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Dr. Anil Kumar: Why Worrying About Your Varicose Veins is Not Vain
Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue, according to Anil Kumar, MD, ABVLM, RPVI, RPhS, FACC, FSVM, Medical Director of The Vein Center at YRMC in Prescott Valley. “Varicose veins are a potentially dangerous health issue that people often overlook,” Dr. Kumar said. “Without treatment, symptoms may progress and severely impact your quality of life. It’s our mission to educate and treat people about all aspects of vein health at YRMC’s Vein Center.” Dr. Kumar shares practical information on vein health during Varicose Veins – More Than a Cosmetic Issue. An accomplished vein specialist and vascular medicine physician, Dr. Kumar talks about: Strategies to prevent varicose veins and other vein disorders. Signs of vein disease that are often misunderstood, or worse, misdiagnosed. Factors that increase your risk for vein disease (some you can control and others you can’t). The latest treatments for vein disease, from compression stockings to advanced procedures. Dr. Kumar even shares this “tip sheet” for healthy legs and good circulation. Subscribe to YRMC HealthConnect to keep up-to-date on Healthy Conversation topics or check out our calendar. You can register for future presentations or watch past presentations here.
Budget-Friendly, Delicious Pantry Meals: Ready to Eat in 20 Minutes!
Canned tomatoes and garbanzo beans are two staples I always stock in my pantry. With these simple ingredients, plus a handful of fresh herbs and vegetables, I can create a delicious variety of meals that follow the seasons and fit into my budget. Check out this recent YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen video, where I put together two nourishing and comforting recipes using canned tomatoes and garbanzos, in about 20 minutes! Chickpeas and Bowties Recipe Creamy Tomato Carrot Soup Recipe Homemade meals are usually budget-friendly and nutritionally superior to prepared foods in many ways. For example, a typical can of tomato soup contains 8 grams of added sugar (which is equivalent to two added teaspoons of sugar per cup), and 480 mg of sodium. Low sodium varieties of tomato soup do score better, at 30 mg of sodium per 7.25 ounces, but the added sugar content is higher. If you buy a case of Campbell’s Low Sodium Tomato Soup, the bulk discount cost averages around $1.65 for a little less than one cup. Compare that to my homemade tomato soup and you’ll see that home-cooked is a bargain at $1.70 for a two cup serving! My homemade tomato soup is nutritionally superior as well, with no added sugar and comparable amounts of sodium, at approximately 7 mg per ounce vs. 5 mg per ounce for a can of low sodium Campbell’s Tomato Soup. A comforting cup of homemade tomato soup Of course, nothing beats the taste of homemade meals, where you control the quality of your ingredients as well as the type and amount of flavorings you add. For more ways to cook delicious, easy meals at home, remember to visit our collection of videos and recipes at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen. All of our recipes include nutrient-packed, affordable, and local ingredients, plus easy to follow instructions. You can also follow me on Facebook at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, to see what I am making at home, get insider tips and link to some of my favorite food and nutrition destinations on the web.
Presenting GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home!
As the Quad-Cities’ GoNoodle Plus sponsor for schools and families, Yavapai Regional Medical Center is excited to announce the launch of GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home, a free online resource for our community. Whether it is the joy of a family dance party, the calming of a mindfulness video, or learning how to stop the spread of germs, we are engaging kids and their parents in fun ways to stay healthy and active while they spend more time at home. GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home offers a variety of activities, including movement videos, printable downloads, and offline activities – with new resources posted every week. You can sign up at https://www.GoNoodle.com/goodenergy for regular updates.
