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FALL 2013



Page Fall 2013 Health for Life is intended to provide general health information only. It should not be used to self-diagnose or as a substitute for advice by a physician or other healthcare professional. For questions or comments about Health for Life, please write or call the Piedmont Henry Marketing Department, 1133 Eagle’s Landing Parkway, Stockbridge, GA 30281, 678.604.1026.

Charles Scott President and CEO

Jeff Cooper Vice President and COO

Donna M. Braddy Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Michelle A. Nunnally Public Relations Specialist

heaven let your light shine down

Design and Art Direction by tbg design Terry B. Gardner – Designer Leigh Delozier – Writer Michie Turpin – Photographer Health for Life, Fall 2013. Published quarterly by Piedmont Henry. All information herein has been checked for accuracy to the best of the publisher’s ability. No responsibility is accepted for deletions, omissions, errors and/or inaccuracies. No materials contained herein may be reproduced without the exclusive written permission of the publisher. ©2013 Piedmont Henry. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

Fully accredited by The Joint Commission of National Quality Approval.

“After surgery and radiation therapy, my wife, Donna, is breast cancer free. The main reason is early detection through a mammogram.”

~ Will Turpin - Collective Soul


And then a hero comes along



“Public awareness requires a consistent repetitive delivery of message. Early detection is key.� Bill Lacy Henry County Fire Department

what a wonderful world

Mildred Schmelz - breast cancer survivor


your love is all I need


Deborah St. Clair - stroke survivor Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 2


“Mammograms aren’t fun,

but getting one is an easy task compared to what you go through with cancer.” ~ Mildred Schmelz


WINNING Earning the title of “breast cancer survivor” is reward enough for any woman. For Mildred Schmelz of Ellenwood, the term carries even more weight because she hasn’t just beaten breast cancer once.

She’s defeated it twice. Schmelz’s first diagnosis came in 2006 after she visited Piedmont Henry Hospital for her routine mammogram. “Something showed up on my mammogram, so I was called back in for a second one,” Schmelz says. “Something still showed on it, so they did a biopsy.

Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 4

It was cancerous.” “I’ll never forget the day Mildred came for her first mammogram with us,” says Sharon Widener, RT, R(M), the mammography coordinator at Piedmont Henry Hospital. Sharon Widener, RT, R(M)

“It was rainy and cold, and she was my last patient of the day. She said that she didn’t want to be here, that she just wanted to go home and be with her husband. I could tell they must have a strong relationship.”

“Once I saw her mammogram, I knew she would be back to see us, but of course we can’t say anything,” Widener continues. “The next time her husband was with her. Everybody needs someone to lean on when they go through something like this.” The encouraging news for Schmelz and her husband Dennis at that point was that the tumor was very small and had not spread outside her right breast. Lab tests of several lymph nodes were clear, so Schmelz opted to have a lumpectomy. She had surgery to remove the tumor in 2007, followed by 33 radiation treatments. “The radiation was hard,” Schmelz admits, “but it worked.” She was cancer free until 2012, when another routine mammogram showed something suspicious. A tumor was in the same place as before, plus in two other places – all in her right breast again. “I did Mildred’s mammogram again that day,” Widener says. “It was extra difficult because we knew her by then and worried if she’d be able to handle going through it again. But she’s an extra strong person and I knew she wouldn’t give up. She didn’t!” “I went to see Dr. [Scott] Timbert and expected him to recommend that we at least remove one of my


