Accepting a change of plans: The evolution of the C-section experience

Giving birth via C-section is not how you envisioned it … it wasn’t part of your birth plan. Your doctor has explained the whys – the logical reasons why a vaginal birth isn’t the best approach for you and your baby’s safety. You know it’s the right thing to do, but in your mind there are questions. Will I get to hold my baby first? Am I missing out on an important part of the experience?

Golden Hour for those undergoing C-section

The first hour of your baby’s life – called the Golden Hour – is important for so many reasons; it’s your first glimpse at their tiny face, first touch of their skin and opportunity to establish the bond so important to growth and development. And most importantly a key factor in successful breastfeeding, which is proven to benefit your baby’s health in many ways.

Until recently, these firsts were not always experienced by women who had a C-section.

A program in Labor and Delivery at TMC is changing that for many women with a new type of surgery drape and a new process after you give birth to get your baby in your arms faster.

How we’re making it happen

The new dual-sided surgery drape, with a solid side for the surgical moments and a clear side that allows you to see your baby emerge, means you won’t miss the very first moments of your child’s life. You aren’t separated from the process, “I’ve seen surgeon and patient talking and laughing … it’s so different than with the traditional drape,” said Crystal Gulotta, Labor and Delivery nurse and author of the project .

With a goal of taking your baby’s first vitals and measurements, and putting on a diaper and hat while mom is cleaned up, the next step to this new C-section program ensures that when you leave the OR, your baby is on your chest getting the skin-to-skin contact that is so important.

What moms are saying

One new mom said of the experience with the new drape and the skin-to-skin contact, “It was truly one of the best parts of having my baby. I was very concerned about who would get to hold my baby before me and how long it would be before I got to hold him. This was the answer to all of my worries. I was so thankful! We don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to do this.”

Making clinical improvements that directly impact patients is a foundation element to providing exceptional healthcare. Find out more about maternity services at Tucson Medical Center by taking a tour.

Free Maternity Services tour

Eat Well – Baked Stuffed Tomato alla Virgina

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, TMC Executive Chef Jason Ricciardelli’s baked stuffed tomato can play a role. Want to enjoy this package of protein and vegetable in the morning? Prepare the day before for quick preparation in the morning. Serve as the main feature of dinner add a side steamed green beans.
Ingredients:
  • 12 small round tomatoes
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves / blanched
  • 3 Tbsp 2% milk
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
 Directions:
  1. Wash off tomatoes and core out center
  2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray
  3. Place tomatoes directly in tin as you would a muffin
  4. Crack eggs in bowl and scramble with the milk, the spinach, and ½ the cheese
  5. Add salt and pepper al gusto
  6. Fill tomatoes with egg, spinach and cheese mixture.
  7. Top with remaining cheese
  8. Bake at 375 for 28-32 minutes
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature
Nutrition per baked tomato:
Calories – 110
Protein – 6g
Fat – 5g
Carbohydrates – 5g
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Ask the expert about Orthobiologics: The healing power of our own bodies

knee orthobiologicsOrthobiologics is a tongue twister, but the science behind regenerative medicine seems so simple. By taking our own healthy cells, extracting the growth factors, platelets or stem cells and then using those cells to heal our chronic pain, doctors are reducing the need for harmful therapies like steroids exponentially.

“Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can stimulate stem cells to the area and create a healing cascade. The therapy wakes up your body’s own healing properties,” said Dr. Tad DeWald, of Tucson Orthopaedic Institute and noted expert on regenerative medicine procedures.Dr. Ted DeWald

“The PRP is injected into ligaments, tendons, muscle, or joints and is a long-term solution to musculoskeletal injuries and pain, including arthritic joints.”

When you have an acute injury like tendonitis, your body creates inflammation around the area to heal it. If the injury doesn’t improve after about 12 weeks, your body stops trying to heal. At this point the condition is considered chronic. The tendon fibers aren’t viable. “It still looks like a tendon, but it doesn’t act like one. Treatments like PRP and stem cells get your body back on board and working to heal,” said Dr. DeWald.

Stem cells have several unique abilities. They can transform into other cell types, such as bone, cartilage, muscle and tendon. And they also serve an important role as medicinal signaling cells, recruiting other stem cells to the target area and triggering nearby cells to begin the repair process.

“Healing properties that come from your body have no negative effects. For any active person looking to feel better and get around better, this treatment is beneficial. And for patients looking at a total joint replacement down the road, this treatment offers the possibility of delaying or avoiding surgery,” said Dr. DeWald.

To find out more about how these innovative treatments use your body’s own cells to heal, attend a free event at The Core at La Encantada, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 5:30 p.m. Register today!

Honoring the memory of Marks Fund cofounder, Selma Marks 

blossomSelma Marks was an accomplished attorney and community advocate who cofounded the Marks Fund – an endowment to assist TMC employees experiencing financial hardship.

She passed away on May 1, 2018.

Selma made the most of her 94 years, trailblazing new paths for women and families while contributing to the Tucson community she loved. Her courage, spirit and altruism made an indelible impact and will fondly be remembered.

Marks Fund

Her late husband, Judge Jack Marks received treatment at TMC in the early 1980s. The couple got to know the staff well and were impressed by their passion and dedication, but saddened to see the financial struggles of some due to common life challenges – a broken-down vehicle, a washing machine on the fritz or a plumbing leak.

The two founded the Marks Fund to provide a financial hand-up for TMC personnel going through tough times. The Fund has helped hundreds of TMC employees and is still going strong today, which is due to the Marks’ generosity and philanthropic leadership.

Marks Fund requests are reviewed by a committee of fellow TMC employees. Although each recipient receives a grant, a vast majority of recipients choose to repay the grant – intending to make the Fund accessible to more employees in need.

Courageous and devoted

At a time when women were discouraged from working and encouraged to raise a family, Selma did both, raising two children while attending the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. She was the only woman in her graduating class of 1956.

After graduating, she had another child and soon joined the Pima County Attorney’s Office, where she spent a lengthy, decorated career as a deputy county attorney in the family division – helping countless mothers and families win child support and justice.

Her strong legal mind, bravery and accomplishments earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from her alma mater.

Higher education advocate

Selma supported higher education in many capacities at the University of Arizona. She served as board president of the Law College Association, participated on the advisory board of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and was a national board member of the UA Alumni Association.

She and Judge Marks founded the Isaac Marks Memorial Lectures, an annual lecture series that has hosted eminent legal scholars and distinguished national figures, including United States Senators and Supreme Court Justices.

Civic leader

A Tucson native, Marks cared deeply for the community and participated in numerous civic organizations, from the Sam Hughes PTA to the League of Women Voters and the Arizona Opera.

“She taught us the importance of giving back,” said Selma’s son, David Paul. “Helping others was her passion – and she greatly valued the Tucson community.”

Always remembered

Selma’s selfless endeavors and accomplishments touched many lives and will never be forgotten.

“Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer. “Selma Marks’ generosity and intrepid efforts made positive and enduring changes in our community – she will always be remembered as one of Tucson’s best.”

 

 

Persistence, weight loss surgery fuels weight loss transformation

LaJeana Hall practices pilates with classmates.jpgLaJeana Hall never looked into her future and saw “fitness instructor” as a skill she would attain.

“I was so heavy before, it wasn’t something that I thought I’d ever try,” said Hall, the owner of a tax and accounting business.

But that was 75 pounds ago.

After years of weight struggles, Hall in July 2014 decided to proceed with bariatric surgery at Tucson Medical Center with surgeon Jeffrey Monash.

Not surgery alone

As part of their care, patients learn all about nutrition, they are introduced to fitness activities and they participate in support groups to help them stay on track with their goals.
LaJeana had never tried Pilates before, but it was offered with the program so she decided to try it.

“I really enjoyed it,” she recalled. “It’s not as hard as people think, you can do it with just a yoga mat and it actually worked. I saw results fairly quickly.”

She could feel her muscles lengthening and tightening and she saw some trouble spots get more streamlined.

She liked it so much, in fact, that she started encouraging others to try it. One thing led to another and she decided to become a certified instructor. She completed the program in July to teach basic and plus-sized Pilates and hopes to start teaching soon at her church.

Persistence

Hall is quick to note that her progress took persistence. “I exercise more, including walking and weight training. I eat better and I try to not eat as much sugar. I don’t sit around eating junk food out of boredom – I try to stay busy.”

Hall said she’s glad she made the change. “I sleep better. I feel better. I’m half the person I used to be and it’s important to me that I can work out and not have to stop because I’m out of breath.”
She hopes her progress will inspire others. “I think it helps show people that they can do it too. If you stick to the program that they set for you, you’ll be able to reach your goals too.”

 

 

Struggling with breastfeeding? We have help

breastfeeding baby carlo-navarroBreastfeeding at its best is inexpensive, easy and provides a whole host of health benefits for both mother and child. But you would not be alone if at first you struggle with breastfeeding. A trained lactation consultant, typically certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, can provide the insights needed to get over the stumbling blocks that prevent many women from continuing to breastfeed and reap the benefits.

Along with our weekly free breastfeeding support group, we also now offer private outpatient consultations. Supplemental funding from TMC Foundation ensures that all women can access this resource.

An outpatient breastfeeding clinic

Tucson's outpatient breastfeeding clinicThe TMC for Women Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic was created to help women and babies with breastfeeding once they have left the hospital or birth center. Lactation consultants can help address latch problems, provide nipple shields and help with supplemental nursing systems (for those babies who are ineffective at nursing, preemies or special needs babies, or for moms who have a low milk supply or whose bodies need encouragement to lactate).

The goal of the clinic is to make sure all new mothers in our community can access trained lactation consultants and overcome hurdles to breastfeeding, no matter what their insurance or ability to pay. You can still access support via telephone on our breastfeeding warmline, (520) 324-5730. (When clients call this phone number you can leave a message either on our Outpatient Line to schedule an appointment or the main line for questions. The lactation consultants return calls in between patient care and between hours of about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

In-person visits provide another level of support that is impossible to attain via a phone conversation. The appointments are typically 60 to 90 minutes long and take place in a comfortable, non-clinical setting, nestled in a quiet corner of our campus.

Call (520) 324-5730 to make an appointment for an outpatient consultation.

What you should know about our breastfeeding consultations:

  1. Services are available to anyone in the community regardless of where you deliver your baby
  2. You do not need a referral
  3. If you have insurance, it will be billed first; if the insurance company refuses to cover the consultation or if you don’t have insurance, the cost will be covered under a grant from the TMC Foundation. Our TMC community recognizes the benefits of supporting breastfeeding for the health of mom, baby and the community at large.
  4. Don’t have easy transportation? Perhaps you’ve just had a C-section and can’t drive? No worries, we can help with transportation to and from your appointment. Just ask when you schedule your appointment.
  5. You will see a registered nurse who is a certified lactation consultant
  6. Need more than one consultation? No problem, multiple appointments are available.
  7. This appointment is not in a cold hospital room. Consultations take place in a comfortable, private sitting area designed by the lactation consultants in line with what we know helps support women who are breastfeeding.

Back to school – Is your child’s school lunch box safe?

healthy school lunches- image by Flickr user @buzzymelibee

Flickr user @buzzymelibee CC: 2.0

How do you keep your child’s packed school lunch delicious, nutritious and safe? We asked Brittany Robertson, TMC pediatric dietitian for some suggestions to liven up your child’s back to school lunches:

1. Keep it cool

Use an insulated lunch box with ice packs to expand food options while still providing a safe lunch.

While those brown paper bags were standard for school lunches in yesteryear, increasingly most children take their packed school lunch in some sort of insulated lunch bag and with good reason. FoodSafety.gov shares this:

“Insulated lunch boxes help maintain food at a safe temperature until lunchtime. Perishable lunch foods, such as cold cut sandwiches and yogurt, can be left out at room temperature for only two hours before they may become unsafe to eat. But, with an insulated lunch box and a chilled freezer gel pack, perishable food can stay cold and safe to eat until lunch.

Why keep food cold? Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the “Danger Zone” — the temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. Perishable food transported without a cold source won’t stay safe long.

Suggestion: Pick up a few novelty ice packs. What little (or big) kid doesn’t like lunch to look appealing? You can also just freeze your child’s water bottle and use that as an ice pack. By lunchtime and out of the insulated lunch bag, the water should melt in time to drink. Frozen berries or mango can double as both dessert and ice pack.

2. Keep it clean

While preschool might have enforced the “wash your hands before eating” rule, is your child likely to voluntarily take off to the bathroom to wash her hands before eating?

Suggestion: Include some moist towels in her lunch box. Not a perfect solution, but a start. (Safe food handling practices in preparation of the food are also important.)

3. Include foods that don’t need to be refrigerated

FoodSafety.gov provides these examples of foods you can include that don’t need constant refrigeration: whole fruits and vegetables, hard cheese, canned meat and fish, breads, crackers, peanut butter* (given the increasing numbers of children with life-threatening reactions to peanuts, this might be best avoided, sunflower seed butter is often a good substitute), jelly, mustard, pickles, nuts* and seeds.

Suggestion: what to include in a healthy school lunch

Tucson News Now
http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/38764676/back-to-school-how-to-pack-a-healthy-lunch-for-your-child

Eat Right is the public site of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a great resource for healthy ideas

Nutrition 411

WebMd’s healthy lunchbox tips

4. Don’t over pack

At the end of the day it is frustrating to have to chuck the perishable food into the compost, or into the trash. Gauge how much food is left over and adjust accordingly.

Suggestion: Like all of us, your child likes some control over his or her life. Involve her in preparing her packed lunch. Include him in making his lunch the night before and discuss what a balanced diet looks like. I often encourage parents to make a drawer in the fridge or a bin in the pantry with pre-portioned lunch elements (bags of baby carrots, jicama and cherry tomatoes, grapes, berries, whole grain crackers, trail mix, yogurts, cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, etc.). That way the child can grab 1 item from each food group to make their lunch; The kid gets the power to choose and parents can rest assured that all of the options are healthy choices.

Keep in mind – if the choices are between chips and celery most children are likely to always choose the high fat, salt or sugar option.

Are you packing lunch for your child? What healthy foods do you include? How do you make it appealing? What tricks do you have to keep it healthy and safe?

Brittany Robertson, Registered dietitian
TMC Pediatric Dietitian

*Important Note
Before sending nut products in the lunch box, check with your school first about any restrictions on nut products. Also educate your child about the importance of not sharing food, especially with children who have food allergies. A little education goes a long way.

 

Stroke, heart surgery came “out of nowhere” for 31-year-old

Clayton.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, Clayton Green.

The rheumatic fever Clayton Green contracted as a child had greater significance than anyone realized at the time.

As his body fought off the infection, his heart valves were damaged in the process.

As he grew up, Green was careful to stay fit and eat right – he was a vegetarian for years and committed to an active lifestyle.

