Program spotlights Providence heart surgery
Beating open-heart surgery will be the subject of “Behind the Scenes with South Carolina’s Heart Hospital,” an educational program Thursday at 7 p.m. at the S.C. State Museum.
The program will include a video of an actual surgery. Dr. Edward “Mac” Leppard, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Providence Hospitals, will discuss the procedure, and a cardiologist will talk about heart disease and prevention. The program is designed to reach all levels — physicians, medical students, heart patients and potential heart patients.
Providence surgeons perform about 650 open-heart procedures each year, and about 85 percent are done using the beating-heart procedure.
“Beating-heart surgery means that the patient is never put on a heart and lung machine so his or her heart continues to beat while we are performing the procedure,” Leppard said. “Our outcomes, which place us in the top 15 percent of heart programs in the nation, are the evidence that this technique works for our team.”
The Sept. 20 event is free and open to the public. People who can’t get to the event have the option of following it online by registering at http://bit.ly/BeatingHeartSurgery.
Help Meals On Wheels serve pets, too
Senior Resources, the organization that coordinates Meals On Wheels in Richland County, wants to provide meals for pets, too.
Pets are important parts of the lives of many home-bound people, and many Meals On Wheels recipients struggle to feed their pets. Senior Resources is asking donors to bring pet food to its office at 2817 Millwood Ave., from noon until 4 p.m. on Thursday. Then Meals On Wheels volunteers will deliver pet food along with people food.
Information: (803) 252-7734 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mini-Med School: Gain knowledge without tests
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine’s Mini-Med School allows the public to sit in on special classes taught by medical experts on important health topics.
Don’t worry: You won’t be graded, but you should expect to learn.
The Mini-Med School classes are offered at 6:30 p.m. on the first four Tuesdays during October in Building 3 on the school’s campus next to the Dorn VA Hospital on Garners Ferry Road.
The topics include “The Predators Among Us” presented by Dr. Donna Schwartz-Watts of the S.C. Department of Mental Health on Oct. 2; “Understanding Your Digestion: In and Out” presented by gastroenterologist Dr. March Seabrook on Oct. 9; “HippoCampus: The Silly Putty of Your Brain” presented by associate professor Larry Reagan on Oct. 16; “Treatments to Fit the Patient: The Future of Personalized Medicine” presented by Dr. Frank Spinale on Oct. 23.
Physicians back youth reading program
Hundreds of physician practices in South Carolina participating in the Reach Out and Read Program give young patients age-appropriate books on each regular checkup.
The program, designed for ages six months through five years, also provides pediatric waiting rooms with reading tips, posters and books. Physicians in the program are encouraged to speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children every day.
There are 113 Reach Out and Read programs in the state, serving more than 115,000 children, according to the S.C. Medical Association. A recent $125,000 donation from Boeing South Carolina will allow an expansion of the program.
Evidence of the program’s impact can be found in evidence-based research ... or in smiles.
“All of our patients are joyful to receive a book,” said Dr. Julia Ballance, a Palmetto Health pediatrician. “Many of our patients are Medicaid recipients, so these books may be the only ones they own. More reading is not only being done at home, but in the waiting rooms as well.”
’Tis the season for flu shots
The new flu vaccines are here.
Actually, this season’s version has been filtering into local pharmacies, physician offices and health clinics for several weeks.
Just because the previous flu season was mild, don’t count on the same this season. Getting a flu shot is one of the most effective influenza prevention measures. (Washing hands, coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you’re sick are the other best ways to prevent the spread.)
Health officials recommend shots for everyone except infants six months of age or younger, anyone allergic to eggs or flu vaccine ingredients or anyone who has had Guillian-Barre syndrome within six weeks of a previous flu vaccination.
If you want to find the closest flu shot location near you, go online to http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/clinic-options.htm
Churches can sign up for Pink Sunday
Hundreds of churches throughout South Carolina will distribute educational packets about breast cancer during the annual Pink Sunday effort on Oct. 21.
Each participating church gets 500 packets. The packets contain information about breast health, the importance of early detection and resources available for those battling the disease.
The effort also encourages people to wear pink clothing or pink ribbons and churches to celebrate breast cancer survivors in their congregation.
Church leaders who would like to sign up for the program should register by Sept. 30.
Information or to register: www.KomenSCMM.org or (864) 234-5035.
Camp helps kids deal with grief
Brett’s Rainbow Bereavement Camp aims to improve the emotional, psychological and spiritual health of children who have experienced the death of a family member or significant other.
The 20th edition of the camp will be Oct. 27 at the White Oak Conference Center at 633 Mobley Highway, Winnsboro. It’s designed for children ages 5-18 but also includes day-long activities for parents or guardians of the children.
The camp is free thanks to community contributions to Palmetto Health Hospice. If you know a child who needs this type of special attention, applications for the camp are due by Oct. 22.
This year’s camp still is in need of volunteers. For more information about volunteering or to request an application, call Karen Brazell, Brett’s Rainbow Camp director, at (803) 296-3331 or go to www.PalmettoHealth.org.
Event aims to help those dealing with pulmonary fibrosis
A symposium on Sept. 28 is designed to help health professionals, patients and caregivers improve the quality of life for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
An estimated 128,000 Americans suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, with 48,000 new cases diagnosed each year. There is no known cure, and the only known treatment option is a lung transplant. About two-thirds of the patients die within five years.
Patients and caregivers often feel a sense of helplessness when fighting this relatively unknown disease. Experts will share their knowledge and experience on what to expect and how to live with the condition.
Speakers include Dr. Timothy P. Whelan, medical director and cardiothoracic surgeon from the MUSC Lung Transplant Center, Dr. Linda Ann Perkins from the USC School of Medicine-Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Mark Mayson of Palmetto Pulmonary, Dr. Robert F. Bradley of Professional Pathology Services, Scott Sims of Palmetto Health Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Mark Stoll of Palmetto Health Behavioral Care.
The event will run noon-5:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Health Richland auditorium at 5 Richland Medical Park Drive.
Information or to register: Contact MGoforth@LungSC.org or (803) 779-5864
Event raises awareness about pancreatic cancer
People whose lives have been impacted by pancreatic cancer are invited to participate in the Purplelight National Vigil for Hope on Sept. 30 at S.C. Oncology Associates, 166 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia.
The vigil is designed to promote awareness about pancreatic cancer and to honor survivors, caregivers and those who have lost their lives to the disease. Participants can register on www.purplelight.org.
Compiled by Joey Holleman