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pathways to winter 2010

An Early Arrival

Kamil’s journey in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Compassion at the Core Our employees going above and beyond

Free Lecture Series Surviving Stroke Allergy and Sinusitis Relief Caring For Your Aging Parents Healthy Pregnancy

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Mission As People of Providence, we reveal God's love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, through our compassionate service.

Core Values Respect

All people have been created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27


Jesus taught and healed with compassion for all. Matthew 4:24


This is what the Lord requires of you: act with justice, love with kindness and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8


Much will be expected of those who are entrusted with much. Luke 12:48


The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. Psalm 24:1

9 An Early Arrival

Kamil’s journey in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

features articles

Pathways 2 Health Pathways 2 Health is a quarterly publication of health articles and a calendar of the classes, lectures, programs and support groups held by Providence Little Company of Mary. For more information or to have Pathways 2 Health mailed to your home, call 1.800.618.6659.

Editorial Staff

2 Compassion 5 Staying Strong at the Core Going above and beyond

Young woman survives cancer

7 Preventing Diabetes

How you can Striving to care prevent and for our earth control the disease

in every issue 12 ask the doc 13 free community lectures 16 support groups 17 programs 18 prenatal & safety

11 We Mean Green

Diane Bassett Roneale Branning Brenda Goettemoeller Juanita Perea Traci Smith Kathryn Sprague

How to Contact Us Providence Little Company of Mary Marketing & Community Relations 4101 Torrance Boulevard Torrance, CA 90503 1.800.618.6659

Compassion at the Core

At Providence Little Company of Mary our core values include showing compassion and respect for each person, stewardship of resources, standing up for justice, and striving for standards of excellence. Along with our mission, these core values are at the center of what we do. But living our core values is something our employees take to heart as demonstrated in the following three stories. Sometimes, one small act can change a life.

Connecting a Far-away Father to His Child’s Birth

Tina Betancourt and her husband Oscar had been trying for years to have a baby. In September, 2008, she was finally happy to be pregnant and due to give birth to their first child at the end of the year.

She would be delivering her baby at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance and Tina had a special request. While taking a tour of the maternity ward, she asked if it would be possible to electronically link in her husband because he would not be present at the birth. He was in the military and deployed in Afghanistan. The question was passed to one of the medical center’s IT employees, Billy Le. As a soft-spoken father of two children, he understood how important this was and he reassured her that he would do whatever it took to enable her husband to be with her using a webcam. Although the hospital was not equipped for such a request, he offered to bring in his own personal webcam setup from home to enable her husband to be linked in. Billy and Tina stayed in touch over the course of the next few months working out the details with Oscar’s superiors in Afghanistan. The baby

wasn’t due until December 26 but Tina’s water broke unexpectedly on December 22 and had to have an unscheduled Cesarean section. Billy received the unexpected call as Tina was heading into surgery and he jumped into action. After successfully delivering a beautiful, healthy baby girl, Julienne, Billy and his computer were ready for Tina as soon as she was in the recovery room. She and Oscar were able to see and talk with each other in real time through the webcam. “It was a beautiful moment, we were all crying,” remembered Billy. “Oscar was able to see his new daughter in her first hours of life and express his love for her and his wife.” Tina and her baby were able to continue to stay in touch via web cam for four hours a day as they recovered in the hospital. “Knowing that Oscar and I would be able to connect like this made the idea of giving birth without him here a bit easier to bear,” Tina recalled. “I’m so grateful to everyone at the hospital. They were just wonderful to us.”



justice Creating a Bridge for Mother and Daughter

Michette Patterson and her fiancé Amon Sutherland had a large June wedding planned to take place at the Trump National Golf Course. Her mother, Arletha Richards, helped Michette pick out a wedding dress and they were enjoying making all of the happy arrangements. Then, Arletha began experiencing abdominal pain. She saw her physician and began some tests. Liver disease and later diverticulitis were suspected. A home health nurse by profession, Michette helped her mother improve her diet and begin exercising. But by early June the symptoms were worsening and when she began bleeding Michette took her to the emergency department at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance. After learning her mother had been moved to the oncology ward, Michette suggested that they postpone the wedding until August to give her mother more time to recover but Arletha objected. “Michette, I know my body, and I don’t think I can wait that long,” she said. “It’s important to me to see your wedding, to see your happy face on that day. Please, don’t wait.” Stunned and not knowing what to do Michette left the room and


