Waldo County General Hospital’s Journey to Health program will be offering a free chair yoga class on Monday mornings beginning in May.
Chair yoga isn’t for people who pride themselves on being able to do pretzel poses. Instead, it is designed for people who have a difficult time getting up and down off the floor. It is a safe, gentle program that can increase your flexibility, range of motion and core strength.
The class will be offered on May 6, 13, and 20 and June 3, 10, and 17 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the hospital’s Education Center with instructor David Erickson.
Space is limited. To register, call 338-9359.
The Weight Watchers program held at Waldo County General Hospital is looking for new members for a 12-week session scheduled to begin May 8.
Classes will be held Wednesdays in the WCGH Education Center with a 15-minute weigh-in beginning at 7 a.m. followed by a 30-minute discussion with local favorite Ginny Whitman as the meeting leader.
The classes are open to anyone interested in losing weight.
The 12-week session will only cost $110 if 20 members have signed up and paid by May 1. Checks, cash and credit cards are acceptable. Checks and credit card payments will be held until enough people have signed up and the first meeting has been held.
The cost will be $145 for the 12-week session if there are not 20 members prior to May 1. If you join the session after the start date of May 8, the cost will be $145.
For more information or to sign up, contact Lois Dutch at 930-6713.
Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) has been named to the 2013 Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. That announcement was recently made by iVantage Health Analytics in collaboration with The National Rural Health Association. This is the second year that list has been prepared and the second time that WCGH has been on it.
This honor comes on the heels of learning that WCGH has been placed on the preferred Tier 1 list for the University of Maine System Health Plan, which recognizes hospitals that provide both affordable and high quality care. That status means that employees insured under the University of Maine System Health Plan can receive care at WCGH without an inpatient co-pay. WCGH is also on the preferred Tier 1 list for the Maine State Employees Health Plan.
And last fall, WCGH was named as one of the 100 Great Community Hospitals nationwide.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, inclusion on the 2013 Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals was based on iVantage’s 2013 study, “Benchmark Performance for Critical Access Hospitals.” The study used iVantage’s Hospital Strength Index™, which uses publically available date from over 50 indicators organized into eight performance categories.
These eight categories include: competitive strength, competitive intensity, market size and growth, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, cost and charges, and financial stability.
A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is a rural community hospital that receives cost-based reimbursement. CAHs, which are sometimes referred to as “rural, safety-net hospitals,” must be located more than a 35-mile drive from the nearest hospital, and must provide 24-hour emergency services, have a maximum of 25 beds and have an average inpatient stay of less than three days.
The 2013 list of Top CAHs includes 60 previous awardees and 40 new facilities. According to the summary of the 2013 Top 100 CAH findings, the Top 100 CAHs “face the least population-based demand for future healthcare services while their quality is near the top quarter of all U.S. general acute care hospitals.”
Also, the Top 100 perform as well as or better at the median than all general acute-care hospitals in the U.S.
As of the end of 2012, there were 1,331 critical access hospitals in the United States. Six of the 2013 Top 100 CAHs are in Maine. Besides WCGH in Belfast, they are Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, Bridgton Hospital, Millinocket Regional Hospital, Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville and Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft.
“While it’s easy to think that how we look on the outside isn’t important when you are fighting for your life, it really is. It’s important to be able to look in the mirror and feel like you are still in there somewhere. For many of us, we have to keep up with work, family and other obligations even during treatment. It’s hard to feel like yourself if you don’t look like yourself. Sometimes we just need a break from the roller coaster ride.
My day at the Look Good…Feel Better workshop was a fabulous day filled with laughter, bonding and some great tips and techniques…On this day, it wasn’t about the cancer. It was about feeling beautiful, gaining confidence and transforming signs of sickness into signs of life—all with help from the Look Good…Feel Better program.”
Shannon Miller, Gymnast
Tish Robotham of Morrill isn’t a decorated American gymnast and she already knew many of the make-up tips that cosmetologist Linda Nash was prepared to teach her, but, nonetheless, she clearly had a good time at the last Look Good…Feel Better class.
And she had some specific beauty issues that she wanted help with. Having chemotherapy has dried out her skin and she isn’t thrilled about that. She’s also got some black rings under her eyes and what about her lips, which have been drying up and cracking? And while she’s got a wig, it’s a little heavy and she really needs at least a wisp of bangs to feel like herself.
While this was a group session of Look Good…Feel Better, Tish was the only one able to make it that day. She did, however, bring along a friend, Cathy Bradbury of Winterport, who added to the fun. After all, a big part of the program is to forget about your cancer and treatments and have a good time trying on makeup, wigs and hats.
The program provides a free cosmetic kit and a trained volunteer beauty professional to work with cancer patients. Cancer treatments often cause skin changes and hair loss that can rob a woman of her self-confidence. In the program, the women are taught beauty techniques to help them fight the appearance-related side effects of their cancer treatments.
Look Good…Feel Better group sessions are generally offered at Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) on the second Tuesday of the month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the hospital’s Education Center.
Pre-registration is required. To register, or if you are a cosmetologist to volunteer, call the WCGH oncology department at 930-2555.
Look Good…Feel Better is co-sponsored by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association. For more information, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org; call 1-800-395-LOOK or call your local American Cancer Society.
