The entire point of a vaccine is to prepare your immune system for the real infection or the real disease, said Dr. Swathi Gowtham specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, at Geisinger. She gave a brief description of how vaccines work, even when their side effects can be upsetting.

Shots like the flu vaccine need to be repeated each year. Uneasy with introducing chemicals into our bloodstream, some people opt to forget it and let their immune system fight off annual viruses.

When Diane Englehardt, infection prevention manager at Evangelical Community Hospital, in Lewisburg, recently gave a presentation on hand hygiene to high school students, she was struck by the way they took the discussion seriously.

This past winter, people wore masks to guard against getting dual infections of the flu and COVID-19. Cold and flu rates plummeted.

Do you still need to wear a mask to guard against COVID-19? Can it protect you, or just those around you? These questions can be answered with something as simple and complex as one word: Situation.

For people with weight issues, surgery can be the best option but is in no way an easy road. According to Valley doctors and a Valley resident, it’s a change in the way you live your life.

When Andrew Cooney, 22, walked through the hallway of a dorm at Susquehanna University, in Selinsgrove, he was surprised to catch a whiff of shampoo. It wasn’t the fact that someone had apparently taken a shower that surprised him; it was the realization that this was the first time he’d sme…

COVID-19 has been an unpredictable virus, with a wide range of symptoms and outcomes. Mitigating it has caused social, educational and financial changes around the world. Small wonder then that people are feeling unsettled and anxious.

With new medicines now available, people with multiple sclerosis have better ways of preventing MS attacks, said Stuart Olinsky, MD, neurologist with UPMC in the Susquehanna Region.

COVID-19 affects people with multiple sclerosis just like it does anyone else, said Stuart Olinsky, MD, neurologist with UPMC in the Susquehanna Region, and Megan Esch, MD, neurologist with Geisinger Health System.

March is the national Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness month, making it a good time to learn more about this disease that affects nearly a million people in the United States. One good way to do that is to check out the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website at www.nationalm…

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? It’s enough to make the most stoic among us tremble with dread, envisioning a future that leads all too quickly to a life of disability — but that was then. Today’s MS patients have more reasons than ever to be optimistic.

Geisinger surgeons have performed countless joint replacement surgeries over the years. Jeffrey Steele, 61, of Danville, was added to that number when he received a total knee replacement on Feb. 9. But his case stands out from the rest, as he was the very first patient to undergo the proced…

When the hotline at Transitions rings, counselors are ready to help with any number of domestic abuse situations in Union, Snyder and Northumberland Counties. That hotline has been busier as the pandemic adds its own stress to already tense situations.

In the last three decades, cancer mortality rates have continually dropped, a total of 31 percent from 1991 to 2018. That’s equal to an estimated 3.2 million cancer deaths averted, according to a recent American Cancer Society report. Of that number, a 2.4 percent decrease occurred just from…

The Yellow Dot program brings peace of mind to drivers in numerous situations. Kimberly A. Smith, safety press officer for the PA Department of Transportation, Engineering District 3-0, shared the story of a man whose grandson has autism. The grandfather drives his nonverbal grandson to appo…

NEW BERLIN – While Corey Milbrand’s parents were angry at him for not coming home for Thanksgiving dinner in 2014, they had no way of knowing their 38-year-old son lay unconscious and on life support in a hospital bed, listed as a John Doe.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, more people are seeking ways to avoid exposure. One way is by reducing the need for in-person medical attention, whenever possible. The best way to do that is by proactively caring for your mind and body. So some local medical professionals offer some helpf…

Lisa Landis, Regional Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region, said she can understand and empathize with people hesitating to attend blood drives out of fear of contracting COVID-19, but the Red Cross has taken steps to keep individuals safe.

As the shortages of mental health services and professionals continue to be addressed, if you or a loved one is struggling with a concerning mental health need, the first course of action is to seek help.  

For a number of years, Pennsylvania has faced a shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. At a time when the COVID crisis, election turbulence, and racial tensions, have exacerbated mental health issues, it’s certainly a cause for concern.

Technology, telehealth visits and recovering from all of COVID-19’s effects will drive healthcare in this new year as providers continue to focus on patients.

Crises have a way of revealing problems that had been too easy to ignore. COVID-19 has revealed problems with access to behavioral health services, said Kendra Aucker, president and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital, in Lewisburg,

If COVID has caused added stress for the average family this year, it has had exponential effects on the medical community. Valley hospitals say they are proud of how they have weathered this unprecedented storm, and reflect on some lessons learned and new innovations that they will carry wi…

Convenient food options have historically been the unhealthiest options, from fast food drive-thrus and TV dinners to the often sodium- and butter-saturated meals at a sit-down restaurant. When COVID-19 struck, food ordering, pickup and delivery got even more convenient, with increased usage…

When Bill Pepperman, 62, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and after Cindy Pepperman, 60, suffered a heart attack two years ago and was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, the Linden couple realized they needed help to transition to a healthier lifestyle. Geisinger’s Diabetes Prevention Program did…

Because of online and telephonic education, Bill and Cindy Pepperman, of Linden, have been able to learn ways of managing diabetes even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — something not all people with diabetes are able to do. Geisinger’s own research shows many people are unaware of the…

Dr. Daria Keyser grew up in the rural town of Wellsboro, where her dad was what she calls a “small-time family doctor”. One of four children, she was the only one to express interest in medicine. She spent many of her early years watching her father work, which included delivering babies.

In a bit of irony, the coronavirus pandemic actually resulted in less traffic in Evangelical Community Hospital’s Emergency Department. Anxious about catching the virus, people chose urgent care facilities for minor cuts and sprains, saving the ED for truly emergent care—exactly what it’s for.

Phlebotomists and clerical workers helped in the Emergency Department. Maintenance workers and IT specialists concentrated on setting up testing sites. Nurses asked to be sent wherever needed. When the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the Susquehanna Valley, area hospital staffers worked tog…

Noreen “Reenie” Malaney has always been conscientious about taking care of her body. That included doing regular breast self-examinations, one of which revealed a suspicious lump last winter. A subsequent mammogram set off a series of testing that included another mammogram, an ultrasound, a…

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