Give Your Heart A Little Love – American Heart Month

It can happen at any age. In fact, heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—are starting to occur in younger adults more frequently. Since we already have sweethearts on our minds, it’s the perfect time to discuss risks and ways to prevent cardiovascular disease.

What is cardiovascular disease?

The term “cardiovascular disease” refers to multiple conditions including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrythmia, and heart valve problems. Most of these issues are related to a blockage preventing blood or oxygen from adequately traveling to important areas of the body.

What conditions put me at risk for heart disease?

Several conditions put people at risk for heart disease to include:

  • High Blood Pressure Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions.
  • High Cholesterol Diabetes, obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet, and little physical activity can increase cholesterol levels, which can lead to elevated risk.
  • Smoking 37 million U.S. adults smoke. Chemicals found in cigarettes can damage blood vessels and cause heart disease.
  • Obesity Extra weight puts extra stress on the body—including your heart!
  • Diabetes Sugar build up in the body can lead to damaged blood vessels and nerves that control the heart muscle.
  • Physical Inactivity Staying active helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy.
  • Unhealthy Eating Increased sodium intake can increase blood pressure. Keep trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugars to a minimum to reduce your risk.

 How can I take control of my heart health?

It’s up to you to maintain a healthy body. The CDC provides great tips on starting your heart health journey at any age:

  1. Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. If you do smoke, learn about your resources to quit here.
  2. Manage Conditions. Trust your health care provider to manage conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol through regular visits.
  3. Eat well. Choose foods low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sodium and sugar.
  4. Get moving. Schedule in 150 minutes of exercise per week—that’s just 30 minutes each day!

Where can I find out more information about cardiac care services at Culbertson?

Culbertson Memorial Hospital partners with Prairie Heart Institute to bring highly trained specialists to our patients and in addition we offer cardiac stress tests, echocardiograms, and cardiac rehab!

If you or a loved one wants to learn more about the cardiac providers and services available, contact us here.

Your Step Between Hospital & Home – Swing Bed Program

You need something that’s a step in between, a program with some care and rehabilitation services that allows you to slowly regain your own independence. The Swing Bed Program at Culbertson Memorial Hospital serves patients with conditions such as hip or knee replacements, stroke, pneumonia, post-surgical procedures and extended IV therapy.

What is a ‘swing bed’?

This transitional care program allows a patient to transition from an acute care setting to the Swing Bed Program. In this program, the patient will receive skilled nursing and rehabilitation services to gain strength and independence. You might not stay in the same bed in the same room.

How is this different from a regular hospital stay?

Swing Bed patients still receive hospital meals and assistance, but the level of care is different. A patient doesn’t need more the intensive care involved with full-on hospitalization but are not yet ready to go home and take care of themselves. Culbertson nurses may give assistance with daily self-care and may even teach the patient to care for their own medical needs. Nurses and staff will work with you and decrease (or increase) the level of care as your recovery continues.

 What if I have a setback?

If something happens that requires traditional hospitalization, the patient can “swing” back to it. The program’s flexibility allows an individual to have the right level of care at all times. That care might include physical, speech and occupational therapy, IV medications, wound management, new ostomy or stoma care and education, among others.

What if I had treatment at another facility and now need the Swing Bed Program?

If you or a loved one still needs short-term skilled nursing care or rehabilitation services before returning home from another facility, ask your discharge planner to contact Melinda Murk, Patient Care Coordinator, at 217-322-4321 ext. 5378. Your referral will be reviewed to see if you meet criteria for admission.

Guided by Advanced Technology – Ultrasound-guided Biopsies

Ultrasound-guided biopsies are performed right here at Culbertson Memorial Hospital. The most common form of image-guided biopsy, the ultrasound option offers convenience and real-time dynamic observation.

What can I expect from a procedure with an ultrasound-guided biopsy?

During the procedure, a radiologist will use an ultrasound scanner to accurately guide a needle to the site of the biopsy and take a sample. Then, your sample is sent to the laboratory for testing. Ultrasound-guided biopsies help make procedures safer and simpler for doctors and patients.

What type of procedures can be performed with an ultrasound-guided biopsy?

