Fit for Life? - Augusta Health

Fit for Life? - Augusta Health



summer 2008

How Can You Keep

Your Young Athlete

SAFE This Season?

The answer is on page 10.

Why Every Second

Counts after a Stroke

Learn more on page 12.

Do You Want to Be

Fit for Life?

Find out how on page 8.

summer 2008

Moving into the future

letter from the ceo

Dear Friends,

The Summer issue of Health Matters includes several seasonal health

topics important to our community. Important advice and education

from Augusta Medical Center’s medical staff can be found on many

relevant topics including lyme disease, allergies, skin cancer, and

summer health issues for children.

You will also read about a variety of other important health topics

such as medication safety, new surgical treatments for lumbar spinal

stenosis, risk factors related to pre-term labor, and the importance of

immediate intervention for stroke patients.

At Augusta Medical Center, our mission is to assure access to services

including integrated, comprehensive medical care to improve the health

of our communities. That means we need to be here ready for you

when you need us. But we also want to do everything we can to keep

our community healthy, and prevent health problems from occurring. I

think you will find this month’s magazine useful on both fronts: keeping

you apprised of our expanding service capabilities to meet your needs

while providing helpful advice on how to stay healthy.

Enjoy your summer and may it be safe, happy, and healthy!

Best wishes,

Mary Mannix

Chief Executive Officer

Augusta Medical Center

and the ANSWER is…


Each year, MORE THAN 1 MILLION AMERICANS are diagnosed with

lumbar spinal stenosis—narrowing of the spinal canal, which

compresses nerves in the lower back and causes pain and numbness

to radiate into the legs. What is the name of the new procedure at

Augusta Medical Center that can help relieve this condition?

2INVOLVING YOUR CHILD IN SPORTS is a great way to prevent

obesity and form healthy habits at a young age. However, each year

healthcare providers treat 3.5 million sports-related injuries in children

under what age?

If you know the answer to either of the above questions, send your

answers to Vicki Kirby, Media and Communications Director, at 78

Medical Center Drive, Fishersville, VA, 22939. All correct entries will

be entered in a special drawing.

Here’s a hint: the answers are in this issue!

Augusta Medical Center

AMC Health Matters is published by Augusta Medical Center. The articles

in this publication should not be considered specific medical advice, as each

individual circumstance is different. Entire publication © Augusta Medical Center

2008. All rights reserved. For more information or to be removed from this

mailing list, please call (540) 332-4969.

Are You Up-to-Date on

Vaccines? ✽

To help you keep up with the new vaccine

recommendations, Steven Mumbauer, MD,

board-certified pediatrician at Augusta Medical

Center offers the following recommendations:

✽ Influenza—For the 2008 to 2009 flu

season, the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention now recommend that all

children ages 6 months through 18 years

be vaccinated for the flu.

✽ Human Papillomavirus—This

vaccination against the most common

cause of cervical cancer is recommended

for females between ages 11 and 26.

✽ Tdap—Previously a tetanus booster, this

vaccination now also contains a whooping

Steven Mumbauer, MD—

Waynesboro Pediatrics

cough booster. Given at ages 11 and 12, older children who have

not had a tetanus shot in the past five years should also receive it.

✽ Varicella—This vaccination for chicken pox is now recommended

in a second dose at four to six years of age. Older children who

haven’t received a booster should do so as well.

To find an Augusta Medical Center physician to meet your

healthcare needs, visit and select “Physicians.”

two Augusta Medical Center



In this special feature, three doctors on staff at Augusta Medical Center answer common questions about

pre-term labor, heat stroke, and tick bites.

Q: My sister delivered both her babies prematurely.

I’m seven months pregnant with my first child and

I’m afraid I might go into pre-term labor as well. Is

there any way to prevent pre-term labor?

(Daniel McMillan, MD, is a board-certified OB/GYN at Augusta

Medical Center/Augusta Health Care for Women.)

A: First of all, know

that there isn’t a lot of

correlation between family

medical history and

pre-term labor. Just because

your sister delivered prematurely

doesn’t mean you will

as well.

Worrying and stress

aren’t good for your baby,

so the best way to set your

mind at ease is to share your

concerns with your doctor.

He or she can perform a

number of tests and review your personal medical history to determine

if there are any indications that pre-term labor could occur.

Q: I’m concerned about my son playing outside

when the temperature is so high. How do I know

when my child is getting too hot?

(Steven W. Mumbauer, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician at Augusta

Medical Center/Waynesboro Pediatrics.)

A: On hot summer days,

it is possible for children

to get overheated. This

can cause fatigue, nausea,

vomiting, dehydration,

and—in severe cases—even

heatstroke. Take a few

precautions to keep your

child safe:

• Make sure kids drink

plenty of water.

• Dress children in light-

colored clothing and try

to keep them in the shade

as much as possible.