But one evening with his friends, the student and part-time bartender started feeling worse and worse, and when it became obvious he was having a stroke related to the heart disease, he was rushed to Tucson Medical Center.

His heart surgeon, Kushagra Katariya, identified other irregularities in his heart and corrected those as well.

“The stress of it was the worst. I had never been sick before and had been using preventive nutritional care and exercise so this wouldn’t happen. But the care was amazing from the nurses to the doctors and technicians, everyone there was courteous and made you feel at home, which helps when you’re in a situation that is very difficult,” he said.

Green was up and walking the day after surgery and four months afterward, was dancing in a TMC commercial.

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 makes all the difference.

 

“Don’t Smile!” – A man’s guide to supporting a mom-to-be

It was total adrenaline – the night my first son was born. With 007 speed, I grabbed our overnight bags, got my wife into the car and hoped to make it to the hospital in time. I remember thinking, over and over, “this is it – I’m going to be a dad.”

Jim and his eldest child.

As I pulled into labor and delivery, nothing could rip the smile from my face. After we got to a room, my wife’s contractions became pretty intense. She started vomiting – which I hadn’t expected. Still pumped, with a silly grin from ear to ear, I handed my wife a tiny pail that was 10 times too small. Cheeks red and eyes watering, she looked at me and shouted “Don’t smile!”

Well, that did it. I stopped smiling – not because of what she said, but because in that moment I realized I had done nothing to help prepare for this day, and had only focused on how it was affecting me.

Guys, just because we don’t have a uterus doesn’t mean we have no responsibilities when it comes to our pregnant partners.

No, you don’t have to spend all day reading about how a fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterine wall. There are real ways to be a rock for your partner – and it’s not just what you do, but how you do it.

Get it together

One of the most important things I learned was, no matter how you prepare, do it together. Whether you found a new book, website, anecdote or whatever – talk about it with your partner. There’s some anxiety that comes with pregnancy – a lot of “what if” scenarios. Doing things together lets your partner know you’re a team and you’ve got her back.

There’s no shortage of pregnancy info out there, and working together, you’re likely to find the planning methods and information sources that work for you both. Plus, you’ll know what you’re doing and won’t be surprised – like I was.

Tip: Go with her to every OB/GYN appointment. Also, remember this is a very personal thing for her, so don’t announce she’s pregnant without talking to her first.

This is her thing

When it comes to expecting, expect to get advice from everyone. Seriously. Everyone. Your parents, her parents, your friends, even that guy you met once at the company holiday mixer and can’t remember his name – yeah, him too.

There are a lot of standards, but every body and every pregnancy is unique. This is happening to your partner and her body – the choices about her diet, exercise and everything else, should be hers.

Not so fast, bro. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be involved. It just means if you have information to share, don’t mansplain the info like you’re dictating what she has to do. Have a real conversation, provide new info and options – and then respect her decision. “Wait, it’s my baby too.” Yes, and the best way to support your baby is to support the mom.

At one point during my wife’s first pregnancy, she was experiencing varying symptoms of high blood pressure. Some of these symptoms can be non-descript, but I wanted her to see the doctor anyway and very strongly insisted. Fail. Her blood pressure was fine, and I ended up with a stressed out and upset mom-to-be. This was not good for her or the baby.

Tip: The information and experience could get overwhelming. If it does, be cool and be constructive. Don’t make dismissive dude comments like “just relax” or “it’s fine.” To her, that sounds like “I don’t care” or “you’re just overreacting.” Think about what you’re saying and how you can help.

Help out – before she asks

Throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy, she will be experiencing different effects. Some of the fun ones include exhaustion, morning (or evening) sickness, memory loss, swollen feet, insomnia, and undulating hormones. There are many more.

Sometimes the effects get a little weird. My wife used to hum in her sleep while she was pregnant. There are a lot of physical and emotional effects she is enduring, not to mention feeling downright uncomfortable.

You know your partner – think of ways you can help out around the house. It doesn’t have to be big, and can be as simple as a menial chore here and there that gives her an extra half-hour to put her feet up and relax. BTW, these helpful acts are even more meaningful if she doesn’t have to ask.

Tip: Pregnancy can get physically demanding. If you really want extra points – offer a shoulder or foot massage every once in a while. Hey guys – I said shoulders and feet.

Pack it up

Yes, her OB/GYN has set a due date – but think of this as a general guideline, because babies are almost never born on their due date. My first son was nearly four weeks early, and my second son was two weeks early.

Take 10 minutes to sit down with your partner and make a list of what you both will need for a hospital stay of a few days. You’ll probably be in the hospital for only one night, but just in case, make the plan for a few days. About six weeks out, pack bags for you and her and keep ‘em close to the door. If you wait till the last minute to do this it will be an epic mess – for real.

Get the baby’s car seat ready around this time too. Read the instructions – at least twice – and get that sucker in the back seat. If you aren’t sure the seat is in correctly, make an appointment with one of the car seat safety stations in Pima County.

Trust me and do this ahead of time, you don’t want to try to figure this out in the hospital parking lot, while your partner and new baby are waiting for you.

Another necessity is a contact list. Discuss with her about who you both want contacted when the baby debuts. This way, you can take care of all that and she can focus on having the baby – that’s enough to handle.

Tip: Get a suitcase, backpack or travel duffel for each of you. If you pack one enormous suitcase for both of you – yeah, that big, heavy, bulky thing just isn’t going to work.

You’re up, slugger

Whatever the stereotypes of guys may be, we do want to be good husbands, partners and fathers. Even with this intent, I just wasn’t aware of some of things I could have done to be that great partner and husband during my wife’s pregnancy.

Finding your own path is going to be part of this ride, but I know it will be easier if you do this together, support her, help out and prepare. Starting a family has been my most rewarding experience, and it will be for you too.

And I know all the partners out there have other great tips, too. Please leave your own suggestions in the comment section.

Jim and family

You got this! A big thumbs up from Jim and his family on your adventure

Although family is his first priority, supporting a mom-to-be was a new responsibility for Jim Marten who works in communications at Tucson Medical Center. When he isn’t engaging press relations and community affairs for TMC, he’s spending time with his wife, Jami and their two sons, Aaron and Aiden. He hopes sharing this experience will help dads and partners get it right the first time, and won’t leave mom shouting “don’t smile!”

The heat is on- keep your exercise game on too

Runner in desert

Whether it is an over or a swamp — and lately, it’s been a little of both — it is hot out there! This is the time of year that most year-round Tucsonans try to hide from the heat by staying indoors as much as possible. This seems like a good practice, but it can hinder many of the activities that we enjoy the other nine months of the year. So what are we to do?!

We definitely don’t want you to have to give up what you enjoy doing, and we also want you to stay active, but we also want you to be smart and safe during your time outdoors. Planning and being prepared is key. Here are some things to consider as we enter into our hotter months.

Be the early bird

Whether you are normally a morning person or not, you pretty much need to be from June through August if you want to ever do anything outside! With the sun rising as early as 5:15, meaning that it is light outside by 5 (that is a.m.!) you have at least an hour before the thermometer moves over 85 degrees. So for those of you who don’t enjoy exercising indoors, try planning for some early morning activities. We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful sunrises here in Tucson, you just need to get up and out to enjoy them!

Block sun not fun

Summer often means fun in the sun, but we all need to be careful that we aren’t getting too much of a good thing. The CDC recommends the following to protect ourselves from getting too many of those harmful rays.

Sunscreen:

  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Reapply every 2 hours that you are out in the sun

Protective Clothing: 

  • Wear clothing to cover exposed skin
  • Loose fitting may be more comfortable; dark colors may offer better protection

Hats:

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Loose fitting hats may be more comfortable in the heat
  • Sunglasses
  • Don’t forget that the sun can damage your eyes and can increase risk for cataracts
  • Sunglasses that wrap close to your face and block both UVA and UVB will provide the greatest protection

Where there is a will, there is a way

Just because it is hot outside (really hot!) is not a good enough reason to stop all activity. Too often we hear, “I’ll start exercising again once it cools down.”  What people are really saying is, “Now that it is hot outside, I have a great excuse not to be active!” WRONG! With a bit of planning, you can still be active.

If you aren’t a morning person, it might take going to bed earlier than you normally would so that you can get up early. You might also need to have a plan to meet a friend or a group that will help to motivate you to move in the morning. Once you get into a routine, you will realize that it isn’t quite as bad as you used to believe!

If you have access to a pool, this is another great option for a way to stay active during the hot summer months. Remembering that any activity is better than nothing, even walking laps in the shallow part of the pool with get you moving and the water acts as a type of resistance. Just remember, if you are opting to swim and the pool isn’t protected from the sun, be sure you are wearing appropriate sun screen or sun protective swimwear.

Don’t negate the need to hydrate

You have gotten up early, put on the appropriate sun protection, and you have gotten out there and done something active….Good for you! The finally thing to remember about being active during the summer is to hydrate!!

When it is hot out, it is easier to remember to drink water. But if you head out early or are swimming, sometimes we don’t remember that we need to replenish the fluids we have lost. The standard recommendation is eight to ten 8 ounce glasses of water each day. During the summer, especially in Arizona, and particularly adding in outdoor activity, the recommendation goes way up; some recommendations go as high as 30 cups per day. The best way to determine how much you need to drink is to take a look at your urine. Urine should be light in color, similar to lemonade; dark urine the color of apple juice is an indicator of dehydration.  Drinking smaller amounts more frequently maintains hydration better than drinking a large amount all at one time. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to start replacing fluids, rather drink throughout the day.

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Monday’s the last day to register to vote in the primary election

Vote Naromi Kautsch Crop.jpg

A number of important, hotly-contested races are on the Aug. 28 primary election ballot.

Make sure you have a say in who will represent you in the nation’s Capitol and at the state legislature.

If you’re not registered yet, July 30 is the cutoff date.

Primary elections may not get as much buzz as general elections, but in many districts with lopsided partisan registration numbers, the primary is where the real decisions are made.

There are a few reasons you would need to complete a new registration form:

  • You’re a new resident to Pima County
  • You’ve changed your address since the last time you registered
  • You’ve changed your name
  • You want to change your party

Vote-Christina.jpg

Make sure your voice is counted. Register to vote online. 

If you’re not sure if you need to register, you can check your status by going to the Pima County Recorder’s website.

And don’t forget, if you’re an independent voter, you may choose the partisan primary you’d like top vote in.

Questions? Call  the Pima County Recorder’s office at 520-724-4330.

TMC’s team of diagnostic nurses receives national certification for conscious sedation

Diagnostic nursesConscious sedation is a technique that is sometimes used when a patient might need a little extra help relaxing or some additional pain relief for a procedure.

Although patients are awake and recover quickly, it’s important for nursing staff to have expertise in assessing and monitoring patients.

Nine of Tucson Medical Center’s 12 diagnostic nurses recently completed rigorous study and testing to receive national certification in conscious/procedural sedations. The remaining three members of the team are currently pursuing certification.

“This certification means from pediatrics to geriatrics, our nurses have the additional education and the skills to ensure we’re providing the best care for patients who may need assistance with claustrophobia, anxiety or pain relief,” said Rachel Byrnes, manager of diagnostic nursing services.

“This certification, which meets accreditation standards for hospitals, helps ensure our patients have that additional sense of security and confidence that the care they’re receiving is safe and high-quality.”

The certification was made possible through a grant from the TMC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of TMC, which raises money to support programs, facilities and equipment to improve the health of Southern Arizona’s residents.

Couple face lung cancer together

TrasksHelping 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, Jeff and Viki Trask.

The Trasks came together to meet a challenge when Jeff hired Viki as his new director of sales to help him open a hotel in Tucson.

The owners indicated if they achieved a 70 percent occupancy in the first full year – rare in the business – they would give them a trip to Hawaii, all expenses paid. At year end, the hotel’s occupancy was 71.2 percent.

The Hawaii trip turned out to be their honeymoon.

The two are braving a new challenge now.

It started when doctors found cancer in Jeff’s left lung. His physician recommended cardiothoracic surgeon Douglas Lowell. Five days in the hospital passed quickly after the operation and he returned to his life.

Two years later, it would be the right lung, with Dr. Lowell summoned to help again. Another surgery, another five days in the hospital.

Two years later, Viki had the diagnosis: lung cancer. They turned to Dr. Lowell again.

“TMC was great. If you needed something, they were there,” Viki said. “We were even more impressed after we learned TMC is a nonprofit. That’s remarkable!”

Jeff and Viki stated, “We’re extremely grateful to our team of doctors and healthcare providers. They’re all fantastic and we want to thank our nurse navigator, Kim Kastel, who came up with the moniker: Team Trask.”

Jeff has since been diagnosed with his third bout. They both have had rounds of chemotherapy or immunotherapy in addition to their surgeries.

“We’re living with cancer,” Viki said. “Yes, it can be devastating to learn of the diagnosis, but we are determined to stay positive and understand we are living with cancer. We’re on the five-year plan and we just go from there.”

Jeff said one of his doctors recently asked how he’s feeling. “Do you get tired? I do, but only after I work on the oleanders for three hours. I still ride my bicycle during the week. It’s wonderful to be alive.”

Long-time smokers and ex-smokers breathe easier with a lung screening.

Make an appointment today. Call (520) 389-5390

Worries getting in the way of making that call to get a lung screening? You’re not alone. Nurse navigator, Kim Kastel addresses some common barriers people face in this blog post.

Oh no, I think my child has heatstroke, what should I do?

girl heatstrokeIt’s a difficult balance during summers in Tucson. I don’t want my boys inside all day so we try to get out early in the morning or in the evening, but the 100 degree days seem to start earlier and earlier and last longer. Along with dehydration, I worry about heat exhaustion and, worse still, heatstroke during these hot summer months. While we often think of heatstroke as what happens when children are left in a hot car, it can also happen when they’re just playing outside in the heat.

Because children have smaller bodies, they are more susceptible than adults to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, so it’s important to know the symptoms and what to do in case heatstroke strikes.

What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is when the body becomes overheated and fails to regulate its own temperature. Body temperatures rise, and may even get up to 105°F (40.6°C) or higher.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency, it can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Skin is flushed, red and dry
  • Little or no sweating
  • Deep breathing
  • Dizziness, headache, fatigue or a combination of these
  • Less urine is produced, and it is of a dark yellowish color
  • Loss of consciousness

What to do if you suspect heatstroke:

  • Move your child out of the heat immediately and take your child to the hospital or doctor as soon as possible
  • If for some reason you cannot get your child to a hospital or physician, quickly move your child immediately out of the heat and place in a cool bath (although not less than 60 degrees, you don’t want to constrict the blood vessels)
  • When your child is in the bath, massage the skin to increase circulation, get them to a hospital or doctor as quickly as possible

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is not as severe as heatstroke, but is a result of the body overheating. It still requires careful monitoring and can be a precursor to heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion can take a while to develop especially with prolonged exercise.

