C is for…Clean, Cover, Contain that Flu Bug!

Indiana has been trying to dig out of the snow and ice for days now, but we are also trying to find our way through a particularly rough flu season.

The Indiana State Department of Health reports 25 influenza-associated deaths already. We’re dealing with a predominant strain that is generally more severe than others, so GCGH, like a lot of other hospitals, has put a visitor restriction in place to help keep infections under control.

If you’re not feeling well, and wondering, “do I have the flu?!?” it might be a good idea to check out the information available from the CDC. There are differences between flu symptoms and cold symptoms. Check it out here.

But there’s more we can do. Steering clear of communicable diseases is easy to do if you remember the “Three Cs.”

We all know what “C” stands for…

Cookie Monster C Is For Cookie for 2560x1440

And you will deserve a cookie if you remember to do these three simple things:

CLEAN: Wash those digits. Keep your hands clean by frequently washing with warm, soapy water. (Hum Yankee Doodle or the ABC song as you wash to get the job done…and make Cookie Monster proud.)

COVER: Keep that cough or sneeze under wraps by aiming for the inside of your arm or a disposable tissue. When in doubt, remember that nursery school rhyme: “If you cough or sneeze, think of others please! Cover your mouth!”

CONTAIN: Stay home! It’s really not you, it’s us…we don’t want to hang out when you are sick. You might be able to work or learn, but if you are contagious, the best thing you can do is stay home and take care of yourself!

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

Elder Care in Extreme Weather

Extreme weather conditions can make anyone miserable, but our elderly friends and loved ones are especially vulnerable when the temperatures drop and the world is covered in ice. The “wintery mix” we are experiencing now can be dangerous for seniors. If you know or care for an older person, it’s important to help them stay safe and warm.

Some things we know make it harder for them – like the older body’s reduced ability to regulate body temperature. But cold weather is even harder when there are chronic health conditions, poor nutrition, or dehydration. There is also a tendency to value frugality over comfort and safety. Many seniors don’t heat their homes adequately so they can save money.

Especially if you know elderly people living alone, get out and check on them.

  • Make sure they are eating enough and drinking water or other hydrating liquids.
  • Try and get them to get up and move around, even if its just doing a few chores. The physical activity can help.
  • Check that they are dressed warmly and have the heat high enough to keep them safe and warm.
  • If you suspect they are dangerously cold or suffering in some way, contact their health care provider.

Greene County Home Healthcare is another important resource to keep in mind. There are lots of options for seniors to keep their independence, and a home health nurse or aide can help maintain a higher quality of life for them. If you know an elderly person during this frigid weather, check on them. If they aren’t doing well, suggest a call to Greene County Home Healthcare. (812) 847-9496

Stay safe and warm out there!

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

Free Smoking Cessation Program

If you have ever tried to quit smoking cold turkey, or gone it alone with a patch or another plan, you know just how hard it can be to kick your tobacco habit.

Tobacco products of all kinds are highly addictive. They send a thrill to our pleasure receptors that keeps us coming back for more, meanwhile the rest of the body is left to suffer the side effects of cigarettes, chew, and more.

Let us help you break your tobacco habit.

If you are ready to be free from tobacco please join us for the next Greene County General Hospital Freedom From Smoking® program.  The seven-week program includes group discussion, interactive activities, and free nicotine replacement therapy.  You will learn how to develop a “quit-plan” that addresses your own personal behaviors and habits in a relaxed atmosphere.

You won’t be alone, and you won’t be trying to quit cold turkey. This is a proven plan that will help you get rid of a toxic habit for good.

If you use tobacco and you are ready to quit we hope to see you on January 15th at 5:00 p.m. at Greene County General Hospital in the Violet Newton Conference Room – that’s on the ground floor of the hospital. If you have friends or family members that are ready to quit they are welcome also!

To register for the program, please call:

Brandi Pigg, BS, RRT

Freedom From Smoking® Facilitator

Greene County General Hospital

1185 N 1000 W Linton, IN  47441

Cell> 812-512-1148  Work> 812-847-5210

Therapy – Physical vs. Occupational

Every wonder what the difference is between physical and occupational therapy?

