Thursday, April 30, 2009

Occupational therapy can be a rewarding career

by Sophia Tasoulis

April is Occupational Therapy Month. The occupational therapists at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore kicked off the month with a demonstration booth near the cafeteria at Sinai on April 6, educating the public and Sinai employees about the vital role occupational therapy plays here.

There are 20 occupational therapists on the staff at Sinai Hospital. Occupational therapists can be found working throughout the hospital - we treat everyone, from the tiniest newborns in the NICU to geriatric patients.

Overall, occupational therapists tend to focus on making their patients as independent and as safe as possible through a variety of treatment options. Some of the occupational therapies we employ include:
  • activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming and toileting
  • coordination of the upper extremities
  • balance and functional mobility
  • assisting with equipment adaptations
  • safety
  • vision and perception
  • sensation education
  • work conditioning
  • energy conservation techniques
  • safe driving techniques
  • home modification
  • building strength and endurance
The demand for occupational therapy has increased and it is currently ranked as one of the hottest jobs in health care, especially with the aging of the baby boomer generation.

The job has many perks. It is rewarding to see patients make progress, regain their independence and return to a productive lifestyle as soon as possible. Occupational therapists form strong bonds with patients and their families, as well as their peers on the treatment team, all of whom are committed to helping our patients achieve a maximum level of function.

For more information about career opportunities in occupational therapy, click here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jewish Convalescent and Nursing Home in Baltimore gets new name

Jewish Convalescent & Nursing Home, part of LifeBridge Health, has been renamed Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center to reflect the change in its admission policy to include non-Jewish residents.

“Recent analysis showed that the demand for long-term care services within the Baltimore-area Jewish community would be insufficient to maintain Jewish Convalescent’s Jewish-only census,” said Ron Rothstein, vice-president of post acute services for LifeBridge Health and president of Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. “The new name better explains the expanded resident enrollment that was instituted in 2007, when the center was opened to people of all faiths.”

Although some changes have already been made and more will follow, Courtland Garden’s Jewish residents will continue to share in the traditions of living a Jewish lifestyle with kosher food, worship services and holiday celebrations. Christian observances are also being held.

Courtland Gardens is one of the few long-term care centers that has a physician, and nurse practitioners as permanent members of its medical staff. They provide instant care and consult with residents’ personal doctors if that need arises. They also work closely with Courtland Gardens’ registered nurses and geriatric nursing assistants to provide seamless care and a stimulating, safe environment for the residents.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore physician performs rare single-incision surgery for weight loss

Alex Gandsas, M.D., M.B.A., head of the Division of Bariatric & Minimally Invasive Surgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, successfully completed a weight loss operation known as “gastric sleeve” using a single keyhole incision.

“It is a very complicated procedure. Usually this type of surgery takes four to six incisions,” Gandsas said.

The gastric sleeve is a relatively new approach in bariatric surgery. It involves the removal of up to 85 percent of the stomach. Although the stomach is smaller, its function remains the same. The surgery, which Gandsas performed this month, is believed to be the first successful single-incision laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SILS) performed in Maryland.

“The less incisions, the better it is for the patients,” Gandsas said.

The patient, a 26-year-old female who weighed 275 pounds, agreed to the surgery because one incision means less scarring, less pain and a faster recovery.

“I had tried dieting but it just wasn’t happening,” she said.

The Howard County, Maryland, resident knows the surgery is a step in the right direction but it is not a quick fix.

“I still will diet and exercise and focus on good nutrition,” she said.

With the combination of the surgery and lifestyle changes, she is looking forward to a smaller and healthier body.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The sweet sound of tweeting success

Did you know LifeBridge Health has a Twitter account? In fact, we now have more than 800 followers on Twitter, making us the No. 17 Twitter account in Baltimore, and the No. 10 hospital account on

Just a reminder that if you have news fit for public consumption about any aspect of LifeBridge Health or know of free health resources (screenings, tips, quizzes, etc.), e-mail Holly Hosler at

And to follow us on Twitter, click here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Domestic violence help is a call away

Everyday this week there have been stories on the news about murder-suicides of entire families. These difficult economic times can cause additional stress in healthy and unhealthy homes. In an abusive relationship, the abuse can become more severe.

