Review Category : Health

Benton’s bits of advice

The only way to tell the truth is to let the truth tell you. In many ways, we are unaware of ourselves. We tell stories that we think get at the truth of our essence but actually don’t get close. We have a vested interest in ourselves, and that colors and camouflages us from ourselves. Therapy is the process of putting a different mirror in front of us so that we see a more realistic image. It is the process of letting the truth tell us. Benton Lutz is a licensed professional counselor and can be reached at 843-986-0569 or

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BMH Imaging Services Department receives ACR accreditation

Beaufort Memorial Hospital once again has been awarded the gold seal of accreditation for its CT and MRI services, following an extensive review by experts in the field of medical imaging. The accreditation is good for a term of three years.

Presented by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the prestigious designation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting the national organization’s practice guidelines and technical standards.

As part of the re-accreditation process, a panel of board-certified physicians and physicists conducted a thorough assessment of the BMH Imaging Center and reported the findings to the ACR Committee on Accreditation. The evaluation included image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.

“This accreditation reflects Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s continued commitment to providing the highest quality of care here in the Lowcountry,” BMH Advanced Imaging Supervisor Matthew Hurtt said.

The nonprofit hospital offers a wide range of screening and diagnostic services, including MRI and CT scans and advanced 3-D tomosynthesis screening mammography. The Outpatient Imaging Center is located on the first floor of Beaufort Medical Plaza, providing a convenient and comfortable setting for outpatient testing.

Last year, the ACR designated Beaufort Memorial’s Women’s Imaging Center a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. To earn the accreditation, you have to go above and beyond the mandated mammography certification and achieve accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy.

The hospital went through the rigorous application process voluntarily to ensure patients are receiving the best care from screening to diagnosis.

For more information on Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s imaging services or to schedule appointments in Beaufort or Bluffton call 843-522-5144 or visit

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

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Coastal Carolina Hospital welcomes first baby

Coastal Carolina Hospital announces the birth of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years.

Baby girl Ariya Nicole Block was born July 2, a day after the hospital officially opened its Women’s Pavilion. Ariya, who was delivered by Dr. Glenn Werner, is the daughter of Ebonee and Joshua Block of Beaufort. Born at 5:29 a.m., Ariya weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Dr. Werner practices with Riverside Women’s Care, which has offices in Beaufort and Bluffton.

Coastal Carolina Hospital administrators and directors present gifts donated to parents of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years. From left: Patty Tolbert, Director of HIM; Shelly Harrell, VP, Business Development; Katie Mowery, RN, Director of Women’s Services; Ashley VonNida, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Bradley S. Talbert, CEO; Joshua Block, father, holding baby girl Ariya Nicole Block; and mother, Ebonee  Block.

Coastal Carolina Hospital administrators and directors present gifts donated to parents of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years. From left: Patty Tolbert, Director of HIM; Shelly Harrell, VP, Business Development; Katie Mowery, RN, Director of Women’s Services; Ashley VonNida, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Bradley S. Talbert, CEO; Joshua Block, father, holding baby girl Ariya Nicole Block; and mother, Ebonee Block.

“We congratulate the Blocks on the birth of their new daughter and are especially proud to have them be the first parents to have a newborn at Coastal,” said Bradley S. Talbert, FACHE, CEO of Coastal.  “We have been preparing for the arrival of a new baby since we announced last summer that we would once again offer maternity services at the hospital.”

News of their status caught the Blocks by surprise. “It’s pretty cool,” said Sgt. Joshua Block, a Parris Island drill instructor.

“We knew this part of the hospital was brand new, but we didn’t think we would be the first ones,” Mrs. Block said. The couple said they decided to go to the hospital where their provider would be delivering.  Mrs. Block, a fulltime mom, and her husband, arrived at the hospital at 3:20 a.m. on July 2 and two hours later had a new addition to their family. The couple also has a 2-year-old son, Aiden.

They said the experience at Coastal has been excellent, especially the care provided by the nursing staff. “They have all been really great and willing to help us,” Mrs. Block said.

