Memorial is honored with patient safety award

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Receives Statewide Recognition for Improving Patient Safety

Washington State Hospital Association’s “Achieving Best Care” award
goes only to top-performing hospitals

SEATTLE — Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital was recognized for outstanding achievement in improving patient safety at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) in Seattle.

Memorial earned the 2014 “Washington State Hospital Association Achieving Best Care” award for its efforts to decrease patient harm through their participation in the Partnership for Patients national initiative – a nationwide collaborative effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

Memorial is one of 14 WSHA hospitals to receive this award.

“Patient safety is central to care at Memorial, and our employees have made these efforts a top priority,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers says. “Teamwork has enabled us to make strides in these patient safety areas, and we are pleased to have been recognized by our peers.”

The initiative focuses on reducing harm in 10 key areas:
1.    Adverse drug events
2.    Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
3.    Central line-associated blood stream infections
4.    Injuries from falls and immobility
5.    Obstetrical adverse events
6.    Pressure ulcers
7.    Surgical site infections
8.    Venous thromboembolism
9.    Ventilator-associated pneumonia
10.    Preventable readmissions

The “Achieving Best Care” award was presented to hospitals that achieved the highest scores on harm reduction in the key areas. The scoring was based on the size of the hospital, the key strategies in which they were participating, and if they were in the top one fourth of high performing hospitals in the state. All of the top performers reached the Partnership for Patients goal of reducing harm by 40% and readmissions by 20% and many also reached a goal of zero harm over a sustained period.

“The Partnership for Patients contract has enabled us to make impressive improvements in patient safety in all the participating hospitals,” said WSHA Senior Vice President for Patient Safety Carol Wagner. “Through extensive education, best-practice implementation, and rapid response to problems, the hospitals doing this work are helping to test and model the best ways to keep patients safe in the hospital. It benefits their patients, but it also benefits all patients.”
PARTNERSHIP FOR PATIENTS BACKGROUND
The Partnership for Patients initiative is being lead locally by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Washington State Hospital Association was one of 26 health care organizations in the U.S. to be awarded a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011.

As a Partnership for Patients HEN, WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association have partnered to support hospitals and medical practices in Washington and Oregon in their efforts to reduce patient harm. By joining this initiative, hospitals and health care providers across the nation pledged to make health care safer, more reliable and less costly – ultimately saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars. WSHA provides member hospitals with trainings, data, tools and other resources to help them reach these patient safety goals. More information on the WSHA Partnership for Patients can be found at www.wsha.org/partnershipforpatients.cfm.

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Memorial Family of Services includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, hospice care and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh). The Memorial Foundation has raised and distributed $45 million toward innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (www.memfound.org).

About the Washington State Hospital Association
The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing 99 community hospitals and several other health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services.

In 2005, WSHA launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the wide-spread adoption of evidence-based clinical practices. WSHA works to improve the health of the people of the state by becoming involved in all matters affecting the delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care.

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Register now for our upcoming Diabetes Prevention classes

Diabetes Prevention Classes

* There is room in our weekly Monday (1-2pm) and Tuesday (10-11am) classes beginning on October 27th and October 28th. Registration is required by calling 249-5317. Read below to find out more about this program.*

Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Memorial’s prevention program helps people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants meet in groups with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly, one-hour sessions and seven monthly follow up sessions. If you would like to learn more about this program, you can attend an orientation on the last Monday of each month from 4-4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. No registration is necessary for the orientation.

How do I know this program is for me?

• Are you an overweight adult?

• Do you have family members with diabetes?

• Have you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or did any of your babies weigh 9 lbs or more at birth?

• Have you ever been told you have high blood sugar, prediabetes, or borderline diabetes?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.

 

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Open enrollment for health insurance begins November 15, 2014

Open enrollment for health insurance through the state begins November 15, 2014, for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. The open enrollment period ends February 15, 2015.

In Washington State, Medicaid eligibility has expanded to include more adults.  The state’s Health Benefit Exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder, allows individuals and families who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance to enroll in a health plan and receive financial help.  Health coverage offered through Washington Healthplanfinder includes Classic Medicaid, an expanded Medicaid program for Washington State called “Apple Health,” and various qualified health insurance plans.

