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Is pain affecting your daily life…?

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By Dr. Jennifer Wallace

If I told you I could help you sleep and breathe better, rid you of a lifetime of headaches, neck and back pain, increase your energy, and help you live a happier pain free life without medication, would you believe me? 

Maybe not, but that’s normal to be skeptical. But if I could show you, would that convince you?

Over the last 10 years in practice, I have passionately explained and taught the importance of the effects of neuromuscular dentistry to our patients. Having a “bad bite” has become a common topic in the news and research as of late.

Continued education over the past 20 years has strong evidence relating the temporomandibular joint and teeth position to undesired symptoms. 

Further research has now connected TMD (temporomandibular disorder) and a person’s posture as a major contributing factor to occlusal disease. 

This new approach is called physiologic dentistry. It is derived from neuromuscular dentistry, which is the science of aligning the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw while creating a balanced and relaxed musculature of the head. This is done non-surgically. The physiologic dentist incorporates the neck and cervical posture position into treatment modalities. 

The body’s systems are fully interconnected and when one system is in distress or out of balance, accommodations are made that can result in pain and malfunctions in other areas of the body. 

There has been research to find the association between posture and occlusion, and its clinical impact. 

TMD is directly related to the cervical and scapular region by an interrelated neuromuscular system. 

Changes in the cervical spine (C1-C7) can cause relatable TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders and also the opposite is also true, that misaligned teeth and bite can cause cervical dysfunctions. Head and cervical (neck) muscles are closely related to the stomatognathic system (i.e. a patients oral health). 

Studies have shown and confirmed that postural changes of the head and neck regions play an important role, and if misaligned will lead to TMJ dysfunctions. 

Dental occlusion can present itself in a poor or bad bite and can cause discomfort in the surrounding areas. 

For example, when the head, neck, and shoulders are imbalanced, you can see premature wear and damage to teeth. The muscles are often the affected areas that are more noticeable to patients, often presenting with migraines, headaches, and cramped or sore muscles. 

During a routine oral examination in our office, signs and symptoms of occlusal disease are noted and the patient will be educated about the need for further diagnosis and treatment. 

Better care is provided to our patient if occlusal disease and temporomandibular disorders are detected early and properly treated. Treating occlusal disease can lead to a long, healthy life of the dentition as well as restorative success. 

Our exam also includes checking the joint for clicking/ popping, and muscle soreness. We can also test for muscle function and muscle hyperactivity. Technology allows us to track muscle movement, function, and enables us to find the ideal position for your jaw that places the muscles in the most relaxed state. 

By placing the jaw and muscles in the ideal position the patient will then over time see relief from the tension symptoms they have been experiencing. 

Physiologic dentistry is the way of the dental future! It involves less drugs and finding a solution to fix the problem. 

It also involves so much more than just the mouth/ teeth. Knowing this is changing how we do dentistry and creating a healthy patient without jaw, head, or neck discomfort by simply finding the relaxed position of the jaw and the correct postural position. 

We are passionate about this as well as our comprehensive dental care that allows us to increase our patients overall health, we are also taking pain and discomfort out of the lives of those we treat. 

Please come see us and learn more about how we could help you and change your life! 

Dr. Jennifer Wallace attended Clemson University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She then attended The Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine and graduated with a D.M.D. in 1998. Wallace practices at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort at 40 Kemmerlin Lane, Lady’s Island. For more information or to make an appointment, call 843-524-7645 or visit www.palmettosmilesofbeaufort.com.

Beaufort Memorial retains excellence designation

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Beaufort Memorial VP & Chief Nursing Officer Karen Carroll, President & CEO Russell Baxley and Associate VP Susie Roos are shown here at a recent staff event celebrating the hospital's redesignation as a Pathway to Excellence hospital. Photo provided.
Beaufort Memorial VP & Chief Nursing Officer Karen Carroll, President & CEO Russell Baxley and Associate VP Susie Roos are shown here at a recent staff event celebrating the hospital’s redesignation as a Pathway to Excellence hospital. Photo provided.

