Category Archives: News Releases

5 sleep tips for school-aged children

[Click here to read this story on Jagwire.]

Everyone needs to sleep. A good night’s sleep boosts health, safety, performance and wellbeing, and it’s especially important for school-age children.

“Children and teens need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development,” said Dr. Clay Stallworth, a pediatrician for GRHealth at the West Wheeler office. “A child’s body and brain are busy during slumber preparing for another day of tasks and growth, so it’s essential that children get the proper amount of sleep.”

It’s not always easy to know when kids need more sleep because drowsy children don’t necessarily slow down the way adults do—they wind up.

So, just how many ZZZ’s are enough for your school-age child?

“Every child is unique and has unique sleep needs; however there are suggestions based on age,” Stallworth said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 10 to 11 hours of sleep for school-age children.”

Stallworth also shares five tips for helping your children achieve a good night’s sleep:

1. Develop a regular daily bedtime schedule, and don’t stray from it – even on weekends. Your child’s body gets used to an established rejuvenation time and will be ready for sleep.

2. Create a standard and enjoyable bedtime routine. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep each night. Children like a sense of predictability in their routine because it brings them comfort. A suggested routine, especially for children 10 and under, would include taking a bath, dressing for bed, brushing teeth, reading a story and saying goodnight.

3. Avoid before-bedtime sleep traps. Do not let your child eat chocolate or sugary foods, or drink caffeinated beverages late in the day. It’s also important to establish an early curfew – 30 minutes or more before bedtime – on TV watching, video games and even vigorous play, so that children are not over-stimulated close to bedtime.

4. Establish a permanent “sleep-friendly” environment. Make sure your child’s bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature. Keep the bedtime environment the same all night.

5. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently. Whether an infant, toddler or older child, this is a must. Stallworth recommends accomplishing this in your child’s infancy. The older children get, the harder it will be to break their dependence on Mom or Dad for help with falling asleep, and that can affect Mom and Dad’s bedtime.

Studies show that about one in three children – kindergarten through fourth grade – may experience a sleep-related problem, such as frequent waking, sleep walking, talking in their sleep, bedwetting or nightmares. Fortunately, as they mature, children usually outgrow these common sleep issues.

“With a solid routine and a little discipline, you can help your children achieve sweet dreams,” Stallworth said. “And chances are, if your kids are getting a good night’s sleep, you probably will too, and that makes for a healthier family all around.”

Many outpatient surgeries will move to Evans

Georgia Regents Medical Center invests in outpatient surgery center with University Health Care System

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents Medical Center has purchased a 30-percent ownership in the Surgery Center of Columbia County. This 21,000-square-foot outpatient day surgery facility in Evans opened in 2007 as a joint venture between University Health Resources, Inc., the for-profit corporation of University Health Care System, and more than a dozen board-certified physicians and podiatrists.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Georgia Regents Medical Center in an effort to help them increase their outpatient surgery capacity and better serve their patients in need of surgery,” explained James Davis, President/CEO of University Health Care System. “It makes sense for both parties to maximize the use of existing facilities.”

LogosUH.GRMCRecent advancements in technology, particularly in minimally invasive surgery, have increased the demand for outpatient surgical care, because it can benefit patients through shorter operations, fewer complications and quicker recoveries, according to industry reports.

Located on University’s longstanding Evans Campus on North Belair Road, the Joint Commission-accredited Surgery Center of Columbia County offers a broad array of outpatient procedures performed by highly skilled and compassionate physicians and staff in four spacious surgical suites using state-of-the-art technology. Some of the surgical services offered at the center include general, colorectal, ENT, and GI surgeries.

“We’re excited about this new collaboration with University Hospital,” said Dr. Charles G. Howell, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Georgia Regents Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College of Georgia. “We have highly qualified surgeons performing some very complex and lengthy operations in our hospital operating rooms, and that doesn’t always mix well with ambulatory surgical care. Moving more outpatient surgeries to Columbia County will help us alleviate some of the space concerns we’re experiencing so that we can meet the needs of our patients and families more quickly and efficiently at both locations. Additionally, this partnership is another great opportunity for us to work with University Hospital to make Augusta a medical destination.”

