Thrive March 2011 Issue

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MARCH 2011

In this issue:

Learn to Be Assertive Effects of Stress Are you an Overspender?


thrivin g

SWLA Economic Outlook

March 2011

Smart Nutrition

Do you know an up-and-coming 30 something? s omething Find out how to nominate them for: s Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Experience. Innovation. Teamwork.

It’s How We Operate. An exceptional surgical experience at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital isn’t limited to the operating room. Our surgeons and surgical staff are pioneering new methods resulting in even more precision during surgery and faster recovery times. From admissions to nutrition, diagnostic testing to patient care after surgery, our team delivers extraordinary service using the latest technology with a hospital-wide commitment of putting patients first. It’s all right here at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

701 Cypress Street, Sulphur (337) 527-7034

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March 2011






In This Issue

Regular Features

4 Before You Buy a Car, Know This 8 Calcasieu Community Clinic: Serving SWLA for 10 Years

10 First Person: with Jim Beam 36 By the Numbers 52 Best Kept Shhecrets! 56 Well Aware 70 Stethoscoop 71 Solutions for Life 72 Chatterbox 75 The Last Word

12 A New Look at Computer Vision 16 The Overwhelming Habit of Overspending 18 Spruce Up Spring Flowers

Special Section



Smart Nutrition

The Ills of Stress 30 Behind the Scenes of the Lake Charles Little Theatre 34 Say Yes to No: Embrace Your Assertive Side 38

Cover Story:

Boost Your Brain Power 43 Spring Break Travel? Stay Safe 48 50 60 64

Feature Story: A Home for Hadley and Lexi The Skinny on Bariatric Surgery Weight Training Benefits Your Heart SWLA Economic Outlook

Don’t just live, thrive!

Editors and Publishers Creative Director/Layout Assistant Editor Assistant Designers Staff Writers Advertising Sales

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher Barbara VanGossen Erin Kelly Jason Hardesty Josh McGee Katie McDaniel Haley Armand 337.310.2099 Danielle Granger Andy Jacobson

Submissions or fax to 337.312.0976

Winner: 13

Louisiana Press Association Awards

Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career.

March 2011

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Things to Know before You’re on the Lot by Erin Kelly

Buying a car is a significant big-ticket investment that requires more than the simple knowledge that it’s time for a new car. Before you put your money down on a new or used Toyota or Ford, there are several wise steps to take to ensure that you’re not overpaying or underwhelmed, according to Misty Albrecht with Main Street Financial FCU. “If you walk onto a car lot blind – meaning you aren’t really sure what you want – your chances of developing buyer’s remorse at some point in the future are likely. Before you visit a dealership, have some idea of what kind of car you want. Do your research and set a budget – not just what you can spend for a monthly payment, but what are you willing to pay overall for the vehicle including finance charges, extra warranty and GAP insurance. Read as much as you can about the automobile’s safety record, later trade-in value, maintenance, things like that,” Albrecht said. “Once you’ve got one or two cars selected, make sure you know how much the car is selling for in your area. is a great source to find this type of information. Remember the sticker price is the starting place to negotiate for a lower price, and that dealers do pay less for the car than what the sticker states – how much less varies on the make and model of the car. Also remember that the ‘invoice’ price you find on the internet during your research isn’t always accurate. You want to make sure you get what you feel is a fair price for the vehicle. ” Deciding which dealership to select is also advantageous. Get referrals from friends or family. Utilize the Internet to glean as much information as possible – not just about the car you want, but the dealerships in your area. It’s good to

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know which dealers will work well with you and which have a reputation for shady business practices. “Other things to research that most people overlook before they go car shopping are checking their credit scores, financing options, cost of maintenance and insurance rates. All too often people don’t think about financing and checking your credit scores until they’re sitting with the dealer’s finance manager, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s to your advantage to have all this information before you ever get to the dealership,” Albrecht said. “If you know your credit score, you’ll have a good idea of what is or isn’t a fair interest rate. You can get a free copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus at – you should do this once a year even if you don’t plan on purchasing a new car. You can also visit your financial institution to get prequalified for an auto loan. This will help you stick to your budget and ensure you get the best interest rate possible while you are at the dealership. Securing financing before you even talk to the dealership finance office shows you have the ability to pay – and that can also give you some negotiating muscles for a better rate.” According to Albrecht, potential car shoppers don’t have to walk in unannounced to their local dealerships. If you get a specific referral or want to talk to the most experienced salesperson, make an appointment beforehand rather than being a “walk-in.” There are several advantages to talking to someone with experience, rather than someone who’s “green,” Albrecht said.

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March 2011

“The bottom line is, once you decide on a car don’t settle for buying it right there on the spot. Shop around. Most dealers will negotiate with you not just on price, but on financing options and extras like extended warranties and GAP coverage; some may negotiate more than others.” she said. “Remember, you’ll be paying on this for the next several years – sometimes as many as seven. You want and deserve to get the best possible deal.” For more information on financing for car loans, visit Main Street Financial online at, or the nearest local branch.

Cataracts? Bring Life Back into Focus with Premium Lens Implants

Premium lens implants available at The Eye Clinic can restore clear vision at every distance – near, far and everything in between – without the need for any type of prescription eyewear in many cases. Call today for more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified ophthalmologists.

It’s time to take a closer look at advanced cataract surgery for your best possible vision.


Lake Charles • Sulphur • DeRidder Jennings • Moss Bluff March 2011

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A Painful Condition for Most Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition, particularly among women of childbearing age. Endometriosis can be a debilitating disease for some women who experience ongoing pain, while others may be asymptomatic. It is also a factor in infertility. Endometriosis can be found in about 45 percent of young women as reproductive age approaches. The name comes from the word “endometrium,” which is the tissue that lines the uterus. During a woman’s regular menstrual cycle, this tissue builds up and is shed if she does not become pregnant. Women with endometriosis develop tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue outside the uterus, usually on other reproductive organs, inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity. Each month, this misplaced tissue responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle by building up and breaking down just as the endometrium does, resulting in internal bleeding. “Unlike menstrual fluid from the uterus which is shed by the body, blood from the misplaced tissue has nowhere to go, resulting in the tissues surrounding the endometriosis becoming inflamed or swollen,” says Bradley Forsyth, M.D., gynecologist and obstetrician on staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. “This process can produce scar tissue around the area which may develop into lesions or growths.” The stage of endometriosis is based on the location, amount, depth, and size of the endometrial growth. Specific criteria include the extent of the spread of the growth, the involvement of pelvic structures in the disease, the extent of pelvic adhesions and the blockage of the fallopian tubes. “The stage of the endometriosis does not necessarily reflect the level of pain experienced, risk of infertility, or symptoms present,” Dr. Forsyth says. “For example, it is possible for a woman in Stage I to be in tremendous pain, while a woman in Stage IV may be asymptomatic. In addition, women who receive treatment during the first two stages of the disease have the greatest chance of regaining their ability to become pregnant following treatment.”

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Endometriosis is most often found in the ovaries, but can also be found in other places including the fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, the internal area between the vagina and rectum, outer surface of the uterus and in the lining of the pelvic cavity. “Occasionally, endometriosis lesions are found in other places, such as the intestines, rectum, bladder, cervix and abdominal surgery scars,” Dr. Forsyth adds. The following are the most common symptoms for endometriosis, however, each woman may experience symptoms differently: • pain, especially excessive menstrual cramps which may be felt in the abdomen or lower back • pain during intercourse • abnormal or heavy menstrual flow • infertility • fatigue • painful urination during menstrual periods • painful bowel movements during menstrual periods • other gastrointestinal problems (i.e., diarrhea, constipation, and/or nausea) “Endometriosis is considered one of the three major causes of female infertility,” says Dr. Forsyth. “In mild to moderate cases, the infertility may be just temporary. In these cases, surgery to remove adhesions, cysts, and scar tissue can restore fertility. In other cases; which is a very small percentage women may remain infertile.” The causes of endometriosis are still unknown, although many theories abound. While any woman may develop endometriosis, women who have a first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with the disease, women who are giving birth for the first time after age 30, Caucasian women and women with an abnormal uterus seem to be at higher risk. Medication therapy or laparoscopic surgical techniques are commonly used to combat the condition. Sometimes a combination of therapies is used, along with hormone therapy. For more information on the latest treatment options associated with endometriosis, attend a free seminar featuring Dr. Bradley Forsyth at noon Thursday, March 24, in the Shearman Conference Center, located on the Memorial Hospital main campus at 1701 Oak Park Boulevard. To reserve a seat, call (337) 494-2936 or register on-line at

March 2011

Alliance/Thrive Magazine Produce

Book of Lists

In the not-so-distant past, if you needed to find a contractor for industrial construction or an accountant to help with an audit, there was a short list of providers you knew by name. Today, the continued growth of the Southwest Louisiana economy has made that list much longer. This is great news for our region and bodes well for our future as we approach a new decade. It can, however, make it more difficult to identify potential businesses for project proposals, sales, needed services and other common business needs. The SWLA Alliance’s Book of Lists, a comprehensive regional business directory, solves that problem. The Book of Lists is a joint project between the SWLA Alliance and Thrive Magazine, and will be an essential resource for business owners and a critical economic development tool as we recruit new businesses to our region. As the name implies, the Book of Lists will contain lists of the area’s leading businesses in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jeff Davis parishes, organized by category, and including key contact information and other specific company details. Containing more than 2,000 contacts, the Book of Lists will become a highly utilized “one-stop” business reference used by thousands of people in and outside of our community. “We will print 5,000 copies of the inaugural Book of Lists in 2011. We plan to produce an updated version every 18 months. This publication will be distributed at no charge to area businesses and we’ll immediately begin including this publication in our business development efforts. When new businesses are considering or making a move to our market, they’ll now have one convenient directory resource of all area businesses that can help them succeed March 2011

in Southwest Louisiana. Our Book of Lists puts your name and contact information in front of them and gives you the opportunity to showcase your services,” said SWLA Alliance President/CEO George Swift. “We are asking for the business community’s support of this project. Our research department will be contacting various businesses to verify their listings in the book, and Andy Jacobson with Thrive sales will be coordinating ad placement. We’ve made the ad rates very affordable in order to showcase as many area businesses as possible, but space is limited. Remember, the Book of Lists will be referenced repeatedly by businesses that need your products services. Don’t miss this opportunity to put your business name directly in the hands of potential customers,” continued Swift.


Pam Blake

Contact Information for the 2011 Book of Lists: Daphne Oliver – Alliance Research Director Andy Jacobson – Thrive Magazine Sales Representative

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Calcasieu Community Clinic Celebrates

10-Year Anniversary

The mission of providing free health care services for the working uninsured in our area has been a collaborative effort since the Calcasieu Community Clinic opened its doors in 2001. In 1999, the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, under the leadership of Dr. John Stubblefield and the late Dr. Eli Sorkow, worked tirelessly to adopt best practices for establishing a local free clinic. In February 2001, their efforts paid off when the Calcasieu Community Clinic opened its doors to provide free health care for the first time. The largest contingent of physician volunteers for the clinic continues to be members of the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society. “The clinic is an example of volunteers helping people who are helping themselves,” says Stubblefield. McNeese State University’s Juliet Hardtner Hall, housing the College of Nursing and the Department of Mass Communications, was under construction in 1999 when the free clinic idea was formulated. McNeese President Dr. Robert Hebert and Dr. Anita Fields-Gold, College of Nursing dean, envisioned providing the free clinic a home in their new state-ofthe-art facility. In the time between the planning of the free clinic and the completion of Hardtner Hall, the United Way of Southwest Louisiana provided temporary office space for the clinic to begin fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and the establishment of policies and procedures. To this day, the clinic continues to proudly boast of its affiliation with the United Way. With the help of the Junior League of Lake Charles and a group of McNeese nursing students and faculty, the clinic was able to open its doors in Hardtner Hall with financial support and volunteer manpower. Area hospitals, laboratories and imaging providers also became involved by donating their services to patients on a referral basis in their individual facilities. According to Kayla Rigney, executive director with the Calcasieu Community Clinic, “The community support of the clinic’s mission in the last ten years has been overwhelming. The collaboration in our community has been so great that it’s impossible to mention each and every effort individually.” Since its opening, the Clinic has expanded to include a pharmacy, mammogram screening and dental services on a referral basis through offsite providers and in 2009, introduced a medically supervised weight loss program. Through these services, the clinic has been helping patients improve their overall lifestyle and health. Jan Miller, patient of the Community Clinic, says the Community Clinic has provided all of her medical needs with compassion since 2009. “The doctors,

by Katie McDaniel

pharmacists and nurses have been the best I could ask for. I have had x-rays, an MRI, Diabetes information, dental work, blood work, and even medication.” Through their services, the clinic has helped Miller to manage her arthritic condition so she is able to continue to work and support herself. “I would like to thank the staff and volunteers who have given their time and expertise to make this possible and I hope to be a volunteer myself very soon,” said Miller. Medical Director for the Calcasieu Community Clinic, Dr. Van Snider, believes that it is the appreciation of the patients that makes helping them so easy. “We are blessed to live in a country where there are so many volunteers able and willing to help those in need.”

About the Clinic

• In the past ten years, the Calcasieu Community Clinic volunteers and staff have provided 16,544 medical, dental, diagnostic lab and specialty visits to 2,357 individuals. • The pharmacy has dispensed 24,755 prescriptions. • The total value of medical, dental and pharmaceutical services provided to the community is $3,472,101.20. • In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, the clinic opened its doors and provided treatment for 422 displaced Louisiana residents.

Friday, april 1, 2011 L’Auberge du LAc cAsino resort grAnd bALLroom

6:00 pm


Fried ice cream, high-energy dAnce & performAnce bAnd A Black Tie Affair is a fundraiser sponsored by the Calcasieu Medical Society Foundation. Proceeds benefit the Calcasieu Community Clinic.

Call the CPMS office at 494-3095, or visit for additional information. Limited number of tickets available. Reserve early for priority seating.

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March 2011

Volunteer physicians, Drs. Lewis and Clements

Community Support for the Clinic In 2006, the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, held the first formal “Black Tie Affair” with proceeds donated to the clinic. This annual event will be held this year on Friday, April 1, at L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort and features dinner, live and silent auctions, Cajun comedian Kent Gonsoulin and the high-energy dance band, Fried Ice Cream. More than 400 guests are expected to attend this year’s gala in support of the clinic. Tickets are $125 per person or $1,000 for a table of eight. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society at (337) 478-3780 or visiting

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March 2011

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first time Jim Beam walked into a newsroom, reporters sat at clanking typewriters and handed their finished stories to typesetters. The news stories he filed during his first years at the Louisiana Legislature had to be driven to the Baton Rouge bus station in an envelope and sent to Lake Charles on a Greyhound. Times have changed. The process of news-gathering has evolved alongside technology and newspapers are increasingly in danger of becoming antiquated, yet Beam, who has embodied the role of a quintessential local newsman for more than fifty years, maintains his faith in the power of newsprint. The former editor of the American Press has written more than 3,000 columns for the paper over the span of his career and has been a media fixture in state and local politics since he first covered the Louisiana Legislature in 1968. Beam was promoted from news reporter to city editor in 1965, a position he held for nearly twenty years before moving up the ranks to editor. He retired in December 1999, but continues to write the twice-weekly column that has been a staple of the Press since the 1970s. In December 2010, Beam was awarded the first Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund Award in recognition of his outstanding achievement in journalism and relentless pursuit of the truth. The award is named in honor of his former colleague, a local investigative reporter who died of leukemia in December 2009. Beam’s passion for local news is fueled by determination to educate the public about the innerworkings of state politics and keep elected officials accountable for decisions that affect their constituents. Thrive recently sat with him to discuss his career, the changing news environment and his thoughts on local government.

First Person is a monthly Q&A that features compelling people who excel in their chosen endeavors. Ideas for future Q&As? Email

first person with

Jim Beam

by Erin Kelly

photo by Jason Hardesty

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March 2011

How did your journalism career begin? I was teaching at Marion High and I had a friend named Bill MacMahon who was at Oak Park Middle. Teachers didn’t make much money so Bill also had a job at the paper, picking up change from the newspaper racks. One day Bill asked me if I would be interested in covering high school football for the paper for some extra money. I said sure. I worked for Frank Adams, the sports editor then, and I learned a lot from him. I’d requested a transfer from Marion because I wanted to save money on gasoline, but my transfer didn’t come through, so when a full-time job came up at the paper, I thought ‘Maybe I oughta give this is a shot.’ I was 28 years old at the time. My start date was January 21, 1961. The biggest selling point at the time was the money. It really pumped me up – until I realized that I was working twelve months a year instead of nine for the same amount (Laughs). I had no formal journalism training, but I’d taught American history, civics and English and all three were really helpful. Especially civics.

What memories stand out from your early years as a reporter? I had an opportunity to go to New York City for a two-week seminar at the American Press Institute. It was a seminar for city editors to get together and exchange ideas. I learned more at that seminar about being a city editor than anywhere else. We critiqued each other and shared our success stories. Around this time the paper had done a series of stories about people who’d been killed at a local hotel. As a result of that series, the hotel eventually put several safety features in place that are still there. I remember one of the city editors at API saying ‘That is what newspapers are for – to tackle serious community problems.’

You’ve been in journalism for more than fifty years. What was your biggest story? The Jupiter labor violence was the biggest news event of my career. In 1976 a group of workers attacked the Jupiter Chemical site and overturned mobile homes that were being used as construction trailers. One man was killed. The event brought TV and newspaper people from all over the country. The labor organizations here got upset with the Press because they thought the coverage was unfair. They boycotted the paper and held labor rallies. At the time labor unions had a very strong foothold in this city and the region. It was scary because we never really

March 2011

knew who was behind the violence. That event had a lot to do with the legislature passing the right-to-work law in this state.

When you’re a journalist it’s just part of your nature. News people are curious. You can’t be a good news person if you’re not curious.

What are the responsibilities of a journalist, in your opinion?

You have covered state government since 1968. Describe the changes you’ve seen over the years.

