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Establishing good training habits, such as regular stretching, can help you avoid injury as you have fun in the sun this summer. Page 9

Tomatoes and a host of other foods provide antioxidants, which prevent disease. Page 3 VOL. 1, ISSUE 4

FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014

VALLEY HEALTH MONTROSE PRESS

NEXT STOP,

HEALTHY

LIVING BENEFITS OF REGULAR CYCLING ARE CLEAR, PAGE 6

MONTROSE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

WELCOMES

Riley Foreman, DO, FACP, FACC Interventional Cardiologist Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease

Medical School

University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, MO

Residency

Fellowships

Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA University of California, San Diego, CA

Office

MMH Cardiology Services 17 North Mesa, Montrose, CO 81401 970.252.1020

US Naval Hospital, Oakland, CA

friends & family caring for friends and family

800 South Third Street, Montrose, CO 81401

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Hospital Happenings

VALLEY HEALTH A PUBLICATION OF THE

Friends and Family Caring for thrilled about this recognition that Friends and Family has been Mon- comes directly from the patient trose Memorial Hospital’s motto satisfaction surveys we receive for many years. It’s a mantra we from the people we care for. live by and many of our employees In addition, we were awarded can tell you specific stoMost Improved for ries about our hospital Medium Hospital in that bring that saying the Quietness at Night to life. It’s how we treat score. You may remempeople and go above ber that I talked about and beyond to provide a team we put together the highest level of to address the quiet care to everyone who atmosphere we strive walks through our to provide for patients doors. In addition to at night. Beginning in top level medical care, 2013, we began focusing our patients, family on keeping the hospimembers and friends tal quieter during the will always be treated night so our patients Leann Tobin with kindness, compascan rest better and Montrose Memorial sion and tenderness. hopefully heal faster. Hospital Last week, we reWe continue to work ceived notice that with staff members to MMH won two national close doors, encouragawards from Avatar Solutions, ing everyone to watch how loud the patient satisfaction firm we they are speaking and posting have worked with since 1998. The quiet reminder signs throughout hospital has received the award for the patient care areas. In January Exemplary Service – Overall Best 2013 our satisfaction scores were Performer for 2013. This recogni60.6 percent and we ended Decemtion goes to the top facilities in ber 2013 at 72.22 percent. Avatar’s national database that MMH is proud of these achievehave the highest overall, comments and of the care our staff bined scores for inpatient, outpamembers and physicians provide tient, emergency department and our patients. We appreciate the ambulatory surgery. The award feedback we receive through our recognizes high performing facilipatient satisfaction survey process ties who demonstrate consistent and encourage you to complete the patient experiences throughout the form you receive in the mail, after organization. There are 310 active you have used our services. hospitals in the Avatar database Leann Tobin is the marketing and and this award was only given to public relations coordinator for 13 hospitals nationwide. We are Montrose Memorial Hospital. 

MONTROSE PRESS

Publisher Francis Wick Managing Editor Justin Joiner Advertising director Dennis Anderson Business manager Ranae Weber For advertising information, contact Dennis Anderson at 252-7022 or via email at dennisa@montrosepress.com Valley Health is a publication of the Montrose Press. It publishes monthly on the first Friday. If you have a health-related news tip, contact Justin Joiner, managing editor, at editor@montrosepress.com.

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Saffron supplements seem to help reduce chemotherapy-induced cell damage (damage to the DNA)

Q: Two of my relatives have pancreatic cancer, and I’m worried sick for myself. No symptoms yet, but is there anything I can share with them, or take myself ? — D.T., Sacramento, California A: I’m sorry to hear about your relatives. Pancreatic cancer is on the rise, certain medications and foods and beverages increase its risk. I wrote a book on the topic to help people. Squashing free radicals is helpful, as well as pancreatic enzymes. Anything that slows growth or spreading is important. Detoxifying the body (particularly lymph) is probably number one on my list. As a natural minded pharmacist I love finding research about natural plant extracts that work like pharmaceuticals. There’s a protein in your body called “mTOR” which plays a vital role in how each cell thrives, divides, or dies. When this protein and associated metabolic pathway is turned on too high, it promotes cancer spreading. If we interfere with the mTOR pathway, it helps stop the formation of new blood vessels which feed the tumor. These mTOR “inhibitors” help people with pancreatic cancer and possibly induce remission, at least for awhile. This was shown in February 2011, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, entitled, “mTOR Inhibitor Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer in a Patient with PJS.” The scientists used a drug called everolimus (Afinitor). Other mTOR inhibitors available today include Certican and Torisel, and others in the pipeline. There are natural compounds which are known to interfere with mTOR but to a lesser extent com-

pared to these cancer drugs. Resveratrol (you know, from grapes!) is one of them as reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (November 19, 2010). The scientists knew going into the study that resveratrol was a powerful herbal with strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and nerve-protecting effects on the body. Guess what other herb reduces mTOR activity? Curcumin, one of the active compounds in turmeric spice, popular in Indian cuisine. Many studies prove curcumin slows down the growth of different types of cancer. Curcumin may be helpful for pancreatitis because it reduces inflammation in the pancreas and reduces inflammatory pain-causing chemicals. Wonderful, but you may need special IVs or supplements to get it to work. Saffron (Crocus sativus) is amazing. This gorgeous flower is available as a spice, and a supplement (by Exir). Saffron supplements seem to help reduce chemotherapyinduced cell damage (damage to the DNA). Crocetin, a carotenoid derived from saffron appears to compete with the drug gemcitabine which is one of the standard therapies for pancreatic cancer. Remarkably, both the herb and the chemo drug compete for the same receptor site, which is the doorway into your cell. Are they trying to do the same good thing in there? The discussion of using resveratrol, curcumin or saffron is between you and your doctor. Even though these are natural herbs, with excellent safety profiles, I have no idea what’s right for you and your safety is my first concern. Ask a licensed practitioner about customizing your personal health regimen. 