About University
University Health Care System is anchored by the 581-bed, not-for-profit University Hospital, founded in 1818. The main campus has expanded to include the Heart & Vascular Institute, an Outpatient Center and office buildings that house more than 600 private practice and employed physicians, and various treatment centers. University has the largest primary care and prompt care network in the region and also includes University Hospital McDuffie in Thomson, Ga., as well as numerous medical campuses in two states, Brandon Wilde Continuing Care Retirement Community and two extended care facilities. University is the only hospital in the region to have earned Magnet designation for nursing excellence, and has been named the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award winner for overall quality and image every year since 1999.

About GRMC
Georgia Regents Medical Center is a not-for-profit providing clinical operations as a cooperative organization for Georgia Regents University. The 478-bed Medical Center includes a Critical Care Center, housing the region’s only Level I trauma center ; the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care; and more than 80 outpatient clinics that provide primary and specialty care throughout the state. Georgia Regents physicians are consistently ranked among the nation’s best in both America’s Top Doctors® and Best Doctors in America.® Additionally, Children’s Hospital of Georgia was recently ranked as the nation’s highest performing children’s hospital in quality and safety by the University HealthSystem Consortium.

Tea time for female veterans

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Retired Colonel Judy Mosbey served her country faithfully during World War II. This week, the staff at Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home served her.

What was on the menu? Hot tea, finger sandwiches and cake.

“No men are allowed,” said Georgia War’s Activities Coordinator Kimberly Thomas. “This is one event that we do exclusively for our female veterans to thank them for all they’ve done for us.”

That meant Associate Director Carlton Deese wasn’t supposed to be there, but he only stopped by for a couple of minutes to chat with the residents and take a little friendly ribbing from one of the ladies.

Deese said there are approximately 154 veterans currently living at the nursing home; however, only about a dozen of them are women. That’s why singling them out with special events like the Ladies’ Tea is so important.

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Judy Mosbey, stirring her tea, was a flight instructor in the Air Force.

Mosbey wore a lavender hat and scarf for the occasion. The former flight instructor served in the Air Force for nearly 30 years, alongside her husband, who was also a pilot. Seventy-five-year-old Mosbey said that back when she enlisted, she realized that she should learn to fly, too, so that she could keep up with him.

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program was created in August 1943, because of a shortage of male pilots in World War II, according to the Women of World War II website. These female civilian pilots served under military command and flew planes within the U.S., to free up male combat pilots for overseas duty. They had the privileges of officers, but were never formally adopted into the Army Air Force. However, in November 1977, President Carter signed a bill granting WWII veterans’ status for former WASPs.

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Vera Molini said she served in the Navy.

Sipping tea at the table on Mosbey’s left and draped in a yellow floral scarf was Vera Molini, 93, who served in the Navy. The WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) program was created in August 1942 in response to the need for additional military personnel during World War II. From the very beginning, the WAVES were an official part of the Navy, and its members held the same rank and ratings as male personnel.

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Activities Director Kimberly Thomas pours hot water in Pauline Walker’s tea cup.

Pauline Walker, 82, was clothed in shades of red, which included a garnet-colored carnation headband and a crimson shirt and scarf. Walker served as a secretary in the Army during the war.

Perhaps the most articulate of the ladies at the tea party was Ruby Kleinrath, 93. Army Nurse Corps veterans like Kleinrath worked close to the front lines in WW II, serving in field hospitals and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed to lower post-injury mortality rates among American military forces in every theater of the war, according to the website.

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Ruby Kleinrath, 93, waits for her tea to be stirred.

In all, nine veterans were gathered around the table in the first-floor cafeteria for the Ladies’ Tea on Sept. 23. Organizers piped in music from the 1940s and ’50s through a CD player to create a more nostalgic event. They also helped each resident create fall decorations for their doors, by attaching autumn leaves and miniature scarecrows to grapevine wreaths.

The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, or what many refer to fondly as the “Blue Goose,” is a 192-bed skilled nursing facility owned by the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and operated by Georgia Regents University. Throughout its 45-year history of serving the veteran community, Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home has placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that the individual needs of every veteran patient are met.

The home was recently ranked in the nation’s top 15 percent of senior health care providers for patient satisfaction by Pinnacle Quality Insight.

5 ways to reduce your risk of gynecological cancer

AUGUSTA, Ga.-  According to the Center for Disease Control, more an 80,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, and more than 25,000 will die from it. In response to this alarming statistic, September has been named Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to help women become educated on the importance of early detection.

