Access to health insurance restored in 19 Ohio counties

Insurance Department and Five Health Insurers Announce Plan to Restore Health Insurance Coverage for 2018

Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment today joined five major Ohio health care insurers to announce that health insurance options have been restored on the federal exchange in 19 Ohio counties following the withdrawal of other insurers earlier this year. Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Health Care of Ohio and Paramount Health Care are helping ensure coverage is available in these counties on the exchange in 2018.  Announcements made earlier this year would have left Ohioans in 20 Ohio counties without access to health insurance.  The department is working to restore coverage to the 20th county before insurers must enter contracts with the federal government in late September.

“Knowing 20 counties might not have access to health insurance on the exchange in 2018, our team went to work with the companies to find a way through the challenge, and together we have identified a solution,” Froment said.  “Ohio has long had a strong insurance system and once again our insurers stepped up at an important time for thousands of Ohioans, taking unprecedented action to provide access to health insurance for Ohioans who otherwise were without options.”

The 19 counties are Coshocton, Crawford, Guernsey, Hancock, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Van Wert, Vinton, Williams and Wyandot.  Approximately 11,000 Ohioans purchase coverage through the health care exchange in those counties.  

In light of this announcement, insurers are still in the process of finalizing filings at the Department of Insurance, including the types of plans that will be sold in these areas and the rates that will be charged.  The department’s review must be completed later this summer and insurers must sign contracts with the federal government by late September to sell coverage on the federal exchange.

The department continues to look at coverage options in Paulding County where no insurer is presently planning to sell an exchange product in 2018.  

“There is more work to do as we try to secure coverage options in Paulding County while also making sure this plan can be finalized in the fall,” Froment added. “We will continue working with the industry, but those efforts are heavily dependent on market stability and clarity from Washington.  We encourage Congress to work on ways to stabilize our health insurance markets.”

Consumers with questions can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526

COMPANY COVERAGE BREAKDOWN BY COUNTY

Buckeye Health Plan: Harrison, Logan, and Van Wert

CareSource: Guernsey, Jackson, Lawrence, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, and Vinton

Medical Mutual of Ohio: Crawford, Knox, Hocking, and Hancock 

Molina Health Care of Ohio: Coshocton, Hancock, and Holmes

Paramount Health Care: Williams and Wyandot

STATEMENTS FROM OHIO HEALTH INSURERS

“We are pleased to expand Ambetter from Buckeye Health Plan from 9 to 27 Ohio counties in 2018.  Working in partnership with the state to include three of the bare counties helps ensure that Ohio residents will continue to have access to high-quality, comprehensive health care.”
Bruce Hill
Buckeye Health Plan President & CEO

“At CareSource, we are proud to be a part of this collaboration to maintain health care options for thousands of working Ohioans.  Our commitment to the Marketplace has been unchanged from the very beginning.  As a result of our 28-year history of serving uninsured populations, we see firsthand the value affordable health care coverage offers to families in Ohio.”
Pamela Morris
CareSource President & CEO

“We’re fortunate to be able to play a part in the solution, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that the willingness of local providers to come to the table is what allowed us to get to this point.”  
Steffany Larkins
Medical Mutual of Ohio Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Posted on August 8, 2017 .

LISTEN NOW

The Senate health care debate to dismantle Obamacare continues.

Posted on July 26, 2017 .

Patients, doctors and researchers embracing new plan to deal with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease that afflicts millions of Americans, haunts families, and frustrates doctors and researchers, is now the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer, costing Americans more than $32 billion a year.

For those living with or affected by the disease, there is new hope, thanks to a recently unveiled COPD National Action Plan.

Developed by patients, agencies and organizations under the stewardship of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Action Plan shines a spotlight on the devastating physical and emotional toll the disease causes.

“Not being able to catch your breath and fearing your next breath may not come is just like drowning,” said Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, president of the COPD Foundation and a longtime COPD patient. “It is frightening beyond words and feels very, very lonely.”

Yet many with these symptoms tend to attribute them to something else: the common cold, old age, being out of shape. This lack of awareness delays diagnosis and treatment, worsening the condition and quality of life. Even mundane tasks -- housework, bathing, dressing, walking -- can feel onerous.

That’s why the first goal of the plan is to empower patients and families to recognize COPD and get treated quickly.

“I was diagnosed in 2001 and was told COPD is incurable,” said Dorney Koppel. “But that does not mean [it is] untreatable. Doctors need to teach patients the difference. I was given three to five years to live…sixteen years ago.”

Compounded with this misinformation is the idea that it’s exclusively a smoker’s disease mainly affecting men. While it most often affects people over 40 with a history of smoking, as many as one in four with COPD have never smoked. Long-term exposure to substances that irritate the lungs or a genetic predisposition called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency also present as risk factors. What’s more, 56 percent of those diagnosed are women, and they die of COPD more than men.

Unlike heart disease and cancer, COPD prevalence and deaths aren’t decreasing. One in five people over age 45 has it.

“You know someone who has it. You may even have it and not know it,” said James P. Kiley, director of NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases.

So how to reverse this trend? One key is improving the level of diagnosis. “Spirometry is a simple and inexpensive breathing test that can identify COPD,” said Dorney Koppel.

MeiLan Han, M.D., medical director of the Women’s Respiratory Health Program at the University of Michigan, agreed, noting another goal of the Action Plan: to equip health care professionals with tools to diagnose and care for COPD patients. “We need to develop easy-to-follow guidelines and get them into the hands of providers on the frontlines.”

