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heart health 5 SIMPLE SECRETS


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PREVENTION 5 secret weapons for heart health Studies suggest simple (but


not obvious) ways to help keep your ticker strong.




REHAB REPORT Back to breathing free

For patients with COPD, pulmonar y rehab can be the key to renewed health and vigor.



C L I N I C A L U P D AT E Unusual signs of heart disease This deadly illness can

show itself in unexpected ways— especially in women.






H E A LT H Y L I V I N G Holidays needn’t go to waist 5 ways to say “no, thanks” to seasonal weight gain—and stay merr y.


FRIENDS OF OTSEGO Trips for treatment OMH joins with two partners to provide a new “cancer van” to take patients to medical appointments.

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Otsego Health & Life is published by Wainscot Media, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, in association with Otsego Memorial Hospital. This is Volume 3, Issue 4. © 2012 by Otsego Memorial Hospital. All rights reserved. Material contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, seek the guidance of a healthcare professional.

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secret weapons FOR HEART HEALTH

HOW TO PREVENT HEART DISEASE? WE’VE ALL HEARD THE classic advice: Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains; go easy on salt and fatty foods; get exercise; don’t smoke; and watch that cholesterol. But there’s more. “It can be confusing,” admits Cary Bailey, an acute care nurse practitioner at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale’s Prairie Heart Institute in Carbondale, Illinois, “because it seems every week we hear that something we thought was good is really bad.” However, research does offer other simple steps we can take toward heart-attack prevention every day. Here are five:


GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. In one large study, women who had five hours’ sleep or less per night were 39 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease within 10 years than those who slept for eight hours. Quality of sleep counts too. Breathing problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, in which breathing stops briefly many times during the night, have been linked to an increased risk of heart problems. So allow seven to eight hours a night for sleep. If you still wake up unrefreshed, see your doctor.


SEE YOUR DENTIST. Both tooth loss and untreated gum

disease have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular illness. Doctors believe bacteria from gum disease enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation of other tissue—including the lining of the arteries, producing atherosclerosis. And in data from a major survey of nearly 42,000 people ages 40 to 59, the more teeth a person lacked, the more likely he or she was to suffer from heart disease.



EAT BARLEY. The Food and Drug Administration approved

a rule that allows foods containing barley to carry labels claiming that they “may reduce the risk of heart disease.” The reason? Barley contains soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.



ish study, Mediterranean-style diets rich in healthy fats from virgin olive oil and certain nuts outdid a low-fat diet in improving cholesterol, blood pressure and blood-sugar levels. Virgin olive oil retains natural antioxidants and other nutrients thought to reduce dangerous inflammation in blood vessels, researchers say, while almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts contain unsaturated fats believed to aid the heart.


HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE. No, this isn’t your cue to jangle your nerves with a caffeine overload. “Whether high caffeine intake increases the risk of coronary heart disease is still under study,” says the American Heart Association. But drinking one to three cups of coffee a day may be heart-protective, according to a study of more than 27,000 women in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Compared with abstainers, moderate java drinkers had a 24 percent reduction in the risk of “inflammatory deaths.” These tips have a trait in common, suggests Bailey. “They contribute to the goal of reducing the body’s degree of inflammation,” she says. “Vascular inflammation is part of many cardiac disorders.” ■ OTSEGO HEALTH & LIFE

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rehab report

back to breathing free For patients With CopD, pulmonary rehab Can be the key to reneWeD health anD vigor

“o.k., take a Deep breath,” your healthCare provider instructs. “and one more. Good.” You feel the stethoscope against your chest, but what you may feel even more is your inability to really take a deep, full breath. You could be one of thousands of people who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases that can make even the easiest task feel like you’re climbing a mountain. Joyce ross, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CopD) sufferer, knows firsthand the debilitating nature of the disease, which is why she chose pulmonary rehabilitation to combat the symptoms. pulmonary rehabilitation is an integral part of the clinical management and health maintenance of those patients with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma or CopD (which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis) who remain symptomatic or continue to have decreased function despite standard medical treatment. at otsego Memorial hospital (oMh) in Gaylord, pulmonary rehabilitation is offered to those patients who have undergone pulmonary function testing—a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s


