Posts by author:

Johns Hopkins Home Care Group

With flu season approaching, the third year of the Johns Hopkins Medicine mandatory flu vaccine program is in full swing. We sat down with Debbie Dooley, an occupational health clinical nurse manager, to talk about why the vaccination is so imperative this year and about other ways to keep the virus away from you and the people around you this season.

Every staff member, trainee, faculty member, student and volunteer who works with patients or works in a patient care area must receive an influenza vaccination by Tuesday, December 2, 2014

This year,vaccination stations will offer a trivalent vaccine or the recently created quadrivalent vaccine, designed to protect against four different flu viruses instead of the usual three. Dooley says the quadrivalent vaccine is available in small amounts and thus will not be available to everyone, but the trivalent vaccine is still a more than sufficient combatant of the virus.

Why is it so imperative to get vaccinated?

I think first, it’s a patient safety issue. It’s important for us, that we can protect our patients from the communicable diseases. Our patients are already sick, and if we are immune to the flu bug, then we are going to protect them.

The second reason is because it’s a health and wellness precaution for our employees to stay healthy during the flu season. It’s shown that if you get a flu shot, you are less likely to get the flu. It’s not 100 percent, but it would certainly be less likely than if you didn’t get the shot.

The third reason is to protect our families. We don’t want to expose our families to the flu. It’s actually something the whole family should do together to promote their health during this time.

When should people get vaccinated?

We encourage people to get their flu shots now so that their immunity is established before the holidays. I always say it’s important to get your vaccination by mid-November, because when the holidays come, we’re all around each other, and it’s easier to share germs. It takes two weeks for the regular shot to reach full immunity for most people, so it’s important that you get the vaccination two weeks before the holiday’s start.

Are there increased concerns this year with some of the other stories on viruses making news this year?

Definitely. I’m hearing a lot more people interested in also getting pneumonia and shingles vaccinations, which are also related to the spread of bacteria. So I think that has spurred people into looking at protecting themselves with all vaccines to keep themselves as healthy as possible, especially with these other virulent viruses out there. So if you can keep yourself healthy and keep your immune status up, then you’ll be able to fight those as well.

What other precautionary measures can people take to protect themselves this year from the flu?

The number one thing is to always wash your hands. Just touching your face after you’ve touched something unclean can cause you to be exposed to germs, so use the sanitizers and the sanitizing devices you see around. You see people carrying that around with them when there are not adequate facilities to wash their hands, that’s a great thing you can do.

Another thing is to keep yourself hydrated and to eat well. You should also get a good night’s sleep so that you aren’t run down and so your immunity status stays strong. Exercising is important, too. All those things, especially this time of the year, are so important to do, because you keep your body in shape to fight these viruses.

 

For more information, including schedule and locations for flu vaccination, please visit hopkinsmedicine.org/mandatory_flu_vaccination/index.html.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

Research has shown that strong friendships can help us live longer, protecting against everything from heart disease to the common cold.

Johns Hopkins geriatric medicine expert Alicia Arbaje says that the effects of these friendships on our mental and emotional help, especially as we get older, is another key component to healthy aging. “It’s all about whether you have people in your life who meet your need for emotional, spiritual and other kinds of support,” says Arbaje.

While there is no universal magic number of a healthy number of friends, each person has a certain number of connections that keeps them happy and healthy at different point of their lives.

What do you think is a healthy number of friends? Tell us in the comments section if you think you currently have a healthy number. Visit Healthy Connections to learn more about this topic and for tips on ways to meet new people

What Do You Think is a Healthy Number of Friends?

View Results

Polls Archive

Loading ... Loading ...

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
6 Comments

The 2014 Best Dressed Sale and Boutique is set to kick off on Thursday, Oct. 30 with the preview party fundraiser and will run through Sunday, Nov. 2. The signature event of the Women's Board of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Best Dressed Sale raises over $150,000 annually to support patient care. Now in its 47th year, the event offers discount prices on lightly worn clothing and accessories, which are all donated to the Women's Board for the sale. From formal wear to casual wear; vintage wear to designer wear, the Best Dressed Sale features something for everyone. It takes place once again at The Carriage House at Evergreen Museum & Library on 4545 N. Charles Street.

Have you attended the Best Dressed Sale in previous years? We would love to know what you or someone you know has picked up for yourself and others. Leave a comment to share your experiences of this much-anticipated annual event.

