Esophageal Cancer: On the Rise

While many cancer deaths are decreasing across our country, there is one growing at an alarming rate – esophageal cancer. And this is of tremendous concern to Dr. Joseph Casey, of Plymouth General Surgery.

“Cancer of the esophagus is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in the United States, with nearly 18,000 new cases diagnosed annually,” says Dr. Casey. “It often begins as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe, irritating the lining of the esophagus.”

acid reflux and heartburn
Image: the esophagus is the muscular tube that carries all food and liquid from the mouth into the stomach to begin digestion.

“Smoking can lead to esophageal cancer as well as frequent alcohol consumption because they cause injury to the lining of the esophagus,” says
Dr. Casey. “There are a number of risk factors that can cause acid reflux and the chain of health issues it can set off.”

  • Too much caffeine and chocolate – this can relax the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach, allowing more material to go back up into the esophagus.
  • Spicy foods, tomato products, smoked and cured meats, and citrus fruits – all have been linked to acid reflux.
  • Obesity could also be a factor – all that extra pressure on the abdomen forces fluid back up into the chest, which leads to more reflux.

Treatment of reflux, identification of Barrett’s esophagus, and early detection of esophageal cancer is key. If you are experiencing heartburn
several times a week or over a long period of time, pain or difficulty when swallowing, hoarseness, excessive coughing, chest pain or burning, or
unintentional weight loss, you should talk to your doctor about treatment options for reflux and screening tests for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

“Using the cutting-edge technology and testing available at Speare, we can successfully treat reflux and help to prevent the development of esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Casey.

The physicians at Plymouth General Surgery specialize in the treatment of heartburn, reflux, and Barrett’s esophagus. We offer personalized counseling and treatment options, including the following:

  • Dietary & medication management
  • Endoscopy to screen for Barrett’s tissue & esophageal cancer
  • Endoscopic treatment to remove Barrett’s tissue
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures for the control of reflux.

Staying ahead of the game with reflux is what can save you from a whole lot of discomfort—and potentially save your life.

To learn more and understand your risk for developing esophageal cancer, call Plymouth General Surgery at 603-536-5670 to make an appointment.

Wine, Women, Wisdom and Lots of Laughter

On May 9, 2019, Speare Memorial Hospital held its 9th annual Wine Women & Wisdom at the Common Man in Plymouth for over 200 women from communities around central New Hampshire.

The doors opened at 4:30 pm for attendees to enjoy a wine tasting, light dinner buffet, buy chances on raffle prizes, and shop the vendor room filled with local women-owned businesses.

Jennifer Hennessy A Scents of Joy

Jennifer Hennessey, RN in Speare’s Birthing Suite, kicked off the speaker portion of the event with “A Scents of Joy” – about aromatherapy and the different scents we use at the hospital – Peppermint, Orange and Lavender – and their effects in improving patient wellness.

Jannette Gaumer Eat from the Ground, Lose a Pound

The second presentation was, “Eat From the Ground and Lose a Pound” by Speare Memorial Hospital nutritionist, Janette Gaumer, RD/LD who encouraged the audience “Don’t Deny yourself foods, listen to your body and have moderation and portion control.”

Rounding out the first half of our event was “Chair Yoga, No Kidding” with the team from RehabFit.

RehabFit Chair Yoga, No Kidding

Rebeccah Chase, MS, CSCS, RCEP, with assistance from
Leah Baron, MS and Christianna Houston lead the audience in yoga stretching exercises and poses that help improve flexibility, strength, reduce stress and improve mental clarity.

Following a brief intermission of more shopping and networking, comedian, Nancy Witter had the audience in stitches with her comedy stylings, mixing motivational bits with her sharp-witted comedy.

Laughter is the Best Medicine Wine, Women & Wisdom 2019 (137)

Event Photos

Thank you to the generous sponsors and local women-owned business vendors who helped to make this event possible. (Please click on their names below for more information about their products and services.

WINE SPONSOR

105.7 The River

WISDOM SPONSOR

RehabFit

NH Front Page (Salmon Press)

LAUGHTER SPONSORS
Venture Print Unlimited – Minuteman Press of Plymouth

Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative

VENDORS/EXHIBITORS/RAFFLE PRIZE DONORS

Got Lunch! Speare funds program to relieve hunger

Got Lunch 1 9138
(L-R) Barbara McElroy, Plymouth; Maggie Brox, Rumney; Julie Webster, Campton; Carol Perkins, Plymouth; Elena Worrall, Ashland/Holderness; Mary Kietzman, Plymouth; Margaret Salt, Plymouth

Exhilarating. Worthwhile. Beneficial…for the children and ourselves. These are the words that came to mind when women from several local Got Lunch! programs in the region were asked to describe the volunteer work they do.

