Diabetes Prevention-5 Tips for Taking Control

  [caption id="attachment_4991" align="alignleft" width="355"]  [/caption] Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention-and it’s never too late to start.  Consider these tips:   When it comes to type 2 diabetes, (the most common type), prevention is the key. Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, moving more, and losing a few extra pounds.  It’s never too late to start!  Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help avoid serious health consequences in the future. Exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost your sensitivity to insulin. Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The best benefits come from a program that includes both. Fiber can help you reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control, lower your risk of heart disease, and promote healthy weight by making you feel full. It’s not clear why, but studies show that whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
  • You are over 45
  • You are overweight and have additional risk factors, such as a family history
  • You lead an inactive lifestyle.

Breast Cancer Awareness

[caption id="attachment_4967" align="alignleft" width="300"] healthcare and medicine concept - girl hands holding pink breast cancer awareness ribbon[/caption] It’s no secret that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Though we may get tired of seeing breast cancer information all over social media, in magazines, on the internet, etc., being informed and having regular mammograms are the best keys to helping women detect breast cancer early.  Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.   What are the symptoms?  There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all.   Symptoms can include:  Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.  Pain in any area of the breast.  Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).  A new lump in the breast or underarm.                                                                                           How can I lower my risk?  Risk factors you cannot change include:  Getting older- the risk increases with age  Reproductive history- early menstrual periods, menopause after 55  Having dense breasts-women with dense breasts are higher risk  Personal or family history (either mother or father’s side) of breast or ovarian cancer      Risk Factors You Can Change:  Not being physically active  Being overweight or obese after menopause  Taking hormones (those that contain both estrogen and progesterone) taken during menopause when taken for more than 5 years.  Reproductive history- Having the first pregnancy after 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy.  Drinking alcohol    Please make your mammogram appointment today by calling 208-847-1630.

Cholesterol…The Good, the bad and . . .

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found your body and has several useful functions, including helping to build your body’s cells. Your cholesterol levels are an important measure of good heart health. Too much LDL, or Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, can build up within the walls of your blood vessels and narrow the passageways. Sometimes a clot can form and get stuck in the narrowed space, causing a heart attack or stroke. That is why LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol. People who have naturally higher levels of high-density level lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL, are at a lower risk for heart attack and stroke. HDL picks up excess bad cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it’s broken down and removed from your body. That is why HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol. Ideally, you want higher levels of HDL, and lower levels of LDL. High cholesterol can develop in early childhood and adolescence, and your risk increases as your weight increases. More than 102 million American adults have a total cholesterol level at or above 240 mg/dl, which puts them at risk for heart disease. A desirable, TOTAL cholesterol level would be less than 170mg/dl, with the LDL (bad) cholesterol level being less than 110 mg/dl, and the HDL (good) cholesterol being 35 mg/dl or higher. Lifestyle changes known to increase HDL, such as moving more, quitting smoking or improving your diet, have been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks. Besides helping you lose weight, increased physical activity can lower your triglycerides, the most common type of fat in your body, while increasing your HDL levels. Benefits can be seen with as little as 60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a week. Adjusting your diet to avoid trans fats, which increase LDL levels is also important. Foods prepared with shortening, such as cakes and cookies, often contain trans fats, as do most fried foods and some margarines. Limit saturated fat, found in meats and full-fat dairy products, as well. Eat more fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains as these foods help control cholesterol levels. *See list below for cholesterol lowering foods. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. Your doctor can advise you if you need to have your cholesterol levels checked more often. *Some foods that can lower cholesterol: Legumes, avocados, nuts (especially almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), whole grains (especially oats and barley), fruits and berries, dark chocolate and cocoa, garlic, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil.

