News/Blog

Lower Your Stroke Risks this Summer

Summer is a great time for a lot of things – barbecues, outdoor activities, vacations…but what you may not think about when it comes to summer is using all it has to offer to lower your stroke risks.

Strokes – or brain attacks – are the leading cause of adult disabilities in the United States, and can happen to anyone at any time. According to the National Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 people experience strokes every year.

One of the biggest myths regarding strokes is that they can’t be avoided. But in reality, nearly 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented by controlling lifestyle risk factors, or habits that we engage in that can be changed to improve our health.

Summer provides easy-to-find opportunities to lower stroke risks, such as:

  • Buy and eat fresh produce. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store to find in-season, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them in their natural states.
  • Eat less salt. Eat fresh vegetables versus canned items, and your salt intake will decrease.
  • Visit the beach. Eat more seafood (at the beach or not) instead of red meat.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Get active outside during the warmer and longer days.
  • Put the cigarettes down. Summer usually is less stressful. Use it to your advantage to try to break the habit.
  • Shoot for your healthy weight. Healthy eating and activities may help you reach a healthy weight (if you’re not already at it).
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Employee Spotlight: Seth Torres

We are proud to feature Seth Torres in this month’s Employee Spotlight. He was honored with the Director of the Year award in 2016 and is well deserving of this recognition.

What is your job title?  Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?
I am the Director of Therapy Operations(DTO). I am responsible for coordinating services for the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology departments. I have worked at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock for 9 years. I started as a staff occupational therapists and transitioned into the role of DTO in 2008.

What events led you to where you are today at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock?
I completed a Clinical Affiliation in Inpatient Rehabilitation while completing my Master’s in Occupational Therapy and knew immediately that I wanted to work in this setting. I particularly like working with patients who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries.

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock (an experience with a patient, a coworker going above and beyond for someone, an act of kindness)?
Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock is like family to me. I love to see how the entire hospital can come together to support each other when it is needed. This past year, I had a relative who sustained a Spinal Cord Injury. This put me in a position to experience Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock from the patient and family perspective. Everyone in the hospital worked so hard to make sure he had a positive outcome and was able to go home with his family.

What do you most love about the work you do?
I love my team. We have a tremendous group of therapists that work very hard to provide a high level of care for our patients.

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock?
At Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock, we often meet people at a low point in their lives. They typically have suffered a life changing event and are not able to live and function independently. I hope to provide a positive and encouraging environment where therapists are able work together with patients to help them achieve their goals and return home.

Can you tell us a little about your family?
My wife (Shannon) and I have been married for 10 years. We have 2 beautiful daughters Sophia (7) and Sienna (4).

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work?
I am a nerd. I enjoy reading, podcasts, music, playing golf, and spending time with my family.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play the guitar. I have tried and I am terrible.

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?
My parents, they have always been so patient and supportive.

What is your favorite thing about Lubbock: Your favorite place to eat, spend time with loved ones, etc?
I love anything related to Texas Tech: Football, Tailgating. The First Friday Art Trail is also fun,

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of Lubbock (and its surrounding areas)?
Lubbock and West Texas is a very friendly place. The people are always kind and courteous and it is a great place to raise a family.

If you could tell the people one thing about Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock, what would it be?
Not all jobs allow you to work in an environment where you get to have a positive impact on people every single day. We do that at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock and it is a very rewarding experience.

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After a Stroke — Finding the Right Words

It’s common to struggle at times to find the right word during a conversation. But for an individual who has had a stroke, finding the right word may be much more difficult.

Aphasia can be a side effect of a stroke, which can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing the ability to speak, read, listen or write. When a person with aphasia has word-finding difficulty, it’s called anomia.

Anomia makes it difficult to find the words or ideas that a person wants to share. Sometimes the word may come, and sometimes it won’t.

When this happens in a conversation, the person who is speaking to the stroke survivor may want to jump in quickly to supply the word. But in reality, that can be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more beneficial to help the person find the word they are looking for rather than supplying it.

