5 ways music helps heal

An integral part of the Healing Arts program at Parker Adventist Hospital is music, which helps healing in a multitude of ways:

"Beyond the science, music provides emotional and spiritual benefits that reach the heart of us all, creating a deeper level of meaning, connection, and healing," says Jude Keller, director of the Healing Arts program at the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation.

From bedsides to the waiting area, presurgery to recovery, births to end-of-life support, music is provided 36 hours each week free to patients through the Healing Arts program. Made possible through community donations to the Parker Hospital Foundation and gift shop proceeds, the Healing Arts program also includes visual arts, massage, healing gardens, and community outreach to revitalize the mind, body, and spirit for patients, families, and staff.

Make a donation to provide music and other Healing Arts to patients.

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Equestrian helmets:

How to know if your child's helmet fits properly

Head injuries account for 60 percent of equestrian-related deaths. Ensuring that your child wears a properly fitting equestrian helmet can prevent death and reduce the severity of head injuries.

"To be effective, a helmet must be worn every time, every ride, and must be adjusted to ensure a proper fit," says Vikki Pope, trauma program manager at Parker Adventist Hospital.

A properly fitting helmet should:

  • Fit firmly but comfortably (adjust dial-down helmets for snug fit)

  • Have no movement up, down, or around the head without moving the skin

  • Sit level on the forehead with at least one but not more than two finger widths above the eyebrows

To create an ideal fit:

  • Evenly distribute padding; add padding if gaps exist between the helmet and head

  • Adjust straps in front and behind ears to create a "V" shape below the earlobe

  • Secure buckle under the chin and ensure straps only allow one to two fingers between chin and buckle (have the child open mouth wide to ensure strap is adjusted properly)

"It's important to always test the helmet before riding," Pope says. "If the helmet can be pulled over the eyebrows, it is not properly adjusted or is too big, which is dangerous for the rider."

As children age, they will likely outgrow their helmets. Here are three signs your child may need a new helmet:

  • Complains of headache during or after a ride

  • Develops red areas on scalp or forehead

  • Needs padding removed, only leaving the inner liner

Parker Adventist Hospital's Equestrian Safety Program, which is supported by the Parker Hospital Foundation, conducts free community safety seminars and provides free custom-fitted helmets to Parker-area equestrians.

To schedule a complimentary equestrian helmet fitting and receive a FREE helmet for your child, contact Vikki Pope at 303-269-4809, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Building Parker Adventist Hospital creates strong foundation for new board member

When Ron Doolittle entered the construction profession more than 30 years ago, he knew his work would build value, but he didn't expect the strong personal connection that would develop with the facilities and people.

"I joined the Parker Hospital Foundation Board so that I would give back to the hospital that I have been involved with since its original construction and through multiple remodels and additions over the years," says Doolittle, who is a construction executive for GE Johnson Construction Company based in Colorado Springs.

Doolittle joined the board in 2014 and is eager to give back in whatever capacity he can.

"From the adoption support to the Trio Breast Cancer Center, every initiative the foundation supports is vital to the hospital and the community," Doolittle says. "I look forward to giving back to a hospital that has meant a lot to me both professionally and personally."

Originally from Michigan, Doolittle moved to Colorado after college. A job transfer took him to New York and then Illinois before he landed back in Colorado nearly two decades ago. Doolittle and his wife, Liz, have two grown sons. While they reside in Colorado Springs, Parker Adventist Hospital has been one of Doolittle's primary projects during the past 16 years.

How to support a loved one or friend with cancer

When a friend or loved one is battling cancer, the natural instinct is to want to help. Yet, not knowing how best to provide support might cause you to hesitate. Carol Jeanotilla, RN, developer of the Hope AmbassadorTM program at the Cancer Center at Parker Adventist Hospital, provides simple tips for supporting a loved one or friend with cancer. The Hope Ambassador program, funded through the Parker Adventist Hospital Foundation, trains all physicians, nurses, and other caregivers on how to create hope in cancer patients and their families and supporters. Three strategies you can use to create hope are:

1. Find your own support.

Often, supporters inadvertently share their own fears and concerns with the cancer patient, creating more stress and negativity for the patient. Confiding in someone other than the cancer patient can enable you to deal with your fears and be more supportive.

