Springtime Tips when caring for your Feet


Springtime Feet

Spring is fun, but can be tough on your feet. Before you trade your boots for strappy sandals and bare feet, make sure you follow these simple tips, courtesy of Kory Miskin, DPM. No matter the time of year, good foot health contributes to your overall health.

Below, podiatrist Kory Miskin, DPM, shares a few tips on how you and your feet can enjoy the sunshine.

  1. Going barefoot increases the risk of injury to your feet. Walking without the proper footwear in a public area can expose you to infections like plantar warts, athlete’s foot and ringworm.
  1. Remember the sunscreen. Sunburn is very common as we approach the warmer temperatures in the spring. To prevent getting sunburns, make sure to apply sunscreen all over your feet. It’s especially important across the top and front of your ankles and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water. Aloe Vera or Silvadene cream are great options to use in case you do get sunburn on your feet. They help to relieve those painful sunburns that you may accrue.
  1. Increases in activity can increase foot injury. Everyone is itching to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures, which leads to increased activity overall. This can lead to blisters forming on your feet when walking/running/biking. To reduce the risk of developing blisters over time, try to wear moisture-wicking socks. Also, the use of moleskin can help prevent rubbing in those areas.
  1. Remember to warm up before you get moving. As you become more active, stress fractures, planter’s fasciitis and other generalized foot pain can develop. To limit this from happening, allow yourself to work into a routine that will allow you to stretch your feet and other muscles.
  1. Shoe gear is important. Make sure to get your feet measured regularly, as they can change size. Measuring them at the end of the day is the best time. Having an appropriate fitting shoe can help limit injury to your feet.

Good foot health contributes to your overall well-being and spring is a fantastic time to start enjoying the outdoors again! Remember to start slowly, gradually increasing your activity. Regular stretching, and warming up is very important. If a foot/ankle injury does occur, don’t hesitate to see a Podiatrist for help!

Miskin

Dr. Kory Miskin joined the OCH Health System in December. He is available to see patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic and every other Wednesday at the OCH Southwest City Community Clinic in Southwest City, Missouri. Dr. Miskin can provide medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic, or schedule an appointment, call the office at 479-344-6870 or fax 479-344-6865.

#TransformationTuesday: OCH upgrades radiology equipment to better serve patients

Ozarks Community Hospital has transformed radiology equipment systemwide to better serve patients and offer increased services. OCH of Gravette in northwest Arkansas, OCH of Springfield and OCH Christian County Clinic in southwest Missouri have added new updated equipment to increase options for physicians, better evaluate patient conditions and provide further health direction.

As a health system, OCH continues to provide the same quality care but with greater capabilities. The OCH mission is to provide a high quality of care to everyone, regardless of insurance coverage. In fact, more than 80% of patients have governmental insurance or are self-pay. The ability to provide high-quality and technologically advanced radiology services will help OCH better serve its patient population and the surrounding communities.

Springfield & Nixa

OCH of Springfield and the OCH Christian County Clinic also received upgrades to their equipment. The OCH of Springfield hospital received a new SOMATOM Perspective 64-Slice Scanner and ACUSON S2000 ultrasound. With these updates, OCH of Springfield hospital now has radiology equipment directly comparable to nearby hospitals. The OCH Christian County Clinic in Nixa upgraded its CT Scanner to a SOMATOM Emotion 16-Slice CT Scanner.

The new equipment at OCH of Springfield provides expanded services including:

  • Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA): A heart imaging test that helps determine if plaque buildup has narrowed a patient’s arteries.
  • Low Dose Lung Screening: This screening meets CMS guidelines for a lung cancer screening. These are recommended annually for high risk populations/patients and have shown to contribute to a 20% reduction in mortality.
  • Cardiac Calcium Scoring: This is a quick, painless, noninvasive procedure to accurately determine the degree and severity of hard plaque within the coronary arteries. These are recommended for anyone at risk of coronary artery disease, including healthy males over the age of 40 and females over the age of 45.

 AR before after

Gravette

The new equipment makes OCH of Gravette the only all-digital radiology department in its region. OCH of Gravette received massive upgrades and updates including a new SOMATOM Perspective 64-slice CT Scanner, a Siremobil Combact L (C-ARM), a Multix Select and Multix Fusion x-ray machines, a portable Mobilett Mira x-ray machine, and ACUSON S2000 and ACUSON Freestyle Ultrasound System.

The new equipment offers additional testing capabilities including:

  • Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA): A heart imaging test that helps determine if plaque buildup has narrowed a patient’s arteries.
  • Low Dose Lung Screening: This screening meets CMS guidelines for a lung cancer screening. These are recommended annually for high risk populations/patients and have shown to contribute to a 20% reduction in mortality.
  • Cardiac Calcium Scoring: This is a quick, painless, noninvasive procedure to accurately determine the degree and severity of hard plaque within the coronary arteries. These are recommended for anyone at risk of coronary artery disease, including healthy males over the age of 40 and females over the age of 45.
  • QCT Bone Density Test: This is a CT scan with special software used to diagnose or monitor low bone mass. Bone density testing is recommended for anyone at risk of or with evidence of osteoporosis.

