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Love Michigan, love saving lives

HEA-Love-MichiganMichigan-based businesses join effort to encourage local summer blood donation

There is so much to love about Michigan in the summertime! It’s no surprise that as the weather warms up, the community blood supply experiences a “summer-slump” as many people are out and about enjoying all that Michigan has to offer. That’s why several Michigan based businesses are teaming up with Michigan Blood to give people a chance to show their state pride while boosting the local blood supply.

Anyone who attempts to donate during the annual Love Michigan blood drive at Michigan Blood donor centers throughout the Lower Peninsula will receive a thank-you gift bag with Michigan-made products. The reusable bag provided by Meijer will include a special-edition retro “Say Yes to Michigan” t-shirt (a $28 value from The Mitten State) along with other donated products from Old Orchard Juice, Better Made Potato Chips, and Country Fresh Ice Cream.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Michigan Blood summer blood drive for a third consecutive year,” says Will Bransdorfer, Co-Founder of The Mitten State. “It’s a pleasure to see the event grow in popularity each successive summer and to see our fans get excited to give back to the community. It’s an event that makes us proud to be from Michigan.”

“We know how much people treasure this state and the local communities,” said Jim Childress, Vice President of Community Relations at Michigan Blood. “Love Michigan is a fun way to bring people together for a common cause to support more than 40 Michigan hospitals, and all the patients who are counting on lifesaving blood donations.”

It takes more than 2000 donations to Michigan Blood every week to support local hospitals including Spectrum Health, Mercy Health St. Mary’s, and Metro. The Love Michigan event will help assure that those numbers stay strong even in the heart of the summer season. Dates and times vary by location. Appointments are strongly recommended.


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Stay safe in the summer heat

Hot, humid weather is in the forecast again today, with temperatures expected to reach highs in the upper eighties throughout most of this week. Children, the elderly, and pets are especially at risk of becoming ill in these temperatures. The Kent County Health Department wants everyone to take a few precautions to stay healthy during hot summer days.

Never leave children or animals in a parked vehicle unattended, even with windows cracked open. The temperature inside a parked car can reach 120 degrees or more in a matter of minutes. Heat stroke and death can occur in these dangerous situations. If you are leaving the car, take your children and/or pets with you. So far this year, 15 children have died after being left unattended in cars in the U.S., according to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences.

Elderly people have a much more difficult time dealing with heat. “People who are elderly may have trouble adjusting to changes in temperature,” says Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Also, some medications can cause adverse reactions to heat. If you have elderly family members or friends, check on them twice a day during these hot days.” If they appear to be suffering from dizziness, muscle weakness, cramping, vomiting, heavy sweating, or paleness, they may be suffering from heat exhaustion. Get them to a cool area, and seek medical treatment.

If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, you may already be dehydrated. (Some people may be limited in the amount of fluid they drink due to certain conditions or medications. Check with your doctor to see how much you should drink while the weather is hot.) Drink non-alcoholic fluids often, and avoid alcohol or sugary-drinks, as they can cause you to dehydrate faster.

Be sure pets have fresh, clean drinking water. Keep them indoors or provide a shady place for them to stay out of the sun. Don’t let them overheat: keep strenuous activity and playtime short.

If you are looking for additional resources to help you during hot weather, the Heart of West Michigan United Way may be able help. Call their free informational and referral service by dialing 211 for more information.

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Tips to get getter sleep and lower risk of stroke


(NewsUSA) According to David H. Stone, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, poor sleep is one factor that can lead to stroke.

“Research says less than six hours a night increases the risk of stroke symptoms four-fold among middle-age to older adults who had a normal weight and low risk for obstructive sleep apnea,” said Dr. Stone. “Lack of sleep increases inflammation, blood pressure and the release of certain hormones, which create a greater stress response that increases stroke risk.”

Tips for good sleep: 

*Get a comfortable, firm bed for spine and body support and ease of movement. People with chronic pain can use a heated waterbed, airbed or foam mattress; an electric blanket, or mattress pad on low heat or a wool mattress pad that provides heat are useful for cool or damp nights.

