Posted by hclibrary on May 16, 2013 in Cancer, Health | 0 comments
Cancer is a word heard far too often in our community.
That is why we are fighting back against this disease with our longtime friend and partner – the American Cancer Society – by encouraging you to consider taking part in one of their biggest research projects to date made possible in partnership with Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), Howard County Wellness Center, Roger Carter Recreation Center, St. Agnes Hospital and UnitedHealthcare.
During the week of June 9-15, 2013, the Howard County community will have the opportunity to enroll in Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3), a nationwide effort of the American Cancer Society to help researchers better understand the lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors that may cause or prevent cancer. The study’s goal is to recruit a diverse group of 300,000 Americans across the U.S.
County Executive Ken Ulman is encouraging Howard County residents to set a record and enroll 1,000 participants in CPS-3.
If you are between 30 and 65 years old, are willing to make the commitment to the study, and have never been diagnosed with cancer (with the exception of basal and squamous cell skin cancer), you are eligible to enroll. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, your significant participation comes from telling everyone you know about the opportunity to help prevent cancer.
Enrollment takes place June 9-15 at these Howard County locations.
St. Agnes Hospital
900 South Caton Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21229: In Maryland Metabolic Institute (MMI) Conference Room
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 8:30 am -12:00 pm
6095 Marshalee Drive, Suite 200, Elkridge, MD 21075: In Oriole Park/Ravens Roost Room
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT)
6711 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046: In Sustainability Suite, 1st Floor
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Howard County General Hospital’s Wellness Center
10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD 21044: In Suite 100, Ellicott Mills Room
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Roger Carter Recreation Center
3676 Fels Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21043: In Multipurpose Room
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm
If you are interested in enrolling, please follow these simple steps:
1. Visit www.CPS3HowardCounty.org or call 1-888-604-5888 to schedule an enrollment appointment. The appointment should take 20-30 minutes. You will be emailed a confirmation with instructions to complete your first, most comprehensive survey regarding medications you are taking, family history of cancer, etc.
2. At your appointment, you will sign an informed consent form, complete a brief survey, provide a waist circumference measurement, and give a small blood sample.
3. Once enrolled, you will be asked to complete mailed surveys from the American Cancer Society every few years over the next 20-30 years to update lifestyle, medical and behavioral information.
This is our chance to fight back against a disease that takes too much. We sincerely hope you will take part in this historic study and share this message with all those you know who want to join this fight and make cancer history in Howard County.
Learn more at cancer.org/cps3 or visit www.CPS3HowardCounty.org to join today.
Posted by HCGH on May 14, 2013 in Health, Parenting | 0 comments
Nick with his Mom, Dad and two older sisters.
William Nicholas Koutrelakos (Nick) was a sophomore and a standout varsity soccer player at Marriotts Ridge High School, when an ordinary soccer game took a life-threatening turn. His father Nick Koutrelakos, M.D., an HCGH medical oncologist, describes what happened: “It was late in the game against Oakland Mills, and my son took a shot to the belly and went down. Nick never goes down, so I knew he had been hit hard. Marriotts Ridge won the match shortly thereafter, but my son did not run out with his teammates.” Dr. Koutrelakos knew something was wrong, and, when he approached his son, his fears were confirmed. “He said, ‘Dad, something is wrong. I was hit hard, and I have this bad pain in my left shoulder.’ I told him right then he must’ve ruptured his spleen.”
Immediately, Nick’s mother, Susan Lancelotta, also a physician, called 9-1-1 and he was taken to the HCGH Pediatric Emergency Department. Although Nick didn’t appear very sick on the ride over, within minutes of arrival, his condition quickly deteriorated. He was faint and losing blood, his blood pressure dropped, and his hematocrit was low. The staff gave him blood transfusions. When they realized he wasn’t stable enough to transport to a trauma center, they made plans to operate. “He was fading,” Koutrelakos says. “I told him, ‘You have to hold on, I promise you will survive this.’” Surgeon Susan Behen, M.D. was called in and she called Deepak Merchant, M.D. to assist in the surgery.
Nick continued to receive blood transfusions as surgeons worked to save his spleen. They realized that Nick’s spleen was “boggy,” and tests were ordered to determine if he had mononucleosis – a disease that primarily affects adolescents and young adults and leaves the spleen susceptible to injuries. The surgeons worked quickly to repair the lacerations and, despite complications, were able to save it. “The surgery was a work of art between the two of them,” Dr. Koutrelakos says. “They got the work done, they saved his life.”
After the surgery, Nick spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – one of the first kids his age to stay there. His parents took turns sleeping in Nick’s room, and, after he was stable, he was moved to the pediatric inpatient unit for two days, where Nurse Eva Von Bernstorff took great care of him. Test results confirmed mononucleosis, and Nick faced three more weeks of recovery at home.
