Wooten became a home health patient and he worked closed with his clinical team to become stronger and more stable when ambulating. Understanding Wooten’s physical limitations was a key component to Mr. Wooten’s success. Vidant Home Health and Hospice was determined to help make his dream of living independently a reality. When Mr. Wooten’s homecare team became aware of the need for housing Vanessa Johnson, a medical social worker, reached out to the Pitt County Housing Authority. They provided contacts and information to help with Wooten’s request. Toye Branch, site manager for Crystal Springs and Life House of Greenville, responded to the inquiry and provided guidance for Mr. Wooten to realize his dream.

Vanessa Johnson and Ms. Branch collaborated to find a home to accommodate Wooten’s physical challenges where he could continue independent living. Johnson said, “As a social worker, I listen and help patients to identify their options. Then, I advocate to help them cross barriers to improve their life circumstances.” Johnson has found the county housing authority to be a great resource for many of her clients.

“When the community is considering information about the Pitt County Housing Authority, they should know there are more options than public housing,” Branch said. She was able to help Mr. Wooten with the necessary paperwork to help him become a resident of Life House.

Sarah Taylor, marketing manager for Vidant Home Health and Hospice said, “At Vidant, our patients always come first. We are thrilled to help patients like Mr. Wooten find a home that meets his needs.”

For more information about the resources and services of Vidant Home Health and Hospice, call 252-847-2000.

Health News

“I am a planner and I am living the unexpected. It’s like nothing – it’s nothing you could ever study for,” said Lillian Wooten, a staff nurse at Vidant Medical Center. “Everything I learned in nursing school, out the window.”

Wooten joined Vidant last summer – in the middle of a pandemic.

“I think that’s what brings me back,” Wooten said, “hoping to make a difference.”

She’s spent nearly every day since joining caring for COVID-19 patients. Now, she’s catching a break as another nursing unit at Vidant Medical Center has volunteered to tag in so Wooten and her team could step away.

“We offered a respite for them for four weeks and we are hoping it will help them enjoy the holidays a little bit better with their families,” said Tracy Hobbs, assistant nurse manager in 3 East at Vidant Medical Center.

Hobbs and fellow nurses who serve the 3 East unit at Vidant Medical Center have stepped in to care for COVID patients on the Medical Step Down Unit (MSU) for a four-week period during this holiday season. This will allow the nurses on MSU to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with their loved ones.

It’s a welcome change of pace and the embodiment of Vidant’s values.

“We know that when the call is made that we are going to go, and help,” Hobbs said.

As these teams support one another they also hope the communities Vidant serves do their part too.

“Wear your mask, social distance, love from afar,” Hobbs said. “I think it’s important to remember that this is not going away and it actually is getting worse.”

Remember to follow COVID-19 protocols – wash your hands frequently, maintain a social distance from others and wear a mask when in public.

“If you could just come, sit and see how hard it is for some patients to even breathe,” Wooten said. “Something so little as wearing a mask, I know it’s uncomfortable but—it could save someone’s life.”

For more information, visit VidantHealth.com/COVID-19

Covid-19 | Health News

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but in 2020, it can feel like there’s not much to celebrate.

As your holiday plans are canceled or altered because of the pandemic, Dr. Ashley Britton, an assistant clinical professor at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, is reminding us all to be compassionate to ourselves and others.

Britton says the holiday blues are heightened this year because of increased levels of anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic. Many have experienced loss and isolation this year, which can take a greater toll during the holiday season.

If you notice changes in your sleep or appetite, lack of motivation, increased irritability, social withdrawal, or poorer focus/memory, you may be experiencing the holiday blues. If your symptoms persist into the spring but alleviate once the sun sticks around longer, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

To manage these feelings, Britton suggests setting realistic goals for yourself and to pace yourself. She says you should prioritize important activities, work on being present, and to spend time with loved ones.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call any of the following crisis lines:

· Local Crisis Line: 252-413-1637

· Real Crisis Center: 252-758-4357

· Mobile Crisis 24 Hr X 7 Days A Week 1-866-437-1821

· Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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One of the most important actions to take to preserve your health is to know your risks and to get a lung cancer screening if recommended by your health care provider. The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography, also called a low-dose CT scan or LDCT.

Dr. Mark Bowling, chief of pulmonary & critical care, and director of thoracic oncology program at ECU and Vidant Medical Center, said, “Early identification is key and right now the best chance for a cure is early detection and surgical resection. Early-stage lung cancer may not remain early for long, so take action now.”

There are ways to reduce risk for lung cancer that should serve as a checklist to anyone concerned about their health. One of the primary causes of lung cancer is smoking and vaping. Quitting smoking makes a positive impact on lung health. Avoiding secondhand smoke is another factor in reducing lung cancer risks. It is important to have your home or residence tested for radon. This odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Finally, lower exposure to cancer-causing substances at work or in the home. These substances include asbestos, arsenic, nickel and chromium.

