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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The main types of sleep apnea are: Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. It is very difficult at present to estimate the prevalence of childhood OSA because of widely varying monitoring techniques, but a minimum prevalence of 2 to 3% is likely, with prevalence as high as 10 to 20% in habitually snoring children. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes. The National Sleep Foundation offers a number of resources to help patients who are currently suffering from or think that they may have sleep apnea. If you think you might have any form of sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment can ease your symptoms and may help prevent heart problems and other complications. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (936)...

MRI Basics and Frequent Questions

MRI technology has substantially improved in the past few years. A new generation of MRI devices and additional technological advances such as contrast enhancement and special processing are being used together to generate amazingly clear images. Today we will attempt to answer some of the questions and concerns about magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. MRI or magnetic resonance imaging, is one way of viewing the body that uses NO radiation as it uses the electromagnetic properties of hydrogen molecules to collect information about organs and other tissues and converts this to an image. An MRI is able to capture the differences between cancerous tissues and normal tissues. Having an MRI involves being positioned on a table and moved inside the MRI unit. The inside of the MRI is called the bore and is basically a long tube the size of which varies. We center the body part being evaluated within the bore.  An MRI exam takes 45 minutes to a little over an hour. Before undergoing an MRI, your doctor will ask whether you have any electronic or metal medical devices in your body, such as a heart pacemaker or any metallic clips, pins, or screws. These precautions are necessary because the MRI magnet is so powerful that it could interfere with a pacemaker or displace some implanted clips. We will be posting more about MRI safety in future posts. Bridget Lee, Office Manager, Conroe Diagnostic Imaging Center...

Aspire’s Great Place to Be Committee

At Aspire we continuously strive to be a great place to work. We often hear from our staff that “It’s like a family!” In our endeavor to maintain and encourage this friendly and supportive culture, we have formed a Great Place to Be Committee (GP2B committee). We have employees from each department as our committee representatives who meet every month to discuss strategies, ideas and issues related to staff satisfaction and engagement. We discuss work-life balance issues, ideas to get to know each other well, ways to enhance collaborations, staff development, etc. Our discussions focus on getting qualitative insights into the best reasons to work at Aspire, along with what needs improvement. We then come up with a plan to implement these ideas. We also conduct employee engagement surveys and exit surveys to get a deeper understanding of employee-related issues. We value our employees’ opinion in decision making and know that there is a direct correlation between patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Human Resources at Aspire commits to provide an environment where employees feel delighted to be doing what they are doing and are excited to provide the best care to our patients. Shilpi Srivastava, PHR HR...

Lacey Rivers, Director of Clinical Services

My name is Lacey Rivers and I am excited to say I have accepted the new role as Director of Clinical Services as of March 2019! I have worked with Aspire Behavioral Hospital in both inpatient and outpatient services since August 2017, beginning as a PRN Therapist. I am a Maine native and since moving to the south in 2009, I have found my home in Texas with my husband and little boy! My professional education began in Mobile, Alabama where I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology. In 2016 I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from the University of West Florida and have gained most of my professional experience as a medical social worker in the hospital setting in Pensacola, FL and Houston, TX. In my free time I love to spend time with my family, play sports and travel. My passion for helping others find their strengths and learn how to manage their obstacles will be an asset to Aspire Hospital and I look forward to seeing our patients each day!...

Do You Focus on Fitness?

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery. This May is Mental Health Month; Aspire Hospital is raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four approach to mental health. Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to...

Terry Thackeray, April 2018 Employee of the Month

Terry Thackeray is our MRI Technician at our department of diagnostic imaging in Huntsville.  He has worked full-time with us for just over a year.  Terry did his training at Lone Star College in Montgomery. In his free time, he enjoys spending it with family, home improvement projects, concerts, and sporting events. Terry genuinely loves what he does and interacting with his patients, and it definitely shows. His patients always have something nice to say about him and their experience with him at our center. Terry likes to connect with his patients and helps them feel comfortable when going into the MR machine.   Terry is also a team player. He is always willing to help out his teammates with other duties he shares.  He has a good rapport with whomever he comes in contact with.  Terry is a true asset to our facility and valued by his patients and teammates. Liz Piippo Office Manager, Diagnostic Imaging Huntsville  ...