A biopsy, in general, can help diagnose abnormalities such as infection, inflammation, or malignancy. Using an ultrasound to help guide the extraction needle can help reduce stress on the body during the procedure. At Culbertson Memorial Hospital, we perform ultrasound-guided thyroid, breast, soft tissue mass, and lymph node biopsies. We also use this technology for ultrasound-guided paracentesis and therapeutic joint injections.

How does providing this advanced service help the community?

Dr. Patrick Rhoades, Clinical Radiologist at Culbertson Memorial explains, “We are improving access to care by allowing patients to stay close to home and be cared for in a hospital that is familiar to them. This is especially important during a lifetime of illness or uncertainty that can ease stress for both patients and their loved ones.”

Can I find out more information about ultrasound-guided biopsies at Culbertson?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial works to expand our high-quality services to better serve more of our patients. If you or a loved one want to learn more about this technology or other programs and services available, contact us here.

6 Helpful Tips to Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

The holidays tend to sneak up on us, but if we listen to our bodies and implement little tips and tricks into our daily lives, we don’t have to let unwanted viruses or bacteria keep us from the joyful festivities!

  1. Traveling? Wipe down any public spaces (e.g., handlebars, plane food trays, or seat buckles) before settling into your train ride or flight. Plus, since germs are much more likely to spread with hand-to-mouth contact, be mindful of public door handles, escalator rails, elevator buttons, and ATMs.
  2. Drink up! A key to staying healthy during the holidays (and every season) is to keep your body adequately hydrated with water. So, drink up to make sure you stay ready for all the holiday fun.
  3. Love. Hand Sanitizer. Head to your local bath and body store to pick up your favorite scented hand sanitizer. It not only protects you from germs, but also leaves you smelling amazing!
  4. Rest Up! Sometimes the best “beat the germs” home remedy is to…just stay home! Planning a night in to recharge after a long day of holiday festivities will give your body the time it needs to relax and reset.
  5. Get Active! In all the chaos of planning your holiday merriment, remember to leave a few minutes of your day for a brisk walk or time to hit the gym. Not only will it help you feel better, but you might appreciate the alone time too!
  6. Shots for Everyone! Well, flu shots that is! Schedule your flu vaccination before flu season kicks into full gear. Remember to double check with your trusted Culbertson provider for the benefits and risks of flu vaccines for you and your family. 

If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Clean Hands, Healthy Body

Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those resistant to antibiotics, which are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Plus, there’s no better time to brush up on your handwashing skills because the week of December 1 – 7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week!

When should you clean your hands?

Good hand hygiene is the first line of defense against harmful bacteria or germs. So, establishing a good routine—for home and away—will give you the best possible chance of staying healthy this winter season. You should always wash your hands:

  • Before preparing or eating food.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Before and after changing wound dressings or bandages.
  • After using the restroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching public surfaces such as doorknobs, remote control/phone in hotel rooms.

How should you clean your hands?

The best way to properly clean your hands is with soap and water. Here’s a quick step-by-step:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water. Use liquid soap if possible.
  2. Rub your hands together until the soap forms a lather and then rub all over the top of your hands, in between your fingers and the area around and under the fingernails. Scrub for at least 15 seconds! Imagine singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice!
  3. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  4. Dry your hands using a paper towel if possible. Then use your paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door if needed.

How can I quickly clean my hands if I don’t have access to soap and water?

With an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, follow these steps for maximizing cleanliness:

  1. Put product on hands and rub hands together
  2. Cover all surfaces until hands feel dry 

What if I catch the cold or flu this winter?

Even the best hand-washers sometimes catch a virus or cold that may need the expertise of a medical professional to help heal. If you find that home remedies just aren’t working to help you get over a cold, you may need to make an appointment with your trusted Culbertson provider.

Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your appointment.




The Great American Smokeout: Take a Stand for Your Heart Health

Your health matters, yet certain habits and behaviors could negatively impact your health goals. If you’re a smoker, consider joining The Great American Smokeout presented by the American Cancer Society. It takes time, adequate planning, and a community of supporters to help choose your long-term health over short term habits, so join the fight today for a better life tomorrow.

What is The Great American Smokeout?

