What is HPV?

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of over 150 viruses which may be spread through open-mouth kissing, intimate skin-to-skin contact, and direct sexual contact. In fact, it’s the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. One way to ensure staying HPV-free is vaccination. It’s recommended and highly-effective to be administered to kids ages 11-13 before they’ve been exposed to the virus.

Did you know?

  • 80% of Americans have had an HPV infection in their lifetime
  • 79 million Americans currently infected
  • 31,200 cases of cancer could be prevented by the HPV vaccine

While some high-risk types of the HPV virus can lead to certain cancers, including throat and cervical cancers, and low-risk types can cause genital warts, 90% of cases will clear on their own. This is largely in part to a healthy, functioning immune system!

Keep your immune system healthy:

  • Exercise
  • Sleep more
  • Minimize stress
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat vegetables + fruit

*It is still suggested to be vaccinated since the vaccine doesn’t protect from all types of HPV.

 

If you have any questions about HPV or the vaccine, please call DFD today at 207-524-3501 to schedule an appointment.

 “Cooking Matters for Parents” – A Class to Boost Nutrition Skills and Education

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is hosting “Cooking Matters for Parents,” a nutrition education class funded by the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. In this class, parents will learn how to cook new recipes, choose healthy foods, save money when grocery shopping, keep food safe to eat, and how to help their families to become more active. Children are welcome to attend with participating adults.

This program is federally-funded and intended to assist low-income families to meet nutritional requirements. It is free for income eligible adults and for those who are eligible for SNAP, WIC, or Head Start.

Interested in attending the Cooking Matters for Parents class? Check out the details below:

 

DATES: Mondays and Wednesdays

March 18, 20, 25, 27

April 1, 3, 8 & 10

TIME: 5:30p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Winthrop Middle School

COST: Free for income eligible adults

*Registration required

 

This class is a wonderful way to learn new skills with your family and adopt a healthier lifestyle together. To register for a spot in the class, email Debbie Barnett at deborah.barnett@maine.edu

March is National Nutrition Month

Join DFD all month long in celebrating National Nutrition Month! A foundation of good nutrition habits is key in preventing disease, staying healthy, and living a longer life.

Did you know?

  • 65% of Mainers are obese or overweight
  • By 2030, half of all Americans will be obese
  • 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented by diet and lifestyle changes

Take your health into your own hands! A great place to start is to begin to introduce new foods, rather than restricting foods as “off limits.” Add in more berries at breakfast, nuts and seeds for snacking, and more vegetables on your dinner plate. Nutritious eating leads to more energy, which leads to more physical activity – both leading to a higher quality of life.

DFD Celebrates Go Red for Women

Join DFD on February 1 as we wear red to raise awareness of the #1 killer of women: heart disease. Let’s fight together for our mothers, sisters, aunts and loved ones against this growing epidemic.

Did You Know?

  • Only 54% of women know heart disease is their #1 killer.
  • Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 female deaths every year.
  • 200,000 heart disease deaths could be prevented each year.

At DFD we’re committed to preventative health. Changing your lifestyle can prevent heart disease:

  • Get Active. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Eat Healthy. Choose fruits, veggies and lean meats. Limit salt and sugars.
  • Quit Smoking. Quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Ask us about our smoking cessation program to help you kick the habit for good.

 

Fend Off the Flu

The Influenza virus infects the nose, throat, and lungs. It can keep you in bed for weeks or even develop into a severe respiratory illness that requires hospitalization. Make sure you and your family stay flu-free this season.

Avoid the flu:

  • Get the flu shot.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid friends who are sick or have been sick in the last 5-7 days.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

Already have a cold or the flu? Take these steps to recover quickly:

  • Stay home, and get plenty of rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your respiratory system hydrated.
  • Sit in a steamy bathroom or run a humidifier.
  • Treat aches and fever with medication like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Ask your doctor which one is right for you.

DFD Takes the Dempsey Challenge

DFD is excited to support our communities and encourage others to walk, run or bike in support of The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in this year’s Dempsey Challenge.

When and Where does this happen?
The 2017 Dempsey Challenge takes place in Lewsiton-Auburn, Maine, September 29-30.

runnersWhat does it benefit?
Proceeds from the challenge go to the Dempsey Center. The Dempsey Center offers a vibrant and compassionate environment where an interdisciplinary team of oncology professionals improves the healing experience for those impacted by cancer. Through customized programs The Dempsey Center provides support services that complement treatments, support caregivers, patients and their families equally Source: Demspeycenter.org

How to get involved:
Anyone can get involved and there is an event for everyone.

Bike – 10, 25, 70, or 100 miles
Two-day 140+ mile bike ride presented by L.L. Bean
Run or walk 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles)
Festival in the Park – Saturday 8 am – 1 pm, Sunday 9 am – 5 pm
Music Festival at Festival in the Park
Kid’s Fun Run and Family Ride
Survivor Walk
You can show your love for team DFD by donating your loose change at one of our coin jars at the front desk at each DFD Health Center location or to one of our team members using this link: http://support.dempseychallenge.org/site/TR?company_id=3823&fr_id=1150&pg=company

To learn more about The Dempsey Challenge please visit:

Dempsey Challenge Information

School Safety 101

DFD’s helpful tips for a fun and safe school year.

