Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fauquier Health's Dr. Jeffrey Joseph Shares Tales of Africa

“I live Africa every day,” says Dr. Jeffrey Joseph, Fauquier Health Emergency Department physician. It’s been five months since he and his 18-year-old daughter Devin returned from a two-week mission trip to Africa, but the people he met – some of whom he was able to help -- are always on his mind.

Dr. Joseph, who lives in Haymarket, started a journal to record the details of the trip, but when he talks about the experience, he doesn’t need to refer to its pages. The words come unbidden and it’s clear this was a life-changing experience. He has lots of pictures to share and a story goes with each one. Dr. Joseph particularly enjoys talking about one little boy he encountered after a full day of delivering medical care in the streets of an African slum. “I sat down on a stoop. This little boy just walked over and sat down next to me and put his arm on my leg. We didn’t speak. He was happy to sit there with me, and I was happy to have him there. I have since found out that he is 3 years old and his name is Kevin. It was a rare moment.”

The mission team took suitcases full of 300 pounds of supplies – supplied by Fauquier Health’s Materials Management Department and through Dr. Kenneth Kornetsky who works with Medical Missionaries – and provided first aid care in the streets. “It was simple things we were doing, but you would have thought we were handing them gold instead of an analgesic and a bandage.”

The group treated hundreds of residents, many of them children. “It was very emotional. After a day of it, we would all feel pretty wrung out. One morning, the pastor we were staying with, Pastor Jack Mila, thought we needed a break, so he took us to visit President (Barack) Obama’s grandmother. She runs an orphanage of 100 children. We sat in chairs in a semi-circle under a mango tree and chatted with Grandma Obama. We were allowed to take all the pictures we wanted and ask questions. President Obama was scheduled to visit there the next month, but she said she was just as excited to see us, because we were her children, too.”

Visits to local hospitals to evaluate patients were heartbreaking. Dr. Joseph saw much suffering for want of simple medical supplies and treatments that patients in the U.S. would take for granted. He remembers seeing four children at one facility who needed chest X-rays, and a 32-year-old woman who died while waiting days for laboratory results.

He also spent some time at a high school talking to teenage boys about their health concerns. “Every one of them wanted to talk about sex and AIDS. I told them they could ask any questions they wanted, but they just wanted to know about AIDS. ‘If my girlfriend has AIDS, can she still marry?’ ‘If someone has AIDS in their blood, can they replace the blood and get rid of the AIDS?’

“AIDS has destroyed their country. It is a country of little kids and grandparents. The parents are all gone. About 20 percent of children in this area are ‘living positive.’ ” In 2008, about 200,000 children under the age of 5 died from AIDS-related causes and nearly all lived in sub-Saharan Africa.

Although “Pastor Jack” was a gracious host and the mission team was treated well, living conditions for the group were stark. Dr. Joseph said, “we stayed in bunk beds. We had one toilet, one bathroom with cold water. We would take basins of cold water and dump them over our heads for a shower. The water was not safe to drink, so we boiled it or drank fresh water from plastic jugs we bought at the store. Safety is a major concern. Anybody that has anything at all has a wall around their house, a gate with spikes and barbed wire to keep intruders out.”

Dr. Joseph was amazed that people living in such squalid and dangerous conditions were so warm, welcoming and friendly. “There was no sanitation at all, and there was garbage everywhere, but the people wore beautiful clothes and were so friendly and grateful for any help we could give. The kids at the school all wore uniforms. They were respectful and kind and applauded us politely.”

Dr. Joseph’s relationship with Africa did not end when his plane touched back down in the U.S. in August. He and another member of his group began a fund to buy a diesel water pump for the Salem Orphanage Farm in Kenya. He explained, “this orphanage was on a lake, but they didn’t have a way to get the water to the farm. They needed a water pump.” On October 19, Dr. Joseph announced they had raised more than the $5,000 needed to buy the pump. Even after the goal was achieved, the money kept coming in. The extra $2,000 raised will go to three orphanages and will provide 8,000 meals for children.

Fauquier Health Lights for Life Celebration December 7

The Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary’s annual program to honor loved ones with holiday lights will be held this year on Wednesday, December 7. Hospital supporters will gather in the Sycamore Room at 7 p.m. to watch while Hospital Hill is lit up for the first time this season.

Reverend Richard (Dick) Winter will be honored as this year’s Top-of-the-Tree nominee. The Rev. Winter arrived in Warrenton to serve as pastor of the Warrenton Presbyterian Church in 1951. He quickly became active in the community, serving as a volunteer fireman and as chaplain of the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Department. He has been and is still active in several community organizations. At Fauquier Hospital, he participated in the dedication of the hospital in 1954 and at the groundbreaking for the hospital expansion in 1976. Reverend Winter has served his church, his community and Fauquier Hospital for six decades. Currently, he is the Minister Emeritus of the Warrenton Presbyterian Church.