In January 2015, the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) announced that OCH of Gravette was one of six recipients of the AHRA and Toshiba Putting Patients First grant to improve the safety, understanding and comfort of pediatric radiology procedures. This KidSTRONG pediatric safety program at OCH of Gravette is a coinciding compliment to the comprehensive technology upgrades. The radiology department has been completely renovated due to the state of the art radiology equipment, with an emphasis on pediatric-friendly facilities and a comforting experience for families.

“The KidSTRONG pediatric safety and education component paired with the complete overhaul of our radiology department in Gravette increases community resources,” says Ronda Kruetzer, radiology manager at the hospital. “These upgrades have enabled OCH to provide safe, quality and worry-free care for the region’s residents right in their hometown,” says Ronda.

Five things Arkansas residents need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace

OCH is joining the state-wide effort to help educate and enroll Arkansans in a quality and affordable health insurance before the February 15 deadline. certified application counselor gravette ar

Here are five of the most important things residents should know about when buying insurance on the marketplace:

  1. IT’S NOT AS PRICEY AS YOU THINK: The Marketplace helps uninsured people find affordable health coverage. Estimate your premium here: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/
  2. EXEMPTIONS EXIST: Consumers are required to have health coverage in 2015 or you may pay a penalty fee.  However, you may qualify for an exemption or a special enrollment period. Find out if you are exempt here: https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/
  3. PENTALTIES ARE EXPENSIVE: In 2015, penalties will be $325 per person, or 2% of your income (whichever is higher). Ouch!
  4. YOU MAY ALREADY BE COVERED AND NOT KNOW IT. You’re considered covered if you have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, any plan you bought yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.
  5. TIME IS RUNNING OUT! The Marketplace Open Enrollment deadline for 2015 coverage is February 15, 2015, unless you qualify for an exemption or special enrollment period.

Have questions, or need assistance enrolling?  OCH of Gravette has local, trained enrollment staff (CAC’s) on hand in Gravette, Ark. to address questions and assist with enrollment before the Feb. 15 deadline.

CALL OUR GRAVETTE, AR REPRESENTATIVE FOR HELP!

Call Melissa at 479-344-6724 or email ARmarketplaceinfo@ochonline.com to ask questions, set up an appointment or sign up! Ozarks Community Hospital is located at 1101 S. Jackson Street SW in Gravette, Ark.

The good and bad of cholesterol

Cholesterol is often negatively portrayed in eyes of the public, but it’s not all bad! Everyone needs cholesterol to live; and it is both good and necessary, in the right quantity, much like everything else in our bodies.

Cholesterol is important for brain and nerve function and is the building block of all our hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. However, cholesterol does have a downside. Because it is a waxy substance, it can build up in blood vessels and cause lots of problems with heart, brain and arteries. This can lead to high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction.

Here’s what you need to know about testing and risk factors to help maintain a healthy level cholesterol:

Although healthcare providers test for cholesterol levels if patients have high blood pressure or issues with their heart, it is recommended that individuals start testing cholesterol levels between the ages of 25 to 35 years (for men) and ages 35 to 45 years (for females).

Testing is usually done first thing in the morning, prior to an 8 hour period without eating, or “fasting lipid panel.” Tests measure total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipids and high-density lipids. Here are a few ideal measurements:

  • Total cholesterol should be below 200.
  • Triglycerides should be less than 150.
  • Low density lipids (LDL) are known as “lousy” lipids and should be low. High density lipids (HDL) are “happy” lipids and are beneficial when they are up. Note: HDL’s help clean up when there is excess cholesterol in the blood, which is why the ratio of HDL to LDL is a predictor of good health.

Testing is recommended if an individual has a family member with high cholesterol or heart problems. Also, men and women who smoke and/or have diabetes have an increased likelihood of having high lipids and should be routinely tested. Each individual is different and may require additional testing every 3, 5 or 10 years.

Although individuals may not be able to eat their way to a perfect cholesterol score; there are select cholesterol lowering foods that can help! These include walnuts and almonds (raw and unsalted), strawberries, apples, bananas, grapefruit, carrots, dried beans, garlic, cold-water fish, salmon and olive oil. Foods to keep to a minimum include: coffee, meats, dairy, fried foods and fast-food. Exercise also helps keep the body and cholesterol levels under control.

As always, talk to your individual healthcare provider about risk factors and testing.

