Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Food Safety Steps Should Be a Part of Summertime Plans

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. That means warm weather and barbeques -- and unfortunately, opportunities for food-borne illnesses.


USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has partnered with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ad Council to debut a multimedia public service campaign called Food Safe Families to help Americans prevent food-related illnesses in their homes.

Using the motto “Check Your Steps,” Food Safe Families would like to get consumers to adopt four very easy steps when preparing food:

1. Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food.
2. Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards.
3. Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer.
4. Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.


The USDA also has a place on its website that lists all food recalls and public health alerts that involve meat, poultry or processed egg products. Click here. It's a good resource for food safety information.






Tuesday, June 28, 2011

30-Year Study Affirms Value of Mammograms

Here is an article about the benefits of mammograms. It reports that researchers who tracked breast cancer patients over three decades found that the screening reduces deaths by 30 percent. By anyone's standards, that's significant.

For women turning 40 this year, Fauquier Health will say Happy Birthday with a free screening mammogram. Get an order from your doctor and call Fauquier Health, 540-316-5800, to schedule one now.



For those who can't afford a mammogram, you may be eligible for a grant from the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation. To learn more, call 540-316-3588.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Study on Weight Loss and Gain Targets Specific Foods

Fascinating story this morning in the Washington Post about a big study on what foods affect weight loss and gain. Nuts and yogurt got a thumbs up; potatoes didn't fare so well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Endocrinologist Joins Fauquier Health



Fauquier Health has welcomed an endocrinologist to its family of healthcare providers. Beginning July 12, Lida Tabatabaeian, M.D., will be operating Fauquier Health Endocrinology. She will provide care to those with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, pituitary disease, adrenal disease, thyroid cancer, bone and mineral diseases and hypogonadism.

Dr. Tabatabaeian completed her endocrinology fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She is a former Virginia resident, and was happy to relocate to the area. “During my first visit to Fauquier Health, of course I fell in love with the area and people,” Dr. Tabatabaeian says. “I really liked the town of Warrenton; I like the idea of working in a small town because I’ll have a group of patients that I can get to know, and I’ll be able to provide a continuance of care.”

Being able to provide ongoing care was one of the main reasons Dr. Tabatabaeian chose endocrinology as her specialty field. “Endocrinology is something I’ve been drawn to since my early days in medical school,” she says. “I like the science behind it; I also like that it requires a lot of patient interaction.”

Dr. Tabatabaeian’s holistic approach to care will also fit nicely with Fauquier Health’s patient-centered Planetree model of care. “I try to see patients as a whole,” she explains. “I always try to apply the most up-to-date research to manage treatment, but the most appropriate plan for one individual may not work for another patient. That’s why I need to understand a patient’s comprehensive health condition.”

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that affects the endocrine system, and Dr. Tabatabaeian says a holistic approach works really well to treat the disease. “Diabetes is a complicated, multi-factor disease. Many social, economical, cultural, environmental and genetic factors contribute to the disease, and these factors cannot be overlooked.”

Dr. Tabatabaeian believes the most important step in the management of diabetes is patient education. Her primary goal is to make sure each patient knows what diabetes is, why it is so critical to get it under control, which complications it can cause and how, and what steps to take to control the disease and minimize complications.

“At the end of the day, it is patients who need to take their medications and follow the recommendations, and patients will not follow through unless they have a good understanding of the problem.”

Dr. Tabatabaeian says lifestyle change is the number one step in the management of diabetes. “I have actually seen patients reverse the disease. In fact, I have had patients on very high doses of insulin who were able to stop treatment when they made significant lifestyle changes.”

However effective lifestyle changes can be, medication may be necessary for some. Dr. Tabatabaeian adds that there are several great, well-studied medications available that can be selected based on the patient’s age and other ongoing medical conditions.

Whether she is treating diabetes, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, or any of the other diseases affecting the endocrine system, Dr. Tabatabaeian believes that being a physician is all about compassion, communication and reaching out. “I really like what I do. And I really like my patients. I try to care for my patients as if they were a part of my own family.”


About Lida Tabatabaeian, MD
Dr. Tabatabaeian is board-certified in Internal Medicine and board-eligible in Endocrinology. Endocrinology is the specialty medical field that offers advanced training in the endocrine system, which includes various glands and organs, including the pancreas, pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, ovaries and testes.

Dr. Tabatabaeian may be reached at 540-316-5940.

