Health briefs for November 10th-16th

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Matthew Hurt, center, is the recipient of the 2016 "Spirit of Giving" Award. He is shown here with Beaufort Memorial Foundation Chairman Hugh Gouldthorpe and Beaufort Memorial Hospital CEO Russell Baxley.
Matthew Hurt, center, is the recipient of the 2016 “Spirit of Giving” Award. He is shown here with Beaufort Memorial Foundation Chairman Hugh Gouldthorpe and Beaufort Memorial Hospital CEO Russell Baxley.

BMH employee is honored with Spirit of Giving Award

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation trustees surprised Advanced Imaging Manager Matthew Hurt with the 2016 Spirit of Giving Award at the nonprofit group’s annual meeting.

A tireless volunteer with a number of local organizations, Hurt was recognized for all he has done for his own hospital over the years.

Foundation Chairman Hugh Gouldthorpe recognized Hurt for consistently stepping up to help with employee-giving activities and taking the extra initiative to email BMH staff to encourage them to make a year-end gift to the foundation.

In addition, Hurt paved the way for the foundation to receive for the first time a grant from the Beaufort Charities Golf Tournament. The chairman noted that Hurt “walks the talk” through his own very generous support of the foundation. Hurt has been a foundation supporter since 2001.

The Spirit of Giving Award is presented each year to someone within the hospital who not only has been personally generous to the foundation, but helps others see the value in supporting the hospital.

BMH earns ‘A’ for patient safety

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades — the most complete picture of patient safety in the U.S. — awarded Beaufort Memorial an “A” in its fall 2016 report card.

Out of the 47 hospitals in the state, BMH was one of 16 to receive the top grade.

“Beaufort Memorial has worked diligently to improve patient safety in every area of care, from hospital-acquired infections to preventing adverse drug reactions,” BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley said. “Achieving an ‘A’ grade is a testament to the commitment our staff has shown to protecting our patients.”

Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades uses 30 measures of hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice a year. Hospitals are graded based on how they scored in five major categories: infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

The score rates things like how well the hospital does to prevent infection and encourage hand washing and if there are procedures in place to prevent errors.

Most recently, BMH invested in a $100,000 portable robot that kills antibiotic-resistant germs using high-intensity, pulsed ultraviolet light. It is the first hospital in South Carolina to use the cutting-edge technology, proven effective in hospitals like the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Centers.

In addition, the nonprofit hospital created a pharmacist-led medication reconciliation team tasked with obtaining a complete and accurate record of a patient’s drug regimen at admission and then monitoring it throughout the continuum of care to prevent inadvertent medication errors.

“Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize and appreciate ‘A’ hospitals’ vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe.”

Leapfrog’s biannual report is available to the public online at

Free bootcamps are offered at Second Wind

In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, free bootcamps are being offered from 8-11 a.m. Saturdays through Nov. 19 at Second Wind Wellness at 864 Parris Island Gateway, Suite F,  Beaufort.

All exercises are custom-tailored to suit your specific needs. These are fun, high-energy classes which combine high intensity interval training with active rest training for a metabolic-boosting, fat-burning workout guaranteed to burn more calories in less time than a traditional gym exercise.

After each class, participants will be given goodies and tips to help them further succeed with their health goals.

Call 843-379-3726.

Forum to focus on drug, alcohol use

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

This forum is open to the public and people of all ages are welcome and encouraged to come.

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;

• And Andrew Fogner, 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 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.

Visit or contact Cummings at

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. Attendees should RSVP by Nov. 10  at or call 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