How to enroll:
Online: www.wahealthplanfinder.org

Call 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TTD 1-855-627-9604

Online application tips can be found at here.

Other Resources:

Memorial is offering certified application counselors at the hospital and Emergency Room.

•    ynhs.org/Healthplanfinder/ or call (509) 454-4243
•    wahbexchange.org
•    whitehouse.gov/healthreform
•    healthcare.gov

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Expected bump in enterovirus cases not a cause for alarm, CDC says

Oct. 22, 2014—Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a new, faster lab test for diagnosing enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory illness that has sickened children since August and has now spread throughout the country.

Spread of the virus

As of mid-October, CDC had tested more than 1,100 specimens sent in by hospitals that treated people suspected of having the virus. The agency prioritized testing of those with severe symptoms but said there are likely many more people with milder forms of the illness.

Early on, EV-D68 seemed to be concentrated in the Midwest. But now, CDC and state health agencies have confirmed more than 922 cases in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Most of these occurred among children.

What better testing means

With the old test, it took several weeks to get results. But the new test can confirm a diagnosis in just days. It has greatly sped up testing of the roughly 1,000 specimens that were still awaiting CDC evaluation as of last week. Previously they averaged 40 per day; with the new test, it’s 180. CDC has now tested over 1,400 specimens total.

Test results don’t help determine treatment plans for specific patients—such as the use of oxygen as a form of supportive therapy. Instead, they’re intended to help health officials track cases of the virus and target their response.

Because of the accelerated testing, it may appear that there has been a sudden increase in new infections. That is not the case. CDC expects that, as with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 infections will likely begin to decline by late fall.

In fact, informal reports from some hospitals and states suggest the infections may already be decreasing.

The take-home message
The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68. It’s one of several enteroviruses and rhinoviruses that cause respiratory symptoms in millions of American kids each year. Although EV-D68 is not new, it has been diagnosed more frequently this year than in years past and has been most severe in children with asthma.

Infants, children and teenagers are at greater risk for getting the virus because they may not have been exposed to it in the past. As a result, they don’t have the immunity that many older people do. This means they’re less able to fight off the disease.

Symptoms of EV-D68 include:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Body and muscle aches

More severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

6 steps to prevent infection

You can help protect your children by encouraging your family to follow some basic prevention tips from CDC:

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact—such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils—with people who are sick.
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  6. Stay home when you’re sick, and keep sick children out of school.

If your child has asthma

It’s a good time to review a child’s asthma action plan with his or her doctor. Go over all aspects of self-care with your child. It’s important to talk with the child’s teachers or caregivers as well.

Be sure to notify your child’s doctor immediately if he or she seems to develop new or worsening symptoms that do not improve by following the asthma action plan.

Call your child’s doctor if he or she is having trouble breathing or is experiencing worsening symptoms that are hard to control. Hospital care may be needed.

 

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s? Attend this conference on Nov. 4

The Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington is hosting an educational conference Nov. 4 in Yakima to provide tools and encouragement to family caregivers and health care professionals in Central Washington who are caring for people with dementia. Executive Director Bob Le Roy appeared on KIT 1280 on Oct. 21, 2014, to talk more about the upcoming conference.

Why do health care providers and the general public need more information about Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in Washington state, and it’s expected to be a major health issue in the years to come as baby boomers retire. State officials are working to develop an Alzheimer’s Disease Plan to map out the needs of the thousands of Washington residents who are and will be affected by this progressive, fatal disease.

In Central Washington, the need for more information about this progressive, fatal disease is great. The Alzheimer’s Association sponsors support groups for caregivers in both English and Spanish – the Spanish groups started this past summer – but there is a true need for tips and tools to help families cope with the disease.

What can people who attend the conference expect?
Family caregivers will have sessions devoted specifically to them, offering helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care for loved ones. These sessions will address challenges to caring for a loved one with dementia, including relationship changes, communication, maximizing safety and difficult behaviors.