As parents of the first baby to born at the hospital in eight years, hospital administrators presented the couple with gifts donated by area businesses and organizations. Among them were a gift basket from the Auxiliary at Coastal Carolina Hospital, the hospital’s volunteer organization; a gift basket from M.J. Harris Construction, the firm that led the renovation project; a two-night stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Bluffton; a photo package from Bella Baby Photography; a photo frame from the hospital, as well as a car seat, blanket and bib from New River Auto Mall.

The hospital broke ground for the renovation of the 15,600-square-foot unit in February. Renovation work on the unit took nearly five months. The unit includes a three-bed antepartum suite, six labor and delivery rooms, 10 postpartum rooms, a c-section suite, a nursery and outdoor garden area for parents.

For more information about the Women’s Pavilion, visit

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The Blood Alliance July blood drives

• Monday, July 14: The Sanctuary Golf Club, 2 to 6 p.m., 8 Waveland Ave., Cat Island.

• Monday, July 28: Beaufort Memorial Hospital, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 955 Ribaut Road, Beaufort (behind cafeteria

• Tuesday, July 29: Beaufort Medical and Administrative Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 990 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.

• Wednesday, July 30: Beaufort Memorial Lowcountry Medical Group: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 300 Midtown Drive, Beaufort.

For more information or appointments, please call 888-998-2243 or visit

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Herban Marketplace hosts healthy eating classes

Herban Marketplace, the Lowcountry’s premier organic grocery, will host “Eat Well. Live Well. Stay Well Healthy Eating Classes” starting on July 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. Classes have been designated as either beginner-level or advanced-level, depending on the participant’s interest level and experience in preparing vegetarian, vegan, and raw foods.

Certified holistic health coach and chef Sarah Mastriani-Levi will teach as series of healthy eating classes at Herban Marketplace located in uptown Beaufort.

Certified holistic health coach and chef Sarah Mastriani-Levi will teach as series of healthy eating classes at Herban Marketplace located in uptown Beaufort.

This series of classes will be taught by Sarah Mastriani-Levi, certified Holistic Health Coach and chef, in a workshop atmosphere next door to Herban Marketplace (previously Suzara’s Kitchen) at 1211 Newcastle Street, Suite E in uptown Beaufort. Herban Marketplace will be relocating to this space (two doors down from their current location) in August 2014.

Mastriani-Levi is the best-selling co-author of the books “Balance for Busy Moms — Cook Your Way to Health” and “Balance for Busy Moms: A Stress-free Guide to Tranquility” and through her company, Mannafest Living, provides holistic health coaching and personal chef services for clients using fresh, organic, vegetarian cuisine with an ethnic twist.

The Beginner Healthy Eating Classes are designed to give an introduction into the principles of authentic healthy eating including organics, food preparation, ingredient replacement, sprouting, whole grains, eating to avoid nutritional deficiencies, proper equipment, meal planning, and colon cleansing. Recipes, demonstrations, and samples will be provided.

Beginner class schedule and topics are:

• August 3: Where do I start? How do I make it simple?

• Sept. 7: Meat Replacements: Good Protein Sources and Feeling Satisfied.

• Sept. 28: Greens: Why do we need them? Sprouting 101.

• Oct. 26: Whole Grains & Gluten.

• Nov. 23: Eating to Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies.

• Dec. 21: Oil pulling. Colon cleansing.

The Beginner Healthy Eating Class size is limited and the cost is $30 per class per person and must be prepaid. Register at Herban Marketplace (1211 Newcastle St., Beaufort) or call 843- 379-5550.

The Advanced Healthy Eating Class is a six-class series designed for those who are already committed to and knowledgeable of healthy eating basics and wish to learn in-depth techniques for expanding their food preparation repertoire. Detailed information and hands-on demonstrations in raw foods preparation (sprouting, hummus, nut milks, fermentation, dehydrating) and includes making your own Kombucha.

The Advanced Healthy Eating Class starts Sunday July 20, and will then meet on Aug. 17, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and Dec. 7, from 3 to 5 p.m.  For more details on the topics covered in this advance series, please visit or contact the store at 843-379-5550.

