calendar_2014sm

April 25, 6:00-7:00 p.mAdvance Directives. What are Advance Directives? Who needs them? How do you get them? This free class will answer all of those questions and give you the opportunity to leave the class with a completed Advance Directive document. Registration Required. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD

April 26, 4:00 p.m. Calling All Volunteers at Elkridge Branch. Make reading fun for kids and earn service learning hours. Volunteers assist HCLS instructors with the summer reading club and other tasks. To register for this orientation session, submit a volunteer application to the teen instructor at the branch where you would like to volunteer. Accepted applicants will be contacted to confirm registration. Ages 13-17. Register by calling 410.313.5088.

April 28, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Looking to Lose Weight? In part one of our Healthy Weight, Healthy You series, our certified nutritionist and dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet and promote health. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

April 29, 2013. 7-9:00 p.m.  Happiest Baby on the Block.  This class is for expectant parents and parents of babies up to 3 months old. Learn successful techniques to soothe your crying newborn and promote a more restful sleep for your infant. Parent kits included. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 29, 10:15 a.m. & 11: 30 a.m. Mini Milestones at Central Branch. Prepare your toddler as you learn about some mini-milestones. Ages 18-36 months with adult; 30 min. Limited space. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

April 30 , 7:00 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion at Glenwood Branch. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences. Refreshments. Register for each date separately. Apr 30 – Jamie Oliver. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

May 1, 2014. Howard County Library System Closed for Professional Development.


read more

calendar_2014smApril 12, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

April 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

April 16 & 17, 6:00- 9:00 p.mLiving with Diabetes: Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

April 17, 11:00 a.m. I’m Going to Be a Big Brother or Sister at Glenwood Branch. Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding your baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Well & Wise event. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579.

April 18 & 22, 8:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Living with Diabetes. If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes–or even if you have been living with diabetes for some time and would like to make a commitment to improve your health–this course will teach you how to change your habits and will give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy. Our diabetes specialists will empower you with information and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  The class is held at The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. Day classes will be held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000.

 April 22, 5:00- 6:30 p.m. Weight Loss Through Bariatric Surgery. Learn about weight loss surgery from the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. For individuals (and their friends and families) interested in learning more about the surgical weight loss options available at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. You’ll also learn about our program requirements and how to navigate the insurance approval process.  For more information and to register, call 410-550-KNOW (5669) or register online at Hopkinsmedicine.org/jhbmc/bariatric. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

 

 


read more

calendar_2014smApril 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

April 7, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

April 7, 6:30 p.m. Move with Games at Elkridge Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

April 7, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation at Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. Please bring a cushion or meditation pillow. Presented by Star Ferguson, M.Ac., L.Ac. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

April 8, 7-9:00 p.m.  Maybe Baby: Health Issues to Consider before Pregnancy. Are you considering starting a family?  If so, there are important choices to consider! Topics discussed during this free class will include information about the changes that will occur to your lifestyle, the importance of parent wellness, health care matters, and emotional, physical, environmental and social considerations. Presented by Dana Baras, M.D. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

April 8, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Elkridge Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

April 9, 2:00 p.m. Compiling Your Medical Family History at Miller Branch. Learn the first steps to preserve this potentially life-saving history. Presented by Dottie Aleshire, member of the Howard County Genealogical Society and instructor at Howard Community College and the Family History Center in Ellicott City. Cosponsored by Howard County Genealogical Society. A “History Lives” event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

April 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 12, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

 


read more

calendar_2014smMarch 29, 9:00- 11:00 a.m. Home Sweet Home (Children’s Stay Home Alone Course). Is your child almost ready to stay home alone?  What do you need to do to make it a safe environment?  What does your child need to learn before he can be left alone? This free course for parents and children ages 8-12 will teach safe and fun ways for children to stay at home alone. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 1, 12:30 p.m. Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior at Howard Community College. Charles Hoge, M.D. and Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is a national expert on post-traumatic stress disorder, mild traumatic brain injury, other war-related mental health issues and treatment strategies. Now retired from military service, he advocates for reducing the stigma of mental health care while continuing to work with servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Hoge, author of Once a Warrior – Always a Warrior, presents the latest knowledge about combat stress and physiological reactions to war. This is an A+ Partners in Education event cosponsored by Howard Community College’s Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Divisions of Health Sciences; Science, Engineering, and Technology; and Social Science and Teacher Education. A “Meet the Author” event. Howard County Book Connection. No registration is required. HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Duncan Hall, Kittleman Room (443.518.1420), 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD.

April 1, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

April 3, 7- 9:00 p.m. What is Pre-Diabetes? Has your doctor told you that you have pre-diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis. $15. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

April 8, 7-9:00 p.m.  Maybe Baby: Health Issues to Consider before Pregnancy. Are you considering starting a family?  If so, there are important choices to consider! Topics discussed during this free class will include information about the changes that will occur to your lifestyle, the importance of parent wellness, health care matters, and emotional, physical, environmental and social considerations. Presented by Dana Baras, M.D. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

April 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 

 


read more

Check out these Howard County classes that will put you on the path to Well & Wise

calendar_2014smMarch 21, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Move with Games at Glenwood Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

March 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

March 21, 2:00- 3:00 p.m. Healthy Aging and Care ManagementLearn about healthy aging behaviors as well as the challenges and management options to ensure your family member’s function and quality of life. Presented by Susanne Gibbons, CRNP, Ph.D. and Joseph Gibbons, M.D.  Light healthy refreshments. Registration is recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Registration is recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Elkridge Senior Center, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge.

March 24, 10:30 a.m. I’m Going to Be a Big Brother or Sister at East Columbia Branch. Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding your baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Well & Wise event. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Register online or by calling 410.313.7730.

March 24, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AEDLearn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 25, 6:30- 8:30  p.m. Weighing in on Your Child’s WeightWhat can you do to help your overweight child? Join a panel discussion with pediatrician Edisa Padder, M.D.; psychiatrist Robin Toler, M.D.; dietitian Ashli Greenwald; and exercise specialist Suzie Jeffreys to hear ideas, tips, and tools to help your child reach a healthier weight. Submit your questions ahead of time here. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 26, 4:00 p.m. Diabetes Screening and BMIAre you concerned about your risk factors for diabetes? Meet with a registered nurse to receive a free diabetes screening which includes a glucose blood test, BMI (body mass index) measurement, and weight management information. Receive immediate results. Fasting 8 hours prior to test is recommended. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 27, 7:00- 8:30 p.m.  Choose Your Pediatrician and Promote Your Newborn’s HealthPreparing for your new baby includes finding the right pediatrician for you before you deliver. Learn factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing your pediatrician. Discussion will also include ways you can promote the health of your newborn. Presented by Melanie Bhatnagar, M.D. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 27, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Cancer Support Group. Designed to meet the needs of men and women cancer patients diagnosed with Stage IV or Metastatic Disease. We offer a safe and welcoming place that provides encouragement, support and education. The support group meets on the 4th Thursday of each month and is facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. Please call 410 964-9100 to register for this free support group. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

March 27, 7:00 p.m. Medicare 102: Why Medicare Isn’t Enough. Learn about Medicare Advantage/Health Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement policies (Medigap). What should you consider when deciding which Medicare choices are right for you? Understand how plans vary, your costs, and when is the best time to enroll. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on aging. Hosted by Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 29, 9:00- 11:00 a.m. Home Sweet Home (Children’s Stay Home Alone Course). Is your child almost ready to stay home alone?  What do you need to do to make it a safe environment?  What does your child need to learn before he can be left alone? This free course for parents and children ages 8-12 will teach safe and fun ways for children to stay at home alone. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 

 

 

 


read more

Want to Reduce the Effects of Diabetes? Get Moving

rsz_img_7586A new Johns Hopkins study shows that regular aerobic exercise provides great fuel (and efficiency) for the pumping heart. This is encouraging news for people who have type 2 diabetes, who also frequently have a high risk of heart disease.

“Diabetic people have elevated glucose and fat in the blood, explains lead researcher Miguel Aon, Ph.D. “They can have twice as much as a healthy person.” Each of these factors contributes to heart disease.

Exercise breaks up stored fatty acids, giving the diabetic heart the extra fuel it needs to function normally. “To our surprise, the heart improved performance in the presence of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) when there was a high energy demand,” Aon says. “If a person is exercising, the heart needs more energy, and energy is provided by fat.”

In the study, researchers gave double the normal fatty acids to type 2 diabetic mice and then used an adrenaline-like substance to stimulate their hearts to beat faster, mimicking stress or physical activity. They found the diabetic mice’s hearts improved their function to the same level as normal mice and also counteracted the negative effects of too much glucose.

This doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want if you have diabetes, but it does mean regular biking, swimming, running or walking will improve your cardio-vascular function and reduce your risk of heart failure.

Reprinted from Johns Hopkins Health.  For more valuable health insights, subscribe to this free quarterly print magazine.

 

For more information on managing your pre-diabetes or diabetes check out Howard County General Hospital’s classes including:

  • Living with Diabetes: If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes–or even if you have been living with diabetes for some time and would like to make a commitment to improve your health–this course will teach you how to change your habits and will give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy. Our diabetes specialists will not tell you what to do–instead they will empower you with information and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.
  • What is Pre Diabetes? Has your doctor told you that you have pre-diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis.

 

Click on the title for more information, visit www.hcgh.org/events or call 443-718-3000.

 


read more

calendar_2014smMarch 15, noon- 4:00 p.m. Latino Health Fair.  Join us for a free health fair Saturday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center for free health screenings and health information for the Spanish-speaking population in Howard County and adjacent areas. Free health screenings include: blood pressure, colorectal cancer, glucose, cholesterol, children’s dental exam, HIV/Aids, vision and hearing.

March 15, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.  Essentials in Babysitting. Are you ready to be a babysitter? Learn the skills necessary to become a responsible babysitter including how to effectively manage children, create a safe environment and apply basic emergency techniques. Marketing tips and age-appropriate activities for children will also be discussed. For children ages 11-13. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.

March 17, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Mondays; 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

March 18, 5:00- 6:30 p.m. Weight Loss Through Bariatric SurgeryLearn about weight loss surgery from the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. For individuals (and their friends and families) interested in learning more about the surgical weight loss options available at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. You’ll also learn about our program requirements and how to navigate the insurance approval process.  For more information and to register, call 410-550-KNOW (5669) or register online at Hopkinsmedicine.org/jhbmc/bariatric

March 18, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Benefits of Care by Certified MidwivesLearn about your option to have care by certified nurse-midwives throughout your life. Gain insight into midwifery care for routine gynecology as well as family-centered care during pregnancy. Presented by Jackie Notes, CNM and Kay Mitchell, CNM. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.

March 18, 7:00 p.m. Low Vision Library Tools. Mollyne Honor, Assistant Director of the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, highlights this library’s unique materials and demonstrates the digital talking book player, available to qualified state residents via mail. Discover large print, audiobook, and assistive device options at HCLS. In partnership with The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.7800.

March 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

March 19, 6:00- 9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes: Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

March 20, 6:30 p.m. Citizens’ Disaster Preparedness Training. Build the knowledge and skills to help keep you and your family safe in the event of a disaster in your community. Professional instructors from Howard County’s Office of Emergency Management teach the essential steps to develop and maintain your readiness. Learn about the history of catastrophic events in the region, how to maintain a stock of necessary supplies, and how to handle utility emergencies. In partnership with Howard County’s Office of Emergency Management. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

March 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

March 21, 2:00- 3:00 p.m. Healthy Aging and Care ManagementLearn about healthy aging behaviors as well as the challenges and management options to ensure your family member’s function and quality of life. Presented by Susanne Gibbons, CRNP, Ph.D. and Joseph Gibbons, M.D.  Light healthy refreshments. Registration is recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Registration is recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Elkridge Senior Center, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge.

March 24, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AEDLearn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 


read more

 

Senior Week

Senior Week

I am a two-time survivor of Senior Week in Ocean City. Not only did my parents let me go my senior year of high school, they let me go my junior year of high school, as well.  Both times I attended with relatively stable, well-behaved girls. Both times we stayed out of trouble. In fact, during the first trip, one of my roomies was questioned by an officer for throwing a can of beer away. She was of legal age (back in the day you could drink beer or wine when you were 18) and she was being responsible. He was impressed. She later married him. But I digress. Because, here’s the thing. Most of our well-behaved classmates did take risks they wouldn’t have taken at home. They drank when underage, they drove after drinking, they went to parties at other places where they didn’t know the hosts, they wandered off from the pack and didn’t show back up until morning, they swam in the ocean at night and they walked precariously on the balcony railings of high rises. They surely didn’t stay hydrated and they didn’t apply sunscreen. And the ones that did behave were put at risk by rescuing friends who were behaving badly.

As a parent, I understood this and encouraged my own children to take alternative trips with their friends. It wasn’t because I didn’t trust them. I did trust them. I trusted that they’d behave like kids and I trusted that they’d be surrounded by kids behaving like kids. I was realistic.

Each parent has to make the right decision for his or her child and I don’t disagree that Senior Week can be a good introduction to leaving the nest for college. So if you’ve decided to let them go, here are 10 tips to make it a safer experience.

  1. Encourage your children to skip Ocean City and find a destination where there are fewer opportunities for mischief. (I know, I know… Fat chance.)
  2. Sit down with your grad and discuss the rules. Number One Rule: Your child must answer his phone whenever you call and must check in on a regular basis.
  3. Encourage your child to park their car and leave it. Use the buses and mass transportation whenever possible and don’t ride with people they don’t know.
  4. Talk to them about drinking and drugs- the voluntary kind. Remind them that they are underage and if caught drinking, they could lose their license. (A new law in Maryland). Encourage them to be responsible for themselves and for their friends. Talk to them about involuntary drinking and drug use. Tell them to keep their glasses in their hands and their eyes on their drinks.
  5. Remind them about personal safety. Staying with the group. Avoiding strangers. And generally acting responsibly to ensure their own safety and that of their friends.
  6. Remind them to stay hydrated, use sunscreen and eat properly.
  7. Give them the number of the local emergency room and/or urgent care center and make sure they carry their I.D. (the real one) with them at all times in case of an emergency.
  8. Take advantage of HC DrugFree’s annual “Senior Week: Staying Safe in Ocean City” programs. Parents and seniors can meet with representatives of the Ocean City Police Department, ask questions and learn tips on how to have fun safely. Parents can also learn about their own accountability in providing vehicles, purchasing alcohol, signing leases, etc. for their children. It’s always nice to have the name of someone in the department your child can call if they get in trouble and it’s nice for you to have the name of someone to call if your kid forgets Rule Number One. (There are two upcoming programs on Thursday, March 13th and Thursday, March 20th. Check out the HC DrugFree page for more information.)
  9. If they’re headed to Ocean City, check out the Play It Safe Ocean City program, which offers perks like concerts, activities and free bus rides during the week.
  10. Finally, remind them that safety comes first and if they think a situation is out of hand, they need to remove themselves from the situation and/or involve an adult if necessary. (Promise them you will not ground them for life if they call you and need your help- or if you do ground them for life- that you still love them very, very much).

read more

Each Friday, check back to see a list of upcoming classes in Howard County to make you Well & Wise!

calendar_2014smMarch 10, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation at the Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. Please bring a cushion or meditation pillow. Presented by Star Ferguson, M.Ac., L.Ac. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

March 11, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at the Elkridge Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Well & Wise event. 2nd Tuesdays, 1-3 pm. No registration required.

