Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Staying Safe and Healthy for the Holidays


Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is right around the corner. With the holidays comes a lot of food, drinking, and sickness. Staying healthy for the holidays is far easier said than done, but there are some tips experts say can help. 

One of the main priorities experts say can help you to stay healthy is to prioritize fighting off germs. Disinfectant wipes as well as hand washing can help with this. Keyboards are dirtier than toilets and can carry a lot of harmful bacteria like E. Coli. If you work in an office with shared equipment, it is important to keep it clean! It is also a great month for getting vaccines and doctor checkups to make sure you are clear of viruses.
Working out and controlling portion sizes are great ways to stay healthy for the holidays, as well as any day. 


Given the holidays have a lot of unhealthy and tempting foods, it is hard to say no. If you have a lot of leftovers, you can save some of them in your freezer for down the road. Holiday foods are packed with a lot of fat and calories. Research from the Calorie Control Council states that the average amount of calories in a standard holiday meal is 4,500! That’s more than double your daily intake. Maybe with that in mind, all those desserts, casseroles and gravy won’t be as tempting.

As for working out, it can be hard to find motivation. It is cold outside, and I find myself in the winter feeling more fatigued and tired than usual. Not everyone has access to a gym either. For the best minimal exercise, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator. Getting up to take breaks to walk around the complex or the office is another good way to stay active. Diet and drinking a lot of water helps to feel better as well. A short 15-minute walk here and there adds up in the long run. If you do have access to the gym, weights and cardio are a good way to build up muscle and lose fat. Any cardio throughout the day helps!

Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to stay warm. Wear layers and if you have a heater, ensure it is working properly. Clean out fireplaces as well as chimneys and it never hurts to have a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector on hand.

If you decide to do a road trip somewhere colder, make sure you have all the proper materials for your car as well as an emergency kit. Being stranded in the snow could be a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. A typical emergency kit for the winter should include a flashlight, cell phone, food and water, blankets, first-aid kit as well as medicine, cat litter or sand for ice, batteries, and maybe winter tire chains.


For further information on more elaborate holiday health and safety, follow this link:

https://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/

Happy holidays and safe travels!


Written by Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Opioid Epidemic


The opioid epidemic is a very serious issue currently going on in the US, as well as other places in the world. In 2014 alone, drug overdoses was the leading cause of accidental death. That means more people died from drug overdose than they did in car accidents and other causes. Drugs classified under the opioid category include prescription pain killers such as oxycodone and morphine.

A lot of people take them to relieve pain, but a handful of people get too dependent on the drug. For many who get heavily addicted, that becomes all they think about. They neglect family and their routine because of the drugs. Opioids such as oxycodone is so powerful it can knock out the user. There was an incident a couple months back where a child told her bus driver her parents didn’t wake up in the morning. The bus driver called the cops who found out the parents over dosed and died. Many more similar articles are coming out which shows that this is becoming more serious of an issue.

According to 2014 statistics, 23% of people who were prescribed these medications became addicted. In the year of 2014 alone, 47,055 lethal overdoses occurred. Out of that 47, 055, prescription pain reliever deaths resulted in 18, 893. Statistics have yet to be given for 2016, but so far, it is not looking good. To add more mayhem, prescriptions being given have tripled over the past 20 years.

Earlier in the year, the Obama administration was taking measures to try and prevent this issue. Their measures include intensive outpatient programs for treatment, increasing intake of patient numbers for medications used to combat the addiction, and creating programs that give more access to health care treatments and educational opportunities for awareness. Many rehabilitation facilities already exist for people heavily dependent on drugs and alcohol.

I sure hope this situation becomes less frequent and people turn to their loved ones for support rather than pain killers. There are many alternatives to pain killers (such as the ways listed above), as well as other ways to take out frustrations (such as working out, punching bags, etc…). For MHC Healthcare, the behavioral health services provide substance abuse assessment and treatment for those suffering from the addiction.