Developing an educational curriculum and tools for clinical decision-making, in sync with detection and management guidelines, will significantly improve diagnosis and care, said Han. So will improving patient access to spirometry, pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation programs and affordable medications -- all of which are called for in the plan.

To learn more about the Action Plan and find out how to get involved, visit COPD.nih.gov.

“This plan represents a new understanding of what it takes to minimize the burden of COPD,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of NHLBI. “Now, it’s just a matter of getting to work.” - StatePoint

Posted on July 26, 2017 .

Parsing the policies: What’s to become of Medicaid and Medicare?

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on how the current Affordable Care Act replacement debate impacts Medicaid and how governors should proceed in pursuing Medicaid waivers as well as current Medicare funding issues. 

Daily Beast: Medicaid Delivers As Obamacare Survives
Medicaid got a reprieve from the budget axe with the GOP’s failure so far to repeal, let alone replace, Obamacare. Suddenly, the program for the poor that began in 1965 seems less like a scapegoat for politicians looking to score rhetorical points and to shore up state budgets, and like it may join Medicare and Social Security on the third rail in American politics—touch it and you die. (Eleanor Clift, 7/24)

RealClear Health: Republicans Are Tackling Medicaid Wrongly
The high decibel fight in the Senate over Medicaid is one more example--did we need more?--of why lasting changes in social programs require thoughtful legislative deliberation leading to bipartisan consensus. There should be hearings to gather input from all sides and serious debate in committees as well as on the floor. If one party rams through big changes in any program as important as Medicaid, the other party will demonize the result. In the case of Medicaid cuts, arousing public outrage won't be hard. Individuals and families, state governments, rural hospitals and other health providers will all be vocal about their plight. One wonders why either party would seek such opprobrium when they could be working together on sensible Medicaid reform. (Alice M. Rivlin, 7/24)

Morning Consult: Governors: Avoid Harmful Insurance Practices In Medicaid Waivers
While our nation’s governors recently gathered in Rhode Island for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association, most of the country’s political attention remained focused on the debate in Washington, D.C. over the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Less noticed, but also critically important, is that fact that each governor holds in their hands today the ability to radically reshape Medicaid for their state’s most vulnerable citizens regardless of the outcome of that debate. (Donna Christensen, Scott Mulhauser and Jason Resendez, 7/24)

CBS News: Medicare Funding: Problems And Solutions
Medicare's funding problems often get overlooked when the Social Security trustees issue their annual report on the funded status of the Social Security and Medicare programs. Yet together they form the twin pillars of financial security for retirees. That's why it's important to understand Medicare's financial situation, so you can be an informed health care planner -- and voter. (Steve Vernon, 7/24)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

Posted on July 24, 2017 .

What your friends with cancer want you to know (but are afraid to say)

People with cancer are supposed to be heroic.

We fight a disease that terrifies everyone.

We are strong because we endure treatments that can feel worse than the actual malignancies.

We are brave because our lab tests come back with news we don’t want to hear.

 The reality of life with cancer is very different from the image we try to portray.

Our fight is simply a willingness to go through treatment because, frankly, the alternative sucks. Strength? We endure pain and sickness for the chance to feel normal down the road.  Brave? We build up an emotional tolerance and acceptance of things we can’t change. Faith kicks in to take care of the rest.

The truth is that if someone you love has cancer, they probably won’t be completely open about what they’re going through because they’re trying so hard to be strong.

For you.

However, if they could be truly honest and vulnerable, they would tell you:

1. Don’t wait on me to call you if I need anything.  Please call me every once in a while and set up a date and time to come over. I know you told me to call if I ever needed anything, but it’s weird asking others to spend time with me or help me with stuff I used to be able to do on my own. It makes me feel weak and needy, and I’m also afraid you’ll say “no.”

2. Let me experience real emotions. Even though cancer and its treatments can sometimes influence my outlook, I still have normal moods and feelings in response to life events. If I’m angry or upset, accept that something made me mad and don’t write it off as the disease. I need to experience and express real emotions and not have them minimized or brushed off.

3. Ask me “what’s up” rather than “how do you feel.” Let’s talk about life and what’s been happening rather than focusing on my illness.

4. Forgive me.  There will be times when the illness and its treatment make me “not myself.” I may be forgetful, abrupt or hurtful. None of this is deliberate. Please don’t take it personally, and please forgive me.

5. Just listen. I’m doing my very best to be brave and strong, but I have moments when I need to fall apart. Just listen and don’t offer solutions. A good cry releases a lot of stress and pressure for me.

6. Take pictures of us. I may fuss about a photo, but a snapshot of us can help get me through tough times.  A photo is a reminder that someone thinks I’m important and worth remembering. Don’t let me say “I don’t want you to remember me like this” when treatment leaves me bald or scarred.  This is me, who I am RIGHT NOW. Embrace the now with me.

7. I need a little time alone.  A few points ago I was talking about how much I need to spend time with you, and now I’m telling you to go away.  I love you, but sometimes I need a little solitude. It gives me the chance to take off the brave face I’ve been wearing too long, and the sil1ence can be soothing.

8. My family needs friends. Parenting is hard enough when your body is healthy; it becomes even more challenging when you’re managing a cancer diagnosis with the day-to-day needs of your family. My children, who aren’t mature enough to understand what I’m going through, still need to go to school, do homework, play sports, and hang out with friends. Car-pooling and play dates are sanity-savers for me. Take my kids. Please.

My spouse could also benefit from a little time with friends. Grab lunch or play a round of golf together. I take comfort in knowing you care about the people I love.