March 11, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AEDLearn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 12, 7:00 -8:30 p.m. Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion. Did you know that emotions affect our health, outlook and well-being? Participants will examine their own current emotional response patterns and learn how to use the tools of imagery, visualization and medication to promote positive change and optimal ways of being. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 12, 7:00 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion at Glenwood Branch. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences. Refreshments. Register for each date separately. Mar 12 – America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated [Apr 30 - Jamie Oliver]. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

March 13, 7- 8:30 p.m. Medicare 101: What You Can Expect From Medicare. Are you currently on Medicare or soon will be? Do you provide care to someone covered by Medicare? This presentation will review Original Medicare (Part A Hospital and Part B Medical) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Learn what is covered, your costs, how Medicare works, and available benefit programs. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.

March 15, noon- 4:00 p.m. Latino Health Fair.  Join us for a free health fair Saturday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center for free health screenings and health information for the Spanish-speaking population in Howard County and adjacent areas. Free health screenings include: blood pressure, colorectal cancer, glucose, cholesterol, children’s dental exam, HIV/Aids, vision and hearing.

March 15, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.  Essentials in Babysitting. Are you ready to be a babysitter? Learn the skills necessary to become a responsible babysitter including how to effectively manage children, create a safe environment and apply basic emergency techniques. Marketing tips and age-appropriate activities for children will also be discussed. For children ages 11-13. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.

March 18, 5:00- 6:30 p.m. Weight Loss Through Bariatric SurgeryLearn about weight loss surgery from the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. For individuals (and their friends and families) interested in learning more about the surgical weight loss options available at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. You’ll also learn about our program requirements and how to navigate the insurance approval process.  For more information and to register, call 410-550-KNOW (5669) or register online at Hopkinsmedicine.org/jhbmc/bariatric

March 18, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Benefits of Care by Certified MidwivesLearn about your option to have care by certified nurse-midwives throughout your life. Gain insight into midwifery care for routine gynecology as well as family-centered care during pregnancy. Presented by Jackie Notes, CNM and Kay Mitchell, CNM. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.

 


read more
This photo comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

This photo comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

The U.S. is preparing for an outbreak of a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne virus called, Chikungunya. Pronounced chik-en-gun-ye, the name derived from Makonde language means, “that which bends up” and references the stooped and contorted posture of patients suffering from the joint pain that accompanies the virus. The virus was first described in the 1950s in what is now Tanzania. Since 2004 Chikungunya has reached epidemic proportions and is slowly making its way towards the United States, where both species of the mosquitoes known to carry the virus exist. In December, the World Health Organization reported the first transmission of the disease in the Americas when cases were reported in Saint Martin. Since that time, thousands of infections have been reported throughout the Caribbean.

Transmission of the virus and symptoms are similar to dengue fever. The acute febrile phase of the virus lasts 2-5 days and, in addition to high fevers, patients can present with a rash. The second, longer phase of the virus can last weeks or months and in some cases years. During this phase, patients report debilitating arthritic-like joint pain. Other symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, conjunctivitis, sensitivity to light and fatigue. No cure is currently available, only treatment to relieve symptoms. Younger patients generally recover within 5-15 days, but older patients can take months or even years to recover. Diagnosis is usually confirmed with blood tests and takes 1-3 days for results.

Prevention of transmission is important and involves controlling mosquito populations and protection against contact with the mosquito. People travelling to areas with high transmission rates should use insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridn, OLE or IR3535 and wear garments heavy enough to offer protection from mosquito bites. For an additional layer of protection, clothing can be treated with insecticides such as permethrin, which should never be used directly on the skin. Mosquito control districts have budgeted funds for extra spraying, and individuals are encouraged to secure screens in windows and remove sources of standing water.

Read more in the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control fact sheets.


read more

Check out these upcoming Howard County classes and events to make you Well & Wise.

calendar_2014smMarch 1, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

March 4, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

March 4, 6:30- 8:00 p.m. March Forth to a Healthy Weight. Learn new perspectives to support a healthier lifestyle for you and for your family. Presented by Dr. Raj Dua. Light healthy refreshments will be served. North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd., Laurel.

March 8, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

March 11, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AEDLearn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

March 12, 7:00 -8:30 p.m. Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion. Did you know that emotions affect our health, outlook and well-being? Participants will examine their own current emotional response patterns and learn how to use the tools of imagery, visualization and medication to promote positive change and optimal ways of being. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 


read more
Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

It’s been a long cold lonely winter… or something like that. I know that February always bring those thoughts…  but this year, even the snow lovers are weary of it all. The snow shovels don’t get put away anymore, they stand propped up against the house in an attitude of resignation.

Perhaps you brace yourself to withstand the final icy grasp of winter by looking through seed catalogs and planning gardens, by reading about new varieties of tomatoes and new methods of germinating seeds. Perhaps you even have a cold frame and will jump the season and nurture seedlings into edible lettuce plants early. Or, perhaps you’ll wait a little longer to start seedlings indoors or wait for the traditional days to plant outdoors. Did you know that planting potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day is a gardening tradition?

But what if you have never had a garden? Or don’t have a yard large enough for a garden plot? Or live in the shade? Can a novice start a growing tradition? Should they? Absolutely! There are resources for every gardening obstacle and plenty of help for the greenest of green thumb wannabes.

Is your yard too small?  Too shady? Too rocky? Try a community garden. If you live in Howard County, check out Howard County community gardens and the garden at the Howard County Conservancy. Other jurisdictions offer the programs, as well. In addition to a right-sized plot, many of these gardens include deer fencing, compost heaps, water and even plantings to encourage pollinators. Equally important- they offer expert advice from fellow gardeners- just what the novice needs!

Do you need information about how to get started? Information about types of plants? Resources about pest management? Questions about fertilizers? The Howard County Library System has an extensive selection of books that can answer all of your questions about gardening. And, of course, there is always the Old Farmer’s Almanac – published continuously since 1792- it is wealth of information. If you learn better from attending classes in person, the University of Maryland Extension service offers a series of gardening classes in Howard County that will get you off on the right track.

Finally, do you need to have a reason to give gardening a go this year?  Here are a few good reasons.

  • It’s good for the bottom line. Gardening can save you money. A $2 tomato plant can produce $60 worth of tomatoes during a single growing season. The drought in California will cause produce prices to rise, buying locally- and better yet, growing locally will save you money.
  • It’s good for the bottom line- the other bottom line. Growing your own vegetables is great exercise. Eating fresh veggies may keep you fit, but the physical exercise that it requires also contributes positively to your fitness level. Think of what all that weeding and hoeing will do for your glutes!
  • Fresh vegetables are nutritious and tasty because they have the chance to ripen on the vine. If you’ve never had the opportunity to go out just before dinner and pluck a red ripe tomato off the vine to add to your salad- you don’t know what you are missing. No supermarket tomato will ever compare.
  • It’s good for the environment. Locally sourcing your own vegetables reduces- the carbon resources need to transport veggies from far away.
  • Staying connected to the earth is good for your mental health and the extra sunshine vitamin D will give your mood- and immune system- a boost, as well.

Perhaps most importantly, though…  planning a garden gives you something to look forward to in the lingering days of February.  And if that isn’t encouragement enough, I leave you with a little music to get you going.


read more

calendar_2014smFebruary 21, 3:00 p.m. Move with Games at the Glenwood Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

February 22, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Essentials in Babysitting. $50. Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

February 27, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 

 


read more

Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion

Bridget Hughes

Bridget Hughes

Bridget Hughes, licensed acupuncturist, Qigong instructor, meditation teacher, and owner of Healing Point Acupuncture & Healing Arts in the Medical Pavilion at Howard County has spent the last two decades looking at the many ways our mind-body connection enhances (or undermines) our health. Hughes calls the mind-body connection our “greatest yet least tapped personal resource for health,” and considers the best key to unlock that resource to be meditation.

“To meditate in such a way that the biochemistry of the body changes profoundly enough to support improved health,” Hughes describes, “a person must learn to reliably access resourceful and beneficial feeling states. This meditation isn’t what people typically expect; it’s not emptying the mind or focusing on the breath,” says Hughes. Rather, she describes her meditation technique to be more like “getting the right feeling song stuck in your head.” To further clarify, she quotes Paracelsus, the famous 15th century physician, “The spirit is the master, the imagination the tool, and the body the plastic material.” Hughes remarks, “We’ve known since at least the 15th century that using our mind, our heart, and our spirit changes our bodies. It is up to us to do it.”

On March 12th from 7:00-8:30PM, Hughes will teach us how. In a free community offering Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion, Hughes will teach us how to find the feeling states that scientists have shown change our biochemistry, neurotransmitters, and immune system, and how to use those feelings as a basis for a meditation practice. Says Hughes, “Meditation must be something we can practice as we are driving in rush hour traffic, and as we are dealing with a confrontative boss or colleague. The fruits of our efforts must be accessible right in the midst of our busy, challenging lives.”

Hughes explains that anything practiced over time changes the brain. “Rewiring Your Neural Pathways” is the result. “People intuitively know that anger, disgust, depression, and overwhelm are bad for their health” says Hughes. “They also can sense that states like love and gratitude can improve health. What they don’t know is how to change states, especially when life is frought with hardship. Many of us grapple with anger, depression, anxiety, or stress every day. For meditation to be most useful, it must be effective irrespective of how difficult the circumstances of life may be.” Hughes cites a passage from Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics to describe her approach to meditation, “Feelings cannot be directly controlled by willpower. They cannot be voluntarily made to order or turned on and off like a faucet. If they cannot be commanded, however, they can be wooed…Remember that feeling follows imagery.”

“We are using imagery to woo the feelings that change the biochemistry” says Hughes. “Through such a meditation practice, we engage our greatest hidden resource for wellness: the power of our mind and the mind-body connection to heal.”

 

calendar_2014sm

 

Class info: Wednesday, March 12th 2014 from 7-8:30 p.m. Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21044. To register: (410) 740-7601. Free.

 

 

Bridget Hughes is a licensed acupuncturist and co-founder of Healing Point LLC in Severna Park, Maryland, and of Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts in the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at the Medical Pavilion at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. She was named a 2010 and 2011 Favorite Doc in Chesapeake Family Magazine. Bridget is a certified Qigong instructor and a Board Certified Clinical Hypnotist and has been interested for over 20 years in the intersection of health, wellness, brain science, energy arts, quantum physics, psychology, and peak performance. She speaks on a wide range of health topics including: Get Your Spontaneous Healing On!, Qigong: Meditation in Motion, A Mind-Body Approach to Pain, Natural Approaches for Healthy Living for People Living With Cancer and Cancer Survivors, Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion, Using Imagery, Visualization, Meditation, and Feeling States to Groove New Neural Pathways, and Transitioning to Wellness of Body, Mind, and Spirit for Survivors. She considers time spent with patients to be a great blessing and takes a keen interest in each person and their unique situation and experience.

 


read more

calendar_2014smFebruary 14 & 18, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

February 15, 2:00 p.m. I’m Going to be a Big Brother or Sister at the Central Branch. Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories and activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding a baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise event.

February 17, Howard County Library System is Closed in Observance of Presidents’ Day.

February 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

February 19, 6:00- 9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes: Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

February 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Cancer Support Group. Designed to meet the needs of men and women cancer patients diagnosed with Stage IV or Metastatic Disease. We offer a safe and welcoming place that provides encouragement, support and education. The support group meets on the 4th Thursday of each month and is facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. Please call 410 964-9100 to register for this free support group. Claudia Mayer Cancer/Tina Broccolino Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

February 20, 7-9:00 p.m.  Smoke Free Lungs. Learn tips for quitting your tobacco habit and mastering long-term success. This program provides support and education for those wanting to quit as well as support for those who have already quit. Choose to attend one or all of the sessions depending on your individual needs. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

February 22, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Essentials in Babysitting. $50. Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.


read more

Child's hand drawing Saint Valentine cardChild's hand drawing Saint Valentine cardGet in touch with your children’s thoughts and feelings with a new Valentine’s tradition 

Warning: this blog post contains vast amounts of sugar content, but it will leave you feeling sweet without the calories: If you have grade school children, you have already received emails about classroom Valentine’s parties. This year, instead of dumping the bag of sticker cards and candy in front of my kids and letting them scrawl their classmates’ names on the tags, I decided to use this annual practice as a time for connecting. The experiment helped me gain a better sense of their school and social life.

While we addressed packs of vanilla Goldfish, I asked Second Grade Girl to tell me something about her classmates as she wrote each card. I learned that Alexi R. is her kindest friend because she shared her beads with the girls on the bus last week, including her sparkly ones; Dixon can burp the whole alphabet (I’m sure that will take him far) and R.T. is still not very nice. We had a long talk about this “friend” at bedtime.

Kindergarten Boy told me that Avery eats the same lunch every day: “It’s so weird, he always has two halves of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m glad we have something different every day.” Yes! I’m doing something right. Noah is the funniest kid in class, but Kindergarten Boy always makes Olivia and Maria laugh. Then he showed me his robot walk, which was so hilarious I almost posted it here. Oh, and I can’t forget his best friend Benny because, “He says we shouldn’t drink from the school water fountain since the water comes from underground. It’s filled with dirt.”  I love the imagination of a five-year-old.

We may have been slipping a candy into each note, but the stories they shared were the sweetest part of this project. It gave me insight into their self-image as well as the way they interact with their peers, in addition to a few friendship pointers I needed to address with them.

Regularly connecting with your child is important to understand what goes on when our kids are “on their own”, especially since they’re away from the house seven plus hours a day, five days out of seven. Also, in light of the recent tragic events at The Mall in Columbia, I was able to sense any concerns they may have had without going into the details of the event. I also discovered that the school bus can be a big, scary place as the older kids discuss things younger ears shouldn’t be privy to. This Valentine’s exercise made me aware of the need to ask my kids more pointed questions about what they overhear on the ride to school. Finally, this activity was another example for them that I am available to listen, no matter what’s on their minds.

So stock up on some love, and meet me in the comments section to let me know how this experiment turns out for you.

 

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.  She manages marketing projects at work and kids at home.

 

 

 

 


read more

Pregnant_woman2Eating for Two? Are You at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?

  • Do you have a family history of diabetes?
  • Were you overweight before becoming pregnant?
  • Did you gain more weight than your doctor recommended in your first trimester?

If you answered yes, talk to your doctor about monitoring your blood glucose level.


Your Diet, Your Weight and Gestational Diabetes

Eating for two may be a commonly used expression when referring to pregnancy, but this phrase can be misleading when it comes to the health and well-being of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Thinking about what you eat when you are pregnant and how much you weigh is part of being proactive when it comes to gestational diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, roughly 18 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes- typically around the 24th week of their pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood instead of leaving and being changed into energy.

“A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean you had diabetes before you conceived, nor does it mean you will have diabetes after giving birth, although it does increase your lifetime risk of diabetes,” explains Abimbola Aina-Mumuney, M.D., a specialist in high-risk pregnancies at the Johns Hopkins Maternal Fetal Medicine Center at HCGH. “You need to talk to your doctor about your blood glucose levels to ensure you and your baby remain healthy.”

Thinking About Getting Pregnant?

According to Dr. Aina-Mumuney, taking care of yourself before getting pregnant goes a long way towards having a healthy pregnancy and delivery. She urges overweight patients to talk to their doctor prior to conceiving, so they can be properly prepared for the risks. Pregnancy risks linked to obesity include preeclampsia, diabetes, premature delivery, stillbirth and an increased rate of cesarean section delivery.

