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Flourish Blog

The Summa Health Flourish blog consistently offers practical tips and valuable insight from our own experts.

Summa Health Flourish Blog

Five Surprising Health Benefits to Socializing with Others

Posted December 04, 2023 by Dawn Hubbard, MD


People are innately social creatures. Even the most introverted crave social interaction from time to time. And, that’s good news. Social interaction is good for our minds, bodies and souls.

In fact, studies show when you have a satisfying relationship with a romantic partner, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or others, you’re happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. In contrast, people who are lonely or socially isolated are linked to poorer…

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Navigating the World of HIV and AIDS [Podcast]

Posted November 28, 2023

Dr. Hite discusses HIV and AIDS, explains how the infection progresses, answers frequently asked questions, and reminds viewers about prevention and treatment options.

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New Wave of Weight Loss Drugs Aren’t One Size Fits All [Podcast]

Posted November 27, 2023

Obesity drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic have ushered in a new age medical weight loss. In this episode, obesity medicine specialist Dr. Kenneth Wells, explains how these medications work, how they should be used and what patients should know when considering this treatment.

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3 Tips to Achieve Your Wellness Goals

Posted November 06, 2023 by Maria Bossard, Summa Health Wellness Center Fitness Specialist


Are you walking into the gym with a whirlwind of thoughts in your head? Whether it's dinner plans or making it home in time to watch the game, we understand that life can get hectic. But, let's make sure your fitness goals don't get lost in the shuffle. At Summa Health Wellness Center, we're here to help you work out with a purpose and guide you on your journey to becoming a healthier and fitter version of yourself.

#1 Discover the Benefits of Our Free Assessments

For new…

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Fall Back Tips for Better Sleep

Posted November 02, 2023 by Ketan Deoras, MD

Fall is here, and with the change in the season comes the change in our clocks. On the first Sunday in November every year, we set our clocks back one hour. The time change can disrupt your sleep schedule, making it difficult to fall asleep and wake up on time. As sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being, you can do a few things to minimize this impact on your sleep, such as:

  • Gradually adjust your sleep schedule.
  • In the days leading up to the time change, you…

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Vaccines: What You Need to Know

Posted October 30, 2023 by Shanu Agarwal, M.D., Thomas File, M.D., Nancy Reynolds, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC


As we enter the fall and winter virus season, we want you to know how you can best protect yourself and others from getting sick. There are a lot of questions about vaccines that we want to answer for you here. 

The three viruses that cause the most hospitalizations this time of year are:

  • Influenza (flu)
  • SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) 
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
All three viruses can potentially cause severe infections in adults, especially for those with underlying…

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Have Questions About Knee Replacement Recovery? We’ve Got Answers

Posted October 23, 2023 by Morgan Schaber, PT, DPT and Diana Stitch, PT, DPT


If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, you probably have many questions about recovery. After all, rehabilitation is key to getting you back on your feet. But while the journey may not be easy or fast, it will be worth it for years to come. 

Rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery typically takes about 12 weeks. However, it can take six months to a year to fully recover and regain maximal strength and endurance. 

Committing to a comprehensive…

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Getting Started: FAQs on Breastfeeding Basics

Posted October 16, 2023 by Regina Ravine, RN, IBCLC and Susan Warner, RN, IBCLC


You’ve probably heard the term time and time again: “breast is best.” That’s because it’s true. Scientific research proves the benefits to both newborns and mothers are too numerous to count. That’s why physicians and experts encourage all mothers to breastfeed, if possible.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborns. It has the right amount of fat, sugar, water…

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How Does Radiation Therapy Work? [Podcast]

Posted October 13, 2023 by Anand Desai, M.D.

Dr. Desai answers your questions about radiation therapy and discusses advancements in treatment technology.

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Fuel Your Way to Recovery: Foods to Add—and Avoid—During Cancer Treatment

Posted October 09, 2023 by Catherine Bentley, MPA, RDN, LD, CDCES and Rella Rotondo, RD, LD

Cancer treatment isn’t just about chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Believe it or not, your diet can play a big role in your cancer treatment journey.

Not only does your body need energy to function at its best and fight off the disease, but also to repair and recover.

Eating nutritious foods is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, some recent studies have linked plant-based foods and lower cancer rates.

The primary goal of a nutrition plan…

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What is Breast Density and Why is it Important? [Podcast]

Posted October 05, 2023 by Patrick Slattery, M.D.

This podcast episode delves into breast density, covering its types, detection methods, significance for screenings, misconceptions, and risk reduction. Learn about dense breast screenings, recent Ohio legislation expanding coverage, and proactive measures for breast health. 

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HIV Prevention with PrEP Medications: Key Facts and Benefits [Podcast]

Posted October 02, 2023

Join us as we explore PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a powerful tool in preventing HIV infection. We'll cover its definition and remarkable effectiveness in reducing the risk of HIV transmission.

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4 Benefits to Waking Early and How to Make the Transition

Posted September 18, 2023 by Ketan Deoras, M.D.


Are you an early bird or a night owl? A person’s sleep schedule preference is closely tied to their circadian rhythms, the natural physical process that follows a similar cycle every 24 hours. But either sleep-wake cycle can promote a healthy lifestyle, right? Not so fast. 

Several studies have associated later sleep times with many health issues. That’s because people who stay up late tend to accumulate sleep debt if they’re forced to wake early. Work…

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3 Innovative Health Treatments That Produce Results

Posted September 11, 2023


Summa Health is on a mission to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients and members and to contribute to a healthier community.