 

“Although all women are at risk for developing gynecological cancers, the rate increases with age,” said  Dr. Sharad Ghamande, Gynecologic Oncologist at the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center. “This is why it is important for women to pay attention to their body so they can know when something irregular is happening and maybe even recognize the symptoms of cancer.”

 

Gynecologic cancer refers to malignant growths in the ovaries, vagina, vulva, uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. In spite of the fact that there are no guaranteed ways to prevent gynecological cancers, Ghamande suggests the following tips to help reduce your risk.

 

  1. Pay attention to your body.  Talk to your doctor right away if you begin experiencing symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloating, pelvic pain or pressure for more than two weeks. There is a chance these symptoms may not be cancer, but the only way to know for sure is by going to your physician.
  2. Stay healthy. Eating a balanced diet and exercising not only helps reduce your chances of getting a gynecologic cancer, but it is beneficial for your overall health. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight and active life may lower your chances of getting certain gynecological cancers such as uterine and ovarian cancers.
  3. Get regular pap tests. Pap tests are one of the best ways doctors find precancerous changes on the cervix. It is recommended that all women aged 21 to 65 get this test done regularly or as directed by their doctor.
  4. Know your family history. In addition to having pap tests, be sure to share your family history with your doctor. If you or someone in your family has battled gynecological cancer, breast cancer, or have multiple relatives with colon cancer, you may consider having a genetic testing or counseling. This information will help you learn if you have an increased chance of developing the disease.
  5. Get vaccinated if appropriate. Researchers say the human papillomavirus can cause most cervical cancers as well as some vaginal and vulvar cancers. HPV vaccinations can protect against these types of cancers and it is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls. The vaccine may also be given to girls as early as nine years of age.

 

Dr. Ghamande has consistently been named to the Castle Connolly list of America’s Top Doctors – both in cancer and in gynecologic oncology – which puts him in the top 1 percent in his field nationwide. Ghamande is Professor and Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia and Associate Cancer Center Director at the GRU Cancer Center. His clinical and research interests include robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers and chemotherapy trials in recurrent ovarian cancer. Ghamande has worked with the National Cancer Institute-funded Georgia Gynecologic Oncology Group studying innovative ways to prevent and treat pelvic malignancies and is currently the principal investigator on the NCI-funded Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program.

 

 

Gala Concert to showcase student talent

Gala concert 1Enjoy an elaborate evening of young musical talent from the Georgia Regents University orchestra and the school’s choral, wind and opera and musical theater ensembles as the GRU Department of Music and Georgia Public Broadcasting present the annual Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville Campus.

A pre-concert reception will be held at 6 p.m. backstage at thegala concert 3 theatre. Tickets for the reception and concert are $20 per person or $35 for two people. Tickets for the concert only are free for
students with a valid ID and $15 for the general public. All proceeds from the event will go toward music scholarships for GRU students.

The Gala Concert is one of three events featured in the institution’s Classical Music Concert Series. Other programs include the Wycliffe and Friends Holiday Concert on Dec. 1 and Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert scheduled for April 21, 2016.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706-667-4100 or visit gru.edu/maxwelltheatre.

More women playing fantasy football

Are you ready for some football?

The first game of the NFL season kicked off Thursday, and with it came the fantasy football madness. With free fantasy football websites and apps making it easier to keep track of statistics, fantasy sports continue to grow in popularity.

However, a recent report from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association shows about a third of the fantasy sports-playing population is female. Even in 2012, the FSTA approximated almost 6 million women participated in fantasy football leagues.

Although this statistic may be surprising to some, Dr. David Hunt, sociology of sport expert and associate professor of sociology at Georgia Regents University, says this is a positive sign as it is proof the playing field is beginning to level out.

“Research shows fantasy sports are moving away from being a male dominated game and, with the Internet giving us new ways to access player stats, more people will join leagues so they can feel more a part of their favorite sport,” said Hunt.

Hunt shared more of his expertise on this topic with The Augusta Chronicle. Click here to view the story.

Hunt is a highly acclaimed sociologist whose work has been featured in several publications such as the American Educational Research Journal and the Sociological Spectrum. His studies on sports and society have garnered him the opportunity to be a presenter at numerous sociologically based meetings throughout the United States and Canada including the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport in Ontario.

