http://bestneighborsever.com Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:27:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Zoom In on the Flu http://bestneighborsever.com/zoom-in-on-the-flu/ Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:27:10 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4859 The post Zoom In on the Flu appeared first on .

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As the early spring approaches, you may think you’ve steered clear of the dreaded flu. This is simply not true. According to Texas Health and Human Services, this season’s influenza activity “remains high across the state, with a marginal increase in patient visits due to influenza-like illness and specimens testing positive for flu.”

February is a peak month for flu-like illnesses to spread. When it comes to preventing the flu, knowledge is power. Neighbors Emergency Center is committed to sharing education about the flu to help you and your family stay healthy.

What is the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by an internal virus in the body. The flu virus attacks the body by spreading throughout the upper and lower respiratory tract. Sometimes the symptoms of the flu can be mistaken for that of the common cold. However, the flu brings along a host of additional symptoms including congestion, sneezing and a sore throat. It is also common to experience a high fever that can last several days, as well as body aches, fatigue and weakness.

What causes the flu?

There are several types of viruses that can cause a cold, but only influenza viruses types A, B and C can cause the flu. The flu is highly contagious and can easily spread through contact. You can simply breath it in, or you can get it on your hands from everyday objects like silverware and doorknobs. When you touch your nose, eyes or mouth, the virus can enter your body. Viruses can live longer indoors which is why the flu virus spreads so easily in the wintertime.

How can I avoid the flu?

Experts say the single best way to avoid the flu is by getting a flu shot. The ideal time is early fall; however, any time during the winter will work as well. It is also extremely important to wash your hands! This means using both soap and warm water, and scrubbing vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Keeping your hands clean will remove germs that would otherwise enter your body through contact with your eyes, nose and mouth. Finally, avoid contact with sick people. The flu spreads through microscopic droplets that go airborne. These droplets can easily be inhaled by simply being in close proximity with someone who is ill.

I have the flu. Now what?

If you have the flu, it is important to limit your contact with others as much as possible. Do not go to school, work or run errands as this will help prevent you from spreading your illness to other people. Even if you are feeling better you can spread the flu a full 7 days after your symptoms have started. You should also disinfect and sanitize any surfaces or objects you frequently use to protect your loved ones from your germs. If your doctor prescribes you antiviral drugs, it is important to take them. Certain groups of people are at a higher risk for flu complications. This includes those over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women and people with medical issues. For these at-risk groups, taking care of yourself properly can be the difference between caring for a mild flu illness and needing hospitalization.

Keep your family healthy this season with these helpful flu tips. Neighbors Emergency Center has many locations throughout Texas. Our board-certified physicians, state-of-the-art technology and onsite laboratory for quick test results make it easy for us to care for your family’s medical emergencies 24/7. Trust your best Neighbors ever for care that counts and experience that matters. See your wait time for any location online now!

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Love Your Heart: 5 Ways to Control Your Blood Pressure http://bestneighborsever.com/love-heart-5-ways-control-blood-pressure/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:45:56 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4855 February kicks off American Heart Month, which is a wonderful time to commit to living a healthier lifestyle. One way many Americans are striving to stay healthy this year is by keeping their blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is a condition that affects about 75 million Americans. High blood pressure is known as…

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February kicks off American Heart Month, which is a wonderful time to commit to living a healthier lifestyle. One way many Americans are striving to stay healthy this year is by keeping their blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is a condition that affects about 75 million Americans.

High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer”; it often shows no warning signs. Of the 75 million who have high blood pressure, only half of the people have it under control. Your lifestyle plays an important role in managing high blood pressure; making necessary changes can save your life and allow you to avoid, delay or reduce your need to take medication.

We at Neighbors Emergency Center encourage you to have your blood pressure checked regularly so you can take the necessary steps to prevent and /or control your high blood pressure.

 Lose Extra Pounds

It is common for your blood pressure to increase when your weight increases. Doctors have found weight loss to be one of the most effective ways to control blood pressure. Simply losing 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure. Being overweight also disrupts your breathing while you sleep, another factor that raises blood pressure levels.

 Exercise Regularly

Physical activity can lower your blood pressure. The key is to be consistent and exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Should you stop exercising it is very likely your blood pressure will rise again. The best exercise for lowering blood pressure includes walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing. Be sure to speak with your doctor first about what exercise program is right for you.

Eat Healthy

There are several steps you can take to change your eating habits and maintain a healthy diet. Begin by incorporating rich whole grains, fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy products into your diet. Be sure to remove as much saturated fat and cholesterol high foods as you can. As you adopt to these new food habits keep a food diary. When you write down what you are eating, how much you are eating, and when you are eating, it will shed light on your food choices and help you monitor what you eat.

Limit Alcohol

Drinking in moderation is always the best way to handle alcohol consumption, especially when you are striving to lower your blood pressure. Drinking heavily can raise your blood pressure level by several points. If you are on blood pressure medication, alcohol can reduce the overall effectiveness of your medication.

 Reduce Sodium

Reducing your sodium intake by a small amount can reduce your blood pressure up to 8 mm Hg. The effect of sodium varies from person to person, but people with greater salt sensitivity include African-Americans and anyone over the age of 51. To reduce sodium, consider being conscious of food labels, eating fewer processed food and avoid adding excess salt to your meals.

This month, show your support for American Heart Month by committing to making a change. Schedule a visit with your doctor, exercise daily, eat healthy or take steps to quit smoking.  Neighbors Emergency Center has several locations throughout Texas. Our board-certified physicians and state-of-the-art technology make it easy for us to care for your family’s medical emergencies 24/7. See your wait time for any location online now!

