Community Connections

In Your Neighborhood

Patients with Parkinson’s Fighting Back

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Oklahomans living with Parkinson's can now fight back at their disease with a new boxing program. Through a partnership between Norman Regional Health System (NRHS), The Health Club and the Oklahoma Parkinson's Foundation, two Norman Regional Rehabilitation therapists were able to be trained at the non-profit Rock Steady Boxing Program. The program uses boxing classes and coaches to help improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease.

“The program uses boxing classes and coaches to help improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease.”
<p>The program uses boxing classes and coaches to help improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease.</p>

Starting in June, The Health Club will offer Rock Steady Boxing classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00pm. Rock Steady Boxing is a class taught by certified professionals who use a non-contact, boxing inspired fitness routine to improve the ability of people with Parkinson’s to live independent lives. The philosophy behind the program comes from the equipment and exercises used by boxers. Some of the equipment includes heavy bags, speed bags and punch mitts. The goal is to increase core strength, improve balance and posture as well as flexibility and speed.

Rock Steady is a national non-profit that not only has its own gym where classes are taught, but also trains others in their unique program for people living with Parkinson's. Debbie Bennett, an NRHS occupational therapist and Stacy Hyden, an NRHS physical therapist are the two therapists who trained in Indianapolis and became certified trainers in the program.

Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. It affects about half a million people in the United States although the numbers may be much higher. Exercise can help people with Parkinson's improve their mobility and flexibility. It can also improve their emotional well-being. Exercise may improve the brain's dopamine production or increase levels of beneficial compounds called neurotrophic factors in the brain.

It is exciting to have such interest in the program which was launched on June 2nd. At a recent open house to educate our community about the benefits of the program, over 50 people were in attendance.

The classes are open to anyone diagnosed with Parkinson's Diseases, however, in order to participate, an initial assessment is required. The Health Club is located at 3720 W Robinson St #124 in Norman. To inquire about the cost of the assessment, class fees or equipment, you may contact Lisa at (405)307-1722.

June is Men’s Health Month – Make Your Health a Priority!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

In honor of Father's Day and Men's Health Month, it is the time to bring attention to the importance of prevention and early detection. Now is a perfect opportunity to send out reminders that men need to schedule their regular health screenings as well as follow through with early treatment.

“men need to schedule their regular health screenings as well as follow through with early treatment”
<p>men need to schedule their regular health screenings as well as follow through with early treatment</p>

Here are some general guidelines to follow on the frequency of various screenings for men ages 40 – 60.  Depending on your medical history, your family history as well as some other factors, you physician may recommend a different schedule for you.

  1. A Routine physical exam - During your exam, your provider may ask you about:
    1. Mental Wellbeing
    2. Nutrition and Physical Activity
    3. Tobacco products and alcohol consumption
    4. Safety issues – Do you wear a seat belt? Are your smoke detectors in working order?  Do you have a weather plan in place?
  2. Blood Pressure Screening
    1. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. The top number is called the systolic number and the bottom number is the diastolic number.  Here is a tip on how to remember the difference.  The D in diastolic refers to the D in the word Down or the bottom number.
    2. You should checked more frequently if your blood pressure is high.
    3. According to the National Institutes of Health, you are considered to have high blood pressure if your numbers are above 120/80 mm Hg. 
      1. Pre-hypertension occurs when the systolic number is between 120 and 139 or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.  In this case.
      2. When the systolic number is greater than 139 or the diastolic number is higher than 89, you want to contact your physician and schedule an appointment.  Do not wait for an annual exam.
    4. If you have certain conditions including diabetes, heart disease, problems with your kidneys, discuss the frequency of your blood pressure screenings with you provider.
  3. Your height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) should be checked at every exam.
  4. Cholesterol Screening and Heart Diseases Prevention
    1. This should be checked every 5 years starting at the age of 35.
    2. Discuss the frequency of this test if you have heart or kidney disease, diabetes or other conditions.
  5. Diabetes Screening –
    1. Tests include an A1C blood test, an FPG test, which is the fasting plasma glucose test and an oral glucose tolerance test. 
    2. Frequency of these tests should be every three years once you are 45 years and older. 
  6. Colon Cancer Screening
    1. Under the age of 50, you should be screened if you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps.
    2. If you are between the ages of 50 to 75, you should be screened for colon cancer.
      1. A stool occult blood test can be done every year.
      2. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years along with the stool occult test every three years. 
      3. A colonoscopy should be done 10 years
  7. Dental Exam –
    1. Schedule a dental appointment one or two times per year.
    2. They will perform a cleaning and an oral exam.
    3. Many dentists will also provide an oral head and neck cancer screening.
  8. Eye Exam
    1. Between the ages of 40 and 54, you should schedule an eyes exam every 2 to 4 years.  The frequency increases to 1 to 3 years once you are 55 to 64 years old.
    2. Depending on your medical history and current condition, your physician may want to see you more often especially if there are signs of glaucoma or cataracts.
  9. Prostate Cancer Screening
    1. Over the past 5 -10 years, the recommendations for annual prostate screenings have changed. Questions in the medical community have arisen regarding PSA tests (Prostate Specific Antigen).  The benefits of the test may no longer outweigh the harm caused by the test. 
    2. Men over 50 should discuss their personal situation with their provider to discuss their course of action.  Tests and exams are now typically only performed when symptoms arise and not preventively.
  10. Lung Cancer Screening –
    1. The non-invasive and painless test is a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest area. A radiologist looks at the image produced by the scan. A patient is notified of any abnormal findings by a specialized nurse navigator. If the findings are normal, patients will receive a letter with this result. It is recommended that patients share all results and findings with their primary care physician. This screening provides a baseline or point of reference for additional tests you may need throughout your life.
    2. The screening is recommended for people who:
      1. Are between the ages of 55 to 74
      2. Have smoked more than a pack a day for 30 years
      3. Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
      4. Have been exposed to second-hand smoke for an extended period of time
      5. Had or have a job with exposure to radon, asbestos or diesel exhaust
    3. The Lung Screening is a new service offered by Norman Regional Health System.  The cost is only $79.  Insurance will not be billed.