The women gathered when Speare awarded Got Lunch! programs in Plymouth, Rumney, Campton/ Thornton, and Ashland/Holderness with funding through the hospital’s Community Grants Program.

Got Lunch! is a volunteer community organization that provides lunches to school-age children during the summer months, when many children are at nutritional risk because subsidized school lunch programs are not available. Many of the volunteers are retired teachers and social service professionals, who know all-too-well the plight many children face during the summer break.

“I’ve seen children hungry and looking for food during the school year,” says former teacher Margaret Salt of Got Lunch! Plymouth, “I have no idea how they would go 10 weeks without anything.”

The programs are busy during the winter months collecting and storing nonperishable food with the assistance of area churches, schools, and community partners. On the first Monday after school is out, Got Lunch! programs begin delivering five days’ worth of food supplies for each child in the homes that have signed up.

“Each program has its own twist, but we all stress healthy foods with lots of fruits and veggies,” says Elena Worrall of the Ashland/Holderness program.

The communities are seeking volunteers – Whatever your schedule, there will be a way for you to help. Schedules are built around volunteer vacation plans. In 2019 food deliveries will be made from June 24 until August 19, on Monday mornings. Julie Webster of Got Lunch! Campton says the experience is very rewarding and that it’s wonderful to see young kids eagerly greet them Monday morning when the deliveries are made.

The program is also looking for long-term helpers for planning and fundraising. Interested in Volunteering?

“We couldn’t sustain this program without funding such as the Speare Community Health Grant,” says Barbara McElroy, of Got Lunch! Plymouth. All funds raised, including the grant from Speare, go directly toward purchasing food.

Hope and Healing from the Heart – Celebrating National Hospital Week

National Hopsital Week 2019 at Speare Memorial Hospital (1)

National Hospital Week 2019 celebrates hope and healing, and the hospitals, health systems, and the women and men who support the health and well-being of their communities through dedication and care from the heart.

Celebrating National Hospital Week provides an opportunity to thank all of the dedicated individuals – physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators and so many more – for their contributions.

Speare celebrated its employees throughout the week in a variety of ways including – daily raffles, themed luncheons and fun activities.

Join us in thanking the many Speare employees who give their all and are committed to supporting the health and well-being of our community in and around central New Hampshire.

Celebrating our Volunteers

Speare Memorial Hospital 2019 Volunteer Luncheon (1)

Speare Memorial Hospital volunteers were honored at their annual volunteer appreciation luncheon on Wednesday, April 24th.

Volunteers serve in many capacities which include the Front Desk, Gift Shop, Inpatient Unit, various offices, Environmental Services, and Therapy Dog Services. Volunteers also serve on various Hospital Committees including the Patient Family Advocacy Council and the Patient Experience Committee, to name a few.

The following volunteers were honored this year for volunteer hour milestones:

  • 100 hours – Dee Hopper
  • 250 hours – Nancy Sawyer & Marcia Covell
  • 500 hours – Nancy Kolb
  • 1000 hours – Glory Kidger and Ed Weber
  • 1500 hours – John Gray and Annie Martin
  • 2000 hours – Pat Corbin
  • 5000 hours – Dick Flanagan
  • 19,000 hours – Ann Blair

If you would like more information on volunteering at Speare, please contact Chris Fenn at 238-6460.

4-Million Reasons to Celebrate National Nurses Week

thank you nurses stethoscope vert

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

National Nurses Week is a time for everyone – individuals, employers, other health care professionals, community leaders, and nurses – to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America’s 4-million registered nurses.

Nurses at Speare memorial Hospital #NursesWeek

Like nurses across the country, Speare Memorial Hospital’s nurses dedicate their lives to caring for others in times of need while working relentlessly to improve the health of the populations they serve. Speare’s 110 nursing professionals are focused on delivering excellent healthcare to their patients and families, while leading and participating in projects and initiatives to elevate quality, safety, and the patient experience.

CNORs no coats

In addition, one third of Speare’s nurses have achieved rigorous, nationally recognized, professional certifications that objectively validate their nursing knowledge and expertise. 

Speare and the Plymouth community are truly fortunate to have this wonderful group of nursing professionals and we take this special time to appreciate and thank them!

April is National Donate Life Month

Donate Life Group Photo

New England Donor Services coordinated the recovery and transplant of 1,159 organs in 2018, the most ever.  Through the generosity of 393 organ donors, 2,236 tissue donors and the dedicated work of NEDS staff, both OPOs (New England Organ Bank and LifeChoice Donor Services) realized increases in donation and transplant again this year.