The family caregiver sessions will be offered concurrently in both English and Spanish and are being offered at no charge to participants, made possible in part by a generous grant from The Memorial Foundation.

Is there an education program for health care providers as well?
Yes. A second track of the conference offers sessions to address the progression of dementia-related diseases for health care professionals, including nurses, physicians, medical assistants and medical students who are or will be caring for people with dementia. The registration fee is $50.

In addition, we are offering a separate, education program in the evening for continuing education credits for physicians and medical professionals.

When is the conference?
The conference is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m.

A complimentary box lunch is provided.

Preregistration is required. Visit alzwa.org/cms/yacc/ or call (206) 529-3894 to register.

For more information, visit alzwa.org or yakimamemorial.org.

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Alzheimer’s Association to host a dementia conference on Nov. 4th

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a Yakima conference on Nov. 4
for family caregivers and health care professionals caring for people with dementia

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington is hosting an educational conference Nov. 4 in Yakima to provide tools and encouragement to family caregivers and health care professionals in Central Washington who are caring for people with dementia.

Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in Washington state, and state officials are working to develop an Alzheimer’s Disease Plan to map out the needs of the thousands of Washington residents who are and will be affected by this progressive, fatal disease.

At this conference, family caregivers will have sessions devoted specifically to them, offering helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care for loved ones. These sessions will address challenges to caring for a loved one with dementia, including relationship changes, communication, maximizing safety and difficult behaviors.

The family caregiver sessions will be offered concurrently in both English and Spanish and are being offered at no charge to participants, made possible in part by a generous grant from The Memorial Foundation.

A second track of the conference offers sessions to address the progression of dementia-related diseases for health care professionals, including nurses, physicians, medical assistants and medical students who are or will be caring for people with dementia. The registration fee is $50.

A separate evening, educational program for continuing education credits is also available for physicians and medical professionals.

For more information about the conference, the education program or to register, visit alzwa.org/cms/yacc or call (206) 529-3894.

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Ebola fears rise in U.S., but risk remains low

Oct. 21, 2014—Public fears of an impending U.S. Ebola outbreak have grown in the wake of confirmed cases of the disease in this country.

The number of people worried that a family member will get Ebola is also higher today than when the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) first surveyed American attitudes in August.

But the risk of a major outbreak in this country remains very low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite cases of transmission in the U.S., the fact remains that Ebola isn’t that easy to spread.

Ebola: The polls vs. the facts

HSPH followed up its August poll with a similar survey conducted from Oct. 8 through Oct. 12. The second survey involved 1,004 adults.

Here are some of the poll results, followed by facts from CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Poll: Most people (85 percent) believe Ebola can be transmitted by the sneeze or cough of an infected person.

FACT: Ebola spreads through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. Bodily fluids include blood, saliva, vomit and feces (diarrhea is a symptom of Ebola). The fluids can come directly from the person or from contaminated items (syringes, clothing or bedding). Direct contact means contact with broken skin or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, mouth or nose. Ebola is not spread by air or water. As such, Ebola infections can spread via cough or sneeze only to someone in direct contact with the ill person—not to someone standing even a few feet away.

Poll: About half (49 percent) believe the virus is “very likely” to spread from an infected person.

FACT: People need to be in very close contact to get Ebola from an infected person. That’s why many of those who have contracted the disease are health care workers. Health care providers and family who have regular, intimate contact with a sick person’s bodily fluids have the highest risk of getting the disease.

Poll: More than half (52 percent) worry the U.S. will see a large Ebola outbreak in the next 12 months.

FACT: The three West African countries that have been the most severely affected recently experienced long periods of conflict and political instability, with very weak health systems and few resources left to them. The U.S. health system bears little resemblance to those of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

You can read a summary of the HSPH’s October poll here.

The take-home message

There’s little risk of a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S.

You can read the latest updates about Ebola—and learn the history of the virus—at CDC’s Ebola website. To learn how Ebola spreads—and does not spread—check out this infographic.

 

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Live near a busy road?

