Education News Feed - LaPorteCountyLife https://laportecounty.life Fri, 03 Jul 2020 21:24:53 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Natural Childbirth Class https://laportecounty.life/event/natural-childbirth-class-3/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:36:24 +0000 La Porte Hospital https://laportecounty.life/event/natural-childbirth-class-3/ The natural childbirth class is for expectant parents who are interested in a non-medicated birth plan and want to use the whirlpool tubs for water labor. This class will provide physical and emotional coping techniques and strategies on how to practice hands-on comfort measures. Those attending are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and bring a support person. Classes are held monthly on the third Tuesday from 6-8pm. Come to the OB Unit and you will be directed to the scheduled room. The next class is July 21. Class sizes are limited and advanced registration is required. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

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Natural Childbirth Class
Breastfeeding Class https://laportecounty.life/event/breastfeeding-class-8/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:33:46 +0000 La Porte Hospital https://laportecounty.life/event/breastfeeding-class-8/ Breastfeeding provides benefits to both mom and baby. Breastfeeding mothers have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and postpartum depression. Breastfed babies have increased protection against illnesses and a lower risk of allergies, ear infections, asthma and obesity. This class will help soon-to-be parents learn what to expect with breastfeeding, how to recognize baby’s feeding cues, positioning techniques and problem-solving skills. Classes are held every month from 5-7 p.m. at the La Porte Hospital in the Childbirth Education and Prenatal Classroom. The next class is July 1. Class sizes are limited and advanced registration is required. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth

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Breastfeeding Class
Newborn & Infant Care Class https://laportecounty.life/event/newborn-infant-care-class-4/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:27:55 +0000 La Porte Hospital https://laportecounty.life/event/newborn-infant-care-class-4/ Join our interactive class where expecting moms, dads, and their supporting friends or family can practice caring for their bundles of joy. Clinical nurse educators with La Porte Hospital’s Birthing & Family Care Center will have mannequins on hand to help review best practices for caring for babies. Topics include transition of care (skin to skin); newborn tests and procedures; newborn appearance; skin, cord, and diaper care; bathing and shampooing; gagging and choking (bulb syringe use); and proper positioning (safe sleep and tummy time). The upcoming Newborn and Infant Care Class is from 10 a.m. – noon on July 11, in the second floor prenatal classroom. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

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Newborn & Infant Care Class
La Porte Hospital announces July childbirth classes https://laportecounty.life/article/la-porte-hospital-announces-july-childbirth-classes/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:25:48 +0000 La Porte Hospital https://laportecounty.life/article/la-porte-hospital-announces-july-childbirth-classes/ La Porte, IN – La Porte Hospital has announced its July childbirth and family care classes.

Class sizes are limited to ensure proper social distancing and masks are required. Pre-registration is required.

Newborn & Infant Care Class

Join our interactive class where expecting moms, dads, and their supporting friends or family can practice caring for their bundles of joy. Clinical nurse educators with La Porte Hospital’s Birthing & Family Care Center will have mannequins on hand to help review best practices for caring for babies. Topics include transition of care (skin to skin); newborn tests and procedures; newborn appearance; skin, cord, and diaper care; bathing and shampooing; gagging and choking (bulb syringe use); and proper positioning (safe sleep and tummy time). The upcoming Newborn and Infant Care Class is from 10 a.m. – noon on July 11, in the second floor prenatal classroom. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

4-Hour Childbirth Preparation Class

This class should be taken at approximately 28 weeks of pregnancy. Topics covered are: prelude to labor, labor, support techniques to assist the laboring mother, vaginal birth, medical procedures, cesarean sections, postpartum care, pain management options, newborn baby care, preparations for going home, and tour of the Birthing and Family Care Center at La Porte Hospital. Those attending are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing. A drink and light snack is provided. You are welcome to bring a second support person.

Classes are offered two Wednesdays and one Saturday per month. The next classes are Wednesday, July 8 (accelerated) from 530-730pm, Wednesday, July 22 from 4-8pm, and Saturday, July 25 from 10am-2pm.

