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Is Your Young Child Emotionally Healthy?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Maternity, Mental Health, Parents, Pediatrics | Posted on 31-05-2012

All parents want their babies to grow up happy and healthy.

From the moment of birth, humans are social and emotional beings. This means infants, toddlers and young children have mental health needs. Although thinking of infants and mental health in the same sentence may seem strange, healthy social and emotional development in early childhood is important.

“During the very early years of life, children learn a lot about the world and their place in it. Young children are beginning to determine if the world is a safe place and if there are people who will meet their needs,” said Melissa Stalets, director of the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of The Children’s Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Military Dad Gets a Hero’s Welcome from Family Maternity Suites

Posted by | Posted in Maternity | Posted on 24-05-2012

Decorated hospital door for new daddy, Justin Painter, staff sergeant in the U.S. Army

On a Sunday morning in January, Alicia Painter delivered her first child after a 24-hour labor. It was a tough, medication-free birth that the new mom had hoped to experience with her husband by her side. Justin, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, however, was doing his best to travel to Springfield from Okinawa, Japan, where he and Alicia had been stationed for his three-year tour.

Not wanting to leave their families out of their pregnancy journey, Alicia had moved home for the final four months of her pregnancy, with the assumption that Justin would join her two weeks prior to her due date.

On Jan. 20, with the due date approaching, Justin tried to fly home but couldn’t because of inclement weather. The next morning, Alicia woke up to find her fluids were leaking. She was admitted to Memorial — which she had chosen after a tour of the Family Maternity Suites weeks earlier — and waited for word that her husband was on his way to her. Still yet to have experienced a contraction, Alicia was in tears out of fear her husband wouldn’t make the birth. Eventually she got word that he was on his way, but his trip would involve 20 hours of traveling. Read the rest of this entry »

Helping Hospital Patients Manage Pain

Posted by | Posted in Nursing | Posted on 24-05-2012

If you’re in pain in the hospital, Kimmy Eldridge is one of the people you want to see.

Eldridge, a registered nurse, is one of 38 Pain Resource Champions at Memorial Medical Center who are available for inpatient pain consultations to the nursing staff around the clock. They include registered nurses, healthcare psychologists and physical therapists.

Pain Resource Champions assist a patient’s care team to identify the best medication regimen and therapies for a patient. They also work with patients’ family members to include them in the plan of care and to help them achieve a sense of control and ownership in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Gluten-Free for Me?: Celiac Disease Event Highlights

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition | Posted on 23-05-2012

"Is Gluten-Free For Me?: Understanding Celiac Disease" event offered by Friends of Memorial at Memorial Medical Center on May 21, 2012

Can a gluten-free diet help your health? If you suffer from celiac disease, a wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, the answer is a resounding yes.

Friends of Memorial, which supports Memorial Medical Center’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities it serves, recently offered a free informational event for those interested in learning more about a gluten-free lifestyle. Because the event reached registration capacity, here’s a recap of the information shared by the physician and registered dietitians who presented. PDFs of each speaker’s PowerPoint presentation are included in each section as links. Read the rest of this entry »

Structured Workout Plans Prove Successful

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Classes, Exercise, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 22-05-2012

The three main components to any worthwhile fitness regimen are nutrition, strength conditioning and cardiovascular exercise. Can you achieve success in all three areas by going at it alone? Sure – but it’s more likely you’ll stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine if you first have the tools and tips necessary to build a solid foundation.

A 2010 study published in the journal Obesity found that people who participated in a structured group exercise program worked out for a longer period of time than those who didn’t. When half the battle to adopting a lasting workout routine is turning it into habit, longer workouts may mean the difference between adopting the habit or abandoning it for the couch. Structured exercise plans also keep you more accountable and motivated.

