Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Planning a Hospital Stay? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:19
Top-Rated Surgeon Shares Tips for Warding Off Infection

Hospitals can be scary places: They’re brimming with bacteria, viruses and fungi -- the last things sick and injured people should be around.

In fact, hospital-acquired infections are the most common complication of a hospital stay, affecting nearly 2 million Americans a year and killing nearly 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“There are a number of public and private initiatives under way to bring those numbers down. Life-threatening MRSA (antibiotic-resistant staph) infections have actually been declining since 2005,” says Dr. Marc Stevens, an AMA Physician Recognition Award recipient and formulator of Rapid Recovery (www.DRSHealthInc.com), a beverage mix of nutrients that help tissue heal quickly after surgery or injury.

“The other good news is that there are steps patients can take to reduce the risk of being infected – and bolster their ability to fight infection. As a surgeon, I make it a priority to educate my patients and the public at large about what they should be doing before and during a hospital stay to protect themselves.”

Stevens says patients should always take responsibility for doing what they can to avoid infection and bolster their immune system.

“Young people, elderly people and those with chronic illnesses – particularly diabetes – are most at risk for being overwhelmed by infection,” he says.

He suggests:

• Hand washing: This is the No. 1 precaution recommended by the CDC, Stevens says. “Wash your hands, ask visitors to wash theirs, and don’t be shy about asking hospital personnel, including doctors and nurses, to wash up before treating or examining you.”

• Monitor your bandages: Alert a nurse if you notice your bandage is not clean, dry or completely attached to the skin surrounding a wound.

• Get in the best health possible before a scheduled hospital stay: People in their best possible mental, nutritional and physical health are better able to ward off infection and their wounds heal more quickly, closing portals to infection, Stevens says. “Whether it’s physical therapy you need, or vitamin supplements – there are 13 with a demonstrated role in healing – patients should do what’s necessary to prepare before going to the hospital, particularly, before a scheduled surgery.”

• After discharge, watch for signs of infection: Symptoms that can indicate an infection include unexpected pain, chills, fever, drainage or increased redness around a surgical wound. If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately contact your doctor.

About Dr. Marc Stevens

Dr. Marc Stevens is an award-winning orthopedic surgeon certified by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. He has been recognized as one of America’s Top Orthopedic Surgeons and a World Leading Physician (International Association of Orthopedic Surgeons.) Dr. Stevens has found optimal nutrition – particularly the 13 vitamins known to promote tissue healing – dramatically speeds surgical patients’ recovery. His flavored Rapid Recovery mix of these vitamins offers convenience and better absorption.

 
Genesis Nursing Homes Earn High Ratings From CMS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:15
Mercer County Nursing Home in Aledo, Ill., and Illini Restorative Care, Silvis, Ill., have each earned 5-star quality ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Five stars is the highest and most respected rating a nursing home can achieve. The combined rating is based on health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

Westwing Place at Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt, earned a 4-star rating in overall quality.

The 5-star rating from CMS is the highest ever for Mercer County Nursing Home.

"We believe in high quality resident care and set a standard of excellence in everything we do," said Myron Higgins, administrator, Mercer County Nursing Home. "Every member of our staff is dedicated to our residents and their families."

Mercer County Nursing Home is a 92-bed skilled nursing facility managed by Genesis Health System. The nursing home provides residents with superior short and long-term skilled nursing care administered by caring professionals. Highly trained and experienced staff offer residents individualized and compassionate attention while providing a wide range of health care services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy along with around-the-clock nursing care.

Mercer County Nursing Home earned 5 stars for quality ratings, 4 stars for health inspections, and 3 stars for staffing.

Illini Restorative care earned 5 stars for health inspections and 5 stars for staffing.

Westwing Place earned 4 stars in every category and 4 stars overall.

For more information about senior living options at Genesis, go to www.genesishealth.com/srliving.

About Genesis Health System

Genesis Health System and its affiliates offer a full continuum of care, including preventive, primary, acute and tertiary hospital care; home health; hospice; rehabilitation; and long-term care. Its affiliates include Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, DeWitt and the Illini Campus in Silvis, Illinois; the Genesis Health Services Foundation, Visiting Nurse Association and GenVentures Inc. Genesis also manages Mercer County Hospital, Aledo, and Jackson County Regional Health Center, Maquoketa, Iowa. Serving a 10-county area of eastern Iowa and western Illinois, the Health System also operates Genesis Health Group. For more information, visit our Web site at www.genesishealth.com.

 
Governor Quinn Encourages Schools to Participate in the Illinois School Breakfast Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:49

Ongoing effort aims to end child hunger by serving healthy breakfast at school 

BERWYN – October 12, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today visited Irving Elementary School to emphasize the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and to participate in the school’s “breakfast in the classroom” program as part of the 2012-2013 Illinois School Breakfast Challenge. A partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Midwest Dairy Council and the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign, the effort challenges every school in the state to make school breakfast a top priority. Governor Quinn sent a letter to superintendents throughout Illinois encouraging them to participate in the challenge earlier this year.

“No child should begin their school day with an empty stomach,” Governor Quinn said. “The Illinois School Breakfast Challenge will help children across the state have a nutritious start to their day, so they are ready to learn, grow and play.”

Serving breakfast in the classroom is a proven way to eliminate child hunger and help students succeed in school. Studies indicate that children who come to school hungry report headaches and stomachaches more frequently, have trouble focusing in class, make more errors and have slower memory recall. Researchers have also found that just by serving breakfast at school, students perform better on standardized tests and show a general increase in reading and math scores.  “Breakfast in the classroom” programs also help children develop healthy habits for life.