Classes are held in the La Porte Hospital Childbirth Education and Prenatal Classroom, 1007 Lincolnway, La Porte, Second Floor. Class sizes are limited and advanced registration is required. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

Breastfeeding Class

Breastfeeding provides benefits to both mom and baby. Breastfeeding mothers have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and postpartum depression. Breastfed babies have increased protection against illnesses and a lower risk of allergies, ear infections, asthma and obesity. This class will help soon-to-be parents learn what to expect with breastfeeding, how to recognize baby’s feeding cues, positioning techniques and problem-solving skills. Classes are held every month from 5-7 p.m. at the La Porte Hospital in the Childbirth Education and Prenatal Classroom. The next class is July 1. Class sizes are limited and advanced registration is required. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

Natural Childbirth Class

The natural childbirth class is for expectant parents who are interested in a non-medicated birth plan and want to use the whirlpool tubs for water labor. This class will provide physical and emotional coping techniques and strategies on how to practice hands-on comfort measures. Those attending are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and bring a support person. Classes are held monthly on the third Tuesday from 6-8pm. Come to the OB Unit and you will be directed to the scheduled room. The next class is July 21. Class sizes are limited and advanced registration is required. Register at laportehealth.com/childbirth.

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La Porte Hospital announces July childbirth classes
La Porte Hospital announces diabetes education opportunities for July https://laportecounty.life/article/la-porte-hospital-announces-diabetes-education-opportunities-for-july/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:16:08 +0000 La Porte Hospital https://laportecounty.life/article/la-porte-hospital-announces-diabetes-education-opportunities-for-july/ La Porte, IN – La Porte Hospital offers a variety of diabetes education and programs to the community, some free of charge. Class sizes are limited to ensure proper social distancing and masks are required. Pre-registration is required. Classes are as follows:

Diabetes Support Group

This free Diabetes Support Group provides a place for those with diabetes and their support team to share ideas, experiences, and problems related to diabetes. The group meets from 11 a.m.- noon on the fourth Monday of the month in the Heart & Vascular Center First Floor Conference Room, 901 Lincolnway, La Porte. Call 219-326-2478 for more details.

Pre-Diabetes Individual Appointments

Come learn about the risk factors for diabetes and steps to manage pre-diabetes. This information is perfect for individuals who may have had an abnormal blood sugar reading, or whose doctors have expressed concerns about the possibility of developing diabetes. Call 219-326-2478 for more details.

Diabetes Self-Management Classes

This is a comprehensive program to empower you to control your own health. A physician’s order and pre-registration are required. Classes begin at the start of each month and continue for four weeks. Classes are offered from 9-11:30 a.m. on Mondays or 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Call 219-326-2478 for more details.

Individual Appointments

A physician’s order and pre-registration are required. Appointments may be made with either a certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian depending on your treatment method and needs: insulin, injectable, gestational diabetes, continuous glucose monitoring and nutritional education. Call 219-326-2478 for more details.

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La Porte Hospital announces diabetes education opportunities for July
Healthcare Foundation of La Porte leads data coordination and support efforts during COVID-19 https://laportecounty.life/article/healthcare-foundation-of-la-porte-leads-data-coordination-and-support-efforts-during-covid-19/ Wed, 20 May 2020 15:54:14 +0000 Stacey Kellogg https://laportecounty.life/article/healthcare-foundation-of-la-porte-leads-data-coordination-and-support-efforts-during-covid-19/ When the pandemic became very real for LaPorte County, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) did what they do best – mobilized resources, gathered the right people around the (virtual) table, began collecting data, and pushed forward with emergency assistance across multiple sectors.

So far, HFL has distributed $681,621 in emergency grants.  Beyond those efforts, HFL is working with a host of community partners. HFL has been able to help coordinate responses that have had a massive positive effect in the community in three key areas:  coordinating of personal protective equipment (PPE) needs – including purchasing and delivering, developing and maintaining their online COVID-19 Resource Hub and pivoting their Ten2030.org data center to COVID-19 related information.

We broke it down so the community can get a keen look at the resources available at their fingertips. You only need to visit one website to get started…www.hflaporte.org.

Ten2030.org

The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte has a clear vision: to be among Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030.

To that end, their online data center – Ten2030.org – has historically been populated with county health rankings and evidence-based programs to assist local organizations with moving the dial on needed areas of health concerns within the county.

When COVID-19 hit, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte quickly pivoted their online data center to become a comprehensive resource for the community. Today, Ten2030.org provides up-to-date information on the vulnerable populations within La Porte County so not-for-profits and government entities can use a data-driven approach to direct resources to those most in need. These organizations can also use this data to support grant requests and other financial plans they are putting together as a result of the pandemic.