breasts,” Schmelz says. “I sat down and told him I wanted a double mastectomy.” “He was shocked,” she continues. “I think he expected me to fight against his recommendation. But I’m a feisty little lady and knew what I wanted to do.” Schmelz had the surgery in August 2012 and also began the reconstruction process. “It wasn’t pretty,” she says. “I had four tubes draining fluids, two on each side. My husband measured the fluids that were draining and kept written records of everything. He was very strong for me and did whatever he could to help.” When Schmelz had recovered enough from the surgery, she underwent four rounds of chemotherapy. “The chemo really knocked me down. It’s a blow both mentally and physically to the patient, but is also a blow to the family. My husband was my rock through everything.” Schmelz credits family and friends for helping her through two battles with cancer, but also believes her attitude helped. “A lot of us think that our breasts and hair are what make us women,” she says. “It’s very hard to think of loving yourself or having someone love you without those things. But they will.” “I lost my hair and eyebrows after my first chemo, but continued to put on makeup,” she adds. “I think it’s important to look your best for yourself when you’re going through something like that. It’s another way of showing that you’re not going to give up without a fight.” The next big step in Schmelz’s fight came in April 2013 when she had three surgeries in one day: the final steps of breast reconstruction, removal of her chemotherapy port, and a hysterectomy since her sister had been through ovarian cancer and she didn’t want to run the risk herself. “It was a big deal, but it was nice to get everything done,” she says. “I was ready to get all of this behind me.” Today, Schmelz is proud to say that many people – including her coworkers – often say she doesn’t look like she’s had cancer. “I tell them I don’t have cancer now – that I’m healed and the best of health,” Schmelz says. “It gives me a chance to talk about mammograms and research and the things women need to know.”

She also has a special message for men. “I want to encourage men to have as much empathy as possible, but people also need to support the men. They’re the caregivers and go through a lot, too. I was fortunate that my husband was able to support me so much and do so many things. It’s really hard, and some men can’t handle seeing their wife go through that.” “If you can’t be the caregiver she needs, step back and let someone else do it,” she adds. “But you can still be there to hold her hand and give her comforting words.” Widener’s message for women is two-fold. “A lot of women think they won’t get breast cancer because they don’t have a family history, but that doesn’t let you off the hook,” she says. “You still need to do monthly self exams and come for mammograms.” “Many women don’t want to be here when they come for a mammogram, and they tell us so,” Widener continues. “But if Mildred had waited a year or two later for a doctor’s orders before coming, her story could’ve been very different. A screening mammogram is why we found Mildred’s cancer – both times.” •

“I’m ready to get back into things full pace in 2014.”

~ Mildred Schmelz

Early detection helps save lives. American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults. Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Schedule an appointment today. Call 678-604-1055

Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 6


For the fifth consecutive year, a group of Henry County Men has stepped forward to show that Real

Men Wear Pink

Seth Hoover, Momentum Christian Church; Rodney Christopher, Central Georgia EMC; Curt Miller, Ola High School; Leonard Moreland, Heritage Bank; Dale Rutledge, State Representative; W


and that breast cancer is an important issue for everyone. Encourage the women in your life to call 678-604-1055 to schedule their annual mammogram.

Will Turpin, Collective Soul; Capers Green, Henry County Police Department; Greg Guy, Goodyear Aviation; Bill Lacy, Henry County Fire Department; Patrick McHugh, 15th Street Pizza & Pub Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 8


marks the fifth anniversary of Piedmont Henry Hospital’s REAL MEN WEAR PINK campaign, with 10 men prepared to spread pink throughout Henry County during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Real Men Wear Pink was launched in 2009 as a way to raise awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to have a yearly screening mammogram. Businesses, schools, and other organizations get involved each year by hosting “wear pink” days, displaying posters or other educational materials, inviting one of the Real Men to speak at meetings, and organizing fundraisers for the American Cancer Society and Piedmont Foundation. Whether he has a personal connection with breast cancer or not, each of the 2013 Real Men has his reasons as to why breast cancer is an important issue for everyone. Fighting Cancer at Home “My beautiful sister-in-law fought a long battle with breast cancer,” says Greg Guy of Goodyear Aviation. “Her daughter – my niece – recently had a double mastectomy. My wife and another niece have been diagnosed with the cancer gene. As a result, I’ve become more knowledgeable and more involved in cancer education.” Will Turpin, musician and co-founder of the rock group Collective Soul, also dealt with cancer firsthand when his wife Donna was diagnosed with Stage 1 DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in April 2012. “It was an absolute shock

when we had to deal with breast cancer,” he


says. “She had a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy. She’s had subsequent

MRIs and other medical tests since then and her long-term outlook is really positive. Thanks to early detection and breast cancer research, she’s in great shape now.” Leonard Moreland, president of Heritage Bank, and Rodney Christopher with Central Georgia EMC haven’t battled breast cancer alongside immediate family members, but know the importance of screenings and treatments. “I’m a

cancer survivor, so I understand the sometimes devastating effects cancer has on families,” Moreland says.