For more information about MHC Healthcare, follow this link: http://mhchealthcare.org/

For a more thorough understanding of the epidemic and ways to combat it, follow this link: http://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/

Written by Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer





Monday, November 7, 2016

Alzheimer's Awareness


November is Alzheimer’s awareness month. Alzheimer’s is a serious disease that can develop as the brain gets older. Our goal is to make readers aware of what the disease is, how it is treated, symptoms, and what to do if you or someone you know may have it. 

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that messes with memory, behavior, and the way we think. Typically, Alzheimer’s takes a while to develop, but over time, it starts to get worse. People with Alzheimer’s can easily forget what day it is, forget anniversaries, relatives, where they are, etc. Where Alzheimer’s is usually associated with aging, there is also early onset Alzheimer's. This can happen between 40s and 50s. 

In the beginning stage, the memory loss isn’t as severe. When Alzheimer’s reaches later stages, conversations are hard to hold and it may be difficult to get the person to respond to you. According to statistics, people who develop Alzheimer’s usually live, on average, eight years once the signs become apparent to others, though some have lived significantly longer. Scarily enough, statistics also state that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in our country. 

Is there a cure?

Unfortunately, there currently is no cure for the disease. However, there are treatments available. All treatments have the power to do is slow the progression of the stages and help patients to feel better and live better. 

What are the signs to watch out for?



There are ten major signs to watch out for when it comes to Alzheimer’s:

  • First, memory loss that causes issues in daily routine is important to remember. A common sign for this is when the person asks for the same type of information continuously. 
  • The next sign is when complications arise in planning and problem solving. 
  • They can also become confused on what time it is as well as where they are. 
  • Difficulty completing tasks that are familiar to them regardless of where they are.
  • Problems with words in speaking or writing that they never had issues with.
  • Finding it hard to understand visual images such as color or contrast which creates problems driving.
  • Having a hard time replacing steps and misplacing objects.
  • Poor judgment. 
  • Withdrawing themselves from work and social activities. 
  • Changes in their mood as well as their personality.

If you happen to notice these signs either for yourself or someone you know, it is good to take a trip to the doctor’s office. The doctor can detect it early and give you the best treatment to give relief of symptoms. This helps to prolong independence. 

Age, family history, and genetics play a huge role in Alzheimer’s. It is always a good idea to ask your parents or other relatives about family history. Even if you feel you don’t have any symptoms, it is great to inform your doctor and to have it on file for future appointments. Remember, not everyone gets Alzheimer’s. However, it is still important to get regular checkups. 

Thank you for reading! If you want more information on Alzheimer’s disease, follow this link:
http://www.alz.org/

Written by Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer




Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Breast Cancer: Facts, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Many women are diagnosed annually with breast cancer, however, men also have a chance of developing it. This article will explain what breast cancer is, what it does, how it is treated, and ways readers can take preparation to lower their chances of developing the cancer.

What is breast cancer and what does it do?

Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast form a group of cancerous cells which can end up invading the surrounding tissue or spread to other areas of the body. There are times the cell growth goes awry and creates new cells that the body does not need as well as old and damaged cells not going away as they should. As a result, cells build up causing lumps. Breast cancer occurs when a cancerous tumor emerges. 

What are the symptoms or early signs that I may have breast cancer?

  • Breast tenderness or notice of lumps
  • Larger pores in the skin of the breast or a change in texture of skin
  • Non explainable change in size or shape
  • Swelling of breast
  • Unexplained shrinkage
  • Discharge

Naturally, with any of the symptoms, it is a good idea to take a trip to the doctors office. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed to have breast cancer. Odds are 10% more likely if there is a family history.

What happens during the diagnosis?

