Therapyplus Members of the Year 2013

MOY Whitney PowellMember of the year Whitney Powell joined Therapyplus Fitness to get in shape, lose weight and help lower her blood pressure. “It was an obvious choice,” Whitney said. “I love everything about Therapyplus Fitness.” She improved her health and swimming endurance dramatically. She’s also had an impact on several members and even fills in for water aerobics instructors in the mornings.

Since joining, Whitney lost 35 pounds and is striving to lose more. Working her way up to swimming a mile in 22 minutes and seven miles in 4 hours, her new goal is to swim eight miles in four hours.

As a member of Carlisle Baptist Church, Whitney is in both the bell choir and church choir. She’s currently studying for a nursing degree. She enjoys horseback riding, drawing, crafting and cooking.

“If you are looking for a gym to join look no further than Therapyplus Fitness,” Whitney said. “You will not find a better facility and staff. It’s nice and clean and the staff is sweet, caring and there to help you in any way they can.”

Paula Jackson croppedMember of the Year Paula Jackson joined Therapyplus Fitness after multiple surgeries and a course of physical therapy. One of her therapists suggested joining the fitness center after her therapy. She decided to take that advice. “As time passed, I noticed tremendous improvement, especially with my knees,” Jackson said. She credits that therapist’s suggestion for building her muscles with increasing her mobility.

Her workout regimen includes using the elliptical cross trainer 4 days a week. As for her diet, she admits, “I do watch what I eat. One of the members advised me about portion control. Early morning exercise helps me in this regard.”

As a self-proclaimed clean freak, she appreciates the facility’s level of cleanliness. “The staff is friendly and helpful. They create a comfortable environment,” Paula said.
Her accomplishments include losing 40 pounds as well as losing inches, adding muscle mass and lowering her blood pressure.

Her advice for others is, “Life is too short not to be all you can be.”

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February Members of the Month

Anna Leigh Battles(1)Member of the Month Anna Leigh Battles made a plan and stuck to it with impressive results! She has been a member of Therapyplus Fitness for about a year. Her reasons for joining were the convenient location, the desire to feel better and to relieve stress. Some of her friends are members so that helps with her accountability in her workouts.

Her normal workout routine consists of spin class three days a week and running/walking two-four days each week. Anna also works out at home with weights. Her home sessions consist of high repetition, light weight exercises that work her total body. In addition, she made some modifications to her diet by focusing on portion control and eliminating sugar and bread. She eats on a regular schedule and avoids eating after 7 p.m.

Battles has lost 70 pounds and seven pants sizes.

She wanted to recognize Kandi Gupta, her spin instructor and Stephney Gregg for support and advice. “Having them as accountability partners in the spin class has made a big difference in accomplishing my goals,” Battles explained.

Her advice to others is to start slow, make small changes and set attainable goals. She stated “Every day is a new day. If you mess up you shouldn’t beat yourself up.” Her future goal is to continue on the same course with her workouts, tone up, and stay motivated.

Battles is a school teacher and attends Calvary Baptist Church. She enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family.

Charles Feb MomMember of the Month Charles Lee Stewart began going to Therapyplus Fitness after having severe back pain, numbness and weakness. He later had a lumbar laminectomy to relieve pinched nerves followed by a regimen of physical therapy to control the pain. His physician prescribed working out his upper and lower body after he finished his therapy. Stewart declared, “That was October 2012. I have been going to the gym 3 days a week for over a year and I am 90 percent well!”

His workout routine consists of working out with weights Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as using the treadmill. He limits sugar, salt and carbs in his diet. His biggest temptation is ice cream.

He has accomplished overall increased health. His weight is now 150, blood pressure is 122/62, cholesterol is 170 and heart rate is 58-62. “I’ve always been doing some kind of exercise,” he said, and hopes to resume playing golf this spring.

Stewart said he’s motivated by the people he meets at the gym and calls the facility and staff the BEST.

His advice for others is, “Don’t give up!”

Stewart is retired from the Department of Defense and has called Georgia Mountain home for the last eight years.

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Marshall Medical Centers Responds to Code White

BIG-SNOW2-14-14 060 It is highly unlikely you will find the familiar motto starting with the words – “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of    night. . .” posted on the walls of any hospital – anywhere. Actually, the U.S. Postal Service won’t lay claim to this mantra either! (The ONLY place you’ll find it is on the James A. Farley Post Office in New York City – only because it was placed there by the building’s architects.)