Powered by Conduit Healthy Communities Institute and ESRI, Ten2030.org hosts an interactive vulnerability index. Users can click on the map, expand to Indiana, and get at-a-glance information about vulnerable areas in the county.  Then, the site allows users to drill down to specific populations. You can get detailed statistics about population sets such as people 65 and older living alone, people 65 and older living below poverty level, population over the age of 65, and households with children living on SNAP.

Any organization or individual can use this website and data center free of charge. Ten2030.org is accessible directly at that site, or through the HFL’s website hflaporte.org.

Community PPE Needs

While healthcare providers and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic continue to show up for work no matter what, they have, at times, scraped for any available resource for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, no-contact thermometers, and more.

Maria Fruth, President and CEO of the HFL, said that the organization is committed to providing resources in this respect, but first wanted to make sure that they are directed where they are most needed.

“We partnered with the United Way of LaPorte County to share data about what resources were being given where, to make sure we are meeting the needs fairly across the county,” she said.

Comprehensive spreadsheets detail the supplies given to and requests received by more than 60 organizations including hospitals, first responders, shelters, physician offices, township trustee offices, and more. Some are for places that people might not realize are desperate for these materials, but that don’t have the buying power to get them in bulk.

“Meals on Wheels is as good example,” Fruth said. “Meals on Wheels representatives have to be able to personally connect with home-bound people to ensure they are getting their meals, but also that they are safe and healthy, and doing well physically and emotionally. They cannot do that without personal protective equipment.”

The HFL has made valuable connections for some scarce supplies, helping to find suppliers in Indianapolis and beyond for things like thermometers, masks, and gloves. They are identifying organizations in need and distributing as needed. “We are tracking requests that come in and sharing information so that when we do identify a need, we know all of the circumstances around it to make an informed decision on what to purchase and where to donate it,” Fruth said. A major focus is placed on not for profits delivering services during the pandemic. The staff and volunteers of those organizations are also on the front line, attending needs such as food distribution.

The COVID-19 Resource Hub

Accessible from hflaporte.org, the COVID-19 Resource Hub has blossomed since it first was launched, and provides comprehensive information for people who need resources, or want  to help provide them through donations and volunteering. It even includes a section that lists businesses and organizations who are providing free products and other perks to first responders or the community-at-large.

The online resource hub contains tabs for:

  • Community resources for parents, educators, and community members
  • La Porte County food resources
  • Not-for-profit & small business resources
  • Healthcare access & education
  • Government & hospital COVID-19 updates
  • Mental health, suicide prevention, & support groups
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Ways you can help your community
  • Additional perks

“What has been most impressive to all of us at the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, including our board members, is the overwhelming community, government, and business support that has come from entities within our county,” Fruth said. “We are pleased to help with planning and coordination and funding, but the beauty of this community is that when we identify a need, we can now meet it. Five companies in our community have switched production to make supplies needed for the pandemic such as cloth masks and hand sanitizer. Not-for-profits like the United Way, Unity Foundation, Duneland Foundation and HFL have all come together to coordinate funding of critical needs such as food. We collaborate to consistently share information and avoid duplication of efforts. It’s a reflection of what La Porte County is capable of when difficult times arise. HFL is proud to be a part of the support efforts.”

For more information about any of the resources above, please visit hflaporte.org.

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Healthcare Foundation of La Porte leads data coordination and support efforts during COVID-19
Healthcare Foundation of La Porte leads data coordination and support efforts during COVID-19 https://laportecounty.life/video/healthcare-foundation-of-la-porte-leads-data-coordination-and-support-efforts-during-covid-19/ Wed, 20 May 2020 15:51:08 +0000 Kali Beatty https://laportecounty.life/video/healthcare-foundation-of-la-porte-leads-data-coordination-and-support-efforts-during-covid-19/ Healthcare Foundation of La Porte leads data coordination and support efforts during COVID-19 Allergies or COVID-19? Get Help Deciphering Your Symptoms https://laportecounty.life/article/allergies-or-covid-19-get-help-deciphering-your-symptoms/ Sun, 17 May 2020 05:00:55 +0000 UnitedHealthcare https://laportecounty.life/article/allergies-or-covid-19-get-help-deciphering-your-symptoms/ As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across the country, experiencing a sneeze, cough or tickle in the throat may be more nerve-wracking. Before worry sets in, remember that spring is the time of year for seasonal allergies, which affect close to 50 million Americans each year.    

