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Cocktail Affair adds new twist to popular event

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Folks won’t want to miss the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s first-ever Cocktail Affair on Friday, Feb. 10.

Less formal than Saturday evening’s traditional Valentine Ball – now in its 28th year – it is still an elegant evening featuring fun new events.

Guests can enjoy a bourbon sampling courtesy of Gentry Bourbon and Drs. Dan Ripley and Andrea Hucks. Gentry is Charleston’s first uniquely crafted reserve batch bourbon and Ripley and Hucks are two of its founding partners. After being distilled in Kentucky, Gentry Bourbon is barreled in charred American oak and brought to Charleston where it is ricked, aged, staved and eventually bottled.

“The entire process takes an inordinate amount of time, but that’s what gives our bourbon its distinctive smoothness, and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tasting,” said Ripley. “On behalf of Gentry, we couldn’t be happier to make this donation to the BMH Foundation. As physicians, we know firsthand just how much our hospital means to this community.”

To complement the bourbon sampling, the celebrated executive chefs and owners of Breakwater Restaurant, Gary and Donna Lang and Beth Shaw, will be on hand to pour champagne. They’ve selected and donated one of the most recognizable and high end labels, Veuve Clicquot, for the evening, the very one they serve in their own restaurants.

Knowing that all of the proceeds of the Cocktail Affair and Valentine Ball weekend will go to support cancer care at Beaufort Memorial Hospital is especially meaningful to Gary and Donna. She is a cancer survivor who was treated by the hospital, and Gary’s mother is a current patient at the Keyserling Cancer Center.

Friday evening will also showcase 50 glasses of the very special Veuve Vintage Rose for sale, also donated by Breakwater. Each will contain a sparkling ring, one of which is guaranteed to hold a real diamond donated by Modern Jewelers, quite an enticement for those willing to take the gamble. Towards the end of the event, Kevin Cuppia will be on hand to examine each stone and certify the real diamond ring for its lucky recipient.

As if all this weren’t enough, attendees will be able to preview the fabulous decorations for the Valentine Ball, and receive any guidance needed to bid on auction items through the new mobile bidding system being introduced this year. Tiers of elaborate hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and live music by Vic and Friends will round out the evening.

It all happens from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Tickets start at $75 per person.

Richard and Joyce Gray, serving as the Honorary Chairs for this premiere event, are delighted at the thought of our community coming together two nights in a row for such a meaningful cause.

“Both events are going to be just beautiful,” promises Joyce. “We hope that everyone will come out for a wonderful time!”

There’s a discount for those wishing to “make a weekend of it” by attending both the Valentine Ball and the Cocktail Affair.

Visit valentineball.org or call the foundation at 843-522-5774 for more information and tickets.

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Health briefs for January 12th-19th

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Help available signing up for Affordable Care Act 

The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce will hold an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Last Blast Sign Up session for 2017 open enrollment on Saturday, Jan. 28.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the chamber office at 801 Bladen St. in downtown Beaufort with mobile clinics on site for free healthcare screenings. The goal is to provide the community with the resources needed to sign up for affordable health insurance through the federal marketplace.

Call 843-986-1102 for more information.

Red Cross has severe winter blood shortage

The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives.

Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed.

“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.”

Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

CrossFit Beaufort donates money from fundraiser

CrossFit Beaufort, a local fitness training facility, donated all proceeds from a recent weight loss challenge to families in need of holiday assistance. Its six week challenge began prior to Thanksgiving and ran well into the Christmas season.

CrossFit Beaufort athletes were ecstatic to participate the moment they heard what the proceeds would be used for. The challenge was so successful that the athletes lost a total of 149.5 lbs, and raised a sum of $1,000.

The first-place winner, Steven Jeter, and second-place winner, Charlotte Cushman got to select two families that needed help in order to provide Christmas to their families.

For more information about CrossFit Beaufort, visit www.crossfitbeaufort.com.

Agapé Hospice achieves ACHC accreditation

Agapé Hospice of the Lowcountry has received accreditation status by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for hospice services.

Achieving accreditation is a process where healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

ACHC is a not-for-profit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. For more information about Agapé Hospice, visit AgapeHospice.com or call 1-800-411-AGAPÉ (2427).

