What’s the Scoop on Getting Your Vegetables and Fruits? Why It’s Important to Add Color to Your Plate.

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Some of our earliest memories of food come from those older and wiser than us demanding that we eat our broccoli or grab something from the fruit bowl.

As we get older, it’s easy to forget these good habits. After all, why exactly do we need to eat our fruits and vegetables? Our registered dietitian nutritionist, Jamilah Bugayong, filled us in on some of the top reasons why we should keep filling up our plates.

Eating a Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables Reduces Your Chance of Chronic Disease

Several studies have shown that a diet with more representation from these healthy food groups can lead to fewer cardiovascular problems over the course of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even lists a healthy diet as one of the best ways to defend against heart disease.

Some Vegetables and Fruits Are High in Fiber, Meaning They Can Help Prevent Type II Diabetes

“High-fiber foods are very important for a healthy lifestyle,” Bugayong said. “They not only help prevent and manage type II diabetes, but they also are some of your best defenses against obesity and even cancer.”

Fruits and Vegetables Tend to Have Fewer Calories Per Cup Than Other Foods

Crafting a lower-calorie diet plan can be challenging.

“Many people assume that a healthier diet always means eating less,” Bugayong said. “It’s often possible to satisfy all of your cravings with healthier alternatives.”

And, if you’re someone who could become pregnant:

Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Can Lead to a Healthier Pregnancy

Many fruits and vegetables contain folate (folic acid), which helps the body form red blood cells. Women who could become pregnant should pay attention to the amount of folate they take in, to help reduce the chance of several birth defects.

For more information, check out these articles on the importance of fruits and vegetables from the United States Department of Agriculture. Looking for more help creating a more nutrient-rich diet plan that works for you? Jamilah Bugayong is now taking appointments. Call 301-609-5044 or visit us online to find out more.

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Shining a Light on the Epidemic of Traumatic Brain Injuries During Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Did you know that millions of Americans are hospitalized and treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year? It’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls TBI “a serious health problem in the United States.”

You might know a fair amount about TBIs, including concussions, thanks to the awareness spread about such issues in the NFL and other professional sports leagues, but the problem goes well beyond athletes. And that’s why we’re joining the health community this month to shine a light on TBI in America.

Who’s Affected by Traumatic Brain Injuries?

TBI doesn’t discriminate and is a major cause of death and disability in our country, especially among adolescents and children. In fact, TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths, or about 50,000 deaths, per year, according to the latest data from the CDC.

A TBI is caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. And while not all impacts to the head result in TBI, the severity of these injuries can range from mild to severe. These are some of the leading causes of TBI:

  • Falls
  • Sports/Recreation Injuries
  • Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Assaults and Gunshot Wounds

Military action is also a leading cause of TBIs — affecting a large number of America’s servicemen and servicewomen. According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, there have been nearly 383,000 of these injuries diagnosed among service members in the past 18 years. And because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased the number of veterans with TBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now mandates TBI screenings for all veterans getting care from the VA.

Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

Everyone who has TBI experiences it a little bit differently, so the symptoms of TBI can vary greatly from person to person. Only a health care provider can diagnose TBI accurately, and the symptoms outlined below do not automatically mean a person has a TBI, so see a doctor if you or someone you know have any questions or are in need of diagnosis.

Some immediate signs of TBI include:

  • Being Dazed and Confused
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • No Memory of the Injury

In addition, the following symptoms may occur well after the TBI has occurred:

  • Persistent Pain in the Neck or a Headache
  • Light and Noise Sensitivity
  • Loss of Balance
  • Loss of Sense of Smell and Taste
  • Fatigue or Lack of Energy
  • Slurred Speech
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Nausea

The Danger of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussions)

Concussions are the most common form of TBI. But even though they are often considered the most mild form, these TBIs can still be especially damaging to the brain.

Because people who sustain a concussion don’t necessarily have a visible injury, pass out immediately, or show signs of injury right away, many don’t seek medical attention until well after a TBI has occurred. With that in mind, it’s important to monitor someone who you think may have a concussion and look for the symptoms of TBI. If any of the signs appear, even well after the fact, you should take him or her to the ER as soon as possible.

How Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect People

Brain injuries affect people in complex ways, and the effects a TBI can have on someone’s life can be devastating.

