Thursday, September 15, 2016

Better health. Better care.

MyChart at GBMC is coming on October 1! At GBMC HealthCare, we’re working to deliver well-coordinated care for you and your family. It doesn’t matter if you're at work, on the road, or at home. With MyChart at GBMC, you will have secure, 24-hour access to your health information.

Through MyChart at GBMC, you can confidentially and safely:
  • View your health record
  • Schedule an appointment
  • Request prescription refills
  • Access your test results
  • Communicate with your doctor or other members of your care team
  • Pay bills online and more!
Ready to get started on the road to better health and better care? Ask your physician or other members of your care team about MyChart at GBMC today!

Fight the Flu

Influenza, more generally known as "the flu" is a viral infection that might feel like a common cold at first. The sneezing, coughing, sore throat and runny nose will likely seem familiar, but if you start experiencing a high fever (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), chills and/or sweats and aching muscles, it may be the flu. One of the most effective ways to prevent influenza is to get an injectable flu vaccine. Though the flu tends to target young children and older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccination, with rare exception. Here are answers to some common questions about the flu:

Q: Why is a flu vaccine important?

A: Influenza is a serious disease that even healthy people can get very sick from and spread to others, often unknowingly. An untreated flu can lead to hospitalization or even death. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, it has less chance of spreading throughout our community.

Q: When is "flu season"?

A: Flu season in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. This is when flu viruses are circulating at higher levels than other months.

Q: How does the flu spread?

A: Mainly, flu viruses are spread when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. This produces droplets that can land in others' mouths or noses. Less often, the flu virus can be transmitted by a surface or object that someone with flu has touched.

Q: What are the best ways to avoid the flu?

A: Get a flu shot! Wash your hands often with soap and water. Do not share linens, eating utensils or dishes with those who are sick. Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces often, especially if someone around you has been ill. Avoid touching your own mouth or nose if you haven't washed your hands first.

Q: When is the flu considered contagious?

A: It's possible for healthy adults to be contagious and infect other people beginning one day before symptoms develop and for up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Children may be able to infect others for longer than seven days. It is possible to "feel fine" but still spread the flu virus to others. If you or your child is sick, stay home until your doctor tells you it is OK to return to work or school.

Q: How quickly will a flu vaccine be effective?

A: It doesn't work right away. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body to protect against influenza. This is why it is best to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season is in full swing.

Talk to your primary care physician about getting seasonal flu vaccinations for you and everyone in your family who is older than six months of age. If you do not have a primary care physician, visit to find one who is right for you.

4 cups light (no sugar added) fat-free vanilla yogurt
2 large bananas (about 2 cups), sliced
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups graham crackers, crumbled
½ cup fat-free whipped topping (optional)


To make the parfait, spoon 1 tablespoon of yogurt into the bottom of an 8-ounce glass. Top the yogurt with 1 tablespoon sliced bananas, 1 tablespoon sliced strawberries and ¼ cup graham crackers.

Repeat the yogurt, banana, strawberry and graham cracker layers.

Top with a tablespoon of fat-free whipped topping, if desired.

Serve the parfait immediately, or cover each glass with plastic wrap and chill for up to 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 8
Calories: 179
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 3mg
Sodium: 190 mg
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g
Carbohydrates: 36g

Recipe retrieved from, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chasing the Record at Legacy Chase!

The Greater Baltimore community has trusted GBMC HealthCare with providing the highest level of compassionate care for more than 50 years. With advanced treatment options available from some of the region’s leading physicians, the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute is no exception. Statistics show that one in three people has been touched by cancer in some way. Whether a loved one has battled cancer or you personally have been diagnosed, the reality is that cancer affects us all.

Join us Saturday, September 24, 2016 for the 16th annual Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs. Set in in Maryland’s picturesque horse country, Legacy Chase is GBMC’s signature event benefiting its oncology services and patient support programs. Fill up your car with family and friends, pack a cooler and picnic and spend a day in the warm September sun for this homecoming of the GBMC community. With family-friendly activities, steeplechase horse racing, food trucks and a Vendor Village, Legacy Chase offers something for everyone.

To add to the fun, this year, we’re attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest awareness ribbon – right in the infield of Shawan Downs! Stretching a mile and a half long, the lavender ribbon is a symbol of GBMC’s commitment to the fight against all cancers. Join us for this momentous occasion as we “chase the record!”

Legacy Chase Lowdown

A Farmer’s Field parking pass starts as low as $35 per car load with additional premiere seating available. Find the best admission option for you at

Gates open at 10:00am and Guinness World Record Judging begins at 11:30am.

The Kids’ Korner offers games and activities for children of all ages, including face painting, visits from your favorite princesses and superheroes, stick pony races and more!

Cancer survivors and their loved ones are welcome to join us at the Cancer Survivorship tent for refreshments. RSVP online at to receive a free parking pass.

Graduates of GBMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families are welcome to participate in a reunion with other NICU families and members of the NICU team.

