Wellness & Prevention


Medication refills on previous Deb Auld PA-C patients

This past April, Deb Auld retired from Family Practice at Washington County Medical Group.  With this change, all medication refills or new labs/diagnostic testing will not be able to be completed by Deb.  All the Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, and staff at Washington County Medical Group are pleased to continue supporting your healthcare needs. Please call our office today at (618) 327-2225 to get established with one of our providers as your Primary Care Provider to have continued medication management and treatment.

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Digital Mammography Department receives ACR re-accreditation

Washington County Hospital Radiology Department is excited to announce it has successfully met the quality requirements necessary to achieved the ACR three year re-accreditation for Digital Mammography. A special thank you to our Mammography Technologist, Joy Grzegorek, for all her hard work during the renewal process!!!

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May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Washington County Hospital (WCH) is teaming up with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to bring awareness about Strokes to our community during the month of May.  You may ask, “What is a Stroke?”  Per the CDC, a stroke can happen in one of two ways: Ischemic or Hemorrhagic.  An Ischemic stroke is when the blood supply to the brain is blocked and a Hemorrhagic stroke when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.  Either of these events causes brain tissue to die, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and death.

How do you know if you are risk for a stroke?

Strokes can happen to anyone at any age.  There are numerous factors that can increase your risk such as, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.  Other risks include smoking and too much alcohol consumption.  Per the CDC, approximately 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke annually.

What are the signs and symptoms of a stoke?

The easiest way to remember the most common signs of a stroke is with the acronym F.A.S.T.

F = Face drooping: Ask a person to smile. Does one side droop?

A = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = Speech difficulty:  Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?

T = Time to call 9-1-1:  If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Stroke treatment can begin in the ambulance.

Some other common signs of a stroke might include, sudden dizziness, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, a sudden severe headache with no known cause, sudden confusion, or sudden numbness to face, arm, or legs.

How is a stroke diagnosed and treated?

Your doctor can perform several different diagnostic tests, which include, computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  If you have had a stroke you may receive emergency care, treatment to help prevent another stroke, and rehabilitation to help regain any skills you may have lost.

Please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts_stroke.htm for more information about stokes symptoms and prevention.

WCH Generates $32.3 Million Annual Impact on the State’s Economy

Employs 122 people; generates additional 172 jobs for the community 

Washington County Hospital is a key contributor to Illinois’ economy, creating good-paying jobs to bolster working families while enhancing the health and well-being of the communities we serve. According to a new report, Washington County Hospital provides 294 direct and indirect jobs for the community, and generates a total annual impact of $32.3 million on the state economy.

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WCH Nursing Care Center Identifies a Positive COVID-19 Case

Washington County Hospital has identified a positive COVID19 case within their Nursing Care Center, which is a long-term care unit. While extensive precautions have been taken over the last many weeks to best protect the residents of the unit, one resident was identified as positive on Saturday, April 18th. All families of the residents and on the unit, and unit staff, have been notified. Washington County Hospital has been actively working with the Washington County Public Health Department through the initial testing and follow-up testing/evaluation that is taking place.

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Visitor Restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to heighten concern with increasing cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and our region, WCH has made the decision to implement a more rigid visitor restriction.

No visitor policy implemented on Long Term Care.

Emergency Department- one support visitor only no swapping in and out, must be the same person the entire time ( only exception would be with end of life care or critically ill)

Patients undergoing surgery or procedures – one support visitor only

Med/Surg- no visitors (only exception would be with end of life care or change in patient status)

Rural Health Clinic- one support person only with patient.

Also if you do plan to visit our facility please arrive a few minutes early. ** You will be asked 3 screening questions and your temperature will be checked.**

By placing these restrictions we are maintaining our commitment to care for our patients, residents, staff, and community, especially those most vulnerable amongst us. If you have any questions or are seeking clarification please contact nursing leadership or our emergency preparedness coordinator.  Communication is key to our continued success in providing safe and effective care to our patients and residents. Thank you for your continued patience and participation in this challenging time.

Stacie Hodge RN, DON 618-327-2672

Tabitha Lane- Emergency Preparedness Coordinator- 618-327-2626


A message from Dr. Ginger Fewell in regards to COVID-19

I have been asked to discuss the current outbreak of COVID-19 in our community and hopefully give you some answers to concerns you may be having.

We all have been asked to stay at home because staying home is important to limit further spread of this virus that is already in our community, in an effort to protect the most vulnerable among us. Most people who become ill due to the coronavirus will be able to care for themselves at home just as they would when they get the flu. You should consult your doctor if you have fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms that are not getting better after three to four days. In most cases, testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 is not necessary because it will not change the way your doctor cares for you. For certain individuals that are at higher risk a test may be done to help inform decisions in care. Because this virus has already made it to our community testing people who do not have symptoms will no longer stem the spread and with the still limited supply of test kits it is important to prioritize testing for those who are at higher risk of serious illness. You and your doctor or health care provider can work together to determine if you would benefit from a test.

In the event that you need to stay home due to illness it is ok to call your doctor to discuss ways to control symptoms and what to look out for if you are worried but remember most cases are mild. While at home separate yourself from other people in the home as much as possible. It is still recommended to limit contact with pets and animals. If you must care for your animals just make sure to wash your hands before you interact with them.

People who care for themselves at home may stop self-isolation when you have had no fever for 3 full days without using fever-reducing medicine AND your other symptoms have improved AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you do need to visit your doctor’s office please call ahead and you will be given instructions for arrival. You will be asked to wear a mask before entering and may be guided to a special room.

Some symptoms of more serious illness needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. If you need to call 911 please let the operator know that you may have COVID-19 so that first responders can take appropriate protective measures.

Please be reassured that Washington County Hospital continues to remain open and operational throughout this event. We are here to answer your questions and soon will also be able to have video visits with patients to make it easier to get your routine care in addition to care for acute illnesses. Our phone numbers are listed with this video link.

Dr. Ginger Fewell