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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 3

Nurse of the Year

The nominations are in. Turn in for a slice of Northern Colorado’s exceptional nursing community.

Page 12


Nurses serving in nontraditional roles

Page 15

Health in a Handbasket

Jade horses around — what a shocker Page 5

also inside: Health shorts ................................................ pg. 4 Destination: Healthy with Amanda Wicker ... pg. 4 How old is too old for six pack abs............... pg. 6 Uncommon Sense with Dr. Firestein .......... pg. 11 McKee honors nurses ................................ pg. 17 Free weight loss info ................................... pg. 19 The Healthy Plate ........................................ pg. 20 Crandoodles by Steve Crandall .................. pg. 21 Loveland health calendar ........................... pg. 22 Ask a Health Pro ......................................... pg. 24 Loveland health briefs ................................ pg. 24

Donations Accepted

Rhema Muncy explores local organ donors Page 8

Health Line of Northern Colorado is a monthly publication produced by the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald. The information provided in this publication is intended for personal, non-commercial, informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement with respect to any company, product, procedure or activity. You should seek the advice of a professional regarding your particular situation.

For advertising information, contact: Linda Story — 635-3614

For editorial information, contact:

Jade Cody: 635-3656


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


Health shorts

Horsing Around Kathleen Hom The Washington Post


he Humana Foundation came to Capitol Hill this month to launch the American Horsepower Challenge, a game that seeks to motivate students by means of virtual competition. It works like this: Students get small pedometers to wear on their shoes. Each pedometer records the number of steps taken and wirelessly transmits the data to a receiv-

Help your autistic tween Lindsay Minnema The Washington Post


rowing up is hard for everyone. But autistic tweens have unique challenges. The Autism Partnership offers tips for helping autistic tweens through adolescence: • Embrace your child’s strengths and praise him whenever possible. • Encourage your child’s meaningful friendships, which enrich his life. • Help him to develop his independence. • Play the role of a positive motivator, and help your child set goals. For more, visit www.autismpartnership. com.

er at the school; the information is then sent to a Web site,, where kids can track their own steps and the collective steps of their classmates. It’s like a horse race, with the kids as the horses: Each participant gets an avatar, or online character, to personalize and to race. Competing classrooms are represented as school buses racing around the world, and the Web site delivers history and geography lessons along with the step count.

Curb your drinking Meredith Bowen The Washington Post


he National Institutes of Health launched its “Rethinking Drinking” program, which pairs a free, 16-page booklet with an interactive Web site. The program emphasizes identifying and assessing drinking habits and provides suggestions for how to cut back. It leads readers through a series of tips for cutting back, regardless of which drinking category they fall into. The program lists common triggers for excess drinking, as well as reasons to control drinking, while leaving a space for users to add their concerns, such as feeling left out if they don’t have a drink. On printouts, users can check tactics that resonate for them and add their own approaches. The booklet includes index cards to keep track of daily drinking for four weeks: On one side is a calendar; on the other, a spot to note the situation and the consequences. While some of the suggestions seem time-consuming, the site emphasizes the importance of self-evaluation and responsibility. Even if you fall into the high-risk category, there are plenty of simple ways to help you cut back, with or without professional help.

HL Destination: Healthy Life happens, so make a plan Amanda Wicker Destination: Healthy


fits into your lifestyle and is balanced. The truth is that life is not perfect, so to expect perfection of ourselves and our healthy choices is unrealistic. This is not an excuse to stop or never start to make healthy choices, but it is important to realize it is part of the journey.

had someone tell me once that they were not starting their diet until two months later because there was too much going on in their life. At first I thought this made sense. The more I thought about it, though, I realized TIPS TO BALANCE LIFE AND HEALTHY EATING: • Have a plan for when things get tough that if I waited to eat healthy until it was per• Have someone to call who knows your fect in life I would be waiting a LONG time. plan and can help you de-stress There are so many situations in life — like illness, a death, surgery or job loss that make it a • Make time for yourself doing a hobby or challenge to be healthy or continue to on a something you love healthy path. • When you make a bad choice, start right Emergency personal will tell you to put ICE back to making better choices (In Case of Emergency) in your cell phone • Take each day at a time with the number of the person you want contacted. I have done Amanda Wicker is a Loveland native the same thing when it comes to and the founder of Destination: being healthy. I have an index Healthy, a free weight loss support card in my purse with a plan I group held at Message of Life have made on it of what to do if Ministries on the first and third a situation comes up that may Tuesdays of every month. Amanda has make me want to stray from my lost a total of 130 pounds using diet healthy eating. This reminder and exercise. She can be reached at helps me stay on track in the hard times because I already have a plan. This is also why it is Destination: Healthy so important to pick a plan that

Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 5


Health in a Handbasket

On my mark One man’s mission to beat a super mom with giant calves

or as I like to call it, the longest distance ever to be traveled by foot. Truth is I’m not too big on distance running — I even used to take taxis to chase girls in elementary school. Going into the race, I wasn’t exactly positive I could make it three miles. When I work out at the gym, I usually Jade Cody run one mile on the treadmill as fast as I Special Sections Editor can. My average time is about 7:20, though I have broken the seven minute pproaching the top of a mounmark once or twice, followed by a physitainous molehill in downtown cal collapse, wheezing noises and a Denver, my lungs pumping in the grumpy face. cool, damp morning air, I saw the sign. My one-mile time basically reflects Mile one. what I ate (and, lets be honest here, I was a third of the way in my first 5K drank) the following evening. If I had race — The Home Run for the Homeless pizza and two beers, which is currently in Denver. the most popular menu item at my “That can’t be right,” I gasped to myhouse, my time suffers ... to the point self, as a tear of pain and anguish rolled that I usually just don’t go to the gym. down my mental cheek. “I thought I was So on the morning of the race, watchalmost done with this bugger.” ing in wonder as super-calf mom By the way, it’s perfectly acceptable to trudged up the hill ahead of me, I gritted talk to yourself when you are close to my teeth and gave it my all. I determined death. You may also say things like that I would run the whole way, no matcripes or bugger. It’s completely normal. ter what. I was following closely behind a womAt mile two, they handed out water to an, we’ll call her super-giant-calvesthe runners, and that’s when I really felt mom, who was not only running in the like one of those professionals on TV. I race, but pushing a two-seater stroller wanted to dump it on my head, like the too. I made it my mission to, at the very pros do, but I resisted. least, beat the person pushing two huAs we approached the last hill, I made man beings through the race. my move. I passed super-calves like she But this was no ordinary woman. was pushing nine cattle up the hill. The Those were no ordinary calves. And I am ordinarily awful at distance running. The race, which was held on Health in a Handbasket May 3, was a perfect chance for is a monthly feature in which me to spin my hamster wheel for I try a health-related advena cause. And being a self-admitted ture and write about it. If you Rockies fan, I was drawn in by have an idea for a new the promise of free game tickets adventure, write to me at and, according to my buddy Nate, a free hot dog and beer. I’ll do most anything for that. The race was five kilometers, which roughly equals three miles,


