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November 28, 2018

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Each November, we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month — an opportunity for communities across the country to come together to support and recognize the contributions and sacrifices made on a daily basis by family caregivers of all ages.  It is estimated that nearly 44 million adults provide care for an adult or child annually.  As a family caregiver, it may be easy to feel like you are alone.  Please remember, you are not alone.   Family caregivers are the heart and soul of our nation’s long-term care system.  Did you know that family caregivers’ make up 80 percent of the long-term care in the United States provided by family and other unpaid caregivers?   In addition, many family caregivers do not realize that they are caregivers.  Perhaps it’s because most people think of caregivers as professionals who are trained and paid to provide care for clients with health issues.  They may feel that they are just helping out.  However, if you offer daily assistance to a spouse or other family member, you may be a caregiver.  It is important to recognize this, so you can seek support.   As a family caregiver, it is essential that you take care of your own health.  This month, we encourage family caregivers to learn about the services and supports available in southern Illinois.  Th

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November 13, 2018

Survey: Many Parents Share Leftover Antibiotics

According to a recent online survey of nearly 500 U.S. parents, about 48 percent say they have kept leftover antibiotics rather than properly dispose of them.  Of those, 73 percent later gave the drugs to siblings, unrelated children and adults, sometimes months after the antibiotic was originally prescribed.  Some of the parents used the leftover antibiotics themselves.   This is very dangerous.  Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses not only won’t work, but it can also have dangerous side effects — over time, this practice actually helps create bacteria that are harder to kill.

So what should you do when your child gets sick?  To minimize the risk of antibiotic resistance, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take antibiotics only for bacterial infections. It’s a good idea to let milder illnesses (especially those thought to be caused by viruses) run their course.  This helps prevent antibiotic-resistant germs from developing.  But leave it to your doctor to decide if an illness is “mild” or not.
  • Seek advice and ask questions. Ask your doctor about whether your child’s illness is bacterial or viral, and discuss the risks and benefits of antibiotics.  If it’s a virus, ask about ways to treat symptoms.  Don’t pressu

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November 1, 2018

Did you know it’s time to sign up for health coverage for 2019?

If you need health coverage, you can enroll at HealthCare.Gov. But hurry, the deadline to enroll in a plan is December 15th – so don’t delay!

Most marketplace shoppers will qualify for financial help to lower their costs, too.  In fact, 85 percent of current enrollees receive a tax credit to help lower their monthly premiums.  Most enrollees pay less than $100/month for their plan.   And this year, there are new plans available at new prices.  Even if you’ve looked before, it’s important to check out your options – coverage might be more affordable than you think.   There’s a lot of confusion about the state of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), but the truth is the ACA is still the law of the land.  Comprehensive health coverage, including key consumer protections like no discrimination against people with pre-existing health conditions, is still available to consumers who need to get covered.    

What is a Midwife?

October 3, 2018

National Midwifery Week is September 30 – October 6, 2018

  National Midwifery Week (#NMW2018) was created by ACNM to celebrate and recognize midwives and midwife-led care.  But what exactly is a midwife?   Many women tend to think of midwives as playing a supporting role in the pregnancy and childbirth experience, similar to doulas or lactation consultants.  But a midwife is, in fact, a professional trained specifically in assisting women with every aspect of pregnancy, from prenatal care to delivery.  What’s more, her job doesn’t necessarily end with pregnancy.  You can see your midwife for just about all your women’s health needs, including your annual exam, contraceptive counseling and prescriptions.   According to Rebeccah Fletcher, DNP, APN, CNM, “The word midwife means ‘with woman,’ and that’s what we’re all about really, is just being with women throughout their entire pregnancy, there for the birth, and beyond. Throughout their whole life, we’re available.”   Midwives often lend a more personal touch to the pregnancy experience compared to OBs, emphasizing the physical, emotional and social needs of patients.  Rebeccah even knits hats for her patients’ babies.   “A lot of women desire a low-intervention, hands-off birth, and this is something that Shawnee has allowed us to provide for our patients,” says M

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September 21, 2018

Did you know that 1 in 4 older Americans falls every year?

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. And even falls without a major injury can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active. The good news is that falls can be prevented.  

What can family physicians do to prevent falls?

