Online Bill Pay Now Available at UM Charles Regional Medical Center


We strive to make paying your UM Charles Regional Medical Center bill as easy and convenient as possible. And we’re proud to announce that we’ve added online bill pay capabilities to our website so that when it’s time to pay your bill, it’s just a couple clicks away.

Here’s how you can access our online bill pay portal:

On Your Smartphone
Simply visit our online portal at this link and bookmark it, so you can easily access it later!

On a Desktop Computer
Visit and select “Pay My Bill” from the “Patients & Visitors” drop-down menu, the black navigation menu at the top of the page, or the navigation menu on the right side of your screen.

Screenshot for bill pay blog

Dedicate Yourself to a Healthy Diet During National Nutrition Month


We could all stand to eat a little bit better. But eating better doesn’t doesn’t mean you have to endure meals consisting of nothing but asparagus and cauliflower — unless, of course, you totally want to.

Contrary to what you’ll see on TV or hear on the radio, there’s so much more to embracing a healthy diet than sacrificing flavor or your lifestyle.

National Nutrition Month, celebrated every March, is centered around the idea that there are countless ways for adults and children to create healthy diets that fit their lifestyles. That’s why the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics wants you to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” this month and find the diet that works for you.

Throughout the National Nutrition Month website, you’ll find an endless amount of useful information — all presented in a fun, visual format — to help you choose the perfect blend of healthy and tasty food for your life. Here are a few of our favorite articles:

Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store — Because finding and buying healthy food doesn’t
have to cost you a fortune or an entire afternoon.

The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label — The nutrition facts label is your ultimate weapon against
unhealthy eating. Learn to decipher and understand it here.

5 Tips to Kick Bad Eating Habits — Poor eating habits are tough to get rid of. Try these tips if you’re
having trouble sticking with a healthy eating plan.

Staying Away from Fad Diets — Here are the diet plans you should avoid completely.

Want even more healthy eating tips? Don’t forget to check out our Health eCooking section on our website — you’ll find plenty of regularly updated healthy recipes that you and your family will love. And if you’re diabetic, our Center for Diabetes Education is the place to learn more about healthy eating habits that can help you manage your diabetes.

Lace Up for the St. Charles Running Festival on April 1


It’s back — one of the area’s favorite annual running events!

The St. Charles Running Festival is taking place on Saturday, April 1, in Waldorf. With a 10-miler, a 5K and a Kids Hero Fun Run, runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels can have a great time and support the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation.

This fun annual event offers a USA Track & Field-certified 10-mile, 5K and fun run course that begins at Regency Furniture Stadium (the home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs) and takes participants through the community of St. Charles.

On top of the accomplishment you’re sure to feel, you’ll feel even better knowing that all proceeds will benefit vital technology upgrades for our Emergency Department, which is key to ensuring we can meet the health needs of our entire community.

Are you in? Register online today to guarantee your spot! It’s $35 to run the 5K, $45 to run the 10-miler and $10 for the Kids Hero Fun Run. Hurry! Early-bird pricing runs through March 9, and prices for the 5K and 10-miler increase by $5 after that.

Your registration includes:
5K and 10-miler

  • Performance Race T-Shirt
  • Chip-Timed Race
  • Pre-Race Stretching Led by UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation
  • In-Race Water Stations and Course Support
  • Post-Race Massages and Nutritious Snacks

Kids Hero Fun Run

  • Fun Warm-Up Session
  • Souvenir Hero Cape
  • Post-Race Activities and Giveaways from Chick-fil-A

Before each race, our experienced team from UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation will help participants stretch to ensure everyone is in the best condition to run without injury. Visit our website to learn more about this specialty team that’s serving Charles County from right here in La Plata.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event as well! It’s a great way to support a good cause and get your business in front of an energized group of athletic and community-minded participants. You can get more information by visiting our website.

Get Informed About Colorectal Cancer This Month


When it comes to awareness, few cancers have quite as much stigma surrounding them as does colorectal cancer.

It’s one of the most common yet least talked about forms of cancer in the United States. That’s why it’s so important for us to help get people talking about what it is, how it can be prevented and what the treatment options are.

What is colorectal cancer?
Essentially, any cancer that starts in the colon, rectum or even the large intestine is termed colorectal cancer. It’s most often found in people 45 or older, but it can occur at any age.

What are the warning signs?
The strongest weapon against colorectal cancer is early detection. Here are just a few of the warning signs that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to as possible indicators that colorectal cancer is present:

  • Changes in stool or bowel habits
  • Stomach pains, aches or cramps that don’t go away
  • Unexplained weight loss

Your doctor can help you determine if these symptoms are from cancer or some other problem, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these.