3

How to help kids adapt to glasses Children’s vision problems often become apparent when youngsters first enter school. Poor performance in the classroom may have little to do with a learning disability or a stubborn student, and a lot to do with poor vision. Vision problems can often be traced to genetics. A family history of various vision troubles increase the likelihood that a child will one day require corrective glasses. In addition, a growing reliance on digital devices may increase a child’s risk of computer eye strain, which may compound already present vision deficits. Understanding that he or she needs to wear glasses does not always translate into a child’s willingness to actually wear those glasses, as peer pressure remains an obstacle when encouraging kids to embrace their eyeglasses. Younger children may find it difficult to understand why they need glasses or they may forget to put them on or how to care for them properly. Parents may find it challenging to acclimate a child to eyeglasses, but there are a few strategies to help make that transition go more smoothly. SHOP TOGETHER Children may be more receptive to eyeglasses if they get to choose those glasses. Glasses are personal and should be sized according to the wearer’s face. Kids should select various pairs of glasses they like and try them on. Narrow down the pairs based on comfort, look and price. If your child likes a certain pair of glasses, it may be worth spending a few extra dollars for those frames, as kids are more likely to wear ones they like. MOVE OVER COKE BOTTLES The eyeglasses of the

lake, Joe Jonas, and Anne Hathaway, who frequently don eyeglasses, there are likely many people in your family or group of friends who wear glasses, and kids often want to emulate their elders. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME Make sure a child is well rested and happy before he or she dons eyeglasses for the first time. Start with a few minutes per day and build up to wearing the glasses for the prescribed duration. Use positive reinforcement and rewards for wearing and taking good care of the glasses. POINT OUT THE BENEFITS Highlight activities that will be improved by better vision as they relate to your kids’ interests. Perhaps glasses will make gaming easier. Point out to kids who love to read how much more comfortable they are now that they can see the words on the page more easily. When it comes to the family athlete, discuss how much easier it is to see the ball now that your budding athlete is wearing eyeglasses.

Glasses have greatly improved through the years. Lenses today are much thinner and less apparent than before.

past are much different from the eyeglasses of the present. Lens and frame technology has transformed the look and feel of eyeglasses. Lenses may be thinner and less apparent than ever before. Eyeglass manufacturers have developed frames that are bend-

able or almost entirely invisible thanks to frameless lenses. Some lenses reduce glare, and others tint when touched by sunlight. So it’s unlikely your son or daughter will end up looking like Mr. Magoo. PRESENT POSITIVE IMAGES

OF ROLE MODELS Kids may be quicker to warm to eyeglasses if parents showcase a few of the many worthy role models who wear glasses, and do so with style. In addition to many celebrities, such as Tina Fey, Elle Fanning, Justin Timber-

MODIFY DAILY ROUTINES You will have to work with your children to make some changes to facilitate wearing eyeglasses. Store the glasses in the same place each night before bed so that kids can find them in the morning. Emphasize wearing eyeglasses as much as you emphasize everyday activities like brushing teeth or making the bed. Explain to teachers the prescribed wearing schedule so that they are aware of when your son or daughter needs to wear his or her eyeglasses. The transition to wearing eyeglasses is not always easy for kids, but many adjust rather quickly. 

Pass the antioxidants BY DAVE SEGAL There is a constant battle going on between the antioxidants and the free radicals. Now, that might sound like a conflict between two extremist political groups, but it’s actually biochemical warfare that happens within your body’s cells. It starts when your cells absorb oxygen — a good thing, right? But, like many good things, it has some negative side effects. As the cells gobble up oxygen, they also release by-products called “free radicals.” The free radicals do what scientists call “oxidative damage,” which can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and macular degeneration, among other serious illnesses. However, antioxidants can ride to the rescue, take out the free radicals and prevent the damage. And you can thank your food for that. Antioxidants are nutrients found in various fruit, vegetables, beans and grain. They perform search and destroy missions against the free radicals, while possibly boosting your immune system and giving you more protection from cancer and infections. The most common sources of antioxidants include: • Vitamin A — Carrots,

squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots • Vitamin C — Citrus fruits (oranges and limes etc.). Green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes • Vitamin E — Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil • Selenium — Fish and shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken Other rich sources include: soy, red wine, purple grapes or Concord grapes, pomegranate, cranberries, tea, tomato and tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon, oatmeal and barley. That’s a lot to remember when you’re shopping, so as a rule of thumb, look for brightly colored fruits, vegetables and berries. The pigments that give them their colors often contain antioxidants. By the way, researchers have discovered that antioxidants are more effective when you get them from food, rather than supplements. They’ve also found that the “oxidative stress” created by those bad guys, the free radicals, is made worse by sunburn and — wait for it — smoking. 

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4

Tackling, preventing cancer

Montrose keeps heart care local Hospital hires two cardiologists BY DREW SETTERHOLM

An estimated 23,810 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in Colorado this year.

BY DREW SETTERHOLM One in every two men, and two in every five women, in Colorado will face a personal battle with a form of cancer in their lifetime. This statistic, provided by the Colorado Central Cancer Registry, highlights the need for every person to be aware of their own risk for cancer, have a plan for screening and early detection and be committed to living a healthy lifestyle. Cancer comes in many shapes and forms — cancer refers to a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, according to information provided by the American Cancer Society. Cancer can be caused by behaviors, such as tobacco or alcohol use, environmental factors, internal factors or any combinations of elements that can result in a cancerous growth. An estimated 23,810 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in Colorado this year, primarily in persons age 55 and older. While certain factors, including family history and personal medical history, can increase a person’s risk for developing cancer, it can also strike those with a relatively low risk. “Almost everyone is touched by cancer in some way, whether it’s a personal diagnosis or a family member or a friend,” Randi Rycroft, director of the Colorado Central Cancer Registry,

