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December 20th, 2010 - Staff

Get Healthy is proud to introduce a redesign of its website. We’ve packed it full of all the great content you’re used to, plus the site will be the new home for engaging news stories about health care in Northwest Indiana.

Please bookmark our new URL here.

With access to the leading health experts right here in the region, Get Healthy offers readers a local perspective on what’s best for your health, including nutrition, fitness, mental health and environmental health. Along with the magazine, email newsletter and Facebook page, Get Healthy offers an array of valuable content that is both relevant and proactive.

The easy-to-navigate Get Healthy site will have even more beneficial content in the near future—including blogs and expert columns—so stay tuned. We’re here for you 24/7, so check it out, and let us hear from you!

Beware the hype on breast thermography

December 15th, 2010 - By Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune (MCT)

If the Internet buzz about a pain-free, radiation-free alternative to mammography sounds too good to be true, there’s a reason for that.

Breast thermography—recently touted as the “best breast test” by Oprah favorite Dr. Christiane Northrup, writing in the Huffington Post—has never been proven effective for routine breast cancer screening in a large-scale, randomized study, experts say. The FDA has never approved it for that purpose and in 2009 issued a warning letter accusing an Idaho health care provider of marketing thermography as a mammogram replacement.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , .

Advances in knee replacement lead to more precise surgery

November 29th, 2010 - By Erika Rose

Dr. Jonathan Javors is performing a new type of knee replacement surgery using a joint replacement piece created from a new alloy called oxinium. The new knee is expected to last 30 years which is double the current expectation and the surgery is computer-assisted which makes it more precise. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Dr. Jonathan Javors is performing a new type of knee replacement surgery using a joint replacement piece created from a new alloy called oxinium. The new knee is expected to last 30 years which is double the current expectation and the surgery is computer-assisted which makes it more precise. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Julie Tetens, 47, of Munster, along with many of the estimated 400,000 people who undergo a total knee replacement each year, would prefer a new knee that will last much longer than the typical 12 to 15 years. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Javors of Medical Specialists of Indiana gave her just that thanks to a new type of material expected to last her nearly 30 years.

Javors explained that about 10 years ago, joint replacement manufacturer Smith & Nephew, Inc. started using a new alloy called oxinium which he described as a cross between chromium cobalt—used in most other joint replacements—and ceramic. Oxinium combines the durability of chromium cobalt and the smoothness of ceramic. The latest hardware also contains a cross–linkage plastic which adds to its durability, he said.

Why no sleek testing devices for diabetics?

November 28th, 2010 - By Julie Deardorff, Chicago Tribune (MCT)

The week Apple sold its 100 millionth iPod, Amy Tenderich sat down and wrote an open letter to the company’s chief executive, Steve Jobs.

Tenderich, then 37 and a newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, was frustrated that medical devices weren’t as subtle and slick as portable music players. “Most of (our) devices are clunky, make weird alarm sounds, are hard to use and burn quickly through batteries,” she wrote on her blog, diabetesmine.com. “Their design doesn’t hold a candle to the iPod.”

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , .

Turkey trouble? Help is a click away

November 20th, 2010 - By Michelle Locke for The Associated Press

MessyKitchen

Need to talk turkey? Baffled by Brussels sprouts? Sure, you could go old school and call a 1-800 holiday helpline. But these days, cooks are finding inspiration, or salvation as the case may be, online.

From smart phone apps that put together your grocery lists to Twitter sessions that answer your pressing pumpkin questions, traditional sources of holiday help are transforming to meet the demands of a digital age.

“People are just going online more and more to get their Thanksgiving questions answered,” said Angela Moore, vice president of foodnetwork.com.

Traffic to that site’s Thanksgiving section has been growing annually and this month marked the launch of Food Network’s In The Kitchen app, which features 45,000 recipes from the network’s chefs, including monthly seasonal menus, which for November, naturally, will be Thanksgiving-centric.

Filed under: Lead Story. Tags: , , .

Methodist CEO eyes hospitals’ future

November 19th, 2010 - By Kathleen Quilligan

Methodist Hospitals plans to begin creating an academic-focused campus in the next year, hospital president and CEO Ian McFadden said last week. The hospital system already has a residency program with Northwestern University and plans to add a family practice residency with Indiana University.

