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THE SEEDS OF HEALTH Gardening can provide exercise and good nutrition


What’s inside?

The seeds of health Get out in the garden ... it’s great for exercise, and nutrition is just a season away.

pg. 16

Column: Prenatal care vital to healthy term, Page 6

First Aid: The scoop on building the best kit, Page 12

Smile: Good habits build strong healthy teeth, Page 20

Regional health resources, Page 29

pgs. Escape the pain

Exercise can ease arthritis

Clean the slate

Acne doesn’t have to take over your life

pg. 8

Hospice: At home and away, Page 24

pg. 14

Yes, adults too

A lifetime of vaccines

pg. 10

Take time to talk

Therapy comes in many forms

pg. 24

The Northeast Mississippi Health Journal is a publication of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, a Journal Publishing Company product. The contents of the Northeast Mississippi Health Journal are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without publisher’s consent. The Northeast Mississippi Health Journal may not be held liable for failure to publish an ad or for typographical errors. Subscribers: To obtain additional copies of Northeast Mississippi Health Journal, call (662) 842-2611 or 1-800-270-2613 on Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advertisers: To place an ad in upcoming editions of the Northeast Mississippi Health Journal, please call (662) 842-2611, (662) 678-1611 or 1-800-270-2614. PHOTOS: About the cover: The garden can offer a bounty of nutritious food and the energy it takes to reap those fruits and vegetables can keep extra pounds at bay. Special thanks to the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona,Assistant Research Professor Valtcho D. Jeliazkov and Thomas Horgan for assistance with the seedlings. CREDITS: Cover – Nature’s bounty, C. Todd Sherman, Daily Journal; pg. 8 – In the shadows, Thomas Wells, Daily Journal; pg. 10, Vaccine, The Associated Press; pg. 12 – First Aid, Thomas Wells, Daily Journal; pg. 14 – Out for a walk, stock.xchng; pg. 16 – A plateful, C. Todd Sherman, Daily Journal; pg. 17 – The garden,; pg. 18 – The fruits, stock.xchng; pg. 19 - Haybale garden, courtesty; pg. 20 – At the dentist, Thomas Wells, Daily Journal; pg. 24 – Deep in thought, stock.xchng; pg. 25 – Pills, stock.xchng; pg. 26 – Family portrait, Deste Lee, Daily Journal; pg. 27, Portrait, C. Todd Sherman, Daily Journal.



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Prenatal care vital for healthy pregnancy


healthy pregnancy actually begins before a woman is even pregnant. Someone who is contemplating pregnancy should be taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid for several months before she becomes pregnant in order to prevent certain birth defects. After a women finds out she is pregnant, it is imperative that she begin receiving routine prenatal care. Early in pregnancy, prenatal care involves several things. First, an ultrasound needs to be performed to verify that the pregnancy is normal and to determine how many weeks pregnant a woman actually is. The earlier an ultrasound is performed, the more accurate it is for dating purposes.

Certain lab tests need to be performed that are routine with all pregnancies. There may be additional tests needed based on a patient’s personal history or family history. A woman’s past medical history and previous pregnancy history need to be reviewed to see if there are any special circumstances that need to be addressed. A woman’s baseline weight needs to be recorded in order to see how much weight she gains during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman needs to do several things to make sure she continues to have a healthy pregnancy. First and foremost, she needs to make sure she goes to all of her routine prenatal visits. At each visit her weight and


blood pressure will be assessed to make sure they are normal for her pregnancy. After a certain point, the baby’s heartbeat will be verified at each visit as well. Several other tests may be performed as well to screen for certain birth defects. At some point in the pregnancy, a diabetic screening test will be performed. A woman must also be aware of how much weight she gains during pregnancy. The amount she should gain depends on how much she weighs at the beginning of pregnancy and she should review this with her physician. Ultrasounds later in pregnancy will help the physician assess that all of the baby’s anatomy is normal and that the baby is

growing as it should. Each pregnancy is unique. The guidelines mentioned above are only basic needs for each pregnancy. A pregnant woman should work with her physician to make sure that she is monitored for any changes that may arise during her pregnancy. Also, she should not be afraid to ask questions or to tell her provider about concerns or problems that need to be addressed. Working with your provider and making sure you get routine prenatal care will help to keep these problems to a minimum and will help you have a healthy pregnancy.

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The ABCs Mild to moderate White heads: An acne lesion that forms when oil and skin cells block the opening of a hair follicle. Black heads: A noninflammatory acne lesion that is filled with excess oil and dead skin cells. Unlike whiteheads, the surface of the skin remains open. Papule: An inflammatory lesion that resembles a small, red bump on the skin. Pustule: An inflammatory lesion that resembles a whitehead with a ring of redness around it. Acne pustules that heal without progressing to cystic form usually leave no scars.

Severe Nodulocystic acne: A severe form of acne that is characterized by numerous deep, inflamed bumps – nodules – and large, pusfilled lesions that resemble boils – cysts. The nodules tend to be tender when touched and feel firm. The severe inflammation can cause the acne to become very red or even purple. Scarring often results when the acne heals. Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Coming Acne happens, but it doesn’t have to take over By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


cne can’t be entirely avoided, but it doesn’t have to be tragic. “If you go back 30 or 40 years, you didn’t have much,” said Oxford dermatologist Dr. Philip Loria. “We can generally cure ‘pizza face’ now.” The same hormones that cause physical maturation also send the oil-producing glands located around hair follicles into overdrive. The interaction between the oil and a bacterium causes acne. “Between 70 and 90 percent of people will have acne at some time in their lives,” Loria said. “Most people will grow out of it in their early 20s” although some lucky folks will have it through their adult lives. The tools for combating mild acne are as close as the drug store. “For mild acne, the overthe-counter stuff does a fantastic job,” said Tupelo dermatologist Dr. Jeff Houin. The main ingredients in over-the-counter acne preparations are benzoyl peroxide

The myths

and salicylic acid – no matter the cost – and they work for most people. “You don’t need to spend a lot of money,” Loria said. Avoid expensive systems with lots of steps. Keep it simple, the Northeast Mississippi dermatologists suggest. People with acne should look for a gentle, foaming or lathering facial soap, and avoid gritty, granular scrubs that can aggravate their skin. “Buff Puff is essentially sand paper,” Loria said. Popping zits is not helpful and can be harmful. “Don’t pick out the skin,” Houin said. “You can make it worse.” In most cases, it will just delay the healing process and increase the chance of scarring. In a worst case scenario, picking and popping can cause an abscess to form, creating a deep-seated infection, Houin said. Generally, the over-thecounter preparations should work with a few weeks of steady use. In some cases, they can stop working as the type of acne shifts. “The acne you have at 14 may not be the acne you

These old tales just aren’t true. ■ Acne is caused by dirty skin: Although you can get some clogged pores because of not washing your face, true acne is caused by an interaction of oil and bacteria. ■ A good scrub is what you need: Overwashing irritates acne. Stick with mild foaming face washes. Avoid gritty scrubs.

Some of the things people use on their hair and face can aggravate acne. Particular hair products can clog pores and make acne worse around the hair line. If someone has break outs around the sideburn and forehead areas, they may need to dial back on mousse, gel, spritz or other hair care products, Loria said. In most cases, people with

acne can use regular cosmetics. Now most makeup is labeled noncomedogenic – not likely to cause acne lesions. “Most are going to be fine,” Houin said. But people should use common sense and change up their makeup if they notice break outs. Loria recommends his acne patients avoid pressed powder products, but liquid makeup, loose powder and mineral makeup generally don’t cause problems. For people who have problems with regular makeup, dermatologists generally can recommend some specialty lines of cosmetics to address those problems. People with acne also need to protect their skin from the sun. Although sun exposure can appear to dry up acne, it really just masks the underlying problem. Houin suggests people with acne look for light, facial moisturizers that have sunscreen built in for everyday use. For outdoor activities, Loria suggests his patients use PreSun, which is an alcoholbased sunscreen that won’t make acne any worse.

■ Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne: At best, food has a very minor impact on the severity of acne. Rosacea, which can hit people in their 20s and 30s and is sometimes mistaken for acne, however, it can be aggravated by spicy foods. ■ You have to spend a lot of money to get rid of acne: Whether they are cheap or expensive, over-

the-counter remedies rely on specific concentrations of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and both are effective for most people. Getting stronger concentrations requires a prescription. ■ Sun bathing clears up acne: While acne appears to get better after getting some sun, it doesn’t clear up the underlying problem.

have at 16,” Houin said. If over-the-counter medications aren’t cutting it or a person develops severe nodular-cystic acne that can scar, dermatologists have a lot of tools to help treat more severe acne. They have stronger concentrations of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that can be used by themselves or in combination with antibiotics, Houin said. Oral antibiotics also are helpful for controlling the bacterium that causes acne. Isotretinoin, which most people know as Accutane, works very well on severe nodular-cystic acne that can lead to scarring, Houin said.

Beautiful you


NOT JUST FOR KIDS GROWN-UPS CAN BENEFIT FROM VACCINES, TOO. ■ The Mississippi Department of Health requires infants and toddlers entering daycare and older kids entering kindergarten have a whole series of shots. But just because older kids and adults generally aren’t required to get shots the same way as small children doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccines for older children and young adults that can keep them and those around them healthy. These are the recommendations for people in specific age groups who are otherwise healthy and have no contraindications, such as people with severe egg allergies should not receive a influenza vaccine. Those with specific health conditions, careers or travel plans may have additional recommendations that should be discussed with your health care provider.

EVERYBODY Annual flu shot - Because the flu often changes every year, a new formulation of the flu vaccine is the best bet for keeping influenza at bay. It’s most strongly recommended for people with existing health conditions and those over 50, but it’s a good idea for everybody.

TWEENS AND TEENS (Age 9 and up) HPV vaccine: Given in three doses, this vaccine protects against the strains of the human papillomavirus most likely to cause cervical cancer. Now also recommended for males as well as females, to prevent genital warts. It is most effective for both males and females before exposure to HPV through sexual contact. (Age 10 and up) Tdap - This combination booster gives kids another shot of protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The protection against pertussis – which is also called whooping cough – is especially important for protecting infants, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease. 10 | NORTH MISSISSIPPI HEALTH JOURNAL

An annual flu vaccine is just one of the shots recommended for older kids and grown ups.

(All ages) Catch up on any missing childhood immunizations.

YOUNG ADULTS (Age 19-26) Tdap/Td - If you haven’t had a Tdap previously, you should get it now, especially to protect infants from pertussis. Others should receive a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years. HPV - Although the vaccine against human papillomavirus is most effective in those who have not been previously exposed to the virus that can cause cervical cancer, it is recommended for women up to age 26. Varicella - If you haven’t had the chickenpox, it’s a good idea to roll up your sleeve for this shot. Chickenpox is no fun for grownups. Given in two shots. MMR - This shot is recommended for adults who do not have laboratoryevidence of measles, mumps or rubella, documentation they were diagnosed with those diseases or previously received the MMR. The rubella component is especially important for women of childbearing age because of the risk to an unborn baby. A second dose may be required in certain circumstances.

ADULTS (Age 27-49) Tdap/Td - If you haven’t had a Tdap previously, you should get it now, especially to protect infants from pertussis. Others should receive a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years. HPV - Although the vaccine against human papillomavirus is most effective in those who have not been previously exposed to the virus that can cause cervical cancer, it is recommended for women up to age 26. Varicella - If you haven’t had the chickenpox, it’s a good idea to roll up your sleeve for this shot. Chickenpox is no fun for grownups. Given in two shots.

ADULTS (Age 50-59) Influenza - After 50, you are considered at higher risk for complications

for influenza so public health officials strongly recommend an annual flu shot. Varicella - If you haven’t had the chickenpox, it’s a good idea to roll up your sleeve for this shot. Chickenpox is no fun for grownups. Given in two shots. Tdap/Td - If you haven’t had a Tdap previously, you should get it now, especially to protect infants from pertussis. Others should receive a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years.

ADULTS (Age 60-64) Herpes zoster - The chickenpox virus can remain in your body for years and can re-emerge later as shingles, causing a painful skin rash. The Herpes zoster vaccine is recommended after 50 even for folks who have already had a episode of shingles. Tdap/Td - If you haven’t had a Tdap previously, you should get it now, especially to protect infants from pertussis. Others should receive a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years. Influenza - Public health officials really, really want folks in this age group to get a flu shot because of the risk of complications. Varicella - If you haven’t had the chickenpox, it’s a good idea to roll up your sleeve for this shot. Chickenpox is no fun for grownups. Given in two shots.

ADULTS (Age 65+) Pneumonia vaccine: Protects against the germs that cause community-acquired pneumonia. Generally one shot, although those vaccinated against pneumonia as younger adults may need a booster. Td - Get a tetanus booster every 10 years. Influenza - Public health officials really, really, really want folks in this age group to get a flu shot. Varicella - If you haven’t had the chickenpox, it’s a good idea to roll up your sleeve for this shot. Chickenpox is no fun for grownups. Given in two shots. Herpes zoster - The chickenpox virus can remain in your body for years and can re-emerge later as shingles, causing a painful skin rash. The Herpes zoster vaccine is recommended after 50 even for folks who have already had a episode of shingles.

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Call 911 • For third degree burns or second degree burns over a significant portion of the body.

■ Heat and humidity set people up for heat illnesses if they don’t take precautions. Because folks spend so much time in air conditioning, they can be more vulnerable than they think. Hydration is the key to preventing heat illness. When folks start to get overheated, they should take it seriously. The first thing to do when heat illness strikes is to start cooling them down. Use cold rags, a hose and air conditioning to cool from the outside. Stick with water or sports drinks to cool from the inside. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.

Seek medical attention • For burns to children under 5 or adults over 60 unless clearly minor.

Call 911 • If the person has an altered mental status or has stopped sweating.

■ The first aid priority is to cool the skin. Cool water and cold, wet rags are the best ally for fighting burns. Don’t use thick creams like Vaseline; they just trap the heat, sending it deeper into the skin. Aloe is OK to use to relieve the sting of burns, if the skin is intact.All other household items, such as butter, mustard and ketchup are better saved for the picnic. Under no circumstances should butter, ketchup, mustard or other household items be used for burns.


■ Most of the time, bleeding will clean out the wound, but using soap and water or hydrogen peroxide are good choices, too. Apply direct pressure to control the bleeding, apply triple antibiotic cream and cover with bandage or gauze. Call 911 • If there’s pulsing bleeding – which suggest an artery has been cut. • If there is significant blood loss. Get medical help • If the edges of the wound won’t fall neatly together, you’ll need stitches. • If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 45 minutes of direct pressure. • If the wound begins to show signs of infection – throbbing pain, becoming red and inflamed.


• Scissors - for cutting bandages, tape or clothes. • A blanket - Can prevent hypotherma. Red Cross recommends a space blanket which is waterproof, windproof and packs tightly. • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass) • Tweezers • First aid instruction booklet

• A breathing barrier (with one-way valve) for CPR • Nonlatex gloves (size: large) • Hydrocortisone ointment packets (about 1 gram each)


• Roller bandages - Can hold bandages in place or support sprained joints. • An instant cold compress Great for reducing swelling or cooling the overheated.



■ All of these supplies address cuts and gashes from small boo-boos to large gashes that won’t stop bleeding.

• Antiseptic wipe packets Clean the germs off an injury. • Antibiotic ointment packets - Can prevent infection.



• Absorbent compress dressings • Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes • Triangular bandages • Sterile gauze pads, different sizes

• Packets of aspirin – One aspirin at the onset of a heart attack can reduce the chance of death about 25 percent. SOURCE: AMERICAN RED CROSS


■ Nothing can take a bite out of summer fun like the sting of insects or the itch of poison ivy. For bugs, the first aid is straight forward. If there’s a stinger, pull it out. Wash the bite with soap and water and apply a cream or lotion for pain control. For poison ivy, soap and water are best to limit the damage. It gets rid of the oil that delivers the rash. Drying lotions like calamine control the itch. See a doctor for prescription steroid creams if the rash doesn’t get better in three to four days. Call 911 • If someone has a severe allergic reaction that is threatening his ability to breathe. Call for help even if an epi pen is available because of a previous severe allergy; it buys the person about 10 minutes to get medical help.


KEEPING THE PAIN AWAY Arthritis can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be ■ Arthritis can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. The Daily Journal’s Michaela Gibson Morris talked with physical therapist Jill Bauer of North Mississippi Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Therapy and gathered these tips for taking on arthritis. Under a doctor’s direction, gentle movement can be some of the best medicine for arthritis. “It will get worse if you do not move it,” Bauer said. However, she said, people do need to leave some old exercise mantras behind. “No pain, no gain doesn’t apply.”