Dana Baras, M.D. an obstetrician on staff at HCGH, adds that “not only do overweight women have an increase in the likelihood they’ll have a C-section, but they have an even greater risk of complications of cesarean delivery.”

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Many women are concerned about “normal” weight gain during pregnancy. “What is normal for one patient is not the same for another,” states Dr. Aina-Mumuney. Data suggest women who are overweight or obese should not gain as much weight as women with an ideal body weight. “A patient in her ideal body weight range could gain weight whereas overweight or obese women may not need to gain additional weight or gain very little,” explains Dr. Aina-Mumuney. “Women carrying twins or multiples may need to gain more weight, so it’s important to talk with your healthy care provider to determine what is right for you.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, a normal weight woman should gain between 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. “Women are often surprised that translates to only about 300 extra calories per day, less than three slices of bread,” says Dr. Baras.

What to do if You Have Gestational Diabetes

“We explain the importance of regularly testing blood glucose levels to women with gestational diabetes who come to HCGH’s diabetes program,” says Teresa Love, MS, RD, CDE. “We review their numbers and assess their eating style, focusing on carbohydrates. We help them develop a budget for carbs, outlining how many to eat. Just like you budget at home for other things, now these women have a budget for foods that raise their blood sugar. That is not to say they cannot eat carbs. There is a healthy middle ground in carb consumption.”

Love’s Wellness Tips for Women With Gestational Diabetes

  • The only beverage containing carbohydrates you should drink is milk.
  • Re-evaluate breakfast. Instead of cereal, choose eggs and toast or cottage cheese.
  • When it comes to diet, you are eating for 1 and ¼ – not two. A larger baby doesn’t always mean a healthier baby.
  • Incorporate exercise. You don’t have to be an athlete, but exercise moves glucose into the muscles where it belongs. It is often as effective as medication in terms of treatment.

For more information check out our entire series of videos at www.hcgh.org/videos including:

Diabetes and Pregnancy  and Weight Gain and Pregnancy with Donna M. Neale, MD is the Director of the Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics at Howard County General Hospital, and Assistant Professor of the Gynecology/Obstetrics Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

 


read more

calendar_2014smFebruary 7. American Heart Association National Wear Red Day. Plan to wear red to show your commitment and passion for fighting heart disease in women. To learn more, visit heart.org.

February 8, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

February 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

February 11, 1:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at the Elkridge Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well & Wise event.

February 14 & 18, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

February 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer /Tina Broccolino Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

February 19, 6:00- 9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes: Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000 


read more

Concerned About Your Child’s Weight?

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research estimates nearly a third of youths today are overweight or obese; that’s more than 23 million children and teenagers. The Howard County Health Assessment Survey showed that one in two Howard County residents is overweight or obese, and that one in 10 Howard County parents were told by a doctor that their child should lose weight. In a 2008 survey, 17 percent of school-age children were considered overweight and 14 percent obese. Regardless of whether you think your child will outgrow his or her weight issues, childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on your child’s health and well-being.

Did You Know?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obese children and adolescents are more likely to:

  • Have risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Experience bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem
  • Be obese as adults; therefore, they are at greater risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis or having a stroke as well as have an increased risk for many types of cancer, including breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix and prostate.

What is Overweight vs. Obese?

Obese children and adolescents have a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for their gender and age. The term “overweight” describes those with a BMI at or above the 85th but below the 95th percentile. To calculate your child’s BMI, visit cdc.gov/bmi. According to Edisa Padder, M.D., a pediatrician on staff at Howard County General Hospital, the goal of BMI screening is to recognize the weight gain trends earlier and initiate prevention before serious obesity has developed.

What Can Parents Do?

Dana Wollney, M.D., a pediatrician on staff at HCGH, outlines simple things parents can do to help their children with weight loss:

  • Confirm that your child is ready to work on their weight.
  • Once they are committed, include their physician as an extra layer of accountability.
  • Establish goals so everyone is on the same page; work with your physician to determine what is a reasonable amount of weight loss.
  • Change one habit at a time. Once a new habit becomes routine, it is easier to keep and you are more likely to be successful.
  • “Close” the kitchen before bed to avoid snacking right before bedtime.
  • Offer fresh fruit and vegetables; they will help your child feel full and your child will come to appreciate natural sweetness.
  • Pack your child’s lunch for school and be sure to include fresh fruit versus cookies/unhealthy snacks.

Remember you don’t have to be perfect to claim success—even five pounds of weight loss has health benefits.

“A nutritious diet is necessary to maintain a healthy weight but exercise is important too. Family exercise time is a great way to strengthen both muscles and relationships,” says Dr. Padder. “Exercise does not have to be rigorous. A great way to start being active is simply walking together as a family. And, remember to be a good role model for your children; if your children see you eating healthy and exercising, they will be more likely to do those things too.”


calendar_2014smWeighing in on Your Child’s Weight

For more information, join us for a free panel discussion on March 25, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.  Join pediatrician Edisa Padder, M.D.; psychiatrist Robin Toler, M.D.; dietitian Ashli Greenwald; and exercise specialist Suzie Jeffreys to hear ideas, tips, and tools to help your child reach a healthier weight. Submit your questions in advance to HCGH_news@jhmi.edu. Click here to register for this free discussion.


read more

calendar_2014sm

February 1, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information

February 3, 3:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at the Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well & Wise event.

February 3, 6:30 p.m. Move with Games at the Elkridge Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

February 3, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation at the Miller Branch. Presented by Star Ferguson-Gooden, M.Ac., L.Ac. at Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Well & Wise Event.

February 4, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

February 7. American Heart Association National Wear Red Day. Plan to wear red to show your commitment and passion for fighting heart disease in women. To learn more, visit heart.org.

February 8, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

February 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 


read more

The Simple Steps One Man Took to Reclaim His Health

Three years ago, Robert Sorin weighed 333 pounds. His wife was concerned he seemed to be walking around in a fog. Even after a few close calls driving, Bob refused to believe there was anything wrong. Undeterred, his wife brought him to HCGH to see pulmonologist and sleep specialist Carmen Salvaterra, M.D., who admitted Bob to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was placed on a respirator and spent weeks recovering. Final Diagnosis: obesity hypoventilation syndrome and severe sleep apnea.

“Because of Bob’s obesity, he couldn’t breathe deeply. His abdominal fat was pushing up on his lungs making it difficult for him to take a deep breath,” says Dr. Salvaterra. “His ongoing hypoventilation caused him to chronically retain carbon dioxide. To make matters worse, he also had undiagnosed sleep apnea, which complicated his condition further. He was a very sick man.”

What is Sleep Apnea?

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that nearly 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, a condition often found in overweight people. According to Dr. Salvaterra, those with sleep apnea experience one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. These breath pauses can last several seconds to minutes and reoccur numerous times in an hour. In some cases, the brain’s only safety net for obtaining a normal breath is by waking the person up; this usually occurs with a loud snort or choking sound. The ongoing stress of repeated drops in oxygen and retention in CO2 is believed to be the explanation why sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk for stroke, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, mood disorder, and poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension.

Often patients with sleep apnea have problems with daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and increased irritability. Some patients complain of insomnia. “Having sleep apnea made me feel like I was drunk,” says Bob. “It isn’t so foggy that you pass out; your reactions just slow down. You think it is safe to drive but it isn’t.”

Embracing Change

“There is nothing like being in the ICU and almost dying to make you face reality,” says Bob. When I got out of the hospital, I had a sleep study and was prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask so I could get a good night’s sleep.  I also made lifestyle changes.” Bob had been overweight since he was 13 and had type 2 diabetes for decades. “All my diets had been compete successes and total failures at the same time. I lost weight and then gained it back plus some,” says Bob. But, for the two years after his diagnosis, he watched what he ate and exercised. He lost 155 pounds and has kept his weight down for the past year. He no longer has sleep apnea and is not diabetic.

What Worked

According to Bob, the following were vital to his weight-loss success:

  • Don’t lose weight too fast – it won’t last.
  • Explore new foods – I discovered it was fun to eat new things.
  • Get familiar with the spice rack – spices add great flavor without calories.
  • Exercise can be social – do it with friends.
  • Roast vegetables – My mother boiled veggies and ruined the taste for me. Cook them the right way, and you can eat a lot of them.
  • Exercise – cycle, yoga, lift weights, walk on Columbia’s pathways – they are free!
  • Teamwork – getting better is a team effort. I had ongoing help from a trainer, nutritionist, family and physician.

“The key is to find a way to enjoy the food and the workout,” notes Bob. “Discipline with me only goes so far. I have made things enjoyable. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have made it this far.”

Seeking Treatment for a Sleep Disorder

Sleep specialists at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, located on the HCGH campus, can diagnose and treat a wide range of sleep disorders in adults and children including sleep apnea, insomnia and restless legs syndrome.


read more

calendar_2014smJanuary 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Breast Cancer Support Group. This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis usually meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 24, 3:00 p.m. Move with Games at the Glenwood Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

January 27, 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Tae Kwon Do: Tiny Tigers at the Miller Branch. Sykesville Tae Kwon Do instructors focus on motor skills, listening, and taking turns. Wear athletic shoes, and loose fitting pants or shorts. Ages 3-5 with adult; 30 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Signed release form required for 10:30 a.m & 11:30 a.m. sessions.

January 28, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 29, 10:30 a.m. Healthy Kids at the Glenwood Branch. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579.

January 29, 6:00- 9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes: Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

 


read more

noseOur toasty, heated homes do more than provide warmth on these cold days. For some, particularly children ages two to 10, the warm, dry air can trigger nosebleeds. Noses are rich in blood vessels and indoor air can cause the ones in the front of the nose to dry out and crack, resulting in a spontaneous bleed.

My five-year-old is a bleeder and I was one, too, growing up, so bloody noses don’t freak me out. What does alarm me is when my husband calls me at work to say Little C was playing in his room, got a nosebleed and ruined the new carpet in his room before going to get help. “It looks like a crime scene in here,” he said.

First things first, we treated the carpet. I’m kidding. My husband stopped the blood flow while I called the carpet company. In my defense, I wasn’t home at the time and this was new carpet, remember?

As for the nosebleed, here’s what you can do if this happens to your little one. Have your child sit still and pinch the soft, cushy part of the nose firmly with a tissue (just below the bony area) for about 10 minutes. Putting pressure on the nose presses against the bleeding vein. This should stop the flow and make the blood clot. No peeking to see if the blood stopped either! Letting up too early can reignite the flow. It’s also important to tilt their head slightly forward. Believe me, you don’t want to tilt back. I had a teacher do that to me once and there’s this little thing called gravity that made the blood rush down my throat. Ick!

If you have a little one who won’t sit still that long, read him a story or turn on cartoons to divert his attention while you’re holding his nose. If they’re old enough, teach them how to do this technique themselves so you don’t have a CSI moment like we did. Afterward, keep their activity light for a couple hours since the nose is still sensitive.

Usually when Little C gets a nosebleed, he’ll have repeat bleeds over the span of a week or so. It’s frustrating for him and one morning, as I wished him a nosebleed-free day at school, he said, “And I won’t pick at my nose today, either!” Oh, good idea. I didn’t think to remind him to keep his fingers away from his nose. I sympathize with him, however, as a nose healing from a nosebleed can itch and feel uncomfortable. A dab of petroleum jelly on the inner side of the nose will soften the scabs, making kids more likely to leave them alone.  Just in case your child can’t follow your advice to keep their fingers away from their nose, make sure to keep their nails short.

To discourage future bleeds, moisten the air in your child’s room with a vaporizer or humidifier. You can also keep the inside of your child’s nose moist with a saline nasal spray or dab antibiotic ointment around the opening of the nostrils.

For the frequent bleeder, or if the nosebleed usually lasts longer than ten minutes, you may want to consider a simple medical procedure to cauterize the vein so it doesn’t open anymore. Some people’s veins are closer to the mucous membrane of their noses and, being so close to the skin, it makes them more vulnerable to bleeds.

One last thing, if the blood does get on your carpet, don’t panic. We dabbed ours with vinegar and wiped it up after it bubbled to the surface. Little C’s room smelled like a dyed Easter egg for a few days, but his carpet is immaculate and it came clean without harsh chemicals. Now we’re just waiting for those spring temperatures to roll in.

For more information about nosebleeds and when to call your doctor, check out the Johns Hopkins Health Library.

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.  She manages marketing projects at work and kids at home.

read more

The Practice of Geriatrics- Six Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle

Geriatric Specialist, Dr. Kevin Carlson

Geriatric Specialist, Dr. Kevin Carlson

Three hundred doctors are fellowship trained in geriatrics each year in the United States, a small number in light of the rapidly aging population. Board-certified geriatricians are internists or family practitioners who complete at least one year of geriatric fellowship training and pass the American Board of Medicine Geriatrics exam.

Internist and geriatrician, Kevin Carlson, M.D., doesn’t define her practice solely by age. “I view a geriatric patient as a person with complex medical issues. As we age there is tremendous diversity in the medical problems we face. I care for many younger adult patients who are more complicated than many of my healthy, older patients.” Chronic disease is a common defining issue of geriatric practice. Many patients live longer with multiple medical problems, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and arthritis.

The practice of geriatrics is demanding, yet rewarding. Dr. Carlson says, “I truly enjoy  the generation of people that were our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They have such amazing lives and their experiences and stories of resilience inspire me. They’ve lived during the great depression, immigrated from hardship, fought in our war efforts, and lived life before television!”

What suggestions does a geriatrician give for aging gracefully? “Take an active role in your own health. Inform yourself of healthy lifestyle choices and incorporate them into your routine,” Dr. Carlson advises.

 

Dr. Carlson’s six tips to a healthy lifestyle:

    1. Eat the right food in moderation (fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, wild fish, grass-fed beef, poultry, pork, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, including olive and coconut oil)
    2. Avoid or limit the wrong food (processed foods or drinks with corn syrup, fructose or sugar substitutes and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)
    3.  Get a variety of exercise (include aerobic, resistance, stretching and balance for at least 40 minutes three times a week)
    4. Sleep eight hours per night on a regular schedule
    5. Stay involved with family, friends and your community
    6. Always learn something new to keep the brain active

 

Research has proven that the above recommendations are sound medical advice for healthy aging and positive outcomes. Dr. Carlson adds, “If everyone knew these things 20 years ago and applied them to themselves, we would have a much healthier America today.”

 


read more

calendar_2014smJanuary 17 & 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000.

January 17 – 24, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

January 20, HCLS Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

January 20, 7-8:30 p.m. Healthy Weight, Healthy You Part 2: Kitchen Wisdom. They say that variety is the spice of life! Sample foods and learn how to spice up healthy meals with herbs and spices for a variety of taste. Free. Register for one or both classes. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 21 – 23, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

January 22, 10:30 a.m. Healthy Kids at the Glenwood Branch. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579.

January 22, 7:00 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion: Alton Brown, at the Glenwood Branch. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences. Refreshments. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

January 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Breast Cancer Support Group. This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis usually meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 28, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.


read more

Helpful tips to avoid dry winter skin, choose the right moisturizer and soften cracking hands and feet.

Your skin, the largest organ in your body, often needs a little extra help during winter months to stay healthy and intact. In the dead of winter your skin suffers from dry air, hot showers and exposure to the cold and wind. But there are some common sense things you can do keep your skin healthy.