In order to get diagnosed, there are typically five different ways or steps that the doctor may take. One is a mammogram, which is an x-ray taken to see if there is anything strange going on in the tissue. Another method is taking an ultrasound. This uses sound waves that do not damage the tissue and cannot be heard by human ears. A third method is an MRI. For an MRI, tissue is scanned which makes detailed pictures of activity in areas of the breast. A biopsy can also be done. During a biopsy for breast cancer, tissue is removed and sometimes fluid as well. This is done for examination of the infected cells and are sent for testing. Lastly, additional lab tests may be order for further verification. 

What treatments exist for breast cancer?

The treatments that currently exist for breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy (uses drugs to block growth of cancer cells), and lastly is nutrition as well as physical therapy. It is very important to get follow up care after treatment. This helps the doctor to determine if treatment worked as it should have, or if the patient needs more care.

How can I prevent breast cancer?

There is no definite way to prevent breast cancer. However, there is speculation that you can take steps early to hopefully prevent it. Whether or not these are true or false remains to be proven. Ways that are speculated to help are:

  • Limit alcohol use, as research says the more you drink, the more you increase your chances
  • Do not smoke - evidence shows there is a strong link between breast cancer risk and smoking
  • Weight control - researches say being overweight and obese increases chances
  • Be physically active - a healthy way is said to prevent risk of breast cancer
  • Breast feeding is also speculated to play a role in the prevention of breast cancer
  • Limiting dosage and duration of hormone therapy
  • Avoiding exposure to radiation and pollution caused by the environment


For even greater information about breast cancer as well as myths and FAQs, visit the following link: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/about-breast-cancer

As always, stay safe and have a fantastic October!

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Zika Virus Awareness


The Zika virus is a virus that is rapidly growing. The main carriers for the virus are infected mosquitoes. While these mosquitoes can be active at night, they are primarily out during the day which is why it is important to wear bug spray and find out ways to ward off those pesky insects.

What is the Zika virus exactly?

The Zika virus is known for causing birth defects. As mentioned above, the virus was originally spread by mosquitoes who would pass it on through aggressive biting. Once someone is infected, they can also pass it on to their partner through sex. The virus causes birth defects by entering the fetus and infecting it. It is also associated with other pregnancy issues.

What are the symptoms?

If someone is infected, statistics show one in five with the virus will actually show symptoms. Symptoms associated with the virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and can also show red marks in the white part of the eye. The virus can cause flu-symptoms as well which typically last a few days up to a little over a week. Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments for the virus. Researchers are currently testing vaccines, but they are not yet obtainable.

For babies who are affected with the virus, they will have a stunted head growth which can cause tremendous brain damage and has a good chance resulting in a still birth or a miscarriage. As a result, there are quite a few countries telling pregnant women they should not travel to other countries known to have the virus. Researchers say that as of September 15, 2016, 750 women in the U.S. had confirmed they had the virus. As of September 21, 2016, more than 3,300 travelers had cases of the ZIKA virus. A very small handful was sexually transmitted. 

How can I protect myself and help to spread awareness?
  • Use insect repellent that is EPA-registered
  • Protect your skin by using long sleeved clothing and long pants
  • Staying in places that have air conditioning as well as windows and doors with screens is safe
  • Do not keep standing water in or around the home
  • Share this information with people you know 
  • If you have been to any of the countries known to have the virus, get a checkup with your doctor

The following link will hopefully be useful and shows all the countries currently battling the virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/active-countries.html




For those traveling, stay safe and be sure to carry insect repellent! The virus is said to spread even more this upcoming year.

Learn more about the Zika Virus here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Farm Safety


From MHC Healthcare's humble beginning in 1957 as a health center serving migrant farm workers in rural Marana, farming is integral to who we are as an organization. This past week, September 18-24, was Farm Safety and Health Week. There are a lot of hazardous materials when entering farmland, and is easy to miss. While Farm Safety Week has come and gone, this information still needs to be circulated. This article will show all the different hazards, how to stay safe, and how to ensure a visit to the farm will not cause health problems.