How do you determine if your symptoms are COVID-19 or allergies? To help you understand the difference, it may be best to look at the hallmark symptoms of each.

COVID-19 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness and may spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. This is why federal and state guidance for social and physical distancing is recommended to help prevent the spread.

The CDC and WHO state the most common COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms may include:

  • Aches
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat 
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of the sense of taste or smell.

The CDC says COVID-19 symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to rouse
  • Bluish lips or face

If you believe you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed here please contact your doctor or your local health department to find out whether you should be tested. Testing criteria is changing rapidly as more tests become available and as details of this illness are better understood.

Allergies

Allergies occur when a person’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance, such as pollen, pet dander or certain foods. While fever is a common symptom of COVID-19, it’s not often associated with allergies. The Cleveland Clinic notes if you don’t have a fever or trouble breathing, allergies are the more likely culprit, if you’re not feeling well. 

Allergy symptoms may include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny congested nose
  • Sore throat or cough associated with post-nasal drip

Allergies may linger for months in the spring season. If you feel symptomatic, the time of year may be a good indicator that you may have allergies. COVID-19 symptoms typically progress more rapidly over a shorter period of time, appearing 2 to 14 days after possible exposure. 

Another indicator that you may have allergies is if you are taking over-the-counter antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays to help your symptoms and those medicines help you feel better. There is no current evidence that shows allergy sufferers are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19. 

For more information on the symptoms you may be experiencing, consider using the COVID-19 symptom checker for help in determining if you have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also learn more about your symptoms by contacting your doctor or health care provider.

For more COVID-19 resources, click here.

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Allergies or COVID-19? Get Help Deciphering Your Symptoms
A La Porte Hospital Employee Spotlight: Chris Atherton https://laportecounty.life/article/a-la-porte-hospital-employee-spotlight-chris-atherton/ Sun, 10 May 2020 05:00:09 +0000 Julia Demma https://laportecounty.life/article/a-la-porte-hospital-employee-spotlight-chris-atherton/ Chris Atherton, Regional Director of Cardiovascular Services for La Porte and Starke hospitals, as well as sister hospital Porter Regional Hospital, identifies as a caregiver through and through.

“From my early days in high school and college as a babysitter, lifeguard, and waitress, and as an RN and paramedic early in my career, I’ve always taken care of people,” Atherton said. “I’ve been there to provide a service and keep them safe.”

She also considers herself to be very persistent when it comes to getting the job done.

“I’ve always been committed to doing things the right way. I think that comes from having a mother who was a schoolteacher!” Atherton said. “I follow the rules. I follow the plan. I’m thorough and take things very seriously.  If given a task, I formulate the plan that can accomplish that task in the most efficient, cost-effective, creative way. I can focus on tasks and can complete what is necessary.”

These attributes brought her to La Porte Hospital, where Atherton quickly found her home and made her mark.

Atherton has been part of the La Porte Hospital family since 2008 when she started out serving as the Director of Electrophysiology Services. She then moved to Director of Cath Lab and EP Lab, and finally stepping into her dream role in 2019 as Regional Director of Cardiovascular Services. With this new role, Atherton manages all cardiovascular services at LaPorte Hospital, Starke Hospital, and Porter Regional Hospital.

Atherton spends her days meeting with each of her directors, reviewing census and patient schedules, interacting with patients, providers, and staff, and of course, facing and solving any issues head on.

“I start early and leave late! I travel between facilities often working every other day at a different site.  I’m connected electronically to all so even if I’m not physically there, I’m still there!” Atherton said. “I learned a long time ago that time management is key, especially with the extensive workloads that we are all responsible for.”

And the work is so worth it to Atherton. She sees the impact of her, and her colleagues’ hard work every single day.

“Cardiovascular disease impacts so many people. By working to provide education, access, and alternatives to patients, I feel that we are able to impact the rates of stroke, heart disease, arrhythmias and heart failure by providing access to care and preventative measures as well as providing emergency care when minutes matter,” she said. “Our programs serve as a base for diagnosis, treatment, and after-care.  We really have been able to impact many lives with the care that we have delivered in the Region.”

Although a little removed from direct patient care, Atherton still has opportunities to meet with patients who are having testing at the facilities she oversees.