*Temperatures higher than 75 degrees or less than 54 disrupt sleep. Researchers suggest cooler rather than hotter rooms; use a vaporizer or humidifier if needed as moist heat leads to better sleep. Clear space around the bed with only necessary items placed on a nightstand.

*Refrain from stimulants like cigarettes, diet pills and caffeine.

*Avoid electronic devices an hour before you go to bed; they disrupt sleep rhythms.

*Avoid diuretics before bedtime. Unless told to increase fluids by your doctor, reduce them prior to sleep. Eating before bed is not recommended; a glass of warm milk at bedtime is acceptable.

*To wind down, read a chapter of a book, or take a warm bath. To fall asleep, try distraction. Count backwards or try relaxation tapes.

*Go to bed and get up at the same time daily. Afternoon naps are allowed, but not after dinner.

*Get outside on sunny days to regulate your body’s internal clock. Exercise at the same time during the day but not before bed.

*Reset your sleep clock. Go to bed an hour earlier or later each day until you reach the hour you want to go to sleep.

To learn more about your vascular health, visit the Society for Vascular Surgery’s website at www.VascularWeb.org.

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A Medical warning for video gamers

HEA-VideoGamers-blood-clot(NewsUSA) – Video gamers who participate in marathon sessions may be putting their health at risk. In May 2011, a 20-year-old video gamer from England died when a blood clot formed in his leg and moved to his lungs. The man often remained in the same position playing video games for 12 hours straight.

“Movement is essential for proper blood flow,” said Anil Hingorani, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Sitting in the same position for long periods of time—whether playing video games or cramped in a car or on an airplane—can result in pooling of the blood in the veins. Blood clots known as deep vein thromboses (DVT) can form.”

The 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics reveal that 300,000 to 600,000 Americans die each year from blood clots in the lungs. In 2003, 39-year-old NBC News reporter David Bloom died when a blood clot in his leg traveled to his lungs. The clot formed after weeks of driving around Baghdad in a cramped military tank.

“Stand up and stretch,” advises Dr. Hingorani. “Walk around. Raise and lower your heels and toes. Tighten and release your leg muscles. This will help promote blood flow.”

DVTs usually occur in persons who are sick and have had long hospital stays. The risk factors for DVTs include the following:

* Obesity

* A history of heart attacks

* Strokes

* Congestive heart failure

* Inflammatory bowel disease

Women who are pregnant, nursing or taking birth control pills are also at increased risk for DVTs. Half of DVT patients do not experience the warning signs, which include:

* Swelling

* Tenderness

* Leg pain

* A sensation of warmth

* Skin that turns blue or red

Ultrasound tests can detect blood clots. Treatment options typically use anticoagulant medication. For additional information about DVTs or other vascular health conditions, visit www.VascularWeb.org.

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Report: Smoking affects women more than men

Millions may have lung problems they’re not aware of



A report from the American Lung Association says women are 37 percent more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, than men—and that millions of women have symptoms that have gone undiagnosed.

Dr. Steven Brown, a pulmonary specialist who has practiced for 25 years, says smoking is a huge issue. He says the first wave of women with COPD was during World War II, when women began smoking at work.

“And these women were unfortunately duped by tobacco marketing during the 1960s,” he says, “where tobacco was linked to the women’s movement, very inappropriately.” The *report says since 2000, COPD has claimed the lives of more women than men, and Brown says women now account for 60 percent of the patients he sees. The number of deaths among women from COPD has more than quadrupled since 1980. COPD is now the nation’s third-leading cause of death, according to the American Lung Association.

Brown says women are more susceptible than men to the problems associated with tobacco smoke because their lung size is smaller. “A pack of cigarettes in a woman is going to be spread out over a smaller area and therefore, is going to be more concentrated,” he explains.

Brown says the best way to combat this problem is with education. He says states also need to continue to legislate against the effects of second-hand smoke. It was in 2010 that Michigan’s law went into effect, banning smoking in all enclosed, indoor workplaces, as well as the outdoor patios of bars and restaurants.