What would you do to change your life?

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Editor’s note: “+Perspectives” is back and will be published every other week.

By Chris Suddeth

Recently, I attended a writing clinic conducted by a dear friend of mine, and fellow contributor to +Perspectives column. The first prompt she chose for us was essentially the title of this first column.

So, I ask you, cherished readers, what would you do to change your life? I’m not asking you to write about it, although that would be helpful, but I am asking you to consider it as you’re reading this, what would you do?

In pondering this question, let’s put a few things aside, like money and going to the gym twice a day, every day.

Money was in my rough draft of this too, but seriously, if most people reading this won the Powerball today, the same core issues that plague our everyday lives would still be there. Am I good enough? Am I attractive enough? Do I work hard enough? Am I a strong enough? Am I considerate enough? Am I cutthroat enough? Am I enough? Whatever makes you feel less than is the answer. What lengths, within the legal realm of possibilities, would you go to?

As we review this litany of questions, consider a few base assumptions that can often lead to little more than “brain candy.”

Changing my life wouldn’t be so hard if I only set the right intentions. But what are the right intentions? Should the duality of right and wrong come into play?

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about ethics with this next question. What do you consider right and wrong when it comes to your personal decisions about you? Is smoking wrong or is it merely providing a distraction to much deeper issues, that when dealt with, allow smoking to become ashes in the wind? You are the only one you can control on God’s green Earth, so do your best to ignore the person on the yoga mat next to you.

When did you decide your personal right and wrong? Who influenced this decision? What were their motivations for encouraging or discouraging you and what were your motivations behind your accepting or declining said encouragement or discouragement? Do the current circumstances of your life still apply?

You see where this is going? Human nature and the “Mad Men” of our world have convinced us we need to drive a certain car or wear a certain watch no matter the cost. (Be careful with those “no matter the cost, come hell or high water motivations.”)

We may even be convinced we need to sign up with a guru to “fix” whatever’s broken within. Gurus have their place, but never sign up with one that promises to fix you.

You are the only one that can fix you. You do the heavy lifting and we are merely the spotters. Ultimately, any guru needs to be leading you down the road to self-empowerment and becoming your own guru.

When you marinate on what this life change looks like, be visceral in your description. It needs to have a look, smell, taste, texture and sound. Don’t forget that important sixth sense we all have, but mostly ignore.

I understand this article poses more questions than answers, but when you become at ease with yourself, the questions fall away, leaving you with you. When you find you, that is a thing of beauty to behold and foster.

In this +Perspective column, it is our collective desire to provoke new lines of thought, reasoning, and action/inaction. As the name suggests, we intend to provide additional or positive perspectives on everyday issues from back pain to pains in the a$$, to birthing babies.

Mainstream therapy and medicine have their place, but I feel most of us can agree that there are serious holes that can only be filled by a holistic approach. Don’t take my word for it, just be open to new possibilities in shifting the perspective of your life.

Chris “Sutty” Suddeth was born in Greenville in 1975 and has lived his whole life in various locales within the state of South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1998 with a minor in English literature. Writing began its siren song for him at the age of twelve while sitting on the rocks of Fripp Island, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. Sutty is a full-time Mr. Mom with his own holistic health business. He has been a practicing Reiki master for over six years and uses his passion and proficiency with energy work to inform his writing. Visit www.energynovelist.com.

New class of glaucoma drugs in development

in Contributors/Dr. Mark Siegel, MD FAAO/Health by

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. An increase in eye pressure, intraocular pressure (IOP), occurs slowly over time, leading to vision loss. Higher IOP is thought to be the result of changes in the eye that lead to an obstruction in the outflow of fluid, called aqueous humor.

Large clinical studies have shown that, with reduction in IOP, optic nerve damage and progressive visual loss can be slowed or minimized.

Glaucoma therapies

Current drug treatments are directed towards lowering IOP. Treatments to reduce IOP rely on topical eye drop medications, laser and or conventional surgery.

Many patients require more than one drug to control IOP, and despite effective current therapies, they don’t work for all patients.