McFadden talked about the health system’s goals for the next 180 days with members of the Gary Chamber of Commerce on Monday afternoon at the Genesis Convention Center, discussing new programs, improving programs and services and answering questions about health care reform. “Health care is changing,” McFadden said. “Health reform legislation has already caused hospitals to do a lot of rethinking.”

Social sharing serves users by increasing self worth

November 8th, 2010 - By Virginia Brown, Medill News Service

Since social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Foursquare have taken off, the time we dedicate to our online relationships has become a bottomless time pit.

Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist with the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington, D.C., studies the percentages of followers of various social media sites. Rather than capturing the amount of time people spend online, Lenhart focuses on the number of people who use Web-sharing media, as users tend to be very inaccurate when estimating how long a session has lasted, she said. “It’s like they fall down the rabbit hole,” she said.

Based on a September 2009 Pew survey, Lenhart said 73 percent of people 18 and over said they used Facebook, 48 percent used MySpace and 14 percent had a LinkedIn profile. But Web-based relationships are based on limited information and, as a result, are incomplete.

Filed under: Mental Health. Tags: , .

No laps for warm laptops; skin damage is possible

October 5th, 2010 - By Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer

Have you ever worked on your laptop computer with it sitting on your lap, heating up your legs? If so, you might want to rethink that habit.

Doing it a lot can lead to “toasted skin syndrome,” an unusual-looking mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure, according to medical reports.

In one recent case, a 12-year-old boy developed a sponge-patterned skin discoloration on his left thigh after playing computer games a few hours every day for several months.

“He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position,” Swiss researchers reported in an article published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

How to email your doctor

September 13th, 2010 - By Alison Johnson, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) (MCT)

More doctors’ offices are allowing patients to communicate by email, but follow these basic rules:

Learn your doctor’s email policies. Find out what questions the office is comfortable answering by computer, response times, whether messages go into your permanent medical record and who else in the office sees incoming emails.

Don’t assume complete privacy. Doctors do use password-protected Web sites but to be safe, leave out information you wouldn’t want to risk becoming public. Also be aware that other staff members, such as nurses or medical assistants, may read your message.

Filed under: Health Care. Tags: .

NWI’s only Gamma Knife and BiPlane Technology located at Methodist Hospitals

September 9th, 2010 - By Kathleen Quilligan

The physicians at Methodist Hospitals realize that the nervous system is one of the body’s most important components, and have set up a team dedicated to neurology that uses technology unique to Northwest Indiana.

The Methodist Hospitals’ Southlake campus in Merrillville is home to the area’s only Gamma Knife. The machine, located in The Center for Advanced Clinical Studies, is most commonly associated with treating brain tumors and other head and neck cancers, said Laurel Valentino, director of neurology clinical services, in a statement.

“The Gamma Knife isn’t a knife but a machine that delivers 201 highly focused beams of gamma radiation to the brain lesion or other malformation in the brain,” said Dr. Hytham Rifai, medical director of neurosurgery, in a statement. He also said the technology treats facial pain. “It doesn’t require any cutting. The patient undergoes just one treatment and goes home the same day.”

Filed under: Health Care. Tags: , .

Technology doing some ambulance service heavy lifting

September 5th, 2010 - By Kathleen Quilligan

Dispatchers at Prompt Ambulance Service view some of the 88 monitors in the company's state-of-the-art communications center. (Photograph by The Times.)

Dispatchers at Prompt Ambulance Service view some of the 88 monitors in the company's state-of-the-art communications center. (Photograph by The Times.)

In a perfect world, ambulances would be at the sites that need them before a 911 call is made. At the newly redesigned and renovated Prompt Ambulance Service dispatch center, a new program predicts the location of the next call.

The program is one of the innovations Northwest Indiana ambulance services feature, striving to provide the best care and technology to residents.

For example, Merrillville-based Family Mobile Medical, which provides service in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, specializes in nonemergency care, such as transporting patients to their doctor’s appointments.

Filed under: Health Care. Tags: , .

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