House Call Fall 2010
Bringing Beaumont expertise into your home.
House CaLL Ca BRINGING BEAUMONT EXPERTISE INTO YOUR HOME � FALL 2010 THE FIRE INSIDE One woman's struggle with heartburn finally leads to relief. A SEASON FOR THANKS Two local men celebrate their recoveries from life threatening conditions. LEARNING TO BE HEALTHY NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID CLEVELAND, OH PERMIT NO. 1702 A mother and daughter vow to avoid obesity. FOOD FOR COMFORT Low-fat twist on traditional comfort food recipes. [PLUS+] Finding healthy gifts Seeing into the future In These Pages Features: VOLUME 4 � ISSUE 2 Departments: 3 Trends: Top 10 tips for finding healthy gifts 4 5 6 8 The fire inside One woman's struggle with heartburn finally leads to relief. 10 Health Shorts and Second Opinion Learning to be healthy A mother and daughter vow to change habits, lead active lives to avoid obesity. 11 Innovations: Seeing into the future Food for comfort Avoid adding to your weight and waistline by trying Beaumont Executive Chef Todd Engel's low-fat twist on traditional recipes. A Season for thanks Two local men celebrate their recoveries from life threatening conditions. HouseCaLL BRINGING BEAUMONT EXPERTISE INTO YOUR HOME FALL 2010 e-mail your thoughts about this newsletter to House.Call@beaumonthospitals.com Beaumont, Grosse Pointe receives stroke and chest pain accreditation East siders now have two more reasons to choose Beaumont for their care as Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe received national accreditations for care of stroke and chest pain patients. The hospital was designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, demonstrating that the hospital is committed to significantly improving outcomes for stroke patients by complying with the highest national standards for patient care, quality and safety. The Society of Chest Pain Centers also recognized the Grosse Pointe hospital as an Accredited Chest Pain Center. This designation shows the hospital emphasizes the importance of standardized protocols that provide more efficient and effective evaluation and treatment for people who arrive in the Emergency Center with chest pain. These two designations mean that patients with chest pain or stroke symptoms who visit the Emergency Center at Grosse Pointe will be seen and treated by a board-certified physician sooner than ever before. "Being a Primary Stroke Center and an accredited Chest Pain Center recognize our team's high level of expertise and adherence to national standards for the diagnosis and treatment of chest pain and stroke," says Donna Hoban, senior vice president and medical director at Grosse Pointe. New liver transplant program launches The numbers are staggering: one in 10 Americans has been affected by liver disease. To serve these patients, Beaumont recently launched a liver transplant program. Under the leadership of Alan J. Koffron, M.D., director of MultiOrgan Transplantation, Beaumont expanded its 38-year-old kidney transplant program to include liver transplants. Beaumont's 17-member transplant team includes three surgeons, two hepatologists, two transplant nephrologists, anesthesiologists, transplant nurses, a social worker, a patient Alan J. Koffron, M.D., financial advisor and administrative director of Multi-Organ staff. Transplantation at Dr. Koffron, who joined Beaumont Beaumont Hospital, two years ago from Northwestern Royal Oak Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, is one of the world's leading innovators in laparoscopic and live-donor liver transplantation. Beaumont plans to offer traditional (deceased-donor) and livedonor liver transplant services, laparoscopic liver surgery and minimally invasive liver donor surgery. "Our goal is to provide patients with an entire spectrum of personalized care, from medical treatment to organ replacement, from a team with an enormous amount of transplant experience," says Dr. Koffron. "When a patient is diagnosed with life-threatening liver disease, they want answers fast," he says. "We assign a nurse navigator to coordinate their appointments and a liver specialist who together follow them through the entire transplant process, including posttransplant care." In 2009, 6,320 liver transplants were performed in the U.S., 190 of those in Michigan. Nationwide, about 16,000 Americans are waiting for a liver transplant, including about 340 Michiganders. Diabetes and other clinical trials seek participants If you or someone you know has diabetes and experiences burning, throbbing or tingling pain in the feet, and is currently taking pain medication, it could be diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or DPN. Beaumont now offers a new clinical trial for people who could have the condition. The research trial studies the effects of Lyrica, a medication approved for neuropathic pain associated with DPN. Participants will potentially be enrolled for up to 21 weeks in the two-phase study. Eight clinic visits to monitor progress will be required. In addition, study medication, examinations, tests, treatments and procedures required are provided at no cost to the participants. For more information and to see if you qualify, please call the Beaumont Anesthesiology Research Office at 248-898-1907. Beaumont offers a number of clinical trials. To see a list of open trials, go to www.beaumonthospitals. com/clinical-trials. