Have a Question?
If you have a question about a story or feature on YRMC HealthConnect, please use the fields below to send an e-mail message to Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s Community Outreach Department. YRMC’s Community Outreach Department is a non-medical department and does not have access to patient records. If you have a medically related question, please contact your healthcare provider. If you need to reach a department or individual at YRMC, please call the general switchboard at (928) 445-2700. Please call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
The form was successfuly sent!
The validation of the form was not successful!
There was an error sending the form, try again later or contact your system administrator.
Reduce Your Risk of Falling by Managing Your Medications
Anne is 65 years old and has been taking the same medications for years. But now, her physician has prescribed a new one. Anne is concerned about how the drugs may interact with each other, and whether she’ll experience any side effects. How can Anne safely take this new combination of medications, and where can she find guidance? Anne is right to be cautious. As we age, many of us need more types of medications. Drug interactions, combined with our changing metabolism, can cause new and unexpected side effects. Some of these possible side effects can put us at a greater risk for falling. Statistics show that 1 in 4 people aged 65 and older fall every year. In fact, falls are the number one cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. While the numbers are concerning, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of falling, including being proactive about how and when you take your medications. Kimduy Nguyen, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, says that there are two main reasons why our senior population should keep track of their medications. First, as we age, the muscle mass, fat content and water content of our bodies change. In addition, our kidneys and liver may not work as well as they used to. “This can cause build up of the medication in the body, as we’re unable to metabolize or eliminate as we used to,” says Nguyen, “The distribution of the medication is different and the absorption as well. So this can increase the risk of falls, when the medications have more pronounced effects.” The second reason we should keep close track of our medications as we age has to do with polypharmacy, which is using more than 4 medications at a given time. This includes supplements as well. “When we have more medications, there’s more potential for drug-to-drug interaction, which is medications interacting among themselves, as well as drug-disease interaction,” Nguyen says. These interactions can cause pronounced side effects, which may include lightheadedness or dizziness. Dr. Nguyen offers a list of three important things to know when managing your medications: WHY you’re taking the medication, including the condition it is treating WHAT to expect when taking the medication, such as side effects HOW the medication works, so that you can take the medication at the time of day that’s the safest and most effective One easy ways to stay organized and aware of your medications is to write down what you are taking, why you are taking it, and what the dosage instructions are. Yavapai Regional Medical Center offers a free printable Medication Record at yrmc.org. Another way to manage your medications is to use a pill minder, which is a container with small, separate compartments. You can place individual dosages in each compartment, organized by the days of the week and time of day. Pill minders can be found at most pharmacies and other stores. Finally, perhaps the best advice for a person like Anne, who is concerned about the side effects of a new medication, is one of the easiest to do. “One of the best practices for safe medication management is actually talking to your doctor or pharmacist about all of your medications,” says Nguyen. “Not only prescription medications, but also herbal supplements and vitamins, inhalers and other things.” By talking to your doctor or pharmacist, you can get the information you need to personalize a system for managing your medications. This may include what time of day to take each medication, which medications you can take at the same time, and whether you should take them on a full or empty stomach. Yavapai Regional Medical Center has teamed up with the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition – Northern Chapter to offer our community information and resources about how to minimize your risk of falling. Our goal is to allow our citizens to enjoy an independent, active lifestyle for years to come. For more information, tips and resources about preventing falls, visit the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition website at www.azstopfalls.org.
YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management: Watch Our Live Event from Home
Top cardiac specialists from Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC’s) James Family Heart Center and leaders from its Patient Blood Management Program will join YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management, a live-stream presentation and panel discussion. The event will feature prominent heart specialists – a cardiologist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, an electrophysiologist, an interventional cardiologist – and knowledgeable patient blood management experts. These professionals will highlight the leading-edge, less-invasive procedures used to repair hearts at YRMC as well as how patient blood management strategies are significantly improving patient outcomes. YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management will broadcast live from the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center in Prescott for the public to watch: Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019 Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Mountain Standard Time Where: YRMCHealthConnect.org/pbm What is a Healthcare Destination Program? Healthcare destination programs are thriving, specialized medical programs – typically associated with hospitals – that patients seek out because of their: Highly skilled physicians Excellent outcomes State-of-the-art technology Innovative procedures Outstanding staff “YRMC’s Heart Program and its Patient Blood Management Program check all of those boxes,” said Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the James Family Heart Center at YRMC and YRMC’s Patient Blood Management Program. “It starts with our exceptional physicians, who were all trained at top heart programs. This team has worked together to expand our Heart Program and integrate patient blood management strategies that improve patient outcomes.” A Lively Live-Stream Event YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management will include an energetic panel discussion with YRMC’s heart specialists and patient blood management experts. Those physicians and other YRMC leaders will also give interesting and informative talks on: YRMC, A Destination for Hearts and Blood Management John Amos, BS, MSM, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yavapai Regional Medical Center Launching YRMC Cardiology – A Journey to Better Outcomes for You George Rizk, MD, Invasive Cardiovascular Medicine, YRMC PhysicianCare The Beat Goes On Nisha Tung-Takher, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, YRMC PhysicianCare Mending Hearts With Less Invasive Interventions Soundos Moualla, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Structural and Interventional Cardiologist, YRMC PhysicianCare Gwen Rhodes, RN, Patient Navigator, Yavapai Regional Medical Center PBM at YRMC – Together We Are Doing Great Things Elizabeth Black, Patient Blood Management Program Data Manager, Yavapai Regional Medical Center Patient Blood Management – YRMC and Beyond Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Patient Blood Management and the James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center Ask the Experts – Panel Discussion Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS Elizabeth Black Dale Black, Patient Blood Management Program Coordinator, YRMC Soundos Moualla, MD, FACC, FSCAI Gwen Rhodes, RN George Rizk, MD Nisha Tung-Takher, MD To learn more about YRMC – Your Destination for Cardiac Care and Blood Management, visit YRMCHealthConnect.org/pbm.
Managing Chronic Pain in YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen
If you suffer from chronic pain, could diet changes provide any relief? The answer is … yes! Good research suggests that healthy meals and snacks, featuring colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and beneficial fats can often reduce pain, in a number of interesting and surprising ways. For example, high fiber fruits and whole grains support the growth of healthy, anti-inflammatory gut bacteria. Other healthy carbohydrates like legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grain pastas, promote feelings of wellbeing and improved mood. In addition, colorful red, green, orange, purple and blue fruits and vegetables have powerful anti-inflammatory effects on joints, muscles and every other body tissue to reduce lower back pain, severe neck pain, fibromyalgia, and more. You can learn more in this new episode of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, where I recently explored some of the highlights of chronic pain and diet research, checked out a few handy pain-friendly kitchen tools, and made a delicious anti-inflammatory smoothie! Most researchers agree that filling your plate with lots of colorful vegetables and liberally flavoring meals with fresh herbs and spices are two of the best steps anyone can take to reduce chronic pain. The Mediterranean diet is likely the easiest and most recognized eating plan that fits with those recommendations. Mediterranean style meals and snacks are loaded with colorful vegetables — with whole grains, legumes, root vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins starring as healthy sides. Good fats, like those found in fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil show up in small quantities throughout the day. Abundant resources exist online to help with planning Mediterranean style meals, including the Oldways Cultural Food Traditions site, which features a neat Mediterranean diet pyramid and many delicious recipes. Pain and Inflammation-Fighting Fresh Herbs, Colorful Fruits, Whole Grains and Olive Oil While the Mediterranean diet plan works well for most people, some folks find that eliminating foods they are allergic to or intolerant of can provide added pain relief. For example, grains containing gluten (wheat, barley and rye), dairy, soy, eggs, and peanuts are common triggers of discomfort, inflammation and sometimes outright allergic reactions. Experiment with avoiding one of these foods or food groups for a few weeks at a time to see if omitting them from your diet impacts your level of pain. In addition, experts agree that chronic pain sufferers should all eliminate or significantly restrict added sugars and artificial sweeteners, as well as certain types of fat, like those found in fried and processed foods. Cooking at home more can help you follow these pain-reducing diet guidelines, and here are some tricks that can help you prepare your own healthy meals: Try preparing your meals in stages, at the times of the day when you feel best. For example, you might chop some onions and other veggies in the morning and store them in the refrigerator to use in a dinner soup or stir-fry. In the afternoon, prepare some chicken or other simple protein to cook with your veggies later in the day. Prepare enough food so you have leftovers that you can freeze or refrigerate and use on the days when you’re just not up for fixing yourself a meal from scratch. Rely on healthy pre-chopped or frozen vegetables, or prepared, jarred sauces like pesto, marinara or olive tapenade to brighten up a simple meal of rotisserie chicken, pasta, or grilled meat or fish. Grocery delivery or the many meal delivery services available these days can lighten up meal prep time and responsibilities! Fortunately, the foods that reduce inflammation, support healthy gut bacteria, improve mood, and reduce pain also prevent lots of other chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer! Each of the recipes in Your Healthy Kitchen feature loads of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, legumes, herbs, spices, and lots of color, so check them all out at yrmchealthconnect.org. You can also follow me on Face Book at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, where you can see what I make home, watch my mini-videos, and check out links to fun recipes, food blogs and food and garden-related events in the community.
