Friday, July 23, 2010

Wellness Wit and Wisdom

By Maureen Deutermann, MSN, R.N.
Director of Community Education

The old adage “Good things come in small packages” certainly holds true when it comes to healthy foods. If you had to pick ONE food that packs the best wallop nutritionally, what would it be? Spinach, perhaps? Popeye would certainly vote for that one! How about salmon, touted for its high marks in omega fatty acids? Good pick but not quite good enough.

Arguably the food that might be said to top the list could well be the humble little blueberry. Fresh or frozen, blueberries are nutrition giants cleverly disguised. Here are our TOP TEN REASONS TO POP A PECK OF BLUEBERRIES (INTO YOUR MOUTH):

#10: Blueberries are a sweet, natural treat low in calories. One cup of blueberries has only about 81 calories, so if you’re looking to lose weight blueberries are a harmless, healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

#9: Move over cranberries! Researchers at Rutgers University have found a substance in blueberries that improves urinary tract health and reduces chance of urinary tract infection.

#8: European studies have shown a relationship between bilberries (a cousin of blueberries) and improved eyesight. This is thought to be due to a pigment called anthocyanin, which is also what makes blueberries… blue! This compound may also prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

#7: Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber, and the benefits of a high fiber diet have been well documented over the years.

#6: Dried blueberries are used in Sweden to treat diarrhea in childhood. It is believed that anthocyanosides, a substance found in blueberries, has an antibacterial effect, particularly upon the bacteria E-coli.

#5: The same anthocyanosides mentioned above also have a beneficial effect on blood vessels and the treatment of varicose veins.

#4: The antioxidants in blueberries may prevent the buildup of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol in blood vessels, thus reducing risk of heart disease and stroke.

#3: Blueberries contain resveratrol, a potential anticancer agent, and also contain substances that decrease the growth of cervical and breast cancer cells.

#2: The tiny blueberry is #1 in antioxidant activity, surpassing 40 other fruits and vegetables for the honor. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are nasty particles that damage cells in numerous ways such as noted in #4.

And the NUMBER ONE reason to eat more blueberries: if you are looking for a fruity Fountain of Youth look no further than the blueberry! The antioxidants in blueberries also boast anti-aging properties and ongoing studies are finding that blueberries improve memory, concentration and balance.

Dr. Steven Pratt, coauthor of Superfoods: Fourteen Foods that Will Change your Life, maintains, “If you had to pick one food to ensure your lowest rate of dementia as you get older, blueberries are the thing — fresh or frozen it does not matter.”

While July is officially Blueberry Month, blueberries are grown in 30 states, available fresh eight months of the year and always available frozen. Why not make every month Blueberry Month?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Physician News at Sentara Potomac

Dr. David Sharashenidze has joined the pulmonary and critical care practice of Drs. Richard Robinson and Mark Clinton. Dr. Sharashenidze is fellowship-trained in pulmonary medicine, critical care and sleep medicine from The George Washington University Medical Center and the Washington Veterans Hospital. Prior to joining Drs. Robinson and Clinton, he served as director of the Critical Care Unit at the Specialty Hospital of Washington at Hadley. Their office is located in The Potomac Center, 2296 Opitz Boulevard, Suite 230, in Woodbridge. Telephone: 703-878-0924.

Plastic and general surgeon Dr. Andrew Kriegel has opened an office in the Potomac Center, Suite 210. Dr. Kriegel completed his residency in general surgery at Medical University of Ohio and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He completed further training in plastic surgery at Penn State University. His experience includes both aesthetic and complex reconstructive surgical procedures. Telephone: 703-910-6567.

Infectious Disease Associates have announced the addition of Dr. Amy Treakle to their practice. Dr. Treakle completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical System. Dr. Treakle also completed a fellowship in infectious disease at The George Washington University - VA Medical Center. She joins Drs. Arthur Chutuape, John Symington and Sherrie Lee Walker at 8988 Lorton Station Boulevard, Suite 204, in Lorton. Telephone: 703-339-3524.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tackling Pesky Childhood Conditions

Runny noses, ear aches, growing pains and upset tummies….staples of children everywhere. Luckily, these common childhood complaints come and go without the need for major medical intervention. However, there are several irritating childhood conditions that aren’t extremely serious, but are pesky none the less.

“All parents can count on the occasional minor condition that doesn’t warrant an emergency room visit, but does require medical treatment,” says Robyn Gorman, M.D., a pediatrician on Sentara Potomac Hospital’s medical staff. “Common conditions we see are conjunctivitis (pink eye), lice, ringworm, and rashes.”

Seeing Red? Be on the Lookout for Conjunctivitis

“Pink eye or conjunctivitis is something that we see often,” says Gorman. “If your child has red or swollen eyes, a gooey discharge, itchiness or general irritation, you should take him to the doctor for treatment. Sometimes pink eye is mistaken for allergies, but it’s actually an infection with a bacteria or a virus, much like those that cause colds or sore throats.”

Dr. Gorman says that prescribed eye drops or ointments will effectively treat the area and provide comfort. Also, she suggests using a damp, warm washcloth to clean the crusty discharge that causes the eyelids to stick together in the morning.

“Pink eye is very contagious, so it’s important to wash your hands regularly and keep other children from coming into contact with someone with conjunctivitis,” says Gorman.

Bugging out About Lice and Ringworm

The names themselves give people the heebee jeebees. Unfortunately, lice and ringworm like to hang around your kids. Now, those are friends that you don’t want your kids to make!

“Every year, especially after the start of school or daycare, we see increased cases of lice and ringworm,” says Gorman. “Again, these conditions aren’t serious, but they are an annoyance to parents and children.”

