EMH Center for Health and Fitness, Avon, Ohio

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Avon Emergency Care Center

Trainer of 'Biggest Loser' contestant

Diet at EMH

11-11-11: EMH cuts Cardiac Rehab in Avon

6-21-13: University Hospitals to absorb the Elytia Memorial Hospital system

6-29-14: Avon fitness center receives reader award

EMH Health and Fitness Center

1997 Healthways Dr., Avon, OH 44011

Exciting and innovative, the new 60,000-square-foot EMH Center for Health and Fitness in Avon stands as the premier medically based health and fitness facility in Northeast Ohio.

The center boasts a wide range of fitness equipment and interactive programming to meet the specific needs and ability level of each member.

For more information, call the business office at (440) 988-6800, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 8-5-05, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- Officials at EMH Regional Medical Center yesterday showed off the finished product of the new Avon Emergency Care Center, drawing praise from some for the new ''super facility.''

EMH Regional is constructing the facility next to its Center for Health & Fitness at 1997 Healthway Drive. Dr. Dan Walsh, director of emergency services for the hospital, said he will be working the first shift at the center and is looking forward to the Aug. 22 opening. ''I can't wait for opening day,'' he said.

Walsh said he personally designed many of the features, including details of the floor plans for treatment rooms. Many of the treatment rooms differ in size and shape, depending on their functions. Two large resuscitation rooms allow for the bulky equipment needed to start a heart. The clinical decision unit, or CDU, has rooms with windows for patients staying 12 to 24 hours.

''They may have asthma or chest pains and are not sick enough to be admitted to a hospital bed, but not ready to go home,'' Walsh said. ''They can stay here while we observe them,'' he said.

Visitors may be surprised by the sheer size of the facility, which will have 18 treatment rooms, X-ray facilities, a lab, CT scanning and an MRI room, but Wayne Kipp, vice president of business development and marketing for EMH, said the center's size is important ...

Kipp said 200,000 residents are within a 15-minute drive of the center, which is just a few minutes off Interstate 90 at the SR 83 interchange.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith, who called the new center a ''super facility,'' said growth brings added traffic, which can slow down trips to emergency rooms outside Avon.

''With this facility you'll be able to get to an ER within minutes of your home,'' he said.

Ambulances will enter a sheltered area, which will be heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. A helicopter landing pad will facilitate fast trips for patients in critical condition ...

Walsh said he met with fire chiefs in the area to get their input on his plans for the new emergency room.

In a nod to modern concerns for terrorist acts, Walsh said the emergency care center also features spigots for several showers along one wall of the ambulance area for ''mass decontamination in the event of any terrorist acts, chemical spills or high levels of exposure to radioactivity.''...''

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FEATURE ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 1-14-08, by Lisa Roberson

EMH personal trainer Jermaine Alexander is the hometown personal trainer to ousted season five contestant Lynn Westphal; photo from the The Chronicle-Telegram, 1-14-08

Trainer of 'Biggest Loser' contestant practices what he preaches

``AVON -- He's not Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels, helping overweight Americans lose weight in front of millions of viewers on NBC's reality show 'The Biggest Loser,' but EMH personal trainer Jermaine Alexander is changing lives with his own personal wellness tips.

And as the hometown personal trainer to ousted season five contestant Lynn Westphal, Alexander said the heat is on to prove he knows what he's talking about while also ensuring Westphal loses big come this April when he returns for the show's grand season finale and vies for $100,000.

Westphal has said he chose the EMH Center for Health & Fitness to continue his weight loss efforts because it offers state-of-the-art equipment and amenities such as a pool and indoor track. But he also learned the staff was made up of dedicated fitness fanatics who were more than willing to whip him into shape ...

Alexander's workout regiment for Westphal is not easy. It's a cross-training program that has him switching between free weights and cardio machines for 60 minutes two to three times a week. But if Westphal sticks with it, Alexander is confident his client reach his target weight of 250 pounds. Westphal, 60, once topped out at 409 pounds.

"This is about consistency," he said. "If you do the work, then the payoff will be that the weight will come off." Alexander knows what he is talking about. He has been a personal trainer for 10 years, a profession he chose years ago when he topped out at more than 200 pounds and struggled to get the extra weight off.

"The hardest thing for me to do was to get down to a comfortable weight," Alexander said. "That's when I knew I wanted to help other people with their weight."

So, he set off on a weight-loss journey that did not include diet pills, shakes or so-called magic potions. Instead, he upped his personal workout routine and changed his diet to include more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. It wasn't easy, as his family was known to dish out a heaping spoonful of temptation, he said.

But in the end it has paid off. Alexander said he is now 168 pounds. His weight drops down to about 152 pounds when he is in competitive body building ...

