Friday, September 22, 2017

Know the Truth about Vaccines

There are a lot of myths surrounding the topic of vaccines and it's important to know the truth about them. Getting vaccinated has a hugely positive effect on your health and the health of those around you. Vaccines are the reasons that we no longer have to worry about many dangerous diseases like polio and smallpox and they greatly reduce your likelihood of catching the flu, pneumonia, shingles, and other viruses.

Contrary to what you may have heard, vaccinations do not cause autism in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no link between the two, and leaving your children unvaccinated puts them at risk when they are most vulnerable. Diseases that may make a healthy adult uncomfortable for a couple of days can be devastating to young children, especially those with a compromised immune system.

There is a small population of children unable to get vaccinated due to other health problems; they are particularly vulnerable. One of the ways that we can protect them is through what is called "herd immunity." This is when the majority of the population becomes immune to a disease, stopping its spread and protecting those who can't be vaccinated. However, it only works when healthy people get vaccinated.

Many people have heard that getting a flu shot actually causes the flu. As stated by the CDC, this simply isn't true. You may experience some side effects, but the mild and short-lived symptoms are nothing compared to coming down with the full-blown flu virus.

If you had chickenpox as a child or were never given the vaccine, you are at risk for getting shingles, a painful, blistering rash that appears on your skin. Shingles mostly occurs in adults over the age of 50 and is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you were infected when you were young, it's possible for the virus to reactivate and cause shingles.

Another easily preventable disease is pneumonia. A majority of pneumonia cases are caused by a bacterial infection that can most often be prevented by the pneumonia vaccine (however, vaccination does not prevent pneumonias caused by a viral infection). Pneumonia frequently causes complications for the elderly and for those who are already ill and is the number one cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in the United States. This fact can be easy to disregard if it isn't relevant to your situation. However, the purpose of vaccines is prevention. Getting vaccinated not only prevents infection in the future, it can give you peace of mind knowing that you've done what you can to protect yourself and others around you.

If you have not been vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, or shingles, or you are not sure, speak to your primary care physician about scheduling an appointment for vaccination. Your doctor will consider your risk factors and advise you about when it’s appropriate to receive each vaccination. If you don’t have a primary care physician, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com or call 443-849-GBMC (4262) to find one who is right for you.

Know a Compassionate Caregiver at GBMC?

One of the ways in which the GBMC HealthCare System recognizes its outstanding team is through its annual Compassionate Caregiver Award. The award was created to honor those who deliver exceptional care and service to the patients and family members at GBMC.

We invite you to nominate someone working or volunteering at GBMC HealthCare, who in daily practice listens, supports, advocates and understands what patients and their caregivers are going through. This person has a special talent and dedication that enables him or her to demonstrate concern for others and incorporates this concern into his or her daily work or practice.

If you know someone who meets this description, please take the time to nominate him or her TODAY! The nominee’s role at GBMC could be anything - security officer, cashier, physician, nurse, transporter, analyst, technician, or administrative employee. All employees and volunteers are on the same team, working to make a difference in the community.

Up to 5 finalists will be selected each year. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and 4 honorable mention recipients will each receive $500. The winners will also be recognized with a prominently displayed permanent plaque.

We’ll announce the winners at a special recognition event on Wednesday, December 6 at 12 p.m. in the Civiletti Conference Center. Please submit your nominations by midnight on Tuesday, October 31.

Sautéed Vegetables

Every month, GBMC holds a Facebook Live cooking demonstration featuring healthy recipes from The Sleeved Chef, Michael Salamon. Michael graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is passionate about “teaching cooking techniques and recipes to pre- and post-operative bariatric patients.” He had a type of bariatric surgery known as a sleeve gastrectomy in September 2016 and enjoys sharing his knowledge of cooking with fellow weight loss patients. Co-hosting the demonstration with him is Jana Wolff, RD, LDN, Director of Nutrition for GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, where Michael was treated.

Please tune in to GBMC’s Facebook page on Tuesday, September 26 at 6pm for another live cooking demonstration with Michael and Jana!

