Welcoming Pediatric Dentistry Patients

It may surprise you to learn that a significant percentage of the cases seen in MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Operating Rooms are for procedures with pediatric dentists. Several groups of dentists come here when they have little patients who need to be sedated for dental procedures. 

Dr. Tanek Jenkins is one dentist who regularly schedules procedures at our hospital, performing tooth extractions, root canals and stainless steel and white zirconia cosmetic crowning.

“Everyone here is very nice and helpful,” says Dr. Jenkins. “This hospital has shown a commitment to get these children in. MedStar and their anesthesia team have recognized a need and they have been generous in giving us blocks of time because we have expressed this need.”

The mouth and teeth are the windows into the health of the whole body, explains Dr. Jenkins. This is why she loves pediatric dentistry, as she can help set up someone when they are young for a lifetime of taking care of the health of their teeth. She also enjoys making a cosmetic difference, helping children who have been teased because of the appearance of their teeth.

“It makes me feel good when I can help with a 180-degree difference and create a work of art,” says Dr. Jenkins. “Parents appreciate these services as well. I tell them, I will treat their child like they’re mine. I say ‘this is my baby now, don’t worry.’”

To learn more about general surgery at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, click here

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist, call:

Dr. Tanek Jenkins, DDS
ABC Dentistry- Oxon Hill

Dr. Richee Berry, DDS
Dr. Jarrett Caldwell, DDS
Dr. Marian B. Jordan, DDS
Berry's Children Dental LLCBowie

Dr. Felix Aguto, DDS
We Make Kids Smile Pediatric Dentistry- Waldorf

Dr. Ebonee Thrower, DDS
Bright Starr Pediatric Dentistry- Bowie

Dr. Eileen Buckle, DDS
KOOL Smiles Dentistry- District Heights

400 Stuffed Animals Donated to Hospital for Young, Elderly Patients

CLINTON, MD -- MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center recently welcomed 400 stuffed animals through their doors, a donation from LaPlata High School senior Sidney Monk.

Monk collected the brand-new stuffed animals through friends, family, acquaintances and a donation from the LaPlata Chick-fil-A restaurant.  She was inspired to perform this philanthropic mission after her own experience receiving a stuffed animal during a hospital stay as a child.  She has collected and donated stuffed animals to hospitals ever since, totaling thousands.

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center plans to distribute the animals first to young visitors to our Emergency Department.

“Stuffed animals for pediatric patients really help,” said Emergency Department Nurse Kristin Quade.  “Parents are also grateful and floored we go through the trouble to have them here.”

The animals will also go to elderly patients.  Care of elderly patients is something MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center prides itself on, having achieved the highest level of care possible in the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program just a few months ago.

“When patients are elderly and/or confused, having something to help that helps soothe them will be great,” said Nursing Director Anne Johnson, who helped receive Monk’s donation.

Monk was accompanied on her trip to donate the stuffed animals by her best friend and fellow LaPlata High School senior Holly Miller.  She was also accompanied by her mother Cheri, a teacher, who recalled, “When Sidney was six years old, she was in the hospital after an asthma attack, and she received a stuffed bear.  Sidney asked if all kids in the ER received stuffed animals and was told no, the hospital often runs out.  She said, ‘That’s really sad, I’ll see what I can do to help,’ and later created Sidney’s Dream Foundation to bring brand-new stuffed animals to kids in hospitals.”

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center would like to thank Sidney Monk, Dave and Cheri Monk, Holly Miller and Sidney’s Dream Foundation.  This is Monk’s second donation to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

What Vaccinations and Tests Are Needed at What Age?

Starting Your Year Out Right

Advice for all ages from pediatrician Pedro Sarmiento, MD, and internist Lauren Williams, MD

161026_096_rsNo matter your age, when it comes to starting 2017 off the right way, physicians agree on the three most important measures you can take to jumpstart your health in the New Year.  We have asked MedStar pediatrician Pedro Sarmiento, MD, and internist and pediatric specialist Lauren Williams, MD, for their best advice for starting your year out RIGHT.

The first theme cited by both physicians was eating healthy.  “You should start off the year committed to a well-balanced, healthy diet,” said Williams.  “If you need to lose weight, goals are important, but with a healthy diet, weight loss will follow.”  Both physicians recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, increasing your intake of water and decreasing or eliminating sugary drinks.  “I’d recommend avoiding fast food and processed foods,” said Dr. Sarmiento.  “Replace these meals with fresh food that you prepare at home.  Cooking at home, which is a great option for a quality family activity, lets you control ingredients, portion size and salt.”

The second theme important for overall health is to make sure you are active.  For both kids and adults, 30 minutes of exercise per day of some type of activity that increases the heart rate, is recommended.  While running or walking are the most common ways to exercise, and are great for engaging a family in a healthy activity, other options, like Zumba classes, could be fun, says Dr. Williams.  No matter what fitness program you begin, “Start slow, with small, manageable goals,” encourages Dr. Williams. She also advises post-menopausal women to incorporate weight-bearing exercise into their routine to increase bone strength.