*Read the report at http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/disparities-reports/rise-of-copd-in-women/

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Kent County sees decline in infant mortality

The Kent County Health Department is one of many agencies working to ensure healthy babies are being born here. There has been a decrease in infant deaths in Kent County over the past decade, mirroring a national trend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a significant decline in the nation’s infant mortality rate; a 12 percent decrease from 2005 to 2011. Michigan is one of several states that experienced a decline.

“We have made significant strides to help deliver healthy, full-term babies,” says Adam London, Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We know there is still much work to be done, especially in terms of the disparities seen based on race. We need to make sure women receive important nutrition, education and health information they need before and during pregnancies.”

Several programs through KCHD and local hospitals are making a difference. “The Maternal Infant Health Program through the Kent County Health Department worked with nearly 1000 mothers in 2012 to promote healthy pregnancies and support good birth outcomes,” London added. “Our staff with the Strong Beginnings program helped an additional 200 women last year.”

In addition, the Kent County Interconception Care Program is helping mothers who experienced a miscarriage, premature birth or low birth-weight delivery. By educating the mother about nutritional care, encouraging an 18 month delay between pregnancies, and delivering proper dental care, the next pregnancy lasts on average 5 weeks longer, and the baby weighs 2.5 pounds more at birth.

“In just one decade, the overall infant mortality rate dropped by 19% in Kent County,” London added.

By ethnicity, white infants experienced a 20% decrease in mortality, African-American babies experienced a 16% decrease, and Hispanic infants experienced a 38% decrease in mortality.



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Grill a Better, Healthier Burger

HEA-grill-better-burger(Family Features) Now that summer is here, it’s time to fire up the grill. For many, a cookout isn’t complete without a juicy, delicious hamburger. Even those trying to follow a healthier, natural diet can enjoy this classic summer favorite by using the right ingredients.

Mitzi Dulan, a nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert and team sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals, understands the importance of building a better burger using leaner, healthier ingredients that benefit the body.

“Lean beef is an integral part of a wholesome burger as it provides essential nutrients and protein to keep you trim and energized,” Dulan said. “In addition to choosing nutritious ingredients, exercise portion control and practice moderation to create an even healthier burger.”

Dulan recommends considering these tips for building a better burger:

Simple substitutions, such as using lean ground beef, can create a protein-packed burger that is low-fat and has fewer calories. Consider using natural brands, such as Laura’s Lean Beef, to kick start a delicious, healthy burger.

Keep in mind that lean beef cooks in 1/3 less time than regular beef since it has less fat. So, adjust the cooking time to match your method of grilling. To make the grilling process as healthy as possible, substitute natural charcoal. Products such as Big Green Egg Organic Lump Charcoal, use organic hardwoods and burn more efficiently without harsh chemicals or odors.

Try new, healthier toppings that add a unique twist of flavor to your burger. Instead of ketchup, which can be loaded with excess sugar and sodium, consider fresh salsa. Replace mayonnaise with sliced avocado, which is a creamy, heart-healthy alternative.

Use whole grain buns in place of white buns. Whole-grains are absorbed slower by the body, meaning they do not raise sugar levels as quickly and keep you feeling full longer. This reduces the urge to eat larger portions or snack after a meal.

For more tips, recipes and to enter Laura’s Lean Beef’s Summer Grilling Sweepstakes, visit www.facebook.com/laurasleanbeef starting May 27, 2013.


Laura’s Lean Beef Stuffed Cheeseburgers

Prep time: About 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 minutes
Serves: 4



1 pound Laura’s Lean Beef 96% Lean Ground Sirloin
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 ounces reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 4 even 1/2-ounce pieces
4 slices reduced calorie oatmeal bread
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 lettuce leaves



1. Mix beef with onion and parsley. Divide beef into 4 equal portions. Divide each individual portion in half so you have 8 equal portions.

2. Flatten 4 portions into rounds. Place a 1/2-ounce piece of cheese on top of each round. Flatten the remaining 4 portions of beef into rounds, place on top of cheese then seal edges of rounds together, sealing cheese in.

3. Grill (covered with grill lid) at 400-450°F about 5-7 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.

4. To serve, place each burger on top of one slice of reduced calorie (45 calories per slice) bread. Top each burger with lettuce and sliced tomatoes and serve immediately.


