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Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss @cindyweiss

Activity by Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss @cindyweiss

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48 minutes ago by @cindyweiss · View  

Rise in Head and Neck Cancer Spurs Innovations in Care

a medical illustrations of the head and neck cancer regions

Incidence of head and neck cancers – usually defined as malignancies above the collarbone but outside the brain – are on the rise, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS).  The most common is thyroid cancer, with more than 62,000 cases annually.

Other head and neck cancers, including tumors of the mouth, tongue, throat, vocal cords, and salivary glands, account for about 3 percent of all new cancer diagnosis in the U.S.  This year, more than 61,000 new cases will be diagnosed.

According to the ACS, the primary causes of most head and neck cancers, which are more common in men than women, are: alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to HPV, the same virus that increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.

“In the past decade, we’ve seen an epidemic rise in cancers in the back of the throat, specifically in the tonsils and the base of the tongue ─ most which are related to HPV,” says Dr. Geoffrey Young, a head and neck surgeon in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

The growing number of cases, coupled with advancements in technology and treatment options, has “created a new paradigm in caring for these patients, as they usually require multiple subspecialists coordinating care over weeks and months,” says Dr. Young.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, at 507-284-5005 or [email protected].

JOURNALISTS: Animation and sound bites are in the downloads.

New treatment options

To help streamline the care process, Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida recently launched a Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Clinic, offering patients a single point of entry into Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Center. The new clinic provides a coordinated approach to specialty care, including surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuro-radiology and pathology.

In recent years, advances in minimally invasive robotic surgery, mean patients suffering from throat cancers, in particular, have more treatment options. “We now have the opportunity, thanks to advances in robotic surgery and minimally invasive techniques, to treat patients who previously were not candidates for surgery,” says Dr. Young.

In addition, research has also led to advances in chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

The value of the new multidisciplinary clinic, in addition to convenience, says Dr. Young, is that patients have the opportunity to learn about all the available treatment options and make real-time decisions with the entire team of experts.

“In a single office visit, patients have a full analysis with all of the providers. And at the end of the 45 minutes, they have a comprehensive treatment plan individualized to them so they can immediately begin treatment,” explains Dr. Young.

Seeking expertise

Diagnosing head and neck cancers can be challenging, since many do not have symptoms until they are in the later stages. As such, Dr. Young recommends seeking out medical advice for any changes or pain in the mouth, throat, or neck.

“The most common misconception is that these cancers cannot be cured. With the right treatment, many patients can return to a normal quality of life,” says Dr. Young.

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1 day ago by @cindyweiss · View  

Pediatricians Central in Zika Patient Care

a baby or infant's head being cradled in the hands of a doctor in a white coat with a stethoscope
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to track pregnant women with Zika infections, the organization has said that due to the risks, children – and infants especially – must be monitored closely after confirmed exposure for developmental and neurological issues.

A recent report indicates that children affected with Zika will need multidisciplinary care, particularly since the implications of the illness may not be apparent for some time.

“The primary pediatrician will play a critical role in following a Zika-exposed infant or child, not only to closely monitor growth and development, but to coordinate care with specialists such as pediatric ophthalmologists, ear, nose and throat physicians, and neurologists,” says Dr. Vandana Bhide, an internist and pediatrician at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Other important roles of the pediatrician include ensuring timely vaccinations and blood tests for children as well as appropriate referrals to intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy for those youngsters found to have motor and intellectual developmental delays,” she adds.

Pediatricians also can be a valuable support resource for families who suddenly find themselves caring for a special needs child.

Related posts:

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4 days ago by @cindyweiss · View  

Non-travel Zika Case Spurs Concerns: Tips for Protection

a computer monitor screen of the CDC website with a magnifying glass, illustrating the words "Zika virus"Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with the Florida Department of Health to investigate the first Zika case that appears to have no connection to travel or sexual contact transmission.

Mayo Clinic internal medicine specialist Dr. Vandana Bhide from Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, says the challenge is determining if there is now an infected population of mosquitoes in the U.S.

