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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

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 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.…

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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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Want To Volunteer? Look No Further Than Summa Health

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


Have you heard about the benefits of volunteering? No doubt, volunteering makes a difference in the lives of others by giving tremendous help to those in need, worthy causes and the community.

But, did you know that volunteering also has benefits for you? Researchers have found that volunteering can give you a positive attitude, increased social interaction and physical activity — all things that make a healthier person in the long run.


You’ll find all these great…

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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. 

Listen now

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.

Listen now

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.

Listen now

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.

Listen now

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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Vaccines for Pregnant Individuals [Podcast]

Posted October 05, 2022 by Meghan Mehl, D.O., FACOG

Director of Obstetrics, Dr. Meghan Mehl discusses vaccinations for pregnant individuals and those planning to become pregnant.

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Summa Health Answers Your Questions About Breast Cancer Screenings

Posted October 03, 2022 by Victoria Van Fossen, M.D.


Early detection of breast cancer matters. The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is lower in advanced stages of the disease. Many times women wait until they experience symptoms, like a lump, before they get a mammogram or clinical breast exam. By then, the cancer may have spread and be more difficult to treat and cure.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in females. That’s why for decades, October and the color pink have gone hand in hand to promote…

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The Importance of Advance Directives in End-of-Life Care [Podcast]

Posted September 28, 2022 by Kyle Yoder, DO & Ellen Saal-Patterson, MA, MSW, LISW-S

In this episode, Dr. Kyle Yoder and palliative care social worker Ellen Saal-Patterson lead a comprehensive discussion on preparing for end-of-life care.

Listen now

5 Tips To Help Catch Cancer Early

Posted September 26, 2022 by Sameer Mahesh, M.D.


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.

However, the good news is that many cancers can be found early before they have a chance to grow and spread. And, studies prove catching cancer early when it’s easier to treat improves patient outcomes.

For example, breast cancer that is found in the early stages has a 99 percent survival rate, but when found in later…

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted September 20, 2022


.Listen to Ben Burkam, M.D. discuss with Ray Horner about the symptoms and treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Summa Health Answers Your Top Questions About Monkeypox

Posted September 19, 2022 by Thomas File, MD


Everywhere you turn, headlines are reporting on the latest virus to hit our country: monkeypox. At the time of this post, nearly 11,000 cases have been confirmed since the virus began spreading across the country in May and the United States declared it a public health emergency earlier this month.

But what is monkeypox? Who’s most at risk? What are the symptoms? Summa Health answers your top questions about monkeypox to help reduce your risk of infection and slow the…

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8 Common Myths About Blood Donation Debunked

Posted September 12, 2022 by Diana Lishnevski, M.D.


Donating blood is a life-saving gift. Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood, according to the American Red Cross.

While it’s a fact that your blood donation can save the lives of up to three people, you may be fearful of it because of several myths surrounding blood donation. Summa Health debunks 8 common myths about donating blood to ease your mind and encourage you to give this year. There is always a need for donors. Blood has a short shelf life, so…

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Mental Health Support When You Need It Most

Posted September 06, 2022 by Jaimie A. McKinnon, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC Vice President, Behavioral Health Institute


According to the most recent COVID-19 Practitioner Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, more psychologists reported an increased demand for mental health services in 2021 compared to 2020, with the most significant treatment increases occurring for those suffering from anxiety, depression and trauma-related disorders.

As your community healthcare partner, Summa Health is deeply committed to offering the highest quality behavioral health services to you…

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Your Aching Joints: Normal Aging or Something Else?

Posted September 06, 2022


If there is one thing to make you feel older, it’s aches and pains that limit your normal activity. As you age, the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together can become stiff. This can lead to aching, soreness and pain.

However, arthritis and other disorders can develop. Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as, “wear and tear” of the joints, is very common in middle age and elderly individuals.

It's important to listen to your body and…

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7 Common Stroke Mimics That Look Like You're Having a Stroke

Posted August 29, 2022 by Madihah Hepburn, M.D.


When you’re having a stroke, every minute counts. Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that strokes can cause and improve survival rates, while lowering disability rates. In fact, many of the most effective treatments are only available if the stroke is diagnosed within three hours of symptoms.

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to any region of the brain is reduced or blocked completely. Strokes are the No. 5 cause of death…

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Blood Clots What You Need to Know and How to Help Prevent Them

Posted August 22, 2022 by Roger Chaffee, M.D.


When you cut yourself and injure a blood vessel, blood clotting is an important process that seals your wound and prevents excessive bleeding. Once your injury is healed, the body naturally dissolves the blood clot.

Blood clots can also form inside the blood vessels without an injury and do not dissolve naturally. This can become life-threatening and cause long-term effects, such as breathing problems or chronic swelling.

Any blood clot that forms in your veins or arteries can…

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What Do I Need To Know About Low Testosterone Or Low-T

Posted August 15, 2022 by Kevin A Spear, MD


Testosterone is what makes a man look and feel like a man. It’s the male sex hormone responsible for a man’s puberty, fertility and his sexual desire.

Produced in the testicles, testosterone works to help boys develop male characteristics, such as body and facial hair, a deeper voice and muscle strength during puberty. Men also need the hormone to produce sperm. In addition, testosterone ensures adequate levels of red blood cells and bone density, boosts mood and…

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Exercise Induced Asthma

Posted August 09, 2022 by Robert Crawford, M.D.