One way we are achieving our mission is by continually incorporating the latest innovative treatments and procedures to improve patient outcomes and their quality of life. While standard treatments and medications are at the core of our care plan, we also stand at the forefront of some of the latest measures that treat the root…

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Traumatic Brain Injuries: What You Need to Know

Posted September 05, 2023 by Paul Hartzfeld, M.D.


When the weather gets warmer in Northeast Ohio, more patients are admitted to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This increase can be attributed to more participation in activities outside that require a helmet, such as riding a bicycle, motorcycle and playing contact sports, such as football.


According to the CDC, there are an estimated 1.7 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries each year in the United States. With the heightened safety risks associated…

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What Will I Learn at a Rainbow Tour? [Podcast]

Posted August 31, 2023 by Meagan Mafield, NRCMA

In this episode, we explore the Rainbow Tour, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at promoting education and awareness about the proper use of pronouns and understanding SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity). Visit and fill out the form to get involved.

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Nutrition for Endurance Events: Fueling Your Performance

Posted August 21, 2023 by Maria Bossard, Summa Health Wellness Center Fitness Specialist


‘Tis the season for outdoor endurance sports! While gearing up with the best apparel, shoes and playlist is essential, don't overlook the power of nutrition. Learn how to properly fuel your body with carbohydrates, fluid and electrolytes during endurance activities that last longer than an hour.

Muscle Glycogen: Your Energy Source

Understanding Muscle Glycogen and Energy Utilization

During exercise, your muscles rely on muscle glycogen as a primary energy source. As your…

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7 Heart-Healthy Superfoods to Add to Your Summertime Favs

Posted August 07, 2023 by Roger Chaffee, M.D., FACC


When it comes to heart health, you’ve probably heard about the foods you shouldn’t eat at summertime gatherings. Ahem, we’re looking at you typical cookout fare: hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad and pie, which are chock full of saturated fats, added sugars and sodium.


Instead, let’s talk about foods we can and should be incorporating into our summer diet—and throughout the year. Fresh fruits and veggies can brighten up your plate and…

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On the Hottest Days of Summer, Remember These 5 Tips for Heatstroke Prevention

Posted July 31, 2023 by Paul Lenz, M.D.


Summer is synonymous with fun in the sun. From swimming to hiking and biking to tennis, golf and more, it’s a season to enjoy the great outdoors. But as temperatures and humidity rise, so do the dangers of heat illness.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 people are killed by extreme heat every year in this country. Infants and people aged 65 or older, especially those with chronic conditions, are most at risk for heat…

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Six Summer Safety Scoops

Posted July 24, 2023 by Evan Howe, M.D.


Summer often brings some much-needed fun in the sun. Longer days lead to outdoor activities for the whole family. However, summer months also bring forth a host of health safety concerns. Here are six concerns to recognize and tips on how to have a safe and enjoyable summer.


We all love to catch some rays but too much time in the sun can make for a painful sunburn. Usually within a few hours, skin reddens and becomes painful to the touch. A normal sunburn can be handled…

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Torn Rotator Cuff? Try These 4 Non-Surgical Treatments That Really Work

Posted July 17, 2023 by Jose Armendariz, M.D.


Do you feel a dull ache deep in your shoulder that worsens at night or with particular arm movements? Do you have weakness when lifting or rotating your arm above your head? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might be dealing with a torn rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is a series of muscles and tendons that keeps the shoulder joint stable, while allowing the arm to rotate. Rotator cuff injuries are very common and increase with age. Injury, degeneration or…

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Senior Safety Tips for Outdoor Summer Activity

Posted July 10, 2023 by Mike Smeltzer, ACSM EP-C


With summer in full swing, you may be looking for any reason to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Which includes exercising outside.

However, for older adults this comes with an added risk for heat related-illnesses. Individuals over the age of 60 have a decreased ability to regulate their body temperature thus leading to an increased risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and even heat stroke. To limit your risk, keep your structured exercise inside during the summer…

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8 Strengthening Exercises to Prevent Running Injuries

Posted July 04, 2023 by Greg Schimmoeller, PT, and Chris Miloscia, PT


When training for a marathon, obviously, the ultimate goal is to cross the finish line. So it’s important to take care of your body during training to achieve that goal! Here are some healthy habits that can help keep runners free from injury:

  • Warm up and cool down properly.
  • Watch hydration and nutrition.
  • Cross train.
  • Follow a training plan and be careful on advancing mileage too quickly and number of hard days.

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Sunburns 101: Tips to Avoid the Burn

Posted July 03, 2023 by Darla Hadden, PA-C


Despite our best intentions and precautionary measures to protect our skin from the hot, blazing sun, many of us have suffered from sunburn at one time or another. But it’s no big deal if you’ve only been burned a few times, right? Wrong.

The dangers of even one sunburn go far beyond the short-term pain, redness and swelling. After the redness fades, lasting damage remains.

When your skin absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight, it can damage the genetic…

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Air Quality: How is it Measured and How Can You Protect Yourself?

Posted June 28, 2023 by Brian Bauman, M.D. & Aliaksandr Ramaniuk, D.O.


Air quality is measured through the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It informs you about how clean or polluted the air is in your area and what associated health effects might concern you.

