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Back-to-School Tips for a Happy, Healthy School Year Ahead

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It won’t be long before school is back in session We have some tips to help ensure that your child’s school year is as fun, safe and productive as possible.

Better Days Start at Breakfast

Because their bodies have just gone 8 to 12 hours without food during sleep, kids need to refuel for the day ahead. Skipping breakfast has been shown to make kids feel tired, restless or irritable throughout the school day. Give them the start they need by providing a breakfast that’s rich in whole grains, fiber and protein and low in added sugar — it’ll boost their attention span, concentration and memory!

Healthier Lunches Start at Home

Packing your kids’ lunches gives you some control over how healthfully they’re eating at school. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to pack a healthy lunch every day, and you can even have your kids help with preparing their packed lunches. In doing so, they’ll learn healthy eating habits, and they’ll be much more likely to eat and enjoy their nutritious lunches.

Promote Backpack Safety

Backpacks that are too heavy can quietly cause serious medical issues for your kids, including shoulder pain and poor posture. As you’re looking for your child’s next backpack, ensure that it’s the correct size, has padded back and shoulder straps, multiple compartments to better distribute weight and compression straps on the sides or bottom to stabilize contents.

Ensure They Get Enough Sleep

The amount of sleep your child needs varies greatly by age, but it’s no secret that kids perform better in school when they’re well rested. If your children are having trouble sleeping, you can follow a few tips to help them get a better night’s sleep, such as turning off the TV before bedtime and keeping their room cool and quiet.

Lighten Their Workload

If your child consistently appears tired, anxious or depressed, or they fall behind on their schoolwork, they may be overscheduled and overworked. Especially full schedules may result in excessive stress for your child, leading to stomach issues or headaches. Keeping a calendar, setting priorities to create family time, understanding when it’s okay to say “no” and remembering the importance of downtime are some key ways to reduce stress in your child’s life.

For more information and back-to-school tips, visit HealthyChildren.org.

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Do You Have Your Tickets for the Autumn Wine Tasting Event?

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Our 19th annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction event is just a little bit over a month away, and tickets are going fast for this highly anticipated event.

VIP Wine Tasting tickets are already sold out, but there’s still time to reserve your general admission tickets or register as a sponsor. General admission tickets are still just $90 each, but Early Bird Pricing only lasts until September 1.

As a sponsor, you’ll receive increased exposure for your business before, during and after the event. Take a look at the remaining sponsorship opportunities available and sign up your business today. Current Autumn Wine Tasting sponsors at the $5,000 level or greater include:

  • Boris Nadich, MD, Kathleen Settle, MD, and Simul Parikh, MD
  • University of Maryland Medical System
  • UM Charles Regional Medical Center — Medical Staff
  • Emergency Medicine Associates, P.A., P.C.
  • Heart Center of Southern Maryland

Proceeds from this year’s event will support Restoring Good Health in our community by funding initiatives to improve the health and well being of our entire community.  For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the 19th annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction, visit the official event page.

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August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

When was the last time you met someone who had polio, mumps or measles? Thanks to increased immunizations over time, these debilitating diseases have all but disappeared from our everyday lives. We’ve done such a good job of getting rid of or decreasing the number of cases of vaccine-preventable illnesses, people don’t understand how deadly and debilitating these diseases can be. But it’s just as important as ever that children and adults get immunized as instructed by their pediatrician or doctor.

That’s why we’re proud to support National Immunization Awareness Month throughout August.

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“[Vaccines] have saved so many lives — and we’re at risk of going backwards because people don’t understand that,” said Dianna E. Abney, MD, Charles County’s top public health official.

The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely we are to pass around preventable diseases. Many people cannot receive vaccinations, like young babies or those who are immuno-compromised from cancer treatments or other diseases. When healthy people are not vaccinated, the health and safety of those who are unable to be vaccinated is put at risk.

Vaccines aren’t just for kids however. There are many vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, that adults should receive as well. But as with all individuals, determining which vaccination you should receive is based on your age and medical history, and your primary health care provider will be able to tell you if any vaccinations should be administered.

“The optimal place to get your vaccines is through your primary health care provider,” said Abney. “They know you best, and they can keep all of your vaccine records in one place.”

Need a doctor for you or your child? Visit our website to find a pediatrician or family doctor near you. To learn more about National Immunization Awareness Month and to see how you can help spread the word, visit the official awareness pages from HealthFinder.gov and the Centers for Disease Control.