Exercise-induced asthma can keep you and your child out of the activities you loves. Learn the symptoms and treatment options from Robert Crawford, M.D.

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Grief Counseling: A Personal Experience That Fueled a Passion for Helping Others [Podcast]

Posted August 03, 2022 by Shannon Blower, MA Pastoral Counseling, MAR in Religious Leadership

Shannon Blower, Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care Services, shares his personal experience with grief and provides tips and resources for anyone coping with grief.

Listen now

What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Posted August 01, 2022 by James K Salem, MD


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 10 Americans have diabetes. Diabetes can take a toll on your quality of life, seriously impact your physical and mental well-being and lead to many medical issues, including affecting the eye.

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that affect diabetic patients. Patients who maintain high blood glucose for a prolonged period of time can damage the tiny blood vessels located behind…

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What a Sports Medicine Doctor Treats

Posted July 26, 2022 by Robert Crawford, M.D.


Listen to Robert Crawford, M.D. share some of the conditions a Sports Medicine doctor treats.

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6 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Healthcare Provider For Your Pregnancy Journey

Posted July 25, 2022 by Ashley Ballester, M.D.


It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: you’re pregnant! With so much to do to get ready for baby — purchase a crib, choose a name, install the car seat — where should you begin?

First things first: Choosing the right provider to partner with you on this magical 40-week journey should be a top priority on your to-do list. Having a strong relationship with your obstetrician (OB) or certified nurse midwife(CNM) is important in promoting a healthy…

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Neurological Disorders: Take Strides To Reduce Your Fall Risk

Posted July 18, 2022 by Hasan Askari, M.D.


Falls are an unfortunate, yet frequent complication for people with neurological disorders. From Parkinson’s disease and Diabetes Mellitus to neuromuscular disorders, and from brain tumors to multiple sclerosis, neurological disorders affect the brain and central nervous system. This can cause paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, pain and much more. 

Because of the mobility challenges, instability and other symptoms, people with…

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Is it Psoriasis, Eczema or Something Else?

Posted July 11, 2022 by Darla Hadden, PA-C


Are you suffering from a red, dry, itchy rash that just won’t go away? Could it be psoriasis? Eczema? You may be desperate to get relief from symptoms, but it’s important to know what’s causing you trouble first. Psoriasis and eczema are both inflammatory chronic skin diseases that share similar symptoms, but they have very different causes and therefore, can have very different treatments.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes skin cells to…

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Exercises To Try — and Avoid During Pregnancy

Posted July 05, 2022 by Diana Mong, M.D., FACOG


When you’re expecting, it’s especially important to keep moving. Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy and offers big benefits for both you and your baby, such as:

  • Boosts energy levels and makes you feel better by releasing endorphins
  • Reduces back pain
  • Eases constipation, bloating and swelling
  • Decreases risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean birth
  • Prevents excess weight gain, which is helpful in regaining your pre-pregnancy body more…

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Head to Toe: Common Injuries Infographic

Posted June 28, 2022

Active lifestyles sometimes lead to injuries, aches and pains. Here's a look at some common injuries of active people, how to treat them and when to see a doctor.

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Coping with Tragic News and Tips for Talking to Children

Posted June 27, 2022 by Chaplain Shannon Blower


In recent months, international conflicts, COVID, and violence have impacted our lives. These disturbing events can have profound effects not only on the families and communities where they occur but also on parents and children many miles from the scene.

Tragedies like these often shake our sense of trust and security. They feel personal because these are everyday people doing everyday things. Our kids go to school, we shop at grocery stores, attend concerts and movies, and…

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Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and More [Podcast]

Posted June 23, 2022 by Elizabeth Boes, D.O.

Elizabeth Boes, D.O. provides an educational overview of erectile dysfunction. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatment, and more.

Listen now

Shoulder Pain: Causes, Injuries, and Treatment [Podcast]

Posted June 22, 2022 by Ryan Urchek, M.D.

Dr. Ryan Urchek gives an overview of shoulder pain from common causes, injuries, and treatment options.

Listen now

Oral, Head And Neck Cancers: Get The Facts On Risk Factors, Symptoms

Posted June 20, 2022 by Greg Manson, M.D.


While head and neck cancers are not the most common malignancies diagnosed in the US, it affects a significant number of patients. According to the National Cancer Institute, this group of cancers occur in about 4 percent of all cancers in the country.

While more common cancers such as breast, colon and lung cancer are more known, oral, head and neck cancers can and do occur, especially in men. Additionally, the population affected by this disease has changed over the…

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Juneteenth: What It Is and Why It’s Celebrated [Podcast]

Posted June 14, 2022 by Dr. Yoleetah Ilodi & Iriel Hopkins

Dr. Yoleetah Ilodi & Iriel Hopkins discuss Juneteenth and its importance. Listen and learn more in this episode of Healthy Vitals.

Listen now

Let's Talk About Fiber!

Posted June 13, 2022 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Fiber has many health benefits, including:

  • Playing a role in lowering blood cholesterol
  • Helping to control blood sugars
  • Aiding in preventing constipation
  • Contributing to weight management

According to the Institute of Medicine and USDA, women should aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should aim for about 38 grams per day, or it is recommended to have about 14 grams for every 1000 calories. …

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Traci Kalpac Takes Pride In Connecting The LGBTQ+ Community With Specialized Services

Posted June 06, 2022 by Pamela Carlson, BA RN


Traci Kalpac starts out each morning not knowing what the day will bring. As a licensed independent social worker in Summa Health’s Pride Clinic, Traci’s role involves many hats.