In recognition of its nurse-friendly work environment, Beaufort Memorial Hospital once again earned the Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). 

One of only five hospitals in the state to receive the honor, BMH was the first hospital in South Carolina to achieve the designation in 2011.

“The ANCC Pathway to Excellence is the seal of approval that Beaufort Memorial provides an excellent practice environment for nurses and other clinicians,” said BMH Associate Vice President Susie Roos, who spearheaded the hospital’s effort to achieve the designation. “It’s a win-win because everyone benefits when the practice environment improves.”

Established in 2007, the national program was developed to improve both the quality of patient care and the professional satisfaction of nurses by providing a workplace where they can excel. Nurses can trust a hospital with the Pathway designation will respect nursing contributions, support professional development and nurture optimal practice environments.

To date, there are only 151 Pathway designated organizations in the United States.

To remain a Pathway to Excellence hospital, an organization must reapply every four years. This spring, BMH submitted a comprehensive 1,400-page report to the ANCC, providing the organization with evidence the hospital has met six practice standards essential to an ideal nursing practice environment. 

As part of the extensive review process, the hospital’s 300-plus nurses were asked to respond to a confidential online survey verifying the hospital follows the prescribed practices and policies. A critical element of the application process, it exemplifies the theme of empowering and giving nurses a voice.

“The Pathway to Excellence designation means we work in an environment where nurses are valued for their contributions,” said Karen Carroll, Beaufort Memorial’s chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services. “When nurses feel empowered, satisfied and engaged, they perform better – which leads to better patient outcomes.” 

To learn more about Beaufort Memorial Hospital, visit www.BeaufortMemorial.org.

Health briefs for November 9th-15th

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Free flu shots for vets are offered

American Family Care (AFC), which has an urgent care center in Beaufort, will offer military veterans free flu shots on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11. 

The announcement is an extension of AFC’s ongoing effort to promote flu prevention in the United States and comes on the heels of the company’s annual National Flu Prevention Week campaign.  

The U.S. military was the first institution to establish a universal influenza vaccination policy, which dates back to the early 1940s – many decades before widespread immunization of healthy young people was recommended by the CDC and other international health officials. 

Today, its goal is to exceed 90-percent immunization of all military personnel by mid-December each year. 

AFC is located at 272 Robert Smalls Parkway, Suite 320, Beaufort. Call 843-521-4357.

Blue Cross offering enrollment information

Open enrollment for individual health insurance began on Nov. 1, and this year’s open enrollment period for the Affordable CareAct (ACA) has been shortened to 45 days, ending on Friday, Dec. 15.

Gold, Silver and Bronze plans are available for individuals and families. All plans cover the same essential health benefits, but the costs will vary based on the metallic level. BlueCross is offering 24 plans on the health care exchange, including the BlueEssentials Bronze 4 plan, which could have a zero premium, depending on a person’s income and eligibility for subsidies. 

In addition, some of the plans have lower copays, smaller deductibles and a variety of prescription drug benefits.

Moreover, people who do not qualify for subsidies can purchase lowered priced silver plans as well as other off-exchange insurance products, which offer a variety of benefit options and prices.

“The shortened length of open enrollment creates a great sense of urgency for some people. We want to ensure people get the information they need to make good decisions for themselves within the limited time frame,” said Terry Peace, BlueCross senior vice president. “The varying price and benefit designs, including the zero premium, offer a wide range of options, which gives security of coverage and, hopefully, peace of mind.”

According to 2016 census information, 14.5 percent of the state’s nearly 5 million residents are uninsured. BlueCross urges all South Carolinians not covered by their employer to purchase insurance, as required by law.

There are several ways consumers can get more information about the BlueCross plans offered on the exchange:

• Visit www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com.

• Call toll free, 877-313-2583.

• Check out www.SCBlueRetailCenters.com to schedule an appointment from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The closest retail center to Beaufort is in Mount Pleasant. Call 843-216-7760.