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Cervical Cancer Prevention Week http://bestneighborsever.com/cervical-cancer-prevention-week-january-22-28/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:07:13 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4846 “Reduce Your Risk” is this year’s theme for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is January 22-28, 2018. Almost 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and about two women die each day from the disease. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35; 75% of all…

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“Reduce Your Risk” is this year’s theme for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which is January 22-28, 2018. Almost 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and about two women die each day from the disease.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35; 75% of all cases can be prevented by cervical screening, better known as a pap smear test. This exam should be done every 2-3 years and has helped decrease the cervical cancer mortality rate by an extraordinary 50% over the last 40 years.

Neighbors Emergency Center wants to share with every woman the following information that can reduce the risk of this disease, and encourage women to take the necessary steps to protect their health because cervical cancer is entirely avoidable.

Risk Factors

There are factors to take into account that can increase a woman’s chances of getting the disease and they include:

  • Contracting a Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of cervical cancer

Woman can guard against cancer-causing HPV with vaccines such as Gardasil and Cervarix. These vaccines protect girls and women ages nine to 26 from HPV linked to cervical cancer. While vaccines can protect against 75% of cervical cancers, woman may still be at risk of getting another type of HPV. Vaccines reduce the risk but don’t remove it.

Cervical Screenings

Your best tool for prevention is the pap smear test. Precancerous lesions don’t turn in to cervical cancer overnight so having an exam every 2-3 years is still the best way to catch the disease early.

  • Women should start cervical cancer screenings by age 21.
  • Women aged 21 to 29 should have a pap smear test every three years.
  • Women aged 30 to 65 should also have a Human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years.
  • Women over 65 who have had regular screenings in the last 10 years can stop cervical cancer screenings if they haven’t had any serious pre-cancers found in the last 20 years.
  • If you fall into a high-risk group, see the risk factors above and you should be screened more frequently.

 

Know the Symptoms

   Many women will not see any physical symptoms of cervical cancer until it has reached an advanced stage. Warning signs include:

  • Abnormal bleeding between periods.
  • Pain or bleeding during intercourse.
  • Unusual discharge throughout the menstrual cycle can appear.

 

Diet Changes

All women, not just those at risk, should consider incorporating flavonoid-rich foods into their diet. Flavonoids, found in many fruits and vegetables, provide antioxidants which help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and many other diseases.

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Black beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cranberries
  • Garlic

Besides making sure you or a woman you love is getting checked, there are numerous ways to help put an end to this illness.

  • Hold an awareness day at your work place.
  • Host a fundraising event for research and treatment in your community.
  • Join the #SmearForSmear campaign.

By taking part in any of these actions, you spread the word about the importance of early detection and could ultimately save a life.

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January is National Blood Donor Month http://bestneighborsever.com/january-national-blood-donor-month/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:06:08 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4841 January is National Blood Donor Month, when donors are recognized for the lifesaving gift they provide to others, usually strangers, in their community. The new year is a great time to make a new commitment since we are in the mode to do something different, something better. There are numerous ways to achieve this, but…

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January is National Blood Donor Month, when donors are recognized for the lifesaving gift they provide to others, usually strangers, in their community.

The new year is a great time to make a new commitment since we are in the mode to do something different, something better. There are numerous ways to achieve this, but if you are looking for an idea that will make a major impact, look no farther than your local blood bank.

Blood is always needed to treat accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients.

There is a constant demand for blood donations in every community since there is no substitute for human blood. It’s imperative to collect it constantly as blood may be needed at any time.

According to the American Red Cross, over 21,000 people receive blood or blood platelets every day. January is the best time to commit to being a blood donor, as supplies run low after the holiday season.

If you have never given blood, its surprisingly easy.

  • Find your local blood bank. Many are open conveniently on Saturdays. There is a small amount of paperwork to complete about your health history but nothing complicated. Remember to bring a photo ID with you.
  • A mini physical. When you are screened as a potential blood donor it also works as a quick physical for you. Your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin level will be checked for free.
  • A few drops to start. Your finger will be pricked to obtain a few drops of blood for screening. This is to check your blood iron level to assure it is sufficient for you to donate.
  • Time to donate. If all of your screening meets requirements, you will be directed to a donor bed. A phlebotomist (a medical professional that takes blood samples) will clean your arm with an antiseptic and use a blood donation kit to draw blood from a vein in your arm.
  • Sit back and relax. Once your donation has begun, its not long to give your one unit of blood (about one pint). Most donations take about 10 minutes.
  • Healthy for the donor. Donating blood burns about 650 calories with every pint given, as the body has to work to replenish itself.
  • Rest and snack. When you are ready, you can enjoy a complimentary snack and drink to help you recharge your energy levels and continue on with your day. The whole process takes less than one hour and the gift you give by donating is priceless.

Knowing how quick and easy donating blood is, make the commitment to help someone in need. Your one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

You can give blood every eight weeks, 24 times a year, benefitting up to 72 people. Give the gift of life so someone else can continue to smile, hug and spend more time with family and friends.

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Enjoy the Holidays with Food Allergies http://bestneighborsever.com/enjoy-holidays-food-allergies/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 16:04:17 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4834 Thanksgiving has passed and now that the holiday season is in full-swing, prepare yourself for more gatherings and even more food. Creamy dips, cheesy casseroles and homemade sweets will likely be on the menu, but what can guests with food allergies enjoy? Adults and children alike suffer from food allergies and this can lead to…

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Thanksgiving has passed and now that the holiday season is in full-swing, prepare yourself for more gatherings and even more food. Creamy dips, cheesy casseroles and homemade sweets will likely be on the menu, but what can guests with food allergies enjoy? Adults and children alike suffer from food allergies and this can lead to feeling left out of the festivities. Here are some helpful tips so both hosts and guests can enjoy this season’s eatings.