First of all you are supposed to inform readers. But you’re also supposed to be on the lookout for anything in the community that benefits the community. Tom Shearman Sr., who bought the Press in 1943, said it was like a Chamber of Commerce paper when he got it, but under Editor Ken Dixon’s leadership the paper took on illegal gambling in the city and put an end to it. That made us a force for good in the community. It’s a journalist’s job to shine the spotlight on wrongdoings. When I started writing a regular column in 1975 I had two goals – I wanted to explain to readers how government works in language they could understand and I wanted to talk about the issues that no one wanted to talk about. That’s how reform comes about – when people aren’t afraid to talk about serious issues.

You have had to endure a lot of backlash for being vocal about controversial topics. How do you handle it? I’ve been trashed up and down in public, but other than lots of colorful language, I’ve never been physically harmed. The first few times it bothered me, but then you realize that it goes with the territory and you can’t let it deter you from doing the right thing. One of the hardest jobs as a journalist is writing something controversial about someone you like. By the same token it can be difficult sometimes to say nice things about certain public officials that you don’t really care for. You can’t let feelings influence what you do. A journalist’s best work happens when they’re really upset about something, especially if it concerns a public official who violates the public trust. You have to stand for something.

What makes a good journalist, in your opinion? To be a good reporter you have to get out of the office and be where the action is. Journalists should be among the first on the scene, which I think is what interests so many people about the profession. Contacts are also critical. You have to be able to build good contacts.

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The first time I went down to cover the Louisiana Legislature the legislators had their families sitting with them at their desks on the House floor. Their wives and kids were there. Lobbyists had free reign; they would walk on the floor of the Chamber at will. In 1972 a lot of changes were made and that was one of the things they changed. Changes have been gradual, but things have gotten better. Technology is probably one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed. You can now watch the Chamber proceedings live on the Internet. I think the Louisiana legislature is one of the most technologically advanced in the country. From covering state government all these years I can say that most public officials are good and decent people, but there’s a few who give them all a bad name, just like some bad news people can give reporters a bad name.

The gathering and delivery of news has changed drastically in recent years. What is your opinion on these changes? Newspapers have lost a lot of influence because of new technology, but they will survive. Newspapers give readers local news that no one else can give them. The key is to get the best reporters you can get and make sure you cover local news better than anyone else. To survive, papers also need to utilize the Internet wisely. In this day and age people want their news right away. The key to success is to have good news sites to give them.

What are your thoughts on the 24-news cycle? Too much news can turn people off. Also, with so many 24-hour stations, news can get blurred. It’s getting harder and harder to tell news from opinion.


by Kr is

t y Ar



People use computers in just about every aspect of their lives today. E-mail, internet shopping, school work and job-related computer usage is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, all this focusing on computer screens is leading to a new type of vision problem called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), according to Dr. Melvin Gehrig, optometrist with The Eye Clinic. More than 143 million Americans work on a computer each day, with 88 percent of them suffering from computer eyestrain, according to national estimates. In addition, nearly 54 million children work at a computer each day either at home or in school and can also be affected by eye strain. Dr. Gehrig explains that while not everyone using a computer will suffer from CVS, some degree of symptoms are often apparent in those who spend more than two hours each day in front of a computer screen and may include headaches, focusing difficulties, burning eyes, tired eyes, general eyestrain, aching eyes, dry eyes, double vision, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and neck and shoulder pain.. Dr. Gehrig adds that CVS results from more than just eye fatigue. “The condition is caused by our eyes and brain reacting differently to characters on the screen than they do to printed characters. Healthy eyes can easily maintain focus on the printed page because our eyes have little problem focusing on most printed material, which is characterized by dense black characters with well-defined edges. However, characters on a computer screen don’t have this contrast or well-defined edges. Characters displayed on a computer are made up of many small dots or pixels. Each pixel is brightest in the center, with the brightness decreasing toward the outer edges. This makes it very difficult for our eyes to maintain focus and remain fixed onto these images.” If you work at a computer for two hours or more each day and are experiencing symptoms of CVS, Dr. Gehrig says you should see a qualified eye doctor for a computer eye exam. “With the widespread use of computers at home, school and work today, I’ve made asking about vision problems and computer use a part of a routine eye exam. If the patient is having any symptoms of CVS, there are many things we can suggest that can improve their vision when using computers.” His suggestions include taking frequent breaks; making a conscious effort to blink more often; adjusting light sources to eliminate glare; choosing lighter screen color with darker text for higher contrast; cleaning screen frequently; keeping screen position four to nine inches below eye-level, and 20 to 26 inches from your eyes. Dr. Gehrig says in most cases, standard reading glasses or over-thecounter readers are not enough to provide clear vision of a computer screen. “But we do have computer eyeglasses that will correct the problem for most people. Once we’ve accurately evaluated your computer vision problem and determine your correct computer working distance, we can prescribe prescription computer glasses that will allow you to be much more comfortable and productive while working at the computer. These glasses can 12 13

be customized for those who wear bifocals.” Even more, Dr. Gehrig says you don’t have to worry about sacrificing style for good computer vision. Almost any style of frame can be used for computer eyewear. “The lenses are the key factor for computer glasses. In most cases, multifocal lenses will be the best choice, as they are designed specifically for working at a computer. They allow you to see clearly at your correct computer screen distance, at paperwork on your desk, and can give you some distance vision. Of course, with computer glasses, your work environment determines the best lens choice, and we can work with you to customize your prescription.” For more information about CVS and computer glasses, call The Eye Clinic at 478-3810 or visit

The Faces of Experience

Joyce Fischer and Bill Luff have a total of over 49 years of nursing experience, and combined they have committed themselves for over 18 years to the caring and compassionate ways of hospice.

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somethings Thrive magazine and KPLC are on the hunt for 13 local people in their thirties, better known as Thirteen Thriving Thirty-somethings, who are making good things happen in Southwest Louisiana. They’ll be featured on the cover of the May issue of Thrive magazine, included in the cover story, be part of a professional photo shoot, and featured in a series of segments on KPLC.

Who is up and coming, moving and

shaking, stylin’ and profilin’?somethings (OK, thriving maybe not that last one.) But you get the idea. These are people who are on the move, whether through volunteer work, their career that puts them on the path to greatness, or through their own determination in a chosen endeavor. These are the future leaders of Southwest Louisiana. Nominate yourself or someone you know by filling out the nomination form at www. Entry deadline is March 20. Remember – local, thirty-something and, most of all, thriving!

March 2011

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March 2011

Technology Takes a Giant Step Forward

for Diabetic Wound Healing

by Kristy Armand

Imagine getting a blister from an ill-fitting shoe, nicking your skin when you trim your nails, or stepping on a sharp object. For most, these would be a minor annoyance. But for someone with diabetes, any of these incidents could lead to a diabetic foot ulcer, a potential complication of the disease that can have very serious consequences. “Diabetic foot ulcers are the most common reason people with diabetes are hospitalized,” says Foot and Ankle Specialist Tyson Green, DPM, with Center for Orthopaedics and member of the wound center medical staff at West Calcasieu Cameron and CHRISTUS St. Patrick hospitals. “Studies show that an alarming one out of five people with an infected ulcer ends up undergoing amputation.” Diabetic foot ulcers typically develop due to complications of diabetes, specifically, peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which feeling, or sensation, is lost due to reduced blood flow to the lower extremities. “This means the individual may not even realize their foot is hurting or injured, so they don’t treat it right away. Peripheral neuropathy also interferes with the normal healing process, which can lead to infection and, in many cases, a non-healing wound,” says Dr. Green. “Finding the best way to promote healing in these patients has always been a huge challenge. Fortunately, today we have new options for wound healing that are helping us achieve remarkable results.” One of the most successful options is regenerative medicine therapies, such as Dermagraft, a substitute for human skin. Dr. Green explains that Dermagraft is not a skin graft, but instead works as a bio-delivery scaffold for healing. Dermagraft is manufactured from human fibroblast cells derived from newborn foreskin tissue. Fibroblasts are the most common type of cell found in connective tissue and play an important role in healing. During the manufacturing process, the human fibroblasts are seeded onto a bioabsorbable mesh scaffold. The fibroblasts multiply throughout the scaffold and secrete human dermal collagen, matrix proteins, growth factors, and cytokines to create a threedimensional human dermal substitute containing metabolically active, living cells. “Whew! That’s a mouthful, but basically it allows cells to grab hold of it and fill in over an open ulcer,” says Dr. Green. Each single-use application is just a few square inches in size and is cryopreserved. “Dermagraft allows us to delivers proteins, growth factors and matrix directly to a wound that can’t heal because the body can’t produce and deliver these healing substances efficiently on its own,” says Dr. Green. “This can help jump start a stalled healing process , which is critical for a condition that could otherwise lead to infection or amputation if it remains open too long. Wounds that are older than four weeks old have about an 80 percent chance of increased complications. Therefore, if you are not rapidly reducing the wound size, you will inevitably encounter more complications.” He adds that Dermagraft is not indicated for use on all diabetic non-healing wounds, and is designed to treat full-thickness diabetic foot ulcers, which extend through the dermis, but without deeper tissue or bone involvement. Adequate blood supply is also required. Dermagraft should also always be used in conjunction with standard wound care regimens. “After years of struggling to find a solution for what can be one of the most tragic complications of diabetes – amputation – science had delivered a very successful solution,” says Dr. Green. “With Dermagraft, we are saving limbs and restoring mobility for our patients.” For more information about diabetic foot care, call Center for Orthopaedics at 721-7236. March 2011

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



are millions of Americans who live paycheckto-paycheck, especially in our current economy, but there are also those who are “over-spenders” – folks who find themselves in the red even when their bank accounts should be comfortably padded. Spending less than you earn is a matter of logistical common sense, but it’s easier than you think to spend money that you don’t have. Some statistics estimate that as many as 43 percent of American consumers spend more than they earn each year. Many consumers think their biggest problem is that they don’t make enough money, but if you’re a true-blue “overspender,” earning more money won’t solve the problem. It’ll just give you more to spend. “I often see people who complain that their bank account is always in overdraft because they don’t make enough money, but more often than not, their annual income isn’t the biggest problem. It doesn’t matter if you earn forty thousand a year or four-hundred thousand, if you are an over-spender at heart and don’t learn to keep it in check, your account will go into the red fairly quickly and regularly,” said Lyles McDaniel, Senior Vice President with Cameron State Bank. “True financial freedom doesn’t mean having the ability to buy whatever you want at any time. True financial freedom is having elbow room with your money so that you don’t get boxed into a situation that you can’t get out of.” One of the biggest lures to over-spending is some consumers’ belief that they have to keep up with the Joneses. Some have it in their minds that there are certain material things they need to solidify their status, either to themselves or their neighbors. “When your neighbor up the street gets a Mercedes, suddenly your mid-range sedan looks cheap and inexpensive, so you go out and buy a BMW to prove to yourself and others that you can afford a luxury car, too. There’s just one irony – there’s a good chance that neither of you can really afford it,” McDaniel said. In many cases, keeping up with the Joneses isn’t the problem – it’s keeping up with yourself. “It’s amazing how many people don’t really have a genuine idea of how much money they earn and how much they spend. If you don’t know how much you really have, how can you ever get an accurate picture of your financial situation? I’ve met people who would rather stay in the dark because sitting down with their financial reality is too much to take. But that isn’t true financial freedom,” McDaniel said. “True financial freedom means knowing exactly where you stand so you don’t find yourself buried under the weight of bad decisions.” According to McDaniel, another way people get themselves into dire financial straits is relying too much on credit cards. That’s the easiest and most common way people dig themselves into a hole, he said. “For many people, plastic doesn’t feel like real money – but I guarantee it will feel like it sooner or later.” Also: Making financial decisions today based on what’s going to happen tomorrow. “Sometimes people make plans based on future financial windfalls. They’re expecting a bonus or a settlement soon, so they overspend today or charge items on their credit cards with the idea that they’ll use the incoming money to cover it,” McDaniel said. “Rarely is this a good plan. Usually one of two things happen: Either the consumer doesn’t use the financial windfall to pay off the planned debt, or the windfall isn’t what was expected.”

The Path to Over-Spending

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

by Erin Kelly

March 2011

There are traditional money management practices that consumers should adopt to keep tabs on their accounts, but before deciding on a monetary plan of action, it’s wise to understand your own spending style first, McDaniel said. There are certain lifestyle changes that over-spenders may need to make that others wouldn’t. “If you’re spending responsibly but still come up short, it may be because you don’t have enough incoming money. If that’s the case, you need to either cut spending or increase your income – or both,” McDaniel said. “But if you have plenty of income and still find yourself in the red due to poor spending habits, that’s another story. Rather than focusing on how to get more money coming in, you’ll want to focus on ways to discourage spending. You may want to keep credit cards out of reach, for example, or talk to your spouse about potential new ways to handle household finances. There are other options, too, such as creating an automatic savings account that draws from your checking each month. Most banks can arrange to transfer a set amount from one account to another. However, it can be a challenge for overspenders to avoid the savings account.” Creating a budget may not be enough to solve the problem if you tend to over-spend, according to McDaniel. Specific lifestyle changes will probably need to be made. “Your best bet would be to talk to a trusted financial professional, either at your community bank or a legitimate credit counseling service,” he said. “You’ll have to make the commitment and be disciplined enough to control your spending habits.”

Lake Charles Symphony explores the planets:

Free Family Concert For membership and ticket info, call 337 433-1611or visit

The Darkness of the Universe April 3rd at 3pm in the Rosa Hart Theatre Narration by Dr. Ron Kaitchuck, professor of Physics & Astronomy at Ball State University This concert is supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. This concert is supported by a partnership grant from the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and the City of Lake Charles.

Dr. Fletcher brings his experience in family care back home. Now accepting new patients. Women & Children’s Hospital welcomes board-certified family practice physician Dennis Fletcher, M.D., to our medical staff. A Lake Charles native, Dr. Fletcher received his medical degree from Louisiana State University. He provides compassionate care that ranges from wellness and preventive services to the management of chronic conditions. And he is now seeing patients at Lake Area Family Medicine. For an appointment, call 337-562-3761.

Medicare, Medicaid and most major insurance plans accepted.

4150 Nelson Road, Bldg. G, Suite 5 Lake Charles

Member of the Medical Staff at

337-562-3761 March 2011

53638_WCH_Fletch_8x4_875c.indd 1

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


2/15/11 8:34 AM

Here Comes the Sun!

Get a Head Start on your Spring Yard Work Spring at last… almost! The official first day of spring is March 21 and it feels like spring weather is here to stay, so there’s no better time to get your yard ready for the growing and blooming season.

Ray Fontenot, lawn, garden and outdoor living buyer for Stine, says the earlier you can invest some time and attention preparing your yard for spring, the better your results will be. “As the plants and ground ‘wake up’ from their dormant winter state, there are steps you need to take to welcome them back. A lot of people don’t give their yard a second thought until the grass starts growing and shrubs and flowers start budding. By then, you are well into the growing season and you’ve missed a short window of opportunity to do some simple prep work that can make a big difference throughout the spring and summer.” He recommends going on a scouting inspection as soon as you can. “Walk your entire yard and look for any damage that occurred to trees, shrubs, fencing, lawn and other areas during the winter months. Look for any hanging branches or split limbs and cut off anything that is broken.”

Pruning If you need to prune ornamental trees and shrubs, Fontenot says the best time to do so is before growth starts. “The exceptions to that rule are spring-flowering shrubs. For those, you need to wait until after they finish flowering. This would be a good time to prune roses if they look like they need a trim. Trim branches without collars very close to the trunk. Trim branches with collars or other natural projections at the collar edge.”

Yard It probably doesn’t look like much at this point, but it won’t be long before the grass is growing out of control. Rake away all the thatch that has accumulated since the fall. Thatch is that tangle of dried up dead grass and weeds that intertwines with the live grass before you attempt any other lawn care projects. “This is very important,” Fontenot says, “because anything you add, such as new seed or fertilizer will simply sit on the top of the thatch, rather than getting down into the soil. If your lawn already needs a mowing, set the mower blades at their highest setting, just to trim off the top. Patch any bare spots in the yard with grass seed. You may want to add slow release fertilizer and/or weed stopper to your yard. Most lawns need this, according to Fontenot. “If you are uncertain about what to use, just ask. There are a variety of grass fertilizer options to address specific issues you might be having in your yard.”

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March 2011

Tiling the Swiss Way

Clean Your Garden Beds Cut down any perennial foliage remaining from last year and use a steel rake to clean the beds out. Remove all of the edging along with any old mulch, leaves and branches. It’s important to remove as much of the old mulch as possible so that it doesn’t build up and smother your plants. You should also check around the base of any woody trees and shrubs to make sure there is no mulch left around the trunks. If there is, remove it so that it doesn’t cause the wood to rot. Define the edge around your garden beds using a garden edger, and then put down a fresh coat of your favorite mulching material before adding any new plants.

Weeding This is a good time to get down on your knees and remove as many weeds as possible before they have the opportunity to flower and then seed. Fontenot says if you need an incentive, consider this: some weeds can produce as many as 10,000 seeds each. “If you don’t take care of it now, you’ll have a lot more weeding to do in the hot, humid months ahead.”

Glass Tile Ceramic tile Granite tile Marble

Plant and Transplant March is a good time to plant new roses, berries, fruit trees and most deciduous plants. “If you’re still not sure what to plant,” Fontenot says to ask for help at the garden center. “If you want to move a plant from one spot to another, time is running out, so do it as soon as you can. It’s best to do this before annual spring growth begins.”

Slate Custom Shower Countertop and Backsplash

Fireplaces Brick Pavers Stone work

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Pick Your Perennials Take a look around your yard and decide if you can brighten it up with a few new colors. Gardening books, magazines and websites, along with input from an area garden center, can help you get new ideas. Fontenot says to be sure to pay attention to the amount of sunlight and the soil conditions in the area of your yard you are planning before you make any purchases. .

