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Preventing Osteoporosis in Your Healthy Kitchen!
Chances are, unless you’ve broken one, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the health of your bones! However, since half of all women and one in five men will suffer at least one fracture from osteoporosis in their lifetimes, now is a great time to find out more about your risk of this life-altering and sometimes deadly disease. In recognition of National Osteoporosis Month, we invited Kathi Hoffer, Imaging Services Operations Manager at The Breast Care Center at YRMC, to the set of Your Healthy Kitchen to talk about the nutrients, foods, and lifestyle habits that protect women and men against bone loss. Kathi also shared some important news about DXA Scan, an effective, non-invasive testing tool that can detect osteoporosis in its earliest stages. YRMC offers DXA Scan services at two convenient locations: in Prescott at Prescott Medical Imaging and at the Breast Care Center in Prescott Valley. Tomato-Vegetable Juice Osteoporosis and its precursor, osteopenia, are silent diseases marked by the gradual loss of structure and strength in bones. Unfortunately, most people have no idea that their bones are in trouble until one breaks. While many fractures do heal, the process can be painfully slow and many people lose their ability to live independently as a result. The statistics for hip fractures are particularly frightening: 28% of women and 37% of men die from complications within a year of breaking a hip. The good news: osteopenia and osteoporosis are preventable, treatable, and sometimes reversible conditions, so it’s important to speak with your healthcare providers about your risk. While osteoporosis can occur at any age, post-menopausal women and men over age 65 are at greatest risk. Other factors that can lead to weakened bones include a family history of osteoporosis, low body weight, poor diet (without adequate fruits, vegetables, calcium and vitamin D and high in sodium), history of one or more broken bones (especially in the wrist, hip or spine), a sedentary (not physically active) lifestyle, certain medications, and smoking (currently or in the past). Kathi Hoffer states, “If you are at risk, your physician can order a DXA Scan to assess the strength of your bones. DXA is a simple, painless exam using a low level of radiation that calculates the mineral density of bone. Women often schedule their mammograms at the same time, completing two important, and potentially life saving exams in one appointment.” While some risk factors, like gender, age and genetics can’t be changed, diet and lifestyle choices can! If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are able to start moving more – do! Weight-bearing exercise like walking or hiking, dancing, strength training, or anything else that gets you on your feet more often will help you build stronger bones. Bones are smart! When you make physical demands on them, they respond and become denser and more resistant to fracture. However, it’s important to speak with your healthcare providers about the best exercise for you, especially if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, as certain movements could increase your risk of fracture. Calcium and vitamin D are both critically important nutrients for bone health, but so are vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium and more. There is even a class of phytochemicals called carotenes that also appear to play a role in bone health. These include lycopene, which is concentrated in red and pink fruits and veggies; lutein, found predominantly in leafy greens; and zeaxanthin, found in orange peppers, mangoes, egg yolks, and oranges. Filling at least half of your plate at lunch and dinner with a variety of vegetables and fruits (think the colors of the rainbow) will help you get many of the nutrients your bones need. Magnesium-packed whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans are also important components of a bone-healthy diet, as are good sources of calcium, including greens, low fat dairy and calcium-fortified plant-based milks and juices. In honor of National Osteoporosis Month, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) has created a helpful interactive tool, 35 Ways to Stay Bone Strong. Each box links to a fact, resource or action you can take to protect your bones and to live a healthy, active life. The NOF also has a new podcast and blog, Bone Talk, which highlights a variety of issues related to osteoporosis and includes conversations with patients, healthcare providers, researchers, advocates, and more. For more information about YRMC DXA Scan services, call 928-771-7577.