For hosts:

  • Offer alternatives. If guests want to contribute, suggest having them bring holiday napkins, utensils or beverages. This way you can limit the amount of food and be mindful of friends with food allergies.
  • Consider making a “natural” turkey. All-natural fresh turkeys are free of antibiotics, hormones and allergens. Some pre-basted turkeys may contain soy, wheat and dairy.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. When preparing food, care with utensils and surfaces is a must. Always scrub all utensils and surfaces with soap and water and wipe clean. Trace amounts of food can cause a reaction for highly allergic people.
  • Label your table. It’s always a good practice when hosting a gathering to label what you are serving, especially if a dish contains nuts or gluten.

 

For guests:

  • Offer to contribute. A polite guest always offers to bring something to the party. A bottle of wine is always a good option. When in doubt, fresh flowers or a festive centerpiece can always be a nice touch.
  • Bring a dish that’s safe. If you have food allergies and even if the party you’re invited to isn’t necessarily a potluck, still bring a dish or two that is safe to eat. This way your guaranteed there’s something you can eat and enjoy with everyone else.
  • Snack beforehand. Nervous about what’s going to be served? Have a light meal before the party and then lightly sample what the host has served. This way you won’t be famished during the party and you can still sample to your liking.
  • Bring medication. Have Benadryl and an EpiPen ready just in case you or someone you know starts exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction. Inform others as well on how to administer the medication if needed.

Following these tips will help you plan your menu or at least help organize your holiday game plan with some food allergy knowledge in mind. Just because food allergies exist doesn’t mean you or your friends can’t have a great holiday party.  Always remember to consult your physician if you are unsure if you are allergic to a particular food. Happy Holidays!

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Quit Smoking and Reap Many Benefits http://bestneighborsever.com/quit-smoking-reap-many-benefits/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:29:50 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4824 By Dr. Eric Roberson Facility Medical Director, Neighbors Emergency Center Pearland   When it comes to smoking in Texas, there’s good news and bad news.  The good news is the percentage of Texas adults who smoke has dropped. The bad news is those adults who currently smoke represent approximately 3 million adults. According to the…

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By Dr. Eric Roberson

Facility Medical Director, Neighbors Emergency Center Pearland

 

When it comes to smoking in Texas, there’s good news and bad news.  The good news is the percentage of Texas adults who smoke has dropped. The bad news is those adults who currently smoke represent approximately 3 million adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of those who smoke started prior to the age of 18.  So, preventing tobacco use in our youth is the key to ending the tobacco epidemic.

 

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Texas.  Smoking cigarettes causes more deaths than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns and illegal drugs combined.  Smoking cigarettes is most closely associated with lung cancer, but also plays a significant role in cancers of the throat, esophagus, and bladder among others.  It is also a leading cause of accelerated coronary artery disease, which leads to heart attacks.

 

Look at the benefits if you kick the smoking habit. According to the National Cancer Institute, within 20 minutes of quitting smoking your blood pressure and heart rate start to normalize.  Within several hours your blood carbon monoxide levels begin to decrease and oxygen levels start to increase. In 2-3 days your sense of taste and smell will improve.  Within several months you can expect significant improvement in lung function.  Within five years the lung cancer death rate decreases by almost half and within 10 years, lung cancer death rate is similar to that of a person who does not smoke.

 

Here are proven methods that increase your chance for success. The Comprehensive Cancer Control Tobacco Work Group at MD Anderson Cancer Center has developed a Smoking Cessation Resource Guide for Galveston County (available at www.texascancer.info). These 5 steps can increase your chance for success.

  1. Get Ready – Set a quit date, remove tobacco products from your surroundings, and anticipate triggers.
  2. Get Support – Talk to family, health care providers, counselors and coaches.
  3. Learn New Skills – Reduce stress by reading, exercising, or enjoying a new sport.
  4. Get Medications – Chantix, Zyban, and several Nicotine preparations can double your chance of quitting for good when used correctly.
  5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations – Most people try several times before successfully quitting.

 

Kicking the habit isn’t easy but can help to alleviate and prevent health problems for smokers and the people around them.

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Radiology Technologists Week – The People Behind Our Patients http://bestneighborsever.com/radiology-technicians-week-people-behind-patients/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 20:40:29 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4806 The science of radiology is profound as its more than just X-rays. It is high-energy radiation that helps physicians with diagnosis and treatment during illness or after injury. But all that science doesn’t just happen on its own. It is the Radiology Technologists that masters the controlling of the equipment so the radiographs are of…

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The science of radiology is profound as its more than just X-rays. It is high-energy radiation that helps physicians with diagnosis and treatment during illness or after injury. But all that science doesn’t just happen on its own. It is the Radiology Technologists that masters the controlling of the equipment so the radiographs are of the correct contrast, detail and density.

November 5-11 is National Radiologic Week and Neighbors Emergency Center is pleased to honor, and thank, our tremendous team of Radiology Technologists. Let us introduce you to some of the dedicated professionals that are the people behind our patients at Neighbors Emergency Centers.

Jerry LovasJERRY in Crosby

Wanting to make a difference in the community in which he lives, Jerry came to Neighbors almost five years ago when the center opened, after working in a big hospital system.

“I liked the style of medicine and patient care that was given. It was so different than in the hospital setting,” Jerry said. “The care at Neighbors is more personal and genuine, especially in the Radiology field. At hospitals, patients are just numbers to a busy, high-volume department. That’s not the case at Neighbors.”

Since Jerry joined Neighbors and began working within his own community, his commute is short which makes family time special.

