In Touch with You Blog
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Stroke is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States. Anyone can have a stroke at any age. 700,000 people per year experience a new or recurrent stroke. Every three minutes, someone in the United States dies from a stroke. Recognize and control risk factors for stroke for this is key in stroke prevention. Remember 80% of strokes are preventable.
April is World Autism Awareness Month, a global effort to raise awareness and attention on the issues affecting those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. and costs families $60,000 a year on average. Even though autism is widespread, awareness about the condition is not.
Most people associate poor heart health with the elderly, but proper care of the heart should start at a young age. Signs of heart disease can begin to appear at childhood, especially if the child is overweight. Childhood obesity in the United States has become a problem in recent years. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, between 16% and 33% of children and teenagers are obese. As a result, there has been a sharp rise in obesity-related problems like type 2 diabetes, which is usually seen only in adults. Because obese children are more likely to be obese adults, preventing obesity in childhood may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related diseases.
For years during Heart month we have talked about how we have the power to prevent heart disease and stroke by knowing the importance of eating well and exercising, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and smoking cessation.
We also have the power to ACT in the event of an emergency.
This year, as we celebrate Heart month, we are drawing attention to our important partnership with the Emergency Department and Emergency Medical Service providers in our region and what you can do in the event of a cardiovascular emergency.
YOU play a significant role in an emergency…Be prepared!
Yesterday, at our Cancer Care Center’s Holiday Open-House the Ladies’ Plastic Golf Organization presented the Foundation with a check for $33,000 from this year’s golf tournament! This dedicated group of ladies has been donating to our Breast Health Fund for the past 13 years. In 1999, Dee Ketner reached out to the Cancer Care Center because her sister in Massachusetts was diagnosed with breast cancer and she wanted information and ways to give her support. Our breast health nurse, Martha Osborne, RN, met with her and gave her the information she needed and explained ways that Dee could support her sister even though she was 3,000 miles away.
The California State-wide disaster drill was held last week and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center participated in a big way! We activated the Hospital Incident Command (HIC) and implement a response for a major earthquake on the nearby San Andreas Fault.
Just stating the obvious – The death of a friend, especially a co-worker at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, is so tough. Even though this happened some five years ago I always think of this friend during October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. October is now behind us and the Hospital certainly did a lot to promote Breast Cancer Awareness, but did we do enough?
I was listening to a song in the car the other day about heroes and it got me thinking. Who is my hero? My mind traveled to historical figures, my grandparents, parents, mentors, family, co-workers and the medical personnel who have treated my husband, Ken and I. The word “hero” comes from Greek mythology meaning a mythological or legendary figure, often of divine ancestry, who is favored by the gods, endowed with great courage and strength, and celebrated for their bold exploits. Today we use the word for someone noted for courageous acts or nobility of purpose, especially one who risked or sacrificed his life. It can also be a person noted for a special achievement in a particular field. More simply, a hero is someone who has made a huge impact on your life or someone you admire greatly.
Last week the Hospital honored our Volunteers by hosting a great luncheon and program at the Candlelight Pavilion. I was honored to attend, as my husband has been a Volunteer (he drives the shuttle) for over a year now. I’ve always been lucky to have wonderful Volunteers help me out at events and for special projects – so I know how valuable they are!
I learned that over 900 Volunteers donated over 91,000 hours to the Hospital in 2011! Can you believe that??? Some other fun facts I learned: 20,000 newspapers were delivered to patients last year by Volunteers; our Junior Volunteers helped patients with 17,000 meal selection cards; and that same number of Volunteers have served over 25 years and have over 10,000 hours! What dedication is shown by these giving people on a daily basis!
It’s a time honored tradition to make resolutions as we begin another year. Usually taking better care of your health is high on the resolution list - eating better, losing weight, more exercise, we know the drill! The fact of the matter is that very few people actually manage to make a permanent change to a healthier lifestyle. There are those who don’t need to make changes, because they are already doing all the things the rest of us know we should be doing!
We are in the business of “health care” and we encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle. The reality is at any given time there are patients here who have not made healthy choices and are now battling to regain their health. Many of our Associates are very health conscious, but there are some who are so busy taking care of other people that they don’t take the time to care for themselves.
There are “awareness” months for cancer and other diseases, but November brings awareness to the caregivers – those who tend to the needs of their loved ones who are ill and unable to care for themselves.
Sometimes medical professionals are called caregivers, but I’m not referring to them in this post. Caregiver Awareness Month is dedicated to those loving people who do anything from running the occasional errand or cooking a meal to the 24/7 handling of a person in need of assistance. Caregivers put someone else’s needs before their own. It can be heart-warming to give to those you love, but it can also be an overwhelming responsibility.
