Click for control of opioids

Arizona Opioid E-Prescribing Requirement


The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act signed by Governor Ducey in 2018 mandates that prescription orders for a Schedule II opioid must be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy. Examples of Schedule II narcotics include: morphine, oxycodone, codeine, methadone, and hydrocodone.

Beginning January 1, 2019, each prescription order for a Schedule II opioid in Arizona’s six largest counties (Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma) must be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy.

Beginning July 1, 2019, these same requirements go into effect in all other Arizona counties (Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Navajo and Santa Cruz).

Providers, patients and families should expect that pharmacies will no longer accept written or printed prescriptions for Schedule II opioids starting January 1. 

Why we promote rooming-in

For mom and baby’s health

Rooming in

Not very long ago family and visitors would clamor for prime viewing spots outside the nursery window to see their newborn swaddled, beyond reach and comforting touch. No longer, as hospitals moved from open wards to private rooms,  the practice of rooming-in has become common place. At TMC for Women, rooming-in is the norm, but we’re still asked occasionally, by moms and families, about baby spending time in the nursery.

Why we promote rooming-in

The practice of taking baby to the nursery to ‘give mom a break’or a good night’s sleep might seem logical, but research studies have shown that sleep patterns and breastfeeding are often better established when baby stays with mom and mom with support learns her child’s cues. For this reason we promote 24-hour rooming-in for new moms.

Mom to near 2 year old Felix, Cindy shares her experience rooming-in at TMC for Women,

“I was going to the El Rio Birth Center and wanted to have a natural -birth experience, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. At 41 weeks, it was time to go to the hospital. I was at TMC for two days before Felix was born via C-section. He was 10.5 lbs and a bit of a celebrity for the short time I was there. There hadn’t been such a big baby born in quite a while. After the C-section, our midwife gave Felix to me right away.”

Placed on Cindy’s chest immediately, Felix stayed with mom except for testing and a short time when Cindy was attended to following the C-section.

“The nurses at TMC were very kind, supportive and respectful of my need to have Felix with me at all times. I was there after the surgery for 3 days. It was amazing to have that little guy close to me. I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything in the world.”

What is the newborn nursery for?

Our newborn nursery is reserved for only those babies who need intensive observation or are having problems that prevent them from staying in their mother’s room.

Moms are encouraged to always keep their baby with them. Mom’s partner or a support person is welcome to stay overnight to help them with the baby, as they bond and get to know one another.

Why rooming-in is important

• Rooming-in promotes successful breastfeeding
• Keeping your baby with you at all times helps both of you sleep better and establish sleep wake cycles. There are also physiological benefits in regulating baby’s blood glucose levels, temperature, and respiratory rate.
• The safest place for the baby is with the parent
• Being together strengthens your bond – the more time you spend together,the better you will know each other
• You will learn your baby’s cues, and the baby will be calmer hearing your familiar voice and your heartbeat
• You will feel more confident in your ability to care for the baby when you go home from the hospital

Resources


Keefe, MR. Comparison of neonatal nighttime sleep-wake patterns in nursery versus rooming-in environments. Nurs Res. 1987 May-Jun;36(3):140-4. [Accessed6-6-2014]

Koskinen, KS.,  AhoAL, Hannula L, Kaunonen M, Maternity hospital practices and breast feeding self-efficacy in Finnish primiparous and multiparous women during the immediate postpartum period. .Midwifery 2014 Apr;30(4):464-70. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.05.003.Epub 2013 Jun 13. [Accessed 6-6-2014]

Heart of Hospice has the gift of appreciation

Mary Kay LeFevour, TMC Hopsice bereavement coordinator, named Heart of Hospice for the fourth quarter.

During the semiannual Celebrations of Life recognizing those who passed under the care of TMC Hospice, each family is given a specially handmade comfort charm.  These keepsakes for grieving families offer a reminder that their loved ones were cared for with dignity and respect. 

A sampling of ceramic comfort charms given to TMC Hospice families.

Credit for the comfort charm initiative goes to Mary Kay LeFevour, bereavement specialist for TMC Hospice, who has been named the Heart of Hospice for the fourth quarter.

“She has brought such beautiful gifts of appreciation to staff, volunteers, patients and their loved ones through her clay pieces,” wrote one anonymous nominator. 

While LeFevour, fondly known as MK around the department, is one of many who create the charms, she is the heart that keeps the effort going, in part, by coordinating efforts with local ceramicist Kelly Frink.

Ceramic ornaments are shared with patients and families who have been TMC staff or volunteers.

And that’s just emblematic of the way she is. 

“She gives these gifts with such genuine love and support you can’t help but want to do the same,” the nominator wrote. Additionally, current or former staff and volunteers who find themselves patients in TMC Hospice receive a unique ceramic ornament. Similarly, MK asked the artist to add ceramic luminaries to the mix to adorn certain patient rooms.

LeFevour began with TMC Hospice five years ago as a chaplain. The interfaith minister would provide back up for the bereavement coordinator and found she loved working with these families so transitioned when the position opened up.

As bereavement coordinator LeFevour has daily one-on-one sessions with bereaved families, reaches out via phone to check in with the bereaved, and being available for staff and volunteers for personal and work grief issues.

She also created the Grief 101 sessions for bereaved families teaching the four tasks of grief, which gives them tools they will need to navigate through their loss.

A natural speaker, she gives talks to volunteers, employees and various community partners sharing her knowledge on grief and loss.

“MK is an invaluable part of our team and has helped many people while she has worked here. We are so blessed to have her on our team!” wrote one nominator.

One thing her colleagues agree on is that it’s a pleasure to work with LeFevour.

“She is a delight to work with. She shows such compassion for her coworkers, clients and client families. She has a mischievous, wry sense of humor, sometimes, and a quiet presence at others.

That sense of humor can have a room in stitches in no time, such as during the Heart of Hospice celebration when she up and offered an Irish prayer, complete with the lilt of her heritage, “May you get to heaven 10 minutes before the Devil knows you’re dead.”

As Heart of Hospice for the quarter, LeFevour’s name and photo goes onto a recognition plaque on the unit, she received a pin and gets a dedicated parking space until next quarter. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Want to be part of a team that makes a difference?

Learn about volunteering for TMC Hospice Home Care

A spoonful of honey – treating children’s coughs

honey and lemon2

‘Tis the season, coughs and snotty noses abound. A nasty cold or cough is uncomfortable for all, but for infants and very young children, unable to express themselves or understand what is happening, it can be particularly difficult. Before you go out and get an over-the-counter medication to soothe your child’s throat be aware of the warnings against using over the counter cough and cold medications.

In 2007 a number of children’s cough medications were withdrawn from the market. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised parents and physicians not to give young children cough and cold syrups.

A growing body of evidence suggested that non-prescription medications for cough and cold actually did little to aid recovery. These medications also pose risks with regard to a rare adverse reaction due to unintentional overdosing. The Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory recommending that parents do not give these products to children under the age of 2 because of the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

What to do when we want to ease our children’s discomfort.

(Information posted here does not constitute medical advice and should not be used to replace seeking a health care professional’s expert advice.)

It is important to understand that most coughs and colds are the result of contracting a virus and do not respond to antibiotics. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can result in an allergic reaction or antibiotic side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and yeast infections. Antibiotics may also kill beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The best way to treat cold and coughs is with prevention.  Teaching and modeling proper and frequent hand-washing is important. See this post on RSV for more prevention tips.

Here are several suggestions:

Honey and lemon

A favorite in our home, among those over one year old, is a cup of hot water with honey and lemon slices. There have been multiple studies that have shown that honey is effective in easing a cough(1).

 Honey is not to be given to children under one year of age as it carries a risk of infant botulism which can be life-threatening.

Fluids

You can also encourage your child to drink more fluids. Being hydrated whether by broths, water, or juices helps loosen the mucus making it easier for your child to cough or blow their nose. Another plus of keeping hydrated – liquids can sooth an irritated throat.

Positioning

Elevating your child’s head while they sleep can ease a cough.

Saline and suction

If your child is having trouble breathing or drinking because of nasal congestion, you can clear their nasal passages with a little saline solution drops or spray followed by proper use of a suction bulb. (2)

Moisture

Close the bathroom door, run the shower to get the bathroom steamy and then sit with your child in the bathroom. (Young children should not be left in any room with standing water that they can access.) The moist air can help clear upper respiratory passages.

Keep warm, safe and healthy this holiday season.

(1)Warren, M.D., Pont, S.J., Barkin, S.L., Callahan, S.T., Caples, T.L, Carroll, K.N., Plemmons, G.S., Swan, R.R., Cooper, W.O., The Effect of Honey on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality for Children and Their Parents Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1149-1153 FULL TEXT Accessed 12-7-2011

(2) Child and Colds, Healthy Children Blog, American Academy of Pediatrics FULL TEXT Accessed 12-7-2011

Peppi’s Hospice Wish Tree allows community to light up the holidays for a hospice patient

Wish treeThe community is invited to help a hospice patient and family members this holiday season by participating in the Peppi’s Wish Tree program.

Folks can choose a tag from the tree located in the foyer of Peppi’s House, the inpatient unit of TMC Hospice, 2715 N. Wyatt Road on the campus of Tucson Medical Center. 

Each tag represents a gift wish from a pediatric or adult Tucson Medical Center Hospice patient or family. The giver is encouraged to purchase the requested item as soon as possible and return it, unwrapped with the original tag to Peppi’s House by Thursday, Dec. 13. 

This is the inaugural year of asking for community participation in TMC Hospice’s holiday giving program. In the past, a few community partners as well as generous staff and volunteers would contribute to help meet the holiday needs and wants of the patients.

This year, the staff decided Peppi’s Wish Tree would be a wonderful way for individuals impacted by TMC Hospice to give back.

How does the Peppi’s Wish Tree program work?

Visit the Peppi’s Wish Tree in the foyer at Peppi’s House and choose a tag from the tree. Wishes are granted for both our Inpatient and homecare patients and families.

Theses wishes can include anything from basic needs to something that brightens their holiday season. Choose the tag that interests you. The patients name will NOT be included due to confidentiality but the recipient’s age and gender will be noted.

TMC Hospice is also asking for donations of gift cards. The gift cards noted on the tags have been identified by the social services team as regularly requested needs from throughout the year.

Please return unwrapped gifts and gift cards along with the original tag to the TMC Hospice administration office, 2715 N. Wyatt Road, no later than Dec. 13. It is preferable that you bring the gift during normal business hours, but if this is not possible, leave the gift with the staff member at the front desk of the inpatient unit.

You will be able to receive a letter for your tax records at that time or we can email or fax it to you if you include your email or fax with the gift.

Staff and volunteers will then distribute the gifts the week of Christmas. Santa and Mrs. Claus take time out of their busy schedule to bring gifts to our pediatric hospice patients on Christmas Eve.

What if I want to participate but am unable to make it to Peppi’s House to get a tag?

You can mail a monetary donation to TMC Foundation, 5301 E. Grant Road, Tucson AZ 85712. Please note on your check that you want your donation to benefit TMC Hospice Holiday Giving. You also can donate online.

Visit us online for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

100,000 mile runner gets back in the race

Neil Rosen running100,000 miles – Neil Rosen is one of the few dedicated and tenacious runners to reach this mark, enduring more than 30 years of running in sweltering summers and frigid, icy winters . Running 55 miles a week is not for the faint of heart – or body. Having competed in more than 700 races and marathons, Rosen is no stranger to the pains and strains of the sport.

Rosen retired almost 4 years ago, moving from his longtime home in Philadelphia to pursue a passion. “Running is my passion – it has kept me centered and grounded for many years,” Rosen said. “Tucson has some of the best running weather, and one of the strongest running communities.”

But a little over a year ago persistent pains in his abdomen got his attention when he started losing weight and having to run less. “At first I thought they were just dehydration pains,” Rosen said. “Slowly, the pains got worse and eventually I wasn’t even running 20 miles a week.”

Time to go in

In the evening of October 11, the ardent runner had enough of the intensifying pains. “My wife, Gail, and I decided it was just too much and we went to the Emergency Department at TMC.”

A CT scan revealed an infected appendix – a serious condition that required surgery right away. This was startling news for the healthy athlete who had never stayed a night in the hospital.

“It happened pretty fast – I was admitted right away and surgery was scheduled the next day,” he said. “The caring attitude of everyone made me feel very safe, from the nurses and doctors to the food and environmental staff.”