AQI tracks harmful foreign substances, generally gasses and particulates, that have reached harmful levels in the air. AQI runs from 0 to 500; the higher the AQI value, the greater level of air pollution and health concerns. For example, an…

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10 Common Running Injuries and Why They Occur

Posted June 27, 2023 by By Greg Schimmoeller, PT, and Chris Miloscia, PT


With everything it takes to train for a marathon, the last thing you need is for a running injury to throw a wrench in your routine. But a recent sports medicine study1 shows that an estimated 30 percent of runners training for a marathon suffer some kind of injury. Types of injuries vary, but 10 common ones include:

  1. IT band syndrome
    Occurs when the iliotibial band, rubs against your hip or knee bones, it gets swollen and irritated, leading to lateral knee pain as the…

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5 Ways to Keep Men Healthy as They Age

Posted June 26, 2023 by Kevin Spear, M.D.


Statistically speaking, the truth is men don’t live as long as women.

That’s why it’s critical that men of all ages recognize potential health risks and start taking precautions early on. While they can’t change their genes, they can change some of their risk factors by taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

Some of the biggest health concerns facing men today include heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),…

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Dynamic Stretching

Posted June 20, 2023 by Karen Carson PT


We all have different reasons for running in the Akron Marathon series, whether it is to finish our first marathon, get a PR, lose weight or progress our love of running. We prepare with the “pounding” of miles, repeats, sprinting and rest/recovery. As a Summa Health physical therapist, one of the training components for running that is often missed or not understood by an athlete is dynamic stretching. This component, with consistent use, can reduce injury and…

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5 Preventive Health Checks You Can Easily Do at Home

Posted June 19, 2023 by Dr. Maria “Alex” Schiaffino, Program Director for Summa Health Family Medical Residency

The saying “early detection is the best prevention” exists to remind us of the importance of discovering disease early so treatment can begin promptly. With most diseases, catching them early leads to better outcomes. Depending on your age and gender, that means scheduling annual screenings for diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, as well as breast, cervical, skin, prostate and colon cancer.
But while these tests are vital to your health, you can’t…

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Checklist for Returning To Running Postpartum

Posted June 13, 2023


Step 1: Activity

Make sure that you have been cleared to return to running by your medical provider. It’s generally advisable to wait 12 weeks after delivery and be able to pass the following tests to start gradually returning to running. You need to have the ability to complete all the tasks below without:

  • Leaking
  • Pelvic “heaviness”, “dragging” or a “falling out” sensation

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Have a Headache? 11 Common Triggers and What You Can Do to Find Relief

Posted June 12, 2023 by Jeannie Gombaski, APRN, CNP


Headaches, the most common health complaint, can be just that — a real pain. While headaches typically aren’t dangerous, they can cause severe discomfort and disrupt daily life.

Pain, pressure or aching from headaches can occur in the forehead, temples and the back of the neck. The pain can range from mild to severe and last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. In most cases, a headache is not a symptom of an underlying condition. Instead, primary headaches may be…

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Revolutionizing Healthcare: Inside Summa Health's Epic Implementation and Game-Changing Patient Portal [Podcast]

Posted June 12, 2023 by Elbridge Locklear, MBA, CHCIO, CDH-E & Justin Catlett, MD

Unveiling Summa Health's Epic implementation and MyChart portal. Get exclusive insights on the game-changing impact for patients and providers from Elbridge Locklear, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and Dr. Justin Catlett, Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer.

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Putting Your Best Foot Forward This Summer

Posted June 07, 2023 by Jeffrey Junko, M.D.


As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will be outside participating in a range of summer activities, from sports to hikes and even gardening. While this is certainly good for your health, summer can also lead to a number of foot and ankle injuries.

Ankle Sprains

A sprained ankle occurs when the ankle rolls towards the outside of the foot, most often during physical activity, and it is one of the most common foot injuries. While a mild sprain is often nothing to…

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What to Consider Before Returning to Run After Childbirth

Posted June 06, 2023 by Amina Phelps, PT, DPT, Pelvic Floor Therapist


Some women feel ready and want to get back to running and exercise soon after childbirth. This is often encouraged as exercise has many physical and mental health benefits; however, keep in mind that pregnancy and childbirth produce unique changes in the muscles and ligaments of your pelvic floor, trunk, hips and feet. These changes can create an increased likelihood of:

  • Urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Hip injury or pain

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What is Gender-Affirming Care?

Posted June 05, 2023 by Katherine Williams, M.D.


On your journey to becoming more of your true and healthier self, sometimes the body does not appear or do what it "should" do. Sometimes a patient's focus is weight loss, but sometimes the goal is deeper than that.

Many transgender people have intense distress when their appearance does not reflect their gender. Known as gender dysphoria, this distress can trigger poor mental health or even mental illnessin transgender people. Gender-affirming care can be an important part…

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What to Eat After a Marathon

Posted May 30, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


Post-race dos and don'ts:

Congratulations! You’ve finished the race, and now it is time to rehydrate and refuel.  Below are some post-race nutrition tips. 

These tips are according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and ACSM.

Do rehydrate:

Rehydrate your body with about 16-24 oz. of fluid for every pound lost.  

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Empower Your Impact: Unleash the Power of Volunteering with Summa Health.

Posted May 30, 2023 by Jessica Goff, Manager, Volunteer Services


Ever wondered how you can truly make a meaningful impact in the world? Look no further. Volunteering isn't just a way to give back; its a transformative experience that touches lives, uplifts communities and fuels the spirit of compassion. In this blog, we'll explore the opportunities waiting for you at Summa Health - where your desire to make a difference meets boundless possibilities. Let's embark on a journey of purpose, connection and positive change together. 


