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By SMH Webmaster on 5/27/2015 7:50 AM
I love summer. I may not appreciate the winter months as much as others do, but I clearly love the sun and the heat of our Kansas City summers. If you’re not careful though, the sun can be hard on you. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your skin quickly, depending on the time of year. There are many ways to enjoy the sun this summer without getting burned.
 
Get in the shade
Getting under an umbrella, a tree, or anything that provides shade, can significantly reduce your risk of burning, but the sun’s rays can still reach you. Even with shade, your best bet is to use sunscreen. I’ll never forget being on a boat under a canopy and feeling protected, but being burned by the reflection off of the lake.
By SMH Webmaster on 5/19/2015 2:45 PM
Memorial Day weekend is a great time to get outdoors. When the weather cooperates, swimming makes a great recreational as well as fitness activity. It is always important to remember a few safety tips around water.

First of all, one of the best ways to start a swimming life is with lessons. There are swimming lessons offered all over the area, for all ages. It is a great way to make friends and receive instruction on how to keep safe but also how to have more fun, like diving to the bottom of the pool to retrieve pool rings.

By SMH Webmaster on 5/19/2015 10:07 AM
“Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4 NIV   In his book, “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am”, John Powel discusses five levels of communication.  He describes as follows: Level five; “Cliché Conversation”, exchange of greetings, small talk, “Did you see those Royals?”  Level four; “Reporting the Facts”, we talk about what happening but not about how it makes us feel or how it affects us. Level three; “Ideas and Judgements”, Ideas, thoughts and personal statements are shared about a variety of subjects and we begin to take some risks. Level two; “Feelings and Emotions”, at this level we start “sharing feelings about facts, ideas and judgments”. Level one; this is the kind of communication we share with a few close friends or family.  We are the most open, honest and vulnerable at this level.  This is the level at which true intimacy is shared and experienced.  This where it gets deep and sometimes a little scary, actually it can get a lot scary which...
By SMH Webmaster on 5/11/2015 12:50 PM

With summer just around the corner, let’s review some sun safety tips, as well as my top picks for non-toxic, yet effective sunscreens.

Keep infants under six months of age out of direct sunlight, especially during the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. Babies’ skin is less mature compared to older children and adults, and sunscreen is not recommended in this population as there is an increased risk of side effects from chemicals in sunscreen. 

Wear protective clothing. Look for shirts, hats and shorts that provide the best UV protection. Check out this local Prairie Village company, Swim Zip.

By SMH Webmaster on 5/11/2015 8:38 AM
“…I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.” Genesis 17:16 KJV   At ninety years old, if one is blessed with clarity of mind, life is mostly about looking back and reflecting over the journey.  It’s about passing on a few last pearls of wisdom to your children and grandchildren.  It is a time to set things in order and finally come to the place of acceptance about those long held hopes, dreams and desires that were never fulfilled.  I imagine that’s where Sarai was in her mind when she heard the words that were shared between her husband Abram and some visitors claiming to be messengers from God or as some understand it, God himself.   During that conversation there were name changing ceremonies, Abram – exalted father was changed to Abraham – father of a multitude and Sarai – princess was changed to Sarah – noblewoman, most commonly used in reference to one who was the wife of a king.  And there was an unbelievable promise.  At ninety Sarah was to get pregnant...
By SMH Webmaster on 5/5/2015 8:21 AM
I just came across an interesting study regarding the impact of iron supplementations on female sexual dysfunction. According to a study from 2014 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, significant improvements in libido were noted after women with diagnosed iron deficiency were started on an iron supplement. This small study of about 200 women aged 18-49 had diagnosed iron deficiency and also scored high on a commonly used anxiety measuring scale called the Beck Anxiety Inventory questionnaire. 

If you are struggling with low libido, discuss with your doctor if a blood test to rule out iron deficiency is indicated. Other symptoms linked to iron deficiency include anxiety, restless sleep, restless leg syndrome, hair loss and fatigue. Populations at risk for iron deficiency can include women with heavy menstrual periods and those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
By SMH Webmaster on 5/4/2015 10:13 AM
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite…and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan…, when he saw him, he had compassion on him.” Luke 10:31-33 KJV   We live in a busy, always on the go world.  There is always somewhere to go, something to do, someone to pick up, drop off or meet.  We are either preparing to do something, doing something or recovering from doing something.  We work ten and twelve hour days, have kids who are involved in more extra-curricular activities than we can keep up with and we long for a break.  They don’t come often but when they do we don’t want anything to get in the way of our, “me time”.   The Priest and the Levite in this story often get blasted for being mean spirited religious people who didn’t care enough to help.  I’d like you to take another look from their perspective.  I don’t think these busy professionals were that much different from many of us, they worked hard...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/28/2015 10:03 AM
It’s that time of year. Flowers are blooming, lawns are growing and pollen is flying through the air. It is nice to get outside and enjoy the fresh air after the cold of winter months have passed, but it is not as fun when this outing leaves you sneezing and using tissues until your nose is raw. Allergy season has hit the area, and there are some strategies to help protect yourself.

