August 24, 2014
Lawrence Memorial Hospital is a major sponsor of WellCommons.
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A swimming pool is one of those perfect places to be this time of year. It can be a cool and relaxing respite from the summer’s heat. But a Lawrence Memorial Hospital emergency medicine physician urges parents who accompany their children to the pool never to relax
A six-week series of workshops designed for people who are managing one or more chronic health conditions starts Thursday.
It’s abundantly clear to most Americans that we are a sleep-deprived nation. But few of us fully understand the negative impact that lack of sleep is having on our overall health and well-being.
Some mild forgetfulness is normal as we age. But if you think you or a loved one is experiencing more serious cognitive function issues, including memory problems, it is important to see your doctor.
As we get older, it sometimes becomes more challenging to do things like bending over to pick up the newspaper from the driveway or reaching up to retrieve something from a kitchen cabinet. Being flexible enough to continue to engage in daily tasks such as these is important to maintain your independence and quality of life.
Fast action key to reducing level of potential disability
With more than 795,000 strokes occurring every year in the United States, it is important to understand how to prevent strokes and how to react if one occurs.
There wasn’t any hesitation. Not if two little girls — one in south-central Wisconsin, one in eastern Kansas — were asked the question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
This month’s Senior Seminar program at Lawrence Memorial Hospital will focus on edema in older adults.
Pain is complex. We usually think of pain as being simple; for example, you sprain your ankle and now you have pain. It makes sense to assume if you hurt or damage your body, then you will have pain. But what about those times you have pain without a cause?
March is annually recognized as National Nutrition Month. Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this month is an opportunity to learn more about the importance of making informed food choices and developing and maintaining healthy eating and physical activity practices.
Most likely, all of us have been affected at some point in our lives by heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease. If not through a personal experience, then likely by the experience of a friend or loved one.
When it begins — the cough, runny nose, and possibly fever — it seems reasonable to think that your child has the common cold to which everyone is prone at this time of year. However, for some children, especially infants, those symptoms can be the early indications of a more serious virus — respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
The fear of falling is common as we age. We feel the loss of freedom of movement as our joints become tighter and we need to work harder to maintain strength and balance. How do we balance as we walk and avoid falling? How can we measure the level of our balance skills today? How do we improve our balance when it declines? Physical and occupational therapists work on balance problems and have the tools to help you answer these questions.
Success rate higher with Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based goals
Research shows that about 50 percent of people make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of those actually achieve them. There are multiple reasons for failure, including not developing a well thought out plan about how to achieve the goal or making goals that are too complex or too lofty for success.
Our brains are constantly bombarded with images and information, and we live in a fast-paced society. With so much stimulation, it is normal to occasionally become “overloaded” and forget small things. However, when forgetfulness and confusion interfere with our daily living, it may be time to visit the doctor.
Wondering what to get those hard-to-shop-for people on your holiday shopping list? Consider “gifting” them with items or services to improve their health and wellness. Here are some suggestions.
Last year at about this time, the U.S. surgeon general wrote a prescription for all Americans, especially those who are sedentary. The prescription? Take a walk.
The hip is the largest joint in the body and, when working properly, it’s a thing of wonder — able to support forces equal to three times a person’s body weight and to allow the leg to swing backward and forward, to flex and twist, to bend and to pivot. As a ball and socket joint, the hip provides flexibility, power and the ability to propel us from a sitting position, to stand, walk, run and climb stairs.
Although there is no cure for hypertension, it can usually be managed by leading a healthy lifestyle and by taking prescription medications. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a “Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent and Assist in Managing Hypertension” program to share information with the community.
To recognize World Breastfeeding Week on Aug. 1 through 7, the Breastfeeding Coalition of Douglas County has planned an event to increase support for breastfeeding families and help them celebrate.
What we eat can affect overall health and well-being. It is especially important for older adults, who often have special nutritional needs due to the changes of aging. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a free educational program about the “Nutritional Concerns of Older Adults” on July 19. LMH Registered Dietitian Barbara Hermreck will share information at the monthly Senior Supper and Seminar event.