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 2 ] FALL 2010 [ TRENDS ] 1 0 tips for finding healthy gifts The holiday season is a time to show your love through gifts to friends and family. Show you care about them by choosing gifts that enhance their health and wellness. 1 CHOOSE TOYS CAREFULLY. When looking for something fun for tots, select toys that promote problem solving skills, encourage discussion, stimulate imagination and increase a child's vocabulary, says Kendra VanRobays, a speech pathologist with PLAY Project, which teaches play and social language skills to autistic children at Beaumont Children's Hospital. The toys -- including doll houses, train sets, puppets, toy kitchen appliances and interactive games like Hullabaloo � are available at specialty stores and major retailers. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 HOUSE CALL BEWARE OF PREMADE BASKETS. Holiday-themed food baskets can spell trouble to a recipient's health. "They usually are filled with chocolate, high-fat cheese, sodium-filled salami and sweets," says Silvia Veri, a registered dietitian with the Beaumont Weight Control Center. Instead, she suggests making food kits like no-salt seasoning blends, lentil and split pea soup mix, pumpkin bread and seasoned almonds, recipes for which can be found on housecall.beaumonthospitals.com. RESOLVE TO BE A FIT FAMILY. Get a jump on your New Year's resolution in a way that is good for the whole family by considering a piece of exercise equipment as a family gift that all can use. To ensure continuing interest in the piece, involve everyone in the research and selection. TRY A GIFT OF TOUCH. For many, the holidays are hectic, so it makes sense to give a gift that helps people to relax and unwind, such as a massage. "Massage provides relaxation, reduces stress, releases tight muscles and helps to stimulate the immune system, a really good benefit during the cold and flu season," says Karen Armstrong, supervisor of massage in Integrative Medicine at Beaumont Hospitals. FOR HOMEBODIES, MAKE A HEALTH BASKET. Include items like a pedometer, a water bottle, a yoga mat, an exercise DVD and a subscription to a health magazine. ONE FOR YOU, ONE FOR ME. At times, health classes or personal training sessions can be purchased in units or in two-for-one deals. Make sure the gift will be well received by talking about it before presenting it, says Tom Spring, manager of Beaumont's employee health and wellness program. "Surprising someone with a gift of health classes can be taken the wrong way, sort of like giving a vacuum cleaner to your wife for Christmas," he says. "Instead, ease them into the idea by saying it might be a fun way for you to spend time together." IT'S ALL IN THE CARDS. Not sure of their size or their interest? Pick up a gift card for a sporting goods store. THINK CHARITY. Many health-related organizations provide the perfect gift for those who have it all. For example, Beaumont Hospitals (www.beaumonthospitals.com/ foundation) often receives gifts that honor a caregiver like a doctor or nurse or that provide therapies for children whose families can't afford treatments. MAKE A WORKOUT SOUNDTRACK. Load up an MP3 player with high energy songs. Not sure which songs they will like? Go to www.fitnessmagazine.com and plug "Top Workout Songs" into the search for suggestions. GIVE THE GIFT OF PEACE OF MIND. Purchase a gift certificate for Beaumont's 7 for $70 Heart and Vascular Screening. The tests, which take about an hour, identify a person's risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. For more information, call 800-328-8542. WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM [ PA G E 3 ] The Fire Inside One woman's struggle with heartburn finally leads to relief. K aren Gerula was concerned. Diagnosed related to acid reflux can actually be reversed, reducing the with acid reflux in October 2009, the Royal long term risk of cancer that is associated with chronic reflux." Oak woman went through four medications for Karen decided to seek the advice of Robert Jury, M.D., a acid reflux but none were able to quell the scorch- gastrointestinal surgeon and director of the Center for ing pain that began in her abdomen and moved up Reflux and Esophageal Cancer Prevention at Beaumont into her chest each night. Hospital, Royal Oak. The center offers patients medical and In addition to the medications, Karen, surgical expertise in treating reflux and Barrett's esophagus, a 55, also tried sleeping on a wedge-shaped precancerous condition that usually results from undertreated