What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer Right Now

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

236,968. That’s how many women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer in a single year. What’s more, 41,211 women in the US died from breast cancer, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making it one of the deadliest diseases among women in our country.

It doesn’t just affect women, either. In that same timeframe, over 2,100 men were diagnosed, and 465 succumbed to the disease.

Those numbers act as a sobering reminder of the immense and painful impact this disease has on families across the country. But more than anything, those statistics should motivate you to join with us in spreading breast cancer awareness.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the most important information surrounding breast cancer. We also encourage you to share what you learn with friends and family so they can understand their individual risk levels as well as what they can do right now to prevent or detect any signs of this cancer.

Risk Factors

Although breast cancer affects women 100x more frequently than it does men, gender is not an excluding factor in who will ultimately develop breast cancer. Here are a few key factors that influence individual risk levels:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Late or no pregnancy
  • Physical inactivity
  • Breast density

You can learn more about specific risk factors for breast cancer on the CDC’s official website. More than anything, an honest conversation with your doctor can help shed light on what your individual risk level might be based on these and other factors.

Reducing Risk Levels

Although there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of developing breast cancer, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. Here are just a few ways to aid in prevention:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages
  • Breastfeed newborn children, if possible

You can learn more about ways to reduce your level of risk by visiting our Online Health Library, and you can also get a snapshot of your risk level by taking our Breast Cancer Risk Assessment.

Early Detection

This is your best weapon in the fight against breast cancer. By performing a self-exam every month or by receiving a regular clinical exam, you can detect any abnormalities before they develop further.

Beyond that, it’s recommended that women ages 45 to 54 should get a mammogram every year. At the age of 55 and beyond, women are encouraged to get mammograms every other year at the very least. If you’re younger than that, your doctor may recommend you get a mammogram if he or she believes you’re at higher risk for developing breast cancer. Mammograms are completed by qualified specialists, like those at UM Charles Regional Imaging, to examine breast tissue for any issues that may not be visible or palpable.

Want to Learn More?

Your understanding of breast cancer and its effects on our community don’t have to end with this blog post!

Join us for our 11th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon at the Waldorf Jaycees Community Center on Wednesday, October 18. From 11am to 1:30pm, our expert team will share their experiences and expertise regarding breast and ovarian cancer.

The luncheon is free, but your registration is required by October 13. For more information or to reserve your spot now, visit our website or call (888) 332-4847 now. We hope to see you there!

Tickets Now on Sale for the 23rd Annual Crab Feast

23rd Annual Crab Feast

All-you-can-eat crabs, all for one worthy cause. Join us for our 23rd Annual Crab Feast, set for October 19, 2017.

Roll out the brown paper and grab a mallet for this local-favorite event at Captain Billy’s Crab House in Newburg, MD, from 2:00pm to 8:30pm.

In addition to the popular crab feast, there are several platters to choose from, including shrimp, stuffed chicken breast, crab cakes, tilapia and more.

Tickets are now on sale and start at $35 and $45 per person for platters and $55 per person for all-you-can-eat crabs. And children’s tickets are just $8 each! Details for each ticket level are available on our website.

Ticket prices increase after September 30, so purchase yours today and save!

Purchase Tickets

Proceeds from this year’s event will directly support our plans for establishing our new Center for Breast Health here in Charles County, which will help meet the goal of providing hope, support and care for our family, friends and neighbors as they cope with breast health issues.

Want to make a bigger impact? Crab Feast sponsors are valued partners for this event that help promote good health in their community as well as their businesses. Learn more about available sponsorship opportunities by visiting our website or by contacting Holly Gonzalez at (301) 609-4319 or

Become a Sponsor

We appreciate your support and hope to see you there!

5 Child Passenger Safety Facts You Need to Know

Child Car Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council have teamed up this week to generate awareness about child car safety. The weeklong initiative, Child Passenger Safety Week, culminates in this weekend’s “National Seat Check Saturday,” which encourages everyone with child passengers to ensure their children are as safe as possible in the car.

Want to learn more about child passenger safety or spread the word about this important week? Here are the five facts you need to know.

