Oct 302014
 

CRAVENAs the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to fun events full of family, friends and food. However, those who are working to achieve or maintain a healthy weight may also worry about gaining extra pounds amidst the celebration.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Kay Craven of ECU’s Department of Family Medicine points out a few simple strategies that can curb weight gain during all the festivities.

  • Plan ahead. When you enter a party, take a few minutes to survey the foods that are available before you fill your plate. Decide which ones are most appealing to you and choose small portions of those. Rather than trying it all, take the time to savor and enjoy the foods you chose. Then move away from the food and focus on the friends and fun.
  • Don’t skip meals. Many people are tempted to skip lunch in order to splurge in the evening. But arriving at a party with an empty stomach often increases the temptation to overindulge. Instead, eat a small meal or snack such as vegetable sticks, fresh fruit, low fat yogurt or cheese, or a few nuts prior to the party. Don’t skip breakfast, either; research shows that will only lead you to consume more calories later in the day.
  • Choose vegetables first. Holiday meals are usually large and involve multiple helpings. Opting for vegetables and salad with low fat dressing first can fill you up early and stave off the desire for large portions of higher calorie meats and desserts.
  • Slow down. Mom was right. Eating slowly gives your brain timeto register how full you really are. Wait ten minutes to evaluate your hunger before going back for seconds.
  • Bring a healthy dish. Many celebrations are potluck. If you offer to bring something on the lighter side, you know a healthy option will be available. And other guests willprobably thank you.
  • Keep moving. Consider wearing a pedometer and set goals – or have a contest between family members – to increase your steps during the holidays. Take a walk with family members during gatherings. Or plan outdoor games with the kids.

 

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Oct 282014
 

pink-ribbon-hi

It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that 235,030 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014 and that 40,430 deaths will occur as a result of breast cancer.  With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.  United States mortality data shows a steady decrease in death rates for breast cancer since 1989.  This is mostly likely a result of improved early detection and treatment. 

Since breast cancer usually produces no symptoms in the early stages, the key to early detection is having regular breast exams and mammograms.  With early detection treatment options are increased.  Every woman should discuss appropriate screening options depending on their individual risk factors.

Brody School of Medicine’s talented and dedicated physicians treat patients at Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, an East Carolina University and Vidant Health Collaboration in Cancer Care. Specialties include gynecologic oncology, hematology oncology and surgical oncology. To learn more about the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center visit www.leowjenkinscancercenter.com.

To learn more about breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment visit on-line the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.

Sep 232014
 

Between 90,000 and 100,000 Americans are living with sickle cell disease today and approximately 125 infants are born with it every year in North Carolina – 25 of them in eastern North Carolina. September has been designated National Sickle Cell Awareness Month to increase awareness of their plight.

“Normal red blood cells are soft and round and can squeeze through tiny blood vessels. They carry oxygen to all parts of the body through a substance called hemoglobin,” said Dr. Beng Fuh, director of hematology and oncology for the Department of Pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine.

Fuh said sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that occurs predominantly in African-Americans. The red blood cells of people with the disease contain mostly abnormal hemoglobin, which causes their red blood cells to stiffen, bend into the shape of a sickle – a curved tool once used to harvest wheat – and sometimes block small blood vessels. Complications include anemia, tissue and organ damage, strokes and excruciating pain.

Because blood transfusions are one of the main treatments for these complications, ECU’s Sickle Cell Awareness Committee has partnered with the local American Red Cross to encourage eligible donors to give blood in September to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply for people living with this disease.

ECU’s sickle cell disease program is one of the largest in the state with approximately 900 adult and pediatric patients.

Sep 112014
 

Hal Garland, executive director of the Golden Living Center, presents a check for $123,000 to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to support the medical school’s Teaching Nursing Home Project. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatric division for the Department of Family Medicine; Garland; Alexander; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.Hal Garland, executive director of the Golden Living Center, presents a check for $123,000 to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, to support the medical school’s Teaching Nursing Home Project. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatric division for the Department of Family Medicine; Garland; Alexander; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.

Golden Living Center has donated  $123,000 to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University to support a nursing home teaching project.

Brody’s Department of Family Medicine provides primary medical care for the residents of the local Golden Living Center on MacGregor Downs Road. The 72,000-square-foot facility houses 152 residents.

Hal Garland, executive director of the local Golden Living Center, presented the donation to Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Brody; Dr. Kenneth Steinweg, director of the geriatrics division for the Department of Family Medicine; Maria Knupp, family nurse practitioner with the project; and Dr. Renee Banaszak, the project’s director.

The money will be used to support the instruction of resident physicians and geriatric fellows, faculty salaries and teaching materials. Medical, pharmacy and physician assistant students also go to Golden Living Center for clinical learning.

This year is the 33rd the center has supported the teaching project with cumulative support totaling more than $2.5 million.

Sep 092014
 
Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch.

Representatives from the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society visited Greenville to formally present ECU Physicians Neurology with recognition as a partner in MS care. Pictured during that event are, left to right, are Robert Frere, Londra Fleming, Shawnna Patterson, Donald L. Price Jr., Lovie Powers and Kaye Gooch.

 

ECU Physicians Neurology, a leading provider of care for people living with multiple sclerosis in eastern North Carolina, has been recognized as an official “Partner in MS Care” by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This formal designation honors the practice’s commitment to providing exceptional MS care, and to working closely with the society to address the challenges of people affected by the disease.

“We are so proud to partner with ECU Physicians Neurology to enhance coordinated care for the more than 800 people who live with MS in Pitt County and its surrounding areas,” said Kaye Gooch, executive vice president of programs and services for the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“In earning this recognition, ECU Physicians Neurology has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, making a tremendous impact on people affected by MS in their community and region,” she said.

Joseph Hodges, clinical administrative manager for the practice, said, “This designation is an important achievement for us because it endorses the level of care and professional commitment our physicians and staff provide our patients living with multiple sclerosis. It means we work in cooperation with the MS Society and with many local providers and hospitals to ensure patients receive the highest level of quality care available.

“Although multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease, it impacts many body functions,” he added. “Thus, coordination with other physicians and caregivers is essential for patients to achieve a high level of functionality in their daily lives.”

MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system in which the body’s immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, disrupting the flow of information between the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body.

Symptoms can range from relatively benign to disabling and include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, memory and concentration problems, paralysis and blindness. It’s estimated that more than 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by MS.

ECU Physicians Neurology is the largest and most comprehensive neurological medical practice in eastern North Carolina, with 10 physicians who care for patients with MS. One of them, Dr. Robert Frere, who is board-certified in neurology and psychiatry, holds a specialty certification in neurophysiology.

The practice provides MS diagnosis, neuropsychological or cognitive evaluation and treatment, ongoing MS medical and symptom management, pain management, and patient and family education. They also participate in MS clinical trials and research.

ECU Physicians Neurology is located at 2280 Hemby Lane in Greenville. For an appointment, call 252-752-4848, or toll-free 1-800-775-4840. For more information about the practice visit www.ecu.edu/ecuphysicians.