“I’ve been dealing with early onset prostate cancer since having a positive biopsy in late 2006,” Christopher adds. “So I have deep compassion for all people experiencing all cancer-related issues.”

Admiring Women’s Strength “My mother was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 2004,” shares Seth Hoover of Momentum Christian Church. “She’s a very resilient woman, but I worried how she would respond to the battle. Over the next few months, my family stood with her and watched her embrace this fight and undergo a lumpectomy and radiation treatments. Through all the appointments, the poking and prodding, the medicine and treatments, I watched her persevere with strength and faithfulness. Nine years later, the cancer is in remission.” “I have people close to me that have been affected by cancer,” says Curt Miller, athletic director and teacher at Ola High School. “It’s amazing how much strength these individuals possess, continuing their lives while fighting this wretched disease.” “With raising two young daughters, I want to teach them the importance of taking care of themselves, such as eating right and exercising regularly,” Miller adds. “As they get older, I want them to know the importance of annual breast screenings as another vital part of taking care of themselves.”

“If my involvement makes one person more aware

and happens to save a life through early detection, then I will be blessed beyond belief.” ~ Patrick McHugh -15th Street Pizza & Pub

“Early detection is a key to successful recovery ”. ~Greg Guy - Goodyear Aviation Painting the County Pink The Real Men all pledge to be involved in activities throughout the county during October in the name of raising awareness. “I’ve had friends whose mothers or aunts were diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Henry County Police Detective Capers Green. “They needed emotional support, so I wanted to be educated about the seriousness of breast cancer and its impact on loved ones. I’ll do whatever it takes to spread the awareness and information to the public.” “I wanted to participate in Real Men Wear Pink for a multitude of reasons,” says Patrick McHugh, co-owner of 15th Street Pizza & Pub. “I believe that our restaurant got where it is today because of the community, and I feel that I must continue to serve this great community. If my involvement makes one person more aware and happens to save a life through early detection, then it’s worth it. I will do everything in my power to help the hospital spread the word of early detection.” Henry County Fire Chief Bill Lacy has an aunt who was diagnosed with recurring breast cancer and underwent

a double mastectomy. “Public awareness requires a consistent, repetitive delivery of message,” he says. “I would like to help with that delivery and would hope that my family and friends can avoid the impact of this disease.” Each spokesman feels privileged to participate in Real Men Wear Pink, however they plan to help spread the word. “It’s an honor to be part of such a wonderful

campaign that makes a huge impact on our community,” adds State Representative

Dale Rutledge. “I have the utmost respect for the men who have preceded us in this campaign and admire the great things they’ve accomplished in our community. Now it’s our turn to step up to the plate to raise awareness about breast cancer and help make a difference in the lives of as many families as we can.”

is serious. “ItEarlycan detection lead to fewer losses due to Breast Cancer . ”

Rodney Christopher Central Georgia EMC

Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 10

Deborah & Patrick’s wedding day.

“It is a

battle, but you can’t let it win.” ~ Deborah St. Clair

Deborah gets assistance from her husband, Patrick, as she works to walk up a hill...they dubbed, “Mt. Hope”. 11


I ’ll be there for you.

“I know it sounds crazy, but having a stroke is probably the

best thing that ever happened to me.”

...that’s the attitude of Locust Grove resident Deborah St. Clair, who suffered a stroke in January 2013 at the age of 53. She was at work, standing at her desk while talking on the phone with her boss. “Suddenly, I dropped the papers I was holding, my left arm fell, and I stumbled. I’ve always been very, very healthy, but knew immediately that I’d had a stroke.” A coworker walked St. Clair outside for fresh air. They called 911 and St. Clair’s fiancé Patrick. When the ambulance arrived, her blood pressure was 200/188. “They told me I was a walking miracle,” she says. “I said, ‘Please don’t let me die,’ and the paramedic said, ‘You’re not going to die.’ A peace came over me and I knew things would be OK.” St. Clair spent six days in ICU, followed by 30 days in a medical rehabilitation facility. “I was out of the rehab hospital on Friday and at Piedmont Henry Hospital for outpatient rehab by Wednesday,” she says. Therapists at Piedmont Henry