Dr. Koutrelakos knows they were lucky. “He would’ve died if someone hadn’t recognized the symptoms so quickly. Sometimes, parents aren’t sure with that kind of injury and they take their child home and put them to bed and that’s it. The child doesn’t wake up.”
Today, Nick is a junior at the University of Maryland majoring in supply chain management and marketing. His parents have made adjustments. Now at least one of them is in town for every high school game for their youngest child. And, while they realize they can’t control every situation, they know that they can count on HCGH in an emergency. “The hospital does a great job recognizing the emergency and mobilizing the resources needed. Resources were immediately available when we needed them. There is not another community hospital around that can do what this hospital can do. The people here are really well trained; they live in the community, and they work in the community.”
Today, Howard County General Hospital’s new pediatric general surgery service enables children and their families to be treated closer to home for most routine surgeries in children, such as inguinal hernias, minor trauma, appendicitis, gallbladder disease and removal of masses. Additionally, our surgical specialists can perform the latest minimally invasive procedures. For more information about our pediatric general surgery service, as well as questions about common childhood surgeries such as appendicitis, visit our website.
Dear Well & Wise,
You’ve tried to sell us on the health benefits of gardening and poetry and even love stories, but what’s with all the math and science classes in your Friday’s events listings?
Dear SR (who is in no way imaginary),
One lesson many of us have learned from working on the blog is that there are a surprising number of things that can benefit your health if done right (the flipside, of course, being that even things that are supposed to be healthy, like exercise and sunshine, can hurt you if done wrong). But it is almost as if humans, at our basic core, are meant to engage in activities that are ultimately beneficial: little slakes thirst better than water; as kids we like to run and be active; most people do crave companionship and time spent in nature, etc.
That’s not to say many people are chomping at the bit to solve quadratic equations or bust out some quantum physics theories. Although, we have seen an increase in the interest in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), especially since the White House’s call to Educate to Innovate, through everything from Howard County Public School System’s increased focus on it to events such as the STEMtech Conference. And, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention HiTech, HCLS’ STEM Digital Media Lab for teens and classes.
So yes, this new focus on S.T.E.M. is good for us as a nation, but what about as individuals. Well, we know that doctors and nurses depend very strongly on math and science for their jobs, which benefits us, and that innovations in S.T.E.M. have lead to everything from new medicines, to ergonomically designed tools and furniture, to robots that can do some of our more dangerous jobs for us, and many more life-saving and life-enhancing contributions. BUT that’s not all. There is evidence of links between good mental health and academic excellence (of which math and science play an important part). And many feel that studying math and science can improve critical/analytical-thinking skills and can also improve confidence, literacy, and overall levels of achievement. So S.T.E.M. studies are good for us; that’s our story, and we’re sticking with it.
Well & Wise
A good resource, but not the only resource.
The other day, a mom-to-be approached the Research Desk in a bit of a panic. “All of your copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting are checked out!” Now it is true that What to Expect When You’re Expecting is one of the most requested titles by future moms, and with good reason. According to the book description it “is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today’s 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It’s read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book–the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.”
High praise, indeed, but if it’s not on the shelf and you want it that day, there are other fish in the sea. Take, for example, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Health Pregnancy. Publishers Weekly stated, “Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this mammoth pregnancy guide…most readers will find great reassurance this volume’s carefully vetted facts.” And The Joy of Pregnancy: The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Guide for Parents to Be is another popular and trusted source.
There’s also The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood and Your Pregnancy Week By Week. Both of which not only give you tips on a health pregnancy, but also gives you a weekly progress report on what’s going on in there.
Of course if you want a little humor to go with your advice, there’s always The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy or The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. And you can always put the future papa to work with The Expectant Father: Facts,Tips, and Advice for Dads-To-Be. But that’s just a small sampling. There are many more good pregnancy guides as well as many that deal with very specific areas of pregnancy such as diet or high-risk pregnancies. Be sure to stop by any branch of HCLS for even more options.
Posted by HCGH on May 7, 2013 in Health, News | 0 comments
National Nurses Week 2013
The art and science of nursing: then and now
When Judy Siegelman started working at HCGH in 1979, the field of nursing was very different from what it is today. “Back then, you could easily move to a different hospital, even in a different state, and orientation was not an issue. Now we have to learn a whole new system of technology,” remarked Siegelman. While new practices make nursing more complicated and require a much higher learning curve, in the end, the art of nursing is still about caring for patients, being their advocates and looking out for their safety.
Admiration for her mother, who was also a nurse, convinced Siegelman to go into the same profession. She received her diploma from Albany Medical Center School of Nursing in 1966 and began her career there as a pediatric nurse. After that, she worked in several different states in both community and teaching hospitals as well as in public health. “When I came to HCGH in 1979, I found the best of all worlds. The nursing care and doctors here were on the leading edge and HCGH was a very progressive community hospital – right in my own backyard. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.”