Porches and Patios Clean and spruce up your porches, patio or entertainment areas. This is the time to reseal your deck, add a fresh coat of paint make any other needed repairs, and take out or purchase outdoor furniture to make sure you are ready to enjoy the mild spring weather and the beautiful yard you’ve worked so hard to prepare. “Remember,” says Fontenot, “having a beautiful yard doesn’t have to be a lot of work, especially if you start early.”

by Kristy Armand

March 2011

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Smart Nutrition

Happy National Nutrition Month! Now is a great time for a fresh start when it comes to your eating habits. It’s so easy to let the fat and calories creep in, whether eating at home or in a restaurant. We’ll give you tips on what to choose while eating out, and substitutions to make in your own kitchen. And, don’t forget about the kids. Eating the same ol’ food in the lunch box can get monotonous. Jazz things up with new ideas. You might want to try a few of them for your own lunch – saving calories and money! This spring, enjoy some fresh new ideas from the kitchen.

Trimming the Fat from Restaurant Meals

Southwest Louisiana is synonymous with good food. Unfortunately, most of it is fried and fattening. We’re listed as fifth in the nation for highest percentage of obese adults; 31 percent of our adult population is obese. The report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also showed that in the past year, the rate of obese adults increased in 28 states and declined only in the Washington, D.C. “Louisianans love to eat, whether it’s good home-cooked food or at a restaurant; the challenge is to make these meals heart-healthy while keeping the flavor we enjoy. It can be done, and it’s in our best interest to pay more attention to what we’re feeding our bodies, because poor health impacts all of us in one way or another,” said Leslie Petross, registered dietitian with West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. More than 75 percent of Americans say they want to see more healthy options on restaurant menus, but only half say they actually order them, according to a report by Mintel, a market research firm cited by CNN. Years ago, going to a restaurant was reserved for a special occasion, a treat to celebrate an anniversary, good grades, or a promotion; otherwise, food was prepared and eaten at home. Today, most Americans eat out about four times a week. Foods eaten at a restaurant tend to have more calories and fat than homemade foods, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Despite the extra calories and fat, Americans’ appetite for restaurants will continue to grow. Eating out is often more convenient than cooking at home, it still has a celebratory feel on some occasions. With our mad rush mentality, it meets our demands for quick and easy. “We used to view restaurants as a chance to let go and eat anything

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by Christine Fisher

we wanted to because it was a treat, but we’re eating out so much more these days, we can’t continue to do that and be healthy,” said Petross. “It’s just as convenient to order a grilled chicken sandwich, minus the mayonnaise, as it is to order a triple-meat sandwich loaded with special sauce and extra cheese. It may not be as tasty, but you can’t load up on salty, fatty foods regularly without serious health consequences.” Petross said there are key things to watch out for at various types of restaurants.

Sandwich shops: Choosing your own toppings is great but avoid creamy sauces and heavy mayonnaise. Choose wheat bread whenever possible, load up on vegetables. Go easy on the deli meats because they tend to have a lot of salt.

Steakhouses: Watch out for the huge portions. Choose a smaller cut of meat, or vow to bring half home for another meal. Ask for toppings on the side for a baked potato and only add a small amount, not the whole container provided. Steamed vegetables can be a good side item, but ask for little or no butter added.

Chinese: Can be full of salt. Stir fried foods are often a good choice because they’re usually cooked quickly with a small amount of oil.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

Italian: Grilled or broiled chicken or seafood is often a good choice. Marinara sauce is less fattening than the creamy Alfredo sauce. You can get the cheesy taste by adding Parmesan cheese on top rather than ordering a cheese-laden dish.

Louisiana Proud. Louisiana Strong. Mexican: Fajita choices are better than a cheesy-filled burrito; black beans provide protein and fiber. Pico de gallo sauce or salsa is healthier than sour cream, and a small amount of guacamole contains good fat that can lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL, but it’s full of calories, so don’t overdue. “Small portions are key to a healthy lifestyle. Restaurant portions are two to four times larger than recommended,” said Petross. In fact, portion sizes have continually risen along with waistlines. “The amount of food served on a plate influences us on how much we eat. It’s easy to continue to eat until most of the food is gone, instead of stopping when we feel full. Take home half of the portion for another meal and you won’t leave the restaurant feeling as stuffed.” The good news is that with every meal, a fresh start can be made. Ordering a healthier option for your next meal is a step in the right direction.

March 2011

At the Center for Orthopaedics, Southern hospitality is our first specialty. That’s because all of our doctors were born and raised right in here in Louisiana, and we’re proud of it. We’re also proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. This allows us to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve – care that is courteous, respectful of their time, and of the highest quality. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing the latest technological advances to Southwest Louisiana so that our patients won’t have to leave home to get the orthopaedic care they need. After all, we have a vested interest in keeping our community healthy: it’s our home too.

a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group

(337) 721-7CFO • Lake Charles Office: 1747 Imperial Blvd. • Sulphur: 250 S. Beglis Pkwy., Ste. 1 OUR DOCTORS: James Perry, MD Joint Replacement Foot and Ankle Surgery John Noble Jr., MD Knee Surgery Podiatric Medicine Geoffrey Collins, MD Hip Surgery Sports Medicine Craig Morton, MD Tyson Green, DPM Shoulder Surgery Occupational Injuries Steven Hale, MD Back and Neck Pain Fracture Express George “J.” Trappey IV, MD Spine and Neck Surgery Bone Health Central a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group William Lowry Jr., MD Our range of services includes:

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Smart Nutrition There’s an App for That

by Christine Fisher

And by app, we mean appetizer – quick and easy recipes that will fit whatever you have going on. Whether it’s a fun family game night, an outdoor BBQ, or you’re looking for a fresh idea other than the standard dip and chips, here are some great ideas that are delicious and healthy!

Reduced-Fat Hot Crab Dip

No-Fry Crab Rangoon

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), room temperature ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream ¼ teaspoon hot sauce ¼ teaspoon crab boil spices 1 garlic clove, minced Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 12 ounces fresh crab meat, picked over for bits of shell and patted dry 2 scallions, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Whole-wheat crackers for serving, optional Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, crab boil spice and garlic in a medium saucepan until smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat the cream cheese mixture over medium-low heat until warm, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the crab, scallions, parsley, and lemon juice and warm until heated through, about 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature ¼ cup sour cream ½ onion, minced 1 tablespoon garlic powder 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 pound imitation crab meat, flaked 1 (14 ounce) package wonton wrappers Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, onion, garlic powder and sugar in a bowl and beat until soft and well mixed. Lightly stir in the flaked imitation crab meat. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water. Remove a wonton wrapper from the stack and cover the stack with a damp paper towel to keep the wrappers from drying out. With your finger, wet two adjoining edges of the wrapper with water and place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center. Fold the wrapper into a triangle shape, pressing out all the air and sealing the edges well. Place the filled wonton on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the wonton edges are brown and crisp. Serve immediately. Nutritional Information: Servings per recipe: 24; Calories: 142; Total fat: 7.4g; Cholesterol: 27mg Sodium: 309mg; Total Carbs: 14.4g; Dietary Fiber: 0.5g; Protein: 4.6 g

Nutritional analysis per ¼ cup serving (does not include crackers): Calories 125; Total fat 8g (Sat Fat 4g, Mono Fat 2g, Poly Fat 0.5g) Protein 11g; Carb 2g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol 58mg; Sodium 349mg Recipe provided by Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Fruit Dip 8 ounces cream cheese ½ cup marshmallow crème 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice Blend together the cream cheese, marshmallow crème and thawed whipped topping. Add enough pineapple juice to make dipping consistency. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Recipe provided by Lake Charles Memorial Hospital

Mexican Garden Salad 1 medium tomato, sliced and quartered 1 cup sliced cucumber, not peeled 1 cup chopped sweet onion 1 avocado, peeled and sliced ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbsp lime juice 1 Tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp. ground cumin ¼ tsp salt 1/8 tsp ground black pepper In a medium bowl, mix vegetables with remaining ingredients. Serve as is or on a bed of lettuce. Makes 3 cups Yields 4 servings; Each serving ¾ cup; Calories 119, Fat 10gm, Total Carbohydrate 8 gm, dietary fiber 4gm, protein 2 gm, sodium 8 mg. Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat Recipes provided by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

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Recipe provided by Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip ½ cup light mayonnaise ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or sour cream ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 2 tsp dried or 3 Tbsp. fresh minced onion 1 tsp chopped garlic ½ tsp dried basil 1/8 tsp ground black pepper 1 pkg (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped Preheat oven to 350˚. Mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, basil and pepper. Add spinach and artichoke hearts. Mix until blended. Spread evenly in a pie plate that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated throughout. Makes 3 cups; Yields 12 servings; Each serving ¼ cup; Calories 70, Total Fat 4 gm, Total Carbohydrate 4 gm, Dietary fiber 2 gm, protein 3 gm, sodium 182 mg. Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat Recipe provided by West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

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Bring in this coupon for 10% off your ticket. 1 coupon per table. Expires April 6, 2011.

2 Locations in Lake Charles, LA

• No one can beat our prices on domestic beer! • We Match any ad in town! Largest selection of wine, imported & domestic beer • We sell beer kegs! 2612 Kirkman Street • 337-439-2323

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Your Meat Headquarters (Broad Street location only)

We serve: Ribeye Select • Filet Mignon T-Bone Select • Pork Ribs Boudin • Sausage • Cracklins Ham Hock • Tasso Stuffed Pork Chops Turkey Wings & Necks We process deer sausage.

March 2011

Ask about our Mardi Gras specials! Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Smart Nutrition

Pack a Great Lunchbox

by Christine Fisher

The inside contents of the ordinary lunch box may not generate much interest from a child, but parents know what’s packed inside needs to fuel their child to learn as much as they can every day. For many, it’s the same lunch, day after day: sandwich, chips and juice. Adding a little zing makes everyone happy and can be a great way to introduce kids to new flavors, if they’re presented in a fun way. “Lunch gives kids the chance to refuel and keeps them going until the end of school. It’s important to make sure that if they bring a lunch, it’s filled with enough variety and nutrition to get them through the rest of their day,” said Kristy Harrigill, registered dietitian with Jennings American Legion Hospital. “Kids are very active, whether they’re on the playground in elementary school, or hurrying to get to their next class in middle or high school. With many of them involved in after-school sports activities, they may not eat until much later in the evening. This makes the mid-day meal even more important.” Some schools offer a variety in the cafeteria, but often, part of the choices are full of fat, sodium and calories. When faced with the choice, most kids will choose French fries over a fruit cup. Over time, eating foods full of fat will add up to extra pounds and poor health. If bad eating habits continue, childhood obesity could become a reality. “Children who are overweight are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart problems,” said Harrigill. “In addition to the physical problems, being overweight can negatively affect a child’s social and psychological development.” Packing a lunch gives parents more control over their child’s diet, but it must be kid-approved, or else it’ll end up getting traded or thrown in the trash. Harrigill suggested these tips for changing up the lunch box routine:

Hardware Essentials • Make sure lids are easy to remove for little hands. • Keep cold food at the right temperature with a small ice pack. • Inspect plastic containers from time to time, and throw out when they get discolored or show excessive signs of wear. • Wipe out the lunch box every day • Include a fun sticker for smaller kids, and for older kids tuck in a funny joke or encouraging note. “Some kids like having the same lunch for a while; others get bored if they have the same thing twice in a week. Adjust your lunch routine to match your child’s personality, but keep in mind variety is a foundation for getting a wide-range of nutrients,” reminded Harrigill. “Encourage your child to try new flavors. You may have to introduce it to them several times before they develop a taste for it. As they grow older, they’ll be more likely to eat new things.”

Sandwich Switch-Ups • Cut bread into fun shapes. • Use a tortilla to wrap up lean meats and cheese. • Fill a mini-pita pocket with tuna or chicken salad.

Take a Dip • Pack a small amount of salad dressing to use as a dip for baby carrots, broccoli or celery sticks. • Yogurt makes a great dip, especially for fruits. • Put the yogurt in a separate container with a lid, and add a few graham crackers as sprinkles.

Some Like it Hot • Use a thermos and pack a hearty soup on cold days. • Last night’s chili makes a great lunch box meal with a few crackers or cheese to sprinkle on top.

Accessorize • Pair up a traditional turkey sandwich with a serving of applesauce instead of chips. • Peanut butter and jelly goes great with chocolate milk. • It’s okay to add a few cookies or other treats from time to time.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

Pure Beauty Vi FACiAL PEEL S


Rhonda Salvador, LPN, LT

• Vi Chemical Peel • Enhanced Skin Rejuvenation • Laser Hair Removal • Acne Laser Treatments • Leg Vein Treatments • Skin Resurfacing “Laser Peel”

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Service no one can copy

Office equipment is vital to the success of your business. You need equipment you can rely on and service to back it up. Call us to schedule an appointment with one of our professionals. March 2011

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Copiers | Printers | Faxes 440 Alamo Street | 436-9486 Sales and service since 1972


Smart Nutrition

Portion Distortion Within the last 20 years, the average portion size has grown drastically. Nowadays, when you order a meal at a restaurant, the portion size is enough for two or three people. Because of this, the “normal” portion sizes at home have changed too. Below are examples of portion sizes from 20 years ago to today.


20 Years Ago Portion Calories


3” diameter


Today Portion Calories 6” diameter 350






1 cup sauce w/ 3 meatballs


2 cups sauce w/ 3 large meatballs


6.5 ounces


20 ounces


Blueberry Muffin 1.5 ounces


5 ounces


590 1,020

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

l l o r ! n E ow N Your Smile

lty a i c e Is Our Sp

At Crawford Orthodontics, we believe confidence starts with a smile. Braces today offer increased comfort and faster results. And braces aren’t just for kids. With the wide range of convenient – and nearly invisible – orthodontic options available, more adults are able to have the smile they’ve always wanted. Call Crawford Orthodontics today. We’ll give you something to smile about.

CRAWFORD ORTHODONTICS OFFERS: • Advanced, comprehensive orthodontics for children and adults • State of the art facility and equipment • Well-trained, experienced, caring staff • Complimentary initial exam • Acceptance of most insurance plans • Convenient financing and no down payment options

(337) 478-7590 • 701 West College Street, Lake Charles

Kids go crazy over art, music, sports, dancing... and at Mathnasium: math. Yes, math. Now Registering for Summer! New! Summer Math Camp (grades 2nd–8th) First Steps (Pre-K, K, 1st) Stop the summer “brain drain” Prepare for next school year (grades 2nd–12th) SAT/ACT Math Prep

337-478-0550 • 2744 Country Club Road Lake Charles, LA 70605


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

10 Great Food Swaps Everyone knows that making simple changes to our diet can make a huge improvement in overall health and wellbeing. Try these simple substitutions to your favorite food and drinks, courtesy of

Chocolate Replace a standard bar of chocolate with 3 squares of dark chocolate.

Coffee Use skimmed milk in your latte instead of whole milk.

Alcohol Drink a small glass of wine over a cocktail or can of beer.

Salads Instead of sprinkling croutons, use walnuts instead. Also, choose vinegar.

Burgers Grill burgers with ground turkey, not ground beef.

Popcorn Choose a bag of sweet popcorn over a salted one.

Sandwiches Remove mayonnaise from a sandwich and substitute it with yellow mustard.

Toast Instead of covering a piece of toast in butter and jam, opt for a teaspoon of honey or margarine.

Fries Swap a fast-food portion of fries and try an oven-baked portion made from home.

Dessert Substitute two scoops of ice cream for two scoops of frozen yogurt.

Pure & Simple.

Pure Foods and Health is no longer a retail business because we are much more than just a store. We’re your area resource for nutrition education and counseling . Certified Nutritional Consultant Shively Lampson, utilizing more than 25 years of experience, will develop individual holistic nutrition programs for clients with a variety of needs. Services are available by appointment to those interested in an individually tailored nutritional program for goals such as weight loss and healthy living, as well as for assistance in maintaining a nutritional diet while facing unique health conditions such as diabetes, food allergies, autism, cancer, celiac disease, ADHD, arthritis, lactose intolerance and other issues. We’ll also be offering regularly scheduled health and cooking classes, and are available for group presentations and workshops.

We believe that natural, whole food can provide the nutrients the body needs for a full, healthy life.


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March 2011

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


How Stress Stresses Your Health by Kristy Armand

Your impossible-to-please boss just gave you another ridiculous deadline. You have 30 emails and dozens of text messages you haven’t even had time to read, so you’ll have to catch up tonight. Your teenager needs to be picked up from practice at 5:30 and you’re already late. You have to pick up your dad’s new prescription and drop it off at his house before you go home. Waiting for you at home are yesterday’s dirty dishes piled in the sink and last week’s laundry, overflowing in two baskets on the kitchen table. There’s a stack of bills to be paid, the kids are fighting and you just realized you forgot to pick up something to cook for dinner. Sound familiar? There’s obviously no shortage of stress-provoking elements in modern life, and medical experts say stressed-out Americans have become the norm, not the exception. According to the 2010 findings of Stress in America, an annual survey conducted by Harris Interactive in conjunction with the American Psychological Association, three-fourths of the American population suffer from unhealthy levels of stress. Chronic stress is now so common, we’ve become desensitized to how it impacts our quality of life. And while you may recognize the emotional and mental impact of stress on your coping abilities, you may not be aware that stress can also literally make you sick. “The physical toll of stress on your health is huge. In fact, we’re only just beginning to understand the many different ways that stress levels influence overall health,” says Steve Springer, family medicine physician with Lake Charles Medical and Surgical Clinic. “Researchers are finding more and more links between high levels of stress and health problems.” To understand this link, you have to first understand stress and how the stress response in the body occurs. Stress can be defined as any type of change—good or bad—that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. Psychiatrist Dale Archer, MD, frequent guest expert on national news programs, says that stress is not all bad. “Even changes you are happy about, such as getting a promotion, getting married or having a baby, can be stress provoking. Studies show some stress is actually a good thing, helping us meet new challenges and deal with difficult situations. However, most people are not talking about this kind of stress when they refer to feeling ‘stressed out’.” According to Dr. Archer, what we typically call the negative feeling of stress is the body’s non-specific response to any increased demand that’s placed upon it. “Humans are hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect us from threats from predators and other aggressors. It’s often called the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.” He explains that during the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, the body automatically releases certain hormones to speed up the heart rate, slow digestion, divert blood flow to major muscle groups, and change various other autonomic nervous functions, to give the body a burst of energy and strength needed to deal with the threat. When the perceived danger is gone, the body’s systems are designed to relax, until the next life-threatening event occurs. “Such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress. You face multiple demands each day, such as work deadlines, family obligations, financial worries– the list goes on and on. Your body responds to these everyday hassles and concerns as it would threats, only now the biological response designed to cope with extreme danger is being triggered by daily, mundane aggravations, with no down time for the relaxation

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response which would allow the mind and body to recover. This is what is referred to as chronic stress, and it can lead to a multitude of mental and physical health problems.” Dr. Springer agrees, and says that when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between those challenges, stress can definitely become a health risk, disturbing the body’s internal balance and leading to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and insomnia. “In general, anything that lasts longer than a ‘fight or flight’—a few minutes to maybe a few hours—marks the transition from a beneficial to a harmful stress response. Older people and those who already have compromised immune systems seem to be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of stress.” So just how much is known about the effects if stress of health? Recent studies have found: • Over 40 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. • 75 to 90 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. • Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, ling ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. Dr. Springer adds that unrelenting stress can increase your risk of a many serious health problems. He provides the following examples:

Immune system. Normally, your immune system responds to infections by releasing chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. This is part of the healing process. Cortisol is produced to turn off this system when you are better. However, because it is elevated during times of stress, cortisol keeps your immune system suppressed and makes you more vulnerable to colds and infections.