said. One way to minimize the effects of cancer is to identify and begin treating cancer as early as possible. Certain cancers can be identified by routine procedures, including colorectal, lung, breast and cervical cancers. Montrose County, according to Central Cancer Registry figures from 2011-12, has a relatively low rate of adults receiving proper screening. Only half of Montrose County colorectal diagnoses were classified as early detection, and just 60 percent of adults reported having had a colorectal cancer screening. Seventy percent of Montrose County breast cancer cases were detected in the early phases of the disease, but only 57 percent of women reported having a mammogram and clinical breast exam in the past two years. An important step to catching cancer early, Rycroft said, is consulting with a doctor and making a plan for screenings based on personal and family information. “Work with your health care provider to determine the screening schedule that’s right for you, and then, most importantly, stick to it,” Rycroft said. Keeping a close eye on personal health can also help in detecting potential cancers early. Certain signs and symptoms related to the cancer site can be clues, such as sustained change in bowel habits or rectal bleeding, a lump in the breast

or abnormal discharge, or skin moles changing size or color. Any of these signs or symptoms, among others, are cause to discuss with a health care provider. For some people, the cost of screenings can be an inhibitor, but financial assistance is available. Women can call 1-866-951WELL (9355) and both women and men can call 1-866-227-7914 to find out if they qualify for financial assistance and to find a health care provider where they can receive cancer screenings. Proper health and diet can also play a role in preventing cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund has estimated that in the U.S. and other economically developed countries, as many as one in three cancer cases are related to obesity, physical inactivity or poor nutrition. Avoidance or reduced use of tobacco and alcohol could also decrease or eliminate the risk for certain cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society recommends achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, adopting a physically active lifestyle, consuming a healthy diet with an emphasis on plant foods and limiting consumption of alcoholic beverages. Local treatment options for cancer are available; the San Juan Cancer Center in Montrose has full medical oncology and radiation oncology departments and has operated since 2006. l

Montrose Memorial Hospital is encouraging patients to stay in the community for their regular heart-health care with the hiring of two new interventional cardiologists. Dr. Riley Foreman and Dr. David Lee have joined 14-year veteran Dr. Brad Huhta in the hospital’s Cardiology Services Department. Lee began seeing patients in early April, and Foreman followed later in the month. Both Foreman and Lee practice interventional cardiology, a specialty in the field that focuses on various non-surgical procedure for treating and preventing heart disease. Diagnosing and caring for narrowed arteries and weakened heart valves, often caused by coronary artery disease, heart valve disease and peripheral vascular disease, are a primary component of the practice. The doctors come from diverse backgrounds and are well-versed in cardiology and heart care. LEE Lee received his education beginning at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and completed his internship and residency at Stanford University Medical Center, followed by a five-year fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Most recently, Lee practiced in Oregon where he was on the faculty at Oregon Health and Science University. Lee said he is committed to a holistic approach to heart health, including promoting community health. Getting settled in the community and beginning his work to provide quality cardiology care are his first priorities, he said. In the future, community health and access to care will be important. “There really is quite a lot we can do, both to help people and to promote community health,” Lee said. “I want to make sure there is good access here and that people can be seen and treated.” FOREMAN Foreman received his education beginning at the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Mo. and completed his internship at Charles E. Still Memorial Hospital in Jefferson City, Mo.

Dr. David Lee

Dr. Riley Foreman

Foreman served in the U.S. Navy and completed his residency at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif. Foreman completed his training with a fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and another fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the University of California in San Diego. Heart health is not Foreman’s only specialty — while practicing in Arkansas, he was the ring doctor for mixed martial arts events for about 10 years, he said. Foreman is interested in bringing new programs to Montrose Memorial Hospital to improve treatment of peripheral artery disease and other interventional cardiology treatments. Born in Craig, Colo., Foreman was also excited to return to his home state. “I wanted to get back West — that was a part of it,” he said. “I was also looking for a community that would benefit from my experience as a cardiologist, and a hospital system and a group of people I would work well with, and I think that’s here.” l

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Poor sleep habitats can sap a man of his testosterone and other hormones.

How men can naturally boost testosterone Testosterone plays a vital role in men’s health. A hormone that regulates the sex organs, testosterone also impacts metabolism and bone loss, and low testosterone can compromise men’s health. According to the Urology Care Foundation, roughly 20 percent of men in their 60s have low testosterone, a figure that increases to 30 percent among men in their 70s. While a gradual decline in testosterone levels is part of the aging process, low testosterone can have a negative impact on the body. Low testosterone levels increase body fat and reduce muscle mass, and low testosterone can even lead to depression. Difficulty concentrating is another potential side effect of low testosterone. Men with low testosterone may also experience weak-

ened bones, a symptom that could leave them more susceptible to osteoporosis. While there are prescription medications designed to boost testosterone, oftentimes low testosterone levels are a byproduct of the lifestyle choices men make. That means men might be able to increase their testosterone levels naturally by making certain lifestyle changes. * Maintain a healthy weight. Men who are obese or overweight are more susceptible to various ailments or conditions, including low testosterone. When a body is carrying excessive weight, it secretes more aromatase, an enzyme that helps convert testosterone to estrogen, a group of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female

ACCORDING TO THE UROLOGY CARE FOUNDATION, ROUGHLY 20 PERCENT OF MEN IN THEIR 60S HAVE LOW TESTOSTERONE, A FIGURE THAT INCREASES TO 30 PERCENT AMONG MEN IN THEIR 70S. characteristics of the body. Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to avoid the overproduction of aromatase, which can help the body maintain adequate testosterone levels. * Make time for sleep. Poor sleeping habits affect many hormones in the male body, and testosterone is no exception. Men who don’t get enough sleep each night may suffer from low testosterone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep needs vary depending on a person’s age, but research has shown that men over

the age of 18 need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to perform at their peak. Younger men whose bodies should not yet be experiencing the gradual decline of testosterone levels common to aging should examine their sleeping habits if their testosterone levels have started to decline. The solution could be as simple as getting more sleep. * Get off the couch. Men who live sedentary lifestyles could be suffering from low testosterone because they’re spending too

much time on the couch. Testosterone adapts to the body’s needs, so a man who isn’t active is unknowingly letting his body tell his brain that it doesn’t need as much testosterone to build muscles and bones. More active men’s bodies are sending a signal to the brain that the body needs more testosterone. Therefore, adopting a more active lifestyle can help men naturally restore their testosterone levels. * Work to reduce stress. Men who are overly stressed may also suffer from low testosterone. l

