Hannibal Regional Blog

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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


Brain Health Facts

Brain Health Facts

Brain Health1. Your brain has ENORMOUS energy and nutrient demands. 

  • The average brain is 2% of body weight yet accounts for 20-30% of the body’s total daily energy expenditure and uses 20-25% of all the glucose that enters the bloodstream.

2. Your brain requires a very robust blood flow. 

  • The average brain utilizes 15% of the body’s total blood output from the heart. 


3. Your brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage. This is due to the following unique brain features: 

  • The brain is filled with fat. Fatty tissues are more readily oxidized. 
  • The brain is filled with large amounts of iron (from its robust blood flow) and iron can be a powerful pro-oxidant. 
  • The brain processes massive amounts of oxygen (25% of all the oxygen you breathe) and oxidative stress/oxidation is a normal byproduct of oxygen metabolism.

4. Oxidation in the brain leads to inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is the culprit for most all forms of damage that occur in the human body and is a fundamental driver of chronic diseases. Stress, depression, other forms of mental strife, as well as neurodegenerative diseases like dementia are clearly linked to excess inflammation in the body and brain.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


The Happiness Effect

Cheerful Volunteers in park Everyone wants to live a life that is meaningful and fulfilled. There are many ways to become happier and one of those is to help someone else. Altruism is the unselfish concern for other people that often lead us to volunteer for a cause that we believe in. There are so many benefits to volunteering, so I want to share some wonderful facts with you and encourage you to find what you are passionate about to begin helping others and ultimately making your life better too.

A study showed that compared to people who never volunteer the odds of being very happy rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% among those who volunteered every other week. And about 20% of those volunteering each week! Also, the act of helping others actually activates the part of your brain that makes you feel pleasure and activities your mesolimbic system releasing a hormone called oxytocin. So by giving your time to a cause you believe in and helping others, you are actually making yourself happier and healthier.

Helping others can build your self-esteem, make you feel more connected to your community and others, and make us feel more optimistic. Lastly, I want to mention that helping others can make us feel more thankful. As we help others it is easy to reflect on our own circumstances and feel more grateful for our blessings.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of what you give!

  • Don’t look at it as additive-It is something you get to do, not have to do!
  • Ask yourself what you want to accomplish most
  • Start with what you can do
  • Don’t overburden yourself
  • Be a good manager of your time
  • Include your family
  • Learn

Volunteering has a positive effect on your community and it can have a positive effect on you too!

Blog post provided by:
Alicia Rollins, CAVS
Director-Guest and Volunteer Services
Hannibal Regional Healthcare System


Spring Forward! Helping Your Kids Adjust to Daylight Saving Time.

We set our clocks forward one hour on March 11th 2018 at 2A.M. for Daylight Saving Time. This change will give us another hour of sunlight in the evening.  Most of us welcome that extra hour of sunlight, and the feeling that spring is finally here!  The downside to the change is how it can interfere with our children’s sleep schedules. After moving the clock ahead one hour, young children who had a bedtime at around 7 or 8 PM when it is dark, may now be going to bed while it is still light.  Adults can easily adjust to the new time, but it may be more difficult for children.  For children, especially if they are not getting enough sleep already, making the adjustment to Daylight Saving Time is important.

Here are things you can do to get your kids ready for the change.

Gradually get your child ready for the time change.

Before Daylight Saving Time begins, you can put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few days. By the time the clock moves forward your child will already be used to the new earlier time.

If you didn’t gradually change bedtimes you can wake your child up an hour earlier on the day before Daylight Saving Time begins. Your child will be sleepier that night and you can put them to bed an hour earlier. That way there is no lost hour of sleep and you wake your child up at their usual time, according to their internal clock.

As always, your child should develop good daily habits to sleep well and maintain healthy growth and development, both physically and mentally.

Try these tips for good sleep habits every night.

  • Keep a routine bedtime and wake time: Try to put your kids to bed and get them up at the same time each day. This helps maintain their circadian rhythm or body clock.
  • Have a bedtime ritual: Try a bath, pajamas, brushing teeth and a few pages from a book or telling a story. Your child will come to expect the routine and breeze through bedtime every night.
  • Make the room comfortable: Keep the room cool, quiet and dark. If your child needs a night light choose an amber-colored light. Blue lights tend to signal the brain to wake
  • Limit electronic use. Limit computer, cell phone, and TV use at least one hour before bed. The light emitted from these screens can stimulate the brain and interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Set an example:   Set a good example as a parent and follow good sleep habits yourself. Make sleep a priority, you may find that you get better sleep and feel healthier too! 

Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT,REEGT,CRT Clinical Coordinator Neurodiagnostics-Hannibal Regional Hospital- Sleep Services


Hannibal Regional Hospital's Pediatric Speech Therapy Goes Above and Beyond For Local Family
Speech Therapy Scholarship Program at Hannibal RegionalCandy Golian’s son, Trey Golian, started taking speech therapy about a year ago after he was screened at his daycare facility, Grow and Learn. “After his screening, we learned that he was farther behind then what we thought,” said Candy. “We knew he was behind but we chalked it up to other factors, but we didn't realize that he was as far behind as he was until I called out and talked to Patty Schenk on the phone.” Patty Schenk is a Speech Therapist with Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy team. “She went over everything and explained everything that he was tested for and where he should be at his age and how far behind he was,” explained Candy.