pillow designed for people with reflux, reflux. avoided foods that seemed to trigger Dr. Jury recommended Karen have a laparoscopic her attacks, ate small meals and stopped fundoplication, a minimally invasive procedure that helps eating anything within four hours of bedtime. Still, the to strengthen the valve that joins the esophagus with the pain would wake her, robbing her of rest. When the sleep stomach, thus keeping the acid from traveling to the throat deprivation from the pain contributed to a minor car accident, or lungs. Beaumont surgeons at the center also offer an Karen's husband suggested she seek surgery for her condition. incisionless reflux surgery that eliminates the basic cause of "I was also concerned about the medications I was taking," reflux. she says. "I didn't want to be on them in the long-term because "Minimally invasive procedures can end the need for long they interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium." term drug therapy, eliminate nighttime cough and improve In May 2010, the Food and Drug chronic laryngitis or asthma in Administration warned consumers patients with reflux," says Dr. Jury. Reflux symptoms about a possible increased risk of hip, Following the procedure, Karen are common wrist and spine fractures with high spent one night in the hospital About 60 million Americans doses or long-term use of proton pump before returning home. Since then, experience acid reflux symptoms on a inhibitors, or PPIs. Among the most she was able to discontinue her regular basis. Occurring day or night, commonly prescribed medications in reflux medication and has not felt these include: the world, PPIs reduce stomach acid the burning pain in her throat. "I � burning pain in the chest, throat production, which is necessary for the started feeling better right away," � acid taste in mouth proper absorption of calcium. Karen says. "What Dr. Jury did was � sore throat or mouth "While medical treatment and amazing." � hoarseness of voice changes in behavior can provide To learn more about reflux treat� coughing or asthma-like symptoms excellent control of symptoms in many ments or call Beaumont's Center � frequent belching patients, careful follow-up of patients for Reflux and Esophageal Cancer � difficulty swallowing, choking or with chronic reflux remains extremely Prevention at 888-99-REFLUX. the feeling that food is "stuck" in important," says Daniel Rontal, M.D., For more information on the center your throat an otolaryngologist. "With some of and or to take an interactive quiz � feeling full too soon the treatments available at Beaumont, about reflux, visit www.beaumont � nausea or vomiting the damage to the esophagus that is hospitals.com/reflux. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 4 ] FALL 2010 Learning to be healthy A mother and daughter vow to change habits, lead active lives to avoid obesity G rowing up, Melissa Stanley was often taunted "I blamed myself," she says. about her weight from her peers. But she also did something about it. She and Autumn signed up "Pudgy Pookie was my nickname," the Clawson to take part in the Healthy Kids Program at the Beaumont Health woman recalls. "Socially, being overweight was Center in Royal Oak. For 12 weeks, they met with an exercise horrible. It was always tough." physiologist, psychologist and dietitian as well as peer groups. Recently, Melissa noticed her daughter, Autumn, Michele Meyers, a psychologist who met with Melissa and Autumn, was starting to gain weight. At age 10, she was says the award-winning program is really about changing unhealthy five feet tall and weighed 144 pounds. "Now, a lot behaviors. "We don't focus on the weight loss," she says. "We just want of people are overweight so she isn't facing the them to lead healthier lives. Kids are still growing so if they are able same social issues that I faced," Melissa says. "But I want her to lead to maintain their weight and continue to grow, their body mass index a healthy life." will automatically decrease." Autumn is part of a major trend. According to a survey conducted As a result of the program, Autumn has become a label reading by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of champ, urging her mother to buy lower-fat items in the grocery story. children between the ages of two and 19 who are obese has more than The pair has also taken up walking, rollerblading or biking tripled, from 5.5 percent in the 1976-1980 survey to 16.9 percent in every night. "The program was a commitment but the 2007-2008 survey. Children and adolescents who are obese are I would do it all over again," Melissa says. more likely to: "We are healthier for it." � have cardiovascular disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol � have bone and joint problems and experience sleep apnea � experience social stigmas related to their weight and have poor self-esteem as a result � remain overweight or obese as an adult and, therefore, are at greater risk of developing