  • Moisturize frequently. Apply moisturizer immediately after showering while your skin is still damp and, if possible, several times throughout the day. (Scroll down a little further for special tips on choosing the right moisturizer).
  • Lower the thermostat in your house.
  • Humidify your air. Use a humidifier or place a pot of water on your wood or pellet stove to release moisture into the air.
  • Avoid hot showers. Hot water in the winter might feel good, but it is the most effective means of stripping your skin of its essential oils and can be particularly hard on your feet.
  • Limit the number of times you wash or immerse your hands in hot water. Apply moisturizer liberally every time you wash your hands.
  • Avoid drying soaps, use moisturizing shower gels, instead.
  • If your moisturizer doesn’t contain sunscreen, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.
  • Stay hydrated.

3 Tips to Choosing the Right Moisturizer

The store aisles are full of moisturizers. From basic tubs of Vaseline, to tubes of cream created for bovine udders, to high-end cosmetic offerings- how do you choose the one for you?

  • Read the ingredients. Moisturizers can seal moisture into the skin or attract moisture. Products will contain ingredients that do one or both of these things. Sealing moisturizers (or Occlusive ingredients) include names like lanolin, petrolatum, mineral oil, and cocoanut oil. Ingredients that attract moisture to the skin’s surface (or humectants) include names like propylene glycol, urea, sorbitol and glycerin. Another important ingredient is alpha hydroxy acid or AHA, which exfoliates dead skin and improves moisture retention. Look for ingredient names like glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric and citric acids. Key ingredients should be listed at the top of the list indicating that they are present in higher concentrations.
  •  Pay attention to sensitivities. If you have fair or sensitive skin, look for products that are labeled “hypoallergenic”. If you have oily skin look for products that won’t clog your pores and are labeled “non-comedogenic” or products that are oil-free. If your skin is especially dry, choose heavier lotions that are richer in oils and emollients.
  • Even on the dreariest winter days, you still need to apply sunscreen. Consider moisturizers with an SPF of 30 to protect your skin from sun damage.

Hands Down, the Best Foot Forward

Cracked hands and feet may need intensive care. Inhospitable weather is especially hard on these extremities. Standing in hot showers and washing your hands frequently can sap essential oils and leave your hands and heels red and cracked. Try these soothing steps:

  • Exfoliate daily while you are in the shower or after you’ve soaked your hands and feet to soften them. Use an exfoliating scrub. There are plenty of over the counter choices, or make your own with sugar and cocoanut oil. Use a pumice stone on your feet to remove harder callouses.
  • Dry your hands and feet thoroughly and immediately apply your moisturizing cream. Apply while your skin is still damp to retain the most moisture. If you have the chance, apply moisturizer a few times throughout the day.
  • Before bed, apply another thick layer of moisturizer and pull on a pair of cotton gloves or socks. Not only will this extra layer protect your linens, but it will also help keep your extremities warm, which will boost the moisturizing power.
  • See a dermatologist or podiatrist if you are not making headway or the damage seems especially severe. Underlying medical conditions like diabetes or thyroid issues can be a cause, as well as fungal infections and skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. (For a list of dermatologists or podiatrists in the area visit our physician’s directory.)

read more

calendar_2014smJanuary 11, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 11, 2:00 p.m. I’m Going to be a Big Brother or Sister at the Elkridge Branch. Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories and activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding a baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.5085.

January 13, 10:30 a.m. Tae Kwon Do: Mommy & Me at the Miller Branch. Mommy and child participate in a fun-filled activity, led by instructors from Sykesville Tae Kwon Do, while developing movement awareness, motor skills, balance, coordination, flexibility, and agility. Please wear athletic shoes, and loose fitting pants or shorts. Ages 2-3 with adult; 30 min. Registration and a signed release form is required. Also offered at 11:30 a.m. Registration and signed release form required.

January 13, 7-8:30 p.m.  Healthy Weight, Healthy You: Part 1: Looking to Lose Weight? Our certified nutritionist and registered dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet, and promote health. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 15, 10:30 a.m. Healthy Kids at the Glenwood Branch. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series.    Register online or by calling 410.313.5579.

January 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 16, 7-9:00 p.m.  Smoke Free Lungs. Learn tips for quitting your tobacco habit and mastering long-term success. This program provides support and education for those wanting to quit as well as support for those who have already quit. Choose to attend one or all of the sessions depending on your individual needs. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 17 & 21, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living with Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000.

January 20, 7-8:30 p.m. Healthy Weight, Healthy You Part 2: Kitchen Wisdom. They say that variety is the spice of life! Sample foods and learn how to spice up healthy meals with herbs and spices for a variety of taste. Free. Register for one or both classes. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.


read more
Scan 27

ice skating in Howard County- late 1960′s

I don’t ever recall hearing the words “Polar Vortex” before, but when I was a young whippersnapper the winters were so cold that we could skate on Lake Kittamaquandi and the local ponds.  (One year (1977) it was cold enough to skate on the Chesapeake Bay!)  Each Fall, road crews prepared for winter by placing red picket snow fences along major roads to keep the snow from drifting across the roads. More often than not, the vehicles that plowed our roads were huge yellow graders with double blades instead of dump trucks.

As the wintery weather approached we went through preparations at home. We knew then what needed to be done to get through the coldest or wildest winter weather. We knew to fill the tubs and extra jugs with water in case the pipes froze or we lost power. We knew that the car should be topped off with gas to prevent the gas lines from freezing and in case we had to trek out in an emergency. We positioned ladders near frozen ponds and were reminded how to test the thickness of the ice and what to do if we- or a friend- fell through into the frigid water. We brought pets inside, and the livestock into the barn. (Although I did know a man that brought his chickens into the living room).

My father would carefully line up the heavy rectangular linked tire chains and painstakingly affix them to the tires of the station wagon.  (Driving with tire chains was neither smooth nor quiet, but it sure got us up the long driveway and through the worst of the snow). Snow clothes of every size were brought forth from the closet and boxes of boots were matched to ever-growing feet. Mittens, hats, gloves, and scarves- all essential to outdoor work and play- were sorted and sized. (Nothing says winter weather like the smell of wet wooly mittens steaming on radiators mixed with the aroma of hot scorched cocoa)

Nowadays when the weather turns cold, the lists about what you should or shouldn’t do to “weather the storm” and the pilgrimage to the grocery stores have become a part of our suburban traditions. Some old-timers scoff at that and say things like;  “When I was growing up we walked 3 miles to school through snowdrifts and attached ropes to our waists so we could find our way home.”

I can appreciate that experience, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t the wild west… or even the wild west of Howard County, anymore. A large percentage of our population consists of people that don’t have experience driving in the snow, or have never owned a house with an outside spigot or ever experienced sub zero temperatures. So this list of 15 things to do to get through a cold snap is for them- but you old-timers should feel free to read along in case I’ve forgotten anything!

  • Dress in layers- (wicking, thermal and shell). Layers help conserve your body heat and keep you dry, but not all layers are created equal
  • Wear a Hat that covers your ears- while it is a myth that you lose most of your body heat through your head- you still need to keep your head warm and your ears covered, as they are susceptible to frostbite. Wear mittens or gloves for the same reason
  • Wear a scarf or face mask to protect your face and take the chill out of the air you breathe, especially if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions
  • Understand hypothermia and frostbite and their symptoms
  • Keep lip balm or cocoa butter in your coat pocket and apply it generously to keep your lips from chapping
  • Understand wind chill and why it matters
  • Turn off your outdoor faucets and turn on your indoor faucets and let the water drip. Fill bottles with water in case of a power outage or burst pipe
  • Let warm air gain access to pipes in areas that are colder (leave doors open to an unheated basement, or open cabinet doors under the sink)
  • Do not warm frozen pipes with an open source of flame. (We learned that one from the very nice firefighters who visited us suddenly one winter!)
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working
  • Fill ‘er up. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas and charge your cell phones, laptops and flashlights
  • Have emergency supplies in the car including extra hats, mittens, boots, water, flashlight and extra batteries
  • Keep your children indoors when the temperature dips below freezing- children are more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and often ignore the warning signs. And what child knows to come inside when their mittens get wet?
  • Check on elderly neighbors who are also more susceptible to the cold- especially if there is a power outage
  • Call the Grassroots shelter if you or someone you know needs to come in out of the cold. For Howard County: 410-531-6006.  For the Baltimore area: 410-433-5175

read more

Dr. Charles Mess, Jr. offers 3 tips to avoid joint replacement surgery:

  • Keep your weight down. People who are heavier have a lot more joint problems and if they need joint replacement surgery, have a more difficult time recovering.
  • Participate in low-impact exercise or a regular basis such as aerobics, weight-lifting, swimming or tennis.
  • Quit smoking. Every field of medicine sees the unique effects of smoking. In orthopedics, smoking causes osteoporosis and contributes to many other orthopedic problems. For example, ti prevents bones from healing correctly after a fracture or surgery.

Physical Therapy The First Step for Orthopedic Problems. If you aren’t ready for surgery, your physician may recommend physical therapy to help reduce pain and increase mobility. HCGH has a team of specially trained physical therapists who are experienced in a variety of types of rehabilitation. Call 443-718-3000 for an appointment.

Considering Joint Replacement Surgery? Patients today have a lot of choices – which doctor, which procedure, which piece of equipment and when it’s the right time to have joint replacement surgery. Many surgeons who operate at HCGH also operate at other area hospitals. Most of our patients request HCGH so that caregivers and family members can be close by to help with their recovery. If you prefer to have your surgery performed at HCGH, ask your surgeon. Watch a recorded program about what to expect and how to prepare for joint replacement surgery:

More About the Comprehensive Joint Replacement Program at HCGH: The Joint Academy at HCGH began in 2008 as a coordinated, hospital-based program for patients having knee and hip replacement surgery. In order to ensure the best outcomes possible, our care team meets with patients well in advance of surgery to review how they can physically and emotionally prepare for the procedure. We also meet with the patients’ caregivers, who will be providing post-surgery support, and work with the physicians and therapists before, during and after a procedure to ensure all pre-operative testing is complete and surgery can be performed as safely as possible. We have a thorough orientation program for patients.

For a list of orthopedic specialists at HCGH, visit hcgh.org/orthopedics.


read more

calendar_2014smJanuary 4, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

January 6, 3:30 p.m.
Blood Pressure Screening.Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well and Wise event.

January 6, 6:30 p.m. Move with GamesExercise while competing with your friends at the Elkridge Branch on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

January 6, 7:00 p.m. Guided MeditationPresented by Star Ferguson-Gooden, M.Ac., L.Ac. at Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection.Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Well & Wise Event.

January 7, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Medicare 102: Why Medicare Isn’t Enough. Learn about Medicare Advantage/Health Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement policies (Medigap). What should you consider when deciding which Medicare choices are right for you? Understand how plans vary, your costs, and when is the best time to enroll. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on aging. Hosted by Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 7, 3:30 p.m.  Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 8, 10:30 a.m. Healthy Kids. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature at the Glenwood Branch. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579.

January 9, 5:30 -9:00 p.m. Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 9, 7:15 p.m. You Can Run, Too! Meet Betty Smith, record holder for the most miles (89) in 48 hours run by a woman between 70 – 74 years old. Smith discusses how proper posture, strengthening exercises, balance, and relaxation have allowed her to run ultra marathons without injury. Stephanie Dignan, founder of The Boot Camp Girl, LLC, also offers advice for reaching your fitness goals. Ages 14 and up. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

January 11, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

January 13, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Healthy Weight, Healthy You: Part 1: Looking to Lose Weight? Our certified nutritionist and registered dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet, and promote health. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 15, 7:00 -8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

#HoCoHealth


read more

calendar2013transDecember 27 – January 2, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

December 30, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Just For Me. A class at the East Columbia Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 31 & January 1, HCLS will Close at 5pm in Observance of New Year’s Eve and will be Closed in Observance of New Year’s Day.

December 31, 5-7:30 p.m. Midnight at 7 Back by popular demand! Midnight at 7 is a fun filled, family friendly New Year’s Eve event and you won’t find anything quite like it in Howard County. Ring in the New Year with an exciting fireworks display (weather permitting) at 7pm. Walk through the Symphony of Lights, enjoy the toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors and more! For more information visit www.hcgh.org/midnightat7

 

calendar_2014smJanuary 2, 7:00- 9:00 p.m.  Happiest Baby on the Block. For expectant parents and parents of babies up to three months old, this class teaches successful techniques for soothing your newborn baby and promoting restful sleep for your infant. Parent Kits are included. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

January 2, 7:00 p.m. Gardening Under Glass. Cold frames, window sills, portable greenhouses, and bell jars extend the gardening season. Pat Greenwald demonstrates how to propagate plants under glass from January until mid-May at the Miller Branch. University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

January 4, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information

January 7, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Medicare 102: Why Medicare Isn’t Enough. Learn about Medicare Advantage/Health Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement policies (Medigap). What should you consider when deciding which Medicare choices are right for you? Understand how plans vary, your costs, and when is the best time to enroll. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on aging.

January 7, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon.. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information


read more

A Family of Surgeons

A family of surgeons caring for families of Howard County

Drs. Mess and Beaux the horse

Drs. Mess and Beaux the horse

Many factors led to Charles Mess Jr. and Sarah Mess following their father into the field of medicine. “Because I was a physician, there were always neighborhood kids in our kitchen with a variety of injuries and illnesses, and my kids saw that and watched me care for them, and I think it made an impression,” explains Charles Mess Sr. “I also used to take my children on hospital rounds on the weekends; and I specifically remember Sarah watching me suture one of our dogs who was injured.”

Seeing their father happy in his career as an orthopedic surgeon certainly helped guide the career choices of  Howard County surgeons Charles Mess Jr. and Sarah Mess. When Sarah, the youngest of four, was 11 years old, the family moved to a working farm in Olney, Md., where she was very involved with the animals, including horses and dogs. “I cared for horses and other animals and helped with treating their wounds,” says Sarah. Initially interested in becoming a veterinarian, Sarah chose the human side of medicine, eventually specializing in plastic surgery. “I like that I can help people and that, in the end, I get to see the patient happier and healthier,” she says. Sarah performs a wide variety of plastic surgery procedures, including those for breast reconstruction after cancer, breast reduction and removal of skin cancer as well as cosmetic procedures. “A lot of senior patients are dating again, so we are doing ‘cool sculpting’ techniques and injectables and fillers.”

For Charles Jr., the road was more indirect. In fact, it wasn’t until after a brief stint in real estate finance that the younger Mess decided to pursue medicine, eventually settling on the specialty of orthopedic surgery. “I love my job,” he says. “It may sound trite, but I really like helping people and providing comfort for them.” In keeping with the family theme, Charles Jr.’s wife is also a physician, specializing in neonatology. As an orthopedic surgeon, Charles Jr., specializes in joint replacements and sports medicine.

After finishing his residency and fellowship in orthopedics in Texas, Charles Jr. moved back to Maryland and joined his father’s practice, Potomac Valley Orthopaedic Associates in Columbia.

Dad’s story

Drs. Sarah and Charles Mess, Sr.

Drs. Sarah and Charles Mess, Sr.

After a stint as a Navy doctor and a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Charles Sr. became a partner in a small orthopedic practice, with offices in Montgomery County and Washington D.C., in the early 1970s. As the practice grew, they started looking eastward toward HCGH as it became more established in the community. In the late 1980s, the practice joined with Dr. Daniel Tang’s practice and opened an office in Howard County. By the early 2000s, Potomac Valley Orthopaedic Associates had built a medical building right next to HCGH, and the physicians were performing many procedures here.

“The biggest change I have seen in my years at HCGH is the growth – both of the patient population and of the hospital’s infrastructure,” says Charles Sr. “In terms of the changes I have seen in medicine, I would say one of the most amazing is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which gives us a much better look at the body than we were able to have before. The advances in orthopedic surgery in general, and joint replacements specifically, have also been incredible. These advances make a huge difference in the quality of life for patients today.”

