May 2014

May 2014 posts

American Cancer Society, Swedish Partner to Promote Relays For Life, Health and Cancer Awareness

Relay for Life events planned for Ballard, Edmonds, Issaquah, Mill Creek, Redmond communities in May, June and August

Media Alert
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

Contacts: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748,

                  Kimberly Dinsdale, American Cancer Society, 206-674-4150,

The Washington Chapter of the American Cancer Society and Swedish Health Services are partnering to organize Relay for Life events in the Ballard, Edmonds, Issaquah, Mill Creek and Redmond communities. Each Relay for Life event will feature hundreds of cancer survivors, supporters and advocates working together to raise awareness and funding for cancer research.
Relay For Life began in 1985, in Tacoma with a local colorectal surgeon, Dr. Gordy Klatt, who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year, Relay For Life will take place in nearly 6,000 communities in the United States and 21 other countries and will raise funds to support the Society’s mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and fighting back.
Media will have access to film/interview Relay participants, learn more about the latest efforts to battle cancer and more.
  • Edmonds, Issaquah and Mill Creek - Saturday, May 31at 12 p.m.
  • Redmond - Saturday, June 7 at 12 p.m.
  • Ballard - August date to be announced

Swedish Policy Protects LGBT Employees Against Discrimination

Recently, incorrect and misleading information on social media has called into question Swedish’s commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff.
Included here is accurate information and copies of current Swedish policies. We encourage you to share this information with your friends, family and coworkers.
Swedish is a proud Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to providing a work environment free from all forms of discrimination. This protection and expectation extends to our patients, physicians, contractors, vendors, visitors and others who access any Swedish services and facilities.
Below is an excerpt from our policies (links to full copies of the policies are below). We encourage you to share this information.

Swedish Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy:

Discrimination against another person for any reason, including race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, citizenship, language, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression/identity, or the presence of any disability, or perceived disability, and all other bases prohibited by local, state, or federal law will not be tolerated. Harassment based on the classes listed above is also considered a form of discrimination and will not be tolerated.
Examples of discrimination and prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, language, veteran status, marital status, or disability.
  • Written, electronic, or graphic material displayed or circulated in our workplace that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, language, veteran status, marital status, or disability.
  • Differential treatment because of a person’s sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, language, veteran status, marital status, or disability.
  • Remarks, gestures, display or circulation of written materials, pictures or other items which could be considered derogatory or have the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment based on the person’s sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, language, veteran status, marital status, or disability.
With respect to sexual harassment, examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Vulgar, graphic, sexual or suggestive comments, jokes, stories and innuendo, including but not limited to voicemails and telephone calls, e-mails or text messages.
  • Leering, inappropriate touching and obscene or suggestive gestures.
  • Displaying sexually suggestive photographs or cartoons.
  • Unwelcome and repeated flirtations, requests for dates, etc.
  • Demanding sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, raise, or other condition of employment.
The provision of detailed information in this policy on one of the most commonly alleged types of harassment – sexual harassment – should not be interpreted to suggest a lessened commitment to the prevention of other types of unlawful harassment. No type of unlawful harassment is acceptable at Swedish.
Swedish also strictly prohibits retaliation in response to an individual’s decision to make an allegation of discrimination or harassment, or their participation in an investigation. Retaliation includes both direct and indirect actions that negatively alter a person’s working environment. Examples of conduct which may constitute retaliation include, but are not limited to, treating the employee who has made a complaint of discrimination or harassment in a “non-professional” manner or otherwise taking action against that employee either directly or indirectly.

A copy of this policy can be found here.

In 2012, Swedish affiliated with Providence Health & Services. Swedish and Providence share the goal of establishing a discrimination-free work environment for all employees and job applicants. Providence last updated its policy in 2011. Below, we have included text from the Providence Equal Employment Opportunity policy:

Providence Equal Employment Opportunity policy:

The Providence Regions/Service Areas, System Support Services, and individual facilities shall employ, evaluate, compensate, promote, and retain individuals on the basis of qualifications, ability, and job performance regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. Providence will also endeavor to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and the religious beliefs of employees.


A copy of this policy can be found here.

Swedish celebrates the diversity of our workforce and has always supported our LGBT staff. We proudly welcome any opportunities to discuss these policies with our caregivers and community members.

Join Swedish Cancer Institute at Seattle's Lung Force Walk on June 7

The American Lung Association (ALA) has dedicated 100+ years to promoting lung health through prevention of tuberculosis, cleaner air, smoking prevention, and providing resources to those who wish to quit smoking.

In their fight for healthy lungs, the ALA has taken on a fight with lung cancer.  Lung cancer is the #1 leading cause of cancer deaths in America for men and women.  This initiative against lung cancer is called Lung Force.

Swedish Cancer Institute has a long history of fighting lung cancer through research, early detection via low dose CT screening, staging of lung cancer, surgical and medical therapies, and palliation of lung cancer.

