Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resolving to Lose Weight in the New Year?

Find out how during our live Weight Loss Surgery Webinar

Dr. Denis Halmi of Bluepoint Surgical Group and Medical Director of the Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center at Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge is hosting a live Weight Loss Surgery Webinar on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

This interactive event will cover weight loss surgery options and provide answers to your questions. Dr. Halmi and the surgeons of Bluepoint Surgical Group perform more than 300 weight loss surgeries at Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center each year, including laparoscopic gastric bypass, banding and sleeve gastrectomy.

Please contact your insurance provider prior to registering to determine whether or not you have the benefit. Several area employers do not have the bariatric surgery rider including Prince William County. In addition, you may want to contact Bluepoint Surgical Group to find out if they accept your specific insurance plan. Bluepoint Surgical Group does not participate in Medicaid for Bariatric Services. More information at

Weight Loss Surgery Information Webinar
January 31, 2012
Register Online

Meet LeAnda Garrison from Stafford and learn how sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery at Sentara Weight Loss Surgery Center at Potomac Hospital changed her life for the better: watch the video.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sentara Family Health Connection Takes Second Place in Dumfries Parade!

The Town of Dumfries held its 37th Annual Holiday Parade on Saturday afternoon. Troo the Trauma Kangaroo, aka Mayra Figueroa, of the Sentara Family Health Connection Mobile Clinic, led the Sentara Potomac contingent in the parade.

Sentara Potomac Hospital was represented by staff from the Emergency Department, Family Health Connection, Auxiliary and Library along with family members. Candy and toothbrushes, donated by the SPH Auxiliary, were passed out to the crowd.

Congratulations to The Family Health Connection who won second place in the Emergency Vehicle Services Category!

The Sentara Family Health Connection Mobile Clinics are custom Ford vans staffed by nurse practitioners from Sentara Potomac Hospital who provide medical care and health information to uninsured residents in the community.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Community Gives Warmth to our Tiny Patients

Special thanks to the Creative and Performing Arts Center and Cabin Branch Quilters who organized the It Takes a Village to Raise a Child Preemie Quilt Project and donated 32 quilts and $500 to Sentara Potomac Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Sentara Potomac Hospital NICU nurses Katie Burton and Barbara Ashcroft accepted the gifts at a recent ceremony.

Thank you for your generous gift of warmth for our smallest patients.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sentara Heart and Vascular Center Physician Profile

Cleveland Francis, M.D.: Patient-doctor communication is key to success

Batman and Robin. Starsky and Hutch. Laverne and Shirley. True partners stay together through thick and thin and handle sticky situations with grace and ease. How do they do it? The key is communication. The patient-doctor relationship can be both personal and emotional, and communicating your needs, symptoms and expectations are paramount to the success of your first visit and future care.

Diagnosis depends on good descriptions

“Describing your symptoms and medical history in detail is very important for an accurate diagnosis,” explains Cleveland Francis, M.D., a cardiologist on Sentara Potomac Hospital’s medical staff and member of the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center team.

“As a cardiologist, I see a lot of patients who complain of chest pain, but the description ‘chest pain’ is too broad. It’s important for a patient to come to the doctor ready to give a detailed account of pain, symptoms, timing and history.”

According to Dr. Francis, this involves an organized patient and a physician willing to listen.

What your doctor needs to know

“With cardiology, in particular, it’s helpful for the patient to describe the character of the pain,” says Dr. Francis. “The more thorough the description the better, such as squeezing, sharp, dull, ache, pressure, etc. Plus, the location is also important -- left or right side of the chest, in the middle of the sternum, in the stomach area or the back.”

According to Dr. Francis you should also be ready to answer these questions: What relieves the pain? How long does the pain last? What are the associated symptoms when having the pain? What’s the duration of the pain? Is this occurring for the first time or has this happened before?

“If a patient can answer all of those questions, a listening doctor can in most cases arrive at a good tentative diagnosis of the patient’s problem and may only need minimal testing to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis,” says Dr. Francis.

Dr. Francis also recommends that patients provide a list of all current medications and a detailed family medical history -- especially of parents and siblings.

Dr. Cleveland Francis is president of Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates, located in The Potomac Center on the campus of Sentara Potomac Hospital. His interests aren’t limited to cardiology -- he’s also a former national country music recording artist and still enjoys a local music career.

The Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital opened in May and offers residents in our community the option of receiving cardiovascular care closer to home, including interventional cardiac catheterization and other procedures to treat heart and vascular diseases.

To reach our goal of providing an exceptional patient and family experience, we incorporated patient feedback into the design and operational development of Sentara Heart and Vascular Center. To see the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center first hand, take a guided tour.

To find a physician call our free referral and information service at 703-221-2500.