LeConte’s Healthy Lifestyles is a health and wellness publication printed monthly in local newspapers serving Sevier County and South Knoxville. And here online! We hope you find this information healthful.
Table of Contents
LeConte Medical Center Earns Designation as Lung Cancer Screening Center
Leconte Medical Center Recognized for Response to Wild Fires
Mark Your Calendar!
LeConte Medical Center Celebrates Certified Nurses Day
Spring Into Action for a Healthy Life
Be Proactive in Your Health
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LeConte Medical Center is one of only 29 facilities in the state of Tennessee to be designated as a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology. The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program recognizing facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.
In order to receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs. Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. In December 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 77 years who have a history of smoking a pack-a-day for 30 years, and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer, taking the lives of more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
LeConte Medical Center also holds ACR accreditations in Breast MRI, Breast ultrasound, CT, mammography, MRI, nuclear medicine, stereotactic biopsy, ultrasound, and is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1924, is one of the largest and most influential medical associations in the United States. The ACR devotes its resources to making imaging and radiation therapy safe, effective and accessible to those who need it. Its 36,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians.
On March 29, LeConte Medical Center was recognized for representing the “highest levels of distinction, dedication and professionalism” in response to the 2016 Gatlinburg and Sevier County wildfires. The commendation was also presented to the Gatlinburg Fire Department/EMS and Sevier County EMS during the Tennessee State EMS Board meeting in Nashville.
Hospital President and Chief Administrative Officer Jenny Hanson received the proclamation from Dr. Sullivan Smith, chair of the Emergency Medical Services board, and Donna Tidwell, director of Tennessee EMS.
Pictured left to right: Steve Hamby (Tennessee State EMS), Rick Valentine (Sevier County EMS), Jenny Hanson and Greg Miller (Gatlinburg Fire Department/EMS).
“Just In Time for Mother’s Day” Bake Sale
Friday, May 12 | 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This bake sale hosted by the hospital volunteers will feature homemade baked goods including cakes, pies and breads. The sale will be held in the hospital classrooms, and convenient parking is available in Lot A.
Standing Ovation Benefit Sale
June 28 & 29 | 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This fundraising sale hosted by the hospital volunteers features sterling silver jewelry, fashion accessories and gifts. The sale will be held in the hospital classrooms, and convenient parking is available in Lot A.
LeConte Medical Center observed Certified Nurses Day, Thursday, March 23, by honoring 14 board-certified nurses who work at the hospital. Board certification of nurses plays an important role in assuring high standards of patient care. “Nursing, like health care in general, has become increasingly complex,” said Janice McKinley, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Covenant Health, parent company of LeConte Medical Center. “Board certification means that a nurse has successfully completed extensive specialized education and has made a strong personal and professional commitment to excellence.
These are the expert nurses who work throughout our health system.”
There are many nursing certifications in specialties such as medical-surgical, cardiac/vascular, oncology, hospice, emergency care, critical care, obstetrical care, stroke care, and rehabilitation. “The number of certified nurses throughout the Covenant Health system continues to grow,” said McKinley, “and their dedication to continued education is reflected in the strength of our workforce and the highly skilled level of care we provide to our patients every day. We celebrate this event, which allows us to acknowledge our nurses’ professional development.”
Are bad habits wreaking havoc on your health? Whether it’s too much sun, not enough sleep, skipping important medical exams or choosing the couch over the treadmill, we’re all guilty of making some bad choices. But it’s never too late to change your habits. With the right support, and some great advice, it is possible to achieve your goals and be a healthier person.
Eat a healthy diet
A diet high in saturated fat and transfat can increase your risk for heart disease and certain cancers. The American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend limiting your total fat intake to no more than 30 percent of your daily calories. Diets that are high in fat and sugar also promote obesity, which not only affects your appearance, but also is a risk factor for many diseases. Strike a healthy balance by eating meals rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, with small servings of chicken, fish, and lean meat. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day because good hydration helps keep the skin taut and elastic, and reduces bloating.
Regular exercise improves muscle tone, so you stand taller, walk with more confident strides, and look people straight in the eye. Good cardiovascular conditioning also improves blood flow to muscles and skin, so your skin tone is more likely to have a healthy glow. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests some kind of moderate physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. According to the 2008 Physical Guidelines for Americans, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day not only will help maintain and improve health, but will also help prevent weight gain. Include strength training and aerobic activities such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling. Daily stretches will help maintain flexibility. Be sure to check with your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.
Need help building a new fitness routine? The personal trainers at LeConte Wellness Center can help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals. Whether you’re training for your first 5K, or just want to play with your grandkids without getting winded, call our team today at (865) 908-9248 for more information about personal training services.
Get a good night’s sleep
Give your body the rest it needs to restore itself. You’ll feel refreshed, you’ll look better, you’ll have more spring in your step and your day will be filled with vitality. Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt” that eventually must be repaid. Operating on a sleep deficit affects your judgment and reaction time.
Harmful substances take their toll on your appearance and your health. Smokers, for instance, are more likely to have dry, wrinkled skin than nonsmokers, says the American Cancer Society. Overuse of alcohol can also dry the skin. Too much sun causes damage, too. Guard against skin cancer and premature wrinkling by using sunscreen and wearing a hat and protective clothing when you spend time outdoors.
Don’t forget your emotional health
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, people with good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. One way to nurture your emotional health is to calm your mind and body through relaxation and meditation. If you are positive about yourself and others, you will automatically present a more attractive face to the world. So if you want to look healthier and improve the quality of your physical and emotional health, start by taking care of yourself. If you are concerned about your emotional health, and would like to speak with a behavioral health specialist call the Peninsula Outpatient Center – Sevier at (865) 970-9800.
Remember that one small, positive change a day can result in major benefits over time!
One important component of a long and healthy life is getting preventive health screenings for serious diseases. If your doctor finds a disease early, the problem is often easier to treat and may cause less damage. In addition to celebrating milestone birthdays, consider them reminders for certain important health checks.
Screening means testing for a condition before there are signs or symptoms of disease. If you already have symptoms of any of the conditions listed below, be sure to see your doctor right away.
Here’s a timeline for health screenings through the decades:
Breast cancer. Mammograms use X-rays to look for breast cancers when they are still small. The American College of Radiology recommends annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. Talk with your doctor about frequency, as well as other possible imaging tests if you have a family history of breast cancer. Mammograms are the best way to detect early cancer, but all women should also know how their breasts feel normally and report any changes to their doctor. Clinical breast exams should be done yearly in women after age 40.
Prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society suggests that men talk with their doctor at age 50 about whether they should be tested for prostate cancer. This screening involves a blood test measuring a substance called PSA. It may also include a rectal exam of the prostate. African-American men and men with a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65 should have this talk at age 45.
Osteoporosis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that women be screened for osteoporosis starting at age 65. Your doctor might advise you to start at a younger age if you are at high risk for bone loss or a broken bone.
Colorectal cancer. The ACS suggests that both men and women be screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. The gold standard diagnostic test is the colonoscopy. If no precancerous polyps are found, you may not need to have it the test repeated more than once every 10 years. If you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer, you may need to be tested earlier. Talk with your doctor about this.
Diabetes. The National Institutes of Health suggests that everyone age 45 or older think about being tested for diabetes. Consider starting at a younger age if you’re overweight and have other factors that put you at higher risk for diabetes, such as an elevated blood glucose level, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes.
Cholesterol. The USPSTF suggests that men have cholesterol screenings starting at age 35. Women should begin at 45 if they’re at high risk for heart disease. Both men and women should consider getting this blood test at an earlier age if their risk for heart disease in particularly high.
Blood pressure. All adults should be screened for high blood pressure once a year. If the blood pressure is in the low normal range, screening can be extended to every two years.
Abdominal aneurysm. Men should have a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm between ages 65 and 75 if they have ever smoked, the USPSTF suggests. This ultrasound test looks for a weak, bulging spot in a major blood vessel in the abdomen. The USPSTF doesn’t recommend the screening in older men who haven’t smoked or in women.
Cervical cancer. Women should be screened at least every three years. After age 65 or after a hysterectomy for benign disease, women may stop having Pap smears as long as their previous Pap smears were normal and they are not otherwise at high risk for cervical cancer.
Screenings are just one step you can take to prevent disease later in life. Other crucial steps include:
- Avoiding tobacco
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy
- Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation, if you drink at all.