UVA Health System Blog

Stories about the patients, staff and services of UVA


Maternity Monday: Planning a Pregnancy

On March 2, 2015 | At 9:00 am

You’ve found the right job, you’ve got the right guy, you feel those maternal instincts kicking in. You want to get pregnant. It’s the natural next step, right? Although we realize that sometimes pregnancies just happen without any planning, learning the best practices to plan your pregnancy is helpful for any woman who is sexually active. Not only will you be at your best, but it will help your unborn baby be as healthy as he or she can be, too.

Stories about preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum

Join us as we journey through preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and beyond in a series we call Maternity Monday.

Having a baby is a personal decision that should be discussed with your partner. Only you will know when you are truly ready in regards to your professional life, your relationship and your financial situation. Your doctor can help you plan a pregnancy in regards to your health and expectations. If you think the right time has arrived for you to get pregnant, we are ready to help prepare you for your journey to motherhood.

Taking All of the Right Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy

When you and your partner decide it’s time to start trying to get pregnant, you should begin taking extra care of yourself. Taking the right steps toward a healthy lifestyle not only helps you get pregnant, but also will protect your baby in the critical first weeks when you may not realize you are pregnant. During this time you should:

  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol due to the harmful effects it may have on an undeveloped fetus.
  • Be at a healthy weight; being underweight or overweight may cause complications in your pregnancy going forward.
  • Increase your intake of folic acid. Your body and the fetus need extra folic acid for a number of reasons. Folic acid helps to prevent spinal cord injuries, cleft lip, cleft palate and types of heart defects on baby. Your body needs the folic acid in order to make red blood cells and prevent anemia. It also helps to produce and repair DNA, which helps to promote rapid cell growth in your developing baby.
When planning a pregnancy be sure that you are at your best. Take Folic Acid, exercise, and rid your body of toxins.

When planning a pregnancy be sure that you are at your best. Take Folic Acid, exercise, and rid your body of toxins.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) suggests that all women of child-bearing age take 400 mcg of folic acid each day, which you can buy at many grocery stores and pharmacies. You can also find foods high in folic acid like:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Asparagus
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Avocado

UVA pediatrician Ina Stephens, MD, also suggests an organic, toxin-free diet. “It’s never too early to start eating right and changing your lifestyle,” she says. “It’s as important to take care of yourself before you get pregnant as it is when you find out you are carrying a baby.”

“Prenatal exposure is still a mystery,” Stephens says. “Any changes to eat right and exercise and remove toxins from your life will help.”

Birth Control Myths

When you stop taking birth control, you may wonder how long it will take to get completely out of your system. Each woman is different, and each birth control method is different, too.

According to Stephens, birth control medication leaves your body fairly quickly. “That’s why you take a daily pill,” she explains. “When you miss a pill, your body doesn’t get those hormones.”

However, since your menstrual cycle lasts several weeks, you will probably need to stop taking birth control pills several days before you can get pregnant. Also remember, birth control pills are not 100 percent preventative, so there is still a slight chance to become pregnant while taking them.

What to Know About Your Family History

Your family health history will play a role in your child’s life and there are things that you and your OB/GYN  should discuss and consider before your baby is born.

If your parents or grandparents suffer from diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or a number of other illnesses, be sure to mention that to your OB/GYN. You may be more likely to develop complications during pregnancy. However, these diseases can be treated and managed during pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor about genetic diseases that could affect your baby such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis and many heart conditions.

There’s a lot to know and a lot to think about when planning a pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. The most important thing to remember is that your baby will need you to be at your very best in order to grow into a healthy human. Those first few days and weeks of pregnancy are very important, so starting a healthy routine before you know you’re pregnant is your best bet!


Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad, & the Balance

On February 25, 2015 | At 9:16 am
Running shoes in my office desk

Running shoes in my office desk: Walking is one way I’m beating my high cholesterol.

I’ve always had high cholesterol. But I’ve never worried about it. Why?

