Southwest Health Notes Recognize health-care professionals

May 11-17 is National Hospital Week, which means it’s time to honor health-care workers who support their communities by providing compassionate care and dedication to their patients.

Southwest Memorial Hospital will celebrate the hardworking individuals who work diligently every day of the year to provide quality patient care with a special breakfast on Wednesday, May 7 and an employee-organized tailgate party on Friday, May 9.

In addition, National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Do you know someone who works at Southwest Memorial Hospital or one of its affiliated clinics? Be sure to thank them during National Hospital Week or National Nurses Week for doing their part to keep our community healthy.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month

There are many types of arthritis, the two most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative joint disease that is more likely to occur in older adults. Having had a joint injury or being overweight can also result in or aggravate osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that involves inflammation of the membranes that line joints. This type of arthritis can occur at any age and causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and sometimes serious damage to joints.

Fibromyalgia, lupus and gout are also types of arthritis.

Interesting facts about arthritis

It is the number one cause of disability in the U.S.

More than 50 million Americans have arthritis, and more than 2/3 of those are under the age of 65.

Almost 300,000 children under the age of 18 have some form of arthritis.

It’s estimated that by 2030 more than 67 million people in the U.S. will have arthritis if the trend is not reversed.

Each year, almost 1 million people are hospitalized due to arthritis.

If you have symptoms of arthritis such as joint pain, swelling, stiffness, or fatigue, consult your healthcare provider for an evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance. There are many treatments and management options available for arthritis including medication, strength training, regular exercise, weight loss, physical therapy, acupuncture, joint injections, and more.

Food safety: 10 common mistakes

Sometimes a simple mistake in the kitchen can have serious consequences. If you’ve ever had a case of food poisoning, you know what we’re talking about.

Here, courtesy of, are some common food-related mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1: Tasting food to see if it’s still good. You can’t taste (or smell or see) bacteria that might cause food poisoning. Tasting only a tiny amount can cause serious illness. Be sure to throw out food that is obviously outdated before harmful bacteria grows.

Mistake 2: Putting cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat. Germs from the raw meat can spread to the cooked meat. Always use separate plates for raw meat and cooked meat. The same rule applies to poultry and seafood.

Mistake 3: Thawing food on the counter. Harmful germs can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.

Mistake 4: Washing meat or poultry. Washing raw meat or poultry can spread bacteria to your sink, countertops, and other surfaces in your kitchen.

Mistake 5: Letting food cool before putting it in the fridge. Illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods within two hours unless you refrigerate them.

Mistake 6: Eating raw cookie dough or other foods with uncooked eggs. Uncooked eggs may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Always cook eggs thoroughly.

Mistake 7: Marinating meat or seafood on the counter. Harmful germs in meat or seafood can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature. Always marinate meat or seafood in the refrigerator.

Mistake 8: Using raw meat marinade on cooked food. Germs from the raw meat (or seafood) can spread to the cooked food. You can reuse marinade only if you bring it to a boil just before using.

Mistake 9: Undercooking meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. Learn about minimum cooking temperatures for foods that you cook regularly and invest in a food thermometer.

Mistake 10: Not washing your hands. Germs on your hands can contaminate the food you or others eat. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water before preparing food.

Southwest Health Notes Health News Round Up is a public service feature provided by Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, Colorado. The information provided herein is not intended as patient-specific medical advice or as a substitute for consultation with your personal health-care provider.