Ingredients
4 fresh summer squash
1 eggplant
1 head of cauliflower
Brussels sprouts
Lemon extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Watch the vegetable sautéeing demonstration here

Directions (per vegetable type)

Squash
  • Cut the squash on a bias (45-degree angle).
  • And lemon olive oil to pan and sauté on medium heat until squash shows little to no color.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
Eggplant
  • Cut eggplant into half-moon shapes.
  • Add lemon olive oil to pan and sauté on medium heat until eggplant shows little to no color.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
Brussels Sprouts
  • Cut off the hard end of each sprout and then cut the sprouts lengthwise
  • Add lemon olive oil to a cast iron pan and cook the sprouts cut side down on high heat until charred.
  • Once sprouts are charred, toss, lower the heat and continue to cook until tender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cauliflower
  • Strip away excess leaves on the cauliflower, cut away the large stem and slice cauliflower in half.
  • Remove florets and cut them into small pieces.
  • Add lemon olive oil to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
According to Ms. Wolff, the calories from these foods are negligible. She encourages people to get in the habit of filling half their plates with non-starchy vegetables. These veggies provide, fiber, many vitamins and minerals, and provide antioxidant phytochemicals from their bright colors. The roughage of the veggies also helps to keep people fuller for a longer period of time. There are so many ways to prepare veggies –from sautéing, like in this recipe, or baking, steaming, blanching, or grilling. They can even be cooked ahead of time for the week.

Recipe courtesy of Michael Salamon, The Sleeved Chef.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It's Time to Get Checked!

If you or someone you love was born between 1945 and 1965, it's time to consider getting screened for Hepatitis C. The Hepatitis C virus causes an infection that directly affects the liver. When left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, or the need for a liver transplant. In the vast majority of patients, once infected, the virus persists indefinitely, but quietly, potentially leading to severe liver damage before it is finally detected. There is no vaccine to protect anyone from becoming infected. As the disease is not associated with symptoms until advanced, it is possible to unknowingly pass the virus to others. The only way to know if you've been infected is to get screened by your primary care physician

Spread through blood and other bodily fluids, Hepatitis C is thought to have a high rate of occurrence in Baby Boomers, who grew up during a time when infection control practices were not standardized and blood products may not have been screened thoroughly.

Risk factors for Hepatitis C include:
  • Being part of the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1945 and 1965)
  • Having received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before 1992
  • Having received a blood product to treat clotting problems prior to 1987
  • Being on long-term kidney dialysis
  • Having ever injected illicit drugs (even just once)
The good news is that most people diagnosed with Hepatitis C are cured after treatment. Talk to a primary care physician about your risk, appropriate testing and ways to protect yourself and your family members in the future. If you do not have a primary care physician, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com/ to find one who is right for you.

Turkey Sausage, Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich on Cloud Bread

Every month, GBMC holds a Facebook Live cooking demonstration featuring healthy recipes from The Sleeved Chef, Michael Salamon. Michael graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is passionate about “teaching cooking techniques and recipes to pre- and post-operative bariatric patients.” He had a type of bariatric surgery known as a sleeve gastrectomy in September 2016 and enjoys sharing his knowledge of cooking with fellow weight loss patients. Co-hosting the demonstration with him is Jana Wolff, RD, LDN, Director of Nutrition for GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, where Michael was treated. 

Please tune in to GBMC’s Facebook page on Tuesday, September 26 at 6pm for another live cooking demonstration with Michael and Jana!  

Ingredients
3 large eggs, separated
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 turkey sausage patty
1 egg
1 slice cheddar cheese

Watch the Turkey Sausage, Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich cooking demonstration here

Directions
Cloud Bread
  1. Separate three of the eggs into yolks and whites.
  2. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks and fat-free Greek yogurt.
  4. Whip a small amount of the egg whites into egg yolks.
  5. Fold egg yolks into egg whites until fully combined.
  6. Distribute batter into six segments on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. NOTE: The mixture should hold its shape and look like a fluffy cloud.
  7. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove cloud bread from tray and place on a cooling rack.
*Cloud bread will store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Breakfast sandwich
  1. Put extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and warm over medium heat.
  2. Season the turkey sausage with salt and pepper.
  3. Place turkey sausage in sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  4. Melt cheddar cheese on turkey sausage and place both on a piece of cloud bread.
  5. Crack the remaining egg on a flat surface and put it into a bowl, checking for any shell.
  6. Scramble the egg in the same pan as turkey sausage; add additional olive oil as needed.
  7. Season the egg with salt and pepper, place on top of turkey sausage and add a second piece of cloud bread.
Eat and Enjoy!!

