Friday, August 26, 2016

Simple Ways To "Quiet" Our Life And Make Some Changes

By Beth Sullivan, CIN, CAC, SHIP Counselor and Nathan Walsh, MA, LMHCA

“The negative screams at you, but the positive whispers.”-  Barbara Fredrickson

As the weather turns from summer to early fall and the kids return to schools and colleges, it seems like a good time to think about change.  Change from the carefree long, summer days to the more frenzied pace of school, sports and work.  Change from long warm evening hours to the shorter, cooler evening hours.  We can all feel the changes coming.  As the pace picks up, let’s work on the quiet, positive whispers. 

Let’s try some simple ways to quiet our lives and embrace the change.  Here are several changes you can make to improve your health and well-being:

  •        Get a good night’s sleep
  •        Drink plenty of Water
  •        Eat three healthy meals a day
  •        Exercise
  •        Do something you enjoy
  •        Relax
  •        Talk to a loved one
  •        Get some fresh air

      When we make taking care of our self a priority, it will be a struggle, but one well worth working on.  You see, as we begin to take the time to focus on ourselves, we will begin to have more time, energy, and patience with others.  Let’s try and view it from the standpoint of driving an automobile.  If you are constantly driving others around all day and never putting gas into the tank, your vehicle will not go very far!  If you take a small amount of time each day to check your tank and get the fuel you need, you will be able to drive as far as you need to go!  We never wonder why we need to fill up our tanks because it’s simple! Without gas, you can’t drive!  It is the same with your physical and emotional health.  If we don’t take time to check our “gas,” we will not be prepared for the journey that lies ahead.

Embracing change IS a challenge.  It is common to set goals for change as the New Year approaches but we are suggesting that we all set a goal for change this fall.  Let’s start a trend!  You don’t have to change everything at once.  Start with small/reasonable goals you can achieve to gain confidence and build momentum.  Maybe it’s taking 5 minutes daily to be reflective or taking a walk in the evenings.  Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are YOUR goals!  Begin working on them because it is important to YOU!  That is how long term change occurs.  Start small and build momentum.  That’s how avalanches begin and those can be pretty powerful.  YOU, too, can be that powerful!

If you are at a place where goals and personal motivation have come and gone and you are left feeling like you barely survived the avalanche, allow us to offer a common goal we can all work on.  Let’s change our world by setting a goal of thinking before speaking and of not repeating gossip.  Let’s only speak in kind, not condescending, voices.  As the days grow darker, let’s make a goal of making our hearts lighter. Let’s turn the screams into whispers. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Parenting Children With ADHD

A big thank you to Nathan Walsh, one of WHN's Behavioral Health Providers, for lending us his knowledge of parenting children with ADHD. He did a fantastic job! Check out the link below to watch the full video. 

 Parenting children with ADHD.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Asthma Triggers And What You Can Do To Help

By Staci Brandenburg, R.N.

Many people with asthma have what is called a trigger. What is a trigger?  For people with asthma, a trigger is anything that makes their breathing problems worse.*

With the rain and the humidity that we have had lately, people who have asthma may have problems breathing. The rain and humidity is what mold likes to grow. Mold is a common trigger for people with asthma. Other triggers are cigarette smoke, including secondhand, dust mites, outdoor pollution from factories and other places, strong odors like perfumes or scented candles and sprays, smoke from burning wood or grass, pets, exercise, stress, colds, and flu.

If a person has asthma, he or she needs to pay attention to what makes the breathing problems worse.  If a person does not have asthma, he or she should not smoke around people who do have it. Also, be considerate when wearing and spraying strong scented products! Avoid it altogether if you do not know.

To reduce exposure to dust mites, one needs to use dust mite reducing pillow and mattress covers, avoid carpets and rugs in the bedroom, wash sheets and blankets weekly in hot water, or use detergent and bleach if using cold water, and damp mop the floors weekly.

Someone with asthma should ask his or her doctor if he or she should use an inhaler before exercising. Whether or not an inhaler is used before exercise, warming up beforehand is necessary.

To reduce stress, spend time with family and friends, exercise, and practice ways to relax, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.  Your local library may have resources to help with this.