Car Crashes Are a Leading Cause of Death Among Children

Statistics gathered by the NHTSA show that, on average, more than 100,000 children under the age of 13 are injured in passenger vehicle crashes every year. As a result, car crashes are currently a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13.

Car Seat Usage Reduces Risk for Death by as Much as 71%

According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, properly sized and secured car seats reduced the risk of fatality for infants by 71% and by 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old).

Infants Should Only Ride in One Kind of Car Seat

A rear-facing car seat is the only type of car seat infants should be buckled into. It’s recommended that any children under the age of 2 stay in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the height or weight limit for their particular car seat.

Your Child May Need a Car Seat Until Age 12

The NHTSA recommends that you keep your child in a booster seat from age 8 to 12, or until they’re big enough to wear a seat belt properly with the lap belt fitting snugly across their thighs, not their stomach. Regardless of size, however, children should ride in the back seat through age 12.

You Can Get Your Car Seat Inspected for Free

Need some reassurance that your child’s car seat is right for them? We’re partnering with the La Plata Town Police, Maryland State Police – La Plata Barrack, Charles County Rescue Squad 51 and KISS for free car seat inspections at the La Plata Walmart on Saturday, September 23 from the hours of 9am-12pm. The check is free, and the peace of mind is priceless!

5 Easy Ways You Can Combat Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

It’s no secret that America struggles with obesity.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition affects nearly 37 percent of American adults and 17 percent of children.

Obesity carries with it numerous health consequences for people of all ages. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, mental illness and physical pain are just some of the serious diseases and disorders that affect people with obesity at a higher rate than those at a normal weight.

Make no mistake, there is no simple solution to solving the obesity problem in America, but parents can play a key role in shaping the future of our country’s population by instilling positive health and wellness values in their children early in life.

That’s why we encourage you to join with us in promoting healthy lifestyles and combating childhood obesity during National Childhood Obesity Month. Here are five easy things you can do right now to help prevent obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle for your children:

Make Sure They Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase hunger levels because of the effect it has on hunger hormones. You have the power to turn off the TV, the iPad or the phone at night and ensure your child gets plenty of sleep — they’ll definitely feel better in the morning, and their metabolism will likely benefit as well.

Ditch the Chips in Favor of Fruits and Veggies

When you go grocery shopping, do you fill your cart with chips, cookies and other nutrient-deficient foods? Consider swapping out popular snack items like potato chips with fruits and veggies. You’ll be providing your children with lower-calorie options and help limit their intake of added sugars and solid fats that contribute to obesity.

Say Goodbye to Soda

Water. What more can we say? Non-diet soda is loaded with sugar and nutritionless calories. Unfortunately, most fruit juices aren’t great alternatives, either. So the next time your kids are thirsty, get them a cold glass of water.

Encourage Extra Physical Activity

No, you don’t have to force your kids to go on long runs or do weight training at an early age. But you can encourage them to stay active by getting them to participate in age-appropriate physical activities that they’ll have fun doing.

The Charles County Recreation Division runs several free and low-cost programs that provide physical activity for kids of all ages. Check out its offerings here.

Set a Good Example

Always remember, kids often emulate the habits and choices of their parents, so the best way to instill a healthy mindset in your child is to have one yourself! Our Online Health Library has some simple yet useful tips for adults looking to fight weight gain.

Want more tips and advice for how you can enhance your child’s activity and nutrition? We’re proud proponents of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s “We Can!” program, which empowers parents to impart healthy eating and lifestyle choices on their entire family. Learn more about this great program on its official website.

How to Get Your Wine Tasting Tickets Before They’re Gone

Time's Running Out to Purchase Tickets

September 9 will be here before you know it, and we’re counting down the days until we take to the grounds of the historic Port Tobacco Courthouse for our 20th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting & Silent Auction.

If you’ve already purchased your tickets, you’re all set! If not, you’ll have to act fast to buy before time runs out or someone else gets there first.

Here are the two ways you can buy your tickets right now:

Order Online

Simply head over to the official event page on the Foundation’s website and order your tickets online. Click or tap the button below to purchase them now.

