Pomerene Hospital Blog

Your Guide to a Healthier Heart!

Pomerene Marketing - Friday, January 29, 2016


Including a healthy diet and exercise in your life style is your best weapon to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as difficult as most people think, but does take some commitment to good choices that count.

Here are 5 basic steps to get you on the right path towards a healthier heart!

  1. A basic first step is to use up as many calories as you take in. Start by knowing how many calories you should be
    eating and drinking to maintain your weight. It is important to read labels and understand that they are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, but that you may require fewer or more calories depending on your level of physical activity. In order to lose weight, one must burn more calories than they consume. Therefore, increasing the amount and intensity of your physical activity to exceed your daily intake is key.
  2. Goals for physical activity in general should include at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. Thirty minutes five times a week is and easy goal to remember. Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise can help lower your blood pressure and the risk for heart attack and stroke. This may include a number of activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility. Pick something enjoyable that will make you more likely to adhere to your exercise program. Everyone has to start somewhere, don’t expect to reach your set goals from the start. Set smaller goals and work up.
  3. Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups and avoid high calorie/nutrient poor foods. A variety of fruits and vegetable, whole grains, low fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish as well as nuts, legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils should be included. Limit saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, red meat, and foods high in sugar.
  4. Diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes is extremely important in cardiovascular disease prevention and a cornerstone of treatment. See your doctor regularly and be evaluated, and if necessary, treated. 
  5. If you smoke, STOP!!! Avoiding second hand smoke is also important, so help your loved ones or those that live with you stop.

All of these recommendations can help you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you already have been diagnosed with heart disease or stroke, it is even more important to implement a program of risk modification. Patients who have been diagnosed with heart disease, have had a stent, heart attack, or heart failure, or have had open heart surgery such as coronary artery bypass or valve replacement, may benefit from our cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehab focuses on teaching risk factor modification and developing exercise programs tailored to each heart patient. Patients learn and exercise in a safe monitored environment with other like them, gradually improving their functional capacity and improving their cardiovascular health.

How Pomerene Can Help You

For more information about cardiovascular health, please click here.

Blog Written By: Alex Nicolozakes, M.D.






Cervical Health 101: What YOU Need To Know

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Prior to the development of the Pap test, the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the U.S. was cervical cancer. Thanks to the Pap test, tens of thousands of women are alive today. The other great advance in recent years has been the development of effective vaccines to prevent cervical disease, such as cervical dysplasia and cancer. Today, you can get the right test and the right treatment for these diseases.

What You Need To Know: Pap 101

  • Most women can wait until age 21 to get their first Pap test.
  • Pending the results, you may not need another pap for 3 years.
  • At age 30, women have a choice to get a Pap test every 3 years. They also have the option to get both a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years.
  • You can stop getting Pap tests at age 65 if your test results have been normal for years. 

Talk to your healthcare provider about the options for you and your family. The goal is that with proper use of the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine, many genital tract cancers may just be a memory for future generations.

What is HPV (Human Papillomavirus)?

HPVs are a group of more than 40 viruses that are known to cause benign lesions as well as cancers. These viruses are often sexually transmitted. One of the most significant cancers caused by HPV is cervical cancer.

Today, HPV infections can be prevented by modern vaccines, some of which are listed below.

  • Three vaccines are approved by the FDA: Gardasil, Gardasil9, and Cervarix.
  •  All three vaccines are given through a series of three injections over a six month period. The vaccines are given to both boys and girls between ages 9-26 generally.
  • These vaccines provide nearly 100% protection. The duration of protection of these vaccines is not yet known, but long term studies are ongoing. These vaccines are known to be very safe.
  •  The vaccines do not treat infection. They provide maximum benefit to persons before he or she is sexually active.

Most private and government insurance plan cover these vaccines. You can learn more at www.cdc.gov


Blog Written By: William Alford, D.O. 

Make Fitness YOUR Habit

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

It's one thing to start an exercise or activity program. It's quite another to turn it into a habit so that you're staying active week in and week out. If you're having problems staying with your plan, don't worry. You're not alone. You'll be glad to hear there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to get yourself back on track and stay there.

  • Your reason for wanting to stay active is very important. It won't work if you're doing it because someone else—your spouse, your children, your doctor—wants you to. YOU have to want it.
  • If you started a program to get more active but don't feel like you're making any progress, it may be time to update your goals.
  • If you started a program to get more active but are having trouble keeping it going, it may help to figure out what's getting in your way. Then you can figure out how to work around those barriers.
  • Keep at it, even if you slip up along the way. It can take months of repetition to form a habit, so every day is a step in the right direction. 

Update your goals!