When not at work, the married father of two children enjoys supporting their activities. Sometimes as a team coach, sometimes from the sidelines, but always present. He even gets time to enjoy with friends and go off-roading or hang out at the lake. Nonetheless Jerry is always ready to lend a hand.

“I have always found Jerry to be dependable, efficient and punctual,” stated Elena Turner, Neighbors Crosby Facility Director. “He projects a warm, cheerful attitude to our patients and his fellow co-workers. As our center’s Lead Radiology Tech, he goes above and beyond for his employees.

“I have seen him resolve conflicts and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. In the community he goes out of his way to help people in need by participating in local charity events. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him.”

 Tony PhamTONY in Pearland

Outstanding work ethic and dependability. Just two of the many reasons that Tony was nominated from Neighbors Pearland.

“He enters the facility with the most positive, can do attitude,” commented Tina Lavert, Neighbors Pearland Facility Director. “He is a huge asset to his team. Tony is extremely knowledgeable with not only CT and X-rays, he has also become a guru in the laboratory.”

“X-rays and CT scans are key factors in diagnostics,” Tony recently shared. “As a radiology technologist, I get to be a part of the first step in discovering a patient’s condition. The patients I see are usually nervous or worried of the outcome they may have to face, so I like to put their minds at ease and tell them they’ve taken the right first step toward healing.

“Technology has advanced significantly and I look forward to how it will change the future of medical imaging.”

Tony has been a radiology technologist for over six years. The married father of two children is also a big sports fan and enjoys playing football, baseball and tennis.

“Neighbors Emergency Center is a great place to work because we truly care for the well-being of the patients we see. Since the first day I started, Neighbors just felt like a second home.”

TexarkanaSHERRI in Texarkana

Radiology humor includes the saying ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts.’ Someone that brings a fun and cheerful spirit to work is how the Neighbors Texarkana team sees Sherri.

“Sherri will always show up to work with a smile on her face,” Neighbors Texarkana Facility Director Blake George shared. “She treats all her patients with compassion and does her best to make their time at Neighbors the best it can be. Sherri is the person you can count on to show up early, stay a little late and go the extra mile for her team.”

“I enjoy my career in Radiology for many reasons,” Sherri said. “I knew I wanted to do something that would help people. I am a caretaker by nature. Performing X-rays and CT scans gives me the opportunity to be the one that can actually see what is causing the pain or illness from the inside out.

Being able to connect with her patients is also one of Sherri’s special gifts.

“No CT or X-ray is the same because every patient is different. Neighbors lets me spend that extra time helping patients that I wouldn’t find at a hospital ER. It is just part of what sets Neighbors above.”

Melodie HodgesMELODIE in Amarillo

“I decided to become a radiology technologist because of an experience I had as a child when I got X-rays for a broken arm,” is how Melodie started her story. “I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life like the tech that took care of me.

“When I came to Neighbors, it was a completely different experience from the hospital. Here, as a radiology technologist, I actually take care of the patient from the time they walk in the door to the time they walk out. I’ve learned so much about patient care in the last two years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

This soon-to-be first-time grandmother also enjoys spending time with family and friends. Likewise, her Neighbors family appreciates the experience and dedication she brings with her.

“I have known Melodie for years as one of the hardest working people,” said Neighbors Amarillo Nurse Chris Heath. “She is always willing to help others and brings a positive attitude to any problem. She has adapted well to this environment because she cares about her patients and wants to give them the best care she has to offer. She is a great employee, a great caregiver and an even better friend. We love her.”

Glenn CraigGLENN in Kingwood

With a true desire to help people, Glenn chose his profession after many years in a different line of work. He started as a volunteer EMT a couple days each month, filling a need to give back to his community.

“I quickly realized the true meaning of helping someone in need, and the self-worth in doing so,” Glenn said. “I also found during that time I possessed an ability to connect with the patient’s needs.

“This position requires compassion to understand that one particular event may just be the single most devastating thing that’s ever happened to that individual. If I can try to put myself in their shoes, how would I want to be treated? Better yet, I could only hope for something positive, in a usually negative environment.”

Glenn knew as a radiology technologist that he could contribute in a big way.

“The Rad Tech’s role in the huge chain we call patient care is so important. I realized all the things I considered strengths as an EMT, were the same strengths needed as a Rad Tech. I was always interested in how the human body works and functions, combine that with the science of our field and I had found my calling.”

Glenn credits the support of his wife Julie for the opportunity to pursue a career change and follow his passion for radiology. Neighbors is thankful that he did.

“He is always concerned about the patient’s well-being and their privacy,” commented Neighbors Kingwood Facility Director Tommy Cook. “He is not afraid to ask questions about new processes when presented in order to give the patient the best experience. Our lead radiology technologist has been out on maternity leave and Glenn has helped keep things organized and running smoothly during her absence.”

Glenn has two adult children, two granddaughters and also enjoys being outdoors and doing anything sports related.

JR GowenJR in Austin

Quiet. Calm. Team leader. All words that Neighbors Mueller Facility Director Michelle Tribble used to describe JR.

“JR is committed to always do an outstanding job. No matter the task, he tackles it with fervor,” Michelle said. “He is well respected and an important, outstanding team member at Mueller.”

However, JR describes becoming a radiology technologist this way.

“Circumstance and destiny collided when I left home for the Air Force in 2005,” he said. “I had a pick of eight different jobs. The Air Force made the choice of radiology technologist for me. It certainly became a life changing decision as 12 years later, here I am, still doing it and still loving it.”

JR is married to Caitlin, who also works at Neighbors Mueller, and is the proud father of a 2-year-old son. They have also found the area to be the right place to set roots down for their family.

