Hospital now has an accredited level II cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab). Through this accreditation, Avita’s interventional cardiologists can diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Galion Hospital.

“Starting a cardiac interventional cath program was a strategic initiative from Avita’s board to provide the best heart attack care,” commented Jerry Morasko, President/CEO of Avita Health System. “We hired three interventional cardiologists and invested millions of dollars in our new heart program because we saw a need for this service in the community. Our goal is to provide area patients with great care locally, and we are confident that our ability to treat cardiac emergencies at Galion Hospital will save lives.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, about 790,000 Americans have a heart attack or one every 40 seconds. The chances of surviving a heart attack increases significantly when emergency treatment begins quickly. The more time that passes without treatment, the greater the damage to the heart and the higher the likelihood of death.

“A heart attack occurs when there is an acute blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries which causes a reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle,” explained Dr. Michael Davis, Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director of Cath Lab Services at Avita. “If the blood supply is not restored in a timely fashion, heart muscle dies and the risk of death is high. Numerous clinical studies have shown that the quicker the blood flow is restored, there is less chance of death and reduced long-term disability.”

Understanding the warnings signs of a heart attack is important. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the upper body, nausea, lightheadedness, and cold sweats. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible. Patients who seek heart attack treatment at Galion Hospital will be cared for by a 24/7 heart attack alert team that is specially trained to perform cardiac interventions.

“Heart attacks change the lives of patients and families forever,” explained Bob White, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Avita. “The faster the treatment, the higher the likelihood of survival. At Galion Hospital, we utilize cutting edge technology to treat sudden heart attacks and coronary artery disease, right here in this community.”

Aug 21, 2018

“With this program, our patients have the peace of mind of knowing that they have the medications they need before leaving the hospital,” explains Christina Barnes, Director of Pharmacy Services for Avita. “And since they do not have to worry about stopping by the pharmacy after discharge, the transition back home is that much easier. It allows the patient to review their medications with a pharmacist and ensures that they have vital medications in hand prior to discharge.”

The Meds-to-Beds program is offered as a benefit to the community with no additional cost to the patient. This program allows patients at an Avita hospital the opportunity to speak with a pharmacist and gain a better understanding of their medications before leaving the hospital, which decreases the risk of future complications and hospital readmissions. It also increases patient awareness as to the cost of their prescribed medications. Pharmacists will work with medical providers to address any concerns with costs and explore alternative medications, if they are available.

“We are so proud and excited that Avita offers this unique program to patients- a service that is not being offered by others in the area,” commented Nikki Webb, Pharmacy Ambulatory Care Manager for Avita. “Meds-to-Beds is a fantastic program that at its core is about providing excellent customer service and increasing the quality of care to our patients. Our goal is to ensure that patients understand their medications, from proper dosing to cost. We know that patients who take their medications correctly have the best possible outcomes.”

Aug 9, 2018

BELLVILLE – August 9, 2018 – Avita Health System celebrated the completion of their newest medical facility, Avita Bellville, with a ribbon cutting and open house on Thursday evening. The clinic will officially open its doors for patients on Monday, Aug 13 at 8:00am.

Avita Bellville, located just off of 1-71 at 987 St. Rt. 97 W, will feature a Walk-In Clinic for urgent care, as well as physician offices. The Walk-In Clinic will be open from 8:00am-8:00pm, 7 days a week. It will provide treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses that need addressed promptly, such as; colds, sprains or strains, fever, rashes, cough, cuts or scrapes, minor burns, allergies, and eye irritations. The physician offices will initially provide specialty care for orthopedics, sports medicine, cardiology, general surgery, and urology.

Avita Bellville is a 5,775 sq. ft. facility that features 11 exam rooms, including 2 procedure rooms and on-site x-ray. The facility is part of the original financing from the United States Department of Agriculture, which also funded Ontario Hospital. Avita worked on the project with architect Dan Seckel from The Seckel Group, LTD, a Mansfield-based company, and general contractor Mike Obringer of Studer-Obringer, Inc. in New Washington. Local companies were utilized for the entirety of the project, and construction lasted approximately 10 months.

