On October 30 HealthyU hosted a Halloween themed Wellness Walk led by members of the University of Maine’s Paranormal Investigation Club. Did you know that Estabrooke, Balentine, Carnegie, and Coburn Halls are rumored to have supernatural beings? Emily DeWitt, president of the club, and her friend Amber Robinson led the walkers on a tour of campus’ creepy buildings.
Local Fox 22 News even came to the event to learn about the spooks on campus. If you missed the walk, Fox 22′s video is a great recap.
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The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. Employees, spouses, domestic partners, and retirees covered under the University-sponsored Cigna health plan can protect themselves against this year’s flu strain with a flu shot from Cutler Health Center on campus. Appointments are available from September 30 to October 25th. To schedule your appointment, go to www.umaine.edu/shotclinic. If online registration is not convenient, you may call Cutler Health Center at 581-4000 to request an appointment.
When making and going to your appointment, please do the following:
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Sande Curtis, FNP at Cutler Health Center, gave an informative presentation about ticks and Lyme disease. She spoke about the history of Lyme disease and how ticks are a common carrier. The number of Lyme disease cases in Maine is increasing, and Curtis offered advice to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease this summer.
Curtis described two types of ticks you’ll see in Maine, deer ticks and dog ticks, and how to spot the difference between them. It is important know how to identify each as deer ticks are more likely to carry Lyme disease than dog ticks. Ticks transfer disease through their stomach content; a tick needs to be attached for approximately 36-48 hours before their stomach content can enter your bloodstream. If a tick is caught early enough the disease may not have had time to enter the bloodstream, emphasizing the importance of early detection.
Ticks are often caught after the 48 hour period because they are hard to spot. Curtis showed pictures of ticks through their life cycle from nymph to adult; the size of a nymph tick—the type most likely to spread Lyme disease—can range from poppy seed to sesame seed size. Many ticks spreading Lyme disease are so small that most of us won’t even notice, Curtis cautioned.
Lyme disease symptoms don’t usually occur until 3-14 days after the tick bite. It is important to monitor for symptoms during this period even if you removed the tick. The first symptom could be a bulls-eye shaped rash that can occur where you were bitten or anywhere else on your body. Other symptoms can occur later, including arthritis and swollen joints, nervous system problems, and irregular heart beat or cardiac inflammation. Diagnosing Lyme disease is difficult because tests are often false negatives up to four to six weeks after initial infection. Seeking medical attention sooner rather than later if you experience symptoms of Lyme disease makes combatting the disease easier. Still, finding and removing a tick as quickly as possible is the best protection against Lyme disease.
Curtis left us with some general Lyme disease prevention tips. Be tick cautious in early summer (May, June, and July), as this is when the nymphs are looking for hosts to attach to while growing into adulthood. Check your pets and yourself for ticks after being outside. Wear long sleeves and pants to keep ticks from latching on to your skin, and washing clothing at high temperatures will help remove ticks from clothing. Also, showering a couple hours after being outside could wash away any ticks you missed during your self-check. Curtis also gave tips on how you can maintain your yard to reduce the chance of ticks making a home in your front lawn.
If you find a tick in one of your self-checks, Curtis gave tips for proper tick removal. Using tweezers will help you get in close to the tick. She advised grabbing it as close to the head as possible. This will help prevent the stomach content going in through the bite. Pull steadily away from the skin, and there you go! Curtis ended the seminar with a Q & A session with attendees.
For more detailed information, watch the video of Curtis’ presentation available through the UMaine HealthyU YouTube channel.
Curtis also left HealthyU with some informational PDFs about Lyme disease. Click the links below to read or print the files.
Kate Yerxa and Jason Bolton from University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension gave a fact-filled, fun, and interactive demonstration on freezing vegetables and cooking with them. Yerxa handed the event’s responsibilities over to the attendees and explained how they would cook their lunch from frozen vegetables. While a delicious vegetable skillet sauté and vegetable chili were simmering, Bolton gave quick but very informative presentation on the basics of freezing vegetables: using only freezer safe containers and plastic bags, the importance of a safe freezer temperature, what vegetables can be frozen, and the power of blanching in extending certain vegetables’ freezer life. Attendees then prepared onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and green beans for the freezer utilizing the information they had just learned.
Some of the information presented at the Lunch & Learn can be found in photos at the bottom of this post (click on photo for larger image). For more information–and even videos–about freezing or blanching visit UMaine Cooperative Extension Food & Health website. The University of Georgia Food Preservation site offers an extensive listing of information about food preservation and is a great resource to look at when processing the summer garden.
For printable versions of the sauté skillet and vegetable chili, click here.
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Kate Garland and Kate Yerxa from Cooperative Extension gave very informative presentations on growing herbs, drying herbs, and cooking with dried herbs. If you missed it, not to fear as videos are here!
Below are informational handouts to read or print.
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This year HealthyU Employee Wellness Program has created the HealthyU Team under the Move & Improve program. As a member of the team, you can easily track your physical activity and see the total physical activity in which the team has engaged. There will be monthly prize drawings for members of the team who meet their physical activity goals. You do not need to join the HealthyU Team to participate in the Move & Improve program.
Move & Improve is an Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems program with the goal of increasing physical activity on a daily/weekly basis to improve personal fitness and wellness. Choose the physical fitness goal that’s right for you and record your physical activity online. If you meet your fitness goal for eight of twelve weeks, you’ll be entered into a prize drawing. It’s a real win-win: Join and have the chance to win prizes simply for improving your wellness.
Join the HealthyU Team
To join the HealthyU Team you must be a registered member of the Move & Improve program. Register at moveandimprove.org by clicking on “Register Here” and filling out the information. Be sure to select “University of Maine HealthyU” from the “Join a Site” pull-down menu. If you wish to participate without joining HealthyU Team, select “no site affiliation.” Select your fitness goal from the pull-down menu; you can change your fitness goal at any time during the program. Once a member of the program, simply engage in physical activity and record your time on the online activity log.
Please contact Joanna Rosebush, Employee Wellness Program Manager, at 581.4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More details about the Move & Improve program and ideas for physical activity can be found at moveandimprove.org. Please see the Move & Improve User Guide if you need help registering, entering physical activity into the online activity log, retrieving a lost username/password or have basic questions about the program.
Feel free to email this informational PDF to co-workers and encourage them to join.
Cutler Health Center has additional biometric screening appointments in the month of March. Biometric screening appointments are now available through March 26, 2013. To schedule your screening, go to umaine.edu/biometrics. Please be advised that these will be the final biometric appointment offerings available at Cutler Health Center.
Congratulations to Liz Downing from New Student Programs, the winner of our Go Red photo contest! Liz won a gift basket from the MarketPlace . Many thanks to all of you who submitted all the great photos to celebrate 10 years of Going Red by Wearing Red.
UMaine Supports GoRed for Women! Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
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