And what about the next generation of the Mess family? At least a couple of Charles Jr.’s children have shown an interest in medicine and Sarah’s son often asks to accompany his mother when she works on the hospital’s Pediatric Unit. “He likes to play video games on the unit,” she explains.

 


read more

calendar2013transDecember 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Breast Cancer Support Group. This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis usually meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

December 20 – December 23, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

December 20, 3:00 p.m. Move with Games. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect at the Glenwood Branch. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

December 23, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Just For Me. A class at Central Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 24 & 25, HCLS Closed in Observance of Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

December 24, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

December 31, 5-7:30 p.m. Midnight at 7 Back by popular demand! Midnight at 7 is a fun filled, family friendly New Year’s Eve event and you won’t find anything quite like it in Howard County. Ring in the New Year with an exciting fireworks display (weather permitting) at 7pm. Walk through the Symphony of Lights, enjoy the toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors and more! For more information visit www.hcgh.org/midnightat7


read more

Crafty Christmas: or not!

gingerbreadgirlWe went to Grandma and Pots’ house for Thanksgiving dinner—no, that isn’t a typo; and, yes, there is a story behind the name. I bought some holiday-themed crafts to keep the cousins occupied after we ate. I soon discovered that these 40 percent off bargains were more aggravating than cleaning egg out of the grooves of my son’s Skechers.

I’ll start with Craft Box 1: the kids were unanimous in digging into this project first since they’d be decorating a jingle bell with a snowman face and top hat. The other option was a Santa suit equipped with a fabulous gold buckle. I envisioned attaching these cuties to teacher gifts and maybe hanging one in Grandma’s window before we left for the night. I soon discovered I made a mistake buying Elmer’s glue. The felt pieces stuck alright…to me.

Apparently tacky glue was the better bet—this from my eight-year-old niece as she reached for a circular disk to complete her hat. Tot’s craft (we have a Pots and a Tot in our family) turned out the best. However, by the time she was ready to assemble Santa, we had an assembly line of cries and tears, and misplaced googly eyes.

I moved onto Craft Box 2 to distract everyone—did I mention I bought three of these things? This time we would make reindeer and angel heads (because you always think of these icons as a set, right?). We were instructed—by the box photo, no directions required—to roll a pipe cleaner into a flat pancake and jam a cake pop stick into one end. Well, apparently glue sticks to fuzzy pipe cleaners as well as it does to metallic balls. More tears. More cries of anguish. The kids reached for the third box. “Enough!” I said. Then I packed up my leftovers to return to the store where the post-Thanksgiving sale would be even more substantial.

Now that it’s mid-December, craft kits are everywhere—even in the grocery stores. My kids are begging to make a gingerbread house. I reminded them of the last time we attempted this feat when the candy houses collapsed faster than in an F5 tornado. Still…. they persist in asking.

Deep down I know doing arts and crafts with my kids is a worthwhile investment. I get to know them a little better as I watch them explore and create. I’m amazed at the way they problem solve and improvise when the directions don’t pan out, which is pretty much always in our case. Plus, it makes me smile when they work as a team—it often takes more than one pair of hands to assemble a Styrofoam penguin. They’re proud of their creations, and I’m proud of them for hanging in there when we create a flop. As my daughter’s art teacher says, “When we mess it up, we dress it up.” So maybe we will snag one of those kits in the checkout lane after all. How about you?

I’d love to hear about your kid craft projects gone wrong or right. In the meantime, here are a few websites to get your creativity flowing: Crafts for Toddlers, Spoonful.com, and Christmas-specific crafts.

 

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.  She manages marketing projects at work and kids at home.

read more

Aging and Sleep

Sleep Like a Baby Again:                            

Q&A with Dr. Charlene Gamaldo

Dr. Charlene Gamaldo

Dr. Charlene Gamaldo

Johns Hopkins sleep specialist and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at HCGH explains common sleep problems that come with age, and considerations for aging women.

Why is everyone concerned about sleep?

In addition to not feeling your best when you don’t get enough sleep, a lack of sleep has been shown to have a negative effect on your cardiovascular and mental health – and even weight management. People today are chronically sleep deprived. On average, Americans get an average of 30 minutes less sleep than we did ten years ago.

How much sleep does an older person need?

If you needed eight hours of sleep a night when you were 22 years old, that is also what you need as a 70-year-old; it doesn’t change. Our brain has an internal clock that sets our biorhythms, including natural sleep and wake times. For most adults, the times are about 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. A natural “morning lark” may have a schedule that is shifted earlier, and a “night owl” may have a schedule that is shifted later. Our natural sleep rhythm is like our personality; it is pretty fixed at birth although we can shift our clock times earlier as we age. Each of us is unique in our sleep duration needs. Most adults need about 7.5 to 8 hours, but some need more and some less.

Are there differences for women?

Aside from hormonal changes and “hot flashes” that can happen during menopause, women can have a slightly higher incidence of sleep disorders, like insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Another important point is that women can present differently with certain types of sleep disorders. Women with sleep apnea are more likely to complain of insomnia rather than more classic symptoms like snoring or daytime sleepiness seen in the male patient. Other factors can affect diagnosis of sleep disorders in women too – for example, a widow who sleeps alone may be less aware of signs of sleep apnea than if she had a partner who could report her sleep patterns.

 Is sleep apnea more common in older people?

Sleep apnea prevalence increases with age. Other classic risk factors include higher BMI, small chin, large neck, big tongue. Elderly sleep apneic patients are more likely to have the condition even in the absence of these other more classic risk factors. Common symptoms are: breath pauses during sleep, snoring, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, feeling irritable or unrefreshed upon waking in the morning.

How do we improve sleep as we age?

I recommend simple strategies first like: forming a regular sleep routine, allowing your body to “wind down” in the hours before sleep as opposed to drinking caffeine, exercising or working on the computer. Losing weight or limiting alcohol can also improve your body’s natural ability to obtain good quality sleep.

When is it time to see a doctor about sleep problems?

If the simple strategies aren’t helping and if your inability to sleep affects work or daytime activities, relationships or mood, it is probably time to seek help. There are many reasons people have trouble sleeping and numerous sleep disorders. We have specialists in many areas of sleep medicine who can pinpoint your particular issue and provide interventions that can help you get back to sleeping well again.

To schedule an appointment call 1-800-WESLEEP.

To hear more from the specialists at the new sleep center at HCGH, watch these videosTopics include: women and sleep, depression and sleep, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, circadian rhythm disorder, sleep apnea, and new at-home technology for diagnosing sleep disorders.

 

 


read more

Finding Routines in the holidays…

It started Thanksgiving morning. My five-year-old finished breakfast then darted through the house like a ping pong ball. After a few minutes of restless wandering, he came over to me with his eyebrows puffed into clouds. “What’s wrong?” I asked, my mouth full of egg. “I don’t know what to do,” he whined. Wow—and that’s just after one and a quarter days home from school. How’s he going to react when he has a real break (a.k.a. Christmas vacation)?

Free range play will not hold up for 12 days straight. Now that Little C is in kindergarten, he has built-in structure five days a week. We even have school routines at home: at eight o’clock, my kids eat breakfast, at eight-thirty, they brush teeth (well, suck on the toothbrush in my son’s case). Then we bolt for the door at five of nine when the neighbor kid and his mom head past our house for the bus. The rest of the day proceeds accordingly.

Although I won’t be as rigid about my kids’ holiday break (I must admit, I am a bit OCD—I have visions of color-coded schedules dancing in my head), I will attempt more structure than I have in the past. It will reduce sibling spats and whining (the whining is my contribution). It’s not rocket science to plan out set routines for breakfast, lunch and snack. Toss in an hour for a family activity or a trip to Target, T.V./computer time as well as free play and you’ve got yourself a day. I’ve got my mind set on a toy organizing session too—it’s about time we reattached those Barbie heads. Then there’s the guest room prep since we have relatives visiting from Canada this year. The Christmas ham may not sit as well if we push them out the door after dinner.

So a schedule it will be. Schedules provide security and stability for children, so say the child experts. And, get this, routines make kids feel loved and can improve their behavior. Wow, all that from handing them a toothbrush at eight thirty every morning? Actually it’s more complex than that. These things are consistent activities they can rely on. Structure helps stabilize their day, even in its loosest form. If you’re wondering why your kids get out of sorts during a school break, it may be because their routine has been uprooted.

This year, I may go so far as to print out a daily schedule, have the kids decorate it with stickers and tape it to the fridge (I said I was OCD, didn’t I?). Then my seven-year-old can take over. “Oh, it’s two o’clock. That means it’s time for snack!” It can make clean-up time even more pleasant because they’ll know what to expect and when to expect it. “It’s four-thirty, time to organize toys with Mommy. Hey, what is Barbie’s head doing on Buzz Lightyear’s body?”

We may not be running for the bus at five of nine this Christmas break but toward our next slightly scheduled activity instead. Peace on earth, goodwill to men and a happy routine to all!

 

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.

read more

Over this past year, as HCGH celebrated our 40th anniversary- we collected some great stories.  Occasionally the physician becomes the patient…  Here is one that you might have missed.

Dr. Kevin Carlson Shares Her Own Multigenerational HCGH Story

Dr. Carlson's son, Max, with his great-grandmother.

Dr. Carlson’s son, Max, with his great-grandmother.

“It was the weekend of September 19, 2003, during Hurricane Isabel, a major storm that caused widespread flooding and some evacuations, that I delivered my third child, Sidney, in Labor and Delivery. On Saturday, my second child, Campbell, then two years old, required ER evaluation and was discharged home with clearance to meet her new baby sister. The previous Thursday, my grandmother, Helen Namkin, had been admitted for a pelvic fracture. On the same Friday I was delivering a baby, she underwent a scheduled elective carotid endarterectomy surgery by Dr. Edmund Tortolani. She spent the night in post-op in the ICU and was well enough to visit me and the baby before being discharged on Sunday.

Therefore on one night, three generations and four members of my family were beautifully cared for at HCGH and the huge extended family needed only to drive to one destination – via flooded roads – to support a grandmother, a mother, a child and a new baby!”

 

 


read more

Our weekly list of Well & Wise classes and events in Howard County, Maryland.

December 6 and 10, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

December 6, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Just For Me. A class at the East Columbia Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Also offered 12/9, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. at Central Branch. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 6 – December 11, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

Home Sweet Home. 9-11:00 a.m.  Is your child almost ready to stay home alone? Then this class is for you! Children aged 8-12 and their parents learn safe ways for children to stay at home alone. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

December 7, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information

December 8, Celebration of Hope. Celebration of Hope stroll through the lights on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 4:30-5:45 p.m. is open to current cancer patients and survivors. All walkers must begin by 5 p.m. This event is free, but space is limited. Registration and tickets required, 410-740-5858.

December 9, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Healthy Kids. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature at Miller Branch. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series ending 12/16. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

December 10, 4:00-5:45 p.m. Tail Lights. Treat yourself and your dog to a leisurely stroll through the 1.4 mile Symphony of Lights. Make this dog friendly walk a new holiday tradition. We encourage you to dress your dog in festive attire! Participants may enter for a chance to win fabulous pet-friendly prizes. Online registration will be open September 15th. (Last admission is at 5:15 p.m.) For more information visit: www.hcgh.org/taillights

December 10, 10- 11:30 a.m. Medicare 101: What You Can Expect From Medicare. Are you currently on Medicare or soon will be? Do you provide care to someone covered by Medicare? This presentation will review Original Medicare (Part A Hospital and Part B Medical) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Learn what is covered, your costs, how Medicare works, and available benefit programs. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

December 11, 7:00 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion, Nigella Lawson. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences at the Glenwood Branch. Refreshments. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

December 16, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.


read more

If you have young children, these dinner games will make meal time- including holiday meals-  go smoothly

 

.

.

It’s not just busy schedules that are difficult when arranging family dinners, children can turn dine time into whine time. They’re fatigued after a full day of school or daycare in addition to being hungry. Managing those emotions is difficult for them and they often use dinner as their opportunity to explode. I’m constantly threatening the loss of dessert if my kids stand up, act up or spit up at the table. It’s amazing how siblings can fight over the salt shaker like it’s a ticket to Disney World. Does this happen at your table? To decrease indigestion and increase family bonding, I’ve found some solutions to distract the kids into better behavior and foster that family bonding that dinner’s supposed to provide.

Mix props with the potatoes: I had a too-cute-to-toss card box that I use to collect encouragement cards I found at a local store. Right before dessert, the kids close their eyes, reach in the box and pick a card to read. They love the thrill of mystery and the cartoons on the cards. I like the positive messages, often from the book of Psalms or Proverbs. There are so many ways to do this project. Kids love surprises, even if it’s a Post-it note message out of a jar. Start collecting jokes, interesting things from your day to share or fun questions to ask. Jot them down on index cards and everyone picks one to read. These can also be theme-related. Christmas is coming, after all. Yes, this activity takes advance planning, but the cards are reusable and you can keep adding to the box. (You can also go to Amazon and type in “family dinner games” to order something similar. Now you have no excuse to try this fun family game.)

Don’t just prepare the food, prep the conversation. Put a photo or a cut-out from a magazine under everyone’s place mat and have them pull out their surprise one at a time, maybe during dessert to keep them in suspense. When junior holds up the family photo of going down the water slide at an amusement park last July, ask: what do you remember most about that day? Or, do you remember where we were when this was taken? For laughs, toss in one of your baby pictures, or one of theirs. Kids love to see pictures of themselves. If you’re feeling extra creative, cut out a picture from a magazine or downloaded from the internet and ask them to make up a story about the scene.

Family dinner time is probably the only segment of your day where everyone can be in the same room. Make the most of it by discovering the little details that made up each other’s day. You’ll be surprised at what you discover. Chances are, however, if you belt out, “How was your day?” you’ll get a one-word answer. It’s too vague a question. I have a neighbor who used to ask her kids, “So who got in trouble in class today?” That got the conversation stirring. Another way to do this is to play a round of Fibs For Fun. Everyone tells three things about their day, two are real and one is not. Then you have to guess which is the fib. Maybe the winner gets first dibs at dessert?

Another table friendly game is “Can You Remember?” It calls for one player to close their eyes and guess things like, what color shirt are you wearing or where is the napkin holder on the table, etc.  Another variation is “What’s Missing?” Remove something from the table while one player closes their eyes, then ask them to guess what it is when they open them.

Of course, bad moods and manners will seep in from time to time. If your child can’t be redirected into better behavior, it’s best to separate him from the table and explain that he’s welcome back when he can act appropriately. This way you don’t spoil it for the rest of the family. In time, the tantrums will decrease, especially when the rest of you are having so much fun at dinner.

As your family gathers for holiday dinners, I challenge you to pick one of these dinner bonding tips for your next feast. I bet your ham goes down smoother, even if you are sharing it with Auntie Ruth and her half dozen cats.

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.

read more

calendar2013transDecember- January 5, Symphony of LightsSymphony of Lights is a spectacular display of 70 larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations.  It is a long-standing community tradition and a “must-see” during the holiday season. Enjoy the Symphony of Lights in a variety of ways. For more information visit www.hcgh.org/symphonyoflights

December 2, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Healthy Kids. Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature at Miller Branch. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Mondays, Dec 2 – 16. Multi-week series. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 2, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at the Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

December 2, 6:30 p.m. Move with Games. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect at Elkridge Branch. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

December 2, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation. Presented by Star Ferguson-Gooden, M.Ac., L.Ac. at Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Well & Wise Event.

