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WakeMed Wins Approval to Add 14 Rehab Beds

We are pleased to announce that WakeMed has been approved to add 14 inpatient beds to its rehabilitation hospital located on the Raleigh campus in a competitive Certificate of Need (CON) process. 

WakeMed Rehab Hospital is the only inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Wake County and serves patients who are impacted by neurological, spinal cord or other traumatic injury or neuromuscular disorder. Upon project completion, WakeMed Rehab Hospital will grow from 84 beds to 98.   The new beds, which will be added in renovated space vacated when the new patient tower opened in the summer of 2010, are expected to be operational by October 2012.


Sign Up for WakeMed Scrub Run

As we continue to celebrate WakeMed’s 50th year of service to the community, you are invited to participate in the first-ever WakeMed Scrub Run & Fun Fest, to be held on Saturday, October 1, in Moore Square, downtown Raleigh.  Proceeds will benefit WakeMed Children’s through the WakeMed Foundation.

Featuring competitive 5K and 10K races that accommodate both runners and walkers, a 100-Yard Dash for kids and much more, this event is designed to get the entire community involved!  After the races, WakeMed and our community partners will keep the celebration going with a Fun Fest event from 9 am to 2 pm in Moore Square.  Racers, families, friends and all members of the community will enjoy a variety of games and activities, as well as live music and entertainment, face painting, arts & crafts, and mascots, including Twinkle of WakeMed Children’s. 

All employees are encouraged to participate and show support for WakeMed by running in the 5K/10K, heading downtown for the Fun Fest – or both!  Learn more by reading the event brochure.

Click the following link to register online for the Scrub Run through

And, if you need some extra help preparing to run, attend one of WakeMed’s free running clinics (once you click, be sure to scroll down) to be held in September at various WakeMed Rehab and YMCA locations.  The clinics are presented by WakeMed Rehabilitation and Wake Orthopaedics.


New Bern Ave. Revitalization & Medical District

WakeMed broke ground this month on a $100 million ambulatory surgery center that is the newest addition to Raleigh’s growing medical district along the New Bern Avenue corridor. 

A recent story in Triangle Business Journal (WakeMed $100M ’super block’ on its way, July 8) highlighted our plans to immediately develop 7.84 acres directly northwest of the hospital across Sunnybrook Road. The development of this “super block” of medical services supports WakeMed’s ongoing commitment to help revitalize the New Bern Avenue corridor. 

A centerpiece of the expansion is the Capital Center Surgery Center, an 87,000 square-foot facility that will include eight operating rooms, an imaging and diagnostic center, and WakeMed administrative offices. Physicians will have the opportunity to lease up to 37,000 square feet of additional space in the surgery center, which is scheduled to open in April 2012.

Poe House

In addition, the WakeMed Board of Directors has approved the purchase an additional 13.5 acres directly south of the hospital — including the historic Poe House — for future development. The Poe House will be preserved, and could become home to the WakeMed Foundation.

These expansion efforts will help WakeMed meet the growing demand for healthcare services in Wake County and spur additional economic activity around New Bern Avenue. WakeMed continues to discuss redevelopment of the area with city and county officials. Today, The News & Observer published a similar article (City wants healthier New Bern Avenue, July 27) discussing WakeMed’s growth plan and sharing community ideas on enhancing the corridor.


WakeMed Recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 10 Different Specialties

We are pleased to announce that WakeMed has been recognized as high-performing in ten of 16 different specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

WakeMed’s ten high-performing categories include:

  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Gynecology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

“WakeMed offers the highest level of care available in Wake County in many different specialty areas, including critical, neonatal, neuroscience, cardiology and trauma care among others,” commented Meera Kelley, MD, WakeMed vice president of quality and patient safety.  “Historically, U.S. News & World Report’s rankings focused exclusively on care provided at academic medical centers and excluded high-performing community-based hospitals.  We are very pleased they have broadened their rankings to recognize all hospitals providing high-level, high-quality care.”


