Review Category : Health

Complimentary and low cost wellness screenings offered

A variety of complimentary and low cost wellness screenings will be offered at a community health fair on Thursday, March 26, from 9 a.m. – noon at Helena Place Senior Living in Port Royal.  Blood pressure screenings, blood sugar checks, cholesterol and PSA tests, balance/fall assessments and more will be offered. Admission to the event is free and open to all ages. Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the Blood Alliance, ComForCare Home Care, Pruitt Health Hospice, Senior Health Associates, Eye Care One, Hospice Care of America, Alzheimer’s Family Services of Greater Beaufort and the Lending Room are just a few of the 25 health care providers that are offering their services!

Twenty five raffle prizes will be given away at random to attendees. A complimentary brunch buffet will be provided until noon. Make sure to register for the gift card and gift basket giveaways. The first 50 people through the door will receive a healthy snack sack. Helena Place Senior Living is located at 1624 Paris Ave., Port Royal, SC 29935 directly across the street from the Port Royal Post Office. For more information, please call (843) 252-3001 or e-mail

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The Blood Alliance February drives


  • Monday, February 2: Callawassie Island, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 22 Callawassie Club Dr., Okatie.
  • Wednesday, February 4: Battery Creek High School, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1 Blue Dolphin Dr., Beaufort.
  • Wednesday, December 10: Battery Creek High School, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1 Blue Dolphin Dr., Beaufort.
  • Friday, February 13: Merry Maids (Beaufort Donor Center), 2 to 6 p.m., 1001 Boundary St., Beaufort.
  • Friday, February 20: Beaufort Medical & Administrative Center, 2 to 7 p.m., Birthing Center entrance parking lot, 955 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.
  • Monday, February 23: Beaufort Memorial Hospital, 2 to 7 p.m., 955 Ribaut Rd., Beaufort.
  • Friday, February 27: BMH/Lowcountry Medical Group, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 300 Midtown Drive, Beaufort.

Our Donor Center at 1001 Boundary Street, Beaufort, is also open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday, 12 noon – 6:30 p.m. Please note that a government-issued photo I.D. is required to donate. Examples are driver’s license, passport, military I.D. For more information or appointments, please call 843-522-0409 or visit


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February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month

By Mark S. Siegel

AMD or Age-Related Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss affecting over 15 million adults over the age of 50. To understand how AMD affects your vision, place your left hand over your left eye. Now make a fist with your right hand. Take your right fist and place it directly in front of your right eye. The only thing you should see is images in your periphery or side vision. Now imagine that this is how you are to function within the world.


Age-Related Macular degeneration can develop so slowly that it’s not until the vision is severely affected that the patient will notice. Age-Related Macular Degeneration primarily destroys the sharp central vision controlled by a spot at the back of the retina called the macula. Sharp central vision is needed to read, drive, identify faces, watch television and perform daily tasks that require straight ahead vision.

Risk Factors

The exact cause of AMD is not known. There are a number of risk factors that may play a role, some you can help control, and some you cannot. The same risks factors for heart disease and stroke also increase your risk for AMD. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Risks you cannot control include age, family history, gender and race.


AMD symptoms include blurriness, wavy lines, or a blind spot. You may also notice visual distortions such as:

  • Straight lines or faces appearing wavy
  • Doorways seeming crooked
  • Objects appearing smaller or farther away

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is important to see a Retina Specialist for the most appropriate care.

Living with AMD

Make the most of your Vision. Millions of people have macular degeneration and millions of them continue to do everything they always did. Because you never become completely blind with AMD, there is always sight available if you know how to use it.

The peripheral vision you have helps you to get around the house and outside. There are devices and techniques for everything from reading to cooking to watching sports on TV. You may have to stop driving at some point, but for everything else, there is a solution.

If you are losing sight, there are some simple things you can do on your own to improve your ability to see. Don’t become discouraged! You will probably need to try out multiple devices before you find one that works for you. These range from magnifiers that are held in the hand or suspended on a stand to devices that attach to your glasses or computers that help you to read.

Things you can do on your own:

  • Improve the lighting in your home and office. This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.
  • Use a high contrast for reading and writing. Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.
  • Use large print books, I-pads or tablets to increase the font size and contrast or try other media, like audio books. Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.
  • Use a hand held magnifier. In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very poor.