Digestion. Stress hormones slow the release of stomach acid and interfere with how well the stomach can empty itself. These same hormones cause the colon to work faster and may lead to diarrhea.

Weight. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism, which boosts your appetite. Cortisol can also affect where on your body you put on weight. If you have high levels of stress, you are more likely to put on weight in your abdominal area, which puts you at higher risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

Cardiovascular system.


High levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can raise your heart rate and your blood pressure, and affect your cholesterol levels, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Excess stress leads to hormonal changes and emotional upheaval which contributes to the signs of aging and aggravates a number of skin disorders, including hives, acne, and rosacea.

Mental health. The constant flood of stress hormones puts you in a constant state of anxiety, worry and helplessness. This can trigger depression and anxiety disorders, especially if there is a family history. Some people are just more sensitive to stress than others.

Insomnia. Stress and worry keep your brain active, so it’s likely that constant stress may keep you from sleeping.

Premature aging. Researchers at the University of California found that prolonged psychological stress affects molecules that are believed to play a role in cellular aging.

Now that you are aware of the health risks associated with stress, you can take steps to reduce the effects of stress on the body. Experts say you should view stress as a manageable health risk factor, just like diet, smoking and exercise. You do have control. “Stress management has become something of a catch-phrase or workshop title, but is something most people don’t actually try to implement in their own lives,” says Dr. Springer. “Putting things in the proper perspective will go a long way to deceasing your level of stress. Traditional relaxation techniques, including meditation and deep muscle relaxation can also help you de-stress. So can a good night’s sleep—a minimum of seven hours each night. And don’t forget proper nutrition and exercise: these things can keep you healthy and better able to cope with the stress in your life.”

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Giving ‘Em a (Helping) Hand

by Brett Downer

LC Little Theatre has been a model of volunteer spirit for 85 years Cathy Chapman swept her paintbrush across a panel Cathy Chapman of scenery, chatting to a friend about the cat she just adopted. Randy Partin fired a staple gun into some cloth, strategizing how to create the illusion of a river flowing across the stage. John Day, up in the control booth, tested some sound effects, filling the empty auditorium with the chirps of birds. They were all part of a Saturday-morning crew of volunteers getting ready for “The Diviners,” the current production of the Lake Charles Little Theatre. They were also a snapshot, of sorts, of what it’s like to help put on a play. Volunteers are the lifeblood -- the sole life force, in fact -- of the Little Theatre, which was founded in 1926 and stands as the oldest arts group in Southwest Louisiana. The theatre has never had a regular paid staff

-- even Rosa Hart, the Lake Charles arts legend who directed for four decades, was not paid. The Little Theatre is overseen by an unpaid board chooses the plays and chooses the directors. Auditions are open to anyone. Also, people who prefer to share their talents backstage are recruited to hammer, paint, sew, sweep, haul, or even sell popcorn at intermission. “Being involved in the LCLT is a release from my sometimes hectic day,” said Jo Ann Hanks, a cast member of “The Diviners” who helped paint the set and write the playbill. “Every time I walk into the theatre, whether it be for rehearsals, working on the sets or for a meeting, I feel a sense of comfort and all other problems from my day disappear. I work because I have to -- I do theatre because I need to.” James Johnson, the show’s director, has staged more productions at the Little Theatre than any other active director. “I’m very proud and pleased to be involved in an organization that provides a service, that completes a need -- and provides entertainment for the community,” he said. A notable outside observer made a similar assessment a lifetime ago. Life magazine visited Lake Charles in 1948 and watched the Little Theatre mount a play that used only local townfolk as cast members and volunteers for crew. The magazine responded with an eight-page

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Nickolas Walling

photo essay on the LCLT and hailed it as “a model for community theatre in the United States.” Community theatre brings together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and vocations who might never meet if not for a single shared interest — the theatre arts, both on and off stage. Paul Land, general accounting manager at Coushatta Casino Resort, is assisting with lighting design. He has been a cast or crew member “for nearly every show for the past five years,” he said. “Proof that accountants are not boring.” Randy Partin of Moss Bluff, who does marine surveying and consulting by day, is often the go-to person at the theatre to design and build the sets. He also has a role in the current show, meaning he spent weeks both memorizing lines and trying to figure out how to simulate flowing water for a key scene. John Day is the assistant director and sound operator. “I’ve been involved in about a half-dozen shows, and this one has some pretty dramatic sound effects,” he said. “We’ll use a computer and maybe an old-school turntable fader.” “I don’t think we’ve ever done a show like this, in terms of the technical aspects,” said Cathy Chapman, a cast member and longtime LCLT actor and volunteer. The other members in the cast range from Gary Shannon, the popular morning show host on 92.9 The Lake, to Nickolas Walling, who’s a 14-year-old freshman at Iowa High School. Continued on p33

Paul Land

March 2011

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Theatre, cont. from p30

Ellie Marquez, LCLT’s president, said volunteers of all interests and talents are welcome to take part in all facets of Little Theatre productions and operations. She said people can contact the theatre at, 433-7988 or

THE CURRENT SHOW “The Diviners” is an acclaimed drama by Jim Leonard Jr. set in Depressionera Indiana. Buddy Layman (played by Nickolas Walling) is a disturbed teenager who loves his father Ferris (Randy Partin) and his sister Jennie Mae (Cat Hyatt), but is haunted by his mother’s drowning -- an accident in which he too nearly died. A disenchanted preacher, C.C. Showers (Frank Cooper), comes to town and takes a job as a mechanic. He also befriends Buddy, who stills harbors a terrible fear of water. In the meantime, people in town try to persuade Showers to resume preaching. “There are some really funny moments, and moments that are truly tragic,” said cast member Jo Ann Hanks (who plays Luella, a farmer’s wife). “Although this show takes place in the 1930s, I believe that everyone can relate to all the characters.” The play has weekend performances through March 20. To buy tickets online, visit The box office voice mail is 433-7988.

Randy Partin

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Nope. Never. Nada. Uh-uh. No way. Zip. No tha Decline. Negatory. Not. No can do. Veto

Say Yes to SayingNo by Kristy Armand

Nope. Never. Nada. Uh-uh. No way. Zip. No thanks. Nah. Refuse. Nay. Decline. Negatory. Not. No can do. Veto. Nix. Forget it. With so many simple ways to say it, you’d think saying no would be easy. But “no” is one word many people have a hard time verbalizing. This inability leads to over commitment, resentment and ultimately, unnecessary stress. What if you could turn down that request, offer, or invitation, and not feel so guilty about it afterward? Is it impossible? Are you doomed to be a yes-man or yes-woman? The answer is no – if you are willing to do a little work on yourself, according to Chauntelle LeJeune, MA, LMFT, LPC, Therapist with Solutions EAP (Employee Assistance Program). She says you should start with understanding why you find it so difficult to say no in the first place. “There are many reasons saying no can be challenging. You may feel obligated or worried about hurting someone’s feelings. You may want to impress someone or be reluctant to pass up an opportunity. In some cases you might just want to lend a helping hand. You might even have the crazy idea that you really can do it all.” Lejeune says the key to learning how to say no is to first realize that by always saying yes to others, you are saying no to yourself. “When you can’t say no, you put your personal priorities behind those of others. Not only do you add to your stress level by taking on additional tasks, you also can begin to feel resentful because you are never able to focus on what is important to you. And when you continually take on more than you can handle, you’ll no longer enjoy even those things you want to be involved in. It’s a fast-track to burnout.” Changing your thinking about what “no” implies is another important hurdle on the way to no-man’s land. “Saying no does not mean you are selfish,” says LeJeune. “Turning down a new commitment gives you more time to honor your current obligations. Saying no can also give you freedom to try new things. Just because you’ve chaired the church fundraiser for the last three years doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it forever. By saying no, you can open up an opportunity for someone else to shine while you move on to a new challenge.” Before you can even think about getting good at saying no, Lejeune stresses that you first have to decide what you are willing to say yes to in life. “If your yes is more time with your family, that will mean turning down obligations that keep you away from home. If it’s yes to things that advance your career, then you’ll need to say no to some personal time. If it’s yes to better health, you’ll need to say no to late meetings that keep you from the gym. The stronger your commitment to the yes’s in your life, the easier it will be to say no to those things that aren’t connected to your priorities.” Even when you have a plan, getting that short little syllable out when faced with someone sincerely needing your help can be a challenge, leaving you stammering, fumbling for excuses and rambling all the way back to yes. Lejeune offers the following suggestions for getting the no out:

Buy time. You are more likely to be pressured into saying yes when put on the spot, so if saying no is particularly difficult for you, buy some time by saying you’ll have to think about it. This will give you time to gain perspective and decide how the request would fit or not fit in with your current commitments.

Be honest.

Don’t make up a reason for saying no. The truth is always best and you don’t need to feel guilty about refusing.

Be brief and direct.

The word no is simple and to the point. Don’t dance around with substitutes like “I don’t think so,” or “Maybe.” These are not clear and can lead to pressure to say yes later on. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Briefly state your reason for declining the request. You have a right to say no without justifying why you are doing so.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

anks. Nah. Refuse. Nay. o. Nix. Forget it. Be graceful. Good causes are often the most difficult to turn down. You can praise the group’s work and extend your wishes for success but still state that you can’t give them the commitment they are asking for. Be firm. Even if the other person gets emotional or reactive after you’ve delivered your no, don’t yield under pressure -- as difficult as this may seem. Instead, take a deep breath and listen attentively to his or her objections. Then, gently but firmly, repeat your no. Again, keep it simple and direct. Don’t get defensive. Even with practice, LeJeune says saying no will always make some people uncomfortable, and that’s okay. “Be proud of the qualities you possess that make it so difficult to say no: thoughtfulness, empathy, compassion, generosity, work ethic. Just keep in mind that in order to keep these qualities available for the things that matter most in your life, you have to protect them from overuse on things that aren’t as important to you.” So the next time someone asks you to chair the fundraiser, watch their dog, stay late to help with a project – turn your head to the left, then swivel it back to the right, and just say, “No.”


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U.S. Women




The year Congress designated March as National Women’s History Month

of new businesses are started by women. Twice the rate of men Source: Center for Women’s Business Studies

Source: National Women’s History Project

55% 30%

of married women bring in half of the household income and...

now out earn their spouses Source: U.S. Census


Amendment was passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote Source: National Women’s History Project

29.9 million

Number of women 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher education in 2009 (over 1 million more than men)

157.2 million Current female population estimate Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Source: Educational Attainment in the U.S.

National Elected Office

89 - women serve in U.S. Congress 17 - in Senate 72 - in House of Representatives Source: Center for Am. Women and Politics


of college students are women Source: Educational Attainment in the U.S.

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312-8761 March 2011

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Give Your Brain a



by Erin Kelly

Instead of taking two lefts and a right on your way to work this morning, try the road less traveled – it could make you smarter.

Research has shown that learning something new gets the brain cells moving, and the more exercise they get, the stronger they become. It could be something as small as figuring out an innovative route to work or something as significant as learning a foreign language. As long as you’re doing something to make your brain work, your mental acuity benefits, according to psychiatrist Kashinath Yadalam, M.D., certified physician investigator and CEO of Lake Charles Clinical Trials. In the big scheme of things, little is known about how the brain works. It’s a complex system of neurotransmitters, tiny blood vessels and other complicated working parts that have boggled researchers for decades. It’s been said that human beings only use 10 percent of their brains, but the truth is, we probably only know about 10 percent of what the brain does, according to Dr. Yadalam. Sophisticated brain scans indicate that viewing a stack of cards and shuffling them utilizes different parts of the brain, but doctors have yet to fully understand how all of it works. Even the little things that we take for granted are indicative of the brain’s complex, multifaceted and intricate operating system. “Let’s say I have a bottle of water on my desk. I can look at that bottle of water and my brain can assess its color, shape, content and purpose in a matter of one millisecond. My brain allows me to use my vision to look at the bottle and at the same time it’s processing all this information about what I’m looking at,” Dr. Yadalam said. Although all the secrets of the brain have yet to be revealed, researchers have determined that to maximize your brain power and become a better problem-solver, philosopher or rememberer of names, you need to live an active, quasi-unpredictable life nourished by good food and healthy habits. “If you want to improve your brain power, you have to increase the number of cells in your brain and increase the number of connections each cell has to make.” If you take the same five-mile route to work Monday through Friday, your brain doesn’t have to do much to figure out how to get from A to B – hence, you aren’t doing much to increase the cells or the connections. But if you take Route A on Monday, Route B on Tuesday and Route C on Wednesday, suddenly your brain cells are forced to wake up and take notice. No autopilot.

38 39

“Routine is an enemy to developing your brain power,” said psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer, founder of the Institute for Neuropsychiatry. According to Dr. Archer, a regular guest on national news programs, life-by-routine is “detrimental, without a doubt.” “Doing the same thing day after day is not going to challenge you. The key is to learn new material,” Dr. Archer said. “The comparison between the brain and other muscles of the body is very accurate. Let’s say you do bench presses every day to strengthen your arms and chest. Eventually if you keep doing the same bench presses, you will get stronger, but you will only be good at one thing – bench presses. But then let’s say you decide to start kayaking for upperbody strength. Now you’re using a broad range of new material.” The moral of the story: Learn new things to strengthen your brain muscles. And once you’ve learned that, learn something else so you’re constantly challenged. Don’t settle for monotony, memorization or simple understanding. “If you do the five-letter word jumble long enough, eventually it won’t be challenging. You have to go up to six letters, then seven. If you keep doing the five letters, your brain won’t be working too hard after a while, the basic idea is to keep the brain in an exploratory and problem-solving mode. Success or failure at the given task is less important, if you fail, your brain still benefits,” Dr. Yadalam said.” Dr. Yadalam said. According to researchers with Oxford University, any novel skill that is learned – tennis, playing guitar or kayaking, for example – is likely to increase the density of fibers in the brain that allow neurons to communicate. Learning and memorizing isn’t enough, either. To truly maximize brain potential you have to be able to translate what you know into real life. “Real learning is about application,” said Renee Reina of Sylvan Learning. “Real learning is the ability to understand a skill or concept and apply this same concept in a different setting. For example, being able to add two numbers and come up with the sum of those two numbers is simple memorization. Being able to compute the number of apples in your basket is ‘real learning.’” Real-life application is one way to give your brain a boost and you’re probably doing it already in lots of ways you don’t realize – going out with friends, for example.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

Consider the difference between watching television and having dinner with friends. Staring at the TV from the couch isn’t interactive and doesn’t require your brain to get moving, even if you’re watching something educational. Compare this to dinner with friends, where you have to remember everyone’s names, listen to what they say, respond to what you hear, consider individual personality types, belief systems, sensitivities and do all the other things that people are required in order to function civilly in society. Other ways to boost your brain power, according to Drs. Yadalam and Archer:


According to Dr. Yadalam, a significant amount of research has been conducted on the relationship between diet, exercise and cognitive activity. Social activity, learning new skills and eating right are all important to improving mental acuity, Dr. Yadalam said, “but if you had to pick just one thing to do out of all that, it should be exercise. It doesn’t have to be any serious aerobic activity; it could just be walking. At some point you need to increase your heart rate, even if it’s just 20 percent. Certain chemicals are released when we exercise, and it’s not just endorphins, which create a sense of well-being. There are also chemicals that improve connections between nerve cells,” Dr. Yadalam said. According to research conducted at the University of Illinois, exercise grows the hippopcampus – the part of the brain that forms memories. Research indicates that physical activity increases the number of capillaries in the region, which helps to generate new cells.

Develop healthy habits. “We always hear ‘healthy body, healthy mind,’ and there is truth to that,” Dr. Archer said. “You have to sleep well. You have to quit smoking. You have to quit excessive drinking. All these things stress the brain. Exercise, nutrition and healthy habits all work hand-in-hand.” According to Dr. Archer, getting a good night’s rest is vital to healthy brain function. Sleep allows your brain to file and organize information it received throughout the day, which means that once it’s rested and all the inflow is filed, there’s space for new things. In a study at the University of California at Berkeley, participants’ scores on a memory test improved 10 percent when repeated after a nap. Those who didn’t catch some Zs saw a 10 percent decrease.

Eat right. The less fat you have in your blood, the more easily the blood can flow. “If the blood is flowing easily and quickly, that means it can reach even the smallest blood vessels of the brain,” Dr. Yadalam said. “The cells of the brain are measured in microns and the vessels that supply these cells are equally tiny.” Even a small amount of fat can have its effects, according to Dr. Yadalam. In addition to eating less fat, you can focus on foods that have been shown to boost brain momentum, including whole grains, blueberries, tomatoes, salmon, kale, bananas, apples, Brussels sprouts, oranges and pumpkin seeds. A 2009 study found that overweight individuals had an average of 4 percent less brain tissue than those of ideal weight. In obese populations, the loss of tissue caused the brain to age by 16 years, UCLA researchers found.