Listen to Dr. Vandana Bhide discuss Zika virus.

“We know which mosquitoes carry the Zika virus, and they are very common and like being around people,” says Dr. Bhide. “The concern is that we don’t yet know if there is an infected mosquito population here in the U.S. or if there is some other person-to-person spread.”

"Identifying a population of mosquitoes that are infected with the Zika virus is not a simple process, despite the tracking and monitoring of the insects," says Dr. Bhide. “Now is the time when we need to think about this,” she adds, noting that the best defense against infection is to avoid being bitten.

To avoid mosquito bites, you should:

  • Control environmental factors, such as standing water.
  • Stay indoors more.
  • Use insect repellant or protection such as mosquito nets.

According to local Florida news reports, health officials say they are investigating a second possible case of Zika spread locally.

 

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Journalists: Sound bites are in the downloads.

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Tue, May 31 at 1:00pm EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Your Hearing At Risk? Protect Your Ears

a man trying to listen, cupping his ear because of hearing loss
Hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process. But, noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise, leading to May being recognized as Better Hearing Month.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15 percent of adults in the U.S. from 20 to 69 and 5 percent of children over 6 are affected by noise-induced hearing loss.

“The two most common reasons for hearing loss are aging and noise-induced hearing loss,” says Dr. Greta Stamper, an audiologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Noise-induced hearing loss can occur anytime you are exposed to excessively loud sounds. It occurs most often due to repetitive exposure to loud sounds but permanent hearing loss can occur after even one episode,” says Dr. Stamper.

The most common causes of noise-induced hearing loss include exposure to loud music, lawn equipment, heavy machinery or power tools, and gunfire.

In most cases, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.

Reducing risk

To reduce the risk for noise-induced hearing loss, Dr. Stamper offers these recommendations:

  • Avoid or limit exposure to excessively loud sounds.
  • Limit volume on headphones, especially for children.
  • Use properly fitting ear protection.
  • Keep ear protection handy. She recommends foam ear inserts as a portable, cost-effective alternative, since they can be stored easily in a pocket, purse or glove compartment for unanticipated exposure.
  • Seek medical attention if there is sudden hearing loss, ongoing ringing or pain in the ear.

When to get a hearing test

For most adults, a preventive hearing screen at age 50 is sufficient. Then, a screening every five to 10 years afterward, based on individual circumstances, is ideal, says Dr. Stamper. Once hearing loss is identified, though, an annual follow-up with an audiologist is recommended.

Watch: Dr. Stamper explains hearing, the types of hearing loss and ways to reduce hearing loss.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Stamper are available in the downloads.

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Tue, May 24 at 8:52am EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

New Immunotherapy Approved for Metastatic Bladder Cancer

a medical imaging view of a bladder before and after treatmentPatients with metastatic bladder cancer have few treatment options after failure of chemotherapy until now.

In early May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the immunological drug Atezolizumab to treat metastatic bladder cancer. The decision came following results of an international, multisite phase II clinical study published in the March 4 edition of the Lancet. Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was one of the largest sites involved in the study.

Dr. Richard Joseph, a Mayo Clinic oncologist involved in the study, says the drug works by helping the patient’s own immune system fight cancer.

“Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer, causing 165,000 deaths worldwide annually,” says Dr. Joseph, whose research is part of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program within the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

“Until now, treatment options for patients with metastatic bladder cancer were limited. Chemotherapy has been the only option for these patients, but many people are unable to tolerate the full course of chemotherapy, due to its toxicity. New approaches, such as immunotherapy medications like this, are desperately needed.”

Watch: Dr. Joseph explains the study, how the new drug works and treatment options.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Joseph are in the downloads.

Of the 310 patients involved in the study, 15–20 percent had significant and lasting response, says Dr. Joseph, which is part of what led to the FDA's fast approval.  "The response rates lead us to believe these patients will have very long and durable remissions," he adds.

Tumors can avoid immune system surveillance by expressing genes that turn off the immune system and prevent it from recognizing them. Atezolizumab inhibits one such gene present on the surface of bladder cancer tumor cells, thereby allowing the immune system to recognize and attack the tumor.

