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Summer Swimming Safety Tips

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Swimming and other water activities are a great way to cool down and get some exercise this summer. But whether you and your family are taking a trip to the beach or are just spending some time around a pool, it’s important to observe some precautions to ensure that everyone has a fun, safe summer ahead.

Drowning is one of the most common accidents for young children. It’s estimated that nearly 300 children drown in swimming pools every year, with another 2,000 children ending up in the emergency room from near drownings. But water incidents aren’t limited to children.

Learning how to swim will make swimming a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone in the water. Consider taking or enrolling your children in swim lessons — the American Red Cross offers several swimming and lifeguarding courses throughout the year. Knowing how to handle yourself in the water not only makes it safer for you, but stronger swimmers are also better equipped to handle others who may be in distress.

Here are some other important precautions you should follow to protect your children and yourself this summer:

  • Never swim alone, regardless of age — teach your children to swim with a buddy
  • Never drink alcohol during or just before swimming, boating or water skiing
  • Keep lifesaving equipment by the pool and be sure there is an accessible telephone nearby
  • Remove toys from the pool area when not in use – they can attract young children to the pool area
  • Learn CPR, especially if you’re a pool owner or boater
  • Don’t use air-filled swimming aids in place of life jackets for children

In addition to these tips, if you’re heading to the beach this year, choose swimming locations actively patrolled by lifeguards and visit the National Weather Service’s website to learn more about how you can avoid dangerous rip currents.

For even more tips, visit our Online Health Library or the American Red Cross website to learn more about how you and your family can avoid danger around the water. Here’s to a happy and safe summer of swimming!

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Celebrate Men’s Health Month this June

Men's Health Month

As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day next weekend, we can’t help but think about all the things that the men in our lives have done for us. And Father’s Day is the perfect time to say thank you and to remind them that taking care of their health is one way to give their families a priceless gift.

June is Men’s Health Month, a congressionally backed initiative, and it’s an opportunity to shine a light on the issues that affect men’s health, including prostate cancer, lung cancer and heart disease. It’s also a chance to encourage regular health screenings, which result in early detection and prompt treatment options of the conditions that affect men and boys in our community.

Everyone is encouraged to wear blue throughout the month of June, specifically on “Wear Blue Friday” on June 17, to help spread awareness — don’t forget to tag any pictures you post on social media with #ShowUsYourBlue and #MensHealthMonth. But you can also spread awareness inside your own home. Share these men’s health topics from our Online Health Library with friends and family, as well as our Men’s Health Check-Up List to encourage regular health screenings.

For even more ideas for how you can spread awareness all month long or for more information about this initiative, be sure to check out MensHealthMonth.org.

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Your Living Room is the New UM Charles Regional Urgent Care Waiting Room

Skip the Waiting Room

What if you could forgo the waiting room the next time you went to get treatment for an illness or injury?

At UM Charles Regional Urgent Care, now you can do just that.

If you visited the CharlesRegionalUrgentCare.com recently, you may have noticed that our website now features an estimated wait time tool to make planning your visit to urgent care even more convenient. This tool gives patients real-time updates on the estimated waiting time for treatment at urgent care.

We know that not everyone can fit in an urgent care visit into their busy schedule the moment injury or illness strike, so we’re also making it possible to check in before you arrive at urgent care, even allowing next-day check-ins ahead of time. By choosing your estimated arrival time, you’ll be able to receive priority care once you arrive.

Of course, no appointments are ever necessary at our new urgent care practice, but this new feature gives patients the option to wait for a treatment time from the comfort of home, rather than in a waiting room.

We understand that illness and injury are never convenient, so we’re working to make sure that UM Charles Regional Urgent Care always will be.

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Honor, Hope and Healing Highlight Relay for Life Survivors’ Reception on June 10

Option 1, Relay Blog

Relay for Life of Charles County, an annual event in our community, is part of the American Cancer Society’s larger mission of discovering new treatments, screening techniques and patient support methods to help those diagnosed with cancer fight the disease both physically, mentally and emotionally.

With the goal of honoring those who have won their battles against cancer, UM Charles Regional Medical Center is proud to sponsor a Survivors’ Reception before the annual Relay for Life event begins. If you’re a survivor, you and a guest are invited to join us for delicious hors d’oeuvres, music and opportunities to meet fellow survivors in a relaxed environment. The reception will begin on June 10 at 4pm in Commercial Building A at the Charles County Fairgrounds. Click here for more information regarding the reception.

Once you’ve enjoyed the reception, join your fellow survivors for the Survivor Lap, scheduled for 6:15pm. Dedicated to all those who have overcome cancer, this first lap around the fairgrounds is how we celebrate their victory over this disease.

Every day, strides are being made in the fight against cancer by medical researchers and organizations like the American Cancer Society, thanks in large part to events like Relay for Life. We appreciate the support of all of the teams and individual participants from our community, and we look forward to seeing you at the event.