Siegelman was assigned to work at “Unit A” in Lorien Nursing Home where HCGH rented space for Medical/Surgical and Psychiatric units. “At that time, the units were not self-contained, so patients could go from one unit to the other. Things could get pretty interesting,” she noted. After several moves and renovations, in 1997 the unit moved to 4 South, which is Medical/Surgical and Oncology.
Originally, there were 30 beds on the unit with a ratio of one nurse and assistant for every 15 patients. “It was manageable then,” said Siegelman. “Patients were not as acutely ill as they are today; they stayed longer to convalesce.” In 1985, Siegelman became nurse manager of the unit and Jon Minford, M.D., brought his oncology practice to Columbia and started admitting patients for chemotherapy. “Back then, patients were almost always sick after treatment.” Chemotherapy today is vastly different because of wonderful advances in preventing and managing side effects, and newer drugs are better tolerated. This allows most chemotherapy to be outpatient.
Asked if certain patients stand out in memory, Siegelman mentioned a 36-year-old man who was getting chemo for colon cancer. “He pulled all the stops to get what he wanted, but he was funny, unique and had a great attitude. He asked for me as his nurse every time he was admitted. He had very aggressive disease and did not do well, but we never talked about death. One day near the end, he asked me if I would please come to his funeral. Of course, I did. He died at 37. I learned a valuable lesson about crucial conversations from him.”
In 2003 Siegelman experienced the other side of patient care at HCGH when she needed a hemicolectomy for colon cancer. “Dr. Parikh saved my life,” she said. “I was here for a week and everyone took excellent care of me and looked out for my privacy.” In 2012, she needed a knee replacement after an injury during “Snowmagaeddon.” “I’d heard horror stories about knee replacements and tried to put it off, but it was the right thing to do. The JAS staff was wonderful, and I highly recommend the care at HCGH. I could be the poster child for knee replacements!” she added.
Judy Siegelman, today.
In closing, Siegelman said, “There is both art and science in the practice of nursing. The science is what you bring out of nursing school; the art is what you develop through experience. Now we have to add technology as a critical element for nursing. The monitors, IV pumps – even the beds— are all computerized.” Siegelman noted that, years ago, only one or two types of nursing were considered specialties, but now all types of nursing are specialties. “I am happy to see Medical/Surgical now recognized as such, because these nurses deserve that recognition.”
While nursing technology, theories and practices continue to evolve and change, the essential care that nurses provide does not. They are still truly the care givers.
(photo of Judy from 83-84 Annual Report and photo of her now as nurse manager in her office)
Posted by hclibrary on May 6, 2013 in Health, News | 0 comments
Happy National Nurses Day, everyone—in fact, happy National Nurses Week. Why everyone? I’m not a nurse, you are thinking. Well, frankly, most of us should be celebrating nurses because at some point or another our lives have probably been touched (quite literally) by a nurse. In fact, there are approximately 3.1 million licensed registered nurses (RNs) in the United States, of whom 2.6 million are actively employed in nursing. So that’s a lot of people we need to be thanking.
According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Nurses Week, founded in 1954, is celebrated annually from May 6, birthday of Florence Nightingale, through May 12. The theme for National Nurses Week 2013 is Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care. The theme is meant to call attention to “RNs and their contributions to the healthcare system–as expert clinicians in diverse care settings and as leaders who influence quality of care and overall performance of the system into the future.” The ANA wants to emphasize that:
…RNs are positioned to assume leadership roles in healthcare, provide primary care services to meet increased demand, implement strategies to improve the quality of care, and play a key role in innovative, patient-centered care delivery models. The nursing profession plays an essential role in improving patient outcomes, increasing access, coordinating care, and reducing healthcare costs. That is why both the Affordable Care Act and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report place nurses at the center of healthcare transformation in the United States.
The public wants leaders they can trust, and in 2012, Americans voted nurses the most trusted professionals in America for the 13th time in 14 years in the annual Gallup poll that ranks professions for their honesty and ethical standards. So overall, we have a good feeling about nurses, and we depend on them to lead us into what seems an often-frightening future of healthcare. Although there are concerns that as the demand for nurses grows, there will be a gap between supply and demand. As the ANA states, “Despite growth in the proportion of younger nurses for the first time since 1980, the nursing workforce still features a disproportionate number of nurses nearing retirement age.”
The ANA also gives a dynamite historical overview of National Nurses Week, if you want a true sense of how deeply felt our need and admiration of nurses goes. The ANA put it best when they said, “The public’s high regard for the profession, coupled with nurses’ education and skills, makes them well positioned to help transform the healthcare system into one that places more emphasis on prevention, wellness, and coordination of care.” And really, isn’t that the direction we all want to see healthcare go?
Check these out if you want …
…to learn more about the real-life experiences of nurses—Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle
I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
…to teach your little one about nurses—Nurses
Nurses Help Us
…to learn more about a career in nursing—Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing for the NCLEX-RN Examination