How can I prevent it?
Although studies are still being conducted to determine the best ways to reduce risk factors of developing colorectal cancer, these are the things you can do right now to reduce or limit your risk:

  • Quit smoking — Smoking increases your risk for many types of cancers and ailments
  • Limit alcohol consumption — Moderation is key to limiting risk factors
  • Eat right — Diets high in fat and calories put you at greater risk
  • Get moving — Obesity puts you at higher risk, so get out, get active and get fit
  • Understand family history — If your family has a history of colorectal cancer, you’re at higher risk
  • Get screened — If you’re over 45, talk to your doctor about the best screening options

What are the treatment options?
Surgery is often necessary to remove tumors from colorectal cancer. The type of procedure varies depending on the severity of the cancer and the stage at which it’s discovered. To learn more about what procedures are used to treat and remove colorectal cancer, visit our Online Health Library.

Talking about colorectal cancer is one of the best ways to spread awareness. By educating yourself and understanding your own risk, you can help others learn more about this devastating disease, too.

Time is Running Out to Reserve Your Celebration Gala Tickets


The wait is almost over for our highly anticipated Celebration Gala on Saturday, March 11, at Swan Point Yacht and Country Club in Issue, MD.

If you already have your tickets, we hope you’re as excited as we are! If not, you’ll want to move quickly because they’re going fast. It only takes a few minutes to make your reservations for this fantastic event, and you’ll be supporting a great cause as well.

All proceeds will support vital technology upgrades for our emergency department, which is among the main strategic initiatives for the CRMC Foundation. Funds raised at this event will make an immediate impact and enhance access to care for our entire community, enabling us to better meet the needs of our patients, especially those requiring more advanced care.

In addition to promoting fundraising efforts, this year’s event will celebrate the legacy of the late Vernon C. Monday Jr., who touched countless lives through his more than two decades as EMS deputy chief for the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department.

Throughout the evening, you can treat yourself to elaborate food stations and an open bar, while you enjoy the sounds of one of DC’s most popular bands.

The CRMC Foundation is proud to offer two reservation levels for this event, so we invite you to choose the experience that suits you best.

Gala Reservations
8pm admittance | $125 per person (price increases on Feb. 18!)
Enjoy gourmet cuisine stations, open bar, live band, dancing and more until midnight.

Late Night Reservations
9:30pm admittance | $75 per person (price increases on Feb. 18!)
Join us a little bit later in the evening for live music and dancing, refreshments and cocktails.

Reserve your tickets online or by calling 301.609.4132 now. And don’t forget, sponsorship opportunities still remain. It’s a great way to promote your business and support your community!

New Issue of Maryland’s Health Matters Magazine Available Now


When it comes to getting the latest health and wellness news, updates and recommendations, Charles County residents have a variety of sources they can turn to.

In addition to our blog and all of the content available on our website 24/7, you also have access to Maryland’s Health Matters, the quarterly magazine of the University of Maryland Medical System.

The UM Charles Regional Medical Center edition includes content specifically tailored to Charles County’s health and wellness needs. And each issue of the magazine focuses on helping residents in our community make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families.

Inside, you’ll find the latest news, event information and stories from UM Charles Regional Medical Center and the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation, as well as information regarding relevant health topics for our community. Here’s a glimpse at a few of the topics covered in the latest issue:

Living Well with Diabetes — Discover our Center for Diabetes Education, and see how this new program is helping Charles County residents with diabetes live more fulfilling lives.

Healthy Happenings — There are so many great classes, support groups and events (many of which are free) scheduled for the coming months. See what they are and find out how to be a part of them.

Foundation Focus  — Get the inside scoop on upcoming foundation happenings and events, including the highly anticipated Celebration Gala.

Maryland’s Health Matters is available for free online and in print, so you can get an inside look at the articles and insights that matter most, no matter which format you prefer. Click here to check out the latest issue now — future issues can be found by visiting our Maryland’s Health Matters landing page on our website. If you’d like to subscribe for free print editions of the magazine, please contact Tina Anderson by emailing today.


Help us Fight Cardiovascular Disease During American Heart Month


High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly half of all Americans have an increased risk for heart disease because of at least one of these factors.

Some risk factors, like family history and age, are completely out of our hands. But during American Heart Month, observed every February, we encourage you to take steps to help reduce your chance of developing heart disease.

What are those steps? The American Heart Association calls it “Life’s Simple 7,” which includes:

  1. Get Active
  2. Control Cholesterol
  3. Eat Better
  4. Manage Blood Pressure
  5. Lose Weight
  6. Reduce Blood Sugar
  7. Stop Smoking

In addition to these tips, a trusted primary care provider, such as Dr. Lorenzo Childress at UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care in La Plata, can help you stay on track with your health goals and give you the resources you need to keep your heart healthy. And if you have diabetes, our new Center for Diabetes Education can help you get on the path to lowering your risk for developing heart disease.

