Thursday, August 21, 2014

Support GBMC's Pink Glove Dance Video!

We Need Your Help!

You may have heard the buzz about GBMC’s participation in the Pink Glove Dance Contest. Well, it’s not over yet! We’re less than three weeks away from the start of voting and the opportunity to win up to $15,000 for a local non-profit that works to help breast cancer patients and their families!

What Is It?
The Pink Glove Dance, sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc., is a nationwide contest aimed at helping support breast cancer awareness and education. Each participant submitted a 90-second video, which had to be set to certain music and feature people dancing and having fun while wearing pink medical gloves. GBMC’s video, filmed in June, includes approximately 400 individuals—comprised of community members, GBMC employees and volunteers, patients, cancer survivors and their families. People took time out of their schedules to join us in a choreographed dance to the song “Overcomer” by Mandisa. At the end of the dance, the group formed a giant pink human ribbon, signifying breast cancer awareness and celebration of survivorship.

Why is GBMC Participating?
GBMC entered the contest this year to further its continuous efforts of raising breast cancer awareness while promoting education on prevention and treatment. If GBMC wins, we will also have the honor of presenting the $15,000 grand prize to The Red Devils, a Baltimore-based organization whose mission is to fund services like transportation to treatment, assistance with meals and groceries and arrangement of house cleaning services, which improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families. 

What’s Next?
Now that production of the video is complete and it has been submitted, we need YOU! It’s time to spread the word and get everyone you know committed to voting once a day throughout the duration of the voting period, beginning on September 9, 2014! Structured as a bracketed system, the first round of voting ends on September 16. If we make it through this first round, we’ll need even more votes the following week to push us through to the finals. Final voting ends on September 23 with winners announced on October 2, 2014. 

Here’s what you can do right now: visit our new website and sign up to receive updates and voting information by email. Encourage your friends and family to sign up, too! We'll be releasing exclusive content on the site during the next few weeks, so sign up today be among the first to view behind the scenes photos from the filming and more! 

We can’t wait to share the video with you! 

Healthy Habits for the New School Year

Another school year is upon us and with that comes new routines, new sports schedules and a whole new world of germs. Don’t worry, GBMC has tips to help you prepare your family for a healthy start! 

Set a Sleep Schedule
In the summer, it’s easy to let routines fall away and be more laid back about bedtime. It’s important for your children to be alert and energized for school, so if your kids haven’t been on the strictest of schedules this summer, it may be wise to start preparing them for the September routine as early as possible. Determine age-appropriate bedtimes for your children and gradually start to change their routine. It is also helpful to start waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, to start getting your children (and yourself!) adjusted to waking up early again. 

Hone Hand Hygiene Skills
With a classroom full of children sharing toys and school supplies, germs are likely to be present. One of the best ways to reduce your child’s chances of getting sick this fall is to encourage frequent and proper hand washing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that frequent hand washing helps to reduce respiratory illnesses, such as colds, by 21 percent. Teach your children proper hand washing at home and encourage them to wash their hands often while at school. 

Reminders for proper hand hygiene: thoroughly wet hands with either warm or cold water; be sure to lather soap on the backs of hands and between fingers; scrub for at least 20 seconds (singing or humming “Happy Birthday” takes 20 seconds!); and dry hands with a clean paper towel or air dryer—never a shared bath towel. 

Schedule Flu Shots
The CDC indicates that flu vaccination should occur as soon as the vaccine is available, which is typically in September, depending on where you live. It takes about two weeks following the vaccination for the body to develop antibodies that protect against the flu, so the sooner you and your children get the shot, the better protected you will be. 

GBMC wishes your family a happy and healthy school year! 

What You Should Know about Listeriosis

Listeria may be found in cold lunch
or deli meats and soft cheese.
Listeriosis is an illness that has made its way into the headlines lately. A type of food poisoning, Listeriosis is caused by consuming food that is contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) bacterium. While the bacteria aren’t a threat for the majority of generally healthy people, they are of particular concern to pregnant women due to harm they can cause to the fetus or newborn. Listeriosis is also known to affect the elderly and adults with impaired immune systems.

Listeria is found in soil and water. Some animals, including poultry and cattle, are natural carriers of Listeria, so the bacteria can be present in unpasteurized milk and milk products. Additionally, food processing plants sometimes harbor the bacteria.

For the at-risk population, Listeriosis can undoubtedly be worrying. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that those at a higher risk can protect themselves from Listeria, including the following:

  • Avoid consuming hot dogs, cold luncheon or deli meats. Or, heat these foods until they are steaming before you eat them.
  • Don’t eat unpasteurized milk or milk products, including soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie and queso blanco fresco. When in doubt, check the label of cheeses to ensure they are made from pasteurized milk.
  • Avoid refrigerated pâté or meat spreads and refrigerated smoked seafood. While you should avoid refrigerated varieties of these foods, canned options are generally safe.
  • Do not consume salads (i.e. ham, chicken, egg, tuna, seafood) that were prepared in a store.

Additionally, be sure to follow everyday safe food handling practices, including keeping raw meats separate from other food, thoroughly rinsing fruits and vegetables before eating them, washing hands after handling food, cooking meats thoroughly and storing foods safely at the appropriate temperature.

Symptoms of Listeriosis can include fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you are in one of the high-risk categories and have eaten food that is part of a Listeria recall, contact your doctor. He or she will be able to determine if further testing for Listeria is necessary. In some cases, patients may need intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatment to prevent or slow down the progression of Listeriosis and offer protection to the fetus in pregnant patients.

