Healthy Concepts

With spring here, it’s no surprise that many people are considering ways to step out of their technology-driven lives and search for activities that can offer a connection to nature. So why not consider gardening? Research shows that not only will gardening transform your living space but it may also transform you physically, mentally and spiritually.

Unexpected health benefits of gardening

A study that was conducted in the Netherlands concluded that participants who actively engaged in gardening reduced stress and the stress hormone cortisol more than participants who relaxed by reading a book.

Additional research through the years shows that individuals who garden regularly experience the following health benefits:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved heart health
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Better sleep
  • Brain health
  • Enhanced hand strength and dexterity
  • Improved social interaction
  • Increased compassion for others

In fact, Don Cisler, Head Gardener/Horticulturist at West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc, finds that many patrons return on a weekly basis to reflect, meditate and take in the serenity that the gardens provide. Given that the grounds are situated on six acres overlooking Lake Michigan, one can’t help but find the gardens to be a Zen-like experience.

How to start

You don’t need to have a large backyard or a green thumb to benefit from gardening. Even a small space can become charming with the right design. For those wanting to take the first step, information is available online and in bookstores. Or better yet, check your local technical or community colleges for course options. During the spring, such courses are abundant with a variety of options ranging from shade gardening to landscape design.

Rob Zimmer, a current continuing education instructor, former Yard MD, and garden and outdoors columnist, encourages individuals to try a class in gardening. Zimmer states “whether you are new to gardening or have many years of experience under your gardening tool belt, you are sure to learn something new and have fun in the process!”

However you decide to connect with nature, local colleges and universities across the state provide a variety of options for you to try.

These tools then become the educational garden in which you live. Try something new this year. Take a gardening class to transform your outdoor space while promoting a general sense of well-being. 

Companion animals bring great joy to their owners. The unconditional love cats and dogs provide appeals to people of all ages. While many people associate pets with kids who can’t wait to welcome the first cat or dog into their homes, pets can benefit aging men and women as well.

It’s not uncommon for seniors to feel lonely or depressed when they retire, their children move away or they lose a spouse or close friend or friends. The American Humane Society states that studies show pets help seniors overcome loneliness and depression by providing affection, company and entertainment. Pets also provide much-needed mental stimulation, and many pet owners find their pets help them become more physically active as well.

Seniors who adopt pets may also feel a sense of purpose when helping animals who may not have anywhere to live. This is particularly true of older companion animals, which many young families are understandably hesitant to adopt. Mature pets might be an ideal fit for seniors. When seniors are looking to adopt a pet, there are various reasons why older pets or particular animals might be the perfect fit for them.

  • Adult pets may already be house trained, saving seniors the trouble and effort of training them.
  • Seniors may find cats fit their lifestyles more than dogs, as cats are less active and do not need to be walked or played with as much as dogs.
  • Cats also are small and easily maneuverable, meaning even seniors who have arthritis or other physical limitations can easily care for cats.
  • Many cats are also content to spend long periods of time sleeping on their owners’ laps.
  • Small dogs that can be active within the house might be a good idea as well, especially for seniors with mobility issues. They’re also easily transported to and from vet appointments.

It’s important that seniors carefully weigh the benefits of adopting a pet against any limitations they may have. Having a backup plan for care is advantageous as well. Seniors should not adopt a pet if they anticipate frequent travel or medical care that requires they be away from home for long periods of time. 

Source: MetroCreative Connection.

Assisted living is a term that is unsatisfactory for many elderly, for they consider assisted living as loss of independence and being neglected by caregivers and family. However, today’s assisted living communities are a far cry from the nursing home of yesteryear. Assisted living communities, and yes — community and not a facility — are built to provide independence to its residents, providing care and services so as to be independent as long as possible. With the advancement of medical care in today’s society, many elderly do not have acute conditions that require a skilled nursing facility with 24-hour nursing care, but have chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes or obesity, that require some assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Activities of Daily Living consists of basic self-care needs. These include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, transferring and toileting. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living consist of activities to live independently. These are housework, yardwork, meal preparation, medication management, money management, shopping and transportation. That is the basic role of an assisted living community — to provide “assistance” to a resident in the area of ADLs and IADLs. Besides covering the ADLs and IADLs, assisted living communities also provide activities to enhance a resident’s quality of life, such as wellness programs, exercise programs, social events and outings.

