When Jack Frost Bites

March 6th, 2015

By Jonathan Libby, DNP, CPNP

CCS Pediatrics

With winter as a way of life here in Maine, parents have to find ways to entertain their children during the long 6 months of a New England Winter.  Children who live in this environment still need to get outdoors and enjoy what our beautiful state can provide. This experience has its inherited risks, namely the cold. Temperatures frequently drop to freezing and below. Add on a wind chill factor and the temperatures can become dangerous. Children frequently don’t pay attention to their bodies until it may be too late. How many children in the summer want to keep swimming despite shivering, the rattling teeth and their blue skin? Same thing happens in the winter with lost gloves, wet clothing, boots full of snow and socks curled up into the toe of the boot. Frostbite can happen to anyone, but especially children who don’t pay attention.

The most common places for frost bite are the hands, feet, nose, ears and cheeks. The symptoms of frostbite are patches of hard white skin, which can be painful, burn, tingle and or feel numb. There can also be blistering.

Frostbite is considered a medical emergency. Evaluation in an Emergency Department is always recommended, but some steps can be taken at home. Rapid rewarming is recommended in a warm tub (104-108 degrees) for 20-40 minutes is the most common method. This method is not recommended if re-exposure to the elements is immediately expected as this leads to increase in skin destruction. Removal of all wet clothing replaced with warm dry clothes.  Be careful NOT to rub or massage the area as this will cause further damage to the skin. Pain medications may be needed as the rewarming process can be very painful. Frostbite can take up to 3 months to full recover. Consultation with your pediatrician is always recommended in case further skin care is needed.

johnathan libby smJonathan Libby, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC is one of the providers in the new CCS Pediatrics practice located at 100 Campus Ave. in Lewiston.

Jonathan has dedicated nearly 20 years of his professional medical career to treating pediatric patients in a primary care setting. He earned his Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and received his Masters in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Bachelor degrees from the University of Texas in Galveston.

Jonathan is board certified in primary care pediatrics. He is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Pracitioners and is a clinical preceptor with University of Southern Maine for their Family Nurse Practitioner program.

CCS Pediatrics can care for your child’s needs from birth to age 18. Call us now at 207-755-3160. Same day appointments are available!


Know the Signs of a Stroke

February 25th, 2015

shuli bonham hs 9-2014 croppedShuli Bonham at CCS Family Health Care wants you to know the signs of a stroke.

Signs that you may be having a stroke:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache with no known cause

You should never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you experience even one of the signs above. Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms. And remember to check the time. The responding emergency medical technician or ER nurse at the hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred.

Learn more about the effect of heart disease on women by visiting the American Heart Association. Talk to your doctor. If you need a provider call 777-8899. Make an appointment with a Cardiologist (in Lewiston call 777-5300). Learn the warning signs.


Listen to Your Heart!

February 9th, 2015

Dr. Shashi Tewari Panozzo layer2Dr. Shashi Panozzo, MD of Community Clinical Services and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center remind you that heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.

Only 43% of African American women and 44% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60% of Caucasian women.

Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.9% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 20% believe they are at risk.

Only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.

Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.

Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.

Learn more about the effect of heart disease on women by visiting the American Heart Association. Talk to your doctor. If you need a provider call 777-8899. Make an appointment with a Cardiologist (in Lewiston call 777-5300). Learn the warning signs.


National Wear Red Day

February 6th, 2015

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the American Heart Association, is encouraging everyone to Wear Red today, February 6, 2015 to raise awareness of the number 1 killer of women, heart disease.

In Maine, more than 1 of every 4 deaths is from heart disease or stroke.  Don’t become a statistic. Take charge of your health!  One key to heart health is to know some very important numbers: your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI.   Ideally, here’s where they should be (for non-diabetics):

  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower
  • HDL (“good” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher for women and 40 mg/dL or higher for men
  • LDL (“bad” cholesterol) of 100 or lower
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.
  • Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is based on your height and weight. If it is greater than 25 you are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.  There are many BMI calculators available online such as http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html
Roy Ulin

Roy Ulin, MD MaineHealth Cardiology

“Most of the time, you will not feel the symptoms of high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” said Dr. Roy Ulin a cardiologist at Maine Medical Partners MaineHealth Cardiology and partner of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. “The only way to know for sure if you’re at risk is to know your numbers and take action to fix it.”  Ask your primary care provider how your numbers compare.

Dr. Ulin said one of the best things you can do for your heart is to exercise.  “You don’t have to run a 10K or take a Zumba class, but you do need to move and increase your heart rate.  Ten minutes of brisk walking three times a day can go a long way towards improving your heart health.”

