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We apologize for mailing problems such as duplicate copies. If you have questions or concerns, please call us at 319/369-7044 or e-mail © 2012 by St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, IA

Summer 2012

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healthy travel abroad Improving heart care Inspired by a cardiac procedure he performed on a patient in 2009, Dr. Roy Venzon of Cardiologists, L.C., helped develop the St. Luke’s program allowing cardiac catheterization to be done through the wrist rather than the groin. Called transradial artery cardiac catheterization, it decreases the chances for bleeding and vascular complications and often shortens patient recovery time. “In the U.S., less than five percent of cardiac catheterization cases are done via the transradial approach, although it is gradually becoming more popular. At St. Luke’s, 40 – 50 percent of our cases are now done via the wrist. It shows we are ahead of the curve and able to offer more options to our patients,” Dr. Venzon said. He and his wife Mary Jane moved to Cedar Rapids in 2008 after he completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowships at Rush University in Chicago. A native of the Philippines, Dr. Venzon was drawn to the Midwest because of the people. The couple finds Cedar Rapids to be a great community in which to raise their two children. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Venzon at Cardiologists, L.C., call 319/364-7101 or 800/982-1959.

Dr. Roy Venzon, Cardiologists, L.C.

Member benefits update Brewed Awakenings no longer offers discounts to Advantage members.

LiveWell update Am I ready for joint replacement? Tuesday, Aug. 28 • 6:30 p.m. St. Luke’s Hospital, 3rd Floor Heart Center

When joint pain affects your daily life and limits you from activities you previously enjoyed, it may be time to look into joint replacement and alternative procedures and technology.

Facing challenge with courage and hope: a talk by Mark Kelly

Monday, Sept. 10 • 7 p.m. Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Rd. NE The lives of retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly and his wife Gabby Giffords were forever changed the moment Giffords, a U.S. Representative, was shot in an attempted assassination. Kelly will discuss their challenges and road to recovery. Plus, St. Luke’s own Angela Glynn will talk about her instrumental role as a speech pathologist in Giffords’ treatment and recovery. Book signing to follow.

The healing power of laughter

Thursday, Oct. 11 • 6:30 p.m. St. Luke’s Hospital, 3rd Floor Heart Center Laughing Yoga focuses on laughter, breathing and improving wellness. Instructor Laura Gentry is a world-wide leader in the field and has been featured on The Oprah Show. All events are free. Register by calling 319/369-7395 or visit

Seeing the world is an exciting adventure when you’re well, when you’re ill – you’d rather be home sipping soup. To stay healthy during international travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend visiting a doctor familiar with travel medicine. In Cedar Rapids, the International Travel Health Clinic at Internists, P.C. (IPC) provides that expertise. “When you travel outside the U.S. there is a risk for getting a lot of different diseases and it’s important to sit down with a doctor to see if you need any vaccinations before you leave the country,” said Dr. Ahmed Abualfoul, IPC. “Travelers should also have a conversation with a doctor about the diseases you can contract from that specific country or region.”

Your travel health appointment When you make an appointment at the International Travel Health Clinic, you’ll need to bring: • An itinerary • Length of your trip • Possible activities • Your vaccination and medical history • List of current medications • Your health status and any allergies

Dr. Abualfoul specializes in infectious diseases and the health problems associated with overseas travel. “Some travelers may be at risk for malaria and if they are visiting Southeast Asia, China and the Far East they should be vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis,” said Dr. Abualfoul. “Probably the most common illness is traveler’s diarrhea. It usually resolves on its own but there are times when antibiotics are needed. There are also some viral diseases overseas that we don’t have treatment for, so your best course of action is to get the vaccine before you leave.” If you are preparing for international travel and want to visit the clinic, make your appointment four to six weeks before you leave. However, you can benefit from a medical consultation right before you leave. “Certain vaccines need two doses,” said Dr. Abualfoul. “These typically need four weeks between the first shot and the second dose. We also want individuals to receive any vaccines at least 10 days before they leave the country. This allows the vaccine to be most effective.” You don’t have to be an IPC patient to use the International Travel Health Clinic. The International Travel Health Clinic is located at IPC, 115 Eighth Street NE in Cedar Rapids, and on the web at Please call 319/363-3565 for an appointment. Dr. Ahmed Abualfoul, Internists, P.C.

Living Longer. Living Well.

For your health

ER vs Urgent Care

Check your risk for developing the most deadly diseases

By Brian Shedek, DO, St. Luke’s ER doctor

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and lung disease is the most fatal cancer. St. Luke’s has developed two assessments to help you find heart and lung problems early. ST. LUKE’S

Learn your risk for developing heart disease with Heart Check: five easy tests to assess your heart, vascular and stroke health. Tests are performed and checked by St. Luke’s doctors, nurses and technicians. The testing includes a consultation with a St. Luke’s heart care expert to discuss your results and advise follow-up care. Heart Check costs $195. A comprehensive blood test is also available for $40. Schedule an appointment by calling 319/369-8129.

St. Luke’s Lung Check includes a chest CT scan, which is a rapid, noninvasive test using low-dose X-rays providing detailed, three-dimensional images of the lungs. The entire chest is scanned in seven to 15 seconds. Radiologists review images for small spots on the lungs called nodules. A recent study by the National Cancer Institute showed a significant decrease in death from lung cancer in heavy smokers age 55 and older who were screened using low-dose CT scans. The American Lung Association recommends this screening for people who meet the St. Luke’s Lung Check criteria:

• Men or women between 55 and 74 years old • Those who have smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years or more or two packs a day for 15 years • Those who quit smoking less than 15 years ago and smoked one or more packs a day for 15 or more years Lung Check costs $175. To schedule an appointment, call 319/558-4867.

