A healthy Kent General is growing rapidly—which means better service for the community.
A 400,000-square-foot expansion of Kent General Hospital in Dover, to be completed by the end of 2011, will create a bigger emergency department, an integrated cancer center and more.
“With the population growth, with healthcare evolving, and with baby boomers retiring, our community’s healthcare needs will be growing,” says Bayhealth president and CEO Terry Murphy. “And Bayhealth will be growing to help meet those needs.”
The new ER “will be bigger, better equipped, and capable of significantly reducing patient treatment [time] and waiting time,” Murphy says. The integrated Bayhealth Cancer Center will centralize all relevant services. The expansion also includes a new Welcome Pavilion, a Central Services Building that will provide all the hospital’s energy and a 375-space parking garage.
The $147 million project will also create new jobs. “We had great growth this past fiscal year,” says Murphy, “and as we build our cancer care staff, we’ll see even more growth.
“This,” he says, “is something the community should be very excited about.”
In addition to the hospital improvements, Bayhealth Medical Center is expanding services at the Bayhealth Smyrna Clayton Medical Services Campus.
“Our tradition of caring extends more than 30 years for the Smyrna and Clayton communities,” Murphy says. “Today we are reaffirming and strengthening our commitment to serving these communities.”
Bayhealth opened Smyrna Clayton Medical Services Campus on North Carter Road in January 1992. It was enlarged by 30,000 square feet of medical office space and state-of-the-art diagnostic services in 2008.
The latest expansion anticipates a significant need for services in northern Kent County and southern New Castle County. It includes a 24-hour ER to open in 2012, digital mammography, physical therapy and a SleepCare Center.
As John Paradee, vice chair of the Bayhealth Inc. Board of Directors, emphasized during a topping off ceremony in July, “At some point, someone you know—someone in your family, a loved one—was treated here at Kent County Hospital.” —Dan Cicala
Page 2: Looking for Clues | A local ophthalmologist’s mystery book is an education in eye health.
A local ophthalmologist’s mystery book is an education in eye health.
Wilmington ophthalmologist Robert Abel Jr. enjoyed moderate success with the four books he’d written about preventive eye care, supplements and herbal remedies. He even got celebrity pal Dr. Mehmet Oz to write the foreword to “The Eye Care Revolution.” But he worried that he was preaching to the choir. After all, consumers won’t buy “The Best Supplements for Your Health” if they don’t already believe that vitamins and minerals can ward off some ailments.
Abel, who founded the alternative medicine curriculum at Thomas Jefferson University, wanted to reach another group, people who neglect to wear their sunglasses or to take supplements like his own Abel Eyes formulation. So he turned to fiction.
In Abel’s latest book, the world-domination thriller “Lethal Hindsight,” Bethesda, Maryland-area eye doc Lauren Chandler uncovers a Hitler-like plot to control the German and American governments through mind-control devices implanted in the eyes of cataract-suffering senators.
“I know it’s not Agatha Christie, but my hope is that people will learn about preventing cataracts and other eye problems while reading an entertaining book and will pass that information along to others,” Abel says.
Young readers will get a lesson through Abel’s picture book “Lumi’s Book of Eyes,” his first foray into children’s publishing. The delightfully illustrated main character, spectacle-wearing Lumi, learns how eyes and vision differ in animals as diverse as dragonflies—which have 30,000 lenses in each eye—and bats, which have eyes but can’t see. Abel’s books are available at eyeadvisory.com. –Theresa Gawlas Medoff
Page 3: Nice Touch | Massage for oncology patients is becoming more common, but it’s not recommended for everyone.
Massage for oncology patients is becoming more common, but it’s not recommended for everyone.
Massage therapy for oncology patients has entered the mainstream. Some Delaware oncologists are prescribing it for specific problems such as swollen lymph nodes and discomfort from surgical scar tissue, as well as for general well-being.
“The use of massage for oncology patients should still be decided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your physician, but in some cases the benefits outweigh any potential risk,” says Theresa Gillis, MD, director of oncology pain management and rehabilitation at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.
Tom Horvath, an oncology massage therapist at One Spirit Massage in Rehoboth Beach, says studies with cancer patients have shown that massage decreases anxiety, pain, stress, nausea, insomnia and depression, and it can help increase skin condition, circulation and mobility.
Gillis advises cancer patients to seek out someone certified in oncology massage. She says some conditions require treatment by specially trained massage, physical or occupational therapists because improper massage could lead to injury or harm.
