Detroit Catholic Central High School student fills cancer center with music

novi-high-school-student-fills-cancer-center-with-music

Jonah Lyon, a Catholic Central High School student, volunteered his time to play guitar and piano for patients at the Botsford Cancer Center.

The Botsford Cancer Center is filled with live instrumental music thanks to 14-year-old musician volunteer Jonah Lyon.

Jonah, a freshman at Catholic Central High School in Novi, needed to fill 10 community service hours as a school requirement and decided to spend some of that time entertaining patients at the Cancer Center.  He played holiday music and contemporary songs on his guitar and on a piano in the Cancer Center lobby.  The piano was recently donated to Botsford and Jonah was the first volunteer to grace its keys.

Jonah’s mom, Dawn, said he’s been playing piano for seven years and guitar for two.

Jonah’s service comes under a new volunteer program at Botsford called “Music from the Heart.”  Created from the idea that music can be good for your health, the program recruits musicians to share their talents with patients and visitors at Botsford Hospital or Botsford Cancer Center.  Jonah found the opportunity on our volunteer website and decided it was right for him.  We agree — it was a great way to share his talents and even get some practice.  Patients and employees alike loved it!

Patients in the Botsford Cancer Center enjoy Jonah's music as they stroll through the lobby.

Cynthia Bonkowski, Botsford’s volunteer services manager, said having Jonah and other musician volunteers here is about engaging patients.  And that’s exactly what happened.  People stopped to chat with him about his guitar and smiled as they passed by.  His notes filled the empty air and landed as smiles onto the faces of patients and visitors—and for that we are thankful.

If you have a gift for music, we’d love to hear from you!  Pianists, guitarists or any other

musicians can volunteer a little bit of time playing for our patients, brightening their day and maybe even helping to improve their health.

To learn more about our Music from the Heart program or to volunteer, please call (248) 471-8082.  You may also learn more about volunteering at Botsford.

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What is Balloon Sinuplasty?

It used to be that people suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms (facial pain or pressure, recurrent sinus infections or headaches) had one invasive option to alleviate their symptoms.  That was traditional sinuplasty surgery which often involved removing tissue or even bone in order to improve drainage in the sinuses.  Many people chose not to get the procedure because of concerns about postoperative pain and recovery time.

However, now chronic sinus sufferers have another option called balloon sinuplasty.  Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, causes less pain and requires less recovery time (most patients can return to normal activity within 24 to 48 hours.)  This is possible because rather than using rigid surgical instruments and removing tissue from sinus passageways, the balloon sinuplasty procedure uses flexible materials and a balloon to simply widen those passageways.

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis symptoms, it might be worth your time to learn more about this new procedure.  Discuss it with your doctor or come to Botsford’s free balloon sinuplasty seminar.  Botsford ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Warren Brandes will explain the procedure in more detail.

Visit our event page on Facebook to learn more about this free event.

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Botsford Hospital recognized for social media

    Botsford Hospital won an eHealthcare Leadership award for its use of social media

Botsford Hospital won an eHealthcare Leadership award for its use of social media

A couple weeks ago, Botsford Hospital was honored to hear the news that all our blogging, tweeting, Facebook-ing and Pinning have been appreciated.  We received an eHealthcare Leadership Award in the Best Social Networking category.

It’s good news indeed, because we don’t use social media just for fun.  Our goal is to get to know the people in our community and to share important information to help keep them healthy.

Some 240 healthcare organizations, representing a broad industry spectrum, received recognition for their outstanding websites and digital communications at a special presentation in Las Vegas on November 14 during the Sixteenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference.  Winners of the 2012 eHealthcare Leadership Awards were selected from nearly 1,100 entries.  A total of 115 individuals familiar with healthcare and the Internet judged the entries.

Judges looked at how websites and other digital communications compared with others in their organization’s classification.  They also reviewed entries based on a proprietary multi-point standard of Internet excellence.  The best overall Internet site category, for example, had to pass muster on more than 40 factors.

We hope you’ll check out what we’re doing and get social with us!

