UVA Health System Blog

Stories about the patients, staff and services of UVA


Podcast Tuesday: Are You At Risk for Vascular Disease? [AUDIO]

On June 3, 2014 | At 9:35 am

Filed under : Healthy Living,Heart,Podcast Tuesday | By
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Vim & Vigor: Bradley Cooper, Pediatric Epilepsy & Lowering Stress

On June 2, 2014 | At 9:06 am

In 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” Bradley Cooper portrayed the role of a mental health patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Image of Jennifer Raymond, who lost her son to H1N1 flu.

Jennifer Raymond’s son died of H1N1 flu complications in 2009. Read Vim & Vigor to find out how she honors his memory.

Read about Cooper’s experiences and his journey from passive bystander to activist for those 5.7 million adult Americans currently suffering from bipolar disorder.

Cooper’s interview along with a Q&A about the disorder are featured in the Summer 2014 issue of UVA’s family health magazine, Vim & Vigor.  Check it out for stories about:

  • Ongoing therapy to reduce peanut allergies
  • Quick and easy stress-busting techniques
  • Common myths about sunscreen
  • Warning signs of concussions

Read the online version here.

Live in Virginia? Sign up to receive Vim & Vigor in the mail for free.


15 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Active This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

On May 29, 2014 | At 10:25 am

Angie Hasemann, a registered dietitian with the Children’s Fitness Clinic, contributed this post.

Although it’s easy to focus on reaching a certain number on the scale, our eating and activity habits tell us a much clearer picture of our health. Especially this summer, try to get your kids eating more colorful foods (fruits and veggies of course!) and make sure their primary drink is water. Keep them moving with ideas from our infographic below, and you’ll be sure to have a healthy kid who is making the most out of summer freedom.

Ways to Keep Your Kids Active Over the Summer infographic

Poetry Contest Winners!

On May 5, 2014 | At 9:20 am

For National Poetry Month, we held a poetry contest focusing on medical themes. We received numerous submissions, from hilarious haikus to heartfelt free verse. We all found it very difficult to choose our favorites!

Daniel Becker, MD, editor of Hospital Drive, worked with our editorial staff to choose the winners.

All winning poems will be published here on this blog. Look for them in our weekly “Poetry Fridays” post!

Grand Prize Winners

The grand prize winners each will receive a $50 Visa gift card.
image of flowers
Meditation on the Sickle Cell, Laura Kolbe
Kolbe’s poem will also be published in UVA Health System literary journal Hospital Drive.

The Maddening Gladness, Jarish Cohen

Honorable Mention

Doctor, Katherine Crowley

Runners-Up by Category

Category I: Bedside Manners

Untitled, Tina Auth

Category II: How Sick Did You Get?

An Embolic Tale, Jamie DeVore

Untitled, Bonnie Carey

Untitled, Jessica Garber

Category III: Grab (the Black) Bag: Miscellaneous Medical Moments

For John, Lisa A. Ryan

Blink, Callie Bateman

Insomnia, Rabita Alamgir

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who submitted a poem and to Daniel Becker, MD, for his time and efforts. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and to Hospital Drive for more poetry and stories about health, wellness, medicine and survival.

Filed under : Healthy Living,Patient Stories | By
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Recipe Review Thursday: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

On April 10, 2014 | At 8:31 am

We’re trying new heart-healthy recipes every month and will share the results with you. All recipes are from Club Red, UVA’s heart health club for women.

Crispy oven-fried chickenCrispy Oven-Fried Chicken

I’ve said it before: While I like to cook, I don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen these days. I need foods that are quick to prepare, and a recipe that gives me lots of leftovers is a plus. This is an easy, versatile recipe that takes very little prep work. The crushed red pepper flakes add a nice heat, and you don’t taste the corn flakes, which are really just a vehicle for the seasonings.

I only made a minor change to the recipe by mixing in minced garlic instead of garlic powder, but I think this recipe could be changed depending on your mood. For instance, to add a more Southwest flair to your chicken, try replacing the poultry seasoning with chili powder and add some cumin to the seasoning mix.

One note of caution if you do try this recipe: I ran out of breading mixture halfway through and had to make a new batch. Make sure you have some extra corn flakes and spices on hand just in case the same thing happens to you.

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Poetry Contest! Just What the Doctor Ordered

On April 2, 2014 | At 2:00 am

Celebrate National Poetry Month with us!

Writing a poem can help you stay healthy.You might be wondering… why would a hospital blog hold a poetry contest?

As we learned from a past interview with UVA’s own Daniel Becker, MD, doctor and editor of the journal “Hospital Drive,” research shows that creative writing is healthy for both patients and doctors alike.

Becker will judge the contest.

So: Ready, set, write!

 How to Enter

  1. Write a poem or poems that fit in one of the three categories listed below.
  2. Submit poems via email. uvahsblog@virginia.edu
  3. Make sure to tell us which category your poem is for.
  4. Deadline for submissions: April 15.
  5. Submit as many as you like! No previously published poems, please.
  6. Winners will be announced at the beginning of May.

Prizes: Get Published, Win a $50 Gift Card

The top three winners in each category will have their works published on this blog.

Two winners will be selected to receive a grand prize: A $50 Visa gift card. Use it to purchase writing materials, poetry books, medical guides, or anything else you would like.

All winning poems will be considered for publication in the journal “Hospital Drive.”