"I'm not the kind of person that pushes my lifestyle on other people," he said. "I just let them see what it has done for me and let them decide for themselves."''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 9-1-08, by Alison Dietz

``Weight loss program enlightens dieters

AVON -- EMH Regional Healthcare System wants people to forget about fad diets, which go out of style as fast as dieters gain back the weight. Instead, it is offering people the chance to enlighten themselves with a long-term alternative.

'Enlighten' is a six-month, medically based program for weight loss. Participants attend weekly meetings with professionals, including registered dieticians, physicians, nurse practitioners, mental health specialists and certified fitness specialists.

It's not a program for those wishing to lose five pounds; participants must have 30 pounds or more to lose, or have a body mass index of at least 30, which places them in the 'obese' category.

Enlighten is similar to a lot of other weight loss programs but has an advantage with its roster of medical professionals, said Jan Biedenbach, member service manager at the EMH Center for Health and Fitness [in Avon] ...

Members have the option of requesting meal replacement supplements or working with a dietician to create healthy meals at home. They can also choose from activities offered by Enlighten.

In addition to eating healthier, there's something else members must do: "You do have to work out," Biedenbach said. A membership to the [Avon] EMH fitness center comes with participation in the program.

Participants are expected to work out four times per week while losing weight, and there are plenty of options for doing so.

Enlighten offers group training sessions with a personal trainer. The routine changes every week, and members also have access to all of the fitness center's programs, such as spinning and Pilates. The program accepts new members every week, and each person follows his or her own path to fitness ...

Thirty-one people have signed up for Enlighten so far this year. Last year, 53 people went through the program, losing an average of 30 to 35 pounds, according to Biedenbach ...

The program doesn't end after six months. Participants have a follow-up meeting to see where they want to go next, whether that's maintaining the current weight or losing more.

Participants are invited to keep coming to the weekly meetings, as well. "We want to see how they've done after a year," Biedenbach said.''

Contact Alison Dietz at adietz@chroniclet.com.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 11-11-11, by Steve Fogarty

[EMH cuts Cardiac Rehab in Avon]

ELYRIA -- A total of 55 positions are being eliminated, most at EMH Medical Center in Elyria, as the EMH Healthcare System continues to grapple with rising costs of uncompensated care and shrinking reimbursement for medical care.

The job reductions were announced Thursday by Dr. Donald Sheldon, EMH Healthcare president and CEO ...

Affected departments include radiology, home health care, accounting, medical records, central supply and preadmission testing.

The only service that will be completely eliminated because of the layoffs is cardiac rehab services that were offered by clinical care nurses at the hospital's Avon Health Campus. The cardiac rehab services previously offered to patients in Avon will now be offered at EMH in Elyria, Sheldon said ...

EMH expects to provide an estimated $37.5 million in uncompensated care in 2011 ... Uncompensated care has risen an average $4 million a year over the past five years, Sheldon said. One out of every 14 people who receives treatment at EMH is an uncompensated care case ...

The hospital is also being affected by more people unable to pay medical insurance deductibles, Sheldon said ...

Contact Steve Fogarty at sfogarty@chroniclet.com.



NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-11-11, By RICHARD PAYERCHIN, rpayerchin@MorningJournal.com

EMH cuts 55 positions

ELYRIA -- EMH Healthcare cut 55 positions, resulting in a net layoff of 30 people, this week as the hospital system deals with rising unreimbursed medical expenses ...

The cuts come in a variety of sectors, with most at the Elyria hospital and a few in cardiac rehabilitation at the Avon campus. Most are in support areas such as accounting, health information services and patient transportation, but some clinical jobs will be cut from departments including home health, cardiac rehabilitation and radiology.

The cuts are difficult because it is an economic issue, not firing people due to poor performance, Vice President of Human Resources Dan Miller said ...

EMH ... cannot turn away patients ... About one in 14 patients cannot pay for the healthcare they get, Miller said.

EMH expects to have unreimbursed medical expenses of about $37.5 million this year ... That number has gone up about $4 million a year for the last five years ... The unreimbursed medical expenses are growing in part because families with health insurance must pay larger deductibles while on limited budgets ...

Medical providers expect reimbursement to shrink in the future as the country deals with changes in healthcare ...

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[University Hospitals to absorb the Elytia Memorial Hospital system]

Filed on June 21, 2013 by Lisa Roberson

ELYRIA -- EMH Healthcare officials announced publicly Thursday [6-20-13] a plan to have Cleveland-based University Hospitals take over the Lorain County medical entity ... The move ... was described as a full integration of EMH into the UH brand ...