EimanJ.D. Eiman, PA-C is a physician assistant at the OCH of Gravette Clinic. J.D. sees patients of all ages for primary care needs and is also certified to perform DOT physicals. She received her education and training from Texas A&M University and Harding University and is currently a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Arkansas Association of Physician Assistants, Christian Medical and Dental Association/Fellowship of Christian Physician Assistants and the California Association of Physician Assistants. To contact J.D. at the clinic, call (479) 787-5221.

 

Make a New Year’s Resolution to Reduce Stress in Your Life

It’s the same every January: we start strong with expectations of grandeur only to find ourselves reverting back to our old couch potato (or for some of us, overscheduled) lives. In the blink of an eye, we’ve already ditched our goals and opted for the easy retreat. So, where did we go wrong? OCH of Gravette psychologist Dr. Jason Glass offers us a new way to stay on top of our lofty resolutions with practical solutions to de-stress and enjoy success in our everyday lives.

The holidays can be an extremely stressful time.  Between the in-laws, multiple Christmas parties, and buying gifts people will never actually use, most people are relieved when holiday time is over.  But for some people, the stress continues to linger even after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is over.  Stress is a normal part of life—but severe stress or prolonged stress can build up to create more serious health problems.  You can choose to make this New Year different by being proactive in your fight against stress.  Here are a few key tips for tackling stress:

1. Exercise: If losing weight is your main New Year’s resolution, then exercising should be at the top of your list of priorities.  Exercising is perhaps the most effective weapon against stress and depression.  Exercising for 30 minutes can help detoxify the body from hormones and chemicals created by stress over the course of the day.  You do not have to join a gym or buy a shake weight; walking or bike riding can do the trick.

2. Find the Time to Unwind: Amidst the current economic climate, many Americans are working longer and harder just to get by.  Unfortunately, people find it difficult to take a few minutes out of their busy schedule to just relax and clear their minds.  Psychotherapists teach certain relaxation skills to help patients deal with anxiety and stress such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises.  Many people use yoga, Pilates and meditation to cope with stress. Some people find listening to music to be relaxing.  Although meditation might sound “new agey” to some people, it can be as simple as finding a quiet room and focusing on a bible verse you find meaningful and uplifting. 

3. Awareness: Paying attention to what is causing your stress and how your body reacts to stress can be half the battle.  It might be traffic, loud noises or cold weather that gets you worked up.  When you feel anxiety coming on, you might feel your fists clench, heart race, or you may just get angry.  Being aware of what makes you stressed and how you react to stress can help you become proactive and intervene before you become overwhelmed. 

4. Stop Smoking/Watch your Caffeine Intake: It is sad, but many people think because cigarettes and caffeine aren’t illegal that they are not drugs.  Well, they are drugs, they are addictive, and they can take a serious toll on your health.  In a 2007 study by the British Medical Journal Lancet, it was found that of all common drugs nicotine was the second most addictive drug next to heroin.  Yes, heroin.  Many people smoke cigarettes to calm them down but nicotine is a stimulant and can actually increase heart rate, blood pressure and cause people to have the jitters.  That is just what happens after smoking one cigarette.  Years of smoking increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, emphysema and a multitude of other problems.

Let’s not leave out caffeine.  Anything over 250 mg a day (40 to 60 mg per 12 oz soft drink) can cause anxiety, sleep problems, and irritability.  Plus, excessive caffeine use can lead to weight gain and even the development of diabetes. 

As you can see, there are substantial benefits that can be gained from quitting smoking and using caffeine in moderation.  If you are interested in quitting, a consultation with your physician might be an excellent way to get you on the right track.

5.  Time Management Skills:  Many people become overwhelmed because they take on too many things at once.  Perhaps you are a procrastinator or you are the kind of person that obsesses about getting things done now.  The best way to handle these problems is to prioritize your time from the most important to the least important—in other words, first thing is first.  To remember appointments and important events, you may use a day planner or keep a calendar to stay on top of tasks.

When to consult a physician or mental health professional:  If your stress significantly interferes with work, school, or family life or you develop certain physical symptoms (racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness) it is important to call your doctor to see if their may be more significant health problems other than just routine stress.

As with anything in life, dealing with stress takes patience.  Your stress may have built up for years and there is no easy way to magically get rid of it in one day.  Take one day at a time and may you have an excellent 2011. 

Jason Glass, PsyD is a psychologist affiliated with Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette and the OCH of Gravette Clinic.  Dr. Glass is a provisionally licensed psychologist in the state of Arkansas and is currently under the supervision of OCH licensed psychologist Mark W. Glover, Ph.D. Some of the psychological services provided through OCH include: adult psychotherapy for anxiety and depression; anger management training; dementia evaluation and consultation; probation and parole evaluation; parental fitness evaluation; and pre-surgical psychological evaluation and consultation.