HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
2023-2024 SPIRIT GIRLS ANNOUNCED
The 2023-2024 Spirit Girls, a program which is part of Forrest Health’s Spirit of Women, welcomes 146 young ladies to the opportunities and fun offered by this program. Spirit Girls is designed to reach young women through events targeted at promoting self-esteem and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
“The goal of our Spirit of Women program is to empower women with information so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families,” said Millie Swan, Forrest Health vice president. “We feel it is important for young ladies to develop healthy habits and start making good decisions early in their lives. The Spirit Girls program gives young ladies the opportunity to give back to the community, participate in fun events and at the same time, focus on education and important issues, which we hope helps them to mature into healthy and informed young women.”
To learn more about our Spirit of Women and Spirit Girls programs, visit https://www.forresthealth.org/about/spirit-of-women.
ACS CANCER CENTER TRANSPORTATION GRANT
To alleviate the financial burden of cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently awarded a $20,000 transportation grant to Forrest General Hospital’s Cancer Center. The grant is one of 380 transportation grants totaling $6.2 million awarded to health systems nationwide. The funding will allow health systems to provide eligible patients an estimated 577,350 rides to treatment. In a study presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium, American Cancer Society researchers found that 2.8% of cancer survivors reported delays in care due to transportation barriers.
“Not having access to high-quality cancer treatment due to where you live contributes to the disparities we see in cancer outcomes. It’s important to provide the funding and programming needed to keep a lack of transportation from impacting survival,” said Dr. Arif Kamal, chief patient officer for the American Cancer Society. “The local health systems we partner with across the country use this funding to deliver assistance directly to the patients who need it most.”
Kecia Jones-Harris, Radiation Oncology manager, said, “We are so grateful to be the recipients of the ACS grant. This will allow us to continue to support the need of transportation for patients in our 19 county service area.”
FUN THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS ON SUMMER BREAK
Summer break is a great time for kids to relax, but it’s also important to keep them active and engaged. Engaging in regular physical activity can help children maintain a healthy weight, develop strong bones and muscles, and improve their cardiovascular health. Moreover, staying active can boost their mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance their cognitive function.
Here are 5 ways to keep kids active and entertained this summer.
- Hiking is a great way to get kids outdoors and active. There are many trails and parks that offer easy hikes for kids of all ages. This can be a great way to explore nature and get some exercise at the same time.
- Summer camps are another great option. They offer a wide range of activities, such as sports, arts and crafts, and outdoor adventures. Kids can make new friends, learn new skills, and stay active all summer long.
- DIY arts and crafts are another fun and cost effective way to keep kids engaged and creative without having to leave the house. There are many craft kits and tutorials available online that can keep kids busy for hours.
- Reading programs can also be a great way to keep kids engaged and learning during the summer. Many libraries offer summer reading programs that encourage kids to read a certain number of books and earn prizes. This can help improve their reading skills and keep their minds active.
- Summer is also a great time to explore your local attractions. From zoos, to waterparks, to art shows or plays, finding something entertaining close to home makes it feel like a mini vacation without the hassle of packing and traffic.
Parents who prioritize physical activity for their children during summer break are promoting healthy habits that will benefit their children for a lifetime. Each Thursday in June, the Spirit of Women Facebook page will post more information and links to websites that can help you keep your children active all summer long. Follow us on Facebook to stay in-the-know about health and wellness!
It’s summer and prime time for the outdoor ouchies – bug bites, scrapes, sunburn…you get the idea. Whether you are at home, traveling with the team, safe in your own neighborhood, or away on vacation, one key element you need to always carry with you or have handy is a First Aid Kit. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just equipped with the things you need most in the event of an unplanned mishap or emergency. You can purchase already-assembled kits, or you can put a general kit together relatively easy and for not a lot of money.