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Helping patients navigate the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis

At the Botsford Cancer Center, Stefanie Johnson, RN helps patients find insurance coverage or payment sources so they don’t have the worry of shouldering alone the high-cost of cancer care.

When someone gets a cancer diagnosis, the complexities of the treatment and the financial toll can be devastating. Many cancer centers have financial counselors to inform patients about the costs of treatment and make payment arrangements, but Botsford Cancer Center has chosen a different path by hiring a financial navigator, who works from the patient’s perspective and helps find resources to meet the patient’s financial needs.

Cancer treatment is expensive,” says Nicholle Mehr, Director of the Botsford Cancer Center. “Some cancer drugs can cost $100,000 for a year’s treatment. Coupled with high deductibles, copays and sometimes reduced income, patients and their families can easily become overwhelmed.”

In most hospitals, if there is a problem with coverage, patients must deal with those issues on their own. A lot of patients don’t understand the process and get lost in the system and may never return to the hospital. Also, in the hospital setting there are reimbursement issues that the hospital really cannot fix, because it requires some action on the part of the patient. A financial navigator helps find creative ways to solve those problems.

Meet Stefanie Johnson, RN.  She helps patients find insurance coverage or payment sources, so they don’t have the worry of shouldering alone the high-cost of cancer care.  Using her clinical knowledge and compassionate nature, Stefanie educates patients—often before a cancer diagnosis is confirmed. She helps patients and their families to make informed financial and insurance choices that are beneficial for them. And, she removes the fear factor, mystery and stress of navigating health insurance plans for cancer treatment bills than often total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Stefanie has worked in several nursing and operations positions for hospitals in the past, but she says that being the Financial Navigator at Botsford Cancer Center is her dream job.  She loves that her job is to care for patients’ financial needs, which leads to increased compliance with treatment.

While not an insurance agent, Stefanie is very knowledgeable about the variety of insurance products and cancer-specific funding programs available to patients. Using her knowledge on behalf of patients, she is helping to alleviate the financial burden of stress that faces so many cancer patients.

Learn more about Botsford Cancer Center or take a virtual tour.

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How to get a flu shot without the sore arm

How to get a flu shot without the sore armEvery fall, thousands of Botsford Hospital employees make it a point to pay Tina Marinucci, RN a visit.  That’s because Tina is a nurse in the Employee Health department and part of her job is to give us all our annual flu shots.

Flu shots are important to us at Botsford not just because it helps to keep us all healthy, but it helps keep our patients safe too.  So when it comes to this time of year, we’re all usually pretty happy to visit Tina.

Usually the worst part of getting any shot, flu vaccine included, is the initial poke and resulting soreness.  The soreness that can follow a flu shot may feel like you received a hard punch in the arm.  But most of us at Botsford don’t really mind Tina’s flu shots, because she has a technique that keeps soreness to a minimum.

Next time you need a flu vaccine or other shot in the arm, remember Tina’s tip:

While sitting, place your hand flat on your upper leg and let your shoulder hang low.  Keep your shoulder very relaxed, letting it hang back and low until the shot is administered.  Keeping your shoulder so relaxed may feel a little unnatural especially if you’re tense but it works.  I hardly felt a thing from the shot and days later my shoulder was never sore unless I pressed on it.

It’s not too late to get your flu shot.  Flu season in the United States is October through May and usually peaks in February so if you haven’t already, there’s still good reason to get your flu shot now.

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Support for Alzheimer’s caregivers just a phone call away

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s has its unique set of challenges that only others in the same situation can truly understand.   Caregivers can face overwhelming emotions, exhaustion or even financial complications to name a few.   And then there are the questions caregivers often have about the disease, treatment and caring for the patient.  At the same time, caregivers rarely have time to care for themselves, let alone seek support on many of these issues.

However it is important for caregivers to get help – both for themselves and for the Alzheimer’s patient.  Doing so can help reduce stress and fatigue.