9. I want you to reduce your cancer risk. I don’t want you to go through this. While some cancers strike out of the blue, many can be prevented with just a few lifestyle changes – stop smoking, lose extra weight, protect your skin from sun damage, and watch what you eat. Please go see a doctor for regular check-ups and demand follow-up whenever pain, bleeding or unusual lumps show up. Many people can live long and fulfilling lives if this disease is discovered in its early stages. I want you to have a long and fulfilling life.

10. Take nothing for granted. Enjoy the life you have right now. Take time to jump in puddles, hug the kids, and feel the wind on your face. Marvel at this amazing world God created, and thank Him for bringing us together.

While we may not be thankful for my cancer, we need to be grateful for the physicians and treatments that give me the chance to fight this thing. And if there ever comes a time when the treatments no longer work, please know that I will always be grateful for having lived my life with you in it. I hope you feel the same about me.

Kim Helminski Keller is a Dallas-based mom, wife, teacher and journalist. She is currently receiving treatment for thyroid cancer. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you found this information helpful, please share it with your friends and family. Your support in our endeavor of sharing free information would be much appreciated.

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Posted on July 15, 2017 .

Trinity Hospital Twin City hosts free diabetes support group about healthy coping

DENNISON—Trinity Hospital Twin City is hosting a free diabetes support group meeting on Monday, July 17th at 1:30 pm at Trinity Hospital Twin City’s second floor St. Raphael conference room. The meeting will feature a presentation on “Healthy Coping: The Impact Sizzling Emotions can have on Diabetes.” Featured speaker, Suzanne Stull of the hospital’s Vibrant Living Program, will discuss how stressors can affect blood sugar and share methods for coping with stress.

The support group is led by LuAnn Beavers-Willis, Certified Diabetes Educator, and all area residents who have diabetes are encouraged to attend, and family and friends are also welcome. To register for participation in this free support group meeting, visit www.trinitytwincity.org or call (740) 922-7450, ext. 2177.

The diabetes support group is offered regularly through the hospital’s diabetes wellness services program.

Posted on July 10, 2017 .

Trinity Hospital Twin City recognizes volunteers

DENNISON—During a special volunteer appreciation and recognition luncheon in June, Trinity Hospital Twin City honored all members of the Trinity Hospital Twin City United Volunteer Auxiliary. Additionally, nine volunteers were awarded service pins in recognition of their years of dedicated service to the hospital, and one volunteer was lauded as volunteer of the year.

Volunteers received service pins for anniversary milestones earned in 2016, and the group recognized represented a total of 85 years of volunteer service to the hospital.  Nathan McGee of Dennison; and Delecta Ditcher and Colette Shaver of Uhrichsville were honored for five years of service. Jane Modon of Dennison, June Mathias of Gnadenhutten, Joan Beorn of New Philadelphia, Pat Smith of Tuscarawas, and Vicki Hickey of Uhrichsville were recognized for 10 years of service. Vickie Lehman of Dennison was honored for 20 years of service.

Vickie Lehman of Dennison was honored for 20 years of service

Vickie Lehman of Dennison was honored for 20 years of service

Volunteer of the Year award to Norma Jean McGuire of Dennison

Volunteer of the Year award to Norma Jean McGuire of Dennison

Trinity Hospital Twin City United Volunteer Auxiliary President Emillie Blackwood presentedthe Volunteer of the Year award to Norma Jean McGuire of Dennison.  McGuire has been a hospital volunteer for 24 years, and she has faithfully served at the front desk and in the coffee bar and gift shop. She has also assisted with fundraisers. 

 “She is very kind and a friend to everyone,” noted Blackwood of McGuire. “She always works at our card parties and bake sales and supports all of our projects.”

“We are so thankful for all of our volunteers,” shared Blackwood. “Without their dedication and hard work, we would not be able to assist the hospital in funding much-needed equipment for patient care.”

Community members of all ages are welcome to join the Trinity Hospital Twin City United Volunteer Auxiliary. Opportunities are available to volunteer for as little as one shift a month to several shifts a month. Officers of the United Volunteer Auxiliary include President Emillie Blackwood of Gnadenhutten, Vice Presidents Jan Thomas of Gnadenhutten and Barb Besozzi of Scio, Treasurer Carolyn McCoy of Tuscarawas, Assistant Treasurer Debbie Heddleson of Tuscarawas, and Secretaries Helen Gordon of Tippecanoe and Connie Colvin of New Philadelphia.

For more information about volunteerism at Trinity Hospital Twin City, call Kelly Bowe, Volunteer Coordinator, at (740) 922-7450, ext. 2124 or e-mail kbowe@trinitytwincity.org.

Posted on June 30, 2017 .

Don’t let kids drown: Teach them to swim

Cooling off in a pool, lake or ocean can be a refreshing idea—but only if you know how to avoid the dangers. 

Water safety classes are a good idea for all kids—and their parents

Water safety classes are a good idea for all kids—and their parents

The Problem

Drowning is a leading cause of death in children under 14. One reason is that 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic children don’t know how to swim, the USA Swimming Foundation reports. Minority children are also less involved in competitive swimming when compared to their white peers, comprising only 1 percent of USA Swimming membership. 

Some of the reasons include:

• Lack of Swimming Access. Facilities in traditionally underserved communities are few and far between and tend to be expensive.

• Cultural Constraints. Data shows there may be a legacy of fear, perpetuated through generations.

• Parental Perceptions. Adults who don’t swim may not know what needs to be done so that their children learn to swim safely.