Countless individuals in the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) community face the presence of stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. That’s why Traci’s role as a social worker can take on many forms: one day she’s a mentor, broker and…

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Why Are Tick-Borne Illnesses On The Rise And What Do I Need To Know?

Posted May 31, 2022 by Shivonne N. Suttles, MD


This summer as you head out for hikes in the woods, camping and other fun outdoor activities, beware of unwelcomed visitors — ticks.

The tick population is on the rise and expanding their geographical range, and with that comes an increase in tick-borne illnesses. In fact, the annual number of cases of tick-borne diseases in the United States has nearly doubled since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Lyme disease representing the…

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Multiple Sclerosis: Symptoms, Treatment, and More [Podcast]

Posted May 30, 2022 by Dmitri Kolychev, M.D.


Dr. Dmitri Kolychev, a neurologist at Summa Health, discusses the influx of Multiple Sclerosis diagnoses in the United States. Learn about MS symptoms, treatment options, and more in this episode of Healthy Vitals.

Listen now

A Guide To High Blood Pressure To Help You Lower Your Numbers

Posted May 23, 2022 by Joseph F. Pietrolungo DO, MS, FSVM, FACC


There’s good reason why blood pressure readings are taken first at all routine doctor visits. Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, known as hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. It’s a very common condition, especially as you age.

Your blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heartpumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your…

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Shin Splints

Posted May 17, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Many people turn to running as a form of exercise because it’s an easy and inexpensive way to improve your cardiovascular health and lose weight. Nilesh Shah, M.D. shares some tips to alleviate shin pain (also known as shin splints) when you start a running program.

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What You Need To Know About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted May 16, 2022 by Tamika Payden, MA, LPCC-S, MFT & Patrick Palmieri, Ph.D.


As humans, we strive to achieve a sense of belonging, acceptance and connection with others. These innate needs and desires are often originated from family. Through these interactions, we gain a sense of self-worth, security and community. Families, regardless of blood relation or choice, are bound together by shared meaning and values. These beliefs and perspectives shape the realities that form these connections, but what happens to a family when trauma alters and divides…

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Nurses Week: Celebrating Nurses and Their Commitment to Our Community [Podcast]

Posted May 09, 2022 by Tiffany Collins, BSN, RN


Tiffany Collins discusses her journey and passion for nursing.

Listen now

Viral hepatitis: What you need to know

Posted May 08, 2022 by Edward Pankey, M.D.


The liver is one of the largest and busiest organs in the body. Your liver spends its days processing nutrients, filtering blood and fighting infection, among other important jobs.

That’s why the hepatitis virus, which infects the liver, can be a major threat to this vital organ. When your liver is inflamed or damaged, it cannot function correctly.

The most common hepatitis viruses in the United States are hepatitis A, B and C. These viruses cause liver infections and…

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Shoulder and Arm Injuries

Posted May 03, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Listen to Nilesh Shah, M.D. discuss some recent baseball injuries..

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Don't suffer in silence: What you need to know about hearing loss

Posted May 02, 2022 by Deanna Nickerson, Au.D. & Amy Welman, Au.D.


Do you often find yourself replying, “Say that again,” during a conversation? Do you have difficulty understanding words while in a crowded place? Does it seem as if your loved one is mumbling or talking quieter than usual? These could be signs of hearing loss.

As we age, hearing lossis a common problem. In fact, nearly 25 percent of people ages 65 to 74 and half of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of…

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Getting Help for Long-Term Post-COVID Symptoms [Podcast]

Posted April 25, 2022 by Ted Shaub, M.D. & Brian Bauman, M.D.

While most people with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health within a few weeks, others have symptoms that linger for months after recovery. Even people who have had mild versions of the virus can experience persistent or late symptoms. These people are often referred to as "long haulers" and the condition has been termed post-COVID syndrome or "long COVID-19."

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Get your top questions about epilepsy answered

Posted April 24, 2022 by By Marvin Rossi, MD, Ph.D


Epilepsy is more common than you might think. It’s estimated 3.4 million adults and children in this country are living with epilepsy, with about 150,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that leads to disturbances in the brain’s electrical activity, causing repeated seizures. These seizures occur when the nerve cells fire more rapidly and with less control than…

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How Acupuncture Needles Promote Healing

Posted April 19, 2022


Dry needling involves insertion of a very thin needle around trigger points, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves to elicit a biochemical response in the brain to release trigger points and improve the body’s perception of pain location and intensity. Dry needling has been proven to be both very safe and effective for treating pain and improving function.  Dry needling is practiced within the framework of western medicine, not within the framework of traditional…

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Summa Health's Project SEARCH helps young adults with disabilities gain employment

Posted April 18, 2022 by Jessica Goff, Manager, Volunteer Services


Summa Health is helping to educate and employ young adults with disabilities one student at a time through Project SEARCH.

Since 2005, Summa Health has partnered with the Six District Educational Compact, a regional collaborative that provides career-technical education programs, to offer high-school students a one-year, school-to-work transition program on-site. Modeled after the growing Project SEARCHnational program, the initiative is designed to help qualified students…

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Maternal Health in the Black Community [Podcast]

Posted April 14, 2022 by Cheryl Johnson, MD, FACOG


Dr. Cheryl Johnson leads a discussion focusing on empowerment in the African American community, especially maternal health.

