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New radiologist at hospital

March 12th, 2013

Dr. Gregory Grotz

Dr. Gregory Grotz

Dr. Gregory Grotz has joined Belfast Bay Radiology at Waldo County General Hospital. A graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, he was a radiology resident at Maine Medical Center in Portland before becoming a radiologist partner at Dubuque Radiological Associates in Dubuque, Iowa.



Posted in February 2013 InPulse, Hospital News, New Staff

Learning to cook gluten-free, dairy-free

March 12th, 2013

group adult ed

 

Kerri Vacher, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, shared her passion for cooking gluten-free and dairy-free recipes at a free adult education class “Eat Well to be Well,” sponsored by the hospital.

 

Tofu Veggie Scramble

Tofu Veggie Scramble



Posted in February 2013 InPulse, In the Community

Computer skills coordinator now onboard

March 12th, 2013

Dianna Herbert

Dianna Herbert

Dianna Herbert of Morrill has been hired as the computer skills coordinator for the hospital. She will be teaching employees, who need to learn, how to use their email, including opening and reading emails, and how to open attachments. And if you are one of those individuals who knows computer skills but never developed typing skills, Dianna has found a free website designed to improve your typing skills: http://www.typingweb.com/typingtutor/



Posted in February 2013 InPulse, Hospital News

Spring Baby Fair seeks participants

March 6th, 2013

The 12th annual Baby Fair selling new and used items for infants and children will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 11a.m. at the Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Avenue, Belfast.

 

This is a great opportunity to clean out your closets and sell baby and children’s items no longer needed in your home. Items can include clothes, up to size 12, toys, books, furniture, etc. No recalled furniture, or car seats that have an expired use date, can be sold.

 

Crafts people who make baby items may also want to join the fair.

 

Tables for exhibitors are available to rent at $25 each. Large clothes racks or displays may be charged an additional fee as space is limited. The fee is non-refundable and must be paid prior to the fair to guarantee a spot. Proceeds from table rental fees benefit the Belfast Public Health Nursing Association, but all other profit is yours to keep.

 

Set up will be from 7 a.m. until the fair starts, and cleanup will be immediately following the event. Last year nearly 300 people attended the fair. There is an admission fee of $1 for adults.

 

To book a table or for more information, call Lois Dutch of Waldo County General Hospital’s Education Department at 930-6713.



Posted in In the Community

Food for Life classes to be offered

February 22nd, 2013

   Food for Life nutrition and cooking classes will be offered in the Education Center at Waldo County General Hospital on four Wednesdays, March 6, 13, 20 & 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants will get to sample a number of recipes.

 

   The classes will be taught by MiMi McGee of Appleton, who has a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and is a Food for Life cooking instructor for The Cancer Project.

 

MiMi McGee

MiMi McGee

 

   The Cancer Project is a program of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a national non-profit led by physicians that works to promote disease prevention and survival through a growing outreach program that focuses on comprehensive plant-based nutrition education for the public and health care communities.

 

   The four classes are:

 

   • Introduction to How Foods Fight Cancer: Numerous students have shown that a diet built from plant foods offers the most cancer-fighting protection of any diet plan. In this class, you will learn about the right food choices that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer as well as overcome the disease after it has been diagnosed.

 

   • Fueling Up on Low-Fat, High-Fiber Foods:  Steering clear of meat, dairy products, fried foods and other fatty fair is an important first step in preventing and surviving cancer. In this class, you will learn how to prepare delicious, low-fat dishes made from whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

 

   • Discovering Dairy and Meat Alternatives: When cancer researchers started to search for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat and diary products were much less likely to develop the disease. In this class, you will explore a variety of vegetarian sources of protein, all of which are low in fat, high in fiber and loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients.

 

  •  Cancer-Fighting Compounds and Health Weight Control: Studies have shown that slimmer people are less likely to develop cancer and trimming excess weight may also improve survival after cancer has been diagnosed. In this class, you will learn about healthy dishes loaded with immune-boosting nutrients, along with how to easily and naturally maintain a health weight and a cancer-fighting nutritional regimen.

 

   The cost of the four-class series is $80 per person. Scholarships are available for patients in cancer treatment or caregivers for patients in cancer treatment. To sign up or to get more information, call Barbara Crowley at 930-2650 or email her at: bcrowley@wcgh.org. For more information, visit: info@cancerproject.org.