• In a healthy joint, the junction between the bones is cushioned by cartilage. The synovial membrane lubricates the joint as the bones move. • As people age or suffer trauma to their joints, the cartilage degenerates and can cause osteoarthritis.Almost everybody has it by a certain age, but it doesn’t always cause pain.


• With a doctor’s orders, physical therapists and occupational therapists can help improve range of motion and work on regaining function. Occupational therapists can also help with adaptive equipment.


• Before starting any exercise program, check with a health care professional. • People with arthritis should aim to exercise in the mid-range of the joint. Don’t push it to the full extension. • If it hurts, stop. If it keeps hurting, see your doctor. • If you have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, avoid bending, twisting and rotating to prevent compression fractures.


• Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can take a heavy toll especially on hips and knees. • Have an exercise program that incorporates flexibility, strength and aerobic exercises. • Swimming, walking and biking are some of the best exercises for people with arthritis because they are gentle, generally safe and the intensity can be gradually increased. 14 | NORTH MISSISSIPPI HEALTH JOURNAL

Women’s Health Specialists

TRY THESE RANGE OF MOTION EXERCISES: ■ For all exercises, start with five to 10 gentle, slow repetitions and stop immediately if you experience pain.

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NECK • Gently, slowly turn side to side. • Gently, slowly bend ear toward shoulder. • DO NOT hyperextend the neck by tilting back and looking at the ceiling. • Stop if there is any pain.

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HAND • Gently, slowly use one hand to help the other hand open and close, bend and flex. Can also be done with individual fingers. • Don’t rotate wrists. It doesn’t help with range of motion. • Hot packs for 15 minutes or paraffin wax dips can gently warm the joints. Not advised if joints are red or hot. • Stop if there is any pain. SHOULDER • Gentle, slow shoulder rolls in both directions. • Start small. • Stop if there is any pain. BACK • Reoccurring back pain needs to be evaluated for specific cause by health care professionals. • Ice can be effective for relieving back pain. • If tolerated, walking and gentle movements are good for addressing back pain.

HIPS • Take a walk in a pool. Walk forward, backwards and sideways. Keep good posture. • Don’t overdo it. Because the water unloads the joint, it is often more comfortable to move and exercise and people do too much and then can be sore when they leave the pool. KNEES • Avoid sitting still for long periods. At the movies or other places, chose an aisle seat so you can gently bend and straighten your knees. • Take a walk in a pool. • If the pain interferes with walking, see an orthopaedist.


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Setting your plate with nutritious fare from your own garden gives you a powerful punch of vitamins and minerals.

Counting calories?

■ Turn the page for a list of ways to burn fat while working in your garden this season.

Good health

IN BLOOM Reap a healthy harvest of physical activity and great nutrition in your garden

By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


ardening is one of the most popular hobbies around. But it can also be the base of a lifelong exercise and nutrition plan. “There’s a lot of physical activity in gardening,” said Tracy Stebbins, director of the North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point Wellness Center. The garden can provide just what the average American diet is missing, said Leanne Davis, a registered dietitian with North Mississippi Medical CenterTupelo. “We’re usually lacking fruits and vegetables in our diets,” Davis said. As any gardener will tell you, there’s something refreshing about sunshine, open air and texture of the earth under your hands.

“It’s good for the soul, too,” Stebbins said. The amount of physical activity in gardening depends on how you do it. But any gardening is better than watching TV. “Get off the couch and get outside in the garden and you’ll be burning more calories,” Stebbins said. “It’s a good step down the road to better fitness.” People will spend a lot more time in the garden than they ever would at a gym. “Your mind is occupied and you’re enjoying the activity,” Stebbins said. Inherently there’s a lot of bending and stretching as people plant and weed, Stebbins said. That really works the lower back and gluts. Watering the garden can strengthen your arms. Cardiovascular exercise that benefits the heart comes from using big muscles continuously, ideally for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. >

The work it takes to plant and cultivate a garden can improve strength and flexibility as well as burn off calories.


Tilling by hand, hoeing, pushing a wheel barrow can get the heart pumping, Stebbins said. Mowing the lawn with a push mower can be great cardiovascular exercise. However, just like people with New Year’s resolutions, gardeners need to make sure they don’t overdo it early in the season, especially if they’ve been sedentary. “We tend to go crazy that first pretty day,” Stebbins said. To increase the calorie burn and head off soreness, try making several trips to get supplies, so you get up and walk and change positions, Stebbins said. “Plant three plants and then get up and walk back to the shed and get the others as opposed to planting six in a row,” she said. “You need to take breaks because we’re not used to holding those positions for long periods.” Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially as the weather heats up. If you get sore, try ice on the sore spots for the first 24 hours

Feel the burn

■ Here’s a breakdown of calories that can be burned in 30 minutes of common lawn and gardening activities. Based on a 180-pound person. Activity Calories Turn a compost pile . . . . . . . 250 Mow with push mower . . . . . . 240 Garden with power tools . . . . 240 for the best results, Stebbins said. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and because they came right out of your backyard, they don’t have to sit around, Davis said. “The flavor is better,” the fresher the produce is, Davis said. You also have full control over fertilizers and pest treatments that you just have to trust or guess at when you’re not the farmer. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is very economical. A few tomato plants will pro-

Dig, Spade & Till . . . . . . . . . . 200 Trim scrubs (manual tools) . . 180 Weed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 Plant seedlings . . . . . . . . . . . 160 Rake & bag leaves . . . . . . . . 160 Ride power mover . . . . . . . . . 100 Water lawn, garden . . . . . . . . . 60 SOURCE: NATIONAL GARDENING MAGAZINE/STACY WALTERS, REGISTERED KINESIOTHERAPIST, MASTER GARDENER

duce plenty for your family and you’ll likely end up giving some away. As you plan your garden, think about the rainbow for both attractiveness and good nutrition. “The more color you eat every day, the more vitamins,” Davis said. Gardening can also increase youngsters’ appetites for the stuff that’s good for them. “When kids help in the garden, they tend to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Davis said. “It can encourage the whole family to eat healthier.” To reap the biggest nutrition-

al benefits from your garden harvest, it’s important to handle them with care. “The quicker you pick them and eat them, the more vitamins and minerals they have,” Davis said. In cooking fresh veggies, you should also move fast to hold on to as much nutrition as possible. Steaming, baking or roasting or grilling are the best bet for your homegrown harvest. Think tender crisp. “Once you get them in the house, don’t cook them down to mush,” Davis said. Of course, you don’t want to undo all the hard work you’ve put in by drowning those fresh vegetables in butter or bacon grease. Opt for extra virgin olive oil or other monounsaturated oils in small amounts. “You want to watch the amount of added fat,” Davis said. Along with fruits and vegetables, try planting fresh herbs to help flavor your harvest without adding lots of calories or sodium.


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Hay bales put gardening within reach By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


or folks who want to garden, but can’t stoop or get down to the ground, hay bale gardening offers an accessible medium. “It’s really good for people in wheelchairs to be able to pick vegetables,” said Melinda Lamon, occupational therapist at North Mississippi Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo. It’s also a good alternative for people who have gone through joint replacement surgery. A U-shape configuration of square bales worked well for the rehab center during the three years they used the gardens as an activity for their patients. The end bales should be staked to keep them from falling apart as the growing season progresses. Lamon also suggests staking the bales used for squash for

In past years, former NMMC Outpatient Rehab patients like Jean Bell, left, helped therapists grow gardens in hay bales as part of their therapy. stability. “We’ve grown tomatoes, cucumber, squash, eggplants, bell peppers and flowers,” Lamon said. She counsels caution with gourds. “The gourds will take over,” Lamon said. People with physical limitations may need help posi-

tioning the hay bales and adding the potting soil, but otherwise can generally manage the garden themselves. Here are the directions for hay bale gardening from the Mississippi State University Extension Service: In order for hay bales to be productive, they will need special treatment beginning about

10 days before planting time. First, keep the bales very wet for three days. Then apply five ounces – 10 tablespoons – of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, followed by a couple more days of watering. On the seventh day, apply 2.5 ounces – five tablespoons – of ammonium nitrate, followed by watering for another two days. On the 10th day, apply 12 ounces (1 cup) of 13-13-13 (N-P-K) fertilizer and lightly water the fertilizer into the hay bale. On the 11th day, apply a three-inch layer of top soil or potting mix to serve as a bed for the plants or seed. Then, simply plant your vegetables, keep them watered and watch them grow. For tomatoes, just pull open the bales and bury the tomatoes up to the first set of leaves. Other vegetables, like peppers, squash, cucumbers and melons will all grow well using this technique.

