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International Group B Strep Throat Awareness Month

To help prevent the devastating effects of GBS, we’re joining the July campaign!

#startheGBSconversation

​WHAT IS GROUP B STREP?​

Group b strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive and lower reproductive tracts of both men and women.

Almost 1 in 4 pregnant women carry GBS, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. That’s according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

GBS can infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life.

Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but, for those who do, the results can be devastating.

GBS can cause premature labor, lifelong handicaps, or death. Even babies born to a mother who tests negative can become infected by group B strep.

There are many ways to help protect babies from group B strep.

Talk to your doctor if you’d like to get tested for GBS.


Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

300,000 children in America have arthritis, and we need your help spreading the word.

July is #JuvenileArthritis Awareness Month.

Children get arthritis. It is a misconception that only “older” people have arthritis.

 

SIGNS OF JUVENILE ARTHRITIS

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Rash
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing

A child’s immune system is not formed until 18. This “autoimmune” form of arthritis is especially aggressive in children.

It compromises their ability to fight diseases.

doctor

Together we can #CureArthritis!

Get involved today by sharing this article and talking to your loved ones.


PTSD Awareness Month

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It can occur when someone experiences or sees a traumatic event.

In 1980, it became recognized as a specific condition with identifiable symptoms. Now, it’s listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Studies show that 70% of all Americans have experienced enough trauma to cause PTSD.

What are the symptoms?

bones

According to the military benefits website:

You may be suffering from PTSD if you experience one or more of the following for a prolonged amount of time after a traumatic event:

  • Recurring, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events. Some people may be drawn to or be repelled by certain activities that remind them of the event(s). Children may express this through play or creativity that incorporates aspects of the trauma.
  • Repeated dreams that feels somehow related (or directly related) to the trauma.
  • Flashbacks
  • Any dissociative reaction that makes the sufferer feel that the trauma or aspects of it are happening again.
  • Intense distress to exposure to things that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Prolonged psychological distress at exposure to reminders of the trauma.
  • Physiological (bodily) reactions to reminders of the event(s).

You may be suffering from PTSD if you experience two or more of the following:

  • You cannot remember an important part of the trauma in ways that are unrelated to head injury, alcohol or drug use.
  • Exaggerated, negative, and persistent ideas or expectations about oneself, others, or the world.
  • A distorted sense of blame related to the cause or consequences of the traumatic events. The blame may be self-directed or outwardly directed.
  • Persistent fear, anger, guilt, or other strong negative emotions.
  • Reduced or lack of interest in activities or events you would otherwise take part in.
  • Feeling detached from other people or situations.
  • An inability to feel positive.

Today, the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are better understood and treatable.

Those experiencing suicidal feelings or self-destructive urges should get help immediately. Call the Suicide Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


National Men’s Health Week

It’s National Men’s Health Week, a special awareness period recognized by Congress.

This year NMHW will be June 11th – June 17th.

Why is it important?

Currently, men are dying an average of 5 years younger than women.

Government studies show some shocking facts about men’s health:

  • Men are at greater risk of death in every age group.
  • Men have a higher suicide death rate than women.
  • Men account for 92% of fatal workplace injuries.
  • Men do not see physicians for a physical exam as often as women.

So what can you do to make an impact?

Join the movement! Take part in health screenings and outreach efforts like the #WearBlue campaign.

And of course, encourage the men in your community to focus on their mental and physical health.

Men’s Health Week is organized by Men’s Health Network(MHN), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.organd follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork.###

stateofmenshealth.com
Top causes of death – http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/causesofdeath.pdf
Key health indicators – http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/healthindicators.pdf
Health Facts – A detailed list of health reports.
http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/healthfact

 


National Cancer Survivors Month

Right now there are more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. Almost everyone knows someone who cancer has affected. This month, communities around the world unite to recognize these cancer survivors.

The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation describes a survivor as this:

“Anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.”

“When people hear the word ‘cancer,’ it can be very frightening,” says Foundation spokesperson, Laura Shipp. “But there is hope. Cancer mortality rates are steadily declining, and cancer survivors are living longer than ever before. National Cancer Survivors Day® is an opportunity for these cancer survivors – and those who support them – to come together and celebrate the tremendous progress being made in the fight against cancer. It’s a day to celebrate life because life after cancer is worth celebrating.”

“NCSD is also a call to action. As many survivors will tell you, the effects of cancer don’t end when treatment does. Cancer survivors face ongoing, often long-lasting, hardships because of their disease. On National Cancer Survivors Day®, we want to raise awareness of the many challenges of cancer survivorship and advocate for further research, more resources, and increased public awareness to improve the lives of cancer survivors.”

It is becoming ever more important to address the unique needs of this population.

Life after cancer is something worth celebrating.

