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Medical Insider Blog

Tips for Giving Wisely

  • Posted Nov 27, 2018
  • hchadmin

South Floridians and the Holy Cross community are very generous and we want to make a difference in our communities. However, with thousands of giving opportunities out there, all vying for our money and time, how do we decide which charities or organizations to support? How do we determine whether or not the group we want to donate to is doing its job and fulfilling its mission? This is especially important now during the month of December, (and today- Giving Tuesday) when giving typically increases.

Do your research. It's important to know more information about charitable organizations than just their name. Consumer Reports suggests checking out these three charity watchdogs, which can help you feel confident that a group you're donating to deserves your support:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

Charity Navigator

Charity Watch

If the watchdogs haven't evaluated a group you're considering supporting, you can research it yourself. Check the group's website for information about its mission, board of directors, and its latest financial reports.

Consumer Reports also offers these tips that you should keep in mind when considering a giving opportunity:

•Verify tax-exempt status. If you're not sure whether donations to a particular charity are tax-deductible (don't assume they are), confirm a group's tax-exempt status by checking with the group or by going to the IRS website.

•Give directly. If you're contacted via phone by a charity you want to support, hang up and give directly instead.

•Request privacy. If you don't want to receive requests from other organizations, tell groups you support that you don't want your name and contact information sold, exchanged, or rented.

•Be on guard for sound-alikes. Some low-rated charities have names that resemble those of high-rated ones.

Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to Live Your Whole Life by thinking about the giving opportunities available to you that lift up individuals and communities, both locally and afar.

 

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). 

Consumer Reports and the other organizations linked to in this article are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask your discretion when using information from these sites.]


Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash


The Act of Giving Brings You More in Return Than You Might Realize

  • Posted Nov 20, 2018
  • hchadmin

Greetings from Holy Cross' Thanksgiving dinner baskets collection and Prayer Service.


We know that giving of our time and financial resources benefits the recipients. Our acts of charity, generosity and kindness can make tangible, positive differences in the lives of others. Plus, giving actually feels good. Helping others gives many of us that "warm glow." But did you know there may be a biological basis for the increase in happiness and health that comes from generous behavior?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation were involved in a study that showed the brain's pleasure centers became activated when people donated money to charity. Researchers took advantage of a brain imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which shows when specific regions of the brain are activated. The higher brain response to voluntary giving might correspond to the “warm glow” people reportedly experience when they’ve donated money to a good cause.

In addition to increasing your feeling of gratification, studies have found other mental health benefits including lowered levels of stress and anxiety. Giving and volunteering can have physical benefits as well. Some studies have shown a decrease in blood pressure and a strengthening of the immune system when we give of ourselves. And this is not simply a case of healthier people being more generous. The health benefits are clear.

Remember though, it's not all about money nor the amount. Donating your time and energy counts just as much. It could be something as simple as giving up your seat on the bus.  Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to Live Your Whole Life by thinking about the ways you might give of yourself to better the circumstances of individuals or your community. This is your chance to not only improve the lives of others, but to improve your own health, sense of well-being and happiness as well. Everybody wins.


Helpful Tips for Those Living with Diabetes

  • Posted Nov 13, 2018
  • hchadmin

 

It's not easy finding out that you or a loved one has diabetes. However, educating yourself about this disease is the first step toward feeling better and living a longer and healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population – are living with diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years. November is American Diabetes Month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to help you Live Your Whole Life by providing some helpful tips for managing diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers the following suggestions to help navigate treatment if you or a loved one has been diagnosed:
•    Create a health care team. Finding the right team of skilled health professionals will help you manage your diabetes and get the most out of your care. Ask your doctor to help you build a team to assist you in reaching your goals and feeling better. As part of the care management resources available to you, you may receive an outreach call from a nurse. When a nurse calls, please be sure to return the call and take advantages of the services offered to you.

•    Be the star player on your team. Self care is the best way to maintain your good health. You can help keep yourself well by eating right, staying active, taking your medicine, monitoring your blood glucose and making and keeping doctor appointments.

•    Keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may want you to start checking your glucose (or blood sugar) levels at home. If so, you will need a small machine called a blood glucose meter. Your health care team can help you find the best meter for your needs. Keeping your blood glucose levels in a healthy range is key to controlling your diabetes.

•    Take your prescribed medications. To help keep your blood glucose in the target range, it’s vital that you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you believe you’re having side effects, be sure to call your doctor or pharmacist.

As you know, developing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain, major injuries or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room.  For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you Live Your Whole Life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

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Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Posted Oct 30, 2018
  • hchadmin

Did you know that by simply living a healthier lifestyle, you could dramatically reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes? 