Recently, fourth graders from RSU 20 spent the better part of a day learning about the effects of smoking on a smoker and those around them. They did this through a variety of mini workshops sponsored by Waldo County General Hospital.
In one workshop, students heard from high school students who lamented that they ever started smoking and became addicted. While in another room, students talked about how an addiction can control your life and how hard it is to stop smoking once you are addicted.
Students also wore weighted back pads in a relay race to feel how a smoker’s lungs and breathing problems make it more difficult for them to run. And they learned about the effects of second- and third-hand smoke (smoke that smokers bring into a room on their clothing even if they smoke outside).
In another, students sang a song including the words, “My mind is mine. I am in control.” Students also watched role-playing and compared the best way to talk with someone you love about their smoking—nagging versus asking to have a conversation and using helpful suggestions.
The fourth graders also made a paper quilt with handprints that were filled in with things they had learned during the day. The most consistent message on the quilt seemed to be: “Don’t start smoking.”
The workshops were coordinated by Linda Hartkopf, the RSU 20 5210 School Health Coordinator. The workshop leaders came from Healthy Waldo County, RSU 20 and Waldo County General Hospital.
Waldo County General Hospital health educators Barbara Crowley and Sarah O’Blenes were a bit apprehensive as they headed to the Waldo County YMCA recently to meet with students in the afterschool program. After all, they were going there to talk to a large group of middle school students about nutrition—more specifically, the amount of sugar in a number of drinks and in snack foods. The next day they were scheduled to talk to the students about alternative drinks and snack foods without added sugar.
They were pleasantly surprised that the students listened on the first day and seemed surprised with some of the information they were given. They heard about one student who told his mother on the way home how surprised he was to learn about the large amount of sugar in orange juice. Other students were clearly surprised to learn that a container of yogurt can have the same amount of sugar as two doughnuts. Another surprise, the amount of sugar in many granola bars and cereals.
But the two health educators were absolutely thrilled with the reception they received on the second day. The students wanted to help prepare the nutritious snacks; absolutely enjoyed eating them; and some were even happy to help with the cleanup.
The more nutritious drinks included unsweetened almond coconut milk, which around 70 percent of the students seemed to like, and water infused with lime and/or orange juice, which most of the students really seemed to enjoy. The students were definitely buying into the “0” in 5210, which calls for no sugary drinks.
And the snacks, which included fruits, raw and roasted veggies, baked rutabaga and carrot fries, roasted chick peas, trail mix of various seeds, raisins and prunes, and air-popped popcorn with herbs, warmed olive oil or a little butter. Among the comments were:
• “This is great.”
• “What’s the feast for?”
• “Can we do this every day, every week, every month?”
• “Prunes, they give you fiber?”
• “Wow, the baked sweet potatoes have cinnamon on them. They were delicious.”
But the biggest surprise of all? That the students really liked the raw rutabaga and radishes was the first. The other, the entire feast cost less than $1 per student.
And the amount of sugar in a 10-ounce bottle of 100 percent orange juice from concentrate? There are 30 grams of concentrated sugar, which contains no fiber, 140 calories and is the equivalent of eating approximately three oranges.
Waldo County General Hospital’s Let’s Go Waldo! 5210 and the state’s Community Transformation Grant staff recently teamed up to hold a training for local childcare providers and educators. Attendees were given some new ways to prepare healthy, simple and yummy snacks and fun ways to promote physical activity and movement.
Growing a garden with the children and then having them prepare the produce to eat was another topic of discussion. The group of 23 also discussed ways to promote a healthy environment and to develop and educate staff and parents about the importance of healthy behavior policies.
Among the snacks the childcare providers tried and were provided the recipes for were A-B-C Dip (avocados, beans and cilantro); Pumpkin Pie Dip; Peanut Butter Hummus; and a make-your-own recipe for Fuel-Up Trail Mix.
Shana Bloomstein, a local dancer and yoga and dance instructor, taught “Making Moving Fun,” which the childcare providers seemed to enjoy.
Among the games/activities she suggested were:
• Word list: create a list of fun words such as twist, turn, bend, melt, open, close, leap, freeze, roll, tiptoe, ice skate and ski. When the words are read out loud, the kids explore what the words feel like in their bodies.
• Music freeze: play music for the kids to have free movement time. When the music stops, they must freeze and not move again until the music is turned back on.
• Animal game: the leader says the name of an animal and the children become that animal. For example, a slithering snake, a flying bird, a buzzing bee, a mischievous monkey or a hunting tiger.
• Mirroring: the children form two lines facing each other as partners. One side of the line begins a movement and the other side is a mirror. Switch roles.
• Follow the leader train: the children line up behind the leader and use music and simple arm movements, jumping, skipping, walking slow, or crawling. The children take turns being the leader.
• Seasons dance: ask the children to explore movements related to each season. For example, it’s autumn and the leaves are falling, blowing in the wind and rolling around on the ground.
• The name game: make a circle. The children say their names and make a shape or movement to go with their name. The other children then say that friend’s name and do their movement all around the circle.
• And if the children get too excited, she suggested using yoga as a tool to bring them back down.
The local dancer and instructor also suggested:
• Using different types of music for these activities.
• Having scarves, ribbons, silks, and old sheets torn into pieces for the children to use as flowing fabric as they move.
• Providing instruments for the children to play.
• And using books, stories or poetry as tools to initiate movement. Encourage the children to “dance out” a story or poetry.