Please contact the Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital if you need help at 410-521-7555.

Maryland's leading brain and spine center gets new name

LifeBridge Health’s one-of-its-kind consortium of specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, physical medicine, rehabilitation and several other subspecialties has a new name: Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute.

“The comprehensive services offered at the Institute are helping a wide range of individuals with ailments ranging from back pain to brain injury and much more. We are pleased to be associated with an Institute where such ground-breaking research and treatment takes place on a daily basis,” said Sandra Berman who along with husband Malcolm presented the Institute with a very generous donation.

“The entire LifeBridge Health community is grateful to the Bermans for their significant gift,” said Warren Green, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health. “Their contribution will go far in continuing to aid those seeking help with neurological disorders.”

The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, with programs at Sinai Hospital and Northwest Hospital, offers a full range of services for brain, spine and peripheral nervous system diseases including sophisticated diagnostic techniques, state-of-the-art surgical modalities and comprehensive rehabilitation programs.

At the Institute, which first opened in 2007, patients undergo a complete evaluation to aid in diagnosis. Patients are referred to a team of dedicated physicians and medical staff who develop a proper plan of treatment and/or procedures for diseases of and injuries to the brain, nervous system and spine.

The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute seamlessly integrates the three aspects of care – the initial diagnosis, surgery and post-operative rehabilitation – for a better experience for the patient.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

LifeBridge Health celebrates Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone! To commemorate the occasion, I thought I'd share a recent Bridge employee newsletter story about LifeBridge Health's efforts to go green:

“It's not easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog. But then again, the popular Muppet never met Lewis Poe, director of Maintenance at LifeBridge Health.

With some help from his colleagues, Lewis is turning LifeBridge Health centers green by making them more environmentally friendly.

In an effort to support our community and reduce our environmental footprint, LifeBridge has adopted a comprehensive set of policies to promote green initiatives in the following areas: community consciousness, emissions reduction, employee education, energy consumption, environmentally friendly products, recycling and waste management.

For our “green teams” to succeed, employees must also educate our patients, residents and their family members. “Every little bit and big bit counts,” says Lewis.

Sinai’s program is in its fifth year, and Levindale kicked off its major push in 2007. Last year, Northwest Hospital completely shut down its medical waste incinerator. Jewish Convalescent is already separating non-infectious and infectious waste.

LifeBridge Health continues making changes for two main reasons, says Lewis. “First, it's the right thing to do for our planet and for the future of our children. Second, it will save the company money.”

All waste at Sinai and Northwest hospitals used to be burned in incinerators, which contributed to air pollution. But according to Lewis, LifeBridge Health is now taking advantage of opportunities to get rid of waste in ways that benefit the environment.

One such method is separating infectious and the non-infectious waste. To help put new programs into place, LifeBridge Health is working with Reduction in Motion, a company with waste management expertise.

“Infectious waste is now sterilized and turned into steam, using equipment called an autoclave,” says Bill Griffin from Reduction In Motion. “The steam generated is harvested and sold as energy to heat and cool buildings in Baltimore.”

Non-infectious waste is recycled.

To help people with their choices, garbage bags are color-coded. Red bags are for infectious waste, and clear bags are for everything else.

“Non-infectious personal hygiene products compromise the majority of waste at Levindale. However before the program began, 84 percent of the waste was being thrown away in infectious bags. Now that employees know the difference, we think that just 10 percent of Levindale’s garbage will end up classified as infectious,” Lewis explains.

Behind the scenes, Levindale's food and nutrition workers are now composting. Leftover items, such as fruits, vegetables and bones, are picked up nightly and taken for organic decomposition, which, in turn, fertilizes soil. Sinai is also about to start composting.

Sinai was the first institution to partner with Baltimore city for the Tree Baltimore program. Thirty trees were planted to beautify the campus and help reduce greenhouse gases. And the new, four-story glass atrium at Sinai will feature a green roof.

By reducing energy consumption through employee education programs, the use of compact fluorescent lighting and automated shut-off processes, LifeBridge Health is saving $393,266.40 each year, Lewis says.

