Feb 282014
 

About 20 East Carolina University nursing students helped fit elementary students with new bicycle helmets to encourage safe rides on Feb. 26.

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Nursing students Paige Eming and Karina Dierolf check the helmet’s fit.

The undergraduate students, led by College of Nursing clinical instructor Rachelle Denney, worked with 125 fourth-graders at Ridgewood Elementary School in Winterville. The students are in a pediatric clinical rotation this semester.

The event was sponsored by the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program and Safe Communities Coalition of Pitt County at Vidant Medical Center.

The injury prevention office usually works in about six to eight schools and fits helmets for 800 to 1,000 students annually, said Jennifer Smith, manager of the program.

Many parents and children are not aware of local and state laws about helmets and why it’s important to wear a helmet.

On July 5, 2001, North Carolina enacted the Child Bicycle Safety Act. The law requires every person under 16 years old to wear an approved bicycle helmet when operating a bicycle on any public road, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way.

The purpose of the law is to reduce the number of head-related injuries and deaths from bicycle crashes. Studies show that helmets prevent 60 percent of head injury deaths and reduce the overall risk of head injuries by 85 percent. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries, and at least 10,000 kids have injuries that require a hospital stay. For more information, call Smith at 252-847-8668.

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Nursing student Charles Mosley adjusts the strap for a Ridgewood elementary student.

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ECU College of Nursing student Anna Bunch chooses a helmet for a student.

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Feb 252014
 

The news has been filled with reports of new guidelines to prevent and treat heart disease, hypertension and obesity.  My patients have pointed out that none of these new guidelines discuss diet. Reports about the new heart guidelines focus on a controversial new risk assessment tool and also the potential for many more people taking statin drugs.  Working toward achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and consuming a health promoting diet is still an important part of taking care of your heart.  If you don’t know your daily caloric needs, it’s time for you to go to SuperTracker (www.supertracker.usda.gov) and create a personal heart healthy diet and physical activity plan. If you know your calorie needs, you might want to track your intake using a Smartphone App like myfitnesspal.com.  Use the Nutrition Facts label on foods to identify foods that are lower in fat and saturated fat.  It’s recommended that you eat as little Trans-fat as possible and less than 6 percent of your calories from saturated fat. If a Nutrition Facts label shows a food having less than 5 percent of the Daily Value from saturated fat that is a low saturated fat food.  Avoid those foods that meet more than 18 percent of the Daily Value. Many people enjoy following a Mediterranean eating approach to protect their heart.  You can find a nice handout on the ECU Family Medicine website (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/fammed/resources/upload/RC_Med_diet-2.pdf) that allows you to assess your current diet and see what changes you might need to make.  And if you are on the Brody-Vidant Medical Center campus, stop in at the ECHI Heart Café (first floor of the ECHI hospital).  You can try affordable, delicious heart healthy food.  Are you confused about how to protect your heart?  Ask for a referral to a registered dietitian who can help you discover a healthy, affordable, fad-free way of eating for heart health.

 Kathryn M Kolasa Kelly PhD, RD, LDN
Professor Emeritus and Affiliate Professor.  Master Educator.
Vidant Health Nutrition Consultant

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Feb 212014
 
Dr. Stephen Thomas

Dr. Stephen Thomas

I recently published my second article on allied health in the North Carolina Medical Journal. The latest article entitled “New Initiatives in Allied Health in North Carolina” (see here) is another opportunity to educate the medical professions about the allied health professions and the important role we play in health and health care delivery. We all know the issue – allied health by name does not represent who we are as well as titles such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy. I am often asked “What is allied health?” and I give my quick “elevator speech” in which I name several of our departments and then the light bulb lights up—they understand. That often leads to a more in depth and engaging discussion about allied health professions.

I have often referred to allied health as an” alliance” of smaller but significant health professions that, collectively, are larger than medicine or nursing. By themselves, they are unable to bargain as effectively as the larger professions of medicine, nursing and dentistry. Therefore, they form an alliance in order to garner their fair share of the health and health care resources, particularly in higher education. I recently attended a Southern Association of Allied Health Deans Meeting at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where I was employed in my first professional position in their rehabilitation center in 1970 (I felt like I was going home). At the opening session, their allied health dean, Dr. Elizabeth Protas, referred to the method for addressing this issue as “Single Voice Advocacy.” That phrase has stayed with me. It offers a very direct approach for our College to effectively advocate for our professions and educate other health professionals, and the public, about the critically important roles of the allied health disciplines within this alliance, and our significant role in the successful and cost-effective delivery of quality health care.

Single Voice Advocacy was the motivation behind my desire to write the article for the NCMJ. As dean, it is my role to promote the high demand disciplines within the College of Allied Health Sciences. That has always been and will always be a core responsibility of my job. I would like to close by challenging each and every one of you to use “single voice advocacy” when sharing the value of the allied health professions with other health care providers and the public. With the many changes occurring in health care, it is the professional disciplines within allied health that can help deliver cost-effective, high quality, and patient-centered health and health care services throughout our state and nation.

Feb 172014
 

It’s February, and the American Dental Association is sponsoring the annual National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about oral health.

Teaching children good oral hygiene habits early in life can lead to a healthy smile for decades to come.

Parents can visit the ADA website for free online resources from coloring and activity sheets to advice about concerns from thumbsucking to sealants. The website, MouthHealthy.org, has information on developing healthy habits for everyone, at all stages of life.

A balanced diet is important for a child’s growth and development and should include fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and lean proteins.

Take the fact or fiction quiz on the website to test your knowledge on oral health. For example, diluting fruit juice with water doesn’t make it less sugary. A popular saying is “Snack and sip all day? Risk decay” Try and rinse your mouth with water after you eat something sweet. Water is better than juice for hydration and nutrition.

Another fact: A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. And the baby teeth that begin coming through the gums at about six months help prepare for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth. It’s important to keep the teeth strong, healthy and cavity-free.

The ADA reminds everyone that developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental check-ups helps children get a good start on healthy teeth and gums for life. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day.

If you don’t have a regular dentist, the ECU School of Dental Medicine is here to help.

The dental school in Greenville is accepting new patients for ECU’s pre-doctoral and resident clinics. Make an appointment for a screening by calling 252-737-7834 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school’s Community Service Learning Centers in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City are also open. The Ahoskie clinic can be reached at 252-332-1904, and the Elizabeth City clinic is at 252-737-7250.  

 

 

Feb 112014
 

Budding health care professionals at the ECU Division of Health Sciences can now get a closer look at the human bodies they’ll soon be treating – without having to step foot in a clinic.

For a limited time, Laupus Library is providing students and faculty with full premium access to e-Anatomy, the most complete atlas of human anatomy available. During this trial period, the DHS community can explore the complete database of images, scans, and 40 section-specific image modules not available through the free version we normally host.

Medical and allied health students in particular will enjoy having more than 375,000 anatomic structures and a plethora of images – including CT, MRI, Radiographs, Anatomic diagrams and nuclear images – at their fingertips. The interactive collection gives users an up-close look into thousands of labelled anatomical parts they will examine as healthcare professionals.

The full version of e-Anatomy can be viewed by DHS students and faculty here: https://www.lib.ecu.edu/databases/view/137. We encourage students and faculty to take full advantage of this opportunity, as we will be gathering feedback before the trial ends at the end of February. Feedback can be sent via liaisons or direct to Beth Ketterman at kettermane@ecu.edu.

–Kelly R. Dilda
Laupus Library