Winter 2012

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otsego memorial hospital’s on-premises cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation department (above) helps patients like joyce ross improve their energy, stamina and strength. at right, ross is shown with omh exercise specialist julie sheppard.

circulation—and from those results have been determined to be qualifying candidates for the program. ross, a 76-year-old Gaylord resident and oMh pulmonary rehab client, is a former smoker who kicked the habit 36 years ago, but had a reaction to a prescription medication and was left short of breath, making even her regular household chores seem like a daunting task. her primary care provider, Michael Samalik, M.D., recommended a pulmonary function test in order to see how well her lungs were performing, and prescribed an inhaler as a short-term remedy. When her test results came back, it was revealed that ross was now among the millions of americans suffering from CopD. but she didn’t simply sit and take in her diagnosis. Instead, she got up and decided to do whatever it took to ease the symptoms and slow the progression of her disease. her pulmonary function test results and diagnosis made her a fabulous candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation. after her recent graduation from the oMh pulmonary rehab program, she enrolled in the phase III–Maintenance, the pay-as-you go program at oMh, because she enjoys the physical activity and socialization provided by the program. “the exercise makes me feel much better,” says ross. “and being able to talk with others going through the same type of things helps as well.” “regular exercise improves your quality of life,” says Denise Schmidlin, Director of the oMh pulmonary rehabilitation program. “It improves endurance, strength and stamina, and helps to maximally restore function to allow patients to remain independent in their daily activities.” ross has also benefited from the educational component of her rehab program, especially the nutrition and exercise sessions. the lecture

series is held via reMeC, an interactive video conference for pulmonary rehabilitation patients across northern Michigan, and includes topics such as medications, nutrition, exercise, blood pressure and dealing with a diagnosis. Implementing aspects of the pulmonary rehab program in a client’s daily life is a key to being successful, and ross has done just that now that her energy has returned. She enjoys riding her bike, going for walks and gardening again. “It was unbelievable what I was having a hard time doing before,” she says. “but about half-way through my sessions I felt an improvement in my energy level, and now I can do so much more.” ross participates in the oMh pulmonary rehabilitation program twice a week, and appreciates the care and attention that the rehabilitation staff delivers to all of the clients. before, during and after their activity sessions, clients have their oxygen level, blood pressure and heart rate checked, and are given guidance on whether to slow down, rest or continue with the activity. “the girls are wonderful; the program is wonderful” says ross. “I would recommend this program to anyone, and I have.” oMh pulmonary rehab is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on tuesdays and thursdays. Denise Schmidlin, Director of Cardiac and pulmonary rehab, can be reached by calling 989.731.7866. For more information about the oMh pulmonary rehabilitation program, or other services offered under the umbrella of the oMh rehabilitation Services Department, please visit the otsego Memorial hospital website at, or call the oMh Information hotline at 989.731.oMh1. ■

“i would recommend this program to anyone, and i have.”

otsego health & liFe

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unusual signs of heart disease