“Our challenge going forward is to continue educating employees on the benefits of recycling, energy reduction and other green initiatives in an attempt to continue to modify behaviors,” Lewis says.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For all you do, this blood's for you

Did you know that up to 70 percent of all medical decisions are influenced or made using clinical laboratory data? Did you know that there are 200 laboratory professionals employed at LifeBridge Health?

National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is April 19 - 25. Why not take a moment to show your appreciation to a laboratory professional? Laboratory professionals will be on hand in a booth in the Old Court Cafe at Northwest Hospital from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 to answer questions and share treats. Stop in!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore names Daniel C. Silverman, M.D., chief medical officer

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore has named Daniel C. Silverman, M.D., as chief medical officer (CMO). It's the first time in the hospital's history that it has a CMO, the result of a long national search.

"I was honored to be asked to assume the new role of chief medical officer," Silverman said. "I am excited to be joining the Sinai family in continuing its long tradition of providing exceptional health care in an environment that embraces a deep and abiding compassion and respect for patients, families and staff, and a great commitment to learning and the advancement of medical knowledge."

Silverman's long list of accomplishments includes CMO of Princeton University, in addition to concurrently serving as the executive director of the school's University Health Services.

He has been associate chairman of the Psychiatry department at Beth Israel Hospital and director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Besides his Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University and Fellow in Medicine and Psychiatry from Harvard University, Silverman holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.

"Dr. Silverman is our first chief medical officer and will be a key member of the executive team," said Neil Meltzer, president and COO of Sinai Hospital and senior vice president of LifeBridge Health. "He brings with him a tremendously strong background in clinical quality and medical leadership. He will be providing a key skill set and knowledge to this organization and be involved in key decisions affecting Sinai Hospital."

HBOT at Northwest Hospital featured on Fox 45 News tonight

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and can it help you and your loved ones?

Find out tonight on Fox 45 News when reporter Melinda Roeder interviews the experts at Northwest Hospital about this amazing program. She also talks with a patient who says HBOT changed her life. It's a "can't miss" cover story.

That's tonight on WBFF TV during the 10 p.m. news.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

LifeBridge Health wins Green Policy award

Breaking news to report today! LifeBridge Health has won the first Green Policy category award at the Baltimore Business Journal's inaugural Green Business awards luncheon. The Green Awards recognize the greenest Baltimore businesses in seven different categories.

LifeBridge Health was recognized for reducing energy costs by nearly $400,000 last year by switching to compact fluorescent lighting in operating rooms, cafeterias, hallways and parking garages and asking employees to turn off lights when leaving rooms.

"Making a valuable impact requires everyone doing their part throughout the system," says Peter Arn, vice president of Capital Improvements for LifeBridge Health. The green process is never over. There's always room for improvement."

A full story on LifeBridge Health's green initiative will be published in tomorrow's editions, but here are some of LifeBridge's green achievements:
  • Increasing the use of recyclable products by 65 percent, or 470,000 pounds, in 2008.
  • Composting 65,000 pounds of food waste.
  • Installing lights that switch off automatically when a room is unoccupied.
  • Construction of a green roof for the atrium topping a six-story addition to Sinai Hospital.
  • Using recycled glass in the floors of the new wing.

Chronic disease self-management program to be held at Northwest Hospital in Baltimore

The Baltimore County Department of Aging will offer a Chronic Disease Self-Management program at Northwest Hospital's Education Center on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., starting April 25. The six-week workshop will provide valuable tools for individuals with a chronic disease in the following areas: exercise, medications, nutrition, frustration, health care communication, future planning, and relaxation methods. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-887-2594.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First laparoscopic ovarian cancer staging procedure performed at Northwest Hospital in Baltimore

Gynecological surgeon David Zisow, M.D., recently performed a laparoscopic procedure to stage a case of ovarian cancer at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown – a first for the hospital. Laparoscopic staging is a procedure that is commonly performed at academic medical centers but rarely at a community hospital like Northwest.

Cancer staging involves a sampling of various body tissues for biopsy and is done to determine the extent and severity of the disease. Ordinarily, women who present with possible ovarian cancer must undergo an extensive and invasive surgical procedure, involving an incision that runs from the bottom of the sternum to the top of the pubic bone. By using the minimally invasive technique, Dr. Zisow was able to take these tissue samples by making five keyhole incisions, each smaller than half an inch.