I mention this because we all know someone who is going through or has gone through the struggle of having breast cancer. This awareness month reminds us of just how many people have coped with this disease that research is trying to understand in order to save more lives. Like my co-worker said: “Cancer is not for sissies.” Chemotherapy, although much improved in the last 15 years, is still a grueling process that knocks most people flat for a few days. By the time they begin to feel better, it is time for another dose of chemotherapy! It is not an easy thing to go through.
Beginning on September 3rd and going through October 2nd we will be at the LA County Fair at the “Our Body” exhibit. You will see actual bodies that have been preserved by using a special plastic solution allowing you the unique educational opportunity to see the inside of a body. Even if you have already seen this fantastic exhibit, plan to see it again! We are partnering with Inter Valley Health Plan and Western University of Health Sciences to bring a “Live Healthy” component to the exhibit this year. Even if you went last year plan on attending again, as the exhibit has new bodies and different organs/systems than were displayed last year.
There will be lots of “Did You Know” facts throughout the exhibit and on many of the days, physicians will be available to talk to you and further explain about the bodies and the individual sections/parts. Physicians and other health care professionals will be speaking on a variety of topics at different times. There will also be a video screen showing “MicroWorld” clips (why our bodies work they way they do) when a speaker isn’t available. There will be so many interesting things to see and a wealth of knowledge to be gained by visiting this exhibit.
I got good news last night when my niece phoned to say is pregnant for the first time. She is in her early 30s and in good health, so everything ought to be fine, right? The truth is, we never know. The importance pre-natal care cannot be under estimated. Finding a doctor that is compatible with you and your wishes and a hospital that offers superb medical care for you and your baby are among the first things she needs to think about. Of course vitamins, good nutrition and exercise are also very important for mom-to-be.
Women in the community are lucky that our Hospital offers so many services and programs for those who are pregnant. In addition to childbirth classes (a series or a one-day), cesarean birth preparation and maternity orientations there are special “Boot Camp” events for Dads and “Big Brother/Big Sister” classes. Since breastfeeding is the natural and most healthy way to feed a baby, we are committed to offering breastfeeding classes. Additionally lactation consultants are available if mom needs some extra help, and our Lactation Center is available for further help after they leave the hospital. And to make sure all the bases are covered, we offer Infant/Child CPR classes to empower new parents and a Safe Sitter class for 11- to 16-year-old boys and girls to teach safe babysitting techniques.
The week of August 1 – 7 has been designated world breastfeeding week so that people can learn and be reminded of the importance of breastfeeding! Many years ago, (1976) I breastfed my first son – wow things were different back then. The nurses didn’t encourage breastfeeding while I was in the hospital, in fact, I had to ask them NOT to give my baby glucose water. By the time my second son was born (1979) not much had changed…but I was more experienced and didn’t need the support that new mom’s should receive. The attitude about breastfeeding was beginning to change in 1982 when my third son was born, but it was still not where we are today in regards to acceptance and knowledge.
Breastfeeding has so many wonderful aspects. In addition to the bonding and loving that comes from breastfeeding a baby; it also may protect a mom against developing breast cancer later in life. It also makes ear infections, type 1 diabetes, diarrhea and certain types of rare childhood cancers less likely for babies. Breastfed babies are 20% less likely to die in the post neonatal period (after 28 days) and the longer a baby is breastfed, the lower the risk. The nutrients found in breast milk are responsible for the growth of a baby’s brain and nervous system. Another great benefit is mom’s who breastfeeding tend to lose more weight than mom’s who do not breastfeed.
The Hospital is hosting “Cyn in the City” on Wednesday, Jun27th from 5:30 – 8:30 pm at our Pomona Valley Health Center in Chino Hills (2140 Grand Avenue). Cynthia Moran has been holding these events for women for the last two years at different venues in Chino and Chino Hills. She always has great events with lots of prizes and wonderful food.
I’m looking forward to going because the food will be superior (Penne Pasta Salad, Crispy Shrimp with mango Salsa, Cheese Fondue Cups, Goat Cheese Ravioli and a selection of Petit Fours for dessert) and wine will be served! In addition to the food, there will be music, tours of the facility and short informational talks from our physicians regarding women’s issues. Best of all PRIZES! Lots, and lots of great prizes and a fun goodie bag for the first 50 ladies to arrive! This is an over 21 ladies night out, so no children please!
Stop by for a little bit or a long while, and bring a friend for even more fun! You can call 909.865.9129 for more information. Reservations are not required. Hope to see you there!
We are in the “hot days of summer,” and I recently spent a day away from my routine. I’m usually pretty good about drinking water while working at my desk, but we all have those times when life gets crazy and we don’t do the things we would normally do to take care of ourselves. SO, I drank a couple of cans of diet soda and not one sip of water all day! Boy did I feel bad that evening and even the following day! I never realized how important keeping well hydrated is to my body.
