Oct 302012
 

Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the holiday season are just around the corner, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and Ad Council have teamed up for a campaign to promote oral health. This Partnership for Oral Health is designed to raise awareness of children, parents and caregivers about oral health.

Some of the recommendations found online from the AAPD at http://www.aapd.org or the Partnership for Oral Health at http://2min2x.org are:

• Remember to brush teeth twice a day for at least two minutes.
• Parents and caregivers should help or watch over their kids’ tooth brushing abilities until they’re at least 8-years-old.
• Children should use a soft toothbrush that allows them to reach all areas of their mouth.
• Replace toothbrushes every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are worn out, or if your children have been sick
• Children also should clean between their teeth once a day, every day, with floss or flossers to remove plaque and food where a toothbrush can’t reach. Teeth can be flossed as soon as two teeth touch each other.
• Plaque is the sticky film of germs that forms and collects on teeth and gums after eating. Plaque that is not removed by brushing twice a day can lead to cavities.
• Visit your dentist regularly your whole life, starting no later than age one. This is important for good oral health.
• As soon as teeth appear in your baby’s mouth, it’s possible for your child to develop cavities. It is important to keep your baby’s gums and teeth clean to prevent tooth decay, even in baby teeth. Brush for two minutes, twice a day.
• Fluoride helps fight cavities and is found naturally in water and some foods. Fluoride is added to dental products like toothpaste to help protect teeth from cavities.
• Taking good care of a child’s teeth reduces the number of bacteria in their mouth that can cause tooth decay.
• A balanced diet helps teeth and gums to be healthy. A diet high in natural or added sugars may place your child at extra risk for tooth decay.
• A sugary or starchy food with sugar is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Chewing during a meal helps produce saliva which helps wash away sugar and starch.
• Sticky foods, like potato chips, raisins and other dried fruit and candy are not easily washed away by saliva, water or milk, so they have more cavity-causing potential.
• Talk to your dentist about serving foods that foster good dental health.

Stuart D. Josell, DMD, MDenSC
Chair of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
East Carolina University
School of Dental Medicine

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Oct 292012
 

World Stroke Day is Oct. 29.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability in the United States.

An estimated 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, according to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

In eastern North Carolina, the rate of stroke is higher than the national average.

World Stroke Day encourages everyone to:

1. Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.
2. Be physically active and exercise regularly.
3. Maintain a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetable and low in salt to stay healthy and keep blood pressure low.
4. Limit alcohol consumption.
5. Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.
6. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action.

According to the East Carolina Heart Institute, the warning signs of stroke include:

• Numbness or tingling in an arm, leg, face or on one side of the body
• Severe headache
• Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Not being able to talk
• Brief loss of consciousness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Blurry or double vision

Remember the 3 R’s: reduce your risk of stroke; recognize the signs of stroke; respond right away to the warning signs of stroke by calling 911.

The East Carolina Heart Institute is the first in North Carolina devoted exclusively to education, research, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The primary facilities that make up the Heart Institute are located on the campuses of Vidant Medical Center and ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. For more information, go to www.eastcarolinaheartinstitute.com

Oct 262012
 

It’s no secret that Laupus Library is a treasure trove of learning resources for the ECU Health Sciences community. But did you know it’s also a time capsule?

Institutional Repositories (IR), adapted in recent years by universities nationwide, are a modern-day approach to preserving faculty work for future generations by making it available online. When ECU librarians created The Scholarship, their version of an IR for the university, they added a feature to make it even more valuable. They allowed students and staff, not just faculty members, to deposit their work – and make it public.

The ScholarShip stores research papers, documents, presentation slides and other written materials created while working or studying at ECU. And because students, staff and faculty can all contribute their work, The ScholarShip provides another outlet for all members of the Health Sciences community to learn collaboratively outside of the classroom.  

Contributing work to The Scholarship only takes about the same amount of time as it would to upload a picture on a photo sharing website – but its benefits far outweigh (and outlast!) that of a Facebook snapshot.

Contributors can rest assured their uploaded work will remain unaltered and publicly accessible via a sharable, customized hyperlink. This is particularly useful for students pursuing professional opportunities: they can include links to their work on LinkedIn and resumes for years to come, knowing that the link will never be removed or altered.

The ScholarShip also makes work available to anyone on the web – which means Health Sciences findings could be useful for anyone searching key terms found in uploaded work. Graduates have already shared their work with countless researchers across the globe through The ScholarShip – another way to share the great work happening at ECU with the international medical community. Dissertations and theses from ECU graduates can be viewed here.

For more information about The ScholarShip, visit the deposit process page: http://thescholarship.ecu.edu/deposit.

We look forward to adding more work to ECU’s very own time capsule, and sharing it with generations to come.

–Dr. Dorothy A. Spencer
Director, Laupus Library

Oct 232012
 

Last Thursday night, many of the Brody family came out to roll the dice, have fun and raise money for a cause that is close to the heart of many that work on the Health Science Campus.

Greenville Women’s’ League along with Carolina Breast and Oncologic Surgery sponsored the 9th annual Bunco for Breast Cancer at the Greenville Convention Center. All proceeds benefit Gardeners for Hope, a fund that has been assisting local breast cancer patients for many years.

Gardeners for Hope began by a group of friends to honor the memory and spirit of a dear friend lost to cancer in 2002. Their friend, Joan Balch, was a consummate gardener and fascinating companion. Her devotion to her family and friends were inspiring and her spirit, strength, and joy in life as well as her fight against the disease gave all who knew her the hope they needed during her illness. Joan’s friends wish to pass on that hope and strength to others coping with breast cancer. The fund is a way to help patients maintain hope and gather strength by receiving care and support.