Both are very contagious and may or may not require a prescription, says Gorman. “Lice are pesky little critters that like to hang out in hair, and ringworm is actually a fungus (like athlete’s foot) that should be treated with anti-fungal medication.”

There are some over-the-counter treatments, but Gorman recommends visiting the doctor if symptoms are severe or if treatment methods aren’t working.

Robyn Gorman, M.D., is a pediatrician with Woodbridge Pediatrics. Her office is located at 1924 Opitz Boulevard in Woodbridge. Telephone: 703-494-1144.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Perry Named President of Sentara Potomac Hospital

Megan Perry has been named Sentara Corporate Vice President, Northern Virginia & President, Sentara Potomac Hospital. Perry will be responsible for directing Sentara's efforts in the Northern Virginia market and leading Sentara Potomac Hospital.

Perry began her career at Sentara in 1990 as an Administrative Resident at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital while completing her Master’s of Health Administration degree from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. She served in various roles including Vice President of Ambulatory Services & Women's Health and Vice President for Cardiac, Vascular & Transplant Services for Sentara Hospitals.

Perry went on to become Administrator for Sentara Hampton General and was at the helm during the construction and move to CarePlex where she served for another four years. Most recently, Perry has been Senior Vice President for Business & Service Line Development.

In December 2009, Potomac Hospital joined Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare. Since that time, Perry has demonstrated superior leadership and the management skills necessary to meet the challenges in leading the integration of Sentara Potomac Hospital and the development of the Northern Virginia market for Sentara. She has also earned a strong reputation from the Sentara Potomac Board and Medical Staff leadership as an action-oriented, collaborative executive.

“I’m honored and excited to have this new opportunity,” says Perry. “Since Potomac joined Sentara Healthcare I have been thoroughly impressed with the hospital and look forward to leading Sentara Potomac into an even brighter future of serving our residents.”

Perry and her family plan to relocate from Newport News to Northern Virginia.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Golf Classic a Swinging Success

Sentara Potomac Hospital raised more than $70,000 at our 11th Annual Golf Classic held at Old Hickory Golf Club.

The funds from this year’s event benefit the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE), serving the greater Prince William County community through the Irene V. Hylton Emergency Care Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital. The SANE program provides comprehensive quality healthcare for victims of sexual crimes and helps seek justice through the forensic process.

Over the past 11 years, the Golf Classic has benefited many special projects at Sentara Potomac Hospital. Since the tournament began a total of $707,808 has been raised to help improve healthcare services for members of our community.

Special thanks to the event sponsor Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, P.C. and to all of the sponsors and players who supported this fun-filled event.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wellness Wit and Wisdom

By Maureen Deutermann, MSN, R.N.
Director of Community Education

Did you know that taking a vacation may increase your life span? In a study of over 12,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease, those who did not take a regular vacation were more likely to die over a nine year period than those who did.

While vacations are potentially good for us, one aspect of vacationing that isn’t so healthy, particularly if that vacation happens to be a cruise is — you guessed it: weight gain! The average cruise-goer comes home relaxed, refreshed and eight pounds heavier. Land lubbers as well often take a vacation from healthy living when they head out of town. Lounging on the beach, eating boardwalk hot dogs, and sipping exotic cocktails can all add up…to extra pounds.

Unfortunately, a strange phenomenon occurs; the extra baggage we so easily put on is much tougher to take off! The obvious solution then, is to avoid the weight gain in the first place. Here’s how to enjoy vacation without having more than great memories when you get home!

Be prepared. This goes for both eating and activity. Pack healthy snacks and drinks. If you are going to be driving for any length of time, make sandwiches and have a picnic lunch at a rest stop instead of opting for the junk food drive through. The added advantage of this is affording one the opportunity to get out and walk around. Rest areas are usually pleasantly landscaped. On the other hand who wants to stroll around a McDonald’s parking lot?

Work fitness into your vacation plans, and get it over with early in the day. Stroll the beach, ride a bike, hit the exercise room or take a swim in the morning. Then spend the rest of the day with your well-deserved trashy novel guilt-free!

Ok, so you are on vacation after all, and a few indulgences are to be expected. But if you’re going to pay a visit to the local creamery, forego the bacon and egg breakfast. Vow to eat healthy for two meals out of three, or better yet, three meals out of three and then splurge on dessert.

People who exercise portion control are most successful in weight loss efforts. It’s also true that people who frequently take their meals in restaurants are more likely to be overweight. Why? Because restaurant food portions are often gargantuan compared to what we need to consume. When dining out, beware of this potential sabotage. Split an entrĂ©e, ask for half portion, or take half the meal home. If you’re really fanatical, ask to have half your meal boxed before it gets to the table. Now there’s determination for you!

Remember the creamery? If you must have the Double Dutch Chocolate Devil’s Delight, don’t let the devil talk you into the mega size. Vacations nourish our spirits. We remain in charge of nourishing our bodies, no matter where we are. Let’s be as good to our bodies as vacations are good for our souls!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hot Summer Classes for Teens

Sign up now for Sentara Potomac Hospital’s hot summer classes just for teenagers.

Safe Sitter (Ages 11 – 13)
This program for 11- to 13-year-olds is designed to prepare young people for the responsibility of taking care of young children. The fee includes a course manual and a tote bag with baby-sitting supplies. July 13, 8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. $75*

Heartsaver CPR for Teens (Ages 11 – 17)
The course teaches skills in adult, child and infant CPR and relief of choking. Ideal for teens working as lifeguards, babysitters or camp counselors. July 10, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. $50*

*Save $15 by signing up for both Safe Sitter and CPR for Teens for only $110!

Register online at or call our Health Connection at 703-221-2500.