Speech Therapy Gives Parkinson’s Patients a Voice

Speech Therapy and Parkinson ’s disease:

Lisa Stutzenbecker, M.S. CCC-SLP

Speech therapy programs focus on assessment and treatment of cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in the aftermath of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Difficulty speaking and/or swallowing can be very limiting symptoms for those with Parkinson’s disease. Fortunately, speech language pathologists can help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain as many communication skills as possible.

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World Stroke Day

What You Need To Know About World Stroke Day

Kodi Craft, RN, BSN, MSHCM

WORLD STROKE DAY, established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006, is observed worldwide on October 29 to underscore the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors.

About 800,000 people in the United States Have a stroke every year. Stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability, and the number 5 cause of death in the United States, claiming 130,000 lives per year. Acting FAST at the first sign of a stroke can help save a life.

How much do you know about stroke? Find out by taking our online quiz here.

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Breast Cancer & Family History

Understanding Breast Cancer

John Colfry, M.D.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 7 percent of women will get breast cancer by age 70 and about 1 percent will get ovarian cancer by the age of 70. Most breast and ovarian cancers occur in women after the age of 50. Family health history is an important factor affecting a woman’s risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Every woman should be aware of these cancers in her family. In general, the more close relatives who have had breast or ovarian cancer, and the earlier their ages of diagnosis, the greater a woman’s risk.

Touro’s Cancer Program offers comprehensive care with a fully integrated, multidisciplinary approach. Key medical teams collaborate closely to ensure the well-being of each patient, incluindg: breast imaging, breast surgical oncology, breast reconstruction surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast health navigators, physical therapy, and other specalists.

Click here to view a vide on Touro’s YouTube Channel about breast cancer risks, statistics and treatment.

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Eating Clean

What is Eating Clean?

Liz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC

Are you curious about “Eating Clean”? The history of eating clean dates back to the “natural health” movement of the 1960s when processed foods were shunned for moral and ethical reasons. Today, consumers are more aware of the role good nutrition plays in preventative health. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and a great time to take inventory of your eating habits and overall lifestyle.

Eating clean is the practice of avoiding highly processed foods to include refined sugars and preservatives. In general, the concept of eating clean focuses on wholesome foods in their natural state and being physically active. The emphasis is on food quality not quantity.  Some eating clean followers also choose to use mostly organic products or adopt a plant based diet approach. There is no right or wrong way – just the right way for you to optimize your health and energy level.

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Developing Mindful Awareness

Pay Attention in the Present Moment

Robert Gardner, Ph.D., LPC

Mindfulness is a practice that has become more and more popular in recent times as many people seek to find a new way of coping with an increasingly busy and stressful life. The definition of mindfulness is quite simple—deliberately paying attention in the present moment without judgment by being fully aware of what’s happening both inside yourself and all around you.  The good news is virtually everyone has the capacity to be mindful. It just requires a desire and discipline to realize.

There are seven attitudinal elements to developing mindful awareness. Together they constitute the foundation upon which you will be able to build a strong meditation practice.

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Cancer Survivorship: After the Battle

Cancer Survivorship Program helps patients regain control of their health

Paula Harrelson, RN

Thanks to the advancements being made in the treatment of cancer, people are living longer following a cancer diagnosis. In addition to hope and happiness, however, this “life after cancer” can also bring feelings of uncertainty, doubt and even fear.

That’s where the Cancer Survivorship Program at Touro can help. Launched in the summer of 2014, the program is designed to improve the quality of life for people after their cancer treatment. The patient’s health and wellbeing are our focus as we help them move forward into the survivorship stage of their cancer journey.

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Grandparents Day

Barbara B. LeBlanc, LCSW-BACS

A lot has changed since I had babies in the house: limits on screen time, updating immunizations, the Back to Sleep campaign, new car seat laws and baby led weaning, to name a few. Parents today are more child-centered than any generation before them and are supreme consumers of baby products. While they are learning what it means to be a parent and adjusting to a new and sometimes overwhelming responsibility, they are inundated with information about what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their babies.

Older man helping grandson ride bicycle

In contrast, grandparents walk a line between providing support and advice to their children and having to learn new skills and “rules” about raising kids today. It’s still an incredibly gratifying and thrilling experience, but as with all relationships, it takes work.