Revised Dosing Restrictions for Zocor

Merck Pharmaceuticals recently revised dosing restrictions for Zocor, a popular cholesterol lowering medication, due to potentially serious side effects and drug interactions.  The bottom line is if you are on 80 milligrams of Zocor and have been on it for more than 12 months with no negative side effects, then you do not need to take action. 

The concern is for patients who have been on Zocor 80 milligram for 12 months or less because the drug at that dosage has been found to cause muscle toxicity or muscle rhabdomaylosis, which is the breaking down of muscle tissue.   These side effects are rare, but can be quite serious and deserve immediate attention.  So, if you are taking Zocor 80 mg and have been on it for less than a year and/or you have muscle pain, please check with your physician about modifying your dosage or switching medications.

Other statin drugs are not as much of a concern for these potentially serious side effects because they are metabolized in different ways.  However, if you have a concern about your cholesterol lowering medication, whether it is Zocor or another brand, the best thing to do is to ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Lynn Eschenbacher is a manager of the WakeMed Raleigh Campus pharmacy.


Do Shoes Make A Difference for Athletics?

They come in all colors, shapes and sizes. They are organized by function in the shoe store and can cost from $20 to over $200, but do shoes really make a difference?

For most people of normal activity level a general, supportive shoe that fits well will work just fine, regardless of whether they are biking, running, playing tennis or doing aerobics.

Specialized shoes really start to make a noticeable impact for individuals who are avid participants in a particular sport, have problems with their feet or who over- or under-pronate. These individuals often benefit from a specialized shoe. For over- or under-pronators (meaning you tend to land to the extreme outside or inside of your foot when walking or running), it is best to choose a shoe that offers more arch support and stabilization.

But, how do you know what shoe is best for you? The answer: It is really just a process of trial and error. Sales professionals at the shoe stores vary widely in their knowledge of shoes and of feet. Their time, experience and training may be able to help you identify a shoe that will be good for you, and they may be able to recognize certain types of issues by looking at the wear pattern on an old shoe.

Some shoe sales persons, however, specialize in making and fitting orthotics, or inserts in shoes, and they are knowledgeable and can be very helpful in helping you find a good athletic shoe to address specific issues.

But, honestly, for most individuals finding the right shoe for you is simply personal preference. The good news is that regardless if you choose the “wrong” shoe type for you, it is very unlikely to cause injury, although you may be disappointed by the hole left in your wallet.

Dr. Corey Thompson is a fellowship trained foot and ankle surgeon practicing with Wake Orthopaedics.



North Carolina Seasonal Sensation Vegetarian Recipes

In the peak of the summer, a time when we all try to be a little slimmer, there’s nothing better than digging into a plate of fresh, delicious eats as good for the body as they are for the taste buds. And this month, when fresh, local vegetables are at their peak, eating a little healthier couldn’t be easier. Just take a look at the North Carolina Availability chart  and you’ll see the countless vegetables ready for the picking. With so many veggies to choose from, let’s focus on the benefits of eating them all.

Ever consider a vegetarian diet? It may sound a little daunting, but replacing just a few meals a week with a veggie-based menu increases your vegetable intake and can easily cut saturated fat and cholesterol from your diet. These small steps can decrease your risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, promote a healthy weight, improve blood sugar control and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.

With any diet, it’s important to make healthy and balanced choices. Both the American Heart Association and the USDA praise the benefits of eating a balanced vegetarian diet, rich in iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin B12, zinc and protein. Check out their tips for following a vegetarian lifestyle and choosing veggie-based meals that are right for your dietary needs.