Current glaucoma medications reduce IOP by either reducing the production of fluid in the eye, or by increasing its outflow. Prostaglandins, which increase outflow, are now the most prescribed glaucoma treatment worldwide.

Glaucoma drugs

A new class of glaucoma drugs promises to act specifically on the eye’s drainage canals, called the trabecular meshwork, a main outflow and blockage site in glaucoma.

Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitors target cells in the trabecular meshwork to enhance aqueous humor outflow. Aqueous humor is a clear fluid that maintains the intraocular pressure.

In research models of glaucoma, ROCK inhibitors have been shown to reduce cellular “stiffness” and enhance outflow through the trabecular meshwork, thereby reducing IOP. No drugs currently on the market enhance the eye’s fluid outflow in this way. Therefore this is a novel and unique target and approach to lowering IOP.

ROCK inhibitors are not yet approved and available for glaucoma patients.

Two U.S. companies, Aerie and Altheos, are currently in clinical research development with topical ROCK inhibitors to lower IOP.

Research data has shown that ROCK inhibition has the potential to offer neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects as well as enhance blood flow to the optic nerve, all of which could benefit glaucoma patients.

The ophthalmic community looks forward to and awaits the clinical research data as it becomes available for this potentially exciting class of drug compounds.

Coastal Carolina offering app

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Coastal Carolina Hospital is now offering an app that provides a variety of features, including checking into the ER and checking your hospital records.The app also features:

• Symptom checker
• My Health Rec patient portal
• ER wait time and check-in
• Hospital maps and directions
• Hospital contact information
• Hospital services
• Event and class registration
• Latest news
• Social media

Visit www.coastalhospital.com/for-patients/mobile-apps.

Health briefs for December 29th-January 4th

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nurses

18 nursing students graduate from TCL

The Technical College of the Lowcountry honored 18 associate degree in nursing graduates at its Dec. 15 pinning ceremony.

“We are so proud of these graduates for their perseverance and commitment to nursing excellence,” interim program director DeAnne Johnson said. “The TCL nursing program in particular is rigorous, but produces extremely qualified and successful graduates, giving them the confidence they need to walk proudly into the nursing field.”

In the last five years, more than 200 students have completed TCL’s associate degree in nursing program. TCL’s two-year ADN program prepares graduates to practice as registered nurses. Students experience on-campus learning using high-tech simulation equipment and receive intense additional hands-on practice at clinical sites located throughout Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.

The graduates are: Keri Barnwell of Bryan County, Ga.; Emma Lee Bennett, Marcia Carlson, Brinn Cornell, Serina Forte, Kristina Geddes, Ashley Jones, Aubrey Pinckney, Jennifer Quesada, Rachel Rankin, Natasha Rollins, Samanta Sewell, Tonia Shafer, Shaylin Tims, Aubree Woodard and Dierra Roberson Young, all of Beaufort County; Sierra Garvin Foy of Chatham County, Ga.; and Kimberly Joyner of Charleston County.

For more information about the TCL health sciences programs, visit www.tcl.edu/health or call 843-525-8267.

Free diabetes classes offered on Lady’s Island

More than 25 percent of people 65 and older have diabetes.

A diagnosis of diabetes includes pre-diabetes and diabetes. Pre-diabetes indicates that the blood sugar is higher than normal. Without any intervention, people with pre-diabetes, most likely, will develop diabetes later in life.

Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. This means that as you age, your diabetes, most likely, will get worse. Abnormal or high blood sugar affects every part of your body and can increase your risk of complications that may include blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME), a part of the Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN), has been contracted by Medicare to provide free Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) workshops to Medicare beneficiaries.

DSME workshops are a series of five sessions that cover a variety of topics that help participants better manage their diabetes and pre-diabetes.

During the workshops, resources and handouts will be provided and participants have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss personal concerns they have about living with diabetes.

Even if you have previously attended a Medicare-reimbursed class, you are invited to attend these workshops at no cost.

The five-week diabetes class will be held starting Thursday, Jan. 5, at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 157 Lady’s Island Drive.

To register and for more information, call 1-800-922-3089, ext. 7585.

Give back this season to those in need

Like most nonprofit organizations, the Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine (BJVIM) depends on grants and donations to keep its doors open. However, there are other ways to give back that can help.

