Join PinnacleHealth online or here, Facebook and Twitter on the 8th of each month to get great information from our women’s health experts. Read, discuss, share and learn about ways to enrich your life through greater awareness and healthy living. You never know what you might learn that’ll keep you feeling good all month long!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lung Screening Works To Fight Cancer

Troy Moritz, DO,
Thoracic Surgeon
at PinnacleHealth
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for American men and women. While this statistic is alarming, lung cancer can be treatable when detected early. And the best way to do this is by getting a lung screening.

Studies have shown that the five-year lung cancer survival rate increases by nearly 40 percent when it is diagnosed early, before it spreads beyond the lungs. “Using the latest technology and techniques, PinnacleHealth offers expert and convenient screenings for people who are at risk for getting lung cancer. Getting screened early can improve your chances of living longer if you are diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Dr. Troy Moritz, director of PinnacleHealth’s Lung Cancer Screening Program.

PinnacleHealth’s screening program has been designated as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, one of the only ones in Central Pennsylvania.

Lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who:

  • Are ages 55 - 80 and have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 30 years.
  • Are ages 50 – 80, have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years and have one additional risk factor.

Additional risk factors include radon exposure, asbestos exposure, a history of cancer, a strong family history of lung cancer, significant second-hand smoke exposure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or pulmonary fibrosis.

“Because lung cancer often does not cause symptoms in its early stages, it is really important that you get screened early on if you have one of these risk factors.” said Dr. Moritz.

Screening typically includes a low-dose CT (CAT) scan, which may be covered by insurance. Because screenings have proven so effective in finding and treating early-stage lung cancer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to begin covering lung cancer screenings for high-risk Medicare recipients.

“If you or a loved one meet the high-risk criteria, contact us today,” said Dr. Moritz. “Don’t wait.”

To find out more about lung cancer screening at PinnacleHealth, contact the Pulmonary Nodule Clinic at (717) 230-3700 or toll-free at (866) 455-9729 and ask to speak to a screening specialist.

Friday, September 5, 2014

8 Ways to Save Time!

Back to school means back to busy! No worries, here are 8 easy ways to save a little time for yourself!

1. Autocorrect shortcuts in Word- For commonly types phrases you can set up a shortcut in word to autocomplete.  For example, if you want to type Thank You  you can set up Word and Outlook to insert Thank You when you type TY.

Go to File
            Autocorrect options
            At the bottom you can create whatever

2. Overnight oats!  Need a quick and healthy breakfast- try this!

  • First, choose your oats (rolled or steel cut) and your liquid (milk, almond milk, juice)
  •  In a sealable glass jar or airtight container mix rolled oats with an equal amount of your liquid of choice. If you’re using steel cut oats instead, use more liquid and be prepared for a chewy consistency
  • Add any spices, sweeteners, or dried fruit you like- get creative!
  • Store container in the fridge and let the oats soak for at least three hours, ideally overnight
  • In the morning, you can add fresh fruit, nuts, and other favorite toppings to your oatmeal. Grab and go!
3. Order ahead apps!  Eateries like Panera and Chipotle now have apps that let you order ahead of time and pick-up your food when its done. Panera’s app also allows you to pay through the app so all you is grab and go. Bonus for the calorie counts provided by Panera!

4. Go to the busy person- Need something done fast? Go to the busy person in the group.  Although it seems counter-intuitive, the busy person is likely busy because they get things done and have a momentum that keeps them moving. 

5 Set a time limit- They say you will spend what you have and the same holds true for time.  For chores set a time limit for completion. Race to beat the clock and you will get more done in a shorter amount of time!

 6.  Bulk- Do you have a certain peanut butter you like? Buy groceries with long shelf lives and good prices in large quantities to save yourself endless trips to the grocery store for staples.

7.  HIIT it! Have you tried high intensity interval training?  HIIT workouts last only 30 minutes but the intensity provides an after-burn for hours. Great way to squeeze a powerful workout into a busy schedule!

8. Maintain your health- nothing sucks up time like being sick! The investment of time into wellness activities including check-ups and recommended screenings is well worth it to keep you feeling and functioning your best!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to school? Back to you!

