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TIFT REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER fall 2 0 12 Get the latest from TRMC by subscribing to our FREE, monthly eNewsletter! Sign up at www.tiftregional.com. Expert Care, Express Service Aging and Alzheimer’s: The More You Know Keep the Workplace Flu-Free Delivering Quality Health Care to Tift County & South Central Georgia Pass Me the… Germs? Health columnist Art Caplan generated a long string of pro and con responses when he reported that childhood exposure to germs may be healthy. Caplan cited a study in Science finding that neonatal exposure to environmental pathogens surprisingly resulted in better health outcomes for mice. Although the study focused on mice rather than people, it supports a hypothesis that’s been gaining acceptance since the 1980s. Known as the “hygiene hypothesis,” the line of thought is that allergies, asthma, and other immune system-based diseases are becoming more common because fewer people are exposed to germs at an early age. Using antibacterial soap and harsh disinfectants can cut exposure to “good germs.” So can limiting a child’s play and work environments. As with everything, moderation is key. “This doesn’t mean you should send your child to chicken pox parties, but it’s okay for your child to dig in the garden, roll in the grass with her dog, and wash with old-fashioned soap and water,” says Nandlal Chainani, MD, pediatrician on staff at Tift Regional Medical Center. “The takeaway is that being overzealous about disinfecting can do more harm than good.” ON H E A LT H 2 Dr. Chainani practices with Kids Care Clinic and is on staff at TRMC. He can be reached at (229) 386-5101. Physician Led, Patient Focused Did you know the Affinity Hospital Medicine Program at Tift Regional Medical Center started with local primary care physicians? A few years ago, area internal medicine and family practice physicians encouraged TRMC to implement a hospital medicine program, a concept that continues to grow in popularity across the country. Through the program, physicians called hospitalists are on site at TRMC 24/7 to provide care to hospitalized patients. This, in turn, allows primary care providers to dedicate their time to their outpatient practices. Two-Fold Benefits As a result, the program enhances both inpatient and outpatient care. Because hospitalists’ sole responsibility is caring for inpatients, patients who are hospitalized benefit from more attentive and efficient treatment. Primary care providers, on the other hand, can start their practices on time and do not have to leave during the middle of the day for hospital emergencies. This reduces delays at their offices and allows them to see more patients. Although TRMC does not require primary care physicians on the medical staff to utilize the Affinity Hospital Medicine Program, the overwhelming majority of them have embraced the initiative for its obvious benefits. Seamless communication with hospitalists keeps primary care physicians informed of their patients’ treatment, and they can take over their patients’ care at any time. Once patients are discharged, they return to their primary care physicians for follow-up care. For more information on the Hospital Medicine Program, please visit www.tiftregional.com. fall 2012 On the Scene (Top left) Children in our Annual Diabetes Day Camp enjoyed arts-n-crafts time. The free, weeklong camp helps children living with diabetes learn how to better cope with their diagnosis and spend time with others dealing with the same issues. (Bottom Left) South Georgia received its share of late-Summer storms. Scott Willis, Keith Bridges, and Marty Freeman from our Facilities and Engineering Department went above and beyond after storms caused damage in Tifton, cleaning up surrounding streets. ON H E A LT H (Top right) TRMC representatives from the Elene Dorminy Women’s Pavilion, Diabetes Learning Center and Facilities, and Engineering and Safety Management participated in the Tift County Emergency Preparedness Fair, helping educate the public about what to do in case of a disaster. 3 Memory Loss—or More? It’s normal to forget a few details every now and then, but memory loss that affects everyday life may be a sign of something more serious. As we age, our minds begin to feel the effects of a lifetime of wear and tear—just like our bodies do. Changes in the brain can lead to mild memory loss, and most older adults experience some forgetfulness from time to time. Unfortunately, some people’s loss of memory worsens to the point that daily tasks can become increasingly difficult, a symptom that may indicate Alzheimer’s disease. The ABCs of Alzheimer’s “Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, but not all dementia is alike,” says Wendy Vandemark, MD, psychiatrist on staff at Cook Medical Center and Tift Regional Medical Center. “Experiencing memory loss does not mean you have dementia or Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s refers to a neurological disease marked by specific changes in brain function and anatomy.” The severity and progression of symptoms distinguish Alzheimer’s disease from normal forgetfulness. The Alzheimer’s Association lists seven stages of Alzheimer’s according to the severity of symptoms, from “no impairment” to “very severe decline.” At first, people with Alzheimer’s may notice they are forgetting where they left their car keys more often, or have trouble remembering details of the past week. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include: • Becoming antisocial • Becoming easily confused or frustrated • Finding it difficult to plan or solve problems • Forgetting how to complete familiar tasks • Forgetting the day or time • Having trouble finding the right word • Making poor decisions The Aging Brain If you’re forgetting things more than usual, it may be more than just a sign of age. Age-related memory loss typically affects both long-term and short-term memory, so having trouble recollecting the name of your first-grade math teacher shouldn’t necessarily cause concern. However, you should speak with your primary care physician if you are particularly worried about memory loss. Dr. Vandemark practices at the Sylvia Barr Center, a new 12-bed geriatricpsychiatric unit at Cook Medical Center (formerly Memorial Hospital of Adel), and is on staff at TRMC. She can be reached at (229) 896-8100. ON H E A LT H 4 fall 2012 For Urgent Care, Choose Express Sometimes, minor illnesses and injuries occur outside your regular physician’s office hours but do not warrant a trip to the emergency department. To better serve residents needing urgent medical care, Affinity ExpressCare is now open. Caving in to Fads A trend known as the Paleo diet encourages people to eat like our prehistoric ancestors. Could this lifestyle be the key to lifelong health? Developed To find out more about Affinity ExpressCare, visit www.tiftregional.com or www.affinity-clinic.com. Paleo diet can contain high levels of unnecessary fats that can hurt the heart. Also, if people following the diet rely too much on proteins instead of eating fruits and vegetables, they might not get the daily intake of fiber they need for proper digestion.” Still considering making the switch? Talk with your physician before making any major dietary changes. Dr. Graham practices with Affinity Clinic and is on staff at TRMC. He can be reached at (229) 391-4100. ON H E A LT H by Art De Vany nearly 30 years ago, the Paleo diet focuses on eating meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Foods such as beans, grains, dairy, sugar, and alcohol are off limits because these foods were not available to the huntergatherers of the past. People who follow the Paleo diet are also encouraged to avoid consuming gluten, which followers of the diet feel can harm the body. “Any diet plan that encourages people to cut out processed foods can help foster better eating habits,” says James Graham, MD, family practice physician on staff at Tift Regional Medical Center. “However, red meat common in the ExpressCare physicians treat both adults and children older than 18 months of age. Medical services are available for the treatment of: • Allergies • Bronchitis • Cold and influenza • Ear infections • Minor burns • Rashes • Sinus infections • Sore throat • Sprains and strains • Urinary tract infections No appointment is needed for treatment. Located at 2225 Hwy. 41 North in Tifton, ExpressCare is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend hours vary, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 5 Flu Prevention on Your Schedule Recognizing Excellence The Georgia Department of Community Health recommends getting a flu vaccination every year, but between the back-to-school rush and busy workloads, schedules can get in the way of the health of your employees. Now, WorkSmart Occupational Health Clinic is bringing the doctor’s office to you. Through Tift Regional Medical Center’s WorkSmart program, employers can offer quick and easy flu shots at their places of business. WorkSmart nurses travel to banks, industrial businesses, and other local offices to administer vaccinations during the months of October, November, and December based on your work schedule. “Because influenza strains are different each year, you should be vaccinated annually,” says Carla Hall, director of Occupational Medicine at WorkSmart. “By offering this added convenience, we are helping create a healthier work environment as well as healthier employees.” While the average price per flu shot is approximately $20, the program offers several coverage methods. Employers may choose to fund the service in full or allow employees to contribute to the cost. Flu shots are also available at the clinic on a walk-in basis. Patients