For more information on Listeria, Listeriosis and safe food handling, visit In need of a physician for yourself or a family member? Try GBMC’s Find a Doctor search tool at

It’s All a Blur: Symptoms of and Treatment for Cataracts

According to the National Eye Institute, more than 50 percent of Americans will have either a cataract or cataract surgery by age 80. A cataract clouds over the lens of the eye, impairing vision. Most cataracts are caused by aging, but they can also form after an eye injury, exposure to certain types of radiation, or as a side effect of another disease. Though rare, some babies are born with cataracts, a condition known as congenital cataracts. Individuals who have diabetes, smoke or have a family history of cataracts are at a higher risk of suffering from them.

Cataract symptoms include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Apparent fading of colors
  • Glare, the appearance of halos around lights or perception that headlights, indoor lights or the sun appear very bright
  • The need to change glasses or contact prescriptions often due to vision changes

It is recommended that all adults begin getting baseline screening exams, complete with pupil dilation, beginning at age 40 so that early warning signs of eye disease, such as cataracts, may be identified quickly.

Early on, treatment of cataracts may include a prescription for new glasses or special glasses with high magnification, adjusting lighting in your home and/or using sunglasses with an anti-glare coating. When more conservative approaches are not effective, surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens is the next viable option. Fortunately, cataract surgery is considered to be highly successful. It is one of the most commonly performed operations in the United States, and advancements continue to make this procedure safer while offering patients better outcomes.

In addition to offering conservative approaches to cataract symptom treatment, GBMC offers state-of-the-art cataract surgery that can often be performed without shots or stitches, allowing patients to resume regular activities within a few days. To learn more about GBMC’s ophthalmology services, visit

Fresh Peach Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup peach nectar 
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 2 (5.3-ounce) cartons vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt 
  • 3 cups sliced fresh peaches, frozen 
  • Mint sprigs (optional) 

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in a blender; process until blended. 
  2. Add peaches; process until smooth. 
  3. Divide evenly among four glasses; garnish each serving with a mint sprig, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes four servings

Serving size: 1/4 of the blender contents
Calories: 140
Fat: 0.3g
Protein: 8.3g
Carb: 27.6g
Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 37mg
Calcium: 10mg

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Chill, Oxmoor House 2013

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Got Milk? An Overview

Flavored? Unflavored? Sweetened? Unsweetened? With many types of milk now available in the grocery store, the options can be overwhelming! Different people have different needs, so it's smart to educate yourself and find the type that’s just right for you. Several nutrition factors to consider in selecting a type of milk are calorie, fat, calcium and protein content. We’ve broken down five popular types of milk to present the essential nutrition information to help guide you as you make a decision.

8oz. serving of Calories   Fat      Calcium   Protein  Vitamin D
Cow's milk (whole) 150 8g 25% DV 8g 25% DV
Cow's milk (skim) 80 0g 30% DV 8g 25% DV
Soy milk 110 4.5g   45% DV 8g 30% DV
Almond milk
(unsweet, unflavored) 
40 2.5g 45% DV 1g 25% DV
Coconut milk
45 4.5g 45% DV 0g 25% DV

DV = Daily Value

Nutritional Needs
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend that adults consume a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium per day, although that increases to 1,300 mg per day for teenagers and 1,200 for women over 50. Just one eight-ounce glass of milk provides a significant source of calcium (cow’s milk has about 300 mg of calcium per 8 oz. serving). Almond and coconut milk provide as much Vitamin D and calcium as cow’s milk, but if you’re looking for a rich source of protein, almond and coconut milk might not be the best choice.

Cooking Uses
Using the different flavors and consistencies in milk can help you make even more delicious meals. Many Indian and Thai dishes call for coconut milk, as the sweet flavor and creamy consistency help bolster the exotic flavors in the recipes. Soy milk can be used as you would use cow’s milk in most recipes. Since it is a great source of protein, try it in energy-boosting foods, like baked oatmeal or homemade protein bars. Almond and soy milk are available in flavors like vanilla, which can be great in dessert recipes.

Dietary Preferences
If you are lactose intolerant but still want to consume recipes that involve milk or eat cereal, the use of almond or soy milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk. If you are dieting or simply trying to cut extra calories, the use of almond milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk. If you don’t like drinking it out of a glass at first, try it mixed in a smoothie or over cereal. 

Introducing the Expanded Johns Hopkins Voice Center

Imagine suddenly experiencing voice issues that affected your ability to communicate with your family and friends. Though conditions causing voice problems often affect those who use their voices professionally, such as singers and actors, they can happen to anyone.

To better treat its voice patients, the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head & Neck Center recently expanded the Johns Hopkins Voice Center located on GBMC’s main campus in Physicians Pavilion West. In addition to a larger and completely renovated space, the Voice Center also houses the brand new Fender Music & Voice Studio, furnished with nearly $20,000 in music equipment generously donated by Fender. The expansion was made possible through a $1.6 million donation from the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Endowment Fund. “When someone is diagnosed with a vocal disorder issue, it is life-altering,” says Lee Akst, MD, director of the Voice Center. “This new addition is essential in assisting vocal disorder patients in the healing for their problems by offering them enhanced treatment options and specialized voice therapy by a team of highly trained voice clinicians.”

L to R: John R. Saunders, Jr., MD;
Barbara Messing, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S;
Deetzie Walker; Joseph Califano, MD;
Gail Cooper, Esq.; Lee Akst, MD
Not pictured: Kenneth Fletcher, MD
From speech pathologists to otolaryngologists, the Voice Center is comprised of a variety of specialists that work collaboratively to diagnose and treat voice conditions. Individuals who seek treatment at the Voice Center typically have diagnoses ranging from vocal cord paralysis to head and neck cancers, but individuals seeking education on how to protect their vocal cords will find the help they need as well.

For more information about voice or head and neck services, visit or Additional information on the Voice Center expansion can be found in by clicking here to review the press release.