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Stroke: What You Need to Know

Posted May 22, 2023 by Dr. Madihah Hepburn, Medical Director, Neurocritical Care.


Strokes are very common, with one occurring every 40 seconds United States. A stroke is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention – the longer symptoms are left untreated, the more damage a stroke can cause. Since fast care is necessary, knowing the signs and symptoms is essential so you can help someone get the care they need right away.

BE FAST and dial 911: Recognize the SUDDEN symptoms of a stroke.

  • Balance: Did the person suddenly lose balance?
  • Eye: Has the…

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Ashley Krul: Wellness in the Workplace [Podcast]

Posted May 17, 2023 by Ashley Krul, MSEd, CWP, CHC

Wellness has become a buzzword we hear a lot about, but maybe we don’t know precisely what it means. It can also mean different things to different people. Today’s guest, Ashley Krul, program coordinator of employee wellness at Summa Health, discusses the many dimensions of wellness and how they impact our lives. She also shares how Summa Health focuses on keeping employees well in the workplace. 

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What to Eat During a Marathon

Posted May 16, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


During race dos and don'ts:

You woke up early and followed our tips for what to eat before a race. Now your race has started – see what to eat and drink during a marathon. We’ll see you at the finish line!  

Do: include about 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

Some examples include:

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Behavioral Health Services: Where Should I Go for Help?

Posted May 15, 2023 by John Kasper, M.D.


You’ve probably heard the term “behavioral health,” but what exactly does it mean? Behavioral Health refers to the emotions and behaviors that affect your overall well-being, and encompasses mental health and substance use disorders, along with their stress-related physical symptoms. Behavioral health conditions can include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, anger management, drinking or drug abuse, traumatic stress and much more.


Because many people…

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5 Viruses That Can Cause Complications Later

Posted May 08, 2023 by Nikole M. Scalera, M.D.


Viruses are a natural part of our daily lives. Fortunately, most viral infections clear after a few days to weeks when the body’s immune system launches an attack against them. However, some viruses, known as latent viruses, can remain in the body silently after the initial infection for prolonged periods without causing any symptoms and reactivate later on.

Latency is a survival strategy some viruses use to stay alive and spread. Latent viruses remain in the body and…

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Lung Cancer Screening and the Advancements in Lung Cancer Detection and Treatment [Podcast]

Posted May 04, 2023 by Nkem Aziken, MD

Dr. Aziken, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Summa Health, reviews the importance of lung cancer screenings, who is at risk of developing lung cancer, some of advancements in the treatment of lung cancer and debunks common myths.

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What to Eat Before a Marathon

Posted May 02, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


Pre-race dos and don'ts:

You’ve trained hard!  You’ve consistently fueled your body throughout the training process, and you are now ready to run 26.2 miles!  But what should you eat before your race begins?

Below are some race-day fueling tips to have you feeling, and performing, your best!  Finish strong by following these tips according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and ACSM.  

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What Routine Tests Can I Expect During Pregnancy?

Posted May 01, 2023 by Ashley Ballester, M.D.


Regular visits and routine testing are a large part of the pregnancy journey to monitor the growth and development of your baby while helping to ensure you and your baby remain healthy throughout your pregnancy.


Summa Health breaks down various tests by trimester you can expect to undergo for routine prenatal care. The timings may vary, depending on your risk factors and individual situation, and for high-risk pregnancies, additional tests may be recommended, such as…

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How to Care for Aging Parents or Loved Ones [Podcast]

Posted April 24, 2023 by Gabrielle Ruff, M.D., MPH

In this episode, Dr. Gabrielle Ruff leads a discussion focusing on advice for caregivers of aging parents/relatives.

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Common Spring/Summer Injuries

Posted April 20, 2023 by Robert Crawford, M.D.


Watch Robert Crawford, M.D. share common injuries when people overexert themselves.

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Nutrition and Hydration – Tips for Training and Competition

Posted April 18, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


Proper nutrition and hydration is always important, not only on race day! Consistently consuming enough carbohydrates, and being adequately hydrated, supports training needs and recovery. 

Guidelines for carbohydrate intake should be fine-tuned for each individual and depend on training intensity. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and ACSM, moderate-high intensity endurance exercise lasting 1-3 h/day may require between 6-10 g/kg/…

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Minority Health Month and the Social Determinants of Health [Podcast]

Posted April 18, 2023 by Iriel Hopkins & Marlo Schmidt

Iriel Hopkins: Summa Health System Director of Community Relations and Diversity, and Marlo Schmidt: Summa Health System Director of Community Benefits, discuss the social determinants of health.

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First-Aid Dos and Don’ts When Helping Someone Having a Seizure

Posted April 10, 2023 by Marvin Rossi, M.D., Ph.D.


It may come as a surprise, but seizures are actually a common condition. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 10 people may have a seizure during their lifetime. With stats like that, you may one day find that you need to help someone during or after a seizure.

Witnessing a person having a seizure can be a truly scary event, but following general first-aid guidelines can help you provide the right care to keep a person safe.