• Visit with an agent in the SC BLUE RV, which is touring the state, by calling 855-382-2583 or coming by one of the RV tour stops.

The closest stop will be in Bluffton from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, at the Hampton Inn at 29 William Pope Drive.

Give thanks by donating blood

The American Red Cross encourages people to share their good health this holiday season by donating blood for patients in need. 

A decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. 

However, patients don’t get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

A blood drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Carteret Street United Methodist Church at 408 Carteret St. in Beaufort.

Hospice in need of volunteers

Friends of Caroline Hospice Thrift Store is seeking a variety of volunteers to assist in the overall operation of the store.  

Opportunities include assisting in sorting/pricing donations, organizing, social media monitoring and customer service.  

Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.  

For more information, contact Sara, volunteer coordinator, at 843-525-6257 or visit www.friendsofcarolinehospice.org for an online volunteer application.

Statewide events bring awareness about hospice

During November, Agapé Hospice will be joining thousands of organizations and individuals around the country to recognize and support hospice services. 

Agapé Hospice will host Life Blooms Eternally, which will be held at multiple locations across South Carolina throughout November in honor of National Hospice Care Month.

Each location will feature a display of floral umbrellas and transform the grounds of the Henry C. Chamber Waterfront Park in Beaufort, the State House in Columbia, Falls Park, Greenville, Central Carolina Tech College, Sumter, US Customs House, Charleston, and many more. The displayed umbrellas represent lives touched by hospice services. 

The public is invited and umbrellas may be purchased in honor or memory of a loved one. Proceeds benefit the Agapé Senior Foundation. 

Hospice care provides physical, psychosocial, spiritual and medical support for people with life-limiting illnesses.

For more information about the 2017 Life Blooms Eternally events, go to LifeBloomsSC.com

For more information about Agapé Hospice, visit AgapeHospice.com or call 1-800-411-AGAPÉ (2427).

Beaufort Memorial earns ’A’ for patient safety

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BMH technician Birdie Wright is shown here with the portable robot, nicknamed Violet by the staff, that kills antibiotic-resistant germs using high-intensity, pulsed ultraviolet light. Photo by Paul Nurnberg.
BMH technician Birdie Wright is shown here with the portable robot, nicknamed Violet by the staff, that kills antibiotic-resistant germs using high-intensity, pulsed ultraviolet light. Photo by Paul Nurnberg.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national nonprofit healthcare ratings organization, awarded Beaufort Memorial an “A” for the third time in a row in its fall 2017 report card. Out of the 46 hospitals in South Carolina, BMH was one of only 19 to receive the top grade, and one of only 13 hospitals to receive an “A” in three successive reports. 

“Beaufort Memorial has worked diligently to maintain the highest levels of patient safety in every area of care from hospital-acquired infections to preventing adverse drug reactions,” said BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley. “Once again achieving an ‘A’ grade is a testament to the commitment our staff has shown to protecting our patients.”

Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 hospitals twice a year. Hospitals are graded based on how they scored in five major categories: infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems, and doctors, nurses and hospital staff. 

Beaufort Memorial was one of 832 awarded an “A” for its commitment to keeping patients safe and meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S. 

Last year, BMH invested in a $100,000 portable robot that kills antibiotic-resistant germs using high-intensity, pulsed ultraviolet light. It was the first hospital in South Carolina to use the cutting-edge technology, proven effective in hospitals like the MD Anderson Cancer Centers.

In addition, the nonprofit hospital created a pharmacist-led medication reconciliation team tasked with obtaining a complete and accurate record of a patient’s drug regimen at admission and then monitoring it throughout the continuum of care to prevent inadvertent medication errors. 

 “It takes consistent, unwavering dedication to patients to achieve the highest standards of patient safety. An ‘A’ Safety Grade recognizes hospitals for this accomplishment,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the clinicians, board, management and staff of Beaufort Memorial for showing the country what it means to put patient safety first.”  

To view individual hospital grades and state rankings, go to www.hospitalsafetygrade.org. 

