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Celebrate the Work and Mission of the CRMC Foundation at the Celebration Gala

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Our annual black-tie fundraiser is just weeks away, and you’re invited to take part in all the fun. Join us in Issue, Maryland, on Saturday, March 11, from 8pm to midnight, at Swan Point Yacht and Country Club for our highly anticipated Celebration Gala.

Throughout this unforgettable evening, you’ll be treated to an exquisite array of hors d’oeuvres, delectable desserts, an open bar and the music of one of the area’s top dance bands, Free Spirit. And with three levels of reservations available, we invite you to choose the experience that suits you best.

VIP Reservations (Limited quantities remain)
6pm admittance | $175 per person
Take part in an exclusive seated dinner with a chef-inspired menu plus open bar before enjoying all of the Gala festivities.

Gala Reservations
8pm admittance | $125 per person
Enjoy gourmet cuisine stations, open bar, live band, dancing and more until midnight.

Late Night Reservations
9:30pm admittance | $75 per person
Join us a little bit later in the evening for live music and dancing, refreshments and cocktails.

All reservations even include complimentary shuttle to and from the event (drop-off location in La Plata). Purchase your tickets online or by calling 301.609.4132 today before prices increase on February 17!

Proceeds from the event will support vital technology upgrades and enhancements for our Emergency Department to help us continue delivering state-of-the-art, accessible care to our community.

In addition to celebrating the continued work of the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation, this year’s event will honor the late Health Care Champion Vernon C. Monday Jr., who served as EMS deputy chief for the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department for more than two decades.

You can even get your business involved in this great event, too. Sponsorships provide a variety of benefits, including complimentary reservations and exclusive promotional opportunities. A handful of sponsorship levels are still available, so learn more about becoming an official Celebration Gala sponsor today.

We look forward to celebrating with you in March!

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Make 2017 the Best Year Ever with These 8 Resolutions

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Say goodbye to 2016 and say hello to a happier, healthier new year. These eight health and fitness resolutions are key to both short- and long-term health goals, and we’ve made it easy by providing tips and motivation for each one.

Resolution 1: Get Moving

Whether you’re starting a full-blown exercise program or just committing to walk more often, deciding to start a fitness program and add more movement to your life is the most important step. Be realistic about your goals to prevent getting discouraged, and stick to your plan by following some basic tips. And don’t forget to warm up and stretch before working out — nothing derails a resolution like getting hurt!

Resolution 2: Eat Healthy

There’s no question that eating healthy around the holidays is tough. But even if your holiday eating was overindulgent, it’s never too late to start eating well. Focus on long-term goals of overall health and fitness by making small changes in your diet rather than extreme, short-term adjustments. Find ways to keep your diet interesting and tasty with fun, healthy recipes. And no matter what, don’t get discouraged!

And if you have diabetes, we’re here to help you make 2017 a year of healthy food habits. Our Center for Diabetes Education, located right here at the hospital, can work with you to develop a healthy eating plan and more.

Resolution 3: Quit Smoking

2017 could be the year you call it quits for good. To be successful, you’ll have to attack the physical and mental addiction to tobacco, which is often done through a combination of medicine, habit changes and emotional support. Build a “Quit Plan,” use one of Charles County’s free Smoking Cessation Courses — do whatever it takes to set yourself up for long-term success and long-term health.

Resolution 4: Stress Less

Excessive stress affects much more than just your emotional well-being. In fact, stress can be the cause of a number of disorders and even puts you at risk for developing other illnesses and physical ailments. Learning and practicing some basic mind-clearing and relaxation practices can lower your stress and improve your health.

Resolution 5: Laugh More

Laughter goes hand-in-hand with relieving stress. Laughter is one of the most effective ways to stimulate organs and strengthen your immune system — and even burn a few calories in the process! Surround yourself with things that make you chuckle and people who make you smile in the new year, and experience the many benefits of laughter.

Resolution 6: Get Screened

The easiest way to improve long-term health is to receive regular wellness exams. Annual health screenings may help detect problems before they become serious and make it easier to administer effective treatments. Your primary care physician can help you plan for the necessary screenings, but taking charge of your own health is just as important. And because men and women have different needs, be sure to understand what screenings are recommended before you go.

Need to find a new primary care physician, or just looking for a more convenient primary care practice? Learn more about UM Community Medical Group’s new primary care practice in La Plata on our blog.

Resolution 7: Seek Help

You should never ignore the signs and symptoms of depression, mental illnesses or suicide in others or yourself. Whether you’re seeking help for yourself or for someone you know, a better understanding of what depression is makes it easier for a person to get help. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Resolution 8: Spread the Word

Committing to your resolutions is easier when you are accountable to others, so get out there and share those resolutions. Partner with a friend or family member who can help you keep your resolutions alive throughout the year. Don’t forget: Teamwork makes the dream work!

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Primary Care Now Open in La Plata: Dr. Lorenzo Childress Now Accepting New Patients

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You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to get quality care from a primary care physician. And if you live in the Charles County area, you now have another option for primary care.