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Spring Back into Your Running Regimen with These 5 Training Tips

Posted April 10, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, MD


Spring breathes new life into the grass, plants and trees around us — and hopefully your training routine, too. As temperatures rise and the days get longer, many runners are eager to jump off the treadmill and into the outdoors.

But whether you’re an avid runner, looking to increase your miles or are just starting out for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head out the door.

After frigid temps and busy holiday schedules, you may have…

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Testicular Cancer: An Overview from Prevention to Treatment [Podcast]

Posted April 08, 2022 by Joseph Dankoff, MD


Dr. Dankoff provides an overview of testicular cancer. Learn about symptoms, prevention, and treatment options.

Listen now

Keeping Your Back Healthy While Golfing

Posted April 05, 2022


The world’s best golfers are in Akron this week for the
Bridgestone Invitational. As we marvel at their powerful swings, it is important to remember that those swings can also lead to back issues. As with so many health conditions, a little effort to prevent back injury and low back pain goes a long way. Three key areas of prevention include adequate warm-up, swing technique, and properly carrying the golf bag.

1. Warm-up

Going directly to the tee at 7 a.m., pulling out…

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Myth vs. Fact: What you need to know to feel confident in your healthy food choices

Posted April 04, 2022 by Laura Ilg RD, LD


We’ve been told time and again all fats are unhealthy, multigrain is healthier than white bread and fruit juice is a good replacement for the whole fruit. But, are these facts or myths that have been ingrained in us? 

With so much conflicting information, it can be difficult to make the healthiest choices and the unfortunate truth is we often fall victim to food myths.

We might reach for a food commonly believed to be healthy, but in actuality, it could be harmful to…

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What Makes a Great Doctor - Personal Insights, Advice, and Why they Chose Medicine [Podcast]

Posted March 30, 2022 by Dr. Shanu Agarwal and resident Kortnie Broschinsky


Dr. Shanu Agarwal and resident Kortnie Broschinsky discuss their journey into healthcare.

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Feeling the pressure? 8 ways to live a heart-healthy lifestyle

Posted March 28, 2022 by Fatima Samad, MD


Are you feeling the pressure to live a heart-healthy lifestyle? You’re not alone.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). What’s more, nearly half of all adults in this country are living with some type of cardiovascular disease.

The good news is you don’t have to be a statistic. While genetics do play a role in heart disease, there are several risk factors that can…

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Occupational Therapy: What Is It, How Does It Help, Who Should See An OT [Podcast]

Posted March 24, 2022 by Dr. Craig Wood


Craig Wood leads a discussion focusing on occupational therapy, its benefits, and why he got into the field.

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Issues that Can Put the Brakes on Your Summer Run

Posted March 22, 2022 by Scott M. Barbone M.S., AT


When the temperatures soar into the 80s and beyond, but you’re determined to complete that training run, there are some key things to remember before you lace up your sneakers.


On warm, summer days, hydrating after a workout isn't enough. It's also important to drink water throughout the day before even heading outside for a run. Even if you're not used to carrying water, make a point to bring water during hot runs and sip an ounce or two every five or 10…

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Why Am I So Tired [Podcast]

Posted March 22, 2022 by Dr. Ketan Deoras


Dr. Ketan Deoras discusses some of the more common issues of fatigue.

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Summa Health opens new Joint Replacement Center of Excellence

Posted March 21, 2022 by Kiel J Pfefferle, MD


Summa Health is pleased to bring to Barberton and the greater Akron community a brand new, state-of-the-art Joint Replacement Center of Excellence. The new center is dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive care, all the while enhancing the patient experience throughout every phase of treatment.

Patients can expect a high concentration of expertise and resources centered on providing exceptional orthopedic care for hip and knee replacement. Summa Health is proud to…

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Brain basics: What you should know about traumatic brain injuries

Posted March 14, 2022


From a car accident to a sports injury to an unfortunate fall to domestic violence or child abuse, all of these horrific scenarios can result in traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. Head injuries can happen to anyone, at any age, and can damage the brain.

A TBI occurs when a sudden bump, blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to bounce or twist in the skull, injuring brain cells, breaking blood vessels, even creating chemical changes. It also can happen with a penetrating…

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Our Commitment to Creating a Healthier Community [Podcast]

Posted March 10, 2022 by Iriel Hopkins and Marlo Schmidt


Iriel Hopkins and Marlo Schmidt discuss ways in which Summa Health System contributes to a healthier community.

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6 Reasons Running is More Popular than Ever

Posted March 08, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Did you see the pictures from this past weekend’s Akron Marathon, or did you cheer on a friend or family member who was running? If it inspired you to dust off your own sneakers and hit the road, you’re not alone. Here are six reasons why you should start running!

Running makes you happier.

No matter how you feel at any given moment, running will make you feel better. This feeling goes beyond the "runner's high"—that rush of feel-good hormones known as…

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Colorectal cancer screening: Which test is right for you?

Posted March 07, 2022 by Truong Ma, M.D.


As the third leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the U.S., screening for colorectal cancer should be an important part of your routine healthcare.

Colon and rectal cancers, more commonly known as colorectal cancer, can be found early with testing before it has a chance to grow and spread. And studies prove catching it early when the cancer is easier to treat improves patient outcomes.

Just look at the survival rate for colorectal cancer as proof.…

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Travel plans? Check out these tips for preventing and treating motion sickness

Posted February 28, 2022 by John Weeman, M.D.