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SMILE UNDER CONSTRUCTION Pearly whites require good habits, regular checkups By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


ust like your car needs regular maintenance to run smoothly, your teeth and mouth need an expert look under the hood. “Everybody wants straight white teeth that look good and work well,” said Tupelo dentist Dr. John Kenney. Regular checkups can keep your smile strong, or help you and your dentist map a strategy to get there. A regular visit includes a check of old fillings and other restoration work, a professional cleaning and an oral cancer screening, said Tupelo dentist Dr. Richard Caron. X-rays usually need to be done once a year to check for changes that aren’t visible to the eye. Even people who take very good care of their teeth need that professional cleaning. “They can get hardened plaque off,” Caron said. There are some tools that allow people to scrape tartar off at home, but professional hygienists have a better view

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need regular tune ups to work their best and last for years. Tupelo dentist Dr. John Kenney says every six months is a good rule of thumb, but the interval should be customized to the individual.

and training to do it safely and completely. Left alone long term, those deposits can cause gum disease, Caron said. Every six months is a good general guideline, but it doesn’t have to be one size fits all. “If a person has no gum disease and very few cavities, that person can get by coming less often,” Kenney said. Folks with lots of repairs, crowns or root canals may need shorter intervals. “They may need to come more often,” Kenney said. “Man-made materials are more likely to fail than the original.” So why do some people have trouble with their choppers and other folks sail in and out of the dentist office? Good dental hygiene habits play a significant role, but it also goes deeper than that. “Some people’s immune systems are better at fighting off attacks by the germs that cause cavities and gum disease,” Kenney said. Some of it is healthy lifestyle; good nutrition and exercise boost the immune

Oral health starts early Good dental care

■ Baby teeth matter. Pediatric dentist Dr. Trice Sumner offers these tips for getting kids on the road to good oral health from the beginning. • Brush baby’s/child’s teeth as soon as they come into the mouth, twice a day, every day. • Do not let baby/child take a bottle or sippy cup to bed if they have teeth. • The first visit to a dentist should come around age 1. • Regular dental visits let dentists find problems early or help prevent them in the first place. It also allows the child to become more comfortable. • Be aware of water fluoridation. If your water supply is not optimally fluoridated, then talk to your pediatric dentist about the options. • Parents should assist or supervise brushing until kids can consistently do a good job on their own, usually between 8 and 10. system. But it also is influenced by your genes. “Gum disease can run in families,” Caron said.

■ Just because you’ve been to the dentist for a checkup doesn’t excuse you from good daily dental care. “The overall benefit doesn’t last that long if you don’t take care of your mouth,” said Tupelo dentist Dr. Richard Caron. • Brush twice a day every day with a fluoride toothpaste. Spin brushes from simple drug store brands to high-end brands like Sonic Care are very effective and can make up for lack of manual dexterity. • Get between teeth at least once every 24 hours. “The best way to disturb those germs is flossing,” said Tupelo dentist Dr. John Kenney, but there are other tools that can help, too. • Chew some sugar-free gum after meals. It stimulates the salivary glands to rinse the mouth, making it less receptive to the cavity-causing germs. But it doesn’t take the place of brushing. But even folks who have never had a problem still have to be vigilant, especially as they age. Metabolic

changes that come with aging may take the edge off a strong immune system. “What you did to keep your mouth clean as a teen and in your 20s may not be enough in your 40s and 50s. Your dental health can affect other parts of your body. There is a correlation between gum and heart diseases. One doesn’t cause the other, but there is a connection. “It’s seems to be more of a lifestyle issue,” Caron said. The people who are more likely to floss are more likely to do other things to take care of their overall health through exercise and good nutrition. However, the germs in your mouth can cause havoc in your heart, and that’s why a dental check is often advocated before certain kinds of surgery. “If you were to have a cut in your mouth, the germs in your mouth could get into the blood stream and go to the heart valve,” Caron said. “They can cause problems.”

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A range of pros offer mental health, counseling services By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


or heart disease, there’s the cardiologist. For shredded knees, there are orthopedic surgeons. For cancer, oncologists. For mental health issues, there’s a range of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and counselors who can help you navigate the rocky terrain. People shouldn’t be afraid to ask for professional assistance in dealing with life’s issues. “It just means you need help, which makes you pretty normal,” said Melissa Ratliff Knight, who is a licensed clinical social worker, who sees clients for therapy in Tupelo. Professionals have different credentials and different scopes of practice, but many areas overlap. A pastoral counselor, a licensed clinical social worker, a clinical psychologist

and a psychiatrist can all be warm, confidential listeners to help people walk through the troubles in their lives. “A lot of folks can do your taxes that aren’t CPAs,” said Bob Corban, director of the North Mississippi Medical Center Behavioral Health Center in Tupelo. “But they can’t help you with long-range, complicated estate planning.” A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe. A clinical psychologist with a doctorate is trained to perform psychological testing as well as psychotherapy. Master’s level social workers and therapists offer talk therapy and can diagnose mental health problems. Pastoral counselors draw from faith- and Bible-based perspectives as they help people negotiate life’s difficulties. They do not diagnose illness. All of these professionals should be bound by ethical codes of their accrediting


organizations and confidentially requirements. Because there is overlap in between what different kinds of professionals do, it’s up to the individual and families to find the right fit for themselves. “You should ask them the same questions you’d ask of any professional,” Corban said. It’s important to make sure the counselor has proper credentials in his or her field and they have experience dealing with your particular problem. Ethical professionals will refer you to other resources if your problem is beyond their scope or area of expertise. Beyond credentials, it’s important to consider intangibles like how comfortable you feel with the professional. “It’s important to find a therapist you like and connect with,” Knight said. The more complex the issue, the more likely it is an individual may need a team of mental

health professionals on their side. Depending on your problem, you might see a psychiatrist for medication management, a clinical psychologist for testing, a licensed professional counselor or licensed clinical social worker to talk out issues and work on coping strategies, and your pastor to work through spiritual issues. The clinical psychologist who tests a child for Attention Deficit Disorder may or may not be the best person to help develop coping and discipline strategies, Corban said. Personal religious faith doesn’t have to be a component of a mental health therapy. “You can get help for depression from a doctor, a counselor or psychologist even if they have a different spirituality,” Corban said. However, many people feel more comfortable starting with a minister or pastoral counselor. Pastoral counselors, like

THE DOCTORS • MD Psychiatrists – medical doctors who have completed four-year residency in psychiatry after medical school. The only mental health professionals who can prescribe medications. May or may not offer psychotherapy.

• Ph.D. clinical psychologists – have doctoral level training that prepares them to do psychotherapy and psychological assessment. Depending on their area of expertise, these professionals may focus primarily on testing and may or may

not offer psychotherapy sessions. • Other professionals may have Ph.D. in other areas and have a different scope of practice than a clinical psychologist. Clarify what their degree is in.

MASTER’S LEVEL PROFESSIONALS • LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker – has completed a master’s degree, as well as state licensure, and has completed clinical training. Able to offer therapy in a solo practice. Can diagnose and treat mental health conditions. • LMSW Licensed Master’s Social

Worker – has completed a master’s degree and state licensure, but needs to provide therapy under the direction of another mental health provider. Can diagnose and treat. • LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor – has completed a master’s level degree and clinical experi-

ence. Can diagnose. • LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Although other kinds of therapists are also trained to work on marriage and family issues, therapists with the designation have focused training in this area. Can diagnose and treat.


