Review Category : Health

Local chef to compete in culinary competition

Celebrity chef and Emmy Award-nominated television host Marvin Woods will be in Charleston Nov. 7 to emcee the second annual Cooking Well Invitational, a culinary competition emphasizing healthier ways to cook delicious and affordable meals.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s cooking team, led by Chef Eric Sayers, will compete against nine other Gold Apple hospital teams during the Nov. 7 Invitational as they demonstrate how to convert recipes into healthier versions without sacrificing great taste. Professional chefs will judge the dishes made on site.

Beaufort Memorial will come together with other hospitals across the state to celebrate the success of South Carolina’s hospital chefs, who are creating delicious, healthy dishes for hospital workers, patients and visitors every day.

This event is open to the public and will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. In addition to the competition, the event will include cooking demos and a food truck rodeo. The registration fee for the Invitational is only $35 per person.

For more information or to purchase ticket in advance, visit Tickets will also be available at the door.  The event is sponsored by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well Initiative and Sodexo in partnership with the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College.

Working Well is a statewide South Carolina initiative that assists organizations in improving their current worksite wellness efforts to create a culture at work where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Working Well focuses on three areas to creating a culture of wellness: tobacco free people and places, healthy, delicious and affordable food options, and enhanced opportunities to be active during the workday.

Beaufort Memorial is a recipient of the Gold Apple award from Working Well, which recognizes hospitals that excel in offering delicious, nutritious food at affordable prices.

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Beaufort Memorial Sea Island Psychiatry adds staff

To help meet the growing need for mental health services in the Lowcountry, Beaufort Memorial Hospital has added two mental health professionals to its staff  at Sea Island Psychiatry.

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner James Benn and psychotherapist Patricia Rickenbaker have been working with psychiatrist Dr. Wynn Hill, medical director of Beaufort Memorial’s mental health unit.

Benn, a registered nurse with nearly 30 years’ experience, had been on the staff at Beaufort Memorial’s adult mental health unit since 1998. He completed the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program at the University of North Dakota last December.

A four-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Benn earned his Associate of Science degree in Nursing at Norfolk State University in Virginia and his Bachelor of Science at University of South Carolina Upstate.

He started his nursing career in Chesapeake, Va., and then moved to the Lowcountry in 1986 to take a job at BMH. After two years at the community hospital, he became a travel nurse. He later returned to Beaufort Memorial as a staff RN in the mental health unit. He also worked part-time at Hilton Head Hospital from 1993 to 2010.

Benn is an instructor in Basic Life Support and is certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Rickenbaker is a clinical social worker with 26 years’ experience. She was at Wake Health Services in North Carolina for four years and established behavioral health care programs in two of the community health center’s primary care offices.

Prior to moving to North Carolina, she was in private practice for five years in Orangeburg and went on to create a behavioral health program at Harrison Peeples Health Care Center in Hampton, S.C.

A former school teacher and museum director, Rickenbaker earned her master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in mental health at the University of North Carolina. She did a year’s internship at Duke University Hospital. She worked in several mental health facilities in the Carolinas from 1988 to 2003.

Over the years, she has received additional training in trauma recovery, redecision therapy and dissociative disorder.

To schedule an appointment with any of the mental health professionals at Sea Island Psychiatry, call 843-522-5600.

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Eat well. Live well. Stay well: Whole grains and gluten

Sarah Mastriani-Levi, an international health coach and personal chef, held her fourth class in the series Eat Well. Live Well. Stay Well on the nutritional significance and importance of whole grains this past Sunday in Herban Marketplace’s kitchen. Sarah talked about the numerous benefits of whole and ancient grains, focusing on farro, teff and freekeh. She completed the class by making and serving a freekeh grain dish with sautéed onion, cilantro, lemon, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Sarah’s key suggestion was to, “Eat whole foods, watch the glycemic level in foods and remember that whole foods have the fiber necessary for digestion.”

There will be two more classes held this year: November 23:  Eating to Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies and on December 21: Oil Pulling, Colon Cleaning. To sign up for classes, go to or call 379-5550.

Founded in 2011, Herban Marketplace is a local grocery committed to healthy living and eating, providing local, urban and organic produce as well as fresh-made, daily soups and a variety of vegetable juices and fruit smoothies.

Pictured at left, from left: Terri DeToli, Bonny Carmody, Katie Gambla, Sarah Mastriani-Levi, Adrianna Contreras and Kim Wendell.

Pictured at left, from left: Terri DeToli, Bonny Carmody, Katie Gambla, Sarah Mastriani-Levi, Adrianna Contreras and Kim Wendell.