Posted in In the Community

Home Health & Hospice in Top 500 in country

January 8th, 2013

Waldo County Home Health and Hospice has once again been placed on the 2012 HomeCare Elite list of home health care agencies in the United States. But even more than that, they have been honored as one of the Top 500 providers nationwide. Read more…



Posted in December 2012 InPulse, Hospital News, Recognition and awards

PT to begin Lymphedema Treatment Program

January 8th, 2013

With their new space, the physical therapy department at Waldo County General Hospital is beginning a Lymphedema Treatment Program. And that is making many people happy.
 
Ann Hooper, Imaging Department Manager, said she has been sending breast cancer patients with lymphedema to Brunswick for treatment. Recently, she had an 80-year-old patient who couldn’t travel that far but whose arm was so swollen it was purple. “I’m delighted we’re going to have treatment here,” she said, adding “that will help a lot of people.”
 
For Dianna Wing, who has lymphedema, being able to get treatments at Waldo County means she won’t have to take a four-hour round trip in order to have a 15- to 30-minute appointment. “I am so excited they are going to do it,” she said recently. “I’m really happy that I will get to stay in the community for treatment.”
 
Lymphedema refers to swelling that usually occurs in a leg or arm. It is caused by a blockage in an individual’s lymphatic system, which prevents a person’s lymph fluid from draining well. The fluid builds up, causing swelling. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to a person’s lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.
 
A small percentage of individuals are born with a rare, inherited condition, which causes problems with the development of the lymphatic system. The condition begins in infancy but often doesn’t show up for years.

 

Dianna
 
Dianna was born with that condition but it didn’t show up until she was 13. It started in her left leg and later went into her right leg as well. “I haven’t seen my left ankle since I was 13,” said Dianna. Her parents took her to doctor after doctor to see what was wrong and time after time, she was told they didn’t really know what was wrong and she would have to “learn to live with it.”
 
That was difficult for a teenager and she was the subject of some teasing and ridicule. She rarely wears a dress because from the back, her leg goes straight up with no ankle present.
 
The condition is worse when the weather is hot and her skin would crack, which led to a cellulitis infection. She was given diuretics, which didn’t help. Her leg would get painful because it was so heavy; it was hard to get her shoes on because her feet would swell. In the late ‘80s, she was sent to a lymphedema program in Bangor, and her leg was wrapped with an ace bandage for two weeks but that didn’t help, either.
 
Then a few years ago, her then-husband saw a show on television about lymphedema and said, “I think that’s what you have.” Dianna immediately made an appointment with her doctor, who sent her to a vascular doctor, who in turn sent her to the lymphedema treatment program at a Portland hospital.
 
For Dianna, it was almost a miracle, even though she was told that by going 30 years without treatment a lot of the damage had already been done. Still, she was thrilled to hear the experts say they could help her manage her condition, rather then “You just have to toughen up and live with it.”
 
For the first two weeks, Dianna had to go to Portland every afternoon for treatment. At the end of each day, the therapists would wrap her leg and the next day, they would unwrap it and measure to see if the amount of fluid was being reduced.
 
After that two-week stint, Dianna was given compression stockings to wear during the day and compression garments to sleep in. During her last visit to Portland (she now goes every six months), she was excited when she was given smaller socks to wear.
 
While Dianna is thrilled that she will be able to get her treatments close to home, she is even more excited that people may become aware of lymphedema and know what they have. “It affects your daily life,” said Dianna. “It’s frustrating not to know what you have. I couldn’t be happier that people will have a resource so they can get treatment early to minimize the affects and will learn how to manage it.”
 
While Dianna was born with primary lymphedema, the more common type of lymphedema is secondary lymphedema. It most often develops from cancer treatments, including when lymph nodes are removed during breast cancer surgery or from radiation therapy to a lymph node region. The swelling can occur within days, months or years after surgery.
 
The most common symptoms of lymphedema are swelling, a heavy sensation in the arms or legs, skin tightness, decreased flexibility in the hand, wrist or ankle, difficulty fitting into clothing in a specific area, or a tight-fitting bracelet, watch or ring that wasn’t tight before.
 