March 2011

Thrive Magazine for Better Living





Weight Loss Surgery Many of us have been on some type of diet in our lives. Some of us have spent our entire lives trying the latest fad diet, each time ending up right back where we started. And 90 percent of diets fail in the long run. More than 72 million Americans are obese or severely overweight. Each year, obesity causes at least 112,000 deaths in the United States, and it’s associated with numerous health problems: Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, gallstones, liver disease, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heart failure, degenerative joint disease, birth defects, miscarriages, asthma, and cancer. According to Dr. Keith Chung, one of two board-certified bariatric surgeons at Women & Children’s Hospital, “If you’re more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight, you may benefit from weight-loss surgery.” Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, once thought of as a primary cosmetic procedure, can offer lifesaving health benefits. There are various types of bariatric surgeries: • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common bariatric surgery, accounting for about 80 percent of all weight-loss surgeries. During this procedure, surgeons create a small gastric pouch to reduce food intake. They then attach a Y-shaped section of the small intestine to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach and parts of the intestine. The procedure is performed with a laparoscope through several small incisions. • Adjustable gastric banding or Lap Banding is the second most common bariatric surgery representing 15 to 20 percent of all weight-loss surgeries. Surgeons place a band around the upper stomach with a laparoscope, limiting food intake to 1-3 ounces. The band can be tightened or loosened over time to change the passage’s size. This procedure generally results in less weight loss than a gastric bypass, but is also reversible. • Gastric sleeve or vertical sleeve restricts food intake by removing most of the stomach. The remaining stomach “sleeve” will hold about one-fourth of a cup of liquid, and over time, the stomach can expand to hold approximately one cup of food. This procedure is not reversible. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, Chung suggests keeping in mind that surgical candidates must: • have a body mass index (BMI, the ratio of your weight adjusted for your height) of 40 or more, or be at least 100 pounds overweight • have at least two significant associated illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis or sleep apnea if your BMI is between 35 and 40 • be between the ages of 18 and 65 • have no drug or alcohol dependency, or have at least one year of sobriety • have documented attempts to lose weight medically • be a nonsmoker for at least two months • be committed to improving your health and lifestyle

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The Surgical Weight Loss Program at Women & Children’s Hospital offers all three of these surgical options and has been recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The program is supported by two surgeons, a dedicated bariatric program coordinator, registered dieticians, bariatric unit and surgical team. Informational seminars and two support groups are offered every month, in addition to followup meetings to educate patients in new eating habits, exercise and nutrition. “As with any surgical procedure, bariatric surgery may present risk,” said Chung. “Talk with your doctor about whether you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery and together, discuss the risks and benefits.” Remember that you must be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including adopting very different eating habits and increased exercise, as well as nutritional counseling and lifelong medical follow-up, after surgery. To learn more, visit or click on “Health Resources” and “Interactive Tools” and test your knowledge with “Obesity Basics: What is it? How is it Treated?”,“Weighty Questions,”“Fats Quiz,”“Trans Fats: Facts and Fiction,” or figure your body mass index with our Adult BMI calculator. You can also call 475-4760 to speak to someone about surgical weight loss options.

Want to learn more? Women & Children’s Hospital will host two bariatric surgery information sessions on Monday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 16 at 6 p.m. Call 475-4760 to register or visit for more information.

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March 2011

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First ComputerNavigated Hip Arthroscopy in the U.S. Performed in

Lake Charles by Kristy Armand

that surrounds the edge of the bony socket of the Imperial Calcasieu Surgical Center was the first joint.” facility in the United States to use computerBlevins said she began experiencing pain about assisted navigation for arthroscopic hip surgery. four months before the surgery. “Oddly, the pain was The surgery was performed on February 2 by down the front of my thigh, not in my hip. The pain John Noble, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center continued to get worse until I knew I needed to do for Orthopaedics. Dr. Noble was the first physician something. It was hurting all the time. I saw Dr. Noble in the United States to perform this procedure, and after my exam, he explained what was causing and just the third in the world. He used computermy pain. He said the pain in my leg was referred pain assisted navigation developed by Stryker. The from my hip joint. He described how the joint could patient was Yvonne Blevins of Lake Charles. be repaired and asked if I was ready to make medical Orthopaedic surgeons with Center for history by being the first person to have the repair Orthopaedics were the first to introduce made with computer assisted navigation. I trusted computer-assisted navigation technology in him and it sounded like the new technology would Southwest Louisiana nearly six years ago for only improve my results, so I agreed.” use in joint replacement procedures. “The Dr. Noble says the new computer-assisted advantages of this technology have exceeded procedure starts out identical to a standard, our expectations, allowing us to provide a minimally invasive arthroscopic hip surgery, with the more customized procedure for our patients Dr. John Noble Jr. and Yvonne Blevins same small incisions and instruments used to gain and improving the performance of joint access to the joint. Once inside the joint, sophisticated software integrates the replacements,” says Dr. Noble. “We are very excited to expand the use of CT scans of the joint with infrared data from the instruments. This creates a navigation technology for other types of orthopaedic procedures.” real-time, three-dimensional view of instrument positioning within the joint. He says that the navigation system works much like the GPS (global This helps the surgeon address the surgical site more precisely. “We can make positioning system) tracking systems people are familiar with in their vehicles. “It’s basically a GPS for the human body. In the operating room, the positioning adjustments to within a millimeter, ensuring the best possible resculpting for each patient. No two people have exactly the same anatomy and this calculations relate to the patient’s anatomy and are graphically displayed on a monitor. We are able to achieve excellent visualization within the joint, through technology allows us to literally customize the procedure for the patient, much smaller incisions than were previously required. The hip joint particularly, improving our ability to restore the range of motion and overall function needed to return to normal activity.” because of its shape and containment, is one of the most challenging to Blevins says she is very happy she agreed to be the first to benefit from this visualize when performing resculpting of the femoral head, such as the one Mrs. Blevins needed. The navigational technology bridges that gap, providing a innovative new technique for her hip arthroscopy. “I had very little pain after the surgery and was up and mobile – with just a cane – the next day. I was back continual flow of data related to the patient’s specific joint mechanics and the at work a week later and the pain is gone.” placement of surgical instruments.” Dr. Noble has been working with Stryker on the application of computer Blevins’ hip problem was FAI (femoroacetabular impingement) due to a assisted navigation for FAI and other surgical applications. Before he performed cam lesion. Dr. Noble says this is a common, painful problem that results from the procedure in Lake Charles, it had only been done in Australia. Dr. Noble pathologic contact and abrasion within the hip joint. The ball, or femoral head, is currently serving as an instructor at surgical training courses around the and socket rub abnormally instead of smoothly, leading to damage to the cartilage within the joint. “In Mrs. Blevins’ case, the painful friction resulted from country for the new technology. an aspherical shape of the femoral head, meaning it was more elliptical than For more information about hip pain and treatment options, call CFO at 721-7236 round as it should be,” explains Dr. Noble. “This created a lesion on the cam, or or visit end of the joint, which lead to a labral tear. The labrum is the ring of cartilage

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Nelson Pointe eo View vsidat tour 99 move in fee in lieu of deposit


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Shielding what’s near and dear for over 50 years.


Spring Break Travel Plans?

Be Safe! by Christine Fisher

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March 2011

The chance for college students to hit the pause button on homework, studying, and 8 a.m. classes this time of the year is otherwise known as spring break. This holiday occurs on college campuses for a week, usually in March or April; the timing varies around the country. Beaches are the most popular destinations. In fact, many hot spots market their location specifically to young people as spring break paradise. Cancun and several hot spots in Florida top the list. Even though these trips are fun, and almost a rite of passage for college students, reports of serious accidents, missing persons, and even death have made the headlines in recent years, giving parents even more reason to worry. The Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana warns area parents and young people to be aware of potential hazards as spring break season approaches. “College students often make plans to travel during spring break, and many times, there’s no harm done. In some cases, however, things get out of hand with excessive drinking, and these kids do things they wouldn’t normally do,” said Joni Fontenot, spokesperson for the local Safety Council. “The environment can quickly get out of control if excessive alcohol is involved.” According to the American Medical Association, there are advertising campaigns targeting college students which promote an endless supply of alcohol as part of the travel package. In fact, tour companies promote destinations outside the country where the drinking age is 18, making them key attractions. “Because the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, going to destinations outside the country where the legal age is only 18 is a strong lure. Underage drinking is the main problem when spring breaks go wrong,” said Fontenot. In a poll conducted by the AMA, 80 percent of parents said they were concerned about college students drinking alcohol during spring break. Topping the list of concerns were students having unprotected sex (71 percent); students driving while intoxicated or with a drunken driver (70 percent); and female students getting raped (68 percent). Fontenot encourages those who are planning a spring break getaway to be mindful of their safety. “Most college students travel in groups which is a great safety tip, because they can look out for each other,” she said.

The Safety Council offered these suggestions for a safe spring break vacation: • Understand that not everyone will have your best interest at heart. More people are sexually assaulted by acquaintances than by strangers. • If you decide to drink, only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour yourself. You put yourself at risk for receiving an altered beverage if you don’t know the source of the drink. • If a friend feels sick, don’t leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask a friend to look out for you. • Don’t horseplay or climb on balconies, even on lower floors. • Carry the minimum amount of cash you will need. If you bring along a credit card, ensure it stays with you at all times. • Make sure your family knows where you will be vacationing. Call when you arrive, several times throughout your stay, and as you leave. • Stay in populated areas. If you explore surroundings, go in the daytime with a group. “Being mindful of safety shouldn’t put a damper on a great vacation. In fact, it will ensure that you’ll be able to return for more fun later on,” said Fontenot.

The Junior League of Lake Charles, Inc. invites you to a

Tasting Event

Saturday, March 12 • 1:00pm–3:00pm

• Where: Coburn Supply, 1403 E. McNeese Street • Buy 2 cookbooks, get 1 free while supplies last • Featured Recipes: Celebration Crawfish Casserole, Parmesan Puffs, Chocolate Kahlua Cake, Cool as a Cucumber Dip

Marshes to Mansions

is available for $28.95 at Contact the Junior League of Lake Charles, Inc. at (337) 436-4025 for questions or wholesale information. One cookbook purchase provides 50 dental kits to local children!

Learn about our year-round community impact online!

March 2011

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Benefits of

Year-Round Pest Control If you’re one of those people who reach for the spray can of insecticide or pick up the phone to call an exterminator at the first sign of pest activity in your home or business, you might want to spend a little more time thinking about prevention instead of extermination. Robert Soileau, manager of J&J Exterminating in Lake Charles, says that in some ways pest control can be compared to your health. “Some people never see their doctor until they have a health problem. The same is true with pest control for many people. They only call us when they see a bug or signs of pests in or around their home. We can certainly take care of the problem at that point, but it’s important to understand that by the time you see that cockroach, wood damage, nest or mouse dropping, you have a pretty big problem that has been going on long before evidence was visible to you.” He says keeping a structure pest-free is much easier and cost effective than treating a pest problem. “The saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ applies to homes and buildings as well as your health. You know you need to eat right and exercise to maintain good health. You also need to use routine preventive care to keep your home pest free. With a little consistent attention, you can dramatically decrease your chances of ever having a pest problem in the first place.” Soileau explains that once you have one pest, your chances of having others increases due to pheromone trails, a species-specific chemical road map left behind by many living creatures. “These chemicals basically tell other pests, ‘Hey, we’ve found a good place to live. Come on over.’ As new pests arrive, the pheromone trail is even stronger and your pest problem can quickly explode.”

On the other hand, Soileau says an environment that has deterred pests for extended periods is more likely to remain pest-free if preventive measures are maintained. “Pests go where they are led – whether it’s by pheromones, a warm environment, easy access. Taking steps to make your home as unwelcoming as possible to potential pests is the key, and regular pest-control services are a great way to ensure get the ‘no vacancy’ message.” Year-round pest control plans can both help keep pests away for longer as well as provide a mechanism for regular inspection in case any type of pest problem is showing early signs of possible development. “If we are regularly servicing your home or business, we are actively looking not only for signs of pest activity, but also for those things that would make it easy for pests to enter a structure. Things like standing water, rotting wood, cracks in frames or seals. We can report these to you and you can take care of it before pests take advantage of these easy-access opportunities,” says Soileau. “Routine pest control really should be included with all the other things you do to keep your home in good shape. It’s the best way to prevent the hassle and expense of dealing with a pest infestation.” For more information about pest control, call J&J Exterminating at 474-7377.

by Kristy Armand

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March 2011

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Each office independently owned and operated.



A for Hadley and Lexi by Erin Kelly

Lisa Addison always knew she wanted to be a mother. “Some women know they want to get married. Some women know they never want to have children. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, probably as early as nine years old,” she says. As the oldest of five children with working parents, she often shouldered child-rearing and domestic tasks fit for future parenthood. She cooked and sewed. She looked after her younger siblings. But by the time she reached her 20s, she turned her focus away from motherhood and focused on another passion – her career. Young, single and ambitious, Lisa became a journalist and worked in San Antonio, Houston and California. “When you’re a reporter, your job is your life. You work nights, weekends, holidays. I was very driven and immersed in my career and I loved it, but in the back of my mind I knew I still wanted to be a mother,” she says. In her 40s she moved back to Lake Charles and considered how she could fulfill her lifelong passion for parenthood. “I knew I had the rest of my life to find a soul mate, but I didn’t have the rest of my life to become a mother.” She considered her options. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are three primary ways to adopt in the United States – through foster care, in which children are removed from their families due to their inability or unwillingness to provide appropriate care, then placed in temporary homes before returning to family members or becoming available for adoption; through private domestic adoptions, which represents children who have never entered the foster care system; and international adoptions, which are coordinated between countries -- primarily Russia, China or Guatemala – and U.S. adoption agencies. The latter two were the most costly and lengthy options, so Lisa contacted the

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Calcasieu Parish Office of Community Services to learn more about adopting through foster care. Thirty-seven percent of adoptions are handled this way, according to the DHH, while 38 percent are done through private adoption agencies. After a rigorous and thorough screening process she was qualified to foster children who had been removed from their homes for a variety of reasons – child abuse, drug use, neglect. She was told that some of her foster children may eventually return to their birth parents and other relatives; with the first four children, that’s exactly what happened. Then, Hadley. At just under two years old, he’d been removed from his birth mother, who suffered from a drug addiction. The bond between Hadley and Lisa was immediate. When he became available for adoption, Lisa, a woman of faith, felt as if it was meant to be. “He’s the happiest kid. He always makes me laugh. He’s in kindergarten, he plays T-ball,” Lisa says. “For a while I thought, ‘This is it. This is my son. It’ll just be me and him.’” Then one afternoon after church, yet another serendipitous phone call from OCS. A nine-month-old baby girl was found in a local hotel room in a dire situation and needed a foster home immediately. The caseworker gave Lisa ten minutes to decide. She called back in five. Alexis was there in less than twenty. “She bonded with us immediately. She wanted to be held all the time,” Lisa says. She admits that she had moments of concern about raising children in a single-parent family, but says that at the end of the day, “you can create families all types of ways. Not all families look the same. There are things that matter to other people that don’t matter to me – like the fact that Lexi doesn’t look like me, for example. People sometimes ask me, ‘What’s it like to raise a child of another race?’ And I tell them, ‘It’s the same as raising my son.’ If people are bothered by the fact that I’m a single mother raising a child of another race,

What Adoption Means to Me

by Kristy Como Armand

of t party es that

Figure 1. Number and percentage distribution of adopted children by adoption type

aw iving nnot n n

International 25% 444,000

Foster care 37% 661,000

Private domestic 38% 677,000

hildren hild

e ario ing rred tion arly nts ggests heir s enter th new cepude n 72or dren parents ve ask ld ving same so ercent ould d they n. tion h U.S. one opted ne out ted of the essed half rom ho orthe arents oo

I consider it their problem, not mine. Overall though, I’ve had a very positive experience. Very few people have even mentioned it. My kids have a large church and family community, so they are surrounded by love. We’re very fortunate.” She says it’s important to her to be open and honest with her children about how they came into her life. She held special adoption celebration for both of them on the days their adoptions became final and she tells them the story of how they became a family. “Sometimes late at night my son crawls into my bed and he says ‘Tell me the story of how you knew me.’ And I tell him, ‘I’ve known you forever – you were in my heart.’ Then I tell him about the day he came to live with me. I make sure he knows that I adopted him because I wanted to, not because I had to. I want him to be proud of it,” she says. Despite the happy ending, Lisa admits there are some challenges to being a mother. “One thing no one told me was that once you become a mother you will never be able to sleep late on weekends again. I’ll be waking up at seven o’clock for the rest of my life,” she says, laughing. “That’s okay, though, because I learned something – you can get a lot done on Saturdays.”

adopted children, 6 percent are under Figure 29. Percentage adopted age 3, compared with 16of percent of children according to whether their children in the general population, parents would make the same decision according data by from the NSAPtype and to adopt to again, adoption NSCH. Among other reasons, this age 100 93% difference is partly due to the fact that 87% 90 81% children areFoster often adopted later than care 80 infancy. Additionally, the estimates Private domestic 70 presented here represent children with International 60 finalized adoptions, and finalizations 50 typically take a minimum of six months.



40 • Many child and family well-being 30 indicators differ according to children’s 20 ages. Therefore,14% when comparing well9% 6% between adopted 6% children and 10 being 0 the general population of children, some Probably ormay beProbably Definitely differences attributable to the definitely NOT



older ages, on average, of percentage adopted Note: Values corresponding to unreliable estimates have been suppressed in this figure. older children children. For example, will have had more time in which a

I’m adopted.

