April Member of the Month: Robin Tipton

Member of the month-April 2015 Robin

Do you ever feel like life is a giant jigsaw puzzle? Sometimes we can search for the right piece of the puzzle for what seems like an eternity. When you finally find the right piece you still have to turn it the right way to make it fit. Finding the right fit is very important in life no matter what you are doing. The right fit is highly important whether you are talking about clothing, shoes, light bulbs, or hardware. Exercise is the same way. You have to find what fits your interests and body if you want to see the best results. In addition to that, if you choose a type of exercise that doesn’t fit you will never stick with it. Our member of the month for April 2015 has found a great fit with her exercise choice and is really getting great results. On behalf of Therapy plus Fitness, I would like to congratulate Robin Tipton for earning member of the month.
Robin found that the best exercise fit for her is swimming. She usually swims 4-5 miles per week by alternating breast stroke, back stroke, and freestyle. It usually takes her between 35-40 minutes to swim a mile. When Robin started she could only swim ½ mile and it took almost an hour. She says that she loves to swim because it works her out and relaxes her at the same time.
Robin decided to join Therapy plus Fitness to improve her overall health and to lose weight. The convenience of our location is an added bonus for her since she works at Marshall Medical Centers. Her exercise recommendation to others is to start small with whatever you like and build on that strength.
Robin said that she had a goal of losing 50 pounds when she started. Currently she is half way there with a weight loss of 25 pounds. She also plans to incorporate walking 1-2 miles a week into her workout routine. Robin also made the comment that “the staff at Therapy plus Fitness is wonderful!” “They are always friendly and very supportive.” “Philip Gregg, Jack Morris, and Shelia Martinez all do a wonderful job.” On behalf of my co-workers, Thank you Robin for the kind words. It is the wonderful members such as yourself that make this such a wonderful place to workout. Congratulations Robin on all your accomplishments to this point and best of luck on all your future endeavors.

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April Member of the Month: Drusilla Buckley

Member of the month-April 2015

Her story: I was born with a defective heart valve. In February 2013, my aortic valve was replaced with a porcine valve. As a result of the surgery it was recommended that I do physical therapy. Since then I have regularly attended Therapy Plus Fitness. I attribute that to the friendly and encouraging atmosphere. In September 2014, I joined Weight Watchers. The regular exercise plus the Power Food diet has resulted in a significant weight loss. A couple of months later (November 2014), I found out I had breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Thanks to the two years of working out at Therapy Plus, I bounced back quickly. Even the surgeon commented on how strong I was. Praise the Lord, I did not need neither chemo or radiation treatments. Since the surgeon limited my use of specific gym machines, I joined the Stretch and Balance class the last of February 2015. Due to the reconstructive surgery/process, my breast are very tight and uncomfortable. The class has helped in this area.

Workout routine: 5 days a week cardio and 3 days of stretch and balance

Medical benefits: No longer take blood pressure medicine and my blood work results are normal to optimal.

Motivation: My 88 year old father is my inspiration. He is still active and very limber.
My desire is to be healthy, limber and active. I also want to increase my brain health through exercise.

Reach healthy and maintainable weight.
Daily goal: 10,000 steps per day
Be able to sit on the floor going from the standing position to the sitting position and reversing the process without the use of my arms.

Comments: The following ladies have cheerfully answered my questions and willingly given me much needed advice. THANKS!
I would like to especially praise and thank Julie, Elizabeth, and Diane for their support and encouragement during my physical therapy following my aortic valve surgery.
Kudos to Diane and Regina for their encouragement and aid in identifying machines that I can or specifically cannot use following my breast surgery.
Kathy (Stretch & Balance Class) has been an inspiration and an excellent instructor.

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10 tips for marathon training


Running a marathon can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a runner’s life. With race season almost upon us, it’s important to train properly. Here are 10 training tips that will help you reach your goal.

Remember: Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program!


1. Have fun

Love your running! Any plan you follow should be sustainable for both your short-term goals and long-term health benefits. If you are overly ambitious and try more than you can handle, you may get injured or mentally burned out. Stay with what you can handle and enjoy it.


2. Stay healthy

Don’t let small things turn into big things. It is important to stay healthy so you can run most days. Keep an eye on your shoes; be careful in bad weather, work on improving running form, stretch to improve flexibility, don’t run with an injury, don’t do what you are not ready for. Begin each day by drinking water. It is an investment in your health. Another tip for endurance athletes is to get full blood work, including iron levels, at your annual physical. Get a hard copy for your records. As an endurance athlete, you don’t want your iron levels to be too low. Consult your doctor.


3. Get a coach

Find someone who you trust. Look at where you are, what your goals are, and how can you get from here to there. A coach can also help you identify and minimize risk factors in your training and improve strength, flexibility and running form.


4. Be consistent

Train with consistency and at a pace that is “conversational.” It is true what Coach Bill Squires and others have said; putting miles in is “Money in the Bank.” Enjoy the outdoors. Morning runs are a great way to begin the day.