Nutrition Information per Serving:

(1 cheeseburger with tomatoes and lettuce on 1 slice reduced calorie bread)
Calories 244; Calories from Fat 74 (30% from Fat); Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 4g; Cholesterol 69mg; Sodium 258mg; Carbohydrates 13g; Fiber 1g; Protein 30g; Vitamin A 14% ; Vitamin C 17%; Calcium 14%; Iron 21%


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Infant Stress Linked to Behavior Problems Later in Life

Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while they sleep. Things like domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence a person’s behavior later in life - even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while they sleep. Things like domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence a person’s behavior later in life – even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

Rob South

LANSING, Mich. – Recent studies have shown that infants’ brains are reacting to external stresses, even while babies sleep.

Things such as domestic conflicts, violence and other traumatic events can influence people’s behavior later in life – even if they don’t have any conscious memory of the original stress.

University of Michigan researcher and infant mental health specialist Julie Ribaudo says so-called “toxic stresses” can result in many different problems, including attention and learning problems, depression and anxiety, and even mood and anger regulation.

“It’s sort of like the best kept secret of why I think America is so violent,” she says. “It’s because we really don’t take good care of our children at a policy, national level.”

Ribaudo says the problem is especially serious with families in poverty that experience economic and other social stresses every day.

The Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is calling on state legislators to pass Medicaid expansion and increase access to childhood mental health programs.

Ribaudo says the first step in solving the problem is acknowledging that the problem exists.

“So, if we can first admit as a society that infants and toddlers are adversely effected by their experiences,” she says, “and sort of not protect ourselves from the pain of that, then we can begin to look at public policy, funding and training that can alter the course.”

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TOPS honors members for accomplishments

TOPS Chapter 1229 Sand Lake honored some of their members for their accomplishments in losing the most weight in their divisions in 2012.

Division 1 Doug Allen; Division 2 Sandra Fisk; Division 3 Karen Heiss; Division 4 Barbara Lloyd-Trietch; and alternate is Tina Hansen. Martha Bobb was honored for reaching her goal to become a KOPS. The chapter honored Amber Allen for losing the most weight in 2012.

The chapter welcomes Tina Hansen to her new role as the secretary and Barbara Lloyd-Trietch as the co-leader and the contact for information if you are interested in visiting the chapter (616-696-8049). They have room for new members, men and women alike.


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To Mom with love

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict features a heavenly sauce made with heart-healthy canola oil.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict features a heavenly sauce made with heart-healthy canola oil.

(NAPS)—Show your love for mom by looking after her health with the gift of heart-smart cooking.

Try classic brunch recipes that have a heart-healthy twist, such as those from CanolaInfo’s “Mother’s May the Healthy Way” recipe collection from Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., host of the Cooking Channel’s “Healthy Appetite.”

To lighten up her recipes, Krieger uses low-fat dairy products, whole grains and canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all common culinary oils.

Here’s a healthier take on Eggs Benedict to warm mom’s heart:

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Creamy Dill Caper Sauce 

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 piece

1⁄2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish

1 Tbsp capers, drained

1⁄2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

2 whole-grain English muffins

3 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon

4 medium eggs

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

To make sauce: In medium bowl, whisk yogurt and canola oil until blended. Whisk in lemon juice, then stir in chopped dill, capers and lemon zest. Toast English muffins. Place slice or two of salmon on top of each English muffin half. To poach eggs: Fill large, deep skillet about ¾ inch to top with water and bring to boil over high heat. Add vinegar, then reduce heat to medium-low. Crack egg into small bowl, then gently add it to boiling water. Repeat with remaining eggs until all four eggs are in skillet. Cook until whites of eggs are set but yolks are still slightly runny, about 3 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer eggs to paper towel to drain. (Alternatively, cook eggs over easy in nonstick skillet.) Transfer each egg to salmon-topped English muffin half. Pour 2 tablespoons of sauce on top of each muffin and garnish each with sprig of dill.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories: 200, Total Fat: 10 g, Satu- rated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 190 mg, Sodium: 470 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 14 g.

For more recipes and culinary tips, go to www.CanolaInfo.org.


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