Surprise turn, strong outcome

Rosen’s appendix was removed the following day, and he received some unexpected news. “The surgeon explained I had a rare condition called chronic appendicitis,” he said. “I learned it can be life-threatening and I still needed an appendectomy.”

Rosen spent an additional night in the hospital and was released the next day. “I didn’t need any pain meds and I had no complications,” said Rosen. “I’m already back to running 30 miles a week and the pains haven’t come back – not even a little.”

Saying thanks

“I wanted to show my gratitude, say thanks – but how do you really do that for medical professionals?” Rosen said. “I gave them a five-star rating on Facebook but it didn’t feel like enough, I just want them to know they are terrific and I couldn’t have hoped for better care.”

Grandparents, parents – Prevent accidental Rx poisoning

Grandparents and young child at breakfastDear Grandparents and Parents,

We have an important message to you this holiday season about how you can help keep your grandchildren or children safe, whether you’re visiting them or they’re visiting you.

Keep medicines up, away and locked.

Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to emergency departments across the nation each year because they got into medicines that were left within reach. We see those terrified families in our Pediatric Emergency Department and know that the fear is compounded by the knowledge that this accident was completely avoidable.

The 2-year-old grandchild who got into grandma’s heart pills, the four-year-old who downed a whole bottle of vitamin D gummies, the toddler who picked up the errant hypertension pill that fell on the ground, we see it all the time. The very prescriptions and over the counter medications that keep us ticking along can be life-threatening to young children.

So this holiday season, when you may be visiting family, or they may be visiting you, take a moment to make sure that all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and even eye drops are:

1. Up and away

You’d be surprised at how resourceful a two or three-year-old can be in the pursuit of something that looks even a little like a candy. Make sure your medicines aren’t visible, and are stored high enough that even if they drag a chair over or climb on a table they can’t reach it. Your purse or bag isn’t safe, nor is a bedside table. If you’re visiting family ask if there is somewhere you can place medications safely.

2. Locked up tight

Make sure you use the containers with the child safety caps and place medicines in a locked cabinet. The child resistant safety caps are a challenge for children to open, but not insurmountable so don’t rely on the caps alone. When young children are around place pill organizers in a locked cabinet.

And that you:

3. Are prepared

Keep track of the names, quantity and location of your medications – this can be vital information if your other precautionary tactics have failed. Keep the number of the poison help number in all your phones (800) 222-1222.

4. Exit expired meds

Dispose safely of expired over-the-counter and prescription medications. The City of Tucson Dispose-A-Med program lists locations on its website.

If you’re a parent preparing to talk to your family this season about medication safety, my advice is to be upfront with them, share some basic information and suggestions. If they don’t have young kids at home, they may just keep their meds on a plate, not even in the container, or in a pill organizer. They also may not be familiar with just how clever young children can be. Perhaps say something like this, “Maya and Jordan are so curious these days and just getting into everything. I know you take some daily medications – I have the perfect place you can put them so they’ll be safe while you’re here.”

Blessings of the season,

Melissa

Melissa HodgesMelissa Hodges is a pediatric emergency room RN and mom to two young boys. Melissa has been at Tucson Medical Center since 2008. She is a knitting ninja apprentice who makes a mean chili and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

Safe Kids Pima County is the local coalition of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of more than 600 coalitions in 23 countries bringing together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. Tucson Medical Center spearheads the local coalition.

Lose the guilt, not the taste – Holiday recipe modifications

healthy holiday recipe modifications

Welcome to the season of festive gatherings and indulgent eating. Nutritionally speaking, this is a tough time of year. We don’t want to give up delicious holiday dishes; however, we would rather not wreck our health through weeks of unhealthy eating. Fortunately, with a few modifications and a little moderation, we don’t have to do either.

There are three magic ingredients most cooks rely on to make their dishes taste better: salt, fat and sugar. Unfortunately, these ingredients can damage our health when used too heavily and consumed too often. Here’s the good news: you can still get that delicious taste by using salt, fat and sugar in moderation. Let’s look at ways we can reduce them.

Cutting the salt

  • Before adding salt to a recipe, think about why – or even if – it is necessary. Maybe you don’t really need it, or perhaps you could use half the amount called for.
  • Instead of salt, try herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your food. Other seasonings to try: pepper, citrus juice or zest, onion or garlic, vinegar, salt-free seasoning blends, nutritional yeast. Beware of spice mixes that may contain salt.
  • If using canned tomatoes, beans or broth in a recipe, choose a no-salt-added or low-sodium version of the product.
  • When baking, be careful about how much salt you remove from the recipe, as that can change the texture of the final product.

Lightening up with less saturated (bad) fat

  • In cooking, replace butter and coconut oil with olive oil or canola oil. This won’t work in baking, however, because you would get a completely different texture.
  • Pie crusts are full of butter or other highly saturated fat. Try a crust-less version of your dessert instead.
  • Buy lean cuts of meat: chicken and turkey breasts, beef “loin” or “round,” pork tenderloin. Consider serving fish in place of meat.
  • Try replacing some full-fat dairy products with low-fat or fat-free versions. For example, do you need both butter and cream in mashed potatoes, or could you do with butter and low-fat milk?
  • Roast, grill, broil or stew food instead of frying.

Scaling back on sugar

  • Bring out the natural sweetness in food by adding spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, mace, vanilla or almond extract.
  • When baking, try reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe by a quarter, or 25 percent. (For example, use 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup of sugar.) You may be able to reduce it further, but this may affect the browning and texture of your baked goods.

A few more things to remember

  • Choose good quality ingredients, so that their natural flavors make the dish delish!
  • To boost the nutritional value of your meals, add more fruits and vegetables. Try adding dried fruits or extra vegetables to traditional recipes such as stuffing, quick breads and salads. An simple, tasty addition to any meal is to cut up a variety of your favorite veggies into similar-sized pieces (about 1 ½-inch), coat them in olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs. Spread them on a sheet pan and roast at 400 degrees until golden on the outside and slightly tender on the inside.
  • Indulge mindfully. If you have a generally healthy diet most of the time, you can allow yourself room for some holiday indulgences. The key is to enjoy them, with all your senses and without a shred of regret.

We wish you happy, healthy and tasty holidays!

Laurie Ledford is a registered dietitian from Atlanta, Georgia, the land of grits, collard greens and super-sweet iced tea. She now works as a registered dietitian  in the Tucson Medical Center Wellness Department. She enjoys helping people improve their health through sustainable dietary changes while still relishing occasional indulgences. In her off hours, Laurie engages in foodie pursuits such as sampling unusual flavor combinations (olive oil and basil ice cream was a good one) as well as hiking and cycling.

 

 

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Truly Nolen makes Halloween Truly Spooktacular at TMC for Children

Shrek and Princess Fiona make for a Truly Spooktacular Halloween at TMC for ChildrenHalloween may be over, but Michelle Nolen Senner and her coworkers at Truly Nolen spend the entire year thinking of new ways to help hospitalized children celebrate the holiday.

For five years running, they have provided Truly Spooktacular – Truly Nolen employees dress in themed costumes to visit TMC for Children, bringing fun activities, gifts and cheer.

“It’s my favorite time of year,” said Senner, the director of public relations and philanthropy at Truly Nolen Pest and Termite Control, who was dressed as Princess Fiona form the Shrek series of movies (this year’s theme). “It’s a holiday where kids get to be creative and show off their true selves.”

The annual visits were Senner’s idea, which started right here in Tucson. The festivities have become a company staple, with Truly Nolen employees visiting 16 children’s hospitals across the country in 2018.

“Our business is keeping pests and insects out of people’s homes and businesses,” Senner said. “Insects and spiders and Halloween – there’s a connection there.” But for Senner, the connection is much more than spiders and Halloween.

“My own child has spent a lot of time in the hospital and I understand that a joyful distraction can bring a sincere smile for the kiddo and relief for their family,” she said. “That’s really why we are doing this – it’s a chance to support the communities and families that support us.”

Whether it’s decorating no-carve pumpkins, posing with Shrek or just laughing and giggling with Truly Nolen team members, there’s no doubt that the kids staying at TMC for Children got their fill of Halloween fun.

“We hope to make it bigger each year,” said Senner. “More of our offices are taking part and we’re dedicated to growing the effort.”

So, what is the theme for next year’s Truly Spooktacular? “I can’t say just yet,” said Senner. “I can say that we will be back and we’re bringing the smiles with us.”

Moms and babies saving lives one cord blood donation at a time


As an expectant parent, perhaps you’ve heard about preserving your newborn’s umbilical cord blood, and educated yourself on the pros and cons of both private banking and public donation. If you’ve decided to privately bank, you select a bank, and start working directly with that company’s representative. If you’ve decided that public donation is the way to go, it’s easy to do so if you’re delivering at TMC for Women. Tucson Medical Center is proud to be the only hospital in Southern Arizona that’s part of the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program, administered by the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission.

Donated umbilical cord blood is available on the Be The Match registry, which helps those with life-threatening diseases find potential stem cell matches for transplant.

Donating your baby’s cord blood as part of this program is free

Donating does not require you to do anything ahead of time. It’s best to discuss cord blood donation with your health care provider. If you haven’t decided before you arrive at TMC for Women in labor, you still have time to make that decision. All you have to do is tell your labor & delivery nurse that you want to participate in the program, and our dedicated cord blood team will take care of the rest.

TMC for Women’s Cord Blood Coordinator: Kristen Wilt

Kristen has been a labor and delivery nurse for 24 years, including the last eleven years here at TMC for Women and oversees the program as TMC for Women’s cord blood coordinator. “I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing program. As a labor nurse, I’ve been well aware of the powerful, life-saving benefits of cord blood stem cells for many years now. It’s been so difficult to watch the potential to save a life just go into the garbage, day after day! This is such an easy way for expectant moms to give back. Can you imagine how special it would be to one day tell your child that they saved a life on the day that they were born? I wish that I had had that opportunity.”

How does it work?

Once you tell your labor and delivery nurse that you want to donate this precious life-saving resource, one of the consenters will come visit you in your room. They’ll help educate you and answer any questions you may have.

Collecting the baby’s cord blood does not change your labor or delivery, and it does not hurt the mom or the baby. “Typically, as soon as we educate parents about publicly donating their baby’s cord blood, they’re on board with it. Sometimes families instantly say, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ but if they allow us to explain it, their reaction is, ‘Oh – that’s not what I thought it was.’ And then they decide to participate,” said Wilt.

Remember, to participate in this program, you must be at least 18 years old, at least 36 weeks along in your pregnancy, and be pregnant with only one baby.

The consenter will also go over any items that may exclude you from participating in the program. It’s similar to the questions that are asked of you when you give blood. Since cord blood is considered a blood product by the FDA, and it may be transplanted into a very sick person, you can understand why every precaution must be made to ensure the cord blood is free from disease and contamination.

After the baby is delivered, your provider clamps the umbilical cord, sterilizes a small patch where the collection will happen, and then collects the blood. They will try to get as much blood as they can, but remember – since the cord has already been clamped, the collection does not impact the baby in any way. Then, mom delivers the placenta. The entire collection process takes just a few minutes, and since it happens between when the baby and the placenta come out, it does not interfere with the birthing process. How the baby is delivered does not make a difference for this donation program.

Moms who have vaginal births and those who undergo cesarean sections can donate.

The consenter then takes the blood into a special room inside TMC for Women’s labor and delivery area where the collection is weighed, labeled and put into a container that keeps it at the proper temperature. Then a courier takes the donation to Tucson International Airport to be flown to the cord blood bank where it will be processed and stored.

Donating your baby’s cord blood as part of this program is free, safe and confidential. In the event a TMC baby’s blood is selected for transplant, TMC will receive notification with very limited information on it, including where the cord blood was shipped and the name of the disease it was used to treat.

In the few years the Arizona Public Cord Program has existed, 50 cords have been selected for transplant, which means 50 lives were saved because of this program.

For more information about the program, please click here, or contact Kristen Wilt at (520) 324-6210 or Kristen.Wilt@tmcaz.com.

World Diabetes Day -Raising awareness about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Today is World Diabetes Day. Have you donned blue today to raise awareness about the effects of diabetes on our community?

Why should I care?

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 400,000 Arizonans suffer from diabetes.  Thousands more may have the disease, and not yet know it!  An estimated one out of every three children born after 2000 will be directly affected by diabetes.