Trained oncology massage therapists are educated in different types of cancers, treatments and side effects, says Conrad Noebel, owner of Bodymind in Lewes and Rehoboth. “They adapt massage to the patient’s individual needs,” he says. “Even if we can just massage a person’s hands or feet, it can help them to relax and feel better about themselves.” —Theresa Gawlas Medoff
Page 4: Sleep Talking? | Sedation dentistry can take away some fear of the dentist.
Sedation dentistry can take away some fear of the dentist.
Anyone who has a fear of going to the dentist knows that they’re not alone. What they might not know is that there is a brand of dentistry dedicated to making sure the fear doesn’t inhibit regular checkups. It’s called sedation dentistry, a service that Bear-Glasgow Dental has offered for 15 years.
Explains its manager, John Moore, “Basically, if you do oral surgery, you can get it done with full knockout sedation, but we are doing that for general dentistry.” Light conscious sedation, nitrous, moderate-level and even deep sedation are all offered for procedures as simple as root canals and routine tooth cleanings.
The beneficiaries aren’t just people with everyday disdain for dental visits. “Our patients are a mix between people who are just sort of fearful and those who would be wholly unable to receive dental care if it weren’t for the services we provide,” Moore says. “It’s great for people with dental phobia, autism or any condition that prohibits you from being able to make normal trips to the dentist.”
Over the years, Moore has come to be sympathetic as he witnesses what these families go through. “Unless you have a severely disabled child in your family, you just don’t understand, but you’re often flat out turned away by a normal dentist,” he says. Bear-Glasgow Dental has even come to be an official partner with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.
The benefit that sedation dentistry provides for those who are only a bit fearful shouldn’t be underestimated. “There are two main deterrents to getting medical care in this field: the first is money and the second is anxiety,” says Moore, “and what happens is people go years not receiving dental care for no reason other than they’re fearful.” —Dan Cicala
Page 5: A Shot in the Arm | Christiana Care nurses earn Magnet Recognition for excellence.
Christiana Care nurses earn Magnet Recognition for excellence.
The patients and staff already knew it. Now outside experts have confirmed it: The nurses at Christiana Care Health System are among the best in the country.
Last winter, Christiana Care achieved Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Christiana is among an elite 6 percent of hospitals to have earned this honor. It is the only one in Delaware.
ANCC calls Magnet recognition “the gold standard for nursing excellence.”
“Magnet recognition designates our hospital as having excellent nurses delivering excellent care, and that means better outcomes for our neighbors in the community,” says Diane Talarek, chief nursing officer at Christiana Care. The recognition also makes Christiana Care more attractive to nurses seeking work, she says.
The Magnet Recognition Program honors healthcare organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice and adherence to national standards for the organization and delivery of nursing services. Applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes a multi-day site visit by Magnet nurse appraisers.
Robert Laskowski, president and CEO of Christiana Care, says the recognition is “a testament to the extraordinary nurses and our entire healthcare team who work together every day to provide the very best care to our patients.”
Though Talarek and her staff worked for more than five years to achieve Magnet Recognition, the designation is not an end in itself, but a step along the journey, she says. “You continue to get better at what you do. With healthcare reform and all the changes taking place, there will be more opportunities to provide healthcare and to do so differently than we have before.” —Theresa Gawlas Medoff
Page 6: Good Sport… | …means preventing injuries in your child athlete. Here are some ways to avoid the most common.
…means preventing injuries in your child athlete. Here are some ways to avoid the most common.
How do you prevent your young athlete from suffering the most common injuries? Pediatric sports medicine physician Kathleen O’Brien of Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children has this advice.
“First thing that comes to mind is preventing heat illness,” she says. “Heat stroke and dehydration are preventable.” Players, parents and coaches need to be aware of the environment. Don’t schedule practice in the middle of the day, and take frequent breaks.
“Make sure your child is getting enough fluids,” O’Brien says. “Hydration is just as important in the days leading up to activity as it is during the activity.” If the activity exceeds an hour, consider giving your child a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes (sodium and potassium). “Also avoid eating in the hour before, because that can commonly lead to abdominal cramping. Instead, give them a small meal consisting of a good carbohydrate and protein two to three hours before.”
Wear the correct shoes. Foot, ankle, hip or back pain can be caused by improper footwear. Cleats are great for traction and running, but most do not have sufficient arch support. An insole, sold at local drug stores, can help.
Also make sure your child stretches sufficiently. O’Brien recommends stretching before and after activity. “A routine of warm-up-stretch-play-stretch is the best way to make sure those muscles are getting balanced.”
If your child does get hurt while playing sports, ice the injury, give an oral anti-inflammatory and encourage them to rest. Small changes can make a huge difference. —Lana Morelli