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Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Carilion Clinic will celebrate the Spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 6, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place in the Special Events Center at the Berglund Center, 710 Williamson Road, Roanoke.   

A total of 225 Jefferson College students on the masters, bachelors and associate degree levels will accept their diplomas and become alumni of the College during the event. These students will graduate from 14 different academic programs at the College.

Jefferson College proudly welcomes Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) as our Commencement Speaker. Congressman Goodlatte represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Goodlatte currently serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He also serves as a Senior Member and former Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. In addition to serving in these roles, he is the Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Internet Caucus and the Congressional International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus as well as Chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group.
Congressman Goodlatte is a graduate of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Congressman Goodlatte and his wife, Maryellen, who serves as a member of the Jefferson College Board of Directors, reside in Roanoke and have two adult children.

More information about Congressman Goodlatte and the 2016 Spring Commencement ceremony may be found on the Jefferson College website at:

Jefferson College of Health Sciences at Carilion Clinic is a private higher education institution that “prepares, within a scholarly environment, ethical, knowledgeable, competent and caring healthcare professionals.”  Founded in 1914 as the Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing, the College is expanding its focus on excellence in healthcare education by opening doctoral degree programs in the Fall of 2016. Jefferson College now provides more than 1,000 students with opportunities to become part of the healthcare profession, serving communities from southwest Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. Jefferson College graduates are building healthier tomorrows in our region and across the country every day. More information is available at

At a recent meeting of the Waterfront Women’s Club, Carilion Clinic announced that it will operate a new Carilion Wellness facility at Smith Mountain Lake Retirement Village, a subsidiary of Runk & Pratt Senior Living Communities. The new facility will cater to the needs of the 50-and-older population specifically, filling a gap in wellness services in the community.

“For quite some time Carilion has been researching a concept that would focus on programs specifically designed for the 50-plus market,” said Bud Grey, vice president for wellness at Carilion Clinic. “Runk & Pratt is the perfect collaborator on this project. They’ve always demonstrated their second-to-none care for their residents and residents' families.”

The new Carilion Wellness facility will offer the same features that other Carilion Wellness locations offer, but they will be geared toward active older adults.

“Carilion Clinic will continue to partner with organizations throughout the region that are committed to the community’s wellness,” explained Grey. “The growing older adult community at the lake has told us that they are interested in wellness offerings built just for them. That’s why we’re excited to bring this new approach to the community.”

Offerings being considered at the new location include:
·         Exercise programs to assist people with chronic medical conditions
·         Fit Rx: Carilion’s medically prescribed exercise regimen to help improve patient health
·         Programs for pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery recovery
·         Nutritional counseling
·         Group exercise (e.g. tai chi, yoga)
·         Functional training
·         Personal training
·         Aquatic therapy
·         Flu vaccinations
·         Health screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
·         Educational opportunities related to health and diet.

Some offerings will be available to the general public, such as Carilion’s educational opportunities, while others will be available to members only.

The population of older adults is steadily increasing at the lake, so Runk & Pratt began collaborating with Carilion in the fall of 2015 on this wellness concept.

“When we thought about how we could better incorporate wellness into the Smith Mountain Lake Retirement Village, we knew we needed an organization with the right expertise in wellness,” said Vickie Runk, vice president and owner, Runk & Pratt Senior Living Communities. “Carilion Clinic came immediately to mind; wellness is a part of their philosophy.”

Ground is expected to be broken on the new 18,000 square-foot facility in the next few months. Carilion Wellness at Smith Mountain Lake Retirement Village will be located at 157 Westlake Road. It will be open sometime in early 2017. Membership pricing is still being determined.

