It's less about what we do--and everything about who we're doing it for--our neighbors, friends and families. And providing compassionate care to you, and the people you love, is so much more than a job. Our providers remain devoted to delivering safe, compassionate healthcare you can believe in when--and where--you need it most. If you've been putting off care, know that healthcare you can believe in is always here at Donalsonville Hospital.
5 Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure
1. High blood pressure may be linked to dementia.
Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function. Timing seems to matter. Evidence suggests that having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (ages 44 to 66) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life.
The takeaway? It's never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage your high blood pressure.
2. Young people can have high blood pressure, too.
High blood pressure doesn't just happen to older adults. Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 44 have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, a condition that is on the rise among younger people. Experts think the increased risk for stroke in this age group is a direct result of the rising rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes--conditions that are preventable and treatable.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood pressure. You can get your blood pressure checked at a doctor's office or pharmacy, and you can check it at home if you have a home blood pressure monitor.
Many people with high blood pressure don't even know they have it. The only way to know is to check your blood pressure regularly.
3. High blood pressure usually doesn't have any symptoms.
High blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer." Most people with high blood pressure don't have any symptoms. Because many people feel fine, they don't think they need to get their blood pressure checked.
Even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk for high blood pressure.
4. Many people who have high blood pressure don't know it.
About 1 in 3 U.S. adults with high blood pressure aren't even aware they have it and are not being treated to control their blood pressure.
Even though most people with uncontrolled high blood pressure have health insurance and visit a health care team member at least twice a year, the condition is often not diagnosed.
Ask your health care team what your blood pressure numbers mean and if they are too high. Stick to your treatment plan and follow your provider's advice if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure.
5. Women and African Americans face unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.
Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy can harm a mother's kidneys and other organs, and it can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight babies.
Some types of birth control can also raise a woman's risk for high blood pressure. Women with high blood pressure who want to become pregnant should work with their health care team to lower their blood pressure before becoming pregnant.
African American men and women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other racial or ethnic group. These individuals are also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. Experts think these health disparities are tied to higher rates of obesity and diabetes.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
A healthy lifestyle includes:
• Eating a healthy diet
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Getting enough physical activity
• Not smoking
• Limiting alcohol use
DHI Named #3 Top Medium Sized Hospital in Georgia
Donalsonville Hospital has been ranked by Georgia Trend as the #3 medium-sized hospital in the state of Georgia.
Georgia Trend evaluates each hospital based on information obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services including:
Clinical process Patient experience Outcome Efficiency
This article appears in the December 2020 issue of Georgia Trend.
Although 2020 has been a challenging year our staff has continued providing the best patient care possible.
None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of each person at Donalsonville Hospital.
Dr. Heather Castleberry, M.D. Joins SWGHC
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Heather Castleberry, MD will be joining Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics as Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinic's Family Medicine Specialist!
Dr. Castleberry is a Board-Certified in Family Medicine. She graduated from St. Mathews University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Columbus Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Castleberry can offer Complete Family Medicine Care for Your Family:
Infant care and regular checkups Child and adolescent health Adult and senior health Vaccinations and travel consultations Help coordinating prescriptions and refills Behavioral health Fast referral and coordination with Donalsonville Hospital and other specialists.
Dr. Castleberry is looking forward to providing quality healthcare to you and your family at SWGHC and will begin seeing patients on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at the SWGHC 205 Bresee Street Location.
Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics
Pediatrics & Family Medicine
205 Bresee Street
Donalsonville, GA 39845
Obstetrician & Gynecologist, De'smond M. Henry, M.D. to Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics and Donalsonville Hospital.
Dr. Henry is a 2006 Seminole County High School Alumnus who completed his undergraduate degree at Columbus State University, his medical degree from Mercer School of Medicine and his OB/GYN residency training from Morehouse School of Medicine where he served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Henry is thrilled to be back in Donalsonville to serve his hometown community and help deliver the next generation.
How did you end up going into medicine?
I remember my mom helping me with a simple kindergarten homework assignment that asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" My response was "a doctor." And it was from that moment that I remember this being spoken into my life regularly by my family members. Some of my friends from college still remind me to this day how their first memory of me was introducing myself, whether it was in class or social settings, I always shared that I had aspirations to go to medical school. I was that kid who drove around on campus with a Georgia car tag which read, 'DRHENRY'. My parents have never let me waiver from changing my career goals even though I tried to change it several times.
