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Why Vaccinate? It’s Important from Dr. Leah Willson

“In my 33 years of practice, including time in medical missions, I have seen cases of nearly all of the vaccine-preventable illnesses and their complications. These are serious and often life-threatening diseases. They still occur with high frequency in many countries that are only a plane trip away. I have a really hard time understanding why some parents are willing to put their children at risk by not vaccinating–but I guess vaccines have been so effective that many US parents have never watched a child suffering from one of these illnesses.

Any medicine, and any vaccine can cause side effects. Complications from vaccines are reported and carefully tracked. However, in my 33 years of pediatric practice, giving 100,000+ vaccine doses, I have not had a single serious, life-threatening, or disabling vaccine reaction occur. Most reactions are minor and self-limited, and the majority of children have no side effects whatsoever. There have been multiple well-done studies which show beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no connection between vaccines and autism, SIDS, or any chronic medical condition.”~ Dr. Leah Willson, pediatrician

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month! This month the holidays go into full swing and what better way to celebrate than with loads of hearty, delicious, and… wait for it… HEALTHY food! That’s right, sweet potatoes fall into all of those categories.  Although people often think of sweet potatoes as a Thanksgiving side dish, these root vegetables are available year-round. They’re becoming more popular too: sweet potato consumption rose by nearly 42% between 2000 and 2016, according to the USDA. (https://tinyurl.com/yyx2v8sf)

The many varieties of sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. The skins range in hue from almost white to dark red, with a few types sporting purple skin. Those unusual varieties may also have lavender or purple flesh. But the most common flesh colors range from white to deep orange.

When cooked, some sweet potato varieties stay firm, while others soften. These “soft” varieties are often referred to as yams. But true yams (from the African word nyami) belong to an entirely different plant family related to lilies and grasses.

Here are some of the nutritional facts about this delicious vegetable.

* Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins C and A. Both nutrients are important for immune system support, and maintaining healthy skin, vision, and organs.

*They are full of antioxidants and other nutrients.

*Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory, which lowers the risk of nearly every chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

* They help support weight loss. They are so filling, it doesn’t even feel like you’re trying to slim down!

Easy recipe: Pierce sweet potato skins several times with a fork. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400° F until tender, about 45 minutes.

So, whether you’re baking, mashing, or folding… or cutting it into chunks with ground cinnamon sprinkled on top… or enjoying the classic sweet potato pie… It won’t be difficult for you to celebrate Sweet Potato Month!

Source: harvard.edu

 

Orange & Sweet Potato Pork Chops

Source: unl.edu

This recipe is a great source of protein and the sweet potatoes add important vitamin A. Thanks to the orange and cinnamon flavoring, you may be able to skip the salt entirely.

Once you’ve assembled this main dish, you’re free to do something else while it is baking. Read the paper, take a walk, put in a load of wash or just relax! I had company the night I prepared this and it was easy to toss in an extra pork chop and add another sweet potato.

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

2 pork chops

1 sweet potato (peeled)

1/2 orange (sliced)

1 dash cinnamon (optional)

1 dash salt (optional)

1 dash black pepper (optional)

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium skillet, brown pork chops in a small amount of oil.

3. Cut sweet potato into 1/2-inch slices.

4. Place meat and sweet potato slices in a baking dish and top with orange slices; sprinkle with seasonings if desired.

5. Cover and bake for 1 hour until meat is tender. Pork is safely cooked when it has been heated to 145 degrees F, followed by a 3 minute rest.

 

Nutrition Facts: Calories, 270; Calories from Fat, 100; Total Fat, 11g; Saturated Fat, 4g; Trans Fat, 0g; Cholesterol, 65 mg; Sodium, 85mg; Total Carbohydrate, 17g; Dietary Fiber, 3g; Sugars, 6g; Protein, 25g.

Good Bye Excellian Hello Epic

Today is the Day!!
Change is always hard but the new system we are implementing will be an upgrade for our patients and staff. To bring a sense of humor to the event our Orthopedic Rehab Staff held a quick funeral for our old system with a grave site of all the instruction manuals that have been our guiding principles for over 6 years. We are NOW Epic and ready to rock!

people around a head stone and grave filled with manuals from old system.