In support of the ALA and their efforts to spread awareness of the risks of lung cancer, raising funds for lung cancer research and providing advocacy for those affected by lung cancer, Swedish will participate in the Lung Force Walk on June 7th, in Seattle.

We welcome you to join Team Swedish for a fun filled morning of music, the 5K walk, and festivities at the finish line.  You can register for the walk for free and/or make a donation in any amount that you wish.  Dogs are invited to walk too!

To join and learn more, click here and  ....

How to Manage a Sports Related Concussion

What is a concussion?
A concussion is a mild brain injury that causes a change in mental status that can occur with direct insult to the head. A concussion may also occur with movement of the body that cause acceleration/deceleration forces to the head.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
When should I seek medical attention for a concussion?
  • A healthcare provider should evaluate every child or adolescent suspected of a concussion. 
  • If this occurs during a sporting event, the child should sit out the rest of the game
  • Your provider may conduct a standardized neuropsych assessment to help guide return to activities/sports
What is the best treatment for a concussion?
  • Rest, rest and more rest!
  • Absence from school may initially be necessary until one can concentrate on a task without exacerbating symptoms
  • Avoid excessive time texting, on the computer, watching television, playing video games or listening to loud music
  • Return to activity too soon can lead to worsening and prolonged symptoms.  A second injury to the brain while the brain is healing can lead to severe brain injury that is life-threatening
When can a child return to sports after a concussion?
A person with a concussion should not return to play until they no longer have symptoms at rest for at least 24 hours.  Return to play should then be a step-wise progression.  The child/adolescent should be symptom free for 24 hours before progressing to the next level of play:
  • Light aerobic exercise (e.g.: walking)
  • Sport-specific exercise
  • Non-contact training drills
  • Full contact practice
  • Return to play (Must first be cleared by a provider)
What resources are there for concussions?
Swedish’s Spine, Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine team has developed a Sports Concussion Clinic with the following resources:
  • Baseline neurocognitive testing with a computerized exam called ImPACT can be done prior to playing a sport to assess changes and recovery if a concussion occurs.
  • Comprehensive concussion management, including clearance for return-to-play
Click here to learn more about the Sports Concussion clinic.  The team includes sports medicine physicians, psychiatrists, an athletic trainer, physical therapists and a neuropsychologist that can deliver individualized care for every athlete

Reducing visits to the operating room for breast cancer patients

Swedish Cancer Institute has changed the way early stage breast cancer patients are cared for by adopting new surgical margin guidelines.  These guidelines will reduce the need for taking women back to the operating room if cancer cells are found at or near the specimen edge, also known as the margin. Following extensive review of the data, this new guideline was established by breast experts from the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Radiation Oncology and has been endorsed by the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Many women with early stage invasive breast cancer opt for breast conserving surgery, known as lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. For 20-25% of these patients, a second surgery or re-excision was performed because the margin was not considered adequate based on previous practice guidelines. The latest peer reviewed evidence shows disease control is excellent when surgery is combined with whole breast radiation with or without hormonal therapy and/or chemotherapy, regardless of the margin width.
The Swedish Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary breast cancer team reviewed and approved these guidelines for our program. We believe by reducing the need ...

What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic (i.e. long-lasting) inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system.  IBD is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because of their similar acronyms, but the two conditions are not related.  IBD affects approximately 1.4 million Americans and is most commonly diagnosed between 15-40 years of age.
IBD can be categorized into ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Though there are clear differences between the two, they are closely related and sometimes difficult to distinguish.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition where inflammation affects the most superficial layer of the large intestine (colon).  It typically starts at the rectum and can involve a varying amount of the colon.  In contrast, the inflammation of Crohn’s disease can affect all layers of the intestine and can involve any area of the gastrointestinal tract – from the mouth to the anus.  The type of inflammation seen in Crohn’s disease may lead to long-term complications such as strictures or fistulas (abnormal connections to other organs) that are typically not  ...

Public Comment Period on Food Label Changes Ending Soon

Time is running out if you want your opinion to be heard when it comes to the FDA’s proposed changes to the iconic food label that we’ve all come to rely on when buying packaged foods. 

This is a big deal.  For those of you who haven’t heard, highlighted below are the key proposed changes:

  • Require information about the amount of “added sugars”.  A review of this was discussed in Dr. Thekke Karumathil’s blog a few months ago.

  • Remove the “calories from fat” label

  • Update serving size requirements

  • Present “dual-column” labels to differentiate “per-serving” and “per-package” calorie and nutrition information

  • Only require the declaration of amounts of 4 nutrients (vit D, calcium, iron, and potassium).  No longer will nutrients like Vitamin A and C be required, although manufacturers may declare them voluntarily.

  • Refresh the format to emphasize calories, serving sizes, and percent daily value.

Here's what these changes would look like:

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