So, how can you best communicate with someone under these circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Allow plenty of time for a response. Talk with the individual, not for him or her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions that can be answered simply and without a lot of explanation.
  • Use photographs or pictures to help provide cues.
  • Write your cues – such as a letter or a drawing – on a piece of paper to share.
  • Confirm and repeat back what the person has said. Use paraphrases or key words to be sure that you’re understanding properly.
  • Use gestures as you ask questions.
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Act FAST and Save a Life

FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of stroke:

F – Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Note if one side of the face is drooping.
A – Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to the side. See if one drifts downward.
S – Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Listen if the speech is slurred or strange.
T – Time to call 911. If you observe any of these signs, call for help immediately.

Take note of the time of the first symptom so you can tell medical personnel because this can affect treatment decisions. Rapid access to medical treatment can make a difference between full recovery and permanent disability.

Other symptoms of a stroke also may include sudden onset of:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding what someone is saying
  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Even if you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 to get the person medical help immediately.

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Employee Spotlight: Liz McKinney

We are proud to spotlight Liz McKinney!

What is your job at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock?
“I am the nursing department staffing coordinator and health unit coordinator supervisor. Basically, I do anything to help the department, the nurse managers, and the director of nursing operations. I have the privilege of collaborating with other departments on various tasks as well.”

What events led you to where you are today, working at Trustpoint?
“I was looking for a place where I could grow in my career and gain experience and knowledge in other areas of the healthcare field. I have worked in healthcare since I was 16 years old. Inpatient rehab was something new to me, so I welcomed the opportunity.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint?
“I have had several great moments here. However, the one I remember most vividly when a particular pediatric patient, who had been at our facility for over 4 months, was finally able to go home to his family. I had seen him come in, wheelchair-bound, unable to use his hands and feet, and unable to speak. He walked out of this place (ran, actually) shouting “bye” to everyone. Every patient who leaves has their own story of how they got here, and it is always bittersweet to see them go.”

What do you most love about the work you do?
“I enjoy being able to interact with all the different departments around the facility, having that connection to everyone. I have made many life-long friends over the few years I’ve worked here.”

Can you tell us a little about you and your family?
“I was born in San Antonio, but grew up in Indiana. I moved back to Texas after graduating from Indiana University. I married Stephanie in April 2014 – we just celebrated our 3rd anniversary! I finished a master’s degree in healthcare administration in 2015, and plan to attend medical school in the near future. Stephanie and I have a few cats and dogs, all spoiled rotten. Recently, we also began fostering a toddler, who has stolen our hearts entirely. We are big movie buffs, and we love to travel!”

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
“I would love to learn to fly a plane. As much as I love to travel by plane, learning to fly one would be incredible!”

If you were to tell one person “Thank you for helping me become the person I am today,” who would it be and what did they do?
“I will have to thank two people. My mother – she taught me to try to help people to the best of my ability. As a nurse herself, she sparked my interest in the healthcare field. My father – he taught me to always look for the positive, and has tried to instill patience in me. That part is still a work in progress.” 🙂

What is your favorite thing about Lubbock?
“Stephanie and I particularly love the Alamo Drafthouse. We also love how many great parks this town has – our son loves them as well!”

If you could tell people that Trustpoint does anything, what would it be?
“Trustpoint’s direct patient care staff in nursing, therapy and social services, as well as all those behind the scenes in dietary, facilities, and other administrative services, are fantastic at caring for all types of patients, from pediatric to geriatric, from orthopedic fractures to trauma/burn injuries. We work together for the best of each patient, and strive to treat each patient with the dignity and respect we would reserve for our own loved ones, and I think it shows in our care.”

 

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Employee Spotlight: Brandi Wren

We’re excited to share this spotlight, Brandi Wren.