Health in a Handbasket

adrenaline tinged through my body, but soon the hill became longer and steeper, growing taller by the second. I slowed, gasping for air, legs aching, and she moved back in front with her smooth, steady stride. At the top of the hill, I saw the finish line. I took whatever was left and managed to get side-by-side with supercalves. And then, I saw it. I wasn’t at the finish line at all. There was a right hand turn into Coors Field, where we all had to run around the warning track. I gave it my all the rest of the way through the course, crossing the finish line a nudge in front of super-calves. Jade one, lady pushing babies in the race zero. I’m so proud. During the race I came to several revelations. Here they are: No. 1. Jogging outfits are funny. Most people go the spandex rout, some choose these puny little shorts that give show half a rear cheek (hot!), and others, like me, wear kooky headbands or leg warmers. For the record, I did not sport leg warmers. No. 2. There should really be 1K races. You know, for the less determined, sickly folk — like me. No. 3. Avoid the Port-O-Potty’s on race day. I’ve seen some bad ones, but these were a special kind of foul. No. 4. Don’t wear a sweatshirt during a race. It gets hot, and when you pin on your number you can’t unzip it. Then your face gets red and people worry for your safety. No. 5. Try the Home Run for the Homeless next year. For a mere $35, they spoiled us with two free Rockies tickets, a shirt, unlimited water and sports drinks, hot dogs and a beer. They even let us play the games in Rockies stadium, like the speed pitching game. It was well-organized and a great experience as my first race.


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009

Is 60 too old to have a six-pack? Jeannine Stein Los Angeles Times A 60-year-old man recently wrote in about his abs: Question: “I keep to a stringent exercise regimen, with weight training every other day and aerobics on a treadmill every day. I also eat well, keeping my weight close to what it was when I was 18. However, whatever I do and regardless of how hard I work out, I am unable to tighten the skin in the midsection (for six-pack abs). Can you tell me if this is just age, or if there is something else I can do?” Answer: Let’s dispense with the bad news first — the stuff you can’t do much about. Some of that sagging might be loss of skin elasticity from the normal aging process. Loose skin can also be chalked up to genes, and if that’s the case, please feel free to blame your parents. But blame yourself if you’ve spent copious time in the sun, since that can prematurely age skin, making it head south.

Now for the things you can change. Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the San Diego-based American Council on Exercise, suggested examining diet first. This reader said that he eats well, but how that diet breaks down is important. He should include some good fats, because they contribute to skin health, fueling production of collagen, a protein found in the connective tissue that helps keeps the skin smooth, taut and wrinklefree. Good sources of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. As for workouts, McCall said those may need some tweaking as well. The same strength-training workouts week in and week out might not be taxing the musculoskeletal system and thus might not be building new muscle. Starting around age 40, men lose about 1 percent of their muscle mass a year. “Doing more intense weights and explosive training will help the body create more testosterone, which produces mus-

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cle growth,” McCall said. “That could help fill out the skin and create that tightness. If you’re just lifting the same weight every time, you’re not stimulating any muscle development.” While not seeing desired results is frustrating, there is a point at which vanity might need to take a back seat. “What I try to get people to think about,” McCall said, “is that if you train for the mirror, you’re never going to be happy. When I work with clients I ask them what is their performance goal — do they want to run, ride a bike? I tell them to train for function, and then form follows function. The type of training they do will produce a good body.” Sports such as swimming, soccer, martial arts or basketball work the entire body, with the muscles performing in unison, not in isolated bouts as with weight training. If sports aren’t on your roster, you might want to check out some masters programs, such as U.S. Masters Swimming and USA Track & Field.


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ost families don’t plan for a life-threatening illness to attack their loved ones. But Severance resident Josh Houchin has known from birth that he would need a liver transplant at some point in his existence, as he will battle liver disease for a lifetime without the surgery. His recent health breakdown was the consequence of continuous cirrhosis. According to, cirrhosis is a slow conversion of healthy liver tissue to scar tissue that eventually prevents the liver from functioning properly. When Houchin’s health deteriorated to its current state three years ago, he was put on the organ donation list. To get on the list, he went through a two-day process of ultrasounds, cat scans, heart echoes and blood tests to determine is his body could withstand a transplant surgery. The next day he was in a classroom, working with a team to determine his emotional health and lend support to his wife Helga and two kids, ages 8 and 18 months. “They do the whole evaluation because they need to make sure that if you get a transplant you know about all of the medications you will need to take and that you have the support of your family,” Houchin said. Recently his health score stabilized, and every three months he has a check up to see if more points need to be added to move him up the or-

gan donation list. “We handle everything one day at a time,” Houchin said. “We just live a normal life. When I get sick and have to go to the hospital, we have to find a babysitter. We just live through the day and thank God we are here to enjoy it.” After a patient is approved for a transplant, the organ receiver must prove insurance or the proper means to pay for the surgery, as organ transplants average $800,000 without any complications. Medications can average $2,500 a month when there is no insurance coverage. At a recent roundtable conversation about the organ donation process at Poudre Valley Hospital, donors, those on the waiting list and hospital professionals gathered to share their stories. PVHS lab worker Rebecca Benson developed a passion for organ donation after the death of her best friend at the age of 19. Her friend’s family decided to donate his organs. A few years later, when Benson was pregnant, a nurse at the hospital determined that her baby was sick and needed to be delivered that day or both she and the child would risk death. The baby was delivered safely and without complications. Benson later discovered that the nurse who saved her son’s life had received one of the organs from her deceased best friend. “Everything that you do comes full circle,” Benson said. Lari Walter, a PVHS nursing supervisor and member of the hospital’s organ donation committee, organizes public

Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 9 education sessions and open houses at the hospital each year. She became passionate about organ donation over 30 years ago when she was tending a family friend with bleeding in the brain. When the young wife and mother passed away, the family decided to donate her organs. All seven usable organs were healthy and successfully transplanted to patients waiting on the list. “Today over seven people have been able to live because of what she and her family did,” Walter said. “My goal is to get people information to help them make organ donation choices.” According to www.organ, several types of tissue and organs can be donated. These include kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and the intestines. These organs cannot be stored and must be used within hours of removing them from the donor’s body. Most donated organs are from people who have died, but a living individual can donate a kidney, part of the pancreas, part of a lung, part of the liver or part of the intestine, the Web site said. The organs are obtained through an organ procurement organization, such as the Colorado Donor Alliance. These organizations evaluate poten-

tial donors, discuss donation with surviving family members and arrange for the surgical removal and transport of donated organs, according to the government Web site. A transplant agency is responsible for the actual placing of the new organ. The Colorado Donor Alliance serves Colorado and Wyoming, and last year the organization helped save 356 lives and heal many more. According to the organization, in both states, 1,831 people are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Of those, 1,187 are currently waiting for a kidney and 463 are waiting for a liver. Of the current transplant candidates in Colorado, 21 percent have been on the waiting list for 5 years or more and 49 percent are between the ages of 50 and 64. Nationally, there are 101,224 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, and 245 are added to the list each month. Fifty percent of the 115 organ donors and 57 percent of the 939 tissue donors in 2008 were listed on either the Colorado or Wyoming State Donor Registry. “Colorado’s donor designation rate has increased three percentage points this year from 60 to 63 percent, one of

Organ donation by the numbers

Colorado & Wyoming 1,831 potential recipients • 1,187 of those patients are currently waiting for a kidney and 463 are waiting for a liver

the top rates in the nation” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “That means that 63 percent of all licensed drivers in our state have made the decision to be organ and tissue donors through joining the Colorado Donor Registry.” Jennifer Moe, director of communications for the Colorado Donor Alliance, speaks often in the community to dispel fears and myths about organ donation. Many people declare themselves too old or too unhealthy to become an organ donor, a decision Moe believes should be left up to a healthcare professional upon death. Others believe doctors will give them poor care if they are on the organ donation list. “Organ and tissue donation will be discussed only upon death,” Moe said. “The doctor team working on patients in the hospital are not responsible for the organ harvesting.” Riches and fame also do not give people favor to move up on the organ donation list. “Severity of the illness, time spent on the list or blood type for a better match will move patients up on the list,” Moe said. Moe encourages people to make the organ donation deciRH Graphic/Jack Harper sion now so that in the event of an emergency, families are Registering to be an organ donor can be done when not forced to make such decirenewing a driver’s license. The red heart on the bottom sions. right hand corner denotes the donor’s decision.

• 21 percent have been on the waiting list for 5+ years • 49 percent are between the ages of 50 and 64 years or more.

Nationally • 101,224 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants • 245 new patients are added to the list each month “Colorado is sitting in a great position,” Moe said. “We have the second highest designation rate in the country where 64 percent of people going through the registry say yes.” HOW TO SAY YES TO ORGAN DONATION Become an organ/tissue donor by getting your name on the Colorado or Wyoming Organ and Tissue Donor Registry: 1. Visit the registry Web site, www.ColoradoDonor 2. Say yes to donation at the department of motor vehicles when you go in to renew your license. 3. Join the registry at an awareness and publication drive throughout the community. 4. Call the Donor Alliance number at 1-888-245-4386. Rhema Muncy can be reached at 970-635-3684 or


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009

We offered Sarah, Wayne and their new baby all the pampering they needed. Even a limo ride home. When it came time for Sarah to have her baby, McKee Medical Center went the extra mile. Her physician, Dr. Budd, paid special attention to make her comfortable and McKee Medical Center gave her the most relaxing birthing experience possible in a private labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum room. Sarah and her husband took advantage of our affordable, upgraded package that includes such amenities as a flat-screen TV, gourmet meals and a limo ride home from the hospital. It’s a great way to start your new life with your baby in style. McKee Medical Center. Remarkable health care inspired by you., keyword: McKee VIP • 2000 N. Boise Ave. • Loveland (970) 669-4640 • Job opportunities: 866-377-5627 (EOE/AA) or Banner Health is the leading nonprofit health care provider in northern Colorado. 20-293299

Uncommon Sense

Deal with job loss Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Uncommon Sense


uestion: Due to the economy, I recently lost my job in the tech industry. I had worked as an engineer for the last 21 years. Now I’ve been forced to take less fulfilling work for less pay. The old job was a part of my identity and I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new role in life. I almost feel like my friends, wife and even my children look at me differently now. How do I move on? — Michael, 51 Answer: Many of us grow up believing that “you are what you do.” How many times have you heard friends or family at a gathering ask “What do you do?” as the very first question in a conversation. The question is a way of asking for a lot of information about you in a very short amount of time. Contained in this question are other questions, such as, “Are you employed?”, “What is your level of education?” “How much money do you make?”, and “Did you go to college?” among others. Most of us have learned to get a large part of our positive self-esteem and sense of being useful from work and our work identity. These are not easy beliefs to change. If we are not what we do, then who are we? Who are we to our-

selves, to our spouses, to our children and to our neighbors? While there are no easy answers, there are a few strategies that can help you navigate these rough waters. GRATITUDE It’s hard to feel grateful to have a lower paying, less satisfying job when we move from a position we used to enjoy to a much less satisfying situation, but the more we are able to focus on what is working for us in the new situation, the less miserable we are likely to be. Perhaps the current position is less stressful that the prior position or allows more time to be with your family? Perhaps the commute to work is shorter — or longer — allowing you time in the car to listen to those books on tape that you’ve always been meaning to listen to ... you get the idea. LIFE IS CHANGE We all know this, but when our life situation seems stable and reasonably secure, it’s easy to shuffle that bit of wisdom off to the side for a while. Change by itself is neither good nor bad, but some of us like it and some of us absolutely hate it. Like it or not, life is change. If we refuse to live life on life’s terms, we will certainly be miserable. On the contrary, accepting something doesn’t mean we have to like it, only that we accept that this is what

Dr. Beth Firestein is a licensed psychologist. She has 23 years of therapy experience and has practiced in Loveland for over 12 years. She may be reached by calling her office at 970-635-9116 or via e-mail at

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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009

The Best Nurses in Northern Colorado To honor nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, the Reporter-Herald asked its readers to nominate the Best Nurses in Northern Colorado. The inspiring stories showed the care, compassion and hard work of the area nurses. ELIZABETH SMALL McKee Medical Center “Elizabeth Small ensured that my experience at McKee after the birth of my daughter was spectacular. Her leadership of the team of nurses was evident in how they respected her, and how she quickly could turn a bad situation into a great Elizabeth Small experience. She’s a stand-out candidate that goes the extra mile in caring for her patients.” — Tamara Cramer, patient