BMH earns re-certification for hip, knee replacement

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hip.knee

Photo above: A patient has her knee examined at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Photo provided.

Following an extensive onsite review this summer by a Joint Commission surveyor, Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) once again was awarded disease-specific certification for hip and knee replacement. 

The hospital’s Joint Replacement Center first earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval in 2015. To maintain certification, BMH has had to continuously provide data on performance measures used to monitor the effectiveness and quality of its program.

“The certification gives the community an objective assessment of clinical excellence,” said Shawna Doran, vice president of Quality & Risk for BMH. “Patients can be assured of the quality and safety of our program.”

BMH submitted two years of data to The Joint Commission prior to the on-site evaluation by a specialist in orthopaedics. During the all-day visit, the surveyor assessed Beaufort Memorial’s clinical practice guidelines and performance measures to ensure compliance with national evidence-based standards. 

“It takes months to years to prepare for certification,” said Andrea Sadler, program coordinator for Beaufort Memorial’s Joint Replacement Center. “In addition to the ongoing data, we need to provide The Joint Commission, it requires extensive education and training of the staff involved in the care of patients.” 

Beaufort Memorial is one of only 13 healthcare facilities in the state to receive disease-specific care certification in knee and hip replacement from The Joint Commission, the premier health care accrediting body in the nation. The certification is awarded for a two-year period. 

For more information on Beaufort Memorial’s Joint Replacement Center, visit www.beaufortmemorial.org or call 843-522-7435.

Health briefs for November 2nd-8th

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Acute care nurse joins Beaufort Primary Care

Board-certified acute care nurse practitioner Mary Beth Donovan has joined Beaufort Memorial Primary Care where she will work with internist Dr. Alejandro “Alex” Garcia Salas.

Mary Beth Donovan
Mary Beth Donovan

Donovan, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Medical College of Georgia and her Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, has been a member of the hospital’s medical staff since early 2013, practicing with Dr. Clark Trask at Beaufort Memorial Coastal Care MD.

Dr. Garcia Salas
Dr. Garcia Salas

Garcia Salas, a board-certified internal medicine specialist, joined Beaufort Memorial Primary Care earlier this year after a career with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, most recently as a staff physician at Beaufort Naval Hospital.

A graduate of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Garcia Salas completed his internship and residency at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia and received additional training in cardiology at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he has participated in humanitarian missions in Mexico and Nicaragua, and was deployed for eight months aboard the USNS Comfort Hospital Ship. 

Beaufort Memorial Primary Care also includes board-certified internal medicine specialists Drs. Andrea Hucks, Steven Kessel and Robert Webb and nurse practitioners Amy Wagner and Ronda O’Connell. The practice, which is located at 989 Ribaut Road, can be reached by calling 843-522-7600.

Statewide events bring awareness about hospice

During November, Agapé Hospice will be joining thousands of organizations and individuals around the country to recognize and support hospice services. 

Agapé Hospice will host Life Blooms Eternally, which will be held at multiple locations across South Carolina throughout November in honor of National Hospice Care Month.

Each location will feature a display of floral umbrellas and transform the grounds of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort, the State House in Columbia, Falls Park, Greenville, Central Carolina Tech College, Sumter, US Customs House, Charleston and many more. The displayed umbrellas represent lives touched by hospice services. 

The public is invited and umbrellas may be purchased in honor or memory of a loved one. Proceeds benefit the Agapé Senior Foundation. 

For more information about the 2017 Life Blooms Eternally events, go to LifeBloomsSC.com. 

For more information about Agapé Hospice, visit AgapeHospice.com or call 1-800-411-AGAPÉ (2427).

Drug testing for children available

Coastal Paternity is offering CHILDGUARD testing, also known as Hair Environmental Exposure Test, to detect drugs in children.

A positive CHILDGUARD test will show whether a child has had contact with drug smoke, and contact or ingestion of drugs.