Asthma: It’s Not Just For Kids
Asthma is so associated with children that when an adult is diagnosed with the condition, it’s called “adult onset asthma.” It’s somewhat surprising that an equal percentage of adults and children in the United States – 8.3 percent – suffer from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, a time to highlight the causes, symptoms and treatments of asthma and allergies. Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is doing its part by featuring adult onset asthma, starting with how it’s different from childhood asthma. Asthma is the same disease whether you’re five or 50. What’s different is how children and adults experience asthma. Kids often have intermittent asthma symptoms stemming from allergy triggers or respiratory infections. Adults typically experience persistent asthma symptoms: wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. It’s not uncommon for adults to think they have heart disease or lung disease until their healthcare provider diagnoses adult onset asthma. Asthma Triggers Asthma causes swelling and inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This makes your lungs sensitive to asthma “triggers” and can lead to asthma attacks. Common asthma triggers include: Respiratory infections or colds Cold temperatures Dry air Emotional stress or excitement Exercise Smoke Mold and mildew Air pollution Feather bedding Dust mites Animal dander or saliva Colds, Cats and More! Allergies can make you more likely to develop adult onset asthma. In fact, approximately 30 percent of adult asthma cases begin when people are exposed to allergens and triggers. Other factors that increase your chances of developing adult onset asthma include: Health History – If you had asthma as a child, you’re at risk for relapse in your 30s or 40s. Weight – Obesity appears to increase the chances of developing asthma as an adult. Gender –The hormonal changes women experience during pregnancy and menopause may lead to adult onset asthma. What Can You Do About Asthma? The first step is to get a definitive diagnosis from your healthcare provider. Your treatment plan may include regular medication and a “rescue” inhaler to help during an asthma attack in order to provide relief of asthma symptoms. Your provider will also advise you about what to do if your asthma symptoms get worse. Talk to your provider about what you can do to manage asthma symptoms, such as allergy-proofing your home and workplace, and what asthmatic treatment options are available. Make sure you get your annual flu shot and older adults should also ask their healthcare provider about the pneumonia vaccination. Join YRMC’s Better Breathers Club YRMC works with the American Lung Association to sponsor the Better Breathers Club in our community. This program connects people living with lung disease to education, support and each other. Participants learn ways to cope with lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) while getting the support of others in similar situations. The Better Breathers Club is a fun and interesting combination of guest speakers and problem-solving discussions. Led by a YRMC Registered Respiratory Therapist, this adult support group meets the second Monday of the month from September through May. Want to receive information about future Better Breathers Club meetings? Go to YRMC HealthConnect “Subscribe” and select “Better Breathers Club Support Group” from our menu of support groups and special interests. Now that you understand adult onset asthma and know how it’s treated, YRMC hopes you’ll breathe easier.
YRMC Construction and Parking Alert!
Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) will soon begin an exciting and significant expansion project on its West Campus in Prescott. “This multi-year project will evolve YRMC West into a state-of-the-art medical and wellness campus,” said Frank Almendarez, MHSA, Chief Administrative Officer at YRMC. “The campus will include a new health center to support our focus on prevention and wellness.” Construction Begins – Parking is Limited Phase one of this project has already started with the expansion of the Energy Center at YRMC West. An essential aspect of the infrastructure needed to support the entire campus, the Energy Center reduced the number of parking spaces and limited access to YRMC West parking lots.There will be additional challenges as other phases of this project roll out. The next phase – construction of a multi-level parking structure – is scheduled to begin soon. “The parking structure will ultimately add several hundred new parking spaces to the YRMC West campus,” Almendarez said. Plan Your Visit to YRMC If you have a procedure or another appointment scheduled at the hospital, YRMC encourages you to allow extra time for parking. You also may want to look for YRMC volunteers driving carts in the parking lot to shuttle you to the hospital entrance. “I have suggested to friends that the person with the medical appointment be driven to the hospital entrance,” said Almendarez. “We also will have plenty of volunteers available to shuttle people from the parking lot to the hospital.” Keep Up-to-Date We are committed to keeping you up-to-date on our construction projects. New information will be provided to local media outlets when available. Updates also will be posted on YRMC HealthConnect and YRMC social media communities—Facebook and Twitter. We encourage you to subscribe to YRMC HealthConnect and follow us on social media to stay connected with developments. We appreciate your patience and understanding during our expansion. We are confident the long-term benefits of the expansion will outweigh the temporary inconveniences. We will keep you informed of other steps to improve access to YRMC West during the expansion.
Do You Understand Your Blood Pressure Numbers?