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How Does a Hospital-Owned Healthcare Insurance Company Provide Better Service and Quality? [Podcast]

Posted April 05, 2023 by Cliff Deveny, M.D & Bill Epling

Summa Health President and CEO Cliff Deveny, M.D. and SummaCare President Bill Epling discuss the benefits of a hospital-owned healthcare insurance company and how SummaCare and Summa Health put the needs of patients first.

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Avoiding the Wall

Posted April 04, 2023 by Nick Ferguson, AT


Running a marathon can be a grueling test of endurance for world class runners, first-timers, and everyone in between. As you prepare to compete in this year’s Akron Marathon, start to plan ahead so you can avoid the dreaded “wall.”  The wall is that feeling when you run out of energy and feel weak, dizzy, or that get that heavy feeling. Physiologically, the wall is the point at which glycogen (stored glucose) is depleted and your body…

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Preparing for Menopause: Understanding the Signs and Symptoms in all Three Stages

Posted April 03, 2023 by Edward Ferris, M.D., FACOG


For people with ovaries, having a period is a fact of life, but so too is losing it. Menopause is a normal part of aging and natural transition all females experience. It occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs and the reproductive hormones decline — marking the end of menstruation and fertility.

For most females, menopause begins between the ages of 40 and 55. However, it can start earlier for individuals who experience premature ovarian failure or have surgical…

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7 Ways to Protect Your Ears and Prevent Hearing Loss

Posted March 27, 2023 by Amy Welman, Au.D.


Did you know that once you lose your hearing, it often can’t be restored? Protecting your hearing and ear health can help prevent hearing loss and related ear diseases as you age.


According to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 15 percent of adults in this country have trouble hearing with one or both ears, with the greatest amount of hearing loss in the 60 to 69 age group.


Fortunately, many common causes of…

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Choosing a Gel or Quick Energy or Carbohydrate Source

Posted March 21, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


When it comes to fueling strategies during long duration exercise (exercise lasting longer than 1 hour) one must remember that carbohydrate is the master fuel.  Even before beginning exercise, it is encouraged to start with a full gas tank of muscle energy, by fueling with carbohydrates.

Below are guidelines, as represented in the Position Statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine, on…

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What Your Heart Rate Can Tell You About Your Health

Posted March 20, 2023 by Roger Chaffee, M.D.


For people who wear smartwatches or fitness trackers, knowing how fast your heart is beating is as simple as glancing at your wrist. Your heart rate, also known as your pulse, is an indicator of how many times your heart beats per minute. Since the heart is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout your body, its health is vital to yours.

It’s typical for your heart to beat faster during exercise and slower during rest. However, if your heart beats too fast (…

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Joint Pain and Your Options

Posted March 20, 2023


Watch Kiel Pfefferle, M.D. discuss joint pain options.

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An Introduction to Mindfulness and its Health Benefits [Podcast]

Posted March 15, 2023 by Shannon Speaks, MSSA, LISW-S

In this episode, Certified Mindfulness Teacher and Life Coach Shannon Speaks leads a discussion focusing on the practice of mindfulness, and the many health benefits of this practice.

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Sports Injury? Check Out 5 Non-Surgical Treatments That Offer Quicker Recoveries

Posted March 13, 2023 by Zachary Vallandingham, D.O.


A sports injury can be scary, especially if you're facing surgery that could keep you sidelined for weeks, if not months.

Fortunately, surgery isn't always the best option when you suffer an injury from playing a sport, exercising, or participating in recreational activities. A wide range of non-surgical treatments are available today that effectively treat muscle pain, joint pain, and lack of mobility. 

A sports injury encompasses the musculoskeletal system, including…

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Strength Training Tips for Runners

Posted March 07, 2023 by Joe Cieszynski, MS AT CSCS


Lifting weights is kind of popular now a days. Everyone lifts. Swanky gyms seem to be popping up on every corner. But, you’re a runner and runners don’t lift weights, right? Runners just run, run, run. More miles are better, right? Well, not exactly. More is not always better.

Many health and fitness professionals are touting the benefits of strength training for runners and there is a mountain of research out there backing up those claims that strength training…

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Midwives are Growing in Popularity. Here's What You Should Know.

Posted March 06, 2023 by Teresa Edwards, APRN-CNM


While midwives are growing in popularity in this country, there are still many who aren’t aware of the care they can provide. Many people believe midwives help moms-to-be give birth in private settings, such as in their homes, without medication or medical intervention. While this may be true for some midwives, hospital-based midwives, like the ones at Summa, provide quality care in the hospital while maintaining a “home-like” feel.

In truth, certified nurse…

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Treatment Options for a Lumbar Herniated Disc [Podcast]

Posted March 02, 2023 by Paul Hartzfeld, M.D.

Pain and symptoms from a spinal lumbar herniated disc can be easily mistaken by patients. Summa Health neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Hartzfeld answers some of the most commonly asked questions about treatment for lumbar herniated disc.

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How Low Can You Go: Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Posted February 27, 2023 by Smita I Negi, MD


Each time you visit a doctor’s office, your blood pressure is probably taken. This is one of the many vital sign checks that helps your provider keep tabs on your health. Just as some people are prone to heart disease based on their genetics and family history, blood pressure is an important predictor of future heart disease. While the risks associated with high blood pressure are well known, blood pressure that’s too low also can cause problems.

Blood pressure is…

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Don't Let Tendon Pain Hold You Back

Posted February 23, 2023 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Do simple tasks cause your shoulder, elbow, knee or foot pain? If you’ve been suffering for three months or longer then you may have chronic tendon pain.