• Try to plan vigorous play for cooler times of the day, such as

before noon and after 6 p.m.

• If children look flushed and sweaty, bring them inside to the

air conditioning or in front of a fan, give them a cool drink,

and make them rest for a while.

Q: A friend of mine contracted Lyme Disease

after a recent camping trip. What is the condition and

how do you get it?

(Shelley Snodgrass, MD, is a board-certified internist on staff at Augusta

Medical Center/AMC Skyline Internal Medicine.)

A: Lyme disease is a

tick-borne illness that

causes symptoms ranging

from a rash and flu-like

fever to joint swelling

and extreme fatigue. Deer

ticks, which can look like a

dirt speck or freckle on the

skin, harbor and spread

the disease when feeding

on the blood of a human

or animal.

You’re most likely to get

Lyme disease if you spend

part of your time in grassy or heavily wooded areas where ticks are

common. To reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease, wear

long pants and sleeves in wooded areas, apply insect repellant with

DEET to your skin and clothing, and always check yourself and

children for ticks after being outdoors.

If you are bitten by a tick and exhibit signs of Lyme disease, see

your physician immediately for effective treatment.

To find an Augusta Medical Center physician to meet your

healthcare needs, visit and select “Physicians.”

Augusta Medical Center


✽ Allergy Alert—

What You Need to Know


Tissue, Anyone?

Allergies are the body’s overreaction

to substances, such as pollen, mold,

dust, and insect or pet dander. Allergy

symptoms vary as the body works

to eliminate common material that a

sensitive immune system classifies

as irritants.

The American Academy of Family

Physicians lists these common

allergy symptoms:

• dark circles under the eyes

• ear stuffiness and popping

• hives

• itchy eyes, nose, and roof of the mouth

• pressure in the nose and cheeks

• runny nose

• sneezing

• stuffy nose

• watery eyes

If itchy, watery eyes are interfering with your golf, softball, or

tennis game, it may be time to seek help from a physician for

seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies affect

approximately 40 million Americans

each year. As the weather heats

up, the growing season is also the

blowing season, spelling trouble for

allergy sufferers.

“Summer allergens can be problematic

in our area because airborne

pollen is blown throughout the

Shenandoah Valley and is trapped by

mountains on either side,” says Muriel

N. Langouet-Astrie, MD, allergist on

staff at Augusta Medical Center. “Tree

pollen—a typical spring allergen—may

still be an irritant in the summer, but

more common culprits are grass pollen,

mold, and ragweed.”


Often the best way to relieve allergy

symptoms is avoidance. Mold can

be problematic as soon as the threat

of snow has passed. Limit exposure

to mold by removing houseplants,

checking for water in basements and other

mold-growing areas, and cleaning trashcans,

bathroom walls and windows, and shower

curtains frequently.

Airborne allergens can be more difficult

to avoid because the source is rarely in our

control. However, there are some strategies that

can help you limit your exposure to airborne

allergens during the summer months.

Keep windows closed at home or in the

car, relying on your air conditioner to

filter air from the outside.

Use a high efficiency particulate air

(HEPA) filter in your air conditioning

system to better remove allergens from

your indoor air.

Avoid air-drying clothes or towels.

Take a shower before bedtime to remove

pollen in your hair and on your skin.

Avoid using window and attic fans,

which can increase indoor pollen levels.

Engage in outdoor activities after a rain

has reduced the amount of pollen in

the air.


Mild allergy symptoms can be relieved

temporarily by using over-the-counter

medications, including antihistamines

and decongestants. There are also many

prescription remedies to choose from that

may help. However, seasonal allergy sufferers

with more intense symptoms will benefit from

identifying their allergic triggers, and some

may benefit greatly from immunotherapy.

Given in the form of shots, immunotherapy

helps the body build up immunity to

allergens, lessening the duration and severity

of symptoms and discomfort.

“Seasonal allergies can interfere with quality

of life, especially for those who regularly spend

time outdoors,” says Dr. Langouet-Astrie.

“Allergists can offer treatments to decrease

your allergy symptoms and prevent the more

serious complications of allergies, asthma,

and sinusitis.”

To make an appointment with Dr.

Langouet-Astrie, call (540) 941-8603.

Muriel N. Langouet-Astrie, MD—Allergy Asthma Center

Augusta Medical Center

X-STOP the Pain

For those with lumbar spinal stenosis, leaning forward on a shopping cart

or sitting down may relieve your back pain temporarily, but a new

option in spine surgery may provide long-term relief.

Each year, more than 1 million Americans are

diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis—narrowing

of the spinal canal, which compresses nerves of the

lower back and causes pain and numbness radiating into the

legs. While degeneration of the spine is more common as we

age, no one should have to suffer with chronic back pain.

