Workforce Wellness – Bon Secours


Memorial Regional Medical Center Designated Center of Excellence in Hernia Surgery

Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center has been designated as a Center of Excellence in Hernia SurgeryTM (COEHS) by Surgical Review Corporation. Memorial Regional Medical Center was among the first in the country to achieve COEHS accreditation.

Hernias are tears or weaknesses in the abdominal wall; if left untreated, they can cause increasing pain and intestinal complications. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately five million Americans have hernias.

Amit Gogia, MD, FACS, is the medical director of the hernia program at MRMC. He specializes in robotic, minimally invasive repairs of complex hernias, which can mean smaller incisions, less pain, fewer complications, and faster recoveries for patients.

“The ability to perform minimally invasive hernia procedures is another way to assure the patient overall success. Certain hernias will require a traditional repair, depending on the size and where it occurs in the body; however, a robotic repair may help the patient experience less pain with a few small cuts rather than one big one,” said Dr. Gogia. “In my practice, the majority of hernia patients benefit from the minimally invasive approach. Patients heal better, hurt less, and look better. They can get back to their normal activities, like golf or running, more quickly.”

The designation was granted following a complex process involving the hospital and the medical team. To earn the COEHS designation, Memorial Regional Medical Center provided information on all aspects of its hernia surgery program and processes, including data on its surgical outcomes. The COEHS program’s objective requirements and evaluation processes were developed in conjunction with leading hernia surgeons. A commitment to patient care and success necessitates that the requirements be comprehensive, research-based, and verified through a rigorous site inspection.

“Earning this designation signifies our ability to consistently deliver safe, high-quality health care to hernia surgery patients in our immediate region and beyond,” said Mark Gordon, CEO, MRMC. “This expertise in minimally invasive hernia repair is right here at Memorial Regional Medical Center. We are committed to giving patients the opportunity of a quality care experience close to home.”

To be a center of excellence requires a medical education component for surgeons, a full complement of consultative services, standard operating procedures, and a coordinated care team, all focused on a qualified series of outcomes.

Click here for recent news coverage on the Memorial Regional Medical Center’s hernia program.

Winter Salads? No Longer an Oxymoron

Just because it isn’t spring, doesn’t mean we stop eating veggies.  Even in winter there are plenty of ways to enjoy a fresh salad.  In the winter our bodies tend to steer us towards warmer, more comforting foods.  This can lead to lower intake of fruits and vegetables compared to the warmer months, and sometimes packing on a few pounds.  It is important to aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day year round. They provide us with immunity building antioxidants, colon cleansing fiber, and many essential vitamins.  Start with hardy greens like arugula, kale, or shaved Brussels sprouts.  Add some roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips.  Sprinkle on some pre-cooked whole grains like barley or quinoa.  Top with sliced baked chicken and drizzle with warm tomato basil vinaigrette.  Looking to get even more into the winter spirit? Try roasted cauliflower or cabbage “steaks.”  Simply cut the heads vertically in about one-half to one inch thick “steaks.” Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings like salt and pepper, and bake in the oven for 400 for 25-35 minutes (turn halfway through) until golden brown.  Be creative, follow your gut, and enjoy a winter wonderland of salads.

By Abby Forman, Registered Dietitian with Bon Secours Physical Therapy & Sports Performance

For more information about nutrition and choosing healthy foods, visit us at

Kick the Habit for Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s never too late to quit smoking!  Your health will improve and your risk for heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking related illnesses will decrease whenever you stop smoking. Quitting is a journey.  We are here to offer you tips and support as you move toward your goal. Every individual’s quit experience is unique. You may choose to use the online program as your sole source of support, or you may opt to connect with our nurse coach who can offer you additional resources and care.  No matter what you choose, you will be moving closer to reaching your goal of quitting smoking.  We’re so glad you’re taking this step towards better health today!

The program is proven, interactive, text-based, and FREE!

To register, simply text QUITNOW to (804) 409-8885 or visit

For more information, please call: 804-285-6898

Bon Secours Partners with DispatchHealth to Offer On-Demand Urgent Care

Unexpected illnesses or injuries are inconvenient at any time but especially during the holidays. Bon Secours is excited to announce our partnership with DispatchHealth to provide extended health care access and convenience for our patients and community. DispatchHealth provides on-demand urgent care in the home and began servicing the greater Richmond area on November 7, 2017. ER-trained practitioners come to the home or place of need and can perform on-site laboratory testing, IV fluids, splinting, stitches, and much more. DispatchHealth acts as an extension of primary care and partners with your medical team to help keep you out of the ER whenever possible. They accept all major health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and will bill directly for the care provided. They are available from 9 am – 9 pm seven days a week, including all holidays. You can request care by calling (804) 495-0053 or by using their website or free mobile app. Learn more at



Stay Healthy During Holiday Travels

The stranger you sit next to this holiday season for your flight home might be perfectly healthy, but the surfaces that surround you both can be teeming with cold and flu viruses.

