For 25 years, Dawndra Jones has dedicated her career to nursing and patient care, advancing in leadership roles and at the same time, investing in her own passion for education. When Dr. Jones was named vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at UPMC McKeesport nearly two years ago, it opened the next chapter of many in her UPMC journey.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, prompting UPMC Presbyterian’s Dr. Jennifer Holder-Murray, assistant professor, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, to offer advice to help reduce a person’s chance of getting colorectal cancer.
Dr. Holder-Murray’s tips include:
- Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at 50 years old. Those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, are encouraged to talk to their doctor about earlier screening.
- Eat plenty of fiber — 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, nuts and beans.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
- Eat foods with folate such as leafy green vegetables.
- Don’t drink excessive alcohol or smoke. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening or climbing steps may help reduce risk.
Dr. Nelson is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology and an active member of the American Urological Association, American Association for Cancer Research, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society for Basic Urological Research, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Allegheny County Medical Society, Society of University Urologists, Society of Urology Chairpersons and Physicians Directors, American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, Society for Urologic Oncology, and Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons.
The American Board of Urology acts for the benefit of the public to insure high quality, safe, efficient and ethical practice of urology by establishing and maintaining standards of certification for urologists.
Dr. Nelson joined UPMC in 1999, and specializes in prostate cancer with a strong interest in basic, translational and clinical urological research. He was nominated by the American Urological Association.
A few weeks ago, my wife showed me a Facebook post from a neighbor and friend commenting on a video about Down syndrome. The post (citing a video appearing on
The Mighty) mentioned that someone should create a video about what it’s like to live with Down syndrome in Pittsburgh, and what an amazingly supportive community it is to raise a child with the condition. Working with my media relations colleague Andrea Kunicky at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we spoke to program coordinator Sheila Cannon and Dr. Kishore Vellody at the Down Syndrome Center and received their blessing and help.
So began my Down syndrome journey.
When I took on this project, I knew next to nothing about Down syndrome. I’m not claiming to be an expert now, but what I found in creating this video was something remarkable – I met six wonderful families who opened up their worlds to me.
The picture painted was not always a perfect one. Dr. Vellody points out that the most important thing for a new mother to hear when she delivers a child with Down syndrome is simply, “Congratulations!“ Unfortunately, more than one of the mothers received less-than-stellar reactions that set in motion thoughts of fear and anxiety, something I hope our film will serve to alleviate for new and expectant parents who’ve received a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
I hope that in creating this video, people won’t see these children as different, as challenged, as less-than. I hope they see Ellie as Ellie, who loves music and is my youngest daughter’s classmate and buddy; TJ as TJ, who loves to dance and whisper secrets to his sisters; Josh as Josh, who through his knowledge and experience in and out of doctor’s check-ups can deliver life-changing (albeit imaginary) care to his mom; Mae as Mae, who flies through flash cards and loves playing ponies; Donovan as Donovan, who works hard in school and is an amazingly bold swimmer; and Evan as Evan, the “radiant warrior“ who recovered from two heart surgeries and beams love.
With some help from the Sisters of Mercy, staff from UPMC Mercy Hospital’s labor and delivery team recently wrapped some of its newest and littlest patients in their best St. Patrick’s Day blankets to celebrate the Irish and Catholic roots of the hospital. The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Pittsburgh in 1843, and four years later, they opened the doors to the world’s first Mercy hospital, which remains Pittsburgh’s only Catholic hospital.
Joining members of the labor and delivery team were UPMC Mercy Hospital President Michael Grace, the Rev. Albert Schempp and Sister Carolyn Schallenberger.
To learn more about UPMC Mercy Hospital’s history, click here.