We’re excited to announce that we are bringing primary care to downtown La Plata, just minutes from the hospital, and the practice is now accepting new patients.

Under the direction of Lorenzo Childress III, MD, the UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care practice will provide Charles County residents with high-quality primary care services in a convenient location. Here’s a look at just some of the adult primary care services that are offered:

  • Preventive care and checkups for ages 16 & up
  • Ongoing management of chronic health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, COPD and asthma
  • Disease prevention
  • Health counseling
  • Patient education
  • Diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses

The primary care physicians can also provide referrals to specialists when further treatment is needed. It’s just another way that the University of Maryland family of medical services is working to provide everyone in Charles County with the care they need.

Good health starts with a great primary care provider. To learn more about our primary care services, visit the official website or call  (301) 609-5044.

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Get Immunized During National Influenza Vaccination Week

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It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, and there is no better time to get vaccinated for the seasonal flu if you haven’t already.

You may be wondering why National Influenza Vaccination Week happens so late in the year — flu season has been in full swing for some time now, right? But in 2015, the CDC reports, only about 40% of the U.S. population that was recommended to receive the vaccination had done so by the end of November. The CDC also notes that few people choose to get vaccinated once November ends, even though flu season often continues through March.

It’s so important to get vaccinated for the seasonal flu every year, no matter how late into flu season it is. That’s because the flu virus puts individuals such as senior citizens, young children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems at risk for serious health complications as long as the flu virus is actively spreading illness.

Even if you’ve already had the flu this season, you’re still at risk of getting sick, and you should still get vaccinated. Not only will you be helping to protect others around you, but you’ll also be protecting yourself from all of the virus strains that the vaccine is designed for.

It’s easier than ever to get vaccinated, too. Immunizations can be administered at your primary care physician’s office or at your local pharmacy. Your insurance will often cover most, if not all, of your cost for the flu vaccine, so there’s no reason to delay immunization if your doctor recommends it for you.

Throughout the past couple of months, the Charles County Department of Health has offered free vaccination clinics across the county. Click here to see the full schedule of upcoming clinics or call (301) 609-6900 to learn more.

To learn more about the seasonal flu, visit our Online Health Library today.

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Shine a Light for a Loved One at the Christmas Tree of Life on December 7

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Has someone close to you touched your life in a positive way? Recognize their impact by having a light shine in their honor or memory at our annual Christmas Tree of Life event.

On Wednesday, December 7, at 5:30pm at UM Charles Regional Medical Center, we’ll illuminate our Christmas Tree of Life and the entire Healing Garden to celebrate those who have made our lives better. In addition to the illumination ceremony, the event will feature a dessert reception and holiday music.

Through December 7, lights can be purchased for $15 each and Healing Garden Luminaries can be purchased for just $50 each. You can even ensure that a light shines brightly on the Tree of Life every year by making a one-time gift of $100 for an Angel Perpetual Light. Funds raised through these contributions help bring us one step closer to advancing vital programs and services for our community.

Honor your loved ones this holiday season and support a great cause by making your gift today. Visit the official Christmas Tree of Life event page to learn more.

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Now is the Time to Learn More About COPD

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, often called COPD, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, is a chronic disease that affects the quality of life of millions of Americans.

COPD is characterized by the inflammation and thickening of the airways in the lungs, which causes a disruption of the normal flow of air in and out of the lungs. As a result, less oxygen is able to get into the body, which makes it harder for the body to get rid of carbon dioxide.

Here are a few of the top risk factors for developing COPD:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to air pollution and secondhand smoke
  • Regularly working with chemicals, dust and fumes
  • A history of childhood respiratory infections

Avoiding secondhand smoke or quitting smoking not only reduce your risk for COPD, they also reduce your risk for other diseases like lung cancer. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it’s possible to overcome the addiction with the right plan and support.  If you’re ready to take the first step towards quitting and reducing your risk of COPD, join us in the hospital cafeteria on Thursday, November 17, from 11am-1pm as we take part in the Great American Smokeout. This national observance is a day to quit smoking – or pledge to quit smoking – and learn about tools and support that can help you live a tobacco-free life.

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, lifestyle changes like quitting tobacco, monitoring air quality, remaining active and protecting yourself from illness by receiving and annual flu shot can help you live a better, more fulfilling life. For additional tips on managing COPD, check out these resources from the American Lung Association.

As with any chronic disease, seeking support is a good way to stay on track. Better Breathers Clubs offer patient-focused, community-based support for people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. The Better Breathers Club at UM Charles Regional Medical Center meets every other month and can help you improve your quality of life if you’ve received a COPD diagnosis. To learn more or register for this free support group visit our website or call (888) 332-4847.

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Arm Yourself with Lung Cancer Awareness This November

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There’s only one cancer that claims more lives than that of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined: lung cancer.  More Charles County residents die from lung cancer each year than any other cancer.  In fact, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2016, there will be over 224,390 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S. alone.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to take some time this month to learn more about this disease, its risk factors and treatment options.