New ways to strengthen your brain found everyday Just like muscles in your body, your brain needs a regular workout. New ways to train your brain are being found everyday. • Read a book or magazine in a category you don’t usually read — science fiction, economics, physics, mechanics, cooking. • Learn five phrases in a

new language. • Read an instructional page from a gadget until you figure out how the gadget works. • Learn a new craft or musical instrument. • Challenge your mind with the Rubik’s Cube, invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture. The puzzle is still among the best-selling toys in the world.

ONLINE CHALLENGES • Play quick, fun brain games online by going to freebrainagegames.com, where you will also learn your “brain age.” • Play online word games at aarp.org/games. • Brain, math, word, Sudoku, memory games and puzzles are online at mindgames.com. • How well can you remember a sequence of five paintings? Go to games-

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HIT THE PEDALS, GIVE YOURSELF A BOOST

C

ycling is a great recreational activity and a fun way to stay in shape. Some people bike to work to save money and reduce fuel consumption, while others ride to give their bodies a demanding cardiovascular workout. Whether a cyclist aspires to compete in the next Tour de France or wants to keep things a little more local, taking steps to improve stamina is a great way to make the most of a bike ride. Riders who improve their stamina will likely witness marked improvement in their cycling performance as time progresses. Stamina is the body’s ability to endure extended periods of exercise. For example, a person who is new to physical activity may tire after a relatively brief workout. However, the more that person exercises, the more he or she builds strength and stamina, which will lead to longer workouts. The same thing applies to cycling. At the beginning, cycling more than a certain number of miles may be difficult, and changes in terrain can make things even more challenging. By following a consistent training regimen that builds stamina, cyclists will refine their performance and push their bodies further. Increasing cycling stamina is not necessarily about making the legs stronger, although that will help. Increasing cycling stamina involves getting your body acclimated to regulating energy exertion so that it will not get fatigued early on. Anyone who has to exercise for long durations, whether hikers, marathon runners or triathletes, will train to develop stamina. For cyclists, here is how to begin. * Set a realistic goal. Newcomers to the sport will not be able to ride dozens of miles without any feelings of fatigue. Establish a weekly goal that gradually increases your total mileage traveled, revising these goals as you feel yourself getting stronger and more fit. * Gradually increase biking minutes. In addition to increasing the distance you travel, start increasing the number of days you ride in a week. You may soon find yourself riding several days per week, and doing so for extended periods of time. A good rule of thumb is to increase your distance and speed by around 10 percent each week if you’re training for a race or working toward a challenging goal. * Throw in a long ride once a week. Schedule a weekly long bike ride, perhaps two to three hours of sustained riding, to challenge your body. Concentrate on the time spent riding, not necessarily how fast or hard you’re riding. According to John Hughes, director of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association, you can gradually add more long rides as you become more comfortable. * Train with others. Riding with others can keep you motivated and provide a healthy dose of competition to push you further. * Take care of your body. Trevor Fenner, co-founder of Road Bike City, says you must pay special attention to your dietary intake to improve stamina. You may need to increase carbohydrate intake, and staying hydrated is essential. Eating pieces of banana or energy bars while riding may also help sustain energy levels. * Plan for rest. Injuries can result when you push your body too far. Have days during the week when you rest and recuperate. If you ever are weak or in pain, stop cycling and take time to recover. These tips can be heeded by riders of varying abilities, whether you are training for a race or simply want to get more out of recreational cycling.

Bicycling stats Reasons for bicycling Recreation — 33 percent Exercise or health — 28 percent Personal errands — 17 percent Visit a friend or relative — 8 percent Commuting to/from work — 7 percent Commuting to/from school — 4 percent Who is bicycling? As a percentage of all trips, by age 5 to 15 — 3.2 percent 16 to 24 — 0.6 percent 25 to 39 — 0.6 percent 40 to 64 — 0.4 percent 65 and over — 0.4 percent All — 0.9 percent Where are people bicycling? As a percentage of all trips, by region New England — 0.7 percent Middle Atlantic — 0.8 percent East North Central — 0.9 percent West North Central — 0.7 percent South Atlantic — 0.9 percent East South Central — 0.4 percent West South Central — 0.8 percent Mountain — 0.8 percent Pacific — 1.1 percent Facilities used by bicyclists Paved roads — 48.1 percent Sidewalks — 13.6 percent Bike or walking paths — 13.1 percent Shoulders of paved roads — 12.8 percent Bicycle lanes on paved roads — 5.2 percent Unpaved roads — 5.2 percent Other — 2.1 percent How far do people ride? Trip lengths 0-30 minutes — 42 percent 31-60 minutes — 36 percent 61-120 minutes — 15 percent 121 minutes or longer — 7 percent Sources: The 2012 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors, Highlights Report; the 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors; Pucher and Renne, 2003, Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: Evidence from the 2001 NHTS; Pucher and Renne, 2003, Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: Evidence from the 2001 NHTS.