December 3, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Joy of Movement. Musical fun and movement for little ones and their grown-ups at Central Branch. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 3, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon.. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 3, 4:00 p.m. Build Energy. Learn about cool ways to create energy from food and the resulting chemical reaction. Explore possibilities of what the future of food, LCD, and energy might be at the East Columbia Branch. Ages 11-18. Registration required. HiTech is funded in part by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS. Register online or by calling 410.313.7700.

December 4, 6-9:00 p.m. Living With Diabetes Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

December 4, 2013. 7-9:00 p.m.  Happiest Baby on the Block.  This class is for expectant parents and parents of babies up to 3 months old. Learn successful techniques to soothe your crying newborn and promote a more restful sleep for your infant. Parent kits included. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 4, 7-8:45 p.m. Mastering the Illusions of Stress. Gain insight into how your perceptions influence your stress. Discover secrets that will allow for more peace and well-being in your life. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Getting the Best Health Care as You Age. John R. Burton, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center, will teach you how to navigate today’s complex health care system and give guidance on choosing and communicating with doctors and translating insurance plans. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 5, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Soup-er Caring Kids. Bring canned goods to be donated to the Howard County Food Bank, and enjoy stories and activities about soup at Central Branch. Ages 2 & up with adult; 30 min. Ticket required. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

December 5, 4:00-5:45 p.m. Blinkin’ Binkies. This family friendly event is a great way to celebrate the holiday season with a leisurely 1.4 mile walk through the dazzling Symphony of Lights! Children in strollers or wagons are welcome. (Last admission is at 5:15 p.m.) For more information visit: www.hcgh.org/blinkinbinkies

December 5, 4:30 p.m. Tween Sprouts: Enchanted Garden Club. Discover the joys of gardening. Learn gardening basics and be prepared to get your hands dirty while growing healthy habits at Miller Branch. Ages 9-11; 90 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Signed release form required.

December 5, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 6 and 10, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000


read more

I’ve been called the Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge and a few other choice things.  I understand. They are labels thrown out by people that can’t fathom my particular brand of holiday spirit. To them, there is no holiday without shopping and wrapping… without gift exchanges at the workplace, the preschool, the mom’s group, and the basketball team.  It’s the season of giving, right?

Absolutely. Many illuminate the longest nights and darkest days of winter with a celebration that involves giving. It is at that point, however where we usually diverge, as I choose the path less traveled and that has made all the difference in my life.

Long before the downturn in the economy prompted conservation, Occupy Wall Street caused us to consider our own personal levels of greed, and recent studies called to mind our staggering level of consumption; our family chose to tune out the unrelenting cacophony of the holiday season and celebrate Christmas “unplugged.”

Nearly fifteen years ago, on Christmas morning, my husband and I applied the proverbial brakes. Surrounded by a sea of torn wrapping paper, empty boxes and mountains of new non-essential things to put away, we realized that which we had taken months to create, had taken only ten minutes to undo. We had succumbed to commercial interests and become conspicuous consumers. We had filled the landfills with more than our share of stuff.  We were stressed and snappish. We had lost sight of our own faith-based reason for the season. And, most heartbreaking- we had lost our most precious gift- time with our children. There was no way to reclaim those dozens of hours lost each year to the commercial clamor of shopping and wrapping of holidays past, but we could rewrite the future.

We resolved to change.  Out of respect for the sensibilities of young children, who could understand the theory, but not so much the practice, we eased into our new tradition. We limited the gifts to three presents per child for the first year, but the next year, we were all in- we graduated to Christmas- Unplugged.

Holiday display at the National Botanic Garden

Holiday display at the National Botanic Garden

We concentrate on what we do, and not on the things we don’t do. We bake cookies. We see the the lights in Hampden or visit the holiday train and monument displays at the United States Botanic Garden. We visit the International Crèche display at the Washington DC Temple. We support the local arts and go into Baltimore to see Tuba Christmas (200 of Maryland’s finest tubas and euphoniums in concert). We try to catch a show- last year it was Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Kennedy Center. We participate in workshops, like the annual Sock Monkey Saturday at the American Visionary Art Museum (memorable for the hopeless looks we received from the men in the family as they tried to stitch their creations together.) We go ice skating outside

Holiday Skating

Holiday Skating

and take long walks along the Patapsco and Middle Patuxent rivers. We play games like Bananagrams or Cathedral or Apples to Apples. We watch football games together.

Together as a family we celebrate old traditions and create new ones, we carve out time to spend together and in the process, we create lasting memories. Our family has grown and evolved, but the Christmas Unplugged spirit remains a steady reminder that the spirit of the holidays is within us.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

Mary Catherine Cochran 

hocoblogs@@@


read more

During this Thanksgiving holiday we are are humbled and grateful to our community of supporters who give so much of their time and resources.  The support or our community and of our community benefactors means so much to all of us here at Howard County General Hospital.

.

Howard Hospital Foundation donors share the many reasons why they choose to support the hospital.  In this season of thanks, HCGH is grateful for their support.

For more information about the Foundation and those who give, visit the website.

“I have been donating to HCGH since 1992. I believe it is important to support the community from which you receive revenue by giving back, and the hospital is an incredible institution that has taken care of me and my community.”- George Doetsch

“While HCGH serves those who live and work in Howard County, it is, in our opinion, one of the best hospitals in the country. We want to see the hospital grow with the community, and supporting the hospital in this manner is our way to help ensure that the level of care we have come to expect continues for generations to come. We believe in HCGH and its ability to help make Howard County a better place.”- Creig and Carla Northrop

 “LifeNet is a great illustration of how the Howard Hospital Foundation, HCGH,  Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services and our neighbors in Howard County can work together to bring the latest innovations to our area. We already have excellent health care. This just takes it up one level.”-David Powell

“Howard County is a huge piece of our life; it’s where I grew up, it’s where we have raised our family, it’s where I’ve worked selling homes for 37 years. We sincerely enjoy giving back to our community by supporting programs, events and great institutions like the Howard Hospital Foundation. When our family needed a hospital, HCGH was there for us. We are forever grateful for their expertise and efforts, and are proud to support such a wonderful organization.” - Bob Lucido

“I don’t have much, but you reap what you sow…so the more good you put out there, the more you get in return.” - Saundra Bates

“Our parents have set the example and have taught us that we have a responsibility to the community. We wholeheartedly believe in giving back.”- Mary Glagola

“I appreciated the care my late wife and my current wife have received at the hospital throughout the years. So why not give back?”- Robert Fischell, Sc.D.

“The hospital serves a broader range of citizens than any other organization in Howard County. Three generations of my family have been served by the hospital.  At some point in time, the hospital will touch nearly every single person in Howard County. It is important to have a facility of the caliber of HCGH in our community.”- Chip and Cathy Lundy

 “M&T has supported HCGH for more than 10 years because the hospital is a vital part of the quality of life we enjoy in the county.  We work to strengthen the communities we serve, and the hospital shares this commitment.  The hospital provides an extremely high level of medical care to community residents.”- Brian Walter

“As a physician, I feel it is important to nurture good quality nurses. Howard Community College offers an impressive nursing program. Funding a scholarship through HHF continues to foster the relationship that our practice has had with the Howard County nursing community. Many good nurses have come from the program, making it a wonderful investment in our community.” - Nicholas Koutrelakos, M.D.

“In requesting that donations in my daughter’s memory be made to the Howard Hospital Foundation, we felt we were both honoring her aspirations for nursing and benefiting the people of Howard County.”- Mark and Sharon Mayr

“I support the hospital because Howard County is home for me and my family. I believe investing in the communities in which we live, work and play is my responsibility.”- Paul Skalny

“The full physician medical staff has truly been giving to their ability. The physicians and physician groups that have been providing care to the community for all these years have stepped up in a very strong way to show their financial support for the campaign and for the hospital.”- Jerry Levine, M.D.

“We held a fundraiser benefiting the hospital. We are all about paying it forward and giving back.”- Michelle Kupiec

“Giving to the hospital was an emotional decision for us. We gave because we have good relationships with our doctors and like the environment the hospital has created. There is no other place that we felt we would like to give.”- Dr. Sanford A. Berman and Dr. Kay A. Ota-Berman

“This giving thing is all new to me. But it is so worthwhile when you see the effect your support really has.”- Zach Fine

“We all live and work in the hospital community. If we support the hospital, it can continue to grow, and we can better serve Howard County.”- Eric Aldrich, M.D.

“I could be a patient at HCGH tomorrow; my friends and family could be patients. By giving to this campaign, I can help ensure that we all receive the best care possible.”- Michael Silverman, M.D.

“The hospital was there for me when I was alone. They became my family. And now, I am there for them.”- Shirley Howard

“God has blessed me, and I want to be able to give back and help the community from a wellness perspective. I want to do whatever I can to help take care of our hospital and, in turn, our community.”- Margaret Kim

“Our family is a big supporter of organizations that help others, and HCGH is a special place. Purchasing a paver was an easy decision to make since the hospital is where my grandchildren’s lives started. I think it’s a nice thing to do because years from now my family can go to the hospital and see that their grandfather thought enough to do this when they were born.”- David G. Schwartz

“We experienced the hospital from all angles, and it was all positive.  We’re very satisfied with the hospital’s leadership and know our contributions will be put to good use.”- Jack and Karen Whiteside

“If you and your family have benefited from the hospital’s services and you are looking for the right avenue to make a lasting contribution, I encourage you to consider the many benefits of a planned gift through the Legacy Society.”- Shirley Bossom

“I’m very glad to have the opportunity to provide HCGH with lasting support through planned giving to the Legacy Society.”- Joanie Reisfeld

“I appreciate not just the high quality of care, but also the warm community setting of HCGH. In the past I have contributed to the Campus Development Plan of ‘my hospital,’ and now I believe it is my responsibility to help maintain its excellence. I became a Charter Member of the Legacy Society to help ensure that those same resources will be accessible to future generations, including my daughters, grandsons and even my great grandchildren.”- Emmy Lou Volenick

“Whenever Eugene “Pebble” Willis, M.D. was asked to help the hospital, he did so, and with enthusiasm. It was a great loss when Pebble passed away in 2009. Due to his tireless efforts, however, his legacy is enduring. Pebble’s generous support will continue after his death through the bequest he made to the hospital through the foundation.”- Vic Broccolino

“Supporting a cause that directly impacts the local community is important to us and that is precisely what the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center is all about.  It is there to lend a guiding hand and a warm heart to our neighbors when they need it most.  Helping the center expand and extend their service to the community has been extremely rewarding.”- Howard County Tourism & Promotion “Blossoms of Hope”

“Team CONQUER Cancer provides the inspiration and support I need to better myself and help others.  I welcome the opportunity to give back to the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, and the HCGH community that has been there for me from the birth of my three children, through my experience with breast cancer.”  - Diana Toronto

“I am on Team CONQUER Cancer because we’re all about life. I raise money for the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center because we’re all about living fully, loving generously, and longing to continue life-affirming services that help cancer patients and their caregivers cope with a devastating diagnosis.”- Heléne Kass

“Giving back to our communities is an integral part of our organizational culture. We, at Grace, are passionate about developing cutting edge technologies and seek to have a positive impact on the lives of people everywhere, whether through our products or our civic engagement.”- Brian McGowan

“I have medically fragile children who were born at HCGH. It is only natural that I philanthropically support my community hospital.”- Mark Biegel

“From my perspective, the hospital is on a trajectory that started 15 plus years ago from a care delivery standpoint to be one of the top community hospitals in the country. With the philanthropic support of our community, it will be a model hospital for communities around the country.”- Larry Butera

“My wife moved to Howard County in 1955, and she thought she was moving to the end of the world.  As we’ve watched our county grow and change, it has given much to us and our extended family.  Beth and I want to give back, and in my mind, the place that impacts everyone in the county is the hospital. The need for support will continue to grow as the county grows so it is important that residents, to the extent that they can, support the hospital.”- Peter Hibbard

“We decided to make a donation to the hospital because the hospital serves everyone in the community. We have made donations to other organizations that help feed the homeless or help fight cancer but thought donating a large sum to the hospital would reach more people.”- Sean and Jena Peay

“I donate and volunteer my time because it makes me happy to give back to a wonderful hospital that has taken such great care of my family and friends.”- Alicia Slahetka

“Living in Howard County for more than a decade, we have seen firsthand the quality of care this hospital provides and the strides it makes to continue to improve its facility. We are excited not only to honor our parents (with this donation) but also to contribute to the ongoing success the hospital has exemplified.”- Mukesh Majmudar

 “I am happy to support the hospital every year through my annual gift. Any organization that provides a vital community service, such as HCGH does, needs to be supported by community donations. Because the hospital serves us so well, we must return the favor.”- Charlie Miller

“I have lived in Howard County for more than 35 years, and HCGH is my hospital and the community’s hospital. It is important to me that it provides the very best medical care to the people who live here, including my children and grandchildren. My company, Harkins Builders, is also based here in Howard County, and many of our employees are county residents.  Supporting the hospital personally and through Harkins allows me to give back and to benefit so many others who are important to me.”- Dick Lombardo

“I want everyone at HCGH to know that each moment we volunteer and every dollar we donate, is a direct ‘thank you’ to those who work at this wonderful hospital.  I am grateful for your talents, kindness, and help to us in our moments of need.”- Jackie Benner


read more

Family Fun while Supporting a Good Cause

Family fun is an important way to strengthen family relationships.  Family fun begins early when your baby is born.  Fun is a component of play that helps your baby learn.  As your baby grows you can expand fun to include planned trips to playgrounds, parks or special events.  Understanding the value of fun throughout your lifespan will benefit both you and your family.

The holiday season brings families many opportunities to have fun together.  Consider coming to the Healthy Families Howard County (HFHC) Winter Wonderland Walk.  This annual fundraiser for HFHC is sure to delight children of all ages as well as adults.  Walking through the beautiful, lighted pathway makes the magic of the season more real.  The Winter Wonderland Walk is on Friday, December 6 from 4:30 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. The last admission is at 5:15 p.m.  Tickets are $10 each.  Children 12 and under are free.  Tickets may be bought in advance at the HCGH Wellness Center or will be available on site.

HFHC is a free, voluntary program for new first-time parents who live in Howard County.  For more information, visit our website  or find us on Facebook.  See you there!


read more

Ace your Parent-Teacher Conference with these tips

.

.

My first parent-teacher conference was two years ago and I still replay the personality assessment my daughter’s kindergarten teacher gave her. It was fun to hear how an objective observer viewed my five-year-old (I have a dreamy artist, by the way). Of course, now that she’s in second grade, I’ve got academics to review as well as the “fun stuff” during the conferences next week. Following are some conference tips that may help us both, whether your child is in kindergarten or reaching for that high school diploma at the end of the year.

Before Your Conference

  • Ask your child what grade he would give his teacher. Even if his opinion is skewed, it gives you a starting point of where he is coming from and why. Maybe there’s a detail in your child’s view that can foster better interaction with his teacher.
  • Ask your child if he has any school-related questions or concerns, or anything he’d like you to bring up with his teacher.
  • Review prior communications with the teacher, if any, and mention ones that are still relevant. For instance, my son’s kindergarten teacher sent home a note at the beginning of the year suggesting he hone his fine motor skills with some exercises. I’ll certainly ask if she’s noticed any progress.