CHOG awarded for patient-centric imaging

GRHealth has earned a Patient-Centric Imaging Award from Health Imaging magazine for its makeover of the pediatric imaging suite at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The awards, developed in conjunction with the American College of Radiology, reinforce the importance of patient engagement in health care delivery and honor radiology groups for using imaging to improve quality and patient outcomes.

This is the second award for GRHealth – the first was earned in 2013 for patient care advances in the Breast Health Center.
“We are thrilled to be recognized again by Health Imaging for our efforts in improving the patient experience in radiology. But, by far, the most rewarding part is seeing the children smiling and laughing while they’re here. It’s like they are disappointed when they have to leave.” said Dr. James V. Rawson, chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

A pioneer in Patient- and Family-Centered Care, GRHealth has long recognized the importance of including patients and families in the planning process. In fact, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, which opened in 1998, was one of the first GRHealth projects designed with explicit input of patients and families, and CHOG was twice recognized with design awards from Modern Healthcare Magazine and the American Institute of Architects Academy.

InteractiveWall
This interactive wall in the main patient lounge in pediatric imaging allows children to set things in motion, like these balloons floating through the air.

“So it was only natural to ask the experts – our young patients and their parents – when we embarked on the pediatric radiology redesign,” Rawson said. “When the first step is talking to the patient and the family, great things happen.”

The improvements included converting the traditional waiting rooms into patient lounges, the first of which is the main waiting area, which was transformed with soft lighting, comfortable chairs and the installation of an interactive video wall. As patients and siblings reach for the objects on a giant wall screen, corn kernels “pop” into popcorn, waves ripple across a puddle, bubbles float through the air, or any of about 80 other scenarios are set in motion. Families who prefer a more private waiting space may use the patient lounges inside the suite, where a series of cozy nooks are flanked with intimate seating and illuminated in varying colors of light.

InsidePatientLounges
More intimate, colorful patient lounges are inside the suite.

“Lighting has been an integral part of improving the patient experience in all our radiology areas at the hospital,” said Rawson. “When children enter a pediatric procedure room, they get to choose the color of lighting to help them feel more comfortable during their study.”

For fluoroscopy, the child gets to choose sound, too, such as waves crashing on the beach.

“By giving the child the opportunity to choose color, lighting and sound themes, we put them in control of their experience. On top of that, all our imaging studies are performed using low-dose techniques, because it’s vital that we limit every child’s potential for radiation exposure. It’s great to have fun, but patient safety must come first,” Rawson said.

Because the large machines used in radiology can be intimidating for a child, GRHealth worked with its alliance partner Philips Healthcare to install a Philips Kitten Scanner, a miniature simulated CT scanner, just outside the room that houses the actual CT scanner.

Children choose a character – a robot, elephant or alligator – to be a test patient. Then the child places the test patient on the table and slides the table through the Kitten Scanner. Since each character has a special chip inside, the scanner comes to life when the character slides through, and a voice from the machine explains what is happening during the mock exam.

“Children get to learn about their test by scanning toys in a scanner, and it helps alleviate their fears of the larger machine once they see what’s going to happen when they are on the table,” said Rawson.

Radiologists at CHOG say the Kitten Scanner has even helped cut down on the number of young patients requiring sedation for the CT scanner, another patient-centric benefit. They’ve also received feedback from families that the suite no longer feels like a hospital.

“No matter how many projects I work on, I am always amazed at the impact of the patient and family advisors,” said Rawson. “When you want to improve the patient experience, you start by asking the patient, and the outcome always exceeds expectations.”

The renovated pediatric imaging suite opened in stages over the summer, and there will be an official ribbon-cutting event with patients, families, and staff on Oct. 20.

The 154-bed not-for-profit CHOG is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children.

CHOG was recently ranked as the nation’s best children’s hospital in quality and safety.

Health Imaging magazine and HealthImaging.com provide business and technology news in medical imaging and healthcare information technology, radiology, cardiology, oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The magazine and website focus on economics, practice and informatics in imaging and are published by TriMed Media Group, Inc.

CHOG ranks No. 1 in nation

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the highest performing children’s hospital in the nation in quality and safety. When pediatric patient care at CHOG is compared to that provided at 122 peer hospitals across the country – Augusta’s only children’s hospital ranks at the top.