paced up and down the corridor, feeling an urge to tell someone—anyone—what was going on. She finally just turned and knocked on the first door that was in front of her. That door happened to be the office of Monica Gordon, our manager of service excellence. “As she shared the details of her situation with me, I knew that we had to figure out a way to have this wedding—not only for Michette and Amon, but also for Arletha. We really strive to treat the whole person here, not just their physical challenges. This was a clear calling for us. It seemed like the most compassionate thing to do.” Working quickly, Michette cancelled the big wedding and notified all the guests. Monica enlisted the help of Chaplain Hillary Wright to work with the couple on the ceremony and serve as photographer. “We don’t normally do weddings in the chapel,” Chaplain Wright explained. “But these were clearly extenuating circumstances. It was really an honor to be part of this and help make it special and happy for them even in the midst of their crisis.” Three hours before the ceremony was to begin, Arletha’s diagnosis was confirmed and was shared with Michette—her mother had cancerous tumors on the liver. It was hard news to hear. The group had hoped that Arletha could be in the ceremony with the help of a wheelchair, but it became clear that she was too ill to leave her bed at all. Again, the team jumped into action. They took advantage of the hospital’s internal TV channel and filmed the ceremony in the chapel so Arletha was able to watch the entire happy event live, from the comfort of her bed. “I instantly felt like I’d known these people my whole life,” said Michette of the team that rallied to help with the wedding. “It’s amazing how it all came together. They made it really special and we’re very grateful.”

respect Physical Therapy Assistant Jennifer Cowan and Occupational Therapist Scott De Angelis had worked together on many patients in the rehabilitation center at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro. But when one patient came in for treatment they saw something that worried them.

Helping a Man to Remain Independent

Tom (whose name has been changed for privacy) is a man who is quadriplegic and lives alone. His independence is very important to him, but living alone is very difficult. Jennifer and Scott noticed that his wheelchair was very dirty but became most concerned when they saw dead cockroaches fall out of the chair. The idea of discharging him to live alone in filthy conditions concerned them greatly and they spoke about it with Tom gently. “The idea of having to go to an institution was his greatest fear,” Jennifer recalls. “He said he’d rather live with cockroaches than go to a nursing home.” Jennifer and Scott looked at each other and asked Tom if he’d allow them to come to his home to help clean up. He gratefully agreed. Tom’s discharge was arranged and on their own time Jennifer and Scott brought all of the cleaning supplies they could find to Tom’s home. They spent an entire day cleaning from top to bottom—the bed, the living room, inside cabinets, everywhere. Next, they helped him clear out piles of clutter, shred old bills, and remove mounds of recycling from the back deck.

You Have the Power to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life Today! What can you do? Even a small act can make the difference. Here are just a few examples:  Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine or a payphone.  Treat someone to a cup of their favorite coffee.  Deliver fresh-baked cookies to your neighbors, or city workers.  Offer a couple of hours of babysitting to parents.  Donate blood.  Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby.  Write something nice about your server on the back of the bill.  Buy books for a day care or school.  Roll a neighbor’s garbage cans back up the driveway at the end of trash pick-up day.  Call your mom and/or dad just to say Hello.  Stop by your local animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs.

“Protecting his independence seemed like the most compassionate thing to do, so we did what we could to make his home clean and safe for him,” Scott explains. “Our social worker offered her services and we gave him a healing environment to come home to.”


Staying Strong A young mother’s fight again


an Pedro resident Keva Giddings was 32-years-old and breastfeeding her 8-month-old son when she first felt the lump in her breast. “I really thought it was a clogged milk duct,” Keva said. “But it was large enough that I thought I should get it checked out.” Her OB/GYN thought it might be an infection as well, but ordered an ultrasound just to be sure. Since she was lactating, it was hard to get a definitive image, so Keva was referred to San Pedro cancer surgeon Moshe Faynsod, MD, FACS, for follow up. “Dr. Faynsod told me I needed to stop breastfeeding, but I felt like my son wasn’t ready,” Keva said. Three weeks later, after pumping all the milk out, she went back to his office where he told her they needed to do a biopsy and that she was done breastfeeding. “Then, I started to get a little concerned,” she said. For Dr. Faynsod, telling Keva to stop


st breast cancer

breastfeeding was difficult. As a father of an infant himself, he observed the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby in his own family. As a physician, he knew that she needed to stop. “In lactating women, it is exceptionally hard to get a good image of the breast with either mammography or ultrasound,” Dr. Faynsod said. “A biopsy on an engorged breast presents its own unique problems.” Three weeks after that visit, her son was weaned and Keva had the biopsy. Four days later, on December 8, 2008, she was diagnosed with Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma—the most common type of breast cancer—affecting 65 to 85 percent of women diagnosed. The unusual thing about Keva’s diagnosis was her age. “Breast cancer is rare in young premenopausal women,” Dr. Faynsod said. “Unfortunately we are seeing more cases in younger women for reasons we don’t yet understand. We do know that young women tend to think cancer

affects older people, so they are not getting comprehensive breast exams from their physicians. This is critical and, really, the only tool we have for detecting these types of cancer in young women before it has spread to other parts of the body.” With the holidays approaching and a demanding ten-month old at home, Keva spent the first week after her diagnosis undergoing a battery of tests, including a bone scan, MRI, PET scan and blood tests. “I learned from those tests that the cancer had not spread,” Keva said. “That was great news. My blood tests also came back negative, meaning I did not carry the ‘breast cancer genes.’ I was relieved about that. But I was still facing some tough times ahead.” On January 8, 2009, Keva underwent a lumpectomy and an axillary node dissection, which detected two lymph nodes positive for cancer cells. Three weeks later, she began 20 weeks of chemotherapy.