Purchase Tickets


Order Over the Phone

You can also call us at (301) 609-4132 when you’re ready to buy your tickets and order them over the phone.

Any tickets purchased after September 5, 2017, will be available for pick up at Will Call at the bus stop at the Government Building on Saturday, or you can make arrangements to pick them up at the Foundation Office by calling (301) 609-4132.

It’s shaping up to be another great Wine Tasting event, and we hope to see you there!

4 Tips to Follow for a Happier, Healthier School Year

Back-To-School Tips

It’s almost time for your kids to head back to school. Are they prepared to have the best year possible? You can help get them ready for a happier, healthier year ahead by following these tips.

Impart the Importance of Breakfast

The old adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” couldn’t be truer for kids heading back to school.

After 8 to 12 hours of sleep, your kids need to refuel for the day ahead. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who get a nutritious start to the day perform much better in school. You can help give them that great start by providing a breakfast that’s low in added sugar and rich in whole grains, fiber and protein.

Involve Your Kids in Making Lunch

Packing your child’s lunch gives you some control over how healthfully they’re eating at school. Making them lunch at home is relatively inexpensive, and when you involve your kids in the lunch-making process, you can teach them valuable healthy eating habits in the process.

Find Ways to Lighten Their Workload

Kids with especially full schedules may experience excessive undue stress, which can lead to a whole host of issues. Keeping a calendar and making family time a priority are great ways to keep their days running smoothly, but most importantly, understanding when it’s okay to say “no” and stressing the value of downtime are key ways to reduce stress in their life.

Make Sleep a Priority

Your kids will require less sleep as they get older, but it’s no secret that kids who get the right amount of sleep for their age perform better in school. Turning off the TV and ensuring they have a cool, quiet place to rest their head at night will make it easier for them to be well rested for the day ahead.

These are just a few of the many back-to-school tips you should follow to give your child the best start possible. Visit for even more tips and advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

National Immunization Awareness Month: Five Things You Need to Know About Vaccines

5 Things You Need to Know About Vaccines

We know that plenty of people have questions about the safety and necessity of vaccines, so we’re here to set the record straight.

Why now? August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to get informed so you can ensure your friends and family understand the vital impact that immunizations have on our community.

So if you or your loved ones have questions about why vaccines are important, just consider these five things.

Vaccines Help Eliminate Deadly Diseases

From polio and diphtheria to the mumps and measles, the number of deadly diseases vaccines have helped to eradicate is staggering. Just consider smallpox. The disease that once affected millions of people every year claimed its last life in 1978 and is now eradicated in the most meaningful sense.

Vaccines Protect You

We’re firm believers that people should be proactive about their health and wellness, and vaccines are an ideal (and affordable) way to do that.

Whether you’re protecting yourself against the yearly influenza virus or getting your shots before heading overseas, immunizations protect you from all sorts of debilitating diseases that are easier to prevent than they are to treat.

Vaccines Protect Others

Immunizations do more than just protect you, however. The entire community benefits when you get vaccinated according to the proper schedule and your doctor’s recommendations. Those who cannot receive immunizations due to age or medical reasons benefit when others are vaccinated because it minimizes risks for transmission among those whom we share space with.

The U.S. Has the Safest Vaccine Supply in History

By closely closely monitoring and extensively testing all vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ensured that the United States has access to the safest, most effective vaccine supply in the world.

“There has been some misinformation surrounding vaccines,” said Joseph Moser, MD, Chief Medical Officer at UM CRMC. “For instance, you cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine. Almost all vaccines today use fragments of the virus or bacterium and cannot cause the condition they are protecting against.”

“A variable percentage of people do not develop enough antibodies from the vaccine to totally protect them but their symptoms may be reduced,” he added. “So some people who receive the flu vaccine may still develop the flu later.”

Regarding childhood immunizations, Dr. Moser said there remains a widespread myth that vaccines can cause autism. “The one article that promoted this notion years ago (1998 in Lancet, later retracted by the publisher) has been thoroughly discredited and multiple studies have shown no link.”

Vaccines Save Everyone Money

Immunizations continue to save our community money by helping kids and adults alike avoid costly medical intervention or hospitalization. In fact, an analysis conducted by the CDC in 2014 estimated that vaccinations administered to children from 1994-2013 will save nearly $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.

