St. David's HealthCare

St. David's HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Texas and Austin's third-
largest private employer, with more than 60 sites throughout Central Texas, including
seven hospitals, four urgent care centers, four ambulatory surgery centers, and two
freestanding emergency departments, with a third set to open in Bastrop this summer.

St. David's HealthCare has a long history of serving the residents of Central Texas
with exceptional medical care. Our 7,500 employees touch over 858,000 lives each
year with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

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  • APR

    Service Awards Banquet 2011

    Last week St. David's HealthCare recognized those employees who have reached certain milestones in 5 year increments of service. We would not be where we are today without our wonderful employees, thank you to everyone who helps us provide exceptional care to Central Texas daily! View photos from the Service Awards banquet below:

    Looking for a job in the health care industry? Be sure to visit our careers page, just click here.

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  • JUN

    The 2010 Dietary Guidelines: Are You a SoFA?

    Written by:  Tarie Beldin, RD, LD - Fit 4 Life Program at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center

    Every 5 years American's are "treated" to updated information on what a healthy diet should look like in the eyes of of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council!  The 2010 Dietary Guidelines just released last week will replace the old guidelines published in 2005.  So, how are we doing and what could we be doing to improve our diets and ultimately our health?

        As I am sure you have heard by now, the American diet could use some improvements to help prevent obesity and diet related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Although many people are trying to eat healthier, on average Americans in all age groups consume too few fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and fish and are eating too much added sugar, refined grains, sodium and solid fats.

        The term "couch potato" was created to refer to people who had sedentary habits that led to weight gain.  The latest and greatest new term warns "SoFA's" contribute to about 35% of the total calories for American adults, teens and children.  SoFA - stands for "Solid Fats and Added Sugars".  Solid fats are in butter, cheese, stick margarine, fats in meats and hydrogenated vegetable fats.  Added sugars, well are in many foods from cereals, breads, juices and the big one....soda!  By reducing the intake of "SoFA's" Americans could have more room in their diets for more nutrient dense, lower calorie foods which could lead to a dramatic reduction in enery intake - combine that with an increase in physical activity and the mystery of weight loss has been revealed!

        The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends shifting food patterns to a more plant based diet that emphasizes vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  Add more fish and this now becomes the much touted Mediterranean diet, which has been beneficial for heart health and waistlines.

        Other recommendations include:

    • Increasing seafood and low or fat free dairy products and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.  I know we live in beef country, don't worry, there are ~29 different cuts of beef that qualify as lean.
    • Significantly reduce the intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats and chose more nutrient dense foods.  This doesn't mean you can't have a soft drink or fried chicken, but do so less often and in smaller portions.
    • Shake the salt habit.  Although it may take 8-12 weeks to retrain your taste buds, it can be done.  Emphasize flavors from herbs/spices, garlic, mustards, vinegars and salsas to season your foods.
    • Decrease your intake of refined grains...especially those that also incorportate added sugars, solid fats and sodium!

        The main thing to keep in mind is the dietitian's favorite word - "Moderation"!  All foods can fit into a healthy diet.  Eat a variety of foods that include plenty of produce and lean protein and don't forget to incorporate other important healthy behaviors like drinking water, exercise, stress management and getting regular check-ups.

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  • JAN

    Digital Technology Allows for More Accurate Imaging and Early Detection of Breast Cancer

    The benefits of digital mammography compared to conventional film mammograms are numerous. The steps involved are very similar; however, it is how the images are captured and what the physician can do with them that set digital mammograms apart.

    With digital mammograms, images appear in seconds on a computer screen, with exceptional clarity, better visibility at the skin line, shorter exam times and 20 to 30 percent fewer callbacks. Mammograms are completed in 10-to-15 minutes. Digital mammography transfers images to a computer so that they can be electronically enhanced. Radiologists can zoom in, magnify and optimize different parts of the breast tissue using just four standard images.

    Digital mammograms are preferred for women with dense breast tissue, traditionally younger women or women on hormone replacement therapy.

    In addition to providing digital mammography at all facilities, St.David's HealthCare is the only Central Texas provider to use the MammoPad—a soft foam cushion that makes mammograms more comfortable for women—for all patients at all facilities. Invented by a breast surgeon, the MammoPad creates a soft, warm surface during a mammogram, instead of the traditional cold, harsh experience that many women expect. With the MammoPad, patients are more relaxed, allowing technicians to get better image quality. Overall, the MammoPad creates an experience that is both high tech and high touch for patients. Women age 40 or over should have a yearly mammogram to check for abnormalities or lumps that may indicate early stages of breast cancer. Mammograms can see cancerous lesions earlier than they can be detected with a self-exam. Other factors, such as a family history of premenopausal breast cancer or genetic predisposition to breast cancer may require women to start mammograms at an earlier age.

    Steps that women can follow to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer include:

    • Having children before age 30
    • Breastfeeding
    • Limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day
    • Maintaining a healthy weight and
    • Exercising regularly

    Les Handlin
    Director, Imaging Services,
    St. David's Round Rock Medical Center
    St. David's Georgetown Hospital

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