Week of the Young Child

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

We are currently in the Week of the Young Child™, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families.  This year’s theme is Early Years are Learning Years®.

Nutrition plays such an important role in a child’s normal growth and development.  Guiding a child to develop healthy eating habits increases the chances that they will maintain a healthy weight throughout life.  And finally, what fits so well with this year’s theme is how essential nutrition is to support learning.

So, here are some tips to help your child -

  • Toddlers need smaller portions than adults.  What’s a quick way to estimate?  Serve a tablespoon of food per year of age.  So a 2 year old should be served 2 tablespoons of the foods being served at a meal.
  • Emphasize whole fruits instead of juice.  Try melon balls, mandarin oranges, and frozen berries.
  • Whole milk is recommended only up to the age of 2 years old.  Choose low-fat milk or yogurt and reduced fat cheese after the age of 2 years.
  • Have a picky eater?  Relax and create a calm setting.  Limit distractions – turn off the T.V.  Provide regular meals and snacks.  Serve a variety of colorful nutrient rich foods.  Picky eaters may not eat perfectly every day, but over several days they do just fine!
  • Do not skip breakfast!  Eating breakfast helps school aged kids focus and concentrate better in the classroom and perform better on math, reading and standardized tests.

For more information, recipes, and meal ideas visit www.kidseatright.org

Shining Bright in Palmetto Gold

by Sarah McClanahan

The South Carolina Nurses Foundation has honored three Lexington Medical Center nurses with the prestigious Palmetto Gold Award. Amanda Baker, Eileen Beasley and Kimberly Connor received the award, which recognizes 100 nurses from across South Carolina each year for excellence and commitment to the nursing profession. South Carolina Nurses Foundation will present the Palmetto Gold awards at a gala banquet this month.

Employers throughout the state nominate nurses for the Palmetto Gold Award. Nominees must meet four criteria:

 Promotes and advances the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community
 Displays exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues
 Demonstrates leadership and assists others in growth and development
 Promotes the profession of nursing and contributes to the advancement of nursing through civic, community and/or professional association activities

Thank you to the 2012 Palmetto Gold recipients for your commitment and dedication to Lexington Medical Center. Congratulations!

Amanda Baker


Amanda Baker, certified registered nurse anesthetist, is a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the South Carolina State Board of Nursing. She also serves as a liaison for the South Carolina State Standards and Practice Committee. In addition to her work as a full-time CRNA, Baker is the anesthesia clinical coordinator for the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School for Anesthesia. She has given presentations on vascular anesthesia as well as emergent obstetric cases with complicated, co-morbidities, which received approval for departmental continuing education credits. Baker also gives to her community by participating in the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes and volunteering in a vascular screening clinic.

Eileen Beasley


As a certified critical care nurse, Eileen Beasley provides direct patient care. But as a Medical Intensive Care Unit clinical mentor, she orients and provides education to staff. She researched and developed a proposal to purchase the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Essentials of Critical Care Orientation Plan, which received approval for purchase and implementation in 2012. Beasley also developed bedside quick reference guides for nurses and a cardiovascular education packet for MICU nurses. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree in Nursing Education, Beasley currently conducts weekly classes for a 30-bed Surgical Unit on cardiac education. In addition, she volunteers to feed the homeless and teaches at-risk children how to read. And she recently volunteered for Mission 2011, a free medical clinic for Midlands’ residents coordinated with United Way.

Kimberly Connor


In addition to patient care, Kimberly Connor serves as the Unit Based Practice Committee secretary. She is responsible for preparing and distributing the agenda and recording meeting minutes each month. A member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the South Carolina Nurses Association, she is an adjunct faculty member for nursing students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. She also works as a unit preceptor for new and student nurses. Connor helped to write the application for the Beacon Award, which recognizes excellence in practice for critical care units, by providing input on section questions and assisting with editing. Her volunteer efforts reach a global scale with annual medical mission trips to Honduras. Not only does she help meet the health needs of this country, but she and her husband also sponsor a child there.