Kristy hold in brother, D g her adopted bab oug. y

When I say that, I sometimes get a funny look, and inevitably, these questions: “When did you find out?” and “Did you ever want to find your real parents?” My answers are always the same: “I always knew” and “No, the parents I have are my real parents.” I don’t think of my parents as my “adopted” parents, and I never have. I grew up knowing I was adopted, but there was no dramatic – or traumatic – revelation. It was just part of my life story. I was adopted through a Catholic adoption service in New Orleans. Like most adoptions at that time, it was closed, so my parents didn’t know anything about my birth parents. My younger brother was also adopted and I remember my excitement when we went to pick him up in Lafayette when I was five. For anyone who knows me, my lack of curiosity about my biological origins and the story behind my birth is surprising because normally I’m a very inquisitive (some say nosy) person about everything else. Honestly, it surprises even me. I think it’s because I never felt the need to find anything because nothing was missing. When I was pregnant for the first time, I contacted the adoption agency to find out if I could get any type of health information about my biological parents. They couldn’t tell me much, other than the birth mother was 19 when I was born and the birth father was 21. They and all of their parents were healthy at that point. I don’t think it was until I held my first baby in my arms that I realized how difficult it must have been for the woman who gave birth to me to hand her child over to strangers. But she did. The reasons are her own, and really don’t matter to me. At that point in my life, as I became a mother, I did think briefly about reaching out to her, just to tell her thank you for choosing to not only give me life, but to give me a better life than she could have provided. I never did, because how can you adequately thank someone for the entirety of a life? I also didn’t want to disrupt her life, which I sincerely hope was – and is – a happy one. My one wish would be that my birth mother never doubts that she made the right decision. Her choice of adoption was the best gift she could have given me. I was given the best – very best – parents anyone could ever hope to have. Parents who loved me and gave me such a great life that I never once doubted that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And for our family, adoption is a gift that keeps on giving, because as I strive to live up to the parenting example they set, my children are blessed to have my parents as their grandparents.

health problem may haveSATISFACTION been diagnosed MEASURES OF ADOPTION

As a to way of than will younger Parents would make thechildren. same decision adopt theiraccounting child: Parentsfor were asked, you on (andaverage your the fact“If that spouse/partner) everything aboutthe [your child] adopted knew children are older, Chartbook Marchbefore 2011 the adoption that you now know, how might ii presents some by age group. that have affected yourindicators decision to accept him/her for adoption?” Responses included whether the parent

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Flower Power

forYour Palate

by Erin Kelly

Forget about stopping to smell the roses. You might as well take a bite of them, too. “God wanted us to eat roses. There are roses in every country,” said Nancy Himel, who works as an educator in the field of edible flowers. “Roses are the best.” Flowers typically aren’t viewed as a finger food, but according to Himel, there has been a resurgence over the past 15 years of home-cooked meals that include flowers like pansies, snapdragons, petunias, dandelions and lavender. Although it may seem odd to the modern American dinner palate, cooking and garnishing with flowers was popular during the Victorian era and is common in other cultures. Having trouble with the concept of snacking on roses? It’s actually not as far-fetched as you may think, Himel said. “Sunflowers are one of the most popular edible flowers. None of us think twice about munching on sunflower seeds, but only because it’s common. It may be less common to cook with daisies, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonsensical,” she said. “It’s also very common to cook with herbs, like basil. Cooking with flowers isn’t that far-off. People would probably also be surprised to know that they already eat flowers, probably on a regular basis. They may not be as pretty as roses, but broccoli, artichokes and cauliflower are all flowers.” Roses, daisies and dandelions are often used to flavor water or teas. Pansies can be used on cakes, cocktails and soups. Other edible flowers include day lilies, orange blossoms, petunias and marigolds. Although these and several others can be used to spice up your meals, not all flowers are agreeable to the palate, according to Shively Lampson, certified nutritional consultant with Pure Foods and Health. “Some flowers are medicinal and can be dangerous for human consumption. Others can make you aphysically ill,” Lampson said. “It’s also important to know where the flowers came from. You don’t want to consume anything that has been treated with pesticides or certain fertilizers.” Flowers can also be tricky to cook with because they are very delicate; the petals wilt easily and can quickly turn to mush if cooked improperly. They are typically added at the end of the recipe or just before the meal is served, Himel said. Before tossing a handful of daisies in your soup, you need to be educated on safe consumption and proper preparation. Himel will conduct an educational seminar on edible flowers at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 7. Cost is $10. For more information on how to register or where to attend, contact Lampson at or (337) 721-3273.

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March 2011

( ...for important little details. ) Remote deposit lets you bank more efficiently from your desk. It will save you time, streamline your deposits and accelerate your cash flow. Are your ready to start saving time? We can help. Call Liz Katchur today at 421-1107. Don’t waste another minute.


C elebrating 10 Years!

free health care for lowincome, working uninsured! Call for information. 337-478-8650 550 West Sale road Lake Charles, LA March 2011

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Best Kept

Shhecret by Katie McDaniel

We’re shining the spotlight on“best kept secret” items found within local retail shops; the things that could make your life better if you only knew about them. Michael Aram Serve Wear and Home Accent Pieces Michael Aram, an American-born artist now based in India, has created a wide variety of pieces, mostly out of metal, along with marble, glass and even granite. His creations range from small accent pieces to serving platters, wall hangings and accent furniture. According to Paula Nixon, Owner of Bella Cosa, “As a designer, Michael Aram gets his inspiration from nature which is why his pieces appeal to both the contemporary and traditional customer.” The combination of different textures gives each piece an artistic feel. “I personally love the line because it is so versatile and organic,” said Nixon. “And the candles are to die for!” To view pieces from this designer line, visit Bella Cosa at 3101 Ernest Street, Suite 2. Bella Cosa | 3101 Ernest St # 2 | Lake Charles | (337) 439-4384

Feathers and Tinsel Hair Extensions Feather hair extensions and hair tinsel are the hottest new hair trend. Featured on Oprah and worn by many celebrities including Beyonce, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and the Housewives of Beverly Hills, this trend is sweeping the nation. Each piece only takes a few seconds to put in and can be curled, flat-ironed and blow-dried along side your regular hair. They come in a wide variety of colors, including natural colors for the low-key individuals. According to Fallon Williams with The Ritz Hair and Nail Salon, “They are an easy way to add a little color without damaging your hair in the process.” These hairpieces can be worn with as many or little pieces as you like, and can be moved around and removed

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as easy as they were put in. “They are great for school dances, to support your favorite sports team, or just for fun,” said Williams. “I find these extensions to be very addicting and I always go in to change out the colors,” said Lauren Conner, client at The Ritz. “My favorite things about these extensions are they don’t have to be permanent and I don’t have to worry about them falling out.” “We have all new shipments of feathers and tinsel in stock so come by today to see what all the talk is about,” said Williams. For more information or to set up an appointment for feather and tinsel hair extensions, contact The Ritz at (337) 474-4606. The Ritz Hair and Nail Salon |4401 Lake Street | Lake Charles | (337) 474-4606

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March 2011

Available for Adoption. Waiting for



Four Paws Society has a shitzu available for adoption through its foster program. “Gabriel” was rescued after being hit by a car the week after Thanksgiving. When found, he was in shock and near death. He has since undergone two surgeries and has made a near complete recovery. Four Paws Society, a non-profit animal rescue and welfare organization, is accepting donations to contribute to Gabriel’s vet bill. Donations can be made at Downtown Animal Hospital, 113 W. Clarence Street, or by calling 439-2321. Donations can also be made through the 4 Paws Web site,, or by mail to 4 Paws Society Inc., P.O. Box 1129, Sulphur 70664. Please note that the donation is for Gabriel.


For information on adopting Gabriel or other dogs from theAorganization, T T H E E Yvisit E the C LWeb I N Isite C or call 477-0741.

Amy Nyberg, left, with Sarah and Parker Yarbrough


T THE EYE CLINIC “WeA see eye-to-eye on on just about everything, including LASIK at LaserCenter The Eye Clinic’s AT T H E E Y E C L I N I C Laser Center.”

Mothers and daughters don’t always agree, but Amy Nyberg and her daughter Sarah Yarbrough are the exception. Now, LASIK has given them a new point of view to share, along with the ability to clearly focus on how adorable Parker is. AT T H E E Y E C L I N I C


LASIK at The Eye Clinic’s Laser Center

A Difference You can See

LaserCenter AT T H E E Y E C L I N I C

Interest-Free Financing | Advanced Custom View LASIK | Board Certified Physicians

March 2011

1-877-95 FOCUS | 1717 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles

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March 2011

Put Some Spring in Your Step L earn how to make the best choices for your feet and how to care for common female foot problems from foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Tyson Green, at “Put Some Spring in your Step,” a free community

Pro Fe blemal ms e F Se oot mi na r

seminar at Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles. Dr. Green will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of female foot problems, including heel pain, bunions, arch pain, calluses, hammer toe, nail care, and more.

Put Some Spring in Your Step Thursday, March 24 • 5:30pm Center for Orthopaedics 1747 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles (Just off Nelson, a half-mile South of Country Club Road)

Seating is limited and pre-registration is requested.

Call 721-2903 or email to pre-register.

Tyson Green, DPM

foot and ankle specialist


Behavioral Health

T r e aT i n g C h i l d r e n a n d a d u lT s

• Behavioral Evaluations • Anger Management • ADD/ADHD • IQ Testing • Individual, group, and family therapy • Eating Disorders

Caring for You, As You Care forThem

As a woman, you nurture, comfort, protect, provide for, guide, discipline, delegate and advise every day. The physicians, nurses and staff of OBG-1 have provided excellence in women’s health care for over 30 years. We pledge to continue providing you with the care you need so you can continue to care for those you love.

Medicaid, Medicare & Private Insurance

Physicians: Ben Darby, MD Scott Bergstedt, MD Walter Guth, MD

Paula Kline, PMHNP_BC linda Chevallier, FNP-BC 423 CyPress street • sulPHur, la 70663 P: (337) 528-7992 F: (337) 528-7994 www.jourNeyBeHavioralHealtH.CoM March 2011

Nurse Practitioners: Tammy Gillett, APRN, NP Marilyn Watson, APRN, NP Certified Nurse Midwives: Bonnie Leger, CNM Allison Hansen, CNM

1.866.312.OBG1 • 312-1000 •


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The Ultrasonic Facial Now Available Signatures Salon is proud to offer The Ultrasonic Facial, a safe, state-of-the-art ultrasonic skin treatment system that incorporates environmentally safe water with low frequency sound waves to perform aesthetic services in a unique and highly effective way. This non-invasive device provides superior exfoliation that intensifies and enhances the peeling action of chemical solutions, resulting in increased exfoliation, deeper-reaching topical treatment, and instant healing. Unlike microdermabrasion, ultrasound technology is a peeling solution that is very skin-specific. Its use of low frequency power ultrasound devices can be dramatic, short and long term. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, not only is it safe to use on all skin types, but ultrasound has also been shown in studies to aid in the resolution of acne, rosacea, fine lines and wrinkles, in addition to many other skin challenges. The final result is smoother, healthier and youngerlooking skin. For more information on The Ultrasonic Facial, contact Signatures Salon at 337. 478.4433 or stop by at 803 West McNeese Street in Lake Charles.

Female Foot Problems to be Addressed at Upcoming Seminar Choosing fashion over function can be hard on your feet, especially in the warmer summer months when flip flops and sandals become the common footwear of choice. Learn how to make the best choices for your feet and how to care for common female foot problems from foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Tyson Green, at “Put Some Spring in your Step,” a free community seminar at Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles. Dr. Green will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of female foot problems, including heel pain, bunions, arch pain, calluses, hammer toe, nail care, and more. The seminar will take place on Thursday, March 24, at 5:30 pm. Seating is limited and pre-registration is requested. Call 721-2903 or email HYPERLINK “” to preregister. Center for Orthopaedics is located at 1747 Imperial Blvd. in Lake Charles, just off of Nelson, one-half mile south of Country Club Rd.

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Imperial Calcasieu Imaging Holds Grand Opening A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held in February at Imperial Calcasieu Imaging, located at 1747 Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles. Comprehensive imaging services are provided, including routine X-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, bone density scanning, digital mammography, CT, calcium scoring, and MRI. In addition, a Prepare Center within the facility allows patients to complete other needed pre-procedure testing such as lab work, EKG and chest X-rays, in one convenient location. Imaging services are provided under the medical direction of radiologist Barbara Tomek, MD, and it is a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group. For more information, call 312-8761.

Memorial Hospital Offers Free Colorectal Cancer Screeing Beginning March 30, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital will offer free colorectal screening kits in an effort to help detect colorectal cancer at its earliest—and most treatable—stages. A non-invasive test that can be completed in the privacy of your home, the screening can identify hidden blood in stool samples, which is the first and in many cases the only warning sign of colorectal disease. Test kits can be picked up at the Memorial/LSUHSC Family Medicine Center, 1525 Oak Park Boulevard, from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., Wednesday, March 30-Friday, April 1. Participants will be directed where to return the kits the following week. These kits can be helpful in detecting colorectal cancer, but should not take the place of a colonoscopy. If you are over 50 years of age or if you have a relative who has been diagnosed with colon cancer, you should speak to your doctor about when, and how often, you should have a colonoscopy.

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March 2011

JALH provides a wide range of high quality health services in our community, including: • Emergency Medicine • Orthopedics • Radiology • Intensive Care Unit • Cardiology • Labor and Delivery • Respiratory Therapy • Laboratory • Surgery, including Outpatient Surgery You may have to travel for some things, but quality healthcare isn’t one of them. With Jennings American Legion Hospital, the healing touch is right here at home.

March 2011

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Snow Chiropractic

Offers PulStar Treatment Option Snow Chiropractic and Nutrition Clinic now offers the PulStar™ computerbased spinal adjustment system designed to provide more precise diagnosis and effective relief for patients suffering from joint and muscle pain. According to Dr. Eric Snow, board-certified chiropractic physician, the PulStar™ is the most important advancement in the field in several years. “With this diagnostic tool, we now know within minutes where to direct our treatment, which means we can typically bring relief more quickly.” Both an analysis and treatment system, the PulStar™ uses a hand-held sensory device connected to a sophisticated, proprietary software program. The impulse head, which resembles a tuning fork, scans a patient’s neck and back, and identifies sources of joint restriction — which cause pain and muscle spasms — over the entire length of the spine. Once the analysis is completed, its “adjust mode” delivers a series of gentle electro-mechanical impulses to relieve pain and restore normal joint function.

“Each treatment takes only a few minutes,” Dr. Snow said, “and our patients typically feel better after fewer visits than they would with other treatments.” Patients receive printouts of their analysis and post-analysis showing the exact site of their joint restriction and the impact of treatment. According to Dr. Snow, this is information that can’t be captured through manual manipulation alone. The PulStar™ can analyze and treat patients while they are seated, standing or lying down. This enables patients to replicate the positions in which their pain occurs. The system is ideal for patients that may find traditional chiropractic adjustments intimidating or uncomfortable, Dr. Snow said. For more information, contact Dr. Eric Snow’s Chiropractic & Nutrition Clinic at 337-478-1313.

We’re In Care When Your Urgent Center Doctor is Not The Clinic’s

The Clinic’s Open Early & Late on Weekdays Beginning March 14 Urgent Care Center

Lake Charles Urgent Care

Moss Bluff Urgent Care


277 Hwy. 171, Suite 10 M - F: Noon to 10pm Sat: 8am to 6pm Sun: 10am to 6pm


UrgentE CareR Center 217-7762 G


The Clinic’s UR

4320 Lake Street M - F: 6am to 10pm Sat: 8am to 6pm Sun: 10am to 6pm



The Clinic’s

Urgent Care Center 58 59

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March 2011

When it comes to your health, useful information is what you need. KPLC 7News is here to help with our Healthcast Report. Get the latest medical news and see medical breakthroughs happening right here in Southwest Louisiana. The KPLC 7News Healthcast Report airs weekdays at 10 p.m. Here’s a recap of some of the most recent health news stories we’ve reported.

Watery, red eyes curable Red, itchy eyes every morning are not just a symptom of sleepiness. Many people may have a gland inflammation called Blepharitis causing those crusty bits and dry eyes. Dr. Robert Janot, optometrist at Vision Source, says allergies and cold weather can make it worse. “It’s pretty hard to tell on your own. Sometimes there is crustiness and flakiness around the eyelashes particularly in the morning upon waking up,” said Dr. Janot. He recommends see you eye doctors for a diagnosis. J.P. Miles discovered he had the problem after a year of watery eyes. Over the counter drops like Visine will not hurt your eyes, but they will not help rid you of Blepharitis either. “Good home treatments particularly hot soaks and massages of the eyelids we can also use medications oral and topical medications in the eyes,” said Dr. Janot. Miles uses an eye wash everyday to ward off flare-ups. “You just close your eyes and rub it for a couple of minutes or so on each eye. Rinse it really well with warm water. Pat it dry and that’s it,” explained Miles. Dr. Janot said Blepharitis most commonly occurs in fairskinned Caucasians.

lights were distracting,” explained Hutton. After a field of vision test revealed Trudy had significant vision loss because of the extra skin her insurance even chipped in for the procedure. “We do it for function purposes but of course we try to make them all look as good as possible,” said Dr. Mark Crawford, an occuloplastic surgeon at The Eye Clinic. Even though insurance helped with her upper eyelid lift, not every procedure is covered. “Brows and lower lids are strictly considered cosmetic a majority of the time,” said Dr. Crawford. Hutton not only looks young and more alert she said the weight has been lifted off her eyes. The procedure is a quick outpatient surgery only about 30 minutes to an hour.

Futuristic 3-D dental imaging makes surgeries less painful A 3-dimensional dental imaging device can help shorten surgeries with a full skeletal view of bone density, nerves and blood vessels. The I-CAT uses minimal radiation and takes nine seconds to capture images of a patients jaw, sinus cavities and teeth.

Eyelid lift takes off years, saves vision

Dr. Danny Domingue, dentist at Robinson Dental Group, said the main advantage is convenience. “We used to have to send these patients to a hospital or to a clinic to get scans,” said Domingue.

The battle against gravity is life long and unfortunately with age often comes droop. Trudy Hutton’s eyelids dropped down over her eyelashes blocking parts of her field of vision, but it wasn’t vanity that brought Hutton to a doctor’s office. “I would not always see everything as I wanted. Off to the side and

The dentist can see infections and nerves prior to a surgery to avoid any excess pain during recovery. “Usually there is a correlation between the time of the procedure with the amount of post-operative swelling,” explained Domingue. He said this device cuts the time of his surgeries in half.

March 2011

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Dentists can also use the device to plan an implant procedure. They can literally ‘drag-and-drop’ a tooth onto the image and simulate the surgery. The imaging device is relatively new to Southwest Louisiana dental offices, only a couple have installed them so far.