What is your job title? Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?
“Administrative Assistant/Medical Staff Coordinator for the CEO. I make sure every meeting is set up and ensure that everything is in order. I also help anywhere I can no matter what department needs assistance. For Medical Staffing I handle all the Physician’s files and make sure they are credentialed to work in the hospital. I have been working for Trustpoint since they opened their doors in 2008.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint?
“I have several moments at Trustpoint but just seeing the patient go home from here is a great experience that I am privileged to see. I don’t get to see patients all day, but I do get to see them come in with their illness or injury and leave having made progress! Seeing their smiling faces as they leave the hospital as we are cheering them on is a great experience for me.”

What do you most love about the work you do?
“I love helping people and my specific role at Trustpoint allows me to do just that. I feel good knowing that I can be part of making sure that our patients have great physicians on staff.”

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at Trustpoint?
“I hope I’m showing great teamwork, and that even when no one is noticing that you’re doing stuff that you’re truly doing it to the best. Most of what I do is behind the scenes. There are hidden heroes and that is a lot of what my job entails. I try to make sure I do my job to the best of my abilities no matter who sees it.”

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work?
“I love to work on crafts when I’m not at work. I love to sew. I’m not the best at it, but I certainly enjoy it.”

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
“Learn how to take care of the patients more.”

If you were to tell one person “Thank you for helping me become the person I am today,” who would it be and what did they do?
“My mom, she taught me to work hard and always do your best at what you’re doing.”

Where is your favorite place to eat in Lubbock?
“My favorite place to eat is Roadhouse.”

If you could tell the people one thing about Trustpoint, what would it be?
“It’s a great place to come, a very caring place, and we want to make sure our patients get back to their lives.”

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Don’t Have a Stroke

Dick Clark. Sharon Stone. Rick James.

When you think of these celebrities, you probably think of their talents. What you probably don’t realize is that each suffered a stroke.

Strokes – or brain attacks – can happen to anyone at any time. Strokes are the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death.

According to the National Stroke Association, about 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year. What’s notable, however, is that nearly 80 percent of strokes can be avoided.

Certain traits, conditions and habits can raise an individual’s risk of having a stroke. Many of these lifestyle risk factors can be controlled and may actually help prevent a stroke from occurring.

That’s good news, right? So, how do we lessen our chances of having a stroke?

We can start by controlling these lifestyle risk factors:
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Poor diet
• High blood cholesterol
• Physical inactivity
• Obesity
• Heart diseases
• Alcohol consumption

If you think you can improve any of these lifestyle risk factors, do it.
The changes you make now may affect what happens – or better yet, what doesn’t happen – later.

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Employee Spotlight: Kim Schober

We’re proudly highlighting Kim Schober, one of our experienced certified nurses.

What is your job title? Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?
“I started as a Staff Nurse and then moved to Clinical Educator, and I am now the First Floor Nurse Manager. I am involved in the daily patient care and staffing of the patients. I am also a resource for the nursing and medical staff for the electronic medical records.”

What events lead you to where you are today at Trustpoint?
“I started at TRHL as a staff nurse while I was working on my Master’s in Nursing Education and Administration. I have transitioned into the positions of Nurse Educator and Nurse Manager when the need has arisen. Each position has so many rewards and allows me to impact patient care in different ways.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint?
“In every position I have had at TRHL , I have seen the teamwork that helps the patients return to their homes. I really enjoy getting together as a team every week where all the therapists, nursing, the doctors, and the social workers discuss each patient’s progress and, together, we come up with a plan to get that patient home as soon and as safely as they can.”

What do you most love about the work you do?
“I LOVE taking care of patients. I love helping people and solving problems. I love getting to know new people. I get to do all of these things and I get to call it a job — My cup runneth over!”

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at Trustpoint?
“I want people to know that they are important. I want patients and their families to feel that Trustpoint cared about them when they were not doing so well and we can help them out until they can get back on their feet.”