“It’s becoming more and more evident that patient recovery time is dependent upon the size of the external incisions rather than what is actually done internally to the body,” says Dr. Zisow. “We can perform major surgeries internally, and as long as we make only keyhole-sized incisions, recovery time is reduced.”

It can take six to eight weeks to recover from a traditional ovarian staging procedure. It can take as long as three months before the patient can resume vigorous activity. With the laparoscopic approach, however, the patient can be back to work within just one week and can be doing physically strenuous activity in three weeks.

Good candidates for laparoscopic ovarian and endometrial cancer staging include women who present with early cancer or tumors with low malignant potential and are not obese. If the cancer is suspected to be at a later stage, the procedure is still best done with a large incision.

The procedure was made possible because of Dr. Zisow’s skill with the straight stick laparoscope, which restricts surgeon movement to just three degrees of freedom or movement compared to seven degrees for traditional surgery without a scope.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eating smart in your work cafeteria

I got a late start this morning and didn't have time (or the energy) to pack a lunch. It's raining and unseasonably cold here in Baltimore, and my 2-year daughter decided to wake up at 5 a.m. In a sleepy daze, I grabbed some granola bars and orange juice for breakfast. But in the mad rush to leave the house on time, lunch didn't even cross my mind.

I lack the discipline to prepare my lunches the night before, so all too often I find myself wandering around the Greenspring Cafe, the Sinai Hospital cafeteria, looking for something affordable and (preferably) healthy to eat.

As the Washington Post's The Checkup blog points out in today's posting, "In-house cafeterias aren't always bastions of healthful dining." Nancy Szokan toured The Post's cafeteria with a dietitian and offers several tips for selecting a healthy meal in such settings.

Here at the Greenspring Cafe, flat screen monitors display calorie, fat and other nutritional information for hot foods served each day. There's a standard salad bar, a sushi bar, and some stations offer healthy alternatives on select days (eg, the pizza stand will offer whole wheat crusts).

And on Thursday, April 23, the Greenspring Cafe will debut a new Light and Fit bar, where every meal will be 400 calories or less. The initial menu will feature vegetarian lentil stuffed peppers, polynesian chicken over brown rice, mahi mahi vera cruz, and a mixed berry crumb dessert.

Of course, the granola bars didn't fill me up today, and the dreary conditions outside have left me wanting comfort food - it's going to be hard to resist the cheeseburger and fries.

What are you having for lunch today? How much thought do you put into planning lunches?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Save the date: Race For Our Kids to be held June 7

Mark your calendars for the fifth annual Race for Our Kids on Sunday, June 7. The race features 5K and 10K courses and a 1 mile Family Walk. All proceeds benefit Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.

Registration is $30 for adults and $15 for kids 5-12. Participants receive an Under Armour shirt and admission to the post-race party catered by the Classic Catering People.

Don't miss this fantastic event! Register today.

Questions? Call Jen Doyle in the LifeBridge Health Department of Development at 410-601-9328.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Book sale at Northwest Hospital to benefit domestic violence victims

The Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital in Baltimore and the Woodlawn Police Precinct will be having a used book sale and raffle to raise money for victims of domestic violence. Money raised helps victims pay for necessities like new locks, food, gas, bus and cab fare, and legal fees for custody, divorce and immigration applications.

The Used Book Sale and Raffle will be held on Wednesday, April 22, from 8 a.m. to noon, and Thursday, April 23, from 1 to 5 p.m., in the Pike Room at Northwest Hospital. Books will all be sold for as little as $1.

If you would like to donate items to be raffled, call 410-521-7555.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Northwest Hospital to re-open new main entrance Friday morning

This Friday, April 10, the newly redesigned main entrance and lobby area at Northwest Hospital in Baltimore will re-open to the public. The new main entrance includes the installation of a new canopy, entrance and driveway, as well as landscaping and streetscaping.

As you pass through the new entrance, you will now see the beautiful entrance to the Herman and Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center, due to open next month. Crews will soon begin removing the old Information Desk and replacing the carpet in the main lobby.

Northwest employees can join in celebrating the re-opening of the main entrance and lobby Friday morning from 6:45 to 8:00 a.m. Complimentary coffee and Danish pastries will be served.

