Romney resident Bernard Bowman will turn 82 later this month. Since his
first heart pacemaker implant 11 years ago he has taken a blood thinner
every day and had his blood tested in Winchester once a month. To his
delight, in October he was able to eliminate his commute and receive the
care he needs locally at Valley Health Hampshire Memorial Hospital’s
Anti-Coagulation Management Program.
Individuals may be prescribed anti-coagulants Coumadin or warfarin to treat
atrial fibrillation, heart valve issues, pulmonary embolism, deep vein
thrombosis (DVT) or during recovery from a heart procedure. The medication
thins the blood and prevents the formation of clots inside blood vessels.
Testing the blood for prothombin time (“Protime”) and international
normalized ratio (INR) is vital to maintaining the balance between clotting
In its first three months, the Hampshire Memorial Hospital program has
drawn more than 20 patients who previously travelled regularly to Winchester
or Cumberland for monitoring. Three experienced nurses -- Valerie Starcher,
RN, Rebecca Ravenscroft, RN, and Elizabeth Voit, RN--completed a special
six-week certification class and continue to work closely with staff at
Valley Health Winchester Medical Center’s established program.
“Having a service like this close to home is so important for our
patients,” explains Starcher. “We are able to offer immediate
results on their blood work, review their dosages, discuss dietary changes,
and provide additional education and handouts if needed.”
Bowman diligently takes daily Coumadin, monitors his blood levels monthly
and reports he has never had a problem. “I’m very happy I
don’t have to drive anywhere to get it checked,” he says.
“The Hampshire nurses are great and everyone works well together.”
To learn more about anti-coagulation management at Hampshire Memorial Hospital,
call 304-822-2193 or visit