So see your eye doctor regularly for early detection of AMD!

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“Healthy Hearts” screening event on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift from the heart. Make a date to attend Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s free “Healthy Hearts” screening event Feb. 14 at the Beaufort Walmart. It could save your life.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States,” said BMH cardiologist Dr. Stuart Smalheiser. “Events like this help raise awareness of the problem.”

BMH will be offering a number of free health screenings during the event, including an electrocardiogram or EKG, a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart.

“An abnormal EKG raises the suspicion of underlying problems in someone without symptoms,” said Smalheiser, who will be interpreting the EKG readings at the wellness fair. “It can pick up heart rhythm problems and give us an idea of the structure and function of the heart.” The test, available to adults 18 and older, takes about five minutes and is painless.

“If we pick up on something, we’d need to do further testing,” Smalheiser said. “But we can triage the patient and help them before they have an event.”

Smalheiser is one of a team of Beaufort Memorial medical professionals who will be participating in the

event and available to answer health-related questions. The heart-focused program will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Valentine’s Day outside the Walmart at 350 Robert Smalls Pkwy. Screenings will be performed in Beaufort Memorial’s CHiP mobile wellness van. In addition to the EKG, participants can have their blood sugar tested for diabetes and their blood pressure checked for hypertension. Lipid profile cholesterol tests will be offered for $10. Those wanting to have the cholesterol test should fast for six hours prior to the screening. BMH staff also will be offering instruction on the six signs of stroke and Hands-Only CPR, intended for bystanders untrained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Uninsured Beaufort and Jasper County adults, ages 19 to 64, will have the opportunity to enroll in AccessHealth Lowcountry, a program designed to help patients find medical care with providers who offer free or reduced services.

“We’re very grateful to Walmart for providing us with the venue to host Healthy Hearts,” said Veronica Smalheiser, a BMH nurse practitioner and wife of Dr. Stuart Smalheiser. “This event will offer screenings that can help you assess your risk of heart disease and information on how to improve your health.”

BMH Cardiologist Stuart Smallheiser, MD with patient.

BMH Cardiologist Stuart Smallheiser, MD with patient.

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Nurse practitioner new to Beaufort

Bonnie Mohler, an experienced nurse practitioner specializing in gastroenterology, has joined Beaufort Memorial Lowcountry Medical Group. She will assist board-certified gastroenterologists Drs. John Crisologo and Richard Stewart, helping ease the demand for GI services in the greater Beaufort area.

Prior to joining the Lowcountry Medical Group, Mohler worked for five years in a gastroenterology office and three years in an internal medicine practice in Ohio. She also has served as an expert speaker on the topics of cirrhosis and inflammatory bowel disease for pharmaceutical companies.

A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Mohler worked for eight years in the intensive care unit at two different Ohio hospitals. She went on to receive her master’s degree from the University of Akron, earning certification as a nurse practitioner in 2006. Along with gastroenterology, Lowcountry Medical Group, a practice of Beaufort Memorial Physicians Partners, includes specialists in primary care, gynecology, cardiology, oncology, neurology and orthopedics. It also offers outpatient imaging and lab services.

Lowcountry Medical Group is located at 300 Midtown Drive, adjacent to Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot. For more information on the practice, visit To schedule an appointment with Mohler or any of the other health care providers, call (843) 770-0404.

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Plug in to joy

By Martha O’Regan

Have you truly wrapped your brain around the fact that we are electromagnetic beings?  We are both electric (energy) and magnetic, yet we are humans, not robots or computers. Our left brain wants to know what it sees and see what it knows so we want to see ourselves as physical structures, we want to keep it simple because it’s what we know. While keeping it simple, let’s have a little fun with the electric aspect.

What are you plugged in to? Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery that, provided you got a good nights’ sleep, is fully charged to begin each day with. Imagine that you have wires that come off of you that are either sending or receiving energy, depending on what you are plugged into. Think about the people in your life that are ‘sucking the life out of you’ as well as the ones that are ‘charging you up’. Tune into how you regularly react—is frustration often draining you dry or do you get a boost from finding the good in most situations?  What about the fuel you put into your body?  Is your body using too much energy to digest large lunches or process multiple cups of coffee or are you nourishing it with healthy choices that are actually replenishing your resources?  Who are you choosing to listen to on a regular basis—are they feeding your soul or just filling your head with nonsensical data?  What about your thoughts—are they full of self-doubt, judgment, or worry? Or, are they thoughts of joy and gratitude for even the little things in life?