Without a doubt, the germs lurking on every plane and train and in every station and airport can wreak havoc on your holiday travel plans. At best, you may wind up with a minor cold that goes away in a few days. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced much worse: vomiting toddlers or lost luggage with important prescription medications inside.

Before you try to convince everyone to come to your house instead, consider these important tips from the medical experts at Bon Secours to help you stay healthy while you travel.

Pack some immunity.
Now is the perfect time to get your flu shot. Call your health provider to get one or ask the pharmacist at your local grocery store. Just make sure you get vaccinated at least four to five days in advance of your travel plans. For the strongest immunity against influenza, get a flu shot at least two weeks before you travel.

Plan for prescriptions.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get your prescriptions filled. An insurance issue or shortage could leave you without your medication. You should also take enough medication with you if your trip ends up lasting longer than expected.

“You’re going to save yourself so many problems if you do some planning,” said Carol Carson, PharmD, BCPS, a clinical pharmacy specialist for Bon Secours.

Important medications are less likely to get misplaced if you keep those with you instead of tucked away in your luggage. They’ll also be readily available no matter where you are when you need them, Carson said. Additionally, baggage storage areas can get very hot or cold, creating less than ideal storage conditions.

Always declare medications when you go through security stations. Check airline and security policies before you start packing. Remember to keep your prescriptions in their original containers; it’s a requirement in some states.

And, make a copy of all your prescriptions and a detailed list of their strength, dosage, and frequency. Be sure to include the name of your prescribing physician and pharmacist. Keep all this information with you.

“If you need medical attention for any reason when you’re traveling, a list helps prevent someone giving you a medication that might interact with one of your prescriptions,” Carson said.

Wipe. Sanitize. Repeat.
As you settle into your seat for a long flight or train ride, take the time to clean the arm rest and tray table in front of you with some sanitizing wipes. You can’t stop the person in the row behind you from sneezing, but you can try to reduce the germs surrounding your seat.

If you’re really worried about getting sick – maybe you have a compromised immune system – go ahead and wear a mask.

Stand up and stretch.
“When it’s allowed, take time to stand up from your seat and stretch – especially if it’s a long flight or ride,” said Randall Fedro, MD, a family practice physician at Monarch Medical Associates. Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for the body. For some, it can lead to dangerous blood clots.

Moving the legs while you sit can help, too, Fedro said. Try flexing and pointing your feet to exercise your calves. Some people also use the metal bar under the seat that’s in front of them to do calf raises.

Stay well rested and hydrated.
Just like when you are at home, it’s important to get enough rest every night when you’re traveling and to drink plenty of water. Your immune system can weaken if you’re exhausted and dehydrated.

“Staying hydrated is super important,” Fedro said. “Limit your alcohol intake, too.”

If you’re heading to a different time zone, make sure you get enough shut-eye while you adjust to your destination and when you return home.

“Many people lose too much sleep when they travel,” Fedro said. “It can set you up for an infection.”

Work in your workouts.
Exercise is an excellent way to burn off some holiday calories and the stress that comes with holiday traveling.

“Exercise will also help keep your immune system in high alert,” Fedro said.

Think ahead about where you’re going to be and figure out how you can build in some time to exercise. Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise when you’re not home. You can almost always find a place to walk wherever your winter travels take you.

Another option is to try a local gym. Many gyms allow non-members to come in and work out for a nominal fee. Look for a place that offers the kind of classes you enjoy or the right exercise equipment.

Visit Bon Secours 24/7.
Sometimes you get sick while on vacation no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Bon Secours 24/7 allows you to reach a health provider within minutes from your phone, tablet, or personal computer. Simply enroll to create an account, download our app, and follow the instructions to speak with a Bon Secours medical provider.

Bon Secours 24/7 helps patients with a range of medical conditions, from respiratory infections and bronchitis to sprains and strains. The app works wherever your holiday travel takes you within the United States.