Oct. 19, 2014—There’s no denying that living near a noisy, crowded roadway can be annoying. But that’s not all. If you’re a woman, it could also put your heart health in jeopardy, according to findings of a new American Heart Association study. (Men, you’re not off the hook: The study was limited to women, so more research is needed.)

About the study

For middle-aged and elderly women, living in close proximity to a major road may increase their risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest—that’s when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and stops beating without warning. If not treated promptly, death can be the result.

Researchers studied data from over 100,000 women collected from 1988 to 2012 and calculated participants’ residential distance to roadways. After adjusting for factors like age, race, smoking, diet and physical activity, they found that women who lived within 164 feet (the width of a soccer field) of a major road were 38 percent more likely to experience sudden cardiac death compared to those who lived at least 0.3 miles away. Each 328-foot (just less than a football field) increase in proximity to a major road increased risk of sudden cardiac death by 6 percent.

The results suggest that where you live could play as much of a role in your heart health as factors like smoking, diet or obesity. The culprit, experts said, may be air pollution, which is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress. Exposure to stressful noise caused by traffic, which is linked to heart rate and cardiac input, could also be a factor.

Still, researchers caution that more work is needed to fully understand how roadway exposure affects heart health. This study was unable to measure every possible risk factor associated with living near a major road. And it didn’t examine traffic’s effects on men and women of different ages and races.

Read the full study here.

The take-home message
Living near a major roadway may increase the risk for sudden cardiac death. The culprit, in part, may have to do with heightened exposure to particle pollution. Particle pollution is made up of tiny, sometimes invisible pieces of things—like dirt, dust, soot or smoke—that are in the air.Breathing in particle pollution may increase your risk for a heart attack (which increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest) if you have heart disease. On poor air quality days when particle pollution is high, consider:

  • Spending more time inside
  • Avoiding busy roads and highways
  • Choosing activities that don’t force you to breathe as hard. For instance, choosing to walk instead of run.

Minimizing exposure to air pollution is just one of the many steps you can take to protect your heart. Regardless of where you live, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and managing stress all play a role in keeping your heart healthy.

 

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Classes and Events This Week

New and Updated Events
10/27, 4pm Evento Del Dia Mund…
10/27, 5:30pm Parent to Parent…
10/29, 6:30pm Boot Camp For Ne…
Events for October 19 – 25
Sun
Oct 19
1:00 pm Childbirth Education, Sunday 2-day class (Day 2)
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
5:00
Class covers: what to expect during late pregnancy, labor delivery and postpartum. Learn relaxation and breathing techniques, comfort measures and discuss medication options for delivery. Please note:…
Mon
Oct 20
10:00 am Mom and Baby Group
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
12:00
Bring your baby (up to 12 months old) and join other moms to discuss
parenting topics, postpartum health and safety and early intervention.
11:30 am Lamplight Bible Study/support group
North Star Lodge
Ends @
1:30
Lamplight Bible Study is designed for cancer patients and their caregivers/family members. You will see how the Bible can help navigate through their cancer journey. Classes held every 1st and 3rd Mon…
1:30 pm LifeBio 101
North Star Lodge
Ends @
3:30
LifeBio 101

This class teaches you how to use the writing process to address the emotions that accompany the life-altering experience of a cancer diagnosis. LifeBio Guide, Sue Karstetter, Psy.D., wil…

6:00 pm Pre-natal Yoga
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
7:00
Pre-natal Yoga helps decrease tension, improve flexibility and
strength, prepare for the birthing process, and cultivate a connection
between mother and child. No Yoga experience necessary!  If you…
Tue
Oct 21
8:00 am Diabetes Blood Sugar Screenings
Memorial Diabetes Prevention and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Diabetes Blood Sugar and Foot Screenings-For most accurate blood sugar screening results, do not eat or drink anything 8-12 hours prior to screening.
Screens are held at the Center for Diabetes…
10:00 am Diabetes Support Group (see notes for topic)
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
11:00
The Center for Diabetes Prevention and Control provides a genuine understanding of diabetes self-management and is committed to helping those with diabetes gain the skills and confidence needed to suc…
12:00 pm North Star Knitters
North Star Lodge
Ends @
2:00
Cast on to this active, fun-loving group of knitters (many survivors) and learn to knit, crochet and teach others. All the yarn is provided and the laughs are free. Ask your oncologist or nurse about…
6:00 pm Living with loss -8 week discussion based course
Harman Center
Ends @
7:00
Living with Loss:  An 8-week discussion-based course working through the book, Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart.
6:30 pm Baby Basics
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
9:00
Diapering, bathing, feeding; there’s so much involved with in caring for a newborn! Learn all the infant basics, what you can do to be organized and gain insight into recognizing baby’s “cues.”