Don’t let lack of time stop you from seeking help or support from others.  Family members, friends and especially others in similar situations can all help in some way.  In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association has these tips for managing Alzheimer’s caregiver stress:

  1. Learn about resources that may be available, from adult day programs, in-home care or even meal delivery services.
  2. Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises or yoga.
  3. Get physical activity for at least 10 minutes per day.  This can be as simple as taking a short walk.
  4. Make time for yourself.  It’s difficult, but scheduling even a 30 minutes a week to check in with friends or do an activity you enjoy can make a difference.
  5. Be educated about Alzheimer’s, how it progresses and any new skills it may require from you as a caregiver (The new support group below will be helpful here).
  6. Take care of yourself by going to the doctor regularly, eating healthfully, getting exercise and plenty of rest.

Busy caregivers now also have an option to call in to a support group to find the help they need and save time.  Botsford Commons Senior Community, the Alzheimer’s Association and Senior Helpers are sponsoring a Dial-In Alzheimer’s Support Group the first Tuesday of every month at 12:00 PM.

Callers can ask questions about Alzheimer’s, talk to other caregivers, learn new ways to help loved ones and call in from any city on their lunch break.

For more information about the Dial-In Alzheimer’s Support Group, including dial-in instructions, please call Senior Helpers at (248) 865-1000 or email alzdialin@seniorhelpers.com.  Space is limited.

 

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A CT scan is more than just an image

Lori Killeen, CT at Botsford Hospital

Lori Killeen, a radiology technologist at Botsford Hospital, stands next to the CT scanner she uses to look inside the human body. Botsford is celebrating National Radiology Technologists' Week November 4-10 this year.

From broken bones to cancerous tumors, Lori Killeen takes a deeper look inside the human body.  And sometimes when people need a CT scan, they ask for Lori by name.   In recognition of Radiology Technologists’ Week (November 4-10, 2012), we take a closer look into Lori’s job and how she’s able to make her patients feel so comfortable.

How Lori’s story began

Lori started X-ray school later in life, but she did it for all the right reasons and it’s made a difference in the care she provides.

When her father was diagnosed with colon cancer, it changed her life.  It set her on a path to help others in similar situations.  For her, the experience wasn’t just a devastating diagnosis, the technicians who helped to diagnose her father spoke using cold terminology and left her feeling “stupid.”

The diagnosing process is one of the scariest and anxiety-filled times for patients and their family members, while at the same time it is also a time when many decisions must be made.  Patients are nervous, but it’s important for them to be as calm and comfortable as possible both for a positive experience as well as to get a better test which facilitates a proper diagnosis and potentially catching something early.

Lori knows that the way a person feels about their experience at Botsford can make a difference in the person coming back here or going somewhere else.

So how does Lori do it?

She takes time to explain procedures, as many times as it takes and as simply as possible.  She treats every patient as though they’re her mom or dad, with compassion and concern for their feelings.  She recalls what it was like for her when those radiology techs spoke so coldly and technical to her.  She knows that sometimes it’s not just a tissue that the person on the table needs, but a soft touch on the arm, a hand to hold, or someone to wipe away a tear.  For her recurring patients, she makes a point to remember bits from their lives:   The kids in soccer, the beloved dog, whatever is important to them.

Lori is passionate about patient care and it shows.   She says you don’t learn about how to truly care for patients in a book – it’s inside you.

Learn more about CT and all the imaging services at Botsford Hospital.

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Halloween safety tips for kids and adults

Halloween at Botsford HospitalHalloween is an exciting holiday for children as they are dressing up in fun costumes, zipping from door to door or trying to keep up with other siblings and friends. These things combined can make them vulnerable to injury as well.

To make sure trick-or-treaters stay safe, our Injury Prevention Coordinator, Rhonda Thompson, RN compiled some helpful safety tips.