An Answer

To help close the gap in swimming safety, the YMCA created Safety Around Water, a program that teaches children of all ages and backgrounds—and their parents—that water should be fun, not feared, as long as you know how to stay safe. This year, the Y awarded over 27,000 scholarships for free water safety lessons to children in underserved communities. The children learn fundamental water safety skills that include what to look for in a safe place to swim, what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly, and how to swim a short distance on their front, roll over onto their back to rest, and then roll on their front to continue swimming to safety.

“The Y teaches more than 1 million children from all backgrounds invaluable water-safety and swim skills every year, and the disturbing statistics about youth drownings underscore the significance of this work,” said Kevin Washington, president and CEO of Y-USA. “We are giving swim scholarships to children in underserved communities who statistically are at greatest risk of drowning so they can learn to be safe in and around the water. The Y is committed to reaching more kids, saving more lives and changing the statistics.”

Water Safety

If you know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Here are six things you should know:

1. Never swim alone. Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty.

2. Supervise children whenever they are in or near water. Whether it’s a bath, the ocean or anything in between, stay within arm’s reach of the child at all times.

3. Don’t hold your breath. When swimming, children should avoid holding their breath for any length of time. This can lead directly to drowning and other severe physical side effects.

4. Wear a life jacket. Novice and nonswimmers should wear Coast Guard−approved life jackets.

5. Don’t jump in to save someone struggling in deep water. Even if you’re a great swimmer, you can be overpowered by a panicked person, pulling you underwater. The Y teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for the swimmer and pull him or her to safety.

6. Enroll in water safety classes. The Y teaches fundamental water safety skills and how to react if you find yourself in water unexpectedly.

Learn More

Families interested in further information about enrolling a child in Safety Around Water or Y Swim Lessons should visit www.ymca.net/watersafety. - NAPSI

Posted on June 11, 2017 .

Health awareness - Susan G. Komen

I found a very tiny, pea-sized lump. I found a bruise on the right side of my breast. It was kind of just a fluke that I felt it. I found I had breast cancer on a routine mammogram. I had a leakage from my left nipple and went to see a doctor about it. He said I want you to go have a mammogram. I said, what do you mean a mammogram? I don’t have breasts. He said, yes, men do have breasts. I certainly didn’t expect to be struck by breast cancer at thirty-three years old. The day I got the results, I felt scared. The first thing I thought about was my kids, I was like I didn’t want to leave them and that hurt. At that time, I had no insurance, whatsoever. It made me absolutely, positively worried about my husband and my son. You know, who’s going to take care of them if something seriously happened to me? My favorite thing about my mom is that through all the things she’s been through she still kept strong. Without you, my family would not be whole again. I can’t imagine not having support during this diagnosis and treatment. I can’t imagine somebody not having financial help. A lot of times, people don’t know where to go and they’re basically lost. If I didn’t get the diagnostics and treatment in time with the help of Susan G. Komen, I don’t think I’d be standing here right now having this conversation. This disease does not discriminate. Without you, we can’t realize a world free of breast cancer. Without you, we can’t help the women around the world who are diagnosed with breast cancer every nineteen seconds. Without you, we cannot rally millions of people across this country. Without you, we can’t save more lives. Without you. Without you. Without you, there is no us.

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

Protecting mental health in the wake of natural disasters 

The often sudden and overwhelming devastation and destruction caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters take an emotional toll on millions of people each year. Many survivors experience anxiety, trouble sleeping, depression and substance misuse. Help protect your mental health by learning ways to cope before, during and after these stressful events.

Emotional Impact: Before, During And After Natural Disaster

Knowing that a storm, tornado or other destructive event is coming can stir anxiety. Receiving continuous updates and warnings in the news can cause a heightened state of alert. This level of alert is particularly common in regions that frequently experience disasters: coastal communities vulnerable to hurricanes, towns on fault lines where earthquakes are likely, Tornado Alley, and dry regions prone to wildfires. 

After a disaster, the task of rebuilding can cause additional stress and sleeplessness. Others may experience grief and depression stemming from personal injuries or the loss of life, home or employment. 

In the wake of a disaster, it’s important to watch for several common warning signs of emotional distress. They include:

• Eating or sleeping too much or too little

• Pulling away from people and things

• Having low or no energy

• Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches

• Feeling helpless or hopeless; constant worrying

• Excessive smoking, drinking or using drugs, including prescription medications

• Thinking of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

• Having difficulty readjusting to home or work life.

The anniversary of an event may also renew feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness. Certain reminders such as sounds, like sirens, can trigger emotional distress. These and other environmental sensations can take survivors right back to the disaster or cause fear that it’s about to happen again.

Coping in the Event of a Natural Disaster

It’s normal to have difficulty managing your feelings about natural disasters. However, not dealing with the stress of these events can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Here are healthy ways to cope when disaster strikes:

• Limit your consumption of news. The constant replay of news stories about a disaster on TV, radio and the Internet can increase stress and anxiety. Reduce your news intake and engage in relaxing activities instead, like spending time with loved ones. 

• Get enough “good” sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, only go to bed when you are ready to sleep, avoid using cell phones or laptops in bed, and avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol for at least one hour before going to bed. If you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep, try writing in a journal.

• Take care of pets or spend time in nature when it’s safe. Nature and animals can help us feel better when we’re down. Spend time with your pet outdoors or go for a hike. 

• Know when to ask for help. Pay attention to what’s going on with you. What may seem like everyday stress can be depression, anxiety or alcohol/drug abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of extra help, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline (www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline), which provides free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7. 

