If you've ever been wheeled from the hospital to your car, been offered a cup of coffee from a hospital cart, or been shown the way to the waiting area for loved ones of surgery patients, chances are a volunteer helped you.
Years ago, mostly women volunteered in hospitals. They often were known as the gray ladies, a term that came from the uniforms that American Red Cross volunteers wore in hospitals during World War I....
ST. PETERSBURG — Hospitals around the bay area are getting tough on employees who won't get flu shots, insisting that they wear surgical masks if they won't be vaccinated.
Now All Children's Hospital is taking the hardest line yet. Any employees who do not have a vaccination by 6 p.m. Friday may be fired unless they have an accepted medical or religious reason to decline.
"It's a patient safety issue," said Jay Kuhns, vice president of human resources at All Children's. "We take care of some of the most medically fragile patients out there, and if someone doesn't want to embrace our commitment to patient safety, they're not going to be able to work at All Children's anymore." ...
TAMPA — Richard Macdonnell started smoking when he was a teen. When he heard about low-dose CT scans to detect lung cancer, he knew he was a candidate.
"It was always in the back of my mind," said the 59-year-old, who smoked a pack a day for 40 years. "I knew I should do it, but I always put it off."
Last month, he summoned the courage, went to Moffitt Cancer Center and handed over $150 for the test, no prescription required....
TAMPA — A few years ago, Mearlin Griffin was at her dentist's office, all set to have a tooth extracted.
"I was sitting in the chair and before they numbed me up they took my blood pressure," she recalled. "I was shocked that it was high. Too high."
She felt fine, but accepted her periodontist's recommendation that she get her blood pressure resolved before having the tooth pulled....
Wouldn't it be great if you could take just one pill a day to get all the nutrients your body needs? All the vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber that help fight disease and ensure a healthy body.
No checkout lines, no washing, no peeling, no chopping, no storing, no juicing, no mixing. Just pop one pill and you're done. And, best of all, NO CALORIES! Or you could use all your calories for fun stuff, with no worry about nourishment....
TAMPA — New guidelines for managing heart disease risk will change how some doctors practice medicine and will put more emphasis on patients' behavior, local physicians said Wednesday, a day after the changes were announced by the nation's leading heart organizations.
The new guidance revises how cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should be used, and stresses the importance of diet, exercise and smoking cessation in reducing the risk of heart attack as well as stroke....
A recent outbreak among the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned plenty of attention for the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA. But another bug has public health officials even more worried.
Infections caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria, commonly known as C.diff, used to occur primarily in older adults who had received antibiotics and recently spent time in a nursing home or hospital. But in recent years, it has turned up in younger, otherwise healthy people. ...
TAMPA — Angela Alexandrow's demanding work schedule made it difficult to get to the gym. Plus, at 47, her metabolism was slowing down. It took more exercise than before to keep her weight in check.
"I needed something that was a calorie burner and an activity that would easily fit into my work and travel schedule," she said.
She decided to give running a try and turned to veteran marathoner Lynn Gray, who has been training runners in Tampa since the 1980s. Gray has written three books on the subject and is founder of Take … the First Step (firststepprograms.com), a walk-to-run training center where she designs individual programs for clients....
ST. PETERSBURG — Robb Lamont plans to spend Saturday morning taking a walk along the downtown waterfront with a thousand or so friends, all clad in purple.
Fundraising walks are common this time of year in Florida. Most include walkers whose hats or T-shirts bear the word "survivor.''
But at Saturday's PurpleStride Tampa Bay, the local Pancreatic Cancer Action Network walk, Lamont, 40, will be among the few enjoying that distinction. ...
Pumpkins on porches, lower humidity and earlier sunsets can mean only one thing — it's fall. For many of us, it's also time to put soup back on the menu, even if daytime highs still suggest summer.
Soup can be delicious and nutritious when filled with fiber-rich vegetables, beans and whole grains, with no fat or just a little. Research even suggests soup may help with weight control by filling you up before a meal so you eat less of the higher-calorie offerings....
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed last week that a third player was diagnosed with a MRSA infection — something that isn't such a big surprise if you consider that up to 20 percent of healthy people carry the bacteria. But only a relatively small percentage become infected and develop potentially serious symptoms, which, if left untreated or treated too late, can be life-threatening.
What we know as MRSA is Staphylococcus aureus, a very common bacteria found on the skin and in the nose which usually don't cause any problems. Until they get inside the body. Once inside or under the skin, the bacteria work fast to cause a painful infection that can be difficult to beat and is resistant to most available antibiotics, which explains the first part of its name: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short....
Jay Philbrook hated everything about smoking. The wheezing, the aching throat, the way it made his clothes smell, the awful taste in his mouth, getting out of breath climbing stairs.
But most of all, "I didn't like my son watching me smoke."
Philbrook, 36, tried repeatedly to quit, but his craving for nicotine—fueled by an 18-year, pack-a-day habit—was greater than any patch or lozenge could satisfy. ...
TAMPA — Myriam Escobar began getting annual mammograms when she was 41.
Watching her mother go through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment got Escobar to schedule the screening. But her sister-in-law, Patricia Tobon, reacted quite differently.
Tobon found a lump and ignored it. "She didn't tell anybody," remembers Escobar, who had been friends with her since childhood. "She didn't pay any attention to it for a long time. She thought it was nothing." ...
The stomach distress started more than a year ago, during summer vacation. Payton Foster, then 15, ate breakfast and then felt nauseous. Probably something she ate, her mother thought.
But the nausea persisted. At first, it was just in the mornings. Then it kept going all day. Then she began vomiting after every snack or meal.
"We knew something was definitely wrong," said Joyce Foster, Payton's mother, who is a teacher. "But we had no idea what it was."...
TAMPA — They say the TV camera adds 10 pounds to your frame. But when you're the one on camera, it can seem like more.
"For me, it was 20 pounds," says WFLA-Ch. 8 morning show anchor Gayle Guyardo.
"A consultant told me once in the '90s that, because of the shape of my face, I looked like a chubby teenager on the air." That's when she focused on trimming down and shaping up.
Monica Culpepper, wife of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper, always has been athletic and slim. But even for her, the prospect of appearing on TV's Survivor in a skimpy bathing suit sent her to work sculpting a figure she would be proud of, even with the camera's enlarging effects....