In fact, recent studies by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that by engaging in physical activity, eating a healthier diet, maintaining an appropriate body weight, limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking you can cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80 percent.

November is American Diabetes Month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care.  

NIH studies show that having a body weight appropriate for your height and age by itself reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 60 to 70 percent. Eating a healthier diet reduced the risk by about 15 percent and not smoking lowered the risk by about 20 percent.

Here are some tips from the NIH and the National Diabetes Education Program to help you make gradual lifestyle changes that can help you prevent type 2 diabetes:


If you are overweight, set a weight loss goal you can meet (check with your doctor before starting any weight loss plan). 

Aim to lose about 5 to 7 percent of your current weight and keep it off 

Keep track of your daily food intake and physical activity in a logbook and review it daily 

For support, invite family and friends to get involved


Make healthier food choices every day. 

Keep healthier snacks, such as fruit and vegetables, at home and at work

Pack healthier lunches for you and your family

Choose low-fat dairy products

Eat whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, brown rice, pasta or oatmeal

Select lean meats and poultry

Choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds as protein sources

 

Strive to become more physically active. It’s easy to build physical activity into your day:

Take a brisk walk during lunchtime

Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther away from your office

Join a community program like the YMCA as a family and choose activities that everyone can enjoy

 

Restrict alcohol consumption. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises with an increase in alcohol consumption. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

If you smoke, quit (and don’t quit quitting). Smokefree.gov offers some great tips and a step-by-step guide on how to begin.


Be sure to embrace a healthy spirit. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), high levels of stress can have negative effects on your blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s important to practice good relaxation techniques. The ADA recommends the following: 

Breathing exercises – Sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take in a deep breath. Then push out as much air as you can then relax your muscles. Do these exercises for a minimum of five minutes at least once a day.

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones – If a negative thought is going through your mind, replace it with something that makes you happy or peaceful. You may also visualize a favorite nature scene to lessen anxiety and promote more serenity. 

Last, but not least, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and helping prevent diseases like diabetes. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic healthcare facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs).  Smokefree.gov and the links it provides are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask your discretion when using information from this site.]

 
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Breast Cancer Prevention Begins with You

  • Posted Oct 16, 2018
  • hchadmin

 

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States? 

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care.  


Thankfully, breast cancer prevention begins with a variety of factors you can control, which include: 

•Managing a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise can help reduce your risk.

•Breast-feeding. Breast-feeding your children may offer some protection against breast cancer. 

•Hormone therapy. If you're currently taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about options. According to the National Cancer Institute, long-term combination hormone therapy increases the risk of breast cancer. 

•Restricting alcohol consumption. Your risk of developing breast cancer rises with an increase in alcohol consumption. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.


While taking care of your physical health is a great way to help prevent any disease, so is maintaining a healthy spirit. For example:

•Staying positive. Research shows that happiness and optimism are associated with lower rates of breast cancer. Focus on your thoughts — stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.

•Managing stress. Utilizing a few stress relievers, like deep breathing, muscle relaxation and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Don’t stretch yourself too thin – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Creating a circle of support. Maintaining a close network of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 


Lastly, getting health screenings and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and helping prevent health conditions like breast cancer. 

Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being through body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.



Resources: 

Partners in Breast Health (free mammograms for women who qualify) 

Breast Cancer Awareness Discounted Mammograms & Bone Density Screenings    

Doctor Jessica Burgers' Lecture: Advances and Options in Breast Cancer Surgery  

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Helpful Tips for Avoiding the Flu

  • Posted Sep 12, 2018
  • Christine Walker

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year between 5 and 20 percent of U.S. citizens contract the flu and the virus causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations and as many as 49,000 deaths?

Flu season is fast approaching and, thankfully, flu prevention begins with a variety of things we can easily do to protect ourselves, our patients and our loved ones from becoming ill.

According to the CDC and Mental Health America, the following are things you can do to protect yourself and others from the flu:

•             Get a flu vaccine – the CDC cites the yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Ask for your flu vaccination at your Holy Cross Medical Group doctor's office.

•             Take everyday precautions to stop the spread of germs – wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

•             Take antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness. They make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.

•             Another great way to reduce your risk of developing illness is by maintaining a positive mental and spiritual attitude. According to Mental Health America, there is a connection between spirituality and health. Spirituality can reduce the stress that often drives illness.

When you’re being treated for or trying to prevent a disease or condition like the flu, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care.

For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your primary care physician (PCP), going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life. [Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs).

CDC.gov, Mental Health America and the links they provide are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask for your discretion when using information from this site.]