  • My mother told me it was genetic – “Grandma had high cholesterol, and she lived to age 93!”
  • My good cholesterol has always been the really high part – so doctors have never had a problem with my final number.
  • I’m an active, healthy person: I’ve always exercised regularly and eaten my vegetables.
  • Also, I was a vegetarian for several years. Surely that means something?

So everything was fine…

…until a couple months ago, when my new doctor at UVA, Allison Lyons, MD, reviewed my numbers and put up a red flag.

The Red Flag of Bad Cholesterol

She emailed me (how cool is it that my doctor and I email back and forth when I have questions?) saying:

Your HDL (good cholesterol) is great but your bad cholesterol (LDL) is a little higher than I would like. My goal would be <130 for you. How much do you eat in terms of cheese, red meat, dairy, sweets, etc.? I would like to control it with some changes in diet first, and we can then recheck in one year.

I balked. Me? Have a health issue? But considering our family had followed the Paleo diet for a while, so that we still tend to avoid carbs and rely heavily on meat, and also I’d fallen off my running routine, maybe this was a sign that I did need to make some changes. I asked Lyons what she recommended I do. Her reply:

I would try to cut back on red meat (only having once per week). I would also try to walk for 30-40 minutes per day. Both of those things together should help.

Oh dear. This prescription sounds fairly simple, but for me, this seemed impossible. A rush of resistance flooded my brain, as I thought of all the reasons I absolutely would flunk my doctor’s charge.

The Barriers to Balance

  • I’m not that big a fan of chicken. My kids would not want it every night.
  • I only like fresh fish. Which is hard to get and expensive.
  • Pork is red meat, and it’s my favorite.
  • I don’t have time to walk for 40 minutes EVERY DAY!
    • Mornings are out, because I can’t wake up early enough in the winter (not to mention it’s cold!).
    • My lunchtime is when I meet with friends I can’t see otherwise.
    • After work is when I’m spending time with my kids, helping with homework and getting them fed and bathed and put to bed.
    • And after that, I’m exhausted, it’s dark, and it’s time to spend with my partner.

Cholesterol, Not All Bad 

What is cholesterol, exactly?

Believe it or not, cholesterol is not the evil trespasser in your blood whom you should vow to destroy at all costs. In fact:

  • You need it. As Lyons told me, “Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is present in everyone’s blood and is necessary for your body to function.”
  • You make it. Also, you don’t just get cholesterol from meat, dairy and eggs. Your own liver produces cholesterol, all on its own.

The kicker? The liver is an overachiever. Lyons says, “When you eat a diet that is high in cholesterol, your liver tends to make more cholesterol as well.”

Good thing the U.S. government decided to stop warning us about cholesterol recently.

Cholesterol, Not All Good

So, why worry about cholesterol, if your own body makes it? As with most things in life, the issue boils down to balance.

There’s two types of cholesterol:

  • LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, is the culprit responsible for blockages and deposits.
  • HDL, the “good” cholesterol, actually tries to eat up and remove LDL cholesterol.

“When you have too much cholesterol in your body, it starts to deposit in your blood vessels, like dirt in a pipe. When it sits on the surface of the blood vessels for a long time, it becomes calcified and hardens.” The result?

  • Blockages that clog the pipe, slowing blood flow, causing heart disease and peripheral artery disease
  • Deposits or plaques that weaken, flake off and get lodge in arteries, causing heart attacks and strokes

Your cholesterol numbers help doctors determine if you’re in the right balance of good and bad.

The best-case scenario: Bad cholesterol under 100, good over 50, and the total number less than 200.

My numbers:

Total Cholesterol: 250
LDL: 159
HDL: 74

I felt doomed.

Making Hard Heart Changes

But I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad. His was a number even worse than my cholesterol. He was only 52 when he suddenly, with no warning, dropped dead of a heart attack. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. And I just can’t imagine doing that to my kids.

So, after the winter holidays, I did what a lot of people do and made some New Year’s Resolutions, including lowering my cholesterol. I made this goal a priority – to myself, to my partner, to my kids, to my friends.

And the impossible became possible.

Finding Time to Exercise

I started walking 30-40 at lunch every day at work. This actually happens to be a refreshing break, even when it’s cold. My mind is cleared for the rest of the day, I get some fresh air and light and some personal time. I look forward to this. I eat at my desk. I limit friend-lunches to once a week, even if that means pushing people out a while.