Check-ups aren't just for kids! It’s just as important that you take the time to keep yourself well.  Many women tend to skip that yearly gyn exam, especially if they don’t think they need a pap and aren’t having problems. But regular health exams with an OB/GYN are critical in the prevention of female cancers. Annual exams and tests can help physicians detect problems early so that treatment can be started and give women the best possible outcome.

“Prevention is the key,” said Dr. Gregory Willis, gynecologic oncologist with the PinnacleHealth Women’s Cancer Center. “ Yearly exams are really necessary even if a pap isn't needed at that time. These exams can detect changes, cancers, masses or other problems.”

The following are several exams that women can expect to have at a yearly check-up.

Pelvic Exam- this is performed by the provider to check the internal female organs for normal shape and size.

Pap test- this is a test to check for cancer of the cervix (the opening to a woman's uterus). The cells from the cervix are prepared and looked at under a microscope.

Clinical breast exam- this is an exam done by the provider feeling and looking at the breast to check for breast cancer.

STD test- If you are at risk, your OBGYN will offer you tests for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

HPV test- Another test your OB/GYN may recommend is a mammogram and a test for HPV ( Human Papilloma Virus). HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection, and it can cause cervical cancer and other cancers including cancer of he vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cause oropharyngeal cancer( cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

There is a vaccine to prevent HPV, which can protect both males and females against the disease. Talk to your  Gynecologist about the vaccine.

It is important for women to keep yearly exams and have an open and honest dialogue with their OB/GYN so that all necessary testing and exams can be done.

Need to find an OB/GYN? Visit to see reputable providers in your area.

8 reasons gynecological surgery isn’t as bad as you think

  1. Options - At PinnacleHealth, women have more options for treating common gynecological concerns.  Advanced technology offers options of different procedures and with three hospitals, there is always a location convenient for you and your family!
  2. Recovery time - Many women remember the long recovery time that accompanied a surgery such as a hysterectomy. With the advanced laparoscopic  and robotic-assisted techniques, women are back on their feet much more quickly, usually within 1-2 weeks!
  3. Pain - Minimally invasive surgery refers to a surgery where there are smaller or fewer incisions than were previously used.  Smaller and fewer incisions mean less pain for the patient which helps to speed recovery!
  4. Experience - The providers at the Pennsylvania Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery at PinnacleHealth have decades of experience with your surgery. They know exactly the best way to provide you the care you need with the comfort you need. 
  5. Expertise - The surgeons at PinnacleHealth not only have experience, but they have the expertise gained from constantly continuing their educations.  Frequent conferences, and training events keep our physicians up to date on the best ways to treat common gyn conditions.
  6. Technology - We've come a long way baby!  Thankfully most people have little experience with surgeries.  But that also leaves most people with an outdated sense of how surgery today works.  The advanced technology now available allows for patients to receive smaller incisions ( and sometimes no incision!) and have shorter procedures resulting in less complications.  
  7. Comfort - Even with a short hospital stay, you want to be comfortable.  Patient feedback on all our locations, Community General, Harrisburg Hospital and the new West Shore Hospital, indicates that patients are comfortable at PinnacleHealth and enjoy the amenities available including private rooms, flat screen TVs, and Expressly for you dining plan, patient feel at home until they are able to return home.
  8. Support -The great team at your OBGYN office works collaboratively with our staff to ensure your questions are answered and needs are met.  This includes financial counselors, nursing staff and discharge planners. 

What to expect when you need gynecological surgery
Yearly gyn exams are important to catch problems early.  So many women either assume they have no problems or are afraid of finding one.  So what happens when there is a problem?

There is actually good news if your exam shows a problem—that good news is that you know.  Knowledge is power.  Once you know of a problem, you and your team of providers can then develop a plan to treat the problem and get you back to good health.  A diagnosis of fibroids, endometriosis or cancer can be scary, but women and their families can take comfort in knowing that these are conditions that the physicians at PinnacleHealth have experience dealing with and can provide treatments for.

What options do I have?
Often surgery is the best option for the treatment of many gynecological conditions.  Your physician will review your surgical options, and together you can decide the best choice for you.  You should ask your physician about his or her experience with the procedure, what hospital they recommend  and any other questions you may have.

