Author Archives: UNC REX Healthcare

Tres Leche Carrot Cake Recipe

112315_carrottcake2Congratulations to Chef Ryan Conklin and his teammates Steve Pexton and Collin Jennings for winning the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Triangle Series.

Try out this decadent award-winning recipe from the Battle of Champions cooking contest.


Tres Leche Carrot Cake
by Steve Pexton


112315_carrottcakeDRY Ingredients: sift together and set aside

  • 13 oz Flour
  • 1 TB Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Table salt
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 TB Cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg

WET Ingredients: Mix together in an electric mixer or mixing bowl

  • 3 C Sugar
  • 1 ¾ C vegetable oil
  • 1 TB Vanilla extract
  • 6 LG Eggs
  • 3 TB Spiced Dark Rum


  • 5 oz Diced dried Apricots, re-hydrate in 2C boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and discard the water.
  • 1.5 oz  Shredded Carrots, peel and shred the carrots on a box grater
  • 3 Milks: mix together and set aside. You will have extra.
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 6 TB unsalted butter
  • 3 C 10 X sugar


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add butter, and cream until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar on low speed, and mix until completely combined.
  • Beat frosting on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Proceed in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer, mix the wet ingredients together until well blended, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the garnish.
  • Butter and flour 2 9” cake pans
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 27-35 minutes (depending on your oven) or until an internal temp of 202 degrees is reached, or insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean it’s done, if not, bake 5 more minutes and test again.
  • When the cakes are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and cool to room temp. Remove the cake from the pans and place them individually onto display plates.
  • If you have a squeeze bottle, place the milk mix in the bottle and soak the cake with the milks. Allow the first pass to soak in and repeat one more time to make the cake nice and moist but not to the point where the milk is pooling at the base of the plate. If you don’t have a bottle, use a ladle or a large spoon and moisten the cakes.
  • Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe 12 strawberry sized rosettes on the cake, one each per slice.
Leave a comment

Reaching the Finish Line: Beach2Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

051613_TheresaPost by Theresa Pearce, a member of Rex Wellness Center of Garner. Theresa completed her first triathlon sprint in 2013 with Rodney Jenkins, a group exercise instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. This year, Theresa shares her experience on the challenges and successes she faced while participating in two half-iron distance triathlons. 

After completing several sprints in 2013 and 2014, I decided 2015 would be the year I would tackle two two half-iron distance triathlons, the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 in May and the Beach2Battleship at Wrightsville Beach in October. Knowing that I had to prepare for two triathlons with several weeks of training, as well as having plans to travel overseas,I was looking forward to a busy yet exciting year for me.

Training for the Raleigh race began at the end of January, and went really well. The day of the race approached very quickly. During the swim course, I spent too much time, barely making the cut off time. I got through 50 miles on the bike before getting pulled off the course by race officials, at that point,  time was not on my side. After 22 weeks of training, I was left with heartbreak and disappointment. However, I had no choice other than get over it and move on.

The third week of training for B2B was starting the following week which would give me a new goal to focus on. In this race, I was part of the 70.3 training group at Rex led by Rodney Jenkins. After a couple of days off, I was right back at it for a few weeks before my trip to Europe. While traveling abroad, my friend, Angie Jenkins, and I managed to get in a few outside runs along with some indoor cycling. Once we got back to the U.S., we returned to our regular training schedule.

Publication1All of a sudden, race day for the Beach2Battleship arrived and the weather conditions were nearly perfect. With a little help from the ocean current, my swim was faster in this race. This allowed me to get on the bike sooner. As I transitioned into the cycling course, I looked at my Garmin and realized the bike ride would be faster too. This meant that I would make it to the run and have a chance to finish. I didn’t expect to break any speed records on my run, my main goal was to just keep moving forward to get to the finish line.

Throughout the run I saw everyone from our training group at various stages of their runs as well as spectating friends from Rex who were there cheering us on. About mile 8 or 9 it started to hit me that I was going to make it. From that point on, tears would come and go all the way to the finish line. I was so happy to finish and get that medal because it really had been a long year of training and it finally paid off.

At the end, it was a exiting day for all, as everyone on our Garner Rex team finished. After a few hugs and some food, the group waited for fellow Rex members Liz and Jason to finish the full distance race before leaving for the night.

