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Superfood of the Month: Carrots

Carrots are crunchy, tasty and highly nutritious. They are a good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants. They’re also a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

Health Benefits
Reduces risk of cancer
• Diets rich in carotenoids may help protect against several types of cancer, including prostate, colon and stomach cancers.
• Women with high circulating levels of carotenoids may also have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Lowers blood cholesterol
• High blood cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
• Eating carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.
Improves weight loss
• As a low-calorie food, carrots can increase fullness and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals.
Improves eye health

• Individuals with low vitamin A are more likely to experience night blindness.
• Carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Chicken and Carrots with Lemon Butter Sauce
Ingredients
• 1 T canola oil
• 4 (6-oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
• 3/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 12 oz (1/2-in thickness) diagonally cut peeled carrot (about 2 cups)
• 3 T minced shallots
• 1 T chopped fresh thyme
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
• 2 T unsalted butter
• 2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add chicken to the pan. Cook four minutes or until browned on one side. Turn and place pan in the oven. Bake at 400° for eight minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
3. While chicken cooks, arrange carrots in a vegetable steamer. Steam seven minutes or until tender. Remove from steamer and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
4. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add shallots and thyme. Sauté one minute. Add wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add stock. Bring to a boil, and cook five minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add butter, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter melts.
6. Remove from heat. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, parsley and lemon juice, stirring with a whisk. Divide carrots evenly among four plates. Top with chicken, and spoon sauce over chicken and carrots.

Lexington Medical Center Is A Best Place to Work

Lexington Medical Center was named one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. SC Biz News, in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group, created this annual program, which is in its 14th year.

This survey and awards program identifies, recognizes and honors the best employers in the state of South Carolina. Companies from across the state participated the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

“I am proud and humbled to work with our 6,600 caring and skilled people. Their commitment to our patients and community is second to none. Congratulations to everyone for this tremendous recognition,” said Tod Augsburger, Lexington Medical Center president and CEO.

Standing behind the outstanding services, comprehensive programs and state-of-the-art facilities that comprise the hospital’s network of care are incredibly dedicated people who combine their exemplary skills and talents to provide high-quality health services to the community. And Lexington Medical Center does a lot to take care of its employees, too.

The hospital offers a comprehensive health and wellness benefits package that includes two health plan options, dental and vision coverage, disability income protection, life insurance plans, college savings plans and tax-deferred retirement savings options. The hospital also participates in the South Carolina Retirement System and offers tuition reimbursement, a student loan relief program and scholarships for continuing education.

In addition to these benefits, Lexington Medical Center provides employees with free immunizations, annual health screenings and mammograms, and an on-site Employee Health Clinic. Its free, confidential employee assistance program is available to employees and their immediate family members for a variety of services – from legal advice and counseling to choosing summer camps and setting a household budget. Lexington Medical Center also offers on-site child care at its main campus. This accredited center has extended weekday hours, low teacher-to-student ratios and a safe, nurturing environment for the children of employees.

Outside the workplace, the hospital partners with local businesses to provide employees with discounted services and special offers. The hospital also sponsors a variety of community events to support the health and wellness of employees and people in the Midlands, such as the annual Governor’s Cup Road Race, Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk.

“I am happy the rest of South Carolina will know what we at our hospital have known for years. We have exceptional people providing exceptional care,” said Brian Smith, vice president of Human Resources. “The survey results are additional proof our Lexington Medical Center community is a fantastic place to work.”

Treating High Risk Pregnancies at Lexington Medical Center

From twins and triplets to high blood pressure and pre-term labor, many situations can lead to a high-risk pregnancy. At Lexington Maternal Fetal Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, Paul A. Browne, MD, FACOG, co-manages high-risk pregnancies with an expectant mom’s obstetrician or certified nurse midwife. In this WLTX interview, he explains common problems he sees and how he treats them.

Dr. Browne works with other obstetrics providers to help take care of moms who have pregnancy complications.

The two most common groups he sees having complications are women who wait until they’re older (late 30’s or 40’s) to begin having children, and women who are overweight.

Another common problem is preeclampsia – that’s a type of high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy in about 10 percent of women. It can be life-threatening to the mother and may may lead to premature delivery in order to protect the lives of mom and baby. Maintaining a healthy weight and taking some types of medication can lower the chances of preeclampsia.

According to Dr. Browne, the biggest risk factor for an early delivery is having a previous pre-term delivery. In addition, pregnant teenagers have a higher risk of pre-term delivery.

Dr. Browne’s advice? If you’re planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor about any health problems you have and begin prenatal care as early as possible.