The state of Illinois offers a federally funded School Breakfast Program for children who come from households that struggle with hunger; however, less than 40 percent of the students who qualify participate. The Illinois School Breakfast Challenge encourages schools to take advantage of this program and prevent children from coming to school hungry. Schools with the largest percentage increases in average daily breakfast participation rates for August-December 2012 compared to January-May 2012 will receive awards. There are four tiers of awards, with each tier awarding three prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000. The Challenge kicked-off in Illinois in April 2012 as part of a nationwide effort to close the school breakfast gap.

Since Irving School introduced their classroom breakfast program, students’ standardized test scores have dramatically improved. In 2010 – before the program was implemented – only 79% of third graders at the school met or exceeded state standards in math, but in 2011 – the first year of the program – 92% of third graders met or exceeded this standard. In 2012, it went up to 98%. As of Thursday, October 11, 2012, Irving School has served 9,271 breakfasts since the first day of school.

The Breakfast Challenge is part of the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in Illinois. Governor Quinn launched the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign earlier this year with the Illinois Commission to End Hunger and Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading child anti-hunger organization. The campaign is one of the key recommendations made by the Commission to eliminate hunger throughout Illinois.

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Health care leadership award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jill Kozeny   
Monday, 15 October 2012 14:45

THE AHA AND THE IOWA HOSPITAL ASSOCATION PRESENT SENATOR GRASSLEY WITH THE HEALTH CARE CHAMPION AWARD

Des Moines, Iowa  (October 11, 2012) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) and Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) today presented Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) the Health Care Champion Award for his outstanding contributions to health care public policy.

“This award recognizes Senator Grassley for his leadership in helping to strengthen rural hospitals,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA’s president and CEO. “He is very cognizant of the key role that rural hospitals play in providing and maintain access to health care in rural America.”

During his tenure as chairman, ranking member, and a current member of the Committee on Finance, Senator Grassley has always made sure that rural hospitals had the resources necessary to provide patients with the right care in the right setting.  He helped to create, expand and improve programs for the most isolated rural hospitals whose size and patient fluctuations make it hard for them to remain financially viable, and is currently working to continue the important Medicare Dependent Hospital program.  Senator Grassley also led the effort to ban physicians from referring Medicare patients to specialty hospitals where those physicians have an ownership interest.

The award was presented at the Iowa Hospital Association’s annual meeting.

“Iowa’s hospitals appreciate the years of leadership and advocacy provided by Senator Grassley,” said Kirk Norris, president and CEO of IHA.  “He understands the complex relationship between the federal government and health care providers, particularly those in rural areas, and he is a knowledgeable and fair arbiter when it comes to health care policy questions.”

Senator Grassley is a member of the following committees: Judiciary, Finance, Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Budget and Taxation.

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About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site at www.aha.org.

About the IHA

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences.  All 118 community hospitals in Iowa, with more than 70,000 employees and a $6.2 billion impact on the state’s economy, are IHA members.

 
State Mental Institutions – A Crazy Place for the Truly Sick PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 07:19
Former Chief of Staff Shares 5 Reasons Why They Fall Short

Psychiatric hospitals have served as effective settings for some of the greatest films in history; it’s where Norman Bates went at the end of “Psycho,” and it’s where Jack Nicholson’s character rallied the patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

But how much of that fiction is based on fact?

“That depends on what kind of facility we’re talking about,” says Mike Bartos, a psychiatrist with experience at a state institution for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, and author of the new novel “BASH” (Bay Area State Hospital), www.mikebartos.com.

“Some places are private institutions that more closely resemble a country club when compared to state-run facilities. The differences can be startling; however, these are places that are typically rich with characters, drama, and a fair share of staff burnout.”

The intended use of state facilities is to control and contain, if not cure, mental illness. Bartos reviews the reasons why mental institutions often fall short of that goal:

• Bureaucracy: The state hospitals, being government institutions, are rife with bureaucratic confusion, Bartos says. These hospitals are inextricably linked to the legal system, which invites all sorts of problems if the goal is to meaningfully treat patients. “The reality is, when offenders straddle the line between criminal intent and questionable sanity, they can end up in a state hospital, which is part prison and part hospital. This is a difficult place to find healing.

• Drugs: Many of his patients at the state hospital had committed crimes while in a drug-induced haze. “Really, we often have patients there who don’t have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder – they are criminals who may or may not have a problem with drug addiction.” In other words, many hospital patients are not so different from prison inmates; the biggest difference is they can be tempered with psychotropic drugs and therapy.

• Violence: While not as bad as prison, state mental hospitals are often violent because of the criminal element. The majority of patients at state forensic hospitals committed crimes before their admission. This large percentage of convicts drastically increases violence in hospitals and results in staff requests for heightened security, which can be slow in implementation, and frequently considered inadequate by the people who work there.

• Staff burnout: With limited state budgets and a high demand for professional support, state workers at hospitals work long, difficult and often dangerous hours. The result is less effective treatment.

• A challenging population: A community of people with serious mental disorders or drug habits, and misplaced criminals – or combinations thereof – is quite a melting pot. Unfortunately, bad ideas and habits are shared, and instead of improving the mental conditions of patients, they tend to get worse.

“Through my years of experience as a professional and as a human being, I know the very best medicine for mental health is love – whether it’s TLC from loved ones or truly compassionate care from doctors and staff,” Bartos says. “Unfortunately, that is too small a part of the state hospital equation.

About Mike Bartos

Mike Bartos is currently in private psychiatric practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife, Jody.  He has several decades of experience in the mental health field, including a stint as chief of staff at a state hospital for mentally ill patients convicted of violent crimes, where he focused on forensic psychiatry. Bartos is a former radio show host and newspaper columnist. While practicing in Charleston, S.C., he served as a city councilman for the nearby community of Isle of Palms.

 
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