Straight from WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series, these recipes showcase this summer’s veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn and herbs. If you’re still a little weary of a veggie only menu, you can pair these recipes with four ounces of lean protein like grilled chicken or shrimp. For even more recipes featuring North Carolina Seasonal Sensations, check out WakeMed’s Recipe Corner for a variety of healthy choices complete with nutritional information.
Vegetables with Mediterranean Marinade
From WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series
Serves 4, ½ cup servings
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dry oregano
Black pepper to taste
1 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds
1 tomato cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup mushrooms, cut in half
1 red pepper, cut into strips

Mix marinade ingredients together and set aside.

Steam vegetables until they are cooked, but still crisp. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with marinade. Allow vegetables to sit for at least one hour to absorb the flavors of the marinade, mixing occasionally. Drain vegetables and place on a serving platter.

Serve as a warm salad, over brown rice or quinoa or an accompaniment to lean meat or fish.

Per serving: 95 calories; 7 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; 45 g sodium

Roasted Corn and Pepper Salad
From WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series
Serves 12
1 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 ½ cup red onion, diced
4 cup corn
½ cup shredded basil
3 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup white wine

For the Roasted Red Peppers
Roast whole red peppers over a flame (gas, grill or under an oven broiler) until charred black on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let steam for at least 10 minutes. Scrape skin from peppers with a small, sharp knife. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds. Drain on a towel for one hour.

In a large bowl, combine the roasted red pepper, red onion and basil. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. Add corn and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Add corn to the pepper and onion mixture. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Serve with toasted pita points or toasted whole grain bread.

Per serving: 96 calories; 5 g fat; 28 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates

This post is part of the NC’s No Diet Diet series.  View previous posts here: February Sweet Potato, March Lettuce, April Strawberries, May Broccoli and Cabbage, June Peaches

Tina Schwebach is a clinical dietitian at WakeMed Cary Hospital.


Our Friend DEET

For many, DEET is a four letter word and it is something to be avoided at all costs. But short of staying inside, DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is our best defense against the biting insects of summer because it masks the scent of CO2 and confuses mosquitoes.

DEET is overwhelmingly considered safe, however, there are varying recommendations for DEET content in bug sprays for certain populations.

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends avoiding DEET containing products on infants 2 months or younger and using a bug repellent containing 10 percent DEET for children older than 2 months.

Pregnant Women
Pregnant women should use bug repellents containing 30 percent or less of DEET because avoiding mosquito transmitted diseases outweighs the minimal risks.

DEET for the Rest of Us
For adult men and women, look for a repellant containing up to 50 percent DEET.  (There are no additional benefits in using a product that has a percentage of DEET higher than 50.)

DEET percentage is not a measure of strength.  It is a measure of how long the product is effective.  A product containing 10 percent DEET needs to be reapplied in 1 to 2 hours, while a product containing 50 percent DEET needs to be reapplied in 4-5 hours.

Additionally, the efficacy of a DEET containing product is impacted by heat and water.  If you are sweating or swimming, you need to apply it more often.  Finally, avoid products that contain both bug repellant and sunscreen because DEET-containing bug repellent can negatively impact the efficacy of sunscreen.

Michele Casey, MD, is the director of Primary Care for WakeMed Physician Practices and a Primary Care Physician atWake Specialty Physicians -Falls Pointe Medical Group


Recipe for a Healthier Potluck

I will never forget the first potluck I went to at my church several years ago. There was fried chicken, biscuits and potato dishes as far as the eye can see and not a green vegetable in sight, or any other color vegetable for that matter. Of course, being the dietitian in the church, I felt compelled to introduce some variety to this scene of chicken boxes and biscuits. I decided to bring a healthy vegetable every time I attended one of these events and oddly enough, the vegetables are a big hit.

Here are some suggestions for healthy items for your picnic or potluck. A good place to start is to bring a fresh fruit tray or fruit salad. This is always a healthy option and most people really enjoy having some fresh fruit to complement their meal. During this season of the year, many fresh fruits are available making it an easy option as well. Choose various colors and provide a light vanilla or plain yogurt dip.