Nutrition Information 
Recipe yields 1 serving
Calories:170
Total Fat: 8g
Saturated Fat: 27g
Cholesterol: 110mg
Sodium: 350mg
Protein: 18g
Carbohydrate: 6g

Recipe courtesy of Michael Salamon, The Sleeved Chef.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Welcoming New Colleagues and a New Leader

Every other Monday morning I spend an hour welcoming new employees and introducing them to our organization during their orientation. This week, I was really pleased to meet nearly 70 new colleagues. There was so much positive energy in the room.

My job at orientation is to begin to enroll my new colleagues in our vision and engage them in a conversation about our transformation towards being the healthcare system that treats everyone, every time the way we want our own loved ones treated. Our ongoing metamorphosis from an outstanding hospital into an outstanding system of care, requires people who understand and embrace our vision and their role in helping us achieve it.

This orientation was a bit different because preceding me in the program was our new Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Anna-Maria Gonzalez Palmer. Anna-Maria exudes positive energy! She is an accomplished leader who has served in the human resources field with a number of organizations including McCormick and Company and Textron.

Anna-Maria will have responsibility and oversight for planning, organizing and providing leadership and direction for the organization’s human resources functions including policy development, interpretation and administration; recruitment, orientation and retention of employees; compensation and benefits programs; performance management and competency assessment; employee relations and labor relations; and training and development programs.

Prior to joining GBMC, she was the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Compass Pointe Healthcare System. Anna-Maria earned her Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University and her Master’s degree in Administrative Science, Human Resources Development from The Johns Hopkins University. She is a ‘can-do’ person who hit the ground running at GBMC with our successful negotiation of a new union contract and a very successful employee barbecue. She is redesigning our Human Resources Department to be even better than it is today. I am really enjoying working with Anna-Maria as a senior team colleague and as our leader in increasing joy at work.

Please join me in welcoming Anna-Maria to the GBMC Family!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Raising Healthy Children

The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” continues to resonate with many modern parents. The members of the village often include relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers and church leaders. What about a child’s primary care physician? People tend to think of doctors only when someone is sick, but healthcare is evolving to be more preventive and focused on the whole person rather than on just a symptom or episode of illness. If a primary care physician isn’t part of the village that is raising your family or that of someone you love, keep reading!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have a well-child appointment with their physician annually, beginning at age 3*. Ideally, this appointment will align with the child’s birthday. The purpose of the visit is to:
  • prevent illness
  • identify early concerns over development or medical issues
  • track development
  • build a positive, consistent relationship between children, their parents and their physicians
These annual appointments allow physicians to interact with the child while he or she is happy and feeling well, establishing a benchmark against which future symptoms or test results can be compared. They give parents more opportunity to talk face-to-face about their child’s growth and development with the doctor. They offer a way for children to become familiar with their doctor, which can ease their anxiety when it’s time for a shot. Building a solid relationship with a physician at an early age can help set the stage for a child to develop into a health-conscious adolescent. And, the continuity of seeing the same physician (or small group of physicians) over time provides a more personal care experience.

Along with their teams, primary care physicians are valuable resources for parents. In addition to delivering medical care during an illness, your child’s doctor can also give guidance on subjects like:
  • sleep quality and quantity
  • hearing and vision
  • body mass index and nutrition
  • oral health
  • mental and emotional health (separation anxiety, fear of the dark, expressing feelings)
  • social behaviors (sharing, making friends)
If your family’s “village” is in need of a primary care provider, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com for a list of practices and their contact information.

*Consult with a physician for more specifics about how often children under the age of 3 should be checked.