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Mission of Mercy Offers Dental Services to Those in Need on July 29-30

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More than 100 million people in the United States are without dental insurance. This means that thousands of adults in the Southern Maryland area don’t receive adequate dental care, resulting in a silent epidemic of dental and oral disease. The Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy is working to address those needs by providing professional and caring dental service free of charge.

If you’ve gone without regular cleanings or a dental procedure due to a lack of dental insurance, come to North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland, on July 29 and 30, to receive necessary care at no cost to you. Doors open at 6:00am on both days and will close when the clinic is full for the day, so you should plan to arrive early.

The Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy performs dental services for adult patients (ages 19 and up only; unfortunately, children cannot be accommodated), including preventative dentistry and cleaning, nutritional counseling, restorative fillings and extractions. All of these services are performed by licensed dentists and hygienists, most of whom are from Maryland. Click here to see a full list of services offered at this event as well as other patient information.

Want to help Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy accomplish its mission? Events like these don’t work without the help of generous, dedicated volunteers to help us with a variety of different needs. Learn more and register to become a volunteer today.

Dental health has a great influence on overall general health, and we encourage anyone who’s in need of dental care to consider attending this event. To learn more about the two-day clinic, visit the Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy website.

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19th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Tickets on Sale Now

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One of Charles County’s most anticipated annual events is once again making its way to the grounds of the historic Port Tobacco Courthouse. Our 19th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction is taking place on Saturday, September 17, from 6pm-10pm, and you can secure your tickets for the event now!

Why do we and so many other people love the Autumn Wine Tasting? Because it brings together so many wonderful people, providing opportunities to mingle while sampling some of the best food and drink from all over the area. Plus, proceeds from this great event will help fund important initiatives that will improve access to care and chronic disease management within our community. Funds raised from events like the Wine Tasting help ensure that your loved one or neighbor can count on expanded access to health care and resources as we commit to improving the health of our region.

You’ll want to reserve your tickets soon because Early Bird Pricing is only available until September 1. Regular tickets are $90 and designated driver tickets are $40 each. Prices for regular tickets will increase to $100 after September 1, and tickets for our VIP reception, catered by Bobby Rucci’s Famous Deli & Doughboys, are already sold out. You must be 21 years old to purchase a ticket to this event.

Want to contribute to the cause even more? Donate an item for the silent auction or become one of our many food vendors at this year’s event by contacting Leigh Falkler at (301) 609-4319 or lfalkler@umm.edu. Or consider becoming one of our event sponsors — you’ll be promoting your business and supporting a great cause at the same time!

For more information or to purchase your tickets, visit the official event page now.

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Help us Paint the Park Pink on July 23

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Bringing important health topics to the forefront of our community’s mindset is an essential element of our mission at UM Charles Regional Medical Center. That’s why we’re once again teaming up with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to support the fight against breast cancer.

Join us for a night of baseball and help spread breast cancer awareness on Saturday, July 23, at Regency Furniture Stadium as the Blue Crabs take on the Long Island Ducks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm and gates open at 5:35pm.

You’ll want to wear pink to the game because the home team will be wearing it, too. Throughout the game, you’re invited to bid on the limited-edition, game-worn jerseys, all in support of UM Charles Regional’s Pink Ribbon Fund, which helps support breast cancer awareness and education in Charles County. And if you win one of the jerseys, you’ll be able to get it signed by a player at the end of the game. After the game, stick around for the fireworks show and an on-field postgame party.

It’s reported that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, so there’s no better reason to encourage your family, friends and others around you to learn the facts and get regular screenings — help us spread the message when we Paint the Park Pink on July 23!

For stadium and parking information, or to purchase your tickets now, visit the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs official website.

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UM Charles Regional Medical Center Honored for Workplace Excellence

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We work hard to ensure that every patient at UM Charles Regional Medical Center receives the highest-quality, compassionate care from our staff of dedicated professionals. But we also put great effort into creating a positive work environment where professional and personal growth is encouraged.

We’re honored to announce that UM Charles Regional Medical Center has been awarded the 2016 Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval and the Health & Wellness Seal of Approval from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE). This marks the 12th consecutive year that we’ve received these awards from AWE, and they’re an important affirmation of our dedication to creating a work environment where everyone on our team can thrive.

Recipients of these prestigious certifications undergo a rigorous assessment process led by an independent review panel of business professionals and graduate-level students in the fields of business, industrial and organizational psychology, human resources, environmental science, public health and diversity and inclusion.

By demonstrating an outstanding commitment to employee communication, diversity, growth, work-life balance, health and wellness, UM Charles Regional stands out as not only a great hospital but also a great place to to work. It’s just another mark of how we’re constantly striving to serve our community.

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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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