Can you tell us a little about your family?
“I have been married to my best friend, Milton, for 17 years. I have four kids: Kayla, 27 (and her husband Griffin), Karlee, 24, Chloe, 15 and Trey, 13. I am the grandmother to the cutest granddaughter in the world, Miss Bryar Ann. I have three dogs, two cats, and we just got a dozen chickens!”

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work?
“I love to run and to read (not at the same time). I am currently training for the Houston Half Marathon and I am on the Epilepsy Foundation Team. I am very active in my church and I sing on the praise team. In my spare (ha ha!) time, I love to just be with my family at home.

I was privileged to go to Cape Town, South Africa in July to present a poster that was part of a research project that I completed during my Master’s program at Lubbock Christian University. My research project focused on the infection control policy that we are currently using at Trustpoint hospital and how educating patients on hand washing techniques has drastically reduced our infection rate at the hospital. I received the Rising Star Research Award from Sigma Theta Tau, the National Nursing Honor Society.

South Africa is a beautiful country with so much history and culture. While in South Africa I was able to go on a Safari, go to the Cape of Good Hope and see where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet. I also had the opportunity to see Penguins in their natural habitat. It was the trip of a lifetime!”

What are your favorite things about Lubbock?
“I grew up in Lockney and moved to Lubbock in 1984. I guess I will be here forever! I love Thai Thai, and all the Mexican food I can get (spicy food is my favorite). I love the Fall and the cool weather in Lubbock! And, I am an avid football fan — GUNS UP!”

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of Lubbock (and its surrounding areas)?
“The people of Lubbock are as nice as you will ever meet. I am still amazed that when you go to other parts of the world and other parts of the country, people don’t talk to each other like we do here.”

If you could tell the people one thing about Trustpoint, what would it be?
“If you ever want to see lives really changed, this is the place to be. I have never had a job where I can make such a difference to people. I have worked in places like the emergency room and we make a difference there too, but it is a very short duration. At Trustpoint, we get to know the patients and their families and the things we teach them over the weeks and months they are here will impact the rest of their lives.”

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Employee Spotlight: Lacey Precure

We’re happy to introduce you to Lacey Precure, a clinical liaison who specializes in welcoming the pediatric patients into our facility. We’re beyond proud of this staff member, who is so skilled in making our young patients feel comfortable.  

 

What is your job at TrustPoint? 
“I am a clinical liaison. I help prepare patients to come to our facility. I often visit patients in the local hospitals and educate them on the process of coming to our facility as well as what to expect once they get here.”

 

What events lead you to where you are today, working at TrustPoint?
“I am always looking for new opportunities to further my career as an occupational therapist. I knew this job was a great opportunity for me to expand my experience into the inpatient rehabilitation setting. I have a strong love for pediatrics, which is where the majority of my experience has been in. I am happy to be a part of the expanding pediatric program and Trustpoint!”

 

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at TrustPoint?
“We have ‘Code Marcy’s’ here. A ‘Code Marcy’ is when a patient is recognized for his or her progress and is leaving our hospital to return home. While the patient comes down the hall to leave, our employees clap for them to congratulate them in their accomplishments. Recently a gentleman was able to walk out of our hospital after suffering from a stroke. He was so moved by our support that he stopped 2-3 times and began to cry. I do not believe any employee had a dry eye. It is very moving to be part of such a wonderful transition for the patients during such a challenging time in their life.”

 

What do you most love about the work you do?
“Seeing the progress of the patients that come to our facility. Our therapists do a great job on helping our patients regain their independence.”

 

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at TrustPoint?
“I want to help give patients hope. I enjoying being able to go meet our patients face to face and discuss what our facility can offer them. I want to give every patient hope and put them at ease during a difficult transition from a hospital to the beginning stages of their recovery after a life changing event.”

 

Can you tell us a little about you and your family?
“I have been married to my husband, Dustin, for three years. He is the IT director for Hockley County. We don’t have any kids but we have three nieces and two nephews that we love to spend time with. I also have one dog, a Boston terrier, named Duke. I have had him for 9 years. I love to travel, take pictures, and bake. Dustin and I also love the Dallas Stars and enjoy going to Dallas to watch them play.”