• Pastoral counselors – Although some in this category will also have dual mental health certification, most pastoral counselors have primarily religious training through seminaries or theological institutes. Many are ordained minis-

Mike Maercale of Hope Family Ministries in Tupelo, pull from the Bible, faith traditions and life experience to walk with people through life’s problems. “Pastoral counseling looks at the situation and the person from a holistic perspective in the context of their life, choices, family, church and work,” said Maercle, who, along with other members of his staff, holds accreditation from national and international organizations. “We’re working out of a biblical framework.” When a person has broader physical or mental health issues, Maercle refers to other professionals, but often keeps working with them in a spiritual context. “I’m a licensed, ordained minister,” said Maercle, who also holds a doctorate in pastoral counseling. “I don’t diagnose, but I can come along side them and help them see their options and hopefully, help them find a less destructive path.” Confidentiality is a key com-

Questions to ask before hiring anyone ■ It’s the same things you’d ask about any professional you are hiring for a service. • What are your credentials? Are you licensed or certified? • What ethical standards are you ponent of professional counseling from both mental health professionals and pastoral counselors. Like medical doctors and nurses, counselors are bound by the same confidentiality requirements. Although they are required to report if a person is a danger to themselves or others or instances of ongoing abuse, everything else should be held confidential, including your status as a patient. That can be very reassuring to people unpacking difficult issues. “Who better to tell your secrets to than someone who

held to? • What is your educational background? • What do you specialize in? • Do you work with many people with problems like mine? • Do you work with many people my age? • How do you set treatment goals? is legally and ethically bound to keep them,” Knight said. It is up to the patient if they want to share with others that they are seeing a counselor. There are also ethical boundaries on personal relationships designed to keep social distance between patient and provider. Especially in a small town, it’s unlikely a counselor or therapist will be able to avoid every acquaintance. Friends, who visit in each others’ homes, probably shouldn’t have a professional relationship, Corban said. People who share a church or their children are on the same

ters. There are national and international associations that offer accreditation as a pastoral counselor or Biblical counselor. They cannot diagnose mental illness. They often do not charge for services, relying on donations.

Little League team are probably OK if they are both comfortable. Members of the same Sunday School class may want to consider other options. Even if the issues people are unpacking during counseling are difficult, they should have a level of trust and comfort with their therapist or counselor. “There’s a difference between feeling uncomfortable about what you have to share or being anxious about the process versus the person making you uncomfortable,” Knight said. If that comfort level isn’t there, it’s acceptable to move on and try someone else. But make sure it doesn’t become a pattern. “If you see a series of three sessions and then you move on,” Knight said, “you may need to ask yourself, ‘What is it about me that’s not allowing me to move forward?’” Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or


Butch and Tricia Cockrell of Tupelo said goodbye to Tricia’s father Tom Fields in February with the help of Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo.

THE LONG GOODBYE Hospice gives families space, time to bid farewell By Michaela Gibson Morris Daily Journal


o one wants to die, but death comes to us all. Hospice care offers those with a terminal diagnosis a way to pass from this life to the next with dignity and peace, surrounded by those they love. “Once acute care, curative measures are no longer working, it’s time to explore comfort measures,” said Linda Gholston, executive director of

Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. The focus for hospice care is to keep the person very comfortable and pain-free so they live their last days as fully as possible. Of course there are tears, but there’s usually lots of smiles and laughter, too, said Dana Thompson, account executive for the Gentiva Hospice office in Tupelo, formerly Gilbert’s. But with hospice, patients can be surrounded by their family, friends, pets and familiar things. “We come in and see what


we can do to make life better,” Thompson said. To be eligible for hospice, a person must have a diagnosis from a physician that they are expected to live less than six months. “It doesn’t mean that every patient put on hospice will die in 180 days or that they have 180 days,” Gholston said. It isn’t necessary for patients to be homebound to receive hospice services, Thompson said. More than medical care pain management, hospice takes a

holistic approach to the patient and their family. “So much of hospice is not medical, it’s spiritual and emotional,” Thompson said. A social worker is available to help families manage obligations and connect with community resources. A chaplain is available as frequently as patients would like visits. Volunteers help with comfort measures such as cards, meals and brief respite times for caregivers. “By and large, the patients are at total peace. They let us

know they are no longer afraid to die,” Gholston said. “Often, here the family needs more ministering.” Gholston has seen family relationships restored, such as brothers who hadn’t spoken in years, standing beside their dying mother’s bed and laughing over old times. Although curative measures have been discontinued for hospice patients, they can still see their doctor, Thompson said. In some cases, patients have received physical therapy services so they could better enjoy the time they had left. Hospice is by design very flexible in providing the support and care for the patient and the family. “There wasn’t a formula to how to help people leave this world,” said Butch Cockrell, whose father-in-law Tom Fields died at Sanctuary in February. “Each person was treated uniquely based on their needs.”

circles of friends made arrangements to host a coffee in Sanctuary’s large living room for 20 friends. “People came from Memphis, Jackson, Mississippi State and Birmingham,” Gholston said. “It was the most beautiful thing.”

didn’t wish any extraordinary measures, such as feeding tube, but they knew he needed round-the-clock skilled nursing care during his last days. The staff at IMA-Tupelo suggested the family consider Sanctuary Hospice House. “We went in not knowing if it


In Northeast Mississippi, people have the option to receive hospice care at home or in two in-patient hospice facilities. Terminally ill home hospice patients must have a full time caregiver, usually a family member, but hospice nurses and staff support them with medical care and other assistance. Inpatient hospice is available to those who don’t have an able caregiver available to be with them all day or they need more intensive nursing care than they can feasibly receive at home. The two hospice facilities in Lee County – Sanctuary Hospice and Community Hospice – also both offer respite care for home hospice patients whose caregivers need to be away from home for a few days. Being at home or a homelike setting gives hospice patients more flexibility than traditional hospital care, where visitors and space may be limited. One patient who had many

Lana Glascow of Amory and her family leaned on Gentiva Home Hospice to fulfill her mother Julia Hall’s last wishes in February.

Goodbye to Tom

Tom Fields of Tupelo wasn’t a stereotypical hospice patient, who had come to the end of a long, valiant fight against cancer or heart disease. “Literally, Daddy was just wearing out,” said his daughter, Tricia Cockrell of Tupelo. A bout of pneumonia put Fields in the hospital. Although he recovered from the pneumonia, he had lost the ability to consistently swallow food. The Cockrells faced a quandary. They knew Fields

would be days or months,” Suzanne Cockrell said. “We were there for two weeks and three days.” At age 91, Fields had a full life. He had served in World War II, came home and founded Joyner-Fields Manufacturing in Sherman, raised a family and was active at First Presbyterian Church. In the last few years of his life, he lived in the guest house behind his daughter and sonin-law’s Tupelo home. As he declined, the Cockrells > had the support of full-time

Advanced directives ■ No one lasts forever. That’s why every adult needs to consider end-oflife care decisions, discuss them with their families and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Advanced directives include individual instructions and a document called a health care power of attorney, that designates who you would like to make decisions if you are not able to. It’s a tough topic, but adults need to write down their wishes about end-oflife care and what kind of measures they want or don’t want. It’s important to designate those you wish to make decisions if you are no longer able and talk to them and the rest of your family about your wishes. If your family isn’t aware of your advanced health care directives, it makes them much more difficult to be carried out. It’s impossible to anticipate every situation, but some general guidance can make things go more smoothly about how you want to be cared for. North Mississippi Medical Center has an advanced care directives booklet available on line that contains basic information and forms that people need that is available at

Help for kids ■ Gentiva offers Camp Braveheart for local children who have gone through a crisis in the past year. The day camp offered over two days is free and open to children ages 5 to 15. Next camp: July at the Whitten Center in Fulton; call (662) 844-2417 for more information.

We would all sit and visit with him. I don’t like hospitals. They make me feel squeamish. But I didn’t have those feelings there.” Corrie Cockrell, Tom Fields’ granddaughter, reflecting on the facilities at Sanctuary Hospice House

caregiver team at home. But after the pneumonia, Fields needed more than they could give him at home. Sanctuary has a very home-like atmosphere; any clinical equipment is tucked away or covered. It was very soothing to Fields and his family. “It was as close to home as possible,” Tricia Cockrell said. “If he wanted a milkshake at 3 in the morning, he could have one,” added her husband Butch Cockrell. Both of Cockrell’s children were able to travel home and visit with Fields before he passed. “We would all sit and visit with him,” said Fields’ granddaughter Corrie Cockrell. “I don’t like hospitals. They make me feel squeamish. But I didn’t have those feelings there.” Swallowing and breathing became more difficult for Fields, and the nurses were able to keep the family in the loop as the end got closer. “It was so peaceful,” Butch Cockrell said. “He took his last breath and slipped away.” Although the decisions were difficult, Tricia Cockrell said, with Sanctuary’s help, they were able to do their best by

her father. “I feel his wishes were followed really well,” Tricia Cockrell said. “They helped me work through that.”