Immunotherapy drugs have also recently been approved for melanoma, kidney cancer and lung cancer.

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Tue, May 10 at 2:00pm EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Stroke Happens Regardless of Age, Race or Gender

a man lying on the sidewalk holding his chest, having a heart attack or stroke, with a woman helping him and calling for help on the phone

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke.

Often called a brain attack, a stroke occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts.

Although many people think of stroke as a condition that affects only older adults, strokes occur in people of all ages.

“Your stroke risk does increase as you age, but stroke can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or race,” says Dr. David Miller, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

While death rates for stroke are falling, it remains the leading cause of disability in the U.S., according to the 2015 update from the American Heart Association, which estimates issues such as paralysis, speech difficulties, memory issues and emotional problems are significant in stroke patients.

“Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke, and getting emergent medical attention is critical, since some of the treatments are time sensitive,” Dr. Miller says.

“Thanks to advances in technology and medicine, we now have new treatments and therapies to treat stroke and reduce one’s risk of permanent damage – or death. But, the faster we can accurately diagnose a stroke and begin treatment, the better possible outcome.”

Know the signs and symptoms

Stroke symptoms typically occur suddenly and affect one side of the body. The most common signs of stroke include:

  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Facial drooping
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Double or blurry vision, or sudden blindness in one eye
  • Severe or unusual headache

If you recognize one or any of these signs and symptoms, call 911. Stroke is a medical emergency.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Miller are available in the downloads.

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Fri, Feb 26 at 3:44pm EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Heart Health Challenge: Feeding Your Heart

Mediterranean salad with black olives, cheese, bright red tomatoes with olive oil dripping from a spoon

While research shows consuming food high in sugar, salt and saturated fat can increase the risk for heart disease, it’s often difficult to change your eating habits. Dr. Amy Pollak, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, encourages embracing a Mediterranean diet, which offers many heart-healthy benefits.

Dr. Amy Pollak's Heart Healthy Diet Challenge

Dr. Pollak's top three heart-healthy tips are as follows:

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. Besides being low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables are full of important vitamins and minerals.
  • Use olive oil in cooking or salads instead of mayonnaise or other rich condiments.
  • Eat at least one serving of fish per week. There are many recipes on Mayo Clinic’s website and the American Heart Association's website.

Dr. Pollak also recommends reducing sodium intake, which can be a leading cause in high blood pressure, which can significantly impact risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Journalists: Broadcast quality video with Dr. Pollak is available in the downloads.

 

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Thu, Feb 25 at 8:15pm EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Heart Health Challenge: Mind Your Salt

a salt shaker on its side next to a mound of salt

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In honor of heart month, Dr. Amy Pollak, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, urges making small heart-healthy changes to your diet, including reducing your salt intake.

For optimal heart-health, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. Too much salt, says Dr. Pollak, can increase your blood pressure, in turn, increasing your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Amy Pollak's Salt Challenge

 

Tips to cut salt intake:

  • Check labels.
  • Choose low or no-salt options of foods.
  • Try a salt substitute.
  • Use herbs, spices or vegetables like onions and garlics to add flavor instead of salt.
  • Use a sodium tracker.
  • Check out the “Sodium Breakup.”

Here are recipe make-over tips that will help you reduce sugar, salt and fat.

See an earlier Mayo Clinic Minute on monitoring salt intake.

Journalists: Broadcast quality video is available in the downloads. (TRT 1:00)

 

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Wed, Feb 10 at 10:17am EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Feeding Recovery for Endurance Athletes

crowd of runners running in marathon or race

Whether running, cycling or swimming, when engaged in sporting activities for more than two to three hours at a time it’s important to replenish your body’s fuel store to rebuild muscle and ensure a necessary supply of energy for the future.

