Home » Archive by category "Uncategorized" (Page 2)

Let’s face it. Men need skin care, too.

Let’s face it. Men need skin care, too.

It’s no secret. Men are more thick-skinned than women.

No, really. It’s true. A man’s skin is 20 to 30 percent thicker than a woman’s skin.

But, that does not make men less susceptible to skin cancer and other dermatological issues.

A simple skin-care routine can help men look younger than their age and help them stay healthy.

The key is to avoid five mistakes most men make every single day.

  • Scrubbing too hard. Some men simply use body wash or shampoo and a washcloth to scrub their faces in the shower. Abrasive scrubbing and harsh chemicals can dry facial skin and cause tiny lines and wrinkles. Instead, use a mild cleanser to clean your face morning and night.
  • Using a multi-blade razor. Even though facial hair supports the skin and helps you avoid wrinkles, shaving probably is not one of your favorite daily activities. You want to get it done and get to work.

Using a multi-blade razor may seem like your ticket to speed through your morning routine, but it can cause ingrown hairs and skin abrasion. A single-blade razor is kinder to your face.

  • Failure to close your pores. If you’re like most, you shave in the shower or right after your shower. You dab on some shaving cream and grab your trusty razor. In minutes, your five o’clock shadow is just a memory. You rinse the remaining shaving cream off with water and you’re done, right?

    Not necessarily. Unless you use a new razor blade every time you shave, your pores are open to bacterial infection.

    The best way to end your shave is with an all-natural aftershave product. A product that combines witch hazel and a moisturizer will close your pores and keep your skin hydrated.

  • Failure to moisturize. No matter the season, moisturizing your skin will keep it smooth, supple and blemish-free.

    Select a product that matches your skin type. Choose a fragrance-free moisturizer made with aloe, shea butter or essential oils to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

  • Failure to use protection. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is recommended for adults. Make sure you pay attention to your scalp and other exposed skin.

Remember that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. You should use liberal amounts of sunscreen every time you go outside.

Beefing up your skin care routine and choosing not to smoke or eat foods that are high in sugar, fat, salt and caffeine will have a positive impact on your skin. Add daily aerobic exercise and you will have skin that looks firm and healthy for years.

If you have concerns about your skin, talk to your primary care clinician or make an appointment with a dermatologist.

AUTHOR: Dr. Jeffrey Bastasic, family medicine physician, Affinity Medical Group Clinic in Neenah


What is joint camp?

What is joint camp?

Joint Camp provides you with the information you need to prepare for joint replacement surgery so you can enjoy the best possible results.

Whether you choose to schedule a personalized, individual session or attend a Joint Camp class, you will receive written information and learn:

  • How to prepare for surgery
    · Why developing upper body strength is important before having your knee or hip replaced
    · What happens during the surgical procedure
    · What to expect during your hospital stay
    · What type of discomfort you can expect after surgery
    · What pain management options are available
    · How to prepare for a comfortable recovery at home
    · When you should begin prescribed exercises
    · Why you need to practice patience during the healing process
    · What problems can occur if you do not follow doctor’s orders during recovery and rehabilitation

At Joint Camp, you also will have the opportunity to ask the joint coordinator any questions or concerns you may have.

Our orthopedic team understands your decision to have joint replacement surgery was a significant step for you. The joint coordinator will take the time to answer your questions and discuss your concerns until you have the utmost confidence in:

  • the procedure
  • the skills of our orthopedic team
  • your ability to complete rehabilitation after you go home

Can I bring someone with me to Joint Camp?

Yes. We highly recommend that you select a joint replacement coach to bring with you.

Your coach can be a family member or a close friend who will be with you to provide support, encouragement and necessary care during your joint replacement experience. He or she should be willing and able to:

  • help you discuss and understand the procedure prior to surgery
    · learn the physical therapy exercises to assist you at home
    · go home with you after discharge to help you through the first few days of recovery
    · support and encourage you, keeping you focused on healing and reaching your goals

If you do not have someone who can stay home with you after surgery, the joint coordinator will discuss alternative options available to you so you can still proceed with your joint replacement.

Who will be involved in my joint replacement?

Whether you have your joint replacement surgery at a Ministry Health Care or an Affinity Health System hospital, you can be assured that our orthopedic specialists are ready to get you moving again.

Your joint replacement team will include a highly trained orthopedic surgeon, a joint coordinator, along with physical and occupational therapists who specialize in orthopedic surgery care. Each member of our orthopedic team is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

If you live in the Appleton or Oshkosh area, Joint Camp is held:

Every Wednesday from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Fowler Conference Center
St. Elizabeth Hospital
Appleton, Wisconsin
To register, call 920.996.3700

If you live in Crandon, Eagle River, Rhinelander, Woodruff or Tomahawk, Ministry Medical Group’s Joint Classes are held:

Every Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Rhinelander Ministry Rehab Department
YMCA Building
2000 E. Winnebago Street
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
To register, call 715.361.4914

If you live in the Stevens Point and central Wisconsin area, Joint Camps are scheduled by:

Ministry Medical Group Orthopedics
824 Illinois Avenue
Stevens Point, WI  54481
For Joint Camp information, call 715.346.5182

When painful joints stop you from moving and enjoying life, call the orthopedic specialists at Ministry Health Care or Affinity Healthy System and get moving again.


