All posts by bamc

National Nutrition Month: What’s on Your Plate?

By Lt. Col. Marybeth Salgueiro
Registered Dietitian, BAMC Department of Nutritional Medicine

March is National Nutrition Month, and what better time to kick off our Nutritional Medicine blog series? The National Nutrition Month 2013 theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, traditions and health concerns all impact our individual food choices. Our registered dietitians and dietetic interns will be blogging periodically to share our tips for using nutrition to improve (or maintain) your health. 

Be on the lookout for our staff promoting National Nutrition Month and healthy eating throughout BAMC in March. You might have seen the “peas” at the Garden Entrance last week or out at the Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band Concert, where I hear the “carrot” made an appearance too.

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Stars Show Appreciation for BAMC Staff, Patients

By Elaine Sanchez
BAMC Public Affairs
BAMC Beat blog

 

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine passes on a few grilling tips to 14-year-old Sarah Neal, a BAMC pediatric oncology patient, during the appreciation day at San Antonio Military Medical Center, March 6, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Jen Rodriguez
Celebrity chef Robert Irvine passes on a few grilling tips to 14-year-old Sarah Neal, a BAMC pediatric oncology patient, during the appreciation day at San Antonio Military Medical Center, March 6, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Jen Rodriguez

Yesterday, a few Hollywood stars showed their appreciation for our nation’s warriors, their Families and those who care for them with a huge celebration in the front of San Antonio Military Medical Center.

Nearly 6,000 Brooke Army Medical Center staff, patients and Families came out for the concert featuring Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band and a barbecue prepared by celebrity chef Robert Irvine.

The lines snaked around the food tables and out to the kids’ bouncy houses, but moved along quickly as people piled their plates high with hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue chicken.

Chef Irvine, sporting a maroon BAMC T-shirt, took time out from posing for photos to share a few grilling tips with fans of his show, “Restaurant: Impossible.”

Continue reading Stars Show Appreciation for BAMC Staff, Patients

Staying Fit: Hit the Gym, Not the Snooze Button

By Beverly Benson
BAMC RN/Health Promotion Educator
Army Public Health Nursing

rope climb
Sgt. 1st Class Mike Atkins tries out the rope climb at the track behind the Warrior and Family Support Center. The track, which is open to Wounded Warriors, their Families and BAMC staff, features equipment for a variety of upper and lower body exercises. U.S. Army photo by Marsha Huffman

Increased stress and worry often bring on insomnia, which gives ammunition to that guy on your shoulder who says: “It’s okay. Just roll over and go back to sleep. You don’t need to get up early. You’re tired. You can do it AFTER work.”

So, giving in to that lie, you hit snooze or turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

Dragging into work, late because you hit snooze yet again, your stress level is already up from all of the stressors you worried about during the drive in. And now the stress you normally have at work has been increased due to budget cuts.

Needless to say, at the end of the day you are exhausted (cue the shoulder guy) so you say, “I’ll go home and take a short nap on the couch then I’ll go for a walk.” You wake up at 9 p.m. …”Oh, I’m tired and just going to bed. I’ll get up in the morning” The next morning is “wash, rinse, repeat” and so goes the week.

If this sounds familiar to you, here are five tips to help you get back on that train and into your healthier routine.

Continue reading Staying Fit: Hit the Gym, Not the Snooze Button

BAMC’s First ECMO Baby Celebrates 1st Birthday

By Elaine Sanchez
BAMC Public Affairs
BAMC Beat blog

 The first patient treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at San Antonio Military Medical Center recently celebrated a first of her own – her birthday.

 

Brianna Sackreiter, the first patient treated with ECMO at San Antonio Military Medical Center  turned 1-year-old last month. Courtesy photo
Brianna Sackreiter, the first patient treated with ECMO at San Antonio Military Medical Center, turned 1-year-old last month. Courtesy photo

Brianna Sackreiter, whose father is an active duty Soldier, was born in Honduras on Jan. 13, 2012, with a major abdominal wall defect. She underwent surgical repairs, but developed intestinal complications and a severe bloodstream infection. She had further complications during a transfer from Honduras to Seattle Children’s Hospital that caused the flight to divert to SAMMC.

Due to the severity of her illness, doctors determined ECMO would be the only lifesaving course. ECMO is a heart-lung bypass system that replaces the natural functions of the heart and lungs, allowing an infant or child to rest while treatments and natural healing of the affected organs take place.

“It was decided that she would surely die without ECMO,” Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Michael Shoemaker, a SAMMC neonatologist, said at the time.

Continue reading BAMC’s First ECMO Baby Celebrates 1st Birthday

Sleepless in SAMMC?