Want to learn more about vaccinations or National Immunization Awareness Month? Visit our Online Health Library or the official CDC website today.

Enjoy Flavors from These 12 Regional Food Vendors at This Year’s Autumn Wine Tasting

Autumn Wine Tasting Food Vendors & Sponsors

Anyone who has attended the Autumn Wine Tasting knows that there’s so much more to enjoy at the event than just wine, and our 20th year will be no different.

From the stunning array of silent auction items you can bid on to the delectable variety of food options available to you, your wine tasting experience is paired with an extraordinary range of flavors and experiences to be enjoyed — all for the benefit of your community.

Anxious to know which local food vendors you can expect this year? Take a look below:

Don’t forget, tickets for the 20th Annual Autumn Wine Tasting are on sale now, but Early Bird Pricing only lasts until August 25, and ticket quantities are limited. Click or tap the button below to learn more and to purchase your tickets today.

Purchase Tickets

We’re also very proud to partner with a generous group of sponsors who make this event possible. See the full list of all 25 current sponsors here.

There’s still time for your business or organization to join the growing list of sponsors. It’s a great way to get your name in front of hundreds of people from your region and directly support our plans for building and equipping our Center for Breast Health.

We’re also looking for additional donors to add their items to the silent auction, which is open to guests of the event through the entire night. We’ve already received generous donations from nearly 50 donors, and we’d be honored to add your name to that list.

Motivated to make a difference? Register to become a sponsor today, or contact Holly Gonzalez at (301) 609-4319 or to make a donation for this year’s silent auction.

Become a Sponsor

UM Charles Regional Medical Center Honored for Workplace Excellence for 13th Consecutive Year

AWE 2017 Photo

We’ve made it our mission to serve our community to the best of our ability, but that goes beyond providing essential health services to everyone who calls Southern Maryland home. We also work to ensure that UM Charles Regional Medical Center is a great place to work, too.

We know we’d be nothing without the caring, compassionate and exceptionally qualified team we employ, so we work hard to create a positive work environment.

That’s why we’re so honored to announce that we’ve once again been awarded the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval and Health & Wellness Seal of Approval from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE).

We hope to provide our team with a thriving work environment where professional and personal growth are in constant focus, and these awards represent an important affirmation of that goal.

AWE selects recipients for these prestigious awards based on a rigorous assessment process led by an independent review panel. The panel is comprised of business professionals and graduate level students who are in the fields of business, psychology, human resources, environmental science, public health, diversity and wellness.

We’re humbled that this is the 13th consecutive year that we’ve received these awards, but we know that our work is never done. We remain committed to open employee communication, diversity, growth, work-life balance, health and wellness in order to make Charles County a better place to live and a better place to work.

UM Charles Regional Urgent Care Takes the Stress Out of High School Sports Physicals


Getting your child’s high school sports physical shouldn’t be a hassle, so UM Charles Regional Urgent Care is making it easy.

If your son or daughter is getting ready play this fall, the experienced, compassionate team at La Plata’s most convenient urgent care practice is here to make sure they’re ready to go. Here’s how UM Charles Regional Urgent Care is taking the stress out of getting a high school sports physical.

You Can Get it Done on Your Schedule
Your life is busy — we get that. So UM Charles Regional Urgent Care offers flexible hours, seven days a week. From 9am-9pm on weekdays and 9am-6pm on weekends, your child can come by and get the high school sports physical they need, right here in La Plata.

You Don’t Need an Appointment
Unlike your family doctor, UM Charles Regional Urgent Care doesn’t require you to set an appointment ahead of time. Something change in your schedule and can’t make it? No problem. Just come by whenever you’re ready!

You Can Avoid Long Wait Times
Before you head over to UM Charles Regional Urgent Care, see estimated wait times and check in online ahead of time. You’ll be able to spend more time at home and less time sitting in a waiting room.

Have any questions about high school sports physicals completed at UM Charles Regional Urgent Care or need directions? Call (301) 609-4699 or visit our urgent care website today.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »