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Hannibal Regional News

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System News Archive

Choosing Active Learning Toys Bookmark

While choosing toys for your children over the holidays, do not overlook the importance of selecting toys which will promote active learning.  Dr. Julia Roberts, pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group offers a few tips to help you choose toys that will encourage your children to learn while engaging in play.  “Active learning occurs when children learn or strengthen skills through play,” shares Dr. Roberts. “Toys can help children with their problem solving skills as well as encourage them to be active and explore new things.”

Select toys that encourage exploration and problem solving.
Children are able to practice new skills over and over through play.  “When children play with toys that give them an opportunity to figure something out on their own, or with little help, they are building logical thinking skills and becoming problem-solvers,” shares Dr. Roberts.  Items such as puzzles, blocks, nesting blocks or cups, and art materials are good choices to help children learn and use their problems solving skills.

Find toys that encourage your child to be active.
Toys that encourage children to be active are helping them practice current physical skills and develop new ones.  “Choosing toys that encourage physical activity will help your children develop motor skills and make them more confident to try more activities,” says Dr. Roberts.  Some toys that encourage active play are balls of different shapes and sizes, tricycles or three-wheeled scooters (with appropriate safety gear), gardening tools and plastic bowling sets.  

Choose toys that encourage cross-generational play.
Adults and children can play almost anything together, but some toys are designed for adults to play as well.  Children as young as three can play board games and they are fun for all ages to play. “Playing board games together will help your children learn to count, matching and strengthen memory skills,” says Dr. Roberts.  “Children will also learn listening skills and self-control as they learn to follow the rules.”

Toy Safety Tips for the Holiday Season Bookmark

During the Christmas season children will receive a variety of toys - but some of them come with potential safety risks if it is not age appropriate or if the warning labels are ignored.  Dr. Julia Roberts, Pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, has a few tips to help make this Christmas a safe one.

Buy age appropriate toys.
When choosing toys as gifts, age matters.  Small items are not the safest choice for young children.  For children under age three, choose toys that are at least 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches long, so they will not lodge in a child’s mouth or throat.  “It is also important to watch for pull toys with longer strings as they could be a potential strangulation hazard for babies,” notes Dr. Roberts. “If you are purchasing gifts for an older child be sure to keep in mind younger siblings as well.  If you purchase a toy for an older child that has several small parts try to keep it separate from the younger siblings toys.”

Be cautious about toys containing button batteries or magnets.
Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. “Button batteries or small magnets can be in a variety of items - not just toys,” notes Dr. Roberts.  “If children swallow batteries or magnets it could lead to serious medical problems and you should call your healthcare provider immediately.” In addition to toys, button batteries may be in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids, and other small electronics. Small, powerful magnets may be part of building toy sets.

Avoid choking hazards.
“Test your child’s toy to see if there are any small parts that can break off and check to see if the toy you choose has small parts - if they can fit inside a paper towel roll they are potential choking hazards,” notes Dr. Roberts.  Don’t forget to discard any plastic wrapping or other toy packaging once the gifts are opened. When storing toys, remember to store toys for older kids separate from toys for younger kids.

To contact the pediatrics office at Hannibal Regional Medical Group call (573) 629-3500.

 

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Dr. Cole Scherder Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Dr. Cole Scherder to their Bowling Green team! Cole Scherder, MD completed his medical education and his Family and Community Medicine Residency at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  Dr. Scherder is excited to be able to provide healthcare services in his hometown and contribute to the overall wellness of the community.

“Joining the Hannibal Regional Medical Group team allows me to not only utilize my expertise to help keep my community healthier, but also provides a wide variety of other healthcare resources at my fingertips to share with my patients,” shares Dr. Scherder.  “Hannibal Regional is continuing to grow and I am able to easily connect my patients with several different specialty physicians if needed.”

Dr. Scherder believes one of the best ways he can help his patients is to take the time to really listen to their needs and help them understand their diagnosis and treatment options.  “Taking the time to listen to my patients ensures I am meeting all of their healthcare needs. I also like to make sure they fully understand what their issue is and how I can best help them get better.”  

