‘Pet therapy’ Can Help Many People Through the Healing Process, No Matter the Challenges

Insider Louisville LogoFor many hospital patients and residents of assisted-living facilities, medicine is not always what’s needed most. Sometimes, they just need something to smile about. And that’s where animal-assisted therapy can be a real benefit.

Animal-assisted therapy, also known as pet therapy, is recognized by those in the medical profession as a “growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Linda Laun saw the benefits of pet therapy first-hand when she was a little girl and her ailing grandmother snuck out of the hospital to see her dog, Patsy, in the parking lot. She said that even though her grandmother was in great pain, her face lit up at the sight of her dog.

“When she was interacting with Patsy, she had a tiny piece of tranquility. It made a huge difference in her life,” Laun said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “I recognized the impact dogs can have on people. When I had time, I got more involved and started a therapy program.”

Today, Laun heads Wonderful Animals Giving Support (WAGS) Pet Therapy of Kentucky, Inc., which utilizes the human-animal bond to bring smiles to the faces of those who are mentally, physically or emotionally challenged. To hear more from Laun, please click here. For more information about pet therapy, please click here.

A Good Night’s Sleep is One of the Most Important Things We Can Do to Be Healthy

Insider Louisville LogoOf all the components of good health, there’s one that’s as essential as eating, breathing and physical activity. According to Lisa Bellafato, a health education manager at Passport Health Plan, a good night’s sleep can have a positive effect on everything from your energy level to your ability to lose weight.

“Sleep is a restorative time for the body,” Bellafato says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. Some can get less, some need more. Teens need more, but for some it’s almost impossible to get the recommended hours.”

Bellafato spends time talking to teens about health issues, and notes that technology is a big factor in depriving young people of sleep. Phones, and the need to be constantly connected, is a huge factor. She recommends a family charging station, and said parents should insist on every family member placing phones at a central location at bedtime – even themselves.

For more information, please click here.

 

Passport Health Plan to Honor 7 Healthcare Leaders at Commitment to Compassion Luncheon

Compassionate LouisvilleCompassion is a key component in healthcare delivery, and seven individuals who embody that value will be honored at a luncheon in Downtown Louisville.

“A Commitment to Compassion” will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28, at the Frazier History Museum, 829 West Main Street. The event is co-sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Compassionate Louisville, and Insider Louisville.

“We have a created a brush fire of compassion for the community, and this is an opportunity to recognize some of the folks who are igniting the fire,” said Stephanie Barnett, a co-host of the Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation, which brings together members of the healthcare community to explore ways to grow compassion from within our health systems.

Jean West, Emmy Award-winning anchor and medical, health and science reporter, will emcee the event, which will recognize and honor seven dedicated healthcare workers who exemplify true compassion in the workplace. These are people who go above and beyond their job duties to extend needed consideration, kindness, and compassion to patients, their colleagues and the broader community. The honorees are:

  • Guy Harvey of Norton Children’s Hospital
  • Heather Renee Hibbard of the Brown Cancer Center
  • Mary Lynn Spalding, President and CEO of Christian Care Communities
  • Sheila Carter, founder and owner of Heartsong Memory Care
  • Zella Fraze of Gilda’s Club
  • Dr. Michael Imburgia, co-founder of the Have a Heart Clinic
  • Robin Goodman of Family Health Centers

For more information, please click here.

 

Louisville Grows Brings Healthy-Eating Practices to Residents All Over Region

Insider Louisville LogoThe phrase “eat your vegetables” can refer to any responsible choice you make, whether in work, school, or life. Taken literally, it’s good advice when it comes to your diet.

Healthy eating can mean different things to different people, but almost everyone is making a conscious effort to improve their health by paying attention to what they put in their mouths. And vegetables are among the healthiest items anyone can choose.

Ked Stanfield, executive director of Louisville Grows, organizes programs and activities to encourage a healthy diet at the organization’s headquarters in the Portland neighborhood of West Louisville.

“Something that’s missing from a lot of American diets are vegetables,” he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.  “Vegetables have a lot of nutrients and they don’t have a lot of calories. Those micro- and macro-nutrients that are found in vegetables are things that we lack in our diet.”

To learn more about this, please click here.

 

Meet the Honorees for the 2018 Commitment to Compassion Event

Compassionate LouisvilleAt the third annual Commitment to Compassion luncheon Commitment to Compassion luncheon, set for Feb. 28 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Downtown Louisville, seven individuals who have demonstrated a personal commitment of compassion in the health care field will be honored.

Created by Passport Health Plan and the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville, and supported by Insider Louisville, the annual luncheon continues to grow and put a spotlight on the countless compassionate caregivers in our community.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Guy Harvey of Norton Children’s Hospital
  • Heather Renee Hibbard of the Brown Cancer Center
  • Mary Lynn Spalding of Christian Care Communities
  • Sheila Carter of Heartsong Memory Care
  • Zella Fraze of Gilda’s Club
  • Dr. Michael Imburgia of the Have a Heart Clinic
  • Robin Goodman of Family Health Centers

To register for this year’s event, please click here. For more information about this program, please click here.