TMC Certified Diabetes Educator Nancy Klug has been helping people with diabetes for more than 30 years.  Listen as she explains the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the best ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes, and what she thinks is the biggest myth about diabetes prevention.

What is diabetes? What’s the difference between Type 1 and Type 2?

Diabetes is a metabolism disorder, a problem with how you process digested food for growth and energy. Type 1 usually presents when you’re a child, but not always. People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce the insulin needed to move sugar, glucose, into the body’s cells so that they may function and help us grow and move. The sugar stays in the blood stream. We don’t know what causes Type 1 diabetes and there is no cure at this time.

People with Type 2 diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin or their bodies are unable to it properly to move the glucose into the cells. Type 2 diabetes use to be considered an illness of adulthood, but increasingly Type 2 is seen in children too. We don’t know exactly what causes Type 2 diabetes, but it is closely linked to weight and exercise and can often be prevented and treated with good nutrition and exercise.

What you can do to help

  1. Know the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes which can appear even in infants. Recognizing these symptoms could save a life.
Warning signs (these may occur suddenly):
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sugar in urine
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor, unconsciousness

 

2. Resist the temptation to turn on the television after dinner. Go take a walk as a family. Exercise and good nutrition can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and help those living with diabetes.

How can we help?

The Diabetes Education Program at Tucson Medical Center is offered by certified diabetes educators who are registered nurses and dietitians. We offer both individual and group training for diabetes Type 1, Type 2 and diabetes in pregnancy.

For uninsured patients or patients that have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, TMC offers an eight-hour class, Journey for Control, Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. To learn more or to register, please call (520) 324-1960.

Additionally, TMC offers free education sessions and support that cover a wide variety of helpful topics. Discussion is facilitated by a certified diabetes educator. Classes are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 5-6 p.m. at the El Dorado Health Campus Cafeteria. No registration is necessary. Here is the full schedule of classes.

We work with endocrinologists at TMCOne to help patients address and manage their diabetes.

TMC Hospice: Honoring Our Veterans

TMC Hospice volunteers Lewis Jones, center, and Dave Falkner honor a veteran and hospice patient for her service to her country.

When Lewis Jones came on for his shift at Peppi’s House, staff let him know that one of the hospice patients was a veteran and had been honored for his military service earlier in his stay. When the man died later that day surrounded by his large extended family, which included active-duty military, Jones joined with another volunteer to drape the unit’s American flag quilt over the body. As the mortuary came to take him away, the pair, themselves veterans, stood silently saluting as the patient was wheeled out of the building.

The family and staff were overwhelmed with emotion seeing such a show of respect and appreciation for this veteran. Jones stayed to comfort some of the family members, giving that special touch he gives all the time that makes him memorable to everyone.

Today, on Veterans Day, the staff, volunteers and supporters of TMC Hospice honor those who have served our country. TMC Hospice provides care for close to 300 U.S. veterans each year. With the need only growing, we partner with We Honor Veterans and the Hospice Veterans Partnership to better care for, reach out to and honor veterans needing end-of-life care.

Earlier this fall, Jones was one of 200 hospice volunteers across the nation nominated for the 2018 Volunteers Are the Foundation of Hospice award by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. While he wasn’t one of the top winners, he’s still a winner at TMC Hospice.

“Out of many volunteers, Jones is the one everyone talks about. His hugs, smiles and greeting help uplift the staff every time he volunteers,” said Krista Durocher, volunteer coordinator for TMC Hospice, noting that November is also Hospice Awareness Month.

Jones has been a TMC Hospice volunteer since 2010, logging nearly 1,100 hours of service in that time. He started out filing medical records and then was recruited to the bereavement team making weekly calls to families. He started helping with quarterly celebrations of life and eventually became the lead volunteer for these events.

In 2016, this versatile volunteer migrated from bereavement calls to the Tuck In program. Each Thursday, Jones gets a list of homecare patients who are still in their homes (vs. a care facility or nursing home) and checks in to make sure they’re OK and have enough supplies to get through the weekend. Not only do the patients appreciate the calls, but the weekend on-call staff appreciates the reduction in urgent calls for supplies, allowing them to better focus on symptom control and other pressing needs.

“When we started its journey with We Honor Veterans a few years back,” Durocher said, “we knew right away that Jones would be an excellent person to help grow this program in our community.” Jones met with various veteran organizations in town and made invaluable connections as his love for honoring veterans began to blossom.

Hospice patients who are veterans are offered the opportunity for an honoring. During this ceremony, a patient is presented with a certificate of appreciation, a lapel pin and a small American flag as small tokens of gratitude for their service.
Jones, being a Vietnam veteran, has a soft spot for other Vietnam veterans and especially loves to conduct those honorings.

“At every one of those honorings,” Durocher said, “he makes a point to say ‘welcome home’ to the veteran and explains to those in the room why it’s especially important to say that to a Vietnam veteran.”

From all of us at TMC Hospice to all our veterans – including Lewis Jones — thank you for your service.

If you’re a veteran interested in helping honor other veterans or are interested in volunteering with TMC Hospice find out more.

Delivering virtual care to you today: CareNow App

CareNow -virtual doctor visit appWhether it is 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., at home or on vacation, TMC’s new CareNow app allows patients to speak with a physician, face-to-face, using the built-in camera on the patient’s smartphone, tablet or desktop virtually at any time. The board-certified doctor can provide medical advice, recommend treatment and even prescribe medication.

The service is designed for anyone who is experiencing an illness or injury that doesn’t require an emergency room visit, but is urgent enough to need immediate care.
“It’s about providing care whenever and wherever patients need it,” said Judy Rich, TMC president and CEO. “We’re meeting patients where they are, helping them get quality treatment faster and get back to their lives.” Available now, the free and convenient app can be quickly downloaded from a smartphone’s store or marketplace.

It’s healthcare when and where you need it!

This service is not appropriate for those needing emergency care, but it is a convenient alternative for those looking for immediate care for other ailments.

You can find CareNow here on TMC’s website.

And on your smartphone’s app store whether Android or Apple, just search for TMC CareNow.

Who is it for?

CareNow providers are certified in internal medicine, family practice or pediatrics and can help patients over the age of 2. Providers can diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medication, if medically necessary, for many medical issues, including:

• Sore throat and stuffy nose
• Allergies
• Cold and flu symptoms
• Bronchitis
• Poison ivy
• Pink eye
• Urinary tract infection
• Respiratory infection
• Sinus problems
• Ear infection
• And other non-emergent conditions.

What is CareNow not for?

CareNow is not appropriate for those with more emergent health care needs such as:

• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain or pressure
• Severe bleeding
• Head injury
• Weakness and/or numbness to one side of your body
• Loss of consciousness/fainting
• Severe allergic reaction
• Abdominal pain/discomfort
• Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
• Diabetic complaints
• Severe depression, hallucinations, or thoughts of suicide
• Pregnancy related concerns
• Injury to the eye

These symptoms may indicate a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. Please seek medical care immediately by going to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

How does CareNow work?

• Request a consult: Open the CareNow App and request a consult, provide medical history and pay for the consult. Your CareNow account is also available at carenow.tmcaz.com or (855) 754-6898.
• Talk to a provider: Within minutes, a licensed provider reviews your medical history and contacts you via phone or video.
• Pick up a prescription: If a prescription is a medically necessary next step, a prescription can be submitted to a local pharmacy of your choice.

Does CareNow replace my doctor?

No. Your primary care provider knows the intricacies of your health and is crucial in providing care that’s right for you so you can prevent illness, manage chronic conditions and identify health concerns early. CareNow provides general medical care for those times when you’re too busy, too sick, or it’s too late in the day to see your own provider. You can download a copy of your visit information to share with your regular provider at your next scheduled visit.

How long does it take to see a doctor?

Most requests are answered within 30 minutes or less. While you’re waiting for the next available provider to come online, we’ll keep you posted on your status. If you miss your visit, you’ll be returned to the end of the queue. The consults have no time limit so make sure you have the answers you need to get back on the road to recovery.

What does the CareNow app allow members to do?

The CareNow app allows members to:

• Authenticate your CareNow account.
• Talk to a provider, anytime, anywhere.
• Create and update your medical history.
• Update personal, contact, login and billing information.

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad you can integrate your Apple Health information to enable your provider to form a better diagnosis.

TMC is first Southern Arizona hospital to deliver virtual care to our community.

TMC CareNow is part of our ongoing investment in technologies that make life easier and healthier for Southern Arizonans. TMC has consistently been the first in our state and area to implement digital advancements, including an electronic medical record and an online patient portal. For the seventh year running, Tucson Medical Center has achieved recognition as a Most Wired® hospital, awarded by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The distinction recognizes hospitals that leverage information technology to provide stronger care for patients, improve quality, and streamline operations.

 

 

 

TMC patient finds new freedom with 3-D Knee-replacement


“It’s so much like my natural knee that I couldn’t believe it,” said Barbara Wagner who received a custom-made knee replacement at Tucson Medical Center.

Serious knee pain is felt with every step and can significantly impact quality of life. Wagner was informed 10 years ago that she needed to have a both knees replaced.

She had the left knee replaced soon after the recommendation, but experienced complications. “It was very painful, so I decided to have cortisone injections on my right knee instead of surgery, which worked for a while.”

She received relief from cortisone therapy for several years. After moving to Arizona, the pain in her right knee was increasing. “The shots were becoming less effective. I was walking regularly with a limp and I needed to walk with a cane.” Wagner sought new options, and found much had changed in a decade.

“In the last 10 years, there have been extraordinary advancements in technology, implant materials and surgical techniques,” said Dr. Ali Dalal, an orthopaedic surgeon at Tucson Orthopaedic Institute who specializes in hip and knee replacements.

“The advancements have resulted in a better implant fit, which often means greater comfort, mobility and patient satisfaction,” said Dr. Dalal.

One such advancement involves producing a custom-made, knee replacement implant to fit the patient’s unique anatomy. “Generally, surgeons must choose an off-the-shelf implant from a limited range of sizes,” said Dr. Dalal. “With this technology, the implant is custom-made based on an advanced 3-D CT scan of the patient’s knee.”

Dr. Dalal explained the procedure and options to Wagner. “I have all the confidence in the world in Dr. Dalal and I also did my own research.”

Wagner had the required scan and the custom implant was produced and sent to TMC, where Wagner had her replacement surgery.

Recently, Wagner walked down the hall of Tucson Orthopaedic Institute with a smile and without assistance. “I can walk without pain,” she exclaimed. “It effects my entire body – I can walk without a limp and without my cane.”

“Ms. Wagner’s positive outcome is typical of what patients experience with this technology,” said Dr. Dalal. “I’m also pleased with her results and look forward to providing this option for more patients.”

What is next for Wagner? “Everything is so much easier, from walking my dog to making stained-glass crafts, my favorite hobby.” Plans she has put off for some time are now in the works. “My son and I are planning a hike – I haven’t been in more than 10 years.”

Wagner also plans on taking courses in glass fusion, pottery and woodworking. While these hobbies may not involve extreme physical activity, she said the successful surgery really made a difference. “It’s hard to describe just how debilitating bone-on-bone knee pain really is. The custom knee replacement has given me the freedom to be more comfortable in everything I do.”

See the Conformis website for more information about the custom-made total knee replacement implants.

Can’t make it to the polls on election day? You have options

Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6? Never fear, there are options to help you exercise your right to vote.

There are many satellite polling locations open now, to accommodate those that are unable to vote next Tuesday, due to work or life scheduling conflicts. There are also emergency locations open Saturday, November 3 and Monday, November 5.

To find a location near you check the Pima County Recorder’s Early voting sites website .

Looking for resources to help you decide how to vote?

Check out our handy 2018 Voter Guide as well as other health care election resources available on the Vote for the Health of It website.

There are many places to gather information to inform your vote, including the following websites, which are good starting places for nonpartisan research:

Arizona Citizens Clean Elections

and the Arizona Secretary of State’s 2018 General Election publicity pamphlet which you can find online.

 

 

Halloween Safety Tips from Jessica Mitchell, Safe Kids Pima County

We try to watch where we are going, watch where our little ones are and watch for cars all at the same time. It can be really tough. I give my kids glow sticks to help them be seen by others, including drivers of cars. An added bonus, they think glow sticks are the coolest things ever!

What can you do to make Halloween safer this year for your children?

