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Reston Hospital Center Nears Halfway Mark for $72 Million Expansion

Reston Hospital Center is just under the halfway point of its $72 million expansion — on track and on budget for completion by the end of next year.

The completed pieces of the project include renovations of the Women and Children’s Services unit and expansion of the neonatal intensive care unit, along with new paint, flooring and upgraded equipment, Erin Echelmeyer, a hospital spokeswoman, told Reston Now. The West Wing Lobby is also finished, with a revamped lobby area, gift shop, physicians’ lounge and office space, she said.

“It is progressing right along,” Echelmeyer said. “We are on target to complete this second phase of our master facility plan by the end of 2019.”

A breakdown of the pieces of the project still in progress is below:

  • New 18-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Center
  • Expanded 24-bed Intensive Care Unit
  • Addition of a second lab to the cardiac services unit
  • Renovations to visitor areas including a new cafeteria, a glass concourse, and main entrance and lobby
  • New parking garage for patients and visitors on the West Wing entrance
  • Addition of eight rooms to accommodate high-risk obstetric patients

Construction on a new 403-space parking garage has already begun, which is expected to be done by the end of next summer. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is slated to open next month, followed by the Intensive Care Unit in January, Echelmeyer said.

The hospital reopened the emergency room entrance, after having patients enter through the hospital’s main entrance, she said, adding that the emergency room, level II trauma center and pediatric emergency room “are all fully function[al] and accessible from the emergency room entrance.”

This is not the first time the 187-bed hospital, which is part of Tennessee-based health giant HCA Holdings, Inc, has expanded. The hospital embarked on a $40 million expansion between 2012 and 2015, which included a 180,00-square-foot medical office and the addition of four operating rooms and 19 surgical recovery rooms in the surgical department.

The current expansion was announced in 2016, when the hospital hit its 30th anniversary. The phased project will add more than 63,000 square feet of new space to the facility.

Photos Courtesy of HCA Healthcare

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Reston Hospital Center Awards Scholarship to High School Graduates

The medical staff of Reston Hospital Center awarded seventeen area high school graduates with scholarships this year. The awards are given to students to recognize their academic excellence and desire to pursue a career in healthcare.

RHC offers $15,000 in scholarships annually. At an award ceremony hosted by RHC, John Deardorff, President and CEO of RHC and HCA’s Northern Virginia Market, said, “These students are well deserving of the medical staff scholarships as they begin their journeys of exploring careers in the healthcare field. We hope that one day they return to their roots as members of our local medical community.”

The scholarship winners for 2018 are as follows:

  • Natalie Rothrock – Briar Woods High School
  • Jakob Cohen – Broad Run High School
  • Ria Grover – Centreville High School
  • Amara Novotny – Chantilly High School
  • Arman Daneshpayeh – Chantilly High School
  • Agota Banks – Dominion High Schoo
  • Pranavi Palliniti – Dominion High School
  • Yousef Hassan Elgodamy – Herndon High School
  • Minnie Suki Nguyen – Herndon High School
  • Katherine Elizabeth Priester – James Madison High School
  • Yusuf Masser Bade – Langley High School
  • Shreya Dalal – Oakton High School
  • Khanh Nguyen – Park View High School
  • Ashlin Rain Murphy – Potomac Falls High School
  • Tashfia Anaan Emdad – Potomac Falls High School
  • Aishwarya Jadhav – South Lakes High School
  • Ruma S. Jadhav – South Lakes High School

Photo via RHC

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Town of Herndon to Become First Dementia-Friendly Community in Virginia

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The Town of Herndon is aiming to become Virginia’s first dementia-friendly community in order to spread awareness about the impact of the disease on individuals.

Using a toolkit to engage community members, town officials and community partners aim to develop respect and inclusion of people with dementia. A dementia-friendly community also has services and resources throughout all community areas that promote quality life, educates people with dementia and their families and promotes engagement with the community.

There are 38 other communities in the Dementia Friendly America network, an initiative that includes more than 30 organizations to foster dementia friendly communities across the country.

Toni Reinhart, the owner of Comfort Keepers, a Herndon-based home health care service, is leading a team of community leaders throughout each phase of the initiative.

“With her to drive to enhance community awareness for persons with dementia and 16-year commitment to serving the Herndon-Reston area, her passion for senior care would only serve greater purposes statewide,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa C. Merkel.

