Learn the Warning Signs and the Leading Cause of Stroke During American Stroke Month

American Stroke Month

Did you know that stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities for Americans?

Did you also know that 80% of strokes can be avoided? That’s right, strokes, which claim the lives of more than 133,000 Americans every year, are largely preventable, according to the American Stroke Association (ASA).

That’s why we’re proud proponents of American Stroke Month, which takes place every May. This year, the ASA is focusing its efforts on spreading awareness about stroke symptoms as well as the leading cause of strokes, high blood pressure.

How to Spot the Symptoms of Stroke — Think F.A.S.T.
Your ability to spot stroke symptoms and act quickly might mean the difference between life and death or between a full recovery and long-term disability. Want an easy way to remember the warning signs? Just think F.A.S.T.

Face Drooping — Does one side of the face droop or feel numb? Ask the person to smile and see if it appears uneven.

Arm Weakness — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms and watch if one drifts downward.

Speech Difficulty/Slurring — Is speech slurred or hard to understand, even for simple sentences?

Time to Call 911 — If you or someone else shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 immediately.

The Leading Cause of Stroke? High Blood Pressure.
Although the risk of stroke increases as you age, strokes can occur at any age, and they affect people of every race and gender. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce your individual risk.

Beyond family history and other unavoidable health factors that contribute to your risk level, your lifestyle choices, including smoking, diet and exercise habits, play a pivotal role in determining your likelihood of having a stroke.

The ASA emphasizes that high blood pressure makes people more vulnerable than any other factor, however. That’s because high blood pressure increases your chances of having a clot or rupture interrupt blood flow to the brain. They also note that 1 in 6 adults with high blood pressure doesn’t know he or she has it, so this is the perfect month to go get your blood pressure checked.

Visit our Online Health Library to learn more about high blood pressure, its contributing factors and ways you can work on lowering your blood pressure. In addition, you should also take our Stroke Risk Assessment to understand your risk for having a stroke — it takes just a couple minutes, and it could make all the difference.

Prepare for the Tough, Necessary Decisions Ahead During National Healthcare Decisions Week


The idea that you or a loved one may one day be unable to make or communicate your decisions about your own health, well-being and care is understandably difficult to talk about, let alone think about.

During National Healthcare Decisions Week, however, you’re encouraged to talk openly with your family and friends about this serious topic and discuss the necessary choices that will need to be made should that day ever come, for you or them.

National Healthcare Decisions Week will take place from April 16 to April 22, and this year’s theme is once again “It always seems too early, until it’s too late.”

Throughout the week, you should be discussing advance directives, which are the easiest way to communicate your wishes if you are unable.

Advance directives come in two main forms. The first, healthcare power of attorney, empowers a designated person to make all the decisions, and this is the perfect time to have an open, honest conversation with the person you choose so that they are fully prepared to handle that responsibility. The second form, a living will, provides clear direction for which medical treatments you do or do not want if you can’t communicate.

These are difficult choices to make, regardless of who you’re making them with. So if you’re not sure where to begin, the National Healthcare Decisions Week website has broken down each day of the week into smaller, more manageable topics.

Sunday, April 16: Prepare — A day to get your resources together

Monday, April 17: Start with Yourself — A day to think about your own decisions

Tuesday, April 18: Family/Friends/Loved Ones — A day to discuss your wishes and learn the

wishes of others

Wednesday, April 19: Spread the Word — A day to encourage others to have conversations about

their decisions

Thursday, April 20: Facilities Focus — A day to discover advance-care planning services from

healthcare providers

Friday, April 21: Professionals Preparedness — A day to ensure your chosen professional services

(healthcare, clergy, legal, etc.) will be able to manage your advance-care plans

Saturday, April 22: Reflection and Readiness — A day to look back on your week and file/share

your advance-care plans so they will be available if they’re needed

Visit to learn more about the importance of talking about and making these decisions. This is your opportunity to ensure that you or your loved ones are cared for in the manner you or they prefer.


Hit the Links in Support of Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation on May 17-18


Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation’s Southern Maryland Women’s Golf Invitational and annual Golf Classic, both favorites among local golfers, return next month.

We say “Golf for Good Health” because proceeds from both of these annual events support our foundation’s initiatives to provide vital technology upgrades at our hospital and expand access to health care for our entire community.

Want to hit the links with us? Check out the details below, and reserve your foursome now. Or register as a sponsor to support a great cause while promoting your business to an energized group of golfers.

Early Bird pricing runs through April 28 and both tournaments are limited to 144 golfers each, so don’t wait to reserve your spot!

Have any questions about these events? Give us a call at (301) 609-4132. (more…)

Primary Care and Rehabilitation Practices Relocating in La Plata

New Locations

One of our top priorities has always been to provide quality health care services for our community in the most convenient locations possible. And as part of that ongoing mission, we are announcing that UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care, led by Dr. Lorenzo Childress, and UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation are moving to new locations in La Plata.

Beginning April 17, you will be able to find these two practices at the following locations:

Rehabilitation: 5 North La Plata Court, Suite 102, La Plata, MD 20646

Primary Care: 5 North La Plata Court, Suite 101, La Plata, MD 20646

Rest assured, you’ll receive the same high-quality comprehensive rehabilitation and primary care services you’ve come to expect, just in a new location!

For more information about the relocation or the services offered by either of these practices, please call UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation at (301) 609-5494 or UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care at (301) 609-5044.

Honoring Our Incredible Staff on National Doctors’ Day


It’s National Doctors’ Day, and we’re thanking doctors near and far for their continued commitment to keeping the communities they serve healthy.

Set as a day to honor physicians in 1933, National Doctors’ Day was first officially recognized by U.S. Congress and President George H.W. Bush as a national day of appreciation for medical professionals across the country in 1990. It’s celebrated annually on March 30, and it’s the perfect time to thank all the people who work so hard in the health care system.

We’re so proud of all the doctors who practice at UM Charles Regional Medical Center for the work they do. From primary care physicians to general surgeons and everyone in between, the doctors on our team perform vital diagnoses, treatments and procedures to help keep Southern Maryland healthy all year long.

Today, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating National Doctors’ Day by thanking your doctor for their continued service and dedication!

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!

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