Hand washing is the single most important way to protect yourself in the hospital. Make sure you wash your hands and ask all visitors to clean their hands when they enter and exit your room. Ask hospital staff to clean their hands before treating you if you do not observe it. Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) ratings help you compare hospitals, make well-informed choices and alert you to


Total Days

Iowa Observed Rate (%)


Observed Infection Rate

Total Days


Observed Infection Rate


St. Luke’s Hospital





Mercy Medical Center










2011 Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) report

MRSA Surgical Site Healthcare-associated infections are infections patients acquire Results for CABG, colon, hip or(HAIs) hysterectomy surgeries. while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. 2009 2010 Hospital

Total Sur-

Observed (%)

Total Surgeries

Medicare information for your 65th birthday Close to 40,000 Iowans turn 65 in 2012. “For those approaching age 65, there are four key Medicare questions,” said Kris Gross from the state of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). • Should I enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B? • If I enroll in both, should I get Medicare coverage through traditional Medicare or through a Medicare Advantage plan? • Should I enroll in Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage? • Will I have supplemental coverage that covers costs not paid by Medicare? Even if you continue working after age 65 or have a spouse who works and provides health coverage, you need to understand Medicare’s eligibility and enrollment rules and evaluate your options.

SHIIP resources

Central Line-associated Bloodstream National Comparison Rate per thousand catheters 2006-2008 = 1.92 2009

Urgent Care is best for treating minor illnesses and injuries, such as earaches, colds, fever, flu, rashes, animal and insect bites, minor bone fractures and minor cuts requiring stitches, nausea and urinary symptoms. Many urgent care clinics also perform lab tests, X-rays and physical exams.

St. Luke’s has three Urgent Cares in Marion, Hiawatha and Cedar Rapids. Find St. Luke’s ER and Urgent Care wait times online at

particular concerns. A St. Luke’s Infection Prevention employee reviews and reports every infection in the hospital to help eliminate HAIs, a significant cause of complications and death.

Per 1000 catheters

Urgent Care is not a replacement for your own doctor. If you have a life threatening illness or injury then go to an ER, or call 911.

Hospital emergency departments are prepared for every kind of medical emergency, are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and have special equipment and highly qualified medical staff to respond to every adult or pediatric medical emergency. Go straight to the nearest ER for: severe bleeding, allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, stroke, major trauma, chest pain and severe vomitting.

Ask the Expert: How can I avoid contracting an infection in the hospital? Lori Townsend, program manager for Infection Prevention The largest organ in your body – skin – protects you against infections. As a hospitalized patient, you’re most vulnerable to contract an infection during a long stay or when the protective mechanism of the skin is broken, such as for surgery or when a line or tube is placed. This includes IV lines, tubing that goes into the bladder or tubes that help you breathe. St. Luke’s staff wash their hands to prevent transmitting germs when they touch you, and to avoid taking germs from you to another patient. They remove invasive lines as soon as they are no longer needed.

Urgent care centers are a great option for treating common, less severe medical problems when a doctor’s office is closed or unable to see you. If your condition is less serious – a rash, ear infection, sprain – but requires immediate attention, an urgent care facility is a great alternative to the emergency room (ER) for several reasons. First, you’ll typically get seen faster because you’re among patients whose minor illnesses and injuries can be treated promptly. Getting treated at an urgent care center costs less than the ER and helps keep the ER free to handle more serious situations. Most urgent care centers are open for extended hours and accommodate you quickly.

Observed (%) Infection Rate

CarFit Receive a quick, comprehensive check of how well you and your vehicle work together at the next CarFit program. A trained professional will ask you simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist. The entire process takes about 20 minutes, and you’ll leave with recommended car adjustments and adaptations, a list of resources and greater peace of mind. “They are very thorough,” said Patricia Thorpe, 87, of Cedar Rapids, who attended CarFit in May. “They’re very courteous and helpful. They adjusted my side mirrors. I’m growing shorter. We decided I need a cushion, and now I have that.” If the technician thinks you’ll benefit from additional adaptations, an occupational therapist will make an assessment and recommendations, such as a seat cushion, seatbelt adjuster, seatbelt extender or key extender. The next CarFit program is Saturday, Oct. 6 from 8 – 11 a.m. Registration is required, call 319/369-8877 to schedule your 20-minute CarFit session.

To better understand Medicare, read the “Checklist for New Medicare Beneficiaries” and “Getting Ready to Retire: Health Insurance Issues” factsheets as well as the booklet “Medicare – What You Need to Know.” You’ll find them on the SHIIP website at or call 800/351-4664 (TTY-735-2942). Two-hour Welcome to Medicare seminars are offered around the state. You can receive notices about those in your area through the Iowa SHIIP Facebook page. SHIIP counselors are available at St. Luke’s to sit down with you and explain Medicare and your options. All services are free, confidential and objective. Call 319/369-7475 to schedule an appointment.

St. Luke's Hospital Advantage newsletter  

St. Luke's Hospital Advantage newsletter Summer 2012

St. Luke's Hospital Advantage newsletter  

St. Luke's Hospital Advantage newsletter Summer 2012