On November 21, thousands of Americans across the country will begin their journey to quitting smoking and reducing their risk for cancer. More than camaraderie, this event hopes to lead people on the right path with tools and resources available when needed. It benefits everyone–of any age–to quit smoking as soon as possible, so start today!

How does smoking affect your cardiovascular health?

As you breathe air into your body, your lungs absorb it and deliver that oxygen to other vital organs via your bloodstream. But, breathing in cigarette smoke contaminates the body with over 7,000 harmful chemicals! These dangerous chemicals could damage your blood vessels and heart (or cause a buildup of plaque that blocks blood flow to key areas of the body) leading to serious cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, hypertension, etc.).

How quickly does your heart repair after the decision to quit smoking?

According to the FDA, your body will experience almost immediate positive results after your last cigarette.

  • After 20 minutes, your heart rate drops
  • After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal (allowing more oxygen to your heart and other vital organs)
  • After 4 years, your risk of stroke drops equivalent to that of a lifetime non-smoker

Where can I learn more about quitting smoking and heart health?

To join in on The Great American Smokeout, click here to sign up and learn about the latest resources and helpful tips. Remember, the event begins November 21!

For more information on your individual risk for heart disease and ways to prevent future issues, schedule an appointment with your trusted Culbertson Memorial Hospital provider as soon as possible. Contact us today!

It’s More Than Memory Loss: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

A well-known disease, Alzheimer’s affects millions of people of all ages with varying severity. Though not preventable, Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. It’s important to stay aware of the symptoms and risk factors to protect you and your loved ones.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s “is a type of disease that causes issues with memory, thinking and behavior.” Thinking, reasoning, making judgements and decisions, and even changes in personality or behavior could be affected by the condition. Some symptoms develop slowly and in later stages of life or others may get worse over time.

What are some risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease?

Staying aware of the symptoms and how they may relate to you or your loved ones may prevent undiagnosed and unmonitored symptom development.

  • Age The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s increases with growing age.
  • Family History & Genetics If a “first-degree” relative has the condition, you have a higher risk of developing it.
  • Down Syndrome Likely related to 3 copies of chromosome 21, symptoms tend to appear 10-20 years earlier in people with Down Syndrome.
  • Sex There are more women with the disease because they generally live longer than men.
  • Past Head Trauma Severe head trauma sufferers have a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Poor Sleep Patterns Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep are associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk.
  • Lifestyle & Heart Health Following a healthy lifestyle of exercise & a healthy low-fat diet may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking and other underlying health conditions may increase risk.

How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?

Doctors may conduct tests to assess any memory impairments while testing other thinking skills, judging functional abilities, and identifying any behavior changes. Doctors may also perform a series of tests to potentially rule out other causes of these symptoms.

Only a medical doctor can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, so if you or a loved one show symptoms of the disease, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

Does Culbertson offer programs for those affected with Alzheimer’s or other health conditions?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial works to expand our high-quality services to better serve more of our patients. If you or a loved one are showing potential symptoms of Alzheimer’s, schedule an appointment with your trusted provider team at Culbertson Memorial Hospital.

For more information on our programs and services, contact us here!

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Therapy

Maybe the most recognizable type of therapy, physical therapy helps patients prevent and manage their conditions to achieve short- and long-term health goals. In fact, physical therapy could help more conditions than expected. Some people may find a healthy body could still benefit from routine appointments with a physical therapist.

What is a physical therapist?

A physical therapist works with patients to form an individual treatment plan to help heal, repair, strengthen, or prevent injuries. Physical therapists usually practice in outpatient clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, schools, hospices, and fitness centers.

What conditions can physical therapists treat?

Physical therapists help patients with a multitude of health conditions and issues. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Strokes & other neurological problems
  • Back & neck pain
  • Limitations in joint range of motion
  • Work-related injuries (eg. rotator cuff, lower back, sciatica/pinched nerve, etc.)
  • Sports & recreational injuries
  • Burns
  • Post-orthopedic surgery 

How will I know if I need physical therapy?

