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HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

COVID Vaccine being placed in cold storage

Augusta Health ready to receive, store and administer the COVID-19 vaccine

December 2, 2020

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused infections, hospitalizations, and deaths across the Commonwealth of Virginia and locally in the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro area. The severity and impact of the pandemic has spurred a historically rapid quest for an effective vaccine by multiple pharmaceutical companies. Many are far along in development — in fact, two (Pfizer and Moderna) have already applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Augusta Health, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Hospital... Continue Reading

Middle age couple pausing during a walk through the park

Can you actually prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes? Yes, you can. Here's how!

November 30, 2020

Type 2 Diabetes is a growing national health problem. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with Diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes. Locally, in the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, 16.5% of adults in the area reported having been diagnosed with Diabetes, compared to 10.5% in Virginia and 13.3% in the US. In Staunton and Waynesboro, the percentage is even higher than the area average: 20.2% in Staunton and 16.7% in Waynesboro. Even more concerning: The percentage of people with Diabetes reported in the local 2016 CHNA was 13.9%, so the... Continue Reading

Happy family doing a video chat on a computer

Tips for Virtual Holiday Celebrations

November 24, 2020

Everyone enjoys gathering together for holiday celebrations. This year, though, the gatherings may have a different look and feel. Because eating together is a higher risk activity—especially when eating with those who live outside your immediate household—virtual gatherings are encouraged this year. But can a virtual gathering be fun? According to our colleagues at Duke Health they absolutely can be! Here are some of their suggestions for events to help all relax and reconnect safely during the holidays: Host virtual holiday trivia A quick round of trivia is a familiar way to encourage... Continue Reading

Man talking with a nutritionist at a kitchen table

Diabetes Myths and Facts

November 23, 2020

There is a lot of information about diabetes—many conflicting claims on the internet, advice from friends and family, and plethora of opinions from “health experts.” It's often challenging for individuals with diabetes to navigate this world of information (or misinformation), whether they are newly diagnosed, starting a new medication or simply trying to manage their blood sugar better. Today we're going to dispel a few myths to clear up the water. Myth: “If I have diabetes I can’t eat carbs.” Fact: Evidence suggests that a balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat can help... Continue Reading

Senior looking at a pill bottle at the doctors' office

Everything You Need to Know about Diabetes

November 20, 2020

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It's the perfect time to review the most common types of diabetes, general statistics, and current research surrounding the growing prevalence of early onset Type 2 Diabetes. What is Diabetes? Diabetes the one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. Did you know one in 10 individuals have diabetes in the United States? Additionally, one in five individuals does not even know they have diabetes. Normally, when you eat a meal, it is broken down into glucose (sugar). That glucose enters your blood, and this signals the pancreas to release... Continue Reading

Family doing a video chat at the kitchen table

Reduce your risk of spreading COVID-19 at Thanksgiving

November 18, 2020

It’s Thanksgiving! Many will be traveling to celebrate with families. Travel and family gatherings, though, can increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home. If you are sick—with COVID-19, flu or any other contagious disease—you should not attend any in-person holiday celebration. Those with medical conditions that increase risk for severe illness should also avoid in-person gatherings. If you do decide to celebrate with others, different activities carry different levels of risk for COVID-19. Here, from the CDC, are... Continue Reading

Friends wearing masks for a group photo

Gatherings & Get-Togethers During a Pandemic: Tips for Staying Safe & Healthy

November 16, 2020

As the temperatures nudge colder and the days grow shorter, a bright spot of the fall and winter seasons each year is the holiday gatherings. But the celebrations—Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years—usually include indoor gatherings of friends and families, crowded parties, and travel. All of these activities increase the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. So how do we reduce risk for our own parties and the ones we attend? Here, from the Augusta Health Infection Prevention specialists and the CDC, are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. First... Continue Reading

Couple at the airport wearing masks

Traveling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 3, 2020

As the fall and winter holidays approach, families begin to plan traditional gatherings to celebrate. Most of these celebrations involve travel of some family members. Thanksgiving is the often the busiest travel weekend of the year. This year, though, is the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's impacted travel and holiday plans. Planning is more complex and includes additional safety considerations. Here are some facts and tips to incorporate into your holiday travel plans. First, a fact to remember: Staying home is the very best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You can... Continue Reading

Man with diabetes checking his blood sugar

Complications from Diabetes and COVID-19

October 26, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, more research has been published regarding devastating outcomes for diabetic patients who get the disease. As of October 26, 2020, there have been 6,710 reported cases of COVID-19 in our local Central Shenandoah Health District, which includes Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Staunton. Information on how many of those cases were in diabetic patients is not currently available. What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It spreads from person-to-person through droplets of... Continue Reading

Woman at her kitchen table looking at a tablet

Working to prevent breast cancer in high risk patients at Augusta Health

October 23, 2020

Perhaps the best way to treat or cure breast cancer is to prevent it from occurring at all. Called a "preventive oncology strategy", breast cancer prevention is the goal of the High Risk Program at Augusta Health's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. For those at high risk of developing breast cancer, the program provides a framework to reduce that risk and prevent cancer from occurring. "Through our community genetic screening program, and with referrals from radiologists who identified patients through mammograms, we realized we'd discovered a fairly sizeable pool of people who were at... Continue Reading

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