are simply required to complete a TRMC consent form. For more information about WorkSmart or to schedule flu vaccinations for your employees, call (229) 353-6320. ON H E A LT H 6 ee of the Year. med 2011 Employ na s wa sh Bu ris Ch Employees at Tift Regional Medical Center are honored on a monthly basis by the generosity of Dr. Sammie D. Dixon. In 2004, Dr. Dixon established the Sammie D. Dixon Employee of the Month award through the TRMC Foundation, through which he donates a $500 cash award to exemplary employees who dedicate themselves to TRMC. Dr. Dixon was the TRMC Foundation’s first chair from 1985 to 1993. From 1995 to 1996, he was appointed to the Tift County Hospital Authority. He retired from practicing medicine in 1996 to become president/CEO of South Georgia Health Partners and part-time vice president for medical affairs at TRMC. In 2000, Dr. Dixon began working at TRMC on a full-time basis until he retired in 2004. Dr. Dixon established this award due to his love and respect for the employees at TRMC. “The employees at TRMC always did so much for me during my career here,” Dr. Dixon says. “I wanted to give back to them for exceptional service in the health care field.” For more information or to nominate an employee of the month, please call the Foundation at (229) 391-3310 or visit www.trmcf.com. fall Dr. Kaine Bro wn (pictured fo urth from left) represe nted Tift Regional M edical Center at th e grand opening cele bration. DEC . 13 Working Together for You Tift Regional Medical Center partnered with four other area hospitals for the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium, which recently held its grand opening celebration. One of the primary goals of the Consortium is to bring more graduate medical education opportunities to the region in an effort to attract more physicians. “We at TRMC have been committed to and part of this effort from its beginning,” says Bill Save the Date! Guest, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs at TRMC. “When students can train in South Georgia, there is a better chance they will want to eventually set up practice here. It creates a relationship with other staff members, as well as with the community in general. It’s also important for medical students to see that rural medicine doesn’t mean primitive medicine. We have the best in technology here in Tifton, and our future physicians need to know that.” Certified Breast Care Join area residents who will honor family and friends and remember lost loved ones at the Tree of Life lighting ceremony to be held on the front lawn at Tift Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. An annual holiday tradition in its 27th year, the Tree of Life is sponsored by the Tifton Junior Woman’s Club to raise money for a special fund benefiting patients of the TRMC Oncology Center and Hospice of Tift Area who have special needs. With various giving levels, lights for the tree are purchased in memory or honor of a special family member or friend. For more information or to donate, call (229) 353-6318. g Life. Pictured durin g the 2011 Tree of , rin re du oo d M ise ie ra ist s hr wa 0 Area Director C ft Ti More than $23,00 of ice sp of r Ho s Directo tation are rne Cook, TRMC’ the check presen t of Nursing Lave en id C members es W Pr TJ ce d Vi an t , m Assistan acey Beckha St r be em well. M C W and TJ Jessica Sumner Po Public Relations on Jackson, and ar Sh La ll, we Vo Emily ON Tift Regional Medical Center has been awarded full certification as a breast health center by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Receiving NAPBC accreditation means TRMC uses a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating breast disease and has undergone a rigorous application process and on-site survey to assure national standards are being met. “Not all hospitals meet these stringent standards,” says Joel Johnson, MD, general surgeon, hospital board member, and medical director for TRMC’s Tift Comprehensive Breast Center. “In fact, TRMC is one of only 13 NAPBC-accredited programs in the state and one of only two in South Georgia.” NAPBC-accredited programs provide certain components, each of which contribute to quality patient care. This starts with breast imaging and needle biopsy services at the TRMC Women’s Imaging Center, followed by interdisciplinary conferences between radiologists, pathologists, general surgeons, oncologists, plastic surgeons, and more to develop treatment plans. An important component is patient navigation, which TRMC offers with women’s health navigator Debra Hardeman, RN. 2012 H E A LT H 7 PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Lynchburg, VA Permit No. 830 REC SE ov Ins e ec Re m e ycl ing LE YC PLEA 901 East 18th Street Tifton, GA 31794 www.tiftregional.com rts Before R This publication in no way seeks to serve as a substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.