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connect LAWRENCE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

How to stay out

of the ER

this summer The Latest in Surgical Trends Your Health and the Economy Investing in Your Community Hospital

Summer 2009


How to stay out of the ER this summer Summertime and the livin’ is easy. To keep it that way, Lawrence Memorial Hospital urges you to remember some important summer safety tips to stay out of the emergency room. “There’s a lot you can do to minimize the risk of

your seatbelt, don’t dive into water when you don’t know how deep it is, get off the lake as soon as you hear thunder. In other words, don’t be stupid.” Chris Jenson, MD, an emergency physician at LMH, says more than half of emergency visits are not for

summertime activities,” says Scott Robinson, MD, president

life-threatening illnesses or injuries but for minor medical

of Lawrence Emergency Medicine Associates and medical

problems that could be handled more cost effectively in a

director of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.

doctor’s office.

“Use common sense” is Dr. Robinson’s best advice.

“The emergency department is your community’s

“Wear sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids, stretch before

lifeline,” says Dr. Jenson. “Use it prudently — for true

physical activities, wear eye and ear protection when

emergencies rather than convenience.” He advises that

mowing, wear a helmet for wheeled sports, always wear

if you have questions about whether a problem requires emergency treatment, first call your primary care physician, who is best able to give advice and follow-up care based on

Just using common sense can help minimize the risk of summertime activities.

your personal health history. Dr. Jenson adds, “If you can’t reach your doctor and don’t know, we’d obviously rather see you and help you figure things out.” Of course, if there’s a possibility that you may be having a stroke, heart attack or other life-threatening emergency, you should never waste time pondering a decision. Call 911 immediately.

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SUN Those most at risk for heat-related illness are young children and the elderly. Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers these suggestions to protect you from heatstroke, dehydration and sunburn: • Watch for signs of heat-related illness. These signs include fainting, dizziness, headache, nausea, flushed appearance, increased heart rate and body temperature of 103 degrees or higher. • Drink lots of fluids. Avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine. • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. • When taking prescription drugs, check with your physician before any prolonged exposure to the sun.

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WATER To avoid a tragic accident, Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers these water safety tips: • Avoid swimming past your ability, or in rough water. • Never leave children unattended, even if they are experienced swimmers. • Never swim alone. • Make sure the water is deep enough before diving. • Do not consume alcohol when swimming or boating. • Always stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather. • Learn CPR. • Put a fence around your residential swimming pool.

LIGHTNING

During electrical storms, Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers the following advice: • Don’t go near the water. • Don’t lie down on wet ground.

• Teach children to avoid playing around open bodies of water. • Discourage children from jumping in to help another swimmer. Teach them to throw the victim something that floats or a long object to grasp. Instruct them to call an adult for help. • Teach children survival skills such as floating and treading water.

• Don’t go near tall or metal objects, such as flagpoles, trees and fences. • When inside, stay away from electrical appliances and do not use the telephone as these items are good conductors of electricity. • Don’t watch storms from an open window or door. Avoid the fireplace as it is often a lightning target. • Persons injured by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply first aid if you are qualified to do so and call 911 or send for help immediately.

© iStockphoto.com/C-Photo

Get great tips to help you stay healthy all year through! Sign up for LMH e-newsletters at www.lmh.org

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A new ally in the fight breast cancer

LMH Breast Center now offering digital

Tell your mother, your sister, your wife and your friend to get a mammogram. Early detection saves lives.

Digital mammography is the latest tool in Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s fight against breast cancer. Todd Oberzan, MD, a radiologist at LMH, says, “This is an important step for this hospital and this community to take,” noting that digital mammography is becoming the standard of care in the industry. Digital mammography uses a special detector to capture and convert X-ray energy into a digital image. This technology offers improved visibility of the breast, particularly near the skin line, the chest wall and in women with dense breast tissue. Because there is no film to develop, it can significantly reduce the time patients spend waiting, and there is less radiation exposure. Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically. Unlike other parts of the body, the breast is composed mainly of

LM H O F F ERS N EW S ERVI CE F O R PATI ENTS Lawrence Memorial Hospital recently opened the LMH Anticoagulation Clinic to serve patients who are prescribed Coumadin and its generic equivalent warfarin or other anticoagulants. These patients require frequent blood tests to monitor their blood’s ability to clot. The clinic utilizes a simple fingerstick blood test to check the patient’s international normalized ratio (INR), which indicates how quickly blood clots. INRs are frequently evaluated to maintain the benefits of the drug and reduce the patient’s risk of bleeding or forming a blood clot. Anticoagulants are often prescribed to treat blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation), mechanical heart valve replacement or other cardiovascular or circulatory diseases. “This is a very important service to offer the community,” says Patrick Parker, Director of Pharmacy and IV Therapy. Patients are referred to the clinic by their physicians. For more information, call 785-505-6351.