The Advanced Healthy Eating Class size is limited and cost the is $40 per class per person and must be prepaid. Register at Herban Marketplace (1211 Newcastle St., Beaufort) or call 843- 379-5550.

Sarah Mastriani-Levi is creator of Mannafest Living, and she serves as an International Holistic Health Coach and Personal Chef. She is often referred to as a boldly authentic spiritual pioneer, creative visionary and inspirational catalyst. She lectures internationally and offers workshops and holistic health coaching for the health-curious to the avidly health-conscious.

Sarah serves as personal chef and caterer specializing vegan, vegetarian, and raw foods. She teaches food-prep to both children and adults, as well as offers workshops, and seminars.

Parallel to her holistic consulting and various food services, she actively home-schools her four children, as a single parent, raising them with a strong bond to nature. She has raised them in an ecological manner, in harmony with nature. Her children have grown from all of the fresh goodness that nature has to offer, both physically and spiritually.

Herban Marketplace is the Lowcountry’s premier all organic and all-natural grocery store. Herban Marketplace is focused on providing the best quality organic shopping experience with the goal of assisting its customers along their path to good health. Herban Marketplace welcomes those with special dietary needs and strives to offer its customers many alternatives to suit their lifestyle whether vegetarian, vegan, wheat and gluten-free, organic, raw or gourmet.

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Debunking common dental myths among adults

By Dr. Jennifer Wallace

When it comes to dental health, that “ignorance is bliss” approach should be reserved for children. For adults, dental myths that may lead to a wiser you and a healthier mouth.

“I haven’t seen the dentist in years so I don’t have any cavities.” NOT TRUE. Many dental issues do not cause pain until they have progressed very far, for example, a root canal. Gum disease, on the other hand, may not cause any pain at all. Seeing your dentist regularly is the only way to ensure you don’t have any of these issues. Your visit to the dentist should be based on your individual needs. Many studies have shown that plaque can build up in as little as 90 days, which leads to inflammation and infection that can affect your entire body. So if you want a really healthy smile, and body, having your teeth cleaned four times a year is the way to go.

“I don’t eat sweets, so I don’t need to brush as often.” NOT TRUE. Removing the bacteria from your mouth is important no matter what you eat, because many foods are broken down into sugars. What are the worst offenders for your grill? Foods that stick to the teeth like raisins and fruit rollups, along with foods that have a high acid content, such as citrus fruits.

“Flossing is as important as brushing.” TRUE. Flossing removes almost half of the bacteria and food particles that are found in your mouth after you eat; not flossing means you’re doing half the job.

“Hard bristled toothbrushes clean better.” NOT TRUE (unless you are cleaning the grout on the bathroom tile floor instead of your teeth!) The softer the better for bristles — hard or medium bristles can damage teeth and worsen gum recession due to a traumatic occlusion. Also, studies show that high-quality electric toothbrushes with soft bristles are a great investment because they clean better than manual tooth brushes.

“Mouthwash is the best way to freshen your breath.” NOT TRUE. Most mouthwashes cover bad breath but they do not treat the underlying cause. Bad breath can be caused by bacteria in your mouth, cavities, gum disease, or it may be a sign of other medical issues. Your dentist can help rule out dental issues as the cause. If you like using mouthwash, go with an alcohol-free brand, because the alcohol in mouthwash will dry out your mouth. And while we are talking about fresh breath, sugar free gum with Xylitol is an effective way to get a clean mouth feeling if you can’t brush.

“Avoiding dark liquids and coffees or drinking through a straw will keep your teeth from getting dark.” MOSTLY TRUE. It’s more than coffee, tea and soda that stain our teeth. Teeth that have wear and enamel loss tend to be darker because those teeth have less of a protective layer against those staining liquids. Foods such as berry pies, soy sauces, red sauces and mustards/ketchups can cause teeth to darken over time. The best way to whiten your teeth and keep them white is to visit your dentist and have him do an in office whitening or make you custom trays. There are some over the counter whitening products like whitening toothpastes, but they typically do very little to whiten teeth. Use regular toothpaste with fluoride to keep your teeth looking great and cavity-free.