Though the role of assisted living communities are basically the same, there are differences among assisted living communities within Wisconsin, dependent on their licensing, number of residents and level of care allowed. In Wisconsin, there are several types of assisted living communities: Adult Family Homes, Residential Care Apartment Complex and Community-Based Retirement Communities.

Adult Family Home (AFH) is defined as a place where two to four adults, not related to the owner, receive care, treatment or services above the level of room and board. No more than seven hours per week of nursing care may be provided to the residents. In most instances, Adult Family Homes are usually occupied by those with physical or mental disabilities. But in the last few years, several AFHs have been built in the area to house the elderly and those with dementia. The cost of Adult Family Homes is usually more significant than the other types of assisted living communities.

Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC) provides a resident (tenant) with an independent apartment that is homelike and residential in character and provides: room and board, up to 28 hours per week of supportive care, personal care and nursing services. Those entering an RCAC must be their own person, and be able to make their own decisions. Tenants are able to cook in their own room, but are also offered different meal plans for those who do not wish to cook. The level of care needed by the tenant will determine the cost above room and board. Many tenants start as “independent,” and can be added upon as assistance is needed. There are two types of RCAC classifications:

Registered: All tenants need to pay privately. If a tenant is unable to pay privately, they will be given a written notice to vacate. Certified: Tenants begin residency as private pay, but can go to public funding (medical waiver) if they run out of funds. Most RCACs require a 1-2 years of private pay before being able to apply for public funding. The negative aspect of an RCAC is the inability for care to go over 28 hours per week. In these cases, the tenant will be asked to leave or request that Home Care services be provided to offset the extra care needs. Also, most communities are able to offer one-person assistance for transferring. If a tenant needs a 2-person assist, sit-to-stand or a Hoyer for transferring purposes, the tenant will be asked to leave or request Home Care services.

Community Based Residentiary Facility (CBRF) is a place where 5 or more unrelated people live together in a community setting. Services provided include room and board, supervision, support services and may include up to 3 hours of nursing care per week. The CBRF usually is a home like environment, where a resident will have their own bedroom with either a private half or full bathroom. Residents are encouraged to utilize the entire building as their home. Three meals a day are provided to the residents, and is included in the room and board. Cost of care is determined by the level of care, and is an additional cost above room and board. There still may be transferring restrictions, such as no sit-to-stand or Hoyer. CBRFs do not have different classes like RCACs, but may be private pay only. However, most CBRFs in the area take public funds, but request 1 to 2 years of private pay before being able to apply for public funding.

Dementia care: Many CBRFs have a dementia unit connected to their community. They have special activities that adhere to those with dementia, and will care for those who are considered advanced. Residents of the dementia unit will go to the assisted side of the community for social events. In other CBRFs, their entire community handles dementia care and are considered Stand Alone Dementia Communities.

Note: Some CBRFs indicate they do take care of dementia, but if they do not provide 2-person assist, a sit-to-stand or Hoyer, they are only willing to care for mild cases of dementia.

There are some assisted living communities being built that are a mixture of a RCAC and a CBRF. They provide a studio or 1-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen or kitchenette, and provide 2-person assist, sit-to-stand and a Hoyer. These communities will also have a separate dementia unit (CBRF), to allow residents to age in place within their community. But in most cases, these newer communities are private pay only.

Though assisted living communities are basically the same in providing ADLs and IADLs, the types of assisted living communities are very different based on licensing and regulations. This makes the process for a senior or family looking at assisted living so overwhelming. Most people would not consider buying a home without a realtor, so if you are looking for assisted living for a loved one, consider working with a Senior Living Advisor. A Senior Living Advisor will help you navigate the different types of assisted living communities that would best fit your loved one’s preferences based on care, finances and location. 