Author: Shawn Dombrowski

Shawn is the Joint Replacement Services Coordinator for Ministry Health Care


To buy or not to buy…organic produce

To buy or not to buy…organic produce

What does organic mean?  Organic foods are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, or chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, growth hormones or antibiotics and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or chemical food additives. In general certified organic foods come from farms certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Products that are certified 95% or more organic will have the USDA ORGANIC display (or sticker) on them.

Is organic food more nutritious?  Research suggests that in terms of nutrient composition, organic foods don’t differ too much from their non-organic counterparts.  In essence, organically and conventionally produced foods are comparable as it relates to nutrient content.  Some individuals however, enjoy the taste of organic foods better.

Why buy organic? Choosing what foods to buy and eat are personal choices.  People choose to eat certain foods based on the taste of the food, cultural influences, health, environmental reasons, social justice issues, and more.  For example, a parent may choose to buy organic milk to feed to her children because of concern of antibiotics and growth hormone that may or may not be present in conventionally produced milk.  Others choose to buy organic produce because they believe they taste better or because they believe it is better for the environment.

Why is organic food more expensive? Organic foods especially produce tend to be pricier than conventionally grown food mainly because of more expensive farming practices used to produce these items.  Without the use of chemical fertilizers organic farmers have to find alternative (and usually more expensive) ways to protect their crops, such as hand weeding, rotating fields, etc.  Furthermore, organic farmers usually do not receive farm subsidies and tend to be smaller farming operations.

I can’t afford to buy all organic foods, which ones should I focus on? Eating on a budget and eating organically is possible.  Once you have decided why it is important for you and your family to eat organically, look at what you eat on a regular basis.  Choose organic for those items you consume regularly.  In terms of produce, there are some that tend to have more pesticide residue than others.  The Dirty Dozen, as they are referred to, represent the twelve produce items that seem to be the most contaminated produce.  The Clean 15, on the other hand are the least contaminated in terms of pesticide residue.  So, you may choose to buy organic apples (from the Dirty Dozen list) and buy conventionally grown corn (from the Clean 15).

Clean 15                               Dirty Dozen

Onions                                     Apples

Sweet Corn                             Celery

Pineapples                              Strawberries

Avocado                                   Peaches

Aparagus                                 Spinach

Sweet peas                              Nectarines (imported)

Mangoes                                  Grapes (imported)

Eggplant                                  Sweet bell peppers

Cantaloupe (domestic)         Potatoes

Kiwi                                          Blueberries (domestic)

Cabbage                                  Lettuce

Watermelon                           Kale/Collard greens

Sweet potatoes




Other money saving options (whether you are buying organic or not) is to:

  • Buy in bulk
  • Purchase foods that are in season
  • Choose foods that are grown locally (consider shopping from community supported agriculture (CSA) groups or at your local farmers’ market.
  • Look for sales, coupons and store brand items (some are organic).

Author: Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD

Finding Dr. Right

Finding Dr. Right

So you need a medical provider or you’re checking up on the clinician you have chosen.

How do you know if your healthcare clinician is a good fit for you?

First, you need to determine what kind of care you want.

  • Do you need a specialist for a specific condition, such as diabetes?
  • Do you want to see a medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), a physician assistant (PA) or a nurse practitioner (NP)? All of these people can act as your primary care “doctor” and provide you with excellent care.
  • Do you need a family medicine clinician who can treat your whole family?
  • According to the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, more than half Americans focus on personality and relationship while 29 percent value delivery of care and outcomes. Which is more important to you?

Regardless of how you answered these questions, you want to find a clinician who understands your values and respects your healthcare wishes.

But where should you look for Dr. Right?

Start with your insurance policy. You may need to work with a specific group of healthcare professionals or preferred caregivers. Once you have a list of clinicians who are covered by your insurance, then it’s time to find the right clinician for you and your lifestyle.

Consider location. How far will you drive? Do you want to visit an office close to home or work? Determine which clinics you will consider.

Review your needs. If you have diabetes, heart disease or suffer from high blood pressure or obesity, you may want to find a medical professional who has expertise in those areas.

Ask other healthcare professionals. When selecting your medical provider, whether it’s a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, remember he or she will be the person you call when you feel ill or become injured. You must trust the clinician to provide you with excellent care.

If you know other health care professionals in your community, ask them for their opinion. Who has built a reputation in the medical community for excellence?

Do you prefer a particular hospital? Make sure your chosen clinician has admitting privileges at that hospital.

Look at the healthcare professional’s credentials. Is the clinician board-certified or fellowship trained in your specialty? Board certification and fellowship training indicate a high-level of expertise.