It’s been said that physical therapy will get you up and walking, while occupational therapy will make sure you aren’t walking without your shoes and coat.

photo credit

That’s right, a big part of occupational therapy is helping people recover the basic movement of life. Just think about all the movement required to put on a coat, button or zip it up, slip into shoes or tie them. So many joints and muscles make it possible to do even the simplest tasks.

After a rotator cuff surgery, for example, it takes occupational therapy to get that shoulder joint back into regular action. Try putting a coat or jacket on without the ability to rotate your shoulder back and around. You’ll need plenty of help!

But a good Occupational Therapist can work with you to regain your range of motion and manage pain. If you follow your therapist’s instructions, you can enjoy the quality of life your surgeon knew would be possible after your procedure.

That’s just one of the many ways people can benefit from therapy. Thankfully, we are blessed with the best right here at home. Contact Greene County General Hospital’s Therapy Services to learn more and schedule you session so you don’t have to worry about taking a walk without your shoes and coat!

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

When Your Knee Needs Help

What happens after a knee injury? Whether it’s an athletic tear or some kind of trauma, the best chance anyone has for complete recovery after injury is quick medical care. Thankfully, there are many therapeutic treatments that can restore the knee to health. (And, you guessed it, we have the best right here at Greene County General!) The key is usually getting treatment as soon as possible.

For minor injuries that don’t require surgery, a good word to remember is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Resting the knee gives it time to heal; ice controls swelling if used 2-3 times a day for about 20 minutes; compressing the injury reduces swelling (therapists can help make sure it is not too tight); and elevating the knee whenever possible is recommended.

Above all, the way you treat your knees every day will determine how they treat you. Any suspected injury should be assessed by a health care provider as soon as possible so an effective course of treatment can be identified. If therapy is needed, you can rely on the Therapy Services at GCGH to get you back to feeling great.

 

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

Fight SAD with Sun

Not everyone is excited about the change in seasons. We may be happy to celebrate the holidays, but many of our friends and family struggle with a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or the winter blues. In Indiana, when the sky turns gray and the ground turns brown, the lack of sunlight makes our brains work overtime producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep patterns.

photo credit: Nestmaven

To ease those SAD feelings, be sure to get as much sunlight as possible. Even if it’s cold, get outside and let your face feel what sunlight is available. But if there just isn’t enough of the natural rays, look for an artificial sunbox to keep at home. These devices have special fluorescent tubes that mimic sunlight. Use it for 30 minutes every morning to trigger your body’s wakeful hormones and fight back those winter blues.

 

 

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

Temporary Influenza Visitor Restriction

Greene County General Hospital has implemented a temporary visitor restriction after multiple confirmed cases of influenza. The restrictions will protect patients, staff, and visitors from unnecessary exposure to the highly contagious respiratory virus.

Effective immediately, visitation will be restricted as follows:
• No visitors who have had fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea in the previous 24 hours
• No visitors under the age of 16 (Siblings who are not exhibiting flu symptoms will be allowed to visit new babies, however, children may be screened for illness before being allowed to visit.)

These restrictions are for visitation only, and do not apply to patients receiving services or attending scheduled appointments.

In addition, all visitors are asked to wash or sanitize hands frequently while at the hospital. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the hospital, in patient rooms, and in restrooms. Hand hygiene is the best and easiest way to control infection, whether at the hospital, or at home. A video showing effective hand hygiene is available below.

All GCGH employees receive a mandatory, annual flu vaccine to protect patients and staff. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine can still benefit from its protection. Flu shots are accessible at primary care physician offices, drug stores, and the Greene County Health Department. A list of primary care providers is available HERE.

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

Chronic Care Program Featured in Healthcare Business Insights

If you are thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, and they have anything to do with your health, then let’s talk.

