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Palliative care is misunderstood and underutilized

Ellyn M. Lee
If I were to ask 50 people what palliative care means, I would likely get 50 different answers and most would say the term is interchangeable with hospice care. Because of this misconception in both the medical community and the general public, there is a hesitation to seek palliative care expertise earlier in a patient’s journey because of the false perception this service is only for those reaching end of life care. This past week an article was written in the NY Times about this very issue and how patients and their families are missing an opportunity to better understand options and make choices with the help of a palliative care team.
 
Those of us specializing in palliative care strive to manage symptoms and support patients and their loved ones on how to live with and manage chronic disease. We integrate the psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of care along with providing relief from pain and other distressing symptoms. The focus of care is tailored to support each unique individual with the complex questions and scenarios arising from a chronic condition and are provided in an outpatient setting.
 
Is palliative care right for you, someone you love, or a patient you are treating? Here are some questions to think about:

Eat well and maintain a healthy weight - new class series

Grace Lautman, MS, CN

Grace Lautman, MS, CN
Health Education Specialist

Most of us have heard the term, “the obesity epidemic,” and we are affected by it each day. Some of us have had personal weight struggles or have watched a loved one struggle, and all of us have been affected by the food industry’s constant flood of conflicting nutrition and diet information.
 
This has left us:
  • Frustrated and confused with our bodies
  • Unclear about how to feed ourselves
  • Constantly dieting or giving up on losing weight entirely
  • Overweight, obese, and sick
  • Eating for emotional reasons rather than eating to fuel our bodies
  • Misunderstanding obesity
If we want to be healthy, we must understand the basic science behind nutrition, obesity, and metabolism, and we must connect with our own personal needs. With the proper education, we can navigate through the media’s information, stop dieting, find our healthy weight, and change our lifestyle habits in a sustainable way.

Swedish Community Education and Swedish Weight Loss Services have partnered and are now offering Healthy Weight Classes; a three-class series that teaches you the tools you need to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. The classes provide ...

Using technology to help educate, prepare, and distract kids in the hospital

Abigail Schmidt

Abigail Schmidt
Certified Child Life Specialist

The hospital can be a scary place for any patient, and even more so for children. iPads have been around for nearly four years and in that time they have expanded the way children are educated, prepared, distracted, and provided normalization in the pediatric areas of the hospital.

Educating kids

An iPad allows staff to teach patients about a new diagnosis while making it fun and interactive. An iPad provides a visual and hands on way to teach about a diagnosis and also make sure the patient understands their diagnosis. There are many apps designed by healthcare professionals for diagnosis education with kids. Some of these applications include: “Medikidz explains Type One Diabetes”, “Blast Those Blasts” (for children with cancer, specifically leukemia), “Flow Breather” (for children with cystic fibrosis) and “Wellapets- Asthma Education Pets for Kids.”

Helping kids prepare for a procedure or experience

Most pediatric patients ...

Support social work services and Swedish Cancer Institute in Issaquah

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES

Kylie Davidson, MPH CHES
Supervisor, Health Education, Swedish Cancer Institute

Come and join us for a handbag auction that supports social work services at Swedish Issaquah and bid on new or gently used designer handbags, sunglasses, and jewelry. The auction will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., at the Newcastle Country Club in Bellevue.
 
Every dollar raised will go towards funding the Cancer Social Work Services program at Swedish Issaquah. Social workers play a critical role in supporting cancer patients by providing a safe place for patients to talk about their emotions. In addition to ...

What you need to know about Enterovirus D68

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in the media about a severe type of respiratory illness affecting many children, mainly in the Midwest.  The respiratory illness, caused by an infection with Enterovirus D68, is scary to parents, because it’s hard to differentiate whether their child is ill from this particular virus or just has one of the many other viruses that cause cold- and flu-like symptoms around this time of year.
 
Sometimes media reports leave families with more questions than answers, which is why Dr. Dianne Glover, one of Swedish’s pediatric infectious disease specialists, wanted to share this information with you:

  • Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an unusual form of an otherwise common group of viruses referred to as Enteroviruses.  These are hardy viruses that usually spread by the respiratory route, but can also spread by fecal-oral route.  It is even possible to become infected by touching a surface contaminated with these viruses.

  • EV-D68 causes a respiratory illness which can quickly progress from a child behaving like they have a simple runny nose and mild cough to then having serious difficulty breathing.  Children ....

What is ALS and why did it inspire ice bucket challenges at Swedish?

Michelle Scheff

Michelle Scheff
Speech Pathologist

Employees of Swedish Cherry Hill Outpatient Rehabilitation and Neurology Departments took the plunge and participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS and funding for ALS research.  (Click here to see their video on Facebook.)




Before the ALS clinic team takes the ice bucket challenge
 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects the motor neurons responsible for voluntary movements and muscle power. As the disease progresses, individuals living with ALS may lose their ability to move and control the muscles of their extremities, torso, head and mouth which can make completion of basic activities such as walking, eating, talking and even breathing very difficult.

Unfortunately, the disease has no cure and only one medication has been approved for the treatment of ALS. Research is making strides towards understanding the underlying physiology and genetic makeup of the disease. Because of  ...

Swedish Sponsors & Walks in Seattle AIDS Walk

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Navigator

Join Swedish and Minor & James Medical at the Seattle AIDS Walk, benefiting Lifelong, on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
 
The 2014 Seattle AIDS Walk takes place at Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill to help raise awareness of HIV prevention and treatment, along with supportive care programs available at Lifelong and in our communities.
 
Lifelong’s mission is to empower people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and/or other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives. Lifelong does this by offering a wide array of supportive services available throughout the King County area such as:

  • Prevention, education, and outreach

  • Chicken Soup Brigade (nutrition services)

  • Emergency, transitional, and permanent housing assistance

  • Assistance with obtaining medical insurance

  • Case management services

  • Recovery support services

Lifelong needs your support to bring as many supporters together as possible. Please consider joining Team Swedish & Minor and James Medical to spend a morning with your friends, colleagues, and community members!
 
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