worked to help St. Clair regain use of her left arm and hand, and to walk again. Her determination was a key factor in her recovery. “It is a battle, but you can’t let it win,” St. Clair says. “My neurologist thought I would recover. I decided I wasn’t going to be in a wheelchair forever. I was going to walk again someday.” St. Clair describes her therapy team at Piedmont Henry Hospital as “amazing.” “I’ve always been a Type A person, a worrywart, always doing something like the Energizer Bunny. The girls at rehab have even helped me work through that anxiety and know it’s fine to slow down. I’m a lot happier than before.” That happiness hasn’t come without challenges, however. “I was so independent, and that was all gone in an instant,” she says. “We take so many things for granted—opening jars, fixing our hair. When you go back home after a stroke, you’re a different person. It makes you wonder what in the world you’re going to do.”

Health for Life Fall 2013 | 12


St. Clair knew that her life had changed so dramatically that she gave her fiancé the option of cancelling their engagement. “I told him, ‘You can leave if you want. You don’t have to marry me now.’ He said there was no way he would leave me, and I’m so blessed that he stayed.” She and Patrick were married in April, and he continues to be her biggest supporter. He helps her with whatever she needs, but she still aims to do as much for herself as possible. Recovery has included daily exercises at home as well as with her therapists several times a week.

Piedmont Henry Hospital adds Stroke Certification to Achievements Several years of work and the completion of rigorous review by industry experts led to Piedmont Henry Hospital being awarded Primary Stroke Center certification in July 2013. The designation comes from The Joint Commission, an independent not-for-profit organization that evaluates healthcare organizations. A team of dedicated clinicians worked together toward Piedmont Henry’s certification. One was Julie Espinoza, RN, who lost her grandfather to stroke 17 years ago. “I personally witnessed the effects stroke can have on both the patient and the patient’s family, so I knew how important this accreditation was to achieve,” Espinoza says. “I’m proud to honor my grandfather’s memory by improving stroke care and awareness.” Strokes, also referred to as a “brain attack,” occur when a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood supply to the brain. Strokes can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender, or race. “Approximately 80 percent of strokes are preventable with proper treatment when warning signs are observed,” says Richard Stappenback, M.D., lead neurologist for Piedmont Henry’s stroke program. The key to optimal recovery is to recognize the warning signs and act F.A.S.T.:

FA CE : Look for an uneven smile AR M : Check whether one arm is weak SP E E CH : Listen for slurred speech TIM E : Call 911 right away “Outpatient therapy is great because it makes you get up and go somewhere. It helps you in more ways than you think.” ~ Deborah St. Clair “It takes a lot of discipline because I spend about four hours a day working on exercises,” she says. “No one’s standing in line to do it, that’s for sure. But the doctors say you have about a two-year window for recovery after a stroke, and I want to get as much back as I can.” “I’m not ready to sit at home and do nothing,” St. Clair adds. “Every day, I’m getting closer to where I can be. If I don’t get back to 100 percent someday, it won’t be because I didn’t do everything I could or should.” •


“Stroke is a serious illness in our community, and we at Piedmont Henry Hospital are dedicated to improving outcomes and quality of life for our patients by providing the best comprehensive stroke care”. ~ Laura Towater, M.D., Medical Director of the stroke program

For more information on stroke care at Piedmont Henry Hospital, visit us online at

PIEDMONT HENRY HOSPITAL News Piedmont’s Five Hospitals achieve Accreditation as Chest Pain Center

surrounding the goals of their care with compassion and the knowledge that I understand their fears, and they are not alone.”

All five of Piedmont Healthcare’s hospitals, including Piedmont Henry Hospital, earned accreditation as Chest Pain Centers from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction.