Springtime is a symbol for transformation, a time for change and a time for becoming. Once barren trees bring forth buds, leafs and flowers. Bulbs gracefully rise up through the soil as the entire landscape comes alive, a diverse palate of brilliant color. The caterpillar prepares for a complete metamorphosis by liquefying, reorganizing its molecules into a new pattern and becoming an entirely new creation. This beautiful new butterfly now has wings, majestically flying for the first time in her life.

The story of the butterfly is a metaphor for our personal transformation. If we want change and don’t let go of the life we’re living, then in a sense we die. We must completely let go of our old paradigms, our habits and beliefs about ourselves and the way the world works. Only then can we emerge into a higher order of being. We don’t just transform in a couple of weeks like a monarch butterfly does. We must be able to see our own blocks and limiting beliefs before we are able to change, and replace these beliefs with a more expansive view. We must continually take action steps with our new systems and habits of belief.

How do we break through our old limiting paradigms after they have become the pattern that we have lived for so long?

It starts with a vision for your ideal life. What makes you come alive? If you could be, do, have, create and give anything regardless of age, race, gender, education, time or money, what would that be?

Where do you want to transform your life — in your health? In your relationships? In your vocation? In your time freedom? Your financial freedom?

What is your longing? What is your discontent? What are your core values?

What is important to you? What is your purpose? What is your “why”? What would you love?

You might not know all the answers to these questions right away, so you start somewhere like, “What would I love”?

There is a system for creating a vision, and putting it in the highest frequency possible — one in harmony with your dream. Without a vision, there is no new pattern to work with. Even with a vision, the call of the old familiar is powerful, like the pull of gravity. A rocket going into space needs booster rockets to get it past the Earth’s atmosphere. Without them, the rocket would never make it out and would come crashing back to Earth. A structure of support such as a highly qualified mentor or coach is critical to help you transform your life from the old familiar status quo to the vibrantly alive and rich life you are seeking to live.

Once you create a blueprint, it’s time to set action steps and goals

Your paradigms will be screaming at you, “You can’t do this!” They are very sneaky. They can emerge as a distraction, a dissuasion or an alert that something highly important has to be done first. Your paradigms will do anything to keep you “safe,” although they are really keeping you stuck.

At a very early age, many of us were told “get real,” “pay attention,” “stop daydreaming,” “get a job with benefits and retire and then you can live the life you love.” You deserve to live a life you love now. You are your highest authority, and it’s up to you to make a decision for your life.

True transformation occurs when we override the fear, doubt and worry, and endeavor confidently. Confidence doesn’t mean we don’t have fear. Confidence means we take action in the presence of our fear. You must be in love with your vision, and have a burning desire to succeed.

We don’t transform all at once. We take baby steps, one at a time. You can climb Mount Everest with baby steps. You’re going to bump up against your paradigms. That’s good news! Once you are aware enough to notice them, you can override them and become the person living the life that you want to live. We transform the world by transforming ourselves. We don’t do it alone. We do it with a system and a structure of support.

Become the change you want in your life. Become the person who is living that ideal life. Personal transformation, then, not only becomes a possibility, it becomes a reality.

Identity theft is a pervasive problem. According to figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 17.6 million people, or about 7 percent of U.S. residents age 16 or older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2014. Identity theft is not just a problem within U.S. borders, either. Each month, Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus report that more than 1,800 identity theft complaints are lodged by Canadian residents.

Victims may be subjected to various types of identity theft. Attempted misuse of an existing account is the prime complaint. This account can be a credit card, bank account or phone or utility account. No matter the type of fraud perpetrated, many identity theft victims endure a direct financial loss as a result.

Sometimes individuals do not find out they’ve been the victim of identity theft until they are notified by a financial institution — or even after filing their taxes — when money already has been lost. People may invest in expensive services to protect their identities, but Consumer Reports notes this tactic is not always necessary. There are other, less expensive ways for men and women to protect themselves from identity theft.