Best Dressed Sale hours:

  • Thursday 10/30 (Preview party fundraiser): 4-8 p.m.
  • Friday 10/31: 9 a.m-6 p.m.
  • Saturday 11/1: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Sunday 11/2 (Half-off day): 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information on the Best Dressed Sale visit womensboard.jhmi.edu/best-dressed-sale.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
3 Comments

BooksFew things are more calming on a brisk autumn evening than reading a great book. That love for reading may have started as a kid, and evolved into routine as an adult. What books have resonated with you all these years later? Share your favorite books or your favorite book genres to read growing up in today's Throwback Thursday.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
42 Comments

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Healthy Beverage Initiative aims to help faculty, staff, patients and visitors make healthier drink choices in their everyday lives. Part of the initiative is to increase the availability of healthy beverages to help offset that of sugar-sweetened beverages, which have shown to elevate problems such as obesity and diabetes, among others.

LawrenceAppelLawrence Appel, director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, is one of five subject matter experts from the school of medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health who contributed to the healthy beverage strategy. In today’s Ask the Expert, Appel explains the risks in drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and ways to reduce consumption.

Be sure to visit the Johns Hopkins Healthy Beverages page for more information on this initiative.

What is a sugar-sweetened beverage?

Sugar-sweetened beverages are drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other caloric sweeteners. In addition to nondiet soft drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages include flavored juice drinks (like apple juice), sports drinks, sweetened tea, coffee drinks, energy drinks and electrolyte replacement drinks.

 

What different types of sugar are added to beverages? Are some better for you than others?

The most common form of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages is high-fructose corn syrup. The term is a bit misleading, because high-fructose corn syrup is only about half fructose. It is similar in composition to routine table sugar. There is some debate about whether high-fructose corn syrup is worse than other forms of sugar. I tend to focus on total calories, which is probably the major culprit, rather than the form of the sugar.

 

Why is it important for us to limit the number of sugar-sweetened drinks we consume?

Sugar-sweetened beverages contain large numbers of calories, especially given the current size of beverage containers—often 18 ounces or more. Humans also have a problem regulating calorie intake from beverages. Our bodies don’t sense the excess calories, and we continue to consume these beverages even though we don’t need more calories.

 

Does drinking sugar-sweetened beverages really have an impact on our health?

Evidence on the harmful effects of sugar-sweetened beverages continues to get stronger. The primary concern is excess weight gain, particularly in children and young adults. It has been estimated that in young adults, approximately 20 percent of calories come from sugars. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. In addition, there is emerging evidence that sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of heart disease.

 

Why are diet beverages classified in the green, or “healthy,” category as part of the Healthy Beverage Initiative?

The focus of the Healthy Beverage Initiative is to reduce excess calorie intake. Hence, diet beverages, which have few calories, are placed in the “green” category.

 

If someone doesn’t want to totally give up sugar-sweetened beverages, are there tips you can offer to cut the calories in sugary drinks?

There are several strategies. First, buy the smallest size of the sugar-sweetened beverage that is available. Don’t be lured by value—“Only 10 cents more to supersize it!” Value now comes at the expense of excess weight later in life. Second, never finish the sugar-sweetened beverage all at once. Stretch out consumption over more than one drinking occasion. Third, avoid purchasing sugar-sweetened beverages when you’re thirsty—you need the water, not the calories, that come with the beverage. Fourth, add ice cubes to the drink so it looks like you’re getting more. Pay attention to what triggers you to want a sugar-sweetened beverage. Before drinking one, make sure you really want it. And if you must have a sugar-sweetened beverage, be sure to savor it as special and not routine.

 

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
6 Comments

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
No Comments

After years of being considered a serious public health issue in the United States, obesity was officially classified as a disease last year. While some have applauded the news and consider it a sign that more investment will be made into studying and funding the issue, others think that obesity is a lifestyle issue that can be solved without medical attention.

Do you think obesity should be classified as a disease? Take the poll.

Should Obesity Be Classified as a Disease?

View Results

Polls Archive

Loading ... Loading ...

Click here to view last week’s poll results from "Which A Woman's Journey Seminar Interests You The Most?"

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
17 Comments

Johns Hopkins Medicine actively supports a healthy workforce. As part of the Strategic Plan’s people priority, participating members of Johns Hopkins Medicine have implemented the Rethink Your Drink Healthy Beverage Initiative to increase the offerings of healthy beverages, with the goal of making it easier for employees and visitors to make healthier choices.

You can help us out by sharing your favorite healthy beverages. Do you prefer a sugarless fruit or vegetable drink? Do you reach for a green tea or just an ice cold glass of water? Let us know your drinks of choice in today's Question of the Week.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
47 Comments

Cat and DogThere's a saying that goes "A house is not a home without a pet." Many people grow up with a household pet, whether it is a dog or a cat, or a less common animal, such as a bird, snake or rabbit.

Share your memories of you first pet and feel free to share a photo of that special animal in today's Hopkins Happenings' Throwback Thursday.

VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
22 Comments