Longest Running YRMC Volunteer Celebrates Her 40th Year
Forty years ago, volunteering at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) would often mean joining the Medical Auxiliary. Dues were $5 a year. Auxiliary members would dedicate their time assisting at the Information Desk or Gift Shop. The dress code was strict. In fact, Auxiliary members purchased their own uniforms and wore regulation blouses. Dorothy Kalabus, YRMC’s longest-running volunteer, remembers those days with fondness and a good dose of her signature humor. “Imagine today if you had to pay to be a volunteer!” she jokes. Kalabus had just moved to Prescott from Pittsburgh. She had three school-aged children and her husband’s airline job often took him out of town. Not one to sit at home, she soon joined the Auxiliary and started a decades-long relationship with YRMC. It wasn’t long before Kalabus was asked to join the Auxiliary Board. In those days, the Auxiliary Board decided upon ‘wish list’ purchases for the hospital, funded by proceeds from the Gift Shop. When her grandson was born, Kalabus recalls that the stress monitor, just purchased by the Auxiliary, was used during his delivery. “I was so glad it was there for the staff to use,” says Kalabus. Dorothy Kalabus is the 10th of 12 children. Her father died when she was eleven. She and her siblings were raised to pitch in whenever and wherever possible. She graduated with honors and earned college scholarships. “There was never any idle time at our house,” she remembers. “I can’t even imagine sitting and doing nothing.” Now, at nearly 80 years old, Kalabus still has the energy of someone a fraction of her age. Forty years at the YRMC Information Desk isn’t the only impressive item on her volunteer resume. “Back in the 80’s I volunteered at Sacred Heart Church and at the Prescott Rodeo, where I became the chair of the Cattleman’s Club. I even earned my gold and silver rodeo belt buckle. I offered to stuff envelopes for Judge Ann Sterling’s campaign, and ended up becoming the campaign chair!” Nancy Thomes, Director of Volunteer Services at YRMC, emphasizes the important role Kalabus plays at the Information Desk. “Dorothy is such a joy to have at our Information Desk,” says Thomes. “This is a challenging position since the questions that are asked are often new. These volunteers often have to problem-solve while extending good customer service. Dorothy’s knowledge and willingness to serve is always evident, and the joy that she feels while doing this is always apparent.” When asked why she has stayed with her service to YRMC for forty years, Kalabus explains, “This is so important. You’re dealing directly with people in need. People come in with so many different needs. Most of them aren’t just asking for a patient’s room number, and often they’re in pain or feeling stress. You have to remember a lot of information about the hospital, and communicate it simply and clearly.” “And then there are the free lunches!” she laughs. “Every Friday, a dozen or so volunteers from all different departments get together for lunch, and new volunteers are always welcome. These people have all become my friends. We have such a good time!” Kalabus notes that she belongs to a special ‘foursome’ that makes her time at YRMC extra special. She works with Escorts Carol Shepherd and Shirley Reeves and fellow Information Desk volunteer Rob Petrocci each Friday. “We’re a great team,” she says. Kalabus was honored for her 40 years of service on July 2nd. Thomes and Chamine David, Volunteer Services Manager, visited Kalabus in her front yard for a ‘physically distanced’ celebration. Kalabus’ husband and daughter were there, as well as fellow volunteers Shepherd and Reeves. The neighbors across the street even held up a large handmade ‘Congratulations’ sign and took photos. “Dorothy enjoyed telling a few stories about her first days at YRMC,” says Thomes. “It was clear that her commitment to her role began 40 years ago when she first started volunteering.” “It was a fun visit,” Kalabus recalls. “There were balloons and flowers and we visited and reminisced. It’s fun telling the old stories and marveling at how far YRMC has come over the years. But I still can’t believe it’s been 40 years!” “I tell people that volunteering gives you life,” she explains. “It gives you something to look forward to and makes your life so much more interesting. Volunteering changes your whole world.” Kalabus continues. “When I started volunteering at YRMC 40 years ago, it was just to get to know a few people in my new hometown. But soon, I came to realize that this is a commitment. And as you can tell, when I start something, I finish it. Well, I’m not finished yet!” To learn more about becoming a volunteer at Yavapai Regional Medical Center visit yrmc.org, or call Volunteer Services in Prescott at (928) 771-5678, or in Prescott Valley at (928) 442-8678.
For Good Health and Great Flavor, Spice Up Your Meals with this Award-Winning Salsa!