Here are some symptoms of heat exhaustion to look out for:

  • Goosebumps and cool skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Faintness and or dizziness especially upon standing (low blood pressure)
  • Complains of being tired
  • Pulse becomes rapid
  • Complaints of cramps, nausea or headache

When to do if you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Stop all activity and rest
  • Move your child to a cooler place
  • Encourage your child to drink cool water or sports drinks
  • Contact your child’s pediatrician if signs or symptoms worsen or if they don’t improve within one hour. Seek immediate medical attention if your child becomes confused or agitated, loses consciousness or is unable to drink.

What can we do to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

  1. If your child is in camp or daycare, check to make sure the camp or child care provider has procedures in place to prevent dehydration and excessive heat exposure.
  2. Make sure your child stays hydrated.
  3. Incorporate water play into outdoor time. Whether it is swimming, a splash pad or sprinklers in the backyard, water play can make the outside bearable. Don’t forget sunscreen, swim shirts and hats though!
  4. Stop and rest. Children and adults alike tend to become exhausted in the heat. Build in rest time.
  5. Dress for the heat. Light-colored and light-weight clothing is best
  6. Check out some cool air-conditioned space for a change of pace from the house. Pima County libraries provide lots of activities year-round and are free. The Children’s Museum of Tucson provides an opportunity for active play.
  7. If possible for your family’s schedule, incorporate a siesta, or nap, into the hottest part of the day and then let the kids stay up later to enjoy cooler nighttime temperatures. Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum all have summer schedules that allow early morning or evening visits.

Keep cool in the Old Pueblo this summer,

Melissa

Melissa HodgesPediatric Emergency Notes from Melissa
Melissa Hodges is a pediatric emergency room RN and mom to two young boys. Melissa has been at Tucson Medical Center for 10 years. She is a knitting ninja apprentice who makes a mean chili and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

‘Maynards to the Moon’ challenge: 5 tips to design a walking plan that’s out of this world

Meet Me at Maynards thinks our community can take 478 million steps in the coming year to “walk to the moon” in honor of Neil Armstrong’s historic one giant leap for mankind.

Starting Monday, Tucson will be challenged to walk a collective 238,857 miles!

That number may be astronomical, but we can get there, one step at a time. Tucson Medical Center has been a proud supporter of Meet Me at Maynards since the beginning, as part of our work to encourage active lifestyles.

Here are our five tips to get started on a walking plan, compliments of Employee Wellness Manager Amy Ramsey, that will make you a star.

Five tips to get started on a walking plan

  1. Schedule it.

Any new challenge or lifestyle change requires intentional, daily decisions.  Decide which days you can realistically fit in the walking time and give it its own space in your calendar. Don’t just leave it to chance, and assume you’ll get to it when you have an extra 30 minutes.  Life will happen and some days even your best plan will get derailed, but you’re more likely to follow through if you’ve got a solid plan.

  1. Get proper footwear.

Quality shoes and socks can be found in many different price points, so go with something that feels good and fits properly. There’s something to be said for going to a shoe store that help you find the right fit, rather than going it alone. Avoid cotton socks, which can cause blisters, and go for a synthetic blend.  Your whole body will thank you.

  1. Be visible.

Save your black workout outfits for the treadmill. Make sure if you are going to be walking in an area that requires you to be near traffic, or crossing streets, that you wear bright colors, reflective gear,  or even lights. It seems nearly everyone is a distracted driver these days, so don’t chance it. Make sure they can see you.

  1. Find a buddy.

Whether two-legged or four-legged, walking with someone is not only safer, but it’s more enjoyable. Let someone know what challenge you’re involved in, and challenge them to join you! It’ll help both of you stay more accountable to the goals you set.

  1. Get creative.

When time’s feeling crunched, it makes sense to stay close to your home or work to get that walk in, but if you’ve got extra time, make it a point to get in the car and drive to new spots to walk to keep things interesting. You could try some trails, check out new neighborhoods, or start at a new coffee shop, knowing that when you return you can treat yourself to a cup.

 

Find more information about Maynards to the Moon year-long challenge here

– and say hello to the Tucson Medical Center team when you see us on the path!

 

 

 

Separate Girl Scout troops deliver encouraging notes, tiny onesies to cheer patients at TMC

Girl scout notesWhen Girl Scouts Jenna Ahrendt and Megan Smith of Troop 475 recently took to Tucson’s streets to leave sticky notes with positive, encouraging messages all over town, their first stop was Tucson’s nonprofit community hospital, Tucson Medical Center.

The small gesture went over in a big way when pediatric patients at TMC for Children and TMC’s pediatric Emergency Department began to see the pink, 3-inch-by-3-inch notes with kind and supportive memos.

“Believe in yourself!”

“You have someone who cares.”

“You are an inspiration!”

“Sentiments like this can have a wonderful impact on children who are anxious or frightened about a hospital stay,” said Heather Roberts, MSW, CCLS, the Child Life supervisor at TMC for Children. “It might seem like just a few words on a pink post-it, but it really helps us put a smile on those faces.”

Experts, physicians, and parents know it can be a challenge to bring a smile to sick children –  for Jenna and Megan it only required colored parchment, a sharpie and heart.

“They wanted to do something for the community, to spread positivity.” said Troop leader Becki Ahrendt. “I asked where we would put them and they said, ‘Everywhere!’”

GirlScoutsWithTieDyeDonations.jpgMeanwhile, 8-year-old Annabella Carpenter and 7-year-old Mary Redding of Troop 908 worked over the summer to tie dye nearly 80 onesies for babies born prematurely and recovering in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at TMC.

Mary, born at TMC, was treated as a newborn for jaundice in the NICU. And both girls experienced the unit last year when a friend of the family had twins who came early and spent time recovering there before the whole family went home.

The girls made the babies some tie-dyed onesies, made after Annabella received a tie-dye kit last year and started experimenting. The onesies for the twins were such a hit with the mom and the staff, the girls decided to use a part of their cookie profits to expand the effort.

“We wanted to congratulate them for being strong,” Annabella said. “And the babies will be happy to have something warm to wear when they go home,” echoed Mary.

Smokers, Kim is here to help you breathe easier

Kim Kastel, Thoracic Nurse Navigator

Kim Kastel, Thoracic Nurse Navigator

The risks of being a long-time smoker can weigh heavily on your mind, especially when considering the threat of lung cancer. Early detection is vital for surviving lung cancer, but the symptoms often present themselves until the cancer is already advanced and a cure is elusive. The CT scanning technology that Tucson Medical Center uses during lung health screening can find the tiniest of nodules, allowing doctors to see suspicious lesions when the tumors are small and can be removed. This screening can literally save lives.

Many people who have a high risk of lung cancer feel unable to take that first step of getting a screening. Kim Kastel, the nurse navigator for the lung cancer program, addresses some of the emotional barriers she’s heard to help people overcome the struggle to get testing:

Am I going to be judged for smoking?

Absolutely not! This is a non-judgement zone. We’re pleased you’re taking this first step to protecting your health and the earlier we can catch lesions the better the outcomes. We work actively against that stigma and increasingly the general public is recognizing that while smoking puts you at increased risk for lung cancer, lung cancer affects non-smokers too.

Am I going to be pressured to stop smoking?

Or am I going to be told off for smoking? I don’t want to be shamed.

While we will encourage you to stop smoking, we know this is a difficult process and we’re not going to pressure you to stop. We can direct you to resources to help stop smoking if you’re ready to take that step.

(ASHLine is a local resource that can help if you’re ready to stop smoking and want support. You can call them at 1-800-556-6222)

What if they find cancer? I don’t want to have cancer.

No one wants cancer, but if we find a suspicious lesion during a lung health screening, you will have support from a nurse navigator throughout the process. The earlier we find any lesion the easier and quicker it will be to get you to being able to say you don’t have cancer.

If I have cancer, it’s already too late. What’s the point?

With early intervention it is possible in some cases to literally cut the cancer out and be done with it — no chemo, no radiation, no medications. If a lesion is found that requires treatment beyond surgical removal, know that in the past 10 years cancer treatments have made huge bounds forward in targeted therapy and are continuing to advance.

I stopped smoking five years ago, so I don’t need to worry with a lung screening, right?

Well done! You’ve lowered your risk. But if you smoked for a long time you will still want to be checked.

Who should get checked?

We offer lung CT screenings to individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer. You may be eligible for a screening if you are:

  • between the ages of 55 and 77 (some insurance companies will cover up to 80 years of age)
  • have smoked an average if one pack of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years
  • if not currently smoking, then quit smoking in the last 15 years.

Will insurance cover the screening?

Most insurance will cover the screening for those at high risk (see above). Medicare Part B covers a lung cancer screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) once per year for those who meet all of these conditions:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • Asymptomatic, i.e., no current signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • A current smoker or one who has quit within the last 15 years
  • A history of tobacco smoking for at least 30 “pack years” (an average of one pack a day for 30 years)
  • A written order from a doctor

Find out more about lung health screening by calling Kim, our nurse navigator

at (520) 389-5390

Breast cancer survivor spreading a message of body positivity

BethAnne King LobmillerBreastless and beautiful

When breast cancer survivor and advocate BethAnne King-Lobmiller was just 10 or 11 years old, she recalls accidentally barging in on her grandmother as she was changing her blouse. “I must have gasped or looked shocked … but she just smiled and invited me to come in and close the door. Then she explained to me why she didn’t have breasts.”

“She had a bilateral mastectomy in the 1970s, back when cancer surgery was radical and went deep, and as a result, she was completely flat.” King-Lobmiller recalls with a smile. “I had never noticed that she wore fake boobs – she even wore smaller ones in the summer to stay cooler – and none when she was in her pajamas.”

Possibly in part as a result of her grandmother’s unapologetic honesty and generosity in sharing her experience, King-Lobmiller dedicates herself to advocating for body-positivity after breast cancer. Breastless and Beautiful, the advocacy group she started, boasts more than 300 members and exists for women who have chosen not to undergo reconstruction after a mastectomy. Says King-Lobmiller, “I didn’t choose flat, it chose me … as corny as that sounds.”

But the journey to her current state of body-positivity took time, reflecting back on her own diagnosis, she says, “When I first heard that I was going to have a mastectomy, I was beside myself, I couldn’t’ accept it.”

“One of the things I noticed about myself as I attended support groups was that I was really more freaked out about it than anyone I knew. But I was just processing it and grieving the finality of the loss. I wasn’t soothing myself with the idea of the breasts I would have afterward, so it felt very raw and real.”

Choices post mastectomy include going flat

Not willing to go through additional surgery beyond her mastectomy, King-Lobmiller found there was an assumption among everyone from medical professionals to support groups that reconstruction would be the obvious choice. Going flat wasn’t an overt part of the mix.

“I’m not advocating for flatness, I’m asking for there to be a conversation about the option.”

Her philosophy is that, like most things, the more people see healthy, beautiful survivors who have chosen flat and the more the community knows about it, the more comfortable women will become with making the choice that is best for them.

“Honestly, hardly anyone notices. When they do, I think to myself, “Please say something to me” because I always want the opportunity to educate someone and help them to understand,” said King-Lobmiller.

“The idea that I’m not a feminine and beautiful woman because I don’t have breasts is ridiculous,” she said.

TMC’s dedicated Oncology Nurse Navigators are here to help with resources for patients and their families and information about support groups. And don’t forget to schedule your annual mammogram today.

TMC CEO participates in bipartisan initiative to ensure equity in care; serves on panel discussion

USofC_fb_shareTucson Medical Center CEO and President Judy Rich will serve on a panel discussion with leaders across other health systems to discuss viable ways to ensure quality, affordable health care for every American.

Andy Slavitt, the former acting administrator for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, as well as former U.S. Sen. David Durenberger are among the well-known health care leaders who are supporting the United States of Care effort and are participating in the July 23 discussion.

“The founding belief is that when political rhetoric is removed, Americans outside of Washington agree more than they disagree about health care access and coverage,” according to a statement from the group. “The organization seeks politically and economically viable solutions that can garner broad support that won’t disappear with the next election or presidential administration.”

JudyCropRich said she is supporting the effort because it builds on the commitment TMC has made to the community.

“As a nonprofit community hospital, TMC cares for everybody who comes through our doors, regardless of their ability to pay,” she said.

“We’ve spent a lot of energy in this country debating whether the Affordable Care Act was a good thing. TMC has spent a lot of energy for a number of years refining our systems to provide more efficient care, to better coordinate our care and to manage our population to actually keep them out of the hospital,” Rich explained. “But at some point, there’s just a basic fundamental question we have to answer and that’s whether we believe that all Americans have a right to health care.”

Other panelists include Sandra Hernandez, the president and CEO of California Health Care Foundation, and Mark Zitter, the chair of The Zetema Project.

For more information, please visit A Bipartisan Approach to Health Care Reform event page.

 

Soap, Suds and SAHA – Collaborating together for S.AZ

hospital laundryTucson Medical Center is collaborating with its rural partners in the Southern Arizona Hospital Alliance to provide laundry and linen services. This project, which is launching first at Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox, will provide this service at a lower cost than commercial options.

“This is one of many initiatives that have been developed through SAHA to strengthen the nonprofit hospitals serving rural communities throughout Southern Arizona,” said Susan Willis, executive director, Strategy Development, and a member of the SAHA board. “I want to thank the leadership of the TMC Laundry – particularly Richard Parker, the director of TMC Facilities and Plant Services, and Lacee Kimball, manager of Laundry Services – for their efforts on this project.”

TMC’s Laundry operates 365 days a year laundering 13,000 pounds of laundry each day, said Kimball. “We have a great team and when asked if we could support our SAHA partners, we came together to make it happen. The first delivery rolled out of the TMC Laundry on July 2, arriving at the Willcox hospital just a few hours later.”

Started in 2015, the Southern Arizona Hospital Alliance includes five independent, nonprofit community hospitals. The alliance works on projects that leverage each member organization’s expertise to collectively improve clinical care coordination and the quality of care provided throughout the region.

11 years and counting – TMC employee takes volunteerism up a notch

Tucson Medical Center is fortunate to have the support of passionate volunteers – and many of those volunteers are TMC employees like Heather Burkett, donating their time and effort to build a safer community.

All in

TMC sponsors and participates in community-based events throughout the year, providing free bike helmets, safety information, free car seats, school supplies and much more. It’s an important way TMC contributes to the overall health and well-being of the communities it serves.

If you attend any such events, you’ll find a TMC table or two with friendly volunteers like Burkett, helping fit children to the right bike helmet, handing out pool safety tips, offering health-related prizes and the like.

From an early age

“I’ve been volunteering since age 10,” said Burkett, who has been working at TMC for nearly twelve years in central scheduling. And she has been volunteering for TMC ever since she signed on the dotted line.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Burkett said. “You get to see the diversity of our community and meet so many people – I’m so glad that TMC participates in ways that allow me to keep volunteering.”