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is knowing I am helping my patients live longer, happier and healthier lives.” says Dr. Scherder.  Dr. Scherder is now accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group in Bowling Green. To schedule an appointment call (573) 324-2241.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Marlee Keele, FNP-C Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Marlee Keele, FNP-C to their Bowling Green team!  Marlee Keele, FNP-C earned her Nurse Practitioner degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing and is looking forward to caring for others in the community she grew up in.

Marlee has a strong background in emergency medicine and is looking forward to serving the community through the clinic’s Urgent Care services.  “The ability to provide comfort to patients in need is very satisfying. Working in the Urgent Care setting I am able to provide patients with the necessary tools to improve their health and resolve acute medical problems,” shares Keele.

“When the opportunity to join the Hannibal Regional team became available, I knew it was a team I wanted to be part of,” shares Marlee Keele, FNP-C.  “Hannibal Regional offers many resources to help people improve their quality of life. It is one of my goals to make sure each of my patients has the education and connections to the resources they need to help them now and in the future.”

Urgent Care services at Hannibal Regional Medical Group in Bowling Green are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.  Hannibal Regional Medical Group in Bowling Green is located next to Walmart at Bowling Green Town Center Drive #8. For more information call (573) 324-2241.

Sports and Concussions: What You Need to Know Bookmark

Dr. James TuckerA concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.  This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce or twist in the skull causing chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

“Concussions are difficult to accurately diagnose due to the varying signs and symptoms of the injury,” shares Dr. James Tucker, Family Medicine physician at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  If your athlete becomes injured during practice or a game and begins acting dazed or stunned, moves clumsily, answers questions slowly, loses consciousness (even briefly) or can’t recall events prior or after the hit or fall it is time to seek the care of a healthcare professional.  “If it is a possibility your child has sustained a concussion during a game, they should be removed from play and be evaluated by a medical professional,” notes Dr. Tucker. “The athlete should remain out of play on the day of the injury and should only return with permission from a healthcare professional.”

Repetitive head trauma is increasingly dangerous and early identification may have long term benefits.  To help prevent concussions on the field make sure your child follows the rules their coach sets for safety and the rules of the game.  Make sure athletes are wearing protective equipment that is well maintained and fits properly. “Wearing a helmet does help reduce the risk of serious brain injury or a skull fracture,” says Dr. Tucker. “However, there is not a helmet that can totally prevent concussions.  Even with a helmet, it is important for athletes to try their best to avoid hits to their head. Proper technique should be instructed before full contact drills or practice.” Healing from a concussion takes time, along with mental and physical rest. Each person recovers at a different pace and should follow a gradual return to play and return to school process.

“If available, baseline testing before the season is a great way for healthcare professionals to determine the severity of a suspected concussion,” says Dr. Tucker.  Baseline testing is used to assess the athlete’s balance and brain function and is compared to post-injury results to help identify the effects of the injury. To maintain the best results for comparison, baseline testing should be completed annually.

To contact Dr. Tucker’s office call (573) 629-3500.

Back to School: Tips for a Better Year Bookmark

Dr. Deborah BaumannThe time for kids to head back to school is quickly approaching and as your family adjusts to the new school year, it’s a good idea to take some precautionary measures to set your kids up for a safe, healthy year.  Dr. Deborah Baumann, pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, has a few tips to help make sure your children will have a great year.

Alert the school of health concerns.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your child remains healthy is to make certain the school is aware of your child’s health care needs and knows how to address them. “If your child takes any medication, or experiences common health problems such as severe allergies, asthma or physical restrictions, it’s a good idea to prepare your school nurse or administrator for potential health issues prior to the first day of school.  Remember to also provider proper medicine and dosage information, as well as emergency contact and physician information” shares Dr. Baumann.

Schedule a well-child visit.
An annual well-child visit with your child’s pediatrician will help ensure your child is healthy before returning to class.  “A well-child visit is one of the best things you can do to keep your children healthy. Annual visits are recommended until kids head off to college.  It’s a good time for parents to visit with us and share any concerns” says Dr. Baumann. Well-child visits are also a good time to complete any needed sports physicals, update any prescriptions or have any other necessary forms signed.  

Establish good hygiene habits and know when to stay home.
We have likely all heard about the importance of proper hand hygiene and it is no different for kids.  It is a good idea to help kids establish a habit of washing their hands before eating and after bathroom use and remind your kids that there are times when it’s ok not to share. “Help your children understand that there are certain things that shouldn’t be shared.  These items include eating utensils, drinking cups, water bottles, grooming articles, etc. It is especially important to keep this in mind during cold and flu season” says Dr. Baumann.

