Tag Archives: BAMC Beat

Recognize signs of suicide to save a life

By Kelly L. Forys-Donahue, Ph.D.,
Psychologist, U.S. Army Public Health Command

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 3, 2013) — “What? Are you serious? So-and-so tried to kill himself?”

Unfortunately, at some time in your life, you may have heard these questions spoken in your circle of friends. Suicide is real. Most of us know someone whose life has been affected by suicidal behavior (a completed suicide or a suicide attempt), and the pain and stress of the suicidal behavior spreads like a ripple to family, battle buddies, friends and co-workers. All of those individuals–including you–who could be impacted by suicidal behavior can help to recognize risk factors and stressors and act to increase the chances of saving a life.

Continue reading Recognize signs of suicide to save a life

TRICARE Moves Forward With Prime Service Area Reductions

From a TRICARE Management Activity News Release

The Defense Department will reduce the number of TRICARE Prime service areas in the United States beginning Oct. 1, affecting about 171,000 retirees and their family members.

Those beneficiaries, who mostly reside more than 40 miles from a military clinic or hospital, received a letter earlier this year explaining their options. They will receive a second letter later this month.

TRICARE Management Activity officials said changing the location of Prime service areas has been planned since 2007 as part of the move to the third-generation of managed care support contracts and will allow them to continue their commitment to making high-quality health care available while supporting DOD efforts to control the rising cost of health care for 9.6 million beneficiaries.

Continue reading TRICARE Moves Forward With Prime Service Area Reductions

Sleep disorders: a wake-up call to get help

 By Rebekah Almquist
Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

More than 90 percent of sleeping disorders involve trouble falling asleep at night or staying awake during the day.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the most common disorder, is a blockage of the airway that

Karen Robbins, registered respiratory therapist, prepares her patient, Tech. Sgt. Robert Stelly, for a sleep study at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Service Center. U.S. Air Force photo by Harold China
Karen Robbins, registered respiratory therapist, prepares her patient, Tech. Sgt. Robert Stelly, for a sleep study at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Service Center. U.S. Air Force photo by Harold China

keeps oxygen from entering the lungs, explained Army Col. (Dr.) William Frey, Brooke Army Medical Center sleep expert and consultant to the Surgeon General sleep medicine.

Individuals with OSA often wake up choking due to lack of breath. Sleep clinics prescribe Positive Airway Pressure devices to open airways and allow patients to breath regularly – ensuring a full night’s rest.

“Some people recognize this and wonder why they wake up. If it happens enough times over an eight-hour period, there is no continuity of sleep. That can lead to daytime sleepiness,” Frey said. “This still has the same consequences of not getting adequate sleep. OSA is found in 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women over 30.”

Continue reading Sleep disorders: a wake-up call to get help

Can you pass the summer food safety quiz?

By CPT Susan Stankorb
Registered Dietitian, Department of Nutritional Medicine, BAMC

1. Food borne illness is more common in summer months than winter months.
a. True
b. False

2. The safest way to thaw meat for grilling is
a. Putting it in the refrigerator
b. Running cold water over it in the sink
c. Leaving it on the counter as long as you are planning to cook it immediately once it is thawed

3. Which of the following is NOT TRUE when it comes to marinating meat for the grill?
a. Marinades can be saved and used again as long as you will be marinating the same type of meat.
b. You should never marinate in a metal bowl.
c. Marinating can be done at room temperature as long as you plan to cook the meat right away.
d. You should reserve some of the marinate for use in basting prior to putting raw food in it to avoid cross contamination.

4. In hot weather he maximum time cold foods should be allowed to sit out of the refrigerator is:
a. 30 minutes
b. 1 hour
c. 2 hours|
d. No more than 3 hours

5. Which is the safest practice for serving potato salad at an outdoor BBQ?
a. Placing potato salad in a large bowl over ice.
b. Placing potato salad in a small bowl without ice and replacing it with new bowl when needed or at least every hour.
c. It is not safe to serve potato salad.

Continue reading Can you pass the summer food safety quiz?

Overcoming challenges: Adopt an ‘I will’ attitude

By Beverly Benson
BAMC RN/Health Promotion Educator
Army Department of Preventive Medicine

What do you do when you’re faced with a challenge? What if it involves something you’re deathly afraid of?  What if you might fail?

Sometimes, when we look at a challenge we think: “There’s no way I can climb that. I’m too afraid (or too weak, or too “whatever”), I can’t, I won’t be able to, I’ll never.” And on we go, convincing ourselves of all the reasons why we shouldn’t even try. So we walk away without ever discovering just how strong we really are.

Continue reading Overcoming challenges: Adopt an ‘I will’ attitude

Wounded Soldiers Share Journey to Inspire Boston Victims

By Elaine Sanchez
Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, April 26, 2013 – When I saw the Boston bombing events unfold, my heart broke for the victims of this senseless act of violence.

I thought about how their lives would be forever altered. How the victims who lost one or more limbs were robbed, at least temporarily, of the ability to walk or run.

These are the types of injuries I see each day when I walk into work at Brooke Army Medical Center — single, double and even triple amputees striving to overcome immense challenges. They, perhaps more than any others, can relate to the devastating aftermath of an explosion and the emotional and physical pain of lost limbs. And they know firsthand the courage and strength required to heal.

Still, they have a message of hope to deliver.