The testing can detect up to nine drugs in a child’s hair. The tests are admissible in court and there is no age limit. It also tests for both exposure and ingestion.

For more information, visit www.coastalpaternity.com or call 855-521-1362.

Hospice in need of volunteers

Friends of Caroline Hospice Thrift Store is seeking a variety of volunteers to assist in the overall operation of the store.  

Opportunities include assisting in sorting/pricing donations, organizing, social media monitoring and customer service.  

Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.  

For more information, contact Sara, volunteer coordinator at 843-525-6257, or visit www.friendsofcarolinehospice.org for an online volunteer application.

Being outdoors may reduce kids’ risk of nearsightedness

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

By Dr. Mark Siegel

Spending time outdoors is one of childhood’s delights. Now, eye research suggests it may also be a key to our eye health, as long as we avoid over-exposure to sunlight. 

Although spending too much time outdoors without protection from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can damage eyes and skin, new studies show that natural light may be essential for normal eye development in kids.

Encouraging children to spend more time outdoors may be a simple and cost-effective way to improve their vision as well as general health, according to several recent studies. They add to the growing evidence that spending time outdoors may lower the risk of nearsightedness in children and adolescents. 

Nearsightedness is more common today in the United States and many other countries than it was in the 1970s.

One of the new studies showed that for each additional hour children spent outdoors per week, their risk of being nearsighted dropped by about 2 percent. 

Nearsighted children in this study spent on average 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those who either had normal vision or were farsighted. The study investigated whether children who logged more outdoor time also spent less time performing near work, such as playing computer games or studying, but no such relationship was found.

A second study found that when schoolchildren were required to spend 80 minutes of recess time outdoors every day, fewer of them became nearsighted when compared to children who were not required to spend recess outdoors. 

Another study, with Danish children, was the first to show that the rate of eye growth varies in relation to exposure to daylight. This is important, because if the eye grows too long, as measured from front to back, the child will be nearsighted. The children’s eyes grew normally during the long days of summer in Denmark, but grew too fast during the short days of winter.

Though researchers don’t yet know exactly why outdoor time is beneficial, they think it’s probably related to exposure to daylight rather than to playing sports or other specific activities.

At this time, scientists think that UV light is not needed for normal eye development. So, they think kids can gain the eye health benefits and other pluses of playing outdoors and at the same time protect their eyes from long-term UV damage. Just make sure they wear UV-blocking sunglasses and hats when out in the sun. This goes for teens and young adults, as well.

Future studies are planned to learn more about how time outdoors supports healthy vision. Questions include whether time spent on near work should be limited, and whether there are factors — like parents’ attitudes, access to safe playgrounds, or others — that may result in nearsighted children spending less time outdoors. More research is also needed to explain how much of the outdoor time benefit comes from daylight exposure and how much from exercising distance vision, since both of these may be key factors in preventing nearsightedness. 

Dr. Mark Siegel is the medical director at Sea Island Ophthalmology at 111 High Tide Drive (off Midtown Drive near Low Country Medical Group). Visit www.seaislandophthalmology.com.

Sometimes it take a village

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wynn (1)

Photo above: Alicia Wynn was diagnosed with cancer at 33 years old. She has gone through surgery and chemotherapy. Photo by Paul Nurnberg.

Editor’s note: This is the second of two stories on local breast cancer survivors in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is held every October.

By Marie McAden

At just 33 years old, Alicia Wynn never imagined she would be battling breast cancer. Far younger than the age recommended for annual mammograms, she didn’t want to believe the lump she discovered in her right breast could be a malignant tumor. 

But when the lump got bigger, she grew concerned and decided to schedule a mammogram at the Beaufort Memorial Breast Health Center. The imaging test was followed by an ultrasound and then a biopsy at the hospital.

“I was so scared,” the St. Helena Island resident said. “I didn’t want it to be cancer.” 

There was no denying it once she got the call from Beaufort Memorial board-certified general surgeon Dr. Perry Burrus. The mother of three had stage 2 lobular breast cancer. 