Why not walk at work?

Today, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore employees will celebrate the start of Walk at Work Wednesdays. What a great excuse to take 30 minutes out of your lunch break to join a co-worker or two for a walk! We'll be gathering at the K-lot at noon. Employees are encouraged to wear walking shoes to work on Wednesdays all summer long and to take a walk around the campus. Maps with distances are available

Did you know Baltimore ranks as the 92nd best city in America for walking, according to Prevention magazine? What are some of your favorite places to go walking or running in and around Baltimore?

Volunteers make all the difference

Each morning, six days a week, volunteer Edith Judelson arrives at Jewish Convalescent & Nursing Home in Baltimore and makes her way to the room of a resident with Alzheimer’s disease. Together they say prayers for 15 to 20 minutes. When it’s time for Edith to go to the next room, the woman doesn’t have to say thank you – Edith can tell by the smile on her face.

“The love in their eyes shines through when I help them out,” Edith says. “God gave me a gift of talking to people and making them feel better. Seeing them so happy makes me happy.”

Similar experiences happen every day across LifeBridge Health, where more than 500 men, women and teenagers volunteer thousands of hours each year to make a difference in the lives of patients and residents.

Sara Zemel started volunteering at Sinai Hospital in 1984 because she was looking for something to do after she retired. Sara, now 94, still volunteers once a week in the Volunteer office, where she answers the phone, organizes magazines, prepares the Jewish Times for delivery to patients and receives flower deliveries. She helps the newer volunteers – “kids” she calls them, though many are in their 60s and 70s – learn the ropes.

“I enjoy the company of the other volunteers,” Sara says. “When people in the hospital see your blue jacket, they smile and say hello. It’s nice.”

A clear majority of LifeBridge Health volunteers are of and beyond retirement age. Some dedicated volunteers have been coming to the hospital for 30, 40, even 50 years. Now that the baby boomer generation is leaving the workforce, a large influx of new volunteers is expected.

Beth Duffin, who manages 180 volunteers at Sinai, says the key challenge won’t be recruiting new and younger volunteers but finding tasks for them to do that keep them engaged. There are 77 million baby boomers, and they have many more skills and talents to offer than the previous generation. Nonprofit hospitals need to better develop experiences that give these volunteers a worthwhile experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33.2 percent of all boomers volunteered for formal organizations in 2005, representing the highest rate of volunteering of any age group.

“People want to be busy. But there are a lot of legal and regulatory obstacles to placing them in clinical situations. I’m meeting with the heads of all the departments to identify their needs so we can match volunteers with specific jobs,” Beth says.

For most people, the call to volunteer in a health care setting comes from a desire to participate, even indirectly, in the healing of the sick. Northwest Hospital has a roster of 175 volunteers.

“There are people who lost a family member here and we took good care of them and they want to give back to the hospital,” says Jennifer Terrell, director of Volunteer Services and Business Outreach. “Without the work of our volunteers, this would not be Northwest Hospital. We rely on their dedication, loyalty and generous spirit.”

In addition to providing a valuable service, volunteers also save the hospital money, Jennifer says. Northwest volunteers donated 51,873 hours last year, which translates to nearly $1 million in labor costs.

While LifeBridge Health staff and patients benefit from their willingness to give, volunteers benefit from human connections they make. This is especially true at Levindale and Jewish Convalescent, where volunteers get to know the residents who are there for extended stays.

“Hospital patients come and go. Our volunteers really get to know the residents because they are here all the time,” says Janine-Marie Boulad, volunteer coordinator for Levindale.

The 80 or so volunteers at Jewish Convalescent do a little bit of everything, such as sewing torn clothes, helping with meals and giving residents manicures. Their presence frees up the staff to focus on their job duties.

They come for a variety of reasons but uniformly they’ll tell you they get back more than they give. They long to be here.

April is National Volunteer Month, and LifeBridge Health celebrates its volunteers with an annual luncheon. It’s a chance for volunteers from different facilities to meet and share stories. This year’s event will be held Thursday, April 23, at noon at Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Pikesville. For more information, contact the volunteer office at your facility.

