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Celebrating Our Therapists During Occupational Therapy Month

Celebrating Our Therapists During Occupational Therapy Month

April was Occupational Therapy Month, and this year, we’d like to do something special. We currently have four great occupational therapists on our staff that work tirelessly to provide exceptional care to many patients. Since we missed recognizing them during April, we’d like to put the spotlight on each of them now to give them the recognition and praise they deserve.

Alexa Azevedo

Alexa Azevedo
Alexa joined GHHS June 2015. She enjoys walking her dog, canoeing, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Christie Montgomery

Christie Montgomery

GHHS is happy to have Christie providing occupational therapy services since July 2015

Tisha Fiore

Tisha Fiore

Tisha has been an occupational therapist for 19 years. Her professional journey began by earning an associate degree (COTA) in Denver Colorado. She then continued her education earning a B.S. in Psychology at Chatham University and later a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Occupational Therapy.

Lynette Hanczar

Lynette Hanczar

Lynette enjoys any outdoor activity and has lived in Florida so she obviously enjoys the beach! Occupational therapy experience includes pediatric care, skilled nursing facility rehabilitation, and home health. Lynette is very athletic and will challenge anyone to a crossfit workout!!

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Gallagher Sponsors St. Patrick’s Day Oldies Dance and Dinner

Gallagher Sponsors St. Patrick’s Day Oldies Dance and Dinner

Gallagher Home Health Services was proud to sponsor this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Oldies Dance & Dinner at the Center at the Mall in Beaver County. The event was held on March 11th at the Center from 6 – 9:30pm. The party included dinner, dancing, and live music with a DJ.

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Guests wore their favorite green attire and danced to the sounds of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

IMG_84761The scrumptious dinner included ham, cabbage and potatoes, dinner roll, & lime sherbet dessert.

For more photos and a video of the dancing action, be sure to check out our Facebook page.

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Fun at the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Fun at the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again, Gallagher embraced its Irish heritage and marched in the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For once, the weather was bright and sunny, with warm spring-like temperatures.

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Armed with Gallagher-branded cups to hand out, employees, family, and friends all took to the streets to celebrate the festivities.

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Thank you everyone who came out! To see all of our great photos from the event, please check out our photo album on Facebook.

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March Anniversaries for Gallagher Employees

March Anniversaries for Gallagher Employees

We value each and every one of our employees. That’s why it brings us such joy to celebrate employee milestones! The following employees have contributed at least one year of service to our company, and we would love to commend them for their efforts. Congratulations to all and thank you for your hard work!

ELEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Deborah Assouline - 3/11/2005 - LPN
FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Denise Mcnally - 3/23/2012 - HHA
THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Vonda Balkovec - 3/11/2013 - RN
Neonei Rees - 3/11/2013 - RN
Regina Sacco - 3/11/2013 - Physical Therapist
Christine Montgomery - 3/14/2013 - HHA
Malaya Wade - 3/20/2013 - HHA
Heather Sloss - 3/20/2013 - HHA
Jerry Baynes - 3/25/2013 - HHA
TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Shannan Rae Williams - 3/3/2014 - RN
Susan Veon - 3/10/2014 - RN
Jennifer Fleeson - 3/12/2014 - Home Care Clinical Manager
Antoinette Thomas - 3/12/2014 - HHA
Tanera Green - 3/31/2014 - RN
Charmaine Turner - 3/31/2014 - HHA
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Shalonda Miller - 3/18/2015 - HHA
Karen Goerman - 3/25/2015 - HHA
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Could Alzheimer’s Be Detected by This Simple Test?

Could Alzheimer’s Be Detected by This Simple Test?

Scientists have discovered a new way to test for Alzheimer’s disease, and it involves peeing into a cup.

That’s right – a simple urine test could be a new non-invasive method to diagnosis Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Currently, there is no definitely test for living people, as the only way to know for sure if a person has the disease is to dissect the brain. The only sign scientists can observe is a buildup of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, which is what seemingly causes the mental decline associated with the disease.

A study was performed on mice which had been genetically altered to have the gene thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s. The urine of these mice was then compared with mice who did not gave genetic changes.

In the mice with genetic alterations, a specific odor was detected that was not present in the urine of the unaltered mice. Using chemical analysis, scientists determined that no new compounds were present in urine. Instead, different concentrations of the existing compounds were present, creating the unique smell.

What’s more, the genetically altered mice had not yet shown signs of plaque buildup in the brain at the time the test was conducted, leading scientists to believe that the changes in urine were due to genetics themselves. Therefore, this test could be used as a method of detecting Alzheimer’s before plaque buildup in the brain actually occurs.

While the test won’t help stop Alzheimer’s from happening, it can give patients and families time to prepare for the future as well as begin preventative treatment for any forming symptoms. Further tests are required to determine efficacy in human subjects.

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Christmas and New Year’s Updates

Christmas and New Year’s Updates

In all of the chaos of the holidays, we missed posting an update about our holiday party and contest winners! This year was bigger and better than ever, and we are so pleased to have celebrated the festivities with our growing staff.

Decorating Contest

As you may know, we hold a decorating contest each year. Each person/office has the opportunity to decorate their space, and whoever receives the most votes from the field staff wins a fabulous prize. We are pleased to announce that this year’s winner was the East Office for their holiday Minion display!
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Honorable mentions went to Amy Kuten and Home Care.

Ugly Sweater Contest

We also had an ugly sweater contest to see who could find the most hideous ensemble during our Christmas party. Though there were a lot of contenders, the most ugly sweater belonged to Heather Sloss!
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Christmas Party

Our Christmas party, as usual, was a lot of fun! There was a visit from Santa, lots of tasty food, presents to exchange, and a lovely group photo!
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We sincerely hope that you had just a joyous and fun-filled Christmas as we did, and we hope that your 2016 will be full of happiness and success!