  1. When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  2. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  3. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try nontoxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
  4. Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  5. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Plan ahead and keep your little ghouls and goblins safe and sound this Halloween,

Jessica

 

Jessica Mitchell is the Safe Kids Pima County program coordinator. Safe Kids Pima County is a network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children aged 19 and under. Spearheaded by Tucson Medical Center, the local coalition is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of more than 600 coalitions in 23 countries bringing together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.

Community partnership establishes new housing program to break addiction cycle

Tucson Medical Center and CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness are partnering with the Connie Hillman Family Foundation to launch an important, transitional housing program for mothers in recovery from substance use disorders, promoting sustainable recovery and keeping families together.

As established in the Pima County Community Health Needs Assessment, substance use disorders continue to be a top health challenge in our community. Mothers discharged from inpatient substance use treatment face common hardships, such as poverty, housing, limited economic opportunity and lack of support services that lead to relapse and threaten families.

TMC and CODAC are taking a proactive step, committing to a transitional housing collaborative with each providing elements of their specialties to ensure a safe and stable housing environment. In addition, mothers will have access to aftercare treatment, life-skill training, pediatric care and other evidence-based services that facilitate recovery and independence.

Each member will receive a behavioral-health evaluation and an individualized, integrated behavioral and physical health treatment plan, including medication management and counseling therapies. Services incorporate life-skill building, such as communication, budgeting, parenting, employment/vocational and daily living. A CODAC recovery coach facilitates these services and works on-site to offer real-time assistance. Residents will also participate in outpatient recovery services at CODAC’s treatment centers.

“This program is specifically designed for mothers and their families,” said Dennis Regnier, CODAC president and CEO. “CODAC has a long history of providing unique substance use treatment to women and their children. Through this partnership, we’re taking the next critical step in providing comprehensive support services to break the cycle of addiction and create a stable – and very literal – foundation for recovery and long-term health of the whole family.”

TMC support programs will help families connect to the appropriate medical care, including postnatal and developmental services. Recovering moms will receive wellness, nutrition and home safety education. And TMC child-life specialists will provide activities for children that build cognitive skills and healthy relationships.

“This effort will provide the meaningful care and support families need to build healthy and happy lives together,” said Judy Rich, TMC president and CEO. “Together, we’re building a pathway to independence and sustained recovery.”

The Connie Hillman Family Foundation has provided a generous grant to renovate and properly outfit the 16-unit apartment complex near E. Monte Vista Drive and Alvernon. The apartment complex will open in January of 2019, with the ability to house up to 19 women and their children; one unit will be utilized as a community room and counseling office.

TMC Foundation recognized the shared mission and vision of TMC, CODAC and the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, in bringing the community partnership together, creating an opportunity to boost the positive impact of the transitional housing program.

“We are grateful to The Connie Hillman Family Foundation which has made it possible to meet the critical needs of a vulnerable population,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer. “Investing in the transitional housing program is an important step toward a long-term solution that creates better outcomes for families and our community.”

TMC congratulates one of our TV dancers for selection as a Mayo Clinic’s WomenHeart Champion

At some point it was scary, but the first feeling Susan Smith remembers having when she was told she was having a heart attack was anger at the inconvenience of it all.

“I was in the middle of a late life career path – teaching writing, publishing a book, running a writers group, and going to twelve networking meetings a month,” Smith recalled. “My to-do list was a mile long, and I liked my busy lifestyle.”

Her heart attack was a wake-up call – and one she shared as a WomenHeart Champion at the 2018 WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at the Mayo Clinic in early October.

The four-day symposium, which selected 50 women from 18 states, was designed to prepare the participants to be advocates for women’s heart health in their communities – providing support and education about heart disease, the number one killer of women.

Smith said she has now realized her “busyness” was stressing her system.

“I was so intent on taking care of everyone else, I put my own self-care at the bottom of the list.”

After four days in the hospital, she left not just with two stents, but a new attitude, she said. “Now I follow doctor’s orders; eating right, exercising, six medications, and no stress. That means people see a “new me” practicing self-care and moving through the day at a stroll instead of a sprint.”

She also walked away from the symposium with a new perspective. “I was amazed to meet so many young heart sisters at the training. More women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are experiencing heart disease.  That’s why it’s more important than ever we educate women and raise awareness.”

Good luck on your journey, Susan, and we’re proud of your work in helping others!

Happy birthday to us! TMC for Seniors celebrates 30 years of serving older adults

BDP40936.jpgArt and movement classes. Social connections. Fitness activities and balance work. Lecture series. Caregiver support.

TMC for Seniors touches lives in the community every day – and has for the past 30 years.

As a nonprofit community hospital, Tucson Medical Center has always served the population, including maturing adults. By the 1980s, it became evident that a more focused response was needed.

Americans were living longer – and at the same time, using more medical services.

In response to that need, Tucson Medical Center in 1988 launched the TMC Seniors Program, the result of a year-long study by a task force and rooted in the need to provide health and wellness programs designed for older adults.

“The echoes of those earlier services have resonated through the years, and today TMC for Seniors is a place that offers a variety of free classes and workshop to keep us well as we age, such as brain health, exercise, art, advance care planning, nutrition and socialization,” said Maya Luria, director of TMC for Seniors. “We are pleased to play a role in helping seniors live more active, engaged lives.”

A celebration Friday thanked three previous directors for their work in shaping the program: Jan Sturges, Lorraine Glazar and L’Don Sawyer.

BDP40880.jpgEach was presented with a rock, hand-painted by senior volunteers with messages of gratitude and hope, as part of the TMC Kindness Initiative. Each month, seniors paint the rocks to lift and inspire others in need and then place them at TMC patios for patients and families.

TMC for Seniors continues to grow as it ages – watch next year for Dream Makers, which will fulfill an end of life dream for those with life-limiting illnesses.

For more information, check out TMC for Seniors’ current calendar of events and activities.

International Walk to School Day leads the way with safety tips for kids and families

Who doesn’t remember their parents shouting “Look both ways!” as their 10-year-old-self jetted out the front door?

In today’s world of busy streets and endless distractions, keeping kids safe means going a little further than the proverbial “look both ways” of the last generation. New street-safety guidelines are helping kids and families keep it safe.

This year, Safe Kids Pima County and FedEx celebrated International Walk to School Day at Whitmore Elementary, where parents, teachers, volunteers and Tucson Police Department taught 74 kiddos safe walking tips. KVOA and KGUN9 attended to help spread the word about the importance of child pedestrian safety.

Jessica Mitchell, the Safe Kids Pima County Coordinator at TMC, provided the latest walking safety guidelines for parents, families and children of all ages:

Top Tips for Kids

  • Look left, right and left again when crossing the street. And continue looking until safely across.
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Be especially careful in parking lots or when crossing driveways.
  • If you are using a cell phone, head phones or a game, remember: Devices down when you cross the street.

Top Tips for Parents

  • Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
  • Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.
  • Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Set a good example by putting devices down when you are driving or walking around cars. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.
  • When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.

Interactive Infographic

When kids are young, they are taught to look left, right, left before crossing the street, and to cross with an adult. But as they get older, and they are no longer with an adult, they need to learn walking safety goes far beyond looking both ways.

It is surprisingly common for children to get hit while walking. Every day, more than 40 children are hit by a vehicle while walking in the United States.

Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from FedEx, created an interactive infographic that provides an engaging demonstration of how crashes happen, and how they can be avoided.

How to Not Get Hit by a Car: 7 Common Ways it Happens and 7 Tips to Keep it from Happening to You highlights seven ways children are getting hit, paired with seven tips to prevent them from happening. You can learn how to not get hit by a car in less than five minutes with this fun infographic.

 

 

A ‘reward better than anything else’ – Why a TMC employee volunteers

 

 

Employees are Tucson Medical Center’s greatest resource – the nearly 4,000 women and men who put patients and the community first – employees like Cindy Knowlton.

In the TMC financial services office, where Knowlton has worked for 15 years, you’re likely to hear complex, medical billing and fiduciary terms. For Knowlton, her dedication goes much further than facts and figures, and 8 to 5.

Choosing to give back

Knowlton has chosen to give back, investing hundreds of hours volunteering at the various TMC events throughout the year – helping fit bike helmets for children, providing free car seats, distributing healthy lifestyle information and many other endeavors that support the health and well-being of the community.

A dream come true

What has motivated Knowlton to become such a passionate and committed volunteer? “TMC was there for me, and I want to be there for TMC,” Knowlton said. “TMC is a very respectful place to work – they have provided great training, support and opportunities to grow my professional skills.”

In 2011, Knowlton was a single-mom working through the economic downturn. She still had dreams of owning her own home and TMC helped make her dream a reality.

“TMC was providing down payment assistance for employees who qualified,” explained Knowlton. “Owning my home has made an incredible difference in my life – and I’m glad to be a part of TMC’s community support efforts.”

A positive tired

Knowlton says there’s been an unexpected but satisfying aspect of volunteering. “It’s the stories from people in the community,” she said. “When a total stranger greets you with a hug and says ‘I have to tell you what TMC did for my family,’ it’s a great feeling.”

TMC presents at many well-attended events and Knowlton is candid about her efforts. “I’m tired after a volunteer shift, but it’s a positive tired,” she said. “It’s a tired that feels well-deserved because we’re making a difference – and it’s a prefect way of showing we’re not just a hospital, and that we’re caring for the community we serve.”

Better than anything else

Knowlton’s service means so much to her that she’s taken to recruiting others. “If you have the time to do it – you should do it,” she said. “The reward is much better than anything else.”

“I have the best job in the world!”

A TMC nurse takes her education to the next level

sandra goza rnEmpowered – that’s how Sandra Goza describes the feeling she gets as she arrives at TMC to begin her nursing shifts. “When I walk through that door I know I have the power to make a positive difference in someone’s life.”

With an extraordinary attitude and a strong work ethic, Goza is admired by both her colleagues and by patients. Recently, the experienced nurse took her training further by achieving a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN), and graduating with honors.

“You’d make a great nurse”

After owning her own business in Baltimore for many years, Goza moved to Tucson in 1996 and got her first job with TMC in housekeeping and transport. Soon after, she became a unit associate and was motivated to continue her professional career in patient care by her coworkers and the physicians in the Emergency Department.

“The reason I am here is the people I worked with believed in me,” she said. “I took it to heart when they told me, ‘Sandra, you’d make a great nurse.’

Stepping into nursing

After completing her schooling and internship, Goza started her nursing work in the TMC Emergency Department, and from there she made the move to the Pediatric Critical Care Unit to further develop her skills.

For the last twelve years, Goza has made the Neurology/Neurosurgery Unit her home. And of course, as any nurse will attest, floating to other units has become another way of helping nurses develop their skills floating for many years to help staffing in other areas.

“I’ve worked in every unit at TMC except one area,” Goza said. “I have learned how to provide care across the entire spectrum.” While working in the Neurology/Neurosurgery Unit she became a certified neuroscience registered nurse (CNRN), a coveted and noteworthy achievement.

Appreciative and humble

In 2011, Goza was honored with a Daisy Award, an international program that rewards and celebrates nurses with extraordinary clinical skill and compassion. The TMC Professional Development Council reviews the nominations and selects an honoree every quarter.

Goza was appreciative but remained humble. “It really meant the world to me when they read a heartfelt patient letter – but the whole time I was thinking, ‘Wow, is that really about me?’”

Helping people heal

With so much experience and the strong respect of her teammates, one might question why she decided to take on more education.

“When you are facing in the right direction – all you have to do is keep walking,” she said. “I am always striving for better and I have no intention of stopping.”

Additional benefits

An “ever-forward” outlook was only part of Goza’s drive to get her BSN. “What nurses do is such an important part of helping people heal,” Goza explained. “The BSN helped broaden my clinical knowledge and enhanced my ability to help patients live healthier, happier lives.”

An additional, but very satisfying aspect of achieving higher education involved her son. “I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face at my graduation,” she said. “He was so proud – it made me want to earn more degrees!”

Every day

Even with her recent accomplishment, Goza is considering further schooling for medical filmmaking or to become a nurse practitioner. For right now, she’s says she’s happy every day. “I have the best job in the world and I look forward to coming here every day.”

If you have received care from an exceptional TMC nurse, please nominate them for a Daisy Award by completing our brief online form.

BUTTON_DAISY_NOMINATION

TMC’s perinatal educator on ending domestic abuse in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

BDP40643

More than 200,000 people across the community have pledged to learn more and take action against domestic abuse.

Tucson Medical Center’s own Elizabeth Burcin was interviewed by Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse as the chair of the TMC Domestic Abuse Awareness Committee.