Goodbye to Julia

When Julia Hall of Amory was diagnosed with advanced, aggressive lung cancer in January, she was knew exactly how she wanted to spend her last days, said her daughter Lana Glascow. “She was at peace; she only got upset if I got upset,” Glascow said. “She firmly did not want to be in the hospital.” After working most her of her life in a pants factory, Hall, 60, had found a second career as a licensed practical nurse. She worked for a year on the North Mississippi Medical Center oncology floor before finding her niche at Amory Manor Nursing Home. “She like to take care of older folks,” and loved listening to their stories, Glascow said. In January, the doctors told Hall she had between one and six months to live. If she elected to seek treatment, she had a 35 percent chance of gaining another six months of life. Hall decided she didn’t

like those odds, Glascow said. “We talked about what she wanted,” Glascow said. “She had worked on the cancer floor so she knew what could be coming.” Reba Colburn, the sister of Hall’s late husband, became her primary caregiver. Glascow, Hall’s mother, Frances Presley, and other family members supported Coburn, helping afternoons and evenings. Gentiva Hospice provided invaluable support. Initially the family was worried about the pain and frailty that usually is associated with terminal cancer, but Hall remained relatively healthy. “She wasn’t in pain,” Glascow said. “She was never sick.” The hospice nurses and chaplain Bro. Ryan French routinely checked in on Hall. A volunteer would write cards to Hall every few days. “Reba said Mama really loved getting those cards,” Glascow said. Hall was able to visit with family, particularly her grandchildren Katelyn and Quinton, more comfortably than would have been possible if she had been in and out of the hospital.

Hospice provided peace of mind for Glascow who teaches at Hatley Elementary. While her colleagues were very understanding about her situation, it was important to Glascow to stay in the classroom if possible. “It helped me to know if my aunt needed anything she could call hospice,” Glascow said. On Feb. 9, after getting up and eating breakfast, Hall took a nap and peacefully slipped into a coma. “The hardest thing was not to call” for paramedics, Glascow said. “That’s not what she wanted.” The family, hospice nurse and chaplain all gathered at Coburn’s house to maintain a vigil. “They stayed the entire time,” Glascow said of the hospice nurse and chaplain. “They kept the family informed about what was happening and what was going to happen next.” That night, Hall peacefully slipped away with those she loved able to be around her. “There’s no way we would have been able to all be in a hospital room together,” Glascow said.


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SUPPORT GROUPS ACTS – Alcohol Chemical Treatment Series – is a self-help, recovery program. It meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at Cedar Grove United Pentecostal Church in Tupelo. Free. Call 844-9637. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women working to solve their common problem of alcoholism. There are no dues or fees. • Tupelo: 31 meetings are offered. Call 844-0374 or visit • There are also meetings in Aberdeen, Ackerman, Amory, Belmont, Booneville, Bruce, Calhoun City, Corinth, Fulton, Holly Springs, Houlka, Houston, New Albany, Oxford, Pontotoc, Starkville and West Point. Call (800) 344-2666. • For a listing of addiction support groups around Northeast Mississippi, call the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency at 841-0403 or check Al-Anon is a fellowship of friends and relatives of alcoholics. The group has meetings at several locations throughout Tupelo: • Tupelo Serenity Group, 8 p.m. Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays at 613 Pegram Drive. Call (662) 6105950; • Presbyterian Church, 8 p.m. Tuesday. Call (662) 844-0374 or (800) 3442666. • Peace Seekers Al-Anon Family Group meets at noon Wednesday and Friday at Calvary Baptist Church. Call (662) 4018094 or (800) 344-2666. • Solution Seekers Adult Children of Alcoholics meets at noon Mondays at Calvary Baptist Church fellowship hall. Call Nancy P. at (847) 902-6267. Alzheimer’s support groups for family members and friends of those with the disease meet in: • West Point: meets quarterly at NMMC-West Point. Call Brenda Johnson at (662) 495-2339 or (800) 843-3375. • Tupelo: 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Cedars Health Center Activity Room. Call Terri at (662) 844-1441. An Amputee Support Group meets at noon the first Thursday of each month at Longtown Medical Park, Tupelo. Call 377-7225 or (800) 843-3375. Arthritis Support Group will meet at 9:15 a.m. the second Monday of the month at Oktibbeha County Hospital Wellness Connection, in Starkville. Call 323-9355. The Autism Support Group meets monthly at the Lee County Library in Tupelo. Call Melissa Caldwell at 832-2039 or Cheryl Bailey at 315-3388. AWAKE, a support group for people with sleep apnea and their families, meets quarterly at NMMC. Call (800) 8433375.

Bariatric Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in the Magnolia Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, Oxford. Call Becky Wilson at 513-9671. Bereavement Support Group meets each month at Darlington Oaks on Skeet Drive in Verona. Call Community Hospice at 566-4011. Better Breathers, a support group for those living with chronic lung disease, meets at 1 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the Magnolia Regional Medical Center Harper Road Complex in Corinth. Call Candice Whitaker at 2790801. Cancer Outreach of North Mississippi will meet at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at CREATE in Tupelo. Assisted by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Call Patsy Gregory at (662) 401-0715. Cancer Survivor 101 support group for newly diagnosed patients actively undergoing treatment will meet at 2 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. Call Cindy Edwards at 377-4049 or (800) 843-3375. Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based group open to those struggling with addiction, anger issues, grief, guilt, shame, financial loss, abuse, eating disorders or compulsive behaviors. • West Jackson Street Baptist Church, Tupelo, meets at 7 p.m. Fridays in Building B. Contact Neil Naron at (662) 891-1773 or Susan Naron at (662) 871-3872. • Lee Acres Church of Christ on Lawndale Drive, Tupelo meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Childcare available. Call the church at (662) 844-3111 or Joey Grist at (662) 321-0059. Chronic Wound Support Group meets quarterly in the Diabetes Treatment Classroom NMMC’s East Tower. Call NMMC Advanced Wound Care Clinic at 377-2395 or 377-2354 or (800) 8433375. The Compassionate Friends, a support group for families who have suffered the death of a child of any age. Parents, step-parents, grandparents and siblings are invited to attend the meetings in: • Booneville: 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Booneville. Contact Joe Young at 538-2422 • Tupelo: 6:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at NMMC Wellness Center. Call Kristi Bennett at 322-7794 or 3775748 or Jamie Seale at 842-3174. • West Point: 6:30 p.m. at NMMCWest Point. Call Michele Rowe at 4952337. Diabetes support groups meet in: • Booneville : 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at the George E. Allen

Library. Call Kitti Parman at 377-2500 or (800) 843-3375. • New Albany: 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of every other month at education building at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County in New Albany. Call Mary Foley at (662) 538-2199. • Oxford: Noon the second Thursday of the month in the Magnolia Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Lunch available for $3. Call 232-8113. • Starkville: 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Oktibbeha County Hospital educational facility. Call Nicky Yeatman at 615-2668. • Tupelo: 11 a.m. the second Thursday of the month at the NMMC Wellness Center in Tupelo. Sponsored by the NMMC Diabetes Treatment Center. Call 377-2500 or (800) 843-3375. The Disability Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at LIFE office, Cliff Gookin Boulevard, Tupelo. People with all kinds of physical and mental disabilities are welcome. Call Michael Sullivan at 844-6633. Divorce Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month for people working to heal after divorce, separation or broken engagement at the St. James Catholic Life Center in Tupelo. A support group for teen children of divorce – 13 and up – meets at the same time. Call Lynn Weeks at (662) 842-3437. Domestic Violence support groups meet in Tupelo: • 6 p.m. every Thursday. Child care is provided. Call (800) 527-7233 for location. • 3:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at the Lee County Family Resource Center. Child care available. Call 844-0013. Epilepsy Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of most months at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo.Call Cristina Curry at 610-8866 or Kasey McFate at 587-5319. Free child care available. Fibromyalgia support group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at the Women First Resource Center. Call 842-5725. Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery support group for people with a gambling problem, meets at 6 p.m. every Monday at Lee Acres Church of Christ on Lawndale Drive in Tupelo. Call 3162219. Gray Matters Support Group for anyone diagnosed with a brain tumor and their caregivers meets at 6 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at the NMMC Cancer Center in Tupelo. Call Cindy Edwards at (662) 377-4049 or (800) 843-3375.

