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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health - April 2012 |
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Mount Nittany Health System will be tobacco free starting September 4, 2012

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, tobacco is the leading cause of disease and death in the United States. To promote good health for our patients, visitors, and staff, and to set the kind of example our community expects and deserves, Mount Nittany Health System will become tobacco free on September 4, 2012.

This policy does not require people to quit tobacco use; it simply means that we do not provide designated areas for smoking or tobacco use - including chewing tobacco - anywhere inside or outside the properties of Mount Nittany Health System for patients, visitors, or staff. This includes Mount Nittany Medical Center as well as Mount Nittany's off-site facilities (Mount Nittany Surgical Center, Mount Nittany Physician Group practices, Pain Management Clinic, Center for Wound Care, Park Avenue Imaging).

Over the course of the next several months, look for more information and additional details about Mount Nittany becoming tobacco free.


Two souvenirs: an English couple overcomes fertility issues on American soil
The Chan family

Editor's Note: Two Souvenirs first appeared in Issue 3 of INSIGHTS magazine, which was mailed to Centre County residents in March. Some information in the article about in vitro fertilization was incorrect. The story here has the corrected information. We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

When Paula and Brian Chan came to the United States from their native England three years ago, they soon decided that one big move deserved another. They already had a child, their son Dylan, but realized they wanted to have another. However, after trying for some time, as Paula says, "It just wasn't happening for us."

Fertility issues can affect anyone, and a woman or couple who is unable to conceive may in fact be dealing with multiple causes. Fertility can be affected by reduced or less mobile sperm, abnormal ovulation, even general health issues such as smoking and weight management. But the largest factor against fertility, especially in women, is age.

At nearly 37, Paula was within the age range in which a woman's fertility begins to become an issue. By 37, a woman's chances of having a live birth can fall to fifty percent. As a woman enters her 40s, possible birth complications become even more significant. If a woman has never conceived previously, conception might be all but impossible. Paula, however, had done it once before. So, rather than give up, she and her husband began to look for help.

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Mount Nittany providers travel to Nicaragua for 8-day mission trip
Kristie Kaufman, MD, pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group, examines a child from Nicaragua at one of the clinics offered during the 8-day mission trip sponsored by Grace Lutheran Church, State College.

Driving in an old bus through narrow streets in country villages of Nicaragua, four Mount Nittany providers - Judy Pleskonko, RN, BSN; Kristie Kaufman, MD; Lester Griel, CRNP; Brian Newcomb, MD - traveled to clinics set up in schools to offer medical care along with other members of the mission team, organized by Grace Lutheran Church, State College.

The group provided healthcare services to over 600 people in the cities of Los Cedros and Jinotega - from March 3 - 11.

"As a physician at Mount Nittany, I treat patients most days of the week, but it is extremely rewarding to be able to use my skills to help people who rarely receive medical care," said Dr. Kaufman, whose trip to Nicaragua was her second mission experience. "My fourteen-year-old daughter, Kylie, came on the mission trip this year to help with the clinic and better understand the need for general care in certain areas of the world."

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Robotic surgery offers many benefits to patients
By J. Frederick Doucette, MD, FACOG
The da Vinci Surgical System

Recently, there has been a strong increase in the interest in minimally invasive procedures because of the benefits for patients. This interest is supported by the development of new and advanced tools in surgical technology. I would argue that nowhere has the demand for this type of surgery been more pronounced than in women's healthcare.

Oftentimes, a hysterectomy is discussed as an option for severe, heavy menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroids or endometriosis. In the past, many patients have been reluctant to proceed with the surgery because of concerns over the length of recovery, the size of the incision and the pain of the initial recovery.

In the last year and a half, the gynecologists of Mount Nittany Physician Group have developed and advanced their practice and skills in laparoscopic techniques, with the goal of performing the majority of gynecologic procedures in a minimally invasive fashion.

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Expert offers seminar at Mount Nittany Medical Center on health benefits of calorie restriction

A restricted-calorie diet usually goes hand in hand with malnutrition, extreme dieting, and eating disorders; however, scientific research has shown that eating fewer calories - while still consuming adequate vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients - results in longer life, better health and the prevention or delay of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity.