Some examples of the various dangers on the farm include:

  • Chemicals as well as pesticides
  • Highway Traffic
  • Toxic gas
  • Tractors
  • Livestock
  • Machinery as well as equipment
  • Tools
  • Piles of Manure
  • Wells
  • And many more
The biggest risk factors for injuries are usually children under 15 and adults who are over 65. The main culprit for injuries would be machinery. Seat belts when riding on tractors, as well as goggles and other protective clothing, can help in reducing injuries. Unfortunately, given farms are typically far from the cities, the ability to get to the hospitals in case of an emergency is not likely to happen.

How can I improve my farm safety as well as spread awareness to others?

Researching farming hazards, preparing for proper medical equipment in case of an emergency such as a fire, tractor accident, electric shock, and chemical safety is a great place to start. Be very cautious if you have elderly or children with you in case hazardous equipment or chemicals are nearby. The following are ways you can help to reduce injuries on the farm:
  • Thoroughly read the instructor’s manual for machinery and equipment as well as labels
  • Do a routine checkup on equipment to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary
  • Be sure to discuss safety procedures with the farm workers
  • After maintenance, ensure that guards on the equipment are replaced
  • Take precautionary measures to prevent injuries from silos and grain storage bins
  • Know that methane gas as well as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia can form in silos and manure pits that are unventilated and that they can poison workers as well as explode.
  • Always take advantage of safety equipment
Following these safety guidelines can hopefully ensure safety of farm workers as well as those living on the farms and people who come to tour the farmland.

For more information on agricultural health and safety as well as other information, check out the following link: http://agsafety.osu.edu/

Have a great September and thank you for reading!

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Friday, September 9, 2016

Thyroid Cancer Awareness



September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month. Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland helps regulate hormones that help the way we use our energy as well as help our body to function normally. Exposure to radiation can increase the chances of getting cancer, so this means head, neck and chest x-rays. The unfortunate truth is that, even if treated, thyroid cancer always has a chance of creeping back.






Thyroid cancer has the following symptoms:
  • Pain in the neck and ears
  • Trouble breathing as well as wheezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Frequent cough that is not related to illness
  • Troubles swallowing
  • Lump and/or swelling in the neck (the most common symptom)
If you know anyone with the symptoms listed above or if you have symptoms yourself, call your doctor. Where it could easily be something minor, it is best if the doctor finds what is causing the symptoms sooner than later.

Doctors determine that a patient has thyroid cancer by running a biopsy and finding cancerous cells. They remove a small piece of thyroid tissue and then send it for observation. In some situations, results may be unclear which lead to more serious procedures. For treatment, the patient has to go through surgery and radioactive iodine. A suggested way of helping cope with cancer is by joining cancer support groups.

There are many risk factors associated with thyroid cancer and the following are the most common:
  • Age plays a vital role
  • Females have a higher risk, but men can get thyroid cancer too
  • Family history
  • Radiation treatments
This article is meant to spread awareness to thyroid cancer. On a final note, if you or anyone you know has a family history of MTC (medullary thyroid cancer), it is best to get a genetic test to detect specific genes that carry the mutation found with the cancer. The earlier one gets help, the cancer can actually be prevented.

For more information on thyroid cancer awareness, check out the following link:
http://www.thyca.org/

To find out more about MHC, check out the following link:
http://mhchealthcare.org/


Wishing everyone a fantastic September and great start to the school year!

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Children's Eye Safety Month


August is the month for the awareness of children’s eye health and safety! Given that August is typically the time that children start attending their new year at school, it is important to get theirs eyes looked at. It is better to assure your children have excellent vision sooner than later on the off chance there is something wrong. 

Unlike having a fever, it can be difficult to tell if someone is having eye problems. A child can have eye problems, but not mention it because it is normal to them. It is a great idea to set up an exam every year to get them checked out. Children should get their eyes checked every time they visit their pediatrician. Age of three should be their first vision test. 