Consider what hospital you will have surgery in. Do some research and look for the type of technology they have (do they have robotic and minimally invasive options?), look at their infection rates and look for any other quality indicators such as Center of Excellence accreditation.

You always have choices. With your physician’s guidance, your questions answered and a feeling of comfort with the hospital, you are ready for surgery. Rest assured you are in good hands and are on the road back to being a healthier and happier woman!

For more information on minimally invasive gynecological surgeries and options at PinnacleHealth, visit

Specialized Cancer Care for Special Women

All women are special.  Mom, sisters, friends, and of course you, these  are some of the most special people on earth.  As each women is special, and different, so should her care be, especially when facing a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer will affect 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.  While it’s scary to consider, knowing about cancer it your options before you need them, can be incredibly comforting.  Here is an overview of the basics of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Locally there are experts in cancer available to care for you and your family during this difficult time. Your care team might include:

  • Nurse navigator - This nurse will assist with every aspect of coordinating care, from helping to get financial resources or transportation, to answering questions and scheduling appointments.  
  • Surgeons - Your condition may require surgery and there are many surgeons that specialize. PinnacleHealth has surgeons specific to breast, gynecology, gynecologic oncology and many more.
  • Medical oncologists - Oncologist is a term to describe someone that deals with cancer.  Medical oncologists deal with cancer with medical or drug therapies.
  • Radiation oncologists - Radiation oncologists treat cancer with safe and targeted radiation therapy delivered in a comfortable setting, often time in short treatment sessions.

These expert providers will discuss your case together and decide what is the best plan for you every step of the way.  This is your support team and these compassionate providers are always available  to answer questions and work to keep you comfortable and moving towards better health.

Many people think that cancer treatments are very painful, or very scary.  Thanks to advanced technology treatments have become very tolerable and are given in comfortable settings with minimal side affects.

Radiation therapy treatments are provided in a warm and inviting room where patients lay on a table and can enjoy music of images on a screen above them.  The linear accelerator does all the work, moving around the patient and delivering short bursts of painless radiation doses designed to target the tumor but not the healthy tissue, thus reducing or even eliminating side effects.

Chemotherapy brings up many questions about hair loss and nausea.  While these can sometimes be present, all the research to date had provided us with great knowledge about what to expect for each drug so we can help manage any side effects.  For example, to prevent nausea and vomiting, patients often receive medicines before and after treatments to prevent nausea.

Surgical procedures have advanced so that incisions can be smaller ( and sometimes no incision is necessary!) so that there is less pain , less risk of infection and faster recovery.

Many people still believe that to get the best care you need to travel to a big city.  Thankfully this is no longer the case!  The majority of cancers, including breast, cervical and uterine, can be expertly treated in your own community by providers with extensive experience and success.  PinnacleHealth is proud to provide two cancer centers will a large array of services to make extensive travel unnecessary, thus reducing the burden a patient and their family feel during cancer treatment.  With the PinnacleHealth Cancer Center available at the Community Campus on the East Shore and the new Ortenzio Cancer Center at PinnacleHealth on the West Shore Campus, patients can spend less time traveling and more time with family and loved ones.

Cancer can be scary, but knowing you are not alone and have the strength and support of an expert team behind you, can help you or a loved on face the challenge with hope and strength.

For more information about cancer services at PinnacleHealth, visit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PinnacleHealth now offers a Women’s Continence Center

What is Incontinence?

Incontinence means the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control—the inability to predict when and where urination and/or bowel movements will occur. Bladder or bowel control—the inability to predict when and where urination and/or bowel movements will occur. This common disorder is experienced by as many as 18 million women of all ages. About half of adult women say they have had urine leakage at one time or another. Many women report it is a daily problem. Embarrassment and shame can prevent people from seeking help. Many mistakenly believe that nothing can be done to correct it.

