Providence heart program rates highly again
Providence Heart & Vascular Institute has received a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for the 12th consecutive rating period.
Approximately 14 percent of heart programs of the more than 1,000 programs reviewed received a three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality based on a number of quantifiable variables. Providence has received the highest rating since the inception of the society’s rating system in 2006.
“We are committed to sustained quality at Providence Hospitals and our peers have again noted that achievement,” says Dr. E. “Mac” Leppard, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Providence. “As a leader in heart surgery for decades, Providence Hospitals and our partners are proud of this track record and what it means for our patients.”
Only three hospitals in the state participate in the public reporting and rating program for the society. Greenville Memorial Hospital and AnMed Health in Anderson received overall two-star ratings. But the society warns against comparisons based on its ratings because different hospitals treat different patient populations.
Health experts warn of unhealthy cookbook recipes
As yummy as the food seems in some cookbooks, you need to consider the health ramifications when cooking those meals.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine last week released its annual ranking of the Five Worst Cookbooks of 2012, and one of them recently was featured in The State.
“Southern Living: The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook” has recipes for items such as Scrambled Egg Muffin Sliders and Wooo Pig Sooie Ham-Stuffed Biscuits. It shouldn’t be a shocker many of the recipes aren’t high on the healthy list. But the committee notes that one serving of the books Sausage-Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole has more cholesterol than eight Cinnabon Classics.
Another of the cookbooks blasted by the committee is by Rachael Ray, who testified before Congress on the need for healthy school lunches. Ray’s “My Year in Meals” includes Hearty Mac & Cheese with Squash & Sausage, which contains about as much saturated fat as a package of bacon.
Other cookbooks on the list include “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook,” “Fifty Shades of Chicken” and “Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches.”
State employee honored as public health hero
Matt Petrofes, director of an Upstate regional health office, has been named a “public health hero” by the United Health Foundation.
Petrofes led an effort to create a program to evaluate body mass index among first-, third- and fifth-grade students. Armed with this information, health officials are more likely to make decisions about policies and other interventions that can impact childhood obesity rates.
“The issue of childhood obesity is critical for public health,” said Petrofes, director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Region 2 public health offices for Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties. “Thanks to the help we receive from our many community partners, I am confident we can make progress toward ensuring a healthier future for our children.”
By the end of the 2012-13 school year, the effort aims to gather BMI measurements for more than 12,000 students in the Upstate region.
Red Cross offers gift-giving alternatives
During the holiday season, the American Red Cross has a suggestion for a truly important gift — he gift of hope to those in need.
Through the end of the year, donors can purchase a variety of symbolic gifts from the Holiday Giving Catalog at www.redcross.org/gifts. With a monetary donation, they can buy food and shelter for a disaster victim, phone cards for members of the military, vaccinations for an entire village and many other gift ideas. They even can make the donations in the name of a friend or loved one and send them a greeting cards letting them know of the special donation.
The catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item.
Of course, the Red Cross also encourages blood donations during the holiday season, when donations typically drop off. To schedule a blood donation, call (800) 733-2767 or visit www.redcross.org.
And if you’re too busy before Christmas, consider the Day after Christmas Blood Drive, scheduled for 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dec. 26 at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church, 5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington; Walmart Garners Ferry, 7520 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia; and Dutch Square Shopping Center, 421 Bush River Road, Columbia.
Columbia event provides free foot exams
The Foot Institute of South Carolina is hosting a free foot clinic on Friday from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. at its offices at 1655 Bernardin Ave., Suite 210, Columbia.
The program is designed provide free foot exams to people without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover podiatry. Those who need further care will be referred to free or low-cost medical clinics in the area.
Take a First Day Hike to start the new year
If you’re looking for a healthy start to the new year, consider at First Day Hike at a state park.
Many of South Carolina’s state parks have scheduled ranger-guided hikes on Jan. 1. Most are relatively short and easy.
In the Midlands, there’s a 2.5-mile hike on Little Gap Trail at Dreher Island State Park at 9 a.m., a hike around Lake Poinsett at Poinsett State Park at 9 a.m. and a 2-mile hike around the lake at Sesquicentennial State Park at 1 p.m.
Other walks are scheduled at Aiken, Barnwell, Caesars Head, Calhoun Falls, Charles Towne Landing, Cheraw, Chester, Devils Fork, Edisto Beach, Givhans Ferry, Hickory Knob, Huntington Beach, Lake Hartwell, Lake Warren, Landsford Canal, Lee, Little Pee Dee, Musgrove Mill, Myrtle Beach, Oconee, Paris Mountain, Rivers Bridge, Sadler Creek, Santee and Table Rock parks.
If you want to start the year with a challenge, one of the two hikes at Table Rock will be the 7.2 mile trek to the top of the mountain, starting at 9 a.m.
Compiled by Joey Holleman