Useless trivia aside, while this credo cannot be accurately attributed to any modern day profession, it is a practical notion, among many, that healthcare professionals take to heart.

A Case in Point
BIG-SNOW2-14-14 042North Alabama had its first real blast of wintery weather in late January – leaving behind frightening stories of motorists stranded in the cold with no food or water for hours, parents separated from their children with no choice but to leave them in a teacher’s care for the night and babies being born on snow- and ice-covered interstate highways.

Few, however, can top the story of Birmingham brain surgeon, Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, who walked six miles in the snow from one hospital to another in order to perform emergency, life-saving brain surgery when traffic and travel conditions made it impossible for him to drive.

Yet, the best part of the Dr. Hrynkiw’s story is what happened when the dramatic event was over. As the retelling of the story went viral – worldwide, a surprised Dr. Hrynkiw wondered, “What is all the fuss about? It really wasn’t that big of a deal…any good doctor would do it.”

Better Yet – A Case in Point That’s Close to Home
photo 4Fortunately, unlike our Birmingham neighbors, the healthcare professionals at Marshall Medical Centers don’t have to worry about navigating interstates and traffic jams to get to work – regardless of the weather. But, you would not know it by their response to this week’s snowy forecast.

“The response from our staff to the threat of severe weather this week is the perfect testimony to what it means to be a part of a team of dedicated, committed healthcare professionals,” stated Kathy Woodruff, chief nursing officer at Marshall Medical Center North.

More than half of the approximately 150 people needed to staff MMC North during the last 24 hours spent the night (or day for those on the night shift) in order to be certain they were there when their shifts began. Most who reported to work hours before their scheduled shifts, or even on their day off, made the personal sacrifice of leaving their homes and their own families to be ready and available to the people in our community who entrusted MMC with their care.

Snow Event - 2014 - Amy Edwards and Heather Craven

MMC Employees Amy Edwards & Heather Craven prepare for “sleeping over” during the winter weather.

“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to care for those in our community who need our care,” added Woodruff. “We’ve seen this response from our staff time- and- time-again during adverse weather events. They show up with blow-up mattresses, blankets, clothes, food and, most important, a great attitude about doing whatever is necessary to care for our patients and their families.”

Cheryl Hays, the administrator at MMCN, added, “We are proud of our clinical staff for going above- and- beyond what is routinely asked of them in order to ensure the best care possible for our patients. Our Facilities Maintenance, Environmental Services and Food Services team members also deserve to be recognized. They have all worked around the clock to ensure that sidewalks and driveways are safe and clear, our facility is cleaned and well-maintained – and- nourishing meals are available.”

Snow Event - 2014 - Heather, Brandi, Kaitlin, Amy and Kayla“There are numerous stories of teamwork, support, and kindness that were demonstrated throughout our organization,” affirmed Ruth Bischoff, director of nursing at MMCS. “Employees were asked to fill in where needed and to assume additional responsibilities. Despite fatigue, employees rallied to meet the needs of the patients we are proud to provide care to and to assist one another in this endeavor. I went home last week feeling very fortunate to work with this group of people.”

While the Marshall Cancer Care Center closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the safety of patients and staff, director Cindy Sparkman declared, “After being notified [of the closing] at 6 a.m., the staff started calling to cancel patients at 7.” Each patient received a personal call to relay the information. Despite the closing Dr. Payne, Sparkman and therapists came in and were able to treat 11 radiation patients Wednesday afternoon as well as seeing most of the scheduled patients on Thursday.

Last picGetting the job done didn’t stop at braving conditions to treat patients at the Cancer Center. Sparkman said, “Facilities staff had been up for two days working at the hospital and were going to be unable to make it to the mid-campus until around 2 p.m. Bill Kirkpatrick, [MMC director of business development] and Dr. Tom Payne, [radiation oncologist], shoveled sidewalks and the parking lot enough to allow patients access until facilities management could get her to finish the job. It was truly a team effort for all!”

At Marshall Medical Centers, a little snow won’t stop us from our appointed rounds of providing world-class healthcare with a personal touch. And, to borrow a phrase from Dr. Hrynkiw: “What’s all the fuss about? It’s just what any good group of healthcare professionals would do!”

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Did you know that hearing loss is the most prevalent birth defect? In fact, between four and six of 1000 babies have some degree of hearing loss.