The next morning I awoke with tears in my eyes just thinking about what happened the night before. Though I didn’t get much sleep because I was too excited, I was on cloud nine. Some of us met for breakfast to talk about the race before leaving town. When we arrived home, Rodney and Angie presented me with a 70.3 magnet for my vehicle. I can’t thank them enough for the love and support they have showed me throughout this journey and beyond.

Publication2Our entire B2B training team is much appreciative of the support the Rex Wellness family has showed us throughout this adventure. In 2013 the plan was for Rodney to coach me to finish what was to be my first sprint and only triathlon. Coach and his wife have long since become close personal friends of mine for life and now I’m a 70.3 finisher for life!! You could say there was a slight change of plans.

I am proof that if you commit to your training and don’t give up, it is not required that you be tall, lean, or super fast to accomplish something as great as finishing a 70.3 half-iron triathlon.

Leave a comment

Donor Hall of Fame: Brooke Hall

This November, REX Blood Services will honor one of our dedicated blood donors, Brooke Hall, as she is inducted into the national Fenwall Hall of Fame by Fresenius-Kabi. Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and medical devices for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition.

For more than a decade, Fenwal has partnered with blood centers through the Donation Hall of Fame to recognize the commitment and dedication of extraordinary donors and volunteers.  The program celebrates these individuals and the important cause that they support. It provides blood center staff with real, inspiring devoted donor stories to motivate staff and turn-key tools to help centers celebrate these donors and share their stories to support local recruitment efforts.

Brooke will be honored at Rex Donor Center in an induction ceremony on November 19th.  Here is the summary about Brooke that will accompany her picture in their Hall of Fame publications:

Brooke Hall has always been driven to help others.  Brooke is a loyal platelet door, a member of the national Bone Marrow Registry and has even shaved her head to help raise money for childhood cancer research. Brooke brightens the days of those around her through her positive outlook, radiant smile and by sharing inspirational Dr. Seuss quotes with others.  Brooke is now also pursuing a career in nursing so she can continue to dedicate herself to caring.

One of Brooke’s favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.”  These are words to live by from a young woman with a generous and giving spirit.

102615_Donor Hall of Fame 1

Congratulations Brooke!

If you are interested in donating blood at REX Blood Services, sign up online today!


Leave a comment

Conquering the Beach to Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

When October 17th rolled around, the Rex Garner B2B team was ready to tackle the fitness challenge of their lives and we could not have asked for better weather.  Temperatures were in the low 50’s at race start and winds were relatively low.  We already knew from Friday’s pre-race dinner that there would be a very strong tide which meant we were in for a fast swim and we were ecstatic about that.

While we waited for the swim start, butterflies and all, we were able to calm our nerves a bit by cheering for the full iron distance athletes as they swam by.  They always start 30 minutes before the 70.3 group and start a mile or so up channel from our starting point.  We could tell by watching the swimmers go by that the tide really was fast so we were anxious to get started.  Rex Members Liz Jackson and Jason Pannkuk were in that group so that added to our excitement.

102815_Rodney6Shortly after the 140.6 group went by, it was our turn.  Unlike the 140.6 group that had a mass start, the 70.3 group start would be in waves by gender and age.  Our first team member to go was Trey Jolly, and we all cheered at the top of our lungs for him.  Next was Mary Miller, Kristey Evans, Jenny Beazley, Theresa Pearce and me.  Last was Tina Manning, Lu White and Angie Caporiccio.  At the end of the day, I discovered that we all had the same swim experience.  There was certainly a strong tide but the water was extremely choppy and you really had to struggle to raise your head above the water to breathe above the waves.  We all managed to get through the swim, ran to T1 (swim to bicycle transition area) and were off on our 56 mile bike ride.

During our bike ride, we had low winds, which was extremely helpful.  That meant we were in for a fast bike ride and our legs would be in pretty good shape for the run.  I was fortunate to see Mary and Kristey on the bike course and caught glimpses of everyone else during the 13.1 mile run.  Seeing the team during the run was a huge relief because I was assured that everyone survived the bike course without a crash or flat tire.

102815_Rodney1One thing that I came to admire about this group of athletes was their undying commitment to their training.  There was absolutely no quitting in this group; even before the race started, I knew they were all destined to be 70.3 Iron Distance Athletes.  During the course of training, you always experience some doubt in your abilities, but at some point during our 22 weeks of training, they overcame those negative thoughts.