“My husband took eight weeks off of work to help me,” Keva said. “I remember after my first treatment, I felt sick, my son happened to be sick, too, and I remember lying there with him in bed thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’” By Valentine’s Day, Keva had lost almost all her hair. Keva began radiation treatments May 18 then completed her chemotherapy on May 26. After 33 radiation treatments, she finished July 1. Keva still had more to do. “I’ve been going to occupational therapy,” she said. “The scar tissue from the surgery makes my arm tight and I have some pain that radiates down. Brenna and I have been working on keeping it flexible and strong.” Brenna Quinn, MPH, OTR/L, CLT, is Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro’s Cancer Services Coordinator, as well as a licensed occupational therapist specializing in breast cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema treatment. Her job is to see that breast cancer patients get comprehensive care that can help make them feel whole again.

All in all, her outlook is amazingly positive—one of the attributes that has helped her through this most difficult time. “Would I have found the

“It’s essential for women like lump if I wasn’t breastfeeding,” Keva I was determined not to Keva to begin rehabilitation as asked. “Would we have caught it in soon as their physician feels they let my son pick up on any time? I don’t know. It was certainly are able because learning to move but it was the hand I was negativity. I tried to hold difficult, and exercise correctly is very dealt. So I tried to hold my head up important,” Quinn said. “Most and keep a positive attitude. Sure, my head up and keep a women are anxious to return there were days when I woke up positive attitude. to their normal routines right crying, but you get through it and you away, but some activities may become a stronger person.” be considered too strenuous— Keva also hopes she can be an example for other young both during and after cancer treatment. What they need to women who may find themselves in a situation like hers. do is work with someone who has the background and “I would tell other women going through this to stay training to correct as positive as possible,” she said. Keep moving forward. It mobility and postural doesn’t do any good to look back and think ‘what if?’ Just difficulties so they keep your perspective. And for other women, keep in mind can regain confidence, that once a year exams from a doctor are not enough. Breast strength and function self exams are imperative, since most women are not usually gradually. Keva is scheduled for a mammogram until they are 40. If you feel making terrific progress.” something that’s not quite right, get it checked out. It could be a lifesaver.” In August, she went for her first follow Dr. Faynsod offers more advice. “Young women also need up since completing to lose that false sense of security,” he said. “Know your her treatments. “My family history and get yearly comprehensive breast exams doctors say I am from someone who does them all the time. I can’t stress cancer-free,” Keva said. enough the importance of breast self exams. Take the time, “When I left the office, be informed and be your own best advocate. We might not I felt such a sense of be able to prevent cancer, but the earlier we can detect it, relief. It was very the better our chances of curing—and not just treating—the emotional for me.” disease.”


s e t e b a Di

How You Can Prevent and Control the Disease


n the last two years alone the deadly disease of Diabetes has afflicted more than three million new people in the United States, affecting an estimated total of 24 million people. Another estimated 57 million are pre-diabetic. Diabetes is a disease associated with high levels of blood sugar resulting from defects in insulin production and utilization. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country and can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and the amputation of feet and legs. 7

“The increase in these cases can most often be attributed to a staggering increase in Type II Diabetes,” explains Endocrinologist Olga Calof, MD. “We’re seeing it in children now too and it’s a result of our mainstream lifestyle of processed food and a lack of activity. It’s a quiet epidemic but we must wake up to it.” Dr. Calof sees the urgency of the disease but she is also known as a cheerleader for her patients and for the members of her free monthly forum on Diabetes. “Big changes are necessary but I applaud even the small changes people make because that’s how people get started. They gain momentum with small changes and later realize that they can handle the bigger changes as well.” Her monthly education forum features speakers on different topics related to Diabetes and also gives attendees an hour of access to Dr. Calof to ask questions. In addition to the monthly forum there are free Diabetes support groups held at our hospitals in San Pedro and Torrance. Xavier Fendt was diagnosed in 2006 as being pre-diabetic through a blood

glucose test during an annual physical and he now attends the Diabetes support group in San Pedro. “I was put on medication to help control my blood sugar but I really didn’t know what else to do about it,” the 73-year-old recalls. He made changes to his diet, and found his way into a water aerobics class but without a support group he had to educate himself. “I wanted to connect with other people who were also trying to make the changes I needed to make and I lit up when I read about the Diabetes support group in Pathways 2 Health. Now I attend regularly and I’m always learning something from the other members in the group. It’s very valuable.” Torrance support group member Pat Slater explains her initial diagnosis. “I have some family history of Diabetes and 11 years ago I specifically asked my doctor to test me for it. I did have Type II Diabetes but my numbers were not really bad yet.” Her doctor referred Pat to an education program which helped get her on the road to controlling the disease with very careful attention to diet and exercise. “I don’t have to take insulin and I test my blood about six times a day,” she says. “The support group is very important to me because I’ve learned so much. For example, I’ve learned how to really

wanted to connect with other “ Ipeople who were also trying to make the changes I needed to make and I lit up when I read about the Diabetes support group in Pathways to Health. Now I attend regularly and I’m always learning something from the other members in the group. It’s very valuable.