Summa Health Orthopedic Institute is offering a new, breakthrough technology for the treatment of chronic tendon pain. Tenex Health TX® uses ultrasound imaging and ultrasonic energy to target damaged and degenerated tendon tissue. It’s then removed through a minimally invasive procedure.

It has…

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Warming Up Before a Run or Workout

Posted February 21, 2023 by Ali Ziegler


Here are eight exercises to help warmup. Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds. 

Jumping Jacks: Start in a standing position with hands to yours sides and feet together. Then, perform a small hop to bring your feet out, slightly past hip width, and your arms into a V above your head (think making your body look like an X). Then perform another small hop to bring your body back to starting position. 

Low intensity modification: Step out with right leg and…

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Incorporate These 5 Daily Habits to Improve Your Lung Health

Posted February 20, 2023 by Faisal Qadir, M.D.


Prioritizing your lung health is very important, especially if you’re suffering from chronic lung conditions, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), lung cancer or asthma.

Your lungs allow you to take in oxygen from the air you breathe and are the key to carrying it to all your organ systems to keep them running efficiently, while clearing your body of carbon dioxide.

The body has a natural defense system designed to protect the lungs, and help keep dirt…

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Celebrating Women in Healthcare [Podcast]

Posted February 14, 2023 by Cheryl Johnson, MD, FACOG and Jacqueline Tulodzieski-Ahlstrom, DPM

In this episode, we are celebrating women physicians. Dr. Cheryl Johnson and Dr. Jacqueline Tulodzieski-Ahlstrom lead an interactive discussion focusing on what brought them to their careers in medicine, and what they love about working at Summa Health.

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Summa Health Leads the Charge for Opioid-Free Pain Management

Posted February 13, 2023 by Aisha Rahman, MD


Pain relief after surgical procedures is an important part of treatment and recovery. With reduced pain, patients are more likely to have a more comfortable recovery and faster return to everyday activities.

The problem is the most common way to treat pain after surgery is using opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, and it’s no secret our country is battling an opioid epidemic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an estimated 75,673…

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Treatment Options for Tinnitus or Ringing in Ears [Podcast]

Posted February 09, 2023 by Deanna Nickerson, Au.D. CCC-A, CH-TM

In this episode, Dr. Deanna Nickerson leads a discussion about tinnitus and the treatment options available.

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Personal Record Tips

Posted February 07, 2023 by Laurie Regallis, BS, LAT, ATC


All runners think about it, some achieve it and some train specifically for it. What is it you ask? A PR – Personal Record. The only competitors are yourself and the race clock. For the majority of runners, getting the elusive PR or personal best (PB), requires a great deal of work, including adhering to a strict training plan and nutrition plan. Along with consistency in training, utilizing some general strategies will also help you toe the line confidently.

  1. In the…

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What You Should Know About Target Heart Rate Zones to Achieve Your Wellness Goals

Posted February 06, 2023 by Roger Chaffee, MD


Whether you’re a beginner trying to improve your endurance to lose weight or an avid trainer trying to improve your cardiovascular fitness, exercising in your targeted heart rate zone is the best way to ensure your workout is both safe and effective.

Your heart rate (HR) is measured by the number of times your heart beats in one minute. As you increase the intensity of your workout, the demands on your heart increase. The higher your HR, the more calories you burn.

Your HR can…

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Vasectomy 101 and Summa Health's Vas Madness [Podcast]

Posted February 01, 2023 by Kevin Spear, M.D.

Dr. Kevin Spear leads a discussion on what you need to know about vasectomies, including the procedure itself and post-procedure care.

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5 Ways to Reduce Joint Pain and Stiffness This Winter Season

Posted January 30, 2023 by Joseph Rabe, M.D.


Do frigid temperatures cause slow, achy joints that make it difficult for you to get moving? It’s not just your imagination. People living with joint pain related to conditions, such as: arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or fibromyalgia, often report when temperatures drop, their joint pain acts up. 

It’s true, cold weather causes muscles to tense, which can lead to less mobility and flexibility in the joints. Some studies also associate joint pain with…

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Recovery Tips Following a Marathon

Posted January 24, 2023 by Ron Burdette, AT


Congratulations for competing in an Akron Marathon Series Event! Now that the hardest work is over, it is time to focus on the recovery phase. It is important to note that many factors contribute to post-race recovery; including the intensity of the race, your overall health and weather conditions. Every recovery is different, but here are tips to accelerate the healing process. 

  • Continue walking at least 10 to 15 minutes after finishing the race. This will allow…

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Nutrition During Pregnancy: What You Should and Shouldn't Eat

Posted January 23, 2023 by Phillip Dayley, D.O.


You’re pregnant, so you can now “eat for two,” as the popular saying goes, right? Not quite. While pregnancy increases your body’s need for extra calories and nutrition, eating double the calories could cause you to gain an excessive amount of weight.