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The LMH Anticoagulation Clinic serves patients who require frequent tests to monitor their blood’s ability to clot.


against l

mammography soft tissue. When breast tissue is X-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze, making it difficult to see tiny “spots,” called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer. With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast, using special high resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology. LMH has two digital mammography units in place for screening and diagnosis at the Breast Center at LMH South, and is adding a screening-only digital unit at LMH Imaging West, 4525 W. 6th Street. Remodeling at both locations has created private, comfortable areas with warmer, less clinical atmospheres. To schedule a mammogram at either location, call 785-505-3300.

Mark your calendar! Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer Dance | Saturday, October 24

First-class

service is soothing southern accent combined with self-deprecating humor and quick wit makes a conversation with Buck Newsom a delight. The stories of his 20-plus years as a naval aviator and his memories of giving tours of Lawrence, have a common theme — service. Service to his country, to his community Buck Newsom, pictured in and to his fellow man. uniform at the Robert J. Dole Before he retired as a Captain in the U.S. Navy, Buck Institute for Politics, retired from the Navy in 1964 as served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam a Captain. War. He was first introduced to Lawrence, Kan., when he was professor of naval science at the University of Kansas. He, his wife, Faye, and their three children came back to Lawrence after he completed his naval career. Working as a vice president at Centron Productions, Buck became heavily involved in the Lawrence community. He volunteered as a Big Brother, served on the Lawrence/Douglas County Planning Commission and was on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Lawrence Public Library. His relationship with LMH and the LMH Endowment Association (LMHEA) began in 1969 when he served as the first Chairman of the LMHEA Board of Governors. “When we started, our goal was to get some property donated to LMH and maybe a few thousand dollars. We wanted to make sure that LMH was able to grow,” Newsom says. His commitment to LMH continued with his involvement with the Penny Jones Golf Tournament and as a donor to the recent $8.1 million capital campaign. “Every community, including Lawrence, needs a good hospital. I have just been so impressed in my experiences (with the LMH Oncology Center),” he adds. “The staff’s positive attitude and cooperative spirit is wonderful. They are just nice.”

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For info: Call Heather Ackerly, 785-505-3315

Volunteer opportunity LMH is fortunate to have more than 750 Auxiliary volunteers who give their time and talent to LMH. Last year volunteers, ranging in age from 14 to 95, gave over 54,000 hours assisting patients, visitors and staff. From escorting patients to the appropriate departments and working in the LMH Gift Shop to delivering flowers and helping with clerical work, the efforts of Auxiliary members are essential to making LMH an outstanding community hospital. Current Volunteer Opportunity! Patient Safety Attendants At times hospital patients do not have family members available to stay with them. Volunteers assist one-on–one with these patients. They help provide extra care through a kind presence and gentle conversation. To learn more about LMH volunteer opportunities, please contact Allyson Leland at 785-505-3141 or allyson.leland@lmh.org.

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Don’t let health break the bank

care

Talk of an economic downturn has us all pinching pennies. Though many people think that postponing a doctor’s appointment or skipping doses of medication is the way to save money on medical costs, the opposite is true. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, there are many ways to save money on health care costs that won’t compromise your health. Ask for generic prescriptions. Ask your health care provider if there is a generic alternative to your prescription. It can save you money. See if your employer offers medical flexible spending accounts. This allows you to put aside a portion of your earnings tax-free to pay for health care expenses that insurance may not cover. Keep on track with your regular checkups. Regular checkups can identify chronic health issues that are treatable before they become serious and can keep small health problems from turning into bigger ones.