Have you ever walked off a boat, stepped off a rollercoaster or gotten out of a car only to feel nauseous, dizzy and otherwise awful?  That’s motion sickness.  Anyone can experience it — one in three people do in their lifetime, in fact — but it’s most common in children and pregnant women.

Typically, motion sickness occurs with any form of travel, whether by car, bus, train, airplane or boat.  Sometimes amusement rides can cause it, too.…

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – What You Need to Know [Podcast]

Posted February 24, 2022


Karen Frantz DeSeptis and Ericka Malone lead a discussion on SIDS, and important information you need to know.

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Marathon Race Tips

Posted February 22, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Just making the decision to run a marathon is a huge achievement. But what are some steps you can take before and during the race to make sure you have a successful and safe run? Here are some recommendations promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Hydration/Avoiding Heat Illness

  1. Drink 8-10 ounces of sports drink 2-3 hours before the race to make sure you are properly hydrated before arriving at the starting line.
  2. 10-20 minutes before the race, drink another 8…

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Get the facts on heart disease in African American women

Posted February 21, 2022 by Dr. Grace Ayafor


You may have heard heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 killers in women. But did you know that heart disease and stroke disproportionately affect African American women?

It’s true. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 49 percent of African American women aged 20 and older have heart disease and they have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians. Sadly, African American women are more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to other…

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How "Long COVID-19" is taking a toll on patients' mental health

Posted February 14, 2022 by Patrick Palmieri, PhD


The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, but especially on those who have battled the virus and now have lingering symptoms.

Known as “long COVID-19” or “post-COVID syndrome,” some patients are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for weeks or even months after recovering from the acute phase of infection — even when the virus is no longer detected in their bodies. Even patients who had mild cases and weren’t hospitalized…

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An Overview of Osteoporosis: Prevention to Treatment [Podcast]

Posted February 11, 2022


Natalie Hiltbrand, an Osteoporosis Specialist at Summa Health, leads a discussion on osteoporosis treatment, as well as prevention.

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10 Tips for Running Your First Organized Race

Posted February 08, 2022 by Nick Ferguson, MBA, AT


Training for the Big Event


1. Take Your Time and Use a Formal Training Program

Going from a sedentary lifestyle to running a 5K or longer race is an attainable goal for almost everyone. However, running is not without risk and following one of the many formal programs, such as Couch to 5K or other run/walk training programs (available online) can help keep you from sustaining injury by doing too much too early. These programs also help keep you motivated by giving you…

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Summa Health joins the cause to reduce racial disparity in Akron communities

Posted February 07, 2022 by Tracy Carter & Iriel Hopkins, MSW, LSW


With a national spotlight on racism in recent years, numerous efforts across the country are underway to help reduce racial disparity, and the city of Akron and Summa Health are jumping in to join the fight.

Last summer, the city of Akron declared racism a public health crisis and put plans in place to reduce racial disparity here at home through the newly created Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce. The taskforce’s mission is to build public trust by making…

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How Random Acts of Kindness Can Benefit Your Health

Posted January 31, 2022 by Todd M Ivan, MD


We all know how a random act of kindness can benefit the recipient of the act. Plus, it usually makes you feel good to show kindness to others. But, did you know, these random acts of kindness also have physical health benefits?

A 2016 studyshows a connection between giving or helping and the chemical releases in the brain that mimic a euphoric high. This ‘helpers high” shows how generosity can benefit your overall health as much as those who you help. Research…

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Ready to Run: Helpful Tips for Beginner and Seasoned Runners

Posted January 25, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Watch Nilesh Shah, M.D. share tips for runners.

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Exercising your brain: 6 ways to build mental fitness

Posted January 24, 2022 by Dr. James R Bavis


Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of our life, so do our brains — especially as we age. Lifting weights strengthens our muscles, while strengthening our mental “muscles” improves our memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation.

The key is variety. Similarly when we exercise our body, if doing something becomes too easy, it’s time to make a change to build brainpower. The more something is second…

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Do's and Dont's to safely care for cuts and scrapes at home

Posted January 17, 2022 by Mary Lareine Pastoral, M.D.


Cuts from household items, such as knives, broken glass or needles, are commonplace. All it takes is a slip of the knife during meal prep or a broken glass while cleaning up and suddenly, you’re bleeding. Now what?

Immediately apply pressure on the area with a tissue, gauze pad or clean cloth to stop any bleeding. It should stop after a few minutes, so don’t remove the gauze until you’ve applied pressure for two to three minutes. Removing the cloth too soon…

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Starting a Running Routine

Posted January 11, 2022 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Watch Nilesh Shah, M.D. share tips for starting a running routine. These running tips will help keep you injury free.

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10 early signs of diabetes that shouldn't be ignored

Posted January 10, 2022 by James Salem, MD


High blood sugar can cause gradual, unassuming symptoms that can sneak up on you. Frequent urination and excessive thirst — the telltale signs of type 2 diabetes — are often mild and can easily be attributed to other factors.

In fact, most people don’t even know they have high blood sugar until they’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetesis a chronic condition that causes glucose (or sugar) levels in the body to rise. The problem is ignoring or…

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Why is it so important to understand your family health history?

Posted January 03, 2022 by Lynn Hamrich, M.D.


You may have heard someone comment on a shared feature that you have with a family member, or heard someone is the spitting image of a relative.  It’s true family members share similar looks, but they also share genes — which aren’t as easy to see. For instance, you may be unaware that you also share your great-grandmother’s increased risk for heart disease.