The American Dietetic Society states that we need to drink eight to nine 8-oz. glasses of water every day. That’s when we aren’t overly hot and sweating! Ceclia Silva, BA from our Stead Cardiac and Wellness Center explained that there are two ways to tell if you are dehydrated: “First is if your urine is yellow and the other is if you are feeling thirsty, because that means you are already past being well hydrated.”
I wanted to share a story about one of our nurses, Jody Kelly who works in Labor and Delivery. On Sunday May 8th, 2011(Mother’s Day) she saw a Bowers Ambulance crash into a pole on the San Bernardino Fwy. The accident happened at about 6:10 a.m. as she was on her way to work. The crash caused a 20 ft. piece of guard rail to fly onto the freeway as the demolished ambulance came to a stop.
Jody pulled over and ran to help the Bowers employee (a male) in the back of the ambulance. He had suffered traumatic injuries and was in full arrest. Jody managed to open the back of the ambulance and immediately began to perform CPR on this young gentleman. As she was performing CPR, the guard rail that had flown onto the freeway was hit by another car and flew into the rear side of the ambulance startling Jody (and probably scaring her tremendously!) but she continued CPR. The flying guard rail hitting the ambulance was witnessed by the Ontario Fire Department crew who responded to the accident. Upon reaching the scene, Fire Captain Mike Mondino and his team relieved Jody of her CPR efforts and were able to establish a pulse. As they loaded the ambulance worker into the fire vehicle Cpt. Mondino had a quick minute to talk to Jody and get some basic information from her.
I know it isn’t Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but last week when a co-worker told me that she was called back for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound to ”have a better look,” my first response was “That happens frequently – it is probably nothing.” When she told me she needed a biopsy I said,”Eighty percent of biopsies come back negative for cancer.” Because I worked at The Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center for 17 years and because I have some personal experience with cancer, I just crossed my fingers that everything would turn out to be “just a little scare” for her.
I was wrong. Her positive diagnosis of DCIS (ductal carcinomia insitu) was upsetting, naturally to my co-worker and all of her family and friends. Although her cancer was found at the earliest, most treatable stage, it still requires her to have a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy.
Food Collection for the Needy held during National Hospital Week -
We all know what state the economy is, and there are many people who depend on local food banks to keep their family from going hungry. A food donation drive, recently held by the staff, physicians and volunteers successfully collected 5,365 pounds of packaged and canned foods for the needy.
The food drive was held during National Hospital Week from May 9-13. Twenty-nine cardboard containers, donated by Waste Management, were filled by hospital personnel. Hospital staff and volunteers spent two weeks collecting the food-filled containers and then sorting the foods for donation to four local charities.
Unless you are a youngster or don’t believe in taking vitamins, almost everyone takes medication or vitamin supplements. Could you tell someone what the name of your medication/supplement is? How often and when you take it? What dosage it is? Even if you could, what if there was an emergency and you or your loved one - during the stress of the moment - couldn’t remember? I am advocating that EVERYONE carry a copy of the list of medications/supplements you are taking in your wallet or purse. And, be sure to know where your loved ones keep their lists!
If you read my last blog, you would know that I had to call 911 when I came home to find my husband very sick. When the paramedics arrived and started asking me questions, I was understandably nervous and anxious. When they asked what medication he takes (which is a lot, as he is a diabetic and has other health issues) I immediately said I don’t know, but I can get you a list. I ran upstairs, opened his wallet and found the list! The paramedics appreciated the list and they were immediately able to communicate about his medication with the hospital before he even arrived at the emergency room! I took the list with me, as it came in handy when the ER doctor asked about medications and when the Critical Care on-call doctor came to see him before he was admitted to the ICU.
Please everyone – take a moment to record the medications/supplements you are taking along with the dosage and when you take it (how many times a day or a.m./p.m.). Tell your loved ones to do it also, and find out where they keep their list. You never know when you will need it!
I’m not surprised – my husband recently came into the ER by paramedics after I called 911. When I’d gotten home from work that day I found him weak and unable to talk. It was a Monday in the late afternoon, you wouldn’t think that it would be a busy time in the ER, but it was packed! They immediately assigned him a bed, and a team of people began assessing him and asking me questions. The smiling face of a Case Coordinator came and asked how I was doing and lent me a shoulder to express my worries. Back to the ER team! The doctor was extremely thorough, and after my husband was screened for a stroke they determined he was a “gold” alert. They explained that that alert was for sepsis (a bad infection).
This morning my best girlfriend and a co-worker here at the Hospital called to tell me her Mother died during the night.
4th Annual Power of Red Luncheon – Wear it! Feel it! Live it!