understand the impact of certain carbohydrates on my blood sugar. In the group, even if we talk about something I’ve heard before, it helps to hear it again because each time I understand it more or hear something differently.” Cauleen Svanda, RN, MSN, CDE manages the support group in San Pedro and describes how the free groups are an informal way to ask questions, learn and listen from others who are dealing with the same issues. “They’re especially great if you don’t have a lot of family support and need encouragement to maintain the changes needed to care for yourself.” Torrance support group leader Derlyn Hudson, RN, MSN, CDE, adds, “We continually cover the seven basic topics of healthy eating, being active, monitoring glucose levels, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks, and healthy coping. But in addition to that, the shared experiences among the group are equally valuable.” Along with the support groups, each hospital has a Diabetes management education program available through physician referral. Patients meet individually with a diabetes nurse educator and a registered dietician, covering topics such as what Diabetes is, how to monitor blood glucose, glucose goals, and the basics around nutrition and Diabetes. More information on our Diabetes programs can be found on page 17.

Heading for Diabetes? If you meet three of the following five criteria below, you have Metabolic Syndrome—a series of disorders that has been strongly linked to the development of Diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic Syndrome is caused by three factors: poor diet and subsequent overweight/obesity, a lack of adequate physical activity, and in some cases by genetics. The vast majority of people who have Metabolic Syndrome have the ability to reverse it with proper diet and exercise if they take action before it becomes life threatening. 1. Abdominal obesity (a waist circumference in men >40 inches and in women >35 inches) 2. Serum triglycerides of >150 mg/dL, or being on drug treatment for elevated triglycerides 3. Serum HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL in men and <50 mg/dL in women, or being on drug treatment for low HDL cholesterol 4. Blood pressure >130/85 mmHG, or being on drug treatment for elevated blood pressure 5. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) >100 mg/ dL, or being on drug treatment for elevated blood glucose


An Early

Arrival Premature babies receive compassionate and technologically advanced care in Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


yisha Millsap was looking forward to the birth of her baby in July 2008. So when the Air Force Staff Sergeant’s water broke in March at 23 weeks gestation—nearly 17 weeks early—her life turned upside down. “I had come home and was getting ready to go out to the movies,” Myisha said. “The next thing I knew, my water broke. I panicked. I went to the hospital and they put me on complete bed rest. I ended up giving birth to my daughter Kamil two weeks later. She was born at 25 weeks and


she weighed only one pound and 10 ounces.” As it turns out, the extra two weeks that Kamil was able to stay safely in the womb to develop probably meant the difference between her surviving or not. Jon Yamamoto, MD, Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance explained why those weeks are so critical.

“At that age, babies are at the steepest part of the survival curve,” Dr. Yamamoto said. “When you consider that a baby born at 21 or 22 weeks has between a one and five percent chance of survival and a baby born at 27 weeks has an 80 to 90 percent chance of survival, you can grasp the magnitude of that five or six week period of time. Every day we can give that baby to develop in utero, the better its chances of surviving and thriving.” For babies like Kamil, their first home is the NICU—a place where

premature infants receive round-theclock care and attention to their very specific needs. “Kamil went directly into the NICU and stayed there for three-and-a-half months,” Myisha said. “Except for a few minutes when I was discharged, I didn’t get to hold her for two months. I was there every single day and I think I cried every single day of those two months.” The first problem Kamil faced was with oxygen intake. “For the first three weeks she was really up and down with her ability to get enough oxygen,” Myisha said. “Her lungs weren’t fully developed and it was hard for her to breathe on her own.” Another problem Kamil experienced, as do many infants born this prematurely, was that one of the blood vessels leading to her heart didn’t fully close. Often this condition is treated with medication, but the younger the baby’s gestational age, the less likely the medication is to work. “We tried three courses of the medication and each time the vessel would close and then reopen,” Myisha said. “She needed to have an operation to close it off for good.” Kamil underwent a surgery called ligation of the ductus arteriosus. “This is the blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the aorta,” Dr. Yamamoto said. “All babies are born with the vessel open. In full term babies, the vessel closes off easily all by itself. However, the more premature the baby is the more difficult it is to close. Sometimes we can close it using medication, but often we have to surgically close it off by either clamping or suturing the vessel.” “It was heartbreaking to see this tiny baby—my tiny baby—having to go through all these procedures,” Myisha

said. “But I knew Kamil was in the best possible hands and everyone in the NICU helped me through these really difficult times. I was so grateful to have such wonderful people caring for my daughter—and me.” Kamil left the NICU in July, the same month that should have been her birthday. Today, she is a vibrant, happy toddler who is walking and talking right on schedule. Not all infants born this prematurely are as lucky. Since Kamil’s birth last year, she and her family moved to Oklahoma when the Air Force transferred Myisha there. On a recent trip back to California, however, Myisha stopped by the NICU to visit and talk with another family whose baby was also born at 25 weeks. The family was relieved to hear Myisha and Kamil’s success story. And Myisha was happy to share her experience, since she knows exactly what this family is going through.