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National Influenza Vaccination Week

National Influenza Vaccination Week

Now that flu season is upon us, it is vital to get a flu vaccine. All of our patients are sick in some way, and many are elderly, which means that their chances of catching the flu are greatly increased. Often, the flu can lead to other serious complications such as pneumonia or death. The simplest way to avoid all of these threats is to get a flu shot.

You can get a flu shot from your doctor, from a clinic or local drugstore, or even from us! Just ask your nurse for more information. Typically, the flu vaccine takes two weeks to be effective, as your body needs time to build up antibodies against the flu virus. Even if you had a flu vaccine last year, it is important to get a new one this year because the influenza virus mutates constantly. Last year’s vaccine will no longer be effective. This year’s flu vaccine has been specially formulated to protect against the current strain of the virus.

Flu activity is highest from December to February, so don’t waste any time. Once a flu outbreak begins, it can be hard to stay healthy. Getting a flu shot will protect you most of the time and keep you healthy and safe.

Have you gotten your flu vaccine? It's not too late! It's National Influenza Vaccination Week.

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Eco Update

Eco Update

Unfortunately, during the course of a normal day, we use a lot of paper. We have to print referrals, doctors orders, plan of cares, and many more documents related to patient information. Even with our move to electronic charting and our efforts to reduce paper waste, we still produce a large amount of paper waste.

Luckily, we have taken strides to minimize our eco footprint by using a company called Shred-it to manage our paper shredding. Because many of our papers contain sensitive patient information, we can’t dispose of them in a normal recycle bin. We place secured Shred-it bins throughout the office where we drop our discarded papers, and Shred-it comes to collect it every few weeks. These papers are then shredded and recycled for reuse in other products.

We are proud to say that so far in 2015, we have saved 91 trees thanks to our efforts! While it may be minuscule compared to the big picture, efforts to change the world have to start small. We’re excited to be doing our part to keep our environment preserved for the next generation.

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Happy Halloween 2015

Happy Halloween 2015

Our office had a great time celebrating Halloween this year. We had our official party on Friday, October 30, and many people arrived to work in costume. Everyone got into the spooky spirit, leading to some of the most creative costumes we’ve seen! In the end though, Haley took away the best costume award for her portrayal of pregnant Kim Kardashian.

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Even the dogs of our employees were feeling festive. It looks like they were banding together for their own canine costume contest, because each costume is cuter than the next! We’ll let you decide which dog you think should win, because we couldn’t choose!

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To see more photos from our Halloween adventures (including more cute dogs), just head on over to our Facebook photo album.

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What Are Some Common Causes of Back Pain?

What Are Some Common Causes of Back Pain?

This week, we’re celebrating Bone and Joint Action Week. Over half of all Americans over the age of 18 suffer from some sort of musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis, and trauma. In fact, these conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide. Over time, they can lead to decreased productivity in work or at home, as well as a diminish in quality of life.

While a lot of back pain stems from unavoidable ailments such as old age or disease, plenty of cases are caused by completely preventable situations. If you are a frequent sufferer of back aches, then you may want to consider the cause. By learning more about the common causes of back pain, you can figure out the best way to make it stop.

1. Lying Down or Sitting Too Much

Since all of our patients are homebound, many of them do not have the ability to walk around freely. Some patients are even confined to bed, too weak or sick to even get up at all. Unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on your back. This happens because the discs that line and cushion your vertebrae are compacted when you are sitting. This prevents fluid from reaching the discs, preventing them from getting the nutrients they need to keep doing their job. In fact, sitting puts more pressure on your back than standing or lying down, and can even cause long term damage if you do it all day every day. To prevent this, try and get up at least every 20 minutes to give your back a break, use a back support in your chair, and don’t lean forward too much.

2. Weakness in the Core

Again, because many of our patients are just coming out of the hospital and are weak, they usually don’t have great core strength. Your core includes your ab, back, side, pelvic, and buttock muscles, all of which work together to help support your spine. These are the muscles that allow you to twist, bend, rotate, and stand up straight. Without these muscles, your back is in danger of being unsupported. A core weak leads to slouching, which causes pain in your back. Remedy this problem by doing stretches and exercises like lunges, squats, and planks to strength your muscles.

3. Sleeping Incorrectly

You might not think there’s a wrong way to sleep, but there is. Laying on your stomach while catching some Zs actually puts a lot of pressure on your joints and muscles, keeping everything tight and compressed. Laying on your bed, on the other hand, allows your spine to stay long and neutral throughout the night. Additionally, it is important to choose the right kind of mattress to optimize spine comfort. Always go with a medium firmness as this is the best surface to keep your spine happy. Use a pillow that keeps your head in line with your spine throughout the night.

4. Emotional Instability

Mental illness is known for terrorizing the mind, but it can also have palpable effects on the body. A study from the University of Alberta has revealed that people with major depression were four times as likely to suffer from low back and neck pain. They think it’s because depression can trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, leading to increased muscle tension in the shoulders and back. Additionally, depression makes it hard to find motivation for moving or exercising. However, moving and being active is actually a treatment for both depression and back aches, so it’s important to try and overcome the urge to lay in bed.

Don’t forget to let your nurse or therapist know if you are suffering back pain. If you doctor agrees, we can have a physical therapist come to visit you and provide alleviating treatment. He or she will provide you with exercises to strengthen your core and get your back feeling better.

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