Prostate Cancer: Five Ways to Help Prevent a Common Cancer
Guys, here’s your healthcare quiz for the day: What is the most common form of cancer in men? The answer is prostate cancer. This is a slow-growing cancer of the prostate gland—a walnut-sized organ in the male reproductive system. Unfortunately, prostate cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death among men. Prostate Cancer Awareness Week – September 15-21, 2019 – is a good time to encourage men to get proactive with prostate cancer prevention. That’s why Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is arming men with this list of the risk factors, prevention strategies and prostate cancer symptoms. Know your family history and other risk factors. Family history, age and ethnic background play a role in your likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Let’s begin with family history, the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. A man who has one close relative with prostate cancer – a father or a brother, for example – is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as a male with no family history of the disease. Age is also a factor in prostate cancer. The disease is rare for men under 40 and most common in men 65 years and older. Ethnicity can affect your likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. African American men are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease; Asian American males are the least likely. Get screened. Timely screenings are crucial to detecting prostate cancer, which will affect one in seven men. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends discussing prostate exams with your healthcare provider around age 45, if you have a family history of prostate cancer or you are an African American male. Men at lower risk should also discuss screening with their physicians since prostate cancer can occur in men considered lower risk for the disease, too. Eat your fruits and vegetables. There is no specific diet for prostate cancer prevention, however, eating a mostly plant-based diet benefits your overall health. What types of foods should be on your plate and what should you avoid? A healthy diet consists of whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and good fats (avocado and nuts). Limiting your consumption of meat and dairy products is also recommended. For healthy, tasty and affordable menu ideas, visit YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen on YRMC HealthConnect or Facebook. Watch your weight. Being obese or overweight can increase your risk for prostate cancer. You are considered obese when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Use this BMI calculator to learn where you are on the scale. If you’re overweight or obese, it’s time to embrace a regular exercise routine and a healthier diet. Your healthcare provider can advise you on both. Signs of prostate cancer in men Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: difficulty urinating, frequent urge to urinate, pain in the lower back and hips, or blood in your urine. Take control of your health now by talking to your healthcare provider about prostate cancer.
Now Showing: Places in the Heart
Knowledge is power. This old saying rings true when you’re faced with medical decisions for yourself or someone you love. When it comes to heart care, these decisions can be life altering. Pierre Tibi, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), regularly performs heart dissections for YRMC staff and nursing students to enhance their knowledge and to augment their training and education. However, for the first time, YRMC has recorded Dr. Tibi performing a heart dissection so that community members, including medical students, patients, teachers and families, can learn first-hand what a heart looks like and how it functions. Bringing this knowledge to our community is in direct alignment with YRMC’s Mission. As a not-for-profit community healthcare provider, YRMC makes community education a priority. The video demonstrating methods of heart dissection was one of the many educational opportunities on display at the 2019 Celebrate Life Health Expo, sponsored by YRMC, and held on September 6th and 7th at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. “I’m very proud that the James Family Heart Center has become a destination program for patients,” states Dr. Tibi, one of most respected cardiothoracic surgeons in the country. “Since 2007, we have carefully developed one of the top heart programs in Arizona by being selective in targeting the professionals to define and grow the program. This, in turn, attracts more top-quality physicians to the Prescott area.” The top-notch, multidisciplinary cardiac program at the James Family Heart Center, combined with an informed patient, makes a complete healthcare team, which in turn, allows for the best outcomes. With his signature personality and humor, Dr. Tibi begins the video with a schematic drawing of the heart, demonstrating the journey of a single red blood cell as it enters and exits the heart, giving the viewer a better understanding of what they will see during the dissection. He then begins the heart dissection, displaying the various parts of the heart and describing the function that each part serves. The dissection is performed on the heart from a pig. In the medical community, pig heart dissection for demonstration is used since it is anatomically similar to a human heart. As he facilitates the journey through the heart, Tibi discusses various conditions such as blood clots, heart attack, coronary artery disease, stenosis, endocarditis, congenital conditions and the purpose of anticoagulants. These are some of the more common issues that may arise if you are a heart patient. To learn more about about the James Family Heart Center at YRMC, visit yrmc.org.
