Bringing Our Community Together

Category archive


Health briefs for October 20th-26th

in Health by

Top photo: Executive Chef Michael Ramey led his team to victory. He is shown here with teammates Jessica Hausfeld, Deon Fuller and Albert Rocha. 

BMH culinary team takes third at event

It was a culinary event to rival the Iron Chef. Food service staff from eight South Carolina hospitals competed at the Fourth Annual Cooking Well Invitational, a gastronomic showdown sponsored by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Led by Executive Chef Michael Ramey along with Jessica Hausfeld, Deon Fuller and Albert Rocha, the BMH team took third place in the competition held at the historic Boone Hall Plantation as part of “Taste of Charleston.”

BMH is winner of 3 zero harm awards

Beaufort Memorial swept the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) 2016 Certified Zero Harm Awards, winning three awards and special recognition for preventing post-surgery infections.

The 197-bed hospital was one of only two healthcare facilities in South Carolina to report no hospital-acquired infections for 42 consecutive months in two of five categories. BMH also earned special recognition in two categories — more than any other hospital in the state — for performing the highest number of infection-free abdominal hysterectomies and colon surgeries.

“For decades we thought zero harm was impossible, but every day we learn that if we align our efforts we can achieve it, and we’re committed to pursuing it relentlessly,” said BMH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Gambla.

SCHA created the Zero Harm Awards program in 2013 to recognize hospitals that have taken great strides to improve quality of care and patient safety, specifically the elimination of bloodstream and post-surgery infections.

Ulmer pharmacy to hold ribbon cutting

The Greater Bluffton Chamber will celebrate the newest pharmacy in the Lowcountry, Ulmer Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center, with a ribbon cutting celebration at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.

The pharmacy is at 68 Bluffton Road.

Cathy Ulmer, the pharmacist in charge, along with her staff, have over 20 years experience and have seen changes in pharmacy and expanding needs of the patients.

They offer services to our patients that are difficult to find. They carry hard to get medical supplies, offer 24-hour service to the hospice community, delivery services and healthcare courses. As part of their wellness side, Bonnie’s Kitchen Creations offers healthy meals that are prepared in-house. Their mission to reach out to the community and put your healthcare needs first.

For more information visit Ulmer Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center Facebook page at or visit the Greater Bluffton Chamber’s website at

The pharmacy can be reached at 843-473-4496

Funds being raised to fight breast cancer

In support of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fight to Fit Apparel Co. in Beaufort is raising money for cancer awareness and research.

It is selling various T-shirts that say “Fit to Fight.” Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Relay for Life Event of Beaufort County that will take place on Oct. 28.


Say boo to the flu at Bluffton Jasper VIM

Halloween is right around the corner, and Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine is using this time to fight the flu.

“Say Boo to the Flu” will provide free flu shots to patients from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Bluffton Clinic, located at 1 Burnt Church Road in Bluffton. Patients need to sign up by calling the clinic at 843-706-7090.

The Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine provides medical services free of to individuals who are without health insurance, live or work in Greater Bluffton or Jasper County and qualify based on income.

Bluffton Jasper VIM offering diabetes program

Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine (BJVIM) has been chosen to partner with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in a diabetes telemonitoring program.

The program has been piloted by MUSC in the Charleston area with great success, and BJVIM is one of the first free clinics chosen in the state to implement the program outside of this area.

The program will enable BJVIM to provide more effective diabetes management by helping patients achieve and maintain blood sugar and blood pressure goals, no matter where they live, whether they are housebound or have limited transportation. Because patients will be consistently monitored, there will be reduced risk of the development of complications from diabetes.

The telemonitoring program uses a device which is given to the patient and is plugged in to either their home phone line or Internet connection. The patient is asked to use the monitor on a daily basis to measure blood pressure and blood sugar. The readings are then automatically sent to a database, giving the patient’s care provider immediate results. It will also send a notification if any of the readings are out of the range set by the patient’s physician. Based on the readings from the device, an AAMC nurse will guide the patient in making appropriate medication adjustments and lifestyle
behavioral changes.

BJVIM will receive up to 500 monitors from MUSC that will be given to patients free of charge along with a 12-month supply of test strips. Patients must be at least 18 years of age, have an A1c of 8 or greater and be a current patient of Bluffton Jasper VIM.

Youth alliance hosting community forum

The Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) is hosting a Community Forum from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at Bluffton High School.