Poetry Submission Categories

Category I: Bedside Manners

Enter your praise for the best doctor, nurse, other healthcare provider experience you’ve had.

Category II: How Sick Did You Get?

What’s the worst illness you’ve ever suffered? Most painful accident? Worst scrape, rash, virus, tear?

Send us your worst in your best limerick or haiku form.

Category III: Grab (the Black) Bag: Miscellaneous Medical Moments

Submit any healthcare-themed poem of any form.

Contest Rules
No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. To enter, email your poems to uvahsblog@virginia.edu by Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Open to legal U.S. residents 18 years or older who live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Odds of winning are dependent on the number of entries received. Winners will be notified via email. Winner is responsible for complying with any applicable federal or state laws pertaining to taxes, Medicaid and Medicare. Winner agrees to have his or her name shared via this website and other UVA Health System websites.
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Recipe Review Thursday: Healthier Cinnamon French Toast

On March 13, 2014 | At 9:13 am

We’re trying new heart-healthy recipes every month and will share the results with you. All recipes are from Club Red, UVA’s heart health club for women.

Cinnamon French Toast

healthy french toast

This healthier French toast still satisfies a sweet tooth.

Early one Wednesday morning, I stumbled out of bed and remembered I had agreed to provide breakfast for the entire office.

Fortunately, this cinnamon French toast recipe turned out to be a pretty easy — and tasty — dish to quadruple on the fly.

I didn’t develop a sweet tooth until I was an adult, which means I never really appreciated breakfast. Years before childhood obesity dominated headlines, my parents gave me my choice of sugar-coated cereals for breakfast. On weekends, we had pancakes, waffles or French toast, drowning in syrup.

As an adult, I understand I can’t eat like that every day. But I wish I had enjoyed the sugar more when I had the chance.

This recipe is a nice compromise. If you’re craving butter and powdered sugar, it’s not going to do the trick. But it’s a filling breakfast with a touch of sweetness. Fresh fruit is just as good as those sugar-soaked fruit toppings you’ll get at a restaurant, and you can slice it the night before. And while I was skeptical about using fat-free milk, this dish was plenty flavorful.

Best of all, it only took about 20 minutes to make breakfast for 20. Most of the ingredients are things I already keep around the house. I did use eggs rather than the suggested egg substitute.

Trying different breads would add some additional flavor and nutrition to the dish.

I still miss the sugar-coated cereals of my childhood. But this French toast makes a tasty breakfast that adults and kids will both enjoy.

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Get Heart Smart During Heart Month [PODCAST]

On February 14, 2014 | At 10:25 am

Heart disease kills more people than cancer, car accidents or anything else. And did you know? Structural defects, genetics and aging cause many of these deadly heart diseases.

February is Heart Month. Take this opportunity to try some of the following fun ways to educate yourself and get heart smart now.

Listen: RadioMD Podcasts on Heart Disease

It only takes a few minutes to listen to a podcast and get information that can help for a lifetime. Check out our RadioMD podcasts to hear from UVA doctors about:

  • A minimally-invasive procedure that treats atrial fibrillation, the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm
  • Congenital heart defects, which affect almost one percent of babies
  • Advances in heart failure treatments
  • How the two valves on the left side of your heart can cause problems as you get older

Listen to our heart-health podcasts now.

Watch: 10 Quick Things To Do Now for Your Heart Video

This short video will inspire you with some easy ways to help your heart!

Dance & Hula-Hoop: Celebrate Heart Month With Us

Join these community-focused, action-oriented events:

Filed under : Events,Healthy Living,Heart,Heart Health Month | By
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Vim & Vigor: Angelina Jolie, Genetic Testing & Controlling Diabetes

On February 7, 2014 | At 8:39 am

In August 1982, Thomas P. Loughran Jr., MD, was working in Seattle when a woman with a mysterious blood illness was transferred to his hospital. That patient and her condition changed the path of Loughran’s research forever.

Sudden cardiac arrest patient Helen Trimm with dog

Read about patient Helen Trimm’s cardiac arrest scare in Vim & Vigor.

Loughran and his research are featured in the Spring 2014 issue of UVA’s family health magazine, Vim & Vigor. Check it out for stories about:

  • Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy and BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing
  • Controlling diabetes without drugs
  • How much to hover when your kids are playing
  • The jobs that are hardest on your heart

Read the online version now.

Live in Virginia? Sign up to get Vim & Vigor in the mail for free.


Recipe Review Thursday: Citrus-Beet Salad

On February 6, 2014 | At 10:30 am

We’re trying new heart-healthy recipes every month and will share the results with you. All recipes are from Club Red, UVA’s heart health club for women.

Citrus-Beet Salad
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. I like them so much I don’t even mind the red hands I usually end up with after chopping them.

beet-citrus saladTip 1: Always make sure you’re wearing an apron when you’re dealing with these guys, as their beautiful shade of red will manage to find itself on your clothing without you even noticing!

Beets tend to be characterized as having a very earthy flavor that people often don’t enjoy. The citrus in this recipe cuts that earthiness out entirely and gives it a sweet and tangy taste. They also can take awhile to cook, and although I followed the boiling instructions in this recipe to make my salad, you can cut the cooking time down by buying canned beets or using your microwave to speed up the cooking.

Tip 2: Wait for the beets to cool all the way before dicing them. Your hands will thank you later.

This salad is a great, refreshing pairing with any main dish and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day! Usually green salads with dressing don’t hold up very well but this is a salad that will hold out for a few days.

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

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