Goal setting is great, and writing things down is a proven way to help you stay motivated. But when it comes to chronic health conditions, sometimes even the best of us need a little help. That’s where a health coach can come in handy.

We recently had an opportunity to sit down with the good folks at Healthcare Business Insights – a group that provides research on best practices in health care from analytics to networking. They chose GCGH for their recent article on Chronic Care Management programs, and our program manager Teresa Hutton and CEO Brenda Reetz were able to tell them our story.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading about what we are doing with CCM, and if you have any questions about signing up to work with a health coach, shoot an email over to CCM@mygcgh.org.

Article:

Motivating Patients and Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle with a Chronic Care Management Program

 

 

This article is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

The Flu is HERE…Wash Your Hands!

Confirmed cases of the highly contagious flu virus have been reported in Greene County – not the Christmas gift we were hoping for, and one we hope isn’t shared any more!

First and foremost, if you haven’t gotten your flu shot – it’s time. Get your shot to protect yourself, the elderly, the very young, pregnant women. Hey, let’s just say, do it for everyone!

Not only is the flu a pretty horrible experience, it can be deadly. There has already been a confirmed flu death in the state this season. So, it’s more important than ever that we do what we can to prevent further infection.

How you say? Simply by good, thorough hand washing.

Here’s a quick, easy tutorial to make sure you’re really gettting all the goo, gunk, and germs off your hands so they can be used to celebrate not contaminate!

The Flu is HERE…Wash Your Hands!

Confirmed cases of the highly contagious flu virus have been reported in Greene County – not the Christmas gift we were hoping for, and one we hope isn’t shared any more!

First and foremost, if you haven’t gotten your flu shot – it’s time. Get your shot to protect yourself, the elderly, the very young, pregnant women. Hey, let’s just say, do it for everyone!

Not only is the flu a pretty horrible experience, it can be deadly. There has already been a confirmed flu death in the state this season. So, it’s more important than ever that we do what we can to prevent further infection.

How you say? Simply by good, thorough hand washing.

Here’s a quick, easy tutorial to make sure you’re really gettting all the goo, gunk, and germs off your hands so they can be used to celebrate not contaminate!

Deck the Halls!

It’s Christmas time at Greene County General Hospital. We’ve been decking the halls…if you need to visit our Emergency Department, have blood drawn at our Outpatient Laboratory, or are waiting outside our Gift Shop, you’ll see beautiful red and gold trees on display. We hope you enjoy.

Fifteen-feet of Christmas cheer and a couple of Santa’s best reindeer are making our ER lobby festive this year.
Warm gold ribbon and white lights are twinkling in the Outpatient Lab waiting room.
Enjoy this red-ribboned beauty outside our Gift Shop in the Main Lobby.

Why I Give…

We all know Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The deals are worth braving the crowds the day after Thanksgiving, or setting aside our lunch hours to shop online when the workweek starts again. But Giving Tuesday is a relatively new addition to the holiday line up of special spending opportunities. This one isn’t about prepping for Christmas morning or saving money while you shop, it’s about philanthropy and giving to the organizations that are making a difference in our communities.

Our Greene County General Hospital Foundation was blessed by the giving of employees, friends, and nieghboors this year, and in case you missed our Facebook feed on Tuesday, we wanted to make sure you saw some of our smiling staff sharing why they give.

(Remember, all donations to the GCGH Foundation are tax-deductible. Make your year-end donation today! Use our website, or contact Foundation Director, Kyle Cross at (812) 699-4438!)

Kelsey Schilt gives to make people smile!
Kyle Cross gives to support smoking cessation classes.
Amy Lore gives to help fund grief support groups.
Wendy Spurlin gives to help women access 3D mammogram services.
Anna Telligman gives to support the Sweet Dreams Baby Bundles program.

Two Kinds of People – One Great November

They say there are two kinds of people in this world: those who start celebrating Christmas at 12:01 am on November 1st, and those…who don’t.

The good news for holiday traditionalists and year-round merry-makers alike, is that November can still bring us all together in an attitude of gratitude and generosity.

So what are we grateful for at Greene County General Hospital?