2. Be present; focus on the present.

Accompany your loved one or friend to treatment and join in on his/her favorite activities. "There is nothing more supportive than just being present," Jeanotilla says.

Keeping the conversation focused on today, rather than down the line, emphasizes small gains (i.e., concentrating on trying to walk to the bathroom rather than training for a marathon).

3. Practice positivity.

Positivity and hope are "neighbors," Jeanotilla says. Here are four ways to fuel positivity and, in turn, hope:

  • Change "if" to "when." For instance, rather than say, "If you can walk next year …" say, "When you gain strength and walk again ..."

  • Rather than comment on the latest catastrophe in the news, share stories of an underdog team that beat the odds or someone who did the unimaginable. "We forget that the impossible happens all the time," Jeanotilla says.

  • Encourage hoping "for" something rather than hoping for something "not" to happen. For instance, rephrase "I hope the cancer doesn't come back," to "I hope to be cancer-free soon."

  • Avoid saying or doing anything that would imply that you are not optimistic about the patient or his/her outcome (i.e., don't cancel trips or comment how "bad" the patient looks).

Encourage and learn about the science behind hope

Encourage cancer patients to continue participating in activities they enjoy. "The whole focus can be the disease and treatment; we often forget about the things we love," Jeanotilla says. "Remind them that cancer is just a small part of their bodies and their lives."

Jeanotilla also recommends learning more about the science behind hope and how you can be supportive during the healing process.

"Caregivers, family, and friends play such a huge role in helping people maintain and renew hope," Jeanotilla says. "We really can be the ones who help turn the tide at the moment of disappointment or hopelessness."

Learn more about how to create hope and the science behind hope here.

You can provide support for all cancer patients through the Hope Ambassador program, which is supported by the Parker Hospital Foundation.

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Hope Heals

Imagine receiving a cancer diagnosis. You feel lost and uncertain about what steps to take next. While the world moves on around you, you feel isolated and like no one understands what you are going through. You have little time to think, let alone hope.

Now imagine what your experience would be like if you're surrounded by a medical team who spoke with honest optimism and understood your fears. They helped you set achievable goals for your cancer treatment journey, encouraging you to stay positive. Symbols, images, and surroundings echoed visions of peace, understanding, and encouragement. Regardless of your prognosis, you had the support to feel hopeful.

The Hope Program at Parker Adventist Hospital aims to create an environment and provide support so that every patient embraces hope. From Healing Arts to staff training, the Hope Program puts compassion into care and hope into healing. The program is fully funded by the Parker Hospital Foundation.

As part of the continued effort to elevate hope throughout the clinical experience, the program recently added Hope Ambassadors to the equation. Through hands-on training, Hope Ambassadors promote hope from seven angles: science, physiology, behaviors, language, environment, resources, and symbols.

"The essence of hope in our programs is grounded in evidence-based research," says Connie Wood, MBA, director of imaging and oncology services at the Cancer Center at Parker Adventist Hospital. "From words to actions, we are integrating hope throughout the entire healing process, which is not only important to patients and their families, but also to our staff."

Hope Ambassadors go through a four-hour training program that teaches them how to promote hope on a more regular, natural basis. For instance, Hope Ambassadors learn that rather than using words like "might" and "if," they can offer hope by using more optimistic words such as "when" and "I believe." Ambassadors also learn how to behave in ways that promote hope, such as helping patients set goals that foster positivity and recognize progress.

The Hope Program also promotes hope through symbols within the center, such as the Hope tree — a bristlecone pine, which is a sign of survival. A lending library for patients and staff that will offer books and other resources also is being built.

The first Hope Ambassadors include a mix of clinical caregivers — social workers, the oncology staff, and volunteers. Wood plans to include senior-level staff, board members, and community members in future trainings. "The more people who approach treatment in a comprehensive manner, which includes hope's role in our health, the more healing that will occur," Wood says.

Help ensure that the Hope Program thrives by making a donation to the Parker Hospital Foundation

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Generous Matching Donation

Last fall, Diversified Radiology of Colorado physician group offered a $10,000 matching donation to benefit the Cancer Center at Parker Adventist Hospital. Generous community donors eagerly met the challenge, donating the full amount of the matching grant. As a result, the Parker Hospital Foundation dedicated $20,000 to provide vital cancer treatment and healing to patients from throughout the community.