Dr. Wallace practices at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort and can be contacted at 843-524-7645 or

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Garner joins BMH Lady’s Island Internal Medicine

To help meet the growing need for primary care services, Beaufort Memorial Hospital has recruited another highly experienced physician assistant for its Lady’s Island Internal Medicine practice.

John Garner

John Garner

John Garner, who served 20 years as a PA in the Medical Services Corps of the United States Navy, began seeing patients June 16 at the 8,500-square-foot Lady’s Island medical office at 117 Sea Island Parkway.

He will be working with internists Drs. Philip Cusumano, Randy Dalbow and Robert Vyge, along with Eric Gearhart, another former Navy PA who came on board last fall.

A graduate of George Washington University with a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Garner began his career as a physician assistant in 1995 at the Naval Hospital in Okinawa. Four years later, he was transferred to the Marine Corp Recruit Depot on Parris Island where he supervised a staff of 10 hospital corpsman responsible for the medical care of more than 1,000 Marine recruits each month.

In 2003, he was transferred to Beaufort Naval Hospital. As a family practice staff physician assistant, he provided outpatient care to some 800 military personnel and their dependents, treating a multitude of medical conditions from diabetes and hypertension to orthopedic injuries and gynecological disorders.

Since his retirement from the Navy as a lieutenant in 2005, Garner has worked at Sea Island Medical Practice, an internal medicine clinic.

Prior to becoming a physician assistant, Garner was a hospital corpsman in the Navy for 20 years. From 1986 to 1992, he served as the lone medical provider for a crew of 130 on a fast-attack submarine.

Lady’s Internal Medicine, part of Beaufort Memorial Physicians Partners, provides adult medical care that includes diagnosis and treatment, case management, and coordination of care across the life spectrum. The practice currently offers same-day appointments and on-site laboratory services.

“These days all you have to do is turn on the television to hear that the availability of primary care in the U.S. is in short supply,” said Sam Derrick, MHA, CMPE, executive director of Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners, a multispecialty physician group that includes specialists in primary care, general and vascular surgery, orthopaedics, gastroenterology and women’s medicine. “Beaufort Memorial is pleased to have someone with John Garner’s level of experience and commitment to help us provide easy access to quality health care in the Beaufort area.”

To schedule an appointment with Garner, call Lady’s Island Internal Medicine at 843-522-7240.

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Hospital board of trustees elects new officers

Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Board of Trustees has elected Terry Murray, retired chief financial officer of Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, as chair of the nonprofit hospital’s governing body.

Murray had been the board’s vice chair. She replaces Jerry Schulze, whose term expired this year.

Terry Murray

Terry Murray

Prior to being appointed to the BMH Board of Trustees, Murray served on the Broad River Healthcare Board of Directors. A resident of Beaufort for 35 years, she has been active in a number of local civic organizations, serving as board chair of Historic Beaufort Foundation, Beaufort County Open Land Trust and Friends of Caroline Hospice.

Murray started her career in Phoenix where she was planning director of the Office of Economic Planning and Development, part of the Arizona governor’s office. After moving to Beaufort, she developed two downtown businesses and went on to become area director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Carolina.

She holds a Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University.

Taking over her spot as vice chair will be Dr. Patricia Thompson, a board-certified OB-GYN. She also has assisted in the implementation of the hospital’s upgraded clinical information system, Meditech 6.0.

Dave Tedder, a lifelong resident of Beaufort County and an attorney in private practice, was elected secretary.

The nine members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by Beaufort County Council and serve rotating terms. Spring Island resident William A. Himmelsbach, a retired health care executive with extensive experience in nonprofit hospitals and health care organizations, was chosen to fill the open vice chair position.

During his 36-year career, Himmelsbach served as president and CEO of the Detroit, Mich.,

Bill Himmelsbach

Bill Himmelsbach

receiving hospital; Holy Cross Health System in South Bend, Ind.; St. Mary’s Health Services in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and The Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn., the third oldest psychiatric hospital in the U.S.

He went on to serve 12 years as executive officer of VHA Empire-Metro, an organization established by 42 nonprofit hospitals to develop a strategic alliance to achieve common operations and clinical objectives.