LOTS of things…new baby smell, the bacon in the cafeteria every morning, new employees, generous staff members, did we mention the bacon in the cafeteria?

There are too many to count, but we happen to be thinking a lot about our staff members who have been making regular donations to our GCGH Foundation this year. These are special people, and they are giving even more of themselves than their jobs require of them, funding smoking cessation classes, grief support groups, the Sweet Dreams Baby Bundles program, 3D mammograms – and so much more.

We are so thankful for employees who have donated more than $6,000 this year, from their hearts and their pocketbooks.

That’s what we call leadership by example around here, and we hope that everyone in our community will follow their lead and help support the good work of the GCGH Foundation before 2017 comes to a close.

Whether you’re already in the Christmas spirit, or still enjoying your stockpile of Halloween candy, make this November about gratitude and generosity and join our staff in making a difference in the health of Greene County!

Give today!



 

GCGH Holiday eCookbook Is Here! #GCGHoliday

We take a lot of pride in eating well here. If you have ever visited our cafeteria, aka “The Lone Tree Cafe,” you know exactly what that means.

Good food is an important part of our health, and we know that this time of year it can be especially challenging to eat right. That’s why we are once again offering our Happy, Healthy Holiday eCookbook for free download. You can also find it on our Nutrition Services page, and under Fitness & Wellness.

These recipes have been reviewed by our Registered Dietitian, Lisa Berns, and include easy to read ingredient lists, directions, and nutritional content. There has never been an easier way to get clinically approved holiday fare ready for you and your loved ones.

Download your free copy today, and if you enjoy the recipes let us know! We’d love to see pictures of your healthy holiday fare on Facebook and Twitter.

Use #GCGHoliday when you post on social media,

so we can find your culinary creations!

Happy, Healthy Holiday eCookbook

On the Road with GCGH: USI PEP Rally for Perinatal Care

If you are a fan of the popular PBS series Call the Midwife, you probably already know what “perinatal” means. In that period drama about a poor community in London in the years after World War II, viewers are treated to the drama and joy of a cast of midwives and nuns as they help women deliver babies in all kinds of circumstances.

Photo Credit: PBS

Times have changed in London and here in Greene County since the 1950’s and 60’s, and “perinatal” care – all the services, tests, and check ups that surround pregnancy – has progressed tremendously. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped our community and our state from dealing with a relatively high infant mortality rate. Lots of things contribute to that, and the Hospital’s Sweet Dreams Baby Bundles program is helping mammas and babies prevent complications during and after pregnancy.

That was the message our OB Director, Anna Telligman, and Foundation Director Kyle Cross brought to the PEP Rally – a Perinatal Conference – at the University of Southern Indiana. They traveled to Evansville to showcase the Baby Bundles program to students and staff and show them how a small rural hospital is making big changes that are lowering infant mortality rates. This program offers incentives to expecting mothers to get prenatal care and work with OB nurses to learn safe sleep practices, how to quit smoking, and the benefits of breast-feeding, among other things. The program includes assistance from our Internationally Certified Lactation Consultant, Tracy Blanton, RN, as well as other postnatal care services. Baby Bundles mammas receive a Pack-n-Play, a handmade diaper bag, and a load of supplies for baby’s first months.

Download Sweet Dreams Baby Bundles applications HERE, on our OB Services page, or if you have questions, contact Anna at anna.telligman@mygcgh.org. And if you’re not a fan of Call the Midwife (we’re not sure if Anna is willing to help you with that), your Netflix account should get you hooked in no time.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

The Holidays can be like a mine-field for people with food-allergies or special needs. Parents of these wonderful people will tell you that avoiding the sugary treats and food dyes can be a full time job.

Even a once-in-a-while treat can be bad for these folks. Gluten, peanuts, chocolate, dyes and preservatives – these things can not only make food-sensitive systems go haywire, they can cause all kinds of problems for kids on the Autism and ADD/ADHD spectrum.