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Birthing Center offers new moms several free services

As part of a major renovation of its Birthing Center, Beaufort Memorial Hospital is enhancing its maternity services and offering new moms several free services.

Gift of Motherhood, a three-part series of classes that includes Prepared Childbirth, Newborn Infant Care and Breastfeeding, is now free to any mother-to-be. The classes are offered from 6 to 8 p.m. the first three Wednesdays of the month. The next series will begin Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Prepared Childbirth, the first in the series, covers natural childbirth methods, stages of labor and what to expect in the hospital labor room. Participants also will learn pain management techniques and how the birth partner can offer support during labor.

Up next is Newborn Infant Care. Designed to ease the transition from hospital to home, this two-hour class will provide new mothers with important information on how to care for their baby — and themselves — in the first few hours and weeks after birth. Dad’s role will be explored as well. Participants also will have the opportunity to talk with a local pediatrician about newborn care.

The final class on Breastfeeding will help you decide and plan how you want to nourish your baby from birth. Understanding how your body works with your growing baby will help reduce the anxiety of this important decision.

To register for the series of classes, call 843-522-5570.

Once they’re home from the hospital with their bundle of joy, new moms can get more information on nursing by calling Beaufort Memorial’s new Breastfeeding Hotline.  The number to call is 843-441-4586.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital offers the only maternity facility in the Beaufort County area with a Level II special care nursery. To learn more about the Birthing Center, visit

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Durham Dental Candy Collection Drive

Durham Dental is holding a Halloween Candy collection drive from Monday, Nov. 1 through Wednesday, Nov. 3. Patients and community members are encouraged to bring in all of their Halloween candy and Durham Dental will give them $1 for every pound. The candy will then be sent to troops overseas. Durham Dental is located at One Beaufort Town Center, 2015 Boundary St., Suite 104, Beaufort, and candy can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and noon, and 1 to 5 p.m. Contact 843-379-5400 for more information.

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Health Briefs

THA Group Island Hospice seeks volunteers

Island Hospice, a nonprofit THA Group company, seeks volunteers in Beaufort and Savannah. Opportunities are available through a variety of direct and non-direct patient care initiatives, including:

• Respite sitting and doing activities with patients in their homes while caregivers leave for appointments and errands

• Monthly meal preparation and delivery

• Mailing a small gift to a patient or caregiver twice a month (Patient Pal Program)

• Making sweet treats or homemade crafts for patients.

Individuals who are interested in making a difference in the lives of Island Hospice patients and their families should contact the Island Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Kent Buttimer, at 912-721-5118 or


BMH to host free seminar on hip, knee pain

Achy knees or hips slowing you down? You’re not alone. More than 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common type of joint problem in older adults.

Learn what you can do to alleviate the pain and slow the progression of arthritis at Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s free seminar, “Solving Hip and Knee Pain,” being held Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Sun City.

BMH board-certified orthopedic surgeons Drs. Edward Blocker and Kevin Jones will explain how appropriate options — from in-home exercises and medical management to physical therapy and surgery — can be personalized for your specific needs. They’ll be joined by orthopedic care coordinator and physical therapist Andrea Sadler.

The free lecture will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in Magnolia Hall and is open to the public, including both Sun City residents and non-residents. The hospital will host a wine and cheese reception prior to the seminar at 4:30 p.m. While the event is free, registration is required. Call 843-522-5585 or toll-free 888-522-5585.

For information about Beaufort Memorial Joint Replacement Center, visit www.

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Health Briefs

Don’t let a disability stop fun on the fairway

Beaufort Memorial Hospital and the Legends at Parris Island will host a free adaptive golf event this Saturday, Oct. 18 to introduce individuals with physical disabilities to techniques and equipment they can use to enjoy the game of golf and the therapeutic benefits it offers.

Designed to encourage and educate would-be players, the two-hour session will include demonstrations by golf professionals and therapists. Participants will be playing alongside other physically challenged civilians, veterans and active military personnel.

During the program, scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., players will learn about ongoing adaptive golf events, tournaments and clinics, including classes held the third Saturday of each month.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to enjoy golf — and improve your balance, strength and coordination.

For more information or to register, contact either physical therapist Steve Giammona at 843-522-5850 or, or PGA professional Andy Hinson at 843-228-2240 or


Beaufort Memorial offers free seminar on pain 

Beaufort Memorial will host a free seminar on Monday, October 20 at 9 a.m. in Room 364 of the hospital’s Medical and Administrative Center at 990 Ribaut Road (directly across the street from the main hospital campus) where Beaufort Memorial 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. From in-home exercise and medical management, to physical therapy and surgery, she will explain appropriate options that can be personalized for a patient’s specific needs.