Above and Beyond

Many TMC employees donate their time – it’s part of the community-focused culture of the hospital.

“We really are lucky to have so much staff involvement,” said Jessica Mitchell, CPSTI, the TMC community outreach coordinator. “With busy lives and families, we don’t expect employees to volunteer at every event – but Heather Burkett does.”

Mitchell said It’s more than Burkett’s frequent presence that makes her memorable. “It’s her positive spirit and cheerful smile – no matter how busy the event is, what the weather is like or how early we are volunteering, she brings happiness and it spreads to the staff, children and families.”

Real reward

Although Burkett enjoys meeting new people in the community, she explained her true motivation to volunteer.

“It is a great feeling to know you are helping families, but It’s so rewarding to get feedback from people when they tell you they were born at TMC or a relative recently stayed at TMC and had a good experience – you get to hear their story and appreciation.”

What’s next?

Burkett has logged more volunteer hours than most do in a lifetime – so, does she intend to continue volunteering?

“Oh yes!” she said. “I will always try to do as much as I can.”

 

Click here for more information about the TMC Desert Kids Safety Program. And don’t forget to check out the Safe Kids Pima County page as well.

 

Eat Well – A Club Med Couscous Salad from TMC Executive Chef Jason Ricciardelli

On a really hot summer afternoon around dinner time, do you find yourself in the kitchen not in the mood for anything, or at least nothing heavy? Me either!

Here is a great summer salad recipe that can be easily turned into a quick, full meal. I’ve never been to a Club Med, but if I did, I’d be eating this! It’s perfect also as a side for your July 4th celebrations.

Chef Jason Ricciardelli

Club Med Couscous Salad

Serves  4 as main, 8 as side.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dry couscous

1 cup water

1 ½ cup diced cucumber (seeding optional)

1 ½ cup  tomato (seeded and diced)

1/3 cup minced red onion (optional)

1 cup garbanzo bean (drained and rinsed)

1 cup diced red or yellow pepper

¼  cup minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp minced fresh mint (optional)

3 tbsp good olive oil (or bad olive oil if that’s what you’ve got)

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 ½  tsp salt

Instructions

Make couscous: In small sauce pan add water, 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Make sure it’s 1:1 ratio of water to couscous. Wait 8-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool.

Place diced vegetables and beans in large mixing bowl.  Add mint and parsley and incorporate.

Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt and toss until well coated.

Fold in couscous.

You can serve at immediately or chilled. This is a vegan base recipe.

Feel free to add feta cheese or additional protein (chicken, salmon) for an even more complete meal.

 

Keep the Sparkle in Your Celebrations – Firework safety

Firework safety - tips from our Safe Kids CoordinatorIt’s time to hoist the flag and celebrate our independence from the British Empire. And what would Independence Day be without fireworks? But before you break out the sparklers and the Roman candles here are some important considerations to make sure you keep it safe for everyone in your family.

Fireworks are spectacular, but also very dangerous.

Last year 12,900 firework-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms across our nation. The vast majority of those injuries, some 8,700, occurred around July 4th, according to a report from Consumer Products Safety Commission and National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Are fireworks legal in Tucson?

There was a time when you had to travel to legally purchase fireworks, but in 2014 Senate Bill 1158 required Pima and Maricopa cities and towns to allow the sale and use of ground fireworks around July 4th and New Year’s Day. So yes, fireworks can be legally bought and used in Tucson, but with significant limitations. Check this informational sheet to make sure you know which fireworks are legal here in Tucson. Did you know that while you might be able to buy bottle rockets, Roman candles and the like, anything that shoots into the air and detonates is not legal in Arizona? Check out the sheet linked above from the city of Tucson to find out what you can and can’t use within the city limits.

Firework Safety Tips

We asked Jessica Mitchell, coordinator for Safe Kids Pima County, for her firework safety tips this Independence Day.

“We know fireworks are fun and young kids look adorable holding those sparklers. Unfortunately, fireworks can cause serious injuries to children, including devastating burns and other injuries. The best way to keep your children safe is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure to follow the tips below to keep your kids as safe as possible.”

  1. Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

  1. Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

Yes they’re legal, but little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,800 degrees! Instead, let your young children use glow sticks. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

(The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s stats from Fourth of July festivities in 2014 indicated sparklers were involved in a majority of fireworks-related injuries sustained by children under 5 years of age.)

  1. Take Necessary Precautions

  • Always have a bucket of water, hose and/or fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks and protect your eyes with safety googles.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances (at this time of year and considering how dry it is, this should dissuade most of us.)
  1. Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

For more information on fire safety and more visit Safe Kids WorldWide. 

 

Eat Well this July 4th – Grilled Peaches

It’s one of our favorite seasons…peach season! Walk into any grocery store right now and you stand a good chance of being overwhelmed with that juicy sweet fragrance enticing you to buy, buy, buy!

Peaches are, of course, perfect to eat fresh while leaning over the sink or with a bib, but this Fourth of July we’re adding them to the grill for the perfect dessert for our celebrations. Those fuzzy fruits are a great source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.

If you haven’t ventured into the grilled fruit territory, grilled peaches are a delectable introduction.

Even without adding herbs and spices, grilling turns fruit and vegetables into amazing little bites. Grilled fruit can be added to salads, served as a garnish for meat, and it makes a luscious dessert, especially when served over a modest serving of ice cream.

grilled peaches

Grilled Peaches

One peach per person (freestone)

Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Balsamic Glaze

Instructions

  1. Slice peaches in half. Once halved, pit the peach. Generally the peaches we find in the store are freestone peaches which allow the stone to be pitted easily.
  2. Lightly brush the cut surface of the peaches with oil. Just enough to prevent it sticking to the grill.
  3. Turn grill to medium heat.
  4. Grill peaches cut side down for 3-5 minutes, then flip and grill for an additional 4-5 minutes more. Your peaches should be soft to the touch.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or some vanilla ice cream.

If you are new to grilling fruits, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Heat your grill to medium or medium-high. If the heat is too high, the food can burn on the outside while remaining raw inside. The delicate skins of most fruit are especially susceptible to damage from very high heat.
  2. Unless you plan to grill entire apples, carrots, peppers or other large vegetables, use a grill basket to keep items from falling through the grate.
  3. Brush or toss vegetables with olive oil to add flavor and keep them from sticking. With fruit you might want to use a neutral-flavored oil, such as safflower or grapeseed.
  4. Add more flavor with herbs, spices, lemon (juice or peel) or a marinade. Black pepper or ginger adds a little kick to the fuzzy delight of peaches you might want to try.
  5. Keep an eye on that grill! Some items cook in as little as four minutes, so you don’t want to walk away and let them turn into charred nuggets.
  6. To test for doneness, stab them with a skewer or fork. They’re done when you feel the texture you like.

Hope you have a pleasant grilling adventure.

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.

 

TMC helps kick off effort to save more lives at Pima Animal Care Center

Julia Strange and Simon at campaign kickoff

Julia Strange and PACC alum Simon at campaign kickoff

Any given day at Tucson Medical Center, pet therapy teams including 32 dogs and one miniature pony visit hospitalized patients to share comfort and affection.

“They bring their love and their compassion to our patients and they provide a welcome distraction when people are at their most vulnerable,” said Julia Strange, TMC’s vice president of Community Benefit.

Pup at PACC waiting for new home

Pup at PACC waiting for new home

Many of the dogs on these teams are rescues. It’s just one of the reasons TMC, which appreciates the role pets have in the overall wellness of the community, is supporting an effort to raise funds for life-saving programs at the shelter, said Strange.

Strange and TMC’s President and CEO Judy Rich are serving as co-chairs of the
Your Love Saves Lives campaign through the Friends of PACC, the nonprofit arm of Pima Animal Care Center.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $5 million in private donations to expand veterinary services, to purchase needed medical equipment and to support programs such as community cat screenings and behavioral training for dogs.

To date, the community has raised more than $4.25 million toward the goal, announced Friends of PACC Executive Director Jennifer Camano.

Ray Carroll and Dan Eckstrom with PACC alumni Simon

Ray Carroll and Dan Eckstrom with PACC alumnus Simon

“We are asking the community now to help us close the gap,” Camano said, at a kick-off press conference with supporters. “This is a doable goal for this community and we know this community loves pets.”

The only open admission animal shelter, which accepts every pet in need, Pima Animal Care Center saved more pets in 2017 than ever before – more than 91 percent, of the more than 16,000 pets it took in.

Additionally, the shelter performed more than 7,500 spay and neuter surgeries and addressed more than 20,000 animal protection calls.

“We are honored to be a part of this effort,” Strange said, “and passionate about making sure the public understands the important role pets play in public health.”

To learn more about the campaign or to donate, please visit the Friends of PACC website

 

Avoid these common mistakes to protect your child from the sun

sunscreen mistakesWe asked Dr. Gerald N. Goldberg of Pima Dermatology for advice on how best to protect our children from the blazing Arizona sun. Dr. Goldberg is board certified in both pediatrics and dermatology. 

1. Not applying sunscreen in spring, fall and winter

Really is there any time of year where sunscreen isn’t necessary at this latitude for you or your children?

Ideally, we are providing examples and modeling of good sun safe behaviors for our children from a young age. Daily application of a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher is ideal. This latitude provides tremendously intense ultraviolet exposure for much of the year. Worst times are late spring through early fall and midday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the UVB (“burning rays”) are most intense.

2. Assuming the shade will be enough to protect from the sun

Shade is not totally protective since there often are considerable reflected rays and filtered rays through partial shade. The same is true for cloudy days where filtered UVB light can still cause sunburn.

3. Using any old sunscreen

Not really. It’s best to look at labeling when considering if your sunscreen is up to snuff.

Broad-Spectrum: Blocks the UVA (“aging, wrinkling rays”) and UVB (“burning rays”).

Water-Resistant: Retains blocking power for 40 minutes of water immersion or “very water-resistant” if it retains protective effects after 80 minutes of being in the water.

An SPF (“sun protective factor”) of 30 or better is recommended. The FDA no longer allows “number chasing.” No sunscreen can be rated higher than SPF 50 or simply 50+. The SPF factor means that if it takes 15 minutes to burn in the June midday sun without sunscreen, with a sunscreen of SPF 10, it takes 15×10 or 150 minutes to burn with sunscreen SPF 10 in place. The FDA also no longer allows “sunblock,” “sweat-proof” or “waterproof” on labels.

Remember to check for the expiry date on your sunscreen too, old sunscreen won’t do!

Contrary to some written statements, sunscreens are relatively safe when applied properly. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are some of the best sunscreens since they truly reflect dangerous rays of both the UVB and UVA types. There are no substantiated claims of problems with toxicity or absorption of nanoparticles leading to a danger to health. Vitamin A, at reasonable doses, has been used for years to boost the immune system and to protect against cancer development. The more complex question is Vitamin D. Some modest amount of sunlight exposure (a few minutes a day unprotected) is probably fine on modest body surface areas to maintain good vitamin D health. If levels are low, the recommendation is to take a vitamin D oral supplement daily, and not to seek more sunlight to improve one’s vitamin D status.

4. Not using enough sunscreen

The most common error is inadequate application. Studies show that the average person puts on about 25-30 percent of the quantity necessary to achieve the stated SPF rating. A shot glass full of sunscreen is a fairly reasonable amount to apply for full-body protection. This is the other reason why SPF 30 or more is recommended – because of “sloppy” application.

5. Not allowing enough time

The next most important issue is taking time to apply sunscreen before activity. The sunscreen needs to bind to the skin to be effective, so try applying it 10 to 15 minutes before activity. Also, when using many products in the morning, apply sunscreen first to bind to the skin whenever possible.

6. Not reapplying sunscreen

Have you applied sunscreen again after swimming, hiking or just hanging out? Failure to reapply after being in the water or sweating; both can wash off sunscreen. Always reapply after water immersion or activity with significant perspiring.

What are the top three things parents can do to protect children from sun exposure?

ABCs:

A= Avoid the sun midday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

B= Block the sun with sunscreen

C= Cover up with sun-protective hats and clothing (including swim shirts when in the pool)

 

 

Giving back gives back – TMC volunteers find true love together

Amidst the busy TMC surgery reception area, a few sparks flew on Tuesday afternoons between volunteers Paul Kelly and Sharon O’Koren. “We just had so much in common,” said Kelly. “From growing up in smaller towns and raising children to our likes and our dislikes – I felt like I could talk to her about anything.”

A lot in common

The two had a lot in common and shared something in common as well. “Paul and Sharon were perfect for surgery reception – both have such helpful attitudes and a sincere rapport with patients,” said Mary Leyva, a volunteer services specialist at the TMC Auxiliary.

Paul and Sharon started volunteering about a year ago, and as the weeks became months, the two volunteers got to know each other better. Both looked forward to volunteering at TMC every Tuesday afternoon – in part because they were making a meaningful difference in the community, and in part because of each other.

“We were doing a lot of good at the reception desk – but I really couldn’t wait to see him,” said Sharon. “We had great talks and great laughs,” Paul said with a smile.

Dinner

After several months, Paul decided to ask Sharon to dinner. “I didn’t hesitate,” said Sharon. “We really do have a lot in common – even our birthdays are just days apart,” Sharon said. “We really hit it off,” Paul shared.

The question

The two continued to grow closer as they dated due to their shared experiences. “We have both lost our spouses, we both have family in Tucson, graduated high school around the same time and have the same sense of humor – the more time we spent with one-another the more we enjoyed each other’s company,” said Sharon.

What brought them together

Serendipity and an affinity for helping the community brought them together at TMC. “I worked in the medical field for many years and wanted to volunteer in a hospital,” said Sharon. “My daughter is a nurse here in Tucson and she recommended TMC.”

Paul is a retired Raytheon engineer, who originally hails from Jerome, but has called Tucson home for nearly 45 years. “I wanted to volunteer at TMC and give back to the hospital that cared for my family over the years.”

Earlier this month, the couple endeavored to spend the rest of their lives together when Paul popped the question and Sharon said yes!

What’s next for the happy couple? Sharon was quick with an answer. “Plan a wedding and keep volunteering at TMC.”

 

Ready or not: Birthing positions for the big day

Baby is coming, birthing positions and resources.As your pregnancy progresses, you are likely starting to envision the actual, physical act of labor. What will it be like? Will you need to bring anything? Will you have the opportunity to try out different positions and birthing aids until you find the right combination?

It’s important to know that even with an epidural, active positioning is necessary as you give birth to promote baby’s progress. Actively engaging your body by moving, rocking, bouncing and squatting is essential to the birthing process because it enhances your comfort and makes the birth move along.

