Samford & St. Vincent’s Partner in Nursing Education

Samford & St. Vincent’s Partner in Nursing Education

Education Extra

View of new state of the art classroom at Samford University being used to train new nursing hires.

As students return to Samford University this fall, they have the benefit of the new state-of-the-art Ascension St. Vincent’s Education Center which includes a skills lab, medication room, and classroom, as well as two simulation and debriefing rooms for nurses to receive hands-on training in real-life scenarios. In addition to training St. Vincent’s nurses, Samford College of Health Sciences students have access to the center, as well as the latest in electronic health record system technology. “We are excited to provide this advanced training offering to our new nurses,” said Jason Alexander, Sr. V.P. and Birmingham ministry market executive, Ascension Healthcare; president and CEO, St. Vincent’s Health System. “Providing our patient’s with the highest level of quality care is our top priority, and this new training center only allows us to enhance the skills and knowledge of our new nursing staff. These nurses will have the opportunity from day one to have hands-on training on the standard of care and technology that sets St. Vincent’s and Ascension apart.” The center is Ascension’s third nursing onboarding center to go live across the country, www.stvhs.com.

 

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5 Tips to Preventing Childhood Obesity

5 Tips to Preventing Childhood Obesity

Healthy Living

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and as a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health, The YMCA of Greater Birmingham offers the following tips to help families in Birmingham incorporate healthy eating and regular physical activity into their lives. These tips will not only help families live healthier together but also help prevent childhood obesity:

  1. Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family, choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals, and allow children to pour their own water.
  2. Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
  3. Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
  4. Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).
  5. Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and adults need seven to eight hours.

For more information on how your family can live a healthy, active life, visit www.ymcabham.org or speak to your branch Healthy Living Director about how The YMCA of Greater Birmingham can help get your entire family involved!

-Jennifer Neil 

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

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Bringing Comfort to Area Families: Baby Steps Memorial Run

Bringing Comfort to Area Families: Baby Steps Memorial Run

Healthy Living

Between 500 and 600 runners are expected at the 9th annual Baby Steps Memorial Run September 30 at Tannehill. The run benefits the Amelia Center at Children’s of Alabama which provides free grief support services to area families.

Tragedy struck the Nicholas family in 2008 when they miscarried their twin sons. Grief-stricken, mom Abby Nicholas went to the Amelia Center at Children’s of Alabama for help. The center provides free professional counseling for parents and grandparents who have suffered the loss of a child of any age ranging from pregnancy loss through adulthood. The non-profit program also provides a safe place for children grieving the loss of a loved one-  giving them ways to creatively express feelings through art and play. The Amelia Center was such a catalyst in the Nicholas family’s healing process they began to look for ways to give back to the organization. Along with the Hodge family, who also benefited from Amelia Center services, they founded the Baby Steps Memorial Run (5K and 1 mile fun run). Nicholas says organizing this fundraiser for the past 8 years has given her purpose through her grief. Though she has never run a 5k and doesn’t plan to anytime soon, the event has become an integral part of her life. Every year, she sees something good come from her tragedy.

In recent years, race organizers began taking name submissions of loved ones lost and adding them to yard signs. As participants run the course, they pass by the names of these individuals. Nicholas sees this as a way to solidify that the annual fundraising event goes much deeper than medals and record times. Those who participate in the race—volunteers, runners, and onlookers alike—gather in memoriam and the race is a celebration of wonderful lives that have been lived and of healing made possible in part by the Amelia Center. Nicholas credits the race’s growing popularity to the tireless efforts of volunteers- many of whom have walked a similar grief journey as her own family and have together found the race to be a part of their healing process. “We are here by God’s grace and He’s allowed us to get this far,” says Nicholas.

Be a part of this extraordinary event on September 30 at Tannehill State Park in McCalla. Learn more and sigh up at www.babystepsal.com. For more details on services offered by the Amelia Center, visit www.childrensal.org/amelia-center.

-Abby Holcombe

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Pediatrics East Celebrates 60 Years

Pediatrics East Celebrates 60 Years

Healthy Living

Pediatrics East Celebrates 60 Years, With Care Spanning Multiple Generations of Patient Families

Families have been bringing their children to the offices of Pediatrics East for 60 years. The love and support of the doctors, nurses and other staff members has had an impact on one family in particular. Kendall Griffith is the second of three generations of her family who have been patients of Pediatrics East. As a child, Griffith’s father was a patient of the original doctors at the first location of Pediatrics East and he wanted Kendall to have the same type of pediatric care. She became a patient of Phillip Harmon, M.D., who at the time, was the youngest doctor at the practice. When Griffith went off to college in Cullman, she would drive all the way back to Pediatrics East for appointments because she said it felt like home. She said Dr. Harmon and the staff treated her like family, and she credits them for the person she is today.