Shauna Johnson

LESLIE L MOORE by both the physical and mental exhaustion she exhibits at the end of the day. Women's Clinic of Northern Colorado Fortunately for Leslie, coupled with the “It is with a sincere effort that I nomiexhaustion is a sense of satisfaction that nate Leslie Moore as the Best Nurse in she has given her best and has Northern Colorado. As I may delivered a professional and have a slight bias (since Leslie supportive patient experience. is also my wife), I must note As an employee she is driven the sincerity of this nominaand accountable to the comtion as it relates to her work. pletion of her assigned tasks, Leslie has always put her prowhich is a refreshing distincfession in the forefront of her tion to a service environment mind and of her life. She that has always demanded exstrives to always be current on cellence. I look to Leslie as an her knowledge through exexample of someone deserves tracurricular reading and activLeslie Moore to be recognized in a profesities, and maintains that those sion that is consistently unrewarded. The efforts will translate into better patient nursing profession is difficult and decare. Although confidentiality prohibits manding, but somehow she continues to discussion of her daily appointments, I exceed expectations daily with a smile.” am well aware of the effort she applies — Andrew Moore

SHAUNA (MAHAN) JOHNSON McKee Medical Hospital When in the hospital, she does therapy. She was the sunshine of all my days in the hospital. Cheery, thoughtful, patient, kind and responsive. — Pauline Cooper, patient

JULIE DETERS Poudre Valley Hospital “Julie Deters exemplifies excellence in nursing. Patients and their families, as well as members of the PVH staff have consistently noted her dedication to compassionate patient care. She does not shy away from working with the sickest and most difficult patients, but in fact often seeks out these settings. Patient’s families have remarked following a loved one’s hospitalization how Julie’s efforts were above and beyond, and helped ease the pain of an otherwise tragic situation. Julie’s dedication to the health and well-being of her patient’s is simply remarkable.” — Lawrence Meredith, M.D., Doctor

Julie Deters

Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 13

From left to right: Stephanie Simmonds, Pat Village, Sheree Barnes, Donlyn Smillie, Sherry King, Mike Parks and Terri Tuttle.

STEPHANIE SIMMONDS, PAT VILLAGE, SHEREE BARNES, DONLYN SMILLIE, SHERRY KING, MIKE PARKS AND TERRI TUTTLE McKee Medical Center “Nursing Support Services Director all make up a dynamic Nursing Leadership Team at McKee Medical Center that help make McKee Best of the Best within the Banner Health System (now two years in a row). They are all incredible individuals with varied skills and talents, yet come together collaboratively as nursing leaders striving for excellence each step of the way.

They partner regarding the various challenges within nursing and healthcare and put ego aside always focusing on providing the very best possible patient experience. Whether its dealing with individual challenges on their units or a team opportunity, they collectively strive for excellence and knowledge searching out and developing best practices for their patients. It is an honor to know and work beside such incredible individuals who continue to focus on being the best of the best and being a team. — Amy Searls, Administrator

ALAN HAYASHI Poudre Valley Hospital “I nominate Alan Hayashi as the best nurse because I know from personal experience that he is a very special and caring nurse. When I was in the hospital Alan went out of his way to visit me and when I was discharged he drove me home. Alan Hayashi After he got me home he went to the store to get me fresh milk, bread and fruit ... etc. He made sure I was all right and well provided for before he left me. I know this was beyond everyday expectation. P.S. Since the above experience Alan and his wife and their two daughters have become good friends of mine.” — Jean V. Strader, friend


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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009

Nurse of the Year Rita Stern PVH Nurse creates legacy projects for cancer patients Jade Cody Special Sections Editor


ita Stern became an oncology nurse for Poudre Valley Hospital in 2001. After two years, she came up with the idea of end-of-life projects. The “legacy projects,” as they’re now called, help her patients when their treatments are no longer effective and they begin to face the end of their lives — a time when Stern sees a window of opportunity. “When people fall off the curative pathway, there’s a window of opportunity. I try to help them get ready for the next step,” she said. A dying cancer patient’s two biggest fears are pain and unfinished business, said Stern, a mother of three young boys. By actively partaking in an end-of-life project, “it allows them to come to terms with their death. It gives them something else to focus on.” Typical projects include helping her patients fill out greeting cards or write letters for future events in their children’s lives — such as graduations, birthdays or weddings. Or it could be a scrapbook, planning one last road trip, letters to loved ones or merely creating a fun, loving environment for patients who are no longer responsive. Stern tries to find a mode of communication for each patient. For one patient, a former hand surgeon, it was a letter to his 17-year-old son. As the surgeon neared death, he and his son were no longer communicating at all. He needed a way to give advice and comfort to his son in the future. He didn’t want his son to become and alcoholic or drug user,

or to be stricken with guilt all of his life for not being there when his dad died. Stern dictated the entire 20-page letter for the man, who couldn’t write it himself. For a 34-year-old woman suffering from cancer, Stern videotaped the mother reading bedtime stories so that it could be shown to her three-monthold daughter as she grows up. Not only do the projects help patients attend to unfinished business, Stern said, it also gives them something else to focus on besides death. “I help people participate in the future when the future doesn’t exist for them,” she said. “If I were to go tomorrow, I would want my kids to know who I was.” In 2008, Stern won the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, a national award given to those in the healthcare industry who “remarkable human beings who lead and love by example.” Stern feels her role is to be a bridge between the curative stages and the end of life. The ultimate goal, she said, is to help limit her patients suffering. When Stern started doing the legacies, she had no idea it would get so big. Since then, she’s had countless requests, and people have called her from as far as New York asking for her help. “I don’t think we should say no when we can say yes,” she said. RITA STERN Poudre Valley Hospital “Rita has spent the eight years of her nursing career caring for patients on the oncology unit at Poudre Valley Hospital. Working with terminal cancer patients and their families, Rita has seen how they struggle to come to terms with death. But, she has also seen how fear and dread can be replaced with tranquility and acceptance when the patient is guided to complete endof-life (EOL) projects that give meaning to their lives and allow them peaceful deaths. One of the biggest con-

RH photo/Jade Cody

Stern’s experiences have changed her life dramatically. She is currently in school to become a nurse practitioner, and plans to continue providing legacy projects for terminally ill patients. She values being an oncology nurse at PVH and enjoys the long-term relationships she’s able to develop with her patients and their families. “A cancer survivor once told me,” she recalled, “‘your everyday routine is my big event.’”

cerns of the terminally ill is unfinished business, which can be anything from worry over a fractured relationship to the regret of missing future milestones in a child's life. Rita is passionate about finding what is most important to her dying patients and assisting them in completing the "legacy project" that will give them the most comfort. The projects include videotaping a dying mother reading her child's favorite bedtime stories, writing letters to mend an estrangement, bringing families together to construct a life story

photo album, and providing a young mom with greeting cards that she leaves to be given to her children on the occasion of their school graduations, weddings and births of children. Rita gives hours of her time outside of work to the legacy projects and funds them out of her own pocket. She volunteers time speaking to and teaching healthcare groups, mentoring nurses and guiding them to initiate EOL projects. Rita is totally devoted to helping patients achieve serenity and have more peaceful passings.” — Glenna Murdock

Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 15

Nursing in new


Nursing careers go beyond general patient care as professionals branch out into the medical field Rhema Muncy Special Sections Reporter

first comparable report was published in 1980 and just over 41 percent of RNs were 50 he most compassionate years of age or older. This is face seen during visits to quite a statistic change from the doctor’s office wears 1980, when 25 percent of RNs a smile for all patients, helping were under the age of 30. Now with paper work and accomonly 8 percent are under thirty. modating discomforts. But the Poudre Valley Hospital RN public rarely thinks of the Kimberly Woods-McCormick is many other capacities nurses the Institutional Review Board work in, from technology to Manager for the hospital. She research to community develbegan her career on the nursopment. Statistics point to the ing floor in neonatal care, then high retention rates of the moved into a hybrid position nursing workforce. Some exinvolving resuscitation educaploration is due for this widely tion and review work for revaried career. search projects conducted at the hospital. After two decades, According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human she transitioned into the IRB position. Services, the number of li“My current job entails helpcensed registered nurses, or RNs, in the United States grew ing the health system,” WoodsMcCormick said. “It helps to by almost 8 percent between 2000 and 2004 to a high of 2.9 ensure that all of the research done through the health sysmillion. The average age of RNs climbed to 46.8 years, the tem is protective of our health patients and compliant with highest average age since the federal law.” Woods-McCormick feels her nursing training provides the correct paradigm she needs to work with patients. “I look at the process from more of a patient advocate [position],” she said. “It helps to understand the vulnerability of our patients to make sure that we are doing safe research.” Her training also helps her Poudre Valley Hospital RN communicate with physicians Kimberly Woods-McCormick better and she offers a bridge


“Nursing is not a career that is stifling. It has lots of options after you get your degree.”

between physicians and patients. “The thing for nurses to remember is that nursing is incredibly varied,” Woods-McCormick said. “You can go from being a new baby nurse to being an ICU nurse to going into research. Nursing is not a career that is stifling. It has lots of options after you get your degree.” And as she gets older, Woods-McCormick prefers office work to the grueling schedule of a floor nurse. “The cool thing is that so many times I still keep my patient caring focus even if I am in the office,” Woods-McCormick said. “We aren’t the chic little nurses that can be boppin’ around on our feet for 12 hours a day. You have to be pretty physically fit for most of nursing.” Joe LaBrash of McKee Medical Center, an RN for 5 years, recently transitioned into a new job as an IT Facility Clinical liaison at the hospital. “I had a comfort level with computers and computerized charting for quite a long time,” LaBrash said. “When I was a nurse in school I actually did everything on my computer and I knew that I enjoyed integrating technology. We had computerized charting at the first facility I worked with.” Now he is working on a

massive undertaking to convert all of the paperwork at the hospital into electronic files. The nursing side of patient work is already converted to electronic media. “The component coming along now is the provider entry — one of the final phases,” LaBrash said. “There is also another portion for the emergency department, a server that will communicate into the admission electronic record and will also integrate and provide a seamless transition of information.” The information from the initial entry of a patient will flow across department spectrums with out the hassle of paperwork. Then if a patient comes in again six months later, all lab work and assessments will be available, he said. LaBrash’s unique position allows him to care for patients behind the scenes. “You have to have a medical foundation to be successful in this field,” he said. “This doesn’t mean we know the physicians job but we have to be familiar with what their needs are and the general process of how they do things.” Poudre Valley Hospital nurse Susan Milligan started out teaching and then when there weren’t any teaching jobs, she went into nursing. Now she has combined teaching and


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009

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nursing, which is a wonderful fit for her. She works in community health development with a specialty in chronic disease self management education. “First of all, the people need to know as much as they can about the condition, and when you have a chronic illness there are common issues people face, so I do a six-week program teaching people tools and techniques to better manager their condition,” she said. For her nursing career, Milligan started as a pediatric nurse in diabetes education. She now uses her clinical connections to do health screenings and administer shots when the situation calls for those services. “If you step back and you look at health care, there’s acute care; a crisis

in the hospital when people are sick,” Milligan said. “But once they step out of the hospital, [patients] are in the community where the issues are disease prevention, health promotion and disease management. Milligan’s goal is to keep people out of the ER to do her part in driving down health care costs. “The wave of the future is to help people take better charge of their health,” she said. “If you look at the trends we have got across the country with an obesity epidemic, we have heart conditions and diabetes. We have got to do something to intervene here because we can’t continue like that or our health costs will get out of control. If we can focus more on prevention, we could have a huge impact on healthcare costs and health in general.” Her community perspective examines the whole person — body, mind and spirit, and all of the things that impact personal health. “I have one of the best jobs in the world,” she said. “It is gratifying to see health improvements in people. It is pretty humbling.” Rhema Muncy can be reached at 970-635-3684 or at rmuncy@

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ach year McKee Medical Center’s nursing leadership recognizes the care and dedication provided by its nurses and presents one nurse with the Touched by a Nurse award. This year’s McKee Touched by a Nurse recipient is Barb Bushaw. There were three women nominated for the award, which has been presented annually since 2001. McKee would like to congratulate all three of these nurses and thank Barb Bushaw them for all they do. and got back to the hospital in The following are excerpts from each nurse’s nomination. time to give the hat to the patient as the patient was being BARB BUSHAW transported to the operating “Barb Bushaw has been in room. When the hat was prethe operating room for many sented, tears welled in the payears as a professional registient’s eyes and the patient tered nurse circulator and now mumbled the words ‘thankis the General Surgery Specialty you.’ Not only is this act of Coordinator and day charge kindness and generosity an exnurse in the operating room. It pression of Barb’s personality, is a privilege and pleasure to it is also shows her professionwork with Barb every day. alism as a nurse and her comBarb is known to many sur- passion as a human being. geons and OR staff members Barb has worked at McKee as a proficient seamstress. for 10 years and as a nurse for Sewing often consumes her 21 years.” entire weekends as she makes scrub jackets and scrub hats for ELMARIE VANDEMERWE “Elmarie is an excellent others. Her love of sewing is nurse. She touches patient’s clearly evident and she shares lives in a this with many of our surgical number of patients. ways. One On one occasion, a patient who had cancer was scheduled in particular is her for a procedure in the late afsincere carternoon. The pre-op nurse learned that the patient usually ing attitude wore a “do rag” because of los- that she shares ing hair from chemotherapy. with her However, the patient’s “do rags” were all too worn to wear patients. Elmarie Elmarie is a any more. Vandemerwe nurse that Barb overheard this as she cares and comforts patients was leaving for the day. She simply to help her patients feel went home, rummaged through her stash of material, � See MCKEE/Page 18 cut the fabric, sewed the hat