When you first decided to commit to exercise, you probably had one or more big goals in mind, like fitting into a bathing suit for vacation or looking nice for a wedding, walking 30 minutes every day, or lowering your blood pressure. These are long-term goals.

Are those goals the same today, or do you need to change them?

Are you having trouble meeting those long-term goals? You may need to come up with new short-term goals to help you get there. Short-term goals are things you want to do tomorrow and the day after.

Did you try to take on too much too fast? That's a reason why some people have trouble making activity a habit. Remember to make your short-term goals small steps. For example, if you want to build up to walking 30 minutes every day, start by walking just 10 minutes—or even 5 minutes—a day, a few days a week. After a week, add 1 or 2 minutes every day, or add another day to your schedule.

Did you meet your long-term goal and then stop? Good for you for meeting your goal! But now you need a new long-term goal to help you stay active. Even people who have been active for years set new goals to help themselves stay motivated.

Get past those slip-ups

Everyone has slip-ups. But there's a difference between slipping up and giving up. Not exercising for a month after you've been exercising for 6 months is a slip-up. It doesn't mean you're a failure.

When you slip up, don't get mad at yourself or feel guilty. Think of it as a learning experience. Figure out what happened. Why did you stop? Think of ways to get yourself going again. Learn from your slip-ups so that you can keep on toward your goal of staying active.

Here are some common reasons for slip-ups, and some ideas for dealing with them:

It seems like I never have time.

  • If you don't have time for your usual half-hour walk, have a back-up plan to take two 15-minute walks or three 10-minute walks during the day.
  • When you don't have time to go to Kinetics, have a back-up plan to exercise at home or at work instead.
  • Think of ways to manage your time better. Ask your family for help with fitting in some time for exercise.
  • Tell yourself that you are the type of person who makes time for your own health, including physical activity.
  • Look at other people who are active and are about as busy as you. Talk with them about how they fit in physical activity.
  • Use a phone app or tracking device to remind you to be more active as you go about your daily routine. 

It's often too hot, too cold, too windy, or too wet for outdoor activities.

  • Try a variety of indoor and outdoor activities so that you're ready when the weather turns bad.
  • Have a back-up plan to exercise indoors with home equipment or videos. Or walk inside a shopping mall or at a gym.
  • Take a class like aerobics or yoga at Kinetics. 

I'm too tired most of the time.

  • Try to get more rest.
  • When you don't have the energy for a half-hour walk, spread 3 shorter 10-minute walks throughout your day. You'll soon regain the energy to walk longer.
  • Maybe stress is making you tired. Think of ways to take stress out of your life. And remember that regular physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve stress. 

It's too boring.

  • Make your exercise routine more interesting by adding some entertainment. Watch a movie while you exercise at home. Or listen to your favorite music while you go for a walk or a run.
  • Exercise with a partner. Play outdoor games with your family. Walk the dog.
  • Try something new—a dance class, exercise class, or gardening. 

It hurts to exercise because of an injury or arthritis.

  • If you're having pain when you exercise, try a different activity, such as bicycling or water activities.
  • Use chair exercise videos that help you stay active while sitting down.
  • It may hurt less if you spread your activity throughout your day.
  • Tell your doctor that pain or discomfort is keeping you from staying active.
  • Talk to our Exercise Specialist, Jennifer, at Pomerene Kinetics who is trained to help you change your exercise so you can avoid pain.





The 1,2,3's of Appendicitis

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Tell Me About the Appendix:

The exact function or purpose of having an appendix in humans is not known for sure. In herbivores, animals that eat exclusively plants and vegetation, the appendix aids in digestion. However, humans like the enzymes to digest cellulose (the substance plant walls are composed of) and the appendix is too small to significantly aid in digestion.

Secondly, the appendix is hypothesized to regulate bacteria in the colon. Specifically, the appendix may mobilize “good” bacteria into the colon to re-established normalize bowel function after episodes of diarrhea.

Lastly, the appendix has patches of lymphoid tissue (tissues that contain cells that fight infection) that are believed to help the immune response of the gut. But, the amount of lymphoid tissue within the appendix is not sufficient in size to significantly protect the whole gut from infection. Though the exact function or purpose of the appendix is not known, it is known that a person can live a normal healthy life after removal of the organ.

1.  Appendicitis and It’s Symptoms:

 Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix. The hallmark symptom of appendicitis is pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. Besides pain, a person with appendicitis may experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, low grade fever, constipation or diarrhea, and abdominal bloating.