opening the first NICU in Los Angeles to offer private rooms for the babies.” Recent studies have shown that premature babies do better and grow faster when they have their own space. The private rooms in our new NICU will provide a home-like environment where families can bond with their babies, day and night, to promote health and growth. For Kamil and her family, their story has a happy ending. With the new state-of-the-art NICU at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, we’ll help ensure that many more premature babies and their families will have happy endings of their own. For more information about partnering with Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation in support of the NICU, please contact Steven Wallace at 310.303.5340.

“It is certainly my pleasure to help out another family in the same place I was at not so long ago,” she said. “I know there is no better place for their baby than here.” Myisha isn’t the only one helping. Through the help of philanthropy, families will soon benefit from a brand new single family room NICU – the first of its kind in Los Angeles. “The most meaningful definition of philanthropy for me is ‘friend of people.’ What better friendship can you offer than giving to our community medical center?” said Chris W. Caras, Providence Little Company of Mary benefactor and trustee alumnus. “It is quite an accomplishment to be 10


A little more than 10 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that health care waste was responsible for 10 percent of mercury air emissions. It named medical waste incinerators as a leading producer of airborne carcinogenic dioxins. The EPA also said that health care facilities generate 2 million tons of waste per year, and account for 11 percent of all commercial energy use. So what can WE do about it? From little things to big things, we’re doing a lot! For the third year in a row, our medical center in San Pedro has been recognized with the EPA’s Energy Star Award—one of only seven hospitals in the state to receive the distinction. This means our facility is in the top 25% for energy efficiency in the nation. Energy Star buildings use approximately 35% less energy than average buildings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving money, and protecting the environment. “It’s especially difficult for hospitals to conserve energy because they use large

powerful motors to provide intense levels of air filtration and circulation,” said Andy Goldschmidt, the director of Facility and Support Services at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro. “An average large

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance are taking up green practices, managing to lower energy bills, and reducing waste. office building probably filters the air you breathe to a level of 50%. We filter it to 95% and up to 99% for sterile environments.” At both of our medical centers, fluorescent lighting has been retrofitted to more energy efficient “green” lighting.

Outside of the hospital walls, much of our landscaping includes scrubs and trees that are more drought resistant native plants. This has dramatically reduced irrigation demands. “We’re committed to using resources wisely, as stewardship is one of our Core Values. We strive to care wisely for our people, our resources and our earth,” said Nancy Carlson, Chief Executive of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro. “Our team has devoted several years to improve our energy conservation and to seek ways to provide care while reducing negative impact to the finite resources we all must share.”

How Some of Our Recycling Efforts Help  Several tons of plastics are diverted from our public landfills each year by recycling plastic materials such as instrument wrappings, supply wrappings and IV bottles. 11

 Recycling more than 250 tons of paper and cardboard has also saved about 22,000 cubic yards of landfill space and saved more than 3,000 trees.

 Recycled and/or reused medical instruments divert more than three tons of medical waste and sharps annually from our landfills.  Nearly 5,000 pounds of

batteries are recycled each year.  Recycle bins for beverage bottles and cans reduces waste by more than 3,000 pounds each year.

ask the doc

Help me deal with hot flashes! Are there any natural or lifestyle treatments for my hot flashes?

Yes, there are. Eighty-five percent of the women in the US experience hot flashes of some kind as they approach menopause (and for the first year or two after their periods stop). Hot flashes are usually caused by a change in hormone levels which in effect confuses the hypothalamus (the part of the brain responsible for controlling your appetite, sleep cycles, sex hormones, and body temperature). Hot flashes can be severely uncomfortable and disruptive. They are treated with a variety of natural methods and if those are not successful some pharmaceutical treatments are available if absolutely necessary. A recent study showed that the herb red clover reduced women’s hot flashes by 57%, and the herb black cohosh reduced them by 34%. Prempro, a pharmaceutical hormone replacement drug, reduced them by 94% but was also shown to have a negative impact on memory. Black cohosh and red clover had no negative impact on memory, nor on liver enzymes, lipid profiles or measures of breast and endometrial safety. It’s best to try the natural remedies first. Researchers have identified a number of hot flash triggers, and learning to identify and avoid your own triggers is a useful management technique. Keeping a journal is helpful for this purpose. Common triggers include hot, spicy food, warm beverages, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, tobacco, hot tubs and saunas, and being in a warm room. Stress (which increases the hormone cortisol) is also believed to be a trigger. Dr. Herbert Benson has shown in his studies that relaxationbased techniques help cool hot flashes in 90 percent of women without any hormonal therapy at all. This implies a learned ability to interrupt the hormonallytriggered internal chain of events that create hot flashes. There are even more ways to optimize your diet and other aspects of your lifestyle to best manage your hot flashes, so talk to your gynecologist for more information. answered by David Speiser, MD, OB/GYN

Is what I have a “bunion”?