“Spine surgery is considered for patients with

significant symptoms of pain and disability when

conservative treatment, such as anti-inflammatory

medications, physical therapy, and epidurals have

failed to provide relief,” says Matthew Pollard,

MD, spine surgeon on staff at Augusta Medical Center. “The

Matthew Pollard, MD—The Spine Center X-STOP® procedure is a great alternative for patients who cannot

tolerate the general anesthesia required for a laminectomy—considered the surgical standard of care

for lumbar spinal stenosis.”


The X-STOP, minimally invasive procedure uses a small incision in the skin to insert an

implant made from a titanium alloy. The implant is designed to open the space between spinous

processes—the bumps down your back—to relieve pressure on the nerve, easing back pain.

Available on an outpatient basis, the X-STOP procedure is reversible because no bone or soft

tissue removal is required. The procedure takes about an hour to complete, is associated with a

low rate of complications, and requires only local anesthesia and one night’s stay in the hospital.

Patients can resume regular activities in six weeks, where recovery from a laminectomy can be eight

weeks or more.

“Current studies show the X-STOP procedure has been better than conservative treatment in

relieving patient symptoms,” says Dr. Pollard. “However, I am committed to finding the best solution

from a broad spectrum of very effective treatment options to improve my patients’ lives.”

For more information about Augusta Medical Center’s surgical services, visit or Dr. Pollard can be reached at The Spine Center by calling (540) 221-7400. Product photo and illustration courtesy of X-STOP ®

Watch Your Back

Staying in good physical condition is one way to avoid back pain. Here are some tips for a

strong, healthy back:

• Exercise regularly to increase back strength and endurance. Choose low-impact aerobic

activities, such as walking and swimming, to avoid jarring or straining your back.

• Improve muscle strength and flexibility to protect your back. A strong core comprised

of back and abdominal muscles that work together holds your back in alignment. Flexibility

in your upper legs and hips helps align your pelvic bones, improving how your back feels.

• Quit smoking to maximize oxygen levels in your spinal tissue. Nicotine and smoke cause

the spine to degenerate more quickly.

• Maintain a healthy weight to minimize strain on your back muscles.

Augusta Medical Center

fi ve


What is Your RISK?

Skin cancer can develop for a number of reasons depending

on the type. Review the following list of factors that may play a

role in its development.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

• fair skin

• family history

• history of severe sunburns during youth

• personal history

• sun exposure


• certain types of moles with irregular


• fair skin

• family history

• freckles

• history of severe sunburns during youth

• personal history of sunburn

Education about skin cancer can go a long way in helping to prevent

the disease. To reduce your risk, the American Academy of Dermatology

recommends wearing sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at

least 30, even on cloudy days, and reapplying to dry skin every two hours.

Also, wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors,

refrain from using tanning beds, and avoid direct sun exposure between 10

a.m. and 4 p.m. If you desire a tan, spray-on and liquid products can help

you achieve a healthy glow.

“No tan is a safe tan, and the more fair your skin is, the more detrimental

the sun’s effects are,” says Cynthia Dent, MD, dermatologist at Blue

Ridge Dermatology with privileges at Augusta Medical Center. “Avoid sun

exposure as much as possible and seek shade. If you notice any suspicious

areas on your skin, contact your dermatologist immediately.”

Don’t Let

Skin Cance


Because skin cancer is an ever-increasing health

concern, patients should take proper precautions

to prevent the disease or detect it early for the

best outcomes.

BT he risk of developing skin cancer has

never been greater. In fact, the Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) estimates that one in five Americans

will develop some form of the disease. With

this statistic in mind, protecting yourself and

those you love from harmful ultraviolet (UV)

rays has never been more important.

“Sun exposure can occur anywhere, including

through windows in your car or home and

on cloudy days,” says Kristen Savola, MD,

medical director of cosmetic dermatology at

Augusta Medical Center’s La Vie Medi-Spa. “It is important to wear

a good moisturizer that has a sunblock with a sun protection

factor (SPF) of 30 or greater every day to prevent the

damaging effects.”

Know Your ABCDs

Cancerous lesions on the skin are

typically identified by four characteristics

called the ABCDs—asymmetry, border

irregularity, color change, and diameter.

If you notice a suspicious area, contact

your physician.

Cynthia Dent, MD—

Blue Ridge Dermatology

Kristen Savola, MD—La Vie Medi-Spa


Skin cancer develops in one of three forms, the most

common of which is called basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

The condition usually appears as small, translucent

bumps with broken blood vessels on the head or neck,

Augusta Medical Center

Take You by Surprise

but it may develop on other areas of the body as well. Skin cancer is

linked closely to sun exposure, tends to develop slowly over time, and

generally does not spread. While this form of cancer has a high cure rate

when detected early, it can destroy the skin and damage the underlying

area, potentially resulting in disfigurement if left untreated.