Did you know that Dodge City is listed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the windiest city in the United States, with an average daily wind speed of 13.9 miles per hour?
The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 54 million people in the United States have either the disease osteoporosis or low bone mass, also known as osteopenia, which if left untreated could go on to become osteoporosis.
We have long known that our bodies are colonized by microorganisms, but only recently are beginning to understand the central role they might play in our health and development of diseases. The microbiome consists of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, although the main focus of attention has been on bacteria. These organisms live on our skin and inside our bodies. The largest bulk of them are in our gut, especially the large intestine, where they make up a combined weight of about 3 pounds; the same weight as the human brain. They are so numerous that in our bodies, human cells are outnumbered 10 to 1.
Today marks my last day as CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Over the past several months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback that I’ve had on what we’ve been able to accomplish at LMH. As appreciative as I am to hear this, too often the CEO of an organization is given too much credit for the accomplishments of many. That is the purpose of this brief article.
The Friday before Memorial Day — this year, May 27 — is known as Don’t Fry Day. This day is to emphasize awareness of the importance of sun protection. Here are some facts and information to help you learn more about keeping yourself safe from the sun’s damaging effects. According to the American Cancer Society, each year more than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. It is estimated that by age 65, 50 percent of people will have had at least one skin cancer. Another 60,000 people are diagnosed yearly with melanoma, a more serious cancer. Both of these cancers have a strong causal link to excess sun exposure.
The fact is, the older we get, the more we should participate in increased physical activity and targeted exercises. Even those with health issues can significantly improve their health status by exercising regularly.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital celebrating National Hospital Week
This is the week staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital join hospitals across the country in celebrating National Hospital Week. Dating back to 1921, the concept was suggested by a magazine editor who hoped a community-wide celebration would alleviate public fears about hospitals. Coincidentally, LMH was founded in 1921.
Being overweight or obese affects more than two-thirds of the American population. With those numbers growing, it is more important than ever to think seriously about working to get and keep your weight within a healthy range.
As National Volunteer Month — a time to celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round — winds down, Lawrence Memorial Hospital recognizes the vital role volunteers have in supporting quality health care in our community.
Saturday in Lawrence promises to be a day of fun and learning about healthy foods for families and individuals.
Many of us take a lot of care and time planning important events in our lives, such as when to purchase a car or home, where we will travel for vacations and when we will retire.
Right now, nearly 600 Kansans need life-saving organs. According to Donate Life Kansas, thousands more are waiting for tissue or corneal transplants to improve their quality of life.
According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 60,000 Americans will be diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2016. Although these cancers of the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and mouth make up about 3 percent of all cancers in the United States, they have devastating effects on a person’s breathing, eating and speaking, and can also distort appearance.
In recognition of March being National Nutrition Month, Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering two nutrition education programs at the new LMH Performance and Wellness Center at Sports Pavilion Lawrence.
When Lawrence resident Joanne (Jo) Edman, 76, was just a child, she decided she wanted to be healthy with a positive attitude. Learning she had a thyroid condition didn’t change anything, because that early decision had become a way of life for her. Imagine her surprise when a yearly physical in 1997 ended with open heart surgery for mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve abnormality.
When the renovated Center for Rehabilitation unit reopens on the fourth floor of Lawrence Memorial Hospital next week, patients and visitors will be greeted with a fresh new look highlighted by private rooms, open dining, a home-like family gathering area, a therapy gym and even an apartment to practice daily living skills.
The Roman poet Virgil said it best centuries ago: “The greatest wealth is health.” We probably know what we all should be doing to improve and maintain our health. While genetics plays a role in some health conditions, there are many simple actions you can take daily to prevent them from occurring.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America, accounting for about one in three deaths every year. Keeping your heart in tip-top shape involves several strategies, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your heart numbers within healthy ranges.
The heart is a muscle, and it’s clearly the most important muscle in your body. Composed of a special type of tissue found nowhere else in the body, the heart muscle is made to beat powerfully and continuously minute after minute, day after day, without rest, for your entire life.