Many women are afraid or embarrassed to mention their problem to their healthcare provider. Instead, they suffer in silence, wearing absorbent pads. Not only is this practice costly, it can lead to skin irritation and diminished self-esteem. Incontinence is not a hopeless condition. In and of itself incontinence is not a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition that affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds. There are treatments available, including medication, exercise and minimally invasive surgery, which means that women no longer have to live with the worry of leaking urine.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Do you leak urine when:

  • Laughing
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Jumping or exercising
  • Lifting, bending or stretching
  • Climbing stairs
  • Getting up from a chair
  • During intercourse
Do you:
  • Leak urine as soon as you need to go to the bathroom
  • Feel that your bladder is never completely empty 
  • Leak urine even when you drink small amounts of liquid
  • Leak when you hear or touch running water
  • Have frequent uncontrollable urges to urinate
  • Go to the bathroom more than seven times per day

Bladder issues, like many other health concerns, are easier to treat the earlier you detect the problem. Don't “just live with it.” Contact us today to find out the facts about urinary incontinence and what you can do about it!

PinnacleHealth Women's Continence Center
Community Campus
Medical Sciences Pavilion, Suite 305
4300 Londonderry Road, Harrisburg PA
(717) 724-6788 • (717) 703-0099 Fax

Monday, July 7, 2014

8 Ways to Overcome Embarrassment

Many women are embarrassed to talk to their healthcare providers about their symptoms. This embarrassment though is keeping them from being healthy.  Here are 8 ways to get over your embarrassment and get the support you need and deserve!
  1. Stop and think! Did you even do something to be embarrassed about? Many symptoms are not under your control and therefore you needn't feel embarrassed about them.  
  2. Think positive!  Embarrassment is a negative thought. If you continue to repeat it you will continue to feel bad both physically and emotionally.  Instead, look on the bright side.  Consider what you are embarrassed about and focus on the positive, i.e. it could have been worse, only your ego not your physical body was bruised etc. 
  3. Talk about it! Embarrassment is a very isolating feeling.  Often if you share your feelings with a trusted friend (or physician!) you will find you have no need to be embarrassed. 
  4. Trust yourself.  This is likely not the first time you've felt embarrassed.  You've always recovered before; trust that you can face the embarrassing situation and still come out on top!
  5. This too shall pass! Embarrassment is temporary so don’t let it get in the way of your long-term well-being.
  6.  Relax! Easier said than done, but you have to realize that you might be taking yourself or the situation too seriously.  You are human, have flaws and make mistakes and that’s ok!
  7. Face your fears.  Embarrassment is based on fear of what other people think.  You should not be afraid to talk to you physician. Acknowledge that feeling, step past it and trust that your physician is not looking to judge you, only to help you. 
  8. Look for the laugh.  Is there anything humorous about your situation that could help you look at it in a more relaxed manner?  Taking a step back to laugh at the situation can be helpful!
Being brave enough to talk about embarrassing conditions will make you feel better both mentally and physically!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

8 Summer Must Haves To Look and Feel Your Best

  1. Sunscreen!  Reduce your cancer (and wrinkle!) risk—sunscreen always, and frequently!
  2. Bug spray-Not just for deep woods adventures, insect repellent can prevent tick and mosquito bites.
  3. Water-Dehydration can you make you tired and can be dangerous.  Drink water throughout the day and up your water intake if you are enjoying adult beverages.
  4. Sleep-More daylight often means less sleep.  Catch up on sleep when you can, poolside, on a rainy day or by working in an afternoon nap.
  5. Sneakers-Everyone loves cheap flip flops, but they do a sneaker number on your feet.  Wear sneakers when doing a lot of walking to save your feet and joints from wear and tear.
  6. Healthy recipe-Great for picnics or getting back on track after too much ice cream-fish tacos are a nice cool option for summer! View Recipe.
  7. Primary care physician- from antibiotics for a tick bite, to looking at a suspicious mole, keep your physician’s number handy this summer.
  8. Directions to nearest ER-Sometimes you need more than a band-aid. PinnacleHealth has three emergency departments: Community General Osteopathic Hospital, Harrisburg Hospital, and West Shore Hospital.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Taking Care of Mom This Mother’s Day

May is a time when we think of our mothers’ and our children if we are mothers, as we celebrate Mother’s Day.  Mother’s are special, they spend so much of their time and energy taking care of others.  One of the greatest gifts you can give your mother this Mother’s Day is the information and support to get screened for breast cancer.

Consider these statistics:

  • 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer by the time they are 90 years old.  
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. 
  • A 70 year old is almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer as a women of 50, according to American Cancer Society.

