Parents have a right to get involved if they think their teen is getting addicted to drugs or alcohol

Addiction is a troubling and potentially earth-shattering disease at any age, so when a teen becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even something that seems harmless like a video game, the consequences can be devastating.

Insider Louisville LogoAndrew Davidson is a licensed clinical social worker whose private practice is centered on 14- to 18-year-olds. In other words, he knows how teenagers’ minds work, what motivates them, and what triggers addictive behavior.

Teens are most likely to experiment with alcohol, he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville, adding that he has seen the whole list of addictive drugs, from marijuana to stimulants to opioids, in his patients. And he is quick to point out that gambling and video games are increasingly affecting young people in a negative way.

“I use a harm-reduction approach – I’m trying to reduce any kind of harm they could do,” he says. “If they choose to use, they need to know what the dangers are.”

To hear more from Davidson, please click here. To read more, please click here.

 

New Moms Need to Take Postpartum Depression – aka the ‘Baby Blues’ – Seriously and Get the Help they Need

Insider Louisville LogoNew moms are often told by family members, friends, and co-workers that becoming a mother is among the happiest times she’ll ever experience.

So why is it that nearly one in four new moms experience profound sadness, anxiety, or depression in the first six weeks after the new baby goes home?

“In TV shows and movies, it shows that it should be the happiest point in your life,” Dr. Amy Greenamyer, a Louisville counselor who specializes in women’s issues, fertility, and pregnancy-related adjustment, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “You should be thrilled to have this new baby. But many feel regrets about having gotten pregnant to begin with. ‘What did we do to our lives, we’ve ruined our lives.’ There’s guilt that comes with those types of thoughts, because we should be happy about this.”

The fact is that having a new person in your home requires an adjustment, not just by the mother, but by all those in her support circle. Feelings of fear and doubt are common.

To hear more from Dr. Greenamyer, please click here. To read more, please click here.

 

Screens may be changing, but parents still have to monitor kids’ ‘screen time’

Insider Louisville LogoParenting in the digital age is not what it used to be, and the consequences for people who ignore the amount of time that their children spend using electronic devices can be disastrous.

In previous generations, the topic of “screen time” was controversial as well, as parents debated the amount of time they should allow their children to watch television. Today’s kids have many more choices, and many of them spend countless hours playing video games or communicating through texting and social media. And with smartphones and tablets being more prevalent, children and teens are able to conduct these activities out of sight of their parents.

Dr. Greg Robson is a general pediatrician at Oldham County Pediatrics in LaGrange. He says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville that in the 14 years he has been practicing, the evolution of screen time has moved the topic up the list of concerns.

“Something that used to be modest and inconsequential is now affecting greater activities on a daily basis for the patients in our practice, and I would guess for our communities at large,” he said.

To hear more from Dr. Robson, please click here.

 

‘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.