“I found Neighbors when I was looking to move to Austin in 2014. I had several phone conversations with our Radiology leadership and I persuaded him to take a chance on me sight unseen. I will forever cherish Neighbors and the many opportunities it has afforded me.”

Pete MendezPETE in Kerrville

Sometimes life offers you an adjustment and it ends up making all the difference.

“After 18 years as a medical assistant I decided I needed a change,” Pete said. “I found a great school close to where I was working, and there started the journey to where I am now.”

Pete spent years working in a mainstream hospital system as well as working at a V.A. hospital. That change he had already experienced once now came in the form of freestanding ERs, which led him to Neighbors Kerrville.

“I met with the leadership of the Neighbors Radiology Department and was inspired by his passion for this company. It’s been a great journey which I hope will continue for years to come.”

Now it is Pete that is leading, serving as Neighbors Kerrville’s Lead Radiology Technologist.

“Kerrville is so small that we do not have a 24-hour courier, so Pete volunteers to take the patient samples himself, even on his day off, the 50-mile round-trip trek to Fredericksburg to drop off them off for us,” stated Neighbors Kerrville Facility Director Amanda Bailey. “Keep in mind, this is not during business hours, so the timing can be very inconvenient.

“But Pete is our guy. I would like to thank him, and all our team, for their continued dedication and support of the citizens of Kerrville.”

Any down time Pete has is spent with wife Nickole, three children, a new granddaughter and staying active at the gym or being outdoors.

Carlos Alvear_2CARLOS in Brownsville

“I chose to be a radiology technologist because I was so intrigued by the profession when I had a CT scan done on me many years ago,” Carlos said. “The technology that we use to help patients at Neighbors is amazing and I am excited to be a part of that.”

Each Neighbors Emergency Center is ready 24/7 with in-house CT Scan, Ultrasound and X-ray equipment.

“I love working at Neighbors because it allows me to spend more time with my patients in doing what I love. It also has expanded my skills to other areas such as in our on-site laboratory.”

Neighbors Brownsville Facility Director Jennifer Miner added how friendly and hardworking Carlos is.

“He consistently goes above and beyond for the staff and patients. Carlos truly represents the Neighbors core values of having a genuine heart, a guardian mentality and a welcoming smile. We consider ourselves very lucky to have him as part of our team.”

Trisha Buettner-minTRISHA in Bellaire

Neighbors Emergency Center prides itself on attracting the best medical professionals in their respected fields. Trisha stands out for her compassion and excellent customer service, as she gives her best to her patients and always goes above and beyond the already high level expected at Neighbors.

“Her co-workers are treated like her patients, as well and treated with the utmost respect,” Neighbors Bellaire Facility Director Krystal Wickliff said recently. “She exemplifies all aspects of our Neighbors culture.”

Trisha came into her profession after caring for a beloved family member.

“My family is an important and integral part of my life,” Trisha began. “When my grandmother became ill, I helped to care for her and stayed with her in the hospitals. One time I noticed the difference in care that the staff provided. When there was a positive nurse or doctor, it really made an impact on the way all the patients felt.

“Even when my grandmother was in pain and the nurse would speak to her kindly, she visibly brightened. At this point, I knew that I could make a difference and help people also.”

Encouraged by her husband to pursue a degree in Radiology, Trisha soon found herself at Neighbors.

“Neighbors exemplifies the same values I feel strongly about, such as treating patients as if you are treating your own family. Our leaders at Neighbors Bellaire show us through their hard work how to put this into practice.”

It is the performing of diagnostic imaging, at any time that a patient needs it, that contributes to the Neighbors difference. We are privileged to work with such dedicated people that make lives better for their patients every day.

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Breast Cancer Prevention Tips http://bestneighborsever.com/breast-cancer-prevention-tips/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:18:50 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4790 The statistics are alarming and hopefully they get your attention, or the attention of a woman you love. One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Over 300,000 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year alone.…

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The statistics are alarming and hopefully they get your attention, or the attention of a woman you love. One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Over 300,000 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year alone.

Though it’s impossible to figure out just which one woman in a crowd of eight will be diagnosed, there are some steps a woman can take to be as proactive as possible in the fight against breast cancer.

  • Watch the weight. The connection between weight and breast cancer is complicated. The more extra pounds a woman is carrying increases her risk of developing breast cancer. Women that are overweight or obese after menopause boosts that risk even higher. It’s the female hormone estrogen that can help breast cancer grow, and after menopause, most of a woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. Cut down on the calories if you are consuming too many.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is just plain bad for you. The list of diseases that smoking is connected to is long and younger, premenopausal women are at a high risk of breast cancer if they smoke. Kick the habit and also steer clear of very heavy second-hand smoke.
  • Get moving. Being physically active is not only good for the body, but also important for the mind and spirit. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. Add strength training at least twice a week and enjoy the positive effects and happy feeling from your own endorphins.
  • Focus on plant-based foods. The American Cancer Society recommends diets that are high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains. Also reduce red and processed meats, refined grains and sugars. Changing what’s on the dinner plate can give better results in fighting off – and surviving – cancer.
  • Breast-feed. If you are planning to get pregnant or are already expecting, breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. It will be good for you and for baby.
  • Limit the dose and duration of hormone therapy. Many women seek help with their premenopausal and menopausal symptoms with hormone replacement therapy (HTR). However, estrogen-only HTR can hike the risk of breast cancer if a woman is using it for more than 10 years. Estrogen-only HTR can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer, so every woman should talk with her doctor about the options that are available.

 
What else can a woman do? She can be vigilant about early detection. That’s more than making sure she has timely mammograms. It’s about her looking for changes in her breasts such as noticing a new lump or skin changes. Any type of change should be shared with her doctor as well as discussing any other screenings based on her personal history.

