Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Sun’s Out: Seek Protection and Be Sun Smart!

052714_meridethprofilePost by Meredith Brown, Rex Wellness Centers intern for the Summer of 2014. Meredith is a senior at East Carolina University majoring in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health.

The summer is just around the corner and for most of us that means weekend trips to the beach, hanging by the pool, evening walks, and grilling out with family and friends. While the summer brings fun in the sun it can also bring some not so fun times – SUNBURN.

052714_sunscreen1As a child, my mom would apply the sunscreen every hour. I was taken care of and had no need to worry. As I reached my teenage years, sitting by the pool or beach getting bronzed became fun and something I loved about summer months. In high school, I went on a beach trip with friends.  At this age, I rarely bothered with using sunscreen because I only wanted darker skin and I thought sunscreen was blocking the sun from me altogether-I was very wrong! Needless to say, I got burned. Severely burned! Sitting out in the sun for 7 hours with no protection in my cute bikini was not the best idea.

I still love being in the sun as it gives me time to relax and read – two things I rarely have time for these days!  Although now, I have learned from many severe sunburns that not using sunscreen all can be very damaging to my skin and my future.

Here are some helpful tips for beach trips, pool days, and days out in the sun during the summertime:

  • 052714_sunscreen2The experts say that using the ridiculously high SPF sunscreens are useless. Instead, go for a SPF between 15 and 60.
  • Remember to reapply every 2-3 hours. Many sunscreens rub off and fade away after periods of time so continue to reapply throughout the day, especially when jumping in and out of water.
  • Pay attention to the ingredients in your sunscreen products.
  • Always protect your face.  Apply sunscreen and pack a hat or umbrella to seek coverage when you need an escape from the sun.
  • Each sunburn can double your chance of skin cancers, especially sunburns in your youth.

Always remember to be responsible when enjoying the sun this summer. Use sunscreen and have fun!


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The Latest on Nutrition and Heart Disease

Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

Keeping your ears to the nutrition news wire is a good thing these days, as research is turning up some new information that will hopefully be a great addition to what we already know about nutrition and heart disease.

051314_heart2We have known for years that a high intake of red meat was connected to heart disease. Avoiding the high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, both abundant in red meat, has been a cornerstone of heart-healthy eating for decades. We know now, however, that it isn’t just the saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat that leads to blocked arteries. There is another player in red meat that is connected to heart disease, and Cleveland Clinic has discovered it.

In the spring of 2013, the journal of Nature Medicine published a study about carnitine done by Cleveland Clinic. They found that certain bacteria in the gut of both mice and humans metabolize carnitine into a substance called TMAO that promotes atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arteries. This culprit, carnitine, is abundant in red meat (beef, pork, veal and lamb), is sold as a dietary supplement, and is in found in some energy drinks.

051314_heart3Most interestingly, the study found that the gut of a vegan loses the ability to make the TMAO. The reported ended by saying that we don’t know how long it takes for the gut to stop making TMAO. They suspect it is longer than a week and less than a year. So, we do not yet know the bottom line on frequency of red meat, but the Mediterranean Diet gives us a good guideline for now. The Mediterranean Pyramid limits red meat to 2-3 times a month. Using fish, boneless skinless poultry and beans for protein are good choices, along with low-fat dairy like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and string cheese.

Another player in heart disease that just hit the news wire is ADDED SUGARS. Studies have revealed that sugar raises blood cholesterol levels like saturated and trans fat do. People who had 25% of their calories from sugar had double the risk of developing heart disease, and one regular soda per day may increase risk by as much as 30%, independent of other risk factors. The average American diet contains enough added sugar to increase the risk of heart-related death by nearly 20 percent, the researchers said. The current recommendation for added sugars is no more than 9 teaspoons for men and no more than 6 teaspoons for women.

So, for that heart healthy diet, add these powerful tools of limited red meat and avoiding added sugars. As research continues, hopefully the years will bring us more detailed information about red meat and added sugars as well other new and effective tools for heart-healthy living.


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Rex Encourages the Breastfeeding Journey

Jennifer Majors, IBCLC, RN, is a Lactation Consultant at Rex Healthcare. Prior to being an IBCLC, she was a Pediatric RN. Jennifer and her husband have three boys.

Breastfeeding is a hot topic these days, from the rise of milk banks to Gieselle Bundchen’s instagram photo that shows that supermodels can breastfeed too. There was also a recent report that announced that only 16.4% of U.S. mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months.

