Women’s Night Out for Breast Cancer

Lexington Medical Center will host its annual Women’s Night Out on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in downtown Columbia. The event recognizes October as breast cancer awareness month and honors cancer survivors and their families. More than 900 people attend each year.

Kate Larsen

Kate Larsen

Join us for a silent auction, physician exhibit, signature cocktail, fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors and dinner. Attendees will also enjoy a keynote speech by Kate Larsen. Diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at age 46, she went from a seasonal fitness instructor, personal trainer, certified wellness coach and mom of three to a chemotherapy patient. Larsen will talk about how the power of having girlfriends in the midst of a dark and difficult journey gave her help, hope and a renewed sense of joy in her life.

Proceeds from Women’s Night Out benefit the Crystal Smith Breast Cancer Fund, a Lexington Medical Center Foundation program that supports women undergoing cancer treatment.

“Women’s Night Out is an inspiring evening that recognizes resilient women in our community,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center.

Tickets for Women’s Night Out cost $40 each. Exhibits and the silent auction begin at 5:00 p.m. Dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. Call (803) 936-8850 or visit LexMed.com to purchase tickets. You can also sponsor a table for 8 honoring a breast cancer survivor for $350. Dress for the event is business casual, but jeans friendly. There will be free valet parking and a cash bar.

Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year. The hospital’s breast program has accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program also has accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.WNO_ColaMetro_7x4.875_pub.pdf

Heart Surgeries and Procedures Continue at Lexington Medical Center

This week, a court ruling instructed Lexington Medical Center to close its third catheterization lab and second open heart surgery operating room. Acting in complete compliance, we will close them by the end of the week. Despite the closure of these two rooms, it’s important to note that Lexington Medical Center’s heart program continues to be operational. Heart surgeries and catheterizations will continue as they have for the last two years in our Duke-affiliated program.

LMC Open Heart SurgeryLast year, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a “suspension” of the Certificate of Need (CON) program because the governor and the legislature failed to fund the program. DHEC advised Lexington Medical Center and other providers to proceed with needed projects during the “suspension” of CON. Projects that were undertaken would still require a license from DHEC.

At the time, our hospital operated two cardiac catheterization labs and one open heart surgery suite. Lexington Medical Center had the need for an additional catheterization lab and an additional open heart surgery suite. Lexington Medical Center requested and DHEC provided licensure for an additional catheterization lab and an additional open heart surgery suite. With DHEC’s approval, the units began providing care for our patients last year.

LMC’s heart program has been very successful in terms of quality, patient satisfaction and volume. This year, our team will perform more than 300 open heart surgeries. As the program has been very successful, we felt the need to add capacity to care for the increasing number of patients who choose to rely on our physicians and facilities.

A Columbia hospital filed a lawsuit asking that Lexington Medical Center not be allowed to use the new units to care for our patients. This week, a judge ruled that DHEC should not have granted the licenses without having already approved a CON for them.

What does this mean for LMC’s heart program? LMC will comply with the judge’s ruling and discontinue operating the units that were added until LMC receives a CON to do so, or until the CON law is reformed or repealed. We will continue to operate the previously existing catheterization labs and open heart surgery suite, and our Duke-affiliated heart program will continue to thrive and provide great care for our patients.

Unfortunately, in South Carolina, heart health is a significant issue and that will not change in the near term. We are responding to the health needs of the people we serve. All we can do is offer the best possible care for the people within our community, and have sufficient capacity to meet their needs.

The Flu Vaccine: Who Will You Do It For?

This time of year, it’s important to receive a flu vaccine. By becoming vaccinated, you protect yourself from getting sick and passing influenza to patients, co-workers, family members and others.

LMC is launching a flu vaccine campaign. Personalize a sign with the name of the person or persons for whom you get the flu vaccine. Then, ask someone to take a photo of you and your sign with a cell phone and post these pictures to Facebook or Instagram, or text the photo to your loved ones. Use hashtags #NotJustForYou! and #FluVaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated annually as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. Vaccination is especially important for health care workers and those who live with or care for people at high risk of flu complications, such as children younger than 2 years, adults older than 65 years and pregnant women.

Sometimes, people can be skeptical of the flu vaccine. In this news video from WIS-TV, LMC doctor Jeremy Crisp of Lexington Family Practice Northeast talks about that.

Meanwhile, take everyday preventive steps to reduce the spread of germs:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink fluids and eat healthy foods.
• Cough into your sleeve instead of your hands if you do not have a tissue.
• If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without taking fever-reducing medicine.
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.