2.  Don’t Ignore The Symptoms!

If the symptoms are ignored, the appendix will rupture in 2-3 days. Rupture occurs after the appendix has swelled enough to completely deprive the appendiceal wall of blood. Without blood, the tissues that comprise the appendiceal wall die, weaken, and rupture. A person suspected of having appendicitis should go to the nearest hospital for evaluation as soon as possible, especially after 12 hours of persistent and worsening abdominal pain. Early treatment may prevent rupture.

3.  Treatment of Appendicitis:

Treatment for appendicitis is surgery. The name of the surgery to remove the appendix is an Appendectomy. A Laparoscopic Appendectomy is performed through 3 small keyhole incisions in the abdomen and utilizes small instruments and a camera to see inside the abdomen. An Open Appendectomy is performed through a 4-5 cm horizontal incision in the right lower aspect of the abdomen. Open Appendectomy may be indicated if the patient has a complicated case of appendicitis, has had previous abdominal surgery, or has lung or heart disease.

Occasionally appendicitis is not treated with immediate surgery. The decision to delay surgery is called Interval Appendectomy. Interval Appendectomy may be the appropriate approach if the appendicitis is complicated by a rupture associated with an abscess or appendicitis associated with a mass. In these cases, the abscesses are drained and the infection cleared with antibiotics initially. An appendectomy is performed 6-8 weeks later.

How Pomerene Can Help You:

If you or someone you know are having these symptoms, please call Pomerene Surgical Services at (330) 763-2018. 

Blog Written By: Michael Schell, M.D. 


Diabetes Doesn’t Affect You…Or Does It?

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

According to the International Diabetes Federations, here are some common misconceptions about Diabetes.

1. Diabetes only affects older people.

FALSE! Diabetes affects all age groups.

2. Diabetes is not a killer disease.

FALSE! Diabetes is a global killer, rivaling HIV/AIDS in its deadly reach. The disease kills more than 4 million people a year. Every 7 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.

3. Diabetes predominantly affects men.

FALSE! Diabetes affects both men and women, and is rising among women. It is also increasing dramatically among youth and threatening to decimate indigenous populations.

4. Diabetes cannot be prevented.

FALSE! Up to 80% of Type 2 diabetes is preventable by changing diet, increasing physical activity and improving the living environment. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.

5. Diabetes care is not costly.

FALSE! Diabetes care is costly and has the potential to cripple any healthcare system. However, many inexpensive and cost-effective interventions exist. Even right here at Pomerene Hospital. Proven strategies for improving the living environment, changing diet and increasing physical activity can reverse the pandemic.

Blog Written by: Tara Martin, Wellness Coordinator  

Understanding Diabetes

Pomerene Marketing - Monday, November 16, 2015

 There are two major forms of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production.Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Diabetes Risk Test

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 accounts for nearly 95% of all diabetes nationwide. Reports of Type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased. This form of Diabetes can be prevented!

Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, regular physical activity is important for your overall health and wellness. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, regular activity is a key part of managing diabetes along with proper meal planning, taking medications as prescribed, and stress management.


Blog Written by Tara Martin, Wellness Coordinator  

The ABC's of Asthma

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. The airways become blocked or narrowed making it hard to breathe due to:

-The muscles around the airway tighten and squeeze the openings

-The airway lining becomes inflamed and swollen

-Excess mucus is produced in the inflamed airway


Difficulty breathing is one of the main symptoms of asthma, along with:



-Chest tightness

-Shortness of breath


To help prevent the next attack you can control your asthma by leading a healthy, active life by:

-Staying away from triggers such as smoke, pollen, pets, and cold air.

-Trying to stay healthy and avoiding getting viral infections which make asthma worse

-Using controller medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids that can keep daytime and nighttime symptoms under control.


Unfortunately, there is no cure for Asthma. Lifestyle changes and medications can help provide the help that is needed to live
 a healthy, symptom free life. The key to tackling asthma is to become educated. The more you are familiar with your type of
asthma, what triggers your symptoms, and what works for you, the better controlled your asthma will be.

Blog Written by Chastity Hostetler, RRT 

The 5 “W's of Physical Therapy

Pomerene Marketing - Monday, October 05, 2015

What: Physical therapy is a customer service oriented profession that uses evidence based research treatment techniques to work with our patients helping them to return to normal activities.

Where: Pomerene Rehab Services has well trained and caring staff dedicated to listening to our patient’s needs, enabling us to work together to develop a specific program for each individual.

When: Individuals should seek Physical Therapy for any injury, pain or tightness that has caused a loss in range of motion, or is limiting the ability to perform normal daily activities. Physical Therapy is also effective in treating dizziness and loss of balance issues.

Who: Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistants receive extensive education and training before taking a National Licensure test. The Assistants work under the Therapist to assist patients in their journey through the recovery process.