If your child is sick, please don’t send them to school.  If your child is running a fever, is vomiting or having diarrhea, please stay home and rest.  If more symptoms appear or continue to worsen, consult with your healthcare provider.

Manage stress and re-establish routines.
Back-to-school time can be overwhelming and a bit stressful for kids and parents, but too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues.  “You can help your children manage stress by talking to them about anything that’s bothering them” notes Dr. Baumann. “Schoolwork and after-school activities are important, but don’t forget that it’s also important to take time to relax and spend time together as a family.”  

At least one week before school begins, shift your children from flexible summer sleep hours to bedtime schedules that fit the school year.  “To help re-establish a good sleep routine, turn off all screens to include computer, television and phone 30 minutes prior to sleep” says Dr. Baumann.  “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teenagers sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.”

To contact Hannibal Regional Medical Group call 573-629-3500.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Dr. James Tucker Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Dr. James Tucker to their family medicine team! James Tucker, DO completed his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine training at A.T. Still University in Kirksville after serving with honors in the United States Army.  He completed his Family and Community Medicine Residency at the University of Missouri Columbia and has come back to his home area to establish his practice. Hannibal Regional Medical Group is happy to have Dr. Tucker join the rest of the family medicine team as we work to guide our community to better.

During his childhood, Dr. Tucker often accompanied his father, Dr. Mark Tucker, to his medical office which developed his lifelong passion of caring for others.  Dr. Tucker says, “I remember going into the office with my father and checking on patients and helping out when I could. People often told me they wanted me to come back and provide medical care in the area and that strong sense of community has always stuck with me.”  

Dr. Tucker is focused on engaging his patients with their preventative health.  “I strive to involve my patients in their medical decision making process. I want to make sure they understand their healthcare decisions so they know why it’s important to maintaining or improving their life” shares Dr. Tucker.

Dr. Tucker is now seeing patients alongside the rest of Hannibal Regional Medical Group’s family medicine team in Hannibal.  To schedule an appointment call (573) 629-3500.

 

Hannibal Regional Welcomes New Gastroenterologist, Dr. Ahmed Bookmark

Dr. Ahmed Hannibal Regional Medical Group is pleased to welcome gastroenterologist, Dr. Ahmed, to their team. Khulood Ahmed, MD is board certified in gastroenterology and has been practicing medicine for over twenty years.

Dr. Ahmed was most recently practicing gastroenterology at the University of Missouri in Columbia and is excited to be part of the Hannibal community. “The Hannibal community is a great place to continue raising our family” shares Dr. Ahmed. “This is a beautiful area and is filled with a welcoming, supportive community and team at Hannibal Regional.”

Dr. Ahmed provides diagnosis and treatment of complex gastroenterology and liver-related diseases and performs diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures. She specializes in general gastrointestinal and liver cases: the diagnosis and treatment of IBD (inflammatory bowel diseases), viral hepatitis and other liver diseases, colon and intestinal diseases, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and gastrointestinal ulcers. Dr. Ahmed also treats acute gastrointestinal bleeding and acute pancreatitis. If you are experiencing reflux/acidity, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abnormal changes in bowel habits, nausea, or vomiting you are encouraged to call to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Ahmed enjoys taking care of her patients, getting to know them and their health concerns and helping them feel better. “When you don’t feel well, it’s hard to enjoy even the smallest activities - one of the best things about my job is that I can help people feel better and get them back to enjoying life” shares Dr. Ahmed.

Dr. Ahmed’s office is located on the third floor of the Hannibal Medical Group building. To schedule an appointment call (573) 629-3500.

As part of the Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, the Hannibal Regional Medical Group (HRMG) is a growing multi-specialty physician group continuing to expand primary and specialty care services to meet the health needs of northeast Missouri and west central Illinois residents. HRMG family and specialty physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, they also provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Hannibal Regional Medical Group has locations in Bowling Green, Canton, Hannibal, Louisiana, Monroe City, and Shelbina.