The “4As” For Stress Relief – Avoid – Alter – Accept – Adapt

When we feel the effects of stress bearing down on us, it can be like carrying a backpack that’s becoming heavier by the minute. Too much stress can make life a very difficult journey. When your stress level exceeds your ability to cope, you need to restore the balance by reducing the stressors or increasing your ability to cope, or both. Attempt to adjust the sources of stress in your life by avoiding or altering them.   AVOID A lot of needless stress can simply be avoided. Plan ahead, rearrange your surroundings and reap the benefits of a lighter load. Take control of your surroundings. Avoid people who bother you. Learn to say no. Ditch part of your list. Just remember: A certain amount of avoidance is healthy, but some problems can’t be overlooked. For those situations, try another technique.   ALTER One of the most helpful things you can do during times of stress is to take inventory, then attempt to change your situation for the better. Respectfully ask others to change their behavior. Communicate your feelings openly. Manage your time better. State limits in advance. For those cases in which the source of your stress can’t be avoided or altered, try to adjust your ability to tolerate it.   ACCEPT Sometimes we have no choice but to accept things the way they are. For those times try to: Talk with someone. Forgive. Practice positive self-talk. Learn from your mistakes.   ADAPT The perception that you can’t cope is actually one of the greatest stressors. That’s why adapting — which often involves changing your standards or expectations —...

Deja Griffin, March 2018 Employee of the Month

Deja always has a positive attitude and approach in patient interactions, fellow colleague interactions and even greeted me in the most professional way when I first applied at Aspire Hospital back in October 2017.  She has always been approachable, helpful and sweet, and goes above and beyond to ensure situations are taken care of.  Specifically, since I started here she has provided me with a list of suggestions that can assist Aspire Hospital in providing higher quality patient care to our clients.  She volunteered to do the Valentine’s Day video for Aspire’s Facebook page. Without any stage fright she did a wonderful job showing the public some of the “extras” we provide to our clients.  She was also courteous and available to assist Aspire Hospital in escorting a patient to court this month as well.  She did not know how long court would last nor did she ask any questions about how long it would take.  She is willing to learn and cross-train in any department.  She continually assists at the front desk and also assists in medical records.  She has been cross-trained in admissions, as well as in the insurance verification process.  She continually schedules community groups with our clients when she works on the floor as a Psych Tech.  It has been brought to my attention by David Luxner, Director of Behavioral Health & Compliance, how she is very positive, engaging and heartfelt during these community groups and how I should sit-in on one just to witness her technique.  Deja has assisted me on many projects since I started here.  She assists me with scheduling and miscellaneous...

Ethan Johnson, February 2018 Employee of the Month

It is often difficult for those unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to keep things running, to get recognition. They work tirelessly to help ensure everyone else has access to the tools and resources they require to excel on the front lines.  Ethan is just such a hero! Ethan works tirelessly in an incredibly complex and demanding environment. He never complains or loses his composure whether dealing with a complicated system failure or answering the same support question for the 20th time that day.  He always goes above and beyond.  Most people don’t realize that in IT we have to be available to support our users 24/7, so we are often awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night to support a user.  That is exactly what Ethan does.  Ethan has, on many occasions, worked through the night or all weekend with me during a major system upgrade or install.  Never complaining or objecting.  Ethan embodies the qualities we want to recognize. John Heeman, Chief Information Officer and Director of Outpatient Facilities    ...

Toryna Molandes, New Director of Business Development

Hi everyone! My name is Toryna Molandes, and I am the new Director of Business Development at Aspire Hospital. I’m thrilled to take on this new role and I can’t wait to start contributing my part to the recent rebranding efforts here. I have 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry with my last 10 years specializing in sales and marketing. I have worked within multiple different specialties and both inpatient and outpatient services. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy riding motorcycles, dancing, and playing Words with Friends....
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