My big toe hurts, could it be a bunion? A bunion (or “hallux valgus”) is a deformity of the big toe causing a bump near the base of the big toe and can eventually develop arthritis in the big toe joint. It can also alter the normal weight distribution of the forefoot during standing and walking, creating problems in the other toes as well. Surgery for a painful bunion should only be considered if nonsurgical treatment has failed because a bunion is not a simple problem with a simple surgical cure. There is no “quick fix.” If you are considering bunion surgery, have a thorough discussion with your surgeon to understand the details about your bunion and what the surgery will involve. With that being said, if planned for and executed properly, surgery for a painful bunion has a high success rate. The basic concept is to correct the deformity through balancing the soft tissues around the big toe joint and realigning the bones involved. The soft tissue is balanced by loosening tight tissue and tightening loose tissue around the big toe joint. A bony procedure is also performed which involves either an osteotomy (cutting and shifting the bone) or an arthrodesis (attaching the two bones of a joint together). The bones are usually secured with screws that do not have to be removed. After the surgery the foot is placed into a dressing or splint. Stitches are removed at around ten days. The amount of weight you can put on the foot depends on the procedure performed but can range from walking on the heel or side of your foot for several weeks in a postop shoe to putting no weight on the foot for six weeks. The total recovery time is usually around six to twelve weeks.

answered by Kenneth Park, MD, Foot and Ankle Surgeon


free lectures

Avoiding and Surviving Stroke

Stop Suffering from Allergies

Did you know that 80% of strokes can be prevented? A stroke can happen at any age and is the number one cause of disability. Join us to learn about stroke risk factors and prevention, and different types of stroke, as well as treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. We will discuss what to do if you are experiencing stroke symptoms, what happens after arriving in the emergency room, treatments and intervention to reduce brain damage, and how to improve quality of life after stroke.

Are you frustrated with sneezing, stuffy nose or sinus pressure every time the wind blows a different direction? Suffering from allergies and sinusitis may be common but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Mold, dust mites, or pollens are a few common causes of allergies. Sinus and allergy problems can compromise quality of life and lead to trouble sleeping and breathing. All allergies, if severe, should be treated. Join us to learn about what causes allergies and sinusitis, the latest medications including drops under the tongue (that can be used instead of shots), and treatment technologies such as balloon sinuplasty—a minimally invasive way to treat persistent sinus infections. Get the real story about surgery.

Moderator: • Carvella Matlock-Brown, RN, BSN, MBA, Stroke Coordinator

Speakers: • William Conrad, MD, Emergency Medicine • Laura Jong, MD, Neurologist • John Jordan, MD, Radiologist When: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education 4101 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance


Speaker: • Steven E. Davis, MD, Otolaryngologist When: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education 4101 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance

Reservations requested: please call 1.800.618.6659

free lectures

Caring for Your Aging Parents

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

As our parents get older, we often find ourselves becoming increasingly involved in their health care. It can be a stressful and confusing time for you and your parents as you begin helping them manage doctor visits, prescriptions, medical procedures and issues about their driving and at home safety. This lecture will offer resources and discuss how to handle emotional and safety issues such as home fall risk, memory loss and dementia, depression, grief, and alcohol and/or medication dependency. You will also learn how small nutrition and exercise changes can help your loved one to improve their physical abilities and quality of life.

Conceiving a child can sometimes be difficult, even for couples where conditions are just right. If you have just begun trying to get pregnant or have had pregnancyrelated problems in the past, this lecture is for you. Our discussion will include everything from the importance of prenatal vitamins, weight control and proper nutrition to high-risk pregnancy conditions, pre-term delivery risk assessment, and the optimal route of delivery when the big day approaches.