Encourage the women in your life to do what will make them healthier. That is a personal, impactful gift that each woman deserves to receive.

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Emergency Nurses Week – The People Behind Our Patients http://bestneighborsever.com/emergency-nurses-week-people-behind-patients/ Mon, 09 Oct 2017 15:23:32 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4774 Dedicated. Compassionate. A lifesaver. There are not enough words to describe the exceptional type of person that chooses to be an Emergency Room nurse. It takes a special individual that wants to help someone, usually a stranger, when they are sick or injured. Easily, ER nurses are superheroes in scrubs. Nurses in the Neighbors family…

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Dedicated. Compassionate. A lifesaver. There are not enough words to describe the exceptional type of person that chooses to be an Emergency Room nurse. It takes a special individual that wants to help someone, usually a stranger, when they are sick or injured. Easily, ER nurses are superheroes in scrubs.

Nurses in the Neighbors family make a difference in their patient’s lives each day and are a valued member of their team. We are honored to share the stories of some of our outstanding ER Nurses. We are thankful for all they do and that they choose to share their talents with Neighbors. Our nurses are part of the Neighbors Difference.

RN Karen Ashley_miniKAREN in Texarkana

A positive attitude and sunny disposition is how Facility Director Blake George describes Karen. She has been an ER nurse for nearly 11 years but is new to freestanding ERs and to the Neighbors team.

Karen feels communicating with the patient and their family, in terms they can understand, is pivotal in her role of alleviating fear and trauma in an emergency situation. That’s because she has been on the other side of the conversation.

“I made the decision to become an emergency nurse in 1999 following the traumatic event of my mother nearly dying from an aneurysm,” Karen said. “I helplessly watched the medical staff work to save my mother’s life while trying to explain to me what was going on in medical terms that I did not understand. I swore then I would help people who were in crisis understand exactly what was going on with their loved ones or themselves in a way that they could understand.”

This outgoing single parent of four credits her parents for the many valuable life lessons they taught her growing up and how she sees everyone as a part of a bigger family.

“I choose to work at Neighbors Emergency Center because we treat our patients like we would want a family member to be treated from the time they walk through the door all the way to the time we walk them out to their car. I love my job and feel in my heart that it is my life’s calling to be a nurse and care for each patient as I would my own mother” said Karen.

 

RN Eddy EspinosaEDDY in Austin

Receiving the gift of sight made such an impact on Eddy’s life that he dedicated himself to giving to others as others gave to him.

“At a very young age I was diagnosed with a progressive eye disease called Keratoconus,” explained the Austin resident. “Twice a year I was fitted with corrective lenses due to the deterioration of my vision. By the time I reached high school, my sight had degraded so much that the only treatment option was corneal transplants”.

But growing up in a large, low-income family didn’t make Eddy’s necessary surgery a possibility. That was until the Knights of Columbus and Ophthalmologist Dr. Robert Rock stepped in and donated the surgery to Eddy. It was that act of kindness and generosity that made a huge impact on him.

“I chose nursing because it is a priceless profession that allows me to give freely the gifts of love and compassion to others while they are in their time of need.”

Eddy’s Facility Director Michelle Tribble says she sees that dedication in all that Eddy does for Neighbors. “Eddy is dedicated to every aspect of being an RN. He takes pride in his work and gives so much of himself in the care of his patients. We are thrilled he is part of the Neighbors family in Austin.”

 

 

RN Mark BarnesMARK in Brownsville

After being an EMT for the Cochise County Rescue Team in high school and then nursing in surgical and intensive care units, Mark found his niche in the ER.

“When I first graduated with my Nursing Degree, working in an Emergency Department wasn’t an option. But when an ER position was offered to me, I took it and knew right away I had found my perfect fit. I have worked in the ER ever since,” Mark said.

Thirty years of nursing experience later, Mark is excited to be part of the Neighbors Difference.

“When Neighbors Emergency Center opened in the Rio Grande Valley, I figured this would be a great way to continue my Emergency nursing career. Neighbors gives me the opportunity to provide the care to my patients I have always strived to achieve. I now practice Emergency nursing in an environment where I am not only allowed the time to provide excellent care, but I work with patients that are willing to learn and participate in their care.”

This married father with a 13-year-old daughter still enjoys the water and likes to fish when his schedule allows. Mark is also a certified scuba diver at the Master Diver level.

 

 

RN Michelle HernandezMICHELLE in Amarillo

This is not the first time Michelle has been spotlighted for her outstanding nursing skills. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Nurses in the Texas Panhandle” by the 25 Great Panhandle Nurses Review Panel.

After 24 years in Nursing, Michelle’s experience ranges from the ER in a Level 1 Trauma Center, to working in the coronary care and intensive care units, to post-operative surgery and Hospice care. Michelle has seen it all. But she found her home at Neighbors.

Facility Director Josh Bailey explained Michelle as “a nurse that exhibits compassionate qualities by making all patients feel calm and at ease. Michelle is able to comfort a frightened child while simultaneously calming their distraught parents.”

“I have been blessed with a wide variety of experience to draw from when I care for my patients,” said the mother of four adult children. “With the changes in healthcare in recent years, I have found Neighbors’ patient focused care in line with my personal values. We strive to treat each patient as family. I truly love being a part of making a difference in people’s lives and Neighbors makes that not only possible, but easy.”

In her spare time, Michelle has begun Flight Nursing to “up her game” and keep current on skills. When she is home, she and her family enjoy gathering friends at her Barndominium where they often cookout, watch the beautiful Panhandle sunsets and sing.

