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 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!

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)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.