Is it Time to Consider Joint Replacement?

Out with old joints, in with new jointsIt hurts. Your knee just doesn’t seem to bend like it once did, and every time walk up some steps, yeah … there’s that pain again. Medication and physical therapy will help, but eventually the time may come for surgery – out with the old joint and in with a new one.

What causes this pain? Most often it’s some variation of arthritic inflammation generally caused by joint damage or age. Usually, this joint pain can’t be cured, only managed. The only way to make that elbow or knee work the way it once did is to replace it. But when is the right time to do that?

“You’ll know,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network orthopedic surgeon Prodromos Ververeli, MD, with VSAS Orthopaedics, who specializes in knee and hip replacement. “When you have persistent pain in a joint for more than a month and it’s affecting your life regardless of what you do to ease the discomfort, it’s probably time to see a qualified orthopedist.” Read More »

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Woman wearing clown nose and glassesLaughter has been called a keystone to happiness, while humor has been called the most significant activity of the human brain. But is tickling your funny bone good medicine?

“Evidence suggests laughter relieves stress,” says internal medicine physician Philip J. Benyo, MD, with Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) Geriatric and Internal Medicine–Drums. “That in turn can boost immune function and improve psychological health.”

Research has found laughing also can help lower blood sugar. “And an upbeat outlook often translates to better patient outcomes,” says internal medicine physician Jodi Lenko, MD, with LVPG Family and Internal Medicine–Alliance Drive.

Chuckling may work medical magic partly by releasing endorphins – feel-good chemicals that help take the edge off pain – and reducing inflammation. Laughter also improves well-being by building trust and fostering communication between people. That’s especially helpful for doctor-patient relationships, which have their own impact on health. Read More »

Join Us April 21 at Bethlehem Area Public Library for Fourth Community Canvas 2015 Event

Audrey Gill at Community Canvas

Cheston Elementary School third-grader Audrey Gill won the Facebook vote after the third 2015 Community Canvas event.

Student artists from Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School will be showing off their skills in the fourth Community Canvas 2015 preliminary round 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, at the Bethlehem Area Public Library, 11 W. Church St., Bethlehem.

Sponsored by Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital in collaboration with Lehigh Valley Art Spark and Communities in Schools, Community Canvas encourages area children to eat healthy and live well.

At the April 21 event, each student artist will receive a lunchbox full of supplies and will have 45 minutes to create a piece of artwork based on a healthy theme. The audience in attendance will vote for their favorites, and the artwork also will be posted to Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Facebook page for voting. The artists with the most votes will advance to the grand finale this spring. All children who participate will receive a prize.

In addition, chef Randy Zerfass of Lehigh County Country Club will prepare free healthy meal samples for those in attendance. Read More »

Four New Endowed Chair Holders Named at Lehigh Valley Health Network

Nester, Hagstrom, Lapos, Nair

From left to right are Brian Nester, DO, MBA; J. Nathan Hagstrom, MD; Linda Lapos, MD; and Suresh Nair, MD.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) today announced four new holders of endowed chairs that support education and research in specific fields of medicine. The following have been appointed chair holders:

  • The Leonard Parker Pool Chair in Health Systems Management – Brian Nester, DO, MBA, LVHN president and chief executive officer
  • The Forrest G. Moyer, MD, Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics – J. Nathan Hagstrom, MD, chair, department of pediatrics
  • The Indru T. Khubchandani, MD, Endowed Chair in Colon and Rectal Surgery – Linda Lapos, MD, chief, division of colon and rectal surgery
  • The Auxiliary of Lehigh Valley Hospital Endowed Chair in Cancer – Suresh Nair, MD, medical director, cancer service line


Endowed chairs are common in higher education but rare at community teaching hospitals. LVHN currently has 17 chairs, which are made possible through the generosity of donors including the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, the Auxiliary of Lehigh Valley Hospital and community members. The cost of funding a chair is $2 million. Chair holders have flexibility in how they apply the funding within the guidelines of the endowment. Read More »

Supporting Cancer Patients with Ribbons of Hope, Love and Courage

cancer ribbonWas it your mother? Maybe it was it your father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend? The sad truth is that every one of us is likely to be affected by cancer in one way or another. You may not ever get the disease yourself, but chances are you’ll know someone who will.

So let’s all celebrate the cancer survivors, the caregivers, the family and friends who have ever been touched by cancer. Do your part for Lehigh Valley Health Network’s special Cancer Ribbon Wall.

Join us in celebrating those that have faced cancer and won. Join us as we fondly remember the ones who lost. Join us as we celebrate our family members who helped us on our own cancer journeys, and the friends who stayed by our side throughout. Read More »

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