All proceeds donated to Gardeners for Hope are given to patients actively undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer patients who are challenged by economic problems or are in need of positive encouragement receive assistance from the fund. There is no income qualification to receive assistance.

The Gardeners for Hope funds are distributed to the patients through the dedicated social workers and nurses that work at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center. Other local oncology centers such as Carolina Breast & Oncologic Center and the McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge will contact the fund to assist local breast cancer patients in need as well.

Operational costs for Gardeners for Hope are minimal. There are no personnel or building maintenance costs. No one receives any type of compensation from the fund. Only the breast cancer patients receive assistance. Retired nurses and social workers still remain active on the board of Directors of the fund and volunteer at events. It is the mission of the fund founders, who continue to remain active, that this fund remains unrestricted to assist patients with various things in their time of need in a timely and efficient manner. The Gardeners for Hope fund is completely operational due to the generosity of others.

Due to the vast geographical landscape that the Vidant Hospital system incorporates in eastern North Carolina, more patients are being diagnosed and sent to the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center for treatment. Due to the rising cost of gasoline, many patients are struggling to make chemotherapy appointments. Assistance with transportation has become a large portion of what the fund assists with covering for breast cancer patients. More patients are traveling further distances to receive treatment at Leo Jenkins Cancer Center. Some of the local patients are elderly and cannot drive. The fund has assisted with transportation costs such as taxis, ambulance transportation and minor car repairs such as a tire or battery.

Assistance with Co-Payments for Prescriptions has been another area that the fund has seen increase tremendously. Due to the economic climate, many patients do not have insurance. The patients with insurance are foregoing filling prescriptions. This is due to the escalating cost of co-payments for drugs, especially without generics available and the reported shortage. Without assistance, prescriptions are not being filled therefore, at times possibly slowing recovering for some of the patients and hindering treatment.

Jan Tysinger, Health Science Personnel; Reagan Askew, Health Science Personnel; Cindy Reaves, BSOM Dean’s Administration; Amy Tysinger

Gardeners for Hope have been able to assist many patients with many needs. In addition to the transportation and prescription assistance, the fund has also assisted patients with their utility bill, wigs, mammograms, massages, new clothing due to rapid weight loss, prosthesis, family portrait for terminal cases, flowers to light spirits, eye glass prescription, grass mowing service and many other items for many situations.
As we enter the holiday season, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to honor the survivors, the ones we have lost and the ones currently in the fight. For more information please contact Anita Proctor, Nurse Manager at Leo Jenkins Cancer Center at 252-744-3740 or by email PROCTORA@ecu.edu

To those of you that attended, thank you for your willingness to help others in their time of need and with painting Greenville PINK!

Marsha Hall
Daughter of a Breast Cancer Survivor
Treasurer, Greenville Women’s League
Business Coordinator, Medical Education & Student Development

Oct 192012
 

Physical therapists are, in basic terms, experts in function and movement of the human body.

While an acute injury, such as a fracture, ACL injury, or dislocation may first require a visit to a physician, chronic conditions such as painful movements of the arm or leg that affect your everyday function, can usually be resolved by a PT who can help identify the problem and develop a treatment plan.  For example, physical therapy is a great way to address chronic ailments such as low back pain, neck pain and/or headaches, ankle sprains, knee pain, arthritis, tennis elbow, or shoulder tendonitis.

Sometimes, a particular problem requires a PT who is a specialist.  PTs are also trained in specialties that include neurological disorders, wound care, geriatrics, pediatrics and women’s health to name a few.  

The ECU Department of Physical Therapy offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.  The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Vision 2020 statement indicates that by the year 2020, physical therapists will be DPTs and will be autonomous practitioners. This means that the licensed physical therapist will assume greater responsibility for the treatment of the client, within their scope of practice, and will accept greater accountability for their actions as well.

How do you choose the right physical therapist for your care? APTA offers some guidelines.

  • You have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist. Currently, 46 states, including NC, allow people to go directly to a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. Keep in mind, however, that your insurance may require a visit to the primary care physician first or may limit your access to preferred providers only.
  • Always insist that your physical therapy be provided by a licensed physical therapist, or a physical therapy assistant who is supervised by a licensed PT.
  • Ask the physical therapist’s clinic if it participates with your insurance company and if the clinic will submit claims on your behalf.
  • Your first visit should include an evaluation by the physical therapist to identify current and potential problems. Based on the results of the examination, and considering your specific goals, your PT should design a plan of care detailing what they think is wrong, how they plan to address it, and about how long it should take to see improvement.
  • Your treatment information should be shared with any other healthcare provider or physician as medically necessary for your treatment.
  • You should feel comfortable asking your physical therapist any questions regarding your course of care.

The ECU Department of Physical Therapy operates a PT Clinic that evaluates and treats back and neck pain, tendonitis, sprains and strains, sport-specific and running injuries, herniated discs, arthritis, and provides post-operative rehabilitation for adults and children.

October is National Physical Therapy Month!  To learn more about how PTs can help you get moving again, go to Move Forward-Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life.  And to learn more about what’s happening in the ECU Department of Physical Therapy:  http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/pt/newsevents.cfm.

Dr. Walter Jenkins, Professor and Chair
ECU Department of Physical Therapy