During Your Conference

  • Show up with a notepad, pen and list of questions. The teacher will be impressed with how seriously you take your child’s academic success. Bonus: it may impress your teacher to be even more open with how she communicates with you outside of conference.
  • Effective evaluations or critiques follow the sandwich technique (compliment, offer constructive criticism, compliment). Note if your teacher follows this method. Why not try following this pattern as well? Start off with complimenting the teacher. For instance, I plan on telling Mrs. A, “I think it’s great how you offer a reward from the prize box after the kids have five days in a row with green (good) behavior.” It’s such an incentive for my son! When he comes home with a Happy Meal toy from the box, he’s as elated as he was opening his Green Machine on his birthday. Let your teacher know what he or she is doing right. It sets a great tone for the rest of the meeting and may foster a more cooperative relationship.
  • Your child is not perfect. No, really, she’s not! Don’t close your ears with walls of defense (that includes making excuses for your child) if the teacher has a less than glowing review of her academics or behavior. Listen first, then ask questions so you can better understand the teacher’s point and determine its value. Even if you’re passionate that your child has been treated unfairly, or that the teacher hasn’t handled the matter as well as he could have, don’t accuse. You need to work with this teacher for the rest of the year for your child’s sake. On the positive side, your child isn’t married to her teacher. She gets a new one in nine months. Maybe you’ll have a better teacher-child combo next year.
  • Bring up any emotional stresses that may be impacting your child’s behavior or academics. A recent divorce, move or even a new baby in the family can affect a child’s performance. If you inform your teacher, she’ll be better equipped to accommodate for the situation.

After Your Conference

  • Write a simple note thanking the teacher for his time and interest in your child. Obviously it’s his job, but don’t you like feeling appreciated? Let your child read or hand in the note. Show her you value a good relationship with her instructor.
  • Save any notes you took during the conference in a designated file folder. This will enable you to review past conferences and identify your child’s patterns, strengths, weaknesses and progression.
  • Discuss the conference with your child. After all, in this case, it is all about her. Talk about what she’s doing well and the things she needs to work on (think “sandwich” approach). Let her know you’re on her side and will help her. Maybe offer a reward for reaching a goal she’s struggling with.
  • Inform your child that you’re staying in touch with her teacher. This may make her more accountable for her behavior or performance at school.
  • Finally, follow up. If a specific issue needs monitoring, send the teacher an email in a few weeks to see how things are progressing. Don’t wait until the next conference.

Click for a printable download of a conference prep sheet.

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital.

read more

calendar2013transNovember 22 – 27, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

November 22, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Just For Me. A class at the East Columbia Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

November 23-24, Dazzle Dash Weekend. Dazzle Dash is a fun-filled kick-off community event to celebrate the opening of the 20th Annual Symphony of Lights. Friends and families gather to walk or run 1.4 miles through the magical outdoor display of lights. Come and experience the excitement as the holiday season begins. Enjoy games and activities for children of all ages, food, music, entertainment and giveaways. Sunday, November 24th’s activities include face painting, crafts, and a moonbounce. Strollers are welcome. No pets please.  Registration. For more information visit hcgh.org/dazzledash

November 25, 3:00 p.m. Fit ‘N Trimmings. Enjoy Thanksgiving stories, then learn fun dances and ways to keep fit over the holidays at the Glenwood Branch Ages 5-8; 45 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579. Well & Wise event. (Ho. Co. schools close early.)

November 25- January 5, Symphony of Lights. Symphony of Lights is a spectacular display of 70 larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations.  It is a long-standing community tradition and a “must-see” during the holiday season. Enjoy the Symphony of Lights in a variety of ways. For more information visit hcgh.org/symphonyoflights

November 26, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

November 28, HCLS closed for Thanksgiving Day.

December- January 5, Symphony of Lights. Symphony of Lights is a spectacular display of 70 larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations.  It is a long-standing community tradition and a “must-see” during the holiday season. Enjoy the Symphony of Lights in a variety of ways. For more information visit hcgh.org/symphonyoflights

December 3, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon.. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 4, 6-9:00 p.m. Living With Diabetes Executive Summary. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. An interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist, Living With Diabetes Executive Summary is a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

December 4, 2013. 7-9:00 p.m.  Happiest Baby on the Block.  This class is for expectant parents and parents of babies up to 3 months old. Learn successful techniques to soothe your crying newborn and promote a more restful sleep for your infant. Parent kits included. $50. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

December 4, 7-8:45 p.m. Mastering the Illusions of Stress. Gain insight into how your perceptions influence your stress. Discover secrets that will allow for more peace and well-being in your life. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.


read more

New AHA Guidelines for Statins- What Does It Mean For You?

.

.

For the last 20 years, physicians have focused on specific target levels for cholesterol to determine which patients should use cholesterol-lowering “statin” drugs. Statins like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin) inhibit an enzyme linked to cholesterol production in the liver and have been a proven tool in the reduction of heart disease. Under the former guidelines, 15.5 percent of adults in the United States were eligible for statins.

Last week, the American Heart Association  (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) released new guidelines for lowering cholesterol. Doctors are now advised to consider patients’ overall cardiovascular risk factors, not just their cholesterol numbers. The new guidelines identify four specific high-risk groups who could benefit from statins:

  • People with extremely high cholesterol (LDL of 190 milligrams per deciliter or higher)
  • People who already have atherosclerotic heart or vascular disease, including stroke
  • People age 40-75 who have diabetes
  • People age 40-75 who have a 7.5 percent or higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as measured by a new revised formula.

The new guidelines, which use an online risk assessment calculator, could increase the number of patients eligible for statins from 15.5 percent to 31 percent of adults in the U.S. This translates to millions of additional adults eligible for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

Two independent reviewers have questioned the accuracy of the risk calculator in a commentary in the November 19 issue of The Lancet. The physicians believe that the calculator overestimates the risk anywhere from 75 to 150 percent, potentially leading to an over-prescription of statins. The AHA and ACC issued a press release standing firmly behind the new risk calculator and guidelines.

It can be challenging to wade through all of this new information, so we asked Howard County cardiologist and Johns Hopkins Associate Professor of Medicine, Lili A. Barouch, M.D., to give us some insight into the new guidelines.

 

Question: Why are these new guidelines important and why can’t we just use cholesterol numbers anymore?

Answer: The biggest difference in the new guidelines is that there is no longer a specific cholesterol level that determines the need for therapy, nor is there a target cholesterol number that we are shooting for as a goal of treatment. We know from numerous research studies that people who already have cardiovascular disease and those who are at high risk will benefit from lowering their cholesterol, no matter what their number was when they started. While we still need to help patients reduce cholesterol, we also want to evaluate the whole patient by considering all other risk factors. For example, adults with diabetes have just as much risk of having a cardiovascular event as someone who has already had a heart attack. The new guidelines help us look beyond a number on a lab test and focus instead on improving outcomes, especially for those at the highest risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Question: What about the controversy concerning the risk calculator in the new guidelines?

Answer: All of the risk calculators out there have to be used in “real life” for a while before we decide whether they are effective for clinical practice. They are not used in isolation, but rather are only one of the tools we use to determine the best treatment for each patient. Using this calculator and the new guidelines, there likely will be people for whom we will prescribe statins for the first time. The goal is to identify high risk people who are currently undertreated and help prevent them from having a heart attack or stroke. Conversely, there may be some people currently on statins who could now reduce their statin dose based on the new guidelines, so it could work both ways. The key is to evaluate each patient’s risk in context and make a clinical assessment for that individual.

Question: How does a patient wade through this information to determine whether or not they should be taking statins?

Answer: Patients need to talk to their doctors before changing any of their medications. Please work with your doctor to decide whether you need a statin or not; there is no need to try to figure it out for yourself. It is important to note that there are other classes of drugs that lower cholesterol, but have not been proven to lower the risk of heart attack. With the new guidelines, your doctor will stick with the drugs that improve patient outcomes, not just make numbers look good on a blood test. The new guidelines can sound confusing. Although it is easier to grasp a target number than a set of risk factors, the new recommendations focus on preventing cardiovascular events in those who need it most. Lastly, the guidelines are ultimately just that – guidelines, and not an absolute decision on whether or not someone needs to be medicated. Each person needs to be evaluated and treated individually by his or her physician.

For more information and an informative video about assessing the risk of heart attack and stroke, visit the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute.

Cardiologist Lili A. Barouch, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She completed her training, residency and fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and holds certifications in Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology from the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is affiliated with the following Johns Hopkins Centers: Heart and Vascular Institute, Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center, Comprehensive Transplant Center, and the Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy Service.

 


read more

Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery – a new option for shoulder degeneration.

Like other joints in the body, the shoulder is susceptible to degeneration, or wear and tear, over time. Wear and tear of the shoulder is quite common as we age and typically takes the form of rotator cuff disease or arthritis. While there are many treatment options for these conditions, surgical reconstruction may be required if the symptoms (pain and limited function) are not relieved by conservative measures (rest, ice, pain medications, physical therapy, cortisone injections).

In some cases, the rotator cuff tear can be so significant that it is not surgically repairable or would be unlikely to heal even if surgically repaired. When the rotator cuff is not functioning effectively, accelerated degeneration of the joint can occur. This can leave an individual with both an arthritic joint and rotator cuff tears. This can be a very debilitating condition, causing significant pain and inability to lift the arm.

Figure 1

A new technology called “reverse total shoulder replacement” has been developed to address this unique and challenging problem. This new type of shoulder replacement has been in use in Europe since the 1980s. The “reverse” prosthesis was FDA approved for use in the United States since 2004. This type of shoulder replacement is called a reverse because it “reverses” the normal orientation of the ball and socket joint (Figure 2).

In a typical shoulder replacement, the arthritic humeral head (ball) is replaced by a metal ball and stem on the arm side, while the socket (shoulder blade side) is replaced with a plastic component (Figure 1). This shoulder replacement requires a functioning rotator cuff to work effectively. Because some patients have both rotator cuff tears and arthritis the “reverse” shoulder allows the replacement to function without the rotator cuff by “reversing” the ball and the socket (Figure 2). The ball is now placed on the socket (shoulder blade) side and the socket or cup is placed on the arm (humeral) side.

Figure 2

The reverse total shoulder replacement has provided significant pain relief and improved function to many patients with debilitating shoulder dysfunction.  The procedure has allowed patients to return to basic activities of daily living, such as combing your hair or reaching into a cupboard, as well as returning to recreational activities such as golf.

 

 

 

Uma Srikumaran currently serves as an Assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins University. Specializing in shoulder surgery, Dr. Srikumaran treats patients with shoulder pain, rotator cuff disease, traumatic injuries, instability or dislocations, fractures, osteoarthritis, or other sports related injuries. His surgical expertise includes fracture fixation, rotator cuff repair, shoulder stability procedures, revision shoulder surgery, as well as total shoulder replacements and reverse shoulder replacements. His practice is based in Columbia on the Howard County General Hospital campus, but he also sees patients in Odenton. Dr. Srikumaran trained as a medical student and resident at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in shoulder surgery at Harvard. He also presently serves as a team physician to the Baltimore Orioles.

read more

calendar2013transNovember 16, 3:00 p.m. Babysitting Toolkit. Make a babysitting toolkit that includes puppets, musical instruments, and books. Learn tricks of the trade, including singing, dancing, and choosing the best books to read aloud at the Glenwood Branch. Ages 11-17. A Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

November 16, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. FREE. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 16, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Essentials in Babysitting. $50. Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 18, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at the Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise event. No registration required.

November 18, 7:00 p.m. Game Night. Get moving! Meet and compete with friends at the Miller Branch. Refreshments. Ages 11-17. No registration required. Also offered 11/22, 3:00 p.m. Game Day at the Glenwood Branch. No registration required.

November 18, 7:00 p.m. Zombie Gardening. Where will you be when the Zombie Apocalypse arrives? Are you prepared to survive? What will you eat? Learn how to breathe new life into “dead” produce, how to turn trash into garden gold and create your own zombie garden with Howard County Master Gardener Alex Dunbar at the Miller Branch. Ages 8-12; 60 min. No registration required.

November 19 – 21, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

November 19, 4:00 p.m. HiTech Build Energy. Learn about cool ways to create energy from food and the resulting chemical reaction. Explore possibilities of what the future of food, LCD, and energy might be at the East Columbia Branch. Ages 11-18. HiTech is funded in part by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS. Register online or by calling 410.313.7700.

November 19, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 20, 10:30 a.m. Time For Us. Stories, songs, and activities at the Glenwood Branch. Ages 18-36 months with adult; 30 min. No registration required.

November 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

November 21, 4:30 p.m. Tween Sprouts: Enchanted Garden Club. Discover the joys of gardening in fall. Learn about ecology, plant a fall garden crop, and help maintain beds in the Enchanted Garden at the Miller Branch. Be prepared to get your hands dirty while growing healthy habits. Ages 9-11; 90 min. Registration and signed release form required.

November 21, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Breast Cancer Support Group. This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis usually meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

November 23-24, Dazzle Dash Weekend. Dazzle Dash is a fun-filled kick-off community event to celebrate the opening of the 20th Annual Symphony of Lights. Friends and families gather to walk or run 1.4 miles through the magical outdoor display of lights. Come and experience the excitement as the holiday season begins. Enjoy games and activities for children of all ages, food, music, entertainment and giveaways. Sunday, November 24th’s activities include face painting, crafts, and a moonbounce. Strollers are welcome. No pets please.  Registration. For more information visit hcgh.org/dazzledash


read more

 “None of us are prepared for a family member or friend to have a stroke. We end up relying on the skills and experience of a whole team of people. It is phenomenal that HCGH has a designated stroke center just 10 minutes from our home. We got the best therapy from wonderful people who are a part of our community.” – Claire Cohen, Clarksville, Md.

 

The HCGH Stroke Program has demonstrated higher standards for care, thus increasing recovery for many stroke patients. The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) has designated HCGH as a primary stroke center for the State of Maryland, which means that our treatment of stroke patients is monitored and measured.

HCGH is ready to treat stroke, any time of night or day. A special protocol is initiated the moment Howard County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls the hospital with a potential stroke victim. While EMS transports the patient, the hospital team prepares. Within minutes of arrival at the hospital, a physician assesses the patient, blood is drawn for lab work and a CT scan of the brain is conducted.

 Sobering National Stroke Statistics from the American Heart Association

  • Someone has a stroke every 45 seconds in the United States.
  • Only 20 to 25 percent of patients admitted to the hospital with a stroke arrive within three hours of the onset of symptoms, the “critical window” for treatment of certain strokes.
  • Less than five percent of patients in the United States receive thrombolytics, a critical treatment for some strokes.

Eric Aldrich, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of Medical Affairs and a neurologist who was instrumental in refining HCGH’s stroke program, believes that we must treat stroke according to the latest guidelines. A patient’s family can help ensure their loved one gets the best care. Dr. Aldrich explains, “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of calling 9-1-1 to get a head start on treatment. First responders begin treatment in the field and gather critical information about when the symptoms began.

“Our physicians can then diagnose and determine whether to administer thrombolytics, also known as tPA or clot-busting drugs. (Theses drugs are used in ischemic strokes, those caused by a blood clot, but not in hemorrhagic strokes, those caused by a bleed.) According to the National Stroke Association, carefully selected patients who receive these drugs within three hours from the onset of symptoms are 33 percent more likely to recover from their stroke with little or no disability after three months.” Dr. Aldrich adds, “Our focus is getting lifesaving, brain-saving care to patients within the critical three-hour window.”

(l. to r.) Susan Groman, RN, stroke program coordinator, laughs with Claire Cohen, Jose Maldanado and Jerry Cohen at a recent stroke support group.