“Patient safety is our top priority and skilled nurses, there every step of the way, to help you along your labor path are essential,” said Stacie Wood, clinical educator for TMC Women’s Services. “Safe positioning is an important tool to help maximize the birth experience.”

The most important thing is to use whatever tools are available to deliver a safe, happy and healthy baby.

If there is something that you are already comfortable using at home – your favorite stability ball for instance – by all means, bring it with you. But you don’t have to come with your own equipment – we’ve got you covered with a variety of birthing aids in different sizes.

And to make sure you have peace of mind, all the while you are out of the bed, your baby can be monitored by either a wireless monitor system or a portable wired monitor.

“Having the freedom to move around is one of the big positives that we offer our moms,” says Wood. “They can still be active and move around freely without losing the feeling of security about the baby’s safety because of the monitors we have.”

There are different tools available for a few purposes during your labor:

  • stability balls, squat bars and squat chairs help your body actively engage in the process;
  • peanut balls allow you to rest in bed while still promoting dilation and the baby’s descent;
  • labor tub and a shower because warmth might be important for your experience.

With the stability ball, your partner also can help out by sitting behind you with a warm pack and providing a massage. (Don’t worry, we’ll do a little training first.)

To register for a free Maternity Services tour, please visit our website.

 

 

Rear Admiral visits TMC for Children as part of larger engagement tour of Tucson

Honorary Soldier enjoys stories from Rear Admiral MacInnis.jpgSmall patients were wowed by the sheer mass of an aircraft carrier – surprised to hear that it would be the equivalent of a floating city with nearly 5,000 crew members on board, sharing space with aircraft and helicopters.

Rear Admiral Daniel MacInnis was perfectly suited to answer their questions: While participating in the U.S. Navy’s flight program, after all, he landed craft 17 times on each of four carriers during training runs. MacInnis, who also served as a diving officer, deployed to Iraq in 2006 and to Afghanistan in 2013 and has earned several recognitions, including three Meritorious Service Medals.

Rear Admiral MacInnis on tour of TMC for ChildrenA sleight of hand magician, MacInnis entertained youngsters and handed out certificates that dubbed them an “honorary sailor.”

One of 180 rear admirals in the Navy, MacInnis visited TMC’s executive team and TMC for Children as part of a larger two-day tour to share the importance of naval service with city leaders, including civic groups, universities and veterans groups.

“We meet local leaders in cities that are away from fleet-centric areas where people may not have as much information about the importance of the Navy so we can hopefully inspire their support and advocacy,” MacInnis said.

MacInnis noted that 70 percent of the earth is covered with water, 80 percent of the world’s population lives near water and 90 percent of global commerce uses maritime routes. “The Navy is a 24/7, 365-day organization that is here to protect America, preserve our way of life and America’s influence in the world and to deter aggression,” MacInnis explained.

To see more coverage of his visit, please see KGUN’s story. 

 

When big breathing problems trouble little ones – Pediatric pulmonologists provide expert care

Asthma- when to see the pediatric pulmonologistStruggling to breathe can be terrifying, especially for children – and their parents. Acute and chronic respiratory challenges including asthma need specialized care to keep airways open – enter the pediatric pulmonologist.

Chiarina Galvez, M.D., explains when a child with asthma symptoms should see a pediatric pulmonology specialist.

What is pediatric pulmonology?

Pediatric pulmonology is a medical specialty that focuses on the care of infants, children and teenagers with disorders of the lung and airways, and those with sleep-related breathing problems.

If a child has moderate-to-severe asthma, should the child see a pediatric pulmonologist?

Children with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma may benefit from a consultation with a pulmonologist. Asthma guidelines recommend seeing a specialist for children ages 0 to 4 years who need daily controller therapy.

These recommendations are made because several studies have shown that patients who received specialized care had better outcomes, which included improvements in asthma symptoms, as well as fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

If the asthma diagnosis is uncertain, or if there are difficulties maintaining asthma control, then pulmonology referral should be strongly considered.

Asthma is not as common in Arizona because the climate is hot and dry – right?

Unfortunately, we’ve learned over the years that asthma is prevalent in the state. In 2014, it was estimated that the prevalence of asthma in Arizona children aged 17 years and younger was higher than the national average (10.9 percent vs 9.2 percent).

Asthma is a complex condition, and it is likely that genetics and multiple environmental factors interact to trigger the disease.

The right environment depends on the individual’s triggers. A climate that might be good for one child’s asthma, might be terrible for another. Achieving good asthma control requires working with a specialist to identify and avoid triggers, medication adherence and regular follow-up visits to optimize therapy.

What respiratory symptoms should a parent of a child with asthma be mindful of?

In children, symptoms of respiratory problems are often varied and may be subtle. If a child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, a pediatric pulmonologist may be able to help.

  • Cough for more than four weeks and is not improving
  • Two (or more) episodes of pneumonia in one year
  • Chronic wet cough
  • Pauses or stops breathing while awake or asleep
  • Fast or labored breathing on a frequent basis
  • Frequent or recurrent brassy or honking cough
  • Gets a cough after he or she choked on food or another object, even if he or she choked on the object days or weeks ago

It may also be helpful to see a pediatric pulmonologist if a child has received treatment due to a respiratory illness.

  • Hospitalization
  • More than one visit to an emergency department
  • Received more than two courses of oral steroids in the past year
  • Has complicating conditions (e.g., chronic lung disease of prematurity)

Dr. Galvez - pediatric pulmonologistWhat motivated Dr. Galvez to become a pediatric pulmonologist?

It has been my life’s calling to care for children who are acutely ill and admitted to the hospital. But what makes pediatric pulmonology so special to me is the opportunity to see patients over the long term – I build relationships with the children and their families. It’s why I chose this field.

In addition to completing medical school and a pediatric residency, Dr. Chiarina Galvez completed her pediatric pulmonary fellowship – a three-year, specialized training in the treatment and management of pediatric, respiratory illnesses.

What are the most common illnesses you treat?

Conditions we frequently treat include asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (breathing problems related to prematurity), chronic cough, recurrent pneumonia and sleep apnea. We also take care of patients who are technology dependent, such as those with tracheostomies and on home ventilators and oxygen.

Dr. Galvez is a pediatric pulmonologist at TMCOne. Call (520) 324-7200 for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

TMC reports nearly $64 million in 2017 community benefit


TMC recorded $63.6 million of community benefit costs, or 11.9 percent of net revenues of $534 million in 2017, according to the annual Report to Our Community out this month. This percentage is well over the 5 percent average expected for a nonprofit hospital to maintain tax-exempt status. In 2016, TMC reported a community benefit of $58 million, or 11.5 percent of net revenue.

Community benefit covers a full range of services and activities that nonprofit hospitals undertake to improve health in the communities they serve. Community benefit includes providing care for the poor (charity care) but also can be thought of in larger terms to include the promotion of health. In 2017, TMC reported $10.3 million in charity care and bad debt, or about 16 percent of total community benefit, up from $8.4 million, or 14 percent, in 2016.

“As a nonprofit community hospital, Tucson Medical Center proudly supports programs that strengthen the region by building health and connections,” said Julia Strange, vice president of TMC Community Benefit.

Other components of community benefit included $36 million for unpaid costs for AHCCCS/Medicaid patients, or 57 percent of total community benefit, this percentage was unchanged from 2016 where $33 million was spent on these unpaid costs. TMC paid a statewide hospital assessment of $11.0 million, or 19 percent of community benefit, which was about the same for 2016.

Community outreach accounted for $5.4 million, or 8 percent of community benefit in 2017, down from $5.6 million, or 10 percent, in 2016. In addition, TMC’s community outreach directly served more than 167,000 people throughout the region at 1,298 events, including wellness talks, community runs, kids’ safety events, a symposium for cancer survivors, physician education on the opioid epidemic, support of the city’s short-term bike rental service, sponsorship of health literacy through the Festival of Books and more!

The report includes features on how TMC carried out many of its community benefit activities. In addition, the report includes On Center, the annual report of the TMC Foundation, sharing about its charitable mission to raise funds in support of the hospital and community. Click to read the full report.

Incredible reward at no cost – How cord blood donations are changing lives at TMC

Cord Blood Kristen Wilt

Cord blood donations can enhance and save lives, and do even more – providing donors and their families with the uplifting benefit of knowing their cord blood gift will have a positive impact for years to come.

“My brother-in-law passed away from a rare blood disorder when he was just 19,” said Stephanie Babcock, a mom who recently donated the cord blood from her baby Midori at TMC. “It’s so rewarding to know our donation can save someone like my brother-in-law – we know what it means to that person and their family.”

What is cord blood?

What exactly is cord blood and why is it so beneficial?

“Cord blood is the blood that is left inside the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born,” said Kristen Wilt, cord blood coordinator at TMC. “It is so important because it contains blood-forming stem cells that can be used in blood transfusions to heal or repair damaged cells that cause serious diseases.”

Saving and improving lives

Wilt explained cord blood stem cells are used to treat more than 80 life-threatening diseases, which include many forms of cancer, as well as immune and genetic disorders. “Acute myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and sickle cell anemia to name just a few,” Wilt said.

Cord Blood 4Blood transplants can have a significant and permanent effect for individuals facing specific debilitating and severe health challenges, she explained. “By and large, the treatments can cure many diseases or have a significant impact that dramatically improves the quality of life for the recipient.”

How donation works

Wilt said the process is quick, easy, and it is free. “At TMC the mom and family are asked if they would like to donate the cord blood immediately after birth,” explained Wilt. “There is one simple consent form to sign and a health history questionnaire to review and you’re done – you’ve just created a life-saving possibility for someone.”

Participation in the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program is growing, but currently available only in a few Arizona hospitals. “It made a great impression on us that TMC was the only hospital in Southern Arizona who offers cord blood donation,” said donor Babcock. “It can seem like a small thing but has such an incredible impact.”

Cord blood donations from TMC have gone to help patients all over the United States and as far away as Australia.

Safety and anonymity

Donating cord blood poses no risk to the baby or mom because the cord blood is collected after the birth, when the placenta and umbilical cord are no longer needed.

The hospital assigns a number to each donation so that it is received and tracked by the public cord blood bank anonymously.

“We did our research,” said Babcock. “We had no concerns about safety or privacy – TMC made it a simple, easy part of the birthing experience.”

Cord Blood 3

Where it goes and how it helps

For the past four years, TMC has worked with the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program and has provided almost 5,000 cord blood donations.

“Within 48 hours, the cord blood is delivered to the University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank (an FDA-licensed facility), where it is cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen tanks,” said Wilt. “This process conserves the stem cells in the blood for a very long time – donations have been used after 20-25 years.”

The donation becomes part of the national registry managed by NMDP/Be the Match registry. “Worldwide, patients of all ages who are in need can work with the registry to determine if they are a match,” Wilt said.

Why your donation matters, for others and for you

Some moms and families decide to save and privately store their baby’s cord blood. However, the cryopreservation process and on-going storage fees can be cost-prohibitive. “If cord blood is not donated, it is disposed of as medical waste – and it is truly a waste,” said Wilt.

Donating cord blood has such significance because finding a match can be very difficult. “About 70 percent of people in need are not able to find a match from their family,” Wilt said. “More cord blood donations means a greater chance that someone in need will find a match.”

For Babcock, making the donation was more than a fulfilling gesture. “It’s not a big sacrifice, and it changes your life just knowing that you could save an adult or child who is fighting a deadly disease.”

Cord Blood 1For more information about cord blood donations, contact Kristen Wilt at (520) 324-6210 or visit the Save the Cord Foundation website.

TMC recruiter hits her stride at 200th Meet Me at Maynards achievement

Kim Loya reaches 200th Meet Me walkIt is often shared that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Kim Loya remembers those first few steps in what would become a weekly Monday tradition and help her find new goals, new friends and a new love for the city she lives in.

It was five years ago when Loya discovered Meet Me at Maynards, a free social walk and run that’s designed to build community through fitness.

“I have a vivid memory of that first experience,” recalled Loya, who is a human resources recruiter for TMC, the title sponsor of the event. “The walk took me to cute little neighborhoods around downtown that I had never seen before, and I just distinctly remember texting my friend the whole way about how much I love where I live.”

Loya will achieve her 200th milestone T-shirt the first Monday in July. She jokes that her dog, Paris, a white toy poodle, may be a bit prissy, but she’s been a faithful walking partner for almost every outing, even if she won’t have the standard-issue burgundy shirt to prove she reached the 200-walk threshhold.

Kim and Paris walk three miles each Monday.jpg“For me, it’s something I look forward to every Monday and it starts my week on a good note,” Loya said, adding that when her husband is able to join her, they turn it into a date night and sample the downtown eateries.

Like many Maynards aficionados, Loya is committed: They’re out there walking rain or shine, holidays, and even in heavy monsoon downpours, with streams of rain pouring off raincoats.

The three-mile route, combined with other weeknight walking commitments and her weekend cycling and hiking trips, helps her stay in an active space. “It really does help with my walking routine,” she said, adding she is now training for the Camino del Santiago, a 700-mile pilgrimage to northwestern Spain that is popular with hikers and cyclists. The Camino requires a walking commitment of at least 100 kilometers and she’s set her goal for fall 2019.

She’s also developed friendships as a result. One couple – rounding out on their 500-walk milestone – are now counted among her good friends and they just finished a wine-tasting trip together.

“It definitely helps build a sense of community,” she said. “It’s like a family because you see many of the same people each week and you start talking to the person next to you. And you see everything from runners to people out there with canes. It’s very family-friendly and a lot of fun.”

Tim Bentley, manager of The Core at La Encantada and who has been involved in the Maynards races on behalf of TMC, said he’s been impressed by Loya’s dedication. “She really personifies TMC’s commitment to healthy communities – and healthy in a broader sense than just physical health, but social health as well,” he said.

Loya said she’s proud of her achievement. “I’m a person who really likes to meet goals, so reaching 200 is really important to me,” she said, telling of a rain-slick bicycle race in Hawaii that she completed, despite four falls and bloody knees.

Fortunately, Maynards is not as grueling, with its 2-, 3- and 4-mile routes. To get the most out of the experience, Loya recommends:

  • Bring water
  • Go early to find parking (although the point, after all, is to walk, so….)
  • Despite the moniker, the walks typically start at The Cup Café at Hotel Congress
  • Sign up for the newsletters. You don’t want to be the one without the tutu.

For more information visit Meet Me at Maynards.

 

Patients, families enjoy afternoon of pampering thanks to generous volunteers

PFAC3.jpgEdmundo Zevallos knows all too well the stress of having a child in the newborn intensive care unit.

In 1993, his premature baby spent five months recovering in the NICU at Tucson Medical Center. His son is now a healthy 25-year-old, but back then, Zevallos remembers around-the-clock vigilance, being tethered to a pager that would summon him to the hospital from work in an emergency, and the struggles with managing heart monitors and other medical equipment when his baby finally came home.