To maintain a healthy pregnancy, you only need about 350 extra calories each day — and maybe slightly more during your third trimester. That’s roughly the number of calories in a half a…

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Concussion Law: Know the Facts

Posted January 17, 2023


Details about the Ohio Concussion Law

  • Prohibits athletes to practice or compete in interscholastic athletics until they have submitted a signed form stating that their parents or guardians have received a concussion and head injury information sheet created by the state Department of Health. 
  • Requires youth sports organizations to provide the concussion and head injury information sheet to parents and guardians of those wanting to practice or compete…

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7 Common Myths on Healthy Hydration Debunked

Posted January 16, 2023 by Manveen Mann, MD


When it comes to hydration, it’s a simple rule: Drink eight glasses of water each day, right? Wrong. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding hydration, including this common myth, which can make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

Water is essential for healthy bodies, as we are made up mostly of water. Getting enough water enables our bodies to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infection, deliver nutrients to cells and keep organ…

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Proper Tapering Will Ensure a Stronger Marathon

Posted January 10, 2023 by Laurie Regallis, AT


If you’ve been around veteran runners, you may have heard them mention that they are “tapering” before a big race. What is this taper that they talk about? The taper is a very important part of any marathon training program. Usually started three weeks before race day, the taper consists of cutting back on your mileage to allow your body time to rest, recover and prepare for race day. When done properly, the taper has proved to significantly boost…

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How Strong Are Your Bones? Get the Facts on Osteoporosis

Posted January 09, 2023 by Natalie Hiltbrand, MSN, APRN, FNP-C


How strong are your bones? You may have no idea until you break one doing some mundane activity, such as bumping into furniture, coughing or sneezing.

Osteoporosisis a bone disease that occurs when your body breaks down more bone than it creates. Bone is living tissue that is constantly broken down and replaced. The disease causes your bones to become weak and brittle, and breaking a bone doing seemingly ordinary activities is typically the first sign of osteoporosis.…

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How to Determine if it's COVID-19, the Flu or Common Cold

Posted January 03, 2023 by Munshi Moyenuddin, MD


It’s that time of year again. You just woke up with a fever, sore throat and cough. Could it be COVID-19? The flu? Maybe just the common cold?

Different viruses that infect the respiratory tract can cause any of these illnesses. All of them are contagious and share similar symptoms, which can make it difficult to distinguish between COVID-19, the flu and common cold.

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory disease caused by infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The flu is…

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Securing the Safety for Healthcare Employees [Podcast]

Posted January 03, 2023 by Keith Blough, Robin Brown and Tracy Carter

Violence is rising in the healthcare setting. According to the American Hospital Association, 44% of nurses reported experiencing physical violence, and 68% reported experiencing verbal abuse nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic as of June 2022.

Unfortunately, we know this reality to also be true at Summa Health. It is estimated that 3% of patients are considered violent on a daily basis. Violent situations make it more challenging for nurses and other staff to provide quality patient care, especially when they fear for their safety.

We have asked our nurses and frontline staff to share the stories of their experiences with patients being violent or abusive. Their stories deserve to be heard. The policy needs to change.

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Is Broken Heart Syndrome a Real Thing?

Posted December 27, 2022 by Grace Ayafor, MD


A broken heart is sadly a part of life. From adolescent breakups to divorce to the loss of a spouse, just about everyone suffers a broken heart at one point or another — and sometimes multiple times throughout their lives. But, did you know that a broken heart can actually lead to cardiac issues?

Yes, broken heart syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy, is a real medical condition and can even be deadly. It’s a temporary heart condition that’s often…

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The Importance of Long Run

Posted December 27, 2022 by June Calet, AT


Long runs produce many beneficial physiological changes. According to Running Times Columnist and Coach Greg McMillan, when you run long, you physically increase enzymes in your muscle cells and grow capillaries, which are the small vessels that surround the cells. These important changes allow more oxygen to be delivered to working muscle. You also strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

“The more oxygen that you can deliver to the working muscles, the better…

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12 Tips For Cooking Up A Delicious, Yet Nutritious Holiday Meal

Posted December 19, 2022 by Lauren David RD, LD


Holidays are a time for family fun, celebration and good food! But if you’re not careful, unwanted pounds can quickly sneak up on you.

Sticking to a healthy diet during the holidays is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. Holiday weight gain is not inevitable.

Summa Health offers 12 ways to make your holidays healthier — without sacrificing the tastes of the season you look forward to year after year. Instead of cutting out your favorite treats…

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Trust Your Training

Posted December 13, 2022 by Kyle Rutledge, MS, AT, ATC


Your months of training are complete. The time has come – it’s finally race day. Whether this is your first marathon or one of many, the prerace jitters are normal yet can lead to not sticking to your training plan and, possibly, an unsuccessful race.

If you’re a beginner runner (or even a veteran) and think you’re alone every time you question your fitness, training plan, or race strategy, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is not…

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Lung Cancer Patients Are Living Longer. Find Out Why

Posted December 12, 2022 by Chelsea Kennedy-Snodgrass, D.O.


Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both males and females in the United States, and according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), is the leading cause of cancer deaths, making up almost 25% of cases.

While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, nonsmokers can be diagnosed with cancer as well. Exposure to radon, asbestos, and secondhand smoke are some of the other risk factors that can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

The good news…

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Joan Riemer: How to Become a Leader [Podcast]

Posted December 06, 2022 by Joan Riemer

In this episode, we will hear from Joan Riemer, System Director of organizational development and training HR employee development. She will lead an in-depth discussion on what she believes are the skills, practices, and values that make a good leader.

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4 Ways to Balance Your Blood Sugar - No Prescription Required!

Posted December 05, 2022 by Andrew Chema, M.D.