The staff at Speare Memorial Hospital recently took time to reflect on Organ Donation by raising a flag for those who have donated and those who received a donation.

More than 7 million New Englanders are registered as organ and tissue donors. Please consider becoming an organ and tissue donor.   

To register your decision to save and heal lives, visit RegisterMe.org. ·         To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit DonateLife.net.      

* Living donation is not included in a donor registration.

Local Bank Donates to Speare Wound Care Center

Rick Wyman, president of Meredith Village Savings Bank, recently visited Speare’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center to present a donation for the purchase of an ankle-brachial index (ABI) device.

Meredith Village grant to wound care center
Photo (L-R): Linda Drew, front office coordinator; Sherill Ciampa, APRN; Lori Bruce, RN; Alison Lovett, RN; Rick Wyman, president, Meredith Village Savings Bank; Deanna Brodie, LPN and safety director; and Rebecca Sayre, clinical program director.

“The community has always been at the heart of our mission,” says Rick. “We are thrilled to have played a small role in the hospital’s ability to provide even more to the local region. Their recent investment in an ABI device lessens the need for patients to travel for specialized medical treatment. We’re very honored to offer them any assistance we can for the benefit of the Greater Plymouth community.”

The ABI provides a quick, noninvasive way to measure blood pressure at the ankle, which can then be compared with measurements taken at the patient’s arm.

“This is especially important when treating wounds for patients who have an insufficient blood flow from the legs to the heart,” says Rebecca Sayre, clinical program director at the Center. “It is also used for patients with peripheral arterial disease.”

The Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center is a comprehensive center offering highly specialized wound care. It has earned Healogics’ prestigious
Robert A. Warriner III, MD, Center of Excellence Award for three consecutive years. This reflects the Center’s extraordinary clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Dress in Blue Day 2019

Wear Blue Day 2019 at Speare Memorial Hospital (9)

National Colon Cancer Awareness Month is observed every year in March with the first Friday of the month designated as “Wear Blue Day”. Speare staff members wore blue to honor all who are impacted by colorectal cancer and help raise awareness about the work being done to end this disease in our lifetime. (Learn more at Colorectal Cancer Alliance )

Learning about any disease that takes many lives is difficult, but the fact is that early detection through prevention and screening is proven to dramatically reduce fatalities from colorectal cancer.

Wear Blue Day 2019 at Speare Memorial Hospital (12)

Every year, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with this highly preventable disease. They will join more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients and survivors living today. We go blue for them, their families, and their community.

Colon cancer can be prevented with early detection.  Make your appointment for a colonoscopy at Plymouth General Surgery today. Call 603-536-5670 and take advantage of the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have received the most advanced colon cancer and colon polyp screening available. (Click Here to learn about FUSE – the groundbreaking technology that allows our surgeons to see twice as much of the colon as they could before.)

Community engagement continues to grow at 6th annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K

2019 Shamrock Shuffle 5K starting line Plymouth NH (6)

The positive energy was overflowing at Speare Memorial Hospital’s 6th annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K. Over 400 runners and walkers made their way across the starting line at Plymouth Regional High School while a large group of volunteers sporting pompoms cheered everyone on. After finishing their run/walk, many joined the crew shouting encouragement to their fellow participants and giving high fives.

At preregistration many enjoyed taking some time at the children’s table – coloring masks and putting on removable tattoos and stickers as well as posing with St. Patrick’s Day themed props for some photo booth fun. (Scroll down to see all the photo booth and start/finish line photos.)

Volunteers
Speare Volunteers
CERT Team

CERT/MRC team

A very special thanks to all our volunteers including the CERT/MRC team, many local area students and several Speare employees and their family members for their hard work and boundless energy helping to bring it all together.

This event was made possible with support from our sponsors. Be sure to click their links below to learn more about these local businesses.

top sponsors

St. Paddy’s Day Sponsors

Medical Reimbursement Specialists and
Morrison Healthcare

Pot ‘O Gold sponsors:

Woodstock Inn Brewery and Megaprint

Leprechaun Bag sponsor:

RehabFit

Four Leaf Clover Sponsors: Big Daddy Joes, Plymouth Ski & Sport, R.P Williams & Sons, Rhino Bike Works, and UPS

The Speare Shamrock Shuffle was developed in response to an identified community health need to live a more active lifestyle. Speare’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K encourages participants of all ages and abilities to take steps toward a more active lifestyle.

Photo Booth Gallery – click the individual images to enlarge.

Starting Line – click the individual images to enlarge.

Finish Line – click the individual images to enlarge.