Dr. Sarmiento says outdoor activities like skiing and ice skating are great options for winter exercise, as well.   Additionally, for kids, Dr. Sarmiento recommends limiting TV, computer and video time.  He also cautions against not only smoking, but vaping, which is also detrimental to health.

Third, both physicians advise all ages to make sure to schedule annual physicals.  “We recommend annual physicals for all adults, even if you are a healthy person,” says Dr. Williams.  “Annual physicals help keep adults up-to-date on vaccines and give us results for cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney function, hypertension and overall internal health.  Also, since not every disease shows up with symptoms, annual physicals can detect silent problems, like high blood pressure.”


What Vaccinations and Tests Are Needed at What Age?


For Teens

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics and both physicians recommend HPV immunizations, anytime from age nine through 26.  This series of three vaccinations prevent infections that can cause cervical cancer and oral and genital warts.  The immunization against HPV is only effective as a prevention measure, not as a cure. 

For Women

  • Pap:  This test for cervical cancer should typically be done once every three years, beginning at age 21.
  • Mammogram:  This test to detect breast cancer should be done yearly, beginning at age 40, unless there is a family history of breast cancer, which means beginning testing before the age of 40.

For Men

  • Prostate Cancer Screening:  Beginning at age 50, men should submit to either a blood test or rectal exam to detect prostate cancer.  African-American and other minority men, or men with increased risk factors should begin tests at age 40.
  • Colon Cancer Screenings:  At age 50, men should undergo a colonoscopy to detect colon cancer, and repeat this test every 10 years.

For all adults

  • Yearly flu shots are recommended, particularly for those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease.
  • Tetanus shots are recommended every 10 years.
  • Pneumonia vaccines are recommended for adults age 65 or older.
  • Shingles vaccines are recommended after age 60.  Shingles vaccines are  given to prevent developing the disease and decreasing long term effects in the event that shingles still occurs after vaccination, says Dr. Williams.

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center wishes you a happy, healthy New Year!  For more information about scheduling a physical, finding a doctor or learning about our hospital, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Screenings

Special Care Nursery (NICU) Provides Specialized Care for our Littlest Patients

Special Care for Special Deliveries

Melanie Bush with daughter Brooklyn and son Brentley

It’s a scene that parents-to-be imagine hundreds of times: the day they welcome their little one into their family and meet their new baby face to face. Sometimes, however, reality is a bit more complicated. When a baby is born early or needs some extra support, the dedicated professionals at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s special care nursery are there to help.

Melanie Bush knows. After a difficult pregnancy, she began having contractions early – at only 34 weeks’ gestation – and labor was progressing rapidly. With one of her twins in breech position, she delivered by emergency cesarean section. Melanie and her husband Benny Bush Jr. welcomed their new son and daughter, Brentley and Brooklyn Bush, at 1:06 and 1:08 a.m. respectively on August 23, 2014. Brentley weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces at birth, and Brooklyn weighed just 4 pounds, 2 ounces.

Without the full 40 weeks to develop in their mothers’ bodies, babies born early can face a variety of challenges including low birth weight, breathing problems, infections, and vision or hearing loss. About one baby in ten is born prematurely in the United States, and rates have been rising, according to the March of Dimes.

A Special Place

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s special care nursery is a level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that cares for babies born at 32 weeks or later, or who weigh at least 1,500 grams (about 3.3 pounds). The special care nursery is led by a team of on-site neonatologists from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, who bring their specialized expertise in helping the smallest babies thrive, and has a staff of experienced NICU nurses.

Having an experienced team of doctors and nurses at a location close to home means that new parents can spend more time with their babies while they are still in the hospital. The hospital’s special care nursery is known for maintaining a compassionate, welcoming atmosphere. “Highly specialized expertise, strong nursing skill, and warm, family-centered care is all wrapped up in one big, beautiful package here at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center,” said Mahoganey McCrae, BSN, RN, CPN assistant director of nursing for the special care nursery.

Always Welcome

The Bush twins had ups and downs during the 11 days they stayed in the special care nursery, particularly Brentley, who struggled with breathing and eating. The special care nursery team helped Brentley breathe using several treatments, including a breathing tube and ventilator, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, and supplemental oxygen through a nasal canula. On day 7, his lungs were able to tolerate regular air. 

Because he wasn’t able to eat for over a week, the team gave Brentley the nutrition and hydration he needed through an IV. Phototherapy was used to treat their jaundice. Warm, enclosed incubators called isolettes helped the little twins regulate their body temperatures.

Although there were scary moments, the special care nursing staff were there every step of the way. “Even though I have a healthcare background, I wasn’t thinking like a nurse while I was watching my babies struggle,” Melanie said. “The staff talked to both of us as parents. Everyone was very responsive, and no one rushed us or made us feel unwelcome.”

Encouraged by the special care nursing staff, Melanie and her husband Benny were active participants in caring for their babies, holding them, feeding them, changing their diapers and taking their temperatures.

Melanie also appreciated the neonatologists’ approach. “They were available to answer questions and did a lot of education” to help them care for their new son and daughter. “They were amazing.”

Brentley and Brooklyn are now a pair of active and happy 23-month-old toddlers. Although they don’t remember those first days, their grateful mom and dad will never forget.

Visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Nursery to learn more about our special care nursery.