Vaccines Save Lives 

It’s hard to fully appreciate how vaccines have changed the world of modern medicine. The fact is, vaccines have helped save millions and millions of lives. On a global scale, health organizations work diligently to distribute vaccines to poorer countries. Thanks to increased access to the measles vaccine internationally, the annual death toll from this disease fell from almost 600,000 in 2000 to just 122,000 in 2012. However, vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat. They continue to infect U.S. children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year. Outbreaks of preventable diseases occur when many parents decide not to vaccinate their children. In the year 2000, the endemic spread of measles was considered to be eliminated in the United States but is now on the rise. If children are not vaccinated, they can spread disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and people with cancer. When we vaccinate children, we not only protect other children, but family members, friends, and grandparents. Immunizations are not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You may be at risk because of your age, health, or lifestyle. All adults need immunizations to help prevent them from getting and spreading serious diseases. For instance, all adults need a seasonal flu vaccine every year. A study done by the CDC showed that the influenza vaccine saved 40,000 lives from flu-related deaths during the nine-year period from 2005-2014. Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a tetanus/diptheria booster shot every 10 years. You should talk with your doctor if you feel you should be exempt from these vaccinations. A recurrence in the rise of outbreaks of infectious diseases in the U.S., such as measles, can be traced to those traveling to the U.S. from other countries, but the CDC feels the real culprit is misinformation about vaccines. Anti-vaxxers take advantage of social media and the internet to stoke public resistance to vaccines. The World Health organization named vaccine hesitancy among the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. To help spread this message and to counter misinformation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine created a website (see below) displaying overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe. The American Medical Association sent a letter to top executives at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube urging them to do more to stem the proliferation of health-related misinformation. For credible information about the safety of vaccines, talk to your doctor or visit: www.cdc.gov  or sites.nationalacademies.org/BasedOnScience/vaccines-are-safe/

BLMH is Top 20 in the Nation

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital Named as 2019 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital  Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in Montpelier, ID scored in the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in the United States by iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health. This recognition is regarded as one of the industry’s most significant designations of performance excellence. Bear Lake Memorial is one of over 1300 Critical Access Hospitals surveyed nationally. This is the third year in a row the hospital has received this recognition additionally in 2018 they ranked as a Top 20 CAH by the National Rural Health Association.   “In an era of increased complexity and uncertainty, Top 100 hospitals have established themselves as a bellwether for rural provider performance,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Top 100 status is a real indicator of how proactive these hospitals are when it comes to pushing for performance improvement in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient safety, market share and finance.”   Measurements like these reinforce Bear Lake Memorial’s high standards of quality healthcare and their vision of being most caring to the visitors and residents of the Bear Lake Valley and surrounding areas.    

Summer Safety 101

Bear Lake winters can be long and hard.  The excitement of spring and summer brings with it a desire to get out of the house and be more active.  By following a few main safety tips, summer can be an enjoyable, safe time. Stay Hydrated. The standard recommendation is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.  If you spend a fair amount of time in the sun, you may want to drink even more to avoid dehydration.  Don’t just depend on your body to tell you when you’re thirsty because as you age, you become less aware of your thirst.  Be proactive in staying hydrated. Sodas, coffee, and especially alcohol won’t work as good alternatives for hydration.  Water, sports drinks, and juice are the best. Don’t Stay Out for Too Long. If you are in extreme heat, you should keep your plans for outdoor activities reasonably short. Do not spend all day in the sun. After a couple of hours, plan to take a break.  You don’t always feel the effects of the sun in the exact moment, but it can build to something dangerous if you aren’t careful how much time you spend outside on hot days. Keep Sunscreen Where It’s Readily Accessible So That You Will Remember to Use It. If you carry a bag or purse, keep your sunscreen in it at all times.  If you don’t, stick your sunscreen in your care or anywhere else you can think of where you will be likely to have it when you need it.  You will need to reapply if you get wet, sweat, or stay outdoors for a reasonable amount of time. Check the Side Effects of Your Prescriptions. Some medications make people more sensitive to the sun.  Make sure you know if your prescriptions mean you need to take extra precautions.  Some common prescriptions you will need to be aware of that can increase sun sensitivity are: Antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Ciprofloxacin; Antidepressants such as Doxepin and other tricyclics: Antihistamines; some blood pressure drugs such as Hydrochlorothiazide, Aldactazide, and Diltiazem; many cholesterol drugs, diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, and NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. (This is not a comprehensive list.  Check with your doctor about your medications.) Use Air Conditioning If You Have It Making sure you are comfortable in your home is worth the price of air conditioning. If you don’t have it, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may help if the cost is prohibitive.

2019 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in Montpelier, ID scored in the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in the United States by iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health. This recognition is regarded as one of the industry’s most significant designations of performance excellence. Bear Lake Memorial is one of over 1300 Critical Access Hospitals surveyed nationally. This is the third year in a row the hospital has received this recognition additionally in 2018 they ranked as a Top 20 CAH by the National Rural Health Association. “In an era of increased complexity and uncertainty, Top 100 hospitals have established themselves as a bellwether for rural provider performance,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Top 100 status is a real indicator of how proactive these hospitals are when it comes to pushing for performance improvement in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient safety, market share and finance.” Measurements like these reinforce Bear Lake Memorial’s high standards of quality healthcare and their vision of being most caring to the visitors and residents of the Bear Lake Valley and surrounding areas.