When it comes to your health, knowing your family’s traits that you can’t see…

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5 tips for safeguarding your home against preventable accidents

Posted December 27, 2021 by Shivonne N Suttles


When you think of home, you often think of it as your safe haven from the outside world. It’s your safe space you get to return to every night.

The sobering reality, however, is more than 50 percent of unintentional injuries happen in or around the home, according to the National Security Council (NSC). People of certain ages, especially young children and the elderly, are more susceptible to serious injury from household hazards.

The good news is many of them are…

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How to introduce moderate exercise into your routine

Posted December 22, 2021 by Nilesh Shah, MD


Study after study has shown the positive effects of light-to-moderate physical activity and the negative effects of little or no exercise. Regular exercise is one of the most beneficial (and cost-effective) activities you can do to better your health.

Some benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: Stroke and heart diseaseare two of the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the CDC, just 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity can put…

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So You Want to Run?

Posted December 22, 2021 by Nilesh Shah, MD


Running is great cardiovascular exercise and most of my patients start running to lose weight. It is a great exercise for weight loss, and running has amazing positive feedback. You feel better after a run, and as the pounds start coming off, you get hooked. This is when the problems start. As typical human nature takes over, we think: a little is good, so a lot is obviously better.

It starts as an ache — and you keep running. The ache becomes a pain — you…

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Are you experiencing increasing memory lapses When it's normal and when to be concerned

Posted December 19, 2021 by Jen Drost, D.O., MPH


Where is my phone? Did someone take my keys from their hook? We all forget things at one time or another. That’s why Find My iPhone and Bluetooth key finders exist on the market.

But if you find yourself worried about these or other similar instances of forgetfulness or memory loss, you’re not alone. Subtle changes in memory occur naturally as part of the aging process.

In fact, about 40 percent of people in this country age 65 and older deal with the mildest form &…

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The Importance of Knowing Your Family Health History [Podcast]

Posted December 16, 2021


Dr. Lynn Hamrich discusses why it is important to know the health history in your family.

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5 questions to consider when creating a birth plan

Posted December 13, 2021 by Phillip Dayley, D.O.


Whether you’re expecting your first baby or expanding your family, when the day you give birth finally arrives, it’ll be one of the most important in your life. That’s why many expecting parents have a written birth plan ready that outlines their preferences for their big day.

It’s normal to have expectations for how you’d like your birth experience to happen. Discussing your wishes ahead of time with your partner and obstetrician, or midwife…

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Why Running is the New Trend

Posted December 08, 2021 by Nilesh Shah, MD



There's plenty of scientific evidence that proves regular exercise (30 minutes, five times per week) — and running in particular — has huge health benefits. Here are the top 7 benefits of running, courtesy of Dr. Shah.

1. Running makes you happier.

No matter how you feel at any given moment, running will make you feel better. This feeling goes beyond the “runner's high” — that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids.…

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All About Gestational Diabetes [Podcast]

Posted December 08, 2021

Healthy VitalsDr. Katherine Wolfe discusses gestational diabetes.

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10 ways to stop and prevent nosebleeds

Posted December 06, 2021 by Gary Huang, M.D.


Nosebleeds are very common and can strike at any time. While they can look scary with blood trickling out your nose, the good news is nosebleeds are rarely serious.

But you may be wondering, what is causing this messy nuisance?

There are many reasons why you could be getting nosebleeds. The most common cause is dry air. During the winter months, dry household heat and cold, dry air outside can irritate nasal membranes and trigger nosebleeds.

Other reasons for nosebleeds can…

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Get the facts on lung cancer so you can breathe easier

Posted November 29, 2021 by Sandy Kohut, RRT


You’re not a smoker, so you can’t be at risk for lung cancer, right? Not so fast.

While smokers, especially cigarette smokers, make up the leading cause of lung cancer deaths, nonsmokers do get diagnosed with this deadly disease.

Lung cancer is the second most common diagnosed cancer in both men and women, and the leading cause of cancer deaths, making up almost 25 percent in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

However, despite how…

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How to Feel Like an Olympian

Posted November 24, 2021 by Scott M. Barbone M.S., AT


Whether it is a urinary tract infection, sinus infection, or an infected wound, most people consider these things to be a part
of life. While many infections clear up on their own or with antibiotic medications, some infections progress to a life-threatening condition called sepsis.

According to the Sepsis Alliance, 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with sepsis every year. What’s more, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, accounting for 35% of all…

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What You Know About Sepsis Could Save Your Life

Posted November 22, 2021 by Ashley Desmett, M.D.


Whether it is a urinary tract infection, sinus infection, or an infected wound, most people consider these things to be a part of life. While many infections clear up on their own or with antibiotic medications, some infections progress to a life-threatening condition called sepsis.

According to the Sepsis Alliance, 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with sepsis every year. What’s more, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, accounting for 35% of all…

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'Tis the season to avoid asthma triggers

Posted November 17, 2021 by Brian Bauman, MD


You know winter has arrived when the days get shorter, snow flurries fill the air and you can see your breath when you speak. When temperatures hover around freezing for months on end, it can make for a long and dreary season for many.

But for people with asthma, it can be even more frightful when the frigid winter weather causes their symptoms to worsen. Exposure to cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can quickly cause severe symptoms.

When cold, dry air enters the…

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Overactive bladder? Find the urge to talk to your doctor and get relief

Posted November 15, 2021 by Naveen K Arora, MD


Find yourself rushing to the bathroom in an emergency more than usual? So much so that it’s actually interfering with your daily life? If you answered yes, you might be suffering from an overactive bladder, or OAB.