(l. to r.) Susan Groman, RN, stroke program coordinator, laughs with Claire Cohen, Jose Maldanado and Jerry Cohen at a recent stroke support group.

Treatment at HCGH continues beyond diagnosis and acute care. According to Susan Groman, R.N. Stroke Program coordinator, HCGH encourages stroke patients to receive individualized rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, for at least 24 months following a stroke. Stroke survivor, Jerry Cohen, began the program in 2010 and continues to benefit from what was learned from his therapists. “The team is excellent, they really know their business,” Jerry’s wife, Claire Cohen, says. “Best of all, physical, occupational and speech therapies are in one location, which makes scheduling back-to-back appointments easy. Transportation can be a huge issue, so convenience is key.” Today, Jerry is much improved. “The old myth was that after 18 months, there is little progress, but for everyone in this stroke group the progress continues,” says Claire. “We were told my husband would never be able to walk. He is walking. He came out of the hospital on a ventilator and a feeding tube. Now he can walk into a restaurant and enjoy normal food with family and friends.”

A monthly stroke support group is described by many patients and caregivers as an essential part of recovery. “The group is extremely helpful and is part of our routine,” Claire says. Group members are all ages and Claire notes that, like her, a number of caregivers are still working. Susan says; “Everyone is welcome, patients and caregivers alike.” Claire believes a diverse group is important. She says, “All strokes are different, they affect patients and families uniquely, but when you gather together in a supportive setting, there is much similarity. We discuss clinical trials, legal issues, home modification, transportation resources and how to find respite care. We share concerns and work together to find solutions.”

Education is also a part of the Stroke Program. Susan says, “We know that by teaching people the symptoms of stroke and the importance of calling 9-1-1 we can make a difference. Most of my patients wish they had called 9-1-1 sooner.”

Susan and her husband, cardiologist George Groman, M.D., have a commitment to stroke and emergency care in Howard County. Susan explains, “I’ve been an emergency nurse and a caregiver to aging parents and in-laws – so I know firsthand how valuable timely emergency treatment and rehabilitation are to a patient’s recovery and quality of life. Knowing this care exists can also give peace of mind to caregivers.”

 

Signs of Stroke Every minute counts, so act FAST when you see these signs:

Face – Droopy face on one side? Ask the person to smile.

Arms – Weak or numb arm? Ask them to raise their arms. Does one drift down?

Speech – Slurred speech? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence to see if they can.

Time – If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

The HCGH Stroke Program recently received the American Heart Association (AHA) “Get With the Guidelines Stroke” Gold Quality Achievement Award. To learn more about our stroke support groups, call 410-740-7601 or visit www.hcgh.org/stroke.

Dr. Groman explains more about symptoms and treatment for stroke in these videos:

 


read more

calendar2013transNovember 8 – 15, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

November 8 & 15, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Just For Me. A class at the East Columbia Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Also offered 11/12, 2:00 p.m at Miller Branch. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

November 9, 2:00 p.m. I’m Going to Be a Big Brother or Sister. Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding your baby at the Central Branch. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. A Well & Wise event. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

November 11, HCLS closed in observance of Veterans Day.

November 12 – 14, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

November 12, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

November 12, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2nd Tuesdays at the Elkridge Branch. A Well & Wise event.

November 12, 3:00 p.m. Teen Advisory Board: Glenwood Branch. Join the Teen Advisory Board at your branch to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with HCLS instructors on projects you create. Service learning hours available for some projects. Ages 11-17. No registration required. Also offered 11/12, 4:30 p.m. at the East Columbia Branch. No registration required.

November 13, 10:30 a.m. Time For Us. Stories, songs, and activities at the Glenwood Branch. Ages 18-36 months with adult; 30 min. No registration required.

November 14, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Twist and Shout: Teddy Bears. Get those wiggles out with music and movement for little ones at the Miller Branch. Ages 2-5 with adult; 30 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

November 14, 10:30 a.m. Let’s Play. Explore early childhood concepts with toys and activities at the East Columbia Branch. Ages 2-5. Allow 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

November 14, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Smoke-Free Lungs. Education and support for those wanting to quit or who have quit. Attend one or all sessions. 9/26, 10/17 or 11/14. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 16, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:o0 a.m.- noon. FREE. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 16, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Essentials in Babysitting. $50. Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 19, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

November 21. Today is the Great American Smoke Out.


read more

Specialized Program Changes to Meet Evolving Needs: Acute Care for Elders (ACE)

Geriatrician Anirudh Sridharan, M.D. with geriatrc nurse practitioner Francie Black, CRNP.

Geriatrician Anirudh Sridharan, M.D. with geriatrc nurse practitioner Francie Black, CRNP.

Caring for the ever-growing elderly population is a challenge faced by health care systems across the country. Responding to the need for improved hospital-based geriatric care, Howard County General Hospital launched the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Program in November 2011, providing the community’s aging population with the specialized care needed to help minimize complications from hospitalization.

A national effort, the ACE model is designed to help elderly patients avoid inactivity that can lead to physical and cognitive decline during a long-term hospital stay. Patients admitted to HCGH’s ACE Program, must be at least 70 years of age, admitted through the Emergency Department from home and be considered at risk for functional decline.

Anirudh Sridharan, M.D., a geriatrician who specializes in hospital-based care and medical director of the ACE Program, explains that the program has benefited elderly patients by giving them the attention necessary to make their hospitalizations safer. “Howard County, like the rest of the country, is facing a shift in demographics. The fastest growing part of our population is people over the age of 65,” says Dr. Sridharan. “Treating an elderly patient is different than treating a younger patient; they are more likely to get confused in the hospital and more likely to suffer side effects from medications. It is vital that these vulnerable patients be given specialized attention that addresses these challenges.”

Since the program was launched, Francie Black, CRNP, a nurse practitioner with HCGH’s ACE Program, says the nursing staff is more keenly aware of the need to prevent deconditioning of elders in the hospital with a focus on getting patients up and out of bed. “Elders are mobilized as soon as day one, but definitely by day two of their admission to the hospital,” explains Francie. “The nurses and care technicians automatically add getting out of bed as a daily goal. There is a greater incentive for patients to walk in the hallways, and the solariums on the unit give our patients a destination as well as more daylight. We want our patients to function here as they do at home.”

Francie Black helps a patient stay mobile during a hospital stay, one of the goals of the ACE Program.

Francie Black helps a patient stay mobile during a hospital stay, one of the goals of the ACE Program.

Coordination of care between the patient and their primary care physician, hospital doctors, nurses, nutritionists, case managers, pharmacists

and the patient’s family is an integral component of the ACE Program. Through a multidisciplinary approach to care, HCGH’s ACE team ensures that admitted patients remain mobile, well-nourished and have ample opportunities to exercise their bodies and minds.

“The ACE Program has heightened awareness of the need to collaborate with caregivers in the hospital, with the family, and the community to safely discharge an elder from the hospital, keep them from coming back to the hospital, and to improve their quality of life,” adds Francie.

 

Via Howard County General Hospital’s Wellness Matters

 

 


read more

calendar2013trans
November 1, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Just For Me.
A class at the East Columbia Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Ticket required. Also offered 11/5 at 2:00 p.m at Miller Branch. Ticket Required. Classes requiring tickets will be available at branch Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Elkridge Branch offers this class 11/6 at 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. No registration required.

November 1 – 8, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

November 2, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. (410) 740-5858 for more information

November 4, 3:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

November 4, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

 November 5, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon.. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 5 – 7, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation. Presented by Star Ferguson-Gooden, M.Ac., L.Ac. at the Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. 1st Tuesdays; 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.. Register for each class separately. Please bring a cushion or meditation pillow. All sessions will be in the Enchanted Garden, weather permitting. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950. Well & Wise Event.

November 6, 9- 11:00 a.m. Diabetes Screening. Are you concerned about your risk factors for diabetes? Meet with a registered nurse to receive a free diabetes screening which includes a risk assessment and a blood test. Receive immediate results. Fasting 8 hours prior to test is recommended. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 6, 10:30 a.m. Time for Us. Stories, songs, and activities for little ones, ages 18-36 months with adult at the Glenwood Branch. 30 min. No registration required.

November 6, 5-7:00 p.m. Vein Center Screening. Richard Feinberg, M.D., Johns Hopkins vascular surgeon, will conduct free varicose vein screenings at the Little Patuxent Specialty Center, located at 11065 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 150, Columbia, MD. To register for this free event, please call 410-550-8346.

November 7, 4:30 p.m. Tween Sprouts: Enchanted Garden Club | Winter in the Garden. Discover the joys of gardening in fall at the Miller Branch. Learn about ecology, plant a fall garden crop, and help maintain beds in the Enchanted Garden. Be prepared to get your hands dirty while growing healthy habits. Ages 9-11; 90 min. Signed release form required for each session. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

November 8, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Beating the Odds: Autumn Extravaganza. Join us for our annual signature event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital.  $75 per person. Fretz Kitchen Showroom, Columbia.  Join committee and chairs: Tina Broccolino, Paulina Nemec, Carla Northrop and Mary Jayne Register for an evening of food by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, fine wines by Gus Kalaris/Axios Wines, silent and live auctions, raffles, entertainment and more. Visit hcgh.org/Fretz for more information!

November 9, 10:00 a.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets the second Saturday of each month. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

 


read more
The garden at the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center

The garden at the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center

The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) was founded 15 years ago as a unique combination of educational and aesthetic resources for cancer patients. It was a collaborative grassroots effort on the part of many, but it was the separate visions of two impassioned activists that gave the center its start. Columbia resident and journalist Lynne Salisbury envisioned a comprehensive cancer information center for patients and families, and activist Tina Broccolino, wife of HCGH President and CEO Vic Broccolino, recognized the needs of cancer patients for specialized aesthetic care.

During the initial planning stages, Tina asked Claudia Mayer, a Howard County resident with a true passion for life and a penchant for helping cancer patients in need, to help with the project. Claudia, wife of prominent community obstetrician and gynecologist William Mayer, M.D., had been one of the founders of the hospital’s Rave Reviews Consignment Shop.

Tragically, Claudia Mayer had been diagnosed with cancer several years earlier and died in 1996 at the young age of 47. In recognition of her spirit and courageous battle with cancer, Tina pledged to name the new image and information center in her honor. In 1998, its first year of operation, the center served 400 men, women and children with its educational resources; lending library; and full-service salon, staffed by volunteer stylists from local salons.

The center has expanded significantly throughout the past 15 years, providing more than 5,000 services last year. Counseling services, support groups, exercise classes and complementary medicine are just a few of the new services that have been added. And, 100 percent of the funding for the center is raised by the community through events, gifts and grants.

The Mayer family continues to be involved in the center, especially Claudia’s daughter, Michelle Mayer Motsko, an original member of Team CONQUER Cancer. An endurance sports training program that raises funds and awareness for the center.

If you or a loved one could benefit from these services, call 410-740-5858.


read more

Did you know?
Maryland drivers can now add three emergency contacts to their driver’s license so police will know who to call if an accident occurs. The emergency contact information is stored electronically on an individual’s driver’s license and will be available only to authorized law enforcement personnel.

You can go to MVA’s website at www.mva.maryland.gov and add your three emergency contacts in just a few minutes. Go to the website, click “On-line Transactions, then click “More” and then click “Emergency Contacts” to add your emergency contacts.

To perform this Emergency Contact Information transaction, you must be able to provide your Driver’s License number, date of birth and PIN or last 4 digits of your social security number.

The emergency contact information system is available for individuals to list name, address and telephone number for up to three people.


read more

calendar2013transOctober 25, 2-6:00 p.m. LAST HCGH Farmers’ Market of the season. Join us every Friday for the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.

October 25 – November 1, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

October 25, 3:00 p.m. Game Day. Get up off your feet! Meet and compete with friends at the Glenwood Branch. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

October 25 and 29, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

October 29 – 31, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

October 29, 2:00 p.m. Just For Me. A class at the Miller Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Elkridge Branch offers this class 10/30 at 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. No registration required. Also offered at the East Columbia Branch 11/1 at 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

October 29, 7-9:00 p.m. Preparing for Total Joint Surgery. Are you considering total joint surgery? Toni Keller, P.A., and Nicholas Grosso, M.D. will help you learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for the best possible outcome. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

October 30, 4:00 p.m. Genetics Biology & Nano (Location: Savage Express Branch). Learn about how DNA works and its various applications in nanotechnology. Registration required. Ages 11-18. Registration required. HiTech is funded in part by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS. Visit hclibrary.org/hitech_events. Register online or by calling 410.880.5975.

October 30, 7:00 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion: Martha Stewart. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences at the Glenwood Branch. Refreshments. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

November 1, 4:30 p.m. Teen Advisory Board: Elkridge Branch. Join the Teen Advisory Board at your branch to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with HCLS instructors on projects you create. Service learning hours available for some projects. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

November 4, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

November 5, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon.. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.


read more

Beating Back Pain

.

.

Most of us, about 80%, according to some studies, have experienced back pain. Perhaps your full gainer turned into an unexpected half gainer in high school. Or, you moved into your first apartment, confident that you could lift the couch made out of packing crates and 2×4’s all by yourself. Maybe, a few years later, you carried a ten-pound baby to term. Or you shoveled snow immediately after a movie marathon… or you “threw your back out” by sneezing. (Or, perhaps, like me, you’ve experienced all of the above.)

Although Back pain is a symptom of an underlying condition and can occur at any age, we are prone to specific causes of back pain at specific times. For example, herniated disks most often occur between the ages of 35-55, whereas arthritis can cause spine changes and pain later in life. Other causes of back pain include: muscle and ligament strains and tears, sciatica inflammation, fractures and spinal stenosis. Sometimes, the specific underlying condition is not identified and the source of the pain is categorized more generally or as having a “non-specific” cause. In any case, it’s important to contact a specialist to help you identify the source of your pain and to suggest an appropirate course of treatment.

The good news is that nearly 90 percent of back pain can be treated non-surgically. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine , treatments can include: activity modification, pain management options, physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, weight loss, and smoking cessation.

If you are prone to back pain, or even if you are not, here are some tips to keep you back healthy and strong:

An Ounce of Prevention: 5 tips to beat back pain:

  1. Posture: If you work from a seated position most of the day, choose your seat wisely. Make sure you have good lumbar support, that your feet are planted firmly on the floor and that your computer terminal is slightly lower than eye level. Check out this fun video for more hints about Good Office Posture.
  2. Shoes: Choose your shoes wisely.  High-heeled shoes cause you to stand and walk differently, putting more pressure on your back, and varying your shoe height from day to day also strains your back. The American Osteopathic Association has more tips about shoe selection. If you’re prone to back pain, you may have to check your fashionista at the door.
  3. Extra pounds: Extra weight means extra work for your back and abdominal muscles. If you are overweight, losing just ten pounds can make a tremendous differences to the forces applied to your back muscles. . . so go ahead and lighten the load a wee bit.
  4. Beast of Burden: A survey by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that nearly 60 percent of the responding doctors had treated school-age patients complaining of back and shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks. Reduce the weight of the backpack whenever possible and use both straps to help balance the load.
  5. Strengthen your core.  A good exercise program will concentrate on all of the major muscles that surround your spine including your back and abdominal muscles. As we get older and/or out of shape, we lose strength and tone in the important muscles that help support the back. Stretching and strengthening your back, abdominal and buttocks muscle will help support your spine and protect your back. If you’re just starting an exercise regimen, make sure to take the time to learn how to perform the exercises and stretches properly.

 

 

 


read more