Study: Energy drinks may harm children’s health A study released Monday states children are at greater risk of negative effects when consuming high-caffeine energy drinks. A new report in the journal “Pediatrics” warns these drinks could be especially dangerous to children with ADHD, diabetes, sleep issues and eating disorders. Doctors from the University of Miami said although caffeine can improve attention spans, it also increases blood pressure and disrupts sleep patterns in young people. They suggest not consuming energy drinks after long periods of exercise or mixing them with alcohol. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, nearly half of all the caffeine overdoses in 2007 occurred in people younger than 19. To learn more about these stories and more, visit us on the web at and tune into KPLC 7News daily for the latest news, weather, sports and health reports. You can also stay connected 24/7 on your mobile device at


The Weighty Heart-Healthy Benefits of Resistance Training by Erin Kelly

Aerobic workouts have often been seen as the gold mine to cardiovascular health, but recent research indicates that lifting weights could uniquely benefit the heart. According to researchers at Appalachian State University, resistance exercise is more beneficial than many believe. Lead researcher Dr. Scott Collier stated that resistance exercise, such as lifting weights, produced greater increases in blood flow to the limbs while creating only small increases in central arterial stiffness. This is compared to aerobic exercise, which was shown to decrease arterial stiffness without the blood-flow increase. Research also indicated that resistance exercise led to longerlasting drops in blood pressure. Exercise specialist Chase Gary with Dynamic Dimensions of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital says the results of the study aren’t as surprising as some may think. “We typically instruct clients to maintain an equal balance of aerobic and resistance training to reap the greatest benefits of a regular fitness routine,” Gary said. “Men tend to have a greater interest in weight training than some other forms of exercise, such as swimming or aerobics, because their main goal is usually to bulk and tone. The good news is they can now rest assured in knowing that the weight training isn’t just benefitting their muscle tone and fitness level – it’s also playing a role in heart health.” That’s not to say that cardio should be abandoned, however. According to Gary, a well-balanced fitness platform is ideal to optimal fitness success, whether your goal is to lose weight, get toned, or both. “Fitness routines are individually tailored to meet a person’s specific needs and levels of ability,” Gary said. “But one commonality is that there is – or should be – a good mix of cardio and weight training.” Researchers found that using typical resistance machines three days a week at moderate intensity – defined as 65 percent of a 10-repetition maximum – has benefits to the heart. These weight-training activities were compared to thirty minutes of aerobic cycling. According to the study, greater flow-mediated dilation and lower arterial stiffness are key contributors to cardiovascular health. Weight training offers additional benefits besides heart health, but this type of fitness routine also has its risks, Gary noted. “Because of the nature of resistance training, it’s easy to make mistakes that can create pain or discomfort while also making the entire workout counterproductive. Simple mistakes such as forgetting to warm up, moving too fast or working too hard can wreak havoc on the body,” Gary said. “One thing I’ve noticed is that many men try to outdo themselves by adding extra reps even when they’re fatigued, but more often than not, this does more harm than good. Your body will tell you when it’s time to rest – it’s wise to listen to it.” For those who want to add weight-training to their workout or polish their existing routine, Gary offered the following tips:

Learn to lift. There’s more to it than you think. It’s not just about doing the reps. You have to safely pull the weights off the weight racks and then learn how to do the exercises properly. Some Group Fitness classes are strictly weight training such as Group POWER® and can provide you the guidance you need to get started. Get balance. This is extremely important when you’re working your major muscles, according to Gary, and can affect the efficiency and effectiveness of your workout. Breathe. “It’s tempting to hold your breath when you’re weight lifting because you’re concentrating and constricting your muscles in order to lift. But just as with a cardio workout, paying attention to how you’re breathing is very important and like balance, it can affect the efficiency of your workout and how you feel afterward. Exhale as you lift.” For more information about weight training, call Dynamic Dimensions at 527-5459 in Sulphur or at 855-7708 in Moss Bluff.

Know your weights. “If you’re not used to weight training, don’t start off with the heaviest weight in the room thinking that this will get you to your goal faster. You should start off with something you can lift comfortably at least ten times. Work your way up as you get stronger,” Gary said.

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March 2011

Country Club Pointe eo View vsidat tour $

99 move in fee in lieu of deposit

1, 2, & 3 bedrooms available

2845 Country Club Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605

(337) 478-4646

Driving Directions: From I-10, take the 210 loop exit onto Nelson Road. Go south 2.1 miles to Country Club Road . Turn right and go .9 miles. The community is on the left past Elliot Road.

Ask About our speciAls Furnished corporate units available

Gourmet Cakes & Cupcakes Creamy Pralines • Cookies & Cookie Cakes Brownies • Gourmet Candied Apples Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Assorted Gourmet Platters Perfect for Mardi Gras! Delivery Available. 520 McNeese St. • (337) 478-0269 Mon. 9–2 • Tues.–Fri. 9–5 • Sat. 9–12

March 2011

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Southwest Louisiana: Building on a Strong Year

The Economic State of Regional Calcasieu by Brett Downer

Southwest Louisiana’s economy is primed to thrive. That’s the healthy outlook for the area -- as measured by robust numbers from the past year, the roster of economic projects still to come and the upbeat views expressed by area business leaders. That means more local jobs, according to George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “We can build on a very strong year,” he said. Industry, aviation and health care -- as well as gaming, if Lake Charles voters allow a new casino -- are among the key economic components. “Industries are starting maintenance programs and turnarounds, which means companies need service industries -- which means service industries are hiring people,” he said. Also, Aeroframe, Northrop Grumman and Shaw Modular Solutions are continuing to hire people, he said. Also, “we have about seven potential prospects” -- Swift would not name them -- “that we are still under consideration for. We’re hopeful that we can get some of these new industries.” Brightening the job outlook is the fact that major tax issues in Washington have now been decided. “Businesses know where they stand now, because taxation had been a big question mark,” Swift said. Washington has also helped by extending a post-hurricane provision to spur recovery. “One of the key factors that will help us is that Congress, when it extended the current tax cuts, also extended the GO Zone bonus depreciation through 2011,” Swift said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal with George Swift, president of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance

Continued on p64

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March 2011

Partners In Education

Trash Bash

PPG Products

Our products are in your shower, in your freshly cleaned swimming pool and also in your medicine cabinet. They are key ingredients in making a house your home. PPG’s chlorine products fight vehemently against sicknesses and disease. They cleanse your drinking water, and kill the germs lurking in your sink.

PPG - Connected to Life in Southwest Louisiana

Kids a participt State Troop er ate in n ature la Camp b activit es.

At PPG, we aren’t just proud to be a part of this community. We’re proud to be making life in our community better. It’s a connection that starts with the jobs we provide and continues through dozens of community outreach programs led by employee volunteers. You see it in our environmental initiatives designed to protect and preserve our natural resources for a greener tomorrow. We touch your life in countless ways through the products we make that you use and depend on every day.

PPG’s NatureLab

PPG’s “Naturelab – Classroom in the Woods” is a program designed to facilitate environmental education and research in addition to the protection and promotion of wildlife populations. Located in the middle of a 200 acre wooded tract, the Naturelab “barn” is the control center for environmental education.

From the start of it, through the heart of it, PPG is working to make life better.

r Life

Lake Charles Complex

March 2011

fo Skills


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The Gulf Opportunity Zone, or GO Zone, program “was responsible for the construction boom after Rita,” he said. “When companies build new buildings, they can write off 50 percent of the cost as depreciation the first year. It’s huge that that we got another year of this. Because of its extension, we have a number of projects that can go forward through Dec. 31.” It’s clear that the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Rita, the most destructive disaster in Southwest Louisiana history, spurred much more than just new roofs and refrigerators. “I think Rita was the wakeup call for our region,” Swift said. “It forced us to get into high gear. The bond issue ($90 million for capital improvements in Lake Charles, such as the new lakefront features) could not have been possible if not for a catastrophe. “The danger is, when things get better, we might let up and get comfortable. That can’t happen. People still need jobs. They need education. They need training. We can’t let up -we need to gear up.” For its part, the Economic Development Alliance is gearing up through such initiatives as aggressive marketing efforts, partnering with Lafayette on international trade opportunities and working with Southeast Texas.

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Industry Southwest Louisiana’s massive petrochemical industry -- chemical plants, refineries and their many tie-ins, which range from service industries to process technology training -- will continue to be a centerpiece of the area economy. “The primary focus of industry going into 2011 is performing turnarounds and major maintenance work in the facilities with a continued maintain and operating the plants in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said Larry DeRoussel, executive director of the Lake Area Industry Alliance. “One of the local facilities, Sasol, has announced a major capital project for their facility. PTEC training continues to be of major interest as the plants prepare for attrition due to an aging workforce.” Sasol has been selected as the site for a new unit and expects to break ground on the project toward the end of the year. “We’re pleased to be selected to construct and operate this unique tetramerization process,” aid Mike Thomas, president of Sasol North America. “Sasol’s willingness to expand operations in Southwest Louisiana is a vote of confidence in our local employees, service providers and our state.” Continued on p66

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March 2011


Area gets #1 rank in key sector All together now, say it: “We’re number one!” The heart of Southwest Louisiana ranked No. 1 in the nation for new and expanded corporate facility projects during 2010 among metropolitan areas with populations under 200,000, according to Site Selection magazine. Leading the way in this key sector were projects by Northrop Grumman and Aeroframe Services in Lake Charles, Sasol in West Calcasieu and Cheniere Energy in Cameron Parish. This is a very significant recognition for our area,” said George Swift, head of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “It gives us international recognition as a region that is business-friendly and equipped with powerful assets -- ports, airports and industrial sites.” The top ranking is also “a real testament to what we have invested here and grown here, because most of the projects are by existing companies,” Swift said. “That speaks to the business climate here: You can make a profit here, and you can have a dedicated, qualified workforce.” Site Selection is a national magazine covering corporate real strategy and area economic development.

Straight Answers to Your Questions on Industry and the Environment

Q: A:

Industry says they care about the environment, but isn’t it true that the only reason they try to be environmentally responsible is because government regulations make them? Being environmentally responsible makes good business sense.

At local industries, keeping our products safely in the pipeline is not only environmentally friendly, it improves our bottom line. Being environmentally responsible is part of everything we do. In fact, local industry reduces, reuses, recycles and treats nearly all of the waste it produces. The key to growth is increasing productivity. Industries promote growth and good business by implementing programs to significantly reduce waste. Yes, government regulations require us to invest in environmentally-friendly equipment and procedures, but we know these same investments help us increase our productivity. Going green isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business.

David Rentrop

operations director with local industry

Visit to learn more and submit your question about local industry and the environment. March 2011

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Continued from p64

Aviation “The aviation industry is coming back,” Swift said. “There is tremendous potential there.” One of the chief movers and shakers in the area economy is, in fact, Chennault International Airport. With its 10,700-foot runway, extensive infrastructure and adjacent Sowela Technical Community College for training, the former air base is now a center for aircraft repair, renovation and other services. It is the home of such growing businesses as Northrop Grumman, Aeroframe Services and Million Air. “Things have moved along quite well since the hurricane and the recession,” said Jane Dufrene, president of the Chennault Industrial Airport Authority. “It seems like everything our tenants have set their sights on has come to pass. We’re confident our construction projects will get the funding needed. We’re also looking forward to better use of the runway.” Dufrene credits Chennault’s governing board for encouraging growth. “We have great commissioners,” she said. “We have no bickering or infighting -- and we probably have the best attendance record of any of the boards and commissions in the area.” Dufrene said her top three priorities to promote local jobs are “a new hangar for wide-body aircraft maintenance, FAA funding for the runway and just keeping up with Northrop Grumman’s growth.” Randy Robb, Chennault’s executive director, said the employment picture for the next two years “has us adding over 700 total jobs. We’re working with state and federal government to obtain grants to do that.” “We’re building an administration building for Aeroframe Services.

Chennault President Jane Dufrene and Executive Director Randy Robb are upbeat as they tour the Aeroframe construction site.

We’re working on getting a large multi-purpose building for Northrop Grumman. And we also hope to build a large new hangar to better serve tenants,” Robb said. “Million Air, too, is growing so fast, we can hardly keep up with them — they need another corporate hangar.” In the larger aviation picture, the improvements at Chennault will dovetail with those at the new-look Lake Charles Regional Airport, which is home to Era Helicopters, the helicopter service firm PHI and a passenger terminal which is larger and better equipped than the Rita-wrecked original.

Gaming Gaming, already an economic powerhouse in the region with L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Isle of Capri Casino in Westlake and Grand Casino Coushatta in Kinder, will expand once more if Lake Charles voters say yes to Mojito Pointe, a proposed $400 million waterside casino. The project was awarded the state’s lone available riverboat casino license last month by the Gaming Control Board last month. It is being led by Creative Casinos, owned by Dan Lee. Lee is the former chairman of Pinnacle Entertainment, whose properties include L’auberge du Lac. Construction can’t begin, however, unless Lake Charles residents approve the proposal. If the plan carries -- the citywide election is April 30 -- the resort could be open by the end of 2013. “If that passes, you have an opportunity to employ another 1,500-plus people,” Swift said. Continued on p68

Mojito Pointe rendering

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Each year Sasol employees make billions of pounds of products used to manufacture detergents, shampoos and personal care products. The same employees dedicate thousands of volunteer hours to area non-profit organizations anuualy through projects like: Inland Waterways Clean Up, Chemistry Expo, Rebuilding Together, Special Olympics, Partners in Education, United Way and more. We’re Coaches, Mentors, Tutors, Teachers, Painters, Fund-raisers and Builders…and that’s all after work!

March 2011

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Continued from p66

Expect more jobs here. Improved performance and expectations of the Southwest Louisiana economy are echoed in the Louisiana Economic Outlook, a long-watched projection prepared by LSU economics professors Loren Scott, Jim Richardson and M. Dek Terrell. According to their 2011-12 outlook, the Lake Charles area could be the fastest or second-fastest growing region in the state, with growth of about 1.8 percent.

Health Care People might not realize it, but health care is the ls the largest employer in our region -over 16,000 people. “We have formed the Health Care Council, meeting with hospitals, doctors and medical facilities, identifying service gaps, promoting awareness of the technology in the area,” Swift said. The bottom line? “We need to let people know that they can get quality health care right here at home,” he said.

Other projects with a legitimate chance of going forward “could boost the region’s prospects even more,” according to the report.

Southwest Louisiana’s Major Employers

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SIC/NAICS Industry Classification

# of Employees

Calcasieu Parish School System

Public Elementary & Secondary Schools


L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort



Coushatta Casino Resort



Turner Industries Group, LLC

General Contractors


PPG Industries, Inc.

Alkalis & Chlorine Manufacturer


Lake Charles Memorial Hospital

General Medical & Surgical Hospital


CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Petroleum Refinery


Isle of Capri Casino



Beauregard Parish School Board

Public Elementary & Secondary Schools


Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office

Law Enforcement/Protection


Jefferson Davis Parish School Board Public Elementary & Secondary Schools


City of Lake Charles

City Government


Era Helicopters LLC

Aircraft/Transportation Charter Rental & Leasing Service


McNeese State University

Colleges & Universities/Academic



Petroleum Refinery


CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital



The outlook points to more local jobs from construction of the Global Modular Solutions facility, the maintenance requirements of the petrochemical complex and ramped-up hiring by Aeroframe Services.

Their employment forecast is a far cry from the Great Recession, when Lake Charles lost 5 percent of its jobs -- the hardest-hit corner of the state.

Source: Chamber SWLA

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March 2011

March 2011

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Orthopaedic Surgeons Earn Board Recertification

Dr. Mark Crawford Awarded Fellow Status Mark Crawford, MD, ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon with The Eye Clinic, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS). Fellow members of the AACS must be board certified by an ABMS-approved surgical specialty or the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, be actively involved in cosmetic surgery by performing at least 100 cases per year, and provide a letter of recommendation from a current AACS Mark Crawford, MD Fellow member or hospital Chief of Staff. Dr. Crawford is board certified in ophthalmology and performed nearly 800 cosmetic procedures in 2010. Dr. Crawford is originally from Lake Charles and has over 13 years of experience in ophthalmology and cosmetic eye surgery. He is the medical director of the Aesthetic Center at The Eye Clinic.

Brett Cascio, M.D. Earns Subspecialty Certification

James Perry, MD, and Geoffrey Collins, MD, orthopaedic surgeons with Center for Orthopaedics, have successfully completed James Perry, MD Geoffrey Collins, MD the requirements to maintain Board Certification in Orthopaedic Surgery from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Board Certification is the industry benchmark by which physician quality is measured and recognized. To achieve orthopaedic surgery recertification, physicians must complete over 120 hours of continuing medical education, undergo a stringent peer review process and pass a rigorous exam to demonstrate their current clinical knowledge. Dr. Perry joined the Center for Orthopaedics in 1994 and Dr. Collins joined in 2003.

Brett Cascio, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon on staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and medical director of Memorial’s Sports Medicine, recently passed the 2010 Subspecialty Certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine examination. The certification is endorsed by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. As an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine Brett Cascop. <D specialist, Dr. Cascio provides medical management primarily on knee, shoulder, hip and cartilage injuries. A New Orleans native, Dr. Cascio is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and his fellowship at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado, where he participated in the care of the U.S. Ski, Colorado Rockies baseball, and Denver Bronco’s football teams. Dr. Cascio currently serves as the head team physician for McNeese State University.

Celine Mascaux, M.D., Receives Local Funding Proceeds from the local Free to Breathe 5K and 1 Mile Walk and a state tax refund donation option have been awarded to Celine Mascaux, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Colorado-Denver through the Louisiana Hope Grant for lung cancer research. Dr. Mascaux, a postdoctoral research fellow, will conduct studies on identification of molecular biomarkers for the screening, early detection and chemoprevention of lung cancer by molecular Celine Mascaux, MD profiling of lung carcinogenesis. The project will help provide further understanding of the early steps of lung cancer development for early detection and to potentially find new targets for prevention and treatment. Her ultimate aim is to develop a cost-effective, non-invasive screening test for lung cancer that could be made widely available.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011


Solutions for Life Solutions Employee Assistance Program from

by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

When It Rains . . . It happens to all of us – one unexpected thing happens, then before we can catch our breath, here comes the next thing, and then the next. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, inefficient, and ineffectual. This month’s article is very personal. My life has been pretty chaotic lately, and I have had lots of opportunity to be overwhelmed. I had one staff member out on maternity leave (sooner than expected), another staff member who quit suddenly due to personal issues, and this time of year is particularly busy in my office. I did my usual thing – wake up in the middle of the night and worry. What if my office manager doesn’t want to come back after maternity leave (I think all new mothers struggle with wanting to stay at home with their little ones)? What if I can’t find anyone to take the afternoon administrative position? Even if I do find someone – I have no time to train that person. On and on it went until I had really worked myself up to the point of not being able to go back to sleep. After several nights of this pattern, I decided I was being ridiculous. I teach people how to deal with stress and anxiety, for goodness’ sake! Finally I took my own advice and began to deal with feeling overwhelmed in the way I teach my clients. Here is what I did:

I made a list.