Whether a student athlete wanting to improve strength, a senior citizen wanting to maintain balance or someone just wanting to make healthy lifestyle changes, the new LMH Performance and Wellness Center at Sports Pavilion Lawrence was created to fulfill a mission to offer health and wellness programs for the community.
Have you been thinking about making wellness changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, learning to better manage stress, eating more healthfully, or stopping smoking? Perhaps you have been on a merry-go-round year after year with plans to make these same changes that never quite materialize or don’t last too long. It may be time to consider using the support and guidance of a wellness coach.
It is almost New Year’s resolution time for many. Many people are anxious at the beginning of a new year to drastically transform their lifestyles. They may want to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking and better manage stress. When making any lifestyle changes, try starting with just one or two easily achievable goals and make them SMART.
The holidays are often the times families come together to celebrate. They can also be a perfect opportunity for conversations and to make your decisions known about the kinds of medical care you’d want if something happens to you and you can’t speak for yourself.
The deadline for Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment for coverage to be effective Jan. 1 is just a week away. And the federal tax penalties for not having coverage for 2016 are the highest yet, which by design are meant to encourage eligible uninsured to enroll.
Many individuals who have experienced a loss, either from death, divorce or a move far away from loved ones, may actually approach the holiday season with a sense of dread. There is no right or wrong way to handle the holiday season. Some find comfort in engaging in familiar traditions and rituals, while others may wish to entirely change the way things are done. Do what feels best and right for you and your family, with no apologies needed.
Maybe you know that your mother had diabetes late in life, or that your father died in his sleep, presumably because of a silent heart attack or stroke. But how about the rest of your family health history? How much do you know? The winter holidays offer a chance to start gathering some of that information.
The 40th annual observance of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday is a challenge to the 43 million smokers in the United States to stop for at least 24 hours. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get smoke out of our lives for good.
Wednesday is National Eating Healthy Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Each year on this day, millions of Americans will pledge to take steps toward living a healthier life. Will you consider joining them?
Because of changes recently occurring with a number of physicians in the community, you may find yourself searching for a new doctor. What do people look for in a doctor? The best medical treatment, of course, but also a willingness to listen, answer questions and respond to concerns in a manner that makes you comfortable.
November is Diabetes Awareness month. To promote awareness and education about this major health problem, Lawrence Memorial Hospital is hosting a special educational program on Nov. 11. The public is invited to come and enjoy a complimentary meal while exploring the latest information and trends in diabetes care.
Vein problems can hurt and interfere with your daily activities for the rest of your life if you don’t do something about it. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, by the age of 50, nearly 40 percent of women and 20 percent of men have significant leg vein problems.
From 5 to 20 percent of the population are infected each year with influenza, and 20,000 to 50,000 die. “The best thing you can do to protect yourself is widely known,” notes Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher. “Get a flu shot.” It’s as simple, easy and important as fastening your seat belt when you get in a car. Yet only about 40 percent of Americans do so in any given year.
Knowing if you are at risk of developing breast cancer is an essential part of breast health. Discovering if risk factors are present is key to preventing or identifying the disease early.
A documentary that looks at the state of maternal mental health in our country will be shown for free at the Lawrence Arts Center this weekend.
Older drivers are often safe drivers, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Statistically, they are the most likely to use seat belts and the least likely to speed or to drink and drive.
The Lawrence Memorial Hospital annual health fair, a community tradition that attracts more than 1,000 people, is set for Saturday, Sept. 26.
Medical experts have started to refer to long periods of physical inactivity, being sedentary and their related health consequences as “sitting disease.” Mayo Clinic experts have even been quoted as saying “sitting is the new smoking” when it comes to serious health consequences.
According to the American Cancer Society, it would be helpful if our bodies gave us a clear message when we had cancer, but unfortunately they do not. Since cancer is actually a group of diseases that can cause a variety of different signs and symptoms in various locations depending on where it began or has spread to in the body, it is a little more complicated.
About 30 percent of Americans will get shingles at some time in their lives. Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox.
Summertime and the living is easy. To keep it that way, Lawrence Memorial Hospital urges you to remember some important safety tips to stay out of the emergency room.