“Recovery is a hot topic now in sports nutrition and whether there is a two-hour window of recovery after training or participating in a race,” says registered dietitian and nutritionist Erica Goldstein, who works on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

“The two-hour window is specific to endurance athletes, so the first thing I recommend to start the recovery process after an endurance run, ride or swim is to replenish carbohydrate stores,” says Goldstein.

“Additionally, most athletes who are training or racing for more than three hours at a time are likely burning protein for fuel as well as carbohydrates. So it’s important to restore protein as well, to help repair and rebuild new body proteins,” she says.

Drinking a carbohydrate-containing beverage that also includes protein soon after finishing is ideal, she adds. Chocolate milk meets these criteria.

It’s important, she adds, to take in the right amount of carbohydrates and protein to maximize recovery.

How much do you need?

After extended training or finishing a long race, Goldstein says athletes should consume 1-1.2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Your body weight in pounds divided by 2.2 equals your body weight in kilograms.

For protein, approximately 20-25 grams of protein is ideal to consume at one time, within the first two hours of an event, to support maximal growth and repair. Good choices for protein include milk, whey protein or pea protein, which is often found in commercial beverages or as a powder. Dietary sources of protein include chicken, fish, eggs, or nuts and nut butters.

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Thu, Jan 21 at 2:58pm EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Carbs and Endurance Training: Tips for Success

man running, jogging, exercising on bridge
For athletes engaged in endurance sports – like running, cycling or swimming for more than 2-3 hours at a time – carbohydrates are a necessity to provide fuel to the muscles and are critical to go the distance.

Registered dietician and nutritionist Erica Goldstein offers a variety of tips to help athletes understand the best foods and options for carb loading during training.

“The top question I’m usually asked is what I should be eating during training,” says Goldstein, who sees patients on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

First, it’s important to understand what a carbohydrate is, she says.

“Carbohydrate is stored in the body in the form of glycogen, which is basically links of glucose – or sugar – stored in large amounts. Glycogen can be broken down during continual exercise to provide energy for muscle contraction,” she explains.

Examples of carbs

Fructose, glucose and sucrose are three forms of carbohydrates. These can be found in a variety of foods, including: fruits, like bananas, raisins and dates; and starch, like potatoes, pasta and rice.

Of course, there are a variety of sports-specific gels, chews and performance bars developed for athletes.

How much do you need?

The body can only store so much glycogen, so it is essential to consume carbohydrates during prolonged exercise, usually greater than an hour, to continue to provide energy to working muscle. “Otherwise, you may compromise your ability to finish your training,” Goldstein says.

According to research, she recommends consuming carbohydrates based on the intensity and duration of training.

  • 30 g after the first 60 minutes is enough for training lasting 60-90 minutes
  • 60 g per hour after the first 2-2.5 hours
  • 90 g per hour after 3 hours, dependent on high-intensity exercise (~75% of maximal effort)

Goldstein advises athletes vary the types of carbohydrate consumed. “Mix it up; see what works for your body and what you can tolerate,” she advises.

She also recommends reviewing food labels to determine total grams of carbohydrates in a product, as well as the specific ingredients (e.g., glucose, fructose, sucrose).

Journalists: Sound bites with Erica Goldstein are available in the downloads below.

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Fri, Jan 1 at 10:00am EDT by @cindyweiss · View  

Welcome 2016 with Better Health

2016 new year sign with person reaching out to the sunrise

The New Year brings a lot of good intentions, including resolutions to lose weight, eat better and  live healthier. Starting off the New Year with an annual physical and several screening tests can help you make 2016 your healthiest yet.

"For someone trying to get healthy in the New Year, the most important thing I think is to know your numbers, including body mass index, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol," says Vandana Bhide, M.D., internist and pediatrician at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Fl. 

Additionally, an annual physical can provide an important snapshot of a person's health at a specific point in time, regardless of age. "Having this information allows us to help create an appropriate plan for healthful changes," she says.

Age, gender and family history will dictate the timing and necessity of other tests but Dr. Bhide recommends the following screenings for overall wellness:

She adds that the New Year is also ideal for children to have a check-up, including a review of immunizations. For teenagers, the HPV/cervical cancer vaccine may be indicated.