The world’s oldest scientific organization studying addiction, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, selected Warren Bickel as the 2016 recipient of the Nathan B. Eddy Award. The annual award is the college’s highest honor and acknowledges outstanding research efforts that advance the knowledge of drug dependence.
Bickel is a professor and the director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
“Out of the awards we offer, the Nathan B. Eddy Award, is the biggest and most prestigious,” said Mark A. Smith, chair of the awards committee for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Davidson College in North Carolina. “This award is an acknowledgement of Dr. Bickel’s entire research career in the field, including the contributions he has made to substance abuse research.”
Bickel studies discounting of delayed rewards — why a person might decide a quick fix now is worth more than other long-term rewards, such as health— in an effort to understand how and why people decide to use drugs or alcohol or engage in other risky behaviors. His eventual hope is that his research will lead to new interventions to help people with addiction.
“Addiction is a chronic disease, but it’s currently treated as an acute problem. My research team and I are working to better understand addiction and, in turn, better inform the treatment of addiction,” Bickel said.
Early in his career, Bickel researched the utility of buprenorphine as a treatment of opioid dependence, leading to Food and Drug Administration approval of the medication.  He also participated in policy debate regarding methadone treatment in Vermont and became the inaugural director of the first methadone treatment program in the state.
Bickel introduced and developed the use of behavioral economics as an approach to the study of drug dependence. He established the conceptual approach known as the Competing Neurobehavioral Decision System. Scientist use the approach to examine how a person makes decisions based on the combined input of impulse and executive systems — and how an imbalance can lead to valuation of unhealthy habits, such as addiction.
As a result of that work, Bickel received a 10-year MERIT award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. To even qualify for a MERIT award, nominees must “have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity,” according to the National Institutes of Health website.
And Bickel is productive. In the past year alone, he’s published 24 scientific papers. That’s a small fraction of the work he’s accomplished, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence is recognizing with the Eddy B. Nathan award.
Bickel will receive the award at the College’s annual meeting in June in Palm Springs, California.
“Dr. Bickel is an internationally recognized leader in addiction science — it is an honor for him to receive this award and for the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute to have Dr. Bickel and his program here in Roanoke,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “However, I am not surprised by this recognition as Dr. Bickel’s work continues to dramatically change our understanding of addiction and ways to treat it.”

A Virginia Tech cancer biologist has led an international, multi-institutional team to discover that an abnormal amount of chromosomes may be why certain cancers resist medical treatment.
Specifically, the team found that when certain cancer cells have abnormal amounts of chromosomes – a condition known as aneuploidy – they grow and adapt in conditions that are characteristic of a tumor’s environment. This includes within the presence of a chemotherapeutic drug.
“We found that cells with incorrect chromosome numbers grow better than cells with normal chromosome numbers when exposed to stress,” said Daniela Cimini, associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate, and a biology fellow at the Biocomplexity Institute at Virginia Tech.
The results were recently published in Scientific Reports.
In the study, the researchers exposed colon cancer cells with normal and abnormal numbers of chromosomes to conditions commonly found in the body when tumors form and grow. These environments include low nutrients, such as vitamins and proteins, and a lack of oxygen in a condition known as hypoxia.
Overall, the cancer cells with aneuploidy grew faster than normal cells.
The researchers also exposed the cells to a form of fluorouracil, a chemotherapeutic drug known on the market as Adrucil. Generally, the aneuploid cells continued to grow in the presence of the drug although at slower rates. Growth in cells with a normal amount of chromosomes was significantly slower in comparison.
In 2015, Cimini led another team to find that aneuploidy increases the diversity of chromosome number in daughter cells. These daughter cells then become more diverse in chromosome number, making a cell population with varying amounts of chromosomes, or a heterogeneous population.
According to the new study, this heterogeneity may provide aneuploid cells with specific advantages in adapting to certain environmental conditions, including resisting medical treatment.
“Aneuploid cells adapt to stressful conditions because they have an unstable genome that generates heterogeneous genomes and increases the probability of faster adaptation to challenging environments,” said Elsa Logarinho, director of the aging and aneuploidy lab at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Porto, Portugal, and co-author of the study.
“By showing that aneuploid mammalian cells could have some selective advantages in some stressful conditions, this work will not only contribute to our fundamental understanding of how and whether aneuploidy contributes to the formation of tumors, but could also shed light into the mechanisms underlying emergence of chemotherapy resistance,” said Giulia Rancati, a group leader at the Institute of Medical Biology at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore. Rancati was not involved in the research.
According to the study, aneuploidy may increase a cancer’s tolerance to these environmental conditions even after cells have formed tumors and become malignant, or lost growth control. Aneuploidy also increases the invasiveness of cancer cells regardless of these stressful environmental conditions.
“Our findings explain previous studies showing that higher rates of aneuploidy correlate with poorer prognosis,” said Cimini, the corresponding author of the study, and whose work is partly funded by the National Science Foundation. “Moreover, our findings suggest that taking into consideration the degree of aneuploidy may improve therapeutic strategies.”
Since the researchers tested aneuploid cells with specific chromosome alterations, future research can target how certain types of aneuploidy contribute to the formation of tumors. According to the researchers, these different types of aneuploidy can also serve as more specific targets for therapeutic strategies.
Cimini is also an affiliated faculty member with the BioTrans interdisciplinary graduate education program.


