Health briefs for October 20th-26th

13 mins read

Top photo: Executive Chef Michael Ramey led his team to victory. He is shown here with teammates Jessica Hausfeld, Deon Fuller and Albert Rocha. 

BMH culinary team takes third at event

It was a culinary event to rival the Iron Chef. Food service staff from eight South Carolina hospitals competed at the Fourth Annual Cooking Well Invitational, a gastronomic showdown sponsored by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Led by Executive Chef Michael Ramey along with Jessica Hausfeld, Deon Fuller and Albert Rocha, the BMH team took third place in the competition held at the historic Boone Hall Plantation as part of “Taste of Charleston.”

BMH is winner of 3 zero harm awards

Beaufort Memorial swept the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) 2016 Certified Zero Harm Awards, winning three awards and special recognition for preventing post-surgery infections.

The 197-bed hospital was one of only two healthcare facilities in South Carolina to report no hospital-acquired infections for 42 consecutive months in two of five categories. BMH also earned special recognition in two categories — more than any other hospital in the state — for performing the highest number of infection-free abdominal hysterectomies and colon surgeries.

“For decades we thought zero harm was impossible, but every day we learn that if we align our efforts we can achieve it, and we’re committed to pursuing it relentlessly,” said BMH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Gambla.

SCHA created the Zero Harm Awards program in 2013 to recognize hospitals that have taken great strides to improve quality of care and patient safety, specifically the elimination of bloodstream and post-surgery infections.

Ulmer pharmacy to hold ribbon cutting

The Greater Bluffton Chamber will celebrate the newest pharmacy in the Lowcountry, Ulmer Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center, with a ribbon cutting celebration at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.

The pharmacy is at 68 Bluffton Road.

Cathy Ulmer, the pharmacist in charge, along with her staff, have over 20 years experience and have seen changes in pharmacy and expanding needs of the patients.

They offer services to our patients that are difficult to find. They carry hard to get medical supplies, offer 24-hour service to the hospice community, delivery services and healthcare courses. As part of their wellness side, Bonnie’s Kitchen Creations offers healthy meals that are prepared in-house. Their mission to reach out to the community and put your healthcare needs first.

For more information visit Ulmer Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center Facebook page at or visit the Greater Bluffton Chamber’s website at

The pharmacy can be reached at 843-473-4496

Funds being raised to fight breast cancer

In support of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fight to Fit Apparel Co. in Beaufort is raising money for cancer awareness and research.

It is selling various T-shirts that say “Fit to Fight.” Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Relay for Life Event of Beaufort County that will take place on Oct. 28.


Say boo to the flu at Bluffton Jasper VIM

Halloween is right around the corner, and Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine is using this time to fight the flu.

“Say Boo to the Flu” will provide free flu shots to patients from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Bluffton Clinic, located at 1 Burnt Church Road in Bluffton. Patients need to sign up by calling the clinic at 843-706-7090.

The Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine provides medical services free of to individuals who are without health insurance, live or work in Greater Bluffton or Jasper County and qualify based on income.

Bluffton Jasper VIM offering diabetes program

Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine (BJVIM) has been chosen to partner with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in a diabetes telemonitoring program.

The program has been piloted by MUSC in the Charleston area with great success, and BJVIM is one of the first free clinics chosen in the state to implement the program outside of this area.

The program will enable BJVIM to provide more effective diabetes management by helping patients achieve and maintain blood sugar and blood pressure goals, no matter where they live, whether they are housebound or have limited transportation. Because patients will be consistently monitored, there will be reduced risk of the development of complications from diabetes.

The telemonitoring program uses a device which is given to the patient and is plugged in to either their home phone line or Internet connection. The patient is asked to use the monitor on a daily basis to measure blood pressure and blood sugar. The readings are then automatically sent to a database, giving the patient’s care provider immediate results. It will also send a notification if any of the readings are out of the range set by the patient’s physician. Based on the readings from the device, an AAMC nurse will guide the patient in making appropriate medication adjustments and lifestyle
behavioral changes.

BJVIM will receive up to 500 monitors from MUSC that will be given to patients free of charge along with a 12-month supply of test strips. Patients must be at least 18 years of age, have an A1c of 8 or greater and be a current patient of Bluffton Jasper VIM.

Youth alliance hosting community forum

The Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) is hosting a Community Forum from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, at Bluffton High School.

There will be three guest speakers to address different aspects of youth in relation to alcohol and marijuana. The forum will also highlight some of the area’s local high school youth who will speak to how they feel the community can help them lead healthier lives.

The experts include:

  • Dr. Lindsay Squeglia, of MUSC, who will discuss the effects of alcohol and marijuana on teen brain development;
  • Dr. Wendy Bell, of the SC Law Enforcement Division, who will discuss medical marijuana myths;
  • Michelle Nienhius, of the SC Department of Alcohol & Drug Abuse, who will provide an overview of the South Carolina student drug survey.

“The purpose of this forum is to engage the public, but more importantly, to increase awareness our youth face regarding use and substance abuse. We want the public to know what they can do to provide a healthier environment for our teens. The youth are our future, so making sure they see a future, should be the primary focus of everyone living and working in this community,” said Wendy Cummings, president of the LCAHY executive board.

To learn more about LCAHY, visit or contact Wendy Cummings at

Michels earns board Certification from CMPE

Mandy Michels, Lady’s Island Internal Medicine practice manager, has earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE).

She is the first Beaufort Memorial Physician Partners manager to achieve this prestigious certification.

To earn the credential from the American College of Medical Practice Executives, Michels had to pass rigorous essay and objective examinations that assess knowledge of the broad scope of group management principles and practices, from business operations and patient care systems to financial, human resources and risk and compliance management. In addition, she had to complete 50 hours of continuing education.

A graduate of Winthrop University with a degree in business administration, Michels started her career in human resources working for Pulte Homes in Sun City. She later served as director of corporate affairs for a company that provides insurance to attorneys.

In October 2013, she joined Beaufort Memorial Hospital as practice manager of Coastal Care MD. Last December, she took over management of the larger Lady’s Island Internal Medicine, a practice with three physicians and two physician assistants.

The American College of Medical Practice Executives is part of the Medical Group Management Association, the leading association for medical practice administrators and executives since 1926.

Retina specialist to speak at Sun City Hilton Head

Dr. Peter Liggett, a retina specialist on Hilton Head, will conduct an educational seminar, “What You Need to Know About Macular Degeneration,” at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in the Colleton River Room at Sun City Hilton Head. This event is open to Sun City Hilton Head residents only.

RSVP by Nov. 10 at or by calling 843-415-3490.

Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye. The macula controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail. As people age, their chances for developing eye diseases increase dramatically.

Liggett is a leader in the evaluation and treatment of macular and retinal diseases. Liggett has been a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Yale School of Medicine and Weill Cornell College of Medicine. He founded New England Retina Associates, which had six retina specialists and more than 10,000 patient visits per year. He has written more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited four major textbooks on diseases of the macula and retina. He is an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, which certifies doctors to practice in ophthalmology.

For more information, call 843-422-9987 or visit

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