Review Category : Health

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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).

Read More →

Beaufort Memorial OB-GYNs to present free women’s health seminar

To give women an edge on aging, Beaufort Memorial Hospital is presenting “The Woman in YOU: Growing older, getting better,” a free seminar offering helpful advice on how to overcome those pesky female problems that can crop up with time.

The event will begin with a reception at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, at Magnolia Hall in Sun City, followed by the presentation at 5 p.m.

Drs. Christopher Benson and Gregory Miller, two OB-GYNs with nearly 40 years of combined medical experience, will share information about preventative measures women can take as they age to reduce their risk of common health issues, including breast cancer and osteoporosis.

“We’ll talk about living young and how to enjoy the benefits of good health regardless of your age,” said Benson, one of four physicians in the new Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists. “Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your health and reduce the effects of aging.”

For those with joint problems or other physical ailments, Benson suggests exercise options that could include water aerobics, bicycle riding or cycling on a stationary bike.

The physicians also will discuss:

• Hormone replacement therapy to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms caused by menopause.

• Treating urinary incontinence with simple lifestyle changes or medication.

• Pelvic prolapse. When the muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place get weak or stretched from childbirth or surgery, it can cause organs to drop from their normal place in the lower belly and push against the walls of your vagina. Surgery may be necessary if you have pain or discomfort that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment and lifestyle changes.

Both Benson and Miller — two of four doctors in the new Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists — have extensive experience in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including da Vinci robot-assisted procedures and single-site laparoscopic surgery. They also offer wellness, fitness and weight management counseling as part of their practice.

Formerly partners in a private practice in Rock Hill, the two doctors are lifetime athletes and enjoy training for endurance events, including marathons, Iron Man competitions and multiday races.

“The Woman in You” seminar is free, but registration is required and seating is limited. To register, call 843-522-5585.

Read More →

Tips to help protect tooth enamel

By Jennifer Wallace, DMD

Usually when I ask a patient in my office what their long-term goals are for their teeth, the answer is “I want to keep them a lifetime.” That answer would make any dentist proud, but there are also some great reasons that prove keeping your natural teeth can help patients live a healthier, happier  lifetime. It’s easier to eat healthier foods like crunchy fruits and veggies with natural teeth versus removable partials or dentures. It is also sometimes difficult to taste or judge the size and temperature of foods when wearing those appliances.

We all pretty much remember fifth grade health class and what enamel is right? It’s the outer surface of teeth and it should last a lifetime. Did you know enamel is the hardest substance in the body? Yes, it is, but it can break easily. Ice, popcorn, and tongue and lip piercings can chip teeth. And unlike skin, teeth can’t re-grow.  I cringe when my patients ask, “Can you tell I crunch ice or crunch popcorn kernels?”  Eating a popcorn kernel is like eating a small stone and no shock that ice is brittle. I’d also caution to be especially careful if your mouth is full of dental work such as fillings and crowns unless you really do love visiting your dentist!

That all being said, some wear and tear of tooth enamel is normal but it’s necessary to help you keep your teeth a lifetime. There are plenty things you can do to keep your enamel strong.

Try these easy tips:

• Limit sugary soft drinks and foods to meal times. Sugar leads to acids in the mouth, which soften and eventually wear away at enamel. Chewy candies that stick on your teeth are very damaging. Regular soft drinks have sugar that can damage your teeth, but did you know that even the artificially sweetened sodas, energy drinks and powerades have extra acids that can erode the enamel? The best choice when you’re thirsty? A glass of water!

• Not only is it important for children and expecting mother to have a healthy diet to form strong teeth, it’s proactive and beneficial for adults to eat healthy foods that have calcium. Calcium counteracts acids in your mouth, and also helps keep bones and teeth strong. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products all help protect and strengthen enamel.

• Avoid over brushing by brushing too fast and hard. That can wear down enamel. Hold a soft-bristle brush at about a 45-degree angle to your gums and move it back and forth in short, gentle strokes, about the distance of one tooth. Even better yet, invest in a power toothbrush to aid in a correct technique. Wait for up to an hour after eating sweets or citrus fruits. Acidic foods temporarily soften enamel and may make it easier to damage. Give your enamel time to re-harden before cleaning.

• If you have issues with heart burn, don’t ignore it. With severe heartburn, stomach acids may escape up into the esophagus. If those acids reach your mouth, they can erode enamel. The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after they eat, is another threat. If you have symptoms of heartburn or bulimia, talk to your doctor about treatment.

• Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist. Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. It also counteracts the effects of acidic foods. People with very low salivary levels often show signs of enamel erosion. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can also help. A big one that I see that cause dry mouth are medical conditions and some medications. It’s very important if dry mouth persists, talk to your doctor.

Jennifer Wallace is at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort: 843-524-7645.

Read More →

The Blood Alliance June Blood Drives

• Sunday, June 1: St Peter’s Catholic Church, 8 a.m. to noon, 70 Lady’s Island Drive, Beaufort.

• Thursday, June 5: Naval Hospital Beaufort: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1 Pinckney Boulevard, Port Royal. (Call chairperson for appointment and gate pass: Justin Eubank 228-5499).

• Friday, June 6: Hwy 21 Drive In: 2 to 6 p.m., 5 Parker Drive, Beaufort

• Sunday, June 8: Sea Island Presbyterian Church: 8 a.m. to noon, 81 Lady’s Island Drive, Beaufort.

• Wednesday, June 11: Beaufort County Government: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Administration Building, 100 Ribaut Road, Beaufort.

• Wednesday, June 11, Grays Hill Baptist Church: 4 to 6:30 p.m., 2749 Trask Pkwy (Hwy 21), Beaufort.

• Friday, June 13: Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 721 Okatie Hwy (S.C. 170), Okatie.

• Saturday, June 14: Beaufort Classic Car & Truck Club: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Naval Heritage Park, Port Royal.

• Saturday, June 14: AMVETS Post 70: 2 to 5 p.m., 1831 Ribaut Road, Port Royal.

Please note: 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 888-998-2243 or visit

Read More →

BMH nurse navigator Amy Luce Hane gets national accreditation

As Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s breast nurse navigator, Amy Luce Hane, RN, understands the fear and apprehension patients feel undergoing breast cancer treatment. To ensure she is providing them with the best care possible, Hane took the extra step to become a Certified Breast Care Nurse.

Amy Luce Hane

Amy Luce Hane

The prestigious designation — the only nationally accredited breast care nursing certification available exclusively to registered nurses — encompasses the entire spectrum of breast care nursing practice.

To receive the designation, applicants must have a minimum of 1,000 hours of breast care nursing experience and pass a rigorous examination that tests their knowledge in the specialty of breast care nursing. The certification is awarded by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and is valid for four years.

A registered nurse with more than 10 years of experience, Hane has a strong background in oncology case management and chemotherapy infusion. She also is a Certified Professional Healthcare Management Registered Nurse. For the last year and a half, she has been serving as a breast nurse navigator in Beaufort Memorial’s Women’s Imaging Center, and in that role has been involved in community outreach, educating women about the importance of yearly mammograms, their risk for developing breast cancer, and the signs and symptoms of the disease.

In her role of breast nurse navigator, Hane becomes involved when a patient receives a diagnosis of breast cancer. She provides support and help from diagnosis to post-treatment follow-up, keeping patients informed each step of the process to help reduce their anxiety. If needed, she can steer them to available resources, coordinate additional testing and set up appointments with specialists involved in the treatment of breast cancer.

The services of the breast nurse navigator are provided at no charge to breast care patients. For more information or to reach Amy Hane, call 843-522-5895 or visit

Read More →

Wholehearted health: Cardiologists offer tips for your ticker

In the time it takes you to read this story, five people in the United States had a heart attack. If that doesn’t get your attention, consider this sobering statistic: every minute, someone dies from a heart disease-related event.

Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will be talking about heart health.

Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will be talking about heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of Americans have at least one key risk factor for heart disease.

To help you understand your risk, Beaufort Memorial Hospital is presenting “Wholehearted Health: Tips for Your Ticker” on Thursday, May 15 in the Lakehouse at Sun City.

During the free seminar, board-certified BMH cardiologists Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will talk about medical conditions and lifestyle choices that make you susceptible to coronary disease and steps you can take to improve your heart health.

The program will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 4:30 p.m., the presentation at 5, and a time for audience questions after the discussion.

”Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease,” said Dr. Smalheiser, a cardiologist with Beaufort Memorial Lowcountry Medical Group. “Your chances of developing the disease increase if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.”

You’re also at greater risk if you’re a man older than age 45 or a woman older than 55. While you can’t do anything about your age or family history, there are interventions you can make to help improve your chances of staying healthy. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising, controlling the stress in your life and managing your blood pressure and weight can help you avoid heart problems.