Guard personal information. Do not share your personal information over the internet unless you are on a secured site. This will be identified by the https:// preceding the rest of the URL. Sometimes a padlock symbol will appear somewhere on the page. Also, do not provide any personal information over the phone, such as tax identification numbers, bank account information or your maiden name. Personal data should be shared only with trusted companies whose authenticity you can verify.

Watch your wallet. Do not leave your wallet or purse unattended. Keep the bare minimum in a wallet so a thief does not have access to all of your personal information if the wallet is lost or stolen. Keep your Social Security card and rarely used credit cards at home.

Sign up for alerts. Many financial institutions will offer free online or mobile alerts to warn of suspicious activity on your account. Take advantage of this service.

Lock down devices. Make sure computers and mobile devices are secured with a password, and only use secured networks when going online. Select strong passwords that include a combination of numbers, letters and symbols, as well as case changes so they will be more difficult to crack.

Get off of credit card offer lists. You can stop credit bureaus from selling your name to lenders by going to or calling 888-567-8688. Opting out should prevent the majority of offers from coming your way. Many identity theft cases can be linked to crooks stealing credit card preapprovals from mailboxes. Similarly, you can put a security freeze on credit reports, so that lenders will not be able to access credit reports and issue new credit.

Identity theft can lead to plenty of paperwork hassle and loss of funds. Preventing it from happening is easier than you might think. 

Source: MetroCreative Connection.

The bilberry bush is a relative of the blueberry and is native to many areas, including the Rocky Mountains and regions of Europe and Asia.

Its berries and leaves have been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages for a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, scurvy, infections, burns, and diabetes. During World War II, British pilots ate bilberry jam, thinking it would improve their night vision.

Today, bilberry is used as a dietary supplement for cardiovascular conditions, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, eye problems, diabetes, and other conditions.

Bilberry extract is sold in tablets, capsules, and drops, and the berries are sold dried and as a powder. The leaves are made into teas.

How Much Do We Know?

We have very few high-quality clinical trials (studies in people) of bilberry supplements.

What Have We Learned?

There’s not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry for any health conditions.

Researchers are interested in bilberry in large part because its berries have a high concentration of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which some studies suggest may have health benefits.

What Do We Know About Safety?

Bilberry fruit is considered safe when consumed in amounts typically found in foods, or as an extract in recommended doses for brief periods of time.

Bilberry leaves may be unsafe when taken orally (by mouth) in high doses or for long periods of time.

Keep in Mind

Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. 

Source: Herbs at a Glance.

What is the tone you set for who you are, the culture of safety on all levels for children, schools, neighborhoods, our world? What types of seeds do you plant when you walk in your day?

Do you recognize the leaf as a budding plant, a bully as terrified and a child watching for cultural norms of whether they are a tomato or jalapeno? Do you know how to cultivate that seed or the perpetrator who needs serious intervention so they don’t rape the soil? Do you know how to keep your garden safe without slithering in the soil to catch the wolves or ignoring the growls because you’re not sure how to protect yourself?

We rape the soil in the garden when we don’t include the right ingredients to replenish it. We rape our culture when we don’t teach ourselves to replenish the soul so we can grow into amazing adults. Which is a weed, which is a plant and don’t weeds replenish the soil?

Do we have a rape culture or are we well-fed with life skills, compassion and a proactive culture? Look closer and hear what you say when your son cries, watch what you teach the neighbor girl when she is being “selfish” with her toy, what color onesie did you buy for the boy?

Is this the prevention of a rotten culture or am I chasing parasites after they start devouring my potato buds? When we support the soil, fungus cannot grow and people will not be in so much pain that the only way they see to have control is to be in a counseling profession just waiting for the desperate to apply. Perhaps if we knew how to treat the fungus we would not defend someone with a strong track record of sexual abuse because we are afraid of the truth. Perhaps we would not pull the weeds and throw them away without seeing their worth.

What culture do you sow in your garden? Do you listen when someone expresses concern, or do you want it to go away because you don’t have a remedy for it? Or does it bring up your own trauma history and you don’t know how to treat yourself with that level of care?