And if I miss a day walking, I have found other ways to exercise at home that aren’t too disruptive to my kid time: either having a half-hour dance party with the kids or doing a free, half-hour workout video on grokker.com. On the weekends, I walk the dog (who needs to lose weight).

Food Fix

This actually wasn’t as hard as I had anticipated.

  • I found out pork (red meat? White meat?) was allowed.
  • I now stop for fish on my way home one night a week. I get the fast-cooking kind that doesn’t take a lot of time and effort.
  • We use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  • I keep my vegetable portions larger than everything else on my plate.
  • I drink almond or coconut milk and mostly avoid cheese and other dairy, though I do eat a yogurt at lunch every day.

Of course, I have to wait until October to see if these changes have had the desired effect. But I will check in then and let you know!

Find Out More About Cholesterol

Want to know more about your cholesterol and getting heart-healthy? Check out the articles and recipes at Club Red.


Spring Vim & Vigor: Nursing Home Alternatives & Tips for Seniors

On February 20, 2015 | At 8:55 am

The Spring 2015 issue of our family health magazine, Vim & Vigor, focuses on staying healthy and happy as we age.

A nursing home alternative helps adults like Eliza Anderson

A Central Virginia program provides medical and social resources so Eliza Anderson (left) and other older adults can stay in their own homes.

Read about:

  • A Charlottesville program that helps seniors stay in their own homes instead of moving to nursing homes.
  • One of the world’s first children to have open-heart surgery — he’s now in his 60s and works out three times a week while waiting for a heart transplant.
  • A 74-year-old with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of blood cancer. A clinical trial at UVA has given him more time and hope. (You can also watch him tell his lymphoma story.)

Plus, 80-year-old “Philomena” star Judi Dench shares her macular degeneration story and why she thinks the word “retire” is rude.

Read Vim & Vigor now and enter a contest to win free food.


Babies, The Heimlich and Celiac Disease: January 2015 Roundup [VIDEO]

On February 6, 2015 | At 9:21 am
Lentils are a gluten-free alternative for people with celiac disease.

Have celiac disease? Lentils are gluten-free and add texture and protein to your meals.

These three things don’t sound related, but we wrote about all of them in January 2015, and then some.

For celiac disease sufferers, avoiding gluten is essential. One writer shared her personal story, tips for managing celiac disease and why most people shouldn’t eliminate gluten.

Kenneth Liu, MD, decided to become a neurosurgeon after watching a PBS show when he was eight — and he loves his job. He answered our 7 Quick Questions.

Did you know physical and occupational therapy is a major part of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit? Meet two therapists who work with premature babies.

One of our nurse practitioners performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking. Read her story and learn how to perform this lifesaving technique.

We spent Martin Luther King, Jr. Day discussing diversity in healthcare and teaching local students about careers in medicine. View the photos from our events.

Finally, we continued our weekly podcasts:

The Health System in Charlottesville News

Becker’s Hospital Review named the Medical Center to its list of “100 hospitals with great women’s health programs.”

Quitting smoking is extremely difficult, even after a cancer diagnosis. Cancer Center employee Lindsay Hauser helps cancer patients give up cigarettes for good.

Thanks to a holiday book drive, the Ronald McDonald House is getting 10,000 new books. The house provides lodging for families while their kids get treatment at the Children’s Hospital.

George Hoke, MD, explained what a hospitalist is and why he loves his job.

Brad Haws, CEO of the UVA Physicians Group, lost 120 pounds by changing his diet and exercise habits. He and other locals and doctors share tips for living healthy at any age.


Healthy Holiday Tips and More: December Roundup [VIDEO]

On January 2, 2015 | At 9:47 am

In December the blog featured posts about the holiday season with healthy tips, recipes and more. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2015!

Our healthy holiday tips featured many delicious recipes that were both healthy and satisfying and can be used throughout the year for parties or healthy options for your meals at home. We also included helpful tips for managing stress and arthritis.