The following signs are what parents should watch out for:

  • Watch and see if your child occasionally gets cross-eyed
  • If they don’t seem enthusiastic about reading or have a hard time seeing objects in the distance
  • If there is an issue with others relatives having vision problems, that could also turn out to be genetic
  • If your child is often squinting during daily activities (or at all)

If you are worried your child may be color blind, crossed eyed, have a lazy eye, drooping eyelids, or if their eyes seem to favor farsighted or nearsighted, set up an appointment as soon as possible. The earlier the doctor can address the problem, the quicker your child can readjust as well as possibly fix the issue entirely. Special glasses are often used to take care of farsighted and nearsighted vision.



About 12 million children are visually impaired worldwide. One of the leading causes of eye injuries are sports that children participate in. 

To address your childrens' eye safety, ensure they are always wearing protective equipment during sports. Also ensure they are playing with toys that are age appropriate. Even though your child may appear mature, there is always a chance of an accident (stumbling and falling or they may not realize how close a toy is to their eyes). 

Hoping the best for this school year! 

For more information on eye safety and awareness, find information at this link as well as for adult vision care: http://www.preventblindness.org/

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out the following link: www.MHCHealthcare.org

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Monsoon Season Safety

Arizona has been witnessing a lot of flooding and thunder storms from the monsoon season for a good part of July and through August so far. Weather forecasts on television, internet and even the radio are a good resource for weather information. Usually gray clouds are another indicator that there may very well be a storm on the way.




When listening or reading about the current weather, remember these key terms:

Watch: This means that a storm is possible.
Warning: Storms have been reported in the area and is the ideal time to prepare safety measures.
Flood Advisory: Rain is certain to cause flooding, mostly minor and is nothing life threatening. 
Flash Flood Warning: This warning means that the flooding is life threatening.

Given monsoon weather typically brings heavy rain, lightning, and at times even harsh wind, there are many ways to keep safe and out of harm. The following are in case of a flood:

  • Do not drive around barricades.
  • Do not try to cross streams in a flooded area.
  • If you are driving and your car gets caught by the water, leave your car and immediately swim or run to an area on higher ground.
  • During the event of the storm, when a traffic signal is not functioning, the light functions as a 4-way stop.
  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded waters.
  • Never let your children play in the flooded waters, especially near a wash area or a storm drain.


The following are safety tips in case of a thunder storm:

  • As soon as you begin to hear the thunder, know that it is not safe to touch any wires.
  • Cell phones as well as wireless phones are perfectly safe to use during a storm. However, it has been said that phones with cords have killed people before due to lightning traveling through the wires.
  • When you know a storm is approaching and the weather warnings are in place, it is best to unplug your electronics to avoid them from getting fried.
  • If you are outside during a thunder storm, seek shelter and be sure to bring outdoor pets indoors.


Following one safety tip could possibly save a life. If you are driving and lose visibility due to rain or a dust storm, pull aside to assure safety. It is also encouraging if you witness someone in danger (where you cannot risk your safety to help) or see a downed power line to call 911 as soon as possible. Your safety always comes first!




For more information about MHC Healthcare, click on this link: http://mhchealthcare.org/about-us


Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer


Friday, August 5, 2016



Media Contact:
Paul O’Rourke/Bolchalk Frey Marketing
520-745-8221 paul@adwiz.com


For Immediate Release

MHC Healthcare Celebrates National Health Center Week
Campaign runs August, 7 - 13

TUCSON, AZ (August 5, 2016) – MHC Healthcare, Arizona’s oldest community health center, is celebrating National Health Center Week (NHCW), August 7 – 13, 2016.  Patients who visit any of their 14 locations throughout Pima County will receive a gift bag and be able to test their artistic skills for a chance to win prizes in the MHC Coloring Contest.

There are NHCW events scheduled across the country, including health fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, and much more.