Lowering cholesterol levels is important because the buildup of cholesterol, called plaque, on the inner walls of your arteries reduces the flow of blood to your heart. Most heart attacks happen when a blood clot suddenly cuts off the heart’s blood supply.

The “Wholehearted Health” seminar is free and open to the public, both Sun City residents and non-residents, but seating is limited and registration is required. To register, call 522-5585.

Read More →

‘Lift the Lowcountry’ with Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic of Beaufort

On Tuesday, May 6, Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic of Beaufort will participate in a special day of giving called “Lift the Lowcountry.”  Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, any donation you make to the clinic that day will be matched dollar for dollar, expanding the financial impact of each gift and creating the opportunity for a truly transformative day. “Lift the Lowcountry,” presented by Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina, is part a larger national effort called Give Local America, a movement to reignite the spirit of giving across the country and support causes in our communities. On Tuesday, May 6, from coast to coast, people will be coming together to “give local” through their local community organizations. The clinic is located at 30 Professional Village Circle on Lady’s Island. Please recognize the work of local nonprofits like Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic and amplify the generosity of philanthropists on this day to celebrate the greater good. Visit their website at or call 843-470-9088.

Read More →

Show of hands: Who loves to f loss?

By Jennifer Wallace

In my line of work, I hear a lot of confessionals on a daily basis. No I’m not a priest, but a dentist! I hear over half (and that’s being generous) of my adult patients admit before I even take a look in their mouth, they hate or refuse to attempt to floss.

In addition to brushing, flossing has been the gold standard of care for preventing cavities between the teeth. It’s also an important and effective way to remove plaque and biofilm from below the gum line that causes periodontal disease. The patient’s ability to perform regular and effective self-care is important to the long-term success of therapeutic and restorative treatment and overall mouth/body well-being.

Not to stray too far off the original subject, I’d like to say that your dentist isn’t just interested in looking at the health of your teeth. There is a significant reason why the dentist also asks about your medical history, medications you may take or any other changes/concerns since your last dental checkup. It’s because of the mouth/whole body connection. Systemic “whole body” problems can be detected or worsened when bacteria forms a biofilm under the gums resulting in gum pockets that further trap bacteria and debris. That bacteria not only inflames the gums but kills cells and can invade connective tissues and blood vessels. Your body’s immune system creates white blood cells to fight this but the combination of the bacteria and those blood cells along with toxins and proteins can line the arteries.

According to The Journal of Dental Research, severe periodontal infection (gum disease and bone loss), if untreated, may increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, complications of diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes and respiratory disease. So in essence, it’s hard to treat the mouth effectively without a healthy body’s immune system to deliver positive results.

Now that I have your attention, I understand that lots of people find flossing difficult, and some don’t really have the dexterity to do it well. I hear patients say “It is so time-consuming, and I don’t seem to be very good at it or I know I should be flossing but my teeth are too tight.”

What if I told you that I can introduce you to a way of flossing that has not only been proven as more effective than traditional string flossing in the professional journals but also in my own practice on Lady’s Island. The water flosser is significantly better than brushing alone, which most children and young adults do, or they brush along with string flossing. Additionally, research has demonstrated that patients who present with gingivitis, mild to moderate periodontitis, diabetes, and good oral hygiene can benefit from using a water flosser. A healthy pocket is 1-3 mm in depth with no bleeding. Traditional brushing and string flossing can reach 1-2 mm below the gum line. Water flossing can reach up to 6 mm!

Need the scientific proof? A study was done to compare the plaque removal efficiency of the Waterpik® Water Flosser to string floss. Seventy subjects participated in this randomized, single use, single blind, parallel clinical study and had not used any form of oral hygiene for 23-25 hours prior to their dental appointment. Patients were put in two groups: WaterFlossers or waxed string floss. Both groups were instructed to manual brush for two minutes. Group 1 used the Water Flosser with 500 ml of warm water and group 2 used waxed string floss cleaning all areas between the teeth. Subjects were observed to make sure they covered all areas and followed instructions. Scores were recorded for the whole mouth, marginal, interproximal, facial, and lingual regions for each subject.  Results proved the Waterpik® Water Flosser was more effective than string floss for overall plaque removal on all surfaces of the teeth.

I would suggest you ask your dentist or dental hygienist to recommend tools that can tailor your at home hygiene regimen to not only improve your overall health but make your dental visits easier.

Jennifer Wallace, DMD, is at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort: 843-524-7645.

Read More →