There will be three guest speakers to address different aspects of youth in relation to alcohol and marijuana. The forum will also highlight some of the area’s local high school youth who will speak to how they feel the community can help them lead healthier lives.

The experts include:

  • Dr. Lindsay Squeglia, of MUSC, who will discuss the effects of alcohol and marijuana on teen brain development;
  • Dr. Wendy Bell, of the SC Law Enforcement Division, who will discuss medical marijuana myths;
  • Michelle Nienhius, of the SC Department of Alcohol & Drug Abuse, who will provide an overview of the South Carolina student drug survey.

“The purpose of this forum is to engage the public, but more importantly, to increase awareness our youth face regarding use and substance abuse. We want the public to know what they can do to provide a healthier environment for our teens. The youth are our future, so making sure they see a future, should be the primary focus of everyone living and working in this community,” said Wendy Cummings, president of the LCAHY executive board.

To learn more about LCAHY, visit or contact Wendy Cummings at

Michels earns board Certification from CMPE

Mandy Michels, Lady’s Island Internal Medicine practice manager, has earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE).

She is the first Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners manager to achieve this prestigious certification.

To earn the credential from the American College of Medical Practice Executives, Michels had to pass rigorous essay and objective examinations that assess knowledge of the broad scope of group management principles and practices, from business operations and patient care systems to financial, human resources and risk and compliance management. In addition, she had to complete 50 hours of continuing education.

A graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in business administration, Michels started her career in human resources working for Pulte Homes in Sun City. She later served as director of corporate affairs for a company that provides insurance to attorneys.

In October 2013, she joined Beaufort Memorial Hospital as practice manager of Coastal Care MD. Last December, she took over management of the larger Lady’s Island Internal Medicine, a practice with three physicians and two physician assistants.

The American College of Medical Practice Executives is part of the Medical Group Management Association, the leading association for medical practice administrators and executives since 1926.

Retina specialist to speak at Sun City Hilton Head

Dr. Peter Liggett, a retina specialist on Hilton Head, will conduct an educational seminar, “What You Need to Know About Macular Degeneration,” at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in the Colleton River Room at Sun City Hilton Head. This event is open to Sun City Hilton Head residents only.

RSVP by Nov. 10 at or by calling 843-415-3490.

Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye. The macula controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. As people age, their chances for developing eye diseases increase dramatically.

Liggett is a leader in the evaluation and treatment of macular and retinal diseases. Liggett has been a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Yale School of Medicine and Weill Cornell College of Medicine. He founded New England Retina Associates, which had six retina specialists and more than 10,000 patient visits per year. He has written more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited four major textbooks on diseases of the macula and retina. He is an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, which certifies doctors to practice in ophthalmology.

For more information, call 843-422-9987 or visit

Hearing loss, hearing aids and case for medical necessity

in Health by

By Monica Wiser

Just about every day, I have to break the news to my patients that their insurance company does not cover hearing aids.

They are deemed “medically unnecessary” by Medicare and many other insurers.

It is a slap in the face to the 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss.

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 90 percent of those cases cannot be treated with medication or simple surgery.

Insurance companies may believe that they are saving money by exempting hearing aids from coverage, but the cost of not treating hearing loss is far greater.

Untreated hearing loss has been linked to several health conditions that insurance companies do end up covering. The following medical conditions have been linked to untreated hearing loss.

Increased risk of dementia

John Hopkins University recently published a longitudinal study that revealed that people with hearing loss are up to five times as likely to develop dementia if the loss goes untreated.

Several other such studies have confirmed this finding (Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis).

There are several theories as to why this occurs: increased cognitive load,  social isolation and atrophy of the region of the brain that not only processes speech, but processes memory.

The cost to society to treat dementia is estimated to be up to $215 billion annually when the cost of home health care and assisted living are taken into account.

It is more costly to the nation than treating heart disease or cancer (RAND study).  The cost to the patient and their family members is far greater.

Increased risk of fall

People with untreated hearing loss are three times as likely to suffer from injury-causing falls. The average hospital cost for a fall injury is $35,000.  According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury death for Americans 65 years and older. Non-fatal falls are estimated to cost $34 billion in direct medical costs.

Increased hospitalizations 

Hospitalizations increase by 32 percent. These hospitalizations are not only due to falls, but to lack of awareness of surroundings, leading to car accidents, workplace accidents and pedestrian accidents.

