LVHN Gives Local Police Advanced Individual First Aid Kits and Training

Kuklinski, Otto, Wargo, Hendricks

Participants in a news conference Wednesday announcing the new IFAK were emergency medicine physician Jeff Kuklinski, DO; Deb Otto, director of donor resources for Miller-Keystone Blood Center; Mike Wargo, administrator for LVHN’s department of public safety and emergency operations; and Allentown Police Department officer Chris Hendricks.

Police chiefs and officers from Allentown, Bethlehem, South Whitehall Township and Salisbury Township gathered yesterday outside the Mattioli Trauma Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest to demonstrate a new tool that will enhance the safety of our community.

In the coming weeks, every police officer and tactical medic in those four areas will receive this tool – called an IFAK (individual first-aid kid) – courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Each IFAK, worn on an officer’s or medic’s belt or chest, includes a chest seal (for penetrating chest wounds), Israeli pressure bandage, QuikClot (to prevent hemorrhage) and a tourniquet (to stop bleeding).

“If we truly want to keep people healthy and safe, we have to give our first responders the tools they need to save not only their own lives, but potentially the lives of the people they are sworn to protect and serve,” says Mike Wargo, RN, administrator for LVHN’s department of public safety and emergency operations.

IFAKs can be used to assist an officer who needs care, to assist a fellow officer, or to help a civilian (or civilians) in a critical incident. In the case of a life-threatening incident, the tools inside the IFAK help to provide lifesaving care while providing extra time for emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to arrive on the scene.

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Matt’s Half-Marathon Recap: Post-Race Euphoria

Matt Burns postraceWell, another race is under our belts. The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon this past weekend was an outstanding event with great support and even greater weather. Of course, I was just as nervous as everyone else the day before when it was in the 90s and so humid you could cut the air with a knife. Thankfully, the storm came through and cleared the air just in time.

And I had a fantastic race, as did my colleague, Alyssa. I wanted to earn a personal best in the half-marathon of 1:45, or around there. I didn’t get it. But I did get a 1:49.16. Why am I so happy with that time even though I didn’t hit my goal? Because it was the fastest half-marathon I’ve run in more than four years. That’s a huge accomplishment for me, considering the time constraints of being a father of two awesome young girls. To put it in perspective, my last half-marathon was in late April and I didn’t even break two hours.

The race itself was fairly straightforward. The gun went off and it was a fast start down Main Street in Bethlehem and straight onto the Lehigh Canal Towpath. The sun blinded me a bit at first, but that soon went away as we ran deeper into the woods. I stuck to my race plan and kept a deliberately slower pace for the first few miles, but then I let myself get caught up in a group of runners who held together at a good clip for most of the rest of the way down to the finish. My last 2 miles weren’t as strong as I would have liked. I definitely started to slow up a bit. This was definitely a symptom of a lack of conditioning. On the other hand, I didn’t pass too many people, nor did too many people pass me. That tells me I was in a pretty even spot with the rest of the field, and while slower than I wanted to be, I was at least consistent. Read More »

Half-Marathon Training Week 18: Prepping for the Race

Matt elevation

That constant upward trend on this graph is a mountain. Make no mistake, that was a pretty hard run to traverse.

It’s finally here. The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon goes off in less than two weeks. That also means this will be my final post of the series before the race. My colleague Alyssa Young will post next week. Then we’ll both have a post-race wrap-up column to celebrate how we did out there with all of you.

In my last column, I told you that I was going to be running the Run Wild at the Zoo 10K and share my results. At the time, I had hoped to finish with a personal best in that race of at least a few minutes faster than the 51:54 I finished last year. Well, I didn’t finish as fast as I wanted, but I did set a personal course record and bested my time by a whopping three seconds. Okay, so it’s not the best outcome, but it does show some improvement. And make no mistake, it’s a tough race. After the first 2 miles, it’s nothing but mountain.

This week will be a bit lighter than last with a threshold pace run of three 1-mile repeats and a 10-mile long and slow distance run. For the rest of the week, you should string together three or four more easy runs, but don’t push yourself too hard. You have a race coming up.

Looking ahead to race day, there are a few things you need to do in advance to ensure you have a good race. Read More »

LVHN and Baum Art School Unveil Two New Murals for Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital

long Children's Hospital muralLehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and the Baum School of Art on Thursday unveiled two new murals at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

The Baum School has offered this summer mural program for several years and was proud to partner with LVHN this year. “This has been a wonderful experience for our students to not only learn the process of mural painting, but to know that the art they create can lift the spirits of guests, especially children, in the hospital’s waiting room,” says Baum School executive director Shannon Slattery Fugate.

The first mural, displayed in the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center’s radiation oncology department waiting area, was created by teen art students, under the direction of Baum School faculty member Rosemary Geseck. For six weeks this summer, Geseck and 12 Baum School students worked on-site at the cancer center to paint the mural. The subject matter, an impressionist landscape with hidden animals, was chosen by a committee of hospital employees that is working to create a more child-friendly space for guests in their waiting room. Read More »

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Half-Marathon Training Week 16: Mini-Competitions and Mental Breaks

Matt Burns runningIn case you missed my colleague Alyssa Young’s column from last week, you can still read it. She gave some excellent advice for surviving your marathon training, and it touches on subjects that don’t occur to me on a regular basis. I encourage everyone to check it out and to at least start thinking about how to stay safe while running on the trails.

Now, let’s move on to new business. Sometimes the long miles we log while training for the Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon or Half-Marathon can wear on you. I’m not talking about just the physical toll, the aches and pains and generally tired legs. That’s par for the course and comes with the territory. No, I’m talking about the mental aspects. Sometimes you just need a bit of a break. For me, this manifested into two different ways in the last two weeks.

The first was a break from the normal routine while out on the always fantastic Lehigh Valley Parkway. I got into a rut on the trail. I was just running to get some quality miles outside. Granted, it was a beautiful evening to be outside, but it was also sort of boring. I wasn’t trying to do anything fancy, just trying to keep an even pace while trying to not overexert myself and save enough for a possible kick at the end. It’s the same type of run I’ve done countless times. It was kind of boring.

But then I ran straight into a local youth running clinic typically held at the end of the summer. It’s a great program for children to learn more about the sport of running, proper exercise, stretching and nutrition from some of the area’s top runners. Unfortunately for me, I ran right by them as they started their group run. It didn’t take long before I was passed by one of the kids. Read More »