The choir from the Warrenton Presbyterian Church will sing in the season and young pianist Madeline Clore will entertain visitors as well.

How to Prevent that Extra Few Pounds in January

It’s the eating season. We’re all familiar with it: it begins with a daily dip in the candy dish starting on Halloween and ends abruptly February 15 with a bad chocolate hangover and an extra five, flabby pounds.

It's been reported that nearly half of us gain one to two pounds each holiday season and about 10 percent of us gain five or more pounds due to overeating and under exercising this time of year. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Enjoying the holidays and staying true to good habits don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” said
Fauquier Health’s Registered Dietician Aren Dodge. Dodge offers the following “Top Ten” Healthy Holiday Commandments to keep you feeling and looking great straight through to spring break:

10. Thou shalt never leaveth the house hungry. Eat a small snack like an apple with a large glass of water before leaving the house and pack healthy snacks in your handbag. It will prevent you from attacking the food court, the buffet, or the hors d’oeuvres as soon as you arrive at your holiday destination.

9. Thou shalt partaketh of the dessert “sampler.” Instead of getting a serving of one large dessert, choose a bite-size portion or sampler and savor every morsel.

8. Thou shalt taketh easy on the adult beverages. Mixed drinks, beer and wine can pack a walloping 100 to 150 calories each. Try staggering a glass of water between drinks. You won’t get tipsy as fast, you’ll stay full and hydrated, and you won’t derail your daily calorie count.

7. Thou shalt chooseth wisely at the buffet, selecting protein and green veggies, and staying away from puff pastries, breaded items, heavy cream-based or cheese-laden dishes.

6. Thou shalt never skippeth breakfast. Eat it every day. Eating breakfast actually keeps your metabolism going, and staves off hunger longer if you include some protein like a few hard-boiled egg whites with oatmeal or a yogurt and fruit parfait.

5. Thou shalt resisteth the urge to “save room” all day for a big meal at night. Continue to space your food intake evenly over the course of the day, eating smaller, balanced meals throughout the day.

4. Thou shalt strappeth on sneakers for holiday shopping and errands and use that time to get some exercise. Park your car furthest from the store entrance and walk the distance. Walk up the escalators or take stairs. Every little bit helps.

3. Thou shalt maintaineth a consistent bed time. A good night’s sleep, such as seven to eight hours for an adult, is actually one of the best ways to maintain your health. Sleep actually helps maintain your immune levels and it prevents late night snacking.

2. Thou shalt listeneth to thine stomach. Avoid overstuffing yourself beyond comfortable, (maybe even into painful) by pacing your portions and stopping once you are full.
1. Thou shalt washeth thine hands like crazy - every time you enter your house and before eating anything. Hum your favorite holiday tune as you wash to make sure you do it long enough. Washing hands is still the best way to prevent the spread of viruses like flu or the common cold.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Senior Supper Club Begins Tuesday, November 15

On Tuesday, November 15, The Bistro on the Hill at Fauquier Hospital will launch a delicious new offering just for senior citizens. Every Tuesday and Thursday, The Bistro will host The Supper Club from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Diners 55 and older will be able to purchase a tasty, healthy meal for only $4.50.

The menu available every Tuesday and Thursday at our special reduced-cost will be your choice of one of the following:
• The Bistro’s Homestyle Chef’s Table (an entrĂ©e and two sides)
• A fajita or stir-fry from the Mongolian Grill
• A sandwich or wrap from the Deli counter
• An entree-sized salad from the salad bar

All meals come with soup, fruit salad and coffee and a choice of milk or iced tea. Other dinner items will be available, but at the regular price.

Zach Erickson, director of The Bistro on the Hill, says that he and his staff are excited at the prospect of serving special meals just for seniors. “It is our hope that those who join us at the Supper Club will find the food delicious, the ambience relaxing, and the conversation enriching. We anticipate that we’ll see many of the same faces again and again, and that they will spread the word and bring new friends as well.”

He added, “We will have occasional presentations on a variety of health and wellness topics, giving visitors the chance to meet special guests, including health professionals. The Supper Club builds on our commitment to support healthy neighbors.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

White Horse Auto Wash Hosts Car Show to Benefit Fauquier Health

White Horse Auto Wash in Warrenton will hold its first-ever car show this Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sears parking lot.

Paul Bartlett, of White Horse, said that about three dozen cars have already registered and he expects that number will grow before the show commences. “We’ll have current cars, foreign cars and classic cars – something for every enthusiast.”

Prizes for first-, second- and third-place cars have been donated by Sears ($1,100 worth of tools and a tool chest); Tintworx (free window tinting worth $400); and by White Horse Auto Wash (a $270 hand wash and full detailing).

Visitors to the car show can enjoy food by Chik-fil-A and fresh coffee while they admire the shiny, tricked-out cars. All proceeds from the day will go to the Fauquier Health Foundation.

White Horse Auto Wash is located at 111 West Lee Highway, in front of Sears.