Vegetables are a great healthy choices and there are so many options to choose from. A raw veggie tray with different colors and textures is always a hit. Hummus or a light dressing makes a great dip. A garden salad with mixed greens, various vegetables with a handful of nuts and berries makes a colorful tasty display.

Try to stay away from the starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes as the main focus in your dish as they are higher in calories. Sauteed vegetables, grilled vegetables and roasted vegetables make a great dish. There are so many vegetables that are great prepared this way including: peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini squash, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus and carrots. Many of these vegetables are in season right now and full of flavor so there is little need for seasoning. It is great to make a dish that includes a variety of these vegetables so there is something for everyone to try and taste. Many vegetables are also great as a cold salad, a great alternative to the traditional potato salad or macaroni salad. Cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, broccoli and various peas and beans are delicious served as a cold salad.

Meat dishes can also be healthy options, but try to stick with grilled, baked or roasted meats. These preparation methods are healthier and add to the flavor of the meat as well. Stick to the leaner cuts of meat like skinless chicken or turkey breasts, pork tenderloin, London broil, sirloin and top round. Grilled fish is always a great healthy option that is sure to be a hit. Fish is a great source of protein, vitamins and healthy fats that can help protect us from certain cancers and heart disease.
So have some fun enjoying your picnics and potlucks and trying some new healthy dishes that your family and friends just may love. Here are some recipes that may give you a good jump start to trying some new things.  

Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli
• 2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish.

Fruit and Vegetable Salad
• 1 medium green pepper, chopped
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup shredded cabbage
• 3/4 cup chopped unpeeled red apple
• 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
• 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Lettuce Leaves
1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and salt. Stir into pepper mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Grilled Sesame Chicken
• 1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
• 1 cup white grape juice
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 1 cup chopped green onions
• 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
• 2 tablespoons ground mustard
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 2 teaspoons pepper
• 8 cloves garlic, minced
• 12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1. In a large re sealable plastic bag, combine the first nine ingredients. Remove 1/2 cup for basting; cover and refrigerate. Add chicken to the bag; seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
2. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6 minutes. Turn and cook 6-8 minutes longer or until meat juices run clear, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade.

Grilled Salmon
• 2 pounds salmon fillets
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 4 green onions, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Place salmon in shallow dish. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside 1/4 cup for basting; pour the rest over the salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain, discarding marinade. Grill salmon over medium coals, skin side down, for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade.

**All of these recipes came from, one of my favorite websites. 

Julie Paul is a registered dietitian with WakeMed ENERGIZE!, a program to help kids and teens who either have type 2 diabetes or who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes learn to make healthy lifestyle changes.  Learn more by clicking here.


Fireworks Injuries Can Happen to You

Fourth of July weekend means loud sounds and bright flashes of fireworks to light up the night.  Although they add enjoyment to countless people’s celebrations, it’s always important to remember proper firework safety because nothing ruins the 4th of July like a trip to the emergency room.

Don’t think it will happen to you? Each and every year WakeMed sees both adult and pediatric patients in our emergency departments with injuries from fireworks.  Fireworks ARE dangerous and should be treated as such.

This year, let’s prevent firework injuries this 4th of July by:

  • NEVER allowing children and adolescents around fireworks alone
  • Making sure to use fireworks properly.  Many injuries are a result of improper use (such as holding the fireworks, etc.).  Always read the warning labels and instructions before use.
  • Having a bucket of water close-by (for used fireworks and for emergencies)
  • Ensuring that the firework is completely finished before getting near it
  • Never using illegal fireworks—they are more likely to cause injury.  (This includes the fireworks your neighbor made the special trip to South Carolina to purchase.)
  • Always protect your eyes— firework accidents can cause permanent burns and blindness

Although fireworks are often used as a fun finish to the 4th of July, just remember that they can have very serious, lasting consequences if used incorrectly or unsupervised.

Samy Saad is an emergency department physician with Wake Emergency Physicians, the physicians group that staffs all five WakeMed emergency departments.