Why: Working with the Therapist, patients are able to improve range of motion limitations, decrease pain, prolong or eliminate surgery. Patients also learn techniques to prevent injuries, or pain from returning in the future.

Before the Evaluation:

The American Physical Therapy Association offers suggestions for preparing for the first therapy visit.

1. Make a list of questions

2.Write down any symptoms (including how often they occur, location, any activity the improved or worsens symptoms, etc.)

3.List all medications

4.Consider bringing a family member along

During the Evaluation:

During the evaluation the therapist will ask many questions, perform a physical examination, help determine goals for therapy, and work with the patient to develop a specific plan to help return to normal desired activity.

After the Evaluation:

The Therapist and the Assistant(s) will help guide patients through the recovery process using education, exercise, and other techniques to both increase activity and prevent future occurrences.

How Pomerene Can Help You:

Pomerene Rehabilitation Center offers a comprehensive program of rehabilitation services including Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, and many other disciplines. We offer flexible scheduling to meet your needs and busy schedule. Our department utilizes only licensed personnel with years of experience and special certifications ensuring both the latest treatment techniques and quality care. 

Blog Written by: James Creaturo, PTA, Pomerene Rehab Manager 


Childhood Obestity: Help Your Kids Make the Healthy Choice

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to national standards for age, weight and height measurements. This is a difficult topic to address since we can all be very sensitive about any criticism of our children. The difficulty health care providers face, due to the sensitive nature of this topic, is that it often prevents addressing a serious health concern. The rates of childhood obesity have been rising over the last 10 years and the trend continues. The top reasons this has occurred are:

  • Increased availability of fast food
  • Increased availability of "junk foods" to snack on
  • Sedentary lifestyles of children and habit

The weight alone is not the end of the concern. There are many health risks associated with obesity diagnosed in children that historically has been seen in adults. Examples include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and arthritis to name a few.

The good news is that childhood is the best time to fix this and it is completely reversible if the problem already exists and is preventable with just a few simple changes.

1. PARENTS bring this up with your child's health care provider. Take the initiative so the discussion takes place.

2. Limit "screen time" to a maximum of 1 hour per day. Then spend time with some type of physical activity. The current recommendation is 60 minutes of play or other physical activity per day

3. Skip the fast food drive through. Pack your own or take time to eat a healthy meal on the road.

4. Make healthy choices available for snacks. Fruit and veggies can be a real substitute. It takes 17 days to break a habit for adults. It is easier for children. Treat chips or ice cream as just that - a treat.

Commit to making these changes and our children will be healthier for it!

Spotlight on Cholesterol: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

When we think of people with high cholesterol, we may associate it with a poor diet and/or a negligent lifestyle. However cholesterol, when controlled, is a crucial component of good health.

The negative connotation of cholesterol surfaces when too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, resulting in elevated lipid levels. Cholesterol levels are precariously high in more than 100,000 million Americans and are a risk factor for heart disease, Diabetes, and stroke. Goal numbers for a healthy lipid profile:

Total cholesterol:< or = to 200mg/dl

LDL cholesterol: < or = 100mg/dl (< 70mg/dl w/ cardiac hx)

HDL cholesterol: > or = 60mg/dl

Triglycerides: < or = 150

In actuality, about 75% of our cholesterol is manufactured by our livers. In other words, much of our cholesterol elevation is due to uncontrollable factors. The other 25% comes from the food we eat. Therefore cholesterol elevation can be multifactorial; sometimes controllable factors, sometimes not.

Causative factors include:

-genetic predisposition to producing too much cholesterol.

-getting older; especially females who no longer produce much estrogen.

-tobacco use

-carrying extra body weight

-consuming a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats.

Positive changes which can aid in decreasing cholesterol levels are:

-keeping total fat < 35% of calories daily

-minimizing intake of saturated fat (red meats and full fat dairy products).

-eliminating trans fats (Crisco/ storebought pastries) which both increase bad, and decrease good cholesterol

-increasing dietary fiber (especially soluable fiber) daily to 20-30gms/day

-increase intake of mono fat (like olive oil and avocados)

-growing evidence suggests that low carb diets improve cholesterol levels

-Managing stress

-increasing weekly exercise to 150 min per week or more

-taking supplements such as flaxseed, fish oil or plant sterols, niacin, garlic, fenugreek seeds, artichoke leaf extract, yarrow, or holy basil

-taking a statin prescription when diet interventions are not enough

It takes years for arteries to be clogged by cholesterol containing plaques, but there is much evidence that atheroschlerosis can be reversed, at least to some degree. A combination of the above interventions can promote large drops in cholesterol, which have been shown to promote regression of plaque formation.

For the best of health, know your numbers and keep them controlled!

Blog Written by Carol Denbow, MS, RD, LD 


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