The cost of these hospitalizations cannot be accounted for due to the various conditions that may be diagnosed during hospitalization.

Depression, anxiety, stress

The economic burden of depression, including workplace costs, direct costs and suicide-related costs, was estimated to be $210.5 billion in 2010.

Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA.

Additionally, it is estimated that treating work-related stress alone costs $300 billion.  (University of Massachusetts Lowell.) Stress outside of the workplace was not calculated in this figure.

These health conditions are costing the nation well over $800 billion annually.

While hearing loss does not contribute to every case of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, depression, anxiety and stress, a significant portion of that figure can be reduced by treating hearing loss.

The real cost of not treating hearing loss, however, cannot be measured in cold, hard figures.

The cost to society of the unrealized potential of people with hearing loss is immeasurable.  It is time for the healthcare industry to reexamine the medical necessity for treating hearing loss with hearing aids.

Monica Wiser, M.A. CCC-A is an audiologist in private practice at Beaufort Audiology & Hearing Care on Lady’s Island. She has over 20 years of experience in the field and has worn hearing aids since childhood.

Health briefs for October 6th-12th

in Health by

Mack named fellow of healthcare executives

Megan Mack, an occupational therapist and manager of Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s HealthLink for Children, recently became a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders.

She joins an elite group of healthcare professionals in achieving this premier credential in healthcare management. Only 9,100 healthcare executives in the country hold the distinction.

“Pursuit of Fellowship in ACHE is not a quick hop,” said Beaufort Memorial Senior Director Laurie Martin. “It is awarded only after years of dedicated learning, networking, community involvement and personal growth.”

Mack began working at BMH in 2003 as an occupational therapy clinical intern from Keuka College. She was hired by the hospital in 2004 after graduating from the Upstate New York school.

While working full time at the hospital, she earned her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from New England College. In 2008, she was named manager of HealthLink for Children, Beaufort Memorial’s outpatient pediatric rehab centers.

Throughout her 12 years at BMH, Mack has been actively involved in the Bluffton community where she lives. She completed Leadership Bluffton and has served as a governor for the program and is a past officer and active member of the Bluffton Rotary Club. She also participated in the South Carolina Hospital Association Management Academy.

Megan Mack
Megan Mack

BMH Foundation names 2017 Valentine Ball co-chairmen

in Health by

Top photo: From left are Dan Ripley, Andrea Hucks and Amy and Chris Geier.

The Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation recently announced that the 2017 Valentine Ball, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, will be co-chaired by Chris and Amy Geier along with Drs. Andrea Hucks and Dan Ripley.

Both couples have been actively involved in volunteering for the ball since they were first stationed in the area years ago by the military — Chris Geier as a JAG attorney in Savannah and Dan Ripley as a physician at the Naval Hospital.

As often happens, both couples fell in love with Beaufort and decided to make it their permanent home when their military careers came to a close.

For South Carolina natives Hucks and Ripley, it was a natural choice. The couple had met in medical school at MUSC, and though residencies and Ripley’s tour in Iraq had taken them out of state for several years, they were eager to return the first chance they got.

When Ripley was stationed at Parris Island 16 years ago, Hucks started working as an internist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, a job she still does today.

“It has been the most wonderful place to practice,” she said. “I don’t know if people really understand how rare or special a community-based hospital is these days.”

In Chris and Amy Geier’s case, both of their fathers were in the Army and they had moved around all their lives. Although the transient nature of military life led to their first meeting, they knew they wanted something different for their family.

The small town feel of Beaufort appealed to them, meaning their two small boys could grow up with friends they had known since preschool.

When Chris Geier returned from his tour in Iraq, he transitioned into civilian practice and, like Hucks, Amy Geier began working for Beaufort Memorial.

As a nursery and labor and delivery nurse, she especially appreciates how much the hospital embraces military as well as civilian families, and she’s justifiably proud of the services the hospital provides.

Hucks’ and Amy Geier’s commitment to the not-for-profit hospital they work for extends far beyond patient care, for they know that it depends heavily on donations raised through the Foundation.

Now in its 28th year, the Valentine Ball — the Foundation’s signature event — has raised nearly $4.8 million for the hospital.

To continue to build upon the phenomenal level of philanthropic support that has underwritten fully half of all capital and equipment for the hospital’s Keyserling Cancer Center, proceeds of the 2017 Valentine Ball will support cancer services.