Every year, both current and aspiring nurses are eligible to apply to three privately funded scholarships hosted by Carilion Clinic:

·         Seay Education Scholarship – Open only to Carilion registered nurses currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This scholarship is in memory of Carrie L. Seay, a nurse who was dedicated to promoting educational opportunities for employees so they could provide quality patient care. The award amount is $2,000 to apply toward educational expenses.
·         Joann Brinkmann Nursing Scholarship – Open to employees and non-employees. Applicants must be a single parent or come from a single-parent household. This scholarship is in memory of JoAnn Brinkman, an inspirational nurse and member of the Med-Surg ICU, who lost her life to inflammatory breast cancer in 2007. The award amount is $250 to go toward educational expenses.
·         Roanoke Memorial School of Professional Nursing Alumni Association Scholarship – Open to employees and non-employees. Preference will be given to graduates or descendants of graduates form the Roanoke Memorial Hospital School of Professional Nursing. Award amount is $2,000.
Each scholarship is intended to promote interest and education in the nursing profession. Applications are due by Friday, March 4. Finalists will then be invited for personal interviews in late March, early April, and recipients will be notified by Friday, April 15.  
Download a scholarship application here.
For more information, contact Karri Proctor in Visiting Student Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 540-581-0303.

Carrollynn Miller, massage therapist/medical massage practitioner based in Roanoke, has completed a four-day “mastery class” course of study in the Cranial Release Technique, a therapeutic, hands-on procedure designed to improve health by restoring proper function to the nervous system and proper balance to body structure.

The massage therapist/medical massage practitioner participated in the “mastery class” program in West Palm Beach, Florida presented by certified instructors affiliated with Cranial Release Technique, Inc. a national training institute based in New York City. The organization trains healthcare providers in the philosophy, science and practice of the Cranial Release Technique and educates the public about the health-promoting benefits of cranial-based healthcare.

The “mastery” program is a 24-classroom-hour lecture and hands-on course. Among a range of topics, enrollees study the anatomy of the cranium and spinal column, and engage in a thorough exploration of the principles and mechanics of the Cranial Release Technique process.

In a process lasting only a few minutes, the Cranial Release Technique facilitates a release of long-standing strains within the cranial and nervous systems. The technique promotes relaxation of the nervous system and muscle tissue tension throughout the body.

“This procedure allows the brain and central nervous system to move to a higher, more organized level of function,” said Dr. William Doreste, CEO of Cranial Release Technique, Inc. “{Patients/clients} experience a return to health and a restoration of balance in life's emotional and physical aspects.”

As a graduate of the Cranial Release Technique mastery class program, Carrollynn Miller will now offer the procedure to {patients/clients} in the local area. Carrollynn Miller, whose local office is located at 3433 Brambleton Avenue, Suite 1-C at the Brambleton Corporate Center on the corner of Brambleton and Pinevale, can be contacted at 540.797.2445 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or online at

Carrollynn has also been trained in facilitating healing in a number of ways for a variety of patients to improve quality of life by reducing pain and improving functionality. She is certified in cupping for myofascial muscle release and lymphatic drainage. She has had success in aiding post mastectomy clients in improving breast and upper arm/chest wall tissue quality for comfort and increasing ROM to the upper chest and arms to reduce pain in these clients. In addition, she is trained in manual lymphatic drainage for a variety of processes to improve tissue quality if the client is able to receive it. Among other techniques practiced is TMJ release, rotator cuff release, carpel tunnel treatment, medical/ orthopedic massage techniques, sports massage, and kinesiotaping to aid a myriad of injuries and dysfunctions. The use of cupping, hot stones, hot bamboo, magnets, manual manipulation, and cranial sacral therapy is incorporated to meet individual client needs.

The office of Creative Wellness Therapy is a handicap access facility. The office, parking, and hydraulic custom table all are able to accommodate wheel and power chair as well as persons with mobility issues requiring a lower table.

Call or schedule your appointment today to experience this innovative technique and others to begin your own wellness journey. Creative Wellness Therapy focuses on evaluating and creating individualized programs of treatment to serve your wellness needs.

Socks are the most requested clothing item at homeless shelters around the country. A group of Ferrum College students is working to fill that need for guests at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. They’re called Bombassadors, college student ambassadors for the sock company Bombas, which has a mission to ‘Bee Better’ by donating one pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair purchased.  So far, the company has donated more than 800,000 pairs.

“I chose to be a Bombassador because I recognized the opportunity to help people and I could not just pass it up,” says Sam Belcher. “I'm   called to love my neighbor as myself and that's what this is all about.”

Belcher, a Junior at Ferrum College, bought some socks from the company last year and liked knowing that his purchase went towards helping someone in need. Belcher said that once he toured the Rescue Mission and learned about all the programs provided for people in crisis, he knew that this was what God wanted him to do.

As the Bombassadors at Ferrum, Belcher and classmates Rachel Wells, Jessa King, and Jesse Delph will be promoting the project in an effort to spur sales through the end of May.  Their goal is to collect at least 400 pairs for the Rescue Mission by the end of May.

“We are excited to participate in this program,” says Rescue Mission Director of Industry Leslie Littlefield. “It’s always encouraging to see young people enthusiastic about serving their community, and new socks are always in demand here at the Mission.”

