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January 30, 1998     Cape Gazette
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January 30, 1998

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, January 30 - February 5, 1998 - 27 HEALTH & FITNESS Kent, Sussex hospitals plan joint health seminar held at Del Tech, Owens Campus, on Friday, May 8. "We are better served if we can come together," said Edward Hancock, president and CEO of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, ex- plaining why the hospitals decid- By Michael Short The four hospitals serving Kent and Sussex counties will host a joint health summit this spring in a major attempt to deal with com- mon health issues. Tentative plans call for the day-long summit to be MlchNI Short photo Hospital officials from three medical facilities ask Sussex County Council, during its Tuesday, Jan. 27, meeting, to sup. port their cooperative effort for a health summit to be held in Georgetown in May. Shown are (l-r) Jeffrey Fried, Beebe Medical Center president and CEO; Dennis Elima, BayHealth Medical Center president and CEO; and Edward Hancock, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital president and CEO. ed to work together on the com- mon problems. The health summit would in- volve county, state and federal of- ficials as well as health-care orga- nizations, private industry and other interested community orga- nizations. Its purpose is to be in- clusive of all aspects of the com- munity. Representatives from Beebe Medical Center, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and BayHealth Medical Center, which includes Kent General Hospital in Dover and Milford Memorial Hospital, asked Sussex County Council to support the cooperative effort at its Tuesday, Jan. 27 meeting. "We can't do it alone," said Dennis Klima, president and CEO of BayHealth Medical Center. "We found we were all working together to do health assessments. There may be opportunities for us to work together to solve some problems," said Jeffrey Fried, president and CEO of Beebe Med- ical Center. "This can not be just another hospital project...Without coming together, we run the risk of just having a consultant report placed on the shelf," Hancock said. County council gave the idea an enthusiastic thumbs up. "I think that it is a great idea," said County Council President Dale Dukes. Dukes and County Administra- tor Bob Stickels both said that many people do not have health insurance and may not be able to afford to visit a doctor when they are sick. Fried said that Beebe sur- veys show that approximately 55 percent of people have never had a skin cancer screening and ap- proximately. 45 percent of people don't visit a doctor when ill be- cause they cannot afford treat- ment. Only half of the public use seat belts and approximately 42 per- cent have never had a colorectal cancer screen, he said. The summit is expected to focus on a wide range of issues, many of them preventive in nature, such as the use of seat belts and preven- tive screenings for cancer and oth- er illnesses. "This is education and preven- tion," according to Fried. Instead of only dealing with people who are sick, Fried said hospitals are trying to "focus on prevention and keeping people well." He said that if problems are de- Beebe Medical Center expands cardiac Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Sussex County, 25 percent higher than the state average. For some, it cuts short the long-anticipated retiretnent years with family and friends. Beebe Medical Center has made a com- mitment to expand its scope of cardiac ser- vices. Beebe calls its cardiac services "HeartCare." The program includes the fol- lowing: An emergency medicine department that is staffed to handle cardiac emergen- cies quickly and efficiently, stabilizing a patient in the critical early stages of a heart attack. A modem critical care unit for focused inpatient cardiac care. Diagnostic services, including Holter monitoring, nuclear scanning, stress testing, echocardiogram, ultrasound and advanced laboratory technology. An expanded cardiac rehabilitation pro- gram in the Baylis Rehabilitation Center, and wellness programs and community screenings. To reinforce Beebe's commitment to car- diac care and concern for the health of Sus- sex County residents, Beebe has planned a number of February events to commemo- rate American Heart Month. services with Beebe Medical Center's quarterly maga- zine, "Beacon," scheduled to be delivered at the end of January, will feature the hospi- tal's expanded HeartCare services. A HeartCare Fair is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Rehoboth Mall, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free blood pressure screenings will be offered by the American Heart As- sociation and free cholesterol readings will #so be given, with the results given to the participants on site. Electrocardiograms will be offered for a $5 fee to those who register by calling 645-3332; fitness demonstrations will be given by the Sussex Family YMCA, nutritional counseling will tected early and people prevent health problems from becoming major problems, those problems are less severe, less cosily and less debilitating. Prevention not only saves lives, it saves lost days at work and it saves money, he said. Transportation, substance abuse, shelter availability, clean water, the lack of preventive health screening, dental care and cost of treatment are a few of the issues of concern. The day-long summit proposal grew out of surveys and health screenings done by the various hospitals. "Hospitals [Beebe Med- ical Center and BayHealth Med- ical Center/Milford Memorial Hospital] sponsored multiple dis- cussion group sessions in commu- nities throughout northern, eastern and coastal Sussex County," ac- cording to a prepared statement by the hospitals. "It became evident that socio- logical problems which reflect up- on the health status of the commu- nity must be addressed at the re- gional level, and not just at the lo- cal community level," according to the prepared statement. I I I HeartCare program be offered with Beebe dietitian Kim West- cott and the Sussex County Emergency Medical Services will be present to discuss the emergency response system in the county. Additionally, Beebe's Cardiac Rehabili- tation Department staff will hold an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will offer free blood pressure screenings and refreshments. To increase the awareness of the need for CPR training, a free Heartsaver CPR course will be offered to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reg- istration is required by calling 645-3248. Allergies Part I: Dust mites love winter Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series on allergies. Now that we are in the cold winter months and pollen is ab- sent from the air, it would appear that allergy and asthma sufferers enjoy a time when they are not bothered by their allergies. Actu- ally, the winter months are a peak time for patients with allergies and asthma and who are sensitive to house dust mites. House dust mites are micro- scopic, spider-like creatures that are not visible to the naked eye. They are prevalent in areas with humid climates. House-dust mites multiply rapidly during the humid spring, summer and fall months. During the winter, they are pre- sent in an encysted form and may still cause symptoms in mite-sen- sitive patients. In fact, levels of al- lergens that are associated with the house'-dust mites are actually at higher levels in the late fall and early winter. In addition, people spend more time indoors, and there is less out- door air exchange inside the home in the winter months. As a result, allergy sufferers have more expo- sure to house-dust mites during these times. House-dust mites are one of the most common allergic triggers for people with year-round allergy and/or asthma. Their presence and numbers are closely associated with the development of asthma and allergy. HEALTH TOPICS Dr. Charles E. Lee Dr. Charles E. Lee practices medicine at Sussex Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in Georgetown. Call 856-1773. One 1990 study from the "New England Journal of Medicine" showed that exposure to dut mites increases the likelihood of asthma development in children. A 1996 study in the "Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunolo- gy" showed that the activity and severity of asthma was closely linked to the level of exposure to dust mites in mite-sensitive pa- tients. The same study showed that the risk of active problems with asth- ma in mite-sensitive children in- creased directly with the level of exposure to house-dust mites. A 1995 study published in the "American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine" also showed that exposure to higher house-dust mite levels was associ- ated With increased symptoms of asthma. Dust mites are not a problem in - add climates or in high-altitude locations. In times past, asthma patients in Europe often had great improvement in their symptoms when they were admitted to sani- tariums in the Alps. We know now that the efficacy of these san- itariums was likely a result of their dust-mite-free environment. Dust mites are also a greater problem in industrialized coun- tries. There was little asthma in New Zealand Aborigines before the introduction of Westem-style beds. The custom in this culture was to sleep on straw pads. After Continued on page 29 rl