Zevallos, who serves on the Patient and Family Advisory Council at TMC, helped coordinate Family Day, designed to support the parents of children recovering in the hospital.

PFAC1.jpg“It is important that the family or support unit of the patient take care of their own well-being. The patient will need them to be strong and healthy for the journey ahead. They shouldn’t try to tough it out. We want them to know we understand and support them, and that we are here to help them,” Zevallos said.

The event served about 20 parents, relatives and patients of TMC for Children and TMC for Women. Each visitor received a bag filled with small gifts, discount coupons and a fresh flower.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without the support of about a dozen different vendors.

“It’s just a nice way to give back,” said Andrea McCully, from ANR Massage, who provided massage services to patients. “When you learn more about what other people experience, it’s really gets you to think outside of yourself.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Kashmir Crossley, of Salon Kashmir, and Casey Reminder, of Z.E.N. Studio. Fellow stylist Silviya Warren said she used to paint the fingernails of a 6-year-old who was struggling with cancer treatment. “She made me fall in love with her,” she said. “She survived, but I know how hard it can be on families. I thought of her and said of course I would help.”

PFAC2Lory Sullivan, a beauty consultant with Mary Kay, remembers how it felt when her granddaughter, now a healthy 15-year-old, was born prematurely. “I know parents have to be stressed and be scared when their child is ill, so if I can help them take that moment to relax and take a deep breath, I’m grateful for that opportunity.”

Amy Clemans, an acupuncturist with Mountain Waters Acupuncture, who shared a Chinese body work practice, said as a parent of a special needs child, she wanted to give back. “I know how important it is for parents to do self-care,” she said.

Also in attendance were Mary and Jim Harvey from BioPhotonic Therapy Solutions, Lisa Westerwick from Serenity Holistic Touch and Kim Adair from Women Under the Sun. The Basket Butler provided gift baskets, the Flower Shop on 4th Avenue provided flowers, and Epic Café, in conjunction with Women Under the Sun, donated the pastries.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council shares information with TMC on how to better serve parents and families by creating a family-centered environment.

Some of their projects have included assisting in the layout of pediatric areas of the hospital, creating child-friendly words for specialty procedures and providing input on the KidSpeak mobile app that helps children become more familiar with the hospital and medical terminology through virtual tours and a digital whiteboard. Click to learn more about serving on the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Do I need a fence for the inflatable above-ground pool? Pediatric Emergency Notes

Do I need a fence for our above ground pool? Drowning prevention,We don’t have a built-in pool at our home, but we often use a little splash pool which got me to thinking about the safety of above-ground pools — you know, the sort that just go up for the summer, whether rigid sides or inflatable, and come down when school is back in session.

As a pediatric emergency department nurse I’ve seen my fill of child drowning victims and so I tend to be hypervigilant around pools. The absolutely crushing part about drownings is that they are nearly always preventable.

I asked Jessica Mitchell, Safe Kids Pima County coordinator, what the rules are regarding fencing and general safety practices around temporary above-ground pool structures.

“The law…oh the law on pools! It can be so confusing. Pretty much, if you have a pool that is taller than 18 inches and wider than 8 feet intended for swimming, it requires a fence/barrier that is at least 5 feet tall with a self-closing or self-latching gate. The entire law for pools can be found on the Arizona government pages“ Jessica shares.

“Mesh fencing is a great option for those with above-ground temporary pools because when the pool comes down, the mesh fence can also come down. There is one exception to having to put up a pool fence, and that is if everyone in the household is 6 years or older, no safety measures need to be in place. This doesn’t mean this is the safest option. Not everyone over the age of 6 can swim, and even swimmers can get into difficulty in a pool.

“If you decide to get a temporary above-ground pool make sure you have a fence at least 5 feet tall with a self-latching gate. Make sure your child cannot use a chair or other item to climb over the barrier or to unlatch the gate. And emphasize to all kids and adults that the gate is not to be propped open.”

Also, we worry most about pool mishaps in the summer, but be vigilant all year for drowing hazards. Empty the cooler of melted ice water; dispose of the bucket of mop water; drain the bathtub (and never leave your toddler or pre-schooler in the tub unsupervised). Unfortunately, we see all these drowning scenarios in the emergency department.

Whether it’s in the pool, the ocean or the bathtub, you will not hear a child drowing. Drowning is silent … keep your eyes on your child.

This summer we’re going to follow all the advice above as well as the ABCs of pool safety whether it’s a splash pool or a regular pool:

“A” is for Adult Supervision

Always have an adult watching the pool, not reading, not looking at their phone, not taking an afternoon siesta – just watching the kids in the pool. Go ahead and take turns if it’s a social gathering, but make sure that the designated adult knows the rules. Better yet, consider hiring a trained lifeguard. While it seems like the more adults who around, the better. But the reality is that it seems to be the opposite – everyone thinks someone else is wathcing. Make hiring a lifeguard a part of your pool-party budget.

Jessica also wanted to remind folks that floaties are toys and not safety devices. If you have a life vest, they need to be the right size, and they are not a substitute for adult supervision.

“B” is for Barrier

Yes, even with an above-ground temporary pool that you picked up for $75 you want a barrier. It can be mesh; it just has to be at least 5 feet tall and have a self-latching gate. Even if your kids are over the age of 6, what about the neighbors or the grandkids? Make sure the barrier isn’t compromised – there aren’t any chairs or trash cans that can be dragged over to act as a ladder, and that nobody props open the gate.

“C” is for Classes

Tucson has lots of great options for swim classes including Vest it Up!  TMC for Children and Credit Unions for Kids offer FREE year-round swim lessons at dates, times and locations that meet the needs of busy families. These free lessons are at local YMCA locations and include a free personal flatation device, or PFD. This U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest for kids is provided to kids completing swim classes. The free classes are available to the first 400 kids each year between 4-17 years old.  Register here for Vest it Up!

I have a few additional thoughts:

Having a party? Hire a lifeguard.

It seems like the more adults are around to watch the better right? But in reality it seems to work in the opposite way. Everyone thinks someone else is watching. Make hiring a lifeguard part of your pool party budget.

It’s not just pools and it’s not just summer time

We worry especially in the summer when kids are in the pool, but be vigilant all year. Empty the cooler of melted ice water, dispose of the bucket of mop water, drain the bathtub (and never leave your baby, toddler or preschooler in the bathtub unsupervised.) Unfortunately, we see all these drowning scenarios in the emergency department.

Eyes peeled

Whether it is in the pool, the ocean or the bathtub you will not hear your child drowning. Drowning is a silent affair…keep your eyes on your child.

Hope your summer is splashing good fun.

Stay safe,
Melissa

P.S. Did you know that the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona provides pool safety checks? Request one here 

Melissa HodgesPediatric Emergency Notes from Melissa
Melissa Hodges is a pediatric emergency room RN and mom to two young boys. Melissa has been at Tucson Medical Center for 10 years. She is a knitting ninja apprentice who makes a mean chili and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

TMC participates in national day of awareness to end violence on June 8

IMG_0289Violence is an ongoing public health and safety challenge throughout the country.

Join Tucson Medical Center and hospitals and health systems across the country on June 8 for the second annual #HAVhope, a national day of awareness that calls for ending violence in all forms.

IMG_0294“Hospitals serve as the backbone of healthy communities, supporting victims of violence-related trauma, answering the call in times of tragedy and attempting to prevent violence in the first place by building healthy communities and embracing best practices to keep employees safe,” said Judy Rich, TMC’s president and CEO.

“This event presents an opportunity for us all to show our commitment in ending all forms of violence, both in our workplaces and in our communities,” she added

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To support #HAVhope day:

  • Share a photo on June 8 of yourself holding hands with others in your community or workplace committed to combating violence. This collection of photos will provide a visual to demonstrate that we stand together to combat violence. Download a sign here.
  • Use #HAVhope on social media to highlight your work or commitment to combat violence in your community or workplace.

TMC nurse named Mrs. Arizona; heightens awareness of postpartum depression

Sarah Barrett.jpgSarah Barrett has been a nurse for more than six years, specializing in serving new mothers and babies.

And even though she helps screen new mothers for postpartum depression, it didn’t occur to her that the sadness she felt and the guilt she carried as a result were rooted in her own struggles with depression.

It wasn’t until she took the screening tool herself that it all clicked into place for the mother of three.

“My score was through the roof,” she recalled of that day in the spring of 2017. “It took seeing it in black and white to help me understand what I had been feeling.”

Barrett, who was recently crowned Mrs. Arizona and will compete in August in the Mrs. America pageant in Las Vegas, will spend a year traveling the state to bring awareness to an issue that many women are afraid to share for fear of being judged.

“I knew when I entered this that I wasn’t going to be afraid to say, ‘This happened to me,’ and to be an example,” said Barrett. “It can happen to anyone and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad mother. It means you’re human and it’s time for the community to embrace and support these women.”

Barrett competed in pageants in college, gaining confidence and interviewing skills as she shared her platform then about pet ownership.

Then came marriage and three children. The first two, her girls, weren’t easy – she had pre-term labor with both, although she made it to term. But her son came four weeks early. “The medical side of me and the logical side of me knew it wasn’t my fault, but as a mother, I felt like I had let my family down,” she said. She cried alone in the hospital the next day, with her son in the newborn intensive care unit and missing her daughter’s fifth birthday party. Driving home from the hospital with an empty car seat was excruciating.

Sarah CrownedBarrett said she pushed down the feelings and resumed her life, only to have them all come crashing in again on his first birthday, when she saw the familiar social media posts that pull photos from a year ago. Seeing him so small and intubated sent her into a tailspin.

She got used to crying in the bedroom, wiping her eyes and putting on a smile for everyone else. Her marriage was strained. “You can’t meet other people’s needs and take care of them if you’re not taking care of yourself,” she said.

It was hearing a friend’s story that left her reaching for the screening survey. “It was so eye-opening for me. All this time, I thought I was alone and there was something wrong with me.”

It was only later she found that in many cases, postpartum depression is triggered by the unexpected: if a woman had planned for a vaginal birth but ended up with a C-section, for example, or if the baby comes early or if there was an unplanned diagnosis. “You formulate the perfect birth in your mind and then when you go home and it’s not that perfect birth, it can be really hard.”

She found healing in the pageant process. “The more I shared my story with women about what I went through, and the more they reciprocated back about what they went through, the more it helped me heal. So the bottom line is don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you trust.”

Barrett credits TMC for screening every new mother and for its robust weekly postpartum depression group, as well as for its mandatory class for new moms before they go home that touches on everything from properly installing car seats to symptoms of depression to watch for.

Click here for more information about our postpartum and pregnancy depression support group.

She wants to ensure more health providers screen new moms and wants to bring more awareness to support partners, who need tools to share what they’re witnessing. “You want to be careful about how you open those lines of communication: How are you feeling? How are you coping with being a new mother? I know it must be hard getting sleep right now.”

Barrett said her marriage of 11 years is stronger than ever, and she’s found joy in being with her family. She’s also proud of her new role. “This is something we decided to do as a family, so I got the OK from all of them that we would do this. It’s been an amazing experience to be surrounded by these women who are passionate about a cause and involved in making a difference in their communities.”

Need more information about our Postpartum and Pregnancy Depression Support Group? Click here. 

Super Food or Super Hype? Can you tell the difference?

Are there really super foods?What exactly is a “superfood?” Is it a special category of food that is unusually high in nutrients? Does it have the power to cure disease?

Although the word does appear in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and all over popular media, it is not recognized by dietitians as a definitive classification for foods or beverages. There are no standards a food has to meet to be called a “superfood.” Rather, it is a descriptive term used by food marketers to promote products with supposed health benefits.

For example, it is true that açai berries are low in calories and high in vitamin A and antioxidants. However, their Amazonian origin does not bestow magical properties upon them. Sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupes offer much higher levels of vitamin A at a much lower price. Do you love açai juice or smoothies? Check the ingredients list, because often those drinks are composed mostly of apple, pear or orange juice. Açai is added to boost the color and the price. The same goes for goji berries. Yes, they are full of vitamin A, selenium, riboflavin and antioxidants, but so are lots of other, less expensive foods.

Marketers of these “superfoods” and media-saavy “doctors” may proclaim the powers of these foods to fight disease; control blood sugar, cholesterol  or weight; boost your mood, metabolism or endurance; protect your skin or eyes; and even kill cancer cells. Sadly, there are no good studies to back up those claims. One example of marketing gone wild is the case of POM Wonderful. The company claimed its juice could prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission told POM its ads were “false and unsubstantiated,” and they were violating a ban on deceptive advertising. POM appealed the ruling in 2015 and lost.

Super Good Choice

Sometimes foods or products proclaiming “super” status are a good choice, and they make a nice addition to an overall healthful diet. Here are just a few foods and their positive attributes:

  • Flaxseeds – omega-3 fatty acids and fiber
  • Quinoa – fiber and protein
  • Blueberries – vitamin C, vitamin K and antioxidants
  • Avocado – healthy fat and fiber
  • Kale – calcium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin K
  • Fermented Foods – probiotics
  • Pumpkin – vitamin A and fiber

Can you tell the difference? Laurie Ledford , registered dietitian at Tucson Medical Center's Wellness Department fills you in on the deets!

Other “Superfoods” Are Not so Amazing:

  • Alkaline Water – there is no evidence that it kills cancer cells or soothes acid reflux; plain old water hydrates just as well
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – there are no good studies that demonstrate it can actually control blood sugar or weight
  • Lemon Water – does not actually boost your metabolism
  • Coconut Oil – high in saturated fat, which is not good for cardiovascular health
  • Whole Milk – also high in saturated fat

Super Health Risks

Watch out! Some so-called “superfoods” can pose a potential health risk. Sprouts (alfalfa, radish, broccoli sprouts, etc.) are indeed nutrient-rich, and they can provide a nice crunch in a salad or on a sandwich. Unfortunately, they could be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli or Salmonella. These bacteria love the kind of warm, humid environment in which sprouts are grown. According to FoodSafety.gov, there have been more than 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts in the last 20 years. Please consider that when deciding whether or not to include sprouts with your dish.

Another risky “superfood” is raw milk, which is milk that hasn’t been heat-treated to kill bacteria (a process called pasteurization). Proponents claim that this type of milk contains more vitamins, minerals, probiotics and enzymes than pasteurized milk. However, the protein, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D are most likely not affected by pasteurization. Vitamin C will certainly be destroyed, but even raw milk contains relatively little vitamin C. A safer choice would be to get that vitamin, and your probiotics and enzymes, from other foods in your diet.

Everyday Diet Key to Your Health

It is your overall diet and daily habits that have the largest impact on your health. No single food or food group can cure disease, improve your metabolism or give you super-human strength. To satisfy all your nutrient needs you need to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Think of them as your team of superheroes. You can support this team and protect your health by adopting a routine of healthy habits:

  • Move your body every day.
  • Get the best sleep you can every night.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Don’t neglect your mental/emotional/spiritual health.