Get a little uncomfortable and look at your gardening techniques so you can save the child from being preyed upon, look at the tone you set for boys to be tough, aggressive to be successful, dominant to be a man. Try it for a moment or a million to notice how you insist she hugs that person anyway, demand a why for her objections, shame her for wearing a cute bikini or him for liking pink.

Where do you think our damaged man culture comes from? I’m angry that we continue to support a culture that grows adult men who perpetrate and women who defend them!

Bury your head in the rutabaga, ignore the nature of our soil, the lack of life skills and lack of systems that authentically support our human experience. Shame yourself back into submission, or choose to fertilize our little plants with clean water, expressing all emotions for both genders, water the perennials with navigating tools for authentic kindness that feeds our roots.

Toss the girl power culture in the compost, this is a human culture. Equal pay because girls know how to negotiate, feelings so men experience more than anger and know that valuing women is not a weakness, and being empowered is not bitchy.

This is not a bad man issue or a helpless woman issue, this is a culture issue.

We are master gardeners! Let’s get our straw hats together and make a plan for harvesting an abundant culture!

The current state of medical practices as we know it is rapidly changing on so many levels. We are continuing to develop greater depths of technology, amazing advancements in treatments, diagnostics, life-saving surgeries and emergency care but when it comes to chronic health conditions we are falling short. These developments are allowing for longer and enhanced quality of life, but unfortunately it is not changing how chronic diseases are diagnosed, managed and/or prevented.

United States health care spending is spiraling out of control compared to other industrialized nations, and in 2015 the U.S. spent over 3 trillion dollars! The majority of these dollars goes to chronic diseases, which are often preventable. Not to mention, despite this huge health care investment, the U.S. sees poorer results on several health outcome measures like life expectancy and prevalence of chronic conditions. In fact, the U.S. has the third worst mortality rate from nutritional deficiencies, the most chronic disease and the shortest life span of all industrialized nations. The most expensive diseases in 2013 were diabetes, heart disease and back/neck pain.

Patients have become frustrated with current care, dismissal of their symptoms and traditional lab tests that reveal their results are within “normal” limits. This leaves patients to think that their symptoms are only in their heads or they must be “crazy.” Many begin to search for answers, and find themselves going from doctor to doctor, searching and trying to investigate different practice types, or even seek internet treatments to see if they can find answers and relief for their symptoms, or a better response to traditional medical approaches.

The traditional medical model focuses on the disease and management of symptoms, often with a prescription or multiple prescriptions that can certainly be helpful, but often comes with an array of side effects.

Functional medicine – A different approach

Kelly Brogan, M.D., Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist and author of the New York Times’ best seller, A Mind of Your Own, proclaims a change is necessary in “how we heal ourselves — prescriptions are not always the answer — instead, uncovering the root cause” is necessary for the transformation of our current medical system.

The notion of functional medicine has been around for more than 100 years when the great mind of Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Functional medicine experts see the importance of this as well as the necessity of the patient-centered approach, which views health and illness as part of a dynamic, cyclical interaction of all biological systems. Changing the disease-centered focus of traditional medicine allows the practitioner to seek and identify genetic, lifestyle, environmental and psychosocial factors that may shift a person’s health from illness to being well. Functional medicine practitioners are able to focus on the whole patient and how the identifying, accumulation of these things is imperative to teach disease prevention and offer patients solutions for their symptoms.

Mary Ann Block, M.D., a general practitioner in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, was interviewed in a Medical Economics article and reports being asked by patients why she does not take insurance. Block said, “If I’m going to help you I need the freedom to spend time and do the testing that will help me find out what’s really wrong with you and not just give you a drug to cover up symptoms.”

Other functional medicine differences:

  • Interprets labs differently — because disease does not just start as soon as you go outside the lab reference range.
  • Runs more extensive labs to look for underlying deficiencies, imbalances, infections and system dysfunctions that can provide insight into the puzzle of your “normal” symptoms.
  • Focuses on addressing underlying dysfunctions of the body (that give patients the symptoms they present with).
  • Provides customized health care — not just following the guidelines for certain diseases or a “one-size-fits all” approach. An individualized, comprehensive approach that addresses each unique individual and their specific symptoms.
  • More 1-to-1 time spent with your provider.
  • May utilize a combination of natural/alternative treatments, depending on the individual needs of the patient.

