Southwest Virginia

what I did this weekend

I am a wife and a mother; not just a physician, administrator and blogger. I probably spent my weekend much like you did--catching up on stuff that went undone during the week, cooking, cleaning (a little) and doing laundry. But it was so nice out I had to get outside.

Lucky to live near the Blue Ridge Parkway, off I went on Saturday.

After 2 hours in the car, I had traveled less than 10 miles, but had several hundred photos to show for my efforts. Since so many of you enjoyed my clouds post, I thought you might like to see some fall colors on and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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90% full or 10% empty?

Vaccines are wonderful.

Vaccines are a problem.

Ninety per cent of the U.S. population has been vaccinated against most vaccine-preventable diseases. Ten per cent has not.

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how physicians know what's going on

I received this letter today from Karen Remley, Virginia Department of Health Commissioner.

Well, she didn't send it only to me but to  all physicians in the Commonwealth. I thought you might be interested to know how we physicians stay informed of what is happening in the public health arena.

As you can see from the letter, a case of influenza has been identified and there is a significant increase in the percent of patients seen at doctor's offices and emergency departments with flu-like illnesses. Not every illness that seems like influenza is caused by one of the flu viruses, but as activity of this type of illness increases, so does the likelihood that such illnesses are actually caused by the flu virus and are preventable by flu vaccine.

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you won't believe what I heard on the elevator

I was riding the elevator in the hospital the other day.

Two women were chatting with each other about a recent visit of the child who was with them to the pediatrician.

Woman #1: "How was his height and weight?"

Woman #2: "His height was good--its ninety five percent, but his weight is only fifty five percent"

Woman #1: "What are you going to do about it?"

Woman #2: "Feed him as much as possible."

At which point woman #2 took the little boy's hand and the three of them exited the elevator.

What is your image of this little boy? He looked like he was about 4 years old. The child was tall and of about average weight. He seemed perfectly healthy.

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what are you doing October 13th?

Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital will be unveiling our brand new mobile ICU to the public on October 13, 2011. It will be parked in the lot in front of CRMH and open to visitors from 10 am to 2 pm. This vehicle was made possible, in large part due to the fundraising efforts of Children's Miracle Network. It will help us provide enhanced interhospital patient transport services to the children of Southwest and Central Virginia.

Come out and take a tour of this mobile ICU. Other activities will be going on, and members of our neonatal/pediatric critical care transport team will be on hand to answer questions about the services we provide.

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searching for clouds

I woke up early this morning and went out to photograph the city of Roanoke from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I decided to try some black and white photography, and therefore decided to search for clouds. I was out of the house before sun-up, so I didn't realize I wouldn't have far to go to find them (the clouds, that is).

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happy anniversary to us

Today is our one year anniversary. Yes you and me...well some of you and me. I mean, how many of you have been around since the very beginning?

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five indicators of a week well-spent

Last Friday I  finished another week "on service" where I am responsible for all the children who are admitted to the inpatient unit of the children's hospital. I am also responsible for supervising all the other medical providers, including the medical students, interns, residents, nurse practitioner, and for working collaboratively with our nurses, therapists, nutritionists,  pharmacists and others.


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what inspires a doctor to tweet?

That's the question I was asked by Michael Hemphill for the Roanoke Times (@Roanoketimes) last week for the "One question" Sunday feature that appeared in today's paper.

My answer was kind of long-winded, but I think he captured most of the conversation pretty well (and, combined with the photograph by Brett Lemon (@BrettLemon) the article took up 2/3 of the back page of the business section).

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would you help me?

Last month we shared a lot of information about vaccines and their pros and cons. In a twitter chat, I met folks around the country interested in helping people understand the importance of vaccinating themselves and their children. I have communicated with parents and others about their need to know and understand more than is typically able to be shared during a well child visit at the primary care provider office. And just recently, one of the foremost pediatric practices in the Roanoke valley announced they would no longer be willing to care for patients who refuse to vaccinate or who want to significantly change the vaccination schedule.

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