“In some form or fashion, whether it’s ourselves or a friend or family member, cancer touches all of us,” Andrea Hucks said. “With community support, and neighbors helping neighbors, we’re able to deliver state of the art cancer care right here in our backyard.”


Health briefs for September 29th-October 5th

in Health by

Top photo: From left are Dr. Eve Ashby, regional director for Medical Education, Victoria Calvelage, Navid Mahabadi, Stephen Ingle, Ashley Doucet, Osman Lodhi and Dr. Faith Polkey, co-regional director for Medical Education. In the back row from left are Elizabeth Cornell, Ashley Coaston and Jordan Rosenberg. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Beaufort welcomes 2019 med school class

Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services Inc. (BJHCHS) hosted a reception for its ninth entering class of AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona-South Carolina campus at Saltus River Grill recently.

BJHCHS has had a partnership with AT Still since 2008 to educate students in the Lowcountry. The students rotate with BJHCHS and BMH physicians, private physicians, and all the area hospitals in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.

“Most people don’t know that we have a medical school in Beaufort.” said pediatrician Dr. Faith Polkey, regional director for Medical Education along with Dr. Eve Ashby.

“The students spend year 1 in Mesa, Ariz., and then relocate to Beaufort for years 2-4 to complete their education. Our goal is to increase the number of physicians entering primary care and returning to
underserved communities.”

Reduce your risk of  mosquito-borne disease

Beaufort County Mosquito Control offers the following recommendations to reduce the risk of Zika virus and West Nile virus in the Lowcountry:

• Eliminate or replenish water-holding containers on properties, such as waste tires, buckets, cans, flower pot saucers, bird baths, baby pools, grill covers, boat covers, pet dishes, cemetery urns/vases, roof gutters, tree holes, etc.
• Use screens on all windows and doors; repair even the smallest tear or hole.
• Wear protective clothing (long-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks) while working or playing outdoors.
• Use insect repellants containing the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR 3535.
• Avoid peak mosquito biting activities; the mosquito associated with Zika virus is a daytime biter and its peak feeding times are during morning and late afternoon whereas the West Nile virus mosquito is typically active during sunrise and sunset.

For additional information, visit or call Mosquito Control at 843-255-5800.

Hospital recognized for organ donation efforts

Coastal Carolina Hospital was among three South Carolina hospitals recognized recently for promoting organ, eye and tissue donation through the Excellence In Donation (EID) Public Outreach Program at the South Carolina Hospital Association/South Carolina Medical Association’s 36th Annual TAP Conference.

The EID Public Outreach Program launched in September of 2015 as an effort to save more lives by renewing and building on the relationship between hospitals in the state, the South Carolina Hospital Association, LifePoint and Donate Life South Carolina to support organ, eye and tissue donation.

Because of their commitment, Coastal Carolina Hospital joins Hampton Regional Medical Center and Spartanburg Medical Center as the only three hospitals in South Carolina that met the criteria for an Excellence In Donation Public Outreach Award.

Coastal Carolina Hospital conducted an awareness and registry campaign to educate staff, patients, visitors and community members about the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donors with the goal of increasing the number of registered donors.

“The program unites donation advocates at hospitals with representatives from LifePoint,” said LifePoint President and CEO Nancy A. Kay. “By working together we can be more effective in educating about the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donors.”

Jeremy Clark, of Coastal Carolina Hospital, accepts the Excellence In Donation (EID) Public Outreach Program award.
Jeremy Clark, of Coastal Carolina Hospital, accepts the Excellence In Donation (EID) Public Outreach Program award.

Health briefs for September 22nd-28th

in Health by
William Schreffler, NP-C
William Schreffler, NP-C

Schreffler joins BMH Orthopaedic Specialists 

William Schreffler, NP-C, formerly a Beaufort Memorial perioperative nurse, has returned to the hospital after earning his master’s degree and certification as a family nurse practitioner. He began working this month with board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Jones at Beaufort Memorial Orthopaedic Specialists.

A graduate of East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Schreffler brings 10 years of operating room experience to his new job. He worked for three years as a perioperative nurse at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., before joining the staff at BMH in 2009.

Two years ago, he left the hospital to pursue family nurse practitioner studies at Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. Schreffler graduated from the program this April with a GPA of 3.9. As part of his clinicals, he worked at Carolina East Medical Center and Craven County Health Department in New Bern, N.C. He also did a stint with Pizer Family Practice in Otway, N.C. Most recently, he served as a traveling perioperative nurse at Haywood County Regional in Clyde, N.C.