The annual Lights of Love celebration kicked off the holiday season at UVA Children’s Hospital. Check out the video for the highlights as one of our young patients helped to light the tree!

The holidays can be a tough time if you, or a family member, are receiving treatment for cancer. UVA Cancer Center offered these 12 tips for remaining healthy and positive. UVA Cancer Center offers counseling, nutritional guidance, educational support resources and many other programs and tools for patients and caregivers year-round.

We caught up with Dr. Craig Portell who treats cancer patients at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center. Find out who inspires him and the one thing that must always be stocked in his fridge.

Finally, we reviewed a heart-healthy recipe for gingerbread cookies.

The Health System In the News

Mason’s Toy Box honors the legacy of Mason Thomas by collecting and donating toys to UVA Children’s Hospital and other Virginia hospitals every year for the holidays. (Daily Progress)

Sharing your health history with family members may mean more years of holidays together. Matthew Thomas, certified genetic counselor for the UVA Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic, examines inherited versus non-inherited conditions and how to determine if you’re a candidate for genetic testing. (Daily Progress)

UVA Medical Center is partnering with engineering students from Guatemala to develop software that will help deaf children learn the English language. (Newsplex)

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine are launching a major clinical trial to determine the best medication to save people from potentially deadly seizures.

Work co-authored by University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Wladek Minor, PhD, has been named as one of the most cited scientific papers of all time.

A federal survey ranked UVA Medical Center in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationally for its support of breastfeeding.

Chris A. Ghaemmaghami, MD, has been named chief medical officer (CMO) for the University of Virginia Medical Center after serving as the interim CMO since February.


Recipe Review Thursday: Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

On December 4, 2014 | At 10:05 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.

Gingerbread Men Cookies


A holiday staple for many households, commonly found in the shape of a house or miniature “people.” For me, making gingerbread is more of a craft. I enjoy decorating the people in various outfits or icing the house with candy-covered roofs. But eating it? Well, that’s a different story.

Although adorable and fun to make, I’m not much of a gingerbread fan. I find many recipes are either too spicy, or they’re too hard and crunchy after baking. A little bit of chew and more sweetness than spice is perfect for me.

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Main dishes

I was surprised to see applesauce as an ingredient and questioned the consistency of the finished product. I also made a slight change to the recipe and used gluten-free flour instead of regular flour. After the dough’s refrigerated chilling period, I immediately noticed a difference.

Usually, gingerbread dough is denser and easier to manipulate. Even after extending the chilling period to six hours, the gluten-free flour proved to not hold as well. I kept pouring flour onto the rolling pin and cutting board, but the dough kept sticking with no avail. Getting the cookies from the cutter to the baking sheet in one piece posed a bit of a challenge, and I was left with a few limbless gingerbread people! I have had similar experiences with other gluten-free recipes, so this may not be an issue for those using regular flour.

Naturally, I was skeptical about the taste, but they came out perfectly. They had a very sweet, almost buttery taste with a soft consistency. The applesauce was slightly noticeable, but it was a nice enhancement. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome and of course, I enjoyed the decorating process.

Stars: 4 out of 5

Filed under : Healthy Living,Nutrition,Recipes | By
Comments : 0 |

Recipe Makeovers, De-Stressing Tips: Your Guide to Healthy and Happy Holidays [VIDEO]

On December 1, 2014 | At 10:36 am

It’s your year to host the family holiday gathering. Your sister has called twice to remind you she’s now vegan and avoiding carbohydrates. You’re not sure how to accommodate your aunt’s celiac disease. And your son’s older cousin just told him that Santa doesn’t exist.
Breathe deeply and exhale. Our holiday guide is here to help. Keep reading for tips on staying healthy this holiday season.

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain: Recipes and Nutrition

How Much Weight Do We Really Gain Over the Holidays?

Cardiologist Brandy Patterson answers this question and offers tips for staying active [VIDEO].

Healthy Holiday Menu Swaps

Are frozen quiche appetizers or canned cranberry sauce among your staples? Dietitian Katherine Basbaum offers easy homemade swaps with less sugar, fewer calories and no unpronounceable ingredients.