The world of functional medicine is more than just “voodoo” — it is a scientific, body systems based approach that is fast growing around the world. It offers hope to many patients through the early identification and long-term management of chronic illnesses. In addition, it is focused on addressing underlying causes of chronic disease and educating patients on prevention.

There are more than 100,000 health care practitioners throughout the U.S. and world who have been introduced to the principles/practices of functional medicine, through the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) — memberships are rapidly expanding each year — shifting how we care for patients. 

Your heart is at the center of your well-being, and that’s exactly why Dr. Yasser Salem has chosen heart failure as his specialty and his life’s focus. He founded the Heart Failure Survival Center of America (HFSCA) from the idea that heart health care could be convenient, cost-effective and provide everything a patient needs in one space.

Dr. Salem is a board-certified physician in cardiovascular medicine, heart failure, cardiac transplant, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, CT angiography and internal medicine. Together he and Nurse Practitioner Kelli Frederickson have more than 25 years of experience in providing the most comprehensive and expert cardiac care.

“Our integrated system provides comprehensive care to cardiac, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure patients throughout the continuum of their disease stages,” Dr. Salem says. “No matter what the condition is, our main goal is to improve the patient’s survivability, independence and quality of life.”

Exclusive state-of-the-art care

It’s not only the HFSCA team’s passion that led them into the cardiovascular field, but the sheer necessity for this type of treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths. In fact, more than 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year.

As an entirely outpatient cardiac health center, HFSCA is one of the first of its kind in northeast Wisconsin. The space was built in a way that encompasses all of the services that a patient might need — internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, heart failure and cardiac transplant.

Dr. Salem says that typically patients must see four separate doctors for these conditions, but patients at HFSCA can be treated for each of these medical conditions by Dr. Salem, making HFSCA a one stop for heart care.

“Heart failure is a complex syndrome. My role as a heart failure specialist is to investigate the underlying causes of heart failure and its contributing factors,” Dr. Salem explains. “I try to figure out why the heart is failing and reverse the process back to the baseline.”

Dr. Salem and his team accomplish this with state-of-the-art equipment specific to the diseases and disorders they are treating. HFSCA also has the tools necessary to facilitate cardiac rehab, home monitoring, chronic care management, sleep apnea testing, stress tests and post-procedure care — all under one roof.

Limitless support and peace of mind

When patients feel the most vulnerable, often after a new diagnosis or recurrent hospitalizations, they don’t have to feel alone. The HFSCA team works to optimize medical outcomes. One way to do this is for the HFSCA team to utilize the technology of microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) after experiencing heart failure. Cardio MEMs are pressure sensors that are implanted to monitor pressure fluctuations in the pulmonary artery. This helps to guide HFSCA in necessary adjustments such as patient’s medications. This technology is just one example of the expertise HFSCA provides to help their patients’ peace of mind.

Cardio MEMs create an easy way for HFSCA to monitor progress and health in a convenient, cost-saving way. By wirelessly communicating with the sensor and reporting data remotely, Dr. Salem and his team can adjust treatment as necessary, without an office visit. The staff at HFSCA can become aware of a potential problem before the patient even begins to exhibit symptoms.

“We personalize our care. If something happens, we’re almost always connected. This is a part of empowering people and letting them know they’re not alone,” Dr. Salem says. “If someone has symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath we can use one of our comprehensive home monitoring systems such as electrocardiograms, home monitoring vital signs and cardio MEMs to evaluate their symptoms in a much more immediate way.”

“We’re available all the time,” Kelli Frederickson adds. “I take phone calls 24/7 from patients and their families and my favorite part of the day is saying hello to patients and talking to them about their day.”

Dr. Salem and his team know that anxiety is a large part of heart disease, and are devoted to providing the best and most efficient care to their patients with compassion as a priority. For the HFSCA team, it’s about doing whatever it takes to support patients and their families, no matter the hour of the day or day of the week.