Journalists: Broadcast quality sound bites from Dr. Bhide are available in the downloads. 

 

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Nov 24, 2015 by @cindyweiss · View  

Laura's Breathing Easy After Pulmonary Hypertension Surgery

In her down time, Laura Floeckhler, 45, enjoyed visiting the theme parks in her hometown of Orlando, Fla. But last year she started getting short of breathe and her legs began to swell. Walking was painful. She bought a cooler and kept it by her bed to avoid having to leave her bedroom. On Christmas night 2014, Laura was taken by ambulance to her local hospital, where she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a rare disorder of the lungs affecting about 30 in every 1 million people.

November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. Mayo Clinic in Florida is one of 26 designated Pulmonary Hypertension and Vascular Disease Centers in the country, recognized based on patient volumes, comprehensive care, family support and research initiatives.

Thanks to a complex surgery known as pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, Laura is now breathing easier and looking forward to adventures with her first grandchild.

Learn more about pulmonary hypertension awareness

JOURNALISTS:  For an interview with Laura or her physicians, please contact Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at [email protected] or 507-284-5005.

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Nov 24, 2015 by @cindyweiss · View  

Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness

Pulmonary hypertension is a disorder of the lungs that affects the way blood is pumped and circulated.

November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. About 20,000 people in the United States are being treated for pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Mayo Clinic in Florida is one of 26 designated Pulmonary Hypertension and Vascular Disease Centers in the country, recognized based on patient volumes, comprehensive care, family support and research initiatives.

Pulmonologist Dr. Charles Burger, who directs the Florida clinical program, likens PH to “a kink that develops in a water hose." And like a kinked hose, pressure builds up, he says, forcing the right side of the heart to work harder to increase blood flow to the lungs. Eventually, the heart enlarges and fails.

“There are five different categories of pulmonary hypertension, so this can be a very difficult disease to diagnose and treat,” says Dr. Burger. Some patients require a heart transplant or a heart and lung transplant.

There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, although a small percentage of patients who are diagnosed with a sub-type of PH that causes blood clots in the lungs are essentially healed if they undergo a complex surgery known as pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. Mayo Clinic in Florida is the only center in the south offering this procedure.

WATCH Laura's Story: Breathing Easy After Pulmonary Hypertension Surgery

JOURNALISTS: Animation and sound bites are available in the downloads. For interviews, please contact Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, at [email protected] or 507-284-5005.

 

 

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Nov 18, 2015 by @cindyweiss · View  

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

pancreatic cancer awareness purple ribbon

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center experts are available to discuss this often fatal illness, risk factors, treatments and advances in research. Pancreatic cancer accounts for only 3 percent of all cancers but is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, by the end of the year, 49,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and an estimated 41,000 will die from the disease.

Surgeon Horacio Asbun, M.D., from Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville campus and specializes in pancreatic and abdominal surgery, says pancreatic cancer is very challenging to treat. Due in part to its vague symptoms, pancreatic cancer is seldom diagnosed in the early stages. And with its proximity to other organs, cancer cells often spread quickly — including to the liver, gallbladder and intestines. "Surgery is the only chance for cure, but typically only about 20 percent of all patients are candidates, as often the disease has spread to other organs by the time it is diagnosed," he says. Those eligible for surgery usually undergo a Whipple procedure.

JOURNALISTS: Sound bites with Dr. Asbun are available in the downloads.
For interviews with Dr. Asbun  (in English or Spanish),  please contact Cynthia Weiss in Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at [email protected] or 507-284-5005.

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Sep 30, 2015 by @cindyweiss · View  

Mayo Clinic Hosts FCC Broadband Health Summit


Mayo Clinic
is partnering with the Federal Communications Commission to host its Connect2HealthFCC Broadband Summit on Thursday, Oct. 1, Mayo's campus in Jacksonville, Fla. The event highlights how broadband-enabled health technologies can transform health care for seniors and people with disabilities.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2060, 1 out of every 4 Americans will be 65 or older. As our population ages and more Americans assume caregiving tasks for family members, broadband-enabled health technologies hold great promise to help address access to care issues, facilitate the next generation of caregiving and provide new self-management tools.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Ommen, Dr. TerKonda, Commissioner Clyburn and Chairman Wheeler are available in the downloads. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-2299, [email protected] [...]