Events Calendar for July

Wednesday, July 6
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free
Information: 540-316-3588

Saturday, July 9
First Aid/Adult/Infant & Child CPR/AED
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $65
Register: 540-316-3588

Wednesday, July 13
Blood Pressure Screening
Where: Fauquier Hospital Main Lobby
When: noon to 2 p.m.
Details: Free
Information: 540-316-3588

Thursday, July 14
Look Good…Feel Better
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Register: 540-316-3588

Diabetes Support Group
Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center
When: 6 to 7 p.m.
Details: Managing Hypoglycemia
Register: 540-316-2652

Friday, July 15
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Tuesday, July 19
Cancer Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 7 to 8 p.m.
Register: 540-878-2136

Wednesday, July 20
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free
Information: 540-316-3588

Thursday, July 21
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588

Medicare and Medicaid Benefits Counseling
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 1 to 3 p.m.
Details: Free
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, July 23
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Monday, July 25
Massage for Couples
Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $45 per couple
Register: 540-316-2640

Diabetes Support Group
Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center
When: 6 to 7 p.m.
Details: Managing Hypoglycemia
Register: 540-316-2652

Friday, July 15
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Tuesday, July 19
Cancer Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 7 to 8 p.m.
Register: 540-878-2136

Wednesday, July 20
New Mom’s Support Group
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Details: Free
Information: 540-316-3588


Thursday, July 21
Baby Care Essentials
Where: Fauquier Hospital Family Birthing Center
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $25
Register: 540-316-3588


Medicare and Medicaid Benefits Counseling
Where: Fauquier Hospital Chestnut Room
When: 1 to 3 p.m.
Details: Free
Register: 540-316-3588

Saturday, July 23
Babysitter Training
Where: Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $40
Register: 540-316-3588

Monday, July 25
Massage for Couples
Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $45 per couple
Register: 540-316-2640

Fauquier Hospital First in the Area to Offer New Prostate Cancer Treatment

Dr. Syed Salman Ali, M.D., is enthusiastic about a new prostate cancer treatment available to patients at Fauquier Hospital’s Infusion Center.

Provenge, which uses the patient’s own specially processed blood cells, was approved by the FDA in 2010, and is available at only a few facilities in Virginia. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this treatment for advanced prostate cancer. The studies that have been completed thus far indicate that this treatment is allowing advanced cancer patients to live longer.”

Dr. Ali is very optimistic about Provenge’s efficacy. “This treatment may be able to make a serious dent in prostate cancer, allowing patients to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.”

Providing Care Where You Live

Fauquier Health Home Care Services will celebrate its 25th anniversary in August. Jerry Hoke has particular cause to be proud; he was there on day one. Jerry has been a physical therapist for 29 years. He says, “I can’t imagine doing anything else or working for any other organization.”

Jerry travels each day to the homes of his patients to help rebuild their strength and independence. “Many of my patients have something big in life they can’t do — like walk across the floor, get out of bed or feed the cat. When suddenly they can do that again, there is such happiness on their faces. It’s the most gratifying moment in home care. I remember helping one of my patients out to the barn to see a newborn foal. It was a beautiful moment.”

Some of Jerry’s job involves good, old fashioned problem solving. “The assistance I give is specific to the patient’s home environment. When I come across a home with a spiral staircase or a marble staircase with no railing, that’s something they don’t teach in physical therapy school. I work with the patient to come up with solutions that work for them, in their condition, in their home.”

Jerry teaches family members how to safely care for their loved ones. “Some families need tips on how to do the basics like how to get someone from a bed to a wheelchair or how to help an elderly person use the bathroom. Sometimes the best thing I can do for my patients is to help their caregivers feel confident about taking care of them.”

Hip and knee replacement patients or those who have suffered bone fractures frequent Jerry’s patient list. Others include frail older people with a medical condition. “When they get home from the hospital, they are much weaker. They need rehab to get them stronger and functioning better,” he says.

To arrange home health services, call 540-316-2700. After hours, call 540-316-5000 and ask for the home health nurse on call. Services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance.

Cancer Treatment Gives Patient Back Her Quality of Life



After being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and given 6 months to live, Gillian duPont said she realized that her doctors had stopped treating her disease. “They had given up on me,” she said.

Gillian took a turn for the worse one night and was taken by ambulance to Fauquier Hospital, where she met Dr. Syed Salman Ali, of Fauquier Health Hematology/Oncology. She found hope that morning.
“My cancer is being treated and I feel good most of the time. I adore Dr. Ali. He is enthusiastic, energetic, and very patient oriented — accessible, straightforward, and truly interested in every one of his patients. He monitors everything carefully, is positive and encouraging. We are a team. We made a deal that we’re in this together. We agree that my quality of life matters.”

As Gillian scratches the ears of a pet therapy dog visiting the Infusion Center, she talks eloquently of the free-flowing comfort of the center, the caring, sensitive nurses who have earned her trust, and fellow patients who share news and stories as they receive their chemotherapy treatments. But she knows there is serious medicine going on as well. “Once, when I had a bad reaction to some medicine, there was a complete emergency team on the spot in seconds. And Dr. Ali is almost always just a few steps away.”