After the assessment and talking to Patty, Candy Golian and her husband discussed the cost of therapy that Trey would have to work through, weekly. “At the time we had health insurance but we had a very high deductible and didn’t know if we would be able to afford the therapy sessions,” stated Candy. “I talked to our daycare center owner and she actually told me about the Scottish Rite program. She said that she really thought Trey needed speech therapy and would greatly benefit from it so I decided that we would check into it.”

Tammy Lieurance, secretary for Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy, helped Candy with all the paperwork and anything else that would be needed for the Scottish Rite scholarship application. Within a day Tammy was able to let the Golian family know that they qualified for the scholarship and that the scholarship would cover most of the cost for each session. “If we had not qualified for the scholarship I don't know if Trey would have been able to get the help that he needed,” said Candy.

“The ladies at Hannibal Regional have made this experience one of the easiest things to do, they work with you and your schedule to make it to so easy on us,” explained Candy. “My husband and I both work during the day and it makes it so much easier for us that Ms. Patty comes to Trey at daycare for his session and we don't have to worry about how we are going to get him to each session. Every Tuesday when we pull up to daycare he is looking for her vehicle and gets so excited knowing she is there. Without her help, I know that Trey wouldn't be where he is today and ready to start Kindergarten next year. Without the Scottish Rite program, he would not have received the help he needed. I can never thank the ladies at Hannibal Regional enough for helping Trey and our entire family with this.”

Hannibal Regional Foundation is hosting “Cheers for the Kids” Friday, April 21st, 2017 from 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm at the Cave Hollow Winery. Tickets are $20 per person or $30 per couple. You can purchase them in advance by contacting the Hannibal Regional Hospital Pediatric Speech Therapy Department at 573-406-5777 or Hannibal Regional Foundation at 573-629-3577. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Your ticket includes four wine tastings, live entertainment, and appetizers. A commemorative wine glass will be given to the first 100 attendees. The event proceeds will benefit Hannibal Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Speech Therapy Department to help children like Trey Golian get the therapy services they need.

To learn more about the Hannibal Regional Foundation, visit hrhf.org or call 573-629-3577. To learn more about Hannibal Regional Hospital's Pediatric Therapy Services call 573-406-5777.

Pictured is Hannibal Regional Speech Therapist Patty Shenk, Trey Golian, and mother Candy Golian.


January Daily Goals
new year new goals 2017Instead of planning a big New Year’s Resolution, stick to small, more realistic goals that you know you can achieve. Take one day at a time and choose a task or activity for each day. Grab a friend, your spouse or the whole family and follow this January daily challenge. Not a fan of one of the suggestions? Choose something else or create a plan as a family.

1. Try 1 new fruit or vegetable that you have never had before, or one you don’t eat often. Get the family involved with how you will fix it.
2. Call a friend or relative you have not spoken to in a while.
3. Take a 20-minute walk (or other exercise as tolerated).
4. Clean out the pantry.
5. Go to bed 1 hour earlier than usual.
6. Eat 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables today (1 cup raw, ½ cup cooked or canned, or 2 cups leafy greens= 1 serving).
7. Stretch before bed.
8. Try a new recipe for your evening meal.
9. Take a bath or do something else relaxing (without your cell phone)
10. Find 5 things in your home to get rid of, donate or throw away.
11. Track water intake (for every beverage you drink that is not water, drink equivalent of that in water)
12. Plan a meatless meal for tonight.
13. Take 20! Turn off your phone off and sit in a quiet place for 20 minutes to pray, meditate, reflect.
14. Clean out the fridge
15. Plan and prepare all your meals for tomorrow.
16. Journal! This can be your thoughts, feelings, daily activities, food intake etc.
17. Pay it forward. Do an unexpected favor for someone, send a handwritten card, or visit a friend/family member.
18. Gratitude list: make a list of 15 people/things you are grateful for.
19. Solve a Sudoku, word find, puzzle or other brain-quizzing activity.
20. Practice your manners. Focus on saying please and thank you, looking others in the eye and acknowledging their presence, pay attention to your nonverbal cues/actions, etc.
21. Give up the TV tonight and do an activity with your kids and/or spouse.
22. Focus on your happiness today. It takes time and patience to learn how to find joy in the little things and not to let problems bring you down.
23. Pick one cabinet or closet to clean out or tidy up
24. Schedule an annual checkup with your doctor, vision appointment and/or dental cleaning with your dentist.
25. Ask for help! We all have things we need help with, but asking for help can sometimes be the hardest task.
26. Give up sweets/added sugars for 1 day.
27. Recycle! Reduce the amount of waste you put in our earth. Paper, cardboard, plastic beverage containers, yogurt containers, tin and steel, aluminum cans and so much more can be recycled instead of stuffed into our ground.
28. Start a personal development book or daily devotional.
29. Try a new fitness/wellness class, exercise DVD or extracurricular activity.
30. Try a new whole grain such as kamut, quinoa, farrow, black rice, millet, etc.
31. Volunteer for 1 hour.
32. Visit someone at the nursing home.
33. Go to the library and check out a new book.


Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

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