Balancing blood sugar isn’t only for people with diabetes. Lowering blood sugar can help prevent a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a growing problem in this country. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates almost half of Americans battle high blood sugar on a daily basis. According to the ADA, about 11 percent of Americans have diabetes, while another nearly 35 percent have prediabetes. People with high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, are at an…

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The Importance of Cross Training, Core Work and Stretching

Posted November 29, 2022 by Nick Ferguson, AT


Runners just run, right? Wrong. Whether you are a weekend warrior training for your first marathon or a competitive runner trying to set a new PR, cross training, stretching, and core work can dramatically decrease your risk of injury and improve your performance.

Cross training, the practice of engaging in two or more types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport, is essential for any repetitive sport like distance…

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Take Control and Get Relief from Common Bladder Control Issues

Posted November 28, 2022 by Jenifer Byrnes, D.O.


If you’re like most females, problems with frequent urination, bathroom emergencies and leaking urine may not be something you want to talk about. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to discuss bladder control issues with your healthcare provider.

But, you don’t need to keep them hidden. Bladder control issues are a very common — and treatable — problem.

According to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, about 40 percent of females aged 65 and…

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Michelle Bisson: Teamwork & Defining Success - Advice for Women in Healthcare Leadership [Podcast]

Posted November 22, 2022 by Michelle Bisson

In this episode, Michelle Bisson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, discusses the importance of having female leaders and shares her core values and practices.

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A Guide to Ovarian Cancer: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatment

Posted November 21, 2022 by Clarissa Polen-De, M.D.


The ovaries may be small, but they are mightily important in a female’s reproductive cycle. With each about the size and shape of an almond, the ovaries produce eggs, as well as the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

You don’t often hear about a loved one developing ovarian cancer because it’s not very common. However, it does deserve your attention, especially if you’re at high risk. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among females,…

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Marathon Training FAQ

Posted November 15, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Q: What should I be doing to avoid injury during training?
A: Proper warm-up and cool-down techniques should be utilized on days you’ll be running. This can include any or all of the following: adequate sleep, regular stretching routine, foam-roll before/after run, dynamic warm-up and active cool down.

Q: What are the best foods to eat during my training plan? As I get closer to race day?
A: The best plan to follow for race preparation is a well balanced diet.…

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Transgender Day of Remembrance: An Invitation to Listen Deeply and Love Generously

Posted November 14, 2022 by Shannon Blower MA, MAR, Director of Pastoral Care Services and Education


While serving patients at Summa Health, I often ask them, “What is it like to be you?” It is a provocative question, but a crucial one to encourage conversation beyond the normal boundaries of polite conversation. You see, the patients I visit often have a diagnosis or prognosis that is terminal, and the news shatters their sense of identity. Patients may wonder, Who will I become if I can’t provide? What is my worth if I can no longer perform the duties…

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Preventing ACL Tears

Posted November 14, 2022


.Anterior cruciate ligament (or ACL) tears, a stabilizing ligament in your knee, often occur in sports like soccer, basketball, and football. But, a tear of the ACL can happen with any activity and sideline you from enjoying your favorite activities. Ron Burdette, A.T. provides common risk factors and some simple exercises to strengthen and prevent injury of the ACL.

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Post-Race Recovery

Posted November 01, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


So after months of training you did it, you completed the race for which you've been training. But, how you treat your body post-race is very important.

Next two weeks:

  • Continually re-hydrate. Your body will have lost significant amounts of fluid and electrolytes which need to be replaced.
  • Stay active and loose. If you can, go for a short walk to do some light cross training the day after. Avoid rigorous activities.
  • Eat well
  • Rest often
  • Consider a massage a few days after the race…

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Total Joint Replacement Trends: Technology Advances Are Increasing Surgical Rates and Patient Satisfaction

Posted October 31, 2022 by Kiel Pfefferle, MD


Do you have a bad hip? Achy knees? If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain, a total joint replacement can provide you with a better quality of life that includes less pain, improved motion and strength that you require for an active lifestyle.

Cartilage in joints naturally protects the bones from rubbing together. But when cartilage deteriorates due to injury, aging or disease, such as arthritis or obesity, bones begin rubbing together while in motion. This results…

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7 Cancer Treatments That Are Improving Patient Outcomes

Posted October 24, 2022 by Teresa Goebel, D.O.


Nearly 40 percent of individuals in this country will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, according to the National Cancer Institute. Breast, lung, prostate, colon and skin cancers are among the most common cancers diagnoses.

Fortunately, there are many cancer treatment options available today to cure a cancer, slow the progression or even reduce side effects from cancer — with several more being studied. Cancer treatments include local treatments,…

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Shingles: Symptoms, Treatment and Frequently Asked Questions

Posted October 17, 2022 by Darla Hadden, PA-C


For many of us, chickenpox is a distant memory. But, unfortunately, this childhood illness can come back to haunt us later in life in the form of shingles.

The same virus that causes chickenpox can cause shingles, a viral infection to the nerves that results in a painful rash. About 1 in 3 people will get shingles, according to the National Institutes of Health.

After someone has been infected with chickenpox, the virus enters their nervous system and lies inactive. Eventually,…

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7 Healthy Habits To Boost Your Immune Response

Posted October 10, 2022 by Edward Pankey, MD


Getting sick is a fact of life. But, developing healthy habits now may help you reduce your number of sick days this winter as cold and flu season looms ahead.

The body’s immune system is a complex network of cells and organ systems that work together to protect you and your family against infection and disease. It fights everything from cold and flu viruses, including COVID-19, to dangerous bacteria to cancer. A strong immune response is influenced by many factors,…

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