"This is not in any shape, form or fashion a sale," said Jeff Brausch, chairman of the board for Comprehensive Healthcare of Ohio, the parent company of EMH. "When you are talking about a nonprofit organization, our assets will be absorbed into the entirety of UH, and we will have the strength and backing of UH in our local community." ...

Don Sheldon, EMH's chief executive officer, said that in the coming months, every aspect of the EMH organization will be thoroughly evaluated by UH, as only a letter of intent to explore integration has been signed at this point ...

Brian Hoagland, chairman of the board for EMH Elyria Medical Center, said several possibilities for EMH's future were explored in recent years ...

Impending changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called "ObamaCare," further convinced EMH officials that it needed to move fast. "We are a hospital of midsize, and I think it's been clearly known that we have been getting squeezed on all sides," Brausch said.

Mercy Regional Medical Center, the county's other major health care provider, is part of Catholic Health Partners, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the nation.

Catholic Health Partners is further solidifying its presence in Northeast Ohio with the recent move to exploring the acquisition of Kaiser Permanente Ohio's existing health program and its more than 80,000 members in the region. "There are still many steps to complete before that transaction closes, including obtaining regulatory approval from the Ohio Department of Insurance," said an email from Jennifer Cakir, Mercy's marketing director ...

Mercy already has a relationship with UH Seidman Cancer Center. Zenty said that relationship will have to be evaluated as well. He could not speak to how an affiliation with both hospitals, largely seen as competitors in the county, would work in the future. Cakir said Mercy is looking forward to keeping the agreement in place. "We have a positive partnership with University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center ...

Brausch said the physicians Lorain County residents see today and the services offered today will continue after the integration ...

Elyria will gain from having UH connected to its hospital, Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda said. "From an economic development perspective, being part of this larger system with more resources will help the city retain and attract employers and families to our community," she said ...

EMH [has been] looking at its facility portfolio and making shifts in operations to strengthen its community health centers. EMH Amherst Hospital, which has been owned and operated by EMH since 1994, was transformed into a free-standing emergency room with a longterm acute care facility and adjoining, independently operated skilled nursing home.

Sheldon said at the announcement of the switch that it was the best scenario for the property, which had been draining $1 million a year from the health system's budget for several years.

Contact Lisa Roberson at lroberson@chroniclet.com.



By Brie Zeltner, The Plain Dealer, June 20, 2013

University Hospitals plans to merge with EMH Healthcare in Lorain County EMH. Elyria Medical Center is [EMH's] 's only inpatient hospital, with 387 beds. The planned merger with University Hospitals would potentially bring more specialty inpatient services to EMH, including pediatrics. EMH also has healthcare facilities in Amherst, Avon, North Ridgeville, Sheffield and Grafton ...

Officials at both institutions have signed a non-binding letter of intent to make EMH part of UH's health system, and expect an agreement to be complete by the end of the year [2013].

If the two merge, UH would invest in EMH's facilities and programs and gain a foothold on the West Side, offering possible competition to the Cleveland Clinic's campuses at Medina Hospital and the new Avon ... Family Health Center.

"We think that this is a natural progression for us," said UH's Chief Executive Thomas F. Zenty III of the expansion west. "We did not have inpatient capacity here, and this will give us an opportunity to do that." ...

"It's going to become very hard for small- and medium-size hospitals to remain independent in the future," said Dr. Donald Sheldon, EMH's Chief Executive Officer. "Most hospitals in the country, with the changes that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act, are looking at a more challenging environment."

If the two institutions merge, it will leave only two independent health systems in Northeast Ohio: Parma Community General Hospital and Lake Hospital System. In February [2013], Akron-based Summa Health System signed a similar letter of intent to partner with Catholic Health Partners, the largest health system in the state ...

Jeff Brausch, chairman of the board at EMH's parent company, Comprehensive Healthcare of Ohio, said that EMH did not make the decision to explore a merger because it is suffering financially. The health system recorded $241 million in operating revenue last year [2012], down from $247 million in 2010. EMH declined to provide the system's operating costs for the same period ...

EMH, which has 2,100 employees and a 387 bed-hospital in Elyria, is one of two hospital systems operating in Lorain County. Catholic Health Partners owns two hospitals in the region -- Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain and Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin.

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Avon fitness center receives reader award

Filed on June 29, 2014 by Chronicle-Telegram Staff

AVON -- The Center for Health and Fitness at University Hospitals Avon Health Center has been named "Best of the West" in the fitness center category by readers of "West Shore Live Well" magazine.

This marks the eighth consecutive year that the center has received this recognition. "West Shore Live Well" polls readers who submit their favorites each year in categories covering the best places to shop, dine, work out and have fun on Cleveland's west side.

"We are very grateful to our members and the community who voted and enabled us to win this honor for the eighth straight year," said Brad Calabrese, general manager of the Center for Health and Fitness. "We will continue to strive to provide the highest quality services and state-of-the-art facility so we can remain the Best of the West for years to come."