Diabetic-Friendly Meals

Meals loaded with carbs, sugar and fat are especially problematic for people with diabetes. If some of your holiday guests have this disease, check out these tips for diabetic-friendly meals, such as baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon instead of marshmallows and butter.

Other Healthy Holiday Recipes


Make these in advance!

Main Dishes

Side Dishes/Vegetables


Holiday Health

Managing Holiday Stress

Financial concerns, extra obligations, family disagreements — all of these contribute to stress over the holidays. Check out these quick tips.

Fighting Arthritis Symptoms

Cold winter weather and increased activity over the holidays can lead to flare-ups of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Combat symptoms with these tips.

What’s Your Holiday Health Tip?

Did you re-invent your family’s favorite recipe, or do you have a tip for combating stress? Tell us in the comments below.

Filed under : Healthy Living,Recipes,Rheumatology | By
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Q&A: Helping Your Kids Stay Healthy During Flu Season

On November 10, 2014 | At 8:44 am

Ina Stephens, MD, gave us this update on the flu vaccine. She specializes in pediatric infectious diseases and sees patients at By Your Side Pediatrics and Northridge Pediatrics.

flu vaccine info

Do parents need to get the flu vaccine to help protect their child?

Yes! Parents absolutely carry viruses and unknowingly pass them along to their kids.  In fact, parents, who are adults with likely some immunity/partial immunity to many viruses, may become “infected” with a virus and have little or no symptoms (a slight runny nose for instance), pass it on to their young child who has minimal immunity, and the child can exhibit many more symptoms of the virus.

So to answer your question, absolutely yes — parents should receive their flu vaccines! It’s especially important for parents with infants under 6 months of age, as these infants are too young to receive the influenza vaccine themselves.

What about enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)? The CDC says these infections will taper off at the end of fall. Why are viruses seasonal?

The answer to this question is largely unknown. No one really knows why the enteroviruses peak in late summer/fall and then fade away. There is certainly the known entity of “viral competition,” so when another virus starts to “peak,” like the influenza virus in the winter, they compete within the host environment, and the other “summer/fall” viruses fade. But why? No one knows. One interesting fact, though: In equatorial countries, influenza occurs throughout the year, but is highest in the monsoon or rainy season.

Does the flu shot prevent or affect D68?

The influenza vaccine will not prevent enterovirus D68. However, if you get the flu, especially if you have reactive airway disease or asthma, which can be triggered by influenza, then you’ll be more susceptible to a severe enteroviral infection if you also become infected with it.

How can you tell a difference between the flu and D68? The symptoms sound similar.

Clinically, it may be difficult to tell. Both viruses usually are accompanied by fever. Enterovirus D68 usually causes mild to severe respiratory problems as well as a runny nose, sneezing, cough and body aches. Severe symptoms may include difficulty breathing, especially in those who are prone (asthmatics).

Influenza usually comes on faster and is accompanied by chills, sore throat, fatigue, headaches and body aches. The only definitive way to distinguish is by viral testing.

With so many viruses and infections running around, not to mention the Ebola scare, what steps can we take and teach our kids to help avoid infections?

Yes, many viruses running around! Vaccination against the flu is most important to prevent infection. There is no vaccine to prevent enterovirus D68 infections. However, you can protect yourself if you:

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers or using the toilet. Enterovirus is found in stool, and good hand hygiene is important for anyone.
  2. Don’t rely on hand sanitizer. It’s not effective against enteroviruses.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Use good respiratory hygiene—coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow and properly disposing of tissues.
  5. Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs and computer keyboards, especially if someone is sick.
  7. Stay home when feeling sick and consult your doctor.
  8. Take your medicine as directed if you have asthma or other respiratory illness.
  9. Stay up to date with your immunizations, especially for the flu. This can protect against other common infections and lessen the risk of having a more severe illness if you are infected with enterovirus D68 at the same time as influenza.

What is the critical symptom for when you take your child to the doctor?

There is no “critical symptom,” but if your child has a high fever, significant cough, lethargy or any signs of respiratory distress, she should be evaluated by her doctor.

When is the best time to get it? How long does it last?