You don’t have to be a smoker to develop lung cancer. Occupational and environmental hazards such as radon, asbestos and air pollutants have also been linked to lung cancer. And common symptoms of lung cancer, such as persistent cough, hoarseness, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the neck and face, loss of appetite and fatigue, are often mistaken for other problems, which can delay diagnosis of this serious disease.

Though not all cancers are preventable, 87% of all lung cancer cases can be traced to tobacco use. This means that the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to quit — or never start — smoking tobacco and reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke. Below are some resources from the American Cancer Society.

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November is American Diabetes Month

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You’ve probably heard about diabetes from your doctor, in the news or from someone you know. But do you know just how prevalent this disease is in our country?

Although many people with diabetes live productive and happy lives, it’s important to understand how this disease affects our community. And during American Diabetes Month, we invite you to learn more about diabetes and how to prevent and manage this disease.

The Statistics
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, and another 86 million people (1 in 3 adults) have prediabetes. Here are some important numbers to know about diabetes:

  • 1 out of 4 people don’t know they have diabetes, and 9 out of 10 people don’t know they have prediabetes
  • 12 out of 100 people in Charles County have diabetes
  • Every year, diabetes causes $245 billion dollars in medical bills and lost wages
  • People with diabetes are at higher risk for blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke or loss of toes, feet or legs, as well as chronic wounds that often require treatment

The Difference Between Types of Diabetes
Not all forms of diabetes are the same. Here’s a brief overview of the differences between type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

  • Type 1: Previously known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, type 1 occurs when your body is unable to produce insulin to control blood sugar levels. Although it can strike at any age, it often appears before the age of 18. There is currently no known way to prevent this type of diabetes.
  • Type 2: 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type occurs when your body is able to produce insulin, but doesn’t produce enough to properly control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to obesity which means a balanced diet and physical activity can contribute to prevention and management.
  • Gestational Diabetes: Though relatively uncommon, this type of diabetes is brought on by pregnancy. Being overweight prior to becoming pregnant can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

The Risk Factors
Being overweight, inactive and having a family history of the disease can contribute to a higher risk of developing diabetes during your lifetime. Your doctor can help you determine your individual risk factors, but you can also take our type 2 diabetes risk assessment to learn more about your level of risk now.

The Good News
Although there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, there are things you can do right now to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Losing weight, eating healthy and being more active can greatly reduce your risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in your lifetime. In addition, knowing the symptoms of diabetes can help with early detection, which may reduce the risk of further complications.

We know that a diabetes diagnosis comes with many questions, and we’re here to help you find the answers. Our new Center for Diabetes Education is here to help you live a healthier, more fulfilling life with diabetes. To learn more about the services we offer, visit our website or call (301) 609-4413.

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Get Vaccinated for Flu Season

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Flu season is here again, and like every year, it’s bringing with it the contagious virus that puts senior citizens, young children and those with existing medical conditions at risk for serious complications.

Fortunately, you can protect yourself (and others) from this debilitating illness. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to prevent sickness this flu season, and the Charles County Department of Health will once again be hosting several free flu immunization clinics through October and November. Below is the official schedule of free community clinics (open to all ages) in our area. Visit the official Charles County Department of Health website or call (301) 609-6900 to learn more.

Charles County Department of Health Clinic (View Location)
Friday, Oct. 28:  2:00pm-6:00pm
Saturday, Nov. 5:10:00am-2:00pm
Thursday, Dec. 15: 3:00pm-7:00pm

Community Clinics
Saturday, Oct. 15: 10:00am-1:00pm — JP Ryon Elementary School
Tuesday, Oct. 18: 3:00pm-7:00pm — Westlake High School
Thursday, Oct. 20: 3:00pm-7:00pm — La Plata High School
Tuesday, Oct. 25: 1:00pm-5:00pm — Western County Family Medical Center
Tuesday, Nov. 1: 3:00pm-7:00pm — Piccowaxen Middle School
Thursday, Nov. 10: 4:00pm-7:00pm — Smallwood Middle School
Tuesday, Nov. 15: 3:00pm-7:00pm — Thomas Stone High School
Thursday, Nov. 17: 3:00pm-7:00pm — La Plata High School

The seasonal flu is characterized by fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea and other debilitating symptoms. The best way to avoid getting sick this flu season, especially if you’re among the most at risk, is to get immunized today.

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Recognizing National Physical Therapy Month

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At UM Charles Regional Medical Center, we work to always show our recognition for the outstanding physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who work so hard to help us overcome pain as well as gain and maintain movement. But because October is National Physical Therapy Month, we’re sending a little extra recognition this month to all those who help keep us moving.

This is also an opportunity to introduce our fantastic team at UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation. This physical therapy center in La Plata offers a wide range of treatments from some of the discipline’s most experienced and compassionate practitioners.

Through a variety of individually focused treatments, the staff at UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation helps patients get back to living a more mobile life by treating conditions like sports injuries, joint replacements, osteoarthritis, spinal pain, post-surgical recovery and more.

The caring staff at  UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation can provide the assistance needed to move beyond injury and into a more active life. Wondering if your condition could benefit from physical therapy? Give UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation a call at (301) 609-5494 and take the first step towards moving better.

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