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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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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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