This type of skin cancer is the second most common form. It usually

develops as red, scaly patches on the skin—usually on the head or

neck—and may be identified early as precancerous lesions called actinic

keratoses (AKs), which form as scaly or crusty bumps on the skin’s

surface. Unlike BCC, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can develop into

large masses and spread to other areas of the body. Also related to sun

exposure, this form of cancer can ultimately lead to death but may be

cured if detected and treated early.


While melanoma is the most rare type of skin cancer, it is also the

fastest growing and most deadly. In fact, the CDC suggests more

than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma.

Melanoma can occur as a result of sun exposure over time or may

run in families. It usually forms as a thin lesion or irregularly shaped

mole with color variations and can occur anywhere on the body.

It also can spread to areas such as the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver.

quick tip


Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always

curable when caught early, and treatment

depends largely on the type of cancer and how

extensively it has developed. Precancerous

lesions like AKs can be treated with liquid

nitrogen spray, which freezes the area and may

prevent the lesion from growing back. They

can also be treated with topical creams that

destroy the pre-malignant cells or boost the

immune system’s ability to eliminate them.

Cancerous areas often are removed surgically

or by numbing and scraping the lesions off

the skin. While melanoma may be removed if

a variety of options

La Vie Medi-Spa and Cosmetic Center

offers a number of preventive and

cosmetic treatments for skin cancer.

We have several sunblock options for all

skin types, in addition to custom-blended

mineral makeup that offers excellent

coverage and sun protection benefits.

Our facials and chemical peels help to

reduce brown spots by removing dead

skin and promoting new cell growth, and

laser treatments and the Obagi skincare

line are available to treat redness and

discoloration due to sun damage.

Blue Ridge Dermatology has four boardcertified

dermatologists who specialize in

medical and surgical dermatology with an

emphasis on skin cancer prevention and

detection. They treat all ages, from the

very young to the elderly.

Jane Lynch, MD—

Blue Ridge Dermatology

caught early, it becomes more serious if it spreads throughout the body

because it is unresponsive to chemotherapy treatment.

“While skin cancer can invade areas beneath the skin, it may take

many years to become life threatening,” says Jane Lynch, board-certified

dermatologist and dermatopathologist at Blue Ridge Dermatology with

privileges at AMC. “To catch it early, patients should regularly examine

their skin and take note of any areas that appear crusted, red, scaly, or

irregularly pigmented.”

For more information about skin cancer visit If you

suspect a lesion, contact Cosmetic Dermatology at Augusta Medical Center

La Vie Medi-Spa by calling (540) 941-2531, or Blue Ridge Dermatology

at (540) 949-6934.

You may have heard sunlight is good because it helps the body produce vitamin D. Rather than getting sun

exposure, take a supplement or consume fortified dairy foods to help ensure you get the nutrients you need.

Augusta Medical Center



Fit for Life?

The Basics of



If you have a medical condition

for which exercise or lifestyle

classes offered at the Lifetime

Center at AMC would be

beneficial, speak with your

physician about a referral to

one of the medical programs.

Physicians in the area can

carry the referral pad in their

pocket and mark recommended

programs on the pre-printed

pad. Bring the recommendation

page to Lifetime Fitness

and receive a discount on

enrollment, as well as the ability

to try out services for up to

three months without signing an

annual contract.

Whether you’re recovering from a

heart attack or facing cancer, the

Lifetime Center at Augusta Medical

Center (AMC) has a program for you.

The Lifetime Center at AMC offers a

variety of classes and programs designed to help

patients combat the effects of disease and restore

themselves to better health. The Lifetime staff

works alongside AMC physicians to put patients

on the road to recovery.

“When we were planning the Lifetime Center,

we proposed that it was part of AMC’s mission

to treat all aspects of individuals in addition to

the physical aspect,” says Donald R. Fowler, MD,

FACS, Lifetime Center at AMC medical director.

“This center has been the ideal way to realize this

goal. We work with patients to help ease their

minds and heal their bodies.”


Tai Chi is taught at the center as a medical

specialty class for diabetes, arthritis, and cancer

patients. The movements involved in class help

the body in a variety of ways.

“Tai Chi classes increase heart and lung

function, relieve stress and depression, and

improve balance and posture,” says Tom Muncy,

grandmaster in martial arts. “When you involve

patients in their own health, they feel better.”

Patient Michael Spence and exercise physiologist Angela

Kaltenborn, MS, ACSM-HFI, NCSF-CPT, talk while she takes

his blood pressure during a workout at the Lifetime Center

at AMC.

Michael Spence has first-hand knowledge

of the many benefits of Tai Chi. Spence, who

retired from the U.S. Army in 1988, was jolted

a few years ago by his doctor’s diagnosis of

border-line diabetes. He originally signed up to

use the fitness equipment at the Lifetime Center

at AMC but soon found himself attracted to the

Tai Chi classes.

“I thought Tai Chi might be something I’d

really enjoy, so I joined the class and I’ve been

attending twice a week ever since,” says Michael.