American culture is not likely to give up its love of sweet treats any time soon, so supporting those with food-allergies and other sensitivities means providing other options. The Teal Pumpkin Project is one way to do that. When Halloween rolls around and Trick-or-Treaters come knocking, displaying a teal pumpkin means non-food, allergy-friendly toys and treasures await.

Greene County General Hospital is a proud supporter of the Teal Pumpkin Project and will have non-food treats for Trick-or-Treaters on October 28 and 31 from 6-9 PM, during the City of Linton’s scheduled hours. There will be a self-serve station inside the ER/registration lobby, and everyone is welcome to visit and choose a little something from the goodies on display.

Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project by visiting Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). There are tons of resources and great ideas to make your Halloween safe and fun for all.

 

The Teal Pumpkin Project

The Holidays can be like a mine-field for people with food-allergies or special needs. Parents of these wonderful people will tell you that avoiding the sugary treats and food dyes can be a full time job.

Even a once-in-a-while treat can be bad for these folks. Gluten, peanuts, chocolate, dyes and preservatives – these things can not only make food-sensitive systems go haywire, they can cause all kinds of problems for kids on the Autism and ADD/ADHD spectrum.

American culture is not likely to give up its love of sweet treats any time soon, so supporting those with food-allergies and other sensitivities means providing other options. The Teal Pumpkin Project is one way to do that. When Halloween rolls around and Trick-or-Treaters come knocking, displaying a teal pumpkin means non-food, allergy-friendly toys and treasures await.

Greene County General Hospital is a proud supporter of the Teal Pumpkin Project and will have non-food treats for Trick-or-Treaters on October 28 and 31 from 6-9 PM, during the City of Linton’s scheduled hours. There will be a self-serve station inside the ER/registration lobby, and everyone is welcome to visit and choose a little something from the goodies on display.

Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project by visiting Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). There are tons of resources and great ideas to make your Halloween safe and fun for all.

 

GCDW Guest Column: Beating Breast Cancer with Early Detection

This article ran in the Greene County Daily World on October 10, 2017. 

It was a beautiful September day. Sunny and clear, the sky was a brilliant blue and the last surge of summer blossoms and produce made Linton seem like heaven on earth.

There was nothing standing between her and a day of antiquing except a short doctor’s appointment to get the results of her annual physical and snag a flu shot.

But her appointment wasn’t as simple as she had hoped. One word would change her plans for the day, the week, and the foreseeable future: cancer.

She had breast cancer.

The results of her annual mammogram had found a growth. The doctor said it was still small, still treatable, but still there. And instead of a day of shopping and a carefree evening of Miner football, she would be confirming insurance coverage, calling loved ones, and making appointments for treatment.

Finish reading this article at the Greene County Daily World.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Why 3D Mammograms?

Cancer is the out of control growth of abnormal cells. We know it can start anywhere in the body, but when it starts in breast tissue, the earlier we find it the better the results.

Annual mammograms for women age 40 and older continue to be the gold standard of care, and there are many women who have learned they have a cancerous growth after a mammogram even when they were not experiencing symptoms of disease.

Traditional mammograms involve an x-ray of breast tissue, and that is aided now by computer aided detection that can point out areas of concern that might be missed by human error. Digital mammography allows for even better images for review, but the best and clearest images come from 3D mammograms.

3D mammography takes multiple digital images from different angles and essentially creates image-layers of the tissue. The layers can be viewed individually or combined to create a 3D image that research has shown can find up to 35% more cancer in patients.

That means life-saving treatments can start earlier and work better.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Self Care and a Mammogram

We are all fighting cancer every day. Everything we do impacts whether or not our bodies can kill rogue cells that want to grow out of control. That includes what we eat – lots of fresh, local, colorful fruits and veggies are a great place to start – and how much we move – even just a little goes a long way – and even how we rest. Are you taking time for yourself? Sleeping and investing in the relationships you need to feel supported?