At Rex, our most important goal is that your baby is getting the nutrition he or she needs. We want to support EVERY Mom (and dad) and their feeding goals no matter what they are- as long as the baby is getting fed!

With that being said, we do encourage breastfeeding as much as possible. Here are some things we at Rex do to help moms reach their breastfeeding goals:

  • 050514_breastfeeding1Automatic visit from an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) for all first time moms, moms with multiples, and moms with late preterm or small for gestational age newborns. Any routine experienced mom can easily request a consult with an IBCLC.
  • The staff nurses go through yearly training and check-offs on basic breastfeeding skills that are relevant to their working area
  • There are numerous IBCLC’s staffed during the day, and Rex even offers night shift IBCLC’s every night of the week!
  • Rex is working on protocols to help specific groups of babies based on gestational age
  • We have developed a protocol for supplementation if it happens to be needed and will speak with the parents at length regarding any need for supplementation
  • We absolutely do not give out goodie bags stuffed with formula
  • We try to encourage rooming in with the baby for better reading of baby’s hunger cues
  • If you are having difficulty once you go home, call Rex Lactation at 919-784-3224, for any questions/concerns, or to schedule an outpatient visit with one of our IBCLCs
  • 050514_breastfeeding2We can give you info on additional services as well that can improve the breastfeeding relationship. We have a list of support groups such as Le Leche League, and Nursing Mothers of Raleigh. We also have lists of private practice IBCLC’s in the area that can come to your home and spend a lot of focused one on one time with and mom/baby.
  • We have an office down on the first floor that handles pump rentals and sales. It also carries nursing bras and other breastfeeding necessities and gizmos. They are open 9-12 Monday-Friday.

The bottom line is that Rex is happy to support all moms who feed their babies! We hope our new moms and dads will use our resources to help them as much as possible on their new journey.


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Rex turns 120: Co-Worker Ginny Martin Reflects

Post by Ginny Martin, Application Coordinator and Project Analyst at Rex Healthcare. In honor of Rex’s 120 Anniversary on May 1, Ginny reflects on her 34-year career at Rex.

Rex Hospital at it's 'new' location at Lake Boone Trail, 1981

Rex Hospital at it’s ‘new’ location at Lake Boone Trail, 1981

I was born at Rex in the St. Mary’s street hospital, and I started working at Rex in 1979. My records would show that I have been with Rex since 1980- my first son was born before I had been an employee for a year, and I was re-hired after a 4-week maternity leave.

I was back at Rex by September 1980 when we moved from the St. Mary’s street location to the ‘new’ hospital on Lake Boone Trail. I remember that when we moved here, everyone was amazed how big it was- we thought there was no way we would use all the space!

All of my children, and now both of my grandchildren, were also born at Rex. Over my 30+ year career here, I have loved my family and friends at Rex so much that I wanted my youngest son Jason to be a part of Rex family as well. Jason joined Rex a few years ago as a Project Coordinator- my former title- and it is such a joy to share this experience with him.

Another blessing I’ve had in my long career at Rex is that I’ve been able to watch so many of my friends grow their careers here. Not only am I blessed with my family, but I am blessed with an extended family here at Rex. I’ve watched friends date, get married, have kids, and then become grandparents!

Rexie with friends at the Wakefield Open House, 2009

Rexie with friends at the Wakefield Open House, 2009

Rex has always encouraged me to fulfill my dreams and offered me the opportunity to make them come true. I’ve worked in the same department my entire career. I’ve never even transferred to another position within my department. I’ve been blessed that my job evolved like it has. I started out using a number 2 pencil, abstracting general demographics and ICD codes in block formation for statistics to building a second EMR, and now I am working on the EPIC implementation. Talk about a technology jump!

Six years ago I was given the opportunity to be Rexie, and it has enabled me to meet other mascots and share my love for Rex. Working with kids as a mascot is one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences that a person could ever imagine. I will tell you that everyone that meets Rexie is convinced that it is a guy in the suit. I’m constantly getting chest bumps which is an experience all by itself! My husband has also been a major part of the Rex experience. He has been by my side for every event that I’ve done as Rexie.

From 1979 to 2014, a lot has changed at Rex, but the caring and compassion of its co-workers has remained steadfast. It is an honor to work for an organization that takes care of its community as well as we do. Happy anniversary, Rex!


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