Preparing can help reduce the potentially devastating impact of natural disasters. Know how to protect your physical and mental well-being so you, your family and community can be ready to rebound, rebuild and recover.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. - NAPSI

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

How aging women can fight fibromyalgia pain

As the body ages, aches and pains might become more difficult for men and women to handle. While not all pain is indicative of a disorder or condition, aging women who experience pain may be suffering from fibromyalgia. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain. While anyone can get fibromyalgia, the NIAMS that between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed are women and that sufferers are most often diagnosed in middle age. Doctors may prescribe medication to help women fight pain resulting from fibromyalgia, and there are some additional ways to combat that pain as well.

• Get enough sleep. The NIAMS says the getting enough sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. To ensure a better night’s sleep, women can adopt sleep schedules so they go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on weekends and during vacations. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as both substances can make it more difficult to sleep soundly. In addition, avoid reading or working while in bed, as such activities can stimulate the body, making it harder to fall asleep as a result.

• Exercise regularly. Exercising while in pain may seem counterintuitive, but the NIAMS notes that numerous studies have indicated that regular exercise is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. When beginning a new exercise regimen, take things slowly at first, gradually building up your endurance levels and amping up the intensity of your workouts as your body acclimates itself to exercise.

• Change your diet. Some women suffering from fibromyalgia have reported feeling better when they began to avoid certain foods, though the NIAMS points out that there is no specific diet connected to reducing fibromyalgia-related pain. The AARP notes that foods such as red grapes and cherries and herbs and spices, such as ginger and turmeric, can help aging women combat pain.

• Examine your work space. Working women who are dealing with fibromyalgia may benefit by examining their work spaces and adapting those spaces to make them more comfortable. Replace desk chairs if they do not provide adequate support and speak with an occupation therapist regarding other ways to make work stations more comfortable.

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

Health awareness

Getting to the heart of sudden cardiac arrest

Olympic Skater Shares His Heart-Stopping Experience & 
What You Should Know About New Implantable Heart Devices

Thanks to the latest technology, heart patients, such as former Olympic skater Paul Wylie, can have lifesaving implants and get potentially lifesaving MRIs, too.

Thanks to the latest technology, heart patients, such as former Olympic skater Paul Wylie, can have lifesaving implants and get potentially lifesaving MRIs, too.

Even a fit and healthy professional athlete can suffer from sudden cardiac arrest—but a look at Olympic skater Paul Wylie’s story may help to shed some light on what you need to know about the latest advancements in implantable heart devices that protect against sudden cardiac arrest and treat other irregular heart rhythms.

In 1992, Wylie won the silver medal in men’s figure skating at the Winter Olympic Games. After the Olympics, he joined the professional skating ranks, winning the 1992 U.S. Open Professional Championship and the 1993 World Professional Figure Skating Championships; he then toured with Stars on Ice for six years before retiring.

Today, at 52, Wylie remains an avid skater, skier and runner, and continues coaching and performing. But in April 2015, he collapsed suddenly while running with friends. Luckily, one of his workout partners started CPR immediately. 

Upon arrival, paramedics were able to resuscitate him. He was then put into a medically induced coma for several days. Wylie was shocked when he woke and learned that he had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, an abrupt loss of heart function that can result in death if not treated within minutes. In fact, approximately 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest cases are fatal, claiming more than 450,000 lives annually in the U.S.

“Once I was conscious, it took days to get my head around the fact that I was so close to death—in fact, that I had died—and just how fortunate I felt to have had the circumstances be what they were,” said Wylie.

After surviving sudden cardiac arrest, Wylie knew he had to look at ways to avoid another episode in the future. After researching options, he chose a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which continuously monitors his heart. If a dangerous and potentially life-threatening heart rate is detected, the ICD sends a lifesaving electrical signal to correct it.

Wylie is now feeling great and recovering nicely. He is skating and coaching regularly, while hitting the gym and running again. However, he is not able to get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. Due to the potential harmful interactions between the magnet field and his implanted heart device, he is not able to have this important diagnostic scan that helps to diagnose various conditions including stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscle, bone and joint pain. 

“I worry because I am so active and have had MRIs in the past, so I know this could become an issue in the future,” said Wylie. “I think it’s important that people know to ask their doctor about heart devices that are MR-conditional, meaning they can allow for MRI screening.”

When he is ready for his next device, Wylie won’t have to decide between the lifesaving protection he gets from his ICD and the option to have an MRI scan. The U.S. FDA recently approved an entire suite of implantable cardiac devices by Medtronic that allow for MRI scans in both 1.5 or 3 Tesla machines. These devices include pacemakers, ICDs, insertable cardiac monitors and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators. 

While February is Heart Month, any time is a good time to learn more about newly available implantable cardiac devices. If you or a loved one is evaluating a recommendation from a doctor to receive an implantable heart device, consider asking if it has been approved for use in MRI scans. 

To learn more, visit www.medtronic.com/mriheartdevices. _ NAPSI

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

When minor symptoms turn out to be a major-league disease

Baseball great Lou Gehrig was felled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 78 years ago. Today, researchers are hoping to discover more about its cause and possible treatments.

Baseball great Lou Gehrig was felled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 78 years ago. Today, researchers are hoping to discover more about its cause and possible treatments.

The more you know about a devastating disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, the better you can learn to deal with it. 

Understanding ALS

ALS is a progressive disease that attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary movement. No one knows for sure what causes ALS, and there’s no known cure. Here’s a look at one man’s story. 