 One pair of socks purchased online on, using the coupon code FCXSB20, will equal one pair donated to the Mission. The code is effective through May 2016.

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke, located at 402 Fourth Street SE, is a 501(C)(3) grassroots organization serving as a Christian Crisis Intervention Center for Southwestern Virginia.  Receiving no government funding of any kind, the Rescue Mission is supported by the generous donations of our community partners.  Since 1948, The Rescue Mission has consistently served all people in need regardless of race, creed, gender, age, or ethnicity.  For more information about the Rescue Mission, please visit, or call (540) 343-7227. 

Warm Hearth Village and the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia are proud to announce the appointment of Heather Gearhart as Ambassador for Congressional Team VA9.  As part of a select group of dedicated advocate leaders, Gearhart will play a critical role in helping the Alzheimer’s Association meet its federal legislative goals and further the goal of Warm Hearth Village to advocate on behalf of those with Alzheimer’s disease.  
The Ambassador program is designed to enhance the Alzheimer’s Association’s federal legislative agenda by building relationships between Ambassadors and members of Congress and staff.  They are tasked with holding congressional representatives accountable on their commitments to support the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.  The Ambassadors have been instrumental in passing key legislation, including the historic Alzheimer’s Project Act.  Throughout the year, Gearhart will be responsible for meeting with her assigned legislator, Morgan Griffith, serve as an advocacy spokesperson with local media and work with the local association chapter to recruit other advocates in the 9th congressional district.  
“Over the course of my 17-year employment with Warm Hearth Village, there have been many changes in how our government views legislation related to our most vulnerable seniors.  I am so honored to play a larger role in that change as the Alzeheimer’s Association Ambassador to Congressman Griffith’s office,” adds Gearhart.
Warm Hearth Village is a nonprofit senior living community in Blacksburg that provides a full continuum of living options on our campus and in the home.  For additional information, visit our website at

Carilion Clinic today announced that its newest Carilion Children’s Pediatric Medicine clinic will open this Thursday, Feb. 18, in Rocky Mount. The new location will fill a community need since Rocky Mount’s only pediatric clinic closed more than a year ago when its pediatrician retired.

“We’ve heard from the community how important it is to have a pediatric clinic in Franklin County,” said Alice Ackerman, M.D., chair of pediatric medicine at Carilion Clinic. “And we’re thrilled that Dr. Self has joined our team to care for children in Rocky Mount.”

Carilion Children’s Pediatric Medicine is located at 490 S. Main Street in Rocky Mount. Dr. Kathryn Self, a U.S. Navy veteran, has been seeing patients in Roanoke while the Rocky Mount clinic was being renovated. Beginning Thursday, she will see patients in Rocky Mount.

“The health of our children is a fundamental building block of our community.” said Kathryn Self, M.D. “And, I’m grateful to be living and working in such a wonderful place.”

Carilion Children’s is focused on providing expert and compassionate clinical care to make sure each generation is healthier than the last.

To reach Carilion Children’s Pediatric Medicine in Rocky Mount, call 540-484-0350.

In its continuing focus on improving the health of the communities it serves, Carilion Clinic today announced that it will open its next Carilion Wellness facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Blacksburg this April.
“Carilion Clinic and Carilion Wellness are investing in the New River Valley,” said Bud Grey, Carilion Clinic’s vice president of wellness. “Our neighbors and colleagues have long asked us to put a wellness center here. Working with the Corporate Research Center to expand exercise opportunities is a logical partnership for both organizations.”
The 4,800 square-foot space located at 1715 Pratt Drive is currently managed by the Weight Club. They will move out later this month.  The space will be renovated over the course of the following weeks to accommodate expanded offerings and new equipment.
“We have been meticulous about the types of offerings available to businesses at the Corporate Research Center,” said Joe Meredith, president of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. “Businesses understand the value of a healthy and happy workforce. Adding Carilion Wellness to our community will help us attract new companies and retain the ones we have.”
Details of the offerings at the newest Carilion Wellness location are still being determined, but will include:

  •     Expanded hours of operation: M-F, 5:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; S-S, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  •     Fitness-on-demand group exercise classes
  •     Expansion of Carilion’s popular Fit Rx program to the New River Valley
  •     Free annual flu shots for members
  •     Month-to-month memberships, $30 per individual or $42 per household for the first 90 days, $35/$45 following the first 12 months.
  •     For members of Carilion Wellness in Roanoke and Botetourt, reciprocal membership at Carilion Wellness at the CRC.
  •     For members of Carilion Wellness at the CRC, five visits per month at Carilion Wellness in Roanoke and Botetourt.
  •     20 percent discounts on memberships for CRC and Carilion Clinic employees.
  •     Hokie Passport accepted
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