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Calling It Quits

Angel Pownall started smoking cigarettes when she was 18 years old because, like many people, her friends smoked.

Her habit grew to a pack a day. She quit during pregnancies, but started again after having her two children. Now in her 30s, the Lexington wife and mom knew she needed to quit for good.

“I didn’t want my kids to see me smoke, because I worried they might start smoking,” she said. “And I didn’t want to get lung cancer, have my life cut short and be taken away from them.”

Angel PownallLast year, she learned about a smoking-cessation class offered at Lexington Medical Center’s community medical center in Lexington and signed up.

Lisa Lewis, an RN for Cardiac Rehabilitation at LMC Lexington, initiated the program, which started in January 2013, with one goal in mind – help others to quit smoking. She received her certification from the American Lung Association as a tobacco-cessation facilitator and began to build a program.

The smoking-cessation program at LMC Lexington meets once a week for two hours and lasts eight weeks. It is open to anyone who wants to quit smoking, and because of a generous grant from the LMC Foundation, there is no cost to participate.

Since its inception, the smoking-cessation program at LMC Lexington has achieved a completion rate of 49%, which is above the national average, and 31% of those who completed the program have remained tobacco free.

The program doesn’t end with the completion of the eight-week course. Lewis and her team check on each participant at 30-, 90-, 180- and 365-day intervals for the first year. The American Lung Association also invited Lewis to become a facilitator trainer, which is a role usually reserved for its employees. LMC Lexington now has a team of five tobacco-cessation facilitators.

“It was refreshing to talk to people who knew what it was like to be a smoker and understood how hard it was to quit,” Angel said. “It was very supportive.”

Angel has a success story. She has not smoked a cigarette since completing the Lexington Medical Center smoking-cessation program. And she feels great.

“I don’t feel as tired or worn down. My skin looks better. My hair and clothes don’t smell like cigarettes anymore. I saw a chance to turn things around – and I’m so glad that I did.”

If you or someone you know wants to quit smoking and participate in Lexington Medical Center’s smoking-cessation program, please call (803) 358-6180.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.

Students Share the “Art of Healing”

Nine Lexington County high school students have received prizes and awards in the 6th annual “Art of Healing,” a juried art competition for Lexington County high school students sponsored by Lexington Medical Center in partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art. The students created projects including drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures that each depicted their interpretation of healing. The work will be on display from now until May 29 at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Art teachers from Lexington County high schools each chose one student’s artwork to enter. All artwork had to incorporate healing or health. Steven Ford, owner of Steven Ford Interiors, Jane Przybysz, executive director of the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, and Michael Story, an award-winning fine artist, judged the entries and selected the winners.

“We wanted to give students the opportunity to express their interpretation of ‘healing’ through artwork,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center. “Every year, the quality of artwork impresses us more and more. It is a wonderful experience for students to have their artwork displayed at the Columbia Museum of Art for our community to see.”

Many of the students’ entries shared inspirational personal stories of family members’ health challenges and recovery.

Students received their awards at a reception at the Columbia Museum of Art on April 30. The students, their teachers, school administrators, hospital staff, and museum employees attended.

Congratulations to all winners!

1st Prize
“No Medicine Better than Nature” by Elizabeth Rola, River Bluff High School

2nd Prize
“Overcoming the Dark” by Lacy Appleton, River Bluff High School

3rd Prize
“Hope” by Alexis Bouknight, Chapin High School

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Juror’s Choice
“Death in Beauty” by Addie Herrick, Brookland-Cayce High School
“Pet Comfort” by Anna Grace Romine, Lexington High School
“I am Beautiful” by Jessica Jacobs, Chapin High School

Honorable Mention
“Ms. Cathy” by Nicole Whitlock, Chapin High School
“Family Healing” by Caro Cornwell, Spring Hill High School
“Unspoken Language” by Mackenzie Briggs, River Bluff High School

A Sweet Melody

The melodious tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” fills the community room inside Lexington Medical Center Extended Care as pianist Linda Skipper, who volunteers regularly at Extended Care, brings a beautiful baby grand piano to life with her tremendous talent.

And the residents love it.

“You’ll see feet tap that don’t normally tap, a lot of smiles and sometimes tears,” she said.

Pianist_ExtCareThe baby grand piano at Extended Care was a gift from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation in 2011. The instrument fills the room with incredible sound as volunteers play it nearly every day. Everyone here is grateful for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation is able to provide here thanks to generous donors in our community.

Lexington Medical Center Extended Care is the hospital’s 352-bed skilled nursing facility, the largest in the Carolinas. It also includes the 36-bed Carroll Campbell Place for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, which was named in honor of the late South Carolina governor, Carroll Campbell, who lived there.

Over the years, the Lexington Medical Center Foundation has made more than $1.2 million in contributions to the facility, including new televisions, renovations to walkways, gathering spaces and resident units, and landscaping.

“When we admit a resident, we admit the whole family,” said Wayne Stowe, vice president of Extended Care. “Creating a beautiful facility with well-appointed features helps patients and family members feel more comfortable and have better visits together.”

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.