As I watched each of them cross the finish line, I met them with a hug and the words, “Welcome to the Club!”  When we were all done, we huddled together to share laughter, stories and tears.  What a wonderful moment in time that was for all of us.  They did it and I am so proud of each and every one of them.  What a privilege it was for me and Angie to share this journey with them.  Great job Team!  Great Job!


Leave a comment

CPR in 3 Simple Steps


Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating and the victim loses consciousness and collapses. It isn’t always caused by a heart attack. Nationally, if a victim of sudden cardiac arrest collapses outside of a hospital, his/her chances of survival if a bystander does not start CPR immediately is less than 8%. You can double or triple a loved one’s chances of survival by starting CPR.

These are 3 simple steps to save a life if you see a teen or adult who has collapsed:

  1. Check to see if they are responsive and breathing normally.The best way to determine if someone is unresponsive and may need CPR is to tap the victim and shout “Are you OK?” while checking to see if they are breathing normally. Breathing normally does NOT include snoring, gurgling, or gasping.A victim must be on his/her back on a hard flat surface, preferably on the floor, for CPR to be effective.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Compress hard and fast on the center of the chest.Interlock fingers and place palm of one hand over the center of the victim’s chest.Keeping arms straight and elbows locked, push straight down hard – at least 2 inches. It is better to push too deep than not deep enough.The hands should not come off the chest or “bounce” between each compression, but downward pressure should be completely released to allow the heart to refill with blood.Push hard and fast in the center of the chest (about 100 times per minute) when doing compressions on an unresponsive victim who is not breathing, or not breathing normally once 911 has been called. Do not stop until help arrives, unless the victim begins moving or speaking.

Stop by our booth at the North Carolina State Fair now through October 25, 2015, and we can teach you how to save a life!

101515_fair1NC State Fair
Education Building (near Gate 12), Booth 37-38
1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607

Leave a comment

Dispelling 5 Myths of Learning CPR


North Carolina Heart & Vascular and UNC REX Healthcare are sponsoring a booth at the North Carolina State Fair this year to offer free CPR training. Over 130 instructors will come together to volunteer more than 500 hours and train as many people as possible.

It’s easy, quick and can help you save a life, but every year we find people reluctant to stop and get trained. We asked why, and here are our Top 5 CPR Training Myths dispelled. If you think of any other reasons you may be reluctant to stop by, reply and let us know.

  1. Myth: I will look silly

    Fact: Everyone at our booth will be doing the same thing, so even if it does look silly, you won’t be the only one. If you are, our instructors will do the compressions with you, so you’re not alone.

  2. Myth: I will have to do mouth to mouth breathing on a dummy.

    Fact: We teach “Hands-Only” CPR, which is just chest compressions, not mouth to mouth breathing.

  3. Myth: Hands-only CPR is ineffective, so why learn it?

    Fact: By simply recognizing cardiac arrest, calling 9-1-1 and starting chest compressions, a loved one’s odds of survival can be doubled or even tripled.

  4. Myth: It will take too much time

    Fact: In about the same amount of time it takes to spin our prize wheel and get your prize, you can learn CPR. It takes 2 – 3 minutes to learn, and it’s time well spent.

  5. Myth: It will be difficult.

    Fact: Our great instructors take you through everything step by step, and show you just how easy it can be. Check out the simple CPR steps before you stop by.

Stop by and see us in the Education Building, booth 37-38, this week at the Fair. Spin the prize wheel, and find out how quick and easy it can be to learn how to save a life!


Leave a comment

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Kale

This hearty soup has it all! Nutritious vegetables, grains and protein come together in a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium soup.

Number of servings: 3


  • 092815_soup2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup onion (chopped)
  • ½ cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (ground)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups water (or chicken broth)
  • ¾ cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked, skinned and cubed
  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup kale (chopped, about one large leaf)


  1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onion and carrot. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add thyme and garlic. Saute for 1 more minute.
  3. Add water or broth, tomatoes, chicken, cooked rice and kale.
  4. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Per serving: 180 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 85 mg sodium.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

Leave a comment

2015 Great 100 Nurses

Rex is proud of Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services, Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services, and Rosemary Hill, RN BSN, Special Care Nursery, Women’s & Children’s Services, for being selected for this year’s list of the Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina. The prestigious list recognizes registered nurses for their outstanding professional abilities and commitment to improving health care in their communities. The list is compiled by The Great 100 Inc., a grassroots, peer recognition organization that honors the nursing profession in North Carolina.