Hospitals nationwide are required to administer newborn hearing screens. A hearing screening is initially administered approximately 24 hours after birth allowing the nursing staff to evaluate if the hearing is normal at that time. Results are reported as either pass or refer. Some babies who pass the initial screening may still develop late-onset hearing loss. “Any time a parent or family member suspects hearing loss or a change in hearing, they should contact the primary care physician,” said Melissa Richardson, Audiology Consultant for the Alabama Department of Public Health.

If the patient passes the hearing screen then results are uploaded and reported on a weekly basis to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

If the baby does not pass the hearing screen then another test will be administered before discharge. If the baby refers, or does not pass again, an appointment will be scheduled for approximately one week later for the patient to return. If this happens a third time, the patient’s parents will be given a follow-up form for diagnostic testing by an audiologist.

Here, the Alabama Department of Public Health governs the screenings and collects the information. To commemorate the 50 year anniversary of newborn screening, the Newborn Hearing Screening Program initiated monthly awards for the best performing birthing centers that meet or exceed the benchmarks set forth by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) and for consistent electronic reporting of the hearing screening results in a timely manner so that information can be updated appropriately. All birthing hospitals in the state of Alabama were candidates for this award.

MMC North hearing screening awards1

Marshall Medical Centers North, pictured left to right: Melissa Richardson, Audiology Consultant for the Alabama Department of Public Health; Kelly Gregg, RN, Director of Special Deliveries for Marshall Medical Center North; Brittany Moore, RN; Jade Sanders, RN

In September, Marshall Medical Centers, North and South, received awards in their size classifications, which are based on number of annual births. Marshall North is in the less-than-500-annual-births classification, while Marshall South is in the 500-999-annual-births classification.

MMC South Hearing screening award1

Marshall Medical Centers South, pictured left to right: Melissa Richardson, Audiology Consultant for the Alabama Department of Public Health; Lisa Holland, RN; Pam Hammer, RN; Shelly Allen, RN; Leanna Dilbeck, RN, Head Nurse of the Women’s Center

The criteria for the awards were based on two factors:
Refer Rate means the test was properly administered and the baby did not pass before he or she was discharged.
No Input Rate means the baby went home without a hearing screen or the results weren’t reported. This can happen in the case of the baby being transferred, the machine malfunctioning, etc. In the case of transfer, the receiving hospital will perform testing before discharge.

The standard is 4% for refer rate and less than 5% for no input.

The statistics for Marshall North were 0% refer rate and 3.6% no input. The results for Marshall South were 0% refer rate and 2% no input rate. So all babies born at Marshall Medical Centers, both North and South, in the month of September were properly administered the newborn screening tests and passed, either initially or at an outpatient re-screen.

Congratulations to all!

For more information regarding hearing screens click here:

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Therapyplus January Members of the Month

MOM Shea Briscoe Member of the month Shea Briscoe started coming to Therapyplus Fitness in July of 2013 with her mother and continues to come five or more days of the week. She doesn’t have a weekly or daily routine. She says that every time she starts a routine she will change it because she likes mixing up her workouts more than staying with a routine. She chose Therapyplus because of all the extra amenities like the walking track, pool, hot tub, sauna, and all the classes that come with the gym membership.

She started working out because she wanted to lose weight and look “hot”, but now she just concentrates on being fit and healthy. She encourages other members to try the classes as a way to change up their routine. She recommends Keith’s classes for a real challenge. She said she accomplished her first goal weight and has another weight in mind and wants to work on getting “rock hard abs” for summer. She wanted to especially thank Keith; he is her go-to guy if she has a question or problem and says she would be lost without him.

When she is not working out at Therapyplus she likes to sing, listen to music, travel, and watch movies on Netflix.

MOM Terry AllenMember of the month Terry Allen joined Therapyplus Fitness because he had reached the point where he was the heaviest and most out of shape. “I was lacking energy and stamina to enjoy every-day activities,” Terry said. He knew it was time to make a positive change in his lifestyle which would include diet and exercise.

His workout routine includes 4 to 5 days a week with 30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of weight machines. Chin ups and dips are his favorites.

He has lost 50 pounds, lowered his blood pressure 30 points, and lowered his body mass 9%. The top challenge overcome is the physical challenge to push forward and establish a schedule.

He chose Therapyplus because he said, “The facility is well-equipped and clean. The staff is awesome, courtesy and friendly.”