“I am, and will always be, an ER nurse and for that I am truly blessed.”

RN David Murillo_miniDAVID in Pearland

Taking care of people is all David knows. He became an ER Tech one week after his eighteenth birthday and has not looked back. Starting a nursing career almost 10 years ago, David brought his talents to Neighbors because he finds great satisfaction in taking care of people.

“I became an ER nurse because, as cliché as it sounds, I truly enjoy taking care of people in their time of need and to see them get better,” said the father of three. “I chose Neighbors because I felt like the values and purpose for making lives better were in line with mine.”

“I enjoy giving our patients the best care possible. Neighbors gives me the resources and leadership to do so and it values its employees, and we pass that on to our patients.”

Married to his middle school sweetheart, David and his wife have the occasional date night when time allows around their children’s swim and baseball practices. “I have a simple life but a great one. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

It is that attitude that has brought the spotlight to him.

“David is always upbeat, positive and has a natural way of placing patients at ease,” stated Facility Director Tina Levert. “He is extremely trustworthy, knowledgeable and genuine in his approach in delivering consistent healthcare to our patients. David is an excellent nurse.”

RN Sarah SargalskiSARAH in Kerrville

It was one of Sarah’s high school teachers, who was also a nurse, that encouraged her to pursue nursing. Sarah has worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse, a traveling nurse and worked with wounded warriors in Washington D.C. But the majority of her career has been spent helping those who desperately need it in the Emergency Room.

“I enjoy working in the ER because there is always a variety of situations you encounter; no two days are the same in the ER,” Sarah said.

It is that personal connection and passion for knowledge has led Sarah to earn her Master of Science in Nursing Degree and she looks forward to teaching and inspiring the next generation of nurses in America.

Sarah joined the Neighbors family in November 2016 at Neighbors Emergency Center West Warwick in Rhode Island. Though that center was later closed, Sarah was welcomed to Texas and joined the Neighbors Kerrville clan. The Texas hill country has been the perfect spot for Sarah, her husband and their dog to enjoy the great outdoors.

 

 

 

RN Ira Bubba SkirlockIRA “BUBBA” in Tyler

Sometimes a personal tragedy can not only change us, but redirect our life’s path. A traumatic motorcycle accident in 1986 did just that to Bubba. It was the care and compassion he received from the ER staff that got him back on his feet.

“I knew from that point I wanted to provide the same comfort, compassion and reassurance to others that was given to me,” Bubba explained. “So, the ER became my passion, the pursuit to do everything within my abilities to make each ER patient’s life better with my words and actions. By doing this I have a validation in my life that I cannot put into words.”

“Bubba has the ability to form a positive connection with almost everyone he meets, and truly personifies a servant heart,” stated Facility Director Robert Collyer. “His years of experience help put his patients and families at ease, but he still strives to improve his knowledge by returning to school. He will complete his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing this semester with Houston Baptist University, and plans to continue toward a Master’s Degree.”

Married for many years and the father to two adult children and grandfather to three, Bubba was excited to move his career to Neighbors.

“I came to Neighbors when we opened to have the opportunity to experience ER medicine in an environment I knew very little about. But the freestanding ER is exciting and I love playing a part of giving the best personal emergency care. It’s part of what sets Neighbors a part from competitors and hospital ERs.”

 

RN Whitney GeorgeWHITNEY in Crosby

“I was a pre-med student at the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2001 when my father became ill from liver failure,” Whitney begins. “I spent most of my evenings down at UTMB with him and was so impressed with the nursing staff and how caring and compassionate they were, to not only my father, but to our entire family. That experience forever changed my career path and I decided to pursue a career in nursing.”

But it was the fast pace of the ER that Whitney gravitated to. She knew she could make a difference in people’s lives when they were at their worst.

As a native of Baytown, Whitney was excited when a friend recommended her for a job at Neighbors Emergency Center two years ago. She has been a giving member to her work family.

“I had heard nothing but wonderful things about the company so I jumped at the opportunity. I absolutely love working in the community in which I was raised and giving back to my hometown.”

“Whitney has gone above and beyond to help me with Neighbors Baytown’s high patient numbers,” said Facility Director Ben Greer. “She has switched from her normal shift to make it easier for me to get the staffing needed. She’s picked up extra shifts at the last minute to make sure we are covered. She has been a great asset to have.”

Married with 2 children, 2 rotten dogs and 2 spoiled cats, Whitney enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures and foods.

 

RN Chris HeathCHRIS in Amarillo

“I have constantly observed Chris taking a seat with his patients and carefully describing their medications, specific diet and activity restrictions,” shared Facility Director Josh Bailey. “He inspires others to pursue a career in nursing by acting as a positive beacon of excellence for our profession. Chris makes significant contributions by realizing the impact nurses have in peoples’ everyday lives and thereby practicing admirably and exceptionally.”

Chris started in medicine as an Army medic and served an infantry deployment to Iraq in 2003. After the military, Chris did not plan a life in nursing.

“Once I became a nurse, something strange happened. The faces of my patients were the same faces I saw on the battlefield,” he said. “The families we left were suddenly the families at the bedside. I felt some redemption for my time as a medic. I was able to forgive myself for not taking care of the men I left behind. I needed nursing as much as nursing needed me.”

Now what drives Chris is the untimely loss of his twin brother two years ago. The death of his brother prompted Chris to be examined for the same heart ailment that took his brother’s life. Heath’s results returned that, he too, had the same heart condition.

“The way I can repay my brother is to care for others who need help,” Chris said. “I love what I do, who I do it with and who I do it for. I have worked, and continue to work, with the best healthcare workers Amarillo has to offer.”

Chris started with Neighbors when the center opened. He is married, has two children and loves to fish, camp and spend time with family and friends.