One influential staff member Griffith recalls is Miss Jackie, Dr. Harmon’s medical assistant. She was always there to care for and encourage Griffith as she grew up as a patient. When Miss Jackie retired after many years as a loyal employee, Griffith stepped into her shoes as the medical assistant to Dr. Harmon, the doctor who had been there through her childhood. She has worked there for three years, and her 5-year-old son is now the third-generation patient in their family line. “I love this place and so does everyone in my family,” Griffith said. “I started working here with the mindset that if I can change one child’s life how mine was changed by Pediatrics East, I will have done some real good.”

“Our staff is proud of the positive impact we have had on pediatric health care in this community,” Harmon said. “We are honored to be treating the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of former patients. We look forward to serving the families of Pediatrics East for many more generations to come.”

The practice was established in 1957 by Dr. Vincent Carnaggio to serve families in eastern Birmingham. Children’s of Alabama purchased the practice in 1996. Today, the practice operates two office locations- 520 Simmons Drive, Trussville and 6729 Deerfoot Parkway, Pinson. Pediatrics East received the highest Patient Centered Medical Home certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in 2013 and was recertified in 2016. †

Pediatric East staff, both past and present, celebrate the practices 60th Anniversary of serving patients in Jefferson, St. Clair and Blount counties. Seen here are Jackie Gay, retired medical assistant; Phillip Harmon, M.D.; and Kendall Griffith, medical assistant.

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Caring for Your Aging Pet

Caring for Your Aging Pet

Two by 2

Pets, like adults, have new and more frequent health issues as they age. A pet is considered senior at age seven and veterinarians recommend bringing them in twice a year for an examination. During this time, we can look at diet and weight management, joint health, eye health and perform lab tests to determine how their thyroid, kidney and liver is functioning and screen for diseases like diabetes.

Even if your pet is not yet age seven, joint health can be a concern for many pets, particularly larger breeds or pets that are carrying a few extra pounds. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs, affecting about 1 in 5 dogs in the United States. It is a degenerative disease that worsens with age as the protective cartilage in joints wears down and causes painful swelling and stiffness that can make movement difficult. Arthritis can affect any joint but it is commonly diagnosed in knees, elbows, wrists, hips and the spine.

Dogs suffering from OA may avoid activity like running or stairs, shy away from being held or picked up, limp, seem irritable and lethargic, or just not like their usual selves. Although there is no cure, OA pain can be managed with appropriate treatment to help your dog stay as active as possible. A treatment plan may include PREVICOX (firocoxib) to relieve pain and inflammation, joint health supplements as well as appropriate exercise and weight control. If you suspect your pet may be in pain or you notice any of the signs above, talk to your veterinarian now to start treatment before the condition worsens. Pets are adept at hiding pain from us so we as their caregivers must watch for the symptoms they might need help.

Jeff Falone, DVM 

Valleydale Animal Clinic

205-991-5416

 www.valleydaleanimalclinic.com

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Showering God’s Love

Showering God’s Love

Mission Makers

Mountain Brook Baptist Church recently hosted a Sav-a-Life shower for expectant moms and dads. Learn more about how you can volunteer to help with a similar event at www.savalife.org.

Is your church or organization looking for a unique opportunity to share the Gospel? Consider partnering with Sav-A-Life Vestavia to shower God’s love on expectant parents. About eight times a year, this faith-based organization hosts baby showers which include presents, cake, Good News and God’s love.

Leading up to each shower, Sav-A-Life invites expectant women to come to a series of classes to learn about birth and motherhood. Fathers are invited to participate as well. These classes are diverse, ranging from traditional methods to doulas. Their purpose is to give each expectant mother a range of ideas and options to consider pursuing. Any expectant mother can attend the classes. Everyone who completes the class can participate in a group baby shower. Sav-A-Life’s ministry partners, including area churches, host these parties. The expectant mothers and fathers, regardless of background, spiritual walk or socio economic status, are showered with baby toys and necessities so that they may experience the love of Christ. No one asks or expects anything in return. “My favorite part is seeing the new moms and dads at the showers overwhelmed at the outpouring of love from complete strangers. These are people who are giving purely out of love with ‘no strings attached,’ ” explains Janice Johnson, with Sav-A-Life’s Family Education Services. During the shower, the host ministry has the opportunity to present the Gospel. This part of the shower does not have a set protocol or structure. Rather, every gathering sees a unique presentation of the Gospel as each ministry partner shares the love of Jesus in its own way. Because of these volunteers and gift-givers, each expectant parent is able to feel the love of Christ, and touch the hands and feet of Jesus. If your organization is looking for a new opportunity to share the Gospel, consider Sav-A-Life’s baby showers. Learn more at www.savalife.org or call Janice Johnson at 205-979-0302.

