2019 NC Health 
Care Guide

If you have changed health care providers, have had a change of lifestyle or have made a resolution to take better care of yourself, you may be searching for some help.  It is important to have a knowledgeable professional guiding you. Below is Northern Connection’s Annual Health Guide, where you will find some of the region’s most experienced professionals.

Butler Health System

For a third year, Butler Health System’s flagship, Butler Memorial Hospital, is recognized as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by IBM Watson HealthTM, formerly Truven Health Analytics®. This honor acknowledges Butler Health System’s unwavering commitment to provide the highest quality healthcare to patients. The award is based on quality of inpatient and extended care, operational efficiency, financial health and customer experience. BHS is proud to be recognized as a model provider and a local leader.

In addition, Butler Memorial Hospital was one of only 13 of the 100 Top Hospitals nationwide to also be selected as an Everest Award winner. Being a part of the elite Everest Award list means that leadership, medical staff and employees worked tirelessly to simultaneously set the national benchmark for both balanced excellence in a single year, as well as greatest improvement over five consecutive years.

Inspiration to achieve excellence, right here in the community, comes from those we serve. Each team member comes to work every day keeping Butler Health System’s mission at the forefront and works toward a vision to improve the health of the communities served.

Unwavering commitment to excellence

“Butler Health System is incredibly honored to receive these prestigious awards. Hospitals do not apply for the 100 Top Hospitals designation. This recognizes the year-after-year efforts by our 400 doctors and 2,500 employees to provide and improve upon the very best care to patients,” says Ken DeFurio, BHS President and CEO. “The Watson Health award measures publicly available data across many areas of hospital performance, and to be recognized as a member of this elite group of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation validates the results that we strive for every day.”

Transforming healthcare motivates the drive to move medicine forward, work collaboratively and efficiently, and achieve excellence throughout the patient’s journey.

Chosen from nearly 2,840 hospitals nationwide, Butler Health System is one of only six hospitals in the state chosen as a 100 Top Hospital and the only provider in the state to receive the Everest Award. IBM Watson HealthTM uses public data-driven analytics to evaluate how a hospital performs on cost and quality of healthcare.


Dr. Chufo’s Weight Loss & Wellness

If there’s a single entity that improves so many health conditions, both physical and mental, it has to be weight loss.  Weight is a key factor in type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory issues, strokes, certain cancers, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.  We know these issues can be controlled with a healthy weight loss.  We have absolute control over our weight; yet, why do we not do anything about it?  Largely, because it’s a change, and we’re creatures of habit and don’t welcome change.

But, what if the change was an easier change to make?  What if you were able to eat unlimited amounts of certain foods?  What if you were able to lose 10-20 pounds in one month?  What if a nursing professional designed a program to adhere to your lifestyle?  What if you went down a clothes size in a month?  What if your health care provider was ecstatic over your loss?  What if you felt GREAT about yourself?

These are the changes that can occur in a very short period of time.  But attitude is always key!  So many positive, great changes can be made in a single month.  Procrastination is the enemy.  Action is the answer.


Cosmetic Laser Centers
Vein Institute of Pittsburgh

Coolsculpting is an exciting new technology that uses precise, controlled cooling to permanently remove unwanted pockets of fat without surgery. The principle behind Coolsculpting is “cryolipolysis,” which is the idea that cold temperatures can target fat cells without damaging the skin or surrounding tissues. The fat cells freeze and die and the body metabolizes them over time. The Coolsculpting treatment involves the placement of a vacuum applicator on the treatment area. Once the vacuum applicator is engaged patients may feel pulling, tugging and pinching for a short time. Once the cooling cycle begins, patients may feel a stinging or intense cold sensation similar to putting your bare hands in the snow. Patients typically experience little to no “downtime,” however, they may experience some mild bruising, aching, cramping, swelling, itching, or numbness of the treated area. These symptoms typically resolve within a week or two. The newer Coolsculpting treatment applicators have made the patient experience not only faster, but far more comfortable during treatment and the days following treatment. Coolsculpting is currently FDA-cleared for nine different body areas.


Dignity Home Care Professionals

Independence – A Basic Human Need

Remember the thrill of being tossed the car keys when you were a teenager? Ahhh . . . independence. Now imagine what it must be like to hand over the keys for the last time when you are told you can no longer drive. The loss of independence can be devastating to many seniors and can lead to depression that often results in a rapid deterioration in health and cognitive abilities.

And no one wants to rely on others to care for their basic needs. Not only is there a loss of dignity involved, but there is a genuine desire to not burden others. Mom doesn’t want you to add her doctor appointments to your busy schedule. Dad doesn’t want to admit that he just can’t manage meals by himself anymore.

With in-home care, seniors can safely maintain more of their independence without having to rely so heavily on family members. As your loved ones slowly lose some of their physical and/or cognitive abilities, professional care at home can help maintain their dignity and independence.