So we should have our yearly mammograms no matter how old we are, unless we are medically unable to do this test.  If you are 40 years old or older make sure you are caught up on your latest mammogram screening or if you have never had one call and schedule one at your nearest PinnacleHealth Imaging center.

Help your family and friends too! Ask them if they have had theirs recently and if not encourage them to get it done.

Screening is so important that you don’t need an order from you doctor unless you are having a problem and need and a diagnostic mammograms.  And screening saves lives, which is why the cost of a mammogram almost always covered by insurance.  Understanding that not everyone has insurance, PinnacleHealth has a great program called the Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP).  The MVP program raises funds through events like the Mammorgram Tea and uses the funds to pay for mammograms for women who need them and cannot afford them.

This Mother’s Day support the women in your life, and take care of yourself, by making mammograms a priority.  Turn this serious topic into a positive and fun afternoon by attending our Mammogram Tea, Wednesday May 28th at the West Shore Country Club A formal afternoon event that is fashionable and fun!  Proceeds from this event benefit the PinnacleHealth Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP) providing potentially lifesaving care to uninsured women.. Register today!

Need help finding an imaging center to get a mammogram? Learn more about the most convenient center for you.

PHantastic Female- May 2014 - Hope Lattimore

Certified Mastectomy Fitter for the American Board for Certification (ABC) in Orthotics, Prosthestics, & Pedorthics, Inc.

American Cancer Society, Licensed Area Trainer for the South Central Area to train other license Cosmetologist faciliate "Look Good Feel Better" Program

Losing a breast is like losing part of your feminine identity, the same as when you lose your hair. I knew I couldn't change the world as far as Cancer was concerned but I knew I could help with wig and mastectomy fittings. All of my clients have a different story and that even makes it more special.  Its rewarding when I see a women come into my shop feeling like there's no hope and see them leaving with smiles and confidence. I love what I do, its like the dream job, I never dreamed would happen. For the first time in my adult career, I can say that I thoroughly enjoy the work that I am doing and feel blessed to be a part of the lives of women who once again can flaunt their inner and outer beauty as warriors against Cancer!

I'm a single mother of an 11 year old son.  I spend alot of time cheering him on with basketball and soccer year round. My mom is my motivating force. I asked her when I was young, “Why did you name me Hope?” Her reply “Hope for the future and to change lives”. That is why she is my biggest supporter. My sister and brother have showed me how to ride the road to success.

I enjoy Reading, Traveling, Exercising, Shopping and spending time with my family. I am an avid bargain shopper.  I love finding an awesome deal even though many things I give away.

Being busy: 
I'm stressed if I feel unorganized.  I keep many list and calendars for my personal and professional life and rely on them to be accurate.  My planner is my other Bible. I find balance in my quiet time and reading spiritual books.  I do alot of brainstorming at night when most things around me are quiet.

How I find “me time”: 
Although, it is very hard to get, you have to have "me" time, to get yourself centered.  Enlist persons close to you that can remind you to take a time out.

Do you know a PHantastic female? We want to talk to her! Send us information about a PHantastic  female, (self nominations are good too!) and we might spotlight that person next month!

Tea time is me time!

What’s good for your heart, your skin, your mind and your soul?  Afternoon tea with PinnacleHealth! Often considered a leisurely practice, tea time provides a great opportunity to not only take a well-deserved break but to enjoy the health benefits of tea as well.  Read on to learn more about the history and the benefits of tea drinking and how you can help others by planning a little tea time me time with PinnacleHealth!

History of Tea
Tea dates back to early China and was used for generations for its medicinal properties. Tea is often associated with Chinese monks as well because they used the brewed drink to keep them awake so they could meditate.  Early on a tea shortage led to only royal having access to tea leaves but soon enough more tea was discovered and all citizens began to enjoy the taste and benefits of tea.
In the 17th century tea made its way to England where it generated a reputation of being a ritual of relaxation for the aristocratic class. Afternoon tea, or low tea, began with Britain’s Anna, Duchess of Bedford.  Anna found the time between lunch and dinner to be too much to bear, so she began having light refreshments in the afternoon. She invited friends to join her and it quickly turned into a social event and a time to relax.  
Tea drinkers for thousands of years can’t be wrong, and science has proven they are not.  Tea offers some great health benefits as well as an opportunity for a break.

