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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm by Author One

October 1st marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month is a very important month because it provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness regarding early detection strategies for breast cancer. According to the U.S Department of Health, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and affects roughly 1 in 8 women in the United States during their lifetime. The primary focus of this month is to spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved. To learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month click here.


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Put your own oxygen mask on first!

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 9:54 am by Array

 “They made me take care of the vineyards; but my own vineyard I have neglected.” (Song of Solomon/Song of Songs 1:6b, The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible)

 

When I read this verse from the Bible, I think of so many of us for whom our life’s work is caring for others.  So many of us have the physical, emotional, or spiritual health of others in our hands, or we are committed to seeing that others are cared for. 

 

All of us in the hospital setting have the care of our patients, families, and staff first and foremost in our minds. Some days are more stressful than others; some days are filled with sadness.  There can be too much work and too little time, there can be too much suffering and not enough celebration.


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An elderly gentleman, an unending staircase, and courage

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 9:52 am by Array

The other day I was sitting on a bench near a huge set of seemingly unending stairs that went from a park to a major roadway.  There was a lot of traffic on the stairs as many avid runners were making the hike up and down the steps.  In the midst of this traffic, I saw an elderly gentleman shuffle his way from a local hospital towards the steps, cane in one hand and a look of determination on his face.  I wondered if he was really going to climb the stairs. Surely there must be an easier way for him to get to his destination! As he seemed to have a difficult time walking on level ground, I wondered how he would ever make the trek up the unending staircase. However, I watched as he slowly climbed the steps. He'd climb 3-5 stairs, pause to catch his breath, and then he would climb the next 3-5 stairs. He probably did not have to take this route, but he did and I admired him for it. I was in awe of this man’s courage, strength, and determination. It may have taken him a while to get up the stairs, but the point is that he did it! He eventually made it to the top!

 

This man reminded me that we get to our destinations by taking one step at a time. It doesn't have to be done perfectly or in record time. We can even be a bit unsteady as we go, but we need to keep placing one foot in front of the other in order to reach our goal.

 

What in your life feels like an unending staircase?  Are there projects that feel overwhelming?  Is there a dream you want to pursue, but it seems unattainable?  How might you courageously take steps towards your goal today? 

 ~Chaplain Crystal Vogt


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Changing Seasons

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 9:46 am by Anonymous

It is that time of year again when the days of summer slowly begin turning to autumn. While this happens with great certainty each year, the days of fall often catch us by surprise. Autumn announces itself in many different ways:

 

The sun sits just a bit lower in the sky, and the daylight permeates many areas that were previously shaded when the sun was directly above; the leaves turn from green to yellow, red, or brown, and they are beginning to fall from the branches above to the grass below; the morning air, which was once hot and sometimes quite humid, brings opportunity for a cool, brisk fresh breath of air that awakens the body, mind, and spirit; and, the birds gather and make an exit for a southbound journey.

 

In this way, summer turns to autumn, and we are reminded again that seasons change with great certainty. While we do not know exactly when the full effects of the coming season will set in, we trust that the seasons will always change. It is in the certainty of this that an important life lesson lays.


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Tips to Prevent the Spread of Flu

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm by Array

As we approach the month of October we also approach the beginning of the flu season.  As we get closer to the flu season it is important to keep in mind strategies to help prevent against the spread of the flu. Taking time to receive a flu vaccination is important, as it is the most effective line of defense against the flu. Additionally, it is important to take preventative action to stop the spread of germs as best as possible. Strategies that help reduce the spread of germs include: frequent and proper hand washing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals and avoiding touching your eyes and mouth as much as possible. The Center for Disease Control also recommends that individuals who are experiencing flu-like symptoms stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided, unless they are in need of medical care or other necessities. For more information regarding flu spread prevention visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm  


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