“It’s a silent issue for a lot of people. The community doesn’t know about the scope because so many survivors live in the shadows.”

She talks with us about why she got involved with ending domestic abuse, sharing that a co-worker kept her abuse private until the day her husband threatened her with a knife.

To read the interview, please visit the Emerge! Center against domestic abuse website.

 

Kids in the kitchen – age appropriate kitchen skills

kids in the kitchen age appropriate tipsCooking with your child can be a fun, enlightening, and a valuable bonding experience for you and your impressionable child. If your child feels involved in the cooking process and has a positive experience you have an opportunity to teach them control and proper food safety in the kitchen.

An added bonus of cooking with your child is that it may help reduce the risk of them becoming picky eaters, since exposure to foods early in life teaches them to be more open to new and healthy foods.

If all this wasn’t enough reason to cook with your child there is research showing that children who learn to cook healthy foods at an early age, are more likely to continue a healthy lifestyle throughout their life.(1)

But is your child ready? The kitchen can be a minefield of safety concerns; scalding surfaces, sharp knives, breakable items etc. When considering your child’s safety in the kitchen, we want to share some suggestions. You, of course, are the best judge of what your child is ready to do, please use the below merely as guidelines.

How to include your child in the kitchen

  • Establish a child-free safety zone to protect your kids from hot surfaces, hot foods, and dangerous kitchen tools; keep them clear of stove tops, ovens and blenders.
  • Help your child feel stable by giving them a stepping stool if they can’t reach.
  • Always wash your hands before you begin cooking and between handling each food item.
  • Let them be messy. Yes, it’s a pain to clean, but isn’t that what makes it fun?

What not to do:

  • Don’t be overly critical. It can be discouraging.
  • Don’t get mad; let them learn from their mistakes.
  • Don’t rush. They are in the process of learning this new skill. You can’t expect them to be experts.

Suggested Age Appropriate Cooking Skills

Toddlers

When your child reaches around 18 months old you may find yourself with an enthusiastic want-to-be helper. This is a great opportunity to find something that makes them feel involved and at the same time keeps them out of your way.

Set your child up at a station where they are not within reach of any hazards like knives, hot liquids, etc.  They can wash vegetables and fruit; stir room temperature or cool ingredients; mash potatoes (make sure they’re cool enough); play with measuring cups and spoons.

Preschoolers

In addition to the above you can now include the cutting of soft ingredients with a solid plastic knife; mixing ingredients; picking grapes and tomatoes off the vine; kneading, rolling, shaping and cutting dough.

Kinder and First grade

Set the table, greasing and lining pans; actually measuring ingredients; rubbing in flour and butter with finger tips; snipping herbs; using a small knife (talk about basic knife safety first)

Second –  Fifth grade

Help plan the family meal. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss proportions of grain, vegetable, protein etc in a meal. With proper instruction your child may be ready to use a peeler, a handheld mixer, and even the stove. They can follow a simple recipe often at this point and can often be tasked with preparing salad.

Remember children should be supervised in the kitchen, even in middle school. Cooking together provides lots of opportunities to talk about food hygiene, math, following instructions, and motor skills.

  1. Yen Li Chu, Anna Farmer, Christina Fung, Stefan Kuhle, Kate E Storey, Paul J Veugelers. Involvement in home meal preparation is associated with food preference and self-efficacy among Canadian childrenPublic Health Nutrition, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980012001218

For breast cancer patient, the touch of a hand made the difference

YeseniaHelping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancer, Yesenia Lopez.

The last time Yesenia Lopez had surgery, she was 15 and having a tonsil removed.

But here she was, about to have surgery to remove cancer that was diagnosed when her doctors found a lump in her breast.

“What helped the most in that moment was the nurse holding my hand when they were putting me under,” Lopez recalled. “She said, ‘Everything is going to be OK. I will follow you all the way into surgery.’ She was still there at recovery and she stayed with me from the time I went under until the time I woke up.”

When Lopez found she had cancer, she knew she would come to TMC. It’s where she brought her two children, now grown, when they were sick. “TMC is a big part of our world as a family,” she said, adding her recovery in the hospital was great, with her husband of 27 years by her side. “We received really good treatment there. And I know people will say what they will about hospital food, but the food was good!”

Lopez has refocused on her health, including losing a few extra pounds and taking up hiking.

What would she tell a woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer?

“A lot of people worry from the time they get diagnosed, but when you get a good staff working with you and guiding you, it makes the worry go away,” she said, noting she has already referred friends with breast cancer to her surgical oncologist, Dr. Michele Boyce Ley.

“I would tell them that it’s a long journey and you have to have patience, but with the right team of doctors, and the right staff at the right hospital, the journey is much easier. I’ve been blessed. This has been a hiccup and I’m looking forward to life even more now.”

Mission Moment: TMC ICU staff give back to our community

TMC ICU Gospel volunteersWhen a number of nurses on staff in the Adult Critical Care Unit (ACCU) expressed to Clinical Nurse Specialist Angie Muzzy a desire to find a way to give back to our community, they had come to the right place.

“I said I know about a couple of great opportunities for us. One is the Gospel Rescue Mission Women and Children’s Shelter and the other is volunteering for a Habitat for Humanity build,” said Muzzy.

At the Gospel Rescue Mission, groups can purchase and bring in food and then cook a meal for the women and children staying at the shelter.

“It’s really a gift for us because it gave us the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful program and do something tangible for women and children that need a helping hand.”

A group of nine nurses and one pharmacist pooled their resources to plan, purchase and make a nice Italian meal for about 100 people. They bought 20 chickens from Costco, pasta, sauce, meatballs, salad, garlic bread … the works.

“When we asked what kind of food would be best, they said meat, any protein. And it was great because there was leftover chicken that the chef was able to use the next day for another meal,” said Muzzy.

She added of the experience, “It was just a nice way to spend an afternoon. You leave there feeling like you did something great.”

When Muzzy reached out to the folks at Habitat for Humanity they said they had ten open spots for the September build.

Overwhelmed by the response to participate, they were able to take a group of ten and had a waiting list of ten more.

The group plans to continue finding opportunities to get out in the community and volunteer at least twice a year.

Tucson Medical Center recently adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing a series of “mission moments” throughout the year.

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do. Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

TMC recognizes Acacia Elementary teacher Linda Anderson as a Legendary Teacher

When Linda Anderson turned 40, she got serious about getting fit.

She started walking and before you knew it, she was running short distances.

She was hooked.

The third grade teacher has since run nine marathons, including one up Mount Lemmon for her 50th birthday and too many half-marathons to count. She runs three times a week, including three miles on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and a longer 7 mile run on Saturdays.

She’s shared that love of fitness with students, serving for eight years as a Girls on the Run coach.

For her commitment to building health in her community, Tucson Medical Center honors her on Legendary Teacher Day, held annually the fourth Thursday in September – Sept. 27 this year.

Legendary Teacher Day

TMC selects a special teacher each year to honor on the day, which was established in 2014, is a tribute to teachers and a chance to reflect on those who make differences in the lives of others.

Anderson never thought she’d be a teacher. After a career in the banking industry while raising her two children, Linda began working in the children’s ministry at her church. That inspired her to embark on education studies.

“It’s a calling and I know I am exactly where I need to be, praise God,” she said.

Girls on the Run

When she learned about Girls on the Run in 2011, Anderson was able to combine her passions for teaching and for running. The youth development program teaches life skills, culminating in a 5k to build confidence and a sense of accomplishment in girls. This fall, Acacia has four coaches with two groups of 15 girls each.

Sylvia Brown, who serves as the TMC coordinator of the program, said she was honored to nominate Anderson. “Linda has been a consistent supporter of Girls on the Run, fully supporting the program and the mission,” she said.

As for Anderson, she said she believes in the purpose of the program.

“The girls are at such a pivotal age to learn these things. With third through fifth graders, they are still young, but their foundations are being set. There are things they’ll have to deal with and this program helps teach them and provide them tools to meet these challenges – whether they come next week or years down the road.”

Anderson recalls getting choked up at one year-end celebration, when one girl shared that the program “has changed my life. I was one of the mean girls, but I’m not anymore.”

“I can see girls grow into their own,” she said. “Some are shy coming in and they open up, gaining self-confidence.”

“I believe in the program and the impact it has on these girls. They learn they can do anything they want. They can make decisions on their own.”

This fall’s season, sponsored by TMC and UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, is just getting underway with the girls, who meet twice a week.

“Girls on the Run provides a tremendous opportunity for UnitedHealthcare to help support these Tucson youngsters as they learn to live healthier lives and to become strong, independent and confident women,” said David Allazetta, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “We salute Linda Anderson for the commitment she has made to their education and their transformation through running.”

The program also comes at a critical time, when peer pressure starts ramping up, Anderson noted. “The program teaches them to be healthy, not skinny, that they are worthy. We encourage them to see the beauty and self-worth inside of themselves, and we talk about the benefits of moving and taking care of themselves.”

An elementary school teacher’s life is busy by default. Still, taking on the added responsibility of being a coach is not a problem for Anderson. “It’s not extra for me. Its part of what I do. I look forward to it. It’s one area I can make a difference.”

“It’s really cool to watch them encourage each other. We encourage them to be the best you, you can be.” We don’t ask if you beat the other girl. We ask ‘Did you do your best?’”

“Then to see the sheer joy when they finish their first 5K run is so amazing,” she said. “Their smiles are as big as Texas.”

I craft, how can I help?

Do you have a hankering to take your craft to the philanthropic level?  We asked our Child Life and Mom/Baby departments what the current needs are.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by donations of baby hats from generous community members. We currently have a need for smaller blankets, 18- by 18-inch in any color or pattern for the NICU, and also blankets in more subdued pastel colors and patterns for those families who have experienced fetal loss.” said Xury Broyles, administrative assistant in Women and Children’s Services

In the pediatric department, Child Life assistant Jamie Antrim explains there is a desperate need for “Fun cotton surgery caps and pillow cases for kids in child-friendly patterns. We love a healthy mix of patterns that would appeal to both young children and teens.”

The video below was created by Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona Troop 87 to demonstrate how to make the pediatric surgery caps. The Girl Scouts, who were 5th through 7th graders (juniors and cadettes), were involved in the filming and editing of the video as well as making over 60 surgery caps they thought would appeal to all ages.

TMC congratulates Mayo Clinic on the new Ken Burns PBS documentary

MayoAs a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Tucson Medical Center looks forward to THE MAYO CLINIC: FAITH – HOPE – SCIENCE, a two-hour movie that explores the Clinic’s 150-year history and what it means to “Put the Needs of the Patient First.”

The film will air Tuesday evening, Sept. 25 at on Arizona PBS- KAET, with a repeat broadcast on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Please check local listings.

The film, which features the voices of Tom Hanks, Sam Waterston, Blythe Danner and Josh Lucas, blends historical narrative with contemporary patient stories, including former U.S. Sen. John McCain and the Dalai Lama.

As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, TMC works with Mayo Clinic to better serve patients and families by sharing education and best practices. TMC in 2015 joined the network, which allows physicians aligned with TMC to connect to more than 4,500 physicians and scientists at the Mayo Clinic. The relationship has also brought the hospitals together to host an annual Survive Well: Living with Cancer Symposium.

“The Mayo Clinic is known nationally and internationally for the quality of care it provides, and this film promises to be a powerful exploration of how that care has evolved over the past 150 years,” said Susan Willis, executive director of strategy at TMC.

The film begins with the story of Dr. W.W. Mayo who, after traveling throughout the Midwest looking for a place to practice, settled with his family in rural Minnesota. Together with the Sisters of Saint Francis and his sons Will and Charlie, he laid the foundation for a medical center that now treats over a million patients every year from 50 states and 150 countries, and employs 64,000 people in Rochester and at campuses in Jacksonville, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The history of healthcare is a larger reflection of who we are as a nation,” said executive producer Ken Burns. “It includes advances in science and technology, but also touches on more universal themes of love and compassion. This is an extraordinary story that places our fundamental need to care for each other within the larger framework of America’s healthcare system and modern medicine.”

Through the story of The Mayo Clinic, the film demonstrates the power of collaboration in medicine, the role of humanity in science and the importance of hope in healing. In doing so, it provides insight into ways to make America’s healthcare delivery system more effective, efficient and compassionate.

Dear Dietitian, what can I count on?

Dear DietitianEggs are out. Eggs are in. Carbs are out. No fat is out. Just get rid of the sugar!