There is no cure for lymphedema. The treatment focuses on reducing the swelling and controlling the pain.

Donna Hills, PT

Donna Hills, PT

 
Donna Hills, a physical therapist at the hospital, will oversee the Lymphedema Treatment Program at Waldo County General Hospital. She recently completed training and became certified at the Norton School in Chicago.
 
She learned how to use a special light massage technique to manually encourage the flow of the lymph fluid out of the affected area by stretching the tissue. Similarly, she will teach patients light exercises that they can use to encourage the movement of the fluid. In other cases, she will wrap the affected limb, also to encourage the fluid to flow back out of the limb and toward the trunk of the body to find an alternative route through the lymph vessels.
 
For new patients, she will work for five days in a row to drain the fluid and then bandage the area. After that, the patients will learn to do their own bandaging and to use a compression garment, which compresses the affected limb, again to reduce the swelling at first and later to prevent the limb from swelling in the future.
 
And as Dianna knows, it is good to catch the problem early.
 
Donna became interested in running the Lymphedema Treatment Program because of a young family member who two years ago had swelling in her leg, which turned out to be lymphedema. Fortunately, it was a fairly mild case and the family member is able to keep it under control through the use of compression garments and exercises.
 
Donna wants to be able to do the same for her patients.
 
If you have questions about lymphedema treatment or wish to make an appointment, with a referral from your physician, please contact the Rehab. Services Dept. at WCGH at 338-9316.



Posted in December 2012 InPulse, Hospital News, In the Community

Training accreditation is a “game changer” for speech department

January 8th, 2013

Last spring when the speech pathology department at Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) received Training Program Accreditation from the American Telemedicine Association, the director, Michael Towey, called telepractice “a game changer.” Telepractice is the delivery of speech therapy to adults and children via computers.
 
He was right.
 
Consider:
 
• During the month of October, some 22 speech pathologists from 15 states attended telepractice training programs sponsored by the speech department at the hospital. There were another 60 at speech therapy technology training, also held at Waldo County.
 
• The department recently completed teaching the first graduate level training course in speech telepractice in the country at the University of Maine.
 
• The department has been training clinical staff at Ohio State University and partnering with them to get telepractice going at the largest university in the United States.
 
• Speech pathologist Nathan Curtis recently had an article published on technology in speech therapy in the ASHA Leader online edition, a national publication that goes to all members of the American Speech Language Hearing Association.
 
While the WCGH speech pathology department was the fourth institution in the United States to receive the Training Program Accreditation, there is a big difference between the other three institutions and WCGH’s speech pathology department. WCGH is the only one that allows the therapists to work from their offices with patients in their homes on their own computers with a $29 webcam. The other three involve a patient going to a nearby clinic to work with a provider in a far-away large medical center.
 
“Other telemedicine services are not usually web-based, they use expensive specialized equipment only available in hospitals or clinics. That’s why an internet based approach using available computers in peoples’ homes is a game changer,” Towey said.
 
He speculated at the time that other speech therapists would be interested in obtaining the accredited training program (a 300-page digitalized curriculum) used by his department. And he also felt that the accreditation would lead to a number of new opportunities for his staff.
 
He was right.

  

Speech pathologist Nathan Curtis helps a participant in the two-day accredited training program for Speech Telepractice held at Waldo County General Hospital in October.

Speech pathologist Nathan Curtis helps a participant in the two-day accredited training program for Speech Telepractice held at Waldo County General Hospital in October.

 

 
Dr. Wayne Secord, who is internationally known and author of multiple tests and books on speech therapy, is a Senior Research Scientist in Speech-Language Pathology at Ohio State University. He said recently, “The training we received (at WCGH) has started us in a new direction. We’re going to remake our treatment rooms to be digitally capable, and alter how we do things here. The workshop in Belfast was practical as well as empowering. We’re definitely going to partner with WCGH and apply for some unique research and training grants together.”
 
Then he added, “I think WCGH is truly on the cutting edge. But they do it so well that it comes very naturally to them now. We’re just in the beginning stages by comparison. Their cutting edge thinking and creative ways of assessing and delivering services has helped our program greatly. We’re just in start-up really, but they have given us a new mentality which we will most assuredly build upon in the future.”
 