Class is back in session and DFD is here to help get your child;s school year off to a safe and healthy start.

Your child’s backpack should:

  • Have a padded back
  • Have wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Be the right fit: below the shoulder blades and right at the waist

School Bus Rules

When getting on the bus, remind your children to:

  • Stay away from traffic when waiting for the bus
  • Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
  • Wait until the bus has completely stopped and the door opens before entering

While riding the bus, remind your children to:

  • Buckle up if seat belts are available
  • Stay in their seat
  • Keep aisles clear of books and bags
  • Wait for the bus to completely stop before getting up from your seat

When getting off the bus, remind your children to:

  • Use the handrail when exiting the bus
  • Make sure the driver can see them
  • Stay away from the rear wheels at all times
  • When crossing the street, wait for a signal from the bus driver

Stop bullying in its tracks.

Make sure your kids are ready for a kind and caring school year. Remind them that bullying is never ok.

  • 30% of young people admit to bullying others
  • 28% of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying
  • When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and DFD wants to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Vaccines help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.

How does a vaccine work?

Vaccines are made from the same germs that cause disease, but the germs in the vaccines are either killed or weakened so they won’t make you sick. Once the vaccine is injected into your body, your immune system reacts to the vaccine by making antibodies. The antibodies destroy the vaccine germs, and then stay in your body, giving you immunity if you are ever exposed to the real disease. The antibodies are there to protect you!

Why are vaccines important?

Diseases like polio are becoming very rare in the U.S. because we have been vaccinating against them. However, vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles are still a threat and continue to infect U.S. children—resulting in hospitalizations and deaths each year.  The spread of dangerous diseases happen when children who aren’t vaccinated spread disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems.

Check out these new videos from the National Vaccine Program Office and learn how vaccines can keep you and the people you love stay healthy.



National Health Center Week: August 12-18

This August we celebrate National Health Center Week to raise awareness of the important role health centers play in our communities.

Health centers serve 27 million patients in the United States, which is about one in fifteen people who utilize health centers as their health care home. As a Patient-Centered Medical Home, DFD meets and exceeds the healthcare needs of its patients through innovative, patient-centered primary care services.

Health centers across the United States perform just as well or better than private physicians on 94% of quality measures and save an average of $1,263 per patient per year.

DFD is the highest-ranking community health center in Maine and the nation for its commitment to quality care. But what makes DFD different from other providers?

  • More night and weekend hours
  • More likely to accept new patients
  • Community-governed
  • More services under one roof

Together, let’s raise awareness about the positive impacts health centers have on our communities. Share with friends and family on how DFD is supporting our neighborhoods and can help support them.

In Memoriam: Karen Marie Bronk

Karen Marie BronkKaren Marie Bronk

12/25/53 – 06/18/2018

Karen Bronk of Turner died peacefully at the Hospice House on June 18th after a three-year struggle with cancer.

Karen was born in Connecticut into a family which included six brothers. The family lived for a time in Germany before moving back to the States.

Karen graduated from UMass Boston and eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England.

Karen and her husband, Peter Driscoll, moved to Maine from Boston in 1979 seeking a more peaceful and rural lifestyle. They first settled in Salem before moving to Turner in 1990.

Karen worked as a professional social worker all of her adult life. She worked in several local agencies including Tri-County Mental Health, Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice Services, and the Spurwink School. For the past 16 years, she has been a behavioral health specialist working with DFD Russell Medical Center in Turner where she provided kindness, support and help for individuals struggling with life challenges to find their own path for success.

Karen was a woman of many talents and interests. She was an avid reader. She loved to garden, her home surrounded by beautiful flowering trees, shrubs and plants. She was an accomplished equestrian and loved the gentle and subtle relationship she was able to develop with her horses. She was a marathoner. And she was a skilled canoeist. Karen and Peter paddled hundreds of miles of wilderness rivers in Maine and Canada. For a short time, they operated a small canoe camping business.

Nothing brought Karen more joy than her family. Karen and Peter have been together through life’s joys, hardships and adventures for more than 40 years. Theirs was a loving, respectful and committed relationship.

Karen decided later in life that she wanted to become a mother. She began the process that led to the arrival of first Rufino (now 16) and later Manuel (now 14) into their family. She was a fabulous mother and worked tirelessly to create a home environment that was nurturing, gentle, challenging and supportive. She took great pride in witnessing her two sons grow into fine and mature young men.

Karen was an incredibly kind and gentle soul. She also possessed a core strength that sustained her through her difficult struggle with cancer. She continued to work until the last month of her life because she viewed her work as a commitment to making her corner of the world a better place. She is fondly remembered by many friends and colleagues.

She is survived by her husband, Peter, and sons Rufino and Manuel, and five brothers.

Gifts in her memory can be made to the Karen Bronk fund at DFD Russell Medical Center in Turner which will be used to support unmet patient needs.

A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be scheduled in the near future.