It’s that time of year when people participate in more outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, fishing and gardening. But beware! Too much time spent in the hot sun can occasionally lead to heat disorders. Caleb Trent, a board-certified emergency physician at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, says the best advice for avoiding heat-related conditions is to use common sense and know your limitations.
Twenty-five million American adults experience some form of urinary incontinence. If you count yourself in that number, you may not be comfortable admitting it or discussing it, even with your health care provider. But Dr. Jon Heeb of Lawrence Urology offers hope and good news.
Why do so many of us like or even crave sweet drinks and treats? There may be lots of reasons including evidence that we are wired from early infancy onward to prefer the taste of sweet over other flavors.
Misusing fireworks this Fourth of July can quickly turn your summertime into bummer time.
Many of us need to get in shape, but how do you start? One of the most time-effective, low-cost ways to get moving is to begin a walking program.
Varicose veins typically develop when valves in the veins become weak or damaged. This can cause blood to pool in the veins, making them expand and become weak. Similar to varicose veins but much smaller, spider veins are thin, threadlike veins that lie close to the skin’s surface. Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood, hormone changes, exposure to the sun or injury.
Although about 54 million Americans likely have osteoporosis or osteopenia, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, many are not aware of this. To increase awareness, Joan Brunfeldt, MD, of the Reed Medical Group, will present “No Bones About It; Diagnosis and Treatment Overview of Osteoporosis” at the next Senior Supper and Seminar program on Tuesday, June 16, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Recent studies have found that many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which is crucial to bone health and has many other health benefits. As a major source of vitamin D, sunlight is definitely your friend. But skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States with more than two million Americans being diagnosed each year. As the number one environmental risk factor for skin cancer, sunlight is pretty clearly your enemy.
Lack of sleep can leave us cranky and inefficient at work, but did you know it can lead to serious medical problems including stroke and heart attack? If it is hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, you may have a sleep disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health. People who wake up tired or feel very sleepy during the day may also have an issue.
To coincide with Florence Nightingale's birthday on May 12, National Nurses Week is May 6-12. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is pleased to join the nation in celebrating the dedication of nurses. Our theme this year is “Nursing: A Profession and a Passion.”
Patients affected by stroke, hip fractures and other debilitating illnesses or injuries are finding hope for returning to a normal lifestyle with the help of the acute rehabilitation unit at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The 12-bed unit is known as the Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness.
Recruitment of well-qualified physicians and health care providers to serve the community’s medical needs well into the future is a primary focus of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
April is the 12th annual National Donate Life Month. The celebration commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants, and honors the heroes that have given the gift of life as organ, eye and tissue donors.
April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day is set aside to inspire and educate people about the importance of advance care planning. It is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. Adults can express these wishes by creating advance directives, which come in two main forms. One is the durable power of attorney; the other is a living will.
Knowing if you are at risk of developing breast cancer is an essential part of your breast health. Discovering if risk factors are present is key to preventing or identifying the disease early. For this reason, breast health screenings at the LMH Breast Center now include administration of a family health questionnaire based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.
Whenever they inquire about colorectal cancer screening, doctors are accustomed to hearing excuses. “Not right now,” the patient may say or “I’ll think about it.” These patients may be anxious about embarrassment or perceived pain or discomfort. They may think they are at low risk because they have had no symptoms.
For the third year in a row, Lawrence Memorial Hospital has earned its place among the nation’s top 100 hospitals. As a recipient of the 2015 Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals award, the hospital is proud to to rank highly among nearly 3,000 acute care hospitals nationwide. We are in the national top 20 for organizations our size, and we are the only hospital in Kansas to achieve this distinction for the past three consecutive years.
More than one third of children or adolescents in the United States were overweight or obese in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Much has changed to improve the odds you’ll become a centenarian, but what does it take to reach that milestone? There are many research studies that suggest a person who follows healthy habits can expect a lifespan of 86 years or more. Life insurance companies have a pretty good handle on the factors that determine whether a person dies young or old. Some of the most important factors they track are weight or body mass index, drinking, smoking, driving record and stress management.