The Center for Health and Fitness, 1997 Healthway Drive in Avon, is a 60,000-square-foot facility featuring the latest fitness equipment, a six-lane lap pool, a warm water therapy pool, sauna, steam room, a multi-sport gymnasium, group fitness studios, three racquetball courts, indoor/outdoor tracks, outdoor tennis courts, a children's play area and a full-service day spa.

For information about membership, call (440) 988-6801 or stop in for a tour.



EMH-University Hospitals partnership already paying dividends

Filed on February 13, 2014 by Lisa Roberson

ELYRIA -- The integration of EMH Healthcare and University Hospitals took place less than two months ago, but the merged medical institution is already producing firsts.

Tuesday, led by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Carlos Garcia, the first open heart surgery was performed at the UH Elyria Medical Center. The procedure was observed by Dr. Soon Park, UH's chief of cardiac surgery, who came to Cleveland in the late fall from the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Don Sheldon, president of the UH Elyria Medical Center, said the surgery is not the first time bypass surgery was performed in Elyria. For years, EMH and Cleveland Clinic had a strong affiliation for cardiac care. But now that University Hospitals and EMH are operating as one, the surgery represents the fruits of that union. "It's a real-life example of how we want to make things happen," said UH CEO Thomas Zenty III ...

The entire UH system had more than $3.5 billion in revenue last year. Further encroaching into the west side of Cuyahoga County and beyond has been on the entity's radar for years, but expansion has been all about finding the right partner. Elyria's hospital is that partner ...

On April 18, 2012, Dan Smith of Sheffield Lake, a father of three and husband of 41 years, collapsed at the Avon Fitness Center. He was on the elliptical machine when he lost focus and his legs buckled beneath him.

He was rushed to the Avon Emergency Room next door, and flown almost immediately to the UH main campus. There, doctors inserted a catheter into his brain to remove a clot.

Smith, a retired former chief of operations for the Avon Lake Wastewater Plant, said he credits his full recovery to the teams at both EMH and UH.

Hospital leaders say his success story took place months before the integration was announced, but it is a clear sign the partnership has been in the works for much longer.

Contact Lisa Roberson at lroberson@chroniclet.com.



UH, Mercy expand partnership

Filed on August 8, 2013 by Lisa Roberson

LORAIN -- University Hospitals is inching its way into Lorain County, much like the Cleveland Clinic, which has seen western expansion to the west as a profitable venture.

A little more than a month after UH and EMH Healthcare announced plans to merge, the Cleveland-based hospital is announcing another partnership to launch Rainbow Pediatric Emergency Services at Lorain's Mercy Regional Medical Center and Oberlin's Mercy Allen Hospital.

The partnership will be similar to one UH and Mercy forged last year involving UH's Seidman Cancer Center.

"We love partnering. We have a very broad network of experts and we want to increase patient care by allowing our national experts to have access at a variety of different locations," said Dr. Andrew Hertz, medical director of the UH Rainbow Care Network ...

"This partnership gives our families the assurance that when their loved ones need it, they will receive the most advanced techniques in pediatric care," said Mercy president and CEO Edwin Oley. Parents likely will continue to see Mercy physicians in Lorain County emergency rooms in the future, but the care will be more in line with Rainbow's approach, which is very child-centric ...

Hertz could [not] say what the Mercy partnership specifically would do to the planned UH and EMH merger. "The deal hasn't been finalized so I don't know what role Rainbow will have at the other location," he said...

When the UH and EMH merger plans were announced in June [2013] UH CEO Thomas Zenty III touted the UH services that will be brought to Lorain County as a result, including Rainbow's pediatric care, clinical trials in cancer treatment, advance teaching for physicians and UH medical protocols ...

Don Sheldon, EMH's chief executive officer, did not wish to comment on the Mercy development. "Due to EMH Healthcare's ongoing due diligence with University Hospitals, he felt it would be inappropriate to comment on this at this time," he said through EMH spokeswoman Kristen Davis.

The Mercy partnership has been about nine months in the making and coincides with a similar timetable for the EMH merger. Hertz said it came about because of a need for higher quality after-hours pediatric care in the area ...

While Mercy and EMH for decades have been the two big medical providers in Lorain County, the Cleveland Clinic and UH have been adding their footprint to the area's medical care.

The Cleveland Clinic opened a building at 303 Chestnut Commons Drive in Elyria in February 2008 and followed that up a few years later with the $93 million Richard E. Jacobs Cleveland Clinic Avon Family Health and Surgery Center off Chester Road ...

Contact Lisa Roberson at lroberson@chroniclet.com.

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