It’s hard to keep track of the latest food craze and know what’s best for your health. We asked our Wellness Department dietitians, Laurie Ledford and Mary Atkinson, for insight on what we can count on:

Studying nutrition in terms of prevention and treatment of disease is pretty new. Everyone has individualized needs and we will likely never have one single diet, food or supplement that works for everyone, but new research is continually revealing fascinating links and discoveries around how different nutrients and food compounds work in and with our bodies. It is hard for anyone to give a clear-cut and final answer about what constitutes the perfect and most healthful diet.

What do we do know?

  • Carbohydrates
    We know that carbs are not the enemy if you choose the correct kinds and amounts. Whole grains (such as farro, quinoa or black rice), low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables are all good choices of nutrient-rich carbohydrates.
  • Protein
    Newer research is indicating that higher levels of protein may be beneficial to specific populations and for weight management. However, there isn’t enough specific data yet to revise the current recommendation of 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for the general population. Protein requirements and recommendations are very individualized, so for more specific protein goals talk with your physician or a registered dietitian.
  • Fats
    Despite what you may have seen or read, there still is no fully supported research to indicate that saturated fats, such as milk fat or coconut oil, are healthy for our heart. We do need some fat in our diet, but the best forms are unsaturated, meaning that they are liquid at room temperature, such as olive or canola oil, nuts and avocado.


What if I really need something to count or track?

Notice how often you are eating out or having convenience/prepared meals. Home prepared anything is always a healthier choice. Try to reduce the times you eat out or have convenience meals each week. Save eating out for special occasions and truly enjoy the experience.Here is the BIGGIE: Track your Sleep!!! More and more research is linking sleep and a disruption to our circadian rhythm to weight management and health risks. When we don’t get adequate sleep several things can happen:

  • Pay attention to how many hours you spend in front of a screen, beyond what is required for work. We know screen time can cause mindless eating and can cause disruption to our sleep. Both of these impact our food choices and our health. Creating cutoff times for television or other devise usage can help.
  • Track your servings of vegetables and fruit you eat each day for a week. Then try to improve that by just one serving a day for the next week, and one more serving the following week … and so on. The ultimate goal being that half of your plate at each meal is made up of vegetables and some fruit.
  • Despite what you may have seen or read, there still is no fully supported research to indicate that saturated fats, such as milk fat or coconut oil, are healthy for our heart. We do need some fat in our diet, but the best forms are unsaturated, meaning that they are liquid at room temperature, such as olive or canola oil, nuts and avocado.
    • Impacts our cognitive (thinking) processes; can increase our risk for dementia
    • Impacts our emotional responses; can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety and irritability
    • Increases our risk for heart disease
    • Affects our immune response, making us more susceptible to getting sick
    • Increases production of cortisol, our stress hormone

The takeaway

Having a healthy diet is about looking at the overall quality of the foods you eat, when you eat them and the environment in which you eat. All foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation, if the majority of your diet is a balance of all the food groups and macronutrients, offers variety, and is focused on enjoyment and success vs. restriction and regret.

Have more questions? Want to hear more? Join Mary and Laurie at The Core on October 23rd for Crunching Calories? Don’t Count On It! 

Breastfeeding – 10 ways you can support the new mama in your life

10 ways dads can help with breastfeedingThere was a time when in the first fresh days and weeks of a baby’s life, a new mom would be surrounded by the women of her family and community. They would provide her support and guide her through breastfeeding and caring for her new child. Today, that is often not the case. A new mom may find herself without that sisterhood to draw upon. Breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultants and postpartum doulas provide valuable resources, but for day-to-day the support of dad or partner is critical in determining whether breastfeeding is successful.

TMC for Women Lactation Consultant, Susan Dennis IBCLC, shares these ten tips to help dads and partners help the new mom in their lives:

How to provide breastfeeding support to your partner:

  1. Before baby arrives attend a Breastfeeding Class with the expectant mom.
  2.  Tell the new Mom that she is doing a great job- encouragement is a key building block to success.
  3. Help recognize when the baby is showing feeding cues and help give mom private time to feed without distractions from other visitors.
  4. Place pillows under mom’s arms, back, legs to help support her in comfortable positions while feeding.
  5. Watch how staff at the hospital or birth center help the baby start a feeding and do the same when mom needs help.
  6. Hold baby skin to skin after feedings while mom takes a nap. This is a great bonding time for you and baby.
  7. Bring water and snacks whenever mom feels hungry.
  8. Be the mom’s sounding board when she feels frustrated. Sometimes she just needs to talk.
  9. Burp baby, change diaper and cuddle baby in between feedings so you get a chance to know the baby.
  10. Babies are only small for short time. When they cry they need to be held. This builds trust and later independence.

Know there are outside resources to help mama with breastfeeding, we provide outpatient consultations with certified lactation consultants as well as a weekly support group.

Resources

Pisacane, A., Continisio GI., Aldinucci, M., D’Amora, S., Continisio, P., A controlled trial of the father’s role in breastfeeding promotion Pediatrics. 2005 Oct;116(4):e494-8. [Accessed 6/13/2014]

Work colleague inspires fellow salon manager to get joint replacement

Charles and ANnieHelping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancers Charles Colbath and Annie Collins.

Bavilon Salon owner Charles Colbath would wince a little seeing Salon Coordinator Annie Collins hobble about.

A former marathon runner, Collins had agonizing arthritis in her right hip. “I almost couldn’t walk. I couldn’t lift my leg to get in the car. I would be walking, and my leg would just freeze.”

She had hip replacement with orthopaedic surgeon Russell Cohen. “It was a miracle. I had surgery one morning and was home the next day by noon. I was pain free – literally, pain free.”

Colbath was struck at her recovery. He had been suffering with his own trick hip for four years. “Dr. Cohen did an evaluation and said he could do it. I trusted him. And I had the same experience Annie did. The whole process was amazing. I’ve had worse tooth extractions.”

Collins, who is an avowed pickleball addict, said dancing is her next favorite thing and she’s thrilled to be able to do it.

For Colbath, the minimally invasive procedure was a life changer. “It’s hard to believe you would go in for something that would be seen as major, but it honestly wasn’t,” he said. “The process they use now is so perfected, that I was back to my routine in three days. And I’m getting my life back now, which was key.”

Hush little baby – Safe sleep tips

Safe Sleep TipsThere is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping baby, especially for parents who are often overtired themselves. Our experts share the following simple tips so you can create a safe sleeping environment for your baby:

Help Your Baby Sleep Safely

  • Lay your baby on his or her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm on those cold winter nights, try using a sleep sack (wearable blanket). They’re pretty cozy.
  • Babies should not sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs or baby swings. If this happens, make sure to return your baby to a safe sleep environment.
  • We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. Soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
  • New parents have a million things to do, but learning infant CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.

Position Your Child’s Crib or Bed in the Right Place

  • Avoid placing a crib, bed, high chair or playpen near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with cords.
  • Do not hang anything on or above a baby’s crib on a string or cord.
  • Room-sharing is a safer option than having your baby sleep in bed with you. Place your baby’s crib, play yard or bassinet in your room for more convenient feeding and close contact.
  • Remember to always return your baby to his or her own crib when you’re ready to go back to sleep. This is tough sometimes because parents are often more tired than the babies, but it is much safer.
  •  If your child has a bunk bed, check the guard rails on the top bunk. Make sure that there isn’t enough space between the guardrail and bed frame or the head and foot boards that a leg or arm could get trapped.

Next Steps

Have questions? Talk to your pediatrician about safe sleeping. Don’t have a pediatrician? Our family physicians at TMCOne are accepting new patients. 

From bariatric surgery to instructor of “Insanity” workout

IMG_0607When Marni Gould topped out at 248 pounds, it became evident she needed to make a change.

Dance and exercise had been her passion since high school – and although she had remained active even through her weight struggles, she was finding more and more she couldn’t do it anymore.

At 35, the middle school math teacher was grappling with sky-high blood pressure and a resting heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute. Her knees hurt from carrying too much weight for her frame, and her ankle rolled far too often. She had tried a number of diets and none of them seemed to work.

“I knew I needed help with food. I never knew how to properly eat,” she said, noting cheeseburgers were a particular weakness.

Gould’s two sisters each had had bariatric surgery and after seeing the results, she decided to learn more. After going through a six-month process of medically-supervised weight loss, she still had not lost enough weight. She had the surgery April 2016 and was back at work in two weeks. She almost immediately went back to the gym, doing serious modifications to ease herself back into being active and avoiding core exercises at first to give herself time to heal.

Gould also was strict that first year in particular with her diet – lots of protein shakes and thoughtful meal choices, with PowerCrunch bars to satisfy sweet-tooth cravings. “This just let me reset. Now I know I can eat the right things in balance with the amount of activity I do,” she said.

While Gould’s one sister took up running, Gould gravitated more toward strength.

IMG_5384Four months after her surgery, she started a high-intensity endurance workout called Insanity Live. She modified everything and kept plugging away. She learned to love it.

In a year, her body fat had dropped from 48 percent to 25 percent. By 18 months, she had lost her 100-pound goal. At 138 pounds, she went from a size 22 to a 6/8.

When her instructor moved, Gould couldn’t imagine a Saturday without Insanity Live. She decided to teach it. “At the training, they said, ‘You don’t have to be the best at the moves. You just have to be the most motivating.’ That stuck with me.”

While some instructors bark orders and push students to work at top capacity, Gould remembers the importance of pacing herself. “I really want to pull in people who are scared of it – it’s called Insanity for a reason. I want them in there so they can see how much they change over time. When you start losing and toning, it helps you stay motivated and keep going.”

Gould is so passionate about sharing her transformation, that she regularly attends the TMC Bariatric Support group and manages a Facebook group for local patients, as well as another accountability group for those who need more regular check-ins. “I love inspiring others. I remember early on when I was frustrated with the pace of my weight loss, someone told me, ‘You’re on a trajectory.’ And that changed everything. It’s not about the Right Now. It’s about progress, not perfection.”

“I just want to help others. I feel like I’ve been given this gift – and what good is this gift to me if I am not spreading it and using it to assist others?”

Flu season, like winter, is coming. Is your family ready?

Are you ready for flu seasonFrom cooler temperatures to pumpkin pie, we welcome many things that come with the fall season, but the flu is not one of them. Dr. Katherine Leitner, a TMCOne provider at TMC Rincon Health Campus, provides some important pointers to best prepare families for flu season.

How should a family prepare for flu season?

The most effective preventative measure is a flu vaccination. Everyone in the family should get a flu shot.

If experiencing flu-like symptoms:

  • cover your mouth when coughing
  • avoid touching your face
  • wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  • disinfect surfaces you come in contact with
  • and stay at home for at least 24 hours

When should you get a flu shot?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends receiving a flu vaccine in October. Even if you did not receive the flu shot in October, it is still beneficial to obtain one throughout the flu season which can run through January or later. It is also important that everyone get the flu shot yearly, because the flu strain changes from year to year.

What about vitamin C and a healthy diet?

Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C during a cold does not actually improve the outcome or decrease the duration of illness. However, it is always important to stick to a healthy diet so you can build a good immune system for when you do get sick. During an illness, drinking lots of fluids and staying hydrated is very important.

What should you do if a child is showing flu symptoms?

Make an appointment with your child’s health care provider right away. The provider can test for the flu and treat it with a medication if caught early. To prevent the spread of illness, keep your child out of school until he or she is feeling better.

Who should get the flu shot?

Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician with Mayo Clinic, says, “The latest recommendations from the CDC reaffirm that all of us are at risk for catching and spreading the flu, and all of us should get our flu shot this fall. Very few of us cannot get the vaccine. Our getting the vaccines protects them, too.”

The CDC continues to recommend vaccination for all people aged 6 months and older without contraindications, preferably by the end of October. For those aged 65 and older, the CDC says standard-dose or high-dose vaccine is acceptable.

For information on how to protect infants under 6 months from the flu see this TMC for Children post.

TMC presented with award, recognition for achievements in stroke treatment

BDP49509Tucson Medical Center routinely achieves critical treatment timelines for patients that give them the best outcomes after heart attack or stroke.

“On behalf of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, I thank you for your commitment,” said Ron Loomis, Jr., the senior regional director for quality and systems improvement for the associations, in presenting an award to the TMC team.

TMC earned the Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award by meeting specific quality metrics for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke within a designated period that are scientifically proven to reduce death and disability for stroke patients.