clinical update

this deadly illness can show itself in unexpected ways—especially in women if anyone should be familiar with the threat of heart disease, it’s pam Welsh, 64, of Johannesburg, as it claimed the lives of both her mother and father. Yet in 1999, when she was having jaw and face pain, she never once thought it was her heart. “i had just had a tooth pulled two weeks before my face pain started, and i was sure it was pain from that,” recalls Welsh, “i even went to two different emergency rooms while on vacation, and at each i was told it was pain related to my tooth.” the pain in the face continued, and she developed additional symptoms such as extreme fatigue and difficultly breathing while walking. Fortunately, Welsh followed up with her primary care physician, Robert Mee, d.O., at the Otsego Memorial Hospital Medical Group Family practice. Right away dr. Mee knew there was a serious issue, most likely related to her heart. “there are times when we have to consider unusual symptoms as a presentation of a disease process,” says dr. Mee. “Heart disease can cause some seemingly unworrisome symptoms at times in women.” according to dr. Mee, a high “index of suspicion” and consideration for risk factors in women—and in patients with other disease processes such as diabetes—is imperative to enable doctors to identify blockages of the coronary arteries before they become critical. Recognizing Welsh’s symptoms immediately, dr. Mee coordinated care with Munson Medical center, and she was seen by a cardiologist that afternoon. “When dr. Mee said i needed to see a cardiologist i was shocked,” Welsh recalls. “i always thought heart attacks came with chest pains, and i didn’t have any chest pains.” Welsh was admitted to Munson Medical center in traverse city, and within a day she had received a triple bypass. She says she was told at the time that if she had waited a day or two more she could have died. today Welsh sees both dr. Mee and her cardiologist every six months. She has lost more than 60 pounds, and works to live a healthy life so that she can enjoy her two great-granddaughters. “Without dr. Mee, i would not be here today,” says Welsh. “He saved my life by recognizing my unique symptoms immediately.” ■

pam welsh is checked out by her primary care physician, robert mee , d.o.

otsego health & life

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holidays needn’t go

to waist 5 WAYS TO SAY “NO, THANKS” TO SEASONAL WEIGHT GAIN—AND STAY MERRY You can tell from the nip in the air and the carols on the airwaves: Most of us will soon be celebrating with family, friends—and fattening food. From Thanksgiving pumpkin pie through eggnog on New Year’s Eve, this sumptuous season is the calendar’s biggest threat to your trim waistline. And while a New England Journal of Medicine study a few years ago had some good news (we don’t pack on as many pounds as we fear), it brought a warning, too: The weight we do add during this season tends to stay on. So must you be a stay-at-home sourpuss, munching on celery? No, insists Janet R. Laubgross, a Fairfax, Virginia, clinical psychologist who specializes in weight management. You can be socially active and still face the scales happily, she says, if you heed five tips:

1. PLAN. “It’s essential to mentally prepare for events you know will be stressful, such as Christmas dinner with the in-laws,” says Laubgross. “If you gear up beforehand, you’ll feel less need to soothe yourself with food.”



TIP: “If you’re drinking wine with dinner, wait until your entrée is served to take the first sip. You’ll be more sensitive to your body’s fullness cues and less likely to overeat.” ~ DIETITIAN LAURA CIPULLO


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TIP: “Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, including salad, and eat them first. The fiber will help fill you up and leave less room for those dangerous higher-calorie foods.” ~ DIETITIAN SARAH AMER

Restaurant meals are easy, because most eateries now post their menus online. Decide what to order in advance, so you won’t be tempted while sitting at the table—keeping in mind that fried foods and butter generally should be avoided. Also, never leave home very hungry—or very full. “If you’ve starved yourself beforehand hoping to save calories, you’re likely to gobble every bite in sight!” warns Laubgross. On the other hand, she adds, you should also avoid the other extreme—a pre-dinner binge: “No matter how stuffed you are, you’ll still be tempted to indulge in tasty morsels.” Your best bet: Prep for an evening fête by eating a sensible lunch, followed by a light snack two hours before you leave home for the social event. Finally, when you see a party spread, ask yourself, “Which of these foods do I really like?” Permit yourself small portions of these and enjoy them to the hilt—then pass on the other fattening items.

2. DE-STRESS. “I know this is easier said than done,” says Laubgross, “but when we’re stressed we tend to overeat and overdrink.” Work on keeping pressure levels down by sticking to your regular routine as much as possible. It’s also perfectly acceptable to avoid high-strain situations. “We all have notions about what we’re supposed to do, yet in reality life presents us with only a few real obligations,” says Laubgross. This means it’s O.K. to skip certain parties or leave others early, especially if the temptation to overindulge is high. Does shopping in a teeming mall make you want to tear your hair out? Try buying presents online or from a catalog. “And remember: It’s not necessary to get the absolute perfect gift for every single person you know,” says Laubgross. When all else fails, just take a break. “Excuse yourself from cocktail hour at your family’s house, and step outside for a breath of air,” says Laubgross. Then you can rejoin the group feeling refreshed.

