October 2012

October 2012 posts

Get Schooled on Health

Many of us would choose not to go back to school. We’re finished with the exams, the studying and the lectures. But does that mean we don’t have anything more to learn? Unlikely. In fact, most of us could afford to get schooled some more…on health. Do you know the latest recommendations for lung cancer screening? Do you know how to cook heart healthy meals? What about the right way to do CPR, do you know it? Even as a health educator, I find myself at a loss with many of these questions. As students head into midterms and finals, maybe we should all hit the (health) books, too!

Of course, if you’ve been out of school for a while, it may seem hard to jump back in or even know where to jump back in. Where should you start? Consider your local health facility. When it comes to health, the hospital or your local health facility is more than just a place to go when you get sick. Hospitals are also the place to go to avoid getting sick. Learning about health is one of the best ways to do this and many hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities have health classes that can exercise your brain (and even your body, too!) Instead of paying a copay to ask a health care provider some basic questions, why not try a health class? Many are free or low cost and can offer opportunities to ask questions and get much needed answers to health questions.

Talk with your doctor, your neighbors or your friends to get ...

Changing with the Seasons

Your mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health—it’s difficult to have one without the other. As we here in the Pacific Northwest face a very apparent shift in seasons from summer to fall, the concept of change and adjustment is all around. Learning to adjust to the change in weather offers important lessons in dealing with the continual changes we face in life.

If you’re a native or adopted Washingtonian, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is probably not a new concept to you. This type of depression occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It is a yearly affliction that is slowly creeping up on many of our friends and neighbors. Treatments like light therapy and anti-depression medication can help, but what if your changes in mood isn’t SAD? What if your changes in mood aren’t from changes in season?

As we all know from our own personal life experiences, change happens and whether we know it or not, it’s happening all the time. Some changes are small and we are able to “go with the flow;” other times, change can really throw us for a loop. So how do you deal with life-altering change and make the most out of it?

Change ...

Let's Talk About Stroke

Who likes thinking about stroke? It’s scary! But when we talk about it, we learn how to prevent and treat it. With quick and careful treatment—from diet and exercise to medications and guided rehabilitation—life can go on happily and healthily after stroke. But first of all, we need to start the conversation. So let’s chat.

You: What is a stroke?

Me: A stroke occurs when a clot of blood gets stuck in your brain or a blood vessel in your brain bursts. Many factors can increase your risk for stroke. Do you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes? Do you smoke or are you overweight? Take this free risk assessment to see if you might be at risk for stroke.

You: How do I know if it’s a stroke?

Me: If you or a loved one has a stroke, check for signs and call 911 as soon as possible. When a stroke occurs, blood cannot get to parts of the brain that control speech and movement. When you notice these signs, the key is to think and act “FAST:”

F – Face: If...

Freaky Foods for Halloween

In celebration of Halloween, let me share with you some of the freaky foods finding their way into my kitchen!

Foods that go ‘boo’ – Kombucha (kom-BOO-cha)

“Whoa” shrieks the clerk as the checkout belt delivers a frightening surprise before him. “That’s absolutely disgusting. Is that a brain?” Since I couldn’t stop laughing to explain to this nauseated clerk what exactly was living in the glass jar in his hands, let me at least take a stab at convincing you that it’s really not that freaky, and in fact might be pretty good for you.

  • What it is: Kombucha is ....

Swedish Foundation Raises $100 Million to Help Meet Increasing Demand for Regional Health-Care Services


SEATTLE, Oct. 26, 2012 – Swedish Medical Center's seven-year fund-raising initiative, called The Campaign for Swedish, has raised $103 million, exceeding its initial $100 million fund-raising goal in approximately five-and-a-half years. The Campaign, launched to help improve patient care and treatment options throughout the Swedish system, is the largest fund-raising effort undertaken by the private, non-profit health system to date.

Art, Music, Wine & Shopping: Just Another Night at the Hospital

Swedish/Issaquah invites you to A Night Out at Swedish: Fall Arts Showcase on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m. This evening event features:

  • A free community concert by the Sammamish Symphony String Quartet
  • Docent-led and self-guided art walks highlighting the Northwest women’s artwork displayed around the Swedish/Issaquah hospital
  • artEast’s The Rookery Project – a display of herons designed by local artists
  • A free glass of wine!
  • Seattle Art Museum 50-percent-off coupon to the Elles art exhibit
  • 10-percent off select merchandise at The Shops at Swedish, and complimentary bra fittings at our Perfect Fit boutique
  • Free 8 oz., short-brewed Starbucks coffee

In addition to these activities, Café 1910 will be open for dinner – come experience what the buzz is about!

Swedish/Issaquah is hosting this fall arts event in honor of a new exhibit happening at the Seattle Art Museum. The new exhibit, titled Elles, is an unprecedented set of exhibitions and programs showcasing women artists...

How our voices work, and what to do when a voice doesn't work

A voice is an amazing thing.

With our voice, we convey information, express emotion and provide entertainment. We each have our own unique vocal ‘fingerprint’ that allows our friends to recognize us when we call them on the phone. We rely on our voice to win a debate, negotiate a contract, reassure a frightened child, and to celebrate a victory. Our tone conveys honesty, anger, happiness and fear. A song can inspire a spectrum of emotions, and recall past memories.

So how does our voice work? And what do you do when it doesn’t work?

Voice is produced when air is pushed up from the lungs to the level of the vocal cords. The vocal cords vibrate, producing sound. The vocal cords tense, lengthen and stretch to produce different frequencies. The sound is then shaped by the upper airway to add resonance and articulation resulting in speech or song.

The vocal cords themselves are thin bands of tissue over muscle. They sit within a framework that has a complex nerve supply and multiple paired muscles that allow very nuanced changes in vibration of the vocal cords, well demonstrated in professional singers.

Subtle differences in vibration or movement can ...

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