One of the bright spots in America’s healthcare system, health centers started over 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Today, they have compiled a significant record of success that includes:
  • Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings
  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit
  • Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent
  • Generating $26.5 billion in economic activity and over 230,000 jobs
  • Reducing infant mortality rates 
MHC is proud to be a part of America’s Health Centers’ legacy by serving over 45,000 people in Tucson, Catalina, Picture Rocks and Marana.  MHC delivers high quality, cost effective, accessible care while serving as critical economic engines helping to power local economies.  MHC Healthcare provides services to all people, regardless of the ability to pay or their insurance status.

MHC Healthcare is Arizona’s oldest community health center, providing continuous healthcare since its incorporation, as Marana Heath Center, Inc. in 1957, and was the first facility to offer integration of primary care and counseling and wellness health services in one location.  MHC Healthcare is a recognized participant of a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a model of primary care that focuses on the patient’s entire well-being. As such, the PCMH includes a team of care providers who work closely with patients and their families, recognizing the unique needs, cultures and beliefs of each patient. In short, as part of a PCMH, MHC Healthcare is dedicated to providing the most complete level of care for each patient.

To learn more about MHC Healthcare and NHCW, please visit: MHCHealthcare.org

You can also follow the conversation using #NHCW16 or #CHCsInnovate on Twitter.


 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Heat Safety

With the summer comes intense heat. Temperatures for the month of July have been between 103 to 112 degrees already in the Tucson/Marana area. Dehydration in the heat can have severe consequences. This article shows ways to fight the heat and stay comfortable in the summer.

In the heat, it is very important to drink plenty of water. It is said that even those who stay indoors should be drinking between 1 to 2 liters of water a day. For those who are outdoors, it should be between 1 to 2 liters of water every hour. Alcohol and caffeine are both culprits that lead to dehydration.

  • When going outside, dress light. Light-colored clothing will also help to deflect some of the heat. Also be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, or as some people prefer, carry an umbrella. As stated in a previous blog, always wear sunscreen too!
  • If possible during excessive heat waves, stay indoors.
  • When it comes to strenuous activities, aim to do them very early in the morning or later at night. 



Symptoms that you could be developing heat related symptoms.

  • If you are noticing you’re thirsty, you’re likely becoming dehydrated
  • Heat cramps can happen from the loss of water as well as excessive sweating. 
  • Heat exhaustion is dangerous and can cause shock to your body. This means your body is having a hard time trying to cool you down. If you have flushed red skin, excessive sweating, are developing a headache or migraine and possibly have nausea, dizziness, and exhaustion, find a cool place as soon as possible and drink a lot of water.
  • Lastly is the heat stroke. Heat strokes are life-threatening. The sweating that occurs to try and cool the body stops functioning during a heat stroke. Heat strokes can result in brain damage or even death if the body cannot find a way to cool down properly. Signs you may be having a heatstroke involve red dry skin, lack of awareness, rapid or weak heart pulse, and finding it difficult to breathe. In this situation or if you notice someone is having a heat stroke, call 911 as quickly as possible!


Always take precautionary measures in high temperatures. Water is very important! It is still possible to have fun in the sun, but always keep safety your first priority. 

For more information about MHC visit the following link: http://mhchealthcare.org/

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

UV Safety


The summer is here in Arizona and that usually means excessive heat and sun from dawn to dusk. There are many precautions to take when being outside to avoid sun burn and many other dangerous skin damage. Below are details about what UV is as well as how to prevent skin damage.

What is UV?

UV stands for Ultraviolet radiation and can be very dangerous if you don’t take the proper measures. Ultraviolet radiation is produced from the sun and although it has risks, it is also a great way to obtain vitamin D.   

Ultraviolet radiation has an index to indicate severity ranging from 0 to 11, with 11 being the highest. So if your area indicates a very high index number, you have a very high chance of harm from unprotected exposure. Typically if you go online and check your weather site, there will be a section saying what number on the index your area has. For example, today in Marana, it says we have an index of 3. 0-2 would be low, 3-5 counts as moderate, 6-7 is high, 8-10 is very high, and anything 11+ is extreme.