Heart health is a hot topic these days. Though heart disease is a serious epidemic, you can have fun testing your knowledge. Do you know if the following statements are fact or fiction?
When it comes to heart issues, we know prevention is the key. Most of us are also are aware that calling 9-1-1 immediately after we or a loved one experience the symptoms of a heart attack can save a life.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Keeping your heart in tip-top shape involves several strategies, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your heart numbers within healthy ranges.
If you’ve visited Lawrence Memorial Hospital in the last few days you’ve probably noticed a lot of people wearing masks. The hospital initiated restrictions on patient visitors because of a rapid spike in flu cases last week.
Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is a quivering or fluttering of the heart or an irregular heartbeat that affects 2.7 million Americans. It is the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm. Knowing the symptoms and treatment options for AF can help you address an issue before it’s too late.
Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. Living a heart healthy lifestyle is imperative. Ways to put this into practice include being physically active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and quitting smoking. Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers programs and services to assist you in living a heart healthy lifestyle and to help prevent you from becoming a statistic.
Cardiovascular (heart) disease is still the leading cause of death for Americans. With a new year beginning, resolve to do all that you can to maintain a healthy heart.
Making New Year’s resolutions has become an American tradition. If you are like millions of Americans, one or more of your resolutions will pertain to your health. Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers these suggestions to help make 2015 healthier and happier for you, your family and community.
If you have arthritis, exercise is probably one of the best things you can do to help manage the symptoms of the disease. Generally, even those with limited mobility can do some form of exercise.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America, claiming the lives of one in three women every year. Every woman should try to learn more about this disease and also discuss her personal risk factors and screenings tests with her healthcare provider.
Living with a chronic illness is difficult. Patients may feel anger, sadness or grief as they struggle with daily life while suffering from a chronic illness. Additionally, patients may experience symptoms related to their chronic illness such as problems with their digestive system, difficulty breathing, pain, depression, or a change in family and social dynamics. Palliative care is an area of medicine that focuses on these very issues.
Of prime importance for success when trying to kick the tobacco habit is information and support. Just quitting cold turkey may not be the most effective way to remain tobacco free. Take the time to put a quit plan in place and employ any and all assistance available. This may include counseling, on-going support, over-the-counter nicotine replacement products, and even prescription medications. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine if you might be a candidate for medications to help you quit.
Diabetes is a serious disease. It can have devastating effects on the body, but many of these issues can be avoided by managing diabetes effectively. What is diabetes? Who is at risk and who should get tested? Knowing the facts is a great place to start.
Along with all of the great new amenities and services at the newly reopened Lawrence Public Library, there is a special area devoted to health and wellness. It is called the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Health Spot. This area is a collaborative partnership between Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Lawrence Public Library.
Many people believe that arthritis is one of those things you just have to suffer through as you age. The Arthritis Foundation defines arthritis as a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that can affect people of all ages, races and genders. There are many forms of arthritis but there are two common types that affect adults.
You probably have friends and relatives who have had breast cancer. Doctors can offer no certain strategies for preventing breast cancer. But there are ways to reduce your risk factors and strengthen factors that may help protect you.
Fall is here. Shorter days, cooler weather, football season, and the annual process of selecting a health insurance plan. Whether you are choosing from employer-sponsored plans or participating in the insurance exchange, this is a key decision that affects many of us. Let's discuss several aspects of the fall enrollment season to clarify some questions.
Visit Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine, on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. for the annual LMH Health Fair. Community members are invited to take advantage of the many free screenings and exhibits. In addition, flu shots and blood work are available for a nominal fee. The following is a preview of some of the activities you can expect to see at this year’s health fair.
One of the easiest ways to get your family moving is to encourage them to walk. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. It doesn’t matter where you live or how pressed you are for time, you can walk. There is no need to wait for the gym to open; you can do it anywhere.
It is vital to seek treatment as soon as symptoms appear and to note the time. If given within three hours of the first symptom, there is an approved clot-buster medication that may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. There are also two other types of stroke treatment available that might help reduce the effects of stroke.
September is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month. To help raise awareness about blood cancers, which include leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Mario’s Closet Committee are co-sponsoring a free educational program.