Safe Kids USA recommends that children:

  • always trick-or-treat with an adult until at least age 12
  • only trick-or-treat in familiar areas that are well lit
  • cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • look left, right and left again when crossing; always walk, don’t run, when crossing streets
  • make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are turning or backing up
  • walk on sidewalks or paths; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
  • never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars
  • wear light-colored, flame-retardant and properly fitting costumes decorated with retro-reflective tape or stickers
  • wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls
  • carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers
  • wear face paint and makeup instead of a mask; which can restrict a child’s vision

Drivers need to be extra careful to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters as well, by following these recommendations:

  • be especially alert in residential neighborhoods
  • drive more slowly and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on and near the road
  • be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances
  • take extra time to actively look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle
  • enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • remember that children are excited on this night and may move in unpredictable ways
  • remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
  • reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and pedestrians

Additional Tips:

  • burn candles with caution and never leave them unattended
  • teach children to stay away from candles and watch that costumes do not get too close to the open flames
  • only enter the homes of people you know IF you are with a trusted adult

Please remember to be safe during Halloween and don’t forget to have some fun as well!

For additional information on child safety please visit safekids.org

Rhonda Thompson, RN, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Botsford Hospital Trauma Services, (248) 888-2586 or rthompson@botsford.org

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Recipe: Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

Botsford dietitian Denise Cykiert shows kids how to prepare fruit & yogurt parfaits at a recent workshop.

Here’s a quick and healthy recipe that the kids will love to help prepare. In fact, our dietitian Denise Cykiert recently showed kids how to make them at a recent workshop and they loved it!  These parfaits are delicious, nutritious and make great after school snacks.

Ingredients:  These are the brands we used at the workshop. Of course, you can substitute for other brands or even get creative with your fruit choices.

  • Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt, 6oz
  • Del Monte-Mandarin Oranges 2 oz (1/2 of a 4oz can)
  • Blueberries-raw, ¼ cup
  • Kellogg’s Special K-Fruit & Yogurt Cereal, 1/3 cup

Layer the yogurt, mandarin oranges, blueberries and cereal in a tall glass.

Nutrition Information:

Total Calories: 196
Total Carbohydrate: 43g
Total Fat: 1g
Total Protein: 6g

While you’re making these with the kids, take the opportunity to talk about the ingredients and why each one might be a good food choice.  It’s a great way to teach kids healthy eating habits.  If you need more help getting your kids to eat healthy, you can also talk to your pediatrician. Ask if your child might benefit from a session with a registered dietitian.  A little one-on-one coaching and education might just do the trick.  A dietitian will use props, food diaries and other tricks to help get your child more involved in making good food choices.

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Hygiene Hypothesis: Is your child too clean?

Dr. Dilli Ramesh, Botsford Pediatric Associates

Dr. Ramesh, holding one of his newest patients at Botsford Pediatric Associates in Farmington, MI. Find him online at botsford.org/bpa.

For a couple decades now, there has been a theory that you may not have heard of:  The Hygiene Hypothesis.  It is the theory that allergies and other conditions may be caused by being “too clean.”  The thought is that we’re not exposing our kids to germs while they are young so they’re not able to fight them off when they grow older and as a result, our children are more often developing illnesses, allergies and even asthma.

This month, there is an updated study released in the UK that says the hypothesis might not be the whole story.  Researchers believe that our kids aren’t necessarily “too clean,” but rather just not exposed to the same kind of germs that we once were prior to the 1800s. Back in those days, we lived on farms and grew our own food.  Even the most unkempt modern home is quite different today and has an entirely different set of germs.  The floors in our homes are no longer made of packed dirt, our exposure to livestock is limited to a petting zoo and it’s rare to even plant small vegetable gardens in our yards let alone entire farms.

The Bottom Line

Personal hygiene and regular hand washing is still a must in our modern world.  Things like the seasonal flu and other infections are always a concern.  There are more people living closer together so these bugs can travel fast.  You must take proper steps to prevent them like hand washing and vaccinations.

When it comes to babies and young children, talk to your pediatrician.  For example, Dr. Dilli Ramesh of Botsford Pediatric Associates says that bathing babies every day is not necessary.  A bath every couple days (or when big messes happen) is usually best to avoid drying out their sensitive skin.  In between baths, a simple wipe down with a warm wet cloth should do the trick.  It’s also advised to teach children good hand washing habits and how to cough into their elbows while making sure they’re up to date on immunizations like the flu shot.

To make an appointment with Dr. Ramesh or any of the other pediatricians at Botsford Pediatric Associates, call (248) 477-0100 or visit botsford.org/bpa.

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