Most recently, Himmelsbach was president and CEO of New York’s Cardiovascular Research Foundation, a nonprofit academic research organization affiliated with Columbia University.

Himmelsbach is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Labor-Management Relations from Penn State University and a Masters in Public Health in Health Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Powering the human touch with technology

By Dr. Stephen Durham

The promise was always that technology would free us.  The idea was to spend more time on the things we were born to do as human beings.  It was also supposed to make things less expensive.

The truth turns out to be that it takes focus to keep technology in its place and keep it from taking up our time, attention and priority.

The best practices of dentistry offer several examples of how we use technology to make expert treatment and the human touch more attainable for more people.

Using light instead of steel

Lasers today do many dental treatments more precisely, more comfortably and with less recovery time than scalpels or dental instruments.  Periodontal therapy, especially, is better and easier on the patient now.  Using a tiny filament we can clear out plaque and infection, and prepare the healthy gum tissue to grow properly back around the base of the tooth. Most people go right back to work, and many can eat whatever they like right away.

Unique, individual —
and computer-identified

It might seem like a paradox, but computers help us determine each person’s unique “perfect bite,” the alignment that relaxes neck and jaw muscles and makes teeth work efficiently.  Since more than 90% of recurring headaches come from badly aligned teeth, this solution goes beyond what most people think of as “dental.” It’s a great example how much of our well being starts with the mouth.

More insight, less exposure

Using digital radiography instead of “X-rays,” we get clear, instant pictures of teeth, inside and out, with 90% less radiation. And since there are no negatives to develop, there are no chemicals or film.  So digital radiography is healthier for you and the environment.  And that two-way benefit is part of how we handle tooth restorations, too.

Banned in Scandinavia

Some debate still goes on in the U.S., but Norway, Sweden and Denmark actually banned the use of mercury to make dental fillings.  Mercury is just not good for people, and the only debate is about how much we can stand.

Here we’ve practiced mercury-free dentistry from the first, because resin-based composites and porcelain caps restore teeth without the danger of mercury getting in the bloodstream and into our coastal environment.

Simple weapon vs. a deadly enemy

Today patients just swish a special rinse, open wide, and with a special light we can screen for oral cancer, seeing immediately if any tissue is abnormal.  What a simple, quick, painless way to be on-guard.  We offer it to patients in every routine hygiene appointment — and recommend it for anyone at high risk.

You see, oral cancer takes more people than either cervical or skin cancer.  And more than a quarter of cases are among people who never smoked.  What makes oral cancer so deadly is that 66% of patients are diagnosed when the cancer has already progressed to late-stage.

Putting people first

The key to making technology a servant rather than a master is to keep putting people first. We have that in mind every single day. The smell of fresh-baked cookies at our office is a good reminder to us — and to our patients!

A recipient of the 2012 Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Stephen Durham is a graduate of Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. He is a past recipient of the LVI Fellowship Award for Neuromuscular and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Durham practices at Durham Dental at Town Center in Beaufort. For more information, visit his website at or call 843-379-5400.

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Blood ‘drive in’

The Blood Alliance and Hwy 21 Drive-In Theater are celebrating National Drive-In Movie Day and the 81st anniversary of drive-in movies!

Hwy 21 has partnered with The Blood Alliance to give back to the community that has so generously supported them over the years. Hwy 21 Drive-In is one of only a handful of drive-in theaters still operating in South Carolina and across the country. Giving blood saves lives and giving back to the community feels good!

As an added bonus, free admission tickets will be given to the first 15 donors to register! Plus, there will be a chance for all donors who participate in this blood drive to win a pair of tickets to the June 19 Jimmy Buffet Live Cast Concert at the drive-in located at 55 Parker Drive, Beaufort, SC, 29906. The Bloodmobile will be parked to the left of the main concession stand. The blood drive will be held Friday, June 6, from 2 to 6 p.m. To make an appointment, contact Bonnie Barth, or 843-846-4500 or 1-888-998-2243. For more information or to donate blood, visit or call 888-99-TBA HERO (888.998.2243).

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