Pam Toney, executive director of BJVIM, said a great way to raise money and market your own business is to sponsor an event.

Earlier this year, Tiger Bass sponsored its 9th Annual 5K/12K Race for runners and walkers of all ages. The event included an after party, food trucks, live music, face painting and more. This is the second year BJVIM has received funds from Tiger Bass. Last year, Tiger Bass raised $14,000.

“We’re happy to report that in 2016, $15,000 was raised to benefit the Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine,” Toney said, adding, “We are grateful to Tiger Bass for their commitment.”

A unique way to give back is to donate your time or art. Local artist Deane Bowers created mixed media art made out of recycled, reclaimed and salvaged materials to adorn the walls of the Ridgeland clinic. Her artwork also can be seen on the cover of BJVIM’s holiday appeal card.

Another local woman, Jackie Friel, donated photography of the local area for notecards that BJVIM is selling at local farmers markets.

“We are very blessed to have such creative people willing to give back to us,” Toney said. “A big thank you also goes out to 100 Women Who Care Bluffton. They presented us with a generous check of $6,100 this year.”

For more information, call 843-706-7090.

Kick off new year with a ‘body makeover’

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attachment-1-2

Photo above: LifeFit Wellness Body Makeover coaches are getting ready for the January session. In the front row are Kristen Clark, Taylor Foster and Meghan Deagan. In the back row are Amy Mulnix and David Purser.

Want to lose weight and get fit in 2017? Sign up for Beaufort Memorial’s Body Makeover, a 12-week comprehensive wellness program designed to give you the motivation and support you need to beat the odds and stick with your New Year’s resolution.

The next session begins Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Beaufort Memorial LifeFit Wellness Center.

More than just a weight-loss program, Body Makeover focuses on both exercise and nutrition to help you develop lifelong healthy habits. During the course of the program, LifeFit Wellness coaches will show you effective, scientifically-proven exercises to burn fat and build lean, long and strong muscles.

You’ll also work with a registered dietitian to create a sustainable nutrition plan that meets your specific needs. Nutrition education sessions will include three healthy cooking demos and a field trip to the supermarket.

The program’s small-group format provides the personal attention, accountability, structure and social support you’ll need to help you meet your goals. To keep participants motivated, the program also includes a little friendly competition.

Points will be awarded for attending classes and events, reducing inches, improving your fitness analysis score and keeping a food log, with prizes awarded to those who accumulate the most points.

Body Makeover is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.

The cost of the program is $650. Registration closes Tuesday, Jan. 10.

For more information or to sign up, contact Ricca Callis at rcallis@bmhsc.org or call the LifeFit Wellness Center at 843-522-5635.

Health briefs for December 15th-21st

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Dr. Robert Webb
Dr. Robert Webb

Dr. Robert Webb joins BMH Primary Care 

Dr. Robert Webb, a board-certified internal medicine specialist with more than 35 years experience, has joined the medical staff at Beaufort Memorial Primary Care, where he will work alongside Drs. Andrea Hucks and Steven Kessel.

Webb joined the hospital’s medical staff earlier this year and has been seeing patients at Beaufort Memorial Harrison Peeples Health Care Center in Varnville. Prior to relocating to the Lowcountry, he had his own private practice in Jefferson County, W.Va.

From 1982 to 1998, he served as director of the Intensive Care Unit for Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

During his three-decade career, he served as plant physician for Corning Glass Works in Martinsburg, W.Va., and was a visiting consultant with the Department of Medicine/Medical Oncology at Dunedin Hospital University of Otago School of Medicine in New Zealand.

In addition, he has been a clinical assistant professor of medicine at West Virginia School of Medicine, where he taught core principles of electrocardiogram interpretation and physical examination to medical students.

Beaufort Memorial Primary Care is located at 989 Ribaut Road in Beaufort. In addition to Hucks, Kessel and Webb, the practice includes two board certified nurse practitioners, Ronda O’Connell and Amy Wagner.

For more information or to make an appointment with any of the providers, call 843-522-7600.

BMH’s Valentine Ball adds Friday night party

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richard-and-joyce-gray

Photo above: Richard and Joyce Gray will serve as the honorary chairs at the Valentine Ball.