Grief support groups meet in: • New Albany: 2 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the First United Methodist Church. Call the Rev. Danny Rushing, Asera Care Hospice, at 840-3434 or the Rev. Joe Young, BMHUnion County, at 538-2422. • Oxford: 6 p.m. the second Tuesday and at noon the fourth Wednesday of the month at Azalea Gardens in Oxford. Sponsored by North Mississippi Hospice of Oxford. Call Olevia Partlow at 2340140. I Can Cope cancer support group meets at noon the second Friday of the month at Bridgepoint on South Gloster Street. Guest speakers. Lunch provided for cancer survivors and caregivers. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Call coordinator Donna Kingsley at (662) 213-8478. La Leche League of Lee County offers breastfeeding support to moms. The group meets at 11 a.m. the first Monday of the month at All Saints Episcopal Church. All pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are invited to attend. Young children welcome. Call Toni Hill at 255-8283 or e-mail Lupus Support Group meet in: • Starville: 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month at First United Methodist Church. Call Gene Farrar at 324-3368. • Tupelo: 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at Link Centre, conference room A, suite 112. Sponsored by the Lupus Foundation of America. Contact Michelle Harris at 640-2407 or 2562604. Man-to-Man, a prostate cancer support group, meets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month in the NMMC East Tower education center, Room 21, Tupelo. Call 377-3985 or (800) 843-3375. Mended Hearts, a support group for people who have had heart-bypass surgery, heart disease or other physical ailments of the heart, meet in: • Corinth: 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month in the basement conference center at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth. Contact Wayne Taylor at 663-0116 or Barbara Williams at 293-1086. • Oxford: Noon the the second Wednesday of the month at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. Call Riley McMinn at 232-8166. • Tupelo: 6 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at Room 21 of the NMMC East Tower Education Center. Dinner available for $11; RSVP required for dinner. Call Bill or June Harrison at 8448723 to register. Mental Health Family support group will meet at 10 a.m. the second and fourth Saturday of the month at North Mississippi RC on Highway 7 in Oxford.


SUPPORT GROUPS / RESOURCES The group is designed for family members of people with serious mental illness. Call (800) 357-0388 or visit Mississippi Chapter of Parents of Blind Children will meet at 2 p.m. the last Saturday of the month at the Harden House office on North Gloster Street in Tupelo. Contact Pat Sartain at 8718262. Mississippi Council of the Blind of North Mississippi meets at 10 a.m. the first Saturday of the month at the REACH Center for the Blind on Pegram Boulevard, Tupelo. The organization is open to the blind or visually impaired, and sighted people. Call Tammy Cantrell at 620-7677. Multiple Sclerosis support groups meet in: • Corinth: 11:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the MSU Extension Office behind Crossroads Arena. Contact Joy Forsyth 462-7325 or • Oxford: 6:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month in the Magnolia Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. Call Robert Allen, 234-3515. • Tupelo: 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at NMMC Wellness Center. Call Marge Carson at 963-7068, Allison Holloway at 2315829 or (800) 843-3375. NAMI Connection, a weekly recovery group for people living with mental illness, meets Sundays at 3:30 p.m. at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. Call (800) 3570388 or visit Narcotics Anonymous, a communitybased association of recovering drug addicts, meets in Amory, Booneville, Corinth, Ecru, Oxford, Ripley, Tupelo, West Point and Starkville. Call 8419998 or toll-free (866) 841-9998 for more information. Nar-Anon, a support group for friends and family members of people addicted to drugs, meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at St. James Catholic Life Center on North Gloster Street. Call 322-1631 and leave a message for more information. The North MS Pediatric Cancer Support Group (PECANS) meets at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Call Teresa Farris at 791-1228 for meeting location. Northeast Mississippi Down Syndrome Society offers support and information for families of children with Down Syndrome. Meets quarterly. Call 8712387 or 869-3211, e-mail or visit Ostomy Support Group meets at 6 p.m.

the third Tuesday of the month in the NMMC East Tower Education Center. Call 377-2395 or (800) 843-3375. Overeaters Anonymous meets at noon Wednesdays at St. Luke Methodist Church in Tupelo. Contact (662) 2551063 or visit Parkinson’s Disease support groups meet in: • Oxford: 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at Magnolia Auditorium at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. For more information, call Harry Sneed at 234-3232. • Tupelo: 3 p.m. the first Sunday of the month at NMMC Wellness Center. Open to people with Parkinson’s and their families. Call Ginger Gore or Amanda Allen at 377-3729 or (800) 843-3375. Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries offers support for those healing after abortion. For more information, please visit or contact Barb Baumann at (662) 231-1983, or (877) 4673463, Second Chance Transplant Awareness Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, except for June, at McAlister’s Deli, Tupelo. Call Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Tupelo office (662) 841-1960. A Sexual Assault Support Group meets at 11 a.m. every Wednesday. Call (800) 527-7233 for location. Sisters Network, Tupelo chapter of the African-American breast cancer survivor’s support group, meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month at the Link Centre in Tupelo. Call Edna Ware at 842-3440. Stroke support groups meet in: • Tupelo at 5 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month in NMMC East Tower Room 21. Call Stacy Scruggs at (662) 3774058 • Starkville at 10 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the OCH Healthplex multi-purpose room. Call Nikki Yoakley at (662) 615-3030. T.A.A.P. (Teen Addiction Awareness Program) is a free 10-week program offered by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence building, 200 N. Spring St., Tupelo. Call NCADD at 841-0403 or www.ncadd .net. TOPS, a weight loss support group, has three chapters meeting in Northeast Mississippi. Fees are $24 for annual membership; $12 for spouses and teens. Call (800) 932-8677 or Meetings in: • Tupelo, 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at Salvation Army Building at 527 Carnation St. Call Nita at 891-8651. • Aberdeen: 5 p.m. Tuesdays at Southside Baptist Church on Meridian


Street. Call Janet Luker, 369-6836 or 369-1878, Grace Guin, 369-4431 or Pat Harris, 327-7152. Tupelo Lost Chords Club meets at noon the fourth Thursday of the month at the Longtown Medical Park conference room, Tupelo. Open to all laryngectomees, spouses of laryngectomees and interested professionals. Call Lisa Renfroe at 377-3248. Weight Loss Support Group will meet at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at NMMC Wellness Center in Tupelo. The group provides education and emotional support for those considering or have gone through bariatric surgery. Contact registered nurse Cherri Cox at 377-7546 or (866) 908-9465. Women with Cancer Support Groups are sponsored by Women First Resource Center. Groups meet in: • Amory: Noon the second Tuesday of the month at River Birch. Call 3250721. • Pontotoc: 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce. Call 489-4701. • Tupelo: 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month at Women First Resource Center. Call 842-5725.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS American Red Cross offers CPR/AED/First Aid classes at its Westside Dr. office in Tupelo. Call 842-6101. Mental health interviews by a licensed counselor are offered through North Mississippi Medical Center Behavioral Health Center by appointment MondayFriday at the Eason Boulevard center. Call (800) 843-3375. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency provides free confidential information, assessments and treatment referrals for people with addiction. Maintains list of area support group meetings. Call (662) 8410403. Nurse Link, a free information service provided by NMMC, connects callers with a registered nurse from 7 a.m. to midnight. Call (800) 882-6274. Women First Resource Center, 215 N. Gloster, Suite D, Tupelo, hosts groups and offers assistance for women on a range of issues. Call (662) 842-5725.

PREGNANCY/PARENTING Hospitals with maternity services offer a number of classes about pregnancy, newborn care, breastfeeding and preparing siblings and grandparents. • Baptist Memorial-North Mississippi, Oxford – (662) 513-1602 • Baptist Memorial-Union County,

New Albany – (662) 538-2397 • NMMC Women’s Hospital, Tupelo – (662) 377-4956 • Oktibbeha County Hospital, Starkville – Call (662) 615-336 Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi offers parenting classes, marriage education, parenting during divorce and Parents as Teachers programs. Call (662) 844-0013.

FREE CLINICS Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic provides health care to working or temporarily unemployed Lee County residents who cannot afford insurance but are not eligible for government programs. Call (662) 844-3733. CATCH Kids clinics are open to all children under 18. The organization offers four evening community-based clinics each week in North Tupelo, Haven Acres neighborhood, Pontotoc and Okolona. Call (662) 377-2194. Immunization Clinic provides free childhood immunizations at 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Good Samaritan Free Clinic in Tupelo. Families whose insurance does not cover immunizations are eligible; they do not have to meet other clinic eligibility requirements. Limited number of children can be seen. Call (662) 8443733. Oxford Medical Ministries provides free health care to workers living in Lafayette and Yalobusha counties who can’t afford or don’t have access to health insurance, but make too much for public assistance. Call (662) 234-1374. Tree of Life/Arbol de la Vida Free Clinic holds a free clinic the third Saturday of the month at 670 Crossover Road in Tupelo. Open to anyone without public or private health insurance. Call Joe Bailey at (662) 842-8788.