Multiple medications are available, over-the-counter and by prescription, but the first line of treatment is prevention. Pollen forecasts can be found on local news channels or in the newspaper. Plus, there are various apps out there for monitoring local pollen counts on a daily basis. I use The Weather Channel app. In general, pollen counts are highest in the morning, so plan outdoor activities in the afternoon or after a rain shower, since pollen counts are lowest after rain. Stay indoors as much as possible on windy days. Ask someone who does not suffer from allergies to do yard work that stirs up pollen, like gardening or mowing. If you must be the one to do outside chores, wear a dust mask. While drying wet laundry on the outside line is great for energy conservation, it can also wreak havoc on allergy symptoms, as pollen wedges its way between the fibers of everything you wear.
By SMH Webmaster on 4/27/2015 9:45 AM
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among thieves?  And he said, he that showed mercy on him.  Then Jesus said unto him, go and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 NKJV   This is arguably the most well-known story from the Bible.  It is famously called, the story of the “Good Samaritan”, which almost implies that every other Samaritan was something other than good.  The essence of the story is that a man was mugged and left for dead.  His almost lifeless form was encountered by three passersby, two of whom it would have been assumed, a Priest and a Levite, should have been predisposed to offer help but they did not.  The reputation of the third, a Samaritan, marked him as one who would not care about this injured man because he was a Jew.  There had been a multigenerational feud between these two peoples that perhaps neither one of them knew what they were fighting about.  Yet this was the man who helped.   Note the progression of the encounters.  The Priest saw the man from the other side of the road and kept going.  The Levite came over to where he was, looked at him and passed by.  The Samaritan came to where he was, saw the man’s plight and was moved to action because he felt compassion and became personally involved in the life of a stranger....
By SMH Webmaster on 4/21/2015 11:52 AM
Every part of our lives has a milestone, even when we are older. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.  

Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles. Perimenopause, meaning “around menopause,” is the transition your body goes through leading up to menopause.

Although a natural biological process, it can trigger a sense of loss or sadness for some women. Even though it does signal the end of fertility, it does not mean that you are unable to stay healthy and vibrant.
By SMH Webmaster on 4/20/2015 11:48 AM
“And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the lease of these my brothers and my sisters, you were doing it to me.” Matthew 25:40 NKJV   In the business of healthcare we continually measure ourselves with a variety of performance metrics.  We use self-assessments such scorecards, dashboards, quality assessments of a wide variety that measure everything from admission to discharge and beyond.  We are evaluated by external organizations such as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Press Ganey.  We recently completed a survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to ensure that we are in compliance with safely standards and evidence based best practices.  We underwent thorough site inspections, chart and policy reviews and interviews.  We do all these things to demonstrate and evaluate our commitment to patient safety and quality.    I was discussing the purpose of quality and safety metrics with a non-healthcare...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/13/2015 8:47 AM
Growing research suggests that eating slower and more thoughtfully could help with weight problems. 

Whether we are sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of chips, shoving down breakfast in our car ride to work, or sitting at our favorite Mexican food restaurant finishing a basket of chips, before you know it, you have finished eating without even noticing it. Following this mindless eating trend will result in overeating, yet not feeling mentally satisfied with the meal.

Research suggests that applying mindful eating techniques can aid in healthful weight management. 
By SMH Webmaster on 4/13/2015 12:00 AM
“He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.  He was despised and we did not care.” Isaiah 53:3 NLT   What’s the worst thing anyone has ever done to you?  Has anyone ever lied to you?  Has anyone ever broken a promise to you?  Have you ever been betrayed or sold out by someone you trusted? Have you been stolen from or disowned?  Over the course of a lifetime, we may experience many hurtful things and in my experience, the hardest things to bear are those hurts that come from people who are closest to us or that we trust the most.  If we take just a moment to reflect on some of these occurrences we can probably still feel the hurt.  But with the passage of time and some intentional work, directed at healing, we can learn to deal with most, if not, all of those hurts.   In the last week of the life of Jesus, he was lied to, sold out, denied, deserted and disappointed and these were done to him by his friends.  Then the authorities...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/8/2015 3:57 PM
From moving across the country to insurance changes, there are times in life when a change in primary care doctors is necessary. This can be a daunting task, but here are some tips to help ease the chaos of blindly picking someone from the online directories. 

There are a few different types of primary care doctors: pediatricians, family medicine doctors and internists. Pediatricians see children, from newborns to adolescents. Family medicine doctors see both children and adults. Family medicine doctors are also trained to deliver babies, and some of them still practice this. Internists see adults only. Finding the right option for you is a personal choice, but finding someone you trust is even more important.