There are a couple of new twists to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Valentine Ball.

Not only is there a brand new downtown venue at Tabby Place, but for the very first time, the foundation is also offering a special party the night before.

Attendees at the new Friday night “Cocktail Affair” will be able to get a first look at the always fabulous decorations and auction items while enjoying an open bar, elaborate hors d’oeuvres and live music from 6-8:30 p.m.

Richard and Joyce Gray will serve as the honorary chairs for this premiere event, and say they are excited at the thought of our community coming together two nights in a row for such a wonderful cause.

“We are truly fortunate to have such a great hospital and staff,” said Richard Gray. “I sometimes think people don’t realize just how much can be done right here, close to family and close to home.

“Our hospital also provides an incredible amount of charitable care for those who have nowhere else to turn, and everything they do helps to ensure the health of our entire community.”

Richard Gray grew up in Beaufort, and to hear him tell it, Joyce Gray caught his eye the minute she moved here after college to teach.  He jokes that he had to ask her out five times before she said yes, but she fell in love with her husband-to-be as easily as she did her new hometown, and the couple soon settled down just up the street from the hospital.

All four of the Gray’s children and six of their grandchildren were born at Beaufort Memorial and they appreciate how special it is to have a not-for-profit hospital serving the community.

Joyce Gray’s physician father had helped to start a county hospital in Barnwell some 60 years ago, sparing his patients what had previously been an hours-long drive to the nearest facility.

But like so many other small hospitals across the state, it wasn’t able to survive in today’s healthcare environment.

Beaufort Memorial has been the exception to this rule, in no small part because of the generous and long-standing support of the community it serves.

And all along, Richard and Joyce Gray have been a part of this support network. They were instrumental in helping to get the first Valentine Ball going 28 years ago and have since hosted many pre-Ball dinner parties in support of the Foundation.

“We’ve always enjoyed the Ball,” said Joyce Gray. “The pre-Ball dinner parties have been the most fantastic way to meet new people and support the hospital. And this year, we’re especially excited about the new event the night before. The new venue is great, and both nights’ events are going to be just beautiful. We hope everyone will come out for a wonderful time!”

The Ball has raised nearly $4.8 million for the hospital.  Proceeds from the 2017 Valentine Ball Weekend will go to cancer services, perpetuating the phenomenal level of philanthropic support that has underwritten half of all building and equipment costs of the Keyserling Cancer Center.

Tickets to the Valentine Ball and private dinner parties on Feb. 11 start at $150 per person and include several levels of sponsorships.

Tickets for Friday night start at $75 per person with a discount for those wishing to “make a weekend of it” by attending both events.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit valentineball.org or call the foundation at 843-522-5774.

Ketchic is named VP of Physician Services

in Health by
Christopher Ketchie
Christopher Ketchie

Christopher Ketchie, an experienced healthcare administrator from Pennsylvania, has been named Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s vice president of physician services, responsible for managing the largest multispecialty physician group in Beaufort and Jasper counties.

As head of Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners, Ketchie will oversee 14 medical practices with 45 doctors and more than two dozen advanced practice providers.

Prior to joining BMH, he held a similar position with Lancaster Medical Group/Community Health Systems, a 32-practice multispecialty medical group in South Central Pennsylvania.

A native of North Carolina, Ketchie earned  a B.S. degree in Health Promotions/Biology from Appalachian State University and a master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of South Carolina.

He began his 10-year career as a medical service corps officer in the U.S. Navy. Stationed at the Naval Health Clinic in Great Lakes, Ill., and later Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, he served in various posts, including assistant director for administration for Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune and commander/executive officer for the 2D Medical Battalion Charlie Surgical Company.

During his seven years of military service, he was deployed for 10 months to Afghanistan to help develop a medical clinic for detainees and another 11 months in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Ketchie started his new job with Beaufort Memorial Nov. 14.

“I look forward to working with our physicians and support staff to plan the future growth of our practice network,” Ketchie said. “My role is to ensure we provide the community with timely access to medical services and quality care.”

To find a Beaufort Memorial physician, visit www.beaufortmemorial.org.

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