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

‘Baby University’ adds new parenting class

Beaufort Memorial’s Baby University has added a new parenting class to its schedule of offerings. “Hug Your Baby!” is scheduled for on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will help parents identify their baby’s needs by understanding his or her body talk. Learn how to prevent and solve problems related to eating, sleeping and crying. The instructor is a family nurse practitioner and certified Hug Your Baby trainer.  The class, which is recommended for expectant parents, will be offered monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month beginning in January. Cost is $10.

In addition to the Baby University classes, Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Services has added prenatal massage and a prenatal wellness package that includes a one-month membership to LifeFit, nutrition consultation with a registered dietician, consultation with a perinatal fitness specialist and a prescription for prenatal exercises. Call 843-522-5635 for more information about any of the prenatal offerings or to register for “Hug Your Baby.”

The hospital’s Birthing Center is also offering monthly prenatal classes. “The Gift of Motherhood,” a three-part series of classes that includes Prepared Childbirth, Newborn Infant Care and Breastfeeding, is now free to any mother-to-be. The classes are offered from 6 to 8 p.m. the first three Wednesdays of the month, with the next session starting Nov. 5. For more information or to register for the series, call 843-522-5570.

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‘Extraordinary’ nurse receives award

Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Kim Raines surprised with DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

After weeks of careful planning, Beaufort Memorial Hospital administrators were set to surprise cardiopulmonary rehab nurse Kim Raines last Thursday morning with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

But all their arrangements had to be scrapped when the guest of honor did something, well, extraordinary.

Kim Raines’ daughter Addison, son Jordan and husband David joined her co-workers for the surprise presentation of the DAISY Award at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center.

Kim Raines’ daughter Addison, son Jordan and husband David joined her co-workers for the surprise presentation of the DAISY Award at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center.

She put in for a personal day off to take a former patient to the Medical University of South Carolina for treatment of a large melanoma on his leg.

“They started making excuses why I couldn’t have the day off,” recalled Raines, who works at the LifeFit Wellness Center. “But I kept pushing. I told them the patient was 85 years old and too weak to drive himself to Charleston.”

It’s that kind of compassion that prompted a co-worker to nominate Raines for the prestigious DAISY Award, a national tribute reserved for RNs who go the extra mile to care for patients and their families.

With some last-minute scrambling, her supervisors were able to rearrange the award ceremony for the following day. Only it turned out it was her day off.

Undeterred, they concocted a meeting Raines would have to attend. When she walked into the LifeFit Wellness Center, she found the meeting room decorated with balloons and her co-workers and family gathered for a celebration.

“I was totally shocked when they gave me with the award,” said Raines, who works with patients recovering from heart attacks. “It was amazing!”

The 25-year nursing veteran was presented with the DAISY Award trophy — a hand-carved sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch” — along with an engraved vase full of daisies.

Graham Jones, a clinical exercise physiologist at LifeFit Wellness Center, nominated Raines for the award, citing her unflagging dedication to her job.

“She has spent many weekends and afternoons off the clock meeting with current and past patients, helping them with the physical, emotional and financial stresses that come with having a heart attack,” he said. “So many of her patients continue to work out at the Wellness Center just to keep Kim in their lives.”

Anyone can nominate a BMH nurse for the DAISY Award. Applications are available throughout the hospital.

“I’ve always had an open door for my patients to come in and talk,” Raines said. “I just feel it’s part of my job.”

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Longtime Born to Read director steps down

Chris Taggart is one of those all-time great teachers. Not only did she choose teaching as her career for 26 years, but shortly after she retired, and was working with the University of South Carolina, she took a position as executive director of Born to Read, a local non-profit dedicated to showing new mothers how they could foster their children’s love of books and hence increase their early language skills.

Former Born to Read Director Chris Taggart (center) with two of the original  volunteers she recruited at Beaufort Memorial, Corinne Hagood and Ginger Bolden.

Former Born to Read Director Chris Taggart (center) with two of the original
volunteers she recruited at Beaufort Memorial, Corinne Hagood and Ginger Bolden.

“It was a natural fit for me,” she said.  “I mean what’s not to like about helping mothers learn the importance of reading to their babies regularly?  It’s a win-win for everybody — me included! And it’s not rocket science, just cuddling up with your little one and enjoying a book together.”

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Taggart became a teacher, married a U.S. Marine and moved to the United States. For 26 years, she taught as an elementary teacher at schools sponsored by the Department of Defense. After she retired from teaching at Laurel Bay Schools, she was looking around for what she might want to do next.