Photo via DFAHerndon.org

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Friday Morning Notes

Neuro-witchcraft —  “A judge on Thursday appointed two brain experts to evaluate a man facing the death penalty in the slaying of a teenage Muslim girl last year, despite the objections of a prosecutor who derided the requests as “neuro-witchcraft.” Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to the appointments of a neuropsychologist and neurotoxicologist to evaluate Darwin Martinez-Torres, 23, of Sterling, who faces charges including capital murder and rape in the June killing of Nabra Hassanen of Reston.” [WTOP]

More Metro inspections — New federal inspections find old Metro problems still persist, including several “code black” track conditions. [The Washington Post]

Stateside: On the front lines — Nurses are on the front lines in battling the opioid epidemic. One nurse says most of her patients are homeless. [The Connection]

Photo by Ressa Blair

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Planning for Your Parent’s Retirement and Contemplating Long Term Care

The average age of a Reston adult is about 40, which means their parents are approaching retirement age.

While 40-somethings are focused on career and making sure their kids are getting prepared for college, are they also making sure their parents are prepared for retirement?

Our parents will inevitably need some form of long term care during their retirement years, so careful estate planning is important. Notably, the key word in estate planning is planning. Surprisingly, too many people do not have an adequate plan.

I have found in my practice that many people mistakenly think Medicare covers all long term care expenses.

However, Medicare (Part A) only pays for care in a long term care hospital, Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility under certain conditions for a limited time or through Medicare-certified home health services like intermitted skilled nursing care or hospice care. It will never pay for in-home custodial care, nursing home, continuing care retirement community, or assisted living facility.

Suppose your parent has dementia or Alzheimer’s and is fully mobile but cannot be left alone? Long term care for your parent can range from $2,000 to more than $6,000 a month. These costs are paid out of retirement funds and can easily exceed the average person’s retirement budget.

Although rare, there are organizations that provide affordable options like flat monthly fees for basic, mid-level and advance wellness packages to fit different budgets.

In some families, a family member becomes the caregiver, usually a spouse or a child. Even when family members step up to become the caregivers, respite or additional help is also frequently required. For those who plan ahead, purchasing long term care insurance is a great way to manage these costs while being able to remain in one’s home. Another option is designating a family member to be the care giver.

Consider what happens when your parent cannot afford the cost of care or does not have a family member to provide care. The only option is nursing home or home health care covered by Medicaid.

To qualify, your parent’s monthly income cannot exceed 300% of the SSI amount for an individual, or $2,205 per month for 2017 and Medicare will require any assets to be used to pay for care, unless the assets were transferred or liquidated 5 years prior to applying for Medicaid.

A popular strategy to deal with the 5-year “look back period” is to transfer the deed to the home to a child. This may solve the Medicare problem, but it has drawbacks. In most cases, the child will pay higher taxes if he or she later sells the property.

Be proactive in 2018. Contact us via email or call me at (703) 712-8000 set up a consultation and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.

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Del. Ken Plum: The Cruelty of Politics

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

I am sure I will have some commentary on the outcome of the November 7 election in future columns, but as I write this column results are not yet known. No matter the outcome, I share the frustration experienced by many with the negativity that seems to inevitably overtake campaigns with high stakes. Political operatives who provide the advice upon which campaigns are planned continue to insist that negative advertising wins elections as it gets people’s attention and creates a fear or anger that moves voters to take part. I am not sure if anyone has measured how many people get turned off and decide not to vote because of the vicious ads.

Even more concerning to me than the half-truths and falsehoods that have slipped into campaigning is the cruelty that has moved into the operation of government. After years of complaining about the Affordable Care Act while in complete control of the Congress and now also the presidency, the Republicans have not been able to repeal and replace what they came to call Obamacare. The reason might simply be that provision of health care to all with coverage for pre-existing conditions in a developed nation is the right thing to do. Failing to achieve legislative success, the administration has set about trying to kill the program through administrative actions and neglect. That is where the cruelty sets in.

The first effort at killing the program came with an executive order to withhold subsidies which allowed insurance companies to keep premium increases to a minimum. With the loss of the subsidies, Anthem pulled out of Virginia in August leaving 60 jurisdictions with no insurer offering coverage; they reversed their action after intense efforts by Governor McAuliffe. The loss of federal support will be devastating in Virginia where 240,000 Virginians rely on subsidies to be able to afford insurance. There clearly must not be a lack of money in Washington with the huge tax cuts now being proposed for the very wealthy.

The cruelty does not end there. To reduce the program further the advertising budget to remind persons about open enrollment was slashed by 90 percent, and the time to enroll was reduced from 12 weeks to 6 weeks. The open enrollment started November 1 and will close on December 15. Tell anyone you know who might be eligible and spread the information through social media programs in which you participate that open enrollment ends on December 15.

A final crippling blow could be the administration announcement that it will not enforce the individual mandate that has been critical to keeping costs down by spreading the risk across a wide pool of participants. As though this is not enough, the Republican Congress and administration failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provided care to 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant mothers in Virginia. We have a new insurance program in place in this country; it is called Trumpcare. It is a very cruel system!

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