Palliative care is not hospice care. Hospice care primarily assists patients and their families with end-of-life treatment plans. Palliative care can take place at any stage of illness, offering patients’ pain relief, control of symptoms including nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and can help patients and their families cope with the stress of chronic illness.

“Time is muscle when it comes to matters of the heart,” said Sidney Kirschner, president and CEO of Piedmont Heart. “The quicker patients are treated, the better the outcome. Our patients can rest assured knowing that regardless of which Piedmont hospital they go to, they’re in the best hands.” To become an accredited Chest Pain Center, all five hospitals were evaluated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care for its ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

New CFO for Piedmont Henry Hospital Sherry Henderson recently joined Piedmont Henry Hospital as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She brings with her 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including most recently, serving as CFO at North Fulton Regional Medical Center in Atlanta. Henderson has a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

For more information or to assess your own risk for a heart attack with a simple quiz, visit

Palliative Care Program now at Piedmont Henry Hospital A new Palliative Care program at Piedmont Henry Hospital focuses on enhancing quality of life for patients and their family by helping to manage symptoms, pain and the stress of serious, chronic or terminal conditions. Piedmont Henry Hospital’s Palliative Care Program is led by Kevin Goodlow, M.D. who is board-certified in both internal medicine and palliative care. Dr. Goodlow consults with patients and families at the request of the patient’s attending physician. He then works with a team which can include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and others to provide the one-on-one care the patient needs. “My goal is to meet these patients and families where they are emotionally, give them a sense of what to expect moving forward, control and alleviate their physical symptoms with medicine,” said Dr. Goodlow. “I help them navigate the decisions

Piedmont Healthcare Foundation Golf Tournament Friday, October 18, 2013 Crystal Lake Golf & Country Club in Hampton, GA Registration and Continental Breakfast at 8 a.m. Putting Green and Driving Range open at 8:30 a.m. Shotgun start/4-man scramble at 10 a.m. Lunch provided Award ceremony following play Register online at If you have any questions contact Karen Killebrew at 404-906-5051 or

Save the Date Garden Party – Saturday, March 29, 2014 at Eagle’s Landing Country Club

Tobacco-free campus Because we care about our community’s health and providing a safe, healing environment for our patients, Piedmont Henry Hospital is a Tobacco-free campus.

Health for Life Fall 2013 | page 14

1133 Eagle's Landing Parkway • Stockbridge, Georgia 30281



PINK events SEPT 28 Meet the REAL MEN


Come out to Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to meet the 2013 Real Men. Pink swag and breast cancer awareness information will be given away at the event.

OCT 5 3rd Annual Save the Udders Day

Celebrate breast cancer survivors with a PINK parade and PINK balloon release at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough at 11 a.m. Pink swag and breast cancer awareness information given away at the event. Admission discounts available. Breast cancer survivors get in free. Visit for more information.

OCT 5 Diva Dash Run

Run/walk benefits Piedmont Henry’s breast cancer awareness efforts. The Run is at 9 a.m. at Southern Belle Farm. Dress in your best diva costume and win a prize. Register in advance at or on race day beginning at 7:45 a.m.

OCT 10 Ladies’ Night Out

Meet this year’s Real Men on the McDonough Square from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at this McDonough Main Street program. Visit participating merchants and drop by the Piedmont Henry table for PINK swag.

OCT 12 Tanger Fit for a Cure 5K 2013

Run/walk benefits Piedmont Henry’s breast cancer awareness efforts. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Run/walk is at 8 a.m. at Tanger Outlets in Locust Grove. A goody bag will be given to the first 350 registrants. Register at or

MAR 29 Garden Party

Custom-made pink Fender Jazz bass guitar to be auctioned off at the 2014 Garden Party. The guitar was designed and painted by Collective Soul band mate Joel Kosche and is signed by all four members of the group. Will Turpin, 2013 Real Men Wear Pink, will play the pink Fender Jazz on stage at a few select dates this fall. Proceeds will benefit breast cancer awareness.

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Health for Life: The Pink Issue  
Health for Life: The Pink Issue  

Check out The Pink Issue of Health for Life by Piedmont Henry Hospital. This issue features The Real Men Wear Pink Breast Cancer Awareness C...