In recent months, with Dr. Ali’s blessing, Gillian has traveled to England on the cruise ship Queen Mary II and to India with her sister. “We ate fabulous dinners, walked on the beach and went dancing. One day while we were swimming in the sea, the sun was shining, the water was so blue. I looked in my sister’s eyes and recognized it as a beautiful moment. Dr. Ali gave me that, and many more as well.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cancer Care at Fauquier Hospital



In addition to meeting all of the traditional healthcare needs of the community, Fauquier Hospital also provides treatment for all types of cancer (except acute leukemia) and blood disorders. Syed Salman Ali, M.D., of Fauquier Health Hematology/Oncology, says, “In our outpatient Infusion Center we have everything we need to treat almost every kind of cancer right here. We are fortunate to be able to offer this comprehensive care so close to home.”

Dr. Ali explains the process: “Most patients who are referred to me already have a diagnosis, but some come with an unclear diagnosis and I take over the diagnostic workup.” He adds, “We offer the same services that most medical facilities offer. The difference is that we offer an intense level of nursing involvement. It’s the difference between good care and exceptional care.”

“Our Infusion Center nurses offer continuous care before, during and after treatments at the center. They follow up with patients to see how they are doing at home; they check to see if they need fluids or antibiotics between chemotherapy treatments.”

Typically, cancer patients are admitted frequently to the hospital, says Dr. Ali. “But very few of our patients wind up as inpatients because of the day-to-day care they receive as outpatients. Because my office is right next to the Infusion Center, I can easily consult with the Infusion Center nurses; we can address any concerns right away, as they come up.”

Dr. Ali remembers, “One of our patients was receiving high-dose chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer. After each treatment, our nurses discovered that he was feeling more tired, and that he was not eating or drinking. They arranged for him to receive extra IV fluids and electrolytes. I am sure that our nurses’ dedicated attention and frequent follow up calls kept him out of the hospital.” Dr. Ali spends a great deal of time speaking with family members, answering questions and addressing concerns. “I have an open door policy when it comes to patients and their families. Sometimes one member of a family lives in another part of the country – or the world – and that family member happens to be the one with some medical background. I spend the time with that long-distance family member so they can help to explain the diagnosis and treatment to the other family members. We spend a lot of time working with family members.”

Stroke News from Fauquier Health

Fauquier Hospital is a Certified Stroke Center of Excellence
Fauquier Hospital was recently confirmed as a Certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. This designation recognizes centers that make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.



Sometimes called a mini-stroke,
a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is nothing to ignore.

As you get older, the large blood vessels in your body called arteries can get damaged. Having high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or being a smoker, may also cause injury to your arteries. This damage can cause plaque to build up in the injured area. The result? A blood clot can get stuck and cut off blood flow. If this blockage occurs in the brain, it causes a TIA or stroke.

What’s the Difference Between a TIA and Stroke?
A TIA is a blockage that comes and goes quickly, leaving no lasting damage. It usually lasts for just a few minutes, but this mini-stroke is a warning sign. About one-third of people who have a TIA go on to have a full-fledged stroke within a year.

The most common type of stroke is caused by a blockage that can result in long-term brain damage.

What Are the Symptoms of a TIA?
Symptoms of a TIA and stroke are the same. According to the American Stroke Association, they come on suddenly and include:
Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
Trouble speaking or understanding others
Loss of vision
Confusion
Severe headache with no known cause
Dizziness or loss of balance
What Should I Do?
If you think you are having a TIA or stroke, it’s a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Act FAST When a Stroke Strikes
The clot-busting drug TPA can reduce a stroke’s aftereffects, but TPA works only when administered within three hours after the most common kind of stroke. Experts agree, stroke patients should get to the hospital quickly. Move FAST and remember these tips:

F is for facial weakness. Your face feels numb or frozen, especially on one side.

A is for arm weakness, especially on one side.

S is for speech problems. You can’t speak or understand properly.

T is for time. The faster you get treatment, the less damage to your brain. Call 911 immediately, even if your symptoms disappear. You could be having a TIA, or mini-stroke, which also requires treatment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Omega-3 fatty acids may lower diabetes risk

People whose diets include large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a pair of studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

One study found that participants with the highest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids—which are both omega-3 fatty acids—were about 33% less likely to develop diabetes across the following 10 years, compared with participants with lower levels.

Meanwhile, a second study of individuals ages 45 to 74 found that 20% of participants with the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid in their diets were less likely to develop diabetes than the 20% who ate the least.

However, researchers cautioned that the findings do not prove that the omega-3 fatty acids fight diabetes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Make One Change Program a Success

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center’s 12-week Make One Change Challenge that ended in April was a huge success. There were 155 participants in the five programs (Some focused on weight loss, others concentrated on eating healthier, getting more exercise, stress relief or smoking cessation). Many agreed to complete a pre and post-test in order to qualify for some nice prizes. A few highlights from the testing after just 12 weeks include:

- Average weight lost - 5.8 lbs

- Average body fat lost - 2.33%

- Average inches lost - 1.25 inches

- Average increase in strength - 13%

- Average increase in flexibility - 12.8%

- Average improvement in cardiovascular fitness - 18% !