Memorial SportsCare’s new Healthy Lifestyles 360 (HL 360) program, which kicks off in June, offers participants the knowledge and motivation they need in a structured environment to ensure lasting success. HL 360 is a spinoff of SportsCare’s already existing Healthy Lifestyles fitness program, in which a certified SportsCare employee works with a person to meet their individual fitness goals over a period of 10 or 20 weeks. HL 360 adds in a nutritional component and opportunity to participate in both group and individual exercise. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Relaxation Tips for Stressed-Out Teens

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 21-05-2012

The high school years can be stressful for teenagers. Stress can be caused by being overscheduled, a relationship break up, a recent test grade, missing the winning soccer goal or parental expectations.

For teenagers, stress often shows up as gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and irritability.

“While a little stress for a short time, like cramming for a test, can motivate us, continued stress over extended periods of time depletes us,” said Ruta Kulys, a licensed clinical social worker at Memorial Counseling Associates. “We end up feeling drained physically and emotionally. In teens, this can lead to having a shortened fuse, leading to conflict at home and with friends.”

Here are five easy relaxation techniques teens can try when feeling stressed:

  1. Stop. Stop moving. Stop talking. Bring to mind a pleasant event.
  2. Breathe. When we are stressed, our breath tends to become rapid, shallow and high in the chest. At times, we hold our breath. To release tension, intentionally slow and deepen the breath.
  3. Mini-Massage. Rubbing the acupressure points in the head and hands promotes relaxation.
  4. Let go. Several times a day, release the shoulders down the body and unclench your jaw.
  5. Recite a mantra. Pick a positive thought and repeat it to yourself. The more you repeat it, the truer it becomes.

For teens seeking a more in-depth understanding of how to beat stress, Memorial Counseling Associates offers a five-week Relaxation Group for high school-age teens to teach effective methods that allow the systems of the body to slow down and find their balance. When a person learns to relax their body, they regain a sense of calm and well-being.

“The five-week Relaxation Group will give teens the opportunity to learn and try several methods of relaxation. They can then keep and use the ones that they find to be the most helpful,” Kulys said. “The group also teaches teens to pay attention to what they are feeling in their bodies – something no one can do for them. This knowledge of themselves can help them identify what they need and what steps they can take to feel better.”

ACL Injuries Not Uncommon

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, News, Orthopedics, SportsCare | Posted on 17-05-2012

If you follow sports, you likely heard the latest news about Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls leading scorer, sitting out the next 8-12 months following his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery.

The 23-year-old point guard went down with just 80 seconds left of the first game of the Bulls’ Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Video courtesty of jmike619 on Youtube. Video may not play if Youtube user has removed it.

He’s not alone. Several NBA stars have experienced the same injury during this compressed season. But it’s not just NBA stars who are susceptible. Read the rest of this entry »

When Should You Consider a Hearing Screening?

Posted by | Posted in Screenings | Posted on 15-05-2012

If you suffer from hearing loss, you’re usually the last to know.

Hearing loss goes unnoticed because it often occurs so gradually and is painless. But it can hamper your quality of life.

“A lot of times family members will notice it first,” said Vicki Blount, certified clinical audiologist at Memorial Medical Center’s Hearing Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Walk Your Way to a Healthier Heart!

Posted by | Posted in Events, Heart | Posted on 14-05-2012

The American Heart Association recommends adults participate in 30 minutes of moderate activity every day to help protect and maintain heart health. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through walking.

Because of its simplicity, walking has the lowest drop-out rate of those who adopt the activity. Research shows that walking for at least 30 minutes a day can provide the following health benefits:

  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improved blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Lowered risk for stroke
  • Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • And much more! Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Safely into Summer

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Physician Services, Safety, Summer | Posted on 11-05-2012

It’s the time of year almost everyone enjoys. Temperatures warm up, flowers bloom and you can once again spend time outdoors. But before you plan your next family adventure, brush up on these warm weather safety tips to ensure your family gets the most out of spring and summer fun.



As temperatures rise, bugs come out. Your best protection is bug spray that’s at least 10- to 30-percent DEET. The higher the percentage, the longer the repellant lasts. This can be mixed with sunscreen and is safe on children as young as 2 months old.

Poison Ivy/Poison Oak

Rashes from poison ivy and oak are caused by a substance in the sap of the plants. Learn to recognize the plants so you can avoid them. If you come into contact, immediately wash with soap and water. Read the rest of this entry »