Like most people in their 50s, “David”* was thinking about how to manage work, helping his children finish college and starting to consider what the next chapter might be, when his wife, “Gina,” noticed that he was having trouble tying his shoelaces. They joked that he was either too stressed or too relaxed, but when David’s left leg started feeling weak, he finally went to a doctor. It turned out to be ALS. 

After seeing a neurologist, David and Gina did a little research to understand this disease. They learned that ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that send messages throughout the body. When these nerves start to die, the brain can’t control muscle movement. Ultimately, patients can become weak and then paralyzed. 

“Of course we were completely overwhelmed at first,” says David. “Gina was my rock, but I’m worried about her, too—I depend on her more and more.” 

Gina has become somewhat of an expert. “We want to do everything we can to help ourselves now—and we want to help researchers understand more about this disease so that future generations won’t have to even worry about it, ever.”

May is ALS Awareness Month. In May 1939, Lou Gehrig, a beloved baseball player, first brought attention to this disease that sadly bears his name. Over 78 years later, researchers have made some inroads into understanding some of the causes and are working hard to put together pieces of this puzzle. 

What’s Being Done

Because learning more about ALS is an important step in the battle to defeat it, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has developed the National ALS Registry to gather confidential health information from people who are living with the disease. 

What You Can Do

You can learn more about the Registry from www.cdc.gov/ALS. Dr. Paul Mehta, a medical expert with the ATSDR, explains: “This information can help doctors and scientists learn more as we work toward what causes ALS.” - NAPSI

*Based on real people; the names are not used to protect patient privacy.

Posted on June 4, 2017 .

Sun protection myths and facts

Everyone needs sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Everyone needs sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your skin. However, some information about sunscreen can be confusing, making it difficult to know how to best protect the skin you’re in. Seeking shade when the sun is especially strong (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), wearing clothing that protects your skin as well as hats and sunglasses, and separating myth from fact about sunscreen are three key steps you can take.

Here are a few facts on sun care you should know:

Myth: Skin cancer is not a common problem.

Fact: 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

Myth: Protecting my skin from the sun is time-consuming and not worth the trouble.

Fact: Sunscreen is a simple solution to address this problem. You should use sunscreen regularly and reapply often. It only takes a short amount of time to protect your skin.

Myth: Sunscreen SPF labels can’t be trusted. 

Fact: Coppertone’s commitment to the quality, safety, and effectiveness of its products has helped it earn the trust of consumers for more than 70 years. This is especially true when it comes to product labeling. In fact, Coppertone recently opened its doors to an independent firm to conduct testing of Bayer’s sunscreen. The report found that the products reviewed complied with internal and all applicable external requirements to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of its products. You can be confident that when you use Coppertone, your skin is well protected. 

Myth: There’s no evidence that sunscreens lower the risk of most forms of skin cancer.

Fact: Not only is this false, it is a dangerous message. When used regularly with other sun protection measures, a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher can decrease the risk of skin cancer.

Myth: I only need sunscreen for long days in the sun and don’t need to reapply.

Fact: Sunscreen should be used year-round for any sun exposure, regardless of weather conditions. Reapplication of Coppertone after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, immediately after towel-drying and at least every two hours is important to ensure effective sun protection.

Myth: I don’t get a lot of sun or my skin doesn’t burn.

Fact: Incidental sun exposure is the kind of sun exposure that you may not be aware of. It builds up over the years from brief everyday activities, such as dog walking and commuting. Sun damage occurs even when skin doesn’t turn red, and all skin types carry the risk of skin cancer. 

Myth: There’s SPF in my makeup and moisturizer so I’m protected from the sun.

Fact: Although makeup and facial moisturizers with sunscreens have adequate SPF levels, the products typically don’t provide the same amount of protection because they are generally not reapplied. People also don’t take quantity into account, and often they don’t apply enough to fully protect their skin from the sun. 

Myth: When it comes to sun protection, all sunscreen is the same.

Fact: At Coppertone, the company that introduced the first commercial sun care product in the U.S. in 1944, researchers are always hard at work creating innovative sunscreens that provide transformative ways to stay protected in the sun. For example, Coppertone just introduced a new form of sun protection—Coppertone Whipped Sunscreens, that feel great on skin while providing trusted broad-spectrum protection.

Learn More

For more sun protection facts, go to www.coppertone.com. - NAPSI

Posted on June 3, 2017 .

The modern hysterectomy: DualportGYN 

Know The Risks Of An Open Or Robotic Hysterectomy

An estimated 500,000 hysterectomies will be performed in the United States in 2017, with many of them as higher-risk open or robotic hysterectomy procedures. These surgeries can lead to complications, resulting in additional surgeries to repair delicate areas in the pelvis that can be damaged during the operation, including the bowel, bladder, ureter or blood vessels. To minimize the risk of these complications, the laparoscopic GYN specialists at The Center for Innovative GYN Care developed the DualPortGYN hysterectomy. 

The Modern Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: DualportGYN

“A DualPortGYN hysterectomy combines laparoscopic GYN surgery techniques as well as protective techniques to ensure the patient has the best outcome possible,” said Paul MacKoul, MD. “We developed a safer procedure in the process.” 

“Hysterectomies performed with DualPortGYN take advantage of specialized techniques,” said Natalya Danilyants. “Blood loss is controlled and the pelvic cavity is clearly visible through a mapping technique using just 2 small incisions no larger than a paper cut through the patient’s midline. This means that the incisions do not have to go through the muscle, and patients experience less discomfort. Procedures can be performed safely in under an hour on average.”