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Hit the pedals, give yourself a boost

C

ycling is a great recreational activity and a fun way to stay in shape. Some people bike to work to save money and reduce fuel consumption, while others ride to give their bodies a demanding cardiovascular workout. Whether a cyclist aspires to compete in the next Tour de France or wants to keep things a little more local, taking steps to improve stamina is a great way to make the most of a bike ride. Riders who improve their stamina will likely witness marked improvement in their cycling performance as time progresses. Stamina is the body’s ability to endure extended periods of exercise. For example, a person who is new to physical activity may tire after a relatively brief workout. However, the more that person exercises, the more he or she builds strength and stamina, which will lead to longer workouts. The same thing applies to cycling. At the beginning, cycling more than a certain number of miles may be difficult, and changes in terrain can make things even more challenging. By following a consistent training regimen that builds stamina, cyclists will refine their performance and push their bodies further. Increasing cycling stamina is not necessarily about making the legs stronger, although that will help. Increasing cycling stamina involves getting your body acclimated to regulating energy exertion so that it will not get fatigued early on. Anyone who has to exercise for long durations, whether hikers, marathon runners or triathletes, will train to develop stamina. For cyclists, here is how to begin. * Set a realistic goal. Newcomers to the sport will not be able to ride dozens of miles without any feelings of fatigue. Establish a weekly goal that gradually increases your total mileage traveled, revising these goals as you feel yourself getting stronger and more fit. * Gradually increase biking minutes. In addition to increasing the distance you travel, start increasing the number of days you ride in a week. You may soon find yourself riding several days per week, and doing so for extended periods of time. A good rule of thumb is to increase your distance and speed by around 10 percent each week if you’re training for a race or working toward a challenging goal. * Throw in a long ride once a week. Schedule a weekly long bike ride, perhaps two to three hours of sustained riding, to challenge your body. Concentrate on the time spent riding, not necessarily how fast or hard you’re riding. According to John Hughes, director of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association, you can gradually add more long rides as you become more comfortable. * Train with others. Riding with others can keep you motivated and provide a healthy dose of competition to push you further. * Take care of your body. Trevor Fenner, co-founder of Road Bike City, says you must pay special attention to your dietary intake to improve stamina. You may need to increase carbohydrate intake, and staying hydrated is essential. Eating pieces of banana or energy bars while riding may also help sustain energy levels. * Plan for rest. Injuries can result when you push your body too far. Have days during the week when you rest and recuperate. If you ever are weak or in pain, stop cycling and take time to recover. These tips can be heeded by riders of varying abilities, whether you are training for a race or simply want to get more out of recreational cycling.

Bicycling stats Reasons for bicycling Recreation — 33 percent Exercise or health — 28 percent Personal errands — 17 percent Visit a friend or relative — 8 percent Commuting to/from work — 7 percent Commuting to/from school — 4 percent Who is bicycling? As a percentage of all trips, by age 5 to 15 — 3.2 percent 16 to 24 — 0.6 percent 25 to 39 — 0.6 percent 40 to 64 — 0.4 percent 65 and over — 0.4 percent All — 0.9 percent Where are people bicycling? As a percentage of all trips, by region New England — 0.7 percent Middle Atlantic — 0.8 percent East North Central — 0.9 percent West North Central — 0.7 percent South Atlantic — 0.9 percent East South Central — 0.4 percent West South Central — 0.8 percent Mountain — 0.8 percent Pacific — 1.1 percent Facilities used by bicyclists Paved roads — 48.1 percent Sidewalks — 13.6 percent Bike or walking paths — 13.1 percent Shoulders of paved roads — 12.8 percent Bicycle lanes on paved roads — 5.2 percent Unpaved roads — 5.2 percent Other — 2.1 percent How far do people ride? Trip lengths 0-30 minutes — 42 percent 31-60 minutes — 36 percent 61-120 minutes — 15 percent 121 minutes or longer — 7 percent Sources: The 2012 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors, Highlights Report; the 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors; Pucher and Renne, 2003, Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: Evidence from the 2001 NHTS; Pucher and Renne, 2003, Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: Evidence from the 2001 NHTS.

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It’s nearly time to fight the bite again West Nile

BY DAVE SEGAL Western Colorado is about to be revisited by a potentially deadly enemy named Culex tarsalis, who likes to bite people and suck their blood. While Culex tarsalis might be a good name for a fictional vampire, it’s actually the scientific name of the all-too-real mosquito species that carries West Nile virus. This year’s outbreak is expected to start soon in Colorado. State Public Health Department veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House says it’s too soon to tell how bad it might get. “We can’t actually predict what our season is going to look like. It usually starts infecting mosquitoes in the early part of June, and then several weeks after that we usually start seeing human cases. So, we do consider the transmission season of West Nile virus to be between June and September,” she said. There were 322 confirmed cases of West Nile virus among Colorado residents last summer. Seven of the victims did not survive. Young children and people over 50 are the most susceptible to the disease. However, most of the people bitten by infected mosquitoes don’t become seriously ill; many have no symptoms at all. The majority of those who do become sick suffer with fever, headaches and malaise for two to seven days. In rare cases, West Nile can become a serious infection, leading to encephalitis, meningitis, brain damage and death. There is no vaccine against the virus, and no real cure, according to House. “What we have is what we call ‘supportive care.’ Individuals who are experiencing severe illness can go to the hospital and can be treated for the symptoms,” she said. “But we don’t have a specific treatment against the virus itself.” There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your family against the mosquitoes that carry this disease, House explained. “They should avoid being outside during prime mosquito biting times, which are dusk and dawn. If they do need to be out during these times, we recommend that they dress appropriately, which would include long sleeves and long pants to prevent bites. They should also wear DEET to prevent mosquito bites. And the last thing to do is look around your property and drain any standing water so that the mosquitoes can’t breed. You need to do that at least weekly anywhere that water is standing, such as flowerpots or discarded containers; mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water.” Also, Colorado’s annual Fight the Bite program will be in effect again this year. “It’s a good educational program that teaches people the things

Bug sprays are an effective way to ward off mosquitoes.