related health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes than their normal weight peers. Wendy Miller, M.D., interim chief and director of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, points to a number of reasons for the trend. "Americans are drinking more sugar sweetened drinks, including soft drinks and juices," she says, adding that studies show children also receive a higher percentage � BE A ROLE MODEL. With 68 percent of adults being of their calories from snack foods than ever before. overweight or obese, change starts with the parent, At the same time, children are more sedentary than in the Dr. Miller says. past. In some area schools, budgets for sports programs have � BE POSITIVE. "Change can be difficult," says Michele. been slashed and recess and gym time has been reduced "Try to focus on what you can do and set reasonable significantly due to academic initiatives. goals." At home, screen time has become the losion osion culprit, as evidenced by the explosion in � DO ACTIVITIES TOGETHER. It can be as inexpensive as ren n television programming for children as playing touch football in the local park or more pricey me e well as the exponential video game such as having Santa deliver a bike for everyone in the e industry growth. "From a leisure For more house � just make sure you do healthy activities standpoint, children have many information on the together. "Having active family time is important and more sedentary entertainment Healthy Kids Program at the fun," Dr. Miller says. options than ever before," says Beaumont Weight Control Center Dr. Miller, who also serves � TEACH GOOD NUTRITION. Whether it is making or to take part in free family on the state's Healthy Kids a family trip to the farmers market or taking a cooking classes that are Childhood Obesity Prevention cooking class together, it is important for sponsored in part by the Workgroup. children to learn how certain foods help them Children's Miracle Network, Like many parents of to grow and stay healthy. overweight children, Melissa call 248-655-5900. felt guilty. Be healthier ... together HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 5 ] WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM [ FOOD ] Emma Engel helps her dad cook at home. Comfort Cold weather often means comfort � crackling fires, warm sweaters and foods that are higher in fat and calories. Avoid adding to your weight and waistline by trying Beaumont Executive Chef Todd Engel's low-fat twist on comfort food recipes. Chocolate Yogurt Mousse 10 oz. nonfat yogurt 1 1/4 oz. dark chocolate, preferably Hershey's dark chocolate morsels 1 oz. cocoa powder 6 egg whites 1/3 cup sugar Food for Nutritional Information Yields six servings Preparation: 115 Calories � Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl 3 g Total fat over hot water. Combine the chocolate 20 g Total carbohydrate with the yogurt. 6 g Protein � Fold the cocoa powder into the yogurt 71 mg Sodium mixture and warm the mixture over hot water. � Combine the egg whites and sugar in a stainless steel bowl. Heat over simmering water. � Remove from the heat and beat until the whites form medium peaks; use a power mixer, if available. � Fold the chocolate egg mix into the yogurt mix and shape if desired. Chill until firm. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 6 ] FALL 2010 Turkey Burger 1 1/3 lbs. ground 100 percent turkey breast, no skin 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. minced garlic 1/8 tsp. fennel seed 1/2 tsp. chopped rosemary 1/4 tsp. chopped thyme 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp. ground pepper pinch of nutmeg pinch of ground cloves Preparation: � Combine the turkey, salt and sugar. � Add the remaining ingredients. � Form the mixture into 3 1/2-ounce patties. � For each serving: Bake on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper in a 475-degree oven until thoroughly cooked, about 10 Nutritional minutes. Information Yields six servings 116 Calories 1 g Total fat 2 g Total carbohydrate 25 g Protein 291 mg Sodium Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes 1 1/4 lbs. sweet potato, sliced into wedges 1 garlic clove, minced 2 T olive oil 1 heaping tsp. thyme, chopped 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 tsp. salt 1 T lime juice 1 tsp. ground ginger Nutritional Information Yields six servings 117 Calories 4 g Total fat 20 g Total carbohydrate 2 g Protein 181 mg Sodium Preparation: � Toss the potatoes with the oil, thyme, garlic, lime juice, ginger, salt and pepper. � Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan and put in a 400-degree oven. � Roast the potatoes in the oven until brown on one side, about 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes and continue roasting until they are golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes total. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 7 ] Todd Engel, executive chef at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, oversees up to 5,000 meals a day for Beaumont's staff, patients and their families. With more than 20 years of culinary experience, Todd loves to create delicious meals to please everyone's palate. WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM A Season for Two local men celebrate their recoveries from life threatening conditions. Thanks Rev. Dennis Paulson reflects on his blessings. Beaumont opens Ernst Cardiovascular Center A new center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak now offers patients multidisciplinary evaluation and innovative treatment options for the most complex cardiovascular conditions. The Ernst Cardiovascular Center, located in the worldrenowned Heart Center at the Royal Oak hospital, provides a team of experts from many heart and vascular disciplines who objectively evaluate the patient's condition and recommend the best medical or surgical options available for that patient, all in an expedited manner. The center offers the following: Pastor has prayers answered Dennis Paulson, 60, knows what it means to be thankful. As pastor of First United Methodist Church in Warren, Rev. Paulson feels keenly grateful this season as he has completely recovered from a double bypass surgery that was done with a minimally invasive technique. "This is definitely a blessing," he says. "My doctor caught my problem early, and the surgeon fixed it with a technique that allowed me to recover quickly." Earlier this year, Rev. Paulson expected to sail through a routine physical exam and return to work. Instead, tests showed one of his major heart arteries was totally blocked and another was about 75 percent blocked. During a cardiac catherization procedure, the cardiologist was unable to open the arteries through angioplasty or by placing a stent. Rev. Paulson was referred to Marc Sawka, M.D., a cardiovascular surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and was told he needed bypass surgery. Usually, these surgeries require the surgeon to make a six- to eight-inch incision in the middle of the chest, separating the breast bone and spreading the rib cage to access the arteries. But Dr. Sakwa instead told Rev. Paulson that he was going to perform a less invasive bypass surgery, one that would not require him to crack open his chest cavity. "The most encouraging words were when Dr. Sakwa said that there's a new, minimally invasive procedure that he thought I'd be a good candidate for," says Rev. Paulson. "I've worked with people in the congregation who had traditional bypass surgery. I remember talking to them about their recovery process and this option Dr. Sakwa was outlining sounded much better to me. Besides, I wasn't anxious to join the zipper club." On the left side of Rev. Paulson's chest, Dr. Sakwa made a threeinch incision and maneuvered the surgical instruments between his ribs. He was able to repair both blocked arteries. "We were able to fix both problems with a less-invasive procedure," says Dr. Sakwa. "By doing surgery this way, the pain is usually reduced, the recovery time is reduced and the patients return to normal activities much faster." Rev. Paulson returned home four days after the surgery, and within two weeks of surgery, was walking a quarter-mile three times a day to stimulate his recovery. Nearly six months after surgery, he spent a weekend chopping fallen trees in his yard, painting his cottage and sinking 20 fence post holes. "I was pleased at the rapid recovery after surgery, the absence of pain and the quick bounce back to activity," he says. � � � � � � Cardiovascular Screening Clinic Atrial Fibrillation Clinic Heart Valve Clinic Advanced Coronary Artery Disease Clinic Heart Failure Clinic Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Clinic (opening in early 2011) "What excites me most is the leading-edge care and the world-class approach to helping people before they have a heart attack," says Max Ernst. With his second wife, Debra, Max donated $3 million to establish the center in memory of his first wife, Ellen. "As honored as we are to do something worthwhile, the results will be even more exciting when, in years to come, we look back on the lives that have been saved because of this center." For more information on the Ernst Cardiovascular Center, call 888-683-7678. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 8 ] FALL 2010 Bob Haight and fianc�e Sadie Field take a moment to relax by the water. A bad meal leads to a good outcome Steak, eggs and Beaumont doctors may seem like an odd combination to some but to Bob Haight, these are things that saved his life. The meal of steak and eggs kicked off his cancer survival journey. Sadie Field, Bob's fianc�e, served the meal to him in early 2008. Not long after, Bob, a resident of Burton, Mich., started to feel ill. Fearing food poisoning, Bob had Sadie drive him to a nearby hospital, where he spent the next five days undergoing a variety of tests. One of the tests showed fluid in his lungs; a sample of the fluid showed Bob had small cell lung cancer, which came as a surprise. "I felt fine before all of this happened," says Bob. "I was golfing 18 holes three or four times a week and running a business. If it wasn't for that meal, they probably wouldn't have found the cancer until it was too late." Bob went to two other area hospitals and was told he had less than six months to live. He entered a research trial on a new medication but discontinued within days due to side effects. The doctor he saw then offered few options and little hope. "I said, `What else do you have?'" Bob recalls. "He said, `Chemo. We really don't have much else we can do for you.' I never saw that doctor again." Todd Haight, Bob's son, wouldn't accept the prognosis. So he called Beaumont. "It was a completely different experience," he says. "I talked to the doctor within an hour of calling." Jeffrey Margolis, M.D., an oncologist, met his new patient that afternoon. "After I asked him how long I had, Dr. Margolis sat down across from me and put his hand on my knee," Bob says. "The other doctors I saw before wouldn't look me in the eye, but he did. He said, `I can't predict those things. We're going to start you on this drug and keep you going the best we can until the next drug comes out.'" Bob started therapy that week. Though he was tired during treatments, he insisted on continuing his golf game. "I was terrible," he says, laughing at the memory. "I shot an 82 for nine holes. Eventually, Bob's health improved and his cancer went into remission. He now takes a medication designed to keep him in remission. Feeling well, Bob is now inspired to plan trips with Sadie and work on his golf game, which began to improve when his cancer treatments ended. "My strength started returning and I eventually shot my best game ever � a 37," he says. "I won first place in the league, not bad for a guy who was supposed to be dead." Multidisciplinary cancer clinics streamline care When the diagnosis is cancer, every minute counts. That's why Beaumont Hospitals launched multidisciplinary clinics for many kinds of cancer. Each week, medical, surgical and radiation oncology specialists meet to discuss treatment approaches for individual patients. Cancer treatment usually requires input from multiple specialists. In the past, patients often made several trips to doctors' offices and the hospital. The multidisciplinary clinic allows the patient to see all of their care providers in one visit. Beginning with a referral from a primary care or oncology physician, the clinics offer accelerated, individualized treatment plans. Clinics are available for the top cancer diagnoses, including melanoma and skin cancer, breast, head and neck, liver and pancreas, prostate and urologic, colorectal, thoracic and lung. To learn more about the clinics, call 1-877-BEAT-CANCER. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 9 ] WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM HealthShorts Second Opinion Q: Help! My husband snores so loudly that it sounds like a freight train is rumbling through our bedroom. What can be done about this? A: You are not alone. Snoring is common, occurring in 44 percent of men and 28 percent of women ages 30 to 60. While factors like respiratory infections or allergies can make it worse, it may be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing while sleeping and commonly occurs in people who are middle-aged or older, male or overweight or use sedatives. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause short- and long-term health problems. In the short term, drowsiness and poor concentration can impair your work performance. Because of increased sleepiness and reaction time, patients with severe sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be involved in car accidents. Untreated sleep apnea also increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, heart rhythm problems and stroke. Sweating the Details Millions of people sign up for fitness center memberships each January. Will you be one? Find the right exercise place with these tips. As New Year's approaches, millions of Americans are resolving to become more fit, a commitment that often involves purchasing a gym membership. But all fitness centers are not created equal. How do you know if a center is right for you? Deb LaRue, director of fitness at Sola Life & Fitness Center in Beaumont's Health and Wellness Center, says you might want to do a little homework before signing the membership papers. LOCATION AND TIME � Consider first what time of day you plan to work out and where you will be at that time. Is it near home or work? Next, decide how far you would like to travel to workout from that location. Is it within 10 minutes? Use that as your radius to narrow the geographic area for the search. Visit the center at the time you plan to workout and see if it is too crowded for you. "If it is inconvenient for you to get to the center or too busy, you'll