 

Physical Activity is Especially Important During the Cold Winter Months

Insider Louisville LogoIt’s cold outside. The streets might be covered in ice. There’s a good movie on TV, and plenty of food in the fridge. So why would anyone want to go out and get some exercise?

That’s the dilemma many of us face in the winter months, and some of us have the extra pounds to show for it. In terms of our overall physical and mental health, getting moving is the antidote to the winter blahs. Even a little bit of exercise can make a big difference in our outlook on life.

“Activity is the new wonder drug,” Steve Tarver, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Physical activity is important all year long, but in particular during the winter when we’re indoors more, things move a little more slowly. That can infringe on our physical health, but also on our mental and social health as well.”

To hear more from Steve, please click here.

 

Commitment to Compassion Luncheon to Honor 7 who Make a Difference in Healthcare

Compassionate LouisvilleTechnical competency is imperative in the healthcare industry. But just as important are the people who can demonstrate the virtues of compassion.

Healthcare professionals who go above and beyond their job duties to extend kindness and compassion to their patients, their colleagues and the broader community usually do so under the radar. That is, they don’t do it for the attention.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the attention. We want to celebrate compassion and formally recognize and celebrate the dedicated folks in the healthcare community who demonstrate compassion on a day-to-day and person-by-person basis. We do this with the Commitment to Compassion luncheon.

Created by Passport Health Plan and the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville three years ago, and supported by Insider Louisville, the annual luncheon continues to grow and put a spotlight on the countless compassionate caregivers in our community.

For more information or to RSVP for this year’s event on February 28, please click here.

 

Holidays Can Bring About Serious Depression for Some, But There Are Ways to Combat It

Insider Louisville LogoIt may seem like the merriest time of the year, but the holidays can prime the pump of depression for many people. And it’s especially difficult once the Christmas tree comes down, the pressures of the workplace return, and the bills start coming in.

It’s a time when many people are especially susceptible to falling into poor eating and drinking habits, not getting enough sleep, and neglecting exercise. It can all be overwhelming, no matter who you are.

Gloria Berry, a licensed family therapist at Centerstone Kentucky, acknowledges that overspending on Christmas presents is a trigger for January blues, but she offers some good advice to help people cope with the pressures that come after the holidays.

“People may have budgeted, but didn’t stick to it, or they overextended themselves,” she says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “ ‘How am I going to pay my rent, pay for food for me and my family, pay for electricity and water and pay off these credit cards?’ I’ve heard many families that I’ve worked with talk about paying throughout the year to pay off Christmas. I try to encourage families to plan ahead and budget ahead — (think about) how much they want to spend so they can save for that throughout the year so they don’t get back in this cycle of feeling anxious and stressed after the holidays.”

For a video with more information, please click here.

 

Nominate Someone for the 2018 Commitment to Compassion Luncheon Today

Compassionate LouisvilleFor the honorees at the 2017 Commitment to Compassion luncheon, which took place at the Muhammad Ali Center in February, performing compassionate acts for others is a natural act.

No one had to ask any of them to go above and beyond what was expected. They didn’t ask for extra compensation, and every one of them was shocked and surprised to win an award for showing compassion as part of their work in health care. To read more about the 2017 recipients, please click here.

The Commitment to Compassion Luncheon is held to shine a light on those who exemplify true compassion in healthcare delivery and make a difference in the lives of others. The 2018 luncheon will be on Wednesday, February 28. Sponsors for this event include Passport Health Plan, Insider Louisville, and the Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation.

If you have a hero for compassion in your life, please nominate them here.

 

 

Many Men Have a Hard Time Talking About Depression, Especially Around the Holidays

Insider Louisville LogoWhile most people associate the holidays with happiness, it can also be an especially challenging time for those suffering from depression. And an often-overlooked segment of society dealing with depression is middle-aged men.

The worst outcome for depression, of course, is suicide. In the U.S., white males commit suicide at a rate more than double that of any other group, and more men age 45-54 are victims than any other age ranges.

Dr. Jesse Wright, director of the University of Louisville Depression Center, said there are many reasons men don’t get the help they need.

“For some reason men seem to have a harder time talking about it, identifying that they have it and getting help,” Wright said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “We’ve seen right here in Louisville some terrible tragedies, even physicians that know about depression, know that help works, but for one reason or another didn’t get that help and ended up as a suicide.

“In men, depression is often a silent killer. If it doesn’t kill, it’s a silent damager, to their careers, to their relationships with their family, to their own personal health.”

To see a video of Dr. Wright speaking more about this issue, please click here.