At Dignity Home Care Professionals, our certified caregivers offer personalized client-led care, encouraging as much independence as possible. Our approach to interactive caregiving affords seniors a sense of achievement and pride as they continue to perform as many activities as possible. We are there to assist, not control, our clients, giving them the freedom to develop care plans specifically tailored to their individual needs.

Independence. It’s a basic need everyone has. We’re here to help. Please call 412.415.3168 or visit us at dignityhomecarepgh.com.


Francis Audiology Associates

There are many and varied reasons why people fail to recognize their own hearing loss. Below are some ideas that may help you to persuade a loved one to get help.


You must understand that the person in question may not perceive a hearing impairment. This results in the impression that their hearing is normal, and any hearing problems can be explained by blaming external circumstances (Background music on TV; accusing others of mumbling.)

Site examples of conversations they have missed. Describe to them how they withdraw from conversations at family functions and social events. It is also important to share with them that other family members want them to be included.

Recruit Opinions from Friends and Professionals

It may be helpful to have a trusted friend or family member share their observations. A person outside the family will help dispel the notion that the only people our loved one has trouble hearing is their immediate family. Other powerful resources are your family physician or audiologist.

Stop Being a Hearing Loss Facilitator

We begin to compensate for the person with the loss by frequently repeating conversations; raising your voice to be heard and tolerating the TV at excessively loud levels.

Tell your loved one how you feel and how frustrating the situation has become. Therefore, every time a situation arises that requires your interpretation; tell them that you will use a key word such as “hearing,” or “please” before doing so. This will provide a constant reminder and heighten their awareness to the problem. 

Reassure and Dispel Hearing Aid Myths

Finally, try to help them understand that hearing loss can affect anyone at any point in life. Statistics show that the average age of first-time hearing aid wearers is getting lower and their satisfaction levels are on the rise! Technological advancements have made dramatic improvements in hearing aid performance and appearance. 

Alert Them to Safety Issues

If the loss is significant enough, it can put them and others at risk. They may not hear the phone from another room, a child crying in the crib or hear a person entering the house. Again, it is up to you to make them aware of these situations. After all, as far as they are concerned, the phone never rang, Johnny has been sleeping quietly for hours and they have been home alone all day.

I hope that these suggestions assist you and your loved one to enjoy a safe and gratifying world of sound.

Happy Hearing!


Genesis Medical Associates

Genesis Medical Associates is an independent, physician-owned organization dedicated to the health and well-being of residents of Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities.  As such, they want to partner with you on a wellness and prevention plan. 

Finding a new primary care doctor, who meets your needs, can be a stressful journey, but it is very important.  The first meeting with a new primary care doctor is usually directed at you, as the doctor needs to learn about you so that he or she can provide the best treatment. However, make sure to use this opportunity to do the same by asking questions to learn about your doctor. To help, here is a simple checklist of questions you should ask your new doctor upon meeting them for the first time. 

  • What is your opinion on the patient-physician relationship?
  • Do you encourage me to ask questions and express my opinion?
  • How does your office handle emergencies?
  • If necessary, am I able to schedule a same-day appointment for urgent situations?
  • If you are unavailable, whom should I expect to see?
  • If I need to seek a specialist, will you work with me to find the right person?
  • Do you work with a certain hospital?
  • How do you follow-up on my care after discharge from a hospital?
  • Do you keep electronic medical records?
  • Are you comfortable with me bringing a friend or family member with me to an appointment?
  • Do you provide post-visit reports that summarize what occurred, what was discussed, and what actions need to be taken after the visit?
  • Can I get lab work done at your office?
  • Can you explain why annual wellness visits and preventive health testing is important?
  • Do you have an electronic medical records portal?
  • Is Genesis a patient centered medical home? What does that mean?
  • When is it appropriate to seek care from an Urgent Care Center or Emergency Room?


Heritage Valley Health System / Ohio Valley Hospital

Ohio Valley Hospital and Heritage Valley Health System have officially joined together. The two not-for-profit healthcare institutions share the common mission of bringing high-quality, cost effective healthcare to their now-combined communities. By unifying the organizations, the enlarged health system can expand their footprint to further meet the healthcare needs of the region.

“For several years, the Board of Directors of Ohio Valley Hospital recognized that it was in the best interest of its patients and community to integrate into a larger health care system. In 2017, the Board of Ohio Valley Hospital initiated a process that considered a number of strategic options. As part of this process, Heritage Valley Health System entered into discussions with the Board of Ohio Valley regarding a possible affiliation. In April of 2018, the Ohio Valley Hospital Board of Directors unanimously chose to affiliate with Heritage Valley Health System. Likewise, Heritage Valley Health System’s Board of Directors unanimously supported the affiliation,” said Mark Brennan, Chair of the Board of Ohio Valley Hospital. 