Stop smoking. According to LMH hospitalist Charles Yockey, MD, kicking the habit will not only save you hundreds of dollars a year, but reduce your chance of illness. One example he notes is that smokers are 10 times more likely to suffer from bronchitis than non-smokers are. Get your vaccinations. Even adults need vaccinations. Talk to your health care provider about your specific needs. The flu shot is essential. It can help prevent an illness that can be life threatening. Maintain a healthy diet. Dr. Yockey reminds us to maintain a balanced diet even when the wallet is light. Think about cooking with bulk beans and legumes, which are inexpensive. Steer clear of inexpensive highcarbohydrate foods. Make sure you don’t forget your fruits and veggies. See www.lmh.org for a list of healthy meals for less than $10. Wash your hands. Most germs are spread from your hands to your mouth or eyes. Keeping your hands clean can reduce this risk. While you are at it, teach your little ones the importance of hand washing! It is something they will continue doing as they grow up.

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© iStockphoto.com/DNY59

When you are sick, stay home. It’s not fair to colleagues and friends to contaminate them. Everyone will understand and thank you. Reduce your alcohol intake. Like kicking the smoking habit, reducing your alcohol intake can save you money and give your immune system a boost. Dr. Yockey notes, “Alcohol intake suppresses the body’s ability to fight infection for three days, making the consumer more likely to suffer from illnesses.” He also mentions that alcohol intake has a negative effect on sleep, and sleep is vital for a healthy life. Educate yourself about your health. Learn as much as you can about your illnesses or chronic conditions. It can help you determine what treatments are available, which resources are useful and how you can minimize falling ill in the first place. Attend free health education courses. Some facilities offer free health education courses. Don’t miss the free monthly classes at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Call ConnectCare at 785-749-5800 or visit lmh.org for more information. Follow your doctor’s advice. It is paramount to follow the medical directions of your physician and to take your medication on time and as directed. Being compliant with your treatment regimen can prevent you from needing further and more expensive treatment.


Surgery just keeps getting better at LMH Bigger and better space isn’t the only thing new in the LMH surgery department. According to those who know best, new trends in surgical procedures and materials are helping to improve the quality of life for many patients. General surgeon Cheryl Rice, MD, says the newest advancement in her work is in the area of laparoscopy, the minimally invasive procedure in which instruments are inserted into the abdomen through a small incision. She says that her patients currently benefit from the quicker recoveries laparoscopy allows, but even more changes are coming. “I see a diverse range of cases, including hernias, gall bladder disease, appendicitis, colon and breast cancer, and ovarian cysts,” she says. “One new technique I am excited about is single-port laparoscopy, where only one small incision is required for the entire procedure.”

Dr. Cheryl Rice in one of LMH’s new operating rooms

She reports that natural orifice laparoscopy is also on the horizon. As its name suggests, the procedure calls for insertion of the laparoscope into areas such as the esophagus or vagina. Like general surgery, the field of orthopedic surgery is continually improving, as well. Richard Wendt, MD, says that in his 20 years as an orthopedic surgeon, he has seen advancements that provide markedly

shorter hospital stays and better long-term solutions for his patients. “The metals we use now in bone repair, as well as the plastic and polyethylene, are more resistant to wear and tear,” he says. “And they are more compatible with the body, functioning more like real bone.” He says another trend is the use of smaller incisions, including arthroscopy, which results in less soft tissue involvement, a definite advantage in the healing process. And although he performs four to six joint replacements per week, he says that in many cases, surgeons now opt for the less-invasive technique of resurfacing the existing joint. Patty Winslow, RN, Director of Surgical Services at LMH, says the field is ever evolving. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in my 14 years as a surgical nurse,” she says. “I see robotics as the next big thing to come our way.”

INVESTING

Blue chip stocks. T-Bills. Lawrence Memorial Hospital? Return on investment. It’s a relative term — invest in a company and receive a 5% return on your money. Invest in a hospital and help your neighbor. Or your child. Or yourself. In today’s current economy people are smart to research where they invest, whether it be for a retirement fund or for a charitable donation. For those who have invested or are thinking of investing in Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH), it is a wise choice. Founded as a result of a philanthropic gift by Elizabeth Watkins, LMH takes seriously its obligation to be a good steward of the support and trust that community members have given. “The two most important things we do to maintain LMH Endowment Association’s credibility with our donors are: 1. Execute our fiduciary responsibility by protecting the Endowment’s principal assets, and 2. Carry out the wishes and intentions of our donors,” says Dick Orchard, MD, treasurer of the LMHEA Board of Directors.