HEALTHY EDUCATION Diabetes Treatment Center offers diabetes self-management program twice a month. Call (662) 377-2500. Tobacco Cessation Classes are available free through area hospitals • Baptist Memorial Hospital Oxford – (662) 513-1506 • NMMC Tupelo – (800) 843-3375 HealthWorks! Children Health Education Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The center is located at the corner of Robert E. Lee Drive and Industrial Road in Tupelo. General admission is $4. Call (662) 377-5437 or visit www.healthworkskids.or

CALENDAR • HIP Hoppers: 10 a.m. Wednesday from June 2 to Sept. 15. Preschool children and their grown ups are invited to come and play the HealthWorks! way with interactive story time with puppet play and family fitness fun. Cost: admission.

APRIL 1 Singer Songwriter Showcase benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be 5 p.m. April 1 at the Main Street Grill in Tupelo. A dozen bands will perform at the acoustic showcase. Silent auction, raffle and more. Admission will be by donation. Call 662) 844-6454 or visit

APRIL 3 Relay for Life Gospel Concert will be 6 p.m. April 3 at the Saltillo Community Center. Artists include Heavens Highway, Saving Grace, Foyer Boyz, The David Holloway Family and Scott Russell Hurt. Cost is $5; benefits the American Cancer Society. Doors open at 5 p.m. For more information, visit

APRIL 10 Walk MS benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will be April 10 at Veterans Park in Tupelo. Contact Angie Jackson at or (601) 856-5831.

APRIL 16-18 T’ai Chi Chih workshop will be April 1618 at the NMMC Wellness Center in Tupelo. Instructor will be Carmen L. Brocklehurst of Albuquerque, N.M., who is an internationally recognized instructor. T’ai Chi Chih is made up of 20 gentle movements and is often called a moving meditation. Sessions will run 1 to 5 p.m. April 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. Cost is $75 and includes dinner on April 16 and lunch on April 17. Contact Ron Richardson at (662) 8446473 or

APRIL 18 Great Strides Walk benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be 1:30 p.m. April 18 at Lamar Park in Oxford. Contact Mississippi Chapter at (601) 981-3100.

APRIL 20 A Woman’s Place Lunchtime Learning will be at noon April 20 at First Baptist Church fellowship hall in Tupelo. Lunch costs $5; preregistration is required by April 14. Call (662) 377-4099.

APRIL 25 & MAY 1

MAY 22

Camp Bluebird, a camp for adult cancer survivors, will be April 23-25 at Tombigbee State Park. Cost is $40; scholarships available. Call (662) 377-4049 or visit Fall camp is set for Sept. 24-25.

Make It a Habit Club will be 10 to 11 a.m. May 22 at HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. Each month the club will focus on healthy living and physical activity. Each month, there will be topic time, snack talk and fitness fun. Parents can participate or hang out on the Funtastic Floor. In May, the theme will be Mother, May I? Cost is $4 per person admission to center; members free. Call (662) 377-5437. Tie Dye 5K Cross Country Invitational will be 8:30 a.m. May 22 at the Tupelo Cross Country Trail in Ballard Park/Sportsplex, Tupelo. Cost is $20. sponsored by Healthworks! Call (662) 377-5437.

APRIL 23-25 Walk for Babies benefiting the March of Dimes will be held at 2 p.m. April 25 in the Grove on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford and 10 a.m. May 1 in Veterans Park in Tupelo. Call (662) 844-6901 for more information.

MAY 1 Asthma Super Saturday will be 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 1 at NMMC Women’s Hospital in Tupelo. For children with asthma and their parents. Call (800) 843-3375. Walk for Diabetes will be at 8 a.m. May 1 at Ballard Park in Tupelo. The 5K walk will benefit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. Call (662) 232-2777 or visit


MAY 15


Hope Steps Forward 5K run/walk to raise awareness for primary brain tumors will start at 8 a.m. May 15 at the Brewer Community Center in Lee County. Entry fee is $20 and includes a T-shirt. Benefits the NMMC Cancer Patient Assistance Fund. Forms available at Brewer Grocery, Tupelo Neurology and Trails and Treads in Tupelo. Call Elise at 844-7021.

MAY 17 Take a Swing at Cancer benefit golf tournament will be May 17 at Old Waverly Golf Club. Four person scramble with 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. shotgun starts. Lunch at 11 a.m. for all players. Cost is $250 per player. Benefits the NMMC Cancer Center patient assistance fun. Call (662) 377-3613 or email

HealthWorks! Summer Camps will be offered in June and July at the HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. The halfday camps will be generally be offered Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays from 9 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. All the camps will include a crafty project, healthy snack and physical challenge.

AUG. 7 Asthma Super Saturday will be 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 7 at NMMC Women’s Hospital in Tupelo. For children with asthma and their parents. Call (800) 843-3375.

AUG. 14 Weston Reed Cardiovascular Conference will 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 at BancorpSouth Arena. Free CPR/AED training and free heart health screenings. Registration required for training classes. Call (662) 841-5819 or register online at

AUG. 28

Lee County Relay for Life will be June 11 at Tupelo High School football stadium. Benefits the American Cancer Society. Call Donna Kingsley at (662) 213-8478 or Michelle Mauldin at (662) 279-4236 or visit

Make It a Habit Club will be 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 28 at HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. Each month, there will be topic time, snack talk and fitness fun. Open to families with children kindergarten and up. Parents can participate or hang out on the Funtastic Floor. In August, the theme will be Bring a Friend, Make a Friend. Cost is $4 per person admission to center; members free. Call (662) 377-5437.


SEPT. 25

A Woman’s Place Lunchtime Learning will be at noon June 15 at First Baptist Church fellowship hall in Tupelo. Lunch costs $5; preregistration is required by June 9. Call (662) 377-4099.

Make It A Habit Club will be 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 25 at HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. Each month, there will be topic time, snack talk and fitness fun. Open to families with children kindergarten and up. Parents can participate or hang out on the Funtastic Floor. In September, the theme will be Stress Less. Cost is $4 per person admission to center; members free. Call (662) 377-5437.


Spririt of Women Awards will be at noon May 18 at First Baptist Church fellowship hall in Tupelo. Lunch costs $5; preregistration is required by May 12. Call (662) 377-4099.

Make It a Habit Club will be 10 to 11 a.m. June 26 at HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. Each month, there will be topic time, snack talk and fitness fun. Open to families with children kindergarten and up. Parents can participate or hang out on the Funtastic Floor. In June, the theme will be Daddy, I Dare You! Cost is $4 per person admission to center; members free. Call (662) 377-5437.



Rebel Classic Golf Tournament will be at 10 a.m. May 21 at Country Club of Oxford. Lunch and beverages provided. Call 232-2777 or e-mail

Make It a Habit Club will be 10 to 11 a.m. July 24 at HealthWorks! Children’s Health Education Center in Tupelo. Each month, there will be topic time, snack talk and fitness fun.

MAY 18

Open to families with children kindergarten and up. Parents can participate or hang out on the Funtastic Floor. In July, the theme will be Happy HealthWorks! Hoopla. Cost is $4 per person admission to center; members free. Call (662) 377-5437.

OCT. 2 Great Strides Walk benefiting Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 in Ballard Park in Tupelo. Contact the Mississippi Chapter at (601) 981-3100.

OCT. 5 Spirit of Women Girls Night Out will be Oct 5 at the Summit in Tupelo. The fun and informative event will include a Coldwater Creek fashion show, breast cancer survivor recognition and breast cancer speaker. Call (800) 843-3375.


Health Journal 412010  

THE SEEDS OF HEALTH NORTH MISSISSIPPI Gardening can provide exercise and good nutrition SPRING 2010 2 | NORTH MISSISSIPPI HEALTH JOURNAL

Health Journal 412010  

THE SEEDS OF HEALTH NORTH MISSISSIPPI Gardening can provide exercise and good nutrition SPRING 2010 2 | NORTH MISSISSIPPI HEALTH JOURNAL