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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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Healthcare Decisions Day is a Time to Make Tough, Necessary Choices

National Healthcare Decisions Day

“It always seems too early, until it’s too late.”

That’s the theme for National Healthcare Decisions Day 2016. It’s why April 16 was chosen to shine a light on a topic that few people want to talk about, let alone think about.

The prospect that you may one day be unable to make or communicate decisions about your own care is a frightening one to consider. But it is, nevertheless, one you need to consider. Should that day ever come, your loved ones will already be having a tough time. You can ease their emotional burden by providing clear direction for your medical care.

Advance directives are the easiest way to communicate your wishes, and they come in two main forms. You can designate someone as your “healthcare power of attorney,” empowering that person to make all decisions. It’s best to have an open and honest conversation with that person, so they are fully prepared to carry out your wishes.

You can also create a living will that lays out which medical treatments you do or do not want if you cannot communicate. It will also note whether you’d like to donate your organs in the event of your passing.

Visit NHDD.org to learn more about the importance of these decisions. This is your opportunity to ensure that you are cared for in the manner you prefer, and that your loved ones are prepared to help each other and you through a difficult time.

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ATTENTION: False Alert of Incident Involving Officer at UM Charles Regional Medical Center

Attention: SOMD.com and TheBayNet.com posted a false alert on their Facebook page and website of a possible incident involving an officer at UM Charles Regional Medical Center. No one has been injured and everyone is safe.  Thank you.

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National Healthcare Volunteer Week Celebrates a Vital Part of Our Team
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Volunteers offered cookies and smiles to blood donors at a recent blood drive.

It takes a special person to be a volunteer.

It takes someone truly extraordinary to be a hospital volunteer.

During National Healthcare Volunteer Week, we’re celebrating the many generous, selfless individuals who donate their time and talents to UM Charles Regional every day. They truly are the heart of our hospital.

Our volunteers carry out a wide variety of jobs each day, all across the hospital. Together they help make the hospital a more welcoming place for our patients and their guests. And they make things run more smoothly for the staff at UM Charles Regional.

Volunteer

This UM Charles Regional Auxiliary volunteer provided vital assistance at a recent blood drive.

You might also encounter our volunteers representing the hospital at special events held throughout the community all year long.

We couldn’t be more proud to be part of a community where so many caring people are motivated to volunteer and support the work we do. And we’re always looking for more volunteers.

Whether you’re a student, a retiree or anywhere in between, there’s an opportunity for you to make a difference. Sign up on our website today to find the right opportunity for you.

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March 30 is National Doctors’ Day

National Doctors' Day

First celebrated in 1933 as a day set aside to honor physicians, and later officially recognized by U.S. Congress and President George H. Bush as a national day of appreciation for medical professionals across the country, National Doctors’ Day is celebrated annually on March 30.

UM Charles Regional Medical Center is proud to show its appreciation for our doctors, who do their part to keep the Southern Maryland community healthy all year round. From family physicians to general surgeons, the wide variety of doctors on our staff perform vital diagnosis, treatment and care procedures for our community members.

But in honor of National Doctors’ Day, we would like to send along our special appreciation to those who keep us healthy when we’re well and who help get us better when we’re sick.

We invite you to join with us in celebrating National Doctors’ Day by thanking your doctor for their continued service and dedication.

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Finding Your Own Path to Healthy Eating During National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean closing your eyes and choking down a plateful of Brussels sprouts and asparagus. Though, if you like it, more power to you.

The point is there’s no one way to eat a healthy diet. And that’s the big idea behind National Nutrition Month. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is taking this opportunity to draw attention to the many ways that adults and children can create healthy diets that fit our unique lifestyles.

The National Nutrition Month website is full of fun, useful information to help us find the perfect blend of healthy and tasty in our lives. A few of our favorites:

You get the idea. There is no shortage of creative ideas to add good nutrition to your diet — or your family’s. And there’s no better time that National Nutrition Month.

Good luck. And don’t forget to visit our own Health eCooking section. It’s updated each month with easy and nutritious recipes for you to try out.

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Race for a Great Cause at the St. Charles Running Festival on April 9

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Lace up your shoes, stretch out your legs and prepare to hit the course. That runner’s high arrives faster and lasts longer when you’re running for a cause this worthwhile.

The St. Charles Running Festival is Saturday, April 9, at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. With a 10-miler, a 5K and a Kids Fun Run, runners and walkers of all levels can have a great time in support of our Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services.

It’s more than a chip-timed race. It’s a day of fun activities for the family. It begins with pre-race stretching and energetic music before the 10-miler starts at 8:45am. The 5K starts at 9am, just outside the stadium, and the Kids Fun Run begins at 9:30am inside Regency Furniture Stadium. And remember, the race courses are stroller friendly!

All pre-registered participants receive a commemorative T-shirt. After you cross the finish line, stick around for post-race massages and healthy refreshments. Kids participating in the Fun Run will enjoy a Chick-fil-A kids meal and two tickets to a Southern Maryland Blue Crabs baseball game.

The Blue Crabs will host their annual Fan Fest in conjunction with the race, so children will have access to the playground at the Kids Park inside the stadium.

As good as you’ll feel after completing your run, it’ll feel even better knowing you supported a worthy cause. Proceeds benefit important UM Charles Regional Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, like physical, speech and occupational therapy, as well as cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

You’ll be helping us fund specialty equipment, enhance patient education programs and expand our clinical services in these critical areas. You never know when you or someone you love will need one of these critical services.

Register online today to guarantee your spot! It’s $35 for the 10-miler, $25 for the $5K and $10 for the Kids Fun Run. Prices increase on March 12. It’s a great reason to get out and enjoy a fun morning run. See you at the starting line!

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Raising Awareness About the Cancer No One Wants to Talk About

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

It’s fitting that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month because this is one of the cancers that rarely comes up in conversation. So we’ll take every opportunity we can get to raise awareness.

In fact, we’re hosting a lecture on Thursday, March 10, with oncologist Reshma Khetpal, MD. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the risk factors, symptoms and treatments for this very serious disease. We hope you’ll join us there. You can register online right now. In the meantime, this blog is a great place to start.

So what is colorectal cancer?
In short, it’s any cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It’s a type of cancer most commonly found in those 50 or older. Charles County residents are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a rate that exceeds that state average. It’s also higher than the other counties in Southern Maryland.

The first symptoms of colorectal cancer often can be changes in your bowel habits or your stool, blood in the stool, vomiting or abdominal discomfort. If you experience any of those symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risk or the impact of colorectal cancer.

  • Quit Smoking — Not that you needed another reason, but smoking increases your risk of colorectal cancer
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption — Moderation is the key to limiting your risk factors
  • Eat Right — Diets that are high in fat and calories put you at a greater risk
  • Get Moving — Obesity puts you at a higher risk, so get out, get active and get fit
  • Know Your Family History — Having family members with a history of colorectal cancer can lead to a higher risk
  • Know the Warning Signs — Understanding the symptoms and risk factors gives you the best chance at early detection
  • Get Screened — If you’re over 50, talk to your doctor about the best screening options available to you

These seven steps allow you to put a plan in place to reduce your risk, but there’s a lot more to know if you want to be fully informed and prepared. Register today and join us on Thursday, March 10, to help you learn more and answer any questions you might have about colorectal cancer. We’ll see you there!

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