Last updated 4 months ago
TOPEKA, Kan. - With widespread activity of influenza in Kansas, State Health Officer Robert Moser, M.D., said it is not too late to vaccinate against the flu, and he encourages employers to take the necessary steps for a healthy workplace.
“I would ask that business owners and managers encourage their employees to stay at home when ill to avoid the spread of influenza in the community. It’s also important for everyone to wash their hands throughout the day with warm, soapy water and to sanitize telephones, keyboards and other office equipment used often,” said Moser, who is also the Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
One of several ways KDHE tracks influenza is by monitoring the percentage of patients seeking healthcare in selected outpatient clinics who exhibit influenza-like illness (ILI), in a system known as ILINet.
“The typical peak for cases of ILI in Kansas occurs in February, and the rates we are observing now are higher and earlier than what we usually see.” said Moser.
Last week (ending January 5), the rate of ILI among patients seeking care at ILINet sites was approximately 6.4 percent. During the previous (2011-2012) influenza season, this rate peaked at 3.4 percent the week ending March 10, the latest peak of an influenza season in Kansas since surveillance began in 1995. KDHE also closely monitors influenza-related deaths. During the 2011-2012 influenza season, influenza and pneumonia, a common complication of influenza, contributed to or directly caused more than 1,300 deaths among Kansas residents, and was the eighth leading underlying cause of death in 2011. In the current influenza season, more than 460 influenza and pneumonia deaths have been reported to date.
Influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone six months of age and older to reduce the risk of becoming ill with the flu and reduce the risk of spreading the flu to others. This is especially important for anyone at high risk of complications, and for anyone who is caring for, or in regular contact with, an infant less than six months of age. Babies this age are too young to be vaccinated and are more vulnerable to the complications from influenza.
Symptoms of influenza include fever, dry cough, extreme tiredness and muscle aches. Complications can include pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and dehydration; influenza may also worsen other chronic conditions.
“Let’s not forget that influenza is unpredictable and can continue to circulate through spring,” said Moser.
For information on receiving the influenza vaccine, please contact your health care provider or the local health department. Visit www.kdheks.gov/flu for influenza facts.
Last updated 4 months ago
Michael S. Sokol, MD, FACP, FACE, CCD, recently received the “Smartest Diabetes Expert in America” award from MDLinx, an innovative internet-based service that allows physicians and other healthcare professionals to stay current with academic literature. Dr. Sokol is an award-winning physician with Statland Medical Group at Menorah Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s largest healthcare network and private-sector employer. Statland Medical Group is also part of Midwest Physicians, a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
“I am honored to have received this recognition,” says Dr. Sokol. “I have spent my career in pursuit of the highest knowledge for my field, which benefits my patients.”
Dr. Sokol graduated from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine at age 23. He subsequently created and completed a combined internal Medicine and Psychiatry Residency at Brown University. During that tenure he assisted in teaching, patient-interviewing classes and co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and a textbook chapter. Dr. Sokol did his endocrinology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a commissioned Major in the US Army Military Corp. He subsequently served as assistant chief and then chief of endocrinology at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, associated with the Medical College of Georgia, during which time he was honored with the Army Commendation Medal. Dr. Sokol was also awarded the Masters Clinical Award in Psychopharmacology from the Neuroscience Education Institute.
Since 1993, Dr. Sokol has practiced internal medicine, endocrinology and psychiatry in a six-person multi-specialty clinic in Overland Park, Kan. Dr. Sokol currently serves as director of medical education at Menorah Medical Center and most recently as president of the Heartland Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. As a result of peer voting, Dr. Sokol has been listed since 2007 in the field of endocrinology in KC Magazine’s annual “Super Doc” feature.
“Dr. Sokol is an asset to Menorah Medical Center’s mission of providing high-quality care to patients,” says Steven D. Wilkinson, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Menorah Medical Center. “His unwavering commitment to stay current on advances in treatment and technology in his field demonstrates a deep dedication to evidence-based clinical processes to achieve the best outcomes for his patients. This is what award-winning medicine is about.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sokol, call (913) 345-8500.
Last updated 4 months ago
If you are using the New Year as an opportunity to make a clean start with your health, there are a few steps you should take to maximize the benefits of the goals you set. There are many ways to improve your health, but some may be more manageable and effective for you than others. Here is a look at how to choose the best New Year’s resolution for your health and see it through.
Know where you need to improve
A New Year’s check-up will help you understand the complete picture of your health so that you are fully aware of your health risks. You might find that you have silent indicators for conditions like type-II diabetes or heart disease. When identified early, these symptomless signs can be managed and even reversed, but you need to work with your doctor to see exactly what your health risks are.
Start with small goals
You should establish what your long-term goals are, but you will want to make sure that you have checkpoints along the way to make your resolution more manageable. For example, if you set out to lose 50 pounds, you might set smaller goals in 10 pound increments so that you can celebrate your accomplishments as you go.
Seek ongoing support
There is no rule that states that you have to accomplish your New Year’s resolution with no help. In fact, your chances of success will increase dramatically if you seek help from your physician and Menorah Medical Center where you can find a diverse team of health professionals with the knowledge and experience to guide you to better health.
Find out exactly how Menorah Medical Center can help you by visiting our website or calling (913) 498-6000. While you are checking out our services and specialties, be sure to look at our schedule of classes and support groups to keep you on track as you work toward your goals.
Last updated 5 months ago
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating degenerative disease that has no known cure. Ongoing research of Alzheimer’s has shown some of the causes and risk factors for the disease, which has led to a better understanding of the steps one can take to prevent Alzheimer’s or slow the progression of the disease. Here is a closer look at what is known about Alzheimer’s to help you be a part of the effort to identify a cure.
Who is at risk for Alzheimer’s?
Most Alzheimer’s cases begin in patients over the age of 60, but earlier onset can occur in individuals with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Genes are a large contributing factor for the development of Alzheimer’s, but there are other factors to take into account. Lifestyle also plays a significant role in Alzheimer’s risk, and it can be adjusted early in life to dramatically reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s later in life. Physical activity is a leading preventive tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s, because it promotes a healthy weight, lowers the risk for heart disease and stroke, and improves cognitive function.
Signs to look out for
If you do have an elderly family member, you should remember that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process. When you interact with the senior members of your family, look for leading Alzheimer’s indicators, like disruptive memory loss, poor hygiene, strange behaviors and mood swings, and trouble communicating effectively. These symptoms should be brought to the attention of a doctor, as early Alzheimer’s diagnosis will be critical in managing treatment.
Get more facts about Alzheimer’s disease and healthy aging with Menorah Medical Center. We provide complete care in all medical specialties using sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment in our high-tech Kansas City facilities. Learn more about how we can improve the health of your whole family by contacting us online or calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 429-8153.
Last updated 6 months ago
As a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women, colorectal cancer screening is an equally important part of maintaining your long-term health. The CDC offers this helpful table about coverage for colorectal screenings through private insurance and Medicare.
Although colon polyps are common in older adults, it is important to closely monitor them for signs of colon cancer. This article from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy explains the characteristics and treatment of colon polyps.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, then consider this step-by-step guide to breast cancer treatment from the Breast Cancer Care organization for helpful information and advice.
We here at Menorah Medical Center specialize in acute care for a wide range of conditions. As an NAPBC-certified Breast Center, we offer superior care for breast cancer from diagnosis to treatment. To learn more, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (913) 498-6000 today.