 By Dr. Laura Avila
Clinical Health Psychologist, Pulmonary Clinic

 

National Sleep Awareness Week is March 3-10. March 3-10 is the National Sleep Foundation’s annual week-long campaign to celebrate the health benefits of sleep.
March 3-10 is the National Sleep Foundation’s annual week-long campaign to celebrate the health benefits of sleep.

Insomnia is one of the most frequent problems I encounter among patients (and staff!).  Whether it is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up ready to go, insomnia is very frustrating.  However, insomnia is also very treatable.

 

Sleep is a very natural, automatic process.  The brain left to itself, without any interference, would likely maintain a very balanced and protective sleep-wake cycle.

The following tips have been found by sleep experts to be effective in managing insomnia:

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Focus on Warriors’ Ability

By Elaine Sanchez
BAMC Public Affairs
BAMC Beat blog
 

Marine Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos operates a smart phone.  Courtesy photo
With the help of his prosthetic arm, Marine Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos operates his smart phone. Gallegos lost his arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010. Courtesy photo

Marine Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos was browsing a store in South Texas when he overheard a passerby talking about his robotic arm.

The man approached the Marine and asked him a question that Gallegos still cringes about today: “Is that a Halloween costume?”

The typically laid-back Marine immediately “took him to task,” explaining he had lost his right arm in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Due to insensitive comments like this one, the Marine now wears a jacket outside, despite the sweltering Texas heat. “I just want to avoid the stares,” said Gallegos, who is undergoing rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid.

 

Marine Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos started kayaking during his recovery and is now considering trying out for the national Paralympic team. Gallegos lost his arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010. Courtesy photo
Marine Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos started kayaking during his recovery and is now considering trying out for the national Paralympic team. Gallegos lost his arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010. Courtesy photo

At Brooke Army Medical Center, we’re accustomed to the sight of Wounded Warriors with prosthetic limbs or visible scars. Rather than stares or whispers, their presence evokes a deep sense of pride and gratitude.

However, as Gallegos has discovered, this sentiment isn’t always echoed elsewhere. When he’s out in short sleeves, people either stare or shower him with a torrent of personal questions that he’d rather not broach.

“It’s embarrassing,” he said. “And, to me as a Marine, it shows a lack of respect.”

These people typically see just a disability, he said, rather than a symbol of courage and sacrifice.

Continue reading Focus on Warriors’ Ability

BAMC Staff Members Show Appreciation for Patients

In honor of Patient Recognition Month, we asked Brooke Army Medical Center staff, “What do you most appreciate about BAMC patients?” The following are just a few of the responses. Please don’t hesitate to add your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Barbara Prado
Medical Support Technician

“That no matter what they’re going through — their families, their dads and husbands are away — they still have a smile; they’re very courteous. That makes our job easier when they’re so polite, so understanding and caring, and so we try to give that back to them.” For video clip, click here.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Edward McDaniel
Internal Medicine Physician

“I love taking care of the patients here at Brooke Army Medical Center. They’re such a wonderful group – retirees, their family members, active duty personnel. They really want to take care of themselves and get better; [they’re] really committed to their health.” For video clip, click here.

Air Force Maj. Bryan Williams
Staff Maxillofacial Prosthodontist

“What I most appreciate about our patients here is not only that they do serve or have served our country, but they’re also very appreciative of the treatment that we do and the treatment we provide for them. And they’re very appreciative of the doctors and staff.” For video clip, click here.

Kyle Johannsen
Kinesiotherapist,Cardiac Rehabilitation

“What I most appreciate is the opportunity to give back. Being a veteran myself, growing up in a military background, the chance to give back to the sacrifice of veterans here and seeing their willingness to get better on their own. The chance to do that for them … that’s what I really like about it.” For video clip, click here.

Shatanya Gilliam
4W

“The things they go through in war. When they come back they have to come through the transition of knowing a difference. And that difference is, they have to get better. I thank them for that.” For video clip, click here.

Get Connected: BAMC Launches Guest Wi-Fi for Patients, Families

Patti Steward, senior wireless engineer for Brooke Army Medical Center Information Management Division, discusses BAMC’s new guest wireless service with wireless engineers Saul Valdez, Phillip Forister and Rosendo B. Flores. U.S. Army photo by Robert Shields

Beneficiaries are now able to text, Facebook, Tweet and browse the Internet while at San Antonio Military Medical Center, thanks to a new guest wireless service for patients and their families.

The 180-day pilot program, which will run through mid-July, enables beneficiaries to connect to Wi-Fi while in the hospital using their tablets, smart phones or any other web-capable wireless device.

“We don’t want the ability to communicate with loved ones hinder people from coming here or detract from their quality of care,” said Army Maj. Anthony Bradway, chief technology officer for Brooke Army Medical Center’s Information Management Division.

For detailed connection instructions, visit a SAMMC information desk. For more on this service, click here.