Thu
Oct 23
12:00 pm Sound Sleep-Sound Rest -Intro and Full Session
North Star Lodge
Ends @
2:00
A cancer diagnosis can cause anxiety, stress and sometimes
depression for patients and their caregivers. There are natural
ways to combat these side effects and it’s something anyone
can learn.
An…
1:00 pm Grief Recovery 8 week workshop
Cottage in the Meadow
Ends @
2:00
Grief Recovery Workshop:  An 8-week course centered around personal discovery and homework-style exercises designed to help you focus on grief recovery. This class utilizes the book The Grief Recovery…
6:00 pm Healthy Whole Grains in a Jar
North Star Lodge
Ends @
7:00
Create quick, healthy meals to be stored in Mason Jars. Learn the facts about whole grains, including how to add these healthy grains to your baked goods. Great gifts for the holiday season!

Fri
Oct 24
9:00 am Cognitive Distortions (am class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Cognitive Distortions – Cognitive distortions are thoughts or ideas that bring out negative emotions. Eliminating these can improve your mood and discourage illness. We will identify these concerns an…
11:00 am Cognitive Distortions (mid day class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
12:00
Cognitive Distortions – Cognitive distortions are thoughts or ideas that bring out negative emotions. Eliminating these can improve your mood and discourage illness. We will identify these concerns an…
2:00 pm Healthy Whole Grains in a Jar
North Star Lodge
Ends @
3:00
Create quick, healthy meals to be stored in Mason Jars. Learn the facts about whole grains, including how to add these healthy grains to your baked goods. Great gifts for the holiday season!

2:30 pm Solo para mamografías—rayos X de senos.
‘Ohana Mammography Center
Ends @
4:30
Cuide de lo que verdaderamente es importante – su Salud.

¿No tiene cobertura médica?
‘Ohana tiene información de programas que ayudan a cubrir el costo de este importante examen.
Llame para más…

Walk-in Clinic for Screening Mammograms
‘Ohana Mammography Center
Ends @
5:30
`Ohana, Memorials Mammography center, offers a walk-in clinic for screening mammograms, Fridays, 2:30–5:30 p.m.  No appointment is necessary and interpreters are available. The name of the doctor who…
3:00 pm Cognitive Distortions (pm class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
4:00
Cognitive Distortions – Cognitive distortions are thoughts or ideas that bring out negative emotions. Eliminating these can improve your mood and discourage illness. We will identify these concerns an…
Sat
Oct 25
10:00 am Young and Pregnant Teen Childbirth Program
Memorial’s Classroom (A, B, or C)
Ends @
3:30
Memorial Hospital’s Young and Pregnant Childbirth Class is specially designed for individuals who are 19 and younger, and their partners (boyfriend, husband, sister, mom or friend), who want informati…

Tip: Click  to add an event to your Yahoo!, Microsoft Outlook, MSN Hotmail, Apple iCal, or Google calendar.