5. Gradually build miles

Over time, gradually increase weekly mileage (or minutes). Famous coach Arthur Lydiard once said: “The bigger the base, the higher the peak.”

If you want to complete a marathon, begin training as many weeks in advance as possible. This helps you to safely build your aerobic base. Hopefully, you make running an important part of your healthy lifestyle ‒ there are tons of benefits to this! The rule of thumb many use for building miles is increasing about 10% per week. Build safely at a rate that you determine with your coach.


6. Develop a long run

For many, this is the most important run of the week. If your goal is to complete a marathon, developing a long run is key. This is where you learn pacing, hydrating and fueling. To complete a marathon, it would be great to get in at least one 20-miler, maybe more. We are trying to make the marathon just another long run, so don’t be intimidated by the distance. This should be a run to enjoy. Try to find others to do long runs with at your pace.


7. Even and negative split running

Every run should be even or negative split. This means that you go out easy and gradually get faster every run.

● Even split running means the second half is the same time as the first half.

● Negative split running means the second half is faster than the first half.

If your objective is to complete a marathon (as opposed to racing a marathon) you don’t need to run faster than marathon goal pace very often, if at all. The important thing is to discover the pace you can hold for 26.2 miles and practice that, memorize it, and execute it on race day. The marathon should be simply executing another long run. A couple good methods to determine marathon pace are:

● Keep your heart rate under 150 on most runs. If your heart rate is going up, you are probably running too fast. This is very important on long runs.

● What was your pace on a 20-mile run? Did you run an even or negative split?


8. Hydrating and fueling

Try to have as few surprises as possible on marathon day. Whichever marathon you are running, find out what they are giving out for energy drinks, and practice taking it. There is a lot of info available on hydrating/fueling strategies. It is hard to stay hydrated, so practice hydrating on the run to find out what you can handle. Drink water at every water stop.

In regards to fueling, it is critical to go out easy in the marathon so you can burn fat early and save glycogen. This is one reason to practice even/negative split running every day. You will also want to practice fueling, particularly on the long run, to find out what you can handle. Hitting the wall at mile 20 usually means running out of fuel, so part of your practice will be to take in some fuel to get from mile 20 to mile 26.2. Find out what will be given out at the marathon, and practice fueling with it. Plan to take in a few hundred calories of fuel during the race. You will burn fat and glycogen stores for much of the race.


9. Build base, learn pace, execute race

Marathon training is simply preparing your body to run 26.2 miles.

● Build base: The foundation to complete 26.2 miles

● Learn pace: Discover, practice, and perfect even and negative split marathon running. Don’t go out faster than the pace for your best long run.

● Execute race: It is very easy to go out way too hard in a marathon and blow up. Your training will instill the confidence and discipline to execute your marathon race.


10. Taper

In the last couple weeks before the marathon, you should be gradually decreasing miles, decreasing the long run, and getting extra rest and recovery. You might cut by 30%-50% per week for the two weeks leading up to the marathon. Discuss the taper with your coach. Improvement is not possible without recovery, so embrace this time to get the extra recovery. That doesn’t mean you should take two weeks off. If you are healthy, you should still run most days. One good way to monitor recovery year-round is to take your resting heart rate periodically. If you see a trend of elevated heart rate, take extra rest.

Enjoy your training, stay healthy, and consult your coach along the way. You will reach your goal if you stick to your training plan and stay motivated.

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Marshall Medical Centers on 100 SafeCare Hospitals list


Marshall Medical Centers has earned a place on the list of “100 SafeCare” hospitals in the country delivering the finest level of care.

MMC was recognized for healthcare quality in the group of hospitals between 100-400 beds for the “best processes of care, best outcomes of care and best efficacy of care.”

“If all U.S. hospitals attained the 100 SafeCare Hospitals level, there would be improvement in the more than 400,000 hospital deaths and close to 5.1 million preventable complications that occur each year,” stated the group in announcing the achievement.

The SafeCare Group analyzed hospital data to make the 2014-15 ratings. Areas looked at included:

  • Lowest mortality rates
  • Lowest readmissions
  • Lowest complication rates in medical and surgical care
  • Lowest in-hospital medical and surgical infection rates
  • Highest medical and surgical processes of care
  • Highest patient satisfaction scores

Only the 100 hospitals between 100-400 beds with the highest scores made the 100 SafeCare Hospitals list, according to the announcement.

“This distinction is one that Marshall Medical receives with pride because it was borne out of hard work,” said Gary Gore, CEO of Marshall Medical Centers. “Our staffs take very seriously the extensive requirements that make up the standard of quality patient care. They deserve national recognition like this.”

The SafeCare Group was founded in 2010 to help hospitals excel in the areas of patient safety, quality and efficiency. The SafeCare Group software helps hospitals comply with regulatory standards. It has published a 12-point surgical checklist as well as several checklists to avoid hospital falls and bedsores.

