Hannibal Regional News

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System News Archive

Ask the Expert: What is Polypharmacy? Bookmark

Hannibal, MO -- Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications by a patient. The minimum number of medications used to define polypharmacy varies, but usually ranges from five to ten. To decrease the risk of medication-related problems and being prescribed multiple medications for the same symptoms, patients should always review their medication list with their provider at every visit.


Dr. Venkata Kada with Hannibal Regional Medical Group notes, “Taking multiple medications is associated with an increased risk for adverse drug reactions or medication-related problems, especially in the elderly. If a patient, age 65 or older, takes multiple medications, he or she is at high risk for medication-related problems and there are several contributing factors.”  Sometimes medicine can create a side effect which presents itself as a new symptom or condition; treating that new symptom with another medicine will unnecessarily increase the number of medications and medication-related problems, which is referred to as prescription cascade.


An elderly patient is more likely to receive care from several physicians and each of them may prescribe a different medication.  As a geriatric board certified physician, Dr. Kada has a deep understanding of the biology of aging as well as extensive knowledge of its associated diseases and conditions.  Dr Kada shares, “Physiologic changes associated with aging affect drug metabolism and increase the risk of medication-related problems. These changes, along with the use of multiple medications, increase the risk of adverse interactions between medications.”

Criteria have been developed by experts to assess inappropriate medication use in older adult individuals. The most widely used benchmarks for inappropriate medications are the Beers criteria, which can help avoid inappropriate use of medications in the elderly, including certain over-the-counter products.  Dr. Kada says, “To avoid inappropriate use of medications, it is important to talk with your physician before taking any over-the-counter drugs.”  Multiple medications are often required to treat complex medical problems and to meet disease-specific clinical practice guidelines. Discussion with your physician about these issues will help avoid over-prescribing, under-prescribing and other medication-related problems.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kada call 573-629-3440

Hannibal Regional Medical Group to Break Ground on New Facility in Bowling Green Bookmark

Bowling Green ExpansionBowling Green, MO --Hannibal Regional Medical Group is pleased to announce that in the fall of 2017 Pike Medical Clinic will have a new home. Pike Medical Clinic will be moving to a brand new facility located by the Bowling Green Walmart and will provide care during evenings and weekends as well as offer specialty services.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is committed to fulfilling the health care needs of the community.  “We will be able to provide longer hours and build on Pike Medical’s legacy of service to the community by bringing a specialized team of providers to support the Pike Medical team.” shares Kurt Ebers, Clinic Administrator at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  “We put an emphasis on helping our patients find better health and we’re committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the community.”

Dr. Onik, Dr. Pitney, Jennifer Chandler, FNP-BC and Sean Weaver, FNP-C will continue to serve the community at the new location and at the Pike Medical Clinic in Louisiana.  The new, larger facility will provide space for specialty services and diagnostic testing.  Once the new facility is completed the Pike Medical team will begin offering after-hours medical care.  The team at Pike Medical will be available during the evenings and weekends for basic medical needs.

As part of the Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Hannibal Regional Medical Group (HRMG) is a growing multi-specialty physician group continuing to expand primary and specialty care services to meet the health needs of northeast Missouri and west central Illinois residents. HRMG primary and specialty physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, they also provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hannibal Regional Medical Group has locations in Bowling Green, Canton, Hannibal, Louisiana, Monroe City, and Shelbina, as well as an Express Care clinic and a Vision Institute in Hannibal.

Stroke Awareness Bookmark

By: Marie Frankenbach, BSN, RN, Stroke Educator
Hannibal Regional

Did you know that in the United States, approximately 800,000 individuals have strokes each year? Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America, killing nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s 1 in every 20 deaths. However, early treatment and preventative measures can reduce the brain damage that occurs as the result of a stroke.

Stroke usually refers to the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood flow to the brain. When this occurs, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Damage from a stroke may be temporary or permanent. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain, how much the brain is damaged, how quickly treatment begins, and other factors.

Strokes can be classified into two major categories: ischemic (lack of blood) and hemorrhagic (bleeding). Approximately 87% of all strokes are ischemic and the rest are hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the brain. If the artery remains blocked for more than a few minutes, the brain can become damaged. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood vessels in the brain leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain or around the brain.

A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is often called a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke”. The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. Symptoms are exactly the same as stroke, but usually last less than five minutes. Even if symptoms go away, emergency help should be called immediately. A TIA is a warning sign that a person is at high risk for a stroke.