TMC additionally received the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll award, which reduces time between when a patient suffering from ischemic stroke arrives at the hospital and when treatment starts with a clot-busting drug. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to the brain narrow or become blocked, reducing blood flow. We are the only hospital in Southern Arizona with this top level designation.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to these evidence-based guidelines often see improved outcomes and fewer readmissions,” Loomis said.

BDP49513Dr. David Teeple, the medical director for TMC’s stroke program, said the program has been growing in effectiveness for the last 10 years, to the point that TMC has for many years been recognized for putting proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis.

“It’s ingrained in what we do here now,” he told the team, “but don’t underestimate the hard work you all do to achieve these guidelines. I’m incredibly grateful and our patients are incredibly grateful.”

Triple bypass leads to a new approach on life

Sergio.jpgHelping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancer, Sergio Gonzales

Sergio Gonzales was working out with his wife last July when he felt an unmistakable feeling.

“I felt the same symptoms I’d felt the previous year, when I had a heart attack while on vacation in Witchita, Kansas,” he recalled. When the feeling didn’t pass in a few minutes, he called 911 and a helicopter evacuated him for treatment. Only in his mid-40s, he would end up having a triple bypass.

“The care at TMC was outstanding. I will always remember being wheeled in and seeing the worried eyes of my doctor, the nurses and my family, but they immediately helped put me at ease and made me feel better about the situation,” said Sergio, a University of Arizona graduate who works in the defense industry and is a college sports referee on the side.  His wife, Deanna, a Tucson native, agreed. “It was a struggle every day, but the nurses were great and his cardiac team helped get him home quickly.”

Sergio, who participated in cardiac rehabilitation to rebuild his strength, said the heart attack forced him to make some big changes.

Cardiac rehabilitation link

 

“Before my first heart attack, I was invincible,” he said, even though his father had his first heart attack in his 50s. He takes his health more seriously – and shares his concerns with his son, too, to take note of his genetic predispositions to heart disease, even though he is only 21.

“I’ve really been utilizing this time to reconnect with my family and to enjoy life a little more,” he said, adding he enjoys concerts and has taken more vacations of late than he has in the previous five years combined. “I’ve also been trying to learn more about my physical and mental abilities. I push myself harder to learn more and to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Back to Work – Breastfeeding in the workplace

Making the transition back to work after your maternity leave ends can be difficult, especially switching to pumping. Our lactation consultants provide these tips for success once you’re back at work:

  • When you’re away from your baby, pump every 2-3 hours or as much as possible
  • Breastfeed just before you leave for work and as soon as you get home again
  • Help your milk expression by having pictures of your baby with you; record the sounds of your baby on your cell phone or voicemail and listen to those while pumping
  • Try to create a relaxing atmosphere in which to pump. Closing your eyes, breathing deeply and relaxing will help with expression of milk
  • Massage your breasts before and during the middle of the pumping session
  • End your pump session with hand expression to aid breast drainage
  • When home, feed your baby on demand to help maintain your supply
  • Keep talking with your employer/supervisor about what is working and what isn’t
  • Remember breastfeeding and pumping is an organic thing, be flexible
  • Dr. Jack Newman provides many resources for breastfeeding moms. This link includes techniques for expressing milk successfully when you’re away from your baby.

As a working mom, you have many responsibilities, and it may be challenging to keep up your milk supply. Food, drink and lots of cuddling with your baby, in addition to frequent breastfeeding on your days off, will help maintain your supply. Remember, you are doing a great job. Call our Breastfeeding Support Program (520) 324-5730 if you have any questions.

Sign up for Breastfeeding Basics – A class for expectant mothers to support them on the breastfeeding journey

We’d love to hear your input. If you’ve already breastfed and made the transition back to the work place can you share a little of your experience? How did you make it work? What challenges did you face? Did you have a particularly positive experience with an employer? Give kudos to them.

Useful resources:

At TMC for Women

  • TMC for Women’s Breastfeeding Support Program – Call (520) 324-5730
  • TMC for Women’s Breastfeeding Support Group – Mondays, 10-11:30am in the Canyon Conference Room near the Southeast Entrance.
  • Tucson Medical Center has lactation rooms for its staff on the postpartum unit. Contact the Breastfeeding Support Program for more information

Online

In the Literature

The Milk Memos – At times hilarious, sometimes poignant and always insightful resource that started as a plea from one new mom sitting in a lactation room at IBM to whoever might be also using the lactation room.

 

 

Asthma shouldn’t keep a kid from being a kid – Dispelling myths

asthma mythsWhen your child experiences an asthma attack it can be terrifying for both your child and for you.

Understandably, you want to take the precautions to prevent asthma attacks, but there are many myths about asthma. Some of these myths can lead parents to overly limit a child’s activities and negatively impact your child’s health.

Dr. Jamie Ruderfer, a pediatric pulmonologist with Pediatric Pulmonary Associates, sets the record straight and explains how parents should take the appropriate precautions that build strong health because, as she says, “asthma shouldn’t keep a kid from being a kid.”

MYTH ONE: Allergies and exercise are the most common asthma triggers

Actually, the most common trigger of pediatric asthma is the rhinovirus, or common cold. The flu is right behind the cold as a significant asthma trigger.

I strongly agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that every child should receive a flu vaccine, and it is even more important for asthmatic children.

Does that mean allergies and exercise aren’t triggers?

Allergies and exercise can be serious triggers, they just aren’t the most common triggers of asthma-related difficulties.

Every child who experiences asthma will have unique triggers. Some will be triggered more by allergies or exercise. Some will be triggered more by viral colds. This is where proper expert advice on management comes in.

Before taking extreme precautions, an evaluation by a pediatric pulmonologist can determine your child’s your child’s unique experiences with asthma and create a management plan that fits your child’s needs and lifestyle.

Should parents take extra precautions to keep their child from getting a cold?

When it comes to colds, asthmatic children cannot realistically take different precautions than a child who does not have asthma.

Parents need to work, and children need to go to school and daycare. I’m a mom, too, and I understand that preventing a child from catching a cold is nearly impossible. We should still take precautions, but reasonable and effective ones – like a flu shot, hand washing/sanitizing, a healthy diet and good sleep.

If an asthmatic child catches a cold (which they will), it does not mean that an acute asthmatic episode is certain – it means that parents should be more alert for signs and symptoms. Again, management is key. Your child should have an individualized asthma action plan developed by their pediatrician or pediatric pulmonologist for when they get the sniffles.

MYTH TWO: Asthma symptoms only involve wheezing, right?

Wheezing (both breathing in and out) is a symptom, but there are other symptoms and signs that parents should be aware of.

Symptoms the child may have an escalating issue include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Chronic cough
  • Respiratory infection
  • Shortness of breath
  • Waking in the night with breathing difficulty

Acute symptoms that require immediate treatment involve:

  • Severe wheezing
  • Rapid and/or labored breathing
  • Coughing that doesn’t stop
  • Pressure and pain in the neck and chest
  • Difficulty talking due to shortness of breath
  • Blue lips or fingernails

If your child is experiencing any of these acute symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911 immediately.

MYTH THREE: My child hasn’t had symptoms for a long time – so I don’t have to be as aware?

Children can go for long periods without asthma being triggered. Asthma is a serious condition and while parents don’t need to be overly cautious, they should regularly visit a health-care provider, stick to the asthma management plan and always be alert to symptoms.

MYTH FOUR: To prevent asthma just cut out sports

I’m just so afraid of an asthma attack – should I just cut out sports entirely?

An asthma diagnosis should not keep a kid from being a kid. Having a solid, ongoing management plan will make it possible for your child to safely enjoy sports and other physical activity.

Dr. Ruderfer graduated from the University of California, Irvine Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in biological sciences with emphasis in cell biology. She received her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, and completed her 3-year residency in pediatrics at Winthrop University Hospital and a 3-year fellowship in pediatric pulmonary at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Ruderfer is married to Dr. Daniel Ruderfer (TMCOne pediatric infectious disease) and has two sons, Ethan and Josh, ages 3 and 6.

 

 

 

 

After knee replacement, ‘People tell me I look different’

Mary.jpg

Helping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancer, Mary Rowley.

For business owner Mary Rowley, pain was a part of everyday life.

“I had bone-on-bone arthritis. I couldn’t use my knee very much,” Rowley recalled. “It was to the point where I forgot what it was like not to have pain.”

Rowley, who had two previous unrelated surgeries at TMC with great outcomes, came back to TMC, with orthopaedic surgeon Russell Cohen.

“It was great. The experience in the hospital was wonderful – I felt like I was with friends,” she said, noting she went home the next day.

“My knee is fantastic. Before, I coudn’t run at all. Now I can run up steps. I’m walking more, I’m exercising. I can bend. People tell me I look different: that I don’t have as much pain on my face.”

Rowley has a recommendation for others considering knee replacement surgery. “Everyone said put it off as long as you can. I would say don’t. If you really need it done, and a professional tells you that you need to get it done, get it done. It’s great on the other side.”

Check out Mary getting to dance again in our latest dance video.

Thank you Tucson for making us the Readers’ Choice

Thank you, Tucson, for your support in the Arizona Daily Star 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. We have been serving Southern Arizona for 75 years and are proud to be recognized as the top choice in these categories:

Best Hospital

Best Emergency Room

Best Pediatric Emergency Room

Best Women’s Center

Best Surgical Weight Loss

Best Birthing Center

Thanks to our staff, volunteers and providers for making TMC the hospital of choice in Tucson for the fourth year in a row. As Tucson’s only nonprofit, community-owned hospital, TMC’s mission is to provide exceptional health care with compassion.  We take your trust in us seriously. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

Paw-sitively fur-bulous ways pets can support our health

It’s National Dog Day* and we’re celebrating our furry friends, their companionship and the health benefits they bring to our lives.

Did you know that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, owning a pet is linked to a decrease in blood pressure, total cholesterol and triglycerides? Great, so all we need to do is adopt a pet to be healthy? While we do want to encourage everyone to consider helping our local Pima Animal Care Center by adopting or fostering one of the thousands of animals taken in each year, there is more to the connection between pets and improved health.

Important aspects of being healthy include staying active, managing stress, having a strong sense of purpose and having a good social support network. Owning, fostering or even volunteering to work with animals can help us more easily achieve these healthy behaviors.

1. Purpose and connection

Having a pet or participating in a program that cares for animals gives us purpose and helps connect us with others who have similar values and passions. Pets can serve as a social icebreaker for people who tend to be shy and more introverted, easing the creation of social bonds. Through these connections, we can develop a support network that goes beyond the commonality of pet ownership. 2. Improve mood and decrease tension or stress

2. Improve mood and decrease tension or stress

Hopefully, everyone has had the opportunity to experience the unconditional love that a pet greets you with when you return home or go to visit them. This greeting alone can improve mood and decrease tension or stress. Animals can keep us in the present moment, which helps to distract us from our worries and problems that we might tend to ruminate about.

3. Reduce heart rate and blood pressure

Many studies have demonstrated that petting an animal can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and perceived level of stress. Plus, how can you not feel joyful when animals look at you with such adoration as you pet them?

4. Maintain a routine and stay active

Pets, and dogs most specifically, help us to maintain a routine and stay active. While we may be willing to skip our own exercise, we are not likely to say no to our loving pets! Even if it is just a quick walk around the neighborhood, remember, any activity is better than nothing. If you are interested in a more rigorous workout, please take a look at our post on running with our four-legged friends.

Regardless of what type of activity you choose to do with your pet, getting into a routine can also have an impact on the other health choices we make throughout our day. Once you are consistently doing one thing to benefit your health, you are more likely to follow up with others, such as making healthy food choices or getting better quality sleep.

National Dog Day

*August 26th is National Dog Day, initiated to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and to acknowledge family dogs and dogs that work each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Our friends at Pima Animal Care Center organize events throughout the month to help people who would like to adopt or foster dogs and cats. Check out PACC’s foster event schedule.

 

Pup at PACC waiting for new home

 

Volunteer opportunity came at the right time for stroke survivor

Gail.jpgHelping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancer, Gail Black.

Gail Black was on the job when she collapsed at work. She’d had a devastating stroke and it would be a grueling recovery. She’d lost some words. Her balance was off. Her memory wasn’t as sharp.

She spent months and months rebuilding with physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

As she progressed in her recovery, she saw that TMC Senior Services was offering a lecture on stroke recovery and how to build new neural pathways in the brain.

