Reading Hospital’s ‘Berks Trail Challenge’ Draws to a Successful Completion

On Friday, November 30 the initial Berks Trail Challenge came to a successful conclusion and winners were recently announced. A total of 668 people, ranging in age from 1 to 79, registered to participate in the free program, far exceeding the original goal of 300.

The goal of Berks Trail Challenge encouraged individuals to complete local trails from May 1, 2018 through November 30 to help cut back on screen time, while promoting personal wellness and mindful leisure activity. The positive response from those involved has been overwhelming, and plans are in place to run the challenge again in spring 2019.

“The Berks Trail Challenge encouraged members of the community to engage in a more active and mindful lifestyle, with their family and friends, while enjoying the natural beauty of our community,” said Desha Dickson, Tower Health Associate Vice President, Community Wellness. “We hope that these habits will last, not just for the duration of the challenge, but for a lifetime.”

Participants of the challenge were incentivized to participate by an array of prizes. Twenty-five winners were randomly selected, and the prizes awarded were dependent upon the achievement level reached. Individuals who completed nine trails, plus two extras, were entered to win a Atchinson Hydration Backpack. Explorer level participants, those who completed one through five of the trails, were entered to win a Berks Trail Challenge patch.

Winners of the Berks Trail Challenge have been notified via email of their selection.

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Compliance and Legal Services Team Volunteer at New Journey

On December 13, nine members of the Reading Hospital Compliance/Legal Services team served lunch to over 200 people at New Journey Community Outreach on South 6th Street in Reading, as part of the Hospital’s Employee Engagement Initiative program.

Some team members also assisted New Journey staff with preparing a mailing for an upcoming fundraiser. Team members expressed gratitude for the opportunity to volunteer with such a wonderful organization and for the support of the Reading Hospital Community Wellness department, who coordinated the opportunity.

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#TowerGimmeFive Campaign Wraps Up with Donations to Three Local Food Banks

Tower Health recently wrapped up the #TowerGimmeFive social media campaign with great success! The goals of the campaign were to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy eating and to raise money for local food banks. The hashtag reached over one million viewers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To celebrate the success of the campaign, Tower Health recently made $15,000 in donations to local food banks. The Greater Berks Food Bank, the Chester County Food Bank, and the Share Food Program in Philadelphia were each presented with donations of $5,000 to help support their important work.

The #TowerGimme5 campaign is just one of the many ways in which Tower Health is invested in empowering members of our community to live their healthiest lives.

Featured from left to right – Doug Long, Manager, Marking and Development, Greater Berks Good Bank; William M. Jennings, President & CEO, Reading Hospital; Jill Zelinsky, Assistant Director Nutrition Services, Reading Hospital; Courtney Dixon, Senior Coordinator, Community Wellness, Reading Hospital; Clint Matthews, President & CEO, Tower Health; Sarah Luber, DO, Tower Health Wellness Medical Director & Reading Hospital Internal Medical Faculty; Peg Bianca, Executive Director, Greater Berks Food Bank

Featured from left to right – Doug Long, Manager, Marking and Development, Greater Berks Good Bank; William M. Jennings, President & CEO, Reading Hospital; Jill Zelinsky, Assistant Director Nutrition Services, Reading Hospital; Courtney Dixon, Senior Coordinator, Community Wellness, Reading Hospital; Clint Matthews, President & CEO, Tower Health; Sarah Luber, DO, Tower Health Wellness Medical Director & Reading Hospital Internal Medical Faculty; Peg Bianca, Executive Director, Greater Berks Food Bank

Flu Season is Here!

Each year, there are over 3 million flu cases in the United States. Influenza – the flu – is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Usually the flu is a mild disease in healthy children and adults; however, it can be life threatening in older adults and in people of any age who have chronic problems such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, asthma, or heart failure. Pregnant women are also at high risk.

Symptoms of the flu differ from a cold. Here is how you can tell difference:

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Some symptoms such as fatigue and cough can last up to a few weeks. Children may have upset stomach or vomiting, but adults usually do not. Serious and possibly life-threatening complications are rare.

While your body is busy fighting off the flu, you may be less able to resist other infections such as pneumonia. These secondary infections can be especially dangerous to older adults, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses.

How Can I Prevent the Spread of the Flu?

¨     Get a flu vaccination. This is the first and most important step in preventing flu. It can greatly lower the chances of getting the flu, as well as preventing much of the secondary infections and death that can be caused by influenza. Each year, Reading Hospital provides free influenza clinic for people ages 9 and older. CLICK HERE for information on upcoming clinics.

¨     Cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow. Or cover your face with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Toss the tissue in the nearest waste receptacle and immediately clean your hands.

¨     Perform hand hygiene. Use alcohol hand rub immediately after sneezing, coughing, or touching surfaces contaminated with respiratory secretions or wash hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds.

¨     Use clean paper towels to turn faucet on and off after handwashing.

¨     Exercise – It boosts your immune system and speeds recovery from illness.

If you are sick, stay at home to minimize the spread of germs.