“Dr. Salem and Kelli fight for me when other doctors push me away. The entire staff cares and calls to see how I’m doing. If it weren’t for (them) I would not be here.”

—Rena Dye, HFSCA patient

National Heart Month

You may be seeing an influx of familiar red and pink shapes this month because of Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the only way hearts take the stage. February is National Heart Month and HFSCA participates in the health initiative to support and bring awareness to heart failure support and caregivers.

Call HFSCA for a FREE screening!

Are you concerned about your cardiovascular health? Vascular screenings are noninvasive, take about 30 minutes and include checking blood vessels in your neck, abdomen and legs for blockages. They help to screen for heart disease, cholesterol disorders, high blood pressure (hypertension) and other signs of poor heart health.

“The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease along with hypertension and diabetes,” Dr. Salem explains. “We can screen for those issues, and when we treat the patient it can prevent them from having heart failure as well as stroke, heart attack and other disease.”

HFSCA wants everyone to know they have the opportunity to prevent potential heart health issues by taking advantage of a FREE vascular screening. Call 920-939-6058 or visit to schedule an appointment. 

Dr. Salem and the team at HFSCA provide an array of services to help in the management of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, and perform several procedures in one convenient location. This includes:

Cardiac Testing:

  • EKG
  • Cardioversion
  • Echocardiogram
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Blood testing
  • Tilt table testing
  • Nuclear stress testing
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Stress echocardiogram
  • Dobutamine stress echo
  • Cardio-pulmonary stress testing
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • External counterpulsation (ECP) therapy
  • Observation care
  • Cardiovascular prevention care
  • Chronic care management
  • Consultations and follow up
  • Second opinions

Helping patients not only survive, but thrive

Heart Failure Survival Center of America

920-939-6058 •

The job market is fickle, and no one is immune to layoffs. Although the unemployment rate in the United States dipped to 4.9 percent in June 2016 and Canada’s rate hovered around 7 percent in May 2016, the job market remains somewhat unpredictable. Preparing financially for unemployment can be prudent, even for working professionals who do not anticipate being laid off.

Financial advisors recommend adults save the equivalent of six months’ salary to cover their expenses in the event of job loss. Individuals who want to protect themselves and their assets in the case of job loss can also heed the following tips.

Examine current finances. It’s important to have an accurate assessment of your current financial situation. Calculate monthly expenses to get a handle on what you are spending. Compare those expenditures against your savings to see if the latter can keep you afloat should you lose your job. Look for areas where you may be overspending, even cutting out some luxuries if you suspect a job loss is looming or just want to build your savings.

Begin budgeting for loss of health insurance. Health insurance coverage typically ends when a person is laid off. Loss of coverage might not be immediate, but it may occur within months of a layoff. Health insurance is a considerable cost, and you will need to budget for the expense so that you will have access to the health services you need.

Research options in government benefits. Few people like the prospect of visiting the unemployment office after being laid off, but delaying the process could negatively affect your finances. It can take some time for unemployment claims to be processed, so apply as soon as possible after losing your job.

Find ways to supplement your income. Bringing in any money can be helpful. If it is feasible, look for ways to make some cash while you search for a new job in your field. This may include working from home, freelancing or selling items online. Consider part-time work while you look for a job. You may prefer to find temporary or part-time work in your field, but your hobbies and other interests may present income possibilities as well.

Practice living with less. Cut out unnecessary expenses and attempt to live with less. You may find that this comes easily and continue to do so even though you remain employed. Such a trial run can bolster your savings in the event of layoff while also acclimating you to living with less should a layoff ever occur.

Don’t burn bridges. While it’s understandable to harbor some resentment toward an employer for letting you go, that same employer may be able to help you in the long run. Supervisors can help you find a new job or write glowing recommendations. Staying positive and resisting the temptation to badmouth a former employer can only help you in the long run.

Losing a job is seldom easy and is often unexpected. But there are steps adults can take to prepare for losing their jobs.

Source: MetroCreative Connection.

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