“Since starting Tai Chi, I’ve dropped 30 pounds,

gotten off my cholesterol medication, and

avoided medication for my diabetes. I’m in the

best shape I’ve been in since I was in the Army.”


Several programs are available to restore

function and fitness to the body after an illness

or injury. Physicians can refer patients directly

to the Lifetime Center at AMC by marking a

pre-printed recommendation prescription pad

and sending it along to the center. Patients

referred by a physician require no clearance

forms at a later date and receive a discount on

enrollment fees.

Medical programming available at the Lifetime

Center at AMC includes:

Transition—1, 2, or 3 month plans to help

therapy or rehab patients continue reaching goals

Donald R. Fowler, MD , FACS, Lifetime Center at AMC

medical director

eight Augusta Medical Center


clip this coupon

for a free class

Do you have a medical condition

for which exercise or lifestyle

classes offered at the Lifetime

Center at AMC may help? If so,

speak with your physician and then

present this coupon to try three

of our medical programming

classes free of charge!

4 Weeks to Independence—programs

offered either in water or out, designed on

an individual basis by an exercise physiologist

to help patients continue therapy goals and

regain function and fitness

Client Training Plus—one-on-one

supervised exercise program for individuals

with medical conditions or those discharged

from physical therapy but unable to exercise

on their own

Caretaker Training—program teaches

caregivers how to use the equipment at the

Lifetime Center to better assist the person

being cared for

Medical Nutrition—program to teach

you a healthy diet specific to individual

medical conditions, including individualized

nutrition and dietary analysis

Medical Adolescent—children ages 8–

12 with chronic ailments—including an

excessive BMI, orthopedic or metabolic

concerns, or other diseases—can be added to

a parent’s membership by a physician’s referral

Fitness Rx Kids—an eight-week exercise

program for children ages 8–12 and 13–

16, consisting of two organized exercise

sessions with a certified trainer each week

and a nutritional session with their registered

dietitian, Julie Wright, once weekly

Lifetime Center classes aren’t limited to

just members. If you’re interested in more information

about classes, contact Sharon Stitler at

(540) 332-5571. For information about medical

programming, including transition classes,

call Angela Kaltenborn at (540) 332-5527.

Just for Kids

As childhood obesity continues to become more prevalent in

the United States, instilling healthy eating and exercise habits

in your kids has never been more important. The Center at AMC

has two programs designed to help meet the specific needs

of children.

‚ Medical adolescent policy—Children

between the ages of 13 and 16 are allowed to

utilize the Lifetime Center at AMC’s equipment

and services under their parents’ membership by

a physician’s referral. Previously, children under age 13

were not allowed into the facility.

A recent change in policy now allows children ages 8–12

to be added to a parent’s membership if the child meets certain

criteria, including a body mass index (BMI) between the 85th and

100th percentiles, orthopedic or metabolic concerns, or chronic diseases

as diagnosed by a physician.

Fitness Rx Kids program—The The Lifetime Center at AMC offers an eightweek

exercise program for children ages 8–12 and 13–16. This program

offers children two organized exercise sessions with a certified personal

trainer each week and a nutritional session with registered dietitian Julie

Wright once weekly.

Parents are encouraged to attend throughout the program, because the

emphasis of the program is on making lifestyle changes, rather than on weight

loss. Families who make changes to diet and fitness together are more likely to

stick with healthy habits.

A Different Sort of MEDICINE

It took Deke Cripe five heart attacks to realize that he needed to take significant steps toward

better health. Cripe, now a certified yoga instructor at the Lifetime Center at AMC, credits yoga with

restoring his health and saving his life.

“Yoga and traditional medicine go hand-in-hand,” Cripe says. “In traditional medicine when you

have a problem with an organ or muscle, the specific area is treated and health is restored. With

yoga, you treat the entire body by bringing the body into a state of positive health, maximizing the

body’s ability to heal itself.”

The Lifetime Center at AMC offers medical specialty classes in cardiac yoga for heart patients, as

well as yoga therapy for multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia sufferers.

“When I went into teaching, I looked far and wide to find a medical program with appropriate

facilities,” says Cripe. “Hands down, AMC was the only place I was interested in, because the

facilities are excellent and the support is so great.”

Cripe and his work are featured in a documentary on yoga released May 1. The documentary,

“Living Yoga,” includes Dean Ornish and Dr. Mehmet Oz and was featured on Oprah.

For more information about the documentary or the health benefits of yoga, visit

Augusta Medical Center


Keeping Young Athletes

When Injuries


If an injury causes severe pain,

swelling, or numbness, or your child

can’t tolerate putting weight on the area,

you should take the child to a healthcare

provider. Pain that persists for a couple

weeks or seems to get worse over time

is also a signal to seek medical attention.

For less serious injuries, there are

things to do at home to relieve the

pain and aid the healing process.

• Make sure your child rests. Cut

back physical activity levels to only

what is necessary for daily living.