Our health is measured by many numbers: cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index are just a few. For most of us, the actual numbers aren’t as important as knowing our blood pressure numbers are within a healthy range. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month so the James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center West wants to arm you with information to manage and monitor your blood pressure. Why the focus on managing blood pressure? High blood pressure affects one in three American adults and only 54 percent of them have it under control. High blood pressure has earned the scary name of “silent killer” because early-on there are no obvious symptoms or signs associated with it. Even scarier, untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Warning Signs If you have high blood pressure that’s untreated for a period of time, there can be warning signs and blood pressure symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you’re experiencing the following symptoms: Dizziness Weight loss/hair loss Blurred vision Chest pain Shortness of breath Intense headaches What Do Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean? If your blood pressure is elevated, it’s important that you are monitored by a healthcare provider. This chart – created by the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association – outlines the categories of high blood pressure. Once you know your blood pressure, what steps should you take to monitor your health? Here are some recommendations to discuss with your healthcare provider: Normal blood pressure (less than 120/80) – Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years or as frequently as your healthcare provider recommends. Borderline high pressure or prehypertension (between 120/80 and 139/89) – Check your blood pressure at least every year, or more often, if your healthcare provider recommends it. If you have other medical issues, even a borderline reading may be considered too high. 140/90 or higher – You have high blood pressure and need to see your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan. Tips for Taking Your Blood Pressure Want to monitor your blood pressure between appointments with your healthcare provider? This can be a good way to ensure your blood pressure is at healthy levels. Many pharmacies have blood pressure monitors or you may want to invest in a home blood pressure monitor kit. Either way, use the same monitor each time you take your blood pressure. Here are some hints for taking your blood pressure: Always use the same arm and place the cuff on bare skin. Take up to three readings each time to ensure accuracy. Measure before eating and exercising but not right after you wake up. No caffeine, food, alcohol or tobacco 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure. Look at Your Lifestyle If you smoke, giving up tobacco is a good way to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. If you consume alcohol, consume in moderation. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular aerobic exercise are also good lifestyle habits that can help reduce your blood pressure. Follow YRMC, and YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, on Facebook and Twitter for healthy living tips and nutritious and delicious recipes.
How You Can Prevent a Brain Attack
Many in the medical community now use the phrase “brain attack” in place of “stroke.” That’s because strokes have lots in common with heart attacks. A heart attack happens when an artery that delivers blood to the heart becomes blocked. Deprived of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, heart tissue begins to die. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent extensive damage to the heart. Re-read that paragraph and exchange the word “heart” for “brain.” You are now describing a stroke, or brain attack (some call it a brain stroke). Like your heart, your brain is fueled by the oxygen and nutrients delivered by the blood. The most common form of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes clogged. A severe stroke can permanently destroy massive numbers of brain cells. When brain cells die, abilities controlled by that area of the brain – language, memory, muscle control – are affected. Some people recover completely from a brain attack, but more than two-thirds of survivors have some type of disability. How to Manage Your Risk for Stroke While you can’t rollback the years or change your family history – both of which increase your risk for stroke – the single best way to reduce your risk for brain attack is to maintain a healthy blood pressure. May is National Stroke Awareness Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month so Yavapai Regional Medical Center is highlighting how high blood pressure affects your brain health. Unfortunately, uncontrolled high blood pressure can double or even quadruple your risk for a stroke. Is Your Blood Pressure Normal? What is normal blood pressure? Less than 120 over 80 (120/80) is considered normal, according to the American Stroke Association. If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Here are some strategies to get your numbers under control: Reduce your salt intake to no more than a half teaspoon a day. Avoid high-cholesterol foods. Sorry folks that means burgers, cheese and ice cream. Get to a healthy weight if you’re overweight. Losing even 10 pounds can have a positive impact on your stroke risk. Eat a diet that includes four to five cups of fruits and vegetables every day, one serving of fish two to three times a week and several daily servings of whole grains and low-fat dairy. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and more, if possible. Give up tobacco, if you smoke. Drink alcohol only in moderation. Studies show that more than two alcoholic drinks per day sharply increases your risk for stroke. Want to monitor your blood pressure between appointments with your healthcare provider? You may want to invest in a home blood pressure monitor kit. Pharmacies that have blood pressure monitors often include that information on their websites. Follow YRMC on Facebook and Twitter for more information on stroke prevention and controlling your blood pressure.