So, what circuits are you choosing?  Are any in ‘overload’ or just plain ‘blown’?  Do you hear yourself say ‘I am so tired’, ‘I am totally drained’ or ‘I just don’t have any energy’?  If so, tune into what you are plugged into and decide to ‘unplug’ from the non-essential circuits. Instead of allowing someone or something to pull energy from you, just visualize yourself pulling the plug and thinking ‘nope, I’m not going to plug into that today’. Then, stay grounded (pun intended)—don’t plug it back in. Instead, take a breath and think about plugging into something that cranks up your spirit or brings you joy.

As electromagnetic beings, we are designed to recharge from the earth’s electromagnetic fields. Science now tells us that due to ‘advancements’ of shoes, roads, cars, floors and second story bedrooms, we are not as ‘plugged in’ to the earth as the countless generations before us. We aren’t receiving the earth’s energy as efficiently as those who walked the planet in bare feet or slept on the ground for thousands of years. Additionally, we as a society have been made to fear the sun and dirt, taking us further away from natural resources that our body thrives on. With this knowledge, we are now being encouraged to ‘earth’, to take our shoes off and walk in the grass, dirt, sand or surf, or even hug a tree for 15-30 minutes a day to ‘re-charge’ our battery. Who would have thought the word earth would become a verb?   Through personal experience, I will say that it works. So, if you hear yourself say “I am so tired’ and it’s only 2 o’clock in the afternoon, take your shoes off and head outside. Walk or stand for as long your break will allow you, focusing on your breath and visualizing all of those little circuits disconnecting from the stressors or the day and connecting to the earth—try for at least 10 minutes, then resume your day. You may just be surprised—I know I was. Live Awake in JOY!

Martha O’Regan, is Your ‘B.E.S.T. Life’ Coach, supporting you in accessing your magic with the work of Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique and Vibrational Coaching. Contact 843-812-1328 or to discover just how easy it can be to create change in your life.

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Beaufort Memorial Hospital hires lactation consultant for its Birthing Center

Recognizing the health benefits of breast-feeding, Beaufort Memorial Hospital has hired a new, highly experienced lactation consultant for its Birthing Center to help new moms successfully nurse their babies. Pamela Ehret, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, will visit patients following delivery to coach them along through their first feedings, answer questions and help with any issues that may arise during their hospital stay. Once they’re home, nursing mothers can call her 24/7 on a “warm line” at (843) 441-4586.

“We don’t call it a ‘hot line’ because it doesn’t need to be an emergency to call,” Ehret said. “No question is too small.”

Prior to joining BMH, Ehret had been a physician trainer with the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2008, responsible for providing breast-feeding education to pediatricians and pediatric residents in Georgia.

From 1998 to 2011 she served as District Lactation Program coordinator for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), managing all breast-feeding activities for the Chatham County Health Department. During her tenure, she implemented a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. As part of a grant awarded by the USDA, she hired, trained and supervised 10 breast-feeding peer counselors.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN), Ehret started her career as a staff nurse in the mother/baby unit of an Ohio hospital. In 1992, she was hired as a staff lactation consultant at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. She has been a frequent presenter at Georgia State Breastfeeding Committee biannual meetings and guest speaker at breast-feeding conferences throughout Georgia.

In addition to helping new moms at the BMH Birthing Center, Ehret will be teaching two prenatal breast-feeding classes for patients of Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, the hospital’s OB-GYN practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of solid foods until at least 12 months of age.

For more information on Beaufort Memorial’s Birthing Center services, visit or call (843) 522-5112.

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BMH issues guidelines and restricts visitation

Beaufort Memorial is experiencing a high volume of patients with serious respiratory and flu-related health issues, which has resulted in longer than normal wait times and a larger than usual number of patients to the hospital.