Provide a cane or crutches to take

pressure off injured ankles and legs.

• Keep ice on the area. Apply for 20

minutes at a time, four to eight times a

day. Don’t keep the ice on for more than

20 minutes or frostbite could occur.

• Wrap it up. Compressing the injury

with an elastic wrap, boot, air cast,

or splints can help reduce swelling.

• Put it up. Whenever possible, elevate

the injured area on a pillow above the

heart. This also reduces swelling.

Keeping SCORE

The annual number of sports-related injuries involving

children ages 5 through 14 years includes:

* Football: 448,200

* Basketball: 574,000

* Baseball: 252,665

* Soccer: 227,100

Involving your child in sports is a great way to prevent obesity and form

healthy habits at a young age. Still, it’s important that your child stay

safe. Every year, healthcare providers treat 3.5 million sports-related

injuries in children under the age of 15.

have growing bones and

developing immune systems,” says Robert


Kennedy, MD, physician on staff at

Augusta Medical Center. “These factors make them

prone to injury.”

There are several categories of sports-related injuries

that your child may be at risk for, including:

V Acute Injuries. Caused by sudden trauma, these

include bruises, sprains (partial or complete tear

of a ligament), strains (partial or complete tear of

a muscle or tendon), and fractures.

V Overuse Injuries. Unlike acute injuries, these

happen over a period of time and involve stress

fractures, small muscle tears, tendon problems, or

progressive bone deformities.

V Contact Sports Injuries. Athletes who play

contact sports are at risk for severe injuries,

including concussions, spinal cord and growth

plate injuries.

In many cases, some pre-season preparation and ongoing care methods can help young

athletes lessen their risk of sports-related injuries.

* Hockey: 80,700

* Gymnastics: 75,000

* Volleyball: 50,100

Source: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System

of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

Robert Kennedy, MD —

North Augusta Family Practice


Before the season begins, ensure that your child begins walking or jogging, gradually

increasing duration and intensity to prevent unnecessary strains.

“Vary the routine so the child doesn’t lose interest,” Dr. Kennedy says.

“Encourage him or her to jog one mile a week, bike, do pool exercises, or

swim. Mix these with sport-specific activities, but be sure to keep the

activities fun.”

Always encourage your child to sit out a game if he or she is

very tired or in pain.

Use every opportunity to strengthen weak areas. For

example, standing on one leg while brushing teeth can

strengthen young ankles prone to twists and sprains and

improve balance. A previously injured area is more likely

to be injured again.

Ensure that your child is familiar with the rules of

the game and that he or she plays by them. Check her

protective gear: is the child wearing everything he or she

needs to be? Is the equipment in good condition, and does

it fit properly?

ten Augusta Medical Center

Healthy and Safe


Flexibility is especially important to growing athletes, as growth spurts can diminish

your child’s ability to stretch. Your child should always warm up for several minutes before

stretching, as warm muscles stretch better than ones that have been inactive. Stretches should

be held for 15 to 30 seconds and repeated at least once.


“Many athletes get lulled into a false sense of security because they think all they need to

do is drink plenty of water,” Dr. Kennedy says. “If the temperature and humidity are high

and the sun is shining, drinking won’t protect you from heat illness because you can’t sweat

enough to properly cool your body. Children don’t dissipate heat as well as adults.”

Hydration is still important, however. To find out how much water your child should

drink, have him or her weigh herself before and after any exertion. For every pound he

or she loses after a game or practice, the child needs to consume about one pint of water.


While you might be a loyal fan, one person—the trainer—sees your child at every practice,

as well as the games. That’s why it’s important for you and your child to develop a good

relationship with this person.

“The trainer is your child’s first contact,” Dr. Kennedy says. “It’s especially important

with adolescents that a trainer notice any changes or problems. Some children can take a

surprising amount of pain without saying anything.”

To find a physician on staff at AMC, visit

be on the lookout

Collecting information about a child’s physical condition, such as

whether he or she has passed out before or experienced chest pain or

unusual shortness of breath, can help you both be on the lookout for

problems in the future.

“Parents should know there is no evidence that physicals will

prevent sports-related injuries,” says Robert Kennedy, MD, physician

on staff at Augusta Medical Center. “It’s important that parents go

over the personal health history portion on the school form with their

child because the vast majority of problems are found due to the

answers on that form.”

Augusta Medical Center

Mekaela Kaplan, a midfielder and

forward for Stuarts Draft High School,

recognizes the importance of proper

training and conditioning.

Angela Kaltenborn, MS, ACSM-HFI, NCSF-CPT, exercise

physiologist at the Lifetime Center at AMC, helps Averett

University volleyball player Jordan Maubin stay in shape.



reaching out with


The Shenandoah Valley Stroke

Club—sponsored by the Augusta

Medical Center recreational therapy

department—allows stroke survivors to

come together with their family, friends,

and caregivers not only for the support

that is needed after a stroke, but also

to participate in a wide variety of

activities, outings, and trips.