Following the affiliation approval from the respective Board of Directors, the leadership of both organizations embarked on a due diligence process in order to better understand each other’s organization.  The due diligence period was completed in August with all the required regulatory approvals being received in December. Effective January 1, 2019, Ohio Valley Hospital became a subsidiary organization of Heritage Valley Health System. This type of relationship is known as a membership substitution.  Ohio Valley Hospital Board of Directors chose to join Heritage Valley Health System to become one of its hospitals.

 Ohio Valley Hospital, Senior Living at the Willows, the Schools of Nursing and Radiography will all remain active in the community. Additionally, the community will benefit from increased access to high-quality care that is a result of affiliating with a regional integrated health care delivery system. Heritage Valley Health System offers extensive outpatient care at a number of regional locations, including close by in Robinson Township as well as additional primary care and specialty care physicians.

 “Our goal is for Heritage Valley Health System and Ohio Valley Hospital to become stronger together, while remaining steadfast to the community-focus and values that have made both organizations a staple in their communities,” said Michael S. Miller, President and CEO of Ohio Valley Hospital.



Naturalis Essential Oils + Wellness is a unique store front conveniently located in Pittsburgh offering a wide range of wellness resources.

We strive to provide education for people to enhance their knowledge regarding natural options; and provide easy access to the products and resources that have impacted the lives of 
so many.

“Find your balance” is a slogan you will find displayed at Naturalis. We know it’s a struggle to find a reasonable balance between health & wellness and the fast pace in which we tend to maintain our lives.

Prioritizing our own health and wellness tends to become secondary for many. You CAN find balance that doesn’t require a complete overhaul.  If you can lean in a little, you will find simple ways to infuse natural options that can make a noticeable difference.  We were extremely selective with the brand of oils & products we chose to use personally and carry in our shop. Months of research, education and personal usage lead us to “dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®” essential oils & products.

Whether you are new to essential oils or a long-time user, Naturalis offers an abundance of resources for everyone.  If you are curious about essential oils and how they may fit into your lifestyle, call or stop by.  Open M. Wed. Friday from 12-4PM


Pittsburgh Psychotherapy Associates

The professional, licensed therapists at Pittsburgh Psychotherapy Associates believe that good therapy offers a time and space to reflect, understand, learn skills to cope with strong emotions, be creative and most importantly, be heard.

Each of our experienced therapists utilizes non-judgmental support in which clients can safely explore issues and problems that they have been unable to resolve on their own. This approach is designed to help individuals, couples and families navigate unresolved problems, conflicts and emotional pain. Our intention is to always provide a safe and supportive environment, so that every client may achieve a pronounced sense of peace and fulfillment in their lives and in their relationships.

Rediscover Wellness. Recover Hope. Find Balance.


UPMC Senior Communities

Nurse practitioners enhance quality of care at UPMC Senior Communities

UPMC Senior Communities offers independent living, assisted living and personal care, memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation across 19 campuses in Western Pennsylvania. As members of the UPMC family, our residents benefit from the resources that can only be found in a world-class, innovative, patient-centered health system.

The UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute and UPMC Senior Services are utilizing certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs) to lead the care management of skilled nursing and rehabilitation residents. Studies show that the specialized skills and training of CRNPs help to ensure early identification of changes in a resident’s health and improve communication between the health care team, staff, and families.

At four UPMC Senior Communities skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, the involvement of CRNPs has helped to significantly reduce hospitalizations by providing expert, timely care where residents live. Building relationships with residents, staff, and families drives the success of the CRNPs’ efforts and benefits residents’ quality of life.

Certified registered nurse practitioners are called upon in a variety of circumstances, including sudden changes in a resident’s condition, consultation related to comfort and quality of life opportunities, and day-to-day medical management. In times of emergency, they are often a reassuring voice whose expertise supports and upholds the residents’ goals of care.

For more information about UPMC Senior Communities, call 1-800-324-6623 or visit UPMCSeniorCommunities.com.


Weinstein Imaging

Why is Breast Density Important?

Breast density is a hot topic in the news due to its known effects on a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer (up to a five-fold increase compared with fatty breasts). The density of a woman’s breast, which is determined by a radiologist on a mammogram, refers to the relative amount of fibroglandular tissue compared to fatty tissue. Approximately half of all women have dense breasts.

Breast cancer detection is also affected by breast density, since cancers are radiopaque (white) and more difficult to detect in a background of dense radiopaque (white) tissue than in a background of fatty radiolucent (gray) tissue. 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) can decrease this masking effect, increasing cancer detection. Women with dense breasts should be aware of supplemental screening options, such as ultrasound, which can detect additional cancers. Of note, ultrasound should not replace mammography, which is the only imaging modality proven to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Weinstein Imaging Associates is participating in two research studies involving patients with dense breasts to find methods to detect breast cancer earlier. Details are available at weinsteinimaging.com.