To see the complete list click on the link shown below:




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The 700 Club films at Marshall Medical for inspirational broadcast


Vanessa Crosson is a big believer in turning a negative into a positive. When her mother died on the night Vanessa should have been going to her senior prom, the tragedy stole her faith along with her mother. In her own words, she chose a life without God.

Her eventual return to her faith is recounted in her book, Among the Myrtle Trees – Restoring Abandoned Faith. Her inspirational story is the subject of an upcoming broadcast on The 700 Club. A producer and two photographers from the Christian Broadcasting Network came to film the former Marshall Medical South ICU nurse at her home and at the hospital where her mother died.

“It’s all about it being a positive experience,” she says.

Vanessa and her husband of 16 years, Trenton, live in Horton with their three young children. Trenton is currently in Afghanistan serving as security for the American Embassy. She works for Oral Surgery Associates in Huntsville. Her book is available at http://www.certapublishing.com/among-the-myrtle-trees.html.

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New clinic will help in early detection of lung cancer

pulmonary clinic docs

The opening of a new medical clinic in Marshall County this week offers faster diagnosis of spots that could be early lung cancer.

Marshall Medical Centers announces the opening of the Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic March 3 to provide early detection and expedited care of lung cancer.

“This clinic will provide a standard approach for lung nodules and act as a community resource for ER doctors and community doctors that identify lung nodules in their patients,” said Dr. Christopher Manganaris of Pulmonary and Sleep Associates of Marshall County. “It will ensure adequate follow up and counseling for patients and family members with lung nodules.”

A lung nodule –commonly called ‘a spot on the lung’ – is a small mass of tissue in the lung that appears as round, white shadows on a chest x-ray or CT scan.

When a lung nodule diagnosis is made, doctors can refer the patient to the Nodule Clinic to meet with one of the pulmonary specialists within 72 business hours. There, the patient’s scans can be reviewed in an office setting. While 80 percent of pulmonary nodules are found to be benign and can come from an infection or scar tissue from an old infection, some are early signs of lung cancer and require prompt evaluation.

Dr. Manganaris said treatment of lung nodules has become very standardized over the last several years and is tailored to each patient’s circumstances.

“Risk assessment based on age, smoking history and the number of nodules determine how aggressive we need to be,” he said.

If a lung nodule is new or has changed in size, shape or appearance, a doctor may recommend further testing to determine if it is cancerous. Testing could include any of the following which are available in Marshall Medical’s Nodule Clinic:

  • Bronchoscopy – a procedure used to see the inside of the airways and lungs.
  • Tissue biopsy – a procedure to remove a piece of tissue or a sample of cells to be analyzed in a laboratory.
  • Low dose CT scan – special X-ray tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body.
  • CT guided biopsy – uses real-time CT images to ensure biopsy samples are accurately taken from the desired part of the lung.
  • PET scan – an imaging test that assists in the diagnosis of cancerous lesions.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS – a technique to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery.

Medicare covers lung cancer screening with Low Dose CT once a year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Age 55-77 and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the past 15 years;
  • Have a tobacco smoking history average of one pack a day for 30 years;
  • Receive a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements.

Medicare coverage includes a visit for counseling and shared decision-making on the benefits and risks of lung cancer screening.

The Marshall Pulmonology Nodule Clinic is located in the Professional Center next door to Marshall Cancer Care Center, just south of Cracker Barrel in Guntersville. The Clinic is staffed by a group of physicians who take a team approach to treatment. They are:


  • Dr. Jenna Carpenter – Pulmonology
  • Dr. Gideon P. Ewing – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. Jonathan A. Storey – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. J.T. Payne – Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. Dustin Bright-Interventional Radiologist

Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic is located on Highway 431 just south of the Guntersville Cracker Barrel. The street address is 11491 US Highway 431, Albertville, Alabama 35950. (256)894-6910 Visit us at: marshallnoduleclinic.com

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No snow days for hospital staff


Hospital employees don’t get to stay home when it snows! During the huge snowfall last week that kept most people cozy and warm at home, Marshall Medical Center employees were hard at work. More than 200 staff members slept at North and South hospitals to take care of patients. That’s what makes our hospitals the best!

Several staff members and physicians transported employees to and from work, and some even rescued staff that were stranded on the side of the road! A significant number of employees stayed more than one night.  Others came in early for their shift in order to allow an off- going staff member the ability to make it home.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who went above and beyond to keep us going during the snow!


Staff from the Call Center slept in the Women’s Center at South so they could take shifts answering calls. All the rooms with beds were taken so they got to bed down on air mattresses. They still had some fun in the snow and got the job done! Below are Renee Wheeler and Tracy Johnson. THANK YOU ALL!

snow5 Snow8

These hard-working folks at North’s emergency department took a minute to pose in the snow.


They are: Jeff Ellis, Shae Watkins, Desi Cordell, Shae Mosley, Andrea Harell, Dr. Sparks, Hattie Freeman, Jennifer Medlin, Brittany Isom and Megan Wray. Thanks so much!


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