RN John Minor_miniJOHN in Houston

Experience is not achieved overnight. In John’s case, he has been dedicated to taking care of patients for 36 years. Having spent 17 years in EMS, 14 of those years as a Paramedic, John is committed to saving lives.

He was an accomplished training officer for a mobile ICU ambulance that cared for critical patients in transfers from outlying hospitals into the medical center. He completed the ‘Paramedic to RN’ transition courses in one year because of his skills in ER and ICU care.

“A friend was working at Neighbors and suggested I apply,” John said. “I have enjoyed working here ever since.”

“John’s dedication and selfless attitude is like none other,” stated Facility Director Krystal Wickliff. “He goes above and beyond to help out all Houston facilities when needs present themselves, and John embodies commitment and dependability.”

To unwind from over three decades of nursing the most critical patients, John enjoys traveling and attending concerts. “I love 80s music and attend every concert possible when an 80s band is playing.”

“I graduated from a Houston medical high school so I have been taking care of people since I was 16 years old and I have always taken care of patients the same way. I treat every patient and patient’s family as though they were my family.”

RN David PoeDAVID in Lubbock

Like so many of our outstanding nurses have indicated, they were drawn to helping others while in high school.

“I first took an interest in the medical field during a ‘Shattered Dreams’ demonstration in high school,” David said. “I saw the firefighters and paramedics that thought to myself how cool those jobs were.”

During his senior year of high school, he enrolled in night classes for EMT-basic, and from there David was hooked. He continued his education to become a Paramedic, and after a few more years, continued to become an RN.

“I first met David as a volunteer in my fire department,” said Facility Director Tim Smith. “He was still in high school and basically would come to the station to hang out with the guys, train with them and learn all he could about anything they would teach him.”

Before you knew it, David was out of Nursing School and establishing himself as an outstanding ER Nurse.

“After I graduated I worked at University Medical Center in Lubbock which is a busy level 1 trauma and burn center. I loved the action and the rapid environment that it provided and I can honestly say, I worked with some of the best people ever.”

But David also saw that most patients were hurried and pushed through the ER as quickly as possible. David wanted to do more caring for patients then the hospital environment allowed.

“I jumped at the opportunity to join Neighbors because of the environment they offer to patients. I enjoy having the opportunity to sit and visit with patients and make it easier to truly understand their needs.”

“Neighbors was lucky enough to recruit David to our Lubbock facility and he has not disappointed yet,” Smith added. “He is dedicated to the care of his patients and their families. David is what I describe as a true patient advocate. He will go above and beyond to ensure each person who walks through our doors is taken care of, just like family.”

And his heart is still drawn to helping people, even when not at Neighbors. David is also a volunteer Firefighter/Paramedic with West Carlisle Fire/EMS just outside of Lubbock.

RN Isai FuentesISAI in El Paso

Isai has been part of the Neighbors El Paso family for over a year and a half and all the physicians and staff enjoy working with him. A hard worker, he truly embodies the values and culture of Neighbors.

Always reliable, responsible and team-oriented, Isai has never called in sick and has picked up day or night shifts at either Neighbors in El Paso. He even ended his vacation early to come in and help with shifts that needing covering. It’s that generous spirit that sets him apart. Plus, Isai’s smile is as infectious as his heart is big.

These people, and hundreds more, are behind our patients and contribute to the Neighbors difference. We are honored and proud they chose Neighbors.

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September Is Self-Improvement Month http://bestneighborsever.com/self-improvement-month/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:04:32 +0000 http://bestneighborsever.com/?p=4768 “Be a better you, for you.” – Sonya Teclai September is Self-Improvement month. Sometimes we are so focused on our hardships and weaknesses that we forget we are only human. During this month we should take time to reflect and focus on which areas of our lives need improvement. Our own well-being is important for…

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“Be a better you, for you.” – Sonya Teclai

September is Self-Improvement month. Sometimes we are so focused on our hardships and weaknesses that we forget we are only human. During this month we should take time to reflect and focus on which areas of our lives need improvement. Our own well-being is important for overall peace in mind, body and soul.

Start off by evaluating how you feel about yourself. Are you your biggest critic? Do you feel regret for past decisions you have made? If so, there are steps you can take to improve your overall mentality towards these feelings.

First, forgive yourself and let things go. Stop beating yourself up for past regrets that have impacted your life. Move forward and focus on your accomplishments and give yourself praise for your successes. There is no sense worrying about things you cannot control.

Another way to improve you mindset is to be grateful. Every day you should jot down at least three things you are grateful for. This is a great remedy as it helps you begin to notice things that you may have never noticed before about your daily life.

Self-improvement can also equate to your physical well-being.  Focus on physical areas of your life that need improvement, but remember that it is not an overnight process. Maybe you want to lose weight, boost energy or cut your soda intake. This can be done by setting realistic goals. Create a fitness plan that you can stick to for several months or plan your meals in advance to be more aware of caloric intake. Evaluate what you are eating and drinking and make small changes that will have a huge impact rather than dieting for a short amount of time. You will see better results and it will change the way you view yourself.

Your relationships also benefit your journey to self-improvement. Evaluate your close relationships and think about how you can be a better spouse, parent or friend. Are you communicating and listening effectively? Is your work/life balance bringing your relationships down? Think about what you want out of your relationships and how you can improve your connections.

Self-improvement can only be accomplished by you. This month is a great time to evaluate your daily life and identify the areas you want to improve. You will gradually see yourself becoming the person you want to be with an improved outlook on life.

 

Neighbors Emergency Center has several locations throughout Texas. We are right around the corner from you, and you can see your wait time for any location online now!

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