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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


achieved by others. She comprehends the patient and family experience and demonstrates the meaning of empathy. She unFrom Page 17 derstands what is expected from her as a better without taking much thought in the caregiver and patient process. It just seems to come naturally to advocate. She treats patients and their famher. ilies with respect and Another great quality that Elmarie possesses is her knowledge. She demonstrates compassion while maintaining privacy and shares her abundance of knowledge and safety. Connie has with her patients, their families and the nursing staff around her. Elmarie is a won- embraced the role of derful nurse to work with especially when primary nurse for Connie Olson caring for patients with unusual and unfa- many patients and has miliar issues. She helps her co-workers fig- been recognized for her leadership in this area on the surgical/oncology unit. ure out difficult issues and work through problems. Elmarie touches people’s lives Connie has worked at McKee for several every day! years in different positions which make Elmarie has worked at McKee for seven her a good resource to her co-workers. years and been a nurse for 28 years.” She is also a strong and knowledgeable leader. As a charge nurse, she strives to CONNIE OLSON make fair assignments and is helpful to “I have often heard patients comment others. Connie is not hesitant to accept a on how well suited Connie Olson is to be challenging patient assignment. She prea nurse. Connie has been a patient and sents to work with a positive attitude and has been the loving family member or is able to maintain composure during friend of patients at McKee and other hosstressful situations. pitals. Through those experiences, Connie Connie’s background, knowledge and can perform her job at a level not easily

commitment to maintaining her skills and education provide a strong foundation for her as a teacher to patients and future nurses. Connie has worked with students that have gone on to become exceptional nurses. She has truly touched the lives of her co-workers, patients, patients’ families and the community. Connie has worked at McKee for nine years and spent her first two years here as a certified nursing assistant before becoming a registered nurse.”

Nurses at McKee Nursing students from five regional colleges and universities study with nurses at McKee Medical Center. In 2008, McKee nurses helped to educate 93 students pursuing their bachelor’s degree in nursing and 108 students pursuing their associate’s degree. McKee employs 275 nurses including licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and nursing directors.


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Utilize free information for weight loss er visits with registered dietitians (individual consultations can be pricey), particularly if prescribed by a physician. he road to diet hell is They can not only outline daily paved with books, all eating plans, but also offer by authors firmly concooking tips and help you vinced of the inarguable pernavigate food-laden social ocfection of their own eating casions. plans. Suzanne Bogert, a registered And although detailed, cusdietitian and project director of tomized menus may not be Network for a Healthy Califorreadily available at little or no cost, specific online examples nia, suggested this strategy for better nutrition: “When you lay can highlight what you need your head on your pillow at to look for in a meal. night, ask yourself how many Sites such as www.calorie fruits and vegetables you ate, and www.the are you getting a wide variety provide of foods in your diet, are you nutritional information on connected with your hunger, thousands of fresh and preand are you active? The ‘no’ pared foods. Look for foods answers are what you need to that are not greatly processed and that are high in proteins or start working on.” Here are resources to check other nutrients and low in out: calories and saturated fats. •, sponsored And keep in mind that some health insurance plans do cov- by the American Dietetic Asso-


ciation, offers extensive resources under “Food & Nutrition Information,” including tips for weight management (a tutorial on whole grains, 25 healthy snacks for kids) and different eating plans for high blood pressure (emphasizing fresh fruits and vegetables and low- or nonfat dairy products). •, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offers more than that trusty food pyramid; there’s also a menu planner that allows you to calculate calories and fat and choose foods from various food groups. Choose a food, plug it into the planner, and you’ll get a calorie count and be able to see whether you’re meeting daily goals. •, created by Nancy Collins, a past president of the Florida Dietetic Association, is geared to registered di-

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etitians but has a wealth of practical consumer information about nutrition, obesity and weight control. It even offers sample menus, including ones for before and after your workouts. • Gelson’s markets, specifically Jessica Siegel, their registered dietitian whose job entails visiting the chain’s markets, where customers can get information about diet and nutrition and receive body fat testing. Siegel also writes a monthly nutrition newsletter that can be accessed free online. She’s also available to answer questions via e-mail, also free, at • Local health fairs frequently feature registered dietitians who can answer questions and provide basic nutrition information. Contact your local city government for more information.

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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


The Healthy Plate

Picnic on produce Jim Romanoff The Associated Press


icnic baskets often are jammed with sandwiches, potato salads, chips and cookies. In other words, carbs. Adding some equally portable produce is the best way to bring some dietary balance to your picnic. Fresh fruit — especially those that travel well, such as apples, pears, peaches, plums and bananas — is an easy choice. As are low-fat cheeses, which contain plenty of hunger-quenching protein. For snacking, pack fresh veggies. Crunchy carrots and celery sticks are filling and usually appeal even to kids. Salads also are a fine way fill up with nutritious foods without adding heaps of calories. These easy-to-prepare salads take only minutes to make and can be packed in re-sealable plastic containers for outdoor dining. Each uses ingredients that are high in flavor but low in fat and calories.

SESAME CUCUMBER SALAD Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 4 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 1 /4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (optional) In a bowl, toss the cucumbers with the sesame oil and salt. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, if using. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 41 calories; 31 calories from fat; 4 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 147 mg sodium.

SPICY JICAMA SALAD Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 4 1 small jicama Chili powder, to taste 3 tablespoons chopped scallions 1 /4 teaspoon salt 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges Peel the jicama and cut into 1/2-inch sticks. In a medium bowl, toss the jicama with the chili powder, scallions and salt. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the top. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 122 calories; 3 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 15 g fiber; 161 mg sodium.

PICKLED BEET SALAD Start to finish: 5 minutes Servings: 4 16-ounce jar sliced pickled beets, drained 1 small onion red onion, halved and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish In a small bowl, toss together all ingredients. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 61 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 58 mg sodium.

AP photos

Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 21

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Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


Health Line Calendar

Diet Info Session — 6:15 p.m.