Depending on the severity, adults who’ve experienced a TBI may have difficulty re-adjusting to life at home, returning to work, managing their overall health, or even maintaining relationships. TBI is an especially unique condition because it affects everyone, not just the person who was injured.

For children, TBI can cause several physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments that impact their development. These can result in delays in education or financial stress for the affected family.

Brain Injury Support Groups in Southern Maryland

At UM Charles Regional Medical Center, we strive to take an active role in the management of and recovery from TBIs.

We regularly host free support group meetings here at the hospital for members of the community who’ve been affected by a brain injury or stroke as well as their family members. At these meetings, our team shares special educational materials, hosts question-and-answer sessions, and often welcomes guest speakers.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a TBI or stroke, we invite you to call (301) 609-4890 to learn more today. And if you know anyone who would benefit from attending one of these meetings, we hope you’ll share our event page with them on Facebook.

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Get to Know Primary Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough

Kelli Goldsborough, NP, Photo

Kelli Goldsborough, NP, set out to study social work. But she gravitated toward nursing in school — first becoming a licensed practical nurse, then a registered nurse (RN) and finally a nurse practitioner (NP).

What’s the Difference Between a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner?

While RNs and NPs both tend to patients’ needs and treatments, nurse practitioners must complete a masters or doctoral educational program while RNs are required to complete a nursing program. In addition, NPs are able to see and treat patients on their own as well as prescribe medications. This is why you’ll commonly see an NP at a specialized practice, such as UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care, rather than at a hospital.

Where She Practices

From inpatient and outpatient settings to the health department and even hospice in St. Mary’s County, Goldsborough’s background is diverse and wide ranging. Now, she’s found a home in primary care.

“It’s challenging,” she said. “No two patient situations are the same. But I look forward to building relationships with patients the same way I have with my own primary care provider. I’ve been seeing some patients for more than 12 years, so when something’s wrong, there’s a little bit more understanding as to what’s happening. As you learn about patients and as they trust you, you can impact them in a more positive way to help them achieve their health goals.”

When She’s Not in the Office

When Goldsborough is off duty, her family takes center stage.

“My husband and I have five children between us — four of them still at home,” she said. “My youngest is six and my oldest is 16, along with two adult children who are 23 and almost 21.”

With three girls at home, after-school time and weekends often revolve around activities like Girl Scouts and dance. Goldsborough also makes time for extended family.

“I’ve lived in southern Maryland my entire life, and my family is here,” she said. “That’s important to me.”

Want to schedule an appointment with Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough? Give us a call at (301) 609-5044 today.

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High School Sports Physicals for Spring and Wellness for Life

Spring Sports Physicals Photo

Don’t save those doctor’s appointments for when there’s something already wrong.

Sure, a great primary care provider can help you get better. But our first goal is keeping you in your best health at all times and stopping health issues before they start.

UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care is a great team to have on your side, whether you’re a high school athlete or anyone looking to live their healthiest life.

Dr. Lorenzo Childress, III, along with Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough and the talented team of medical professionals are ready to help you be your best.

Now Scheduling High School Sports Physicals

Spring sports will be starting before you know it.

Lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis or track & field. No matter what sport your student will be playing, they’ll need a sports physical from a licensed physician if they want to be ready to compete when practices start.

All that requires is a quick visit with our Primary Care team. We’ll ensure your athlete is healthy enough to compete at the top of their game.

Call 301-609-5044 to schedule your visit today.

Wellness is a Lifelong Pursuit

You don’t have to be a budding sports star to want to be at the top of your game.

No matter how old you are, achieving and maintaining your best health is an important goal. Do it for yourself. Do it for the ones who count on you.

Regular visits to a primary care physician can help you live well, live healthier and live longer.  Through quality, compassionate primary care, we’ll put you on the path to a lifetime of good health — and give you the freedom to live the life you want.

What can you expect from your primary care team? We welcome adult patients for preventive care and checkups, management of ongoing health issues, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, disease prevention, patient education and more.

It all starts with making that first appointment. Schedule yours today. We’re open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, plus we’re now open until 7 p.m. every Wednesday to make it even more convenient for you. Give us a call at 301-609-5044.

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Want To Boost Your Immunity? Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Right Now.

Boost Your Immunity

Did you know that, since 1982, peak flu activity has been observed in February more than any other month? That’s right, even though we’ve made it through what most people consider flu season, we’re actually in the heart of it right now.