As a result, the hospital has issued guidelines to assist the community in identifying the right course of action in the case of illness. In addition, the hospital is restricting visitation for the immediate future.

“Adults who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat and fever, will be encouraged not to visit patients in the hospital,” said Kevin Kremer, Beaufort Memorial Emergency Department Director. “We are now restricting visitors under 18, as well as asking the community to limit hospital visits to one visit per patient. We hope that these precautions will prevent further spread of the flu and other viruses, and better enable us to care for those patients who most need to be in the hospital at this time.”

However, all patients (including children) experiencing signs of the following should seek immediate care from the emergency department:

•    Difficulty breathing
•    Chest or abdomen pain
•    Dizziness
•    Confusion
•    Severe vomiting
•    Fever with a rash (children)

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Cosmetic surgeon to host free seminar

Dr. Audrey Klenke of Pinnacle Plastic Surgery, the area’s only female cosmetic surgeon, is kicking off the New Year by hosting free seminars throughout Beaufort County. “New Year Beauty Resolutions” will cover some of the most sought-after procedures including facelift, brow lift, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and laser resurfacing treatments.

The seminar will be offered in Beaufort on Thursday, January 22 at 5:00 p.m. in the third floor community classroom at Beaufort Medical Plaza, 989 Ribaut Road. Dr. Klenke, a member of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital medical staff, said she understands that even with all the proven benefits, cosmetic surgery can be intimidating. She hopes that anyone interested in learning more about both “tried and true” and new cosmetic procedures will take advantage of the seminar and the opportunity to ask questions.

The seminars are complimentary, but registration is required as space is limited. To RSVP for either seminar – or to learn more about Dr. Klenke and Pinnacle Plastic Surgery – call 843-815-6699 or visit the website at

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Return of the Reiki Clinic

By Chris Suddeth

Reiki clinic is returning quarterly in 2015 to Lady’s Island. This lovely holistic offering is a form of energy work that hales from Japan and is translated as Spirit-Guided Life-Force Energy.

I am honored and excited to be part of the Reiki Community sharing this offering. I first heard about the clinics during my Reiki infancy way back in 2009. Those blessed clinics molded the intuitive healer that I am today. We cannot heal until first healing ourselves. Those clinics formed the bonds of friendship and basis for healing that I am the beneficiary of today. The Reiki clinics gave many their first taste of energy healing and quite possibly the first transpersonal experiences of their lives. Then they faded away a few years ago as we ceded to the natural ebb and flow of life.

Now, thanks to the insight of Reiki Master Ashana Jones, the Reiki community is bringing back this lovely offering of healing and fellowship.

Reiki’s roots found fertile ground in Japan in the late 19th century. Reiki’s intelligent energy is now rooted in the sandy soil of Beaufort and growing along with the live oaks that bless our neck of the woods. Reiki, along with other forms of holistic healing, promises to make Beaufort the Lowcountry Asheville, NC in the near future. This was evidenced by the strong turn-out for Therafest this past October.

Reiki’s benefits include, but are not limited to, deep relaxation, accelerating the body’s natural healing ability, increasing mental focus, emotional releases, and even spiritual revelations. Granted, most won’t feel the pull to go on to put their hot healing hands on people other than loved ones, but Reiki is so much more. Reiki is the path to whole self-care that attracts many due to its relative simplicity to employ into everyday life once attuned. In its simplicity lies its beauty to empower individuals to cope with the curve balls, fast balls, and flop shots of life. It’s a life changer that produces results even after just one short session with a practitioner.

Reiki’s energy is unique in the energy work world in that, not only can it be shared as is the intention of the Lady’s Island Quarterly Reiki Clinic, but it can also be passed on by a properly trained Reiki Master you feel drawn to. Once this intelligent energy is “passed on” or attuned into the recipient, it’s theirs to do as little or as much with as they see fit.

Come experience this soothing energy in the locally available tool chest of holistic living. The Lady’s Island Reiki Clinic will be held at 9B Rue Du Bois quarterly beginning on January 25 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Additional dates are April 25, July 26, and Oct. 25. Contact Ashana Jones 843-263-3148 or Chris (Sutty) Suddeth 843-263-2397 for more information. Donations are accepted and appreciated but not expected.

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