3. SWEAT. Yes, we know—during this busy time it’s easier than ever to let your exercise routine slip. Don’t! Even if it means breaking up workout sessions, with 15 minutes on the treadmill in the morning and a 20-minute walk after work, keeping active will help you burn excess calories and thus stay trim. But it goes beyond the digital “calories burned” display. “Exercise also boosts confidence and helps lower anxiety,” says Laubgross. “Because many of us deal with feelings of social uncertainty by medicating with food, regular physical activity may just help you avoid bingeing at the New Year’s Eve buffet table.”

4. BE FIRM. “If a hostess offers you a second helping of her famous—and fattening—chocolate caramel cream pie, all you have to do is say, ‘No thank you,’” says Laubgross. A small voice inside may whisper that it’s rude to say no. After all, food is a symbol of love and a currency of hospitality. So have a smile and ready answer: You need to take care of you. Of course, it’s the job of a host or hostess to make sure you’re offered everything you might wish to consume. But you’d be surprised how few parties will stand or fall based on the amount you personally eat. “In most cases, I don’t think it’s good to get into a litany of excuses about why you’re passing on that sugary cocktail because you end up apologizing for yourself,” says Laubgross. And you can always compliment a spread without partaking.

5. KEEP MOVING. Remember: If you’re truly tempted by a favorite treat, enjoy it and then move on. “Otherwise you’re likely to overeat the rest of the week, unconsciously trying to get a taste of that delicacy you really wanted,” says Laubgross. Don’t park yourself in front of the chow cart or dessert table. Circulate, and think of why you decided to attend this social event in the first place. Enjoy your loved ones, friends— and possible friends-to-be. Isn’t that what truly makes the holiday season special? ■


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friends of otsego

trips for treatment otsego memoRial hospital joins with two paRtneRs to pRovide a new “canceR van” to take patients to medical appointments You maY see the “Road to RecoveRY” van in town, on the highway or parked outside the otsego County Volunteer Center, but no matter where it is, it is saving lives. otsego Memorial Hospital foundation was one of three regional organizations to fund the purchase of this new van to help transport local cancer patients to radiation treatments in Petoskey. the road to recovery program has been in operation since 1998 in otsego County. it represents a partnership between the American Cancer society and the otsego County Volunteer Center in assisting with the transportation of individuals undergoing radiation treatment by picking patients up at their homes and taking them to and from medical appointments in Petoskey. the American Cancer society provides the vehicle and fuel, and the Volunteer Center provides a team of up to 60 volunteer drivers for the van and keeps up the maintenance on the vehicle. in the last two years, road to recovery has assisted 54 cancer patients, making more than 560 trips in total. All of this travel put serious wear and tear on the old van, leaving it with bald tires and the danger of an impending breakdown. otsego Memorial Hospital foundation joined with northern Michigan regional Hospital and dCP Midstream to purchase a brand new passenger van, replacing the old one, which had more than 200,000 miles on it.


the american cancer societ y’s “road to recovery” progr am van

“this is a special program that enhances healthcare in otsego County and the surrounding area,” says Christie Perdue, foundation and Marketing director at otsego Memorial Hospital. “it’s a great example of how partnerships can build programs and save lives.” the road to recovery program is made possible through the dedication of community volunteers, who drive the van in all sorts of weather and throughout the entire year. for more information on the road to recovery program, please contact the otsego County Volunteer Center at 989.705.6584 or the otsego Memorial Hospital foundation office at 989.731.2342. ■

winteR 2012

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Otsego Health & Life: Winter 2012  

The Good Living Magazine from Otsego Memorial Hospital

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