How Can I Protect Myself?
  • Wear clothes that will protect your skin such as shirts with long sleeves and pants that cover the legs. Hats are an excellent way to avoid eye and head damage as well as sunglasses. For sunglasses, make sure it has at least 99 UV block as well as a wrap around shape to always protect your eyes. As for a hat, a wide-brimmed is the most recommended.
  • To avoid sunburns, always make sure to put on sunblock. Although it takes time and if you are in a hurry, it is always better to be safe than sorry. When you don’t protect your skin, you make yourself more vulnerable to skin cancer. According to the FDA, use sunscreen that is broad spectrum and has SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more to reduce skin burns.
  • Staying in shaded areas when it is unbearably hot or even wearing a good sized hat can protect your skin.
  • Be careful near anything that can reflect the sun’s rays. Examples include water, windows, snow, and even sand. Resources state that it is still possible to get a sunburn that way.
  • At higher altitudes, you are increasing your chance of getting hit by UV rays. When you are at higher altitudes, there are significantly less resources to absorb the rays.
  • Lastly, if you are going to be in the sun a lot, be sure to apply sunscreen at various times throughout the day. For maximum safety, apply every two hours.

By following the necessary precautions, you should be able to enjoy yourself in the sun at the beach, your local park and pool. Safety should always come first and saves a chance at winding up in the emergency room.

For more information on the UV Scale to see how severe it is in your location, check out this link: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-scale-1

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out this link: http://mhchealthcare.org/


Stay safe!

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fireworks Safety

The 4th of July is around the corner, meaning that fireworks are going to be on the loose like wildfire. Whether you’re in a small town or a huge city, residents enjoy playing with sparklers or shooting off small fire works. However, it is important to practice firework safety so that someone doesn’t set their house on fire or end up with an injury. Back in 2011, it was estimated that 9600 people were in the ER due to not practicing firework safety.


Here are some tips to follow to avoid hurting yourself:

  • NEVER let children play with fireworks and carefully read the instructions on the box. Even with adult supervision, children can still get hurt.
  • Always keep a hefty amount of water nearby in case a firework malfunctions (never try to relight the firework if that is the case) or someone gets a burn on their body.
  • If handling fireworks, it is important to wear protective eye gear.
  • Store fireworks away from children or pets, as both are naturally curious and the outcome of either getting into the fireworks could be deadly or result in a visit to the ER/veterinarian.
  • If you notice someone or a group of people using fireworks, be sure to steer clear if they are not using the above steps to avoid possible harm to yourself or those with you.
  • NEVER aim the fireworks towards anything you can harm or anything that is flammable to avoid burns or starting fires (as well as damaging property).


The picture showed below is a chart from the National Fire Protection Association.



Sparklers can get up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! That is far hotter than putting your hand in an oven at the maximum temperature. Fireworks are beautiful, but hearing this alone is a reminder of how dangerous they can be even if people are aware of this information.

In a celebration of the 4th of July, the town of Marana is putting together The Star Spangled Spectacular! There will be live music, food trucks, and a few companies giving out goodies as well as information. MHC Healthcare is a title sponsor of this event - visit our table for some 4th of July goodies! The event will start on Monday, July 4th at 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM so be sure to check out all the entertainment before the fireworks show. 

Below is a link to the event detailing the address and all of the vendors, events, hosts, and even more information!  
http://www.maranaaz.gov/town-calendar/2016/7/4/star-spangled-spectacular

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out our website here: http://mhchealthcare.org/

Remember to practice firework safety and to have a fantastic 4th of July celebration whether it's celebrating at home with loved ones or enjoying the fireworks! 


Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Friday, March 11, 2016

Coming Fall 2016 To Your Community



Learn more about the Dove Mountain Health Center HERE

See photos of our building progress HERE