Family and friends can be great resources. Talk to them about who they see and why they like them. They may also be able to clue you in on someone to avoid as well. If you are new to the area and do not know anyone well, co-workers can be a great source for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask around.
By SMH Webmaster on 4/6/2015 9:23 AM
“He is not here: for he is risen…” Matthew 28:6 Easter weekend is a high and Holy day on the Christian calendar.  The weekend celebrates what has come to be known as the Passion of Christ.  It begins on Good Friday with the death by crucifixion of Jesus and ends on Easter Sunday with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  These events are important to Christians because we believe that Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins and his resurrection is evidence that he has power over death and therein lies the hope of all Christians that through him we have eternal life.   The timing of the holiday is interesting because it moves every year.  It falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and coincides with a Saxon Pagan spring festival that I am not sure is even practiced anymore, some historians say it celebrated the goddess Eastra and occurs around the same time as the Jewish Holiday, Passover.  Eighth century Anglo-Saxon Christians...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/1/2015 8:20 AM
Did you ever think that the fruit or veggies in your refrigerator could contribute to your inability to have children? It seems that there is new evidence that this may be caused by certain pesticides used in growing certain crops. 

In the news this morning and circulating around the Internet is a story based on a newly published article from Dr. Chavorro and others from Harvard. They found that men who ate fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide contamination were associated with a lower sperm count and fewer normal sperm. This was among men who were coming to an infertility clinic. The men who ate the most fruit and veggies had nearly half the amount of sperm as the men who ate the lower amount. Other studies have shown that men who live near greater agricultural centers such as Iowa and Missouri also had lower sperm counts.

By SMH Webmaster on 3/24/2015 2:18 PM
According to a recent article in the Current Oncology Reports journal, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) has become a popular approach among cancer patients. As patient interest in complementary therapies increases, so does the number of studies that suggest stress management, targeted nutritional supplements, enhanced general nutrition and physical activity may have a positive effect on survival of cancer patients.  

The goal of CIM is to complement the experience of your cancer treatment regimen and to serve as a jumping off point once you have finished with conventional therapies. This can include adding in natural or nutritional therapy to help prevent or offset common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, or starting down a healthful path of secondary cancer prevention using diet and lifestyle interventions. Highest priority is to safely proceed with conventional care as recommended by your medical oncologist, while maintaining the highest quality of life possible. Fatigue, digestive upset, cognitive dysfunction, neuropathy, heart failure and sexual dysfunction are just a handful of symptoms that can occur concurrently and after treatment.
By SMH Webmaster on 3/24/2015 12:23 PM
“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Matthew 9:12 KJV   Jesus’ actions and associations were always under scrutiny.  He was judged when he performed a miracle, criticized about his teachings and questioned about his associations.  The statement above was made by Jesus after he had encountered criticism for attending a dinner at Matthew’s house.  Matthew was a tax collector and as such was despised by his own people because tax collectors worked for the Romans and had a reputation for being notoriously dishonest.  Matthew’s friends, who attended this meal, were referred to as “publicans and sinners” and it was unacceptable, according to the religious custom of the day, for a Rabbi to associate with this sort.  Jesus in his statement defended his actions by clearly indicating he was unbiased in his approach to sharing the love of God.   Bias or prejudice can be obvious such as intentional racism, sexism, ageism, etc., or it can be so subtle that we are not even aware of it.  Are...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/16/2015 3:25 PM
March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so it is a great time to talk about this topic. This month was chosen in 2000 by President Clinton to raise awareness and take action for prevention of colon cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. It usually does not cause a lot of symptoms until it is very advanced, so screening and prevention are important. If everyone age 50 and older got screened, as is recommended, six out of 10 deaths from colon cancer would be prevented.

No one really likes to get screened. It takes time and has a cost associated with it, depending on insurance coverage, but screening allows precancerous polyps to be found early and removed before they get bigger and cause more problems. A lot of my patients tell me they do not have a family history, so they feel like screening is not important for them. Only 25 percent of patients diagnosed with colon cancer have a family history; that means 75 percent of patients did not. Those with a family history may have different screening recommendations, but everyone age 50 or older should get screened or at least be discussing their case with their physician.
By SMH Webmaster on 3/16/2015 8:55 AM
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not utterly be cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24 KJV
 
What do you plan to accomplish this week?  What’s on your to do list or calendar?  How did you arrive at that plan?  How will you go about accomplishing it?  The Psalmist presents a guide for our work life that most people do not practice.  It’s not because we are bad people, it’s just that we’re busy and we are educated, prepared and pretty skillful.  Most of the time we feel like we know what we’re doing and we have deadlines to make and goals to accomplish so we just get on with it.  But I wonder how much success we are robbing ourselves of by not allowing God to order our steps.

SHAWNEE MISSION HEALTH LOCATIONS
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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913-676-2000
Prairie Star
23401 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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913-676-8500