Advances in the therapies for lung cancer are encouraging. “Treatments for lung cancer, despite the stage, are advancing at an incredible pace,” Dr. Bowling said. “Hope and optimism for not only long-term control of the disease, but for a cure is in the realm of possibility.”

For more information about the risks and prevention of lung cancer, or if you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the Prevention Clinic at Vidant Cancer Care (252) 816-RISK (7475)

Cancer | Health News

“Being a pediatric orthopedic surgeon is unique because we are responsible for treating the whole child,” Dr. Palmer said. “We see so many unique cases, from limb deficiencies, to physical deformities and traumatic injuries like broken bones. This means the relationship I build with my patients and their family is not centered around a single surgical event, but rather the unique treatment and healing process catered to help that child get back to life.”

Pediatric orthopedists specialize in treating bone, joint or muscle problems and the care continuum using both surgical and nonoperative treatment modalities for pediatric patients depending on the severity of their condition. Cases range from physical conditions from birth to sports-related injuries.  Using innovative rehabilitation strategies, the goal is to safely and expediently get the patient back to his or her baseline level of function.

Patients and families can expect a coordinated process that usually involves the primary pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist and sometimes even the child life specialists at the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center, who specialize in supporting pediatric patients throughout the healing journey.

“One of the most important aspects of treating pediatric patients is being able to clearly communicate,” Dr. Palmer said. “There is a lot of fear that can come with a patient, especially the younger ones that may not understand their condition or injury. I have a young daughter myself and my approach is to treat the patient and family as if I was in their shoes.”

With resources across Vidant’s 29-county service area, the healing process post-surgery is designed to keep care as close to home as possible, reducing the need for long car rides which can be a hindrance for children in pain.

“This is the best job in the world,” Dr. Palmer said. “I get to help a child and their parents through one of their most difficult times. It is an amazing feeling and I am incredibly grateful to have that opportunity.”  For more information about pediatric orthopedics, please call Vidant Orthopedics-Greenville at 252-816-4100.

Read more in The Daily Reflector

Health News

In Phase 1, the following Vidant team members and other community health care providers will be among the first to be offered the vaccine: Health care workers and first responders who are caring for a COVID or “very likely” COVID patient and those highest at-risk for infection or severe illness.

“The vaccine offers incredible hope for our health care workers, families, friends, neighbors and the world,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO, Vidant Health. “While this is a monumental step in overcoming the pandemic, we do not yet know when the vaccine will be available to the broader community. It remains vitally important that the community helps us stop the spread now by wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands often. We need your help.”

Vidant has full confidence in the products that have come to market and highly advocates that the public get vaccinated when the vaccines are available to the general public. Furthermore, Vidant is ready and available to partner with state agencies as plans for vaccine deployment evolve over the next few months.

Covid-19 | Health News

Dr. Zilfah Younus, a headache specialist at Vidant Health, says the signs of a potentially serious headache include: sudden onset of an intense headache, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, visual disturbances, speech difficulty and facial droop. Younus says a headache associated with fever, chills, weight loss or neck stiffness is also a red flag.

A thunder clap headache that appears suddenly is another example of a serious headache as are those that appear in patients without a history of headaches. Someone with these red flag symptoms should seek prompt medical attention and emergency assessment, with complete evaluation, imaging and further management accordingly. The evaluation should include a thorough examination of the brain and the vascular regions around the head.

For patients with a long standing history of headaches, there are a variety of options for treatments to help reduce pain and improve quality of life. Dr. Younus said, “Even if patients who have been experiencing migraines or long time headache pain, they should not accept this suffering as something they just have to live with.”

Treatment for headaches include both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options, and lifestyle modification plays an important role. Dr. Younus said certain changes to your diet and exercise routines can make an impact on headaches. She encourages patients to develop regular eating and sleeping patterns to decrease headaches. She added, “Those patients who decrease caffeine intake and develop a regular bedtime pattern can experience an improvement. Also, avoiding foods that could trigger a headache can make a big difference.”

Dr. Younus advises community members who are experiencing headaches to contact their primary care physician or visit www.vidanthealth.com to learn more about Vidant Neurology.

Health News

Medical professionals at Vidant Health say lung cancer is the second most common cancer across the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death. On average, about 13 people in North Carolina die from lung cancer every day. Doctors say one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself is to know your risks.

Smokers are at high risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer, but it’s not uncommon for non-smokers to be diagnosed, too. Experts say secondhand smoke and gas in your home can also play a factor. Doctors say it’s important to get tested for radon in your home because that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, especially in non-smokers.

Researchers estimate secondhand smoke contributes to about 7,300 cancer diagnoses and radon to about 2,900.

Other substances that could increase your exposure to cancer include asbestos, arsenic, nickel and chromium.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan for people who have a history of heavy smoking (at least a 30 pack year smoking history-packs per day times number of years smoked), smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years and are between 55-80 years old.

If you believe you may be at risk or meet the requirements, talk to your primary care provider about getting a screening. For more information or if you do not have a primary care provider, call the Prevention Clinic at Vidant Cancer Care at (252) 816-7475.

Covid-19 | Health News