Moderator: • Crescenzo Pisano, MD, Internal Medicine, Certified Addictionologist

Speakers: • Diane Blagojevich, RPT, Physical Therapist, Home Health • James Brust, MD, Medical Director, Bridges • Phyliss Flannigan, RD, Manager, Clinical Nutrition Services • Daniel Sherman, PhD, Psychologist When: Thursday, March 18, 2010 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro DeMucci Center for Health Education 1300 W. Seventh Street, San Pedro

Moderator: • Mary Black-Williams, APRN, FNP-BC, Director, Women’s and Children’s Health

Speakers: • Alexandra Bujor, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology • Becky Gerl, RD, CDE, Diabetes Educator • Scott Naylor, MD, Perinatologist When: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education 4101 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance

Reservations requested: please call 1.800.618.6659


Congratulations to Lalitha Ramanna, MD,

Best Doctors in America


Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance is proud to be the official medical sponsor of the 2010

Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K and 5K run/walk Saturday and Sunday, February 6 and 7, 2010 Mobile Blood Drive (Saturday & Sunday)

Ask the Doc Booth (Saturday)

Medical Services Tent (Sunday)

who has been named one of the Best Doctors in America® for 2009-2010. Only those doctors recognized to be in the top 3-5% of their specialty earn the honor of being named one of the Best Doctors in America®. Dr. Ramanna is a Nuclear Medicine Physician and we are proud to have her on staff at Providence Little Company Medical Center Torrance. Her focus is dedicated to nuclear medicine and PET imaging and it’s unique in the South Bay to have someone of her caliber available to read and interpret patients’ nuclear images. Over the last 15 years, Best Doctors has earned worldwide acclaim for its remarkable database of physicians. The Best Doctors methodology is rigorously impartial and strictly independent. Doctors cannot pay to be included in the database and are not paid to complete the survey. The only way to be recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America® is for a doctor to earn high marks for clinical ability from his or her peers.

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sunday, april 25


Honda For Our Children Food and Wine Festival

Honda presents the 25th annual Food and Wine Festival benefiting children through Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation and Sandpipers. For more information call 1.310.303.5340.

Blood is the

Gift of Life The Facts:

• Every three seconds someone needs blood • More than 10 tests, nine of which are for infectious diseases, are performed on each unit of donated blood • Volunteers provide nearly all of the nations’s blood supply for transfusion • Much of today’s medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors • Blood donations made at Providence Little Company of Mary medical centers and at our blood drives STAY in our community • You can donate blood every 56 days 15

Who can donate blood? • Donors must be in good health • Donors must be at least 17 years old • Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds

Donate today!

Torrance: 1.310.543.5843 San Pedro: 1.310.514.5229 Blood Drives: 1.310.824.3071

support groups Support groups Children & Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD) Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Info:


Grief Support Group

12-Step Meetings Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Peninsula Recovery Center – San Pedro 1386 West 7th Street, Bldg. A, San Pedro Info:



When: Tuesdays (Men’s Meeting) 7 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays (Women’s Meeting) 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Alcoholics Anonymous

When: Saturdays (Open Meeting) 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. Saturdays (Open Speaker Meeting) 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Cocaine Anonymous

When: Fridays 8 – 9:30 p.m.

Narcotics Anonymous

When: Sundays 5:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Overeaters Anonymous

When: Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


When: Saturdays 10 – 11:15 a.m.

Mental Health Bridges Psychiatric Outpatient Day Program

This program offers psychiatry, group therapy and socialization. Assessments for the program are free of charge, and transportation and lunch services are provided. The therapy covers a wide range of topics from depression and anxiety to coping skills and healthy relationships. Medicare and most private insurances are accepted. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro When:

Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Partial Program) Monday – Friday 9:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Steve Gerstung at 1.310.241.4325

Adult bereavement groups are available for individuals who have lost a child, spouse, or parent. Support groups are also offered for children and teens. Where: The Gathering Place at Beach Cities Health Center 514 North Prospect Avenue, Redondo Beach Info:

Claire Towle or Stephanie LaFranchi, 1.310.374.6323 or visit

Osteoporosis Support Group Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Info:

Carol Harrison, volunteer facilitator, 1.310.329.9313

Pre-Operative Classes for Joint Replacement Surgery

This class is designed to help patients prepare for and recover from joint replacement surgery. The program includes everything from instructions for the night before surgery to how to prepare your home for recovery. Reservations required. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Surgical Ortho Conference Room (First Floor) When: Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Info:


Rehabcentre Community Stroke Group

A free support group for family members, caregivers and patients who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury or degenerative neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro 3 Central Acute Rehab When: First Wednesday of each month (except holidays) 6:30 – 7:30p.m. Info:

Dr. Melanie Ropelato, 1.310.832.3311, ext. 6954

Survivors After Suicide Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education Info:

1.310.895.2326 16

heart and lung Programs Better Breathers’ Club

Monthly meetings with guest speakers on topics of interest to people with respiratory difficulties. Free to the community.