DualPortGYN hysterectomies are performed on an outpatient basis. Patients return home the same day and many women are able to see a significant improvement in the pain within the first 24 hours. 

Get The Facts: Hysterectomy Risks By Procedure

Open procedures: Patients are left with a large incision that can take up to 8 weeks to heal. They have a higher likelihood of pelvic adhesions forming after the surgery due to scarring. These procedures are often performed by non-specialist surgeons. Open procedures have higher risk of infection.

Robotic procedures are performed with a surgeon on the other side of the room at a control panel, and often require a urologist to be on standby to perform ureter repairs. OB/GYNs often do not have privileges to perform ureter, bladder or bowel repairs for these types of surgery. Robotic surgery has a significantly higher cost compared to conventional laparoscopy.

Book A Consultation With A CIGC Specialist

The Center for Innovative GYN Care ensures optimal patient outcomes through exclusive Laparoscopic GYN surgical techniques taught to an elite group of minimally invasive GYN specialists. The CIGC co-founders Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD, Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD and CIGC-trained physician Dr. Rupen Baxi, MD are focused entirely on surgery. Personalized care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment tailored to each patient so that they can have confidence from the very start. Learn more about a DualPortGYN hysterectomy. - NAPSI

Posted on June 3, 2017 .

Trinity Hospital Twin City recognizes employees

DENNISON—At a recent employee recognition ceremony, Trinity Hospital Twin City honored 29 employees for their years of dedicated service. Together, the honorees represented a combined total of 400 years of working experience at the hospital.   

Hospital employees received service awards for anniversary milestones achieved during 2016.  Recognized for five years of service were Joe Mitchell of Dennison; Eric Durbin and Dr. Walter Randolph of Dover; Erica Gallagher of Fresno; Lisa Gillig of Jewett; Laura Bice of Newcomerstown; and Jack Haga, Becky Chini, Michael McGuire, and Elizabeth Striker of Uhrichsville.

Dena Putnam

Dena Putnam

Lori Burdette

Lori Burdette

Linda Cox

Linda Cox

Pam Stewart

Pam Stewart

Tui Wanosik

Tui Wanosik

Sherry Marty of Dennison; Angel Groah of Gnadenhutten; Mary Ridgway of Newcomerstown; Tonya Mangus and Carmen Fawcett of Uhrichsville; and Richard Youker of West Lafayette were recognized for ten years of service.   

Jack Brindley of Dennison; Dr. Jose Martinez of New Philadelphia; Kim Apple of Port Washington; Keely Hutton of Scio; and Connie Roberts of Uhrichsville received awards for fifteen years of service.

Melody Bache of Dennison; Brenda Hall of Port Washington; and Rachel Scott of Toronto were honored for twenty years of service. Tui Wanosik of Dennison and Pam Stewart of Gnadenhutten were recognized for twenty-five years of service. 

Honored for thirty-five years of service were Linda Cox of Dennison; Dena Putnam of Gnadenhutten; and Lori Burdette of Uhrichsville.

“It’s a privilege to have so many loyal and dedicated staff members at Trinity Hospital Twin City,” noted Bianca Love, Trinity Hospital Twin City Human Resources Coordinator. “We truly appreciate their efforts to help the hospital meet the healthcare needs of the community.”

Trinity Hospital Twin City is a not-for-profit, Catholic hospital with 240 employees. For more information, visit www.trinitytwincity.org.

Posted on June 2, 2017 .

Trinity Hospital Twin City hosting open house for outgoing leader

Joe Mitchell, RN, FACHE

Joe Mitchell, RN, FACHE

DENNISON—Trinity Hospital Twin City invites the community to an open house to bid farewell to outgoing President, Joe Mitchell, RN, FACHE, on Friday, June 16th, from 2 to 4 pm at the hospital’s first floor St. Francis Conference Center, 819 N. First Street. Healthy snacks will be provided at the event.

“Joe has effectively led our hospital in providing quality care for our community,” shared Teresa Gagliardi, THTC Chief Nursing Officer. “During his time here, Trinity Hospital Twin City has received national recognition awards, earned accreditation from The Joint Commission, and added new medical providers and services. We are tremendously grateful to Joe for his service, and we invite the community to help us express our gratitude and well wishes for Joe at this open house.”

Mitchell resigned his position at Trinity Hospital Twin City to accept the job of Chief Executive Officer at Acadia General Hospital in Crowley, Louisiana. Gagliardi will become the hospital’s interim leader and will work directly with the Trinity Health System (THS of Steubenville) leadership to ensure a smooth transition and continued excellent patient care.

Posted on June 2, 2017 .

Trinity Medical Group welcomes new physician and nurse practitioner

DENNISON—Trinity Medical Group (TMG), a physician practice that is owned and operated by Trinity Hospital Twin City (THTC) of Dennison, recently welcomed Robin D. Kollman, MD, to its medical office in Suite 220 at 340 Oxford Street, Dover. TMG also welcomed Sarah Smith, FNP-BC, to its Newcomerstown office at 232 Cross Street and its Dennison office at 819 N. First Street.

Robin D. Kollman, MD

Robin D. Kollman, MD

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Dr. Kollman is a board certified family physician and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practitioners (FAAFP). Dr. Kollman has more than thirty-three years of experience serving as a physician. He earned his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed his residency training at Aultman Hospital. Dr. Kollman resides at Macedonia with his wife. Together, they have four adult children and one grandchild.