When she heard about a new program in 2002 that promoted early literacy starting at birth, she was interested in finding out more. The program, called Born to Read, had just received private funding to hire a full time executive director.  The minute the board members met Chris, they knew she was the right person to build this new, early literacy program.

“Born to Read offered everything I believe in,” said Chris. “Parents are the child’s first and best teachers. If we can teach new parents how important it is for them to read to their children daily, the children will be that much better prepared to learn at school.”

Her philosophy was recently confirmed in a paper published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and touted in the national news.  It stated the importance of reading and interacting with babies from birth, pointing out that the result is children who are ready to learn at every age.

“Of course, this makes perfect sense,” said Nancy Gilley, who chairs the Born to Read Board. “But, hearing that the American Academy of Pediatrics supports and encourages early literacy from birth just validates our assumptions and the need for our program.”

Twelve years and thousands of babies later, Taggart decided earlier this year it was time for someone else to take on the job of director of the program.  In March, the Board accepted her resignation.

During her tenure as director of Born to Read, Taggart recruited a dedicated group of volunteers to visit new mothers in hospitals in Beaufort and Hilton Head. Once she had the opportunity to convey the purpose of the program, finding volunteers was not a problem.

“I’m really proud of these ladies,” Taggart said.  “They are so dedicated to our mission. They make the program a success.  Of course, all of our volunteers are important, but I feel these ladies deserve some sort of recognition for their dedication. They are true believers!”

In fact, four of the current volunteers at Beaufort Memorial — Corinne Hagood, Ginger Bolden, Anne Kennedy, and Liz Key — have been with the program since it started in 2002.  A fifth original volunteer, Linda Priest, decided to leave at the same time Chris stepped down as executive director.

Happily, Chris isn’t leaving the program, but will stay on as a volunteer.

In April, the board hired her replacement, Terri Sassmann, formerly a volunteer coordinator at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, who recently moved to Bluffton.

“I really like her,” said Taggart. “I think the board did a good job finding someone to take this important program to the next level. And, I’m looking forward to her leadership.”

Since Sassmann took over the program, she has expanded the program to Coastal Carolina Hospital with the recent opening of their new Birthing Center.

“I had to hit the ground running,” she said. “I’m busy finding enough volunteers to be sure we can visit every mom who delivers their baby in Beaufort and Jasper counties.”

To learn more about Born to Read, or if you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Terri Sassmann at 843-379-3350, or visit their newly redesigned website at

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YMCA presents ‘Live It! Love It!’ seminar

The Wardle Family YMCA of Beaufort County will host “Live It! Love It! Senior Wellness Celebration” on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Y, located at 1801 Richmond Avenue in Port Royal. The public is invited to join their choice of the Deep Water Hydrobics class starting at 10 a.m. or the “Fit Over Fifty” fitness class at 10:30 a.m. Then join certified personal trainer Bruce McCarthy for his seminar, “A Balancing Act: Fall Prevention and Stability” at 11:25 a.m., followed by music, light refreshments and more from 12:30 to 1 p.m. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to attend.

Physical fitness for those age 50 and better is extremely important. Not only does regular exercise significantly decrease the chances of developing type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis, it is also an excellent way to banish the blues.

YMCA Wellness Director Denice Davis says, “When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which help to alleviate anxiety and sadness.” By exercising regularly, you can keep your weight down which means less stress on your knees, hips, and lower back.

“I’m inspired every day to see firsthand how exercise — no matter if it’s yoga, cardio, water aerobics or a combination — enhance the lives of our older Y members. Group exercise really encourages them to step out of their box and bring excitement and fun into their lives.” Davis added.

Research has also shown that exercise helps to lessen dementia and to improve memory as well.

During the stability class, led by Bruce McCarthy, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the risks of falls, prevention, safety, and balance exercises. McCarthy holds specializations in both Senior Fitness and Weight Loss and is proficient in fitness assessments and program designs with concentrations in stability and balance.

If you are interested in more information about this event, please contact Denice Davis at 843-522-9622. This program is free and open to the public.

The YMCA of Beaufort County is part of a 256 year old worldwide organization that enables the citizens of Beaufort County to develop values and behaviors that are consistent with our mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Wardle Family YMCA of Beaufort County was charted in 1990 and opened its doors in June 1996.  The YMCA is a locally autonomous organization made up of voluntary membership that is open to individuals of all ages, race, religion, incomes and abilities.  Programs and services incorporate the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and the YMCA encourages and challenges its staff, members, volunteers and program participants to accept and demonstrate these values. For more information, visit

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