Upon learning that you will be a grandparent, the first thing everyone asks is “What do you want to be called?” Even though it may be a couple of years before the baby will be able to call you anything, the idea of picking a nickname evokes memories of your own grandparents. It also arouses expectations of the kind of relationship you envision with this unknown and anticipated new member of your family. Today, Granny just won’t do! Baby Boomers demonstrate resistance to showing our age by opting for young sounding names. When in doubt, alliteration is always easy; my youngest granddaughter has a BeBe and a K.K.!

Chances are, not only your name, but your experiences as a grandparent will be different from the relationships you remember from childhood. Did your grandparents live nearby? Was your grandmother at home with something yummy baking or simmering on the stove? The average age for grandparents today is 48; even if you are a good bit older than the average, you are probably still living an active lifestyle. The sixty of today is not the sixty of the past. Everyone, including young families are living much “busier” lives, but making time for grandchildren is an investment in their futures.

Grandparents offer those extra hands and unconditional love to both their children and grandchildren. Increasingly, young families are living at a distance from their families of origin or extended family. Grandparents are often left with trying to maintain a long-distance relationship: frequent skyping or use of FaceTime to ensure the youngsters “know me.” In addition to using online resources, families must travel to establish the bonds of attachment. Grandparents are even moving to where their children and grandchildren live; following the career paths of the young families in order to provide support when it’s needed.

In 2010, Met Life funded a study of 1615 parents of children birth to 3 years in age for Zero to Three, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Over half of the parents credited their own parents with shaping their beliefs and as the major influence on their own parenting. Grandparents are the go-to source for advice about raising children, as well as passing on family lore and traditions.

With today’s focus on technology, grandparents offer the link to the past, family connections and traditions. Share the lullabies you sang to the  parents, pass down special toys or clothes that were preserved. Think about what you remember from childhood or ask your children which holiday rituals were their favorites and make a point to include the grandchildren when they are developmentally ready.



  • Don’t tell your kids how to raise their children. Wait to be asked for advice; offer information and support, but respect that they are the parents. Decisions as well as mistakes are theirs to make. They will grow into their roles just as you did and you have to allow them this opportunity to move into the next stage of their adulthood.
  • Always ask the parents before you buy things or make promises to the grandchildren. Respect parental rules about food, activities and the media. Don’t offer food or allow a child to have something you know are against the rules. It makes the parents have to be the “bad guys” and take it away. After all, you aren’t going to be there the when the toddler runs around the house and won’t go to bed after eating too much sugar or caffeine. Setting up a situation where parents pay the price for a grandparent’s indulgence only creates resentment.
  • Learn how to share! Both sets of grandparents will want time with the grandchildren and it’s not a competition to see who gives the favorite toy at Christmas or for birthdays. I’ve learned a lot about the generosity of inclusion from my daughter-in-law’s family. When her mother visits, they always send me photos and texts keeping me in mind. Her mother was the first to arrive when our granddaughter was born and immediately started sending pictures and called me to share the experience.
  • Keep development in mind. Remember that it takes a while for young children to warm up when they haven’t seen you in a while. They need frequent breaks, snacks, naps and have short attention spans. It’s been a long time since we took care of toddlers and we may idealize the time, forgetting the day-to-day routines.
  • It’s exhausting; you have to be “on duty” at all times, anticipating hazards and meals because littles ones can’t wait.
  • Limit Screen Time. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for kids before age 2 and then less than 1-2 hours a day. Television, phones and computers are magnets for children’s attention so that means no news shows, cartoons, or football when the babies are awake. Watching too much TV cuts down on other more active pursuits such as interacting with caregivers and playing with 3 dimensional objects which are critical for brain development and discovering how the world works.
  • Practice car seat safety. Car Seat installation specialists train for a week to be able to properly install them. Be sure to have yours installed by a trained specialist. Touro holds special car seat check days throughout the year. Not a single parent has had them installed properly when showing up to have the car seat checked. There are specific guidelines for which way they should face and what a child should weigh for each type of car safety seat. Never put a child in the front seat where an airbag might deploy.
  • Learn CPR. If you are going to be alone with your grand baby, be sure to be trained in Infant CPR. It’s a valuable skill and one that could save a life. There’s a “Friends and Family” class offered at Children’s and Touro that doesn’t require passing a written test.
  • Connect through technology. If your children and grandchildren live at a distance, technology brings them closer! Skype, FaceTime and photo share help you stay connected and a part of their daily lives. Record yourself singing, reading or telling a story that can be part of a quiet time activity.          Make a photo book with pictures of relatives. “Read” the book showing the pictures and telling stories about the people who love the child. There are easily-held, indestructible plastic books just made for little hands.