“We take care of some really sick children here at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. These aren’t just kids with aches and pains and temporary illnesses; although those are a significant part of what we do,” said CHOG Administrator Jim Mumford. “We’re talking about kids who need heart surgery, brain surgery, and cancer treatments, as well as ECMO; and kids with chronic diseases, like asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy. These UHC quality and safety indicators and our national ranking is a testament to the outstanding care that our physicians, nurses, and staff provide to these children and families across the southeast on a daily basis.”

According to the latest Quality and Safety Management Report from the University HealthSystem Consortium – an alliance of the nation’s leading nonprofit academic medical centers, CHOG ranks first in pediatric care for all of 2014 in an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) integrated measure on pediatric quality.

“Being recognized for the highest quality and safety outcomes on a national level is certainly a significant honor,” said Dr. Charles Howell, co-medical director and surgeon-in-chief of CHOG. “It speaks volumes about the compassion and expertise that we provide to each and every patient at Children’s Hospital of Georgia.”

The 154-bed not-for-profit Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children. Donations help fund the many resources needed to enhance and maintain the quality of care children receive – from the smallest bandage to the most precise surgical instruments.

“It takes a remarkable team effort centered on children and their families to be the best of the best in children’s care,” said Dr. Charles Linder, chairman of pediatrics for GRU’s Medical College of Georgia and co-medical director at CHOG. “We just celebrated a year of record-breaking donations in 2014 that culminated last weekend with our telethon. Now we have another reason to celebrate, and our supporters can take pride in these accomplishments, too.”

GRU Libraries receive grant to promote Latino American history, culture

GRU students and the greater Augusta community will get a glimpse into the history and culture of Latinos in America during a series of free events organized by the GRU Libraries during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The events were made possible through a $10,000 grant the GRU Libraries received from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The GRU Libraries are one of 203 recipients of the competitive “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” grant selected from across the country.

“Latinos make up the largest minority group in the United States, and they have also been a part of our local community for generations,” said Erin Prentiss, GRU Libraries’ Latino Americans project director and reference/instruction librarian. “We look forward to exploring the rich national and local histories of Latinos with the entire Augusta community during our planned events.”

The Libraries’ planned programs include screenings and discussions of the award-winning documentary series “Latino Americans” as well as other events that complement the film screenings. Below is the fall 2015 schedule:

  • “Peril and Promise” Screening and Discussion
    Learn about the challenges and triumphs of recent Latino history during the screening and discussion. Project scholars and GRU faculty Dr. Heather Abdelnur, associate professor of history, and Dr. Christopher Botero, assistant professor of Spanish, will lead the discussion following the screening.
    When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16
    Where: Headquarters Library, Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System
  • Latino Alumni Panel
    This panel discussion features Latino alumni from area colleges and universities about their experiences in higher education. GRU assistant professor of Teacher Education, Dr. Juan Walker, will moderate the panel.
    When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29
    Where: GRU Summerville Campus, Jaguar Student Activity Center Coffeehouse
  • “Empire of Dreams” Screening and Discussion
    This screening focuses on the migration of different Latino groups beginning in the late 19th through the mid-20th century. Abdelnur will lead discussion following the film.
    When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20
    Where: Columbia County Library, Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library System
  • Antonio Martinez: A Cuban Pioneer in Columbia County History Lecture
    Abdelnur will lecture about the fascinating history of Antonio Martinez, a late-19th-century immigrant to the Augusta area and the founder of the town of Martinez.
    When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27
    Where: Columbia County Library, Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library System
  • “War & Peace” Screening and Discussion
    This screening focuses on the lasting effects World War II had on Latino American communities. Following the film, Abdelnur will lead a panel of Latino veterans who will discuss their experiences in the military.
    When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10
    Where: GRU Summerville Campus, University Hall 170

For more information about the series, please visit guides.gru.edu/latino or contact Erin Prentiss at eprentiss@gru.edu or 706-667-4912 or GRU Digital Media Coordinator Arthur Takahashi at atakahashi@gru.edu or 706-446-5128.

The Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grantees” represent 42 states and the District of Columbia, and include 78 public libraries, 68 college/university libraries and organizations, 19 community college libraries, 10 state humanities councils, 12 museums and a range of other nonprofit organizations.