COPD (CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE) This seven-session multidisciplinary education series helps with the management of COPD. The team reviews the respiratory system, how it works, what has gone wrong and how you can conserve energy and decrease shortness of breath. Anyone who has COPD, emphysema or bronchitis is encouraged to attend along with family and/or significant others. When: Classes meet Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. Seven-week session begins June 2 Where: McKee Conference and Wellness Center Cost: No charge Contact: 970-635-4138

NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PANEL DISCUSSION At this McKee Medical Center Foundation event, learn more about a variety of approaches to solving America’s Healthcare Crisis. Hear a variety of viewpoints from the insurance industry, private insurance, single payer system, and Governor’s Blue Ribbon 208 Commission on health care. There will be an open forum for questions and answers

from the audience. When: June 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m Where: McKee Conference and Wellness Center, Coors Room Contact: 970-635-4001

BRIGHT BEGINNINGS Bright Beginnings programs through Poudre Valley Health Systems are designed to celebrate the birth of every child and welcome them into the community. During a Bright Beginnings visit/class current information on the following will be shared: growth and development, health and safety, positive guidance/ discipline strategies and parenting/community resources. Contact:For registration or location details, call 970-495-7528 or visit www.brightbeginnings Cost: A visit is free to all families with children from birth to age 3. Registration required. When: Bright Beginnings Program A (infant 0-12 months) • June 8 at McKee Medical Center 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. • June 16 at Medical Center of the Rockies, noon-1 p.m. Bright Beginnings Program

B (12 — 24 months) • June 15 at Loveland Library, 10 a.m. Bright Beginnings Program C (24 — 36 months) • June 22, 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Medical Center of the Rockies

DIET INFORMATION SESSION Attend a free information session and learn how to lose twoto-five pounds per week and keep it off for good. The program is clinically proven and tested at Johns Hopkins University and has been recommended by over 15,000 doctors. It’s a medical weight management system. The program will be presented by a family practice doctor and a pharmacist who use the program to help patients get healthy and also reduce the need for diabetic medication, high blood pressure medication and high cholesterol medication in their patients. When: 6:15 p.m. on May 21 Where: The Gertrude B. Scott Room at the Loveland Public Library at 300 N. Adams Cost: Free Contact: Space limited to first 40 callers, 970-302-4919

Ongoing Events TOTAL JOINT EDUCATION Physical therapists and occupational therapists prepare patients for surgery. This program is coordinated through your physician’s office as part of the surgery scheduling process. When: Classes meet Thursdays at 3 p.m. Contact: 970-635-4172 Where: McKee Conference & Wellness Center

BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING Have your blood pressure checked by a Wellness Specialist. When: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-noon. Where: McKee Wellness Services, 1805 E. 18th St. Ste. 6 Cost: No charge Contact: 970-635-4056

SOULPLAY ART THERAPY People touched by cancer experience the benefits of expressing themselves through art. No art experience needed. When: Wednesdays, 9:4511:45 a.m. Where: McKee Cancer Center Conference Room Contact: 970-635-4129


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 23

Health Line Calendar COPD — 1-3 p.m.

Bright Beginnings A — 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Bright Beginnings B — 10 a.m.

COPD — 1-3 p.m.

National Healthcare Panel Discussion — 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Bright Beginnings A — noon-1 p.m. COPD — 1-3 p.m.

Bright Beginnings C — 9:30-10:15 a.m.

COPD — 1-3 p.m.

COPD — 1-3 p.m.

Where: McKee Conference CAREGIVER’S SUPPORT GROUP FOR CAREGIVERS OF and Wellness Center CANCER PATIENTS Cost: Free When: Call for times/locations Contact: 970-669-WELL (9355) Contact: 970-635-4129.

DIABETES INFORMATION GROUP An informational/educational meeting for anyone touched by diabetes who wants to learn and share. There will be a different subject matter for each meeting. Where: McKee Conference and Wellness Center Cost: No charge. No registration needed. Contact: 970-667-5610 for more information and topics.

MAN TO MAN PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP When: 5:30-7 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month Where: McKee Conference and Wellness Center Contact: 970-622-1961

BREAST FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP When: Mondays and Thursdays; group meets 10-11 a.m.

FREE BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS When: 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesdays

GENERAL CANCER SUPPORT GROUP When: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Where: McKee Cancer Center lobby. Contact: 635-4129

Where: McKee Conference and Wellness Center

tration accepted anytime.

CAREGIVERS SUPPORT For caregivers of elderly adults. The group focuses on providing support and education about community resources and behavior issues, particularly for people with Alzheimer’s and memory impairment. MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT WALKS WITH PEGGY Cost: No charge. Care of elCome enjoy the benefits of ex- derly adult family members or ercise on gentle nature walks friends is available through Stepalong the McKee Wellness Walk. ping Stones Adult Day Care proThis walk is a Seasons Club acgram during meeting times at no tivity, membership to the Seacharge. sons Club is free and open to When: Third Thursday of the adults 50 and up. month, 10 a.m.-noon When: 10 a.m. Wednesdays Contact: 970-669-7069 Where: McKee Conference Where: First Christian Church, and Wellness Center Contact: 970-635-4097, regis- 2000 N. Lincoln Ave. BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP When: Second Thursday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m. Where: McKee Cancer Center lobby. Contact: 622-1961


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


Ask a Health Pro

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Health Line Briefs

PVH REDESIGNATED AS A MAGNET HOSPITAL The American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program announced that Poudre Valley Hospital once again received a four-year designation as a Magnet Hospital, a distinction considered the gold standard for nursing excellence in the healthcare industry. This is the second four-year redesignation for PVH since 2000.

The program is for people with cancer and their families and caregivers. It’s designed to help persons impacted by cancer learn ways to manage effects of the illness. Information will include nutritional recommendations; methods for communicating concerns and feelings; and other aspects of health care. Presentations are given by physicians, nurses, care providers, and cancer survivors. The program is held 6-8 PVH PROGRAM HELPS PEOp.m. on the first and third PLE WITH CANCER Sharing the Cancer Journey, Thursdays of each month a free program that began on through June. Meetings will April 2 at Poudre Valley Hos- be in the Mortenson Room in PVH’s lower level. A complipital, helps people with cancer receive the latest informa- mentary light meal will be tion and support from cancer provided. Sharing the Cancer Journey experts and survivors.

will be held throughout the year. Meeting topics will vary. Occasionally, meetings will repeat educational information on nutrition, communication and basics of cancer, but many meetings will present new information. Here are the meeting topics through June: May 21: Opening a different door: complementary and integrative care June 4: Gender-specific cancers. June 18: Keeping fit. MCKEE INTRODUCES COMMUNITY COOKING CLASSES McKee Medical Center hopes to spice up the kitchen and teach the cooks a few new tricks with a series of cooking classes beginning