To make your own kit, organize your kit into three quart-sized press-and-seal bags, all of which you’ll put into a larger gallon-sized press-and-seal bag. These bags are waterproof, lightweight, compact, and you can see what’s in them without having to open them up. Keep a few common over-the-counter medications in a pill case. Some useful all-purpose ones might include painkillers, anti-diarrheal medication, and antihistamines, along with any other medications you normally take. Make sure to include the appropriate medications and associated supplies if someone in the family has diabetes or allergic reactions. Include some type of antihistamine-containing gel which relieves bites from biting and stinging insects.
- Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest.
- Check the kit regularly. Most kits have a shelf life of three to five years.
- Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.
While first aid kits do not expire, replacing supplies from time to time is a wise strategy. Over time, medications slowly lose their potency, and alcohol wipes, gel packets, and similar items eventually will dry out. Depending on the kit’s storage environment, bandages sheaths, dressing wrappers, and similar equipment packaging may break down, causing those supplies to lose their sterile integrity. When selecting a first aid kit storage location, make sure to find a place that allows quick and easy access. Also, choose a location that provides plenty of protection from the elements, impacts, spills, and other potential threats to the kit’s medical integrity.
While we hope you won’t ever have to use it, better safe than sorry.
CANCER SURVIVOR GIVES BACK
In January, Nichol Green, an assistant registrar at The University of Southern Mississippi, celebrated her fourth birthday. This wasn’t her actual birthday, but her newest birthday – the day she was given a clean bill of health and was pronounced cancer free. Green was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) Diffuse Large B Cell, a very aggressive blood cancer, in December 2018.
As National Cancer Survivor’s Day is observed June 4, Green has come full circle in her cancer recovery journey. In April, she completed that circle when she and her furry sidekick, Blaze, returned to the Forrest General Cancer Center, where her treatments began, in an effort to give back. Blaze, a five-year-old Goldendoodle, is one of five certified therapy dogs on staff at Forrest General and a fluffy favorite.
That April day when Green and Blaze completed her journey and reentered the doors at the Cancer Center, she posted on Facebook, “Full circle, y’all. Blaze and I are giving back to the staff and patients, and I pray my testimony has an eternal impact.” It was an emotional visit.
In 2018, after six months of shoulder and neck pain, physical therapy, MRIs, X-rays, steroid injections, and Emergency Room visits, a chest X-ray revealed a large mass in Green’s chest, just above the heart and between the lungs. She was sent immediately to the ER where she was admitted to the hospital and underwent several tests and a biopsy where she was given a cancer diagnosis. Six rounds of chemotherapy started immediately, after which Cancer Center radiation oncologist, Sophy Mangana, MD, oversaw 20 days of radiation for Green, which wrapped up in June 2019.
“We were so excited because we thought we had gotten it all,” Green said. The tumor in Green’s chest had a great response to the chemo, but in August 2019, a new mass was discovered and was determined to be a relapse of NHL. Green underwent additional chemo to prepare for a stem cell transplant. But, unfortunately, the chemo caused the cancer to grow instead of shrink, which made her ineligible for the stem cell transplant.
Hematologist/Oncologist, John “Bo” Hrom, MD, FACP, worked with Green and the state lymphoma specialist in Jackson on a new treatment, CAR T cell therapy. When it was determined she was ineligible in Jackson, Hrom worked with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, the country’s No. 1 ranked cancer center, to secure what would become Green’s life-saving treatment.
“Every time I’ve come back for an appointment, I ask Dr. Hrom if he’s had any other CAR T patients, and he hasn’t,” Green said, “which is good because it means that the initial lines of treatment worked for patients.”
Green said CAR T cell therapy is a very new treatment; so much so that five-year studies are just coming out. A person’s CAR T cells are made especially for each individual. The T cells are collected from your body and shipped to a specialized facility. There, the T cells are changed to CAR T cells that can create CARs, which are molecules designed to help CAR T cells find and fight cancer cells.
Green has been in remission for three years. She gets emotional talking about her first visit back to the Forrest General Cancer Center. “The Cancer Center is where my heart is,” she said. “Being a patient here, I know what it’s like, and I know what joy Blaze can bring to patients. I know what their fears and anxieties are and how scary it can be. So, for me to be able to give back this simple act to patients to calm them, to refocus them, and to bring a smile to their face, it really means a lot to me.”
