Friday, May 19, 2017

Summer Safety Tips

By Staci Brandenburg, R.N. 

The kids are out of school and the weather is warm, which brings people outside! Before going out into the heat, there are some basic safety tips that every person should know.  Here are a list of a few I find important:

  • Drink 2 eight ounce glasses of water 2-3 hours before going outside.
  • Protect your skin! 
    • Use sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF that protects agains both UVA and AVB rays at least 20 minutes before going outside. Put it on again every 2 hours if you are staying outside. 
    • Wear tightly woven long sleeve shirts and long pants, a hat, and sunglasses when out in the sun. 
    • Keep drinking water when outside. Swallow ten big swallows, about 10 ounces of water, every 15-20 minutes when outside. 
  • Stay away from drinks like soda that have caffeine, sugar, and carbonation. 

Try to stay out of the heat during the day between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. each day.  It's the hottest part of the day!

Have a fun and safe time outdoors!

(2016). Retrieved June 8, 2016, from

Monday, May 15, 2017

An Unspoken Peril of the American Health Care Act (AHCA)

By Beth Sullivan, CIN, CAC, SHIP Counselor

We all have deep feelings about natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and public health crises like HIV/AIDS epidemic. We all remember where we were when the Towers fell in New York City.

One thing these tragedies have in common is that, when they occurred, Medicaid stepped in to help right away. How and what does Medicaid have to do with it? As with everything else, it's about the money. The way Medicaid works now is that the federal government will match the money the state spends on people with Medicaid without any limits. This open-ended funding allows Medicaid to respond quickly to public health crises and major disasters. There is no waiting for Congress to debate which Federal agency to turn to. During Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana placed Medicaid workers at FEMA shelters to help people enroll for coverage. These were people displaced by the flood waters and many spend time in contaminated areas.

Now, imagine if the funding changes to block grants as proposed in the new American Health Care Act. The states will have a limited amount of money from the Federal Government they can use to help. Under the block grant method, if Louisiana had already received its money before the hurricane hit, the money would not have been available quickly to help the people who needed help now.

Using the current funding method, $670 million dollars was spent on health care for 350,000 low income New Yorkers over a 4 month period. This was accomplished without diverting emergency funding sources needed for the clean up and debris removal and without waiting for congressional action.

I have head it said that in times of crises, our country is at its best. We pull together to help our neighbors. Will we be able to do that if the funding for Medicaid changes to block grants?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Signs of A Stroke and Ways to Help Prevent One

By Staci Brandenburg, RN

According to the CDC's website, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Around 800,000 people have a stroke each year! As with a heart attack, getting quick medical care is important with a stroke. To get the care quickly, the American Heart Association recommends remembering four letters, F-A-S-T, and three numbers, 911! How will F-A-S-T help? F is for facial drooping. Ask the person to smile to check for facial drooping. A is for arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to see if one arm drifts downward. S is for speech difficulty. Ask the person to speak, listening for slurred or strange speech. T is for time to call 911. If the time is yes, call 911 right away!

Some things that may be done to prevent or reduce the risk of a stroke include:

  • Eat health meals and snacks 
  •   Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  •   Foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol that are high in fiber

  • Take the prescribed medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease

  • Keep weight in the healthy range
  • Be physically active
  •   2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity (Can only carry on a breathy conversation while   exercising) or aerobic (uses more oxygen) exercise a week
  •   Brisk walking would work
  • Limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks a day for a male and 1 drink a day for a female
  • Do not smoke or at least decrease smoking


Stroke. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gove/stoke/signs_symptoms.htm
             Prevent Stroke and Stroke is Treatable

             Stroke Warning Signs and Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2017, from