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Tips for a Healthy and Safe Summer Ahead

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Summer is right around the corner, and whether you’re traveling or staying close to home, you’ll want to take care to ensure that the summer months are filled with fun and excitement, not injury or illness. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help you have the best summer possible:

Don’t Get Stung by Insect-Borne Illnesses
The hot and humid summers of Southern Maryland are the perfect environment for insects like mosquitos and ticks. And while they are often just a yearly nuisance we all encounter, insect bites and stings have the potential to cause serious allergic reactions and illnesses. To reduce your risk, follow these precautions:

  • Dawn, dusk and the early evening are the prime times for mosquitoes and other insects. If possible, stay indoors at these times.
  • Avoid wearing anything with a sweet fragrance, including cologne, perfume and hairspray — these tend to attract insects.
  • Standing water can become a breeding ground for insects. Check out these homeowner tips if you’re having trouble with removing standing water on your property.
  • If you must be outdoors in areas where Lyme disease or tick-borne illnesses are a serious risk, take additional precautions — regularly inspect yourself and family members for ticks and be aware of any rashes that may appear.
  • Use insect repellents with concentrations that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Stay Safe in the Sun
From sunburn to heat stroke, injury and illnesses resulting from too much exposure to the sun and heat are no joke. Here are some rules to follow to keep you safe in the summer heat:

  • When working or exercising outdoors, take frequent breaks, drink fluids often and listen to what your body is telling you.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Avoid sun exposure during peak burning hours (midday) and cover up with clothing and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Utilize sunscreen with at least 15 SPF to help protect exposed skin and apply about 30 minutes before heading outside.
  • Take special care when your children will be exposed to the sun. Click here to see the best tips for protecting your children from too much sun exposure.

Safe Travels Start Before You Leave
Whether you are traveling at home or abroad, there are some simple ways you can avoid ailments before you travel. Use this pre-departure checklist to have a healthier, more enjoyable trip:

  • Take care of routine dental and medical check-ups before you leave.
  • If traveling abroad, read up on any prevalent diseases you may encounter on your trip. Leave plenty of time to get any necessary vaccinations before you travel abroad — some of them may require an initial shot followed by a booster.
  • No matter your destination, ensure that you’ve packed enough of your medications to last your entire trip. It’s also wise to have a letter from your doctor with you to prove you legally use the medication if traveling abroad.
  • Health coverage doesn’t always travel with you — check your health insurance before you leave!

Now that you’re prepared to have a great summer, it’s time to get out and enjoy the lovely weather!

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UM Charles Regional Honored for Excellence in Treating Stroke Patients

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We’re proud to announce that UM Charles Regional Medical Center has been recognized with a Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and a Target: Stroke℠ Honor Roll Elite designation as part of the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke® program from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

As a Primary Stroke Center, we are committed to maintaining a heightened state of readiness for stroke patients, ensuring that our hospital can rapidly identify and intervene during an acute stroke and deliver rapid, expert care.

Why is speed important? Stroke may be one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, but its long-term and most damaging effects may be avoided or minimized with immediate medical attention. Thanks to recent medical advances, stroke awareness initiatives and treatment options, survival rates have improved greatly over the last decade.

To qualify for these designations, hospitals must achieve at least 85 percent adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke® achievement indicators for at least two consecutive 12-month periods as well as at least 75 percent compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke® Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

These quality measures are designed to help hospitals follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines to speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients.

We are honored by this recognition and committed to creating a safer, healthier community by continually improving our response time, treatment options and patient care standards to prevent and treat strokes and countless other ailments.

About Get With The Guidelines®
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org.

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Recognizing Our Staff Throughout National Hospital Week

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If you’ve ever been a patient at UM Charles Regional Medical Center, you know how important our compassionate, experienced staff is to helping you heal from injury, recover from surgery or just feel better altogether. Even if you have never needed hospital care, you can rest easier knowing that our team of caring staff will be there if you ever do.

The peace of mind provided to our patients and our entire community is why we’re proud to recognize all the men and women of our fantastic staff during National Hospital Week. It’s our way of saying “thank you” to those who help make our hospital a premier healthcare provider in the region.

All week long, we’re celebrating the accomplishments and commitment of our staff with a series of events and activities. Our week-long celebration will culminate in our Employee Banquet and Recognition Night on Friday, May 13 at Middleton Hall in Waldorf. In addition to bringing our staff together for a night of showing our gratitude, the banquet will be highlighted by our annual Nurse of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Healthcare Hero and CNA/Tech of the Year award announcements.

From the specialists who perform difficult, cutting-edge procedures and the nurses working around the clock to the support staff who help keep our facilities clean and patients fed — we thank these dedicated individuals for their contributions to our hospital. And we invite you to help us recognize all their hard work.

So whether you’ve been a patient of UM Charles Regional Medical Center or not, simply use the #MyHospital hashtag on social media throughout the week to show your support or visit the official website of the American Hospital Association for more great ideas on how you can join us in showing appreciation this week.

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Become a “Stroke Hero” During American Stroke Month

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Count to 40. In the time that you do so, someone in the United States will have suffered from a stroke.

