Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Upcoming Red Cross blood drives: June 16-30 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 12:52
PEORIA, Ill. (June 3, 2013) — The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood this summer, helping to ensure a sufficient supply for patients in need and allowing them to create their summer of stories. Below are just a few examples of patients recently helped by Red Cross blood donors:
  • A liver transplant recipient needed 50 units of red blood cells and 50 units of plasma.

  • A mother who had complications during childbirth was given 32 units of red blood cells, 10 units of platelets, 10 units of plasma and 15 units of cryoprecipitate.

  • A trauma patient required 15 units of red blood cells.

Blood donations tend to decline during the summer, when many regular donors are on vacation and schools are out of session. However, the need for blood is constant. All blood types are currently needed, especially O negative, which is the universal blood type and can potentially be transfused to any patient.

Blood donors are encouraged to share their donation story with the Red Cross by visiting The Summer of Stories campaign is helping to raise awareness about the constant need for blood and encourage regular donations.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Carroll County

June 20 from 1-6 p.m. at Milledgeville First Brethren Church, 521 N. Main Ave. in Milledgeville, Ill.

June 21 from 12-6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 405 E. Locust in Lanark, Ill.

June 28 from 12-5 p.m. at Mount Carroll Community Building, 101 N. Main in Mount Carroll, Ill.

Clinton County

June 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lyondell Chemical Co., 3400 Anamosa Road in Clinton, Iowa

June 21 from 12-6 p.m. at Prince of Peace Academy Grade School, 312 S. Fourth St. in Clinton, Iowa

June 23 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Assumption Catholic Church, 147 Broadway St. in Charlotte, Iowa

Henry County

June 19 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kewanee Hospital, 1051 W. South St. in Kewanee, Ill.

June 19 from 12-5 p.m. at Kewanee Hospital, 1051 W. South St. in Kewanee, Ill.

June 26 from 2-6 p.m. at First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St. in Kewanee, Ill.

Mercer County

June 18 from 12-6 p.m. at VFW Hall, 106 SW Third Ave. in Aledo, Ill.

June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at New Boston United Methodist Church, 605 Main St. in New Boston, Ill.

Muscatine County

June 27 from 2-6 p.m. at Fruitland Community Center, 104 Sand Run Road in Fruitland, Iowa

Scott County

June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at LeClaire Community Library, 323 Wisconsin St. in Le Claire, Iowa

Whiteside County

June 18 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

June 19 from 2-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

June 25 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

June 25 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Coventry Living Center, 612 S. St. Mary’s Road in Sterling, Ill.

June 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

June 27 from 4-7 p.m. at American Red Cross, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.



Healthy Aging with a Little Help from Your Intergenerational Friends PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:59
Eye-Brain-Body Therapy with a Partner Improves Balance for Seniors;
Nonprofit Founder Reviews Benefits

Two major areas connected to overall health that are too frequently overlooked, particularly for those aged 65 and older, are visual capability and social connectedness, says therapist and charity innovator Karen Peterson.

“Physical and mental attributes are intimately connected, and what many do not realize is that balance is 20 percent based in vision. There are multiple ways of testing this, but perhaps the most simple is to stand on one leg, and then try to do so with your eyes closed – when your eyes are closed, you vestibular system, which controls your body’s balance, begins to work overtime,” says Karen Peterson, a therapist with multiple certifications, and creator of the new book and video series, “Move With Balance: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body,” ( She’s also the founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization that grows and spreads programs that support senior health.

“Seniors of all ages – 55 to 105 – need to continually work on improving their balance, coordination, strength, vision and cognitive skills,” says Peterson, who has been teaching vision, brain and kinesiological modalities to children, businesspeople, athletes, classroom teachers and adults of all ages since 1987. “When they do, they’re less likely to fall and more able to enjoy life.”

In 2005, she expanded her program to focus on elders; specifically, to encourage active and younger seniors to buddy up with frail elder seniors for exercising eye-brain-body connections.