For all the good things you do to keep heart healthy it is important to also avoid the habits that can hurt your health. “Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels, making you two to four times more likely to have heart disease, a heart attack, and/or stroke.” said Dr. Ulin.  “Women who are on birth control pills are at even greater risk. But, if you quit, within three to five years, your risk of heart disease decreases to the level of a non-smoker regardless of how long you’ve been smoking.”

You do what you can to protect your loved ones and to keep them healthy. This year, do something for YOU. Changes you make now can have a positive effect for a lifetime.

St. Mary’s Tina Daigle, Ed.D., Earns National Recognition

January 21st, 2015

tina daigle 2Congratulations Tina Daigle, Ed.D., Learning Management System Administrator at St. Mary’s Health System.  Tina was selected as a winner of the 2014 Talent-in-Talent™ Award by HealthcareSource, the Covenant Health vendor for Position Manager and NetLearning.

This annual national award is given to healthcare Human Resources, Education, and Organizational Development professionals who demonstrate the highest level of talent, proficiency, and competency in healthcare talent management and education and who use this talent to teach others and support the advancement of their professions.

Tina was recognized for her role in the implementation of St. Mary’s new NetLearning system.  She was instrumental in the design of the product for our use and for training leadership to maximize the use of all its functionality.  Additionally she worked with our internal subject matter experts to customize and validate the content we purchased as well as prepare training modules our staff had already authored.  We now have the ability to assign programs and track completion!

As part of the award application Tina stated, “Our goal is to utilize NetLearning to train, manage systems, and assess competency for our organization…  I want to utilize NetLearning in the ways most beneficial to St. Mary’s to attract and retain personnel…. As an organization, we are currently adopting NetLearning to meet the needs of all new and current employees.  Improving patient experiences, retaining quality employees, and enhancing staff learning help build the best employees beyond the initial hire.”

Sam’s Restaurants Support Local Food Pantries

January 20th, 2015

Sam's Cornucopia Winning Store 2014Sam’s restaurants in Maine raised $6,400 to support local food pantries. Each fall, employees at thirteen Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shops ask if they would like to purchase paper cornucopias for $1 to help end hunger. The restaurant location that sells the most cornucopias wins prizes from Sam’s and other area businesses as a thank you. Environmental Remediation, a local business, made a significant contribution to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry as part of this effort.

This year Sam’s Sabattus Street location in Lewiston raised the most money. Mary Ellingwood from St. Mary’s Development Department presented a plaque noting the achievement to David MacArthur, Manager of the Sam’s Sabattus Street location.

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 31st, 2014

Every New Year’s Eve you make the same vow: “this is the year I’m going to get into shape.” You buy a gym membership and kick off the year intensely dedicated to your new workout routine. But, as the year progresses, you find yourself heading to the gym less and less often. Discouraged with your lack of progress, you give up going altogether. Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people have a hard time sticking to their New Year’s promises.
Here are some ways to be successful at keeping your 2015 New Year’s Resolution(s) from Jennifer Smith, a member of the Prevention and Wellness program at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center:

– Be realistic. Resolving to look like a movie star or model is a tall order and one most of us could never reach. Stick with a promise that’s within reason, such as working out and eating right.

– Avoid repeat resolutions. If you resolve to lose 30 pounds every year and fail every year,
try changing your approach. For instance, instead of going on a fad diet, vow to go for a daily walk or cut out eating right before bed.

– Plan ahead. Describe your goals and list specific things you can do to meet those goals.

– Enlist some help. Ask friends and family to support you and remind you of the goal you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you just may need expert help. For example, if your goal is to work out more often, a personal trainer can greatly increase your chance at success. St. Mary’s offers personalized Health Coaching to help you to reach your goals. For more information call 777-8898.

– Don’t overpromise! If you make too many resolutions they will be hard to keep. Make just a few and really put your mind to keeping those! One small step at a time!

– Reward yourself. If you vow to lose weight and you lose five pounds in the first 2 months, buy some new clothes to fit your shrinking figure. Do not reward yourself with an ice cream sundae or you’ll sabotage your progress.

– Mix it up! If your goal is to get fit, try a variety of physical activities so you don’t get bored. In the winter, hit the pool with a water aerobics class. In the spring, try yoga. The summer is a great time to hike, and kick it up a notch in the fall with salsa dancing!

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith is a member of the Prevention and Wellness program at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. She holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with a concentration in nutrition and a minor in education, and is a nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, speed coach, and tobacco cessation helper.

Youth-Powered Cooking Kick-Off Event at the Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market

December 31st, 2014

On Sunday, January 4, 2014 Youth-Powered Cooking will start offering homemade brunch items for sale during the Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market from 10am to 1pm. As a new initiative of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, the Youth-Powered Cooking program is an opportunity for a small group of Lewiston/Auburn youth (ages 14-20) to receive hands-on training in cooking and serving nutritious foods while deepening their connection to their local food system.