Beaufort Memorial Orthopaedic Specialists is located at 1251 Ribaut Road in Beaufort. Jones and Schreffler also see patients in Bluffton at Beaufort Memorial Bluffton Medical Services at 11 Arley Way in Westbury Park.

To make an appointment with the practice, call 843-524-3015.

Collins Construction to renovate birth center

Collins Construction has been chosen to renovate Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Birthing Center. This project will include the labor and delivery rooms including a waiting room addition. It is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.

Collins Construction has been in business since 1992 and was purchased by Morgan in 2009. Services include design, renovation, and new construction for industrial, commercial, residential, education and healthcare.

Local projects have included the Roundhouse Museum, Armstrong Atlantic State University and projects for the Georgia Ports Authority. Visit

Diabetes management classes being offered

A free diabetes self-management education program for seniors will be held starting Thursday, Oct. 6, at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 157 Lady’s Island Drive. The five-week class, presented by the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, a part of the Atlantic Quality Innovation Network, will cover a variety of topics that will help participants better manage their diabetes and pre-diabetes. To register and for more information, call 800-922-3089, ext. 7585.

State gets grant to address overdoses 

The S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services has received a federal grant totaling $3,192,772 to reduce the number of prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events in the state.

South Carolina is one of 12 states to receive funding through the five-year grant, which was awarded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Through the new South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project, first responders and opioid use disorder patients and their family members will be trained to recognize an opioid overdose and to administer naloxone when overdose occurs.  The development of a statewide distribution system will make naloxone available and easily accessible to trained first responders and to at-risk citizens, regardless of their ability to pay for the medication.

Health briefs for September 15th-21st

in Health by

BMH program aims to help smokers quit

If you long ago broke your New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, now is the time to get back on track with the “Freedom from Smoking” program being offered by Beaufort Memorial LifeFit Wellness Services beginning Monday, Sept. 19.

Developed by the American Lung Association and considered the “gold standard” in smoking cessation programs,” Freedom from Smoking” consists of  eight sessions in seven weeks, offering participants the best chance at kicking the habit for good.

“Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable disease,” said Mark Senn, senior director of LifeFit Wellness Services. “Here’s a way to quit the habit and improve your health.”

The Freedom From Smoking program’s first class will be at 5:45 p.m. in BMAC conference room 451 at 990 Ribaut Road (across the street from the main hospital campus).

The cost is $30, which includes a workbook, a relaxation CD and handouts. Topics covered include stress management techniques, what to do when a craving comes, controlling your weight while quitting and much more. Participants will also receive a free two-month membership to the LifeFit Wellness Center. Call 843-522-5570 for information and to register.

BMH to offer seminar on knee, hip pain

Do you suffer from hip and knee pain?

Beaufort Memorial will host a free seminar at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, in Room 364 of the hospital’s Medical and Administrative Center at 990 Ribaut Road (directly across the street from the main hospital campus). Orthopedic Care Coordinator and Physical Therapist Andrea Sadler will provide information about normal knee and hip anatomy, signs and symptoms of joint-related problems, and treatment options to relieve or resolve pain.

The seminar is free but registration is requested. To learn more or make a reservation, call 843-522-5585.

Mobile meals program to receive plaque

HELP of Beaufort’s Mobile Meals Program will be presenting Beaufort Memorial Hospital/Sodexo with a plaque to commemorate 40 years of working together to deliver meals to the homebound in the Beaufort area. During the past 40 years, Beaufort Memorial/Sodexo has supplied Mobile Meals with over 730,000 meals to deliver. These meals are paid for by HELP of Beaufort and some paying clients who receive the meals. Everyone is invited to attend this presentation, which will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Cafeteria.

Bishop Eye using Symfony lens

Bishop Eye Center is now using the Symfony Toric Intraocular Lens from Abbott Medical Optics. The Symfony lens was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July and has gained approvals in more than 50 countries around the world. Bishop Eye Center is a Hilton Head Island- and Bluffton-based leader in refractive cataract surgery that is internationally recognized for patient outcomes.

Can Alzheimer’s be detected with an eye test?

in Health by

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

A picture of the retina may one day help diagnose people with Alzheimer’s before they show any symptoms.

A study published in “Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science” showed that the technique could identify Alzheimer’s in mice. The procedure will be tested in humans next.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design were able to identify Alzheimer’s from detailed color images of the retinas of mice.

The retina is made from similar kinds of tissue as the brain and that tissue can be seen directly by looking into the eye. As Alzheimer’s begins, it changes the way that light is reflected off of the retina. The study showed that in mice this change starts long before any behavioral or memory changes are noticeable.

Alzheimer’s causes changes in memory, thinking and vision, as well as movement and behavior problems. The symptoms become more severe over the course of the disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is caused by the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles in the nerve cells in the brain. These plaques are difficult to see in living brains, so Alzheimer’s is usually only diagnosed from the symptoms.

By the time symptoms become obvious, a person will already have lost some brain function.

There is no treatment for the buildup in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s. But there are treatments for some of the symptoms. There are also treatments that can slow the disease’s progress.

If this new test works as well in humans as it did in mice, people with Alzheimer’s could begin treatment to slow down the disease years earlier, before any symptoms are seen.

Dr. Mark S. Siegel is the Medical Director at Sea Island Ophthalmology on Ribaut Road in Beaufort.

Normal optic disc and blood vessels as seen in a standard retina image.
Normal optic disc and blood vessels as seen in a standard retina image.

Dentist helps patients overcome fear factor

in Health by

By Dr. Stephen Durham

There’s a piece of our own attitude that takes as active a part as any physical factor in whether our dental health is good or poor: It’s the tendency some people have to put off seeing their dentist.

Dental health doesn’t get better by itself, and generally speaking it doesn’t even stay the same without regular professional attention.

One reason people postpone dental exams is simply the demands of our daily lives. But the reason people postpone treatment most often has to do with fear. If this is how you feel about “a trip to the dentist,” you are not alone.

We call this factor “hesitance,” and it’s what causes many dental conditions to get worse, as surely as if it were plaque, bacteria or poor jaw alignment.

So we resolved to treat hesitance with as much care and consideration as we would bring to any symptom.

Confidence begins with choice

Careful consultation is the start of approaching dental care with confidence. Giving our patients a clear picture of their condition and then offering them realistic choices, we sit face-to-face and map our course together.

When the patient has this much to do with the steps that are being taken, we find that concerns begin to subside.

Spectrum of comfort

Another important reassurance is the variety of ways patients can choose for relieving anxiety, discomfort and preventing pain.

From local anesthetics to sedation dentistry, the techniques are available that can make treatment a process you can trust, without the dread that might have grown from old-fashioned approaches.

Home-baked bravery

When it comes to providing an atmosphere of comfort and confidence, everything counts.

So the smell of home-baked cookies, the sound and feel of our office, the pleasant greetings and genuine interest you feel – it all adds up.

Helping people reach the right state of mind for healthy dentistry involves courtesy and consideration as well as professional know-how. We make sure patients find that atmosphere in abundance.

Dr. Stephen Durham, DMD, MAGD, practices at Durham Dental at Town Center in Beaufort. For more information, 843-379-5400.

Health briefs for September 1st-7th

in Health by

Lyme disease support group to meet in Bluffton

The next scheduled meeting of the Lowcountry SC Lyme Disease Support Group will take place from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Just Be Centre, 159 State St. in Bluffton.

The group has been formed for the support of those who are currently fighting lyme disease, those who are currently in remission and for their families and caregivers.

The group is open to anyone in Beaufort County and the Savannah area who is fighting the debilitating disease and/or their caregivers/loved ones. Those interested in joining the group or learning more can search Lowcountry SC Lyme Support Group and Meetup on Facebook or email For more information, visit the International Lyme Disease Association (ILADS) at

County residents should protect against Zika

While no cases of the Zika virus have been found in Beaufort County, citizens are encouraged by the county’s Mosquito Control program to be vigilant.

The mosquito associated with Zika virus is a very aggressive daytime biter and its peak feeding times are typically during early morning and late afternoon hours. BCMC recommends the following prevention:

• Empty/clean containers that hold water.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats.
• Protect windows and doors with screens
• Use insect repellant for clothing (always follow label instructions)

Only one species of mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus or the “Asian tiger” mosquito) may potentially transmit Zika virus in the Lowcountry. BCMC is increasing surveillance for this particular mosquito.

1 2 3 48
Go to Top