“Some folks reach a milestone age and recognize that they need to get active and, after only a short while, they actually feel younger. It’s these folks who we’ve encouraged to mentor other seniors who haven’t taken that step,” Peterson says.

“Members from different generations have partnered in training, and it’s an interesting learning experience for both parties.”

Peterson reviews the benefits of paring with a training buddy while practicing exercises that facilitate eye-brain-body cohesion:

• Independent study: Performed by a registered nurse and Dr. Lorrin Pang, Director of the Maui District Health Office, the Moving With Balance program, headquartered in Hawaii, has provided plenty of positive data. The objective is to reduce the number of falls in elderly who are institutionalized, many with cognitive deficits. The study was designed to compare the number of falls in the group doing the Move With Balance exercises to the number of falls in those serving as controls (no exercise). While the multiyear study is in the peer-review process, data shows a statistically significant reduction in falls in the target group – 38 percent.

• The importance of vision exercise: Vision gives the nervous system updated information about the position of body parts in relation to each other and the environment. With that information we judge distances, avoid obstacles and control our balance. Visual information goes directly to the midbrain, where it becomes part of the sensory motor pathway. This information lets us know and control where we are in space. When people get old, they tend to lose their control of this seeing-based system that provides spatial orientation. With one in three seniors experiencing a significant fall this year, visual-spatial exercises are an important measure for prevention.

• One example of a visual integration exercise – the arrow chart: With a partner holding the chart, look at the arrows and call out the direction indicated by each individual symbol. Then, thrust your arms in that direction; in other words, say and do what the arrow indicates. A partner can verify or correct movements. For an additional challenge, do the opposite of what the arrow indicates.

• Help from your friends: Working with a partner is tremendously beneficial for many of these exercises. Not only does it help with structure, consistency of schedule and morale, many of Peterson’s exercises call for coordinated movements and fast reaction times, including ball tosses. Partners can help cue and coach, and they provide security for seniors afraid to challenge themselves for fear of falling.

Successfully executing of these exercises indicates good brain processing ability, which is necessary for cognitive skills and balance, Peterson says.

About Karen Peterson

Karen Peterson is founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of elders through intergenerational mentoring. She has multiple certifications, including as a educational kinesiologist, natural vision improvement instructor, Touch for Health instructor and a massage therapist. For 27 years, Peterson has been teaching these modalities to children, businesspeople, athletes, classroom teachers and adults of all ages and occupations.

Iowa Masonic Health Facilities is named one of US News and World Report's Best Nursing Homes of 2013! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Iowa Masonic Health Facilities   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:39

Congratulations to Iowa Masonic Health Facilities for being named one of the best nursing homes of 2013 in the US News and World Report. Iowa Masonic Health Facilities has received and maintained the highest rating attainable from both the federal Medicare and the state regulatory authorities.  We are known for our excellent care and highly qualified and compassionate staff, and we have a reputation for providing sensitive, individualized care.

As a Five Star Rated Facility, we are committed to providing compassionate, quality care in a home-like environment. Private rooms, free wireless internet, daily recreational activities, and comprehensive rehabilitation services (physical, occupational, & speech therapy) are just a few of the outstanding benefits you'll enjoy at Iowa Masonic. Call us at 563-359-9171 for your personalized tour today!

Prostate Cancer Updates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Zero - the end of prostate cancer   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:30

FDA Approves New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

The FDA has approved Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride) to treat men with symptomatic late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to bones but not to other organs. It is intended for men whose cancer has spread after receiving medical or surgical therapy to lower testosterone.

Patients who are interested in finding out where and when newly FDA approved drug Xofigo will be available can call 1-855-696-3446 (1-855-6Xofigo) or visit

Click Here to Learn More About Xofigo

Agent Orange Linked to Fatal Prostate Cancer

A new study of US Veterans has found that exposure to Agent Orange is linked to a two-fold higher risk of developing the most lethal forms of prostate caner. The researchers suggest a history of exposure to the agent, which contains the dioxin TCDD, a dangerous toxin and carcinogen, should be one of the first things to look for when screening Veterans as it could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment and prolong survival.