The Schmidts’ – Leaving a Legacy

The Schmidt’s love Bear Lake and have spent summers on the shores since they were first married. Liz was diagnosed with a kidney disease and while visiting Bear Lake they travelled to Logan 3x a week for dialysis, consuming much of their energy and vacation time.

The Schmidt’s approached BLMH’s Administrator at the time, Rod Jacobson, about what it would take to establish the life-saving treatment at the smaller county-owned facility. After doing some research, Rod learned a new Dialysis Center would cost in excess of $500,000, an amount way beyond the Hospital’s ability to finance. When Ted and Liz have told the bad news their response was “could you do it if money was not the issue?".  After careful consideration and in light of the fact that several other Bear Lake residents were travelling long distances for dialysis, the Hospital Board of Trustees authorized the endeavor.

Within a year, Bear Lake Memorial Hospital had a fully functioning Dialysis Center and Liz Schmidt received her summer dialysis treatments at BLMH for several years. Since the beginning of the Dialysis Center literally, hundreds of patients have had their lifesaving treatments performed counting up to over 130,000 hours in the last 13 years. Even after Liz's passing, Ted continues to share their story and show support to this community. All of this made possible in one of the smallest and most caring dialysis center in the country... at the Bear Lake Memorial's Dialysis Center, Ted and Liz Schmidt made it a reality.

Want to share your story with us? Please call 208-847-0963 or email Julie.Nelson@blmhospital.com

Award Winning Home Health in Patient Satisfaction

Bear Lake Memorial Hospital’s Home Health earns 2018 SHPBestTM “Premier Performer” Patient Satisfaction Award   Montpelier, IDBear Lake Memorial Hospital’s Home Health has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) as a “Premier Performer” for achieving an overall patient satisfaction score that ranked in the top 5% of all eligible SHP clients for the 2018 calendar year. The annual SHPBest™ award program was created to acknowledge home health agencies that consistently provide high-quality service to their patients. The 2018 award recipients were determined by reviewing and ranking the overall satisfaction score for more than 2,500 home health providers. With the largest HHCAHPS benchmark in the nation, SHP is in a unique position to identify and recognize organizations that have made patient satisfaction a priority and have been rewarded for their efforts with high marks on the HHCAHPS survey. “SHP is proud to present the SHPBest awards to our top-performing customers. We commend these organizations for their continuous focus on delivering the highest quality of care to their patients”, said Rob Paulsson, President of SHP. Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) is a leader in data analytics and benchmarking that drive daily clinical and operational decisions. Our solutions bring real-time data to post-acute providers, hospitals, and ACOs to better coordinate quality care and improve patient outcomes. Since 1996, SHP has helped more than 7,000 organizations nationwide raise the bar for healthcare performance.  “Our home health team is dedicated to providing the best environment for employees and patients to promote healing at home,” says Home Health Director Shauna Dawes, “and this recognition validates the level of care and compassion we offer.  Our team couldn’t be more proud to represent Bear Lake Memorial Hospital in leading satisfaction through Home Health services.” Read more about the SHPBest awards program, including methodology and award recipient lists at https://www.shpdata.com/home-health/shpbest-hhcahps.  

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

What is Mental Health? Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life.  It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.  Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood. What are Mental Illnesses? Mental illnesses are serious disorders which can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior.  They may be occasional or long-lasting.  They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day.  Mental disorders are common; more than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental disorder at some time in their life.  But there are treatments.  People with mental health problems can get better, and many of them recover completely. Why is Mental Health Important? Mental health is important because it can help you to: Cope with the stresses of life                           Be physically healthy Have good relationships                                    Make meaningful contributions to your community Work productively                                              Realize your full potential How can I improve my Mental Health? Stay Positive                                                Practice gratitude Be physically active                                    Connect with others Learn to manage/eliminate stress           Get enough sleep Get help to develop coping skills              Meditate Volunteer                                                      Grow a flower or vegetable garden Learn relaxation technics                           Let go of grudges and bitterness Learn to manage anger                               Practice “Mindfulness” technics   Resourced from https://medlineplus.gov/mentalhealth.html