He has dramatically reduced his sugar intake and fats, with the biggest temptation being potato chips and cheeseburgers. His motivations are his wife and his visible results. The best compliments he’s received are comments saying that he looks healthier. His tip for others, “Keep pushing yourself, it will pay off.”

Terry is an assistant principal who has called Guntersville home for the last six years. His interests include hunting and studying bible prophecy.

Congratulations January Members of the Month!

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L.I.F.E. with Laughter – Don’t Miss Out!

Candy and pat

Marshall Cancer Center Nurse Navigator Candy Hatfield, right, shares a laugh at the Look Good, Feel Better event last spring

The old saying goes: Laughter is the best medicine.  It isn’t just an old saying after all. Physiological evidence points to laughter as a healing mechanism.  At the next meeting of the Marshall Cancer Center’s support group, L.I.F.E. (Lean In For Encouragement), the topic will be laughter. Cancer Center director Cindy Sparkman gave general information and mentioned the January 14 meeting specifically by saying:

The Cancer Center has begun a support group for all cancer survivors that will meet every second Tuesday at noon in the Marshall Professional Center classroom. The anticipated exception to these meetings will be in April and October when we will have special events, the dates and times of which will be announced later. These meetings are for all cancer survivors and current patients, whether they are receiving treatment at our facility or not. They may bring a guest with them if they would like. We ask only that they make reservations through the call center so we can ensure we have enough lunch for everyone.

This January meeting is presented by Carrie Beard, an R.N. working with Hospice of North Alabama. Carrie is a community educator with the hospice organization and does a number of speaking engagements throughout the year with various physician’s offices and organizations. She is a personable and entertaining lady, who will help us all recognize that there is joy and humor to be found even amidst the darkness of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. After the emotional ups and downs of the holiday season, and a couple of weeks of some very cold and dreary weather, we thought we would start our 2014 L.I.F.E. series with a little fun.

Carrie’s presentation will include 5 body benefits of laughter, including how it can help you lose weight, as well as how laughter can affect the spirit.

Other topics to be addressed this year are nutrition, exercise and fatigue management, depression and coping with the emotional stress of a cancer diagnosis, massage therapy, advance planning (power of attorney, wills, advance directives, hospice, etc.). Our next event is scheduled for February 11th in the MPC classroom at noon. The speaker will be Stacey Hyde, a registered dietician and nutritionist.

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Bonding for Boobies

When making a list of experiences best enjoyed in the company of other women, spa appointments, shopping trips and lunch dates may top your list. But what about your annual mammogram?

Bonding for Boobies

Members of Bonding for Boobies group with Michelle Hicks, Mammography Technologist for Marshall Medical Centers

Lynn Entrekin lost her mother in 2010 after an eight year battle against cancer. Prior to that, Lynn and her mother, Phyllis Gorham, scheduled their routine mammogram screenings for the same day in an effort to support each other while also enjoying a “Girls’ Day.” After her mother’s death, the screening – dreaded by so many ladies – became even more upsetting to Lynn. That’s when longtime friend, Letha Richards, stepped up to the plate and offered to accompany Lynn to her first solo mammogram.

That one act blossomed into what is now known as “Bonding for Boobies” – a group of ladies who annually set aside a day of fun and support for each other. This year, approximately 15 women met at the Marshall Professional Center, each with individual appointments for their yearly mammogram. The group ranged from ladies attending their first mammography appointment to other “seasoned veterans” who assured the “first timers” that their experiences at the Marshall Professional Center would be pleasant ones.

Responsible in part for the pleasant experience was MMC employee Michelle Hicks – whose experience and expertise dates back to 1984 when she first became employed by MMC. The group could not have been more complimentary of Michelle, and made special note of the fact that she was so accommodating of their schedules that she stayed after hours to complete all the mammograms! In fact, one of the ladies commented that she will be scheduling all of her future mammograms with Michelle!

Although the entire day was fun for each of the ladies (referring to their time spent at Marshall Professional Center as “Boobie Time” and “Bonding Time”), even more special was the time spent with one another afterwards. Keeping with their established tradition, the ladies went out for dinner after their appointments for a fun ending to the special day.
A favorite verse of Phyllis’ was Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good; a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

Bonding mammogram

Mother and 20 year Breast Cancer Survivor, Debbie Richards (standing) and daughter, Letha Richards

The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them. Ladies interested in finding out more about “Bonding for Boobies”, joining the group or participating in an upcoming fundraiser can visit the group on Facebook or can call 256-891-7592.

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