Immunizations Are Preventive Care for All Ages

  • Posted Sep 05, 2018
  • hchadmin

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., vaccination programs have eliminated or significantly reduced many vaccine-preventable diseases. However, some of these diseases still exist and may once again become common — and deadly — if we don’t get the vaccinations we need and when we need them. Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of immunizations.

Immunizations aren’t just for youngsters. The CDC says we all need them to help protect us, our patients and coworkers from serious diseases and illness. In fact, according to the CDC, everyone over the age of six months needs a seasonal flu shot every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.

Other vaccinations work best when they are given at certain ages. Here are some general guidelines from the CDC:

Young children:
•    Children under age six get a series of shots to protect against measles, polio, chicken pox and hepatitis.

Preteens:
•    All 11- and 12-year-olds need shots to help protect against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningitis.
•    Doctors recommend girls also get the HPV vaccine to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer.

Adults:
•    All adults need a tetanus shot every 10 years.
•    People age 65 need a one-time pneumonia shot.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which shots you and your family need.

Besides preventing you and others from getting sick, there’s another great benefit associated with getting immunized. For a complete list of immunizations and a schedule for receiving them, visit the CDC Immunization Schedules website. 

To ensure vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety and efficacy, the CDC has measures in place to test and continuously monitor them. To learn more, visit the CDC Vaccine Safety website. 

Having a primary care physician (PCP), who can coordinate your care, including preventive care and immunizations, is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you live your whole life.

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). CDC.gov and the links it provides are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask for your discretion when using information from this site.]


Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash

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Protecting Yourself and Others from Illness

  • Posted Aug 28, 2018
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccines have prevented countless cases of infectious diseases and saved millions of lives? Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of immunizations as preventive care. 

According to the CDC, vaccines can protect both the people who receive them and those with whom they come in contact. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common. A vaccine actually eradicated smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases in history.
But, how do they work?

When germs invade the body, they cause an infection. Once your body fights off the infection, you're left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future, according to the CDC.

The CDC also says that a vaccination is designed to help your body create these cells to fight the disease by introducing a weakened form of the disease into your body. Your body then makes antibodies to fight the invaders so if the disease ever attacks you, your antibodies will destroy them.

To ensure vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety and efficacy, the CDC has measures in place to test and continuously monitor them. To learn more, visit the CDC Vaccine Safety website and read the Immunization Action Coalition's Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations.

Besides preventing you and others from getting sick, if you’re enrolled in Trinity Health medical benefits most immunizations are 100 percent covered. For a complete list of immunizations and a schedule for receiving them, visit the CDC Immunization Schedules website.

Another great way to give a boost to your physical health is by maintaining your spiritual health through visualization. Visualization engages the imagination by thinking of a scene, a thought or a belief in our minds. This practice has been shown to decrease stress, blood pressure, manage chronic pain and promote general healing.

Additionally, screenings and regularly scheduled vaccinations are important in sustaining your health. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice.

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life. [Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). CDC.gov, Immunize.org and the links they provide are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask for your discretion when using information from these sites.]

 

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash


Helpful Tips for Those Living with Skin Cancer

  • Posted Jul 17, 2018
  • Christine Walker

Learning you or a loved one has skin cancer changes your life.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), concerns about treatments, managing side effects and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family or continuing daily activities.

The NCI and Holy Cross Hospital offer the following suggestions to help you focus on your treatment and maintain a Healthy Spirit:

•    Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working or other activities. As part of the team's services, you may receive an outreach call. Please remember to return the call if you miss it.

•     Support groups also can help. In these groups, people with skin cancer or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone or on the internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.

When you’re being treated for a health condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care when you need it. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency department.

For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your primary care physician (PCP), going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

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Regular Screenings Can Help Catch Skin Cancer Early

  • Posted Jul 10, 2018
  • Christine Walker

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the main cause of skin cancer is being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun? 

Warm summer weather often means taking part in more outdoor activities. While it’s important to take opportunities to be more active, when it comes to being out in the sun, be sure to take care of your skin. 

As a component of summer safety, Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of regular skin screenings.

Your primary care physician (PCP) or other health care professional might advise that you perform routine skin self-exams to check for the development of any unusual changes.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the best time to do this is after a shower or bath. Check your skin in a room with plenty of light and use a full-length mirror and a hand-held mirror to learn where your birthmarks, moles, and other marks are as well as their usual look and feel.

If you find anything that looks unusual, such as a sore that won’t heal, a new mole that is different from others or a change in the way one of your moles looks, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in family medicine, internal medicine or general practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

 

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About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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