In honor of their accolade, we asked Sheri and Fadwa to share what being a Great 100 nurse means to them.

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services:

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Many months ago, my supervisor let me know she was nominating me for the Great 100.  I was grateful for the confidence and trust that she had in me and humbled by her wanting to take the time to fill out the application.

Last month, I got notification in the mail that I had been selected to be one of 2015 Great 100 nurses.  I was excited that I was selected.  I was excited that I could represent not only myself, but nursing in Women’s and Children’s, and nursing at Rex.

As the news spread to my friends, family, and colleagues that I had been selected, the kind words and comments that have come my way have been overwhelming.  People I didn’t even know very well were congratulating me.  People who did know me well gave me words of praise.  My colleagues were as excited as I was. It was like having a celebration every day at work.  Most humbling of all were the words of praise from some of the families I have worked with over the years.

I am more appreciative of my role in helping new families than ever before.  I wish every nurse could hear the words of appreciation, support, and praise that I have heard since being named a Great 100 nurse.  I have never been prouder of being a nurse.

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services:

Fadwa Bousliman, RN

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN

I started working on Three West eight years ago as a foreign nurse, struggling with her communication skills. My assets were a big heart and a sense of humor. I was determined to make my patients’ lives a little better, at least during my shift. I have been fortunate to work with a great team and a wonderful manager; they inspired, directed, and encouraged me. Since then I have grown to become the go-to person on my unit.

I never dreamed that I would win any award. I certainly wasn’t doing anything for it – I was doing my job, a job that I love. When my manager, Janice Laurore, informed me that she nominated me for the Great 100 Nurses for North Carolina award, I was thrilled. It’s meaningful to know that someone believes you are good enough to deserve an award. I told my manager that being nominated is a win in itself.

When I got the letter confirming that I was selected as a Great 100 Nurse, I was ecstatic. I called my manager on her cellphone to inform her. We were screaming on the phone like teenagers! Winning this award has taught me that with hard working anything is possible. It motivated me to do an even better job.

Words cannot express how happy and proud I am to receive this award. I feel valued and appreciated. I am deeply thankful and grateful for this award.

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina's Great 100 Nurses

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina’s Great 100 Nurses

Leave a comment

7 School Bus Safety Tips for Kids

As kids return to school, school buses once again welcome kids aboard. While school buses are the safest mode of transportation to school, injuries do occur, many when children are boarding or exiting the vehicle. Here are some safety tips to review with your child this year:

  1. 082615_schoolbusDon’t rush: It’s a good idea to be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to come.
  2. Always stay 10 giant steps away from the bus when it’s pulling up so the driver can see you.
  3. Be aware of moving traffic. Avoid things that obstruct your sight, hearing or attention, such as hoods, headphones and video games.
  4. Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off. Sit down as soon as you’re on the bus.
  5. Be cautious of backpack straps, drawstrings or loose clothing that can get caught on handrails or doors.
  6. Don’t put your head, arms, hands or belongings out the window.
  7. When exiting, be aware of other cars on the road. Take five giant steps from the front of the bus and wait for the driver’s signal that it is okay to cross.

As a driver, be sure to review the North Carolina school bus stop laws. Have a safe school year!

Leave a comment

4 Bag Lunch Tips

Whether you’re packing bag lunches for yourself or your kids, you should feel good about selecting wholesome foods and healthy portion sizes. Plus, you’ll save money if you pack a lunch instead of going out to eat. Here are four tips for your next bag lunch:

  1. 082614_baglunchPack last night’s leftovers. Or, reinvent leftovers and create something entirely new for lunch (e.g., a chicken salad wrap or bean salad).
  2. Keep it fresh. Don’t let salads or sandwiches get soggy. Pack toppings and dressings in a separate container and assemble your meal when it’s time for lunch.
  3. Stay cool. Use cooler packs in your lunch bag or keep your lunch in the refrigerator. Perishable food must be kept cold — otherwise harmful bacteria can multiply and potentially make you sick.
  4. Reheat safely. When using a microwave to reheat food, ensure the food is heated evenly by turning or stirring it. Food should be reheated to at least 165 F.
Leave a comment