“Avita is governed by people who live locally so our model is to bring healthcare services close to home,” explained Jerome Morasko, President/CEO of Avita Health System. “Bellville has been without local healthcare services and we were approached by community leaders to bring these services to the area. This new clinic exemplifies Avita’s commitment to the communities where we live and serve.”

For more information on Avita Bellville, call 567-560-3790

Jul 20, 2018

BUCYRUS / GALION / ONTARIO – July 20, 2018 – The Avita Health System Board of Directors announced the recent election of the following new Officers: Joseph J. Shadeed, DDS, MS, Chair; Kym Fox, Vice Chair; and Kay E. McDonald, Secretary. Rex A. Cramer will retain the position of Board Treasurer

Dr. Shadeed practiced Orthodontics in Bucyrus, Ohio from 1981 to 2007 and is currently retired. He has served on the Avita Board of Directors since 2011.

Ms. Fox is the Co-President of Covert Manufacturing, Inc. in Galion, Ohio and has served on the Avita Board of Directors, and previously the Galion Community Hospital Board of Directors, since 2001.

Ms. McDonald retired as the Administrator of Magnolia Terrace in July 2013. She has been a member of the Avita Board of Directors for eight years.

Jun 18, 2018

GALION – June 18, 2018 – Avita Health System is now among a select number of healthcare systems in North Central Ohio with the capabilities and clinical expertise to treat submassive pulmonary embolisms with EKOS™ Acoustic Pulse Thrombosis treatment.

Led by Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Micheal Davis, along with Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist Dr. James D. Heddleson, Avita has assembled a multidisciplinary pulmonary embolism response team (PERT) to provide rapid evaluation, risk stratification, and management recommendations for pulmonary embolism patients. Those at significant risk are chosen for the new minimally invasive EKOS™ treatment, designed to deliver thrombus-dissolving medicine directly into the blood clot within the circulatory system from the heart to the lungs through a special catheter that disperses high-energy ultrasound acoustic waves that help facilitate the clearing of the clot.

“With early detection and treatment of submassive pulmonary embolisms, this procedure will not only save lives but patients will have less long term disability from this catastrophic disease,” explains Dr. Michael Davis, Medical Director of Cath Lab Services at Avita Health System.

A pulmonary embolism often occurs when a blog clot travels from the leg to the pulmonary arteries in the lungs, thus causing a blockage to the artery. The clot blocks blood flow to the lung and can be life-threatening. Each year, up to 600,000 cases of pulmonary embolism occur in the United States, with a 20-30% patient mortality rate within one month of the incident.

“I am excited that we, at Avita, can now offer a new tool in our multidisciplinary approach to treating ill patients who suffer life-threatening pulmonary embolisms,” reveals Dr. James D. Heddleson, Medical Director of Inpatient Services. “Having the ability to reduce clot burdens by using EKOS™ in the pulmonary circulatory system will significantly benefit patient recovery and lessen potential long-term effects of the blood clot.”

Jun 14, 2018

Accreditation by IAC indicates that Avita’s Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario Hospitals have undergone an intensive application and review process and are found to be compliant with the published IAC Standards, thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in echocardiography.

“Obtaining ICAEL accreditation is an important benchmark for Avita Cardiology,” explains Dr. Errol Williams, Medical Director of Echocardiography at Avita Health System. “It demonstrates national recognition by the governing board for

echocardiography that our cardiologists and sonographers have consistently delivered timely and high-quality echocardiographic assessment.”

Echocardiography is used to assess different areas of the heart and can detect heart disease or signs of serious cardiovascular conditions. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, more than 2,150 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease, which amounts to about one every 40 seconds.

There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and dedication to continuous improvement.

May 31, 2018

The DAISY Award recipients are Mary Kay Murphy of Galion Hospital, Shawnda Hahler of Bucyrus Hospital, and Ruby Broeske of Ontario Hospital. These nurses go above and beyond to make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many people.

