Avita Ontario Hospital
715 Richland Mall
Avita Walk-in Clinic
2007 W Fourth St.
Galion Hospital
269 Portland Way S
Bucyrus Hospital
629 N Sandusky
Physician Referral Line: 419-468-0961
Jul 7, 2017

Avita Announces New

Bariatric Surgery Program


ONTARIO – July 7, 2017 – Avita Health System is announcing the addition of Linden Karas, MD, a fellowship-trained Bariatric Surgeon, as well as a comprehensive metabolic and bariatric surgery program. Through Avita’s Center for Bariatric Surgery, individuals who are struggling with health problems and disabilities as a result of obesity have several options for improving their health and quality of life.

Bariatric and metabolic surgery has helped thousands of people discover life at a healthier weight resolving many health conditions associated with severe obesity. “Bariatric surgery is more than a weight-loss solution,” comments Dr. Karas. “Rather, it improves and/or resolves many obesity-related conditions.” Obesity-related conditions include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, reflux/GERD, incontinence, fatigue, back and joint pain, depression, and mobility issues. “Reducing weight helps individuals reduce the severity of many other diseases as well as their risk of dying,” explains Karas.

Dr. Karas, who begins her practice at her Ontario office in September, will offer several bariatric surgical procedures, such as:

  • Gastric Bypass:  The surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and attaches it to a portion of the small intestine, allowing food to bypass a portion of the small intestine causing fewer calories to be absorbed. This procedure causes patients to feel full sooner and eat less food.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy:  A thin portion (or sleeve) of stomach is created and the excised portion of the stomach is removed. By reducing the size of the stomach, individuals are limited to the amount of food they can eat.
  • Gastric Balloon:  An inflated, silicon balloon is inserted into the stomach endoscopically (through the mouth) so there is less room for food, creating a feeling of fullness.
  • Adjustable Gastric Banding:  A band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, squeezing it to decrease how much food can be consumed. The tightness of the band can be regulated through a port under the skin on the abdomen.

The first step for individuals who are considering bariatric surgery is to become informed about the surgical options and the pre-surgical process. “Avita’s program is very thorough and patients are required to complete several pre-screening appointments and tests prior to surgery, which is standard in any quality bariatric surgical program,” explains Karas. Pre-surgical requirements include clearance from a primary care physician and psychologist, lab work, radiology procedures, and visits to a nutritionalist and/or dietician.

            To determine if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery, patients and family members are encouraged to attend an in-person bariatric seminar. Dr. Karas is holding a free seminar on July 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Ontario Hospital in the second floor conference room. Participants will meet Dr. Karas and learn about the benefits of bariatric surgery, the program itself including patient requirements, and surgical options. Interested individuals should RSVP by calling 419-563-9823 or by emailing nbritton@avitahs.org.

Dr. Karas obtained her medical degree from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She continued her education and training through a General Surgery Residency program at Mercy Catholic Medical Center, which was followed by a Fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. During her residency, Dr. Karas received the Outstanding Minimally Invasive Surgery Resident Award. Dr. Karas has presented numerous research studies at national conferences and belongs to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, as well as the American Medical Association.

For more information on Dr. Linden Karas or the Avita Center for Bariatric Surgery, call 567-307-7854. 

Center for Bariatric Surgery page


Apr 24, 2017

For all you podcast listeners out there, we’ve started our very own! On our debut episode of “On Air With Avita”, we spoke with Dr. Ryan Wagner, Orthopedic Sports Medicine physician and Medical Director of Avita Center for Sports Health. Dr. Wagner provides great insight and education on Avita’s role in local schools, concussions, ultrasound and PRP for injuries. A must listen for athletes and active individuals!

Episode Segments: 
00:00 - Introduction
3:03 – The importance of Sports Health and Athletic Trainers in schools
12:10 – Staying on top of concussions
15:55 – The difference between an orthopedics and sports medicine
20:10 – Ultrasound in sports medicine
23:21 – The power of regenerative medicine and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
30:35 – Sports medicine is not just for athletes

Stay tuned for our next podcast where Audiology and Speech Therapy educate us on things we never knew about hearing aids and more!

Are we not on your podcast app of choice? Let us know! Send a message on Facebook or Twitter or email us at AOConnor@AvitaHS.org and we will work to get “On Air With Avita” directly to your app.



Mar 17, 2017

ONTARIO – March 1, 2017 – After multiple phases of development, Avita has opened Ontario Hospital which offers North Central Ohio residents a 24-hour, full-service Emergency Department, inpatient care, surgical care, and a wide variety of specialty service lines. Ontario Hospital is the third hospital for Avita Health System who is also the parent company for both Galion and Bucyrus Hospitals. Ontario Hospital is expected to bring over 300 new, full-time jobs to the city.  

This latest phase of Avita’s Ontario project included extensive construction on all three floors of the former Lazarus retail building; two floors opened February 6. “The most crucial service line added on the ground level is our Emergency Department,” comments Jerry Morasko, President and CEO of Avita Health System. “Our full-service ER has 23 beds and patients will benefit because they will be surrounded by supporting service lines such as inpatient care, surgery, radiology, and lab.” Every room in the Emergency Department is private with sliding glass doors which help with the noise and privacy concerns of patients.

Adjacent to the hospital’s Emergency Department is an ambulance entrance and helipad which will serve critical incoming and outgoing patients.