Upcoming Events for October 26 – November 1
Mon Oct 27 9:00 am Blood Pressure Control (am) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
10:00 am Mom and Baby Group (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
11:00 am Blood Pressure Control (Mid day class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
1:30 pm LifeBio 101 (North Star Lodge)
3:00 pm Blood Pressure Control (PM class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
4:00 pm Diabetes Prevention Program orientation (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Evento Del Dia Mundial de La Diabetes New! (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
5:30 pm Parent to Parent Hispanic Social -Yakima New! (Children’s Village)
6:00 pm Pre-natal Yoga (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
6:30 pm Valley Parents -Sunnyside support group
Tue Oct 28 8:00 am Diabetes Blood Sugar Screenings (Memorial Diabetes Prevention and Wellness)
9:00 am Hospice Volunteer Training (Day 1 of 2) (North Star Lodge)
12:00 pm North Star Knitters (North Star Lodge)
4:30 pm Aprendiendo a Vivir con su Diabetes-Clase de diabetes en español (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
6:00 pm Living with loss -8 week discussion based course (Harman Center)
6:30 pm Childbirth Education 4-Week Series (Tuesdays, 1 of 4) (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Wed Oct 29 9:00 am Sleep Management (am class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
11:00 am Sleep Management (mid day class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
3:00 pm Sleep Management (pm class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
6:30 pm Boot Camp For New Dads Updated! (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Thu Oct 30 9:00 am Hospice Volunteer Training (Day 2 of 2) (North Star Lodge)
12:00 pm Sound Sleep-Sound Rest -Intro and Full Session (North Star Lodge)
1:00 pm Grief Recovery 8 week workshop (Cottage in the Meadow)
Fri Oct 31 9:00 am Our Toxic Environment (am class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
11:00 am Our Toxic Environment (Mid day class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
2:30 pm Solo para mamografías—rayos X de senos. (‘Ohana Mammography Center)
Walk-in Clinic for Screening Mammograms (‘Ohana Mammography Center)
3:00 pm Our Toxic Environment (pm class) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
Sat Nov 1 9:00 am Spanish Childbirth Education-Clases de Preparación para el Parto en Español (Memorial’s Community Education Center)

View the entire calendar online

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Improve recovery for younger heart attack patients with social support

Oct. 17, 2014—If you know a young or middle-aged person who’s had a heart attack, make a point of offering your support. Without social support from their family and friends, younger patients are more likely to have depression and other risk factors for ongoing cardiac disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

About the study

In this study, 3,432 male and female heart attack patients, ages 18 to 55, were surveyed at one month after their heart attacks and again at 12 months after. They answered questions about how much social support they had. The researchers defined social support as the perception of having family or friends who do one or more of the following:

  • Provide companionship and act as confidants
  • Offer advice and information
  • Display emotional concern
  • Give financial or material support

The surveys revealed that 728 (21 percent) of the patients had low social support. Compared with patients who had moderate or high social support, these 728 men and women were more likely to smoke and abuse alcohol. They also tended to be single, unemployed and living alone.

One month after having a heart attack, patients with low social support were more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and depression—known risk factors for heart disease.

On average, both one month and 12 months after a heart attack, patients who claimed low social support also reported lower mental functioning, lower quality of life and more symptoms of depression.

Previous studies have shown that, compared to older adults, younger men and women in general require larger social networks to maintain a sense of well-being. In addition, their support networks tend to have fewer family members but more friends and co-workers. Yet their stage of life—which often includes dealing with work stress and raising kids—can compromise these support networks.

For women, low social support may be, in part, the result of a tendency to put their role as caretaker for others ahead of taking care of their own health , according to background information in the study.

With or without social support, heart attack patients between 18 and 55 have a low mortality rate. But this study suggests that without sufficient social support, younger patients may experience other negative health outcomes and could benefit from more support from friends and family to reduce their risk.

To learn more, read the full study.

The take-home message
Friends can mean a lot to a heart attack patient—especially those who are younger. Your companionship to someone surviving a heart attack could improve the way he or she recovers. To provide concrete support to someone who has had a heart attack, consider:

  • Delivering a heart-healthy home-cooked meal
  • Lending an ear, on the phone or in person
  • Offering to walk together regularly
  • Giving financial support if it is needed
  • Providing transportation to doctors’ appointments
  • Helping your friend find community resources for home care

If you are struggling with social support after surviving a heart attack, you may want to consider joining a support group to meet people and learn more about coping with heart disease.

Depression can raise the risk for future cardiac problems, so it’s important to seek treatment.

 

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