Physical therapists offer more than just post-injury repair. In fact, most people could benefit from incorporating physical therapy into your day-to-day life. Consider scheduling regular physical therapy appointments if you’re:

  • A Dedicated Gym Goer. Preventative physical therapy helps ensure your body is functioning properly & any potential injures are addressed early.
  • Thinking of Starting a New Sport. Before starting a new activity, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to receive helpful advice on protective equipment, proper footwear, & even injury prevention tips.
  • Training for An Endurance Event. Training for a race or any physically intensive event could lead to injury if done improperly. Physical therapists can teach proper techniques for safe exercises and productive rest times.

Is physical therapy offered at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! The Culbertson Therapy Services Team provides outpatient therapy for patients needing physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

In order to qualify for therapy services, you will need a current prescription from a licensed medical provider. Contact your health insurance provider to learn about your coverage.

For more information on physical therapy or other therapy services, contact your trusted Culbertson team here!

Early Detection Saves Lives: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in U.S. women, and understanding possible symptoms and warning signs could make all the difference.

Who’s at risk for breast cancer?

Women and men could be at risk for developing breast cancer. For women, regular mammograms and yearly physical exams are key to preventing advance stages of malignant tumors from damaging healthy tissues or growing uncontrollably (metastasizing) to other areas of the body.

What are some signs & symptoms associated with breast cancer?

Different cancers have different risk factors; and one particular risk factor does not guarantee if you will or will not develop the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, women should be aware of these symptoms when doing self-exams:

  • Swelling of all or part of a breast—even if no distinct lump is felt
  • Skin irritation or dimpling (resembling an orange peel)
  • Pain in breast or nipple
  • Nipple retraction (nipple turning inward)
  • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Any nipple discharge (other than breast milk)

What are the types of breast cancer?

In general, breast cancer falls under two broad categories: invasive and noninvasive. Noninvasive breast cancer tends to stay within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. Invasive breast cancer grows into healthy, normal tissues potentially spreading to other parts of the body.

What tests help detect breast cancer early?

There are several tests used by doctors in a breast cancer screening, which can include self-exams, physical exams, mammograms, breast ultrasounds, or breast MRIs.

Self-exams are a great way to become familiar with your breasts. Knowing how your normal breast tissue feels will help identify any potential abnormalities down the road. If you feel anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Are these provider specialists available at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial offers a full range of high-quality services to better serve the needs of our patients. Join us for our Pampered Pink event honoring breast cancer survivors and patients on October 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Old Homestead Barn. Enjoy manicures, shopping, wine-tasting, & more! Plus, stay informed with talks about women’s health & unique dietary nutritional needs!

For more information on Breast Cancer Screenings or the Pampered Pink event, contact your trusted Culbertson team here!

Stay Ahead of the Game: Schedule Your Prostate Cancer Screening

Heads up, fellas! September represents Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know a simple blood test & examination could be the difference between staying in the game or being benched mid-season?

Can Prostate Cancer be prevented?

Understanding the normal functions of the prostate will help identify potential issues. Though no direct link, the American Cancer Society sites some studies that describe how healthy body weight management through appropriate physical activity and diet could lower risk of prostate cancer overall.

What are some risk factors associated with Prostate Cancer?

Different cancers have different risk factors; and one particular risk factor does not guarantee if you will or will not contract the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, researchers have found several factors that could affect a man’s risk:

  • Age
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Geography
  • Family History
  • Gene Changes

What tests help detect Prostate Cancer early?

There are two main tests used by doctors in a prostate cancer screening.

Prostate-specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA)

PSA is a substance made by cells in the prostate gland—both in healthy & cancerous cells. According to the American Cancer Society, “men with PSA levels between 4 and 10 have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer. If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%. Many factors could affect your PSA test results. Your doctor will know any next steps you’ll need to take based on those results.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

For a DRE exam, doctors manually check for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that may indicate cancerous cells. The exam may be uncomfortable for men, but it should not be painful, and it only lasts a short time.

Who treats prostate cancer?

Cancer is a complicated disease that requires the expertise of several healthcare professionals to include urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, plus many more specialists.

Are these provider specialists available at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial works to expand our high-quality services to better serve more of our patients. Starting this month, Culbertson welcomes Dr. Tina Schuster of Blessing Health Urology. She will bring years of expertise to Culbertson to provide critical urology services for our patients.


For more information on Prostate Cancer screenings or urology care, contact your trusted Culbertson provider team here!