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Aug 28, 2015 by @cindyweiss · View  

Hurricane Season - Preparing for the Storm

NOAA image of storm Erika 8/28

MEDIA ADVISORY: Hurricane Season Food Safety and Meal Plans: Mayo Clinic Experts Offer Storm Prep Suggestions

As Tropical Storm Erika brews in the Atlantic, residents of coastal communities are starting to prepare for a potential severe weather emergency. But hurricane shutters, flashlights and batteries are not the only things to consider. Food safety is critical to maintaining well being during a natural disaster, and finding creative ways to feed a family can become an issue if refrigeration and electricity are unavailable.

"Whether it's a hurricane or another natural disaster, it's critical to understand basic food and water safety, particularly if power outages or flooding occur. Having a plan in place will ensure proper nutrition, energy, and long-term wellness," says Sherry Mahoney, director of Nutrition and Food Services at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

She advises creating a meal plan in advance, "since most people aren't thinking about recipes (during a disaster), and refrigeration and cooking may become a problem."

But registered dietitian and nutritionist Emily Brantley says eating out of a can doesn't have to be boring."There are many options to mix and match from your pantry, and with advanced planning and a little creativity, you can provide healthy and delicious meals for your family."

To interview experts please contact Cynthia Weiss Mayo Clinic Public Affairs,
507-284-5005,
[email protected]

Journalists:  sound bites with Emily Brantley are available in the downloads.

 

[...]

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Aug 18, 2014 by @cindyweiss · View  

First in Florida to Receive National Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic’s stroke center in Jacksonville is the first center in Florida to receive national Comprehensive Stroke Center certification, joining an elite group of centers throughout the United States that are focused on providing advanced and complex stroke care.

 

 

Centers that achieve this distinction — awarded by The Joint Commission working with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association — are recognized as leaders that help set the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care. The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

[...]

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Aug 4, 2014 by @cindyweiss · View  

Mayo Clinic in Florida Recognized for High-Quality, Cost-Effective Transplant Care

Mayo Clinic in Florida entrance - Florida campusJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has been recognized as one of the first facilities in the nation to receive the Blue Distinction Centers+SM designation in the area of transplant care. Awarded through Florida Blue as part of a national program from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, the designation recognizes hospitals shown to deliver high-quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.

Mayo Clinic in Florida is also recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for its quality care and services in the areas of cardiac care, hip and knee replacements and spine surgery. [...]

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Oct 17, 2013 by @cindyweiss · View  

Flu Update: Mayo Clinic Experts Encourage Flu Vaccinations, Dispel Common Myths

Vaccination Options Are Available for Everyone

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Vandana Bhide, M.D., talking about the flu and flu vaccinations, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Jacksonville, FL — Flu season is upon us, and despite what most people think, influenza is a serious and potentially deadly disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 30,000 deaths occur annually as a result of flu and associated complications. With last year's flu outbreak ranking among the worst in recent history, Mayo Clinic experts offer advice and dispel many misconceptions about the flu to help people stay healthy.

"The vaccine is the best defense against flu and serious flu-related conditions, and because it's difficult to predict how and when the flu will strike, I recommend getting it as early as you can," says Teresa Seville, M.D., Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Vandana Bhide, M.D., internal medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, advises everyone to consider a flu shot, particularly those at high risk for complications — individuals over the age of 65, pregnant women, children 6 months to two years, and individuals with chronic medical disorders or who are immune-compromised. "Though many people who get the flu will have fever, muscle aches and need to stay home from work or school for a few days, certain people can develop serious complications, which could include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and other conditions. The vaccine can help avoid these issues."