The Stroke Club meets on the

first Friday of each month; time and

location varies. For more information,

please call (540) 332-4047.

Though you might think that there’s nothing physicians can do if

you’re experiencing a stroke, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Physicians at Augusta Medical Center have medications that can

stop and sometimes even reverse a stroke—but only if you get to the

hospital in time.


You Should Know

Though you might think that there’s nothing physicians can do if you’re

experiencing a stroke, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Physicians

at Augusta Medical Center have medications that can stop and sometimes

even reverse a stroke—but only if you get to the hospital in time.



year, about 780,000

Americans experience a new or

recurrent stroke when there is an

interrupted supply of oxygen-rich blood to

the brain. When this happens, the brain cells

begin dying at a rate of almost 2 million per

minute, causing permanent damage, disability,

and even death in patients.

“Time is literally brain power when you experience

a stroke, because more damage occurs

with each minute you delay treatment,” says

Janet McAllister, RNC, case manager at AMC.

It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate



If you or a loved one experience stroke

symptoms—sudden loss of balance, slurred

speech, numbness, or weakness (especially

on one side of the body), vision problems, or

headaches—it’s critical to get to the emergency

department at AMC as quickly as possible.

That’s because at AMC, our physicians can

provide patients with a clot-busting medication

called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA),

which can break down the clot and restore

blood flow to the brain as well as address

other important medical issues associated with

stroke evaluation and management..

“tPA is a useful drug, but the medication is

only indicated for patients who are diagnosed

with an ischemic stroke within three hours

of the onset of symptoms,” says Robert

McMahon, MD, neurologist and stroke team

medical director for AMC. “If you arrive at the

hospital more than three hours after the stroke

begins—or you wake up with stroke symptoms

and don’t know when they started—then tPA

shouldn’t be used.”

In order to reduce the time it takes to diagnose

a stroke and make more patients eligible for tPA,

AMC staff have developed a stroke team that

twelve Augusta Medical Center

community education

In order to teach the community about reducing their risk for strokes and identifying

stroke symptoms, the stroke team at Augusta Medical Center regularly provides stroke

information at club meetings, health fairs, and other events in the community.

If you have a group that would be interested in an informational program, please contact

Janet McAllister at (540) 332-4239.

about Strokes

follows formal stroke treatment protocols for

the immediate evaluation and management of

stroke. When this team is alerted by emergency

department physicians, the hospital’s radiology

department, laboratory, and neurologists are

immediately notified so the patient can be

promptly evaluated.

“Our goal is to have the patient evaluated by

the ER physician, labs drawn, and computed

tomography (CT) scans performed as soon as

possible so we can view the image and learn if

the patient is experiencing an ischemic stroke or

some other neurologic process,” Dr. McMahon

says. “If the patient is diagnosed with an

ischemic stroke, has arrived at the hospital well

within three hours of the onset of symptoms,

and is a candidate for tPA, then we can get the

neurologist to start the tPA to hopefully stop

the stroke.”

Even if a patient is not a candidate for

tPA, it is still important to reach the hospital

well within the three-hour time frame, as

there are additional medical evaluations and

interventions that can limit the damage and

disability associated with stroke.



While not all patients can benefit from tPA,

AMC still has programs in place that can help

stroke survivors. Because stroke is the leading

cause of permanent disability in the United

States, a nurse case manager coordinates the

care of stroke patients while they’re still in

the hospital to ensure that they’re getting the

immediate physical therapy, occupational

therapy, speech therapy, and recreational

therapy they need.

“If patients can be discharged home after

their stay, we can make arrangements for the

patient to either come back to the hospital for

outpatient rehabilitation or we can arrange for

home health to provide therapy,” McAllister

says. “If patients are ready to leave the acute

care setting after their stroke—yet they’re not

ready to go home—we have an inpatient

neuro-rehabilitation unit that will allow

them to get the continued therapy they need.”

If you’re experiencing stroke symptoms,

call 911 and ask to be taken to Augusta

Medical Center.

Janet McAllister, RNC, case manager at AMC

far left: Robert McMahon, MD, neurologist and

stroke team medical director for AMC


While tissue plasminogen activator

(tPA) is a valuable tool in the battle against

stroke, the most important thing patients

can do is reduce their risks for developing

a stroke in the first place.

You can’t change some stroke risk

factors—such as your age, family history,

race, gender, and prior history of strokes—

but you can control, treat, or change these

risk factors:

• High blood pressure and cholesterol.

If you have high blood pressure or

cholesterol, talk to your physician about

controlling them with medication, diet

changes, and exercise.

• Smoking. The carbon monoxide and

nicotine in cigarettes can damage the

cardiovascular system, so try to quit

smoking now.