OAB causes the sudden, hard-to-control urge to urinate that cannot be ignored. At times, you may even leak urine, known as incontinence. It occurs when the bladder senses it is full prematurely and communicates to the brain that it’s time to go.


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Prepping for Back to School Sports

Posted November 10, 2021


If you have kids active in sports, July is the perfect time to make sure all their paperwork is in order so they can get back on the field, court or mat. The Summa Health Orthopedic Institute offers a number of services for student athletes from sports physicals to pre-season baseline testing for concussions.

Pre-Season Physicals

The Summa Health Orthopedic Institute provides pre-participation sports physicals, which are required by school districts in order for your child to…

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Pelvic health 101: 6 common vulvar disorders

Posted November 08, 2021 by Sevasti Yeropoli, MD


When women experience pain or discomfort in their pelvic region, many times their first thought is the dreaded yeast infection. That’s not a surprise because most women — as many as 75 percent — will be diagnosed at least once with a vaginal yeast infection during their lifetimes.

However, there are vulvar disorders other than yeast —  that can cause similar symptoms, including redness and swelling, intense itching, discolored discharge, blisters…

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Addressing Common Pelvic Health Issues [Podcast]

Posted November 05, 2021


Dr. Megan Cesta and senior physical therapist Amy Senn discuss common pelvic health issues women may experience.

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The Future of Epilepsy Care Begins Now [Podcast]

Posted November 03, 2021

Healthy VitalsDr. Marvin Rossi leads a discussion on epilepsy, covering symptoms, treatment, as well as new practices in care.

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Safe sleep for babies: It's as easy as ABCDE

Posted November 01, 2021 by Karen Frantz DeSeptis, BSN, RNC


It’s true babies sleep a lot. In fact, they can spend up to 16 hours a day asleep in the first few weeks of life. That’s why it’s so important to make sure for every snooze — nighttime and naptime — your baby sleeps safely.

Sadly, every week in Ohio, it’s estimated 3 babies die while sleeping due to unsafe sleep practices, according to the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In fact, Ohio has the eighth-highest infant death…

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What to Eat Before, During and After Activity

Posted October 27, 2021 by Nick Ferguson, A.T.


Knowing what foods to eat before you or your family participate in exercise can be confusing. Nick Ferguson, Athletic Trainer, shares his tips for choosing the right snacks to keep you feeling healthy and powering through your workouts.

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Atrial Fibrillation... What you should know

Posted October 25, 2021 by Sahil P. Attawala, MD and Lori O'Shell APRN-CNP


Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib) is a chaotic, or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), at least 2.7 million Americans are currently living with AFib and it is estimated that by 2030 more than 12 million Americans will have AFib.

With normal electrical conduction, impulses originate from an area in the top right corner of the heart…

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What does "High Risk" for Breast Cancer really mean?

Posted October 17, 2021 by Victoria L. Van Fossen, MD


One out of every eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime; this is considered average risk for U.S. women.  High risk for breast cancer is defined as a greater than or equal to 20% lifetime risk, or in other words, a one in five chance of developing breast cancer over a lifetime. We all know someone — a coworker, family member such as a mother, sister, daughter or friend — that has been diagnosed with this disease. 

That’s why for…

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Dynamic Stretching

Posted October 13, 2021 by Maria Stadelman



Our bodies have many muscle fibers and connective tissues that need to be activated and stimulated before exercise or activity. Warming up with dynamic stretches helps our bodies prepare for work.

  • Increases blood flow to working muscles
  • Moves muscles through their range of motion
  • Prevents injury

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Physical therapy: 4 benefits that go beyond better mobility

Posted October 11, 2021 by Ronda Beery, P.T., M.A, CERT. MDT


Pain relief

PT has been shown to be an effective treatment method to reducing or even eliminating pain — both acute and chronic — without surgery or the need for opioids.

Physical therapy uses a variety of therapeutic exercises, and therapeutic interventions such as soft tissue and joint mobilization to help reduce pain, improve range of motion and strength. Patients are educated on proper exercises and many benefit from continuing these exercises long after their…

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Coming Out: How to Feel and Show Support During a Time of Vulnerability [Podcast]

Posted October 08, 2021

Healthy VitalsWe talk about tips on how to go about telling friends and family. And for friends and family, ways to show support when loved ones share with you.

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How can physical therapy help me get back to activity faster?

Posted October 04, 2021 by Ronda Beery, P.T., M.A, CERT. MDT


While taking a brisk walk with a friend, you clumsily trip on the sidewalk and sprain you ankle. You’re slowly recovering and managing the pain, but in addition to rest and ice, your doctor recommends physical therapy (PT) 

You may be wondering, how can PT help me improve my mobility and manage my pain? Isn’t a sprained ankle something you just have to rest?

As a matter of fact, physical therapists can develop a program to help you heal safely and even prevent…

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Choosing the Right Sports Drink

Posted September 28, 2021 by Nilesh Shah, M.D.