Volunteers are needed! Sign up at

GBMC at Hunt Manor: Community and Convenience

Convenience is key at GBMC at Hunt Manor. Patients who live in Phoenix and the surrounding sprawling neighborhoods don’t have to venture down the JFX for accessible care they can count on. Open seven days a week with walk-in appointments and extended hours on weekdays, Hunt Manor ensures patients receive immediate care when issues arise. According to Practice Manager Suzanne Auer, early morning appointments are especially appreciated. “It means a lot when people can fit in a doctor’s visit and then go about their day without disruption,” she says.

Hunt Manor clinicians strive to provide the care they would want for their loved ones, but for Tu Cao, DO, many patients have begun to actually feel like family. “I build relationships, get involved and have established care with patients’ children, parents or grandparents,” she says. “I love feeling included as part of the family and neighborhood.”

The established community presence is important to Registered Nurse Practitioner Kim West, too. “We live and work in this neighborhood. People love having this level of excellence right in their backyard,” she says. “It’s a pleasure and privilege to make our own community, from newborns to geriatrics, healthier.”

The Hunt Manor team includes six physicians, Tu Cao, DO; Lisa Carey, DO; Joseph Connelly, MD; Luisa Massari, MD; Robin Motter-Mast, DO; and Francis Sanzaro, MD, along with a certified nurse practitioner, Kim West, CRNP, and a physician’s assistant, Deanna Shapiro, PA-C. They coordinate and collaborate with the entire GBMC HealthCare System, functioning as a comprehensive patient-centered medical home, with specialists and tests readily available. A gynecologist and gastroenterologist visit the office each month so patients don’t need to travel as much. “Our resources are really top-notch,” Ms. West says. “Our patient care coordinator makes things happen quickly: transferring notes, scheduling appointments, following up and delivering lab results. We all hold each other accountable for getting patients to their goals.”

Education is another one of those goals. In addition to providing care swiftly and conveniently, the Hunt Manor practice is focused on keeping patients out of the hospital by providing as much preventive medicine as possible. “Educating patients helps them take health into their own hands,” Ms. Auer says. For example, patients with diabetes can attend in-house classes led by certified educators from GBMC’s Geckle Diabetes and Nutrition Center. “They learn how to manage their blood sugar, eat healthily, exercise and take their medicine so they don’t end up in the hospital,” she says.

Family Medicine physician Joseph Connelly, MD, prides himself on the fact that the practice has established itself as a community resource where people know problems will be treated with personalized attention to detail and a level of diligence they may not find elsewhere. “I always want to be the type of doctor who spends enough time,” Dr. Connelly says. “I like to evaluate each day at the finish and know that I was complete and thorough. It keeps the joy in the practice.”

GBMC at Hunt Manor is currently accepting new patients! For more information about this and other GBMC primary care physician practices, visit or call 443-849-GBMC (4262).

Asian-Style Steamed Salmon


1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup shiitake mushroom caps, rinsed and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (or 2 teaspoons ground)
¼ cup scallions (green onion), rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
12 ounces salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions (3 ounces each)


Combine chicken broth, mushroom caps, ginger, scallions, soy sauce and sesame oil (optional) in a large, shallow sauté pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add salmon fillets and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook gently over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part (to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F).

Serve one piece of salmon with ¼ cup of broth.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 4
Calories: 175
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 48mg
Sodium: 208mg
Protein: 19g
Carbohydrates: 4g

Recipe retrieved from Keep the BeatTM Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2010

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The 411 on A1C: Diabetes Education Classes Can Help

When you eat, whether the food is sweet or not, your body breaks some of the nutrients down into a sugar known as glucose. Cells need glucose for energy, but if you already have enough, the remaining glucose is left floating in the blood. The level of sugar that builds up in the bloodstream can be measured with an A1C test, also known as a glycated hemoglobin test. Levels between 5.7% and 6.4% signify pre-diabetes and an increased risk of diabetes. Levels above 6.5% indicate diabetes.

If you have diabetes, managing your A1C level is vital to ensuring you don't develop complications such as eye, nerve, foot or kidney damage. Home blood sugar testing is an important and useful tool, but it only provides a snapshot of your blood sugar levels in the moment. An A1C test provides an average from the past three months, which can provide a more accurate sense of how well you're managing your type 2 diabetes. Patients with diabetes should get an A1C test every three to six months.

There are ways to improve your blood sugar management and contribute to lowering your A1C score:
  • Register for free diabetes education classes. GBMC offers a series of two 90-minute classes in its primary care offices: Diabetes Basics and Taking Charge of Your Diabetes. Both include education, support and resources. Learn how to manage your meals, understand target blood glucose numbers and become comfortable self-monitoring. To sign up, call your PCP's office and request to speak with the RN Care Manager.
  • Get moving. Find a workout you enjoy that will encourage you to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.
  • Stick to a schedule. When you overeat or skip meals, your blood sugar levels are rising and falling too much. Have regular well-balanced meals.
  • Balance your diet. You may be surprised what one serving size of fruit looks like. A diabetes educator can help you plan a proper diet that works for you.
For qualifying patients, GBMC also offers one-on-one sessions with a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator at these practices: Hunt Valley, Family Care Associates, Hunt Manor, Owings Mills, Joppa Road and Internal Medicine Residents. If you are interested in diabetes education, call the Nurse Care Manager at your primary care practice. Feel free to forward this e-mail to a friend or family member who might need help managing their A1C level, too. In need of a primary care provider? Find one near you.