Green tea
Green tea especially has been shown to offer benefits including decreasing the risk of heart disease and lowering your cholesterol.  Green tea also can help with weight loss as it helps to increase metabolism.  Warding off cancer can also be credited to green tea thanks to the antioxidants in the EGCG.  Diabetics have also seen positive impacts on their blood sugars when taking up the habit of tea drinking.  Studies have shown that green tea can also decrease your risk of breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer. 

Ginger Tea
Ginger has anti-nausea properties and helps soothe and upset stomach.

Peppermint Tea
Studies have shown that simply smelling mint can stimulate the brain and provide a boost of wakefulness

Black Tea
Studies have shown that people who include black tea in their diets had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and were more relaxed and able to complete difficult tasks. Research shows it may also help prevent clogged arteries, improve blood vessel functioning, and lower blood pressure which all help with cardiovascular health.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has a calming effect and is often recommended as a nightcap for those seeking restful sleep.  Because of its sedative effects, it is also great for people who experience anxiety.

Regardless of the type of tea you drink, just taking the time to relax for a few moments will provide you with min refreshing and stress reducing effects that will make you feel better.

Want to try out the relaxing effects of tea time? JoinPinnacleHealth on May 28th for our MVP Tea for Mammograms at the West Shore Country Club.

 All proceeds go to the Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP) that pays for mammograms for women who cannot afford them.  By offering this screening, women have had their lives saved because they found a cancer in an early stage when it was most treatable.

Monday, April 7, 2014

PHantastic Female - April 2014 - Deborah J. Herchelroath, D.O., FACOOG

OB/GYN with Woodward and Associates in Hummelstown

Husband, Dr. Bryan Herchelroath, Pinnaclehealth CardioVascular Insitute, and two daughters ages 5 and 8

I love to spend time with my precious girls and my very busy husband, shop, read, sleep, spend time with my friends and my family. Baltimore doesn’t seem so far any more when compared to Iowa.  I love my Pilates instructor because she saved my back.  I run (like jog). My kids would tell you that I love to relax.  Its true. I love to bake but find myself eating all the good stuff, so I have cut back on that one.

Being busy: 
I think most people know that Ob/Gyn is exhausting and stressful, but also rewarding.    So by the time I moved to Harrisburg, I knew what I was capable of, and I knew what I needed to do to be balanced in life and career.  And I was lucky enough to join a practice that respects that.  
It was very scary for me coming out of Residency and holding women’s lives in my hands.  I didn’t know how much that would affect me.  I don’t think many young college students who decide to go to medical school understand this responsibility.  I worked crazy hours and really did a TON of deliveries.  I almost burned out. 

How I find “me time”: 
Lots of young medical students ask me about balance as a woman OB/Gyn.  It is hard.  But if you are fortunate enough to be able to do it your way, then I tell them to do it.  I now work part-time.  But don’t kid yourself, part-time for an OB is still 40-60+ hours a week (depending on call).  But when I am off, I try very hard to protect that time.  
Everyone is different.  And every woman’s situation is different.  But for me, finding time for myself is essential.  I think every busy woman needs an organized calendar, a great support system (whether that be a friend, relative, or confidant), a reasonable significant other, a lot of luck, a family doctor, a dermatologist, and, of course, an excellent OB/Gyn.

Do you know a PHantastic female? We want to talk to her! Send us information about a PHantastic  female, (self nominations are good too!) and we might spotlight that person next month!

8 Relationships You Need to Thrive Through Life’s Changes

As the seasons change, it’s a good time for women to look at the transitions in their lives and to learn about what support exists for each, from pediatricians to get through to puberty, to OBGYNs and PCP’s and even psychological support for the tough times.  

Women in particular go through many changes in life.  From childhood to adolescence through child-bearing and adults years, women work through change almost constantly. Thankfully, there is a lot of help available to women, if they know where to look.  As we work see the seasons changing this April, PinnacleHealth experts will provide you with tips on ways to weather the changes in your life.