Though heart disease is serious and can cause life-threatening occurrences like heart attack and stroke, a lot can be done to lower your risk. So take this as a challenge and let’s all do our part this month to reduce our chance of developing heart disease and to encourage the ones we love to do the same.

Raising Awareness During Birth Defects Prevention Month

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a baby is born with a major birth defect every 4 ½ minutes in the United States.

It’s the leading cause of infant mortality in the first year of life, and babies with birth defects also have increased chances of long-term health issues and illnesses. That’s why we’re shining a light on this important issue by supporting National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

Whether you’re expecting or thinking of having children one day, here are some of the most important things you can do before and during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects.

Get Enough Folic Acid
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that pregnant women or those who are thinking of getting pregnant should consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of synthetic folic acid in addition to the folic acid found naturally in foods. Folic acid is found in foods like cooked beans, peas, peanuts, oranges, dark green vegetables, fortified cereals and more. Your doctor may recommend additional supplements as well.

Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy can reduce the chances of one type of serious birth defect by up to 70%, but it’s just one of the many vitamins and minerals you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of before and during pregnancy.

Avoid Smoking, Drinking, Drugs and Dangerous Activities
This may seem like a no-brainer, but women who smoke, drink or do illegal drugs during pregnancy put their children at high risk for serious birth defects. Avoiding hot tubs, saunas and X-rays during pregnancy are lesser-known points of emphasis for pregnant women, however. Learn more about additional pregnancy dangers in our Online Health Library.

Reach a Healthy Weight
Women with obesity before pregnancy are at a higher risk for complications during pregnancy. In addition, women with poorly managed diabetes also put themselves and their pregnancies at risk. If you’re overweight or obese, you should talk to your doctor about ways you can reach a healthy weight before you get pregnant.

Work with Your Health Care Provider
Your obstetrician will be able to guide you through your pregnancy. They will be able to help you with everything from determining which medicines and vaccines are safe to helping you set a healthy diet or supplement plan.

If you’re an expecting mother or plan on having kids one day, these are just some of the steps you can take to increase your chances of having a healthy baby. To learn more about the many topics surrounding pregnancy, be sure to check out our Pregnancy Resource Center in our Online Health Library.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month


According to estimates from the American Cancer Society, 2016 saw nearly 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in the United States alone.

It happens fast, because women with early cervical cancers rarely show symptoms before the cancer becomes invasive and grows into nearby tissues. But thanks to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) and the United States Congress, the month of January has been designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month to shine a light on issues related to cervical cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV) and the importance of early detection.

Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer
The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is infection by HPV, which is a group of more than 150 related viruses. The virus can be spread from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact, most often by sexual contact.

Cervical cancer has also been linked to smoking, poor diet, certain sexually transmitted diseases and being overweight. As a result, the best ways to reduce your risks of developing cervical cancer are to live at a healthy weight, not smoke, practice safe sex and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Although symptoms and warning signs for early cervical cancer are rare, screening for pre-cancers before they turn into invasive cancers has proven effective in detecting the disease. Through the Pap test (also known as a Pap smear) and the HPV test, cervical cancer can be found and treated before it becomes life threatening. Additionally, vaccines are available for females ages 9 to 26 years to help prevent infection of HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV strains responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancers.

While there’s no treatment for HPV, most genital HPV infections go away with the help of a person’s immune system within two years. Treatment for cervical cancer varies depending on which stage the cancer has reached. Common treatments for cervical cancer include:

Should you be diagnosed, take charge of your own health and arm yourself with knowledge about your diagnosis. You’ll be better prepared to work together with your cancer care team to develop the plan of action that is right for you.

Learn more about Cervical Cancer, HPV disease and Cervical Health Awareness Month by visiting our Online Health Library or the NCCC website. To schedule a preventative screening, checkup or appointment with a women’s health expert, contact University of Maryland Community Medical Group – Women’s Health Practices today.

Why You Should Donate Blood During National Blood Donor Month

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Do you have “save a life” or “help my community” on your list of New Year’s resolutions? We’ve got the perfect way for you to accomplish both.

According to the American Red Cross, 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to meet the needs of those who require blood transfusions. But because of snowy winter weather and hectic post-holiday schedules, January is one of the most challenging months for blood donations.

Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been observed every January. It pays tribute to the nearly 11 million people who give blood each year, as well as encourages others to give the gift of life by donating blood when it’s needed most.

If you’re eligible to donate, there’s no better time of the year to make your contribution. But whether you’re able to donate or not, you can always do your part by encouraging eligible friends and family to donate.

You don’t have to go far to donate, either. Join us on Monday, January 23, from 1pm to 6:30pm at the American Legion Post 82, located right here in La Plata, for a blood drive that’s jointly sponsored by the American Legion and UM Charles Regional Medical Center.

So whether you’re doing it to fulfill a resolution, or you just want to be someone’s hero, visit this site to choose your donation time today.

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