The best time to get it is late fall (October/November). The vaccine gives protection then during the likely flu season, which is usually late October until April. Sometimes doctors see cases as late as May.

Why have children died from the EV-D68 virus? What do you say to parents worried about that?

Any enterovirus can cause infection of the nervous system (i.e. meningitis, encephalitis, spinal cord inflammation, etc.).  It is a very rare infection/complication of any enterovirus, but it certainly occurs. There is no way to prevent this from occurring. If a child is experiencing neurological illness, they should be seen by their doctor.

Take a Deeper Dive: The CDC has more details for parents.

Do You or Your Kids Need a Flu Shot?

Our primary care physicians have plenty of vaccine for anyone 3 years and older.

Call us beforehand to ask about vaccine availability for patients under 3 before coming in.

Find a clinic to make an appointment


Recipe Review Thursday: Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata with Fresh Herbs

On November 6, 2014 | At 8:30 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.

Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata with Fresh Herbs

Club Red Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata with Fresh HerbsI’m always on the lookout for quick and easy meals for my twin toddlers, who’ve decided they’re basically vegetarians. They love eggs and omelets, so this recipe seemed to fit the bill. This is an easy recipe to execute, though it takes a little planning ahead to roast the red peppers. You could always buy a jar of roasted red peppers if you don’t have the time to do that step yourself.

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My frittata took longer to set than the instructions call for. I left it on the stove top for about 8 minutes and broiled it about 10 minutes. I had to turn the broiler down to low halfway through so the top didn’t burn.

I was a little worried about the flavor of a dish that uses so many eggs but no salt, but it wasn’t a problem. There’s plenty of veggies and cheese in every mouthful. And the all-important toddler verdict? One of my guys loved it. He ate two servings! The other turned it down. You can’t win them all!

Stars: 5 out of 5

Toddler Stars: 1 out of 2

Filed under : Healthy Living,Heart,Recipes | By
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Virginia Film Festival: A Menu of Healthy Movies

On November 5, 2014 | At 9:00 am

As always, this year’s Virginia Film Festival, which runs November 6-9, offers a slew of movies from the edgy and new to the historical and classic, covering a diverse range of topics and interests.

Alive inside movie

Alive Inside reveals what happens when patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are treated with music. Image courtesy Bond/360.

These include films with themes on health and wellness that we just couldn’t pass up. Go and watch, and come back and tell us what you thought!

Our Film Festival Picks 

Alive Inside

The story of musical interventions into the lives of people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The health connection: Music as medicine!

The UVA connection: Sponsored by the UVA Health System, Carol Manning, MD, will lead a discussion after the film.

Why we like it: We love uplifting research, and the previews look delightful.

Go see it: 6:15 pm, Friday, Nov 7
See a preview of Alive Inside


Landscapes of Longevity

An investigation into what makes a “Blue Zone” — places around the world where people live longer, healthier lives.

The health connection:  Aging — we all do it. Longevity — we all want it.

The UVA connection: Directed by graduate researchers from UVA’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

Why we like it: It’s encouraging to watch happy people feeling vital in their golden years, and it’s fascinating to think that where and how we live can affect our health so profoundly.

Go see it: 1:00 pm, Sunday, Nov 9
See a preview of Landscapes of Longevity


Fed Up

Childhood obesity re-examined, this film looks at this health crisis and the role played by the food industry.

The health connection: The health repercussions of obesity are startling.

The UVA connection: Executive producer Katie Couric will be on hand for a post-film discussion.

Why we like it: The preview suggests the reporting in this film will reveal connections between food and health relevant to all of us.

Go see it: 2:00 pm, Saturday, Nov 8
See a preview of Fed Up


The Wizard of Oz

This classic continues to entertain the imagination of children and adults alike.

The health connection: Don’t overlook the mind-body connection. Also, walking is a great way to stay fit, even when you’re being pursued by flying monkeys.

The UVA connection: Sponsored by UVA Children’s Hospital.

Why we like it: It’s impossible not to.

Go see it: 10:00 am, Saturday, Nov 8
See a preview of The Wizard of Oz