“I feel blessed when we receive good comments and feel challenged when opportunities are identified.  Because of my many years working in cardiac EP, I have many patients that I still have contact with.  I’m happy that I may have been able to do something to make their lives better,” Atherton said.

Atherton credits her team with many of her successes. At La Porte, where Atherton was named Clinical Manager of the Year by a vote of her peers in 2020, Atherton has two directors, cath/EP lab and non-invasive cardiology, as well as two coordinators – chest pain and stroke.

“I feel so good about the team I have in place at La Porte and they are my biggest support system. This group is self-directed, self-motivated yet collaborative, so I feel very secure when we have projects that need to be completed,” Atherton said. “I enjoy working with my team to put together quality programs that will serve our patients, colleagues, and medical staff.”

Atherton is also very fortunate to report to a chief nursing officer who gives her support and the autonomy to run her departments.

“This is probably the most collaborative team that I have ever worked with,” Atherton said. “I am able to do the work I am meant to do in a place that lets me do it the way I want to do it.”

Outside of work, Atherton is a member of the LaPorte Hospital board of trustees, secretary of the board of directors of HealthLinc, chairperson of the quality committee for HealthLinc, and sits on the board of directors for Tech Credit Union. Clinically, she serves on the EP Lab Digest editorial board and the Boston Scientific Product Specific Focus Group. She is also a champion for the American Heart Association.

“Through this type of work, I feel that I am able to participate in the decision making that will strategically affect the colleagues of the hospital and healthcare decisions that will affect our communities,” Atherton said.

In her free time, Atherton enjoys working in her yard, gardening, music, reading, and escaping to the beach during the winter months. She is also extremely passionate about animals.

“I have always been an animal lover and have rescued many four-legged friends,” she said. “My current buddy was a rescue that certainly takes up a lot of my free time as she loves to be my travel buddy, going to the dog park or just snuggling up.”

Looking forward, Atherton hopes to continue her successes and to provide Northwest Indiana with quality healthcare programs.

“La Porte Hospital has been very good to me.  I have had a great relationship through the years with the staff and administration. We have a very collaborative relationship and through this relationship we have been able to put many programs into place – whether it was Accreditations for Chest Pain, Stroke, or the Cardiac Electrophysiology programs or initiatives that provided the community services that they did not have access to before,” she said.

Atherton would like to thank her family and all of the friends she has made along the way including community members, nurses, physicians, and administrators.

“I have encountered so many friends during my years of serving in Northwest Indiana that it would be difficult to thank them all. These include people that I have met in the community, industry and in the healthcare field,” she said.

She would also like to thank Mark Dixon, D.O., for giving her the autonomy as well as support to develop her career goals. 

“I think that I’m proudest of the work that I have done with Cardiac Electrophysiology over the past 30 years.  Dr. Mark Dixon and I met each other early in our careers (1990) and collaborated to open numerous cardiac electrophysiology programs across Northwest Indiana in multiple facilities,” Atherton said. “We have always worked together to set up programs that will benefit our patients.  As my duties have changed over the years, I still attribute his support and guidance to my success.  We did it as a team.” For more information on La Porte Hospital, visit https://www.laportehealth.com/.

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A La Porte Hospital Employee Spotlight: Chris Atherton
Indiana Region of the American Red Cross to Offer Virtual Emergency Preparedness ‘Pillowcase Project’ for Kids https://laportecounty.life/event/indiana-region-of-the-american-red-cross-to-offer-virtual-emergency-preparedness-pillowcase-project-for-kids/ Thu, 07 May 2020 14:12:51 +0000 American Red Cross https://laportecounty.life/event/indiana-region-of-the-american-red-cross-to-offer-virtual-emergency-preparedness-pillowcase-project-for-kids/ The Pillowcase Project, presented by Red Cross volunteers and staff, is open to all students grades 3-5.

The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross has adapted the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project—an emergency preparedness curriculum typically presented in classrooms, grades 3-5—to a virtual format, to ensure children continue to learn this critical information amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The program features interactive lessons focused on home fire prevention and safety and other potential hazards, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Lessons are based on what might occur in the local community where the class is being taught.

On Thursday, May 21, 2020, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. EDT, Attend this presentation online.  Register here: https://redcross1.webex.com/redcross1/onstage/g.php?MTID=e20cfca542462497d38cd8ae9ad1a5eca.

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Indiana Region of the American Red Cross to Offer Virtual Emergency Preparedness ‘Pillowcase Project’ for Kids