Laurie Ledford RDLaurie 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.be skeptical of the next “superfood” claim you see or hear!

 

TMC, Davis-Monthan work together to augment training for military medical personnel

BDP41009Master Sgt. Pablo Vasquez may someday be called upon to care for wounded warriors on a faraway battlefield.

The medical techinician has to keep his skills sharp to be ready for that assignment. But rather than travel across the country for those training opportunities, he just had to take a short drive across town, recently spending a week caring for patients at Tucson Medical Center.

TMC is partnering with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to provide week-long rotations designed to augment the training of the skilled medical staff working at the base clinic. The rotations will continue through the year.

“The clinic is a busy place, but we are able to get exposure to a much larger variety of medical needs here at TMC,” said Vasquez, a San Antonio native who came to Tucson in September for a two-year tour of duty. “This is a great opportunity to help enhance the skills and confidence we need when we deploy to a place – whether overseas or here – where these kinds of skills are needed.”

BDP40992As will his counterparts throughout the year, Vasquez spent two days in the Intensive Care Unit, one day at TMC Wound Care Clinic, one day in the medical-surgical units and two days helping to staff the Emergency Department – which alone sees nearly 100,000 patients each year.

Aside from the hands-on training with patients, he said, it was also an opportunity to learn more about hospital operations and best practices. “There are training platforms like this in other cities for other bases, so when I heard about this, I was really excited about the opportunity to obtain more training and education.”

Dr. Michael Lavor, a trauma vascular surgeon and Navy vet who deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 to direct medical operations at a base there, came away from that experience knowing exactly what kind of training soldiers need to care for their colleagues.

As the Honorary Commander for the 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron and the former physician leader of TMC Wound Care, he thought there might be a way for those two entities to come together to build a stronger community. He brought leaders from TMC together with leaders from Davis-Monthan to solidify the mutually beneficial training relationship.

“These are medics who are highly trained, but the experience they’re getting at the Wound Care Clinic, for example, is still very valuable,” Lavor said. “When you go to a war zone, you’re going to see wounds. It’s beneficial to learn from the highly experienced nurses here about how to put a dressing on or the different techniques in helping patients heal.”

“It’s one thing to read a book and be told how to do something. That’s an important part of medical school or nursing school – but it’s absolutely critical to then participate in clinical training to apply what you’ve learned. “

From TMC’s perspective, he noted, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the 1 percent of the population who work in military service, he said. “There is no small amount of work involved in setting up these rotations, so I give TMC credit for stepping forward to help support ongoing training of medical personnel.”

Judy Rich, TMC’s president and CEO, was part of those initial sessions with Air Force leaders. “We really salute the work that’s being done by the men and women who sacrifice to keep us safe,” she said. “The base is a critical part of Tucson’s economy, but they’re also our neighbor and a huge asset to this community, so we’re pleased to be able to support their readiness and training efforts.”

For more coverage of the effort from Arizona Public Media, visit https://news.azpm.org/p/news-articles/2018/5/31/130552-air-force-and-local-hospital-team-up-for-training/

 

Dehydration and kids – what you need to know

Dehydration and kids what you need to knowWhile standing on the sidelines cheering my eldest on at his soccer game is enough to get me reaching for my water bottle, my kindergartener with the flushed face needs a little reminding to hydrate. As temperatures soar it becomes especially important to make sure our children are hydrated – dehydration and heat stroke are all too common in the region and in the emergency department. And children are more prone to dehydration and heat stroke than adults.

Your kids are more susceptible to heat than you are!

As kids have a smaller mass-to-surface-area ratio, they can lose fluid more quickly than adults and become dehydrated more rapidly. Children also have a higher metabolic rate, so their bodies use more water, too. Add to that their kidneys do not conserve water as well as an adult’s and kids often may not drink or eat when they are not feeling well, and you have a recipe for a dehydration disaster! Luckily dehydration is easily preventable. Given the average temperatures here in the desert, we need to be aware year round and teach our children how to prevent dehydration.

To encourage my 5 year old to make a habit of hydrating, I follow two pieces of advice:

    1. Encourage constant sipping over infrequent large gulps
    2. Let him pick out an insulated water bottle that would keep the water cool

Remember: be a good role model -drink sips of water often. Throw a slice of fruit in your child’s water, or a silly straw, or perhaps fun colored ice cube shapes – anything that will encourage constant sipping.

The advice below is not a substitute for seeing a physician.

Is my child dehydrated?

  • Does the child seem sluggish?
  • When crying are there few or no tears?
  • Are there complaints about a dry mouth?
  • Is the child more cranky, irritable or fussy than usual?
  • Is urine darker than usual?
  • If child is an infant, is urination less frequent (fewer than six wet diapers a day)?
  • Is the child constipated?*
  • Is the child’s skin particularly dry and lacking its normal elasticity? Maybe even wrinkled?
  • Do the eyes appear sunken?
  • If your child is an infant is the soft spots (fontanel) sunken?

*Sometimes your child may be dehydrated due to diarrhea. Don’t forget to treat the dehydration.

“Yes” to any of the above may indicate that your child is dehydrated. If it is fairly mild you may be able to address this at home, but check with your physician if you have any questions.

What should I do if my child seems dehydrated?

For children older than 1 and less than 11:

  • If your child is dehydrated use an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte. If your child is eating food, plain water may be used to replace lost fluids. But if the child isn’t eating, plain water doesn’t provide essential electrolytes, so an oral rehydration solution is needed. Avoid sodas, caffeinated beverages or gelatins, which don’t relieve dehydration and may make symptoms worse.
  • Make sure your child is drinking small amounts, frequently.
  • Rehydration may take a few hours, so keep your child in a cool, shaded area and sipping fluids frequently
  • Allow your child to drink as much fluid as he or she wants. Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles. Children ages 4 to 10 should drink at least six to 10 glasses of liquids to replace lost fluids.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms do not improve or if they worsen

How can I prevent my child my child getting dehydrated?

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Insist on your children taking plenty of breaks to drink fluids while playing outside, especially if playing sports or engaged in vigorous physical activity. Perhaps set up a timer as a reminder. Also, hydrate before, during and after time in the heat.

  1. Stay indoors

We’re all about getting kids out and physically active, BUT when the heat is high, avoid spending time outdoors. In Tucson summers this means stay indoors any time after 9 a.m. into early evening.

Our suggestion: wake early to play outside, take a siesta in the afternoon and then venture out in the evening.

  1. Never leave a child in a parked car at ANY TIME, NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE

Even if the windows are open, temperatures can rise to shocking temperatures in minutes.

  1. Keep it light and wear a hat

Have children wear light, loose-fitting clothes when they’re outside. Breathable fabrics like cotton are best.

Stay cool this summer,

Melissa

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

This advice does not substitute for that of a medical professional. If you are concerned that you or your children may have heat stroke or moderate to severe dehydration please seek in person medical advice.

Tucson youngster collects books for rite of passage to share with pediatric unit

IMG_2597Addison Braswell surprised her parents as a kindergartener when she decided to donate to pediatric cancer patients all of the contents from her piggy-bank that she had collected over the year from gifts and holidays.

She has done the same thing every year since, explaining that she feels badly for children who are sick and wished she lived in a world where sickness didn’t exist.

So when she celebrated her First Holy Communion this year, it was completely within character that the 9-year-old asked her friends and family members to purchase children’s books for donations to give to children recovering in the hospital.

“Sometimes, when I don’t feel well, stories help me imagine that I’m somewhere else,” explained Addison, who donated more than 20 books to TMC for Children.

Jamie Antrim, a Child Life assistant at TMC, thanked Addison for her kind spirit. “Sometimes, when children spend the night in the hospital, they can feel a little sad because they miss their house and their pets or their friends, so we work hard to help them feel better,” she said. “Having a book to read can help make the hospital feel a little more relaxing and a little more like home.”

Not only does TMC for Children have a library for children, but every pediatric patient gets a coupon to pick out a brand-new book when leaving the hospital. Addison helped put her donations into the Book Nook, while little sister Avery looked on.

Addison’s mother, Anne-Marie Braswell, works for Golder Ranch Fire District, which is a partnering organization in Safe Kids Pima County, a coalition led by TMC that is working to prevent accidental childhood injury.

“I knew as a community hospital, TMC has a commitment to programs that cater to kids,” she said.

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Addison, who wants to be a veterinarian or a teacher someday, was satisfied about how she spent the first day of her summer vacation. “It made me feel good that I was going to be able to help a lot of people and maybe put a smile on someone’s face.”

For more information on TMC’s wish list for pediatric donations, please visit donating to TMC for Children.

TMC welcomes newest teacher in business-education partnership

BethanyAs a teacher of high school anatomy and physiology, Bethany Thiele will absolutely know you are talking about a bone, and not necessarily something funny, if you mention “humerus.”

So when she learned that Tucson Medical Center was participating in Teachers in Industry, she jumped at the chance to find meaningful summer work that will enhance her teaching.

The program allows businesses to gain new perspectives by employing teachers over the summer, while allowing teachers an inside look into how to shape their classes to make sure they’re responding to industry demands of current and future workers. More than 160 teachers – who collectively influence more than 20,000 students each year – have so far gained industry experience.

The fourth-year teacher at one point was so interested in anatomy that she thought she might be a doctor or a physical therapist.

But as a counselor at an academic summer camp each year throughout college, Thiele began thinking there might be a way to teach students about health in a more proactive way. Many of the other camp counselors were teachers. “I saw how they were able to work with young people and make learning fun, and so teaching was the path I chose.”

Thiele said the best part about teaching – and also the hardest – is the end of the year. “It’s so exciting to look back at the progress your students have made, but it’s also hard. I teach seniors, so we develop strong relationships through the year and then I send them off into the world, which is a very bittersweet experience.”

The Tucson native will be assigned to TMC Pharmacy over the summer. She already teaches students about how different chemicals work in the body and medical interventions that can help bring the body back into balance.

And now she can talk shop at home with the hubby, who is in nursing school himself and poised to graduate in August. The two play soccer and go rock climbing and are training for El Tour de Tucson this year – all of which is also a great fit for TMC’s approach to helping build community wellness and promote active lifestyles.

“With most summer jobs, it’s just a way to supplement your income. But I have a chance to do something this year that I can use to become a better teacher.”

The program was established in 2009 in part by the University of Arizona College of Education and Tucson Values Teacher. It is geared to teachers of math, science, engineering and technology. TMC has participated for four years.

“TMC, like others in the health care industry, relies heavily on skilled workers,” said Alex Horvath, TMC’s chief human resources officer.

“We’re looking forward to Bethany’s role as a contributing member of the team, but also interested to see how this experience translates into what she brings into the classroom as she trains tomorrow’s workforce.”

To learn more about why nearly 60 local businesses are investing in the program, which has so far provided industry experience to more than 100 teachers, visit Teachers in Industry.

 

TMC receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes Tucson Medical Center’s commitment to quality stroke care

 

StrokeRecognitionIconTucson Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

TMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Tucson Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said David Teeple, MD, and the director of TMC’s stroke care program.

“The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes.”

TMC additionally received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize TMC for their commitment to strokecare,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

 About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

Our greatest reward is caring for our patients. That’s why we’re committed to turning treatment guidelines into lifelines. Tucson Medical Center is dedicated to helping our patients achieve the best possible outcomes, and implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program will help us accomplish that by making it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis.

 

1,600 days, 400 blankets and countless lives touched

donating crafts to hospital“Each blanket takes about four days to make,” said Marlies Terpning, a community advocate who has donated more than 400 hand-crocheted blankets for babies born at Tucson Medical Center.

The plush, super-soft blankets are a perfect welcome for the newborns and Terpning’s favorite way to support her community. “We first went to TMC in 1977 and they have been so wonderful every time my family needed care,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for crochet and this is a way I can make something with my own hands to give back.”

The grandmother and long-time Tucson resident has been making blankets for TMC since 2008. When it comes to production, Terpning is a one-person show. She purchases all the materials and crochets each blanket herself.

Four days times 400 is the equivalent of 1,600 days – or more than four years of time – that Terpning has given to provide families with a memorable memento.

“I just love making them – my husband jokes that everyone in Tucson will eventually have one,” said Terpning. And it turns out her husband might be right. “I talked with a mom just the other day, who said her 9-year-old daughter still has the blanket on her bed, and she still loves it.” That sentiment was particularly rewarding for Terpning. “It meant so much to me to know how much the blanket meant to that family.”

If you visit TMC, you will see the Terpning name across the hospital – and on more than newborn blankets. Marlies’ husband, famed artist Howard Terpning, has donated many of his southwest-themed prints to the TMC Healing Art program. A TMC courtyard also bears his namesake, a dedication from Marleis. The couple have also been frequent and generous donors to the TMC Foundation.

“We are grateful for the tireless support of Marlies and Howard Terpning,” said Michael Duran, TMC vice president and chief development officer. “They care deeply for the Southern Arizona community and we’re honored to be a part of their philanthropic efforts.”

You might be wondering what’s next for Marlies Terpning? “More blankets! Oh yeah!”

For more information about how you can support the TMC Foundation and the TMC Healing Art Program, please call (520) 324-3116.

 

TMC executive chef shares can’t-fail rib recipe for grill-ready days

Cooking Tutorial YouTube ThumbnailI’d love to grill and BBQ every day – especially at this time of year – but with our busy lives, it’s just not realistic. On my days off, I always prepare several items that my family can enjoy later in the week, when the prospect of cooking after a long day of work has lost its luster.

One of them is BBQ Ribs. The fact is that I like mine smoked several hours over hickory;  but most weekends, that’s not happening.

The following recipe is a fool proof way to get solid BBQ Ribs, with just an oven (and a grill if you’d like.) There’s also an option to do the first step on the weekend, and finish them in 30 minutes on any night of the week.

BBQ Ribs without a smoker


2   2 ½ – 3 ½ lb  rack pork rib (baby back)

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp coarse ground pepper

1 cup dry rub (Recipe to follow)

1 cup of any BBQ sauce you’d like

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 lager beer or 1 cup water

Dry Rub Recipe

1/2 cup chili powder

2 tbsp  granulated garlic

2 tbsp  cumin

2 tbsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

The ratios are about right, so you can double or triple the recipe and store in a sealed container.

Prep:

Pull the ribs out of the fridge and place them on a cutting board. Cut each rack in half. This will make it easier to arrange on a sheet or roasting pan.

Salt and pepper both sides of the ribs.

Then liberally massage in the dry rub. If you’re dirty and are making a mess, you’re doing it right.

Set ribs on sheet pan or shallow roasting pan. (1 Layer)

In corner of roasting pan , pour in apple cider vinegar. Not over the pork, under the pork.