they can do to protect themselves.” You can contact Fight the Bite at www. fightthebitecolorado.com. Ironically, while there is no vaccine for humans, there is one for certain animals, according to House. “Yes, the equine species, horses included, are very susceptible to the virus. There is actually a vaccine for horses. Any horse owner should consult with their veterinarian to determine whether they need that vaccine for their horse, or not.” As for the symptoms of equine West Nile virus, “They’re sort of neurological in nature, which can actually mimic other diseases,” said House. Clinical signs include: muscle control and coordination problems, weak legs, and the inability to stand up. Fever is present in about 25 percent of equine cases. The infection can kill horses. House says the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tracks Culex tarsalis around the state. “We work with our local public health agencies who often contract with

mosquito control districts to collect mosquitoes, and then have those mosquitoes tested. A lot of our knowledge is based on the actual collection of mosquitoes.” The mosquitoes pick up the virus from birds, so the CDPHE uses strategically located flocks of “sentinel chickens” as an early warning system. “We have what we call ‘specific sentinel zones’ to determine if West Nile virus has been transmitted in those areas. We post that data to our website (www.colorado.gov) so the public can have access to what we know,” House said. CDPHE also collects information about wild birds that may have died from West Nile. They are particularly interested in examining recently deceased crows, ravens, magpies, and jays. If you find any, please report them to your local animal control agency or county health department, so they can be sent to CDPHE labs for testing. And be sure to wear gloves if you handle them. l

West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Additional routes of human infection have also been documented. It is important to note that these methods of transmission represent a very small proportion of cases: • Blood transfusions • Organ transplants • Exposure in a laboratory setting • From mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding West Nile virus is not transmitted: • From person-to-person or from animal-to-person through casual contact. Normal veterinary infection control precautions should be followed when caring for a horse suspected to have this or any viral infection. • From handling live or dead infected birds. You should avoid bare-handed contact when handling any dead animal. If you are disposing of a dead bird, use gloves or double plastic bags to place the carcass in a garbage can. • Through consuming infected birds or animals. In keeping with overall public health practice, and due to the risk of known food-borne pathogens, always follow procedures for fully cooking meat from either birds or mammals.

DCMH contracts out some physician billing services Delta County Memorial Hospital announced that Beacon Medical Services of Denver has been contracted to perform the coding and billing for the Emergency Physicians and Radiologists for DCMH, according to Deb Swopes, CPC, physician billing director for DCMH. The contract between

DCMH and Beacon Medical Services was signed midMay, but Beacon Medical Services will also do the back log of billing for dates of service from Feb. 1 and forward said Swopes. The hospital will continue to bill for the facility charges for the emergency room and radiology, she added.

For emergency physicians and radiologists billing payments and questions, patients can contact the Beacon Medical Services billing office at 800-671-8942. Based in Denver and in business for 28 years, Beacon provides coding and billing services for emergency physicians and other hospital-based physicians.

Dennis Beck, MD, FACEP, Beacon’s founder and CEO, is a nationally recognized expert in emergency medicine reimbursement, a news release from Delta County Memorial Hospital says. Beacon’s clients provide professional services at 30 hospital and clinic facilities. Clients range in size

from 10,000 to 300,000 annual visits and represent approximately 40 percent of the total Colorado emergency department visits. Signs will be placed at DCMH in Admissions, Emergency Department and Radiology to inform patients of the change in billing arrangements, said Swopes. l

Pediatric Compassion. Quality. Care w w w. t h e p e d i a t r i c a s s o c i a t e s . c o m

Two Convenient Locations

MONTROSE AREA 947 South Fifth Street Montrose, CO 81401 970-249-2421 970-249-8897 fax

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TOP BOOKS FOR HEALTHY LIVING

Boost Your Brain

by Dr. Majid T. Fotuhi Our brains don’t have to decline as we age, says this internationallyrecognized neurologist. He offers a three-month brain optimization program to enhance brain function, memory, creativity, comprehension and concentration. The human brain can grow, and a bigger brain means better memory, speed of learning and ability to concentrate. Fotuhi offers advice on how to spur growth of new brain cells and foods to help build new synapses.

Brain Games #1

by Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D. Increase memory, sharpen reasoning skills and expand critical creative thinking processes by challenging the brain with anagrams, cryptograms, drawing exercises, logic and math puzzles, mazes, sequencing, and observation and perspective puzzles. Brain Games #2 and #3 offer exercises to test cognitive functions: logic, language, creative thinking, memory puzzles and visual logic puzzles and other challenges.

The New York Times Crosswords to Keep Your Brain Young

By Dr. Majid T. Fotuhi Reinforce and expand vocabulary with 150 crossword puzzles divided into chapters with each focusing on a specific theme: vocabulary building, memorization, problem solving and others. Neuroscientist, M.D. and Ph.D. Fotuhi has collaborated with New York Times crosswordpuzzle editor Will Shortz for a collection of stimulating and challenging puzzles to exercise the brain. Add socialization; play with a partner.

The Senior Moments Memory Workout

By Tom Friedman This collection of brain-strengthening quizzes, puzzles, brainteasers and memory challenges helps keep those dreaded senior moments of absentmindedness, fuzzy thinking and sudden confusion at bay and gives comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Friedman is author of “1,000 Unforgettable Senior Moments” that includes mental lapses by Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton and President Lincoln and other notable names.

The Sharp Brains Guide to Brain Fitness

by Alvaro Fernandez, et al Named a Best Book on Brain Fitness by AARP this userfriendly title includes advice on how to integrate lifestyle changes and brainboosting activities with changes for the better. Reviewed as a “stimulating, challenging resource, full of solid information and practical tips for improving brain health” by Kirkus Reviews the book helps readers discover what really works and what doesn’t at any age.