Stroke can occur at any age. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and take immediate action. Classic stroke symptoms can be remembered by the acronym FAST. This stands for:

(1) Face – sudden weakness or droopiness of the face, problems with vision
(2) Arm – sudden weakness or numbness of one or both arms
(3) Speech – difficulty speaking, slurred speech, or garbled speech
(4) Time – time is very important in stroke treatment. Time is Brain, call 911!

The quicker treatment can begin, the more successful the outcome.

It is very important to note the time the first stroke symptoms began because this could influence potential treatment. Stroke victims who receive treatment within specific time frames from the time symptoms begin are more likely to survive and recover more quickly and are less likely to have permanent disabilities.
The treatment of a stroke depends upon the type of stroke, the time that has passed since the first symptoms occurred, and the patient’s other medical problems. For individuals who have an ischemic stroke, the goal of treatment is to restore blood flow to the affected area of the brain as quickly as possible. TPA, sometimes called a “clot buster”, can be given preferably within three hours upon the onset of symptoms. Stroke patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost three times more likely to recover with little or no disability.

The American Stroke Association/American Heart Association updated guidelines for acute ischemic stroke to recommend the use of stent retrievers for eligible patients. While tPA is a drug to dissolve a clot, a stent retriever is a medical device used to pull it out. Continued treatment for the stroke patient includes secondary prevention with medications such as aspirin, warfarin, and certain cholesterol-lowering medications. In some cases, physical, occupational, or speech therapies may help patients recovering from stroke.
In order to lower your risk for stroke, you should take your medications appropriately, follow up with your physicians as directed, and make lifestyle changes which may decrease risk factors for recurrent stroke. Some risk factors include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco/alcohol/illegal drug use, physical inactivity, and obesity. It is important to work with your healthcare providers to decrease your chances for stroke/TIA as much as possible.

If you are experiencing a stroke, call 911.

Hannibal Regional Auxiliary Participates In "Adopting a Family" Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Auxiliary Participates In

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, Hannibal Regional Auxiliary wanted to help out a local family. Through partnering with a local company they were able to raise funds to help a young mother and her daughter by “adopting the family”. With the generous donations of many members and friends the auxiliary was able to purchase bedding for both the mother and daughter as well as some pillows, lots of clothing, some toys, household items and much more. Karen Sutor, President of Hannibal Regional Auxiliary said “Giving back is what our organization is all about and it is especially meaningful to know that we have had a positive impact during the holiday season.

Help us make Hannibal Regional Auxiliary even stronger! If you like to help others, organize, create, cook, network and contribute to your community, come join us as part of the Auxiliary. For more information call 573-248-5272.

Hannibal Regional and The Milk Bank Partner to Open New Milk Depot Bookmark

Hannibal Regional and The Milk Bank Partner to Open New Milk Depot
Hannibal Regional is partnering with The Milk Bank to open a new milk depot site in Missouri. This milk collection site is only the fourth in Missouri and provides a convenient drop off for women to donate their extra breast milk for processing at The Milk Bank. After processing, the milk is then delivered to fragile infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units.

“The Milk Bank hopes to continue forging partnerships with organizations throughout the Midwest in order to make the process of human milk donation easier for donor moms and families, while also helping to support breastfeeding in local communities,” stated Janice O’Rourke, Executive Director of The Milk Bank.

Hannibal Regional joins Amber Sky in Maplewood, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, and Little Flower Family Medicine in O’Fallon serving as a milk depot site.

According to the American Academy of Pediatricians, human milk is the standard food for all infants including premature and sick infants. Human milk provides optimal nutrition and unique health benefits that last beyond infancy.

Approved donors for The Milk Bank will be able to drop off their human milk donations at Hannibal Regional and from there to The Milk Bank, where it will be processed then provided to neonates throughout the Midwest. If you are interested in learning more, visit or contact: Diane Bibb, MSN, RN, IBCLC, and Lactation Consultant for Hannibal Regional Healthcare System at 573-406-2122.

The Milk Bank is a community-supported, not-for-profit organization that was launched in 2005. The Milk Bank believes that human milk is best for all babies, and through the generosity of mothers, careful screening and processing, provides human milk to fragile premature babies in neonatal/newborn intensive care units. The Milk Bank is a proud member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. For more information regarding The Milk Bank’s mission, core programs and donation opportunities, visit or call (317) 536-1670.