So how can you protect yourself from the flu and those pesky colds that seem to be going around? It starts with a strong immune system. But you don’t need to turn to those “natural” remedies that claim they have immunity-boosting characteristics to strengthen your defenses. Here are five simple ways to do it yourself.

Roll up Your Sleeve, Get a Flu Shot

Let’s set the record straight, getting the flu shot is not a foolproof method of preventing the flu; however, the benefits of the flu vaccine are well-documented and wide-ranging.

Dr. Lorenzo Childress, a primary care physician with UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care in La Plata, generally recommends vaccination for people over six months of age if they’re medically able to do so.

Get Moving

People who work out regularly lower their risk of catching a cold. Many of them also enjoy a wide array of other health benefits, including a better mood, better sleeping habits, an overall energy boost, and more.

30 minutes of moderately intense activity, such as brisk walking, a few times a week is all it takes. Of course, consult with your primary care doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a big problem in the United States. To go along with the other emotional and physical health risks associated with not getting enough sleep, people who get fewer than seven hours of sleep are three times likelier to catch a cold than those who sleep at least eight hours.

Stop (or Never Start) Smoking

Smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products damages the lining of nasal passages, which act as the first line of defense for your body against viruses and bacteria. Smoking also suppresses the immune system overall, making it harder for you to fend off colds and the flu this time of year.

If you’re a smoker and need help quitting, visit SmokeFree.gov for some great resources for how to reach your goal.

Scrub, Scrub

Washing your hands frequently during flu season is an easy way to reduce the spread of a cold or  flu at home and in your community. Don’t worry about whether you’re using antibacterial soap or not — there’s little difference in the effectiveness as long as you wash your hands following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Financial Planning Resources and Events You Should Know About

Financial Planning Blog | Piggy Bank Image

Thinking more about retirement or estate planning? The CRMC Foundation is proud to offer a variety of online and in-person resources to help members of our community better understand and prepare for retirement. Here are three resources you can explore:

CRMC Foundation Gift Planning  Website

No matter what step you are on with your financial planning journey, CRMCFoundationLegacy.org is a great place to start. As the official planned giving site of the hospital’s foundation, this is where you’ll find countless resources to help you better understand estate planning options.

The site is filled with timely financial articles in the News section. In addition, you can find helpful tools such as planned giving calculators and informative content on topics such as creating a will or living trust. If you need any guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the CRMC Foundation.

If you’re ready to take the next step in planning your estate, request the CRMC Foundation’s free estate planning guide here. We also invite you to sign up for the free e-newsletter to receive the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.

Event: Retirement Through the Ages

Wednesday, February 13 | 5-7pm | Charles Regional Medical Center

40 years ago, retirement was a joint venture between government social security benefits, an employer’s pension plan and the savings of the worker. Today, the success of your retirement dreams is squarely on your shoulders.

Although the end goal of retirement may be the same regardless of your current age, the path changes along the journey towards that goal of retirement. And if you’re not sure what that journey looks like for you, join financial advisors Joyce Cool and Rob Ramos here at the hospital to get a better understanding of what’s ahead — from your very first paycheck to the last paycheck you receive.

This seminar is free and open to the public. RSVPs are preferred. Click here to learn more and to RSVP now.

Event: Estate Planning — What You Don’t Know Can Cost You!

Wednesday, June 12 | 5-7pm | Charles Regional Medical Center

Everyone wants to leave a legacy of positive impact for their family and in their community, but have you considered how estate planning fits into that legacy?

Join Attorney Robert M. Burke to learn more about the finer details of passing down wealth. He’ll go beyond just the tax implications and cover such topics as using trusts to protect assets and how giving to loved ones or charity can be an important part of passing along accumulated wealth.

This seminar is also free and open to the public. RSVPs are preferred and can be made by visiting the official event page on our website.

As always, stay tuned to our Facebook page and our event calendar on our website for the latest information about these events, resources, and future updates from the CRMC Foundation.

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5 Important Reasons to Focus on Heart Health This Month

American Heart Month 2019

It’s always a good time to think about heart health, but American Heart Month is the ideal time to remind yourself and your family, friends, and community about the importance of living a heart-healthy life. Here’s why:

Heart Disease Can Happen at Any Age

Contrary to popular belief, heart disease is not exclusive to older adults. That’s because many of the risk factors that contribute to heart disease are now being found among younger Americans more often than ever before.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking. And with rising obesity and high-blood-pressure rates among those between the ages of 35 and 64, heart disease is something that everyone — not just older Americans — should be thinking about.

Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in America

Perhaps the most sobering statistic about heart disease for Americans is this: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, about 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease — that’s roughly 610,000 people every year.

Heart health isn’t just a problem that’s specific to America, however. Around the world, nearly 18 million lives are claimed due to cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, every year. And that number is expected to rise to 23.6 million within the next decade.

Every 40 Seconds, Someone in America Has a Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the heart doesn’t receive enough blood flow. And in America, someone has a heart attack, on average, every 40 seconds.

Nearly half of all sudden cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital, which means that it’s important for everyone to know the warning signs of heart attack. The National Heart Attack Alert Program highlights these as the major signs:

    • Chest Pain or Discomfort — Usually discomfort on the left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
    • Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body — Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
    • Shortness of Breath — Can occur before or in conjunction with chest discomfort
    • Cold Sweat, Nausea, or Light-Headedness

If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Remember, the longer you wait, the more damage may be done to the heart.

High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol Levels, and Diabetes Can Increase Your Risk

Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 U.S. adults already have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, and high blood pressure diagnoses among young people are on the rise as well.

Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are mostly defined by lifestyle choices, but there are some other factors, such as family history, age, race, or sex that are out of your control. In addition, diabetes has also been tied to an increased risk for heart disease.

You’re in Control of Your Lifestyle

The most important thing you and your family can take away from American Heart Month is that much of your risk for heart disease is in your control. Following healthy eating habits, living a physically active life, not smoking, checking your blood pressure regularly, and controlling stress levels are essential to limiting your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

If you have any questions about your individual level of risk for cardiovascular disease or want to learn more about how to manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, be sure to talk to your primary care provider. In addition, we hope you’ll get involved by sharing this blog post or simply using the hashtag #HeartMonth throughout the month of February to help raise awareness for cardiovascular disease in your community!

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5 Easy Ways to Enjoy a Healthier Game Day Party

Healthy Super Bowl Snack Photo

America’s biggest sporting event is right around the corner, and for many people, it will be the first real hurdle for their healthy eating goals and New Year’s resolutions. But before you panic or give into temptation completely, we’ve got a few simple tips to help ensure your game day experience doesn’t derail your resolutions completely.

Don’t “Save” Calories for Later

On the day of the big game, you know you’re going to be enjoying some game day bites and treats later in the evening. This may tempt you to be too careful about how much you eat beforehand in an effort to “save” some calories for later.

Although this might seem like a reasonable idea, it’s important to be sure you don’t eat too little throughout the day because that opens you up to overeating later on. Moreover, not eating enough can actually slow your metabolism down.

Enjoy balanced, healthful meals as you normally would throughout the day, and consider eating a low-calorie snack, such as fruits and veggies, before you head over to the party. This will ensure you don’t arrive feeling hungry and tempted to overindulge.

Feel Good About Fiber-Filled Selections

Football and chili have become synonymous on game days, and that’s a good thing for you. Go light on the toppings, and enjoy a reasonable portion of chili that includes protein-packed meat and fiber-rich beans. Both fiber and protein will fill you up quickly and keep you feeling full throughout the game. Bonus points for low-fat turkey or chicken chili in lieu of chili with ground beef!

Mix in Low-Calorie Options

This one might feel a little bit “easier said than done,” but it’s one of the best ways to limit your caloric intake on game day and increase the nutritional value of your experience. If you find yourself craving something to nibble on during the commercials or at halftime, reach for the vegetable platter instead of the nachos, or go for some fruit instead of another round of wings.

Don’t worry, we’re not saying you shouldn’t get to enjoy your favorite game day eats. You’ll just feel so much better about your food choices if you mix in some healthier items throughout the game.

Substitute Alcohol for Other Beverages

At most game day parties, there will be no shortage of beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages, which are all filled with empty calories that can add up quickly. If you’re not quite on board with foregoing alcoholic drinks altogether, one of the best ways to keep your caloric intake in check is to substitute a few of your drinks throughout the game for diet soda, sparkling water, or ice water instead of defaulting to another alcoholic beverage.