With 35+ years of experience as a registered nurse at Galion Hospital, Ms. Murphy was described as the “Matriarch of the medical-surgical unit and a shining star. She goes above and beyond to help everyone and makes a difference in every patient’s life. She is an amazing nurse and a huge patient advocate.” As a new registered nursing graduate, Ms. Hahler started serving patients at Avita less than two years ago.

In the nomination, it was said that she always “goes out of her way to help patients and co-workers. My daughter will be in nursing school in the fall and I hope she is just like Shawnda.” Ms. Broeske, an ICU registered nurse, was referred to as “My Angel Nurse. She is so kind and put me at ease so I knew I could ask questions and she took the time to explain them to me.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.

Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do. The kind of work the nurses at Avita Health System are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues by filling out a form online, at avitahealth.org, or at one of the three Avita hospital locations. The award recipients are anonymously chosen by a committee of Avita employees and community members. There is specific criteria and scoring for each nomination. Awards are presented twice annually at celebrations attended by the honoree’s colleagues, patients, and visitors.

At the award ceremonies, Ms. Murphy, Ms. Hahler, and Ms. Broeske each received a certificate commending them for extraordinary nursing. Each honoree was pinned with a special DAISY Award Pin by Kay McDonald, member of the Board of Directors for Avita. They also received a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

“We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program,” declared Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Durflinger. “Nurses are

heroes every day. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

May 25, 2018

GALION – May 25, 2018 – The family of former Galion Hospital administrator David J. Wires visited the hospital this morning to donate memorabilia from his collection.

Heather Bennett, granddaughter of Mr. Wires, along with Wires’ great-grandsons Nick Stults and Blake Polzer, presented Galion Hospital with the original trowel from the 1974 groundbreaking, a portrait of Mr. Wires, and photographs of the hospital and its staff that date back more than six decades. The memorabilia was so well preserved that the dirt from the groundbreaking ceremony was still present on the trowel.

“Mr. Wires was the CEO of Galion Hospital at its genesis,” explained Jerome Morasko, President/CEO of Avita Health System. “His dedication for more than 25 years laid the foundation for the hospital for many years to come. We are honored to receive

memorabilia from his collection and look forward to displaying it prominently in our hospital.”

Mr. Wires served as the first administrator of Galion Hospital from 1953 to 1979. Throughout his tenure, he oversaw three expansions of the hospital, including the 1974 addition that was designed and built for all private patient rooms. In 1981, Mr. Wires authored a book titled “A Scribbler’s Chronicles: A History of Galion Community Hospital.”

“My grandpa loved everything about Galion Hospital,” commented Heather Bennett, “It was a big part of my family.”

Mar 6, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Galion / Bucyrus: Avita Health System and Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center have launched a formal affiliation to expand access to oncology services and highly specialized treatments for patients in North Central Ohio.


Under the affiliation, Cleveland Clinic cancer specialists will work onsite in Avita’s Galion and Bucyrus Hospital clinics, in addition to its Mansfield location. Through this collaboration, patients will receive direct, close-to-home access to Cleveland Clinic’s cancer expertise. Patients who live in Crawford and surrounding counties can now schedule appointments with Cleveland Clinic cancer experts in Galion and Bucyrus, reducing travel time and enhancing local health services.  


“The collaboration with Cleveland Clinic allows us to better serve our patients by offering greater access to top-ranked cancer specialists,” explains Jerry Morasko, CEO of Avita Health System. “We are always looking for new ways to heighten the patient experience in our communities by providing expert care, close to home. For us, affiliating with Cleveland Clinic is a natural fit.”


Cancer specialists at Avita and Cleveland Clinic will consult and collaborate on patient treatment plans for all types of cancers, including those that are rare and complex. Avita cancer patients’ cases can be reviewed by Cleveland Clinic’s tumor boards, a team of doctors and other health care providers who meet regularly to discuss and share knowledge, and Cleveland Clinic will offer support to Avita as it implements care pathways.


“Our research has shown that access, or getting cancer patients into treatment without delay, is associated with better outcomes,” said Brian Bolwell, M.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. “This new affiliation with Avita will allow us to expand access to cancer services and specialized treatments for more cancer patients in Ohio.”

For more information, visit avitahealth.org/dwp/nmp/services/cancer-care

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