1.       Pediatrician
Most children are comfortable seeing a pediatrician until they are in their late teens.  Pediatricians will not only take care of the basics of vaccinations and developmental milestones, but are also great resources for questions regarding your child’s behavior.  Developing a strong relationship between your child and her pediatrician will go a long way to your child developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

2.       OBGYN
Some of the biggest changes in a woman’s life will be supported by a great OBGYN.  From birth control, through child bearing and onto menopause, OBGYNs are an incredibly valuable resource for women. Maintaing a relationship through yearly appointments is crucial for your health.  Your physician will be able to check in with you on changes you've noticed and possibly alert you to changes you haven’t noticed.  There is no question too embarrassing for an OBGYN so feel free to ask—you’ll likely get the support and answers you need!

3.       PCP
A primary care physician should be your home base for medical care.  As you get older, many changes can occur that your PCP will be able to help you with.  For example, changes in weight, appetite, and sleeping habits are common and can be easily addressed by a primary care physician.  Yearly visits are also important to maintain your relationship and ensure that you are addressing all the recommendations intended to keep you healthy. For any concerns, you should feel comfortable calling your PCP as they are ready and willing to help support you with any health concerns.

4.       Psychologist
Unfortunately, many people still fear seeking out support from a therapist or psychologist.  But statistically, 1 in 4 adults in the US experience a mental health challenge in their life.  Add in common life changes such as stress, grief and anger, all adults could benefit from a relationships with a counselor at some point.  Many fear that asking for such help will result in years of therapy or prescriptions, but in actuality, even short term therapy can be beneficial to helping to work through change and maintain a positive outlook. Psychologists, therapists and counselors can provide support through life’s changes by listening, and offering suggestions of proven methods to better manage change in a healthy way.

5.       Geriatrician
Did you even know about geriatrics? Many people don’t .  Geriatric physicians focus on the health needs of older adults.  When you reach a certain age,  you may no longer need an OBGYN and your specific needs might be better dealt with by someone who specializing in care for older adults.

6.       Hospital system
Something you probably weren't too concerned about at age 20 but creating a relationship with a hospital or health system is important.  Many women don’t realize that their OB’s only deliver at certain hospitals so when considering getting pregnant, you need to consider first where you’d like to deliver.  Over the course of your life, even if you are generally healthy, you will interact with your chosen health system for routine testing and maybe even minor emergencies.   Do  your research early to choose the system that will serve you best.

7.       Food
Your relationship with food is a lifelong one that can, at times, be love hate for many women.  Food can be one of the greatest drivers in  changing your health, both positively and negatively.  The good news is that there is support for helping you to develop a healthy relationship with food.  Providers such as dietitians and bariatricians, like those at the PinnacleHealth Weight Loss Center, can help you through appointments, products and fun cooking classes, to improve your relationship with food.

8.       Yourself
Probably the most important relationship you need is one with yourself.  This is what Make a Date Every 8 is all about.  Take time for you and make sure you slow down enough to know your body when its well and to know when something has changed.  This self-awareness is key in ensuring your health.

Having a strong support network can help anyone get through the changes they face in life.  To be the healthiest, happiest you, you need to ensure your needs are being taken care of and a network of skilled and caring healthcare providers can support you in that. As the seasons of your life change and change again, don’t be afraid to reach out to your providers and to ask questions and seek support.

Are things changing in your life? Need some help?
PinnacleHealth Psychological Associates                231-8360 24/7 on call
PinnacleHealth Pediatric Associates                       717-652-1211
PinnacleHealth Medical Group                               231-8900 to find a primary care physician
Obstetrics and Gynecology                                    231-8900 to find an OBGYN          
PinnacleHealth Geriatric Associates                       614-4420

Friday, February 7, 2014

Heart Health Benefits of Zumba and Yoga

Contributed by:
Marge Beck BS, PA-C
Kathaleen A. Johnson, DNP, CRNP, CCRN
Santina Sperling MS, CRNP  
PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute

Everyone knows exercise is good for your health, but sometimes finding a workout you like and getting started is tough.  In recent years, Zumba and Yoga have become very popular and with good reasons. PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute nurse practitioner Kathaleen Johnson explains, “Both types of exercise offer great health benefits and are easy and fun to do. We always encourage patients to choose activities they enjoy because these are the activities that will become a healthy habit.”