Smith is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with more than ten years of experience in the nursing field. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Case Western Reserve University and her master of science in nursing from Malone University. Sarah and her husband reside at Dover.

“We are happy to welcome Dr. Kollman and Sarah Smith to the Trinity Medical Group and the active medical staff at Trinity Hospital Twin City,” shared Tiffany Poland, THTC Director of Provider Recruitment. “Dr. Kollman and his family have a long history of providing care for the patients of our area, and we are pleased to welcome him back. Sarah has worked in the medical field since she was 16, and her dedication to caring for others will be an asset to our medical staff.”

Trinity Medical Group accepts most insurances. Dr. Kollman and Sarah Smith welcome new patients of all ages. To make an appointment, call 740-922-0000. For more information, visit www.trinitytwincity.org.

Posted on June 1, 2017 .

Stay Motivated To Stay Fit

Staying motivated to work out can sometimes seem like a daunting task. It’s easy to prioritize other things ahead of your fitness routine. It’s no surprise that researchers have found that lack of motivation is one of the leading causes of inactivity. 

“Committing to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be as challenging as it might seem,” explained exercise physiologist and Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland. “Trying different motivational techniques is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, as fitness isn’t one size fits all. Finding what inspires you can help set you on the path to success.”

Trying new workouts, such as hybrid velocity training, is one way to drive healthy habits.

Trying new workouts, such as hybrid velocity training, is one way to drive healthy habits.

Here are four ways to stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle:

1. Mix up your workout routine. Do you get bored doing the same workout day after day? Varying your routine and incorporating new and different exercises can refresh and re-energize your workout. You’ll also be less likely to hit a weight loss plateau. For example, you can switch up your routine by adding the Bowflex HVT machine (www.bowflex.com/hvt) to the mix. The HVT machine offers hybrid velocity training, which combines cardio and strength training into one effective workout. In about 18 minutes, this machine can deliver the calorie burn of running 1.5 miles and up to five times more muscle activation than traditional strength training.

2. Bulk up your health and fitness knowledge. Knowing how to exercise properly and being educated on nutritious foods are essential to fitness success. One way to stay focused is to ensure that you’re effectively working toward your health goals. In fact, the recent Bowflex Customer Success and Motivation Survey found that health and fitness tips were one of the most important tools for fitness success. These can be found through a variety of resources—from personal trainers and doctors to fitness magazines and healthy-living blogs. One example is the Bowflex Insider blog (www.bowflex.com/blog), which offers expert advice to help readers lead a healthy, active lifestyle. The blog covers topics such as workouts, fitness tips and healthy eating for readers in every phase of their fitness journey.

3. Set goals and track your progress. Setting attainable and measurable goals is key. For example, try starting out with a 20-minute workout, three times a week. Tracking your progress also helps keep you excited and working toward your goals. This can be as easy as using a machine that features tracking software or downloading a fitness app. The Bowflex BXT216 treadmill (www.bowflex.com/treadmills) features Bluetooth connectivity that lets you track your progress, set goals and win awards with the Results app. The app also integrates with other popular fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal, Apple HealthKit, UA Record, MapMyRun and Endomondo.

4. Work out with a friend. Studies show that people who work out with a partner are less likely to skip workouts and more likely to work out harder. Having a workout partner can keep you accountable and encourage you to push yourself further. The next time you head to the gym, try taking a friend or family member. If you can’t find someone to work out with, sign up for a community sports team or talk to someone new during your next group fitness class. - NAPSI

Posted on June 1, 2017 .

Differences in fat stores and metabolism among women

Women naturally store more fat than men. Womens’ fat reserves tend to be located primarily in the thighs, buttocks and lower abdomen.

Women naturally store more fat than men. Womens’ fat reserves tend to be located primarily in the thighs, buttocks and lower abdomen.

Genetic differences between men’s and women’s bodies extend beyond certain physical traits and hormone levels.  Women metabolize food and store fat differently than men, and understanding these differences can help women looking to lose weight.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, states that women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men. This fat is stored more readily in the gluteal-femoral region, while men store fat in the abdominal area. Women may become frustrated with fat stores as they embark on fitness regimens to shape their bodies. However, the fat that naturally covers muscle has a purpose, and curves can signify femininity.

Women are genetically engineered to carry roughly 18 to 20 percent body fat, whereas men hold 10 to 15 percent body fat. These numbers are approximate and will vary depending on the individual. Fat reserves on the female body are necessary for reproduction. That is why girls will begin to develop fat reserves as they enter into puberty. Fat stores are held in the hips, buttocks, thighs, and lower abdomen and will be used to power nursing and help nourish a growing baby.
Despite eating fewer calories, women can store fat more efficiently than men, according to ScienceDaily. A University of New South Wales research review has suggested a link between estrogen and fat. Studies show that estrogen reduces a woman’s ability to burn energy after eating, which results in more fat being stored around the body. Surprisingly, women can burn more fat during exercise than men, but their fat storage due to exercise does not deplete as quickly as men’s. This paradox can frustrate female athletes.

Some women may opt to restrict calorie consumption even further, but this actually may increase fat storage. When the body consumes fewer calories than it needs, fat reserves increase. At this time, the body essentially goes into starvation mode, storing whichever calories are ingested as fat reserves so there will be energy available. A key to maintaining healthy fat levels is to determine one’s optimal caloric intake for energy expenditure. A nutritionist or fitness expert can help reach that determination.

Women should understand that fat on their bodies serves a distinct purpose. Working with their bodies rather than fighting against them can help women reach their health and fitness goals.

Posted on June 1, 2017 .