What advice do you have for Seminole County High School students considering medical school?
I remember sitting in a full lecture hall for General Chemistry during the first semester of my freshman year at Columbus State University. The professor said "half of you won't be here pass midterms and less than half of you will successfully pass this class." Although that was a scary statement coming from a professor, I was determined that would not be my narrative. I remember complaining to my grandmother, the late Classie Henry about how hard some of my college classes were and I wanted to change career paths. She responded to me with a simple statement "you can be anything you want to be." My grandmother's words would always resonate with me when I faced challenges and difficult situations from undergrad to medical school and residency. So my advice would be never give up when you face challenges, don't take on other's false narratives for your life, be persistent and open minded. And when you are faced with difficult situations don't be afraid to ask or seek help and guidance from professors, mentors and other professionals who have been where you are trying to go. You can't figure out the road through medical school by yourself.
What does it mean to you to be practicing in the area where you grew up?
I'm truly honored to be able to return to Donalsonville and practice here. I look forward to learning from the nurses, medical staff and my partners Dr. Henderson and Dr. Lenz. I chose to come back to this community in hopes to make a positive difference. I am excited to serve a community that helped in shaping me as a young person. I want to be an inspiration to my generation and younger generations that we can pursue dreams, achieve goals and find a way to share your gifts and talents in communities like Donalsonville. I am very grateful for this opportunity, this community has made me feel welcomed since returning. So I sincerely want to say, thank you Donalsonville for allowing me to serve you!
What do you do outside of work for fun?
I'm an avid car enthusiast. I enjoy reading car magazines, I'm a member of several online car forums and I'm a member of Porsche Club of America. I try to attend club events if my schedule allows it and I also visit the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta frequently. Aside from cars I enjoy traveling, social events and spending time with family and friends.
What advice do you have for women expecting during this pandemic?
I encourage all pregnant women to wear a mask when out in public, practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and limit contact with others as much as possible. It is important to maintain an adequate supply of resources such as medications and keep all prenatal appointments. Following these instructions are crucial to limiting their exposure to COVID-19 and optimizing their health. Although the overall risk to pregnant women remain low, the current data does show pregnant women who are obese, from specific ethnic groups, such as African-American and Hispanic are at an increased risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. So everyone, please practice safety at all costs.
First Port City Bank Establishes "In This Together" Fund for Donalsonville Hospital Healthcare Workers
First Port City Bank in Donalsonville has generously created the "In This Together" fund in honor of Donalsonville Hospital's frontline healthcare workers' continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. With a founding contribution of $1,000 by First Port City Bank, they will begin taking community contributions immediately to help grow the fund.
Nancy Jernigan, Executive Vice President/Chief Lending Officer at First Port City, said "First Port City Bank was founded in 1974 by a group of local business people who believed that the owners of a financial institution should be made up of friends and neighbors within the community. Our community needs us more than ever and we are happy to create a way for people to give back and support the tireless efforts of healthcare workers."
Anyone can contribute to the fund by visiting the drive-thru or lobby at 201 S. Woolfork Ave. Donalsonville or by mailing a donation to First Port City Bank P. O. Box 1027, Attn "In This Together Fund". Any donation amount is welcome and will be used to sponsor meals for healthcare workers, supplement PPE costs, and continue to boost the morale of Donalsonville Hospital's employees.
James Moody, CFO of Donalsonville Hospital said of the fund, "We are deeply grateful to First Port City for establishing the "In this Together" fund. The fight against COVID-19 is far from over and we want our employees to know they are valued and appreciated each and every day. We hope our community will continue to contribute to the fund and help us do just that."
We Are Prepared for COVID-19
Donalsonville Hospital administration and healthcare professionals are continuing to monitor and adjust to the information and guidelines the CDC has disseminated concerning the COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.
At the hospital, there are long-standing plans in place to deal with these kinds of infectious diseases, especially respiratory diseases. Donalsonville Hospital's infectious disease expert, Brenda Turner, RN, Infection Control said "the coronavirus is very similar to other respiratory viruses like influenza, in both its symptoms and the way the disease is spread."