To reduce mold in the home, use air conditioning and/or humidifiers to keep the humidity less than 50% in the house.  Clean up any mold that is in the home. Get any leaky faucets or pipes fixed.

Do not start smoking and try to quit, if you do smoke. Stay away from second hand smoke when possible.  Make sure that wood burning fireplaces and stoves are well-vented.

These are just a few ways to help ease the discomfort of asthma. Be sure you schedule an appointment with your Provider to learn more ways to help and to see if you need medication. 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Community Health Centers: An Oasis of Hope in Trying Times

By Scott Rollett, M.B.A., C.M.P.E.

In case you didn’t know, August 7 – 13 is National Community Health Center Week.  Like our Community Health Center brethren across the state and nation, Windrose Health Network has been celebrating this week by having a little fun at work playing “dress-up”.  If you have visited one of our Health Centers this week, you may have flashed back to the 80’s on Monday or seen the “Nerd Herd” on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, it may have seemed like some of us “slept in” for Pajama Day or “hung loose” on Thursday (Hawaiian Day).  Finally, on Friday, we will get to support our favorite sports teams (Go COLTS!).  This tradition has existed for many years at WHN and it is all in good fun.  We celebrate the uniqueness of Health Centers by being unique ourselves. It is one more way that we can say to the communities that we serve that Community Health Centers ARE different.  More importantly, across America and across the great state of Indiana, Health Centers continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients.

I read some statistics recently that were somewhat troubling to me.  Despite the progress touted by our current Governor, the economic status of many Hoosier families remains mixed.  In 2015, 1,015,127 Hoosiers were living in poverty (Below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level) and another 1,260,419 were living on the edge of poverty (Between 100% - 200% of the Federal Poverty Level).  That’s a total of 2,275,546 people living in economically-disadvantaged conditions.  That’s 35% of all Hoosiers!  What’s even more distressing is that represents a 20.7% increase from 2007 to 2013!  From there, the statistics get worse: while Indiana did add 14,726 low-wage jobs from 2007 to 2013, it LOST 35,814 mid-wage jobs and 23,369 high-wage jobs.  Not surprising then, the median household income has DROPPED from $55,182 in 2000 to $47,529 in 2013.  Now, I don’t remember exactly what I was paying for my family’s weekly groceries in the year 2000, but I am fairly certain it wasn’t LESS than what I paid in 2013.  The upshot of all of this is that it’s harder and harder for families to make ends meet today than it was 10 years ago.  You know it, and I know it, and Indiana’s Community Health Centers know it too!

It is with some pride, then, that I write about the impact of Indiana’s Community Health Centers.  Windrose Health Network is one of 23 Federally-Qualified Health Centers helping Hoosiers access health care services through 139 different locations.  In 2014, Indiana’s Health Centers delivered a total of 1,344,511 Patient Visits to 393,111 Unique Patients.  Since 2010, that represents a 52% increase in the number of patients served in only 4 years.  Do you think there is a connection between the worsening economic conditions of Hoosier families and the rapid growth in the number of Health Center patients?  You bet there is!  The increase is certainly no coincidence. 

A few other interesting statistics about Indiana’s Health Centers and the Patients we serve:

Health Center
% at or below 100% FPL
% at or below 200% FPL

% Uninsured
% Medicaid

% Latino
% African American
% Asian / Pacific Islander
% Caucasian

Several years ago, our CEO said that the role of a Community Health Center was to be an “Oasis of Hope” to the people that live in the communities that we serve.  As I reflect on both sets of statistics above, I can see that he is right.  Even in trying times, Indiana’s Health Centers stand ready to serve the health care needs of its most vulnerable citizens.  This week - - National Community Health Center week - - and every week, I am proud to work side by side with WHN’s dedicated clinicians, nurses, medical assistants, and every other staff member to continue to be that beacon of hope in financially-uncertain times.  It is not glamorous work that we do, but it is fulfilling work.  Finally, to WHN’s patients and to Health Center patients across America, let me conclude by saying THANK YOU for allowing us to care for both you and your family.                       

*economic statistics gathered from the Indiana Institute for Working Families: THE STATUS OF


**Health Center statistics gathered from the National Association of Community Health Centers:  2014 Indiana Health Center Fact Sheet.