Yoga is seen as many as a trendy type of workout but it actually dates back many thousands of years. Consisting of slow paced movements where participants focus on form and breathing, yoga has various styles of practice including hatha, vinyasa and bikram to name a few.  Beginners often get caught up in the terminology and a feeling of self-consciousness, neither of which should hold someone back.  Yoga is meant to be a practice and a personal effort where you focus on yourself.  Even the most advanced practitioners (called yogis) will explain that they still practice and have good days and bad days.  The most important advice when beginning yoga is to be patient with yourself.

People now realize the many health benefits yoga offers which explain why so many people have made this a part of their healthy lifestyle.  These benefits are both mental and physical and include lower blood pressure, increased lung capacity, improved respiratory function and heart rate, better circulation, and better muscle tone.

Additionally, yoga can aid in stress management, which provides positive benefits to heart health.

“Significant stress has many negative effects on the body, including negative effects on the heart.  Yoga can help reduce stress by clearing the mind, increasing focus and lowering blood pressure, even after just one session,” explains Santina Sperling MS, CRNP  with PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute.

Zumba is a more recent workout craze that combines upbeat Latin music with a handful of easy to learn dance based moves.  Most participants describe Zumba as more dance party than workout, but don’t be fooled there are serious benefits to Zumba. The benefits include calorie burn, increased aerobic threshold, more stamina, increased bone density, improved balance and muscle tone, less body fat, and lower blood pressure.

“From a cardiovascular standpoint, any exercise that helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps to lower blood pressure, is a good exercise to try” says Marge Beck BS, PA-C a physician assistant and part of the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute.

The American Health Association recommendations for physical activity outline the best way to go about achieving heart health benefits from exercise. They include:

  • Get the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week.
  • You can incorporate your weekly physical activity with 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week.
  • Physical activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.
  • Include flexibility and stretching exercises.
  • Include muscle strengthening activity at least two days each week.

Looking to try one of these great workouts but don’t know where to begin? Make a Date today for PinnacleHealth’s afternoon of Zumba and Yoga, presented by The PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. This event is today, February 8th from Noon -3 p.m. at the Linglestown Life United Methodist Church 1430 N. Mountain Road, Harrisburg, PA

Registrations will be accepted at the today’s event and the cost is $20 per person which includes a t-shirt. All proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association Go Red for Women® program.

Zumba and Yoga will be held from 1-2pm with additional activities including blood pressure, weight, pulse and cholesterol checks as well as CPR instruction. Stuart Pink, MD, cardiologist, will be on hand to offer information on peripheral vascular disease and the PinnacleHealth Capital Region Vein Center.

Capital Region Vein Center Explores New Less Painful Ways to Treat Varicose Veins: Are Glues or Fillers the Next Painless Treatment Option?

Contributed by: Stuart B. Pink, MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, Medical Director 

It is believed that varicose veins will affect one in three people during their lifetime. Symptoms include leg pain and swelling, restless legs, brownish discoloration of the skin called lipodermatosclerosis, all of which can negatively affect one’s lifestyle. In its most severe form, the condition can yield the development of ulcers and threatened limb loss.  Although conservative therapy including exercise and compression stockings may work, there are many patients who require eradication (or elimination) of the vein.

Currently the most common method of varicose vein closure is through "thermal ablation" using either a laser catheter or an electrical catheter, both of which close the vein by heating it. Unfortunately, this requires multiple injections of anesthetic fluid along the length of the vein treated, which may be painful and take nearly one hour to perform.

Saphenous vein closure, using a ”superglue," has been performed safely and effectively in Europe and Hong Kong with greater than 1000 patients treated to date. The material (called cyanoacrylate) has been used safely for surgical procedures as a tissue adhesive as well as for treatment of intracranial arterial venous malformation. The chemical triggers an inflammatory reaction that leads to closure of the vein. The material is delivered via a catheter system under ultrasound guidance.

In experienced hands, this procedure would require only one needle stick and could be done in less than half the time of a thermal ablation. Patients could expect to resume normal activity the same day! The FDA has conducted pre-market approval trials and the Capital Region Vein Center will be monitoring the results. Hopefully we can offer this remarkable new technology to our patients in the near future! This is exciting news as it will revolutionize the treatment of varicose veins.