As soon as the diagnosis was confirmed, the Breast Health Center nurse navigator arranged for Wynn to meet with three specialists who would be treating her cancer, and attended those appointments with her.

“In some places, they first perform surgery to remove the tumor, then stop to think of options” said BMH board-certified oncologist Dr. Majd Chahin. “Here, we all meet with the patient and then get together to decide the best course of action.” 

Taking a team approach to her treatment was especially important with Wynn because her tumor tested positive for HER2, a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. 

“With HER2-positive breast cancer, you get a better outcome if you have chemotherapy before surgery,” Chahin said. “Six to seven out of 10 patients experience complete remission.”

The chemo and surgery would be followed by 45 radiation treatments. Wynn knew she was in for a long, unpleasant ride. But she wouldn’t make the journey alone. Her family and fiancée were there to support her all along the way.

Her mother accompanied her to most of the chemo treatments. The powerful drugs caused a number of side effects, including vomiting and diarrhea. On day 12, just as she was getting ready to attend her 5-year-old’s kindergarten graduation, her hair began to fall out. Once she got through the event, she decided to shave her head. 

“My fiancé and brother shaved their heads, too. It made me so happy because I felt like they were in it with me.”

Her kids were equally supportive. They made posters encouraging her to get through the treatment and beat the cancer. 

It wasn’t long after she began the chemo that she noticed the size of the lump in her breast was diminishing. By the time she completed the treatment, she couldn’t feel it anymore. 

“She had a fabulous response to the chemo,” Burrus said. “She came in with a pretty large tumor and it was gone.” 

To ensure there was no residual disease in her breast, she underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. 

“Everyone at the hospital was so amazing,” Wynn said. “They prayed for me and cried with me. They helped me get through it. I’m so happy the way everything turned out.”

To schedule your mammogram, call 843-522-5015.

Alicia Wynn’s mother went to her daughter’s oncology appointments. Photo provided.
Alicia Wynn’s mother went to her daughter’s oncology appointments. Photo provided.
Alicia Wynn’s fiancé and brother shaved their heads in solidarity. Photo provided.
Alicia Wynn’s fiancé and brother shaved their heads in solidarity. Photo provided.

Senior directors promoted to associate VPs

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Three longtime Beaufort Memorial senior directors have been promoted to associate vice president, expanding their leadership roles at the 197-bed nonprofit hospital. 

Laurie Martin
Laurie Martin

Laurie Martin, Daniel Mock and Susie Roos have been credited with making significant contributions to the hospital over the last decade, helping grow healthcare services to better meet the needs of the community.

As senior director at BMH, Martin was involved in the development of a variety of programs, including the opening of Beaufort Memorial Bluffton Medical Services in 2006. She started at the hospital as a multi-department director, overseeing outpatient, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation services, as well as the Wound Care Center. 

A graduate of the University of Florida, Martin began her career as an occupational therapist, moving into management after earning her Master’s in Hospital Administration at the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining BMH in 1999, she served in various leadership roles at hospitals in Texas, Florida and North Carolina. Her new responsibilities will include LifeFit Wellness Services, Community Health, and Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services. 

Daniel Mock
Daniel Mock

Mock started his career at Beaufort Memorial nearly 25 years ago as a clinical respiratory therapist. He went on to become director of Cardiopulmonary Services and most recently has served as senior director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services. He also helped develop a number of hospital programs, including outpatient imaging in Beaufort and Bluffton, the Breast Health Center and Cochrane Heart Center, and brought new technology to the community, offering such services as angiography, cardiac catheterization and bronchoscopy.

Mock holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah. In his new position as associate vice president, he will oversee Cardiovascular, Imaging and Laboratory Services. 

Susie Roos
Susie Roos

Roos spent the first half of her 35-year career as a critical care nurse before taking on progressive leadership roles in the hospital. A member of the BMH staff since 2003, she has served most recently as senior director of Nursing Quality.  