Let’s #CelebrateLife and raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship. #NCSD2019

National Cancer Survivors Day® 2019 is supported nationally by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coping with Cancer magazine, Elekta, Exelixis, Janssen Biotech, and Takeda Oncology.

About the Foundation

The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation offers free guidance, education, networking resources, and assistance to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day® events in their communities. The Foundation’s primary mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.

About National Cancer Survivors Day®

National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual, treasured Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide, and around the world, on the first Sunday in June. On National Cancer Survivors Day®, thousands gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring. NCSD offers an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer – including America’s 15.5 million cancer survivors – to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.


Can you guess what the most common cancer in the US is? Click here to find out!

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin.

skin tips

The good news is that skin cancer is preventable, and it is almost always curable when it’s found and treated early.

Affinity is proud to take part in Skin Cancer Prevention Month. During May, join us in taking action to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage.

Take simple steps today to protect your skin:

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
  • Check your skin often for changes.

Check out these tips to keeping yourself protected from the sun:

skin cancer


Have you had your blood pressure tested lately?

Have you had your blood pressure tested lately?

blood pressure

High blood pressure affects one in three Americans. Even still, many people with the condition don’t know they have it.

The previous standard was 140/90. But, recent guidelines redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130/80.

If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to with your doctor to reduce it.

The CDC gives us 5 Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure:

  1. High blood pressure may be linked to dementia.
  2. Young people can have high blood pressure, too.
  3. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms.
  4. Many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it.
  5. Women and minorities face unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.

heart

Here are some tips to help you if you struggle with high blood pressure:

Eat a healthy diet.

Move more.

Limit alcohol.

Avoid tobacco.

Cut out excess sodium.

CDC supports several public health efforts that address high blood pressure, including:

  • Million Hearts®. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Million Hearts® has a goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes.
  • WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation). The WISEWOMAN program provides services to prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP). A diet too high in sodium is associated with higher blood pressure. SRCP aims to increase access to lower sodium food options.

Is It A Stroke? Act FAST: Know The Signs And How To Respond

Call 911 if you think you recognize the signs of a stroke. Act FAST and learn to recognize the signs of a stroke:

stroke signs

What is a stroke? Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability. The National Stroke Association defines it this way:

A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

Did you know?

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in U.S. women. Women have a higher lifetime risk of having a stroke than men.

Stroke By The Numbers

Each year 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.

A stroke happens every 40 seconds.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Every 4 minutes someone dies from a stroke.

Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

Stroke symptoms can include:

paralysis
numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
trouble speaking or understanding speech
confusion
slurring speech
vision problems
trouble walking
loss of balance or coordination
dizziness
severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause

Immediate medical treatment is key to prevent:

brain damage
long-term disability
death

 


Healthy and Fun Mother’s Day Activities

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Instead of going out to dinner, here are a few unique ideas to get your family out of the house and celebrating mom!

picnic

1) Go for a Picnic – It’s a great way to plan healthy snacks in advance. It also gets your family outside, active and enjoying the fresh air and mom.

hike

2) Go for a family hike – Enjoy the local scenery, listen to the sounds of nature and break out the camera! A hike or bike through your area is a great way to spend time together doing something everyone can enjoy.

mom

3) Organize a family softball game – Bring out the competitive side of your family dynamic. Meet up at the public baseball field and make it a Mother’s Day she’ll always remember.

beach

4) Go for a beach day – The beach is a great place to play games, enjoy the salty air, and spend time with mom.

zoo

5) Go to the zoo! – The zoo is a great place to get some steps in, enjoy nature and wildlife, and create new memories.


Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Know The Facts

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence is a serious public health problem in the United States.

 

Facts about Sexual Violence

 
Sexual violence is any sexual activity where consent is not freely given. It affects millions of people each year in the United States. 
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
 
  • Sexual violence is common. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes.
 
  • Sexual violence starts early. 1 in 3 female rape victims experienced it for the first time between 11-17 years old and 1 in 8 reported that it occurred before age 10. Nearly 1 in 4 male rape victims experienced it for the first time between 11-17 years old and about 1 in 4 reported that it occurred before age 10.
 
  • Sexual violence is costly. Recent estimates put the cost of rape at $122,461 per victim, including medical costs, lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and other costs.
 

Sexual Violence is Preventable: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 
Sexual violence impacts health in many ways. It can lead to short and long-term physical and mental health problems. Victims may experience chronic pain, headaches, and sexually transmitted diseases.
 
They are often fearful or anxious and may have problems trusting others. Promoting healthy and respectful relationships can help reduce sexual violence.
 
If you are or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence:
 
  • Contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. Help is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Get information at RAINNExternal.
     
  • Contact your local emergency services at 9-1-1.