Summer Foot Care Tips with Dr. Edward Cline Bookmark

Dr. Cline Summer is quickly approaching and with it comes the urge to shed your shoes. However, choosing to go without proper footwear can lead to problems for your feet and may put a damper on your summer fun. Podiatrist Dr. Edward Cline often sees more sprained ankles and broken bones during the summer months due to sports related injuries or people being active outside doing yard work or playing with their family. Another issue Dr. Cline sees is from people who have been outside barefoot or wearing unsupportive shoes and they have ended up with splinters, stepped on broken glass or had another injury.

Don’t overlook the importance of proper footwear.

Summer isn’t the time to dismiss wearing the proper footwear. “You really should not be going outside barefoot, at all” notes Dr. Cline. “You don’t want to get sunburned on your feet which could lead to melanoma or you don’t want your foot getting cut by a piece of wood or glass that could be hidden. Those are two very common problems I see this time of year.” Don’t forget to consider comfort and protection when it comes to your footwear. Some flip flops are very inexpensive, but they are flimsy and will likely lead to a foot injury. Choose sandals that will support your feet - and if you know your feet will be in and out of water make sure they don’t have foam in them. The foam will hold water and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Dr. Cline also recommends discarding any old, worn out, beat down shoes. While it may seem like a good idea to keep them to do your “dirty” work in, they could have holes in them or the traction may be worn down which could lead to falls or cuts on your feet.

Footwear choices for women.

Not just during the summer, but all year around, women need to remember to choose footwear which provides support and protection. “Ballet flats are an example of what could be a bad shoe to wear - and most women don’t realize that because they’re comfortable” says Dr. Cline. “Most flats have little to no support and little protection. When you are looking for flats, find something that gives you arch support and protects your feet.” Heels and wedges could also lead to problems because it’s similar to walking on your toes all day. Pointed toes are also bad for your foot health and could lead to permanent damage. “I recommend tracing your foot on a piece of paper, then tracing the outline of your shoe. If it looks like a tight and uncomfortable fit, it will not be good for your feet” shares Dr. Cline.

Summer foot health for children.

“Summer is a good time of year to have your children’s feet checked. Before they start a new season of sports, they should have previous injuries checked. Their shoes may need to be adjusted or a brace may be needed to help support an area that has been previously injured.” says Dr. Cline. Another important thing to remember is not to put your children in hand-me-down shoes. Financially it can make sense, but allowing your children to wear previously used shoes may put them at risk for an injury. “With all the wear and tear the shoes have been through, they may no longer be supportive or protect well and could lead to bigger problems than the cost of buying a new pair of shoes for the season,” notes Dr. Cline.

If you are experiencing problems with your feet, help is only a step away. Dr. Cline sees patients in Hannibal and at outlying HRMG locations and is ready to help guide you on your journey to better health. To contact Dr. Cline’s office call 573-629-3500.

Don’t Let Your Healthy Tan Kill You Bookmark

Dr. MetlisSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. More people will get skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention and to encourage everyone to protect their skin as they head outdoors to kick off the summer season.

“One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime,” shares Dr. Schuyler Metlis with Hannibal Regional Medical Group. “‘Don’t Fry Day’ is a great way to remind us to take preventative measures to protect our skin.” In order to protect yourself from the sun remember to seek shade, wear protective clothing, generously apply sunscreen, do not burn or tan (including tanning beds) and use extra caution near water, snow and sand.

Another way to help catch skin cancer early is to carefully examine your skin monthly. Suspicious lesions or progressive changes in a lesion’s appearance or size should be evaluated promptly by a physician. “There has been a decrease of incidence of many common cancers, but the rates of melanoma continue to rise significantly. If you have a new skin lesion that is growing, changing shape, bleeding or itching, you should have it checked immediately by a trained professional,” says Dr. Metlis.

Some risk factors for skin cancer include a lighter natural skin color; family history of skin cancer; history of indoor tanning; history of sunburns (especially early in life); and skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily. “If you have any of these risk factors, you should see a doctor for a skin cancer screening at least once a year,” says Dr. Metlis. “Catching cancer early often allows for more treatment options. If you have skin cancer, finding it early is the best way to make sure it can be treated with success and with less noticeable scarring.”

Dr. Metlis is hosting skin cancer screenings throughout the region. The screenings are free, however space is limited and appointments are required. To see a full list of screening dates visit medicalgroup.hannibalregional.org.