Photo Credit 

No one has it all together, and none of us are going to eat right, exercise, and rest up as much as we need. That’s why it is still important to get those annual health screenings and catch disease early. All women should perform regular, careful, monthly self-breast examinations.(You can learn more about how to perform those in our previous post, “Breast Cancer Awareness: Detection.“)

For women age 40 and older, an annual mammogram is recommended, and this screening can catch cancer while it is still treatable.

Scheduling a mammogram is as easy as talking to your doctor and visiting your local hospital with a physician’s order. To make sure the mammogram is as accurate as possible, patients are told not to wear deodorant, creams, or powders to their appointment as these might interfere with the sensitive equipment.

After the images are taken, a radiologist will interpret the mammogram and send results to the patient’s physician. Sometimes, patients are asked to return for a follow up screening. This doesn’t mean there is a problem, only that additional images are needed for a correct diagnosis.

You can visit our online health library to learn more about breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Detection

Cancer can begin in any part of the body.

The different kinds of cancer are determined by where they start. Leukemias, for example, grow in bone marrow and are present in the blood stream. Lymphomas begin in the lymph nodes of the immune system. Sarcomas start in supporting tissues like bone, fat, and muscle.

Carcinomas, the most common types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute, start in the cells that cover external and internal body surfaces – think lung, colon, and breast cancer.

Once cancer has begun to grow, even if it is extremely small, there are many ways we can detect it through regular screenings.

For breast cancer, mammograms remain the gold standard of early detection. They can find abnormalities before patients even notice symptoms. That’s why regular mammograms are important, especially for women age 40 and older and why it is critical to have access to the latest technology. 3D mammograms, for example, present a new era of early detection and better outcomes for women.

 

photo credit: Google

All women should be performing regular self-exams as well. This involves a simple process of feeling for lumps and looking for abnormalities in the mirror. Even if you are diligent about your annual screening, you are your own best tool to find problems and catch cancer early.

Download this helpful PDF from the United Breast Cancer Foundation to keep as a reference.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Detection

Cancer can begin in any part of the body.

The different kinds of cancer are determined by where they start. Leukemias, for example, grow in bone marrow and are present in the blood stream. Lymphomas begin in the lymph nodes of the immune system. Sarcomas start in supporting tissues like bone, fat, and muscle.

Carcinomas, the most common types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute, start in the cells that cover external and internal body surfaces – think lung, colon, and breast cancer.

Once cancer has begun to grow, even if it is extremely small, there are many ways we can detect it through regular screenings.

For breast cancer, mammograms remain the gold standard of early detection. They can find abnormalities before patients even notice symptoms. That’s why regular mammograms are important, especially for women age 40 and older and why it is critical to have access to the latest technology. 3D mammograms, for example, present a new era of early detection and better outcomes for women.

 

photo credit: Google

All women should be performing regular self-exams as well. This involves a simple process of feeling for lumps and looking for abnormalities in the mirror. Even if you are diligent about your annual screening, you are your own best tool to find problems and catch cancer early.

Download this helpful PDF from the United Breast Cancer Foundation to keep as a reference.

Breast Cancer Awareness: What is Cancer?

Pink ribbons…walking for a cure…lumps and radiation…what is all this really about?

Cancer.

Specifically, breast cancer.

Every year in October, we work extra hard to make sure you are thinking about it and taking care to prevent it.

But what IS breast cancer? More importantly, what is cancer in general?

Every day, your body’s cells grow, die, regenerate and generally keep you alive. When they malfunction, they can grow out of control. This is cancer. Sometimes it presents as a malignant tumor – a mass of extra tissue made up of those abnormal, out of control cells.

The American Cancer Society tells us that most cancers forma s a tumor (others, like leukemia or blood cancer, do not). When that happens in breast tissue, we can find it with a simple screening – a mammogram. We can even use 3D technology to find cancerous masses when they are just beginning. And that early detection means longer lives.

Keep following our blog to learn more about breast cancer prevention and detection as we support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t forget, if you or a loved one needs to get a mammogram, October is a great month to do it. All patients who choose 3D mammography will receive a free fleece throw as a thank you from our family to yours.