Roos graduated from American University with a BSN and went on to earn a Master’s in Health Service Administration from the University of Saint Francis and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership from American Sentinel University. She also holds a nationally recognized certification as a nurse executive through the American Nurse Credentialing Center.  

Actively involved in professional nursing leadership organizations, Roos currently serves on the board of the South Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Nursing’s Standards and Practice Committee of the South Carolina Board of Nursing. She has led several nursing quality and patient safety initiatives, including achievement of the ANCC Pathway to Excellence quality designation for BMH

As associate vice president of Patient Safety and Patient Experience, she will be responsible for ensuring patient satisfaction and a safe care environment. 

Annual Valentine Ball set for Feb. 9-10

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valentine ball

Photo above: The Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Valentine Ball honorary chairs for the Feb. 9 Cocktail Affair are Rosemary and Kevin Cuppia (left). Saturday night’s Valentine Ball co-chairs are  Laura and Robert Achurch (center) and Sarah and Dr. Perry Burrus (right).  Proceeds from the weekend will be used toward renovation of the hospital’s Surgical Pavilion. Photo provided.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s five-star fundraiser, the highly anticipated Valentine Ball, promises to live up to its laurels in 2018 with another party-packed weekend planned for Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10.

The festivities will begin Friday with the return of the Cocktail Affair, a social from 6-8:30 p.m. at Tabby Place in downtown Beaufort. The main event follows Saturday night with pre-ball dinner parties at private residences and a black-tie gala at Tabby Place. 

Proceeds from the 29th annual Valentine Ball are earmarked for the renovation of Beaufort Memorial’s Surgical Pavilion. To date, the foundation’s signature event has raised more than $4.7 million for a wide range of hospital needs, including the Keyserling Cancer Center, Cochrane Heart Center, LifeFit Wellness Center, HealthLink for Children and Pratt Emergency Center. 

Co-chairing the event this year are Laura and Robert Achurch III and Dr. Perry Burrus and his wife Sarah. Kevin and Rosemary Cuppia are serving as honorary chairs of the Cocktail Affair. All three couples have a long history with the hospital and have been steadfast supporters of the foundation. 

“Having worked in the medical field, I understand how unique it is to have a hospital of this caliber in our community,” said Sarah Burrus, who worked at BMH for five years while completing her graduate studies in social work. “I would put us up against any of the country’s best community hospitals.”

Burrus’ roots to Beaufort Memorial run deep. Her grandfather, Harold Trask, was one of the founding members of the board of directors. She was born in the hospital and landed her first job at BMH. It’s also where she met her husband, a general surgeon on the medical staff since 1993. Three of the couple’s four children were delivered at BMH.

“I was 10 years old when I attended my first pre-ball dinner party at my grandparents’ house,” she said. “The hospital has always been so special to me and my family.”

Laura and Robert Achurch have been involved with the hospital for many years as well. Robert serves as Beaufort Memorial’s outside general counsel and Laura has been a Valentine Ball volunteer since its early days. She served on the decorating committee of the first gala and has worked on several other committees over the years. The couple also has hosted numerous pre-ball dinner parties at their home. 

“Beaufort is a social place,” Laura Achurch said. “People love a party here. With the Valentine Ball, everyone gets to enjoy a great evening and contribute to a very important part of our community.” 

The four co-chairs will be working with dozens of volunteers who help organize every aspect of the ball, from pre-ball dinner parties to the silent auction to the evening’s music and decadent desserts. 

Dozens more will host the private dinner parties that have made the Valentine Ball such a standout among fundraisers. In addition to providing the venue for the parties, the hosts decorate their homes, plan the menu and pay for the food, helping reduce the cost of putting on a party for some 500 people. 

Last year, organizers added the Cocktail Affair to serve as a warmup to the gala or an alternative for those unable to make the main event. 

“It was a big hit,” Kevin Cuppia said. “We had hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, a silent auction and a jazz band. It was fun to mix and mingle and see old friends.”

For more information on the Cocktail Affair and Valentine Ball, visit valentineball.org or call the foundation at 843-522-5774. 

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