Stroke claims the lives of 130,000 Americans every year, making it the fifth leading cause of death in our country. It’s the leading cause of disability in the U.S., and it’s estimated that one out of six people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime. And while people of certain demographics are at greater risk to have a stroke, strokes can occur at any age and aren’t limited to any race, sex, ethnicity or genetic predisposition.

But according to the American Stroke Association, one in three Americans is unable to identify all the stroke warning signs. And many Americans still do not think of stroke as a major health concern to themselves or others. To get a better understanding of the misconceptions surrounding stroke, check out this video:

That’s why we’re proud to support the American Stroke Association in their mission to create as many “Stroke Heroes” as possible throughout the month of May as part of American Stroke Month.

How can you become a Stroke Hero? All it takes is knowing the warning signs of a stroke and acting F.A.S.T.

F-ace drooping — Does one side of the face droop or feel numb? Ask the person to smile and watch if it appears uneven.

A-rm weakness/numbness — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms and watch if one drifts downward.

S-peech difficulty/slurring — Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and listen if it’s hard to understand.

T-ime to call 911 — If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 immediately. And remember to note the time that the symptoms appeared.

Your ability to spot stroke symptoms and act quickly by calling 911 might mean the difference between life and death or between full recovery and lifelong disability.

This is a great time to start working towards reducing your risk of stroke as well. Certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, can lead to an increased risk, so it’s important to understand which habits you should be working to eliminate. To help you understand your individual risk, we have a helpful stroke risk assessment — simply answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle, and you’ll instantly have a better idea at what kind of risk you face.

Think you’ve got a firm grasp on the symptoms and potential risk factors? Take our simple stroke quiz or the American Stroke Association’s F.A.S.T. quiz to find out if you’re on the right track.

For even more information, visit our Online Health Library or click here to see why UM Charles Regional Medical Center was named a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

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Teaming up with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to Spread Stroke Awareness

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Every year, all around America, we enjoy the return of spring and summer with the sights and sounds of the ballpark. But every year, we’re also reminded that strokes are still one of the leading causes of death for Americans, with more than 795,000 people suffering strokes in the United States alone.

That’s why we’re proud to sponsor Stroke Awareness Night on Friday, May 6. Join us for a night dedicated to educating our community about stroke prevention, symptoms and treatment options as the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs take on the York Revolution.

We’ll be there with free blood pressure screenings and educational materials to help you learn the warning signs of a stroke as well as preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk. We’ll also have our rehabilitation team on hand to provide information and answer questions about our Comprehensive Rehabilitation services, which include speech, occupational and physical therapy.

First pitch is slated for 7:05pm and gates open at Regency Furniture Stadium at 6:05pm.

To learn more or to reserve your tickets for UM Charles Regional Medical Center Stroke Awareness Night, call (301) 638-9788 or visit the official website of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

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3 Opportunities to Golf for a Good Health

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Whether you golf like a pro or you’re just learning, here’s your chance to have a great time on the course and help restore good health in your community.

UM Charles Regional Medical Center is excited to partner with Swan Point Yacht & Country Club to host three fun golf events on May 18-19 in Issue, MD. All proceeds benefit our Comprehensive Rehabilitation programs, including physical, speech and occupational therapy, as well as cardiac and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

The fun begins with the Southern Maryland Women’s Golf Invitational on May 18, followed by our Annual Golf Classic and “Sip and Swing” Golf Clinic on May 19. Entry fees for the two tournaments include carts, green fees, breakfast, lunch and complimentary adult beverages.

Here’s what you have to look forward to at each event:

  • SOUTHERN MARYLAND WOMEN’S GOLF INVITATIONAL
    Wednesday, May 18 | 9am-4pm
    Two- and four-player teams can compete for the titles in the Ace and Eagle Brackets. The day begins at 8:00 am with a continental breakfast and a putting contest. And it concludes with a post-tournament reception featuring prizes for the top team in the Ace bracket and cash prizes for the top two finishers in each bracket. Early Bird pricing is $100 per team. Price increases to $125 per team after April 29. Learn more and register today.
  • ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC
    Thursday, May 19 | 9am-4pm
    Golfers can compete as individuals or as part of a four-player team. This event, open to both men and women, will also include a variety of fun contests throughout the day and a post-tournament reception with awards for the top three finishers. This tournament is limited to 144 golfers, so don’t wait to reserve your spot. Early Bird Pricing is $125 for singles and $500 per team. Prices increase to $150 and $600 after April 29. Learn more and register today.
  • “SIP AND SWING” GOLF CLINIC
    Thursday, May 19 | 10am-2pm
    Learn the basics of the game in a casual setting full of friends and good times. Your day begins with complimentary breakfast and a boutique vendor sale. That’s followed by two 45-minute instructional sessions where you’ll sharpen your game at the putting green and driving range with Swan Point’s golf pros. Afterward, you’re invited to join us on the patio for a food and wine tasting, as well as a culinary demonstration by Swan Point’s award-winning staff. Early Bird pricing is $75. Price increases to $100 after April 29. Learn more and register today.

No matter the event you choose, you’re sure to have a great time. And even better, you’ll be supporting a great cause. We can’t wait to see you there.

 

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