Falls Prevention: Improving Your Balance at Any Age
It’s clear that you are enjoying your retirement when you are freely pursuing the activities you love; playing with the grandkids, golf, gardening or hiking, to name a few. When a fear of falling creeps into your day-to-day life, when you begin restricting your activities to avoid the risk of falling, or if you have experienced a fall in the past, it may be time to seek help from a medical professional. According to the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, in 2014, unintentional falls were the leading cause of injury-related mortality among Arizona residents aged 65 years and older. Statistics show the rate of fall-related injury and death is even higher in Northern Arizona, where we deal with a greater number of specific risk factors such as freezing weather accompanied by icy streets and sidewalks, hills, unpaved streets and trails, and older homes with wood floors and staircases. Even the actual activities we want to enjoy in retirement can increase one’s risk for a fall. While the numbers indicate that there is a reason to be concerned, there are many simple things you can do to decrease your risk of an unexpected fall. Having your balance tested by a specialist and then working with them on an individually designed exercise plan is a good way to begin. Rich Tenney, Senior Physical Therapist and a member of YRMC’s Physical Rehabilitation Team, emphasizes the importance of personalized care. “When someone comes in for an assessment at YRMC, the first thing we do is visit with them and get a history of how they feel about their balance,” states Tenney. “That’s really important for the specialist to know so we can tailor their treatment.” A specialist will conduct assessments of the three important systems that affect balance: Vision Vestibular balance – ear balance Sensation balance – joints and muscles The results of the testing will indicate if there are any particular deficits or weaknesses in one or more of these areas. This information, combined with your personal goals, will help you and your specialist create a customized treatment plan. Objective measures are put in place to track progress and improvement. Tenney states that one of the most important goals is increased confidence. When the patient’s risk of falling is in a normal range, they will feel secure enough to continue pursuing the activities they enjoy. “Our bodies are absolutely amazing, no matter what the age is. And when it comes to balance, you can change that. You can improve that,” says Tenney. “You just need the right direction and the right knowledge. That’s what a specialist can offer, so that you can overcome those fears of falling and be able to live that life you want, at any age.” To learn more about the balance assessment services available through YRMC’s Physical Rehabilitation Department, please call (928) 771-5131 or visit yrmc.org. For more information, tips and resources about preventing falls, visit the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition website at www.azstopfalls.org.
Enjoying Retirement, Preventing Falls
You’ve worked hard to get to this point in your life. Retirement is here! Now you can enjoy doing all those things you’ve been planning for – travel, hiking, fishing, gardening, golf – the list is only limited by your imagination, unless you experience an unexpected setback, like an accidental fall. According to the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, in 2014, unintentional falls were the leading cause of injury-related mortality among Arizona residents aged 65 years and older. Statistics show that the rate of fall-related injury and death is even higher in Northern Arizona, where we deal with a greater number of specific risk factors such as freezing weather accompanied by icy streets and sidewalks, hills, unpaved streets and trails, and historic homes with wood floors and staircases. Even the new activities you are enjoying can increase your risk for a fall. Numerous studies indicate that as we get older, falls can have a more serious impact on one’s health. Chris Thompson, RN, BSN, Trauma Service Program Coordinator at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, says that this is reflected in YRMC admission rates. “At 59 years and below, the admission rate for falls is about 17%,” Thompson says, “And for 60 and above, admission rate is up towards 50%.” While the numbers are alarming, there are many things you can do to decrease your risk of an unexpected fall. A new chapter of the statewide coalition, called Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, Northern Chapter, is addressing our specific needs in Northern Arizona. “The coalition is very active,” says Virginia Rodriguez, Health Education Coordinator, Yavapai County Community Health Services, “At each meeting we have different organizations present a variety of different topics related to things like fall risks, assessment, recovery and education.” Rodriguez adds that raising awareness of risk factors for falling and how to prevent them is one of the chapter’s main goals, “There are a number of resources and organizations that are great assets to the community. We want to get the word out.” Connecting with available resources is a great way to keep your risk for falls at a minimum. But what can you do right now? Larry Parsons MD, Director of Inpatient Palliative Medicine, Yavapai Regional Medical Center PhysicianCare, has a brief checklist that can make a big difference: Medication management: Review all of your medications with your healthcare provider. Find out if there are any that you no longer need to take. Ask whether there are any adverse drug interactions you should be aware of. Home safety assessment: Check your home for loose rugs or electrical cords, clutter, unstable furniture, poor lighting and other fall hazards. Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This helps keep your mind clear and helps prevent dizziness. Stand up slowly: Sit at the bed or chair for a few moments and pump your hands and legs, then slowly stand up. Exercise: Even if it is walking a little each day or doing chair exercises, do what you can to keep your muscles active. Be on the lookout for further information from Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, Northern Chapter. Their goal is to keep you informed so that you can make the most of your retirement years, filled with physical activity and fun here in Northern Arizona.
