The Countdown Is on for the 2016 Heart Walk! 

UMass-heart-walk-group-2015

Members of the UMass Memorial Health Care team at last year’s Central MA Heart Walk.

Spring is here and planning is underway for the Central MA Heart Walk Saturday, May 7, Quinsigamond State Park, North Lake Avenue, Worcester. This year the event is chaired by our very own Medical Center President Patrick Muldoon! When you join the Heart Walk, you join more than a million people in 300-plus cities across America in taking a stand against heart disease and helping save lives! To get your team page registered so you can get started, visit the UMass Memorial Health Care company page.

Match Day: 24 Medical Students Stay on for Residencies!

Last week, the Medical School’s Class of 2016 celebrated Match Day when 128 students learned where they would begin their careers as physicians. Match Day is the annual, nationwide pairing of graduating medical students with postgraduate residency training programs. This year, 69 students, comprising 58 percent of the class, choose careers in internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics. Sixty-six graduates will practice in Massachusetts, including 24 who will continue with residencies at UMass Memorial Health Care and the Medical School, including Waldo Zamor (see video below) who got his top pick here for his dermatology residency. See UMassMedNow and Telegram & Gazette coverage.

Anticoagulation Alternative to Reduce Stroke Risk for Afib Patients

WATCHMAN_physicianHandNearly one out of three “afib” or atrial fibrillation (AF) patients can have a stroke due to blood clots that form in the part of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). The clot can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. A breakthrough option, called the Watchman LAA closure device, is now available for AF patients who are considered suitable for warfarin, a type of anticoagulation therapy, but who seek a non-drug alternative. The device is implanted in the LAA to keep clots from entering the blood stream, and can free patients from the challenges of long-term warfarin therapy. Watch animation, below, to learn more.

Celebrating Medical Center Innovators Next Wednesday

Innovation Celebration banner - springThe next Innovation Celebration is on the Hahnemann Campus, Wednesday, March 30, noon to 1 pm, in the lobby (not the cafeteria, this time!) All are invited to join in the learning and fun. Spend a small portion of your day with your colleagues discovering current initiatives and innovations taking place across the Medical Center. Highlighted programs include Idea Systems, lynda.com learning, our wellness program, mindfulness initiatives and the latest on the campus “refresh” project. Stop by to enjoy complimentary refreshments and enter a drawing to win a week of free valet parking! We hope to see you there. Learn more.

Our Weight Center Supports Patients Beyond Surgery 

Weight Center sneakersThe Weight Center provides a patient-focused approach to help adults struggling with obesity and weight-related diseases. One of the many strengths of our bariatric program is the support and care patients receive before and after surgery. In addition to equipping patients with the skills to move through the program to surgery, the Weight Center supports patients with follow-up appointments and post-surgical support groups for long-term success. The most recent post-bariatric surgery support initiative includes a healthy potluck, open discussion and a showcase of patients’ creative expressions. Accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Comprehensive Bariatric Center, our center is recognized for high standards of quality and care, and approved to perform all procedure types.

When Should You Go to the Urgent Care? 

CareWell_in_affiliation_horizThe best practice is to call your primary care provider (PCP) first. Your PCP knows you and your medical history, and can provide the best advice on care. However, if you are unable to contact your doctor, and have a condition that requires immediate treatment, you should go to one of the UMass Memorial Health Care-affiliated urgent care centers, which are open seven days a week. Urgent care is ideal for treating conditions such as cold/flu, sprains/strains, cuts, bites, allergic reactions and more. Visit any one of our convenient, community-based urgent care centers located in Worcester, Leominster, Fitchburg and Northborough. Visit our website to learn more.

Local, Fresh, Natural: Commit to Wellness by Eating Healthy

nutrition month 2016Our employees are embracing healthy eating at the grocery store with NutriSavings – but there is more you can do! The “eat local” challenge at myHealth Matters rewards eating local: myHealth MattersPick up locally grown produce at least once a week, from the store or from a farm on localharvest.org. You can also try fresh, local dishes at our cafeterias in honor of National Nutrition Month. When you’re making your choices, keep in mind that a diet of mostly plants lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. With spring on the way, it’s a great time to commit to eating healthy.

What You Need to Know about Safety and Poisonous Household Items

Poison helpThis week marks National Poison Prevention Week. With the majority of accidental poisonings happening in the home, it’s important to know where your greatest risks lie and how to protect your family from potentially harmful products. The Department of Health and Human Services advises, “Teach your family to never touch or put anything in their mouths unless they know what it is.” Visit the website for tips on keeping your family safe from poisonous household items. The department stresses, “Remember, if you suspect that you or someone you know has been poisoned, immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center.”

Our Food Services Seeks Your Feedback via Survey!

Our Food Services Department wants to hear from you! Our Medical Center has signed the Antibiotic Stewardship Pledge with the Massachusetts Hospital Association as a commitment to purchase at least one meat product that is free from nontherapeutic antibiotics. Take a moment to complete the brief antibiotic-free meat survey to let us know your thoughts about the concepts behind this pledge. Surveys will also be available in the cafeteria Mondays, March 28 and April 4. Look for the notation on our menu and signage to indicate that the animal protein is compliant with this pledge. Learn more.