If a patient tested positive for the virus, staff would use the same precautions as treating any other highly infectious disease, such as making sure the patient had their own room and using a mask if outside of the room. Staff would also use PPEs or Personal Protection Equipment such as masks, gloves, and other protective gear when caring for that patient.
Doctors could quarantine the patient, if need be, in one of 3 negative pressure rooms available at Donalsonville Hospital.
The hospital's infectious disease team meets regularly, listening to updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia State Department of Public Department of Health, and monitoring the path of the disease.
"As we learn more about it, we do realize a majority of identified COVID 19 patients will have a relatively mild disease, and we understand how respiratory diseases can be spread person to person, and we know how to protect ourselves against that," Ms. Turner said.
We advise our patients and community to do the following:
Wash your hands often
Avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes.
Stay home if sick.
If you do experience mild symptoms, call your primary care physician by phone FIRST before visiting the facility.
Currently, Seminole Manor Nursing Home is under NO VISITATION until further notice. Our main hospital has a Healthy Visitation Policy and we are enforcing.
Donalsonville Hospital is named #3 top medium sized hospital in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine. For this list, which includes hospitals that provide a range of services, Georgia Trend evaluated each hospital in the state that participates in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( CMS) Hospital Value Based Purchasing Program.
A total performance score based on information including clinical process, patient experience, outcome and efficiency was used to rank hospitals of similar size and mission.
PeoplesSouth Bank Takes Heart in Support of Donalsonville Hospital
PeoplesSouth Bank has committed ,000 to Donalsonville Hospital through the Georgia HEART Rural Tax credit program.
The State of Georgia uniquely empowers its citizens and businesses to make 100% tax credit-eligible contributions to qualified rural hospitals of their choice and help enhance rural healthcare for thousands of Georgians, including those served by Donalsonville Hospital.
"This program has had a tremendous impact on our hospital! In 2018, Donalsonville Hospital raised 0,675 in HEART contributions, which we spent on fire-safety upgrades, technology and communication improvements, and new physician recruitment and startup costs. Georgia HEART contributors like PeoplesSouth Bank have directly enhanced the healthcare services we offer our patients and we thank you." said James Moody, CFO.
About their participation, Bradley Grantham, Branch Manager and Vice President of PeoplesSouth Bank said, "We take pride in our bank and in the locations that we serve. We contribute our time, effort, and money to the communities that we love. We are proud to benefit our community hospital through this program."
There are less than million in remaining HEART credits for 2019. During the last half of the year, until the million cap is reached, contribution limits for individual taxpayer are lifted. Don't delay, claim your HEART credits today! It takes just 20 seconds to complete the online application on HEART's website. Nothing further is required until payment is due within 180 days of approval or by December 31, whichever comes first; HEART will complete the reporting of your contribution to the Georgia DOR on your behalf.
Walter Scott Foundation Donates 0,000
On behalf of the Donalsonville Hospital Board of Directors, administration and staff we would like to thank and acknowledge the Walter Scott Foundation's generous contribution of 0,000 to the Donalsonville Hospital Endowment Fund.
Investing in the future of healthcare in rural southwest Georgia is an investment in the well-being and health of all of our women, men and children. It is our earnest hope that the endowment fund that the Walter Scott Foundation founded will grow and strengthen for many years to come.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it's found and treated early.
A mammogram - the screening test for breast cancer - can help find breast cancer early when it's easier to treat.
Thanks to a generous donation by Joyce's Jog, Donalsonville Hospital is able to offer free mammograms for the month of October. You must have a doctors order to schedule your mammogram.
Get Your Flu Shot NOW
Suicide Prevention Week is September 8-14
National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW) is an annual week-long campaign in the United States to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide. By drawing attention to the problem of suicide in the United States, the campaign also strives to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, as well as encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance and support people who have attempted suicide.
Donalsonville Hospital Behavioral Health Unit treats a full scope of psychiatric symptoms in a safe caring environment. Help is available 24/7.
24-hour Behavioral Health Monitoring and Supervision Medication Stabilization and Management Individual and Group Therapy Family Therapy Activity Therapy Patient and Family Education Discharge and Aftercare Planning
Donalsonville Hospital Behavioral Health Unit accepts patients 24-hours a day. Referrals may be made by physicians, counselors, psychologists, social workers, mental health agencies, family members, or friends. The decision to admit is made by a psychiatrist.