"Diversified Radiology's goal is to support the people of the community," says Lawrence Emmons, MD, a member of Diversified Radiology and a Parker Hospital Foundation board member. "The Cancer Center helps ensure that people in the community have a home to get their health care. It's one of the many great programs that the Parker Hospital Foundation supports, ensuring we have resources right here in our community."

The Parker Hospital Foundation continues to raise money to support the new Hope Program at Parker Adventist Hospital. You, too, can ensure that Parker residents receive the best cancer care in their own community by making a donation.

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A tree of hope grows in Parker

Photo of a Hope Tree sculpture at Martin-O'Neil Cancer Center at St. Helena Hospital in St. Helena, California

With some as old as the pyramids of Giza, bristlecone pine trees are renowned for their longevity and capacity to thrive through adversity. Native to Colorado, these gnarled trees flourish in high-altitude areas and boast a unique eight-segment stem system that quickly compensates for any losses to the main trunk.

For Parker artist Carol Jeanotilla, the bristlecone pine emerged as a grand symbol of survival, ideal for the new cancer center opening at Parker Adventist Hospital in November. Jeanotilla’s 3-D relief sculptures of the tree will complement the Healing Arts program by featuring more than 48 symbols of hope, as well as a knothole for patients and families to seal in their own wishes, prayers, and messages of hope.

“Think about the symbolism behind what a patient is going through, and what this tree is going through to live for thousands of years,” says Connie Wood, director of imaging and oncology services. “That is so meaningful in terms of fostering hope to help improve patient outcomes.”

To donate to the Hope Tree Project, please email Lisa Sandoval at lisasandoval@centura.org or call her at 303-269-4088.

Oncology surgeon motivated by the chance to make a difference locally

Making a local impact is a top priority for Christine Rogness, MD, FACS, an oncology surgeon and medical director at The Trio Breast Center at Parker Adventist Hospital. Beyond sharing her medical expertise and leadership, Rogness and her husband, Chris Winter, MD, FACS, medical director of the trauma program at Parker Adventist Hospital, regularly donate to the Parker Hospital Foundation and have for nearly a decade.

"We believe that it's important to provide services and support in the communities in which we work," Rogness says. "It's so nice to have an organization like the foundation to help those who need it, right here in our community."

Rogness built her career around providing exceptional care for women. The foundation helps extend that mission and keeps dollars local, unlike many national organizations, Rogness notes.

"The Parker Hospital Foundation is able to exert its influence in so many ways — adoption support, services for breast cancer and the oncology center," Rogness says. "The foundation's programs truly make a local impact."

To contribute to programs the Parker Hospital Foundation supports:

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Trio Breast Center

The Trio Breast Center at Parker Adventist Hospital offers superior imaging of digital mammograms, a respect for a person's busy schedule and a warm inviting atmosphere conveniently located in Parker. Mammograms are read twice, first by certified breast radiologists and then with a computer-aided second read program. The Trio Breast Center is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, FDA and the American College of Radiology and meets all requirements set forth by MQSA--Mammography Quality Standards Act.

To make a donation benefiting the breast cancer support group and purchase of equipment, please visit the Parker Hospital Foundation donation page and indicate "Trio Breast Center" as the intended fund.

Cancer survivor paints picture of hope, healing

Lee Ann Reynolds' "Grand Aspens" captures some of the delightful feeling of being in an aspen grove within a unique halo of light. Backlighting highlights the beautiful bark of these "elder" trees. It is one of several pieces featured in the Hope Gallery at the Parker Adventist Hospital Cancer Center.

The artwork at the Cancer Center at Parker Adventist Hospital depicts more than images and symbols of hope. Each piece reflects a personal interpretation of hope, as many of the artists are either cancer survivors or their art was inspired by loved ones who battled or survived cancer.

"From textiles to paintings to sculptures, each piece has a story, a purpose, and a perspective on hope," says Jude Keller, director of the Healing Arts program at the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation.

Parker resident Lee Ann Reynolds, who survived stage IV breast cancer, is the current artist featured in the Cancer Center's Hope Gallery. Her oil paintings showcase the beauty of Colorado.

"All of the art plays a role in healing, providing comfort and peace," Keller says. "The pieces done by cancer survivors, like Reynolds, add another dimension of inspiration and hope."