Green said Blaze has a naturally good disposition, which a lot of people recognized and thought he would be a natural as a therapy dog. “When I was going through treatments and was at home, he never left my side,” Green said. “Just because of his calmness and demeanor, someone encouraged me to pursue it. We did, and he passed with flying colors. Now we are able to serve our community in this capacity, and we really enjoy it.”
In addition to the Cancer Center, the duo also visit with staff and patients at Asbury Hospice House. “We are really excited to be a part of the Forrest General team,” Green said. “Now, I’m just trying to live out my purpose every day and use my testimony to give back as much as possible. EVERY DAY!”
To learn more about the Forrest General Hospital Cancer Center, visit forresthealth.org/services/cancer.
HEALTHY SUMMER RECIPES
WHIPPED COTTAGE CHEESE BREAKFAST BOWL
½ cup low fat or fat-free cottage cheese
¼ cup blackberries
½ ounce unsweetened coconut flakes
1 ounce hazelnuts
In a small food processor or personal blender, pulse the cottage cheese until it is smooth and creamy, for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and prepare the other toppings. Optional: toast coconut flakes and hazelnuts in a skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve right away or keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Whipped cottage cheese doesn’t keep as long as un-whipped, so only whip what you plan to eat in the next 1-2 days.
CHICKEN & SPINACH SALAD WITH GREEK YOGURT DRESSING
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
¾ cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt, divided
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 medium-large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill weed
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Slice chicken breast widthwise to make even, 1/3- to ½-inch thick slices. Place in shallow bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons yogurt and garlic clove. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
Remove excess yogurt from chicken; discard with garlic. Place chicken on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine cucumber, spinach and scallions in large salad bowl. For dressing, combine remaining yogurt, oil, vinegar, dill weed, salt and pepper in small bowl. Stir well.
When chicken is done, remove from oven. Set aside 5 minutes. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to vegetables. Add yogurt dressing. Toss gently but well.
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP
Forrest General Hospice Services offers a Bereavement Support Group that meets the first Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Asbury Hospice House dining room. If you are looking for spiritual and emotional support after the death of a loved one, please join us!
BARIATRIC SUPPORT GROUP MEETING
STAY INFORMED, CONNECTED, AND EMPOWERED!
The bariatric surgery support group provides patients with the opportunity to come together to receive new information, ideas, and support to promote success after bariatric surgery. The bariatric team is present to answer questions and provide advice to patients on their post-op journey. Bariatric surgery support group is open to patients who had bariatric surgery at any facility. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.
WHEN: 1st Tuesday of the month
WHERE: Forrest General Hospital Cafeteria Tree Rooms, Elm Room
Meeting attendance is also available via Zoom. To join the meeting, visit https://hubs.ly/Q01zs-Dy0.
HAVE QUESTIONS? Please call 601-288-1452.
Madalene's Moms : Early Summer Session
Madalene’s Moms classes will continue in the new year! Whether you are expecting a new addition or you are adding to the family, we have the perfect class for you!
PREGNANCY EXERCISE: Mondays, 5:00 PM – June 5th, 12th
BUMPS TO BABIES: Monday, 6:30 PM – June 12th
JUST MOVIN’: Mondays, 9:00 AM – June 5th, 12th
FIRST YEAR: Mondays, 10:30 AM – June 5th, 12th
TODDLER YEARS: Wednesdays, 9:30 AM – June 7th, 14th
Order at CAREing Expressions Gift Shop!
CAREing Expressions Delivers: Do you have a loved one in the hospital or a friend who had a baby? Take a few minutes to brighten their day with a gift card from CAREing Expressions! Flowers, candy, cards, and balloons make a great “Get Well Soon” gift, or think outside the box with candles and decorative or beauty items from the gift shop!
The best part is you don’t even have to leave work or home. Shop by calling 601-288-4283 to find everything you need and have it delivered anywhere in the hospital, excluding the ICU, at no extra charge!
REACHING FOR THE STARS
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