June 2. The classes, taught by a registered dietitian, will explore healthy recipes, introduce ideas to involve children in cooking and look at new trends in the kitchen. All classes meet in McKee Education Office’s teaching kitchen, 1825 E. 18th St. in Loveland. Each class costs $10, which covers handouts, recipes and tasty samples. Class size is limited to 15, so please call to register at 970-669-WELL (9355). Upcoming class themes are: • Kid’s Kitchen – Kids Can Cook: 4:30-5:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 • License to Grill: 6-7:15 � See BRIEFS/Page 26


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009 25


Thursday LOVELAND REPORTER-HERALD/Health Line of Northern Colorado May 21, 2009


Health Line Briefs (Cont’d)

The scam uses the fake name “Poudre Vally Care, Inc.” — the “Vally” is misspelled — in contacting seemingly random people to ask them to call a phone number to win a large sum of money or receive money by becoming a secret shopper. “Poudre Vally Care, Inc.” is not connected with Poudre Valley Health System. Two different letters by the MCKEE FOUNDATION EARNS unknown entity are being used GRANT TO HELP WOMEN in the scam. One of the letter WITH BREAST CANCER formats includes a check from The McKee Medical Center Poudre Vally Care, Inc. to the Foundation has received recipient. The letter instructs $66,000 from the Denver Affili- the recipient to call a 1-800 ate of Susan G. Komen for the number for a chance to win Cure to provide breast cancer more money. treatment for women in southPVHS spokesperson Pam ern Larimer County who are Brock, vice president of maruninsured or underinsured. keting and strategic planning, At McKee Medical Center, said the health system notified the grant will support patients the Fort Collins police departwho have been diagnosed ment about the scam April 9 afwith breast cancer and need ter being contacted by an outtreatment including surgery, of-state consumer who rechemotherapy and radiation. ceived a questionable offer in a Applicants must meet financial letter. PVHS reported the scam criteria. If a woman has questo the Fort Collins police detions or wants more informapartment, and the police are tion about how to access the investigating it. grant, please contact McKee “We ask that people do not Patient and Community Serrespond if they receive a letter vices Manager Linda Davidson or phone call from anyone askat 970-635-4016. ing them to provide informaDavidson said the hospital tion or payment to Poudre Valhopes to be able to begin using ly Care, Inc. If the letter inthe grant in the next few cludes a check, please do not weeks. The number of people cash it,” Brock said. “This is a who can benefit from the grant scam.” will depend on the type and Poudre Valley Health System cost of services needed. asks that people who are conJulie Johnson Haffner, exec- tacted through the scam immeutive director of the McKee diately call Brenda Harstad, Medical Center Foundation, PVHS director of compliance, said the grant will help McKee at 970-237-7022 or e-mail make a difference in Loveland and will build on a previous Brock said no patient inforKomen grant of $33,000. mation has been released or breached through the scam. PVHS ALERTS ABOUT SCAM Poudre Valley Health System The health system operates a highly secure patient informais alerting the public about a tion system. scam by an unknown entity PVHS has posted informathat is using a modified version tion about the scam on its Web of the health system’s legal site, The health name in an attempt to bilk system has heard from dozens people out of money. p.m. Monday, July 13 • Thinking Outside the Lunchbox: 6-7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 • Super Food or Super Foe: 6-7:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 • Recipe Redo: 6-7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6 For more information, please visit, keyword: McKee classes.

of people in states from across the nation who received bogus letters. MCKEE HONORED AS BANNER’S BEST OF THE BEST Banner Health has awarded McKee Medical Center Banner’s Best of the Best Award, the second consecutive year the Loveland hospital has received the honor for most outstanding performance in the health care system. The award is given to the Banner facility/entity that achieves the most targeted goals in Banner’s strategic initiative categories of patient care, patient safety, patient satisfaction, financial performance and employee engagement. Banner’s Western Region President Jim Ferando presented the award to McKee Chief Executive Officer Christopher Cornue on Wednesday during a leadership conference held at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. The video conference was broadcast at Banner Health facilities throughout the system. Banner Health, a nonprofit hospital system based in Phoenix, owns and operates 22 hospitals and health care facilities in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. In addition to receiving Banner’s Best of the Best Award, Banner Health awarded McKee seven individual honors out of 15 presented for meeting and exceeding benchmarks set by Banner Health’s senior management team. Among them were awards that address: treatment of pneumonia, heart failure, heart attacks and surgical care. McKee was also honored for employee engagement, door to doc times in the Emergency Department and high marks on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality patient safety survey distributed to employees.

BREAST HEALTH SPECIALIST JOINS MCKEE Ann Dorwart, RN, FNP-BC, brings more than 25 years of experience in caring for women’s health to the role of breast health specialist at McKee Breast Center. Dorwart is a board certified family nurse practitioner as well as a registered nurse. She Ann Dorwart joined the Breast Center in March. Prior to coming to McKee, Dorwart saw patients at the University of Northern Colorado Student Health Center. She also has worked in community health care centers in Colorado mountain communities. As a member of the Air Force Reserves, Dorwart worked as a flight nurse and was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. She worked in Indian Health Services and as a traveling nurse for village clinics in Prince William Sound and Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Much of her work focused on women’s and pediatric care. This is her second work experience with McKee. She trained at McKee as a student nurse while attending nursing school at UNC in the late 1970s shortly after McKee had opened. As the breast health specialist, Dorwart will work with patients who need a biopsy or further breast exams or treatment. She will stay with the patient throughout the procedure. For more information about the McKee Breast Center, please visit www.banner Keyword: McKee Breast Center or call 970-5936191.

Dr. Howell made Sabrina’s birthing experience as painless as possible. And the hospital’s free massages and cookies didn’t hurt either.

Sabrina was treated to all-around great care when having her baby at McKee Medical Center. She received personal phone calls from her physician, Dr. Howell, to inform her of test results in the days leading up to her delivery. And she was able to relax before and after the birth of her baby in a private jetted tub. The caring staff even provided free massages and delicious cookies to help make her comfortable. But it wasn’t just about Sabrina. Her whole family enjoyed the experience of the new baby together in a spacious and relaxing labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum room. McKee Medical Center provides a private, feel-good atmosphere where you can welcome your baby into the world. McKee Medical Center. Remarkable health care inspired by you., keyword: McKee Maternity • 2000 N. Boise Ave. • Loveland (970) 669-4640 • Job opportunities: 866-377-5627 (EOE/AA) or Banner Health is the leading nonprofit health care provider in northern Colorado. 20-293298

Healthline May 2009  

Healthline Magazine for May 2009. Published by the Loveland Reporter Herald

Healthline May 2009  

Healthline Magazine for May 2009. Published by the Loveland Reporter Herald