PHOTO: Sinai Volunteers Sheldon Sandler and Minnie Daniels.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Celebrate National Health Care Access Personnel Week with us

We've all heard the expression "You only get one chance to make a first impression." When patients come to the hospital, often the first person they interact with is a Patient Access team member. The friendly staff in Admitting and Registration play a key role in ensuring patients, family members and visitors have a positive hospital experience.

Once a year, we pause to recognize their accomplishments and pay tribute to the hard work they do. National Health Care Access Personnel Week was established by the National Association of Health Care Access Management (NAHAM) in 1982. Northwest Hospital in Baltimore began its celebration Saturday, April 4. Activities are planned all week.

"Our actions have a direct impact on keeping our organizations financially stable," says Eleanor L. Evans assistant director for Patient Access at Northwest.

If you've been admitted to a hospital, you know how stressful the process can be. What were your impressions of the Admitting staff? Did you have a positive experience? Was there anything the staff could have done differently to improve it?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spine Center at Northwest Hospital

The Northwest Hospital Spine Center, a program of the LifeBridge Health Brain & Spine Institute, is dedicated to the specialized, comprehensive management of degenerative and acute conditions of the spine.

Composed of a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals, the Spine Center team has expertise in neck and back problems, as well as spinal disorders that affect the upper and lower extremities.

The medical staff at the Northwest Hospital Spine Center evaluates and treats spinal disorders that affect bones, muscles and nerves resulting from arthritis, illness or injury. Some of the spinal disorders treated include:
  • Degenerative discs (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
  • Herniated discs (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
  • Arthritis of the spine (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid)
  • Spondylolisthesis (spinal instability)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Spinal deformities (scoliosis, kyphosis)
  • Spinal injuries
  • Myofascial pain (inflammation of muscles and ligaments)
  • Pinched nerves
Restoring maximum function to patients is the goal of the staff at the Spine Center. This is accomplished by minimizing pain, while creating a plan for long-range care. Initial treatment includes non-surgical measures, such as medication, physical therapy and injections. Emphasis on physical therapy includes achieving maximum function through various exercises with special equipment under the direction of certified physical and occupational therapists.

The most advanced surgical techniques are available when recommended as the best course of treatment. Spinal surgery is effective at managing and often resolving certain spinal conditions. Patients receive pre- and postoperative care at the Spine Center. Specially trained nurses provide instruction and support to patients to ensure ongoing benefit from treatment.

Our goal is to determine the underlying cause of the condition, and to manage or eliminate the problem, so that we may restore maximum function and ultimate quality of life in our patients.

Treatments include:
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Myofascial trigger point injections
  • Sacroiliac injections
  • Surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Disc replacement
  • Kyphoplasty (minimally invasive treatment for osteoporotic compression fractures)
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Pre- and postoperative care
The Spine Center team includes physicians specializing in spinal surgery, neurosurgery and rehabilitative medicine, and a registered nurse. Staff consultants, including pain management specialists, physical and occupational therapists, neurologists, rheumatologists, radiologists, dietitians, and social workers, complement the team.

The most advanced diagnostic procedures and equipment are used at the Spine Center. Tests are performed at Northwest Hospital and include EMGs, nerve condition studies, X-ray, MRI, myelography, CT scan and ultrasound. Referrals are welcome from physicians, other health professionals, employers and self-referrals.

For information about the Northwest Hospital Spine Center or to schedule an appointment, call 410-521-8383 or 1-888-747-8899.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Go behind the scenes for a look Central Sterile at LifeBridge Health

You won't find a word about them on most hospital Web sites. Chances are, patients will never come into contact with them. But the hard working folks in the Central Sterile department play a very important role in patient care, as our intrepid "reporter" Ryan Nawrocki recently found out. Check out Ryan's April Bridge newsletter story here. And take a minute to watch this special, behind-the-scenes look at the Central Sterile departments in action at Sinai and Northwest hospitals in Baltimore.