Sidney Garrett, vice chair of the LMHEA Board of Directors and the LMHEA finance committee adds, “We instruct our fund managers to measure against market benchmarks (S&P, Nasdaq). Consistently, our funds have beaten those benchmarks.” Perhaps the most accurate way to determine the return on your investment is illustrated by another number: 259,923. That is the number of patient visits that LMH experienced in 2008 and each one of them was impacted by charitable investment. In 2008, LMHEA disbursed over $2.1 million of charitable donations to LMH for the recent facility expansion, as well as equipment and program expenditures. Some of the equipment made possible by charitable investments include: • Breast biopsy machine for Radiology. • Procedure lights for the Family Birthing Center. • Prescriptions and durable medical equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) for patients who cannot afford them.

When considering the return on your investment in LMH, take comfort in knowing that your dollars are being © iStockphoto.com/ responsibly managed. But AndrewJohnson more importantly, think of the pediatric patient sleeping in a new bed, or the cataract patient who was able to have her procedure performed in Lawrence, or the family member who had a brief moment of respite due to the care cart in the Palliative Care unit, and take pride in knowing that the real return on your investment is limitless. For information about investing in Lawrence Memorial Hospital, including charitable gift planning, please contact Kathy Clausing Willis at 785-505-6134.

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325 Maine Lawrence, KS 66047

For your calendar Safety for Seniors Monday, July 20, 9-10:30 a.m. at LMH Conference Room A, 325 Maine Free program to learn safety tips to prevent falls, home accidents, foodborne illness, crimes against seniors, medication errors and more. To register: Call ConnectCare, 785-749-5800 or visit lmh.org

small town BIG CAUSE 5K Run/Walks • Baldwin City | Saturday, August 22, 8 a.m. at the Baldwin City Golf Course • Tonganoxie | Saturday September 26, 8 a.m. at LMH’s Family Medicine of Tonganoxie • Eudora | Saturday, October 17, 8 a.m. at a location to be determined For info: Contact Melissa Hess, 785-505-3317 or Melissa.Hess@lmh.org

28th Annual Penny Jones Golf Tournament Friday, September 11 at Alvamar Golf and Country Club For info: Call Melissa Hess, 785-505-3317

Walktober® Friday, September 18, registration deadline Free walking program sponsored by LMH and the Douglas County Health Improvement Project. Walk on your own or with a group. Sign up for daily e-mail tips, attend an orientation session, complete 20 walks during October and receive a free gift. To enroll: Call ConnectCare, 785-749-5800 or visit lmh.org

Annual LMH Health Fair Saturday, September 26, 7:30-11 a.m. Blood chemistry profile (fee), free screenings and health information For details: Call ConnectCare, 785-749-5800 or visit lmh.org

Karen F. Evans, DO

Karen F. Evans, DO, recently joined Mt. Oread Family Practice, 3510 Clinton Place, Lawrence. She comes to Lawrence from Payson, Ariz., where she has been a partner at Mountain View Family Medicine since 2003. She completed a rural teaching fellowship at the University of Arizona School of Medicine in 2005. She completed a residency in family medicine at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix in 2003 and an internship at Mesa General Hospital in Mesa, Ariz., in 2001. She is board certified Dr. Karen Evans in family medicine. Dr. Evans attended the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City and graduated in 2000. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Kansas State University in 1996. A native of Hoisington, Kan., Dr. Evans enjoys scuba diving, competing in triathlons and playing the cello. She is married to Kye P. Evans, DO, an emergency physician who has recently joined the Medical Staff at LMH.

please call 785-505-3315.

Dr. Evans says the move to Lawrence was the right decision for both of them. “It’s everything we dreamed of,” she says. Her husband graduated from Lawrence High School in 1986 and still has some family in the area. “It’s very comfortable for us here. And it’s a great place to raise children.” The Evanses have 5-year-old triplets.

Gene Meyer | President and CEO, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Editorial Board | Kathy Clausing Willis, Sherri Vaughn, MD, Janice Early-Weas, Heather Ackerly

To make an appointment with Dr. Evans, call 785-842-5070.

connect is published by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The information in this newsletter is intended to educate readers about subjects pertinent to their health and is not a substitute for consultation with a personal physician. To have your name added to or removed from this mailing list,

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