This year, there are several new options for vaccination, including a shot and nasal spray with four strains of influenza rather than the traditional three strains. A high-dose vaccine for the elderly is also available as well as a new vaccine without egg proteins, for those with egg allergies. "There is an option for everyone," says Dr. Bhide.

One of the most common myths about the flu is that the vaccine will cause the flu. "Although many people believe this, it is a myth," says Jennifer White, M.D., family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield, Minn. "Injectable flu vaccines are composed of portions of inactivated flu proteins, and it's impossible for them to cause the flu. Nasal spray vaccines have live, weakened flu organisms that can't multiply or cause disease."

Dr. White adds that pregnant women are encouraged to use the injectable vaccines as the nasal sprays have not yet been studied in pregnant women.

"In general, the best way to avoid getting sick with the flu is by getting vaccinated and practicing healthy habits," says Dr. Seville.

Here are some tips for avoiding illness:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is particularly important before leaving the bathroom, eating or touching your face. Dr. Seville says it doesn't matter if you use cold, warm or hot water, but hot water may increase the chance of skin irritation. A good rule of thumb is to wash your hands for 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday." Use a paper towel to shut off the faucet and open the door while in a public restroom. This will keep you from recontaminating your hands.
  • Don't smoke. In general, smoking makes you more susceptible to illness.
  • Cover your cough with the crook of your elbow.
  • Avoid others who are sick, and stay home from work or school if you are ill. Dr. Bhide recommends visiting the doctor if you are part of the high risk group for flu or around someone who is at risk.
  • Keep your vaccines up to date. Aside from the seasonal flu shot, the most important vaccines include measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and the relatively new Tdap, for tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (whooping cough).

 

For more information about preventing the flu, please visitmayoclinic.com.

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

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Aug 24, 2012 by @cindyweiss · View  

Hurricane Food Safety and Meal Plans

Jacksonville, Fla. — August 24, 2012.  As another storms brews in the Atlantic, residents of coastal communities are starting to prepare for a potential severe weather emergency. But hurricane shutters, flashlights and batteries are not the only things to consider. Food safety is critical to maintaining wellbeing during a natural disaster, and finding creative ways to feed a family can become an issue if refrigeration and electricity are unavailable.

Doctor pushing virtual first aid button

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video and audio clips of Ron Stone, Nutrition Services at Mayo Clinic, are available for journalists to download on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

"Whether it's a hurricane or another natural disaster, it's critical to understand basic food and water safety, particularly if power outages or flooding occur. Having a plan in place will ensure proper nutrition, energy, and long-term wellness," says Sherry Mahoney, director of Nutrition and Food Services at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

She advises creating a meal plan in advance, "since most people aren't thinking about recipes (during a disaster), and refrigeration and cooking may become a problem."

But eating out of a can doesn't have to be boring, says Ron Stone, Assistant Director of Nutrition. "There are many options to mix and match from your pantry, and with advanced planning and a little creativity, you can provide healthy and delicious meals for your family," he says."

Under their direction, Mayo Clinic dietetic interns recently created sample three-day meal plans (PDF) to feed a family of four. The recipes do not require the use of power or refrigeration, but are still "colorful, exciting and nutritious," Mahoney says.

The recipe list (PDF) includes "Coconut Oatmeal Energy Bars," "Stir It Up Vanilla Pudding Parfait," "Reggie's Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad on Flatbread" or "Chocoholic Peanut Butter Pie."

Here are tips from Stone for prepping your pantry and planning an emergency menu:

  • Know the safe temperature zones of perishable food. When the power goes out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold. The refrigerator, if unopened, will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for around 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
  • Stock up on condiments, particularly those that are vinegar-based, which have a long shelf life and are versatile, such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and BBQ sauce. Consider travel-sized containers for convenience.
  • Keep canned protein on hand (chicken, salmon, beans and peanut butter).
  • Don't forgo the milk: Keep boxes of powdered milk or shelf-stable cartons on hand for cereal or deserts.
  • Dried fruits, nuts and spices can add a boost of flavor to otherwise bland dishes.
  • Don't forget a manual can opener.

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