While she was there, someone asked if she’d like to volunteer. “I said give me a year because I was still in that phase of my recovery. And a year to the date, someone called me back.”

“Tucson Medical Center has an amazing senior services program and it provides content that is very rewarding, informative and educational. It gave me information on how to live strong and that was very important to me,” she said.

Black said the highlight of volunteering was the relationships she built. “I’ve met so many wonderful people. Sometimes you go to volunteer, thinking you’re going to help someone and you wind up being the person who is helped and rewarded. That has been my experience.”

She also appreciates every opportunity to share her story.

“I get up every day to a new sunrise, a new lease on life,” she said. “I look forward to finding ways to help and benefit others – even if it’s telling my story recovering from stroke. If I can help one person, that’s important to me. Life is great.”

Anyone can have a stroke, even children although the causes in children tend to be different. The elderly are not the only ones at risk for stroke although age is one factor. Stroke risk also increases with factors like increased blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation. 

Know the symptoms of a stroke. 

Early recognition and treatment make all the difference.

Check out Gail and others here to dance another day in our latest dance video.

In just one year, TMC volunteers donated a whopping 10 years of collective work

Volunteers help others get around the hospital.jpgChecking people in for breast screenings. Making home visits to hospice patients. Sharing the love of a therapy pet. Cuddling babies. Playing soothing instruments. Sewing heart pillows for cardiac patients. Running a resale boutique. Making daily visits to patients. Praying with patients under the guidance of pastoral services. And on and on.

Volunteers make a difference every day at Tucson Medical Center.

TMC thanks its more than 600 volunteers – from college students to retirees – who give their time across nearly 60 areas of the hospital to bring comfort and support to those in need.

TealSaguaro (2).jpgIn fact, our volunteers donated nearly 92,000 hours in 2017 to support TMC’s mission to provide exceptional health care with compassion.

That’s slightly more than 3,833 days of helping others. That’s the equivalent of 10 years of work – and 44 annual full-time employees! Whew!

 

 

Eat Well – 7 ways to increase your fruit and veg intake

Most health-conscious people agree that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is a good habit. Plants provide a cornucopia of nutrients your body needs to function properly. Plus they are colorful, delicious and provide endless opportunities for cooking creativity. For a variety of reasons though, few of us get enough of them in our daily diets.

How many servings do you need each day? That number depends on the number of calories you need per day, along with other factors. An easier guideline to follow is this: whenever you have a meal or snack, make at least half of it vegetables, fruit or a combination. That likely means increasing the amount you currently eat, and you should do that at your own pace. Start by adding just one more fruit or vegetable per day or one more per week. Here are some tips to help you get going.

7 ways to increase your fruit and veg

1. “A goal without a plan is just a wish”*

Create a weekly menu, or at least a menu outline, that includes a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Using this menu, make your grocery list and go shopping.

  • Choose a variety of fruit and veggies, across the whole spectrum of colors.
  • Please eat real fruit and veggies. Chips and other products containing vegetable powders or concentrates don’t count.
  • Frozen produce can be more convenient than fresh. It’s easy to keep some on hand all the time, so you can add a boost of nutrition to any meal or snack. Also, you can use as much as you need and leave the rest in the bag, creating less waste.
  • Canned foods tend to be a less nutritious choice than fresh or frozen, and most people are not fond of their soggy texture. With beans and tomato products, however, the canned version is far more convenient and still relatively healthy. If you do buy canned vegetables, choose low-sodium or no-salt-added options.

2. Be prepared

It’s a motto not just for scouts! On a day when you have extra time, do some preparation for the coming days.

  • Cut up fresh produce, so it is ready for snacking or for use in recipes later.
  • Cook a batch of something that can be refrigerated or frozen, then reheat and eat later.

3. Double, sneak and boost

Add vegetables to things you already regularly eat. For example:

  • Boost that breakfast by adding spinach, mushrooms, onions or tomato to your scrambled eggs.
  • Add sliced veggies or leafy greens to sandwiches or wraps.
  • Sneak some broccoli, cauliflower, peppers or squash into soup or chili or pasta dishes.
  • If you ever need to rely on a pre-packaged frozen meal, throw some chopped, frozen veggies into it before you put it in the microwave. This will significantly improve the meal’s nutritional content.

4. Add a little sweetness and texture

Add fruit to cereal or yogurt.

  • Instead of eating sugary, fruit-flavored yogurt, stir berries into Greek yogurt. If you do this with frozen berries and store it in the fridge overnight, the berries will thaw a little, giving you a nice sauce that flavors the whole concoction.

5. Make it a power pack snack!

  • …on raw veggies, such as carrot or celery sticks, dipped in hummus.
  • …on plain, fresh fruit. Or combine fruit slices with peanut or almond butter. For a less messy combo, mix unsweetened dried fruit with nuts.

6. Explore the stars, star fruit that is

Don’t hesitate to try a vegetable or fruit you’ve never had before. You might discover a new favorite.

  • Buy something that looks interesting, and then search online for preparation instructions.
  • If you shop at a farmers’ market, you can ask the farmers themselves for recommendations.

7. Try that beet again

Consider revisiting a vegetable you thought you didn’t like. Maybe your tastes have changed, or you can try a new way of preparing it, and you’ll find you now love it.

Have fun on your new adventures in the plant world!

Laurie Ledford

Laurie Ledford RDLaurie Ledford is our very own Georgia peach, a registered dietitian from Atlanta, Georgia, the land of grits, collard greens and super-sweet iced tea. She now works as a registered dietitian  in the Tucson Medical Center Wellness Department. She enjoys helping people improve their health through sustainable dietary changes while still relishing occasional indulgences. In her off hours, Laurie engages in foodie pursuits such as sampling unusual flavor combinations (olive oil and basil ice cream was a good one) as well as hiking and cycling.

 

 

 

 

*Quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Back to School: Know the warning signs of bullying

For many children, the start of a new school year can be stressful, especially if they’ve been victims of bullying in the past. Mayo Clinic Children’s Center psychologist Dr. Bridget Biggs says parents and caregivers should know the warning signs. “If your child is reluctant to go to school, stressed after spending time online or avoids social situations, he or she may be being bullied.”

What is bullying?

Dr.Biggs defines bullying as “any form of aggression that is repeated.” This can be physical, verbal, social (excluding victims from activities, starting rumors about them) and increasingly electronic. It can happen not just at school, but anywhere a group of children congregate, whether on the playground, in school or on social media.

Bullying differs from fighting or teasing because there is a power differential between the bully and the victim. The bully has power over the other child and tries to control them using fear over and over again.

Additional warning signs your child is being bullied:

From www.stopbullying.gov

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Dr. Biggs points out that consequences of bullying can be serious. She says victims are at increased risk of depressionanxietysleep problemsself-harm, poor grades and in rare cases, suicide. She encourages parents and caregivers to directly ask their child if they have thought about self-harm. If a child knows that their parent or caregiver is open to discussing feelings about self-harm it can be a relief to the child and can open up lines of communication.

Dr. Biggs shares these tips for parents and caregivers on how to help children who are victims of bullying:

  • Talk it out – Ask your child about concerns.
  • Learn – Get information from your child about what’s happening.
  • Take notes – Record details of bullying events.
  • Discuss and practice how to respond – Walk away. Get help from trusted adult or peer.
  • Talk about technology – Before cyberbullying occurs set some ground rules including letting your child knows their electronic privileges will not be removed if they share that they have been cyberbullied.
  • Build self-esteem – Encourage your child to get involved in positive activities.
  • Team up – Reach out to teachers.

Watch: Dr. Bridget Biggs discusses warning signs of bullying.

Next week we will discuss cyberbulling, how to recognize it, react to it and prevent it.

As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Tucson Medical Center works directly with Mayo Clinic, the nation’s No.1 hospital according to U.S. News & World Report. Our doctors get access to Mayo Clinic knowledge and resources, and you get the best care, close to home.

Heart of Hospice dedicated to caring for patients in their homes

Meet the Heart of Hospice, Lynn Rumsey PCTThe enthusiasm, energy and compassion of one of TMC Hospice’s longest-serving home-health aides earned her the Heart of Hospice for the third quarter.

Since 2002, Lynn Rumsey, a patient care technician, has been visiting hospice patients in their homes, helping them with personal care (bathing, shaving, hair care, etc.), exercise, safely getting in and out of bed and chairs, as well as teaching families how to care for their loved ones.

“She’s so energetic and enthusiastic, it’s like every week for Lynn is her first week here,” said Stephanie Carter, manager of TMC Hospice at Home, during a celebration last week.

According to one nomination from a colleague (nominations are anonymous):

“Lynn is always helpful and pleasant with co-workers and patients. One recent patient’s family reported that in all the years of working with doctors, nurses and others in the medical profession, she was the most compassionate, pleasant person they have met.”

Lynn Rumsey, PCT and home health aide for TMC HospiceThe colleague goes on to give an example:

On a Saturday that Lynn was seeing patients, she bathed a new patient, called the office to report a problem with the patient’s Foley [catheter], and stayed at the patient’s home to assist the RN with troubleshooting and replacing the Foley.

The patient was very large and the patient’s husband unsure of how to care for her, and the RN would not have been able to insert the Foley without Lynn’s’ help. The patient’s husband was more calm and relaxed after observing Lynn providing care to his wife.

As one colleague said, “We are privileged to have Lynn on our TMC Hospice Home Care Team.”

As Heart of Hospice for the quarter, Rumsey’s name and photo goes onto a recognition plaque on the unit, she received a pin and gets a dedicated parking space until next quarter. The award allows colleagues to recognize their peers:

Everything he or she does is for our patients and families and personifies compassion, kindness, empathy, a great work ethic and knowledge. The Heart of Hospice is also someone who is calm under pressure, is respectful, is detail-oriented, is a critical thinker, and has great communication skills. This person is someone who is always there to help his or her peers and does so with grace and skill. Being able to nominate someone for this award is a gift because it means you have observed greatness, not just once, but every time you have interacted with this individual.

Want to be part of a team that makes a difference?

Learn about volunteering for TMC Hospice Home Care

Miles of Healing Art profiled by AZ Illustratrated

Our thanks goes out to Arizona Public Media for the awesome story that ran Aug. 12 on Arizona Illustrated about our Healing Art program. Check it out:

Find out more about TMC Healing Art. #AZPM, #HealingArt

Too busy for a heart attack: a working woman’s epiphany

SusanHelping our community right here in Tucson get and stay healthy and keep on dancing is what Tucson Medical Center is all about. We’re showing off some of our fabulous community members in our latest commercials and you get to find out a little more about them here on our blog. Meet TMC dancer,  Susan Smith.

Susan’s signs

Susan Smith wasn’t feeling her usual energetic self.

She’d been increasingly fatigued in the previous few days, but like many busy women, was juggling so many things – including an upcoming speech – that it was easier to just brush off her symptoms.

As she launched into her speech, she began to have palpitations. Could it be anxiety? She began to run short of breath. Had she been holding her breath? She broke out in a cold sweat. Menopausal symptoms?

“There I was, standing in front of 40 people and feeling like I was going to faint, but refusing to fall down in front of all of them,” said Susan, who moved to Tucson 42 years ago. She completed her presentation, sat down and drank some water. The symptoms subsided.

The next day found her in a cardiologist’s office, hooked up to an EKG. She was in the midst of a heart attack and her doctor informed her she would be going to the Emergency Department.

“I don’t have time to go to the Emergency Department,” she remembered protesting. “I have to teach a class tomorrow at 8 a.m.!”

“I went right to TMC and it was an experience I will never forget,” she recalled. Her cardiologist had called ahead and within seconds she was on a gurney, blood was being drawn, tests were underway. “I didn’t know if I should be terrified or just glad I was in such good hands,” she said.

Dancing to recovery

Five weeks after her stent was placed, she was feeling well enough to dance in a TMC commercial, but still practicing resting. “That’s a tall order. I have to remind myself to do things more slowly and with more patience. Instead of putting 25 things on a to-do list, I might do five.”

Yes, women have heart attacks

“Women in particular have a lot on their plates and a lot of times they’re so busy taking care of their family, they don’t have the time to recognize the symptoms in their own body,” she said, noting women often have different symptoms than men do.

Like men women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

“The main thing I learned and am telling my friends: If something doesn’t feel right, don’t wait. Check it out. It’s not worth taking the chance.”

In need of a cardiologist? Find a doctor who specializes in the heart here.

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