Preventive services can really save lives.  Remember these are standard recommendations that need to be altered to meet your specific needs.  It is very important to put your health as a priority.  Be proactive and stay healthy!

Act FAST and Be a Hero

Monday, May 2, 2016

Considering May is Stroke Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to remind everyone of the simple ways to detect any signs and symptoms of a stroke. When someone’s heart stops functioning properly, they may be having a heart attack. A similar term is now used with a stroke. A stroke can be referred to as a brain attack.

“We can be a hero and help save someone. The word to know is FAST.”
<p>We can be a hero and help save someone. The word to know is FAST.</p>

A stroke occurs when oxygen can no longer reach the brain. The arteries leading to the brain can be blocked or the vessels may rupture. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the leading cause of disability as well as the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. We can be a hero and help save someone. The word to know is FAST. It is actually an acronym that represents:

  • Face
  • Arm
  • Speech
  • Time

Face – The face is usually relatively symmetrical. If you notice that one side of someone's face begins to droop, this could a sign that he or she is having a stroke. The brain is no longer able to communicate to the muscles within the face and one side starts to hang down.

Arm – If someone begins to have weakness and the inability to maneuver an arm or a hand, this also could be a result of a stroke. You may ask them to raise both arms and see if they are able to control them.

Speech – When an individual has difficulty forming words or proper sentences, this too is a sign that cannot be ignored.

Time – Once a person displays even one of these signs or symptoms, there is no time to wait. He or she needs specialized medical treatment as fast as possible. You should not put them in your car and drive them to the hospital. It is imperative that 9-1-1 is called. The first three hours are extremely critical. A clot-busting medication can only be effectively administered within this short time period. Even if the 3 hour window has been surpassed, it is still important to contact 9-1-1.

Norman Regional Health System (NRHS) has designated as a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. According to the Joint Commission, this designation has been awarded based on the exceptional effort and best practices unique to patients who have experienced a stroke. They are used to create the opportunity for better long-term outcomes. The ability to provide this level of care should provide our community with peace of mind.

EMSStat is NRHS's emergency medical service that serves Norman, Moore and the surrounding communities. When they are informed of a potential stroke, they begin communicating with the emergency room so that the appropriate personnel are onsite to provide immediate care upon arrival. The clot busting medication is called Tissue Plasminogen Activator or tPA for short. This medication will be administered upon arrival in the emergency room. The faster it is administered, the more brain cells can be saved. According to Tom Gremling, MSN-E, RN, NRHS Stroke Training Center Coordinator at NRHS, "Studies show that early detection and activation of the EMS system is imperative when dealing with stroke. At the time of a stroke event, a billion brain cells a minute are dying off, so remember Time is Brain, act FAST!"

By acting FAST, you can be a hero. You have the ability to save a life or the quality of someone’s lifestyle. Remember: Face, Arm, Speech and Time.

Be Weather Aware

Monday, May 2, 2016

While tornadoes can happen at any time, the prime conditions usually present themselves between late March and August. Considering you may not be together when disaster strikes, to create peace of mind among your family members, it is important to have an emergency plan in place.

“Join us by being a Force of nature and taking actions that can save lives anywhere - at home, in schools, and in the workplace...”
<p>Join us by being a Force of nature and taking actions that can save lives anywhere - at home, in schools, and in the workplace...</p>

Start your plan with contact information. You should write down important phone numbers on a sheet of paper or on a wallet size card. Everyone should carry this card in their wallet, purse or back-pack. It would be helpful to have this contact sheet posted in a central part of your home; like on the refrigerator or a bulletin board. This way, if your cell phone battery dies, you can still be in contact. The card should include the following phone numbers and information.