Playing it safe this summer As we move into summer, we also have the opportunity to experience the joys of summer sports. Of course, every sport carries the risk of injury, so we thought we’d pass along some tips from the National Institutes of Health about prevention and response to some typical injuries. To prevent injuries, make sure that you, your equipment and your playing field are in good condition. It’s also important to have good training habits. For example, you should always do appropriate warm-up exercises and stretches to prevent injuries. Sprains and strains are among the most common sports injuries. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, tissue that connects bones to joints. Ankle and wrist sprains are very common, and are often caused by falling, twisting and impact situations. You might feel a pop or a tearing sensation the moment the sprain happens, followed by pain, swelling, bruising and inability to move the affected joint. Strains are torn tendons or muscles. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Strains happen when tendons or muscles are twisted or pulled. They can develop suddenly or gradually. Your back and hamstring muscles are among the most vulnerable to strains. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and difficulty moving the muscle. The initial treatments for sprains and strains are generally the same: rest, icing the affected area, wearing a compression bandage or device, and medication. Knee injuries are common in sports, and also involve ligaments and tendons. An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can even be a career-ender for an athlete. ACL problems often result when your knee is twisted violently. The damage makes it difficult and painful to walk.

A SPRAIN IS A STRETCHED OR TORN LIGAMENT, TISSUE THAT CONNECTS BONES TO JOINTS. STRAINS ARE TORN TENDONS OR MUSCLES. Rotator cuff injuries frequently cause problems for baseball pitchers. The rotator cuff is part of the shoulder, made of muscles and tendons. Its job is to keep your shoulders flexible and stable. Over-use and aging can damage Stretching before exercising is key to preventing injury this summer. rotator cuffs, causing inflammation and tears in those muscles and tendons. The pain level can range from mild to severe. Occasionally, sports injuries result in bone fractures. They range in seriousness from stress fractures, which are small cracks in the bone, to compound fractures, in which the break punctures the skin. Symptoms are: • Out-of-place or misshapen limb or joint • Swelling, bruising or bleeding • Intense pain • Numbness and tingling • Limited mobility or inability to move a limb • You should always get immediate medical attention for a fracture. Contact sports often lead to dislocations, i.e. joint injuries in which the ends of your bones How does APS make traveling easier for oxygen-dependent patients? are slammed out of position. A Convenience – 1,000+ locations in 47 states. dislocated joint should always be Travel assistance – airline, auto, railroad, and bus travel arrangements. Delivery and pickup – portable oxygen delivery and pickup to/from most airports. treated as a medical emergency. 24/7 emergency delivery – priority service to your travel destination, including holidays, weekends, and after hours. Symptoms include: severe pain, One phone call away – Your local APS center takes care of the rest! swelling, and the joint being visIt’s all part of our 24/7 commitment to provide unmatched levels of patient care. Call APS for more information about traveling with oxygen. ibly out of place. No matter the injury, you should stop playing immediately. “Playing Product and service availability may vary by location. 296 Stafford Lane • Suite B • Delta, 81416CO 81416 296 Stafford Lane • Suite B •CO Delta, Call your local center to find out which through the pain” is always a bad Delta 970-874-4427 • Montrose & Ridgway 970-252-0440 service is available in your area. Delta 970-874-4427 • Montrose & Ridgway 970-252-0440 idea. l

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Product and service availability may vary by location. Call your local center to find out which service is available in your area.


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W

hile cigarette smoking continues to decline in Colorado, addiction to tobacco continues to plague certain groups more than others, according to the 2012 Attitudes and Behaviors Survey on Health recently released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “While we have made progress

Despite the decline in tobacco use, certain groups continue to smoke at a higher rate. Research shows tobacco use is influenced by cultural and social factors, as well as tobacco industry advertising targeting certain communities. According to this report, the largest disparities in tobacco use in Colorado include the following: • Low income: Smoking prevalence was nearly three times higher among people

COLORADO SMOKING RATES DECLINE in reducing this grave public health threat, too many Coloradans still smoke,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “We continue to focus on reaching those populations most burdened by tobacco addiction and providing help for all Coloradans who want to quit smoking.” The report shows cigarette smoking in Colorado fell from 19.1 percent in 2008 to 17.2 percent in 2012. It also shows a decrease in the percentage of daily smokers and the number of cigarettes smoked. More Coloradans are opting for smoke-free homes and cars as well, though lowincome families are less likely to have smoke-free home rules.

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with low socioeconomic status (27 percent) compared to the general population (9.4 percent). • Young adults: Smoking prevalence remained elevated among nonstudent young adults ages 18-24 (31.9 percent) while it declined among student young adults (12.3 percent). • Latinos: Smoking prevalence was higher among Latino adults who primarily speak English (21.7 percent) than among Caucasian adults (16.7 percent). • African-Americans: Smoking prevalence was higher among African-American adults (23.4 percent) than among Caucasian adults (16.7 percent). • LGB: Smoking prevalence was nearly twice as high among lesbian, gay or bisexual Coloradans (33.4 percent) than among heterosexuals (17.1 percent). Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Colorado, killing more than 4,400 Coloradans and costing the state nearly $2 billion in health care and more than $1 billion in lost productivity each year. The Attitudes and Behaviors Survey on Health is a statewide survey conducted every three to four years, to learn about the overall health of adults across Colorado. The most recent report represents data provided by roughly 15,000 adults (ages 18-plus) who participated in a randomly selected phone survey. The survey is funded through Colorado Amendment 35. Coloradans who want to quit can call 1-800-QUIT NOW or find additional resources, including a free Tobacco Quit and Save mobile app, at tobaccofreeco.org. l

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Indulge a little Dark chocolate (in moderation) benefits body