Click Here to Read the Full Article

Man With BRAC2 Gene Has First Preemptive Prostate Removal

Angelina Jolie had her breasts removed after discovering that her genetic makeup gave her an 87 percent chance of breast cancer. Now, an unnamed 53-year-old Londoner has become the first man in the world to have his prostate preemptively removed after discovering that, like the Hollywood actress, his genetic code (carrier of the BRAC 2 gene) made him a prime candidate for prostate cancer.

Although standard tests showed no evidence of cancer, doctors finally agreed to go ahead with the controversial operation—which leaves men infertile as the prostate gland is responsible for the production of semen—and were astounded when, after the operation, examinations showed the organ to be riddled with cancer.

Click Here to Read the Full Article

Preventing Skin Cancer By Barbara Grassley PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 31 May 2013 13:19

With Memorial Day over and temperatures climbing, summer is just about upon us.   The season is a good reminder of the need to focus on sun safety and skin cancer prevention.  Like most ways to reduce your risk for cancer, the preventive steps may be easy but committing to them isn’t.  It may be difficult to make the right choices, especially for teen-agers and young adults, because the risks and consequences seem remote and improbable.  However, the facts tell us otherwise.

Skin cancer is on the rise among young people between 18 and 39; the Skin Cancer Foundation says the rates of skin cancer have grown by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men over the past 40 years, despite an increase in knowledge.  Why?  Perhaps looking good now triumphs protecting oneself to be healthy later in life. Too many people who spend time outdoors still fail to regularly and properly apply sunscreen. Whether you seek a tan inside or outside, tanning is dangerous.  In the last decade, tanning salons have become popular, especially among teens. The ads from tanning salons appear around this time of year and offer student discounts. Tanning may seem like just another example of typical teen-age vanity, but this behavior is dangerous.

People who begin indoor tanning at a younger age have a 75 percent higher risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  “Tanning bed use during high school and college conferred a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) than did tanning bed use between ages 25 and 35,” said Dr. Mingfeng Zhang, a research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  In fact, just one indoor tanning session a year while the subjects were in high school or college boosted their risk of developing BCC by 10 percent, and those who tanned indoors more than six times a year had an 82 percent higher risk of developing BCC than non-tanners.   It is estimated that 2.3 million teens visit a tanning salon at least once a year.

Regardless of age, we all must be more vigilant.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; indeed, it is the fastest-growing cancer, affecting more than two million people each year.  One person dies every hour from melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease, and an estimated 8,790 people will die from it this year in the United States.  In Iowa alone, 980 new cases of skin cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year.  To reduce your risk of skin cancer, follow these sun safety tips:

·         Regularly apply sunscreen.  Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher, and remember to reapply.  Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours and after swimming or sweating.  Make sure to use an ounce – two tablespoons -- of sunscreen on your face and enough to generously cover your body.  If one bottle lasts you all summer, then you’re not applying enough!

·         Although you can get sunburned at any time of day, the sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Stay out of the sun during these hours!

·         Don’t forget to slip on your shades!  Wear sunglasses with 100 percent ultraviolet ray absorption to protect your eyes and their surrounding skin.

Even when you're serious about protecting your skin, you may sometimes want the glow of a tan. Luckily, many bronzers and sunless tanning products are widely available on the market from high end retailers to local pharmacies.

And parents, you are wise to protect your children early on and teach them safety habits as they grow more independent.  They may fight you now, but when they are in their 30s and 40s and beyond, they will love you for it.  For those of us who are older, it’s never too late to start making the right choices.  Start each day with a moisturizer with sunscreen and get your children and grandchildren in the habit, too. Be sure to follow these tips every day and have a wonderfully safe summer!

Barbara Grassley is a member of the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the spouse of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

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