As for whether telepractice is the wave of the future, Dr. Secord said, “It is a digital world today. That’s good and bad, but there is simply an incredible digital wave of change and transformation, so we really have no choice if we’re going to lead change, but to get on that wave and ride it for all it can do and explore all of its possibilities. There are some who will try to cheapen services and deliver an inferior product given how this service only takes you, the other person, and a digital connector. But the WCGH staff are really out in front of it all.”
 
“It is amazing how their leadership is working to transform how we do things here at this great university. We are highly regarded in this field, and WCGH is actually having a huge impact on how we think and act,” he concluded.
 
Judy P. Walker, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, of the Department of Communication and Disorders at the University of Maine in Orono, said, “The WCGH speech therapy staff taught the first telepractice training course this summer in my department. The students and faculty were very pleased with this course, learning the tools to embark upon telepractice. The information has been instrumental in developing a graduate student telepractice training program which we are in the process of launching.”
 
“Professionals in my field consider Waldo County General Hospital to be leaders in speech telepractice. Thanks to Mike (Towey), Nathan (Curtis), Jenn (Whitcomb) and Amy (Reid) for sharing all their knowledge and being so supportive of our program at the University of Maine,” Dr. Walker concluded.
 
Her thanks were echoed by Dr. Secord who said, “We are in the transforming stage, but I think we’re on the edge of greatness, and much of it is due to the gang at WCGH.”
 
Nathan Curtis’s article, “APP-titude: App-Enabled Telepractice,” was published in the Oct. 9, 2012 online edition of the ASHA Leader, available on the web at http://www.asha.org/qr/100912d. In the article, he discussed how five years ago, WCGH began using a telepractice-based speech and language program with preschoolers and school-age students in underserved areas of the state. He talks about some of the interactive websites he uses, which allow the young students to interact with games, similar to the hands-on material they get during conventional therapy.



Posted in December 2012 InPulse, Hospital News, In the Community

AT THE SILVER TEA

January 8th, 2013

Marie Underwood pours a cup of tea for Dr. David Crofoot.

Marie Underwood pours a cup of tea for Dr. David Crofoot.

There are many beautiful fireplaces in the inn.

There are many beautiful fireplaces in the inn.

 

 

Among the kitchen workers at the tea were, front row from left, Geary Tibbetts, Jean Russell, Ditty Shute and Lois Aitken. Back row from left, Jane Doak and Dot Wood.

Among the kitchen workers at the tea were, front row from left, Geary Tibbetts, Jean Russell, Ditty Shute and Lois Aitken. Back row from left, Jane Doak and Dot Wood.

 

The owners of the Alden House Inn are Rosemarie Cyr and Larry Marshall.

The owners of the Alden House Inn are Rosemarie Cyr and Larry Marshall.

 

Mark Biscone, executive director of the hospital, is presented $6,000 in donations from Hospital Aid treasurer, Judy Whitney-Blake, left, and $3,000 from Lois Aitken, treasurer of the gift shop.

Mark Biscone, executive director of the hospital, is presented $6,000 in donations from Hospital Aid treasurer, Judy Whitney-Blake, left, and $3,000 from Lois Aitken, treasurer of the gift shop.

 

The beautiful entrance to the Inn.

The beautiful entrance to the Inn.

 

Hospital Aid president Phyllis Gaul, left, draws the winning raffle tickets from a bag held by Sally  Milhorn. The raffle winners were Barry Way, Barbara Grass and Sandra Gordon.

Hospital Aid president Phyllis Gaul, left, draws the winning raffle tickets from a bag held by Sally Milhorn. The raffle winners were Barry Way, Barbara Grass and Sandra Gordon.

Lincoln Blake provided seasonal entertainment.

Lincoln Blake provided seasonal entertainment.

 

   


Posted in December 2012 InPulse, Hospital News, In the Community

Oncology Walk and Basket Raffle: a great success

January 8th, 2013

Some 200 people participated in the Oncology Walk and Basket Raffle held in October. The event netted $9.000 for the Oncology Patient and Mammography Assistance Fund.

Some 200 people participated in the Oncology Walk and Basket Raffle held in October. The event netted $9.000 for the Oncology Patient and Mammography Assistance Fund.



Posted in December 2012 InPulse, Hospital News, In the Community


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