Why Vaccinate? It’s Important

“By adulthood at least 90% of people have been infected by Human papilloma virus [HPV].  HPV is the leading cause of cervical, vulvar, penile, anal, and throat cancers.  Anyone who gets infected has a risk of developing cancer.  Often this infection has no symptoms.  Women can be screened for cervical HPV infection with Pap Smears but there is no screening for men.  We have seen at least a 50% decrease in HPV infections since starting this vaccine.  This is the ONLY vaccine that prevents cancer.  I have never seen a serious adverse event following this vaccine but I have seen people die from the cancers it causes.”~Dr. Tiffany Trenda, pediatrician

Why Vaccinate? It’s Important #3

“I had chickenpox (varicella) when I was eight years old, before the first vaccine was available. I vividly recall lying in bed, scratching, and feeling miserable. Many people have had chickenpox, and most of them are “lucky,” as I was. When it is mild, varicella causes fever, achiness, cough, and an itchy rash. However, when most severe, varicella can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and sepsis. These are conditions that can lead to hospitalization, and unfortunately, death. Additionally, those who are unvaccinated and acquire chickenpox naturally are at higher risk for shingles later on in life. I see chickenpox in unvaccinated children every year in my practice. It is still a real, and completely unnecessary threat. I am very grateful that there is vaccine available to protect my patients and my own children.“~ Dr. Erin Knudtson, pediatrician

Why Vaccinate? It’s Important from Dr. Pam Fisher

“My Grandmother was blind in 1 eye, and almost completely deaf from a very young age.

These things were caused by one of the “normal” childhood illnesses in the early 1900”s. I suspect it was mumps or measles.

Even though she recovered from the illness, she struggled with her disabilities for her entire life.

She always laughed when she couldn’t understand what I was saying by lip reading, and often came up with silly words. But after that illness she never heard simple sounds like birds singing, and she never heard the sound of my voice.

I often wonder what her life would have been like if she could have gotten the vaccines that we have today.”~Dr. Pam Fisher, pediatrician

Why Vaccinate? It’s important #2

“As a mom, I would do anything to keep my kids safe and healthy. As a doctor, I understand the importance of disease prevention. That’s why it was easy for me to choose to vaccinate my children – vaccines are a safe and effective way to keep us healthy.”~ Nikki VandenBerg, family physician

 

Why Vaccinate? It’s Important #1

“I trained in pediatrics in the mid 1980’s. I spent many days and nights caring for children critically ill with Hib (Hemophilus influenzae type b) disease. Some did not make it, and survivors often had major permanent disabilities. The first Hib vaccine came out in 1986 and it was excitedly welcomed. The last case of Hib meningitis I saw in the US was an unimmunized child in 1994. I hope I never see Hib again—but a resurgence is likely if our vaccination rates continue to fall.”~ Dr. Leah Willson, pediatrician

Ignite Career Day for Area Students

Last Friday Hutchinson Health had an opportunity to engage with high school students from the area through the Ignite your Career Day in Hutchinson. Promoting health careers to students by providing hands on, interactive experiences showcases how truly rewarding the health care field can be. Shout out to our Occupational Rehabilitation Staff and their great activities for the 1200 high school students. Our Lab Staff was there as well, providing the opportunity for students to do their own blood type testing. The hope is that maybe we peaked an interest in pursuing these fields to area students.

students performing strength test

students looking at blood slides

International Infection Prevention Week

This week is International Infection Prevention Week. The theme this year is “Vaccines are Everybody’s Business”. With the rise in measles cases it is important to remember that the spread of infection is everybody’s business. Know the basics of infection prevention…wash your hands. Clean hands stop the spread of infection. Do your part…. hand hygiene is key. Vaccines also play a crucial role in eliminating diseases. Awareness of what you can do to prevent the spreading of illnesses is everyone’s responsibility.