Many people associate healthy eating with foods that may not be so tasty. While desserts are not often considered the healthiest course of a meal, dark chocolate, when enjoyed in moderation, can be healthy. Dark chocolate can benefit the brain, heart and even teeth. Researchers at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas have discovered just why dark chocolate packs such a healthy punch. Otherwise indigestible portions of the chocolate are converted by microbes in the digestive system. In turn, the chocolate is transformed into anti-inflammatory compounds. Researchers found that digestion in the stomach produces long molecules called polyphenolic polymers. These molecules are too large to cross the walls of the stomach to be used nutritionally. However, when the polyphenolic polymers meet lactic acid and microbes that inhabit the human colon, the polymers ferment and can be broken down further. These smaller molecules are then used by the body. The resulting material is anti-inflammatory and can prevent certain conditions, including cardiovascular disease, from developing. One of the pitfalls of dark chocolate is the sugar and fat content of a candy bar, which can overshadow the health benefits. But those who consume the majority of their dark chocolate in the form of unsweetened cocoa powder can avoid such consequences. Roughly two tablespoons of cocoa powder per day can produce the desired antiinflammatory benefits, and cocoa powder can be mixed into drinks, sprinkled over oatmeal and consumed in many other ways. Full-sugar, full-fat dark chocolate bars and pieces should be enjoyed sparingly, although they are better for your health than milk or white chocolate. Interest in dark chocolate for its medical benefits has led researchers to study the efficacy of its anti-inflammatory compounds. A big study is already underway to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can replicate the many health benefits, including helping to prevent heart attack and stroke. The pills are so concentrated they would be the equivalent of eating numerous dark

ONE OF THE PITFALLS OF DARK CHOCOLATE IS THE SUGAR AND FAT CONTENT OF A CANDY BAR, WHICH CAN OVERSHADOW THE HEALTH BENEFITS. BUT THOSE WHO CONSUME THE MAJORITY OF THEIR DARK CHOCOLATE IN THE FORM OF UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER CAN AVOID SUCH CONSEQUENCES.

chocolate bars, but without the negative side effects. The goal of the study is to see if chocolate can provide significant medical benefits without forcing consumers to eat so much sugar and fat. The study will be sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars Inc., maker of M&M’s and Snickers bars. The candy company has patented a way to extract flavonols from cocoa in high concentration and put them in capsules. Mars and some other companies sell cocoa extract capsules, but with less active ingredients than those that will be tested in the study. Some participants will get flavorless, coated pills that contain the cocoa flavonols, while others will be given a placebo. Eighteen thousand men and women nationwide are expected to participate. In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, or PEA, the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. Taking dark chocolate supplements may help a person’s mind and body. 

Naturally 4 You! (970) 249-2077 Call for an appointment today! We look forward to meeting you!

Lisa Salaz

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“ Each new day gives you an opportunity to create a new way of being.... What would you like to change?”

• Safe elimination of toxic substances in the mouth • Promotion of whole-body health and wellness through optimum oral health • Attention paid to biocompatibility of dental materials and diagnostic procedures

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MAKING YOUR MEAL LIGHTER A FEW SMALL CHANGES CAN SAVE YOU CALORIES WHEN EATING OUT

D

ining out is a great way to experience new cuisine and enjoy a meal with family and friends. But dining out often leads to overeating, a problem that’s unhealthy yearround but especially inconvenient when warm air makes it more uncomfortable to deal with the side effects of overeating. Though some restaurants offer large portions that can make it difficult to lighten things up when dining out in the summer, the following are a handful of ways diners can keep things light but still enjoy their favorite restaurants even when the mercury has risen. * Don’t be bashful. Some restaurants alter their menus in warmer weather to accommodate those customers who prefer lighter fare on hot nights. But even those that don’t make such alterations might be amenable to customers who request certain changes when dining out. For example, ask your waiter if you can substitute vegetables in lieu of a side of potatoes or french fries, which tend to be heavier and harder to digest. Don’t be afraid to ask for such substitutions or even ask that vegetable servings be doubled. * Don’t mistake “low-carb” for “lowcalorie.” Just because a dish is heralded as “low-carb” does not necessarily mean it’s low in calories. A low-carb dish might seem like the perfect option on a warm summer night, but not if it’s laden with calories. Before ordering a low-carb dish, confirm if it’s also low in calories and low

WHILE MANY PEOPLE CONSIDER COMPLEMENTARY BREAD BASKETS ONE OF THE JOYS OF DINING OUT, SUCH FREEBIES ALSO MAKE MEALS MORE FILLING. in fat. If not, look for a lighter option to avoid feeling too full after dinner. * Think inside the box. When ordering a large entree, you can be creative by asking your waiter to box half of your meal before it even reaches the table. This prevents you from overeating and makes it more likely that you will eat a meal that’s more in tune with a healthy serving size. * Don’t pile on your salad. Salads are a summertime staple for many people, who prefer salads because they’re delicious but not likely to produce any symptoms of overeating. But salads are only as light as their ingredients allow them to be. If you want to keep things light and healthy, avoid adding too many ingredients to your salad. Creamy dressings are often heavy, especially when paired with ingredients like bacon and cheese. When adding ingredients to your salad, opt for lighter and healthier items like raw vegetables or even some fresh fruit. * Forgo the freebies. While many people consider complementary bread baskets one of the joys of dining out, such free-

bies also make meals more filling. If you anticipate your meal taking a long time to make it to your table, ask the waiter to bring a plate of fresh fruit or vegetables in lieu of a bread basket or a bowl of chips or nachos. This way you won’t starve while waiting for your meal, but also you won’t be filling up on heavy foods you might regret eating when you head back into the warm summer air. * Split dessert. Dessert might seem like the ideal way to cap off a delicious meal, but a decadent slice of chocolate cake or creamy helping of creme brulee only makes a meal more filling. If you must indulge in dessert, split your dessert with a fellow diner so your last few bites of the night don’t make you feel uncomfortable when it’s time to leave the restaurant. Many people prefer to eat less when temperatures rise. And while restaurants tend to offer larger portions than you might eat at home, there are ways to enjoy a night out on the town without overdoing it at the dinner table. l

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Montrose Valley Health