Women and Lung Cancer: Should You Get Screened?
It’s probably no coincidence that National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18, 2019) kicks off on Mother’s Day. According to the American Lung Association, over the past 41 years the rate of women being diagnosed with the disease has increased by 87 percent. Women or men who smoke are at most risk for developing lung cancer, but people who have never smoked also can be diagnosed with lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes smoked. If you quit smoking – even after many years of smoking – you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer. During National Women’s Lung Health Week, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is highlighting low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). Heavy, long-term smokers, current smokers, or people with a family history of lung cancer have lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) available at: Prescott Medical Imaging (PMI) Prescott Valley Medical Imaging (PVMI) YRMC East in Prescott Valley Why Lung Cancer Screening is Important Lung cancer often has no symptoms. Because of this, it can spread outside of the lungs before it is detected. By then, the cancer may be advanced which can affect treatment outcomes for the patient. “It’s very important to get screened even if you don’t have symptoms,” said Mary Sterling, Director of Imaging Services for YRMC. “The benefit of early detection is finding a cancer before it has a chance to spread. The earlier cancer is detected, the more likely it is treatable.” Should You be Screened for Lung Cancer? LDCT is part of YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program. To be eligible for the Medicare-sponsored screening you must be: Between the ages of 55-77 Free of cancer symptoms Either currently smoking or a past smoker who quit 15 years ago or less A heavy smoker averaging one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years People are encouraged to talk with their primary care providers to determine if they are eligible for the screening program. “The patient and healthcare provider will have a discussion about the patient’s smoking history and find out if they have any symptoms,” Sterling said. “They’ll also talk about smoking cessation if the patient is still smoking.” A Team Approach YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program uses a team approach that draws on the skills of primary care providers, pulmonologists, procedural pulmonologists, radiologists and a cardiothoracic surgeon. The program also includes a patient navigator whose job is to serve as a patient contact. This professional answers questions about program eligibility and directs patients to the appropriate provider if specific care is required. The patient navigator also can help people determine if their current insurance plan covers the screening or assist people who would like to undergo the exam using the self-pay option YRMC offers. A Prevention Plan “The program is not a one-time screening test,” said Sterling. “Annual follow-up screening is recommended for patients whose initial screenings do not show signs of lung cancer.” If a patient’s LDCT findings show signs of lung cancer, a follow-up scan will be scheduled. A biopsy may also be recommended, in which case the patient would be referred to a procedural pulmonologist or a radiologist, depending on the location of the lung nodule. Should the patient need surgery, the Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program team also includes a cardiothoracic surgeon. Jennifer Harvey, RN, BSN, YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program Patient Navigator encourages people to support lung health year-round and during National Women’s Lung Health Week. Learn More About LDCT For more information about LDCT, please contact your primary care provider or the Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program Patient Navigator at (928) 771-5454. Need help giving up smoking? Contact the ASHLine, Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-556-6222), for free assistance. Help spread the word about lung cancer screening by sharing this YRMC HealthConnect article with your social media friends.
