April 2014
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April 2014 posts

Swedish, Country Doctor Partnership Profiled by Seattle Times

Seattle Times health care reporter Carol Ostrom recently profiled the innovative partnership between Swedish/Cherry Hill hospital and Country Doctor Community Health Centers. The partnership created an after-hours clinic located adjacent to the Swedish Emergency Department that is designed to provide a convenient point of care for patients, as well as to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the Swedish Cherry Hill ED.


Read the full story online in the Seattle Times.

Why aren't my bowel habits normal?

Do you have irregular, uncomfortable, or distressing bowel habits? Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common gastrointestinal condition affecting an estimated 15% of the general population.  It is most common among women aged 30 to 49 years old.

IBS is a chronic condition of the digestive system that is not generally associated with more concerning findings of anemia, weight loss, family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or celiac disease. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal discomfort, constipation and diarrhea. Despite extensive research, no common cause of IBS has been identified. Some theories include:

Insufficient evidence to support complementary and alternative therapies for multiple sclerosis

A guideline was recently published about the use of complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis (MS).

The guideline process involves identifying all of the scientific articles about potential therapies and evaluating them based on their scientific merits. The evaluation process follows a strict set of requirements related to the conduct of the research.

The review included a wide variety of complementary and alternative therapies that have been proposed for MS. Not surprisingly, most therapies did not have sufficient scientific data to determine whether or not they were effective. Some cannabinoid preparations (marijuana extracts) were shown to be effective, primarily for spasticity. This reflects a relatively large number of studies done with these compounds and the availability of a commercially available extract in some countries. A handful of therapies were shown to be ineffective. Most therapies had insufficient studies to determine their effectiveness.

The importance of this review is that it ...

Spiders and Bees and Bugs, Oh My! Treating insect bites and stings

Another beautiful Seattle summer is just around the corner.  As we stare out windows and wait for our long days of sunshine to begin, know this – the bugs are doing the same thing!  Any day now all our biting, stinging, and pinching friends will begin to appear.  Make sure you prevent bites with insect repellants.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using repellants containing 30% or less of DEET for all children older than 2 months of age.  But if a bite happens, arm yourself (and your medicine cabinet) with a treatment plan to get your kids back outside ASAP.
 
Treatment for ...

"MS is BS" merchandise to raise money for MS research

Multiple sclerosis is BS: 'butt sitting, beaten soon, blind siding, big suckfest, beyond scary, body shaking, bourbon soothed'. “MS is BS” is the slogan for a line of t-shirts and other merchandise created by Ed Johnson, whose sole intention is to find humor and self-expression within a very bleak space.

Diagnosed in 2006 with Progressive MS, Ed went from being an active volleyball coach for over 20 years to living life in a wheelchair –in less than 12 months.  While the disease took away his livelihood and ability to walk, he didn’t lose his sense of humor.  It is his unabashed wit that inspired the “MS is BS” campaign.

Ed chose “MS is BS” because “I had seen it before but I just wanted to change it around. I think that it’s a catchy phrase. I have been saying ‘MS is BS’ for years and then I just kind of expanded on it.”

Most people diagnosed with MS experience feelings of anger, frustration, fear and pity. The “MS is BS” products allow anyone affected by MS a form of cathartic release. They also turn negative feelings about the disease into something positive: money to support MS research. 100% of all profits from merchandise go to the research arm of the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center.

How we do recycling at Swedish Ballard

Did you know that the health care industry in the United States is the second largest producer of waste sent to the landfill?
 
Swedish works to improve our efforts each year by reducing waste and increasing recycling and composting. The Ballard campus had a recycling rate of 59% in 2013, one of the highest recycling rates in the country. The industry average is 36%. This campus composted 132,480 pounds of yard and food waste, and recycled 77,300 pounds of comingled materials. We accomplish this by the combined efforts of employees, patients and guests.
 
How do we do this?

Why a career in medicine

My great grandfather graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School in 1901. My grandfather would have followed suit, but for the Great Depression. My father finished his MD at the University of Louisville in 1961, and my turn came at the University of Oregon Medical School in 1981.
 
I think I can say a few things about medicine. First, it’s never been easy to be a doctor taking care of real people. My great grandfather set up practice in Appalachia, far from any urban center, and using ether and the most crude of instruments, set about bringing the beginnings of the surgical era to backwoods Kentucky.  He carried a pistol to defend himself from angry family members if things got out of hand.
 
Second, the rate of change induced by scientific discovery, is far from slowing, and in fact, seems to be accelerating. My father’s career in particular, spanning the era of specialization, witnessed the fruits of research from the National Institutes of Health in the first decades after World War 2. Broad scientific developments drove the discovery of hundreds of new medicines and the specialists who could understand and prescribe them. Lifespans have ...
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