I wrote down everything I could think of that I needed to do. I find that when I know something is written down, I don’t worry about it as much. I had to decide which of those middle-of-the-night thoughts were productive (meaning I could do something about them) and which were not. The productive things were added to the list as I thought of them – even at 2 a.m.

March 2011

I considered the worst.

So many times we worry about things that might happen – what if I lose my job; what if my spouse cheats on me; what if we’re hit with another hurricane? Then, we stay stuck on the “what ifs” of the situation. You need to take it to the next step – let’s say that horrible thing does happen. What will you do? As I considered the possibility of my office manager not returning, I realized that I could find someone who could figure out her systems and handle all her duties. It wouldn’t be easy, but I could do it. No one (including myself) is irreplaceable. I was still hoping and praying she would return, but I made peace with the possibility of her not doing so.

I said “no.”

Because my plate was so full, I started looking at things I could take off it (and either throw away or sneakily shove onto someone else’s plate). Since when it rains, it pours, I had several calls about new speaking engagements and projects. I regretfully declined some (and suggested an alternative), told others I would not be able to develop a new workshop (so if they wanted me, they would need to take a topic I’d already developed), and told others I would not be able to help them for a while. This was so difficult. I pride myself and my business on being able to respond quickly to any situation. I agonized over turning new business down. But these calls were not from my contracted clients. My contracted clients and my office had to come first. Again, I was worried that I would lose some of these opportunities. Every last one of them was fine with what I offered them.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

I stayed in the moment.

I am so fortunate that during the course of my day I have opportunities to take a break from my worries. As I do workshops, I lose myself in the material and with the audience. I am there to give them great information in a way that they can receive it and incorporate it into their lives. When I am with my clients doing therapy, my goal is to be fully present with them. They need me right there with them as we help them move towards living their lives as healthy as possible. It’s great for me, because I am forced to come up for air and re-group from my own concerns. When you are stressed and overwhelmed, try to take a break by truly “being” wherever you are. As you are driving, notice your surroundings. As you are playing with your kids, stay focused. Your worries will still be there when you get back to them.

I took control of something else.

I started looking for tasks that were doable. I might not have been able to find a document I was looking for, but I could make copies that needed to be made! I might not be able to predict when I was going to find our newest team member, but I could clean out my kitchen cabinets. When you are feeling helpless about a situation, go to another area in your life and do something productive. It helps to feel in control of something – anything. I’m not out of the woods yet. Maternity leave isn’t over. My new person is still very much in the training process – when lots of things can go wrong. But I’m choosing to no longer be overwhelmed and to do the same things I encourage my clients to do. So far, it’s working.


C H A T T E R • E V E R Y B O D Y ’ S T A L K I N ’ • D I D Y OU H E A R T H A T ? • W O W - W H O K N E W ! • C H A T T E R • E V E R Y B O D Y ’ S and treatment. She is trained to consult clients on weight loss, healthy living and how to maintain a nutritional diet while facing unique dietary health conditions such as autism, food allergies, cancer, candida, ADHD, arthritis, lactose intolerance and other issues. For information on Pure Foods and Health Educational Services, contact Lampson at 721-3273 or

Pastry Chef Takes Top World Prize L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort Pastry Chef William ‘Bill’ Foltz earned the top prize in the ‘sugar sculpture’ category at the famed Coupe du Monde World Pastry Cup 2011 held in Lyons, France. Bill represented not only Chef William ‘Bill’ Foltz L’Auberge but also Team USA. Pastry chefs worldwide competed in the individual competition.

Wallace Named Program Director Adrian L. Wallace has been named SEED Center Program Director and Director of Lake Charles North Redevelopment Authority at the Southwest Louisiana Alliance. Wallace was previously the Adrian L. Wallace assistant city administrator for the City of Lake Charles prior to this posting. The SEED center will serve the five-parish region of Southwest Louisiana (Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis) offering a suite of services for entrepreneurs. The SEED Center is a collaborative effort of The SWLA Economic Development Alliance, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the City of Lake Charles, and McNeese State University.

Pure Foods Offers Consultation Services Pure Foods and Health now offers individual educational and consulting services to clients with special dietary needs or goals. The business, once located on Prien Lake Road, remains under the ownership of Gene and Shively Lampson. Services are offered by appointment to those interested in an individually tailored nutritional program. Shively Lampson, a certified nutritional consultant, has been in the nutritional field for more than 25 years and is skilled in the areas of holistic nutrition 72 73

Winners Announced in Float Contest Kate Smith’s Krewe de Kraw creation captured Kate Smith’s Krewe de Kraw first place honors in the adult division as well as the coveted Best of Show title in the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest. Taking home first place in the children’s division were Kayleigh and Maggie Fruge. Skylar McCain was awarded second place and Macie Duplechain won third place. First place winner in the teen division was Zaire Laroussi. Isabella Griffith took home second place and Dustin Guidry won third. Capturing first place in the elementary school division was E.K. Key Elementary. Group 1 from Vincent Settlement Elementary School landed second place honors and Dolby Elementary’s Third Grade Classes won third. Girl Scout Troop #205 took home first place in the Club/Organization (school age) Division. St. Margaret’s Catholic School Art Club Group 1 placed second and St. Margaret’s Catholic School Art Club Group 3 placed third. Kingsley Place Assisted Living won first place in the adult civic club or organization division.

City to Host Children’s Initiatives Luncheon The City of Lake Charles will host “Interaction for Children’s Initiatives – Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together” from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Contraband Room and Mezzanine. At the luncheon, an update regarding children’s initiatives will be given and attendees will be asked to volunteer to help in one or more children’s initiatives. Speakers are Mayor Randy Roach; Catherine Michaels, Department of Children and Families Services; Penny Haxthausen, Calcasieu Parish School System; David Duplechian, Family and Youth Counseling Agency; and Catherine Thomas, United Way of Southwest Louisiana. Informational booths are welcome. For more information contact Esther Vincent at 491-1440. Lunch will be served. Cost is $10.

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LEH Seeks Board Nominations The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, or LEH, announces the establishment of a new 20-member Advisory Council to support the Board of Directors in its development of LEH programs while widening its statewide community base. Composed of scholars, institutional leaders, experienced project directors, and cultural luminaries, the proposed Advisory Council would reflect the regional and ethnic diversity that are chief among Louisiana’s cultural assets. While empowered only to make programming recommendations and provide community input, the Council would review LEH programs for quality and impact, and advise the Board about the needs of communities and institutions. Nomination letters should be sent no later than March 1 to Michael Sartisky, PhD, President/Executive Director, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 938 Lafayette St., Suite 300, New Orleans, LA 70113.

Prestridge Receives Thompson Award Mike Prestridge was the recipient of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital’s bimonthly Rosie Thompson Award for November and December of 2010. Prestridge was nominated by patients and fellow Mike Prestridge hospital employees for service excellence as Network Systems Supervisor for the Information Technology department at Memorial. A native of Orange, Texas, who has been with Memorial for nearly eight years, Prestridge graduated from McNeese State University with a paralegal degree. He then received his Microsoft certifications during his employment with New Horizons Computer Learning Centers.

Arts Council Distributes Grant This year, thirteen organizations in Calcasieu Parish were awarded funding through the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury grant program allocated through the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. Organizations were the Black Heritage Festival; Dancing Classrooms; the Southwest Louisiana Science Education Foundation; the Cajun French Music Association; Dr. F.G. Bulber Youth Orchestra; Lake Charles Little Theatre; Lake Charles Civic Ballet; Louisiana Choral Foundation; Bayou Writers’ Group; Lake Charles Community Band; the Iowa Rabbit Festival; and Art on Wheels.

March 2011

D I D Y OU H E A R T H AT ? • W O W - W H O K N E W ! • C H AT T E R • E V E R Y B O D Y ’ S T A L K I N • D I D Y OU H E A R T H AT ? • W O W

Young Artists Honored

Ann Marie Arabie

Caleb Borrell

Jolie Richarson

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital recently honored students who participated in the Young at Art Program in November and December. November’s display featured artwork by students from St. John Elementary, and December’s display featured artwork by J.D. Clifton Elementary students. A panel of Memorial volunteers recognized the following students with a $50 savings bond: Ann Marie Arabie, Caleb Borrell, and Jolie Richarson of St. John; Kellie Alfred, Recka Williams, and Raylon Ceril, of J.D. Clifton.

Kellie Alfred

Raylon Ceril

The local station surpassed 109 other middle and small-market television stations nationwide to achieve this status.

Courville Joins SWLA Economic Development Alliance

Katelynn McCartney

Davante Lewis

Youth Advisory Council Announced Officers for the 2011 Family and Youth Counseling Agency Youth Advisory Council are Katelynn McCartney, chair; Davante Lewis, co-chair; and Tiffany Fontenot, secretary. Tiffany Fontenot McCartney, 18, is a senior at Sulphur High and the daughter of James and Tammy McCartney. Some of her accomplishments include being chosen to speak to Louisiana elected officials in Washington D.C., and having represented the American Cancer Society by holding the Teen Miss Louisiana Queen of Hope title. Lewis, 19, is a freshman at McNeese majoring in mass communications and the son of Tommy and Nicole Dean. Lewis, a former candidate for Calcasieu Parish School Board, received the 2009 Youth Leadership Award from the Lake Charles, Kiwanis North. Fontenot, 16, of St. Louis Catholic High, is the daughter of Jake and Patricia Philmon. Some of her accomplishments include placing first in a national dance competition, and being chosen with a few other high school students to go to Washington D.C. to speak to some of our nation’s leaders.

CHRISTUS St. Patrick reveals winner in the “Name the Robot” contest

Recka Williams

CW Named Station of the Year Lake Charles’ CW, KVHP-DT2, was named Station of the Year for 2010 by the CW Television Network’s CW Plus division. The honor salutes outstanding performance and superior professionalism in sales, marketing, promotion and community outreach. March 2011

desserts, for its annual recipe competition. The contest is open through June 7. Multiple entries from one individual will be accepted. There is no entry fee. Complete details are available through the Commission’s website at www.sweetpotato. org. One overall grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000. One additional winner from each of the five categories will receive $500.

CHRISTUS-St. Patrick, the first hospital to introduce robotic surgical technology to the region, has unveiled the long-awaited name for the da Vinci Si Surgical System – DASH, or Doctors’ Articulated Surgical Hands. The name was submitted by Robert Goldman of Moss Bluff through a sponsored contest.

Louisiana Cookin’ Sponsors Recipe Contest The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and Louisiana Cookin’ magazine is accepting original sweet potato recipes in one of four categories, including appetizers, side dishes, entrées and Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Gaye Courville recently joined the SWLA Economic Development Alliance as Project Planning and Development Coordinator. Gaye’s experience includes seven years of fiscal and human resource management in the wholesale and retail industry; nine years of program implementation and management in the social services field, including workforce development; seven years of program development, grant writing and administration, and fund development in the non-profit field. She will oversee the planning and implementation of grant projects funded through the Office of Community Development/Disaster Recovery Unit. Courville received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration.

WCCH Dedicates Gymnasium West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital honored the memory of Dr. Roger G. Grimball Sr. of Sulphur, family medicine physician, with the recent dedication of the hospital’s physical medicine gymnasium. Dr. Grimball joined the WCCH medical staff in 1972. His service on WCCH’s active medical staff continued until his passing in January 2010. As an active staff member, Dr. Grimball’s involvement in numerous committee functions included his service as the chairman of the Integrated Practice Committee for numerous years, past member at large on the medical executive committee, and active participant on the medical staff and finance committee of the WCCH Board of Commissioners.

Non-Profit Agency Partners with Local Agencies Coalition Services, Inc. is a non-profit agency developed to collaborate and implement proactive innovations within the area’s criminal justice system. The mission of Coalition Services Inc. (CSI) is to provide support and resources in the design, development and implementation of proactive and progressive programs within the criminal justice system of Calcasieu Parish and the surrounding areas.

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Coalition Services Inc. will focus its efforts primarily on developing, funding and maintaining specialty access courts, prisoner re-entry programs and other current and future community-focused criminal justice programs. For more information, contact Coalition Services Inc. at 564-5394, 1011 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 618, or email Tanous at

Healthy Image Scores Addy Awards Healthy Image, a regional marketing and public relations firm, was honored with 20 Addy awards from the American Advertising Federation Lake Charles, including two gold Addys for layout, two silvers for Thrive cover designs and By the Numbers features and two silvers for the Thrive TV logo and opening animation. The agency was also awarded Best of Show. Healthy Image is owned by Kristy Armand, Christine Fisher and Barbara VanGossen. The agency has been in business for eight years and provides comprehensive marketing services including strategic planning, advertising, video production, website development, media relations, graphic design, creative writing, and more. The agency partners also own and oversee the operations of Thrive. The AAF-Lake Charles chapter is an active group of more than 70 members who are primarily advertising, marketing and public relations professionals working in Southwest Louisiana. The organization honors local agencies each year.

Get Down Down town! 3/2 Alex Rozell (acoustic) 10pm 3/4 Bret Vidrine & Bent Whisky 9pm 3/5 The Brothers Whirley & Bobcat 9pm 3/8 Mardi Gras Bash Live bands all day! 3/9 TBA 3/11 TBA 3/12 Ashes of Babylon 9pm 3/16 Mike Benavidez (acoustic) 10pm 3/18 Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Lingus 9pm 2/19 Fayuca 9pm 2/23 Radar vs Wolf & Dave Evans & Ryan Bunch

(acoustic) 10pm

2/25 Dax Riggs 9pm 2/26 Brew Daze Beer & food pairing 2pm ‘til

Plump 9pm

2/30 Mike Benavidez (acoustic)

M-tu 11am-10pm • wed-Sat 11am-11pm every Monday night is open mic night!

719 Ryan St., Lake Charles 337-494-LUnA 74 75

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011

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You’ve probably already made at least 1,000 decisions today.

You decided to hit the ly snooze button. by Erin Kel You decided to wear the red shirt instead of the blue. You chose scrambled eggs for breakfast, a cappuccino instead of espresso, and a burger for lunch. Maybe you made more important decisions. Perhaps you decided to quit your job or start a new business. Maybe you hit the snooze button and then decided that you were going to register for college or get engaged – things that we consider “real” decisions. That’s the funny part, though. The decisions that don’t feel like actual decisions are sometimes just as monumental as the weighty ones. Sometimes even the smallest decisions, like where you choose to sit in your junior high library, can change the course of your life. Had I not sat in a certain seat at Oak Park Middle School in 1990, I would have never met a new student named Nicole, who became my best friend. Had I not decided to read the classifieds as I ate my cereal in 1995, I would have never found my first journalism job – without which I would have never met some of the most integral people of my life. Someone once told me that wherever you are in life, it is the result of all your best decisions. Depending on where you are, this insightful gem will either make you painfully nauseous or extraordinarily. But if you’re not quite sure where you are in life or where you’re going (like myself March 2011

and I suspect most of you), then it will make you do something else: Reflect. March is a good month for reflecting on decisions because unless you’re Julius Ceasar, it’s supposed to be lucky – and when it comes to making decisions, good old-fashioned luck plays a significant role in determining whether your choices are “good” or “bad.” In my opinion, at least. Thanks to common sense, the labeling of some decisions is fairly obvious. Ninety-nine percent of the time, robbing the bank down the street is a bad decision, while spending time with your kids is probably a good one. But what about those hazy decisions beset with invisible question marks? Decisions like: Should I start a new career? Should I open my own business? Should I break up with my boyfriend? Should I order the chicken or the salmon? Everyone has a different decision-making process. Some people fly by the seat of their pants. Others gruel over every little detail until they’re certain they’ve stacked the cards in their favor. I’ve always gone for what I consider the risk versus benefit ratio, which goes something like this: The risk of bad things happening if I make decision A is less than the chance of great things happening; therefore, decision A is best. There’s just one flaw in my process – more often than not there is no way to know which bad or great things are going to happen until you make decision A. That’s where the lucky charms come in. According to the Internet, if you want to live a lucky life, you have to start by making smart decisions and to make smart decisions you have to begin with research. But at the end of the day Thrive Magazine for Better Living

no amount of research will forsake the reality that you will have to make a leap of faith. There is no market-study analysis on what will happen when You make Decision A, because there is only one You. That’s what makes life so tricky. Once you realize that You alone are in charge of your best decisions, there are really only two options – freak out or step up. Wherever you are in life, it is the result of all your best decisions. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? What’s even scarier is that there are millions of decisions left to be made – some big, some small and some small-that-turn-out-to-be-big. With that in mind (and in honor of St. Patrick) I have two words to pass along to you with the deepest of sincerity: Good luck.

Erin Kelly has been a local journalist for more than 12 years. Email her at


On the Town (formerly White Linen Night)

Saturday, March 19, 2011 •

Historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank 844 Ryan Street • 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Appetizers by local restaurants and caterers, complimentary wine, cash bar, raffle baskets and entertainment by Las Vegas artists,

Chapter One

performing the hits of the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Drifters, the Coasters and more

Leif Pedersen’s 1944 Big Band • Attire: Dressy casual

$75 per person in advance • $100 per person at the door Tickets are available online at or at The Foundation office by calling (337) 494-3226, or mail your check payable to The Foundation at LCMH, 1701 Oak Park Blvd, Lake Charles, LA 70601. All tax deductible proceeds benefit The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, a 501(c)3 entity.

Sponsored by


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

March 2011