Archive | May 10, 2011

Blood Pressure and a Healthy Weight – A Winning Combination

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. Are you having your blood pressure checked? There are frequently no warning signs or symptoms of increasing blood pressure. Unfortunately, its long term effects lead to heart and kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.

High blood pressure can be prevented and controlled with sound food choices, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Let’s start with your weight.

The best way to lose weight is to do so gradually, get more exercise, and eat a balanced diet that is lower in calories and fat. Even small amounts of weight loss can significantly improve your blood pressure and your health!

What’s a healthy weight for you? Calculate your BMI here. “BMI” stands for Body Mass Index. You can figure out yours by entering a few simple pieces of information, your height and weight.

First, determine what you are usually eating by keeping a food journal. Awareness of what you are eating and when can really open your eyes to calories you may not need.

Second, decrease your calorie intake by:
-Using half as much vegetable oil, soft or liquid margarine, mayonnaise, or salad dressing, or choose available low-fat or fat-free versions.
-Eating smaller portions—cut back gradually.
-Choosing fat-free or low-fat milk, milk products, and cheese.
-Limiting foods with lots of added sugar, such as pies, candy bars, ice cream, sherbet, regular soft drinks, and fruit drinks.
-Snacking on fruit, vegetable sticks, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, or rice cakes.
-Drinking water and other sugar-free beverages.

And third, work up to 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise daily. Start gradually. Try different activities to add variety and avoid straining one part of your body day after day. Set goals and enjoy your accomplishments!

To develop a weight-loss or weight-maintenance program that works well for you, consult with your doctor or registered dietitian.

Lexington Medical Center Receives National Awards

Lexington Medical Center has received national recognition for excellence in health care marketing in the annual Aster Awards and Healthcare Advertising Awards competitions. In all, Lexington Medical Center earned 21 awards.

“Everyone in the Marketing department at Lexington Medical Center played a role in our earning these awards,” said Mark Shelley, LMC director of Marketing. “We are passionate about our work showcasing the features of an excellent hospital and grateful to be recognized.”

In the Aster Awards, Lexington Medical Center was honored for its 2010 employee United Way campaign, Child Development Center parent handbook, 2010 Calendar, advertising and public relations of its approval to begin an open heart surgery program, 2010 Christmas commercial, LMC Foundation Ray Tanner dinner invitation, hospital blog redesign and a number of elements for advertising surgery practices in the hospital’s network of care.

The Aster Awards is a medical marketing awards program allowing health care organizations to compete with other organizations across the nation and world. The competition is hosted by Creative Images, Inc., an internationally recognized firm specializing in health care marketing.

In the Healthcare Advertising Awards, Lexington Medical Center received accolades for its hospital “green” bags, Christmas commercial, Women’s Services TV campaign, calendar, employee United Way campaign, LMC Governor’s Cup Road Race materials, hospital website, and advertising and design for hospital physician practices.

Lexington Medical Center’s awards put it in an elite group. Four of the hospital’s Healthcare Advertising Awards were in the “Gold” category. Out of 4,000 entries across the nation, only 258 entries received a “Gold” award. The Healthcare Advertising Awards, sponsored by the national publication Healthcare Marketing Report, is the largest health care advertising awards competition in the country. A national panel of judges reviewed entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.