Brains, Heart, Courage: YRMC Volunteers of the Year for 2019
The quest for brains, heart and courage was a central theme in the beloved novel and film The Wizard of Oz. Had the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion made Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) their first stop, their quest would have been fulfilled. Any day of the week, the YRMC volunteers display these traits and more, according to Nancy Thomes, Director of Volunteer Services at YRMC. The staff at YRMC recently honored its volunteers at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. With nearly 400 people attending, this year’s theme was The Wizard of Oz. The festivities took place at the Prescott Resort, with YRMC staff appearing as various characters from the classic story. Thomes says the luncheon conveys only a fraction of the gratitude that YRMC and the community at large has for the volunteers at YRMC. “In 2018, our volunteers contributed 112,132 hours of service, which is a record,” says Thomes. “Every one of those moments means that someone, in some way, is served because of our volunteers. How fortunate we are.” Three volunteers in particular were honored for the ways in which they embody the mission and vision of YRMC each day they come to work. YRMC West Campus Volunteer of the Year: Joe Clyne Joe Clyne started volunteering at YRMC 13 years ago and has given more than 2,300 hours in 11 different capacities. He currently volunteers as an Escort as well as offering administrative assistance in the Payroll Department and delivering mail. Clyne saw a need for regular clean up and maintenance in the Healing Garden and took it upon himself to fill that need as well. “Volunteering at YRMC is very satisfying and gives me a real sense of purpose,” says Clyne. “Being the Volunteer of the Year is a recognition that is beyond words. There are so many deserving volunteers working at this facility.” Clyne’s knowledge and experience, positivity and willingness to jump in wherever he’s needed makes him the YRMC West Campus Volunteer of the Year for 2019. YRMC East Campus Volunteer of the Year: Andrea Bell Andrea Bell joined the YRMC Volunteer community in July of 2011, when the BreastCare Center at YRMC East opened its doors. Since then, she has donated more than 1600 hours of her time to the program. Bell served as the Department Chair for a period of time and has even helped train new volunteers when the Chair position was vacant. Members of the staff consider Bell’s compassionate support for both patients and staff one of the reasons why the BreastCare Center volunteer program is such a success. However, Bell’s unassuming nature deflects the high praise. “I used to say ‘I’m just a volunteer’ and boy would they put me in my place! I don’t say that anymore!” says Bell. On a more serious note, Bell expresses her gratitude for the opportunity. “I always feel so thankful that I’m able to give my time to volunteering at YRMC,” Bell says. “Volunteering is an uplifting and positive part of my life. It’s a gift to me!” Bell was recognized at the luncheon as the YRMC East Campus Volunteer of the Year for 2019. YRMC Sandy Zinn Martin Award: Rick Smith Sandy Zinn Martin was a long-time YRMC volunteer who was known as the ‘little lady with the big personality.’ Her dedication and giving nature was known throughout the hospital. The Sandy Zinn-Martin Award was created in her memory to honor her spirit of generosity. It is given each year to a volunteer who embodies the ‘above and beyond’ attitude that Sandy exemplified. Rick Smith is an East Campus Escort on Thursday afternoons and works as a substitute Courtesy Cart driver or Shredder when needed. He has volunteered at YRMC for more than two years and has clocked more than 550 volunteer hours. But Smith’s dedication to YRMC and its volunteers extends far beyond this job description. Smith is considered a friend to all. In his off-duty hours, has been known to visit fellow volunteers in the hospital, rehabilitation facilities and even in their homes. His optimism and sense of humor makes everyone smile, even when sick or convalescing. Smith takes the accolades in stride. “I am surprised and humbled. It is very nice to be acknowledged,” he says. “I consider these hard working and dedicated people to be my friends and I’m lucky to get to spend time with them.“ “I have been very lucky in my own life,” Smith reflects. “It so nice to do a little bit for folks who are maybe not having the best of luck. You definitely get back more than you put in.” Smith’s generosity of spirit has earned him the YRMC Sandy Zinn-Martin Award for 2019. In The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man wisely said, “You people with hearts have something to guide you.” Thomes says that the Tin Man must have known something about volunteerism. “Without generous hearts, there would be no volunteering,” she says. “I work with what I consider the best of the best. These are individuals who want to give of their time, the most valuable resource that anyone can give.” Thomes continues, “I feel a little skewed about humanity because I work with the kind of people who say yes to whatever we ask of them. I think volunteering is the best thing a person can do.”
Kelly Marshall Joins YRMC PhysicianCare in Prescott Valley
Yavapai Regional Medical Center PhysicianCare is pleased to announce the addition of Kelly Marshall, FNP, Family Medicine, to its Primary Care team in Prescott Valley. Marshall is a talented Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and has completed a Master of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently accepting new patients. Please call (928) 442-8710 to schedule an appointment. YRMC PhysicianCare accepts most insurance plans including Medicare and is located at 7700 East Florentine Road, Building B, Suite 101 in Prescott Valley. You can learn more about YRMC PhysicianCare at www.yrmcpc.org.