Grandparenting is a wonderful stage in life! It’s a joy NOT to be the parents – to be able to love a child, but not have the primary responsibility for a child’s upbringing. All relationships require work and grandparents come to this one ready to love!

Barbara B. LeBlanc, LCSW-BACS is the Director of The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital and grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters and eagerly awaiting one baby boy.

Prostate Health: What You Need to Know

Richard Vanlangendonck, M.D.

What is a prostate?

The prostate gland is only found in men and is about the size of a walnut. Its primary function is to create fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. The gland pushes this fluid through the urethra, or the tube from the bladder, and the fluid is expelled with sperm during ejaculation, creating semen. The prostate gland is located below the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds part of the urethra.

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Bone Health: Keeping Your Bones Healthy for Life

Bone Health Basics

Kim Faught, RN

Did you know that your bones are not hard and lifeless? They are actually living, growing tissue made up of 3 different materials that make them strong and flexible:

  • Calcium: makes bones flexible
  • Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes: make bones strong and hard
  • Living bone cells: remove and replace weakened sections of bone

You have the greatest amount of bone between the ages of 18-25. The more bone you have during these years, the less likely you are to break a bone or develop osteoporosis later in life. As you age, you begin to lose more bone than you make. Bone loss increases in women after menopause when estrogen levels decrease. In fact, women can lose 20% of their bone density during the first 5-7 years after menopause. This bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where you lose too much bone, make too little bone, or both. Menopause is the time to take action against osteoporosis. If you have experienced menopause, ask your physician about your risk for osteoporosis. Touro for Women is here to help you keep your bones healthy for life.

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K10: Touro and New Orleans 10 Years Later

Royce Dean Yount, M.D.

As New Orleanians, we pride ourselves on our welcoming spirit. No one is a stranger.  Everyone is a part of the same community.

Here. For Life.

For over 160 years, Touro has provided excellent medical care to our city.  Touro certainly has a great importance in my life.  It is where my mother and I practice medicine, where I met my lovely wife, and where my three children were born.  After all, everyone knows babies come from Touro.

Today, I serve as the President of the Touro Medical Staff.  Ten years ago, I was one of the physicians providing care during Hurricane Katrina.  The Touro disaster plan was activated on Saturday, August 27, 2005.  By the next day, our emergency staff of 600 employees was fully prepared to face whatever might come.  With over 250 patients and their families, Touro became the shelter for nearly 2,000 people.

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Providing care for those who needed it most, when they needed most.

Despite many challenges, Touro opened the Emergency Room doors 28 days after the storm.  We were the first to be able to provide care to our community.  For four months, Touro was the only operating adult care hospital in Orleans Parish.

We rejoiced in the celebration of the first baby born in a New Orleans hospital after Katrina, a sign of the hope and promise for the future.  As New Orleans’ oldest not-for-profit hospital, Touro felt an obligation to this community. Our staff was treated with the same quality of care as our patients, which held us together during those trying times.

Post-Katrina New Orleans presented the opportunity for many residents to start anew, to find that silver lining.  With my heart and family invested, there’s no other place I’d rather practice medicine. The past 10 years have given me a deep respect for my fellow physicians and staff.

Our Touro family grew with more than a thousand new hires in the first year after Katrina. We are now second in the state for a single hospital in births, literally breathing new life into our city. Our oncology center doubled its patient intake, leading to further expansion of facilities. Touro’s rehabilitation center now provides comprehensive services for those with Parkinson’s disease, with state-of-the-art program called LSVT Big and Loud.

A Growing Hospital Family

In 2009, Touro joined with LCMC Health. As part of the LCMC family, Touro joins its sibling hospitals in dedication to the community through a focus on economic development, advanced research, teaching and clinical excellence initiatives.  We celebrate another year older, stronger, wiser and braver.

Our Touro family stood united through the worst.  It gave us the strength to become the Touro of today.  As we honor the ten-year anniversary of Katrina, we also celebrate our city’s revival. Let us remember where we have been and look to where we are going.

Yount, Royce (2)Dr. Royce Dean Yount is a cardiologist with Crescent City Physicians, Inc., and practices at Touro Infirmary. He is President of the Touro Medical Staff.