As part of the Youth-Powered Cooking program, youth participate in a series of skill-based workshops that cover topics such as safe knife handling techniques and following and scaling recipes. Participants then have the chance to put these new skills into practice as they prepare food to be sold at the market café. Menus will include a variety of warm dishes and when available, ingredients will be sourced from market vendors and other local producers. Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market features a wide variety of vendors and runs on the first and third Sundays of the month, 10am to 1pm from now until April 19, 2014. Proceeds from the café support this and other youth training programs at the Nutrition Center.

The Nutrition Center’s youth programs create healthy environments for young people to develop their voices within their community as they explore in urban and school gardens, kitchens, social justice workshops, and nation-wide youth networks. Job skills training happens in the field as youth provide a crucial service to the community—making healthy food more accessible. To learn more, visit www.stmarysnutritioncenter.com.

Four Tips to Make Your Holidays More Healthy and Happy

November 21st, 2014

By Anne Brown, MD

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is upon us, and beyond that is the mad dash to Christmas. I think I speak for many Moms in that we enter the season with hopes of beautiful decorations, fancy cookies, holiday events to enjoy, and a time to be with everyone whom we love. Unfortunately, implementing this beautiful and calm vision can turn into a stressful time of too much to do, less sleep, and several extra pounds. By the time the big day rolls around, we are often exhausted and frazzled by what we had to accomplish to pull off a successful holiday for our families.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid the holiday craze:
Tip number one is to take care of yourself. This does not have to mean time consuming bubble baths, weekly massages, or a spa weekend (this can come after the holiday!) Simple pleasures such as a five minute period to sit and stretch, a few gentle yoga poses before bed, or having a cup or tea (try leaning into the warm steam) can go a long way toward relaxation. Remember to try and walk a little bit every day – whether that is parking further away or sneaking out for 5 minutes at lunchtime. Stealing a couple of minutes of fresh air every day will provide rejuvenation. If you exercise regularly, and are worried about the seasonal time crunch, try to only cut back by a day or two or shorten your routine rather than giving it up for the holidays.

Tip number two is to maintain healthy eating. When I started to study nutrition, my family was afraid I would banish the sweets and treats of the holidays. Since real change is most effective when gradual, I added moderation and modification to the holiday food extravaganza. Instead of indulging in cookies/fudge/and various holiday sweets every day for several weeks, we limit sugar to a couple days a week. On those days, my daughters take everything out of the tins and load it onto a big platter. We then carefully select our favorites to mindfully enjoy the tastes and uniqueness of these holiday treats. On the other days, we try to come up with fun healthy deserts: cutting oranges into circles and placing drops of yogurt then raisins on them (to look like ornaments) or cutting a pear in half, and dusting it with a little confectionary sugar (snow on trees). This is the perfect time to exercise your creativity and create holiday themes out of fruits and vegetables.

Tip number three is deep breathing. The act of breathing into our bellies, trigger a response in our bodies that is relaxing. Singing is a great way to do this. Once Thanksgiving is past, my daughters and I sing Christmas Carols and holiday songs in the car everywhere we go and in the kitchen while cooking. This is a blast and tradition we cherish.

My final tip is to find a way to stop a few times every day, take a deep breath and focus on your senses. Use a few holiday items as reminders. This is a fun thing to do with kids – they love to move a couple holiday decorations around and are masters of noticing what they see, smell, hear, or feel at the moment.

To me, the things that make the holidays really special are the traditions we develop and follow year after year. Kids love routine and by creating an environment where mindful and healthy traditions flourish, not only are we enhancing our own enjoyment of the holidays, but we are also giving our children the gift of relaxation and health.

Dr. Brown is a physician at St. Mary’s Medical Associates. She earned her medical degree from the University of Vermont and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr Brown did her mind-body training through the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General, and she finishes her fellowship in integrative medicine through the University of Arizona in December 2014. Dr. Brown offers mind body groups for stress reduction and will be offering integrative medicine consults starting in January 2015.

Caring for the Caregiver: A free presentation at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center

November 12th, 2014

One of the most important and frequently overlooked things a caregiver can do for their loved ones is to take good care of themselves. Often, caregivers are so focused on making sure everyone’s needs are met, that they don’t take the time to look after themselves.

If you’re a caregiver, please join us for an important free presentation on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 5:30pm. During this presentation, Yasmine King,
FNP-C, and Jennifer Hazen, BSN, RN, OCN, from St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders will discuss:

• the physical and emotional toll of caregiving
• ways to reduce stress
• how to improve your overall health
• where to find support resources

The presentation will be held at the Lepage Large Conference Room at 99 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. Snacks will be provided. Seating for this program is limited. To reserve your seat, please call 777-8458 by November 18, 2014.