Investigate claims. Were there malpractice, substance abuse or sexual behavior claims filed against the clinician? Check with your state’s medical board and other online resources that review medical providers.

Staff and technology are also important factors to consider when you are choosing a medical home.

  • Does the clinic offer the latest diagnostic technology?
  • Are electronic medical records available?
  • Is the staff warm and welcoming?
  • Does the clinic cultivate a culture of caring?

Availability. Is the clinician accepting new patients? Will you be able to get an appointment within a week if you need one or do patients have to wait a month or more?

Make an appointment and take a test drive. During your first visit assess the personality and expertise of the clinician. How does he or she interact with you?

  • Is the clinician willing to answer your questions and your follow-up questions until you understand?
  • Does the clinician listen as you speak, or are you interrupted?
  • Does your clinician explain your diagnosis and treatment thoroughly?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the clinician?

If a healthcare clinician that does not meet your expectations, you can change clinicians without negatively impacting your care.

Most healthcare providers want you to be comfortable. They know trust and openness are necessary for you to feel confident in their care and follow the treatment plans to better health.

If you do not have a clinician, we can help. If you live in Door County, northern or central Wisconsin visit ministryhealth.org/findadoctor. If you live in the Appleton or Oshkosh area, visit affinityhealth.org/findadoctor.


Author: Cortney Cleereman, APNP

Cortney is an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in Rhinelander and Crandon

Warm-up 3 areas for a better gardening experience

Warm-up 3 areas for a better gardening experience

Whether you’re pulling weeds or planting seeds, gardening is great exercise.

But all that bending, stretching and twisting can cause aches, pains and strains if you’re not careful.

Take a few minutes to prepare your body before you tend your garden.

The warm-up. Even though the temperatures are soaring outside, you still need to warm-up your muscles before you start asking them to stretch.

Warming up is easy. Just move your body for 2 minutes. Be creative. Dance, march or walk briskly around the block. Move your arms and legs fast enough to increase your heart rate.

After you warm-up it’s time to stretch.

Stretching your lower body will help you stay flexible and injury-free when you work in odd positions.

Stretch your sides. Stand tall. Raise your hands over your head. Lace your fingers together and clasp your hands. Slowly stretch your body to the right side. Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly return to center. Slowly stretch to the left. Hold for 10 seconds and return to center.

Stretch your legs and low back. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Clasp your hands in front of you. Keeping your back straight and your head aligned with your spine, lower into a sitting position by pushing your buttocks out and down. Take care to keep your knees behind your toes to prevent knee injury.

Squat as low as you can go, hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Slowly return to a standing position. Repeat the exercise ten times to condition your lower back, buttocks and the front of your thighs.

Stretch your thighs. Use a chair or counter as support, lift the outside foot with your sole toward the ceiling. Grasp your ankle and gently pull your foot toward your buttock to stretch the front of your thigh.  Hold for a count of three. Repeat five times. Turn around and complete the exercise on the other leg.

Stretch your hamstrings. Stand with feet shoulder distance apart. Take a small step forward. Place both hands on the knee. Bend the back knee careful not to extend past the toes. Feel the stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to a standing position. Repeat three times and switch legs.

You can avoid neck strain and shoulder pain.

Shrug your shoulders. Stand tall. Slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears, hold for three counts and lower. Repeat five times.

Circle your shoulders. Raise the top of your shoulder toward your ears, roll it forward, down and back to the starting position. Complete this forward circle five times. Reverse and circle in the opposite direction five times.

Stretch your neck. Put your left hand on your head, touching your right ear. Tilt your head to the left, moving your left ear toward your left shoulder as far as possible. Hold for three seconds. Move back to the center. Repeat on the opposite side.

Stretch your arms. Place your left arm across your chest. Use your right arm to support and apply slight pressure as you stretch your arm toward the right shoulder. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Release and repeat twice. Switch sides and complete three stretches.

Stretch your hands, wrists and arms. Position your arms straight out in front of you with your palms toward the ceiling. Grasp one hand with the opposite hand and gently pull the fingers down and back toward the body. Hold for three seconds. Complete the series five times. Repeat on the opposite hand.

End the stretch by circling both hands in a clockwise direction three times and a counter-clockwise direction three times.

Strengthening your core

Planks protect your lower back. To execute this move, lie face-down on the floor, elbows bent with your hands near your face. Raise yourself up on your elbows, forearms and toes, keeping your head, neck and torso in line. Hold for at least 15 seconds. Lower down. Repeat five times.

If the straight plank is too challenging, you can bend your knees and keep your lower legs on the floor. This exercise strengthens core abdominal and back muscles to support movement.

Strengthening your core, conditioning your lower body and stretching your neck, shoulders and arms can help you enjoy gardening without feeling stiff and sore later.

If you experience pain after gardening that lasts more than a week, you may need medical treatment. Make an appointment with your primary care clinician or orthopedic specialist.

Author: Daniel Kraeger, DO, ATC

Daniel is the Director of Ministry Sports Medicine in Stevens Point.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.