  Continue reading Wounded Soldiers Share Journey to Inspire Boston Victims

An Introduction to Yoga

By Beverly Benson
BAMC RN/Health Promotion Educator
Army Department of Preventive Medicine

 

Beverly Benson teaches a lunchtime Yoga class in the Pediatric conference room at San Antonio Military Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Robert T.  Shields
Beverly Benson teaches a lunchtime yoga class at San Antonio Military Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Robert T. Shields

I’ve heard it said many times, “Yoga? Tai Chi? Isn’t that a bunch of hocus pocus, weird meditation mumbo-jumbo?”  The answer is a resounding NO!

While yoga originated hundreds of years ago as a Hindu discipline that teaches “the suppression of all activity of body, mind and will …” it is now, in general, considered “a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.” It has been “Westernized” and can include any, or no, form of spirituality.

In general, it is a focusing of the mind inward and clearing it, and the body, of negativity and stress. There are multiple varieties of yoga from a meditation and breathing only version (Yoga Nidra) to more intense Bikram or Hot yoga. All forms of yoga focus on clearing the mind and proper breathing.

Similiarly, T’ai chi is a Chinese system of exercise, developed over 2,000 years ago, incorporating slow, smooth body movements in order to achieve a state of relaxation in mind and body. Although it was originally a self-defense martial art that has over 100 separate movements, it has been reduced in the more popular versions to 18-37 moves. Like yoga, there are also several “sub-sets” of T’ai chi, but all focus on body position, clearing of the mind, or meditation, and breathing.

Both of these practices have been shown through research to improve the body’s response to stress and cause a reduction in inflammation and pain. Since there is a focus on clearing the mind of negative thought focus and deep breathing, practicing yoga or T’ai chi on a regular basis may also help build resilience to life stressors.

There are several offerings of yoga on Fort Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center. You may consider trying one of the classes, or try a class in your area or at one of the Fitness in the Park sessions (www.fitcitySA.com) around town. NAMASTE!

Stress Awareness Month: 3 Mobile Apps Help You Relax

By Corina Notyce
DCoE Public Affairs

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebekka Heite
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Rebekka Heite

Is your temper short? Are you anxious? Find it hard to concentrate? What about your sleep habits — sleeping too much or too little? How about your mood — family and friends say you’re pleasant to be around? Your answers to these questions may reveal a level of stress that needs attention.  

Everyone experiences stress at times. The demands of life can be overwhelming, and the unique challenges common to military life adds even more pressure. In addition to external factors that can lead to stress (job demands, relationship difficulties, increased family responsibilities, financial issues), it’s important to know that stress can be self-generated (negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations, always needing to be in control, seeking perfection). Whatever might be causing you stress there are steps you can take now to help reduce its harmful effects on your emotional and psychological health.

Continue reading Stress Awareness Month: 3 Mobile Apps Help You Relax

Eating in Season: Check out Texas’ Local Flavor

By 2nd Lt. Miriam Craft
Dietetic Intern, Department of Nutritional Medicine 

Farmers markets are a great source for fresh produce and preparation tips. Courtesy photo

Spring has sprung! And here in the heart of Texas there’s no better time to begin eating what’s in season. Eating seasonally usually goes hand-in-hand with eating food that is grown locally. This not only benefits nearby farmers, but can also benefit you by saving you money at the register.

Produce that’s picked closer to peak ripeness provides more nutrient-rich flavor to you and your family for every dollar you spend, and purchasing what’s in season will ensure you are serving up the best tasting fruits and vegetables available. Have you ever tried dewberries, rainbow chard, or blood oranges? When at their seasonal best, these and other curious crops may cause even the pickiest of eaters to appreciate their novelty.

Continue reading Eating in Season: Check out Texas’ Local Flavor

Top 10 Reasons I Admire Military Kids

By Elaine Sanchez
April 1, 2013

In honor of April’s Month of the Military Child, I created a Top 10 list of the qualities I most appreciate about children from military families. Their amazing service and sacrifice deserve a much longer list, but I figured this would at least be a start.

The top 10 reasons I admire military children:

10. Their sense of humor. Military kids do all they can to keep their spirits up. Some carry life-sized cardboard posters of parents called “Flat Daddies” and “Flat Mommies” to keep deployed loved ones close at hand. They carry them to pizza parties and movies, sporting events and concerts. During a past deployment, military wife Vivian Greentree’s sons took it a step further. They pasted pictures of their deployed dad on a stick, dubbed it a “dad on a stick” and took it everywhere with them. They even asked their “dad” to help them make macaroni and cheese.

9. They selflessly serve their community. Military children possess a strong sense of service — perhaps modeled after their military parents who serve and sacrifice daily. A shining example is last year’s Army Military Child of the Year, Amelia McConnell. Soon after her father returned from Iraq in 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia. After treatment, he redeployed to Iraq in 2007. In 2009, her only brother, Sgt. Andrew McConnell, was killed in Afghanistan. Still, Amelia excelled in school and in sports, and volunteered hundreds of hours a year for a number of organizations. When asked why she does so much, she said, “I always think there are a lot of people in worse situations than I am.”

8. They stand by their military parent through thick and thin. I met a high school senior several years ago who told me his father would miss his graduation and his departure to college. But this teen wasn’t upset in the least. “He loves to be a soldier, and if it makes him happy, it makes me happy,” he said. “How can I possibly complain that he’s not watching me graduate when he’s out there sacrificing for our nation.”

Continue reading Top 10 Reasons I Admire Military Kids