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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
Life & Health - July 2012 |
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State College native part of first class of Hershey Medical students
Sarah Smith, Penn State Hershey Medical Student

Thirteen students have begun their core clinical training in collaboration with local Penn State Hershey faculty, Mount Nittany Medical Center faculty and other medical providers in the community.

The Medical Center has been the site of clerkships and fellowships in the past, but this is the first year that a cohort of students from Penn State Hershey will be living in State College and doing all of their clinical rotations there for the entire third year of their medical education.

"When I found out about the new regional campus I was really excited because I've always liked the area and my family is here," said Sarah Smith, a student in the regional campus inaugural class. "I was actually born at Mount Nittany Medical Center, and look forward to having life come full circle by helping deliver babies there during my OB/GYN and pediatric clerkships."

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Local woman gets her diabetes under control
Louise Tarman

When Louise Tarman, age 77, was diagnosed last year with diabetes, she took it very seriously. Louise said she thinks that one reason she developed diabetes was because of the stress she experienced while caring for her husband who had early onset dementia. "I really neglected my own health while caring for my husband," said Tarman. "I was so stressed out that I just grabbed comfort foods like cookies and other sugary snacks. It's not surprising that I gained weight. Now I visit my husband regularly at an assisted-living facility and I can focus on my own health."

Tarman's physician, Frank Guillard, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, informed Tarman about her elevated A1c and fasting glucose numbers. He prescribed a diabetes medication and referred her to Amy Leffard, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at Mount Nittany Health. "I met with Amy for almost four months," Tarman explained. "She taught me how to eat better and encouraged me to get more exercise. Now I walk about forty-five minutes a day with a group of friends, five days a week."

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Summer safety tips to ensure a fun, safe and enjoyable summer
By Lou Brungard, MBA, vice president, facilities and plant operations

Summertime is here, the weather is warming, the children are out of school, and there are picnics, vacations and weekend getaways to plan! How often is safety a consideration that you make during your planning? Here are a few tips to help keep you and yours safe this summer.

Sun Safety: The sun’s ultraviolet rays can burn and damage the skin, so protect the skin by using appropriate sunscreen, with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Also, minimize the direct sun exposure for infants and children by placing sandboxes and other play areas in partially shaded portions of the yard. Avoid direct sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm; these are the hours of the peak intensity.

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New features to debut on Central PA LIVE health segment
Howard Miller, MD, urologist, Mount Nittany Physician Group, poses with the Pirate Parrot after their Central PA LIVE segment on prostate cancer.

Life & Health has been a regular feature of the Thursday line-up from 4:30-5:00 pm on WTAJ-TV 10 Central PA LIVE since May, but on July 19, a new set, a new format and even more access to lots of great health and wellness information will be in the line up.

"We love the Life & Health segment on Central PA LIVE because of the access of our cameras to the latest technology, medical procedures and happenings at Mount Nittany Health. This segment takes physicians outside of the exam room for a detailed look at the medical issues that are important to you and your family, and that help move Life Forward. The new features recently put into place only enhance that mission," says Sarah Swistak, host.

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Mount Nittany Medical Center exemplifies national and statewide trends for hips and knees

The number of Pennsylvania residents undergoing total joint replacement of knees, hips or shoulders increased significantly between 2006 and 2010, according to a recent report released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). Mount Nittany Medical Center is following the national and statewide trends in the significant increase of joint replacement surgery in 2010.

"Mount Nittany Medical Center is a recipient of HealthGrades® Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ for the fourth consecutive year, which allows patients to see how healthcare facilities compare and underlines the exceptional care the Mount Nittany Health provides," said Linda Kuhlman, RN, MSN, vice president of professional and clinical services, Mount Nittany Medical Center.

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Pirate Parrot’s “Cruise for a Cure” stopped at Mount Nittany Medical Center
The Pirate Parrot and Ike the Spike pose for a picture outside Mount Nittany Medical Center.

On June 28, the Pirate Parrot, who has been riding his motorcycle across the state for a prostate cancer awareness campaign, "Cruise for a Cure," stopped at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Accompanying the Pirate Parrot was the Pirates' Cannonball Crew and Ike the Spike, the mascot of the State College Spikes.

During their visit, they greeted visitors, volunteers and employees and posed for fun photos. In addition, those who contributed toward the fundraiser received a variety of Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia.

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Quality of life at every stage
Upendra Thaker, MD, director, Pain Management Clinic, and Jennifer Gilbert, DO, Pain Management Clinic

It's always about the quality of life, no matter how long that life may be. That's the philosophy behind Mount Nittany Health's Pain Management Clinic's treatment for people with end stage cancer.

People usually want to spend quality time with their loved ones, and often they want to get their affairs in order. This can be hard to do with some of the pain treatment, particularly those involving strong doses of narcotics which can cause grogginess, constipation and nausea.

"There are a lot of different things to try to minimize the pain and side effects and provide a better quality of life," according to Jennifer Gilbert, DO, Pain Management Clinic. Some of the successful pain management solutions have to do with the administration; putting the dosage directly into the spinal fluid, creating a combination of medicines that can be effective, and adhering to a schedule, such as using a pump during the night.

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New, expanded emergency department opened July 5

The first phase of the new emergency department's facility opened on July 5. The new design consists of private patient rooms, each with its own restroom, and also the new nursing station pod concept shown here. The pod design allows nurses close proximity to patients as well as to their core emergency department team members. The final phase of the emergency department will be competed in March of 2013 creating an expansion totaling 56,180 square feet. More than 1,500 people toured the new facility during a week-long celebration that culminated in a community open house that also featured a health fair.

Support the fight against breast cancer – attend the State College Spikes’ Paint the Park Pink Night
From left to right: Jane Doe, Spikes Mascot, Crystal McCracken, Hope Foor, Stacy Meehan, Lynn McClellan, Emily Peterson, MD, Cheri Woll, and Chris Dash at last year's Paint the Park Pink game.

Help raise money for breast cancer awareness and honor survivors and those battling the disease while having a blast at the State College Spikes' Paint the Park Pink Night on Saturday, August 4 at Medlar Field against the Aberdeen IronBirds.

The Spikes' players will be wearing pink jerseys during the game which fans can bid on during a silent auction. The first 1,500 women through the gates will receive a free pink visor.

Healthcare representatives from Mount Nittany Health will be available to provide information on cancer treatments and cancer care services offered at the Medical Center.

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Judy Pleskonko, emergency department nurse, chosen as one of Central Pennsylvania's heroes

Judy Pleskonko, RN, BSN, a nurse in Mount Nittany Medical Center's emergency department and chief deputy coroner for Centre County, was nominated by Kasandra Botti, DO, emergency medicine, and chosen to participate in Central PA 4th Fest Parade of Heroes.

"America's Got Heroes" Parade of Heroes was a new feature added to Central PA 4th Fest this year to publicly thank and recognize the heroes of Central Pennsylvania.

Pleskonko is an advocate for women in the area and volunteers her time to important issues. She works closely with the Women's Resource Center to educate nurses and police officers on how to deal with abuse cases.

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July 11, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Fertility Issues and Loss Support Group

July 12, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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