Jim Vorves is one of many multi-talented employees who walk the halls at YRMC. As a talented cook, musician and Desktop Support Manager for YRMC’s Information Systems Department, Jim qualifies as a true Renaissance man! He kindly joined me on the set of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen to share one of his award-winning salsa recipes, and talk about the dedicated folks who keep everyone connected at YRMC. FYI: Don’t worry if you don’t like a lot of spice. Jim also shares his mild salsa recipe, for those of us who don’t do well with heat but still love the taste of salsa. Flaming Gringo Salsa Recipe Capsaicin (cap-SAY-sin) is the chemical that gives chilies their heat and fire. It is concentrated, but not limited to, the tissues around the seeds of chilies, where it likely protects the plant from pests and disease. In a neat twist of co-evolution, many of the chemicals (called phytochemicals) that plants produce to protect themselves from harm also protect and support the health of humans. This is certainly the case with capsaicin, as research shows that this spicy phytochemical: Improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose after meals Reduces inflammation throughout the body Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity Impairs the growth of H pylori, the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers Capsaicin is found only in chilies that are spicy. The more spice, the more capsaicin, so the hotter you like your salsa the better! However, if you don’t like it hot, or for health reasons can’t tolerate chilies, there are many other beneficial nutrients in Jim’s hot and mild salsas. These include: Vitamin C Potassium Fiber Other important phytochemicals including: Lycopene, beta-carotene, and quercitin, all of which are antioxidants that protect against chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. For more delicious ways to incorporate beneficial fresh herbs, spices and lots of flavor into your meals, remember to visit our collection of videos and recipes at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen. All of our recipes include photochemical- and nutrient-packed, affordable, and local ingredients, plus easy to follow instructions. You’ll find nutrition information and cost per serving featured on every recipe as well. You can also follow me on Facebook at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, to see what I am making at home, get insider tips and link to some of my favorite food and nutrition destinations on the web. Until next time, eat well and spice up your meals for health!
YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program: Early Detection is Saving Lives
Starr Herridge left her home one morning to go to the mall, a familiar trip where she regularly picked up her cigarettes. But on this particular morning in 2012, Starr decided to pull in to the neighborhood drug store instead, and found herself purchasing smoking cessation patches. Starr laughs, “I guess I was lazy – I didn’t want to go all the way to the mall!” “Once I retired, I started smoking so much more,” Starr admits. “When I was working, it wasn’t so bad because I wasn’t allowed to smoke at work. But I didn’t know what to do with myself at home and I ended up smoking all day long. I knew I had to do something.” Thankfully, the patches worked, and Starr has been a non-smoker ever since. Fast forward to 2018, when Starr’s primary care physician recommended a Medicare well-clinic health screening. Given Starr’s history of smoking, it was recommended that she get a low dose CT lung scan. Starr figured it couldn’t hurt. She went to Yavapai Regional Medical Center where she qualified for free annual lung screenings through the Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program. “YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program follows people generally between the ages of 55 and 77 who are at a higher risk for lung cancer due to a history of smoking,” explains Jennifer Harvey, RN, BSN, Patient Navigator at the YRMC Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program. “The screening uses a CT scan with a lower dose of radiation to take very detailed pictures of the lungs to detect cancer in its early stages, which allows for a greater chance for a cure.” “I first met Starr in July, 2018 when she came to the program,” says Harvey. “The first thing you notice is her sense of humor and her kind, humble heart!” The Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program is covered by private insurance and Medicare for people who meet certain criteria, including: Age 55-77 Current smoker or quit within 15 years 30 smoking pack years (1 pack a day for 30 years) Harvey notes that you need an order from your provider, so a good starting point is to talk to them first. In addition, a cash pay, discounted rate is available for those who do not qualify for insurance coverage. “My job is to provide information, answer questions and interpret what each individual patient needs,” says Harvey. “The whole idea from the very start is that everyone is in a different place. I followed Starr’s case and checked in occasionally to see how she was doing.” A year later, one of Starr’s regular screenings showed a very tiny nodule on one of her lungs. Although Starr showed no symptoms at all, her physician wanted to do a biopsy to be sure. However, the nodule was so small that it was impossible to biopsy. Starr and her doctor discussed Starr’s options. “I said let’s just go in there and get it out!” Starr recalls with her signature enthusiasm. “Within three weeks, I was in the hospital.” “I saw Starr after the surgery. She did great!” says Harvey. “The biopsy tested positive for cancer, but the good news was that the margins were clear, which means that everything around it was negative. This is exactly what you hope for, and it was made possible because we caught it so early.” Starr now goes in for follow-up CT scans every four months. She considers herself an advocate for screening and early detection. “I always tell people, why wait until you have a symptom? It takes thirty minutes out of your life, it doesn’t hurt, you don’t get undressed, and you just get up and go. Plus, It’s free, and I like free!” After a pause, Starr’s tone becomes more serious, “We got rid of the cancer before I became sick. I didn’t have to endure chemo or radiation because I went in early and they got all of it. It saved my life.” “Of course, quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of lung cancer,” says Harvey. “But that risk is still about three-fold in comparison to people who have never smoked, even 25 years after quitting. The value of regular screenings can’t be overstated.” So why don’t more people participate? “One of the biggest reasons people are reluctant is that they just don’t want to know,” explains Harvey. “We find this largely in people who are currently smoking. It’s hard to hold up a mirror to what smoking has done to their bodies. Another comment we hear is, ‘Well, I feel fine. I don’t need to do this.’ The truth is, the vast majority of lung cancer symptoms don’t appear until later stages.” “The great news is that the survival rate of lung cancer is on its way up. There are now more treatment options besides surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. What was considered a poor prognosis tens years ago may hold a lot more hope now, thanks to immunotherapies and targeted therapies,” says Harvey. The other important factor is that smokers and former smokers like Starr are becoming more aware of the life-saving benefits of early-detection programs like the Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program at YRMC. “My health is so important to me because I love life. I have two sisters, and I love being with them. I have a great group of friends – some are even from high school.” Starr continues. “Plus, I have a dog sitting business that I love. Dogs just love you unconditionally. I provide a great service to my clients, and just have a ball with the dogs!” For more information on the Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program at YRMC, call Jennifer Harvey, Patient Navigator at (928) 771-5454 or visit YRMC’s Website.
Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet from YRMC Nutritionist Danyelle Schott
What’s the easiest way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet? “Enjoy the rainbow,” said Danyelle Schott, Certified Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “The more colors – like red apples, orange peppers, green kale and purple grapes – the greater variety of important nutrients in your diet.” Danyelle calls this “nutrient density,” meaning food that’s high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. These kinds of foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. If you’re exploring a vegan diet – one without animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy – Danyelle says you can find needed protein in foods like oats, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Looking for an egg substitute for the muffins you’re making? You can substitute overripe bananas or pureed fruit for the eggs. There are more ideas on these flyers on plant-based eating. Watch Danyelle’s YRMC Healthy Conversations presentation, Plant Based Eating for Healthy Living, to learn how you can transition to a plant-based diet. (Meatless Mondays, anyone?) During the presentation, Danyelle even shares two of her favorite recipes for a veggie bake and a burrito. Subscribe to YRMC HealthConnect to keep up-to-date on our livestream topics or check out our calendar. You can register for future presentations or view past presentations at YRMC HealthConnect.
Learn from Your Laptop (or other device) with YRMC’s Healthy Conversations
There are lots of Healthy Conversations on the horizon thanks to Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) new virtual speakers bureau, which launches July 15 on YRMC HealthConnect. “This is a new era in how people will participate in and access YRMC’s high-quality health education presentations,” said Ken Boush, YRMC’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “We believe people will find that livestreaming on YRMC HealthConnect is an easy, fun and convenient way to enjoy YRMC’s exceptional speakers bureau presenters and topics.” Joining a Livestream Presentation Here’s how to join a YRMC livestream presentation: Visit YRMC HealthConnect. Go to the “Events” tab and then select “Calendar” for a menu of upcoming speakers and topics. Register for the presentations that interest you. Join the livestream presentation on its scheduled date and time by going to the “Events” tab on YRMC HealthConnect and selecting Healthy Conversations. “Anyone who is livestreaming a Healthy Conversations presentation will be able to submit questions to our presenter from the comfort of their home,” Boush said. “The presenter will respond to questions during the program. We’re anticipating robust and interesting interactions between our virtual audience and expert presenters.” Register for Upcoming Livestream Presentations One of YRMC’s most popular topics will kick off its livestream presentations. Register here for this upcoming presentation on plant-based eating. Wednesday, July 15, 1:00 – 1:30 pm – Plant Based Eating for Healthy Living, Danyelle Schott Dumas, Certified Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach Check back soon to register for these livestream presentations: Wednesday, July 29, 11:30 am – Noon – Varicose Veins: More Than a Cosmetic Issue, Anil Kumar, MD, Medical Director of the Vein Center at YRMC Thursday, August 13, 10:30 – 11 am – Self-Care Tips for Living with Chronic Pain, Cheryl Van Demark, PT, Physical Therapist Wednesday, August 26, 11:30 am – Noon – Swallowing Issues: Things to Consider, Courtney Brimm, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist Finding Past Presentations Can’t join the livestream presentation? Previous presentations will be available on YRMC HealthConnect. “YRMC is delighted to offer Healthy Conversations,” Boush said. “It’s a great way to provide the people of Yavapai County with convenient access to our knowledgeable team of healthcare providers.” To receive information about future livestream presentations, subscribe to YRMC HealthConnect.