Physicians play an important role in identifying and managing older patients’ fall risk. The CDC created the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative to assist physicians in preventing falls. STEADI  includes three core elements: screen patients to identify their fall risk, assess patients’ modifiable fall risk factors, and intervene to reduce fall risk by using effective clinical and community-based strategies. Combined, these elements can have a substantial impact on reducing falls, improving health outcomes, and reducing health care expenditures.   Shawnee Alliance and Shawnee Health Care are working together to implement STEADI at Shawnee Health Care health centers and in the homes of our older patients. We are committed to keeping our older

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September 5, 2018

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!

One in 5 children in the United States are obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented.  

In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Shawnee Health Service encourages your family to make healthy changes together:

 

  • Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
  • Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
  • Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.

  Help your child – and your whole family – eat healthy and stay physically active. The healthy habits your child learns now can last a lifetime.  

What can I do to help my child stay at a healthy weight?

Help your child stay at a healthy weight by balancing what your child eats with physical activity. Two of the best ways to help your child stay at a healthy weight are to:  

  • Help your child and family eat healthier foods
  • Be more physically active as a family

 

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April 5, 2018

April is National Minority Health Month

Imagine you are sick, or your child is sick. You go to the doctor, but you are not able to communicate with him to tell him what is wrong, and you can’t understand what he is saying. This is the reality for many Spanish-speakers in the United States. April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of minority populations. Shawnee Health Care strives to improve the health status of our local Hispanic population through our Farmworker Health Program.   Through our Farmworker Health Program, both Migrant and Seasonal farmworkers are able to access medical, dental, mental health, nutrition counseling, pharmacy and social services. Also, a team of bilingual, bicultural outreach workers are professionally trained to provide medical interpreting in Spanish at Shawnee Health Care, as well as case management, health education, outreach, and help with transportation arrangements.   Karla Grathler, the Program Coordinator, says that while diabetes, hypertension, dental, and skin conditions are all prevalent health problems within this population, one of the biggest health care-related problems she and her team see is the lack of understanding of preventative health care.   “We try to raise awareness of how crucial it is to stay involved in their health care, to get their annual screen

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March 30, 2018

Attention HFS Medicaid and All Kids Insurance Holders:

  You may have received an enrollment packet asking you to select from 1 of 5 health plans. If you did not enroll, then you were likely auto-assigned to a plan. You are allowed to switch plans one time between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018.     Shawnee Health Care is contracted with all 5 plans.  

Please be aware that many local hospitals and specialists, including Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) will no longer be accepting Harmony Health.

  You can enroll in or switch plans: Online at https://enrollhfs.illinois.gov/ Or by phone at 1-877-912-8880     If you need assistance completing this process, please call Shawnee Health Service at (618) 519-9200 to schedule an appointment with one of our Outreach & Enrollment Specialists. There is no cost for this service. Please note that staff at local Illinois DHS offices cannot assist with enrolling or switching plans.   *Please note that our staff cannot make recommendations on which plan to select; they can only assist you with completing the enrollment process through Illinois’ Client Enrollment Services.  

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March 26, 2018

WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois   From WSIL — In this Week’s Unsung Hero, leaders at Shawnee Health Care-Carterville Family Practice are praising one of their case managers for going above and beyond his duties. There’s not one patient case manager Bryan Heine doesn’t give his all to help.   “If we are not able to get the answer, we try to find the answer for patients,” said Bryan. In fact, he’s called a “miracle worker” by colleague and nurse practiti

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March 9, 2018

Shawnee Health Care, Terrier Care has launched the Air Quality Flag Program at Carbondale Community High School. The Flag program uses brightly colored flags based on the U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to notify people and their communities about outdoor air quality conditions. Students will raise a flag each day that corresponds to their local air quality forecast.   The Air Quality Flag Program creates awareness of outdoor air quality conditions. This helps students, faculty, and staff who suffer from asthma, respiratory issues, or heart disease better prepare for air pollution that can make symptoms worse or trigger attacks. The Program also helps faculty and staff plan daily activities that protect the health of students with these conditions.   Shawnee Health Care plans to launch the Air Quality Flag Program at Marion High School, where we operate Marion Wellness School Health Center, soon.   For more information about the Air Quality Flag Program, visit www.airnow.gov/flag.     green flag yellow flag orange flag 

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