make excuses not to go," Deb says. CLEANLINESS � Pull on your white gloves and test the facility's cleanliness. A clean fitness center will have plenty of soap, paper towels and toilet paper in the bathrooms as well as bottles of cleanser and fresh towels to wipe down the machines between uses. "Dirty gyms breed germs," she says. "And if you get really sick, you won't be able to work out." Talk to your doctor about testing for sleep apnea if you snore and have two or more of the following symptoms: wake up not feeling well rested; have long pauses in breathing while sleeping; wake frequently at night; wake up gasping or choking; experience poor concentration or mood changes; experience frequent morning headaches; have strange or vivid dreams; have acid reflux; are overweight or have high blood pressure. Sleep apnea testing is done in a specialized sleep laboratory, such as the ones Beaumont offers in Macomb Township and Berkley. For an appointment, call 888-71-SLEEP (75337). Nancy Crossley, M.D., is a specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics in Oxford. To find a Beaumont doctor near you, call 800-633-7377. EQUIPMENT � Look for pieces that are in working order (i.e. no "Out of Order" signs) and a center that offers a variety of equipment and classes. If treadmills aren't your thing, is there a walking track? "You should change your routine to advance your workout and to avoid boredom," she says. AMENITIES � Make your wish list of amenities and check to see if they are available. Is there supervised child care? Are there locker facilities that aren't crowded? If not, look for another facility that offers these. EXPERTISE � Does staff have the expertise to offer education for total health management, such as nutrition, portion control, healthy lifestyle modifications, exercise progression and coaching for managing disease such as diabetes or cardiovascular conditions? If this is important to you, ask about the staff 's credentials before signing the membership contract. FRIENDLINESS OF THE STAFF � Deb considers this a huge factor and one that is easily measured by talking to some of the center's members. She wishes she did when she joined her first gym, one that advertised low cost. She discovered that she had to pay extra to learn how to use the equipment and received no information on nutrition from them. "You want a friendly place, one that has staff who will reach out and help you when you need it," she says. For more information on the medically based Sola Life & Fitness Center that opens in early 2011 in Beaumont's Health and Wellness Center in Rochester, call 248-267-5600. HOUSE CALL [ P A G E 10 ] FALL 2010 [ INNOVATIONS ] Seeing Into the Future Beaumont's BioBank helps researchers advance their studies with high quality biospecimen collection, leading edge research equipment and research-focused staff. T o peek inside Beaumont's BioBank is to see the future of medicine. Located in the Beaumont Research Institute, the BioBank provides a centralized library of tens of thousands of biological samples to physicians who are leading innovative studies. The samples reveal biomarkers that help researchers understand various diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. "With the BioBank, biomarkers from tissue, blood or fluids are used to develop what we hope is the next generation of treatment, taking research discoveries from bench to bedside," says Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director of BioBank. "By detecting a person's risk for disease, we'll improve his or her quality of life and lower health care costs with earlier diagnosis and more effective, personalized treatments." In addition to highly experienced, research-focused staff, the lab offers leading edge equipment. "We have some of the latest technology for analyzing genes and proteins, providing researchers with the tools to undertake a wide range of studies," says George Wilson, Ph.D., scientific director of BioBank. Above, a sample of a pancreatic tumor reveals precancerous and cancerous cells. BioBank experts help physicians advance medicine and science. Left, Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D., discusses data from a study with George Wilson, Ph.D., in the BioBank lab. HOUSE CALL [ P A G E 11 ] WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM We think nothing of driving half an hour to a good restaurant. But we'll settle for a hospital that's right around the corner. As long as your health insurance allows you to go anywhere, maybe you shouldn't confine yourself to the neighborhood. Because this isn't dinner. This is your life. Year after year, in independent studies, the people of Southeast Michigan have rated Beaumont as their most preferred hospital: for doctors, for nurses, for surgery, and for overall quality of care. So maybe, when you're looking for a hospital, the criteria should be quality, instead of convenience. It's your life...Do you have a Beaumont doctor? 800.633.7377