• Diabetes. The weight issues, high blood

pressure, and cardiovascular problems

associated with diabetes increase your

risk for stroke. Keep your diabetes—and

its related conditions—under control.

• Heart conditions. Atrial fibrillation, heart

failure, and other forms of heart conditions

can increase your risk for stroke.

• Arterial disease (atherosclerosis).

When plaque builds up in the arteries, it

makes it difficult for blood to flow to the

entire body—including the brain.

• Poor lifestyle decisions. A bad diet

with excess calories, fat, and sodium

increases your risk, as does inactivity.

Augusta Medical Center


MEDication SAFEty

This card allows you to carry your medication information with you at all times.

It provides a record that can be used to help your doctor, pharmacist, or any other

healthcare professional, be aware of the medications you are taking and provide

the care you need in a safer manner.

Cut along dotted line. Fold and keep in your wallet with insurance card for

easy reference.





Health Problems_____________________________________________





















It’s a Matter of Safety

Medicine is supposed to help you, but it can actually be

harmful if it’s the wrong kind, administered in the wrong

doses, or given at the wrong time. Here’s what you

should know to ensure your safety.

Although your physician can help by answering

questions and ensuring you understand your medication

prescriptions, there are a number of steps you can take to

help prevent medicine errors. Here are just a few.

✽ Keep an updated medication list with you at all times. Your

medication list should include all of the medications you are taking,

how frequently, and in what amounts.

“When patients come into the hospital they may not see their

personal physician, and if they don’t know what medications

they’re on, it can be very difficult to track that information down,”

says Dianne Moody, RN, BSN, CWON, director of the surgery

unit at Augusta Medical Center. The danger is that patients might

miss a medication that is important to their treatment, or, because

some medications can be used to treat more than one condition,

their attending physician may not know why they are taking

each medication.”

✽ Always keep medicines in their original dispensing containers.

When you remove your prescription pills from their pharmacy

containers, it makes them much more difficult to identify.

Pharmacy bottles state important information such as the name of

the medication, patient’s name, dose amount, and how and when

to take them.

✽ Make sure your physician has an accurate list of all the

medications you are taking. This can help ensure your physician

won’t double up on your medications or prescribe one that will

interact negatively with another medication you are already on.

✽ Be an active member of your healthcare team. The single most

important way you can help prevent medical errors is by asking

questions and being proactive in your health care.

fourteen Augusta Medical Center

Exercise your brain, but don’t work too hard. Answers to the

summer crossword puzzle can be found throughout the pages

of Health Matters.


5 One of the characteristics that helps identify cancerous lesions

on the skin.

7 One in five Americans will develop some form of the disease.

8 _____________-busting medication called tissue plasminogen

activator (tPA) can restore blood flow to the brain after a stroke.

9 Metal used in the X-STOP ® spinal implant.

10 This kind of tick, which can look like a dirt speck or freckle on

the skin, harbors and spreads Lyme disease when feeding on

the blood of a human or animal.



In addition to carrying your own updated medication list,

it’s a good idea to give a copy to a family member.

• If you’re not sure what medications you’re on, your

pharmacy can print you an accurate list.


1 There are 574,000 sports-related injuries for this sport, involving

children ages 5 through 14 years.

2 Removing prescription pills from these containers can make

them much more difficult to identify.

3 Tai Chi classes increase heart and lung function, relieve stress

and depression, and improve posture and this.

4 One of several allergy symptoms.

Additional Medication Safety Tips

• If you don’t understand something, ask. Most

pharmacists are more than happy to sit down and go

over your prescriptions and prescription list with you

when you pick up your medication.

Name Date

(Key # 1 - 997281)

Summer Breeze

Complete the crossword puzzle.


DOWN, continued









ANSWERS: Please visit for this puzzle’s solution.

6 Young athletes should warm up before stretching for several minutes by jogging in place

or doing this.

8 In hot weather, try to plan vigorous play for these times of the day, such as before noon

and after 6 p.m.

9 New tetanus and whooping cough booster.

Augusta Medical Center


fi fteen

An Escape That’s Close to Home

DO YOU STRIVE to look your best? Are you looking

for ways to fi ght the signs of aging?

Or, do you simply deserve some pampering?

Look no further. Trust La Vie Medi-Spa Center for Skin Health

and Aesthetic Dermatology for all your image enhancement needs.

From Botox to body treatments…

From Restylane and other dermal fi llers to relaxing massage…

From laser skin resurfacing to laser hair removal…

From correct facial treatments to custom blended

mineral make-up…

Whatever your desire, Kristen Savola, MD, and her

professionally qualifi ed staff are here to help because

we understand that self-image matters.

Call (540) 213-2546 or (540) 213-2531

for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Augusta Health Care, Inc.

78 Medical Center Drive

PO Box 1000

Fishersville, VA 22939

Nonprofi t Organization

US Postage


Lynchburg, VA

Permit No. 830

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