Summer is a popular time for all sorts of races, from a 5K to a full marathon. While running in the summer heat, it's important to stay hydrated. Here are some recommendations promoted by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Hydration/Avoiding Heat Illness

  • Drink 8-10 ounces of sports drink 2-3 hours before the race to make sure you are properly hydrated before arriving at the starting line.
  • 10-20 minutes before the race, drink another 8 ounces of sports drink.
  • Just before the…

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Finding pain relief for your autoimmune disease

Posted September 27, 2021 by Aisha Rahman, MD


Chronic, severe pain from autoimmune diseases can have a detrimental impact on your health, work and relationships. When you’re suffering from chronic pain day in and day out, it’s only natural that you become less active, antisocial, moody and find it difficult to sleep.  

Not to mention, the stress, anxiety and even depression that comes from dealing with pain can make it even worse.

Autoimmune diseases are a chronic condition in which your immune system…

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Enlarged Prostate Relief [Podcast]

Posted September 27, 2021

Healthy VitalsDr. Jospeh Dankoff and Dr. Kevin Spear lead a discussion on prostate health.

Listen now

Why is it so important to get your flu shot this year?

Posted September 13, 2021 by Thomas File, MD and Shanu Agarwal, MD


Last winter, the community took several precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19. From masks and social distancing to virtual work and school to cancelled events, an unforeseen positive side effect was a less intense flu season.  

Flu cases documented during last year’s flu season were historically low by a wide margin. Medical professionals haven’t seen anything like it.  

So with many precautions still in place amidst an ongoing pandemic, you may be…

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4 Alternatives to CPAP masks to treat sleep apnea

Posted August 30, 2021 by Ketan Deoras, M.D. and Gary Huang, M.D.


It’s estimated about 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. That number, however, continues to rise due to the country’s growing obesity epidemic.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that causes your breathing to stop during sleep — sometimes up to several hundred times a night. When you stop breathing, your blood oxygen levels can drop abruptly during the night, which may cause the brain to…

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How to tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies

Posted August 30, 2021 by Shanu Agarwal, MD


At the first sign of a scratchy throat or cough, people can’t help but wonder whether they’ve contracted COVID-19 — and rightfully so.

But just because you have a sore throat and cough, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve contracted COVID-19. Pollen counts are high, affecting you or someone you know with seasonal allergies.

COVID-19and seasonal allergies both affect the respiratory system and share similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to…

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Dos and Don'ts for campfire safety and burn prevention

Posted August 23, 2021 by Kevin D. Markowski, MD


For many, summertime is not complete until one activity has been done—a campfire! From gooey s’mores and roasted hot dogs to sharing ghost stories, campfires are a sure-fire way to get into the summery spirit, all while surrounded by family and friends.

Unfortunately, a burn from the campfire can quickly put a damper on those summertime memories. As one of the most dangerous activities without the proper burn prevention and protocols in place, campfires are a…

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5 surprising health benefits of volunteering

Posted August 16, 2021 by Angela Smith System Director, Volunteer Services


Volunteering makes a huge difference in the lives of others. From dishing out meals in a soup kitchen to cleaning up trash in a park to holding babies in the NICU, volunteering gives tremendous help to people in need, worthy causes and the community. Simply put, it helps make the world a better place. 

But, did you know that volunteering also has benefits for you? Researchers have found that volunteering can give you a positive attitude, increased social interaction and…

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Top Questions to Ask Your Provider When You’re Pregnant [Podcast]

Posted August 12, 2021

Healthy VitalsDr. Stephen D’Abreau covers important questions and topics that you should be asking your healthcare provider if you are expecting a baby.

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When do adults need their tonsils removed?

Posted August 09, 2021 by Ryan Gerritsen, M.D.


Tonsillectomies are common surgeries performed on children. But sometimes adults can benefit from having their tonsils removed, too.

Tonsils are two oval-shaped clumps of tissue that sit in the back of your throat to trap germs that enter your body through your mouth or nose. Because they are your immune system’s first line of defense against bacteria or viruses, they are particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation. This can cause recurring sore throats,…

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Summer Safety: Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke could save a life

Posted August 02, 2021 by Lindsey Meade, MD


Summer often brings some much-needed fun in the sun. But as temperatures and humidity rise, so do the dangers of heat illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 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 illness. However, it can affect anyone, even young athletes and those in good physical condition.

The good news…

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Is a Broken Heart a Physical Ailment: Understanding the Grief Recovery Method [Podcast]

Posted July 29, 2021

Healthy VitalsLove Akron Executive Director Kemp Boyd and Advocate Tracy Carter discuss what the Grief Recovery Method is, why its important to Akron and specifically to the black community.

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Are you coping with stress in a healthy way?

Posted July 26, 2021 by Patrick A. Palmieri, Ph.D.


Stress is inevitable and a natural part of our modern lives. Bills come every month, kids’ activities are year-round and work never seems to slow down.

Suffice it to say, stress is something all of us struggle with at times. However, it’s one that all of us cope with differently — some in healthy ways and others in unhealthy ways. Some people may turn to meditation or a friend to release stressful energy, while others may turn to more harmful activities or…

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Sunscreen 101 - 5 reasons you should make it part of your daily routine

Posted July 19, 2021 by Julie Mark, MD


Did you know skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and men 65 or older are twice as likely to develop melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — than women.

As we head into the summer months, most of us know the importance of wearing sunscreen in the hot, blazing sun. But what you may not realize is the importance of…

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Pain Relief After Total Joint Replacement Surgery: Reducing the Need for Narcotics and Opioids [Podcast]

Posted July 19, 2021


Healthy VitalsDr. Kiel Pfefferle discusses how Summa Health is moving away from opioids and narcotics as the primary pain relief after joint replacement surgery.

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