Central Sterile technicians are just one of several "hot jobs" in the health care industry, and LifeBridge Health currently has several openings. For more information, or to apply for a job at LifeBridge Health, visit our employment Web site.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Support is just a phone call away

Whether you are a cancer survivor, an adult care giver looking for support, or you recently lost a loved one, help is just a phone call away. Each month, LifeBridge Health offers several support groups, free screenings and classes designed to improve your health. Here are the upcoming classes for April:
  • Northwest Hospital is offering a talk on food cravings, the science behind food cravings, tips to control them, and ideas for tricking your taste buds with healthier food. The talk will be held at the hospital’s Education Center on April 7 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355 for more information.
  • The ThyCa support group for those with thyroid cancer will be held at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at Sinai Hospital on April 11, 10:30 a.m. to noon. For information and to register, call 410-601-9355.
  • A breast cancer support group for women will be held on April 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Northwest Hospital’s Education Center. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355.
  • Sinai Hospital’s Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute’s monthly Lunch and Learn will be held on April 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Cancer Institute. This month’s topic will be “Reconnecting With Your Life After Cancer Treatment.” Please bring your own lunch. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 410-601-9355.
  • Northwest Hospital is offering “Up in Smoke,” a free, six-week quit smoking program funded by a grant from the Baltimore County Health Department. The program includes nicotine replacement (gum, patches, lozenges), behavioral modification and support. It will be held on Thursdays from April 16 to May 21, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Milford Manor, 4204 Old Milford Mill Road, Pikesville. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355.
  • “Look Good, Feel Better” is a free program sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Unit of the American Cancer Center for women who are undergoing or will undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This program helps women feel better about their appearance with emphasis on learning makeup techniques and hair/wig styling. A trained cosmetologist will lead the group. Free cosmetics package included. The program will be held at Northwest Hospital Education Center on April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355.
  • Northwest Hospital is offering preventive health screenings at a health fair on April 18, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and April 19, beginning at 9 a.m., in the hospital’s Education Center. Blood pressure, body composition analysis and a computerized heart health risk assessment will be offered. A lipid panel, and comprehensive metabolic blood profile will also be available for a $20 fee. Appointments are required. For more information or to make an appointment, call 410-601-9355.
  • Northwest Hospital will present talks on prevention and treatment of wounds and heart disease for diabetics as part of its ongoing diabetes management series. The talks will take place April 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Northwest Hospital’s Education Center. Pre-registration is required. For more information call 410-601-9355.
  • Sinai Hospital is offering “Up in Smoke,” a free, five-week quit smoking program. The program includes nicotine replacement (gum, patches, lozenges), behavioral modification and support. It will be held on Tuesdays from April 21 through May 19, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the hospital’s Alvin & Lois Lapdius Cancer Institute. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355 for more information.
  • Northwest Hospital and Seasons Hospices are sponsoring a monthly bereavement support group designed to provide support through group interaction and grief education to persons grieving the death of a loved one. The meeting with be held at the hospital’s Education Center on April 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355 for more information.
  • Sinai Hospital’s Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute is offering “Breast Friends,” a monthly program of support, education and advocacy for women age 40 and younger who are breast cancer survivors. The next meeting will be held at the Cancer Institute on April 23 at 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-2189 for more information.
  • Northwest Hospital will host The Hospice Foundation of America’s live teleconference on living with grief and end-of-life care on April 29 from 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Education Center. This program, sponsored by Season’s Hospice, will be of use to health care professionals, educators and the public. Pre-registration is required. Call 410-601-9355 for more information.
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For women's heart health, knowledge is power

While breast cancer gets plenty of attention, more women die of heart attacks. The fact is more than 500,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, according to the American Heart Association. That is about twice as many than from all types of cancer. One in 2.5 women will die of cardiovascular disease every year compared with one in every 30 women dying from breast cancer.

Women, and the people who love them, must be proactive in knowing their risk factors in keeping their hearts healthy. For example, women's symptoms for a heart attack are often different from those suffered by men. Some women may not have chest pain when having a heart attack but may have difficulty breathing and/or unusual and unexplained fatigue.

For more information about cardiovascular disease, consider attending a LifeBridge Health Women's Heart Screening on Tuesday, June 16, at the Woodlawn Community Center at 9 a.m. For just $10, you will receive a blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, glucose testing, body composition analysis, heart health risk assessment based upon results, and brief counseling with a registered nurse. A cardiologist will review results with certain risk factors.

Click here for more information or to sign up today.
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