No Matter What, Don’t Overthink It

Whether you’re trying to eat better for a New Year’s resolution, working to manage your diabetes, or simply just trying to eat well as you always do, it’s important to keep everything in perspective at events like this.

Do your best to make smart choices, but don’t get discouraged if you accidentally overindulge or eat something heavy in calories and light in nutrition. Remember, you probably won’t have these food choices on most days. Stay focused on your ultimate goal of living well, and don’t let one game day party snowball into other poor eating habits throughout the rest of the year.

Getting ready to host a Super Bowl party for friends and family? Fill your game day menu with healthy options like those featured on EatingWell.com. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor or primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your diet choices.

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Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation’s Annual Celebration Gala Slated for March 23

Celebration Gala Photo

Start thinking about what you’re going to wear, and save the date because tickets for Southern Maryland’s favorite black-tie affair are on sale now.

Join us to celebrate the hospital’s 80th anniversary at the gala, on Saturday, March 23, at Swan Point Yacht and Country Club in Issue, MD.

We’re proud to offer three ticket options so you can choose your own experiences. Be one of our VIPs and start the night off with a delicious chef-inspired dinner, or join us later for food stations, open bar, dancing and so much more. No matter which reservation you choose, this is one event you won’t want to miss.

Take a look below to see what each reservation option offers, and purchase your tickets today. Don’t wait — our VIP reservations are available in limited quantities and early bird pricing on all ticket levels ends March 1.

VIP Dinner Reservations (Limited Quantities Available)

$175 each through March 1 ($200 thereafter)

  • Early Admittance (6pm Entry)
  • Chef-Inspired Dinner
  • Open Bar
  • Hors D’oeuvres and Desserts
  • Fun and Festivities Until Midnight
Gala Reservations

$125 each through March 1 ($150 thereafter)

  • General Admittance (8pm Entry)
  • Open Bar
  • Hors D’oeuvres and Desserts
  • Fun and Festivities Until Midnight
Late Night Reservations

$75 each through March 1 ($100 thereafter)

  • Evening Admittance (9:30pm Entry)
  • Open Bar
  • Hors D’oeuvres and Desserts
  • Fun and Festivities Until Midnight

Purchase Tickets

As always, this event’s proceeds directly benefit the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation and its mission to make Southern Maryland a healthier, better place to live.

Getting Your Business Involved

Celebration Gala is an ideal opportunity for businesses to show their support for a great cause and maximize exposure to our audience leading up to and during this event. Visit our website to learn more about the sponsorship levels offered at this year’s event, or simply call the Foundation office at (301) 609-4132 today for more information.Become a Sponsor

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Dr. Eleanor Faherty is Now Accepting New Patients in Waldorf, MD

Advanced Breast Care in Southern Maryland. Dr. Eleanor Faherty.

The mission of the University of Maryland Medical System in Southern Maryland has always been to provide members of our community with essential health care services in nearby locations. We believe that everything from hospital services and surgical care to physical rehabilitation and primary care should be no more than just a short drive away. And now, we’re excited to announce that high-quality breast care is available closer to home than ever.

Eleanor Faherty, MD, FACS, combines advance techniques and a compassionate approach to provide greater outcomes for patients with breast health issues — all in a convenient Waldorf, MD, location.

About Dr. Faherty

A graduate of Albany Medical College and an Iraq War veteran, Dr. Eleanor Faherty has become one of Southern Maryland’s most respected and recognizable health care professionals. You can learn more about Dr. Faherty’s background, education, affiliations, and certifications on her profile on our website.

Specialities and Services

As one of the region’s foremost practitioners of breast care, Dr. Faherty specializes in a variety of services, including:

  • Breast Surgery
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Pre- and Post-Surgery Rehabilitation
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Supportive Care
  • Patient Education
  • Support Groups

Medical Insurance Options

Dr. Faherty’s practice proudly accepts most major insurance plans. Please contact your medical insurance provider to find out if your procedure qualifies for insurance coverage or financial assistance. You can also call (410) 328-7320 to find out what plans are accepted.

Office Location and Scheduling an Appointment

Dr. Faherty’s office is located at the address below (click here to get directions):

11340 Pembrooke Square, #203
Waldorf, MD 20603

Ready to learn more or schedule your appointment? Simply call (301) 609-6363 today.

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