Open the beer and pour in half the same way. The rest is for you. (My wife just loves when I make ribs at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. All downhill from there.) Or use water.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. They need to steam.

Roast:

Preheat oven to 325F. Roast for 2 hours 15 minutes.

Remove and let sit 15 minutes, then uncover.

Finish:

Now, you can continue the cooking process, or you can let cool to touch,  wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator for later use. The ribs are thin, so they will cool quickly enough in a standard refrigerator. They can be stored up to 5 days.

To continue cooking, either preheat a grill to high, or your oven broiler. Slather sauce on meat side of ribs. Grill for 5 minutes or broil 2 minutes meat side up. Flip and do the other side. Make sure the sauce bubbles up off the meat. The sugars in the sauce are caramelizing. Remove. Try not to eat them all.

If you’re reheating the next day or later, preheat oven to 350F. Wrap ribs tightly in foil, and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Then follow the above step.

You see? Tuesday night all of a sudden looks like Rib Night – and all in half an hour.

Chef Jason Ricciardelli

ChefJason

Editor’s note: Sometimes, mere mortals may be skeptical when a chef calls a recipe “foolproof” so, dear readers, we can attest that members of the TMC Communications team, who have no particular culinary expertise to speak of, were able to successfully make these for a dinner party. They turned out fabulous. No one knows what happened to that other half of a beer. 

Imaging director shares thoughts on leadership, obtains educational milestone to better serve patients, colleagues

danfelix2When Dan Felix received his high school diploma, he couldn’t have been more pleased to be done with school.

The young man couldn’t have envisioned then that he’d be in school for a long time over the course of his career. Felix, who was promoted to director in 2014 over X-ray, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, mammography, CT-scan and MRI, started his master’s program in leadership in 2016, recently completing it.

We caught up with him for a few questions.

What inspired you to go back to school?

There are three reasons. TMC has given me this leadership opportunity so it was really important to me to perform at the level of my peers. My colleagues are a talented group and I respect them for their intelligence, attention to detail and preparation.

Secondly, my team deserves a leader who is committed enough to leadership to undergo formal training. And more so, patients deserve to be cared for by a team with well-prepared leaders.

The third reason was for my kids. I have two young daughters, one is going to be in seventh grade and the other in ninth, so setting that example is important to me.

You have a demanding job already. There must be a number of working professionals out there who are weighing going back to school and trying to figure out how to balance it all.

It was extremely difficult because not only was I balancing the pressures of work, I’m also a volunteer athletic coach for kids, and a husband and father. All of that takes a lot of time. I managed by 30-minute blocks every day: 30 minutes to eat, 30 minutes to read, 30 minutes for school. But I’ve always believed the body and mind are capable of more than we think and will meet any challenge.

Now that you’re finished, you have some of those 30-minute slots reopening. What are you going to do with that time?

The joke is I will get my golf game back. But what I believe and hope I will do with my time is to help others by passing along the skills and knowledge that I’ve learned, whether it’s here with people at work, with the team members I coach or with the parents of those students.

Did any of the content change your leadership approach?

As time went on as I developed my leadership skills at TMC and as I was presented with a variety of challenges and personalities, I often found myself tailoring my approach in order to achieve the best outcome.  That’s when I had my big “aha” moment in leadership training.

This tailoring of my approach is actually referred to as “situational leadership.”  Our jobs as leaders is to use different approaches based on the needs of the employees or situations – not necessarily what’s most comfortable for the leader.

And there lies the beauty of leadership. A good leader will recognize when there is time to carefully analyze certain situations and have thoughtful discussions such as process improvements vs. when it’s important to take control and act quickly.

Any practical tips leaders can try right away with their teams?

The biggest thing for me was reaffirming how important it is for leaders to be good listeners. I have a good relationship with my team so it was easy for me to say, “Here’s what I learned. Let’s give it a try and see if it helps us improve our work together.”

The one thing we really worked on was making sure we heard each other. If you’re already talking before I finished my sentence, that’s a good sign that you’re not listening. So we’ve been very conscious of waiting until we’re done speaking, taking the time to process what we’ve heard and then reply back. It’s led to more efficient conversations because there’s more confidence that we don’t have to repeat key points.

It also reinforced the importance of learning the management styles of members of my team, making sure we hold each other accountable with detailed action plans and making sure we all have clarity on our current and future states. The whiteboard in my office is heavily used.

You probably had learned a great deal through mistakes and successes in practice already – so why school?

It gave me a chance to think deeply about leadership and how my management style lines up with documented leadership theories. It was affirmation that I’m taking the right approach and it gave me confidence that I was connecting the dots.

TMC supported my goals through its tuition reimbursement program and I am grateful that TMC’s leadership has always encouraged continuing education. There are a lot of opportunities to advance if you put in the work and are accountable for that work.

 

San Diego Zoo Kids channel begins broadcasting at TMC and Ronald McDonald House Charities

San Diego Zoo Kids Debra EricksonYoung patients, their families and invited guests were treated to a visit with some amazing animal ambassadors—including a fennec fox, a ferret, a blue-tongued skink and a snake from Reid Park Zoo—at a gathering at Tucson Medical Center this morning.

The special event was held to announce the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids, a closed-circuit television channel, at TMC and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.

San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative television channel with programs produced primarily for medical facilities that serve pediatric patients and their families.

The creation and development of the channel has been funded by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.

In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded San Diego Zoo Global an outstanding Museums for America Grant to bring San Diego Zoo Kids to 75 children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald House Charities across the nation over the next three years.

San Diego Zoo Kids FoxThe generous grant from IMLS has made the channel available on television monitors in every patient room at Tucson Medical Center and in the children’s play area at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.

San Diego Zoo Kids’ programming offers family friendly, animal-oriented stories that are both entertaining and educational.

“TMC is thrilled to partner with the San Diego Zoo to bring to our patients a little more of what’s magical and wonderful in the world at a time when they’re not feeling their best,” said Judy Rich, TMC president and CEO.

From TMC’s long-standing support of Reid Park Zoo to its robust pet therapy program, Rich noted that the educational and entertaining channel builds on the work TMC is already doing. “This effort helps us in supporting families, offering a child-friendly environment and fostering an appreciation of the healing qualities of animals and nature.”

The channel also features animal stories from Reid Park Zoo. “We are excited to be collaborating with San Diego Zoo Global, TMC and Ronald McDonald House Charities to share our passion for animal conservation and education,” said Nancy Kluge, president, Reid Park Zoological Society. “We hope this glimpse into the lives of the animals at Reid Park Zoo will bring excitement and joy into the lives of those in our community who might not be able to visit the Zoo.”

The service is also making its debut at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.

San Diego Zoo Frenetic Fox“We are so pleased to partner with the San Diego Zoo, Tucson Medical Center and Reid Park Zoo on this entertaining and educational program,” said Kate Jensen, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.

“One of our goals is to create a sense of normalcy for children and families, even while they are going through very difficult times,” said Jensen. “The San Diego Zoo Kids channel has become a very popular diversion. It is so well produced, educational and entertaining. We are grateful for this wonderful contribution from the San Diego Zoo.”

The San Diego Zoo Kids channel offers up-close video encounters with animals, stories about caring for animals, quizzes about animals and habitats, and a wide variety of short video vignettes hosted by San Diego Zoo Global ambassador Rick Schwartz and San Diego Zoo Kids host Olivia Degn.

Viewers can see best-of videos from the San Diego Zoo’s famous Panda Cam and other online cameras, as well as content from other zoos across the world.

San Diego Zoo Kids Judy Rich“We continue to be humbled by the healing properties of San Diego Zoo Kids,” said Debra Erickson, director of communications, San Diego Zoo Global. “Parents and caregivers share that the channel, which has no commercials or inappropriate content, not only calms children but makes them happy.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Since then, it has been installed in 137 children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses, pediatric wards and children’s hospice centers across the U.S., in 33 states and the District of Columbia; and in facilities in Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan and Singapore.

For further information about San Diego Zoo Kids, visit their website. And don’t forget to have a peek at all the fun happening locally at the Reid Park Zoo.

For more information about the Ronald McDonald House visit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona website or call (520) 326-0060.

IT professionals teach high school computer science classes to fill need

Paul.jpgBy a happy stroke of destiny, there was a computer lab in Paul Lemmons’ high school. It allowed him to play in the environment enough to know he was drawn to that work.

“The food I have put on my table for the past 40 years has come from that high school experience,” said Lemmons, who is a lead systems engineer at Tucson Medical Center, helping to manage the computer programs that run TMC’s electronic medical records platform.

So when Lemmons heard about a program that taps IT professionals to volunteer to teach high school classes, while working in conjunction with a certified classroom teacher, he jumped at the chance. He and his TMC IT colleague, Michael Cecil, were assigned to Presidio School, a college preparatory high school in midtown, through Technology Education and Literacy in Schools, or TEALS.

“Computer professionals are compensated at much higher levels than teachers are, so there is a gap in how many schools can actually employ computer professionals,” Lemmons said, noting he and Cecil spend one hour each weekday teaching students two different programming languages.

TMC supports the program by paying for their employees’ classroom time. “Giving back to the community is something we take seriously as a nonprofit community hospital,” said Susan Snedaker, director of IS Infrastructure and Operations. “This program allows us to make a difference by preparing students for a professional life in computer programming. And it helps our employees as well, since teaching demands that you reflect deeply about your own career and skill sets, which often leads to new insights.”

The students spend the first semester writing video games and the second part learning Python, one of the fastest-growing computer languages.  The work, Lemmons explained, “teaches them how to logically think through a problem and how to communicate their mental solution into something a computer could represent.”

“It’s been a wonderful experience. Kids are like sponges. It’s fun watching their imaginations go once they pick up the concepts.”

For Cecil, who is now in his second year of teaching in the program, it was important to make a difference, knowing about the deficit in computer science offerings in public education. “It’s been really rewarding because you’re making a tangible impact with young adults and you can see the effects,” he said. “You start with a kid who is kind of interested in this stuff and now, they’re planning to major in computer science or they’ve gotten a scholarship for college. It’s an incredible opportunity to give back.”

Lemmons added there is value in helping students find out early whether they have an aptitude for computer science because it helps them in planning their college experience. And there is value for industry participants as well. “I’m eventually going to retire and someone has to come in and do this. We’re preparing a new workforce to come in and take care of TMC’s computing department.”

TEALS has expanded from one school in 2015 to 18 schools in the coming academic year, but it looking for more IT volunteers to help meet demand.

TEALS is hosting an Info Session at The Lodge on the Desert on Thursday, May 17, at 11:30 am.  Please find more information and the RSVP link here.

Rock ‘N Rodeo chips in fore TMC Hospice

This year two great events came together to support one great cause. The Desert Toyota of Tucson 21stAnnual Rock ‘N Rodeo event expanded festivities with the 1st Annual Swinging fore Hospice Golf Tournament.

The two events raised more than $70,000 to support a wide range of services and programs at TMC Hospice and TMC Children’s Hospice.

Taking fun to the next level

Rock ‘N Rodeo is known for ropin’ in the fun with southwestern dancing, raffles, casino games and a tasty dinner.

Desert Toyota of Tucson is a proud, long time sponsor of Rock ‘N Rodeo,” said Brent Berge, owner of Desert Toyota. “We have a lot of fun each year, but the real reward is knowing every dollar raised supports services and programs that enhance hospice care for patients and their families.”

After an evening of two-stepping, event-goers traded in their boots and Stetsons for clubs and cleats the next morning. With amazing raffle prizes and the chance to win a new car with a hole-in-one, the Swinging Fore Hospice Golf Tournament was a real hit!

How proceeds enhance hospice care

Funds support soothing complementary therapies for adults, and also fund the We Honor Veterans and Hospice Veterans Partnership programs – helping TMC Hospice better care for, reach out to and honor veterans needing end-of-life care.

Children with life-limiting or terminal conditions and their families have special needs, and the invaluable support from Rock ‘N Rodeo and Swinging Fore Hospice means TMC Children’s Hospice can offer specialized palliative care that provides joy and comfort.

“The Rock ‘N Rodeo and Swinging Fore Hospice support a very important community need,” said Kim Fore, director of TMC Hospice. “We’re grateful for the team at Desert Toyota of Tucson, as well as every sponsor and participant who helped make this year a great success.”

How you can be a part of the fun

Keep your spring calendars open for next year’s events. In the meantime, The TMC Foundation works with TMC Hospice and TMC Children’s Hospice throughout the year to identify needs and support programs that make a positive difference for patients. For more information, contact the TMC Foundation at (520) 324-3116 or visit www.tmcaz.com/foundation.

Children’s Miracle Network Champion – Emma Martin

Nine-year old Emma Martin is spunky! No two ways about it, this little girl has a big personality, an infectious laugh and the kindest heart. Emma is also TMC for Children’s 2018 Children’s Miracle Network Champion.

Each year Children’s Miracle Network recognizes one child in southern Arizona who embodies bravery, spirit and hope and is a champion for every child who spends time in our hospitals. We are thrilled to announce that Emma has been recognized as Southern Arizona’s champion for 2018.

While Emma was still in the womb, several of her internal organs developed and fused together, meaning she was without a crucial organ to remove waste from her body. In addition, Emma was born with only one kidney, making it even more difficult for her body to process fluids. A triplet, Emma spent an extended time in the NICU with her sisters, but faced with additional complications went home months after her sisters had left.

Over the past nine years Emma has spent months in the hospital, had over 20 surgeries to address the original congenital issues and the subsequent developments. A fungal infection caused her bladder to be removed, and she lost a majority of her colon in 2016 to a dangerous form of colitis. Emma must use a colostomy and urostomy bag for the rest of her life.

Despite years of complex surgeries and painful symptoms, Emma is joyful, kind and has a giving heart. “She will help others before herself, even her sisters,” said Emma’s mother, Shannan Martin. “She is a special and amazing person who is so positive – she lights up any room she walks into.”

Through Emma was born with rare and daunting health challenges, she keeps an enthusiastic positivity that is nothing short of inspiring – she is a true champion.

Southern Arizona communities can look forward to seeing Emma out-and-about in 2018, sharing her story and advocating for the courageous families and kids who are receiving care at TMC for Children.

You can support Emma’s efforts by contributing to TMC for Children/Children’s Miracle Network. Every dollar donated stays right here in Southern Arizona to support wellness programs, purchase life-saving equipment and provide vital health services to help children like Emma be as healthy as possible.

“TMC for Children has made an incredible difference for our amazing Emma,” said Martin. “We are grateful for the staff, technology and the continued services that have kept Emma alive and brought us all hope.”

Congratulations Emma and thank you for serving as the 2018 TMC for Children Champion!

Learn more about how TMC for Children/Children’s Miracle Network are making a difference, and how you can join the effort to provide life-saving equipment and health services for Southern Arizona children.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461