  • Family members
  • Close friends
  • School/office,
  • Physician,
  • Insurance information
  • Out of town contact.

Here is a link to a template you can use from FEMA.

When a tornado strikes, you may have a better chance of communicating via text instead of phone calls. There are times that a text may go through when you are not able to connect via a phone call. In addition, it frees up connectivity for emergency personnel. It may be easier to reach an out to town/state number which is why it is recommended to have one point person everyone can call/text to keep informed. A text should include where you are located, who you are with, that you are OK and if you need something.

Select a meeting place. You can have one within your neighborhood or somewhere else in town. Discuss ways to get to the meeting places as well. Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite. For pet owners, consider animal friendly locations. According to FEMA, here are examples of potential meeting places.

  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor's house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend's home.
  • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.

Social Media is a great place to stay in contact and keep others informed. On May 20, 2013, a friend traveling in Japan at the time of the tornado was able to connect with a quick phone call. Considering, electricity was out in the some of the metro area and phone service was spuratic, it would have been difficult to provide others with a status update. The friend was able to post an update letting people out of town know contact had been made and that everyone was OK.

It is important to practice your plan with your family. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans and discuss your designated meeting places. If you have not done it yet, now is a really good time to clean out the storm shelter. If you do not have a storm shelter, identify a safe area within your home. In addition, check the batteries in the weather radio. You want to make sure you have working flashlights as well as candles. Ensure you have back-up batteries.

"Norman Regional knows first-hand the devastating effects of severe weather and the importance of being informed of weather conditions and having a plan in place", said Shane Cohea, Director of Safety and Security at the Health System. During the May 20, 2013 tornadoes, the Health System's Moore Medical Center took a direct hit from an EF-5 tornado. While the building was destroyed, due to the preparedness of Moore Medical Center staff, those inside the building survived without injury.

Norman Regional Health System is proud to become a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation's readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Norman Regional is committing to work with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.

Norman Regional Health System is holding six training sessions called EF-5 Fridays. The community is invited to learn about the best practices for severe weather. If you have any questions, you can contact our class enrollment line at 405-307-3176.

  • 5/6/2016 at 9:00 AM in the education center of Norman Regional Hospital at 901 N Porter Ave
  • 5/6/2016 11:00 AM in the 1st Conference Room at Norman Regional HealthPlex at 3300 HealthPlex Pkwy off of Tecumseh and I-35.
  • 5/6/2016 12:00 in the 1st Conference Room at Norman Regional HealthPlex at 3300 HealthPlex Pkwy off of Tecumseh and I-35.
  • 5/20/2016 at 9:00 AM in the education center of Norman Regional Hospital at 901 N Porter Ave.
  • 5/27/2016 9:00 AM in the education center of Norman Regional Hospital at 901 N Porter Ave.
  • 5/27/2016 11:00 in the 1st Conference Room at Norman Regional HealthPlex at 3300 HealthPlex Pkwy off of Tecumseh and I-35.

Join us by "being a Force of nature" and taking actions that can save lives anywhere - at home, in schools, and in the workplace before tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme types of weather strike.

Be Sweet to Your Heart

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Be sweet to your one and only, your heart, at Norman Regional’s healthy heart event. You can learn about heart disease and prevention from physicians as well as be screened for your risk of experiencing a heart attack. Light refreshments will be served. Activities include:

“Norman Regional is offering everyone who signs up for the Healthy Heart Fair a free lipid profile blood test.”
<p>Norman Regional is offering everyone who signs up for the Healthy Heart Fair a free lipid profile blood test.</p>
  • Free blood test results, blood pressures screenings and risk assessments
  • Health information on nutrition, recipes, fitness, tobacco cessation, food demonstration, heart risk assessments and more.
  • Physician Panel on prevention, heart disease, risk factors, treatments and recovery

Tuesday, February 23
5pm to 7pm

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Healthy Heart Fair

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Expert Panel

Norman Regional Hospital Education Center
901 N. Porter Ave.,
Norman, OK

Please RSVP 405.307.3176

Norman Regional is offering everyone who signs up for the Healthy Heart Fair a free lipid profile and A1C blood test. The blood test must be completed by Thursday, February 18th in order for the lab to send us your results in time for the event. Simply take this ad into any Norman Regional affiliated laboratory location during its normal business hours.

You must fast for 12-14 hours prior to this test.

Norman Regional Lab Locations:

Doctor's Park Building
500 E. Robinson St., Suite 1600, Norman

Findlay Medical Center
809 N. Findlay, Suite 101, Norman

Outpatient Diagnostic Services
901 N. Porter, Norman

HealthPlex Professional Building
3400 W. Tecumseh, Norman

HealthPlex Hospital Outpatient Services
3300 HealthPlex Pkwy, Norman

Norman Regional Moore Temporary Services
700 S. Telephone Rd., Moore