The entire third floor of Ontario Hospital is complete and includes a 7-bed intensive care unit, a 19-bed inpatient wing, a 16-bed pre/post op area, 4 surgical suites, and a café/kitchen. Inpatient rooms were designed to be very spacious to allow hospital staff extra room to work as well as family members room to visit. The comfortable atmosphere includes a large-flat screen tv, walk-in shower, and large sliding glass door which helps deter noise from outside of the room. ICU rooms include a full-size pull-out sofa which encourages family members to accompany patients overnight which helps in the healing process.   

An advanced call-system is also in each patient room which helps notify the nurse of specific needs the patient may have. A second unit is mounted to the wall allowing visitors an easy way to ask for pain control, bathroom assistance, or more water.

A few service lines are still under construction at the new hospital which include a cardiac catheterization lab and cardiac rehab area. Hospital officials say these areas are expected to open this year.

Despite Avita’s tremendous growth over the past few years, the health system will remain locally governed. “It is crucial that our board members are local residents of Crawford and Richland County,” comments Morasko. “We can better serve the community if the direction of our health system is led by local community residents because they are the individuals who live in our market area and utilize the services.”

History:  Avita announced their purchase of the former Lazarus retail anchor store in October 2013 at the Richland Mall. Lazarus (also known as the sleeping giant) sat empty for 7 years after closing in 2006. This 17-acre property was turned into a state-of-the-art multi-specialty medical facility by December 2014 after an aggressive demolition and construction timeline. The decision to grow in to the Ontario area was fueled by the fact that Richland County is a healthcare shortage area and a large-scale medical facility would be ideal to help fill this void by attracting medical professionals to the area. Avita officials examined several areas of land in Richland County prior to the purchase of the Lazarus building. The mall location was chosen based on the convenient location and solid foundation.

About Avita Health System:  Avita is a healthcare system comprised of 3 hospitals (Ontario Hospital, Galion Hospital, and Bucyrus Hospital) and over 40 supporting medical clinics. Over 1,600 employees serve Avita and provide quality healthcare to Richland, Crawford, and surrounding Ohio counties. In recent years, Avita has made tremendous strides in patient satisfaction, ranking them in the top 10% nationally in customer service.      

Feb 21, 2017

Dr. Gregory Carozza, Orthopedic Surgeon, has joined Avita Health System’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine team and is now seeing patients in Bucyrus and Marion. Dr. Carozza is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and has special interests in:

  • Hip, knee, and shoulder replacement
  • ACL reconstruction
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Fracture care
  • Carpal tunnel/Cubital tunnel
  • Tendon repairs
  • General orthopedics

 Dr. Carozza attended medical school at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University in Arizona. He continued his education through a residency at Doctors Hospital in Columbus.

Avita’s orthopedic and sports medicine team is the biggest between Columbus and Cleveland. Through fellowship training and years of extensive experience, our orthopedic team provides patients with individualized care to get them back to their normal activities.  

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Carozza, call 419-562-5281.

Feb 9, 2017

The Avita Walk-In Clinic has moved to 2007 West Fourth Street in Ontario and now has expanded hours, open 10:00 am to 9:00 pm seven days a week. The Walk-In Clinic is designed to provide convenient, fast treatment for injuries and conditions that are not critical, but need prompt attention.

Feb 1, 2017

Family medicine physician, Harold Brown, DO, has joined Avita Health System. Dr. Brown is now accepting patients of all ages at 2007 West Fourth St. in Ontario.

 Board-certified, Dr. Brown earned his doctorate at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, PA. In 1995, Dr. Brown was recognized as one of the top 8 young physicians in the state of Ohio. Dr. Brown joins Avita with over 25 years of experience in private practice.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown, call 567-307-7860.

Dec 27, 2016

ONTARIO – December 20, 2016 – Dr. Walter Bodjanac, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, is now offering laser hair removal at his medical office at Avita Ontario, 715 Richland Mall.

Laser hair removal is a safe, effective way to remove unwanted hair from an individual’s face, back, chest, underarms, bikini line, and legs. It works best on individuals with lighter skin and darker hair color. Areas where hair is removed by lasers can generally remain hair-free longer than by most any other hair removal method.

During laser hair removal, the laser is applied to the skin and emits a powerful beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to vaporize the pigment while minimizing damage to the surrounding skin. The hair follicles absorb the laser energy, impairing the ability to grow new hair. A patented cooling system is used during the treatment, therefore treatment is virtually painless. Most patients only feel a slight, momentary “snap” at the treatment site during the procedure.

“I am constantly approached by both men and women about an alternative to shaving and other tedious hair-removal methods,” comments Dr. Bodjanac. “The benefit of laser hair removal is that it is safe, has long-lasting results, and is becoming a popular option for a lot of people.”

The number of laser treatments an individual requires depends on skin and hair color, density and coarseness of the hair, as well as the area being treated. Several treatment sessions, which are spaced 4-6 weeks apart, are recommended because the technology behind laser hair removal targets hair in the active phases of growth. Sessions take only a few minutes for small areas and approximately half an hour for larger areas.

The laser is also effective for age spot and pigmented skin spot removal as well,” comments Dr. Bodjanac. “Many of my patients want these spots removed just as much as they do their unwanted hair.”

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bodjanac, call 419-756-9996. For further details on laser hair removal or any Avita service line visit avitahealth.org

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