To explore the ways calorie restriction can affect a person's health without causing malnutrition, the presentation "Calorie Restriction and Health" will be held on April 19 in the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Auditorium (entrance D) of the Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College. Roger J. McCarter, Ph.D., professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, will present the seminar.

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Mount Nittany to become a regular feature on Central PA Live WTAJ-TV 10
Camille Brown, aesthetician, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, gets ready to present "Reducing the Effects of Eczema" on Central PA Live.

Now you can get the latest information about health and wellness every Thursday on Central PA Live's new Mount Nittany Health System segment, Life & Health which airs during the 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm timeframe.

The goal of the weekly feature is to educate and inform the community regarding upcoming events and classes at Mount Nittany, and also to provide "conversations beyond the exam room" about health and wellness topics.

"Central PA Live is thrilled to have Mount Nittany Health System as a weekly guest on our show," says Sarah Swistak, producer and host. "So often, our only knowledge of the health system is what we've experienced first-hand in the doctor's office. Life & Health will knock down those four walls, giving everyone the information they need to "move life forward" and live healthier, more fulfilling lives."

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How's your hearing?
Leslie Purcell, AuD, Mount Nittany Physician Group: Boalsburg

Leslie Purcell, AuD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, is an audiologist at Mount Nittany Physician Group's Otolaryngology practice in Boalsburg. She collaborates with James Freije, MD, to identify the appropriate treatment for patients with hearing and balance disorders by performing and interpreting specialized evaluations. Purcell also provides hearing aid services, pediatric hearing screenings and inner ear services.

To determine how well you hear, she suggests asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have difficulty hearing over the telephone?
  • Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
  • Do people complain that you turn the TV volume too high?
  • Do you have to strain to understand conversation?
  • Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?
  • Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  • Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
  • Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may have hearing loss. Please call 814.466.6396 to schedule a hearing consultation today.

For more information on hearing loss and articles written by Purcell, visit, and watch her this Thursday on WTAJ-TV 10's Central PA LIVE from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm with "What Aren't You Hearing?"


Weis Markets makes donation to Mount Nittany Medical Center
From left to right: Janet Etters, Weis employee; Jeremy Lumadue, Weis store manager; Brent Boyer, Weis employee; Theodore Ziff, MD, Mount Nittany Medical Center; Jeff Bird, Weis assistant store manager; Kim Neely, director, The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center; Ashley Loesch; Rose Swatworth, Weis employees.

Weis Markets donated $5,000 to benefit the indigent care program in the emergency department for people who do not have insurance. Many thanks to Weis Markets for supporting the community and Mount Nittany Medical Center.


Stop shingles in its tracks and get pain relief!
By Jennifer Gilbert, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group
Jennifer Gilbert, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group

The first thing you feel is a sort of weird sensation on your skin - itchy, burning, painful tingling. What is that? It could be shingles.

Within two days a rash with blisters appears. The most effective thing to do at this point is to get an antiviral medication. This can stop the varicella zoster virus, which causes shingles, from multiplying. It can also speed healing of skin lesions, and reduce the severity and duration of pain. But it has to be started within 72 hours after the blisters appear - so don't delay! Go see your primary care physician to begin treatment.

Shingles follows this course: first the tingling and itchy feeling, then the blisters, then by the third and fourth day the blisters ulcerate, becoming open and painful. By day 10 they scab over. At this point you are not contagious.

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Wedding at Mount Nittany

Warren Thomas and Rhoda Mae Wilson are shown sealing their wedding ceremony with a kiss. They tied the knot in room 417 on the medical/oncology floor March 28, 2012. A shout out to the 4th floor staff for all the work they did to make it a very memorable event. Local businesses donated food, balloons and flowers. Modern Art Wedding Photography donated the wedding photos.

Watch the segments that aired on WJAC-TV and WTAJ-TV 10.

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Upcoming Events

April 12, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Diabetes Support Group

April 12, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Prenatal Discussion Night

See All Events ›
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