The Parker Hospital Foundation helps fund the Healing Arts program. In addition to art, the Healing Art program encompasses music, massage, healing gardens, and community outreach to revitalize the mind, body, and spirit for patients, families, and staff.

To make a donation to support local artists like Reynolds and other Healing Arts programs like providing bedside musicians and massages for patients:

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The Fastest Rising Cancer Among Women — What You Need to Know

Can you always believe numbers? Thyroid cancer incidents tripled from 1975 to 2009, and the disease is the fastest growing cancer among women. However, the mortality rate from the cancer has remained unchanged, causing pause.

Understand the realities of thyroid cancer by attending the upcoming Body of Knowledge Seminar, The Increasing Rate of Thyroid Cancer: Fact or Fiction? Presenters Dr. Mark Willis and Dr. Sharmini Long of Parker Adventist Hospital will tackle the thyroid cancer statistics; discuss the role of technology in diagnosing the cancer; and explain symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for thyroid cancer — a relatively uncommon cancer that results from abnormal cell growth in the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. Join us Thursday, May 1, noon-1:30 p.m. at the Parker Adventist Hospital Conference Center.

The Increasing Rate of Thyroid Cancer: Fact or Fiction? is one of several Body of Knowledge Seminars offered at Parker Adventist Hospital. Below is a complete list of upcoming seminars. Thanks to support from the Parker Hospital Foundation, all seminars are FREE but require registration by calling 303-777-6877, option 1.

Click here for a PDF download of all upcoming classes.

State-of-the-art healing for the mind, body, and spirit

Parents sing lullabies to calm children into a peaceful sleep; sweethearts serenade each other with string quartets; and harried vacationers unwind to the rhythmic lapping of waves along a beach.

The soothing effects of music go one step further at Parker Adventist Hospital, where therapeutic musicians from the Healing Arts program lull patients into a state of serenity before a treatment — often reducing their heart rates, blood pressure and anxieties.

Supported by the Parker Hospital Foundation, the complimentary Healing Arts program began with a piano in the hospital’s majestic lobby. As the music filtered under doorways and up stairwells, Director Jude Keller realized “doing health care differently” meant enveloping the entire facility in healing and tending to the whole individual. Patients and their families now also find respite in two rotating art galleries, a waterfall nestled in a healing garden, and bedside musicians.

Keller stresses these aren’t just pretty pictures on the wall or concerts aimed to entertain. The musicians are trained in a repertoire intended to lower blood pressure and to relieve stress, while the visual artwork primarily depicts nature themes in a palette of tranquil colors.

“Museums are for stimulating and surprising,” Keller says. “But that’s not appropriate for a hospital setting; it needs to be comforting and inspiring.”

For patients and their loved ones, the program creates transformative moments that bolster the spirit — as in the case of a family who held hands around the bedside of a passing relative while a harpist strummed a cherished hymn.

Those who experience these gifts of mental and emotional healing are eager to share the opportunity with others. If you would like to support the Healing Arts program, please contact Jude Keller at 303-715-7621 or JudeKeller@Centura.org for more information.

Equestrian Safety Program

In the Parker area, due to the popularity of horse riding, equestrian-related injuries are among the top five injuries most commonly treated Parker Adventist Hospital's emergency department. That is why the Equestrian Safety Program is committed to promoting public awareness of equestrian-related injuries, injury prevention, public safety and the importance of wearing an equestrian helmet. To date the Equestrian Safety Program has distributed more than 800 helmets.

Your donation allows the Equestrian Safety Program to provide safe riding helmets, services and educational programs to the community. Please visit the Parker Hospital Foundation donation page and indicate "Equestrian Program" as the intended fund.

Family to Family Adoption

Family to Family Adoption Support at Parker Adventist Hospital offers a specially trained, on-site adoption liaison and caring staff, who provide resources and extensive support to everyone involved in the adoption process. Family to Family Adoption Support believes in the love and caring of families who adopt children, and believes in the generous hearts and enormous love of parents who decide it is best to place their baby for adoption. It is their goal to make sure that the experience for both families is sensitive and caring, combining expert medical care with the utmost compassion and sensitivity. Parker Adventist Hospital is the only hospital in Colorado offering classes to adoptive parents and The BirthPlace delivery unit support during adoption placement. For articles, radio podcasts, lists of classes and special events, please visit the Family to Family Adoption website.

