Thursday, June 13, 2019

Starting with Me

Since I came to GBMC in 2010, I have tried to lead by example by donating blood at our blood drives. So back in February, I arrived early in the morning at my appointed donation time. I was stunned that day when I was rejected as a donor because my blood pressure was too high. I’ve never had an issue with my blood pressure! I immediately did an examination of conscience and I realized that I was at my highest weight ever. My body mass index (BMI) was in the overweight range. I’ve always been a person who loves to eat and my wife, Tracey, is an excellent cook. I have always exercised, by jogging, but in recent years I have not done this as routinely as I should. So, after a visit to my primary care physician and seeing that my blood pressure elevation was only transitory, I committed to losing weight. I promised myself that I would eat less and exercise more. I downloaded the Lose It! App on my phone and built daily running into my routine. I worked hard to get to 10,000 steps every day. I am happy to report that I have lost about 20 pounds and this week I reached a normal BMI.

So, why am I talking about this? Readers of this blog know that GBMC has moved upstream to keep people out of the hospital. We have started with those who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease and we have also improved our focus on disease prevention. Obesity is a trigger for vascular and heart disease and for adult-onset diabetes.

Cathy Hamel, President of Gilchrist and our system’s Vice President for Continuing Care, and Carolyn Candiello, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety, oversee our community health needs assessment and their most recent report shows that obesity is a priority health issue in Baltimore County. According to the assessment, 36% of people are overweight (like I was), 34% of people are obese, and only 31% of people fall within a “normal” weight range. (To read the report click here). If we could get more active and taking in fewer calories, imagine how much healthier we could be!

So, as we celebrate Men’s Health Month along with Men’s Health Week (Sun.10th – Sat.15th) and Blood Donor Day (Fri.14th), please reflect on your eating and exercise habits. Don’t make it too hard. Eat better and exercise more. And please become a blood donor if you’re able. Thank you!

Get some exercise on Father’s Day for a great cause!
It’s that time of year again for one of the GBMC HealthCare system’s biggest annual events. This Sunday, June 16th, we’re holding the 31st Annual GBMC Annual Father’s Day 5K & 1 Mile Fun Walk on our campus to benefit the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  This is a wonderful event where former NICU babies, families, staff members, community supporters, and friends come out to have fun and support our NICU.

GBMC is a community-based system of care and we are fortunate to have a fabulous NICU with excellent clinicians, great care, and cutting-edge equipment. It’s no secret that we enjoy a lot of support from those we serve because we are considered as the best place to have a baby in our region. We deliver more than 4,000 babies a year and approximately 400 of those babies spend some time in our NICU. The equipment and staffing required to provide this care is expensive — our annual Father’s Day 5K raises funds for the NICU and creates greater awareness of the strengths of our program as well as the wonderful expertise and commitment of our team.

There’s still time to support this event. Click here to register and learn more! I’ll be out there running, so please come join me! Remember that your support will touch more than 400 critically ill and premature babies cared for annually in GBMC’s NICU.

If you’re planning to participate in the Father’s Day 5K & 1 Mile Fun Walk, please feel free to share your story of why you help fundraise for GBMC.

…also, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in our GBMC family!

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride (LGBT) Month in the United States and throughout other parts of the world, and it’s established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on the world. This month offers an opportunity for all of us to pause and consider that, while progress has been made to afford equal rights to all, there is still much more work to do.

Inclusion has always been part of the GBMC culture. As a system, we feel that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. Our policy of inclusion goes beyond employment practices and protections and celebrates the diversity of our workforce. At GBMC, we recognize that we must attract the best talent from around the region and create a culture where employees can bring their authentic selves to work every day. We will continue to be a leading voice in the push for diversity and inclusion in our communities.

Please join me in celebrating LGBT Pride Month.

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