  • Abby Holcombe

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Great Escapes: The More You Travel, The Farther You’ll Go!

Great Escapes: The More You Travel, The Farther You’ll Go!

Healthy Living

We all know how great it feels to get away, but do you know how important those vacation days are for your health and well-being? Trips away are good for our body and soul.

And as it turns out, adding mileage to your vacation can also increase your longevity.

According to an article published by U.S. News & World Report, putting real distance between you and your workplace could very well add years to your life. It isn’t enough just to take time away from the office – we need to advance toward new and faraway destinations. Experiencing new places is invigorating, refreshing, and boosts our creativity. By stimulating feelings of awe and admiration, taking in new sights (and sites) can even make us more compassionate and help us better connect with others.

A change of venue is good for your body too. Breaking away from our regular routine frees us up to take on unique, invigorating activities. The more distant our adventure, the more physically active we tend to be. For example, most of us are more likely to go hiking among exotic ruins than we may be to go walking around our own neighborhood.

We cannot overlook the benefits of reducing our stress levels either. Crossing oceans or long lengths of blacktop not only stirs our sense of adventure – it helps us relax at the same time. Changing our backdrop removes us from our regular stressors of job, house, and mundane responsibilities. In addition, planning for a special trip gives us something amazing to look forward to throughout the year, keeping our focus on better, wondrous things ahead. Improve your scenery. . . and extend your expectations for life down the road.

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org

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ACT: Practice Car Heat Safety

ACT: Practice Car Heat Safety

Healthy Living

We all have forgetful moments at times. We may forget our cell phone or misplace our keys, but what happens if you forget your sleeping baby is left in the back seat of the car? Or what if you decide to leave your baby in the car while you run inside for “just a minute?”

Hot vehicles are the primary non-crash, vehicle-related killer of children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2016, 39 U.S. children died from hyperthermia or heat stroke while in automobiles. When the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a car can reach 114 degrees in just 20 minutes. This can quickly raise body temperature to dangerous levels. Cracking a window open and parking in the shade are not sufficient safeguards. A child’s body heats up three to four times faster than an adult’s body. Children’s of Alabama has joined the national initiative, ACT, which educates the public about the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car. ACT stands for: 

Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in the car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunk so a child doesn’t climb into a hot car without you knowing.

Create reminders for yourself by placing something you’ll need at your destination, like a cell phone, next to the child safety seat. This can be a helpful reminder on a chaotic day.

Take action. If you see a child left alone in a car, call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations .

For more information, visit safekids.org or childrensal.org/childpassengersafety.

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Celebrating Everyday Heroes for LIFE: Herb Lusk

Celebrating Everyday Heroes for LIFE: Herb Lusk

City Scene

Former NFL tailback, Reverend Dr. Herbert H. Lusk, II has been the Senior Pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia since 1982 and the church has grown from 17 members to over 2,000 under his leadership. Lusk was known as the “praying tail back” in the NFL and was recognized in ESPN and NFL Films documentaries as the first NFL player to kneel and pray after scoring. When he was asked what he was doing he simply replied, “I was just giving thanks!”

Former NFL player Herb Lusk restores hearts with hope through his Crisis Pregnancy Center in the City of Brotherly Love. Better known as the tailback of the Philadelphia Eagles, he was the first to kneel in the end zone and give thanks to God for scoring. He eventually left the NFL to start giving back and helping those in need in his community.

Tuesday September 26 Lusk will be in Birmingham to share about his life’s mission to help women, men and babies seeking help in a world turned upside-down and to support local efforts in our community to do the same. Lusk will be the keynote speaker at the Sav-A-Life Shelby County annual fundraising banquet, “Celebrating Everyday Heroes for Life.” The Center located in Pelham restores hope to those in need, and the free event will shed light on what is happening both in Philadelphia and our local area. Learn how the Center is working to change hearts and minds and help the most helpless in our society: unborn babies and their families.

Sav-A-Life Shelby’s mission is to develop a culture of life where abortion is unnecessary and undesirable in Shelby County, Alabama while offering the hope of the Gospel. Since the opening of its doors in 1985, thousands of lives have been saved. The non-profit center provides free and confidential pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, abortion information, pregnancy/parenting classes, and material assistance to empower women and men to make a life-affirming decision.

The banquet will be held at 7 p.m. September 26 at the new Noah’s Event Venue, 2501 International Park Place, Hoover. The event is free but seating is limited and reservations are required. For tickets visit www.savalifeshelby.org or call Sav-A-Life Shelby, 205-664-1667. †

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