Diabetes Programs Diabetes Management

Speak one-on-one with a diabetes nurse educator and a registered dietitian to learn how to better manage your diabetes. Family members are welcome. A doctor’s referral is needed to schedule an appointment. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro DeMucci Center for Health Education Info:



Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education



Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Support Group Join Dr. Olga Calof, MD, Board Certified Endocrinologist, at a free open forum for anyone with a family history of diabetes, gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and other risk factors which may pre-dispose someone to diabetes. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro DeMucci Center for Health Education When: Fourth Thursday of each month; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Info:

Cauleen Svanda, RN,MSN, CDE, 1.310.241.4065

Diabetic Support Group

A bi-monthly informational meeting for anyone who has questions related to diabetes. Free to the community. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro Four West Conference Room

When: Third Wednesday of each month; 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Info:

1.310.832.3311, ext. 6268

Cardiac Support Group

For cardiac patients, family and friends to meet and provide mutual support and discuss concerns and problems. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Outpatient Center 514 North Prospect Avenue, Redondo Beach When: First Monday of each month; 5 – 6:30 p.m. Info: Yvonne Hashimoto, RN, 1.310.303.7070

Lively Lungs

This exercise program is open only to people with lung problems. Our fitness program is supervised by a registered nurse. Our upbeat group uses stationary bikes, light weights, and treadmills to decrease the boredom of exercise. Cost is $40 for 10 sessions. Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro 3-East Cardiopulmonary Gym When: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. – noon Info:

1.310.832.3311, ext. 6268

Pulmonary Education Program (PEP)

PEP Pioneers is a nationally certified education program that will teach you about your lung disease and allow you to increase your daily activities and independence. The program includes monthy luncheons with guest speakers on topics of interest to people with COPD and other chronic lung disorders. Our pulmonary rehab program offers a variety of equipment in a large gym setting.

When: First and third Wednesday of each month 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Outpatient Center 514 North Prospect Avenue, Redondo Beach



Cauleen Svanda, RN,MSN, CDE, 1.310.241.4065

Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Del Webb Center for Health Education When: Second and fourth Wednesday of each month; 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Info: 17

Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro DeMucci Center for Health Education



pre-natal education

safety classes

Reservations Required for All Classes. Call 1.800.618.6659 Where: All Classes (except Maternity Tour - San Pedro) take place at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance

Baby Care Basics Fee:

$30 per couple

When: Second & third Monday monthly; 7 – 9 p.m.

Breastfeeding Class Fee:

$35 per couple (includes breastfeeding book)

Infant/Child CPR See Family and Friends CPR listing under Safety Classes

The Happiest Baby on the Block™

In this class (developed by Dr.Harvey Karp), new parents will learn how to help their baby sleep better and how to soothe even the fussiest baby in minutes. Fee:

Cost is $50 per couple (includes DVD and Soothing Sounds CD)

Labor Epidural & Neonatal Care Fee:

No cost

Maternity Tour - Torrance

BLS Healthcare Provider

This course is designed for the healthcare provider to learn the skills of CPR for infant, child and adult victims. Participants will receive an American Heart Association certification card good for two years. Fee:

Course cost is $50.

When: Saturday, January 23, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

CPR — Heartsaver AED

This program, designed for lay rescuers needing a CPR certification, teaches CPR, the use of an AED, and relief of foreign-body airway obstruction in infant, child and adult victims. Participants will be tested on their skills and receive an American Heart Association certification card good for two years. Fee:

Course cost is $40.


Saturday, January 9, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 20, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 17, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Family and Friends (Infant/Child CPR)

Maternity Tour - San Pedro

This course teaches lay rescuers the skills of CPR for infant victims (birth-1 yr.) and child victims (1-8 yrs.). You will also learn procedures for clearing an obstructed airway. There will be plenty of time to practice skills on manikins. Participants will not receive a certification card.



Course cost is $25.


Thursday, January 7, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday, January 25, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday, February 6, 2010; 9 a.m. – noon Monday, February 22, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 25, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday, April 10, 2010; 9 a.m. – noon Tuesday, April 27, 2010; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


No cost

No cost

When: First Sunday of each month; 5 p.m. Reservations: 1.310.514.5214

Preparation for Childbirth Fee: $100 per couple (includes childbirth preparation book)


Designed for youths age 12 - 14, this course includes: planning for a babysitting job, knowing what to expect from children of all ages, selecting toys and games, preventing accidents, and the special care involved with taking care of infants. Participants receive a completion card. Fee:

Course cost is $30.


Thursday, January 14 and 21; 3:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 11 and 18; 3:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 11 and 18; 3:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 8 and 15; 3:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 18

Providence Little Company of Mary Coporate Offices 20555 Earl Street Torrance, CA 90503


Continuing Our Mission for Good Health In 1956, Cardinal McIntyre invited the Sisters of Little Company of Mary to build a hospital in Torrance. Little Company of Mary Hospital was dedicated in January, 1960, marking the beginning of the journey to provide care and healing to the sick in the South Bay. Decades later in 1992, Little Company of Mary joined with San Pedro Peninsula Hospital, and then in 1999, entered into co-sponsorship with the Sisters of Providence. Today, the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers San Pedro and Torrance, and Medical Institute, along with all of our affiliates stand poised to provide care far into the 21st century.

The Sisters of Little Company of Mary proudly celebrate

for the sick and vulnerable in the South Bay since 1960.

Pathways to Health  

Providence Little Company of Mary's winter 2010 issue. For your health.