To be part of this amazing program, please visit the Parker Hospital Foundation donation page and indicate "Family to Family" as the intended fund.

5 yrs to 50k and $50k in 5 yrs

5th birthday of my second chance at life!!
(on behalf of Sean, grateful patient)

Today, November 10th, is a special tribute day for me. Not only do I get to celebrate my beloved United States Marine Corps' 237th Birthday on that day – honoring all those that have served the USMC and USA well. But, it's also the 5th birthday of my second chance at life - attributable to the amazing nurses, doctors, and staff of Parker Adventist Hospital and the Parker Hospital Foundation. I'm forever indebted to the great, life-saving care I received from the Parker Adventist Hospital staff.

November 2007 I had life-saving surgery at Parker Adventist Hospital - an emergency colectomy done by Dr. Barnes. He said I had one leg in the pinebox when he stopped counting all the holes in my colon at 16. At that time, I was just a few months in to running my own business and unfortunately my health insurance was inadequate. During my 10 days of recovery at the Parker Adventist Hospital and then the 6-8 weeks slowly recovering at home, I was panicked and depressed about my insurance and impending financial situation. How was I going to pay my bills and still keep a roof over my family's head? I was scrambling to figure it all out, when I received a surprising call from the Parker Hospital Foundation. It was a call to offer hope and help in our time of need. At the time, I didn't know that Parker Adventist Hospital was a non-profit hospital. I knew it was a Christian faith-based healthcare organization, but I had no idea there was a foundation in place to help those in need like myself. Well, than thankfully, our prayers were answered a few months after my surgery when the Foundation stepped in to help by utilizing funds from the Patient Assistance Program. Take a moment to read "The Adventures of oSTOMAn", my blog about this journey I've been on.

Now, 5 years later, I'm kicking-off my effort to give back and pay forward the generosity of the Parker Hospital Foundation by raising funds for the "Patient Assistance Program". This program helped my family in our time of need back in 2007. My personal fundraising fun run dubbed, "5 years to 50K and 50K in 5 years," is a 50km (31 mile) run, connecting three Adventist Hospitals (Castle Rock, Littleton, and Parker) in honor of and support for the Adventist non-profit healthcare system. It has taken me 5 years to build up to a 50km run and with this kick-off event I plan to raise $50K within the next 5 years for non-profit healthcare charities - primarily the Parker Hospital Foundation. I hope this tribute run to Parker Adventist's great staff:

1. brings attention, appreciation, and publicity to the wonderful Parker Adventist Hospital staff, the helpful Parker Hospital Foundation, and the entire system of non-profit Adventist Hospitals;
2. inspires others who have lost an organ, in my case the colon, to get out and lead a regular, fit life again;
3. starts to raise notable donations to the Parker Hospital Foundation for the next 5 years, and;
4. reinforces my appreciation for my wonderful wife, helpful kids, and incredibly generous neighbors, friends, fellow school parents, and Pax Christi parishioners who also stepped up and help my family and I in our time of need.

CLICK HERE to view a map of the 50km route I ran. It began at the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital and finished at Parker Adventist Hospital. My family, friends, fellow runners, bikers, and/or drivers kept me motivated and fueled. :)

I looked forward to joining a rally of current and past FIT EXPLORERS / HERITAGE RUN CLUB members at Heritage Elementary (13 mile mark of my run) around noon. FIT EXPLORERS / HERITAGE RUN CLUB is a 3rd-6th grade fitness club I have voluntarily led for more than 6 years now. At our rally, I lead kids through a motivating set of calisthenics, a fun set of run laps to ensure I got a full 50km run in, they signed a giant THANK YOU CARD FOR THE PARKER ADVENTIST STAFF, and enjoyed some well deserved refreshments. Parker Hospital Foundation envelopes were handed out to FIT EXPLORER parents as part of my fundraising efforts.

I thank you for your prayers and thoughts for the successful completion of my tribute run and during my annual visit to the Parker Adventist Hospital Med/Surg floor. I also encourage you to donate to their Patient Financial Assistance program. It is because of this community of generous donors and the financial resources of the foundation that I was given a second chance in life, and successfully at that!

Thank you for your consideration and support,
Semper Fi- Sean

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