Teachers and Parents Enjoy the Premium Features of GoNoodle Plus
Chances are, if you have an elementary school aged child, you’ve heard of GoNoodle, a web-based suite of hundreds of learning games. The GoNoodle games and videos are designed to get kids dancing, running, jumping, stretching, deep breathing, and more. Kids become familiar with the fun, engaging characters and look forward to exercising with them again and again. Teachers across the Quad-City school districts have incorporated GoNoodle’s interactive learning games into their classrooms to assist with practicing math, spelling and social studies skills. They’re logging into GoNoodle throughout the day for exercise and stretch sessions to keep students active and engaged. What many teachers don’t know, however, is that they have access to the premium version of GoNoodle for free, called GoNoodle Plus, thanks to a sponsorship from Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Parents in the YRMC service area have access to GoNoodle Plus as well. GoNoodle Plus has all the features of GoNoodle, plus several substantial additions. With GoNoodle Plus, teachers can input their own content so that the games and activities are customized to their specific curriculum, classroom, or individual students’ needs. Teachers also have the option of choosing from hundreds of expertly curated math, spelling, ELA, science and social studies question sets. Parents who have internet access at home can use any of the custom question sets that their child’s teacher has created. For example, teachers can send home their customized weekly spelling lists, mental math facts or science content. From there, parents and children can turn study time into fun, energetic exercise time with GoNoodle songs and GoNoodle dance. This may be one of the rare times kids actually enjoy doing homework! Parents can also download the GoNoodle app for free for GoNoodle on the go. If you have a K-5 student in any of the major school districts in the area such as Prescott Unified, Humboldt Unified or Chino Valley Unified, or in many of the private schools or home school groups, you may have seen them come home with Learning Extensions, which are printable worksheets and activities paired with more than one hundred GoNoodle videos. This is another added feature of GoNoodle Plus. Usage reports are sent each month to GoNoodle Plus teachers. These reports provide easy tracking of teacher and student usage minutes. Support and training opportunities are also available for Plus users. Teachers and parents can get started by visiting GoNoodle.com and creating an account. You’ll be asked for your name, your choice of username and password, and whether you are a parent or teacher. Please note that if you already have a GoNoodle account, you don’t need to establish a new account. You have access to the GoNoodle Plus features automatically if you live in the YRMC service area. Once you have an account, you can begin exploring the many features of GoNoodle Plus, thanks to YRMC’s generous sponsorship. Take some time to try out the games, activities, songs and exercise programs designed to keep your child, or your class, active, engaged and ready to learn. “GoNoodle Plus aligns very well with our Vision of a Total Healing Environment which is based on caring for the body, mind and spirit,” says Robbie Nicol, Executive Director, Community Outreach and Philanthropy at YRMC. “YRMC is proud to sponsor programs like GoNoodle Plus, as well as Partners for Healthy Students and the YRMC Family Resource Center, that enrich the lives of children and young families in our community.” For more information about YRMC’s sponsorship of GoNoodle Plus, contact the Community Outreach Department at CommunityOutreach@yrmc.org.