Donalsonville Hospital Behavioral Health Unit is a 24-bed unit staffed with specially-trained nurses and psychiatrists to ensure the safety and well- being of each patient. Inpatient stays are typically 7-14 days, and the tailored, intensive therapies are designed to help patients return home and resume their lives as quickly as possible. We will work with you and your family to coordinate care following hospitalization.
Adolescent Unit - Ages 12-18 or child that fits the milieu Geriatrics Unit - 65 and Up or individual that fits the milieu Voluntary/Involuntary Admissions
Donalsonville Hospital Behavioral Health Unit offers specialized assistance for adolescents and older adults struggling with mental health issues. A person may benefit from treatment if they are experiencing:
Suicidal Behavior and/or Threats Violent Behavior Sleep or Eating Disorders Severe Agitation Medication Noncompliance Severe Mood Swings Excessive and Uncontrolled Anger Hearing Voices
Chuck Orrick Presents at Healthcare Conference
Chuck Orrick, Hospital Administrator, recently presented at the Draffin Tucker Healthcare Conference in Albany on the topic of "Disaster Recovery." Mr. Orrick spoke about the process of preparing for Hurricane Micheal and the challenges of recovery for our rural community.
Stock the Nurses Office!
School is almost back in session, which means loading up on school supplies for teachers, parents and kids. But Donalsonville Hospital and Southwest Georgia Healthcare Clinics made it their mission to make sure our local public school nurses had their "Back to School" supplies this year too.
We stocked the nurse's office of Seminole County Elementary School, Seminole County Middle/High and Spring Creek Charter Academy.
Seminole County Elementary School's School Nurse Ryan Blackburn, Principal Dr. Renee Pierce
Spring Creek Charter Academy's Principal, Dr. Yoli Curry
Boxes were filled to the brim with everything they need to take care of our communities children at school.
We usually think of sunburn as something that happens at the beach, but did you know more people get sunburned during day-to-day activities? Learn how you can prevent UV damage and cut your risk of skin cancer: Prevent Skin Cancer
Father's Day Health Check
One of the most important parts of being a good dad is staying healthy and active for your family. Take the time to make sure you are hitting this checklist annually.
Donalsonville Hospital recommends men undergo the following screening tests, based on guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other expert bodies:
Body Mass Index
This is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI under 18.5 is underweight. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9. Overweight is 25 to 29.9 and obese is over 30. BMI should be checked yearly.
Men should be screened beginning at age 50. The gold standard is a colonoscopy. Other screening exams include a yearly fecal occult blood test (which can find blood in the stool) or, every five years, a fecal blood test combined with an exam called a sigmoidoscopy, which examines the lower part of the colon.
Men with risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, being overweight, or experiencing diabetic symptoms should be screened with a fasting blood test that measures the amount of blood sugar.
If a patient or his spouse reports a hearing problem, or if the patient works in a job with excessive noise, your provider will order a hearing test.
High blood pressure
Every man over age 18 should have his blood pressure checked at least once a year.
Men ages 20 to 35 who have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes should be screened. After age 35, men should be screened once every five years if normal, or more often if levels are borderline.
Beginning at age 55, men should discuss with their physicians the pros and cons of the PSA prostate cancer screening test and jointly decide whether the test is appropriate for them.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
This is a bulge in the large blood vessel that supplies the abdomen and lower body. If it ruptures, it will cause severe bleeding that often is fatal. Men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked should be screened with an ultrasound.
Our providers also screen men for depression, smoking and alcohol abuse and talks to men about controlling their weight, getting enough physical activity and avoiding risky sexual behavior.
Congratulations to all of our employees celebrating milestone service anniversaries this year. Each person receives a commemorative pin they can wear on their badge signifying their dedication and service.
Annual Education Update
Donalsonville Hospital employees are constantly learning and growing in their respective roles. Whether it's traveling to conferences or workshops, experiencing in-hospital training or the Donalsonville Hospital Annual Update, we want our employees to be able to offer the most up-to-date quality healthcare.
Each May around National Hospital Week EVERY employee comes through our Poster Board Education center to refresh their skills and learn updates on rules and regulations.