 

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
“I would love to learn to Scuba dive or hang glide!”

 

If you were to tell one person “Thank you for helping me become the person I am today,” who would it be and what did they do?
“My parents. They have always helped and supported me through everything in my life. They have pushed me to be the best I can be.”

 

What is your favorite thing about Lubbock?
“My favorite place to eat is Jazz. I love Texas Tech and enjoy going to football games.”

 

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of Lubbock and its surrounding areas?
“I think everyone is friendly. It just feels like home to me.”  

 

If you could tell the people that Trustpoint serves anything, what would it be?
“Trustpoint strives to serve our community as a whole in Lubbock. We do our best to treat a variety of diagnoses so that we can help as many people as we can. Also, we actively raise money for diabetes because it affects so many people in our community.”

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Employee Spotlight: Andre Newcomb

Andre, a neuro clinical specialist here at Trustpoint, took the time to answer some questions that give us an in-depth look at his life and work here.
We hope you enjoy getting to know him!

What is your job at Trustpoint?  Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?
I am a physical therapist at Trustpoint Hospital. As a physical therapist, I evaluate patients with neurological disorders and establish and carry out treatments plans for them. I work with a variety of patients with diagnoses such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injuries and musculoskeletal injuries. I have been at Trustpoint hospital for a little over 2 months.”

What events lead you to where you are today, working at Trustpoint?
“I have been a physical therapist for almost five years and started my career in the Dallas area where I am originally from. My wife and I had our first child 4 months ago and we wanted to get closer to her parents who live here in Lubbock. Trustpoint Hospital was a great location for me to continue working with neurological patients.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint?
“Although I have not been at Trustpoint long, I have noticed my coworkers go above and beyond for all our patients. One particular instance I observed was another physical therapist doing all she could to assist a patient with a power wheelchair. This patient, in particular, was in need of a power wheelchair for all mobility and this physical therapist did all she could in order to get him one so as to improve his independence. That type of commitment is why I enjoy my job and coworkers at Trustpoint Hospital.”

What do you most love about the work you do?
“I love giving people a second chance at mobility and independence. Working in an inpatient rehabilitation setting is unique because our patients come in on a stretcher or in a wheelchair and have the opportunity to walk out of the hospital. That change and transition means giving someone’s life back again.”

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at Trustpoint?
“I hope to provide compassionate and evidence-based treatments to all my patients, no matter the diagnosis, in order to give them the best chance to achieve their physical goals and regain their independence and life back. As far as being a coworker, I hope to provide assistance and be a team player to all those I work with.”

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?
“I grew up in Allen, TX where my parents still live today. I have two brothers, Erik and Ben; I am the middle child. I have been married to my beautiful wife, Emily, for 5 years and we have one child; Everett Elias Newcome, and he is 4 months old. I enjoy playing with my son and spending time with Emily. I also enjoy running and lifting weights. Recently I have started to ride mountain bikes.”

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
“I would learn to speak Spanish fluently and play the piano.  My wife tried to teach me to play the piano on one of our first dates and it went terribly.”

If you were to tell one person “Thank you for helping me become the person I am today,” who would it be and what did they do?
“I would tell three people, my parents and my wife. All three of them have been very supportive of me and my career and have always encouraged me to be the best clinician and husband I can be.”

What are your favorite things about Lubbock?
“So far I love the lack of traffic and how easy it is to get from place to place here. I also like all the public parks that are inside neighborhoods. We live next to one and take our son on walks there.”

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of Lubbock and its surrounding areas?
“I admire their work ethic and pleasant personalities.  I have felt very welcomed and accepted since moving to Lubbock.”

If you could tell the people that Trustpoint serves anything, what would it be?
“Trustpoint Hospital is a place where healing happens. It is filled with compassionate and talented medical professionals waiting to work with people and help them fill their potential and return back to their lives.”

 

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