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Spring 2013

Spring 2013 eNewsletter for Cleveland Clinic Canada


The Power of Empathy

Connecting with patients is more than a job for us – it is a passion.

At Cleveland Clinic Canada, we are committed to putting Patients First. We believe that to do this properly we need to take the time to understand the feelings and perspectives of our patients and their family members. In this thought-provoking video, we explore what empathy means: we see it as the ability to understand and share in the feelings of another. We also think empathy takes on a larger significance in healthcare, where there is the constant push and pull of health and sickness — and care is being given and received every day.

Watch the Cleveland Clinic empathy video. This is one more reason Cleveland Clinic is at the leading edge of healthcare.


Helping Canada’s Most Influential Women Get Healthier

This year, Cleveland Clinic Canada is making an effort to help the members of the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) improve their health. We are compiling blogs for these members in which our team of clinical experts will offer informed perspectives on important health issues for women, as well as provide practical health tips.

Our team of expert contributors is comprised of physicians, exercise physiologists, registered dietitians and psychologists. They will bring insight and clarity to a unique set of health issues specific to women executives, such as the leading health concerns for women, how to manage stress effectively inside and outside the boardroom and understanding the value of self-care.

It is often said that women put everyone else’s well-being ahead of their own, and often don’t recognize the importance of making their own health a priority until a problem arises. So in an effort to encourage and equip women to make their health a priority, our Cleveland Clinic Canada team is sharing some useful tips that women and their families can apply to their busy lives and enjoy better health.

As a corporate sponsor, Cleveland Clinic Canada is proud to partner with WXN on this initiative. WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring and professional and personal development intended to inform, inspire, connect and recognize a community of 18,000 smart women and their organizations as they pursue excellence.

Together, we hope to inspire women by equipping them with simple and effective information that will enable them to achieve better health outcomes for themselves, their families, and members of their organizations.

Check out our blog posts on Women's Executive Network.


Get LinkedIn with Cleveland Clinic

How did a cardiac surgeon become the president and CEO of the second-largest medical practice in the world? “The key is continual learning, meeting new people and hearing new ideas,” says Dr. Delos Cosgrove, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic.

After 35 years as a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Cosgrove moved from the operating room to the boardroom when he became Cleveland Clinic’s president and CEO in 2004. Dr. Cosgrove presides over a $6 billion academic and clinical healthcare system comprised of our main campus, eight regional hospitals and 18 family health and ambulatory surgery centres in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland Clinic Canada and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

An acknowledged trailblazer in improving clinical outcomes and a speaker sought-after world-wide, Dr. Cosgrove regularly attracts the attention of media outlets such as Forbes Magazine and CNN.

A demonstrated leadership in healthcare and a passion for world-class service have generated global recognition and an intense interest in our model of care. Recently, Dr. Cosgrove was identified as a thought leader and one of the most influential people who can be followed on LinkedIn. And he is in good company, with the likes of Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Currently, Dr. Cosgrove has more than 84,000 followers reading his blogs about the future of healthcare. Although Dr. Cosgrove’s articles address important issues in healthcare – ranging from managing mergers and developing innovations to changing the system – his messages resonate and connect people from many other fields and industries.

The thought leader feature is part of LinkedIn Today, the site’s daily news section. LinkedIn members just have to click a “follow” button to track and comment on what leaders are sharing each week.

Follow Dr. Cosgrove and join in the conversation at LinkedIn.


Minimize Pain, Maximize Performance

Are you looking for a solution that will help you get back in the game, or even just enjoy your everyday life? Cleveland Clinic Canada is now offering PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections to help maximize performance following injuries or ease the pain of chronic conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis.

What are PRP injections and how can they help?
Blood is usually a highly efficient delivery vehicle for the body. It is essential in meeting our oxygen and immunity needs while also distributing the nutrients that support growth and repair throughout our bodies. Injured and chronically damaged tissues can only heal with the aid of platelets and growth agents that are found in our blood. Unfortunately, scar tissue and chronic inflammation often impede delivery of these key healing elements to the area of need.

What if these platelets and growth agents could be harvested from our blood and transferred to the injured tissues that are affected by poor blood flow? PRP injections may, in fact, be one answer to this question. A growing body of medical research suggests that this fairly simple intervention can accelerate healing in the case of certain specific injuries. Professional athletes have led the charge to search for any strategy for healing that will help them return to action as quickly as possible after injuries – and many have reported excellent results following PRP injections.

What are PRP injections most commonly used for?
This procedure is most commonly applied to address strains and sprains, as well as some forms of tendonitis and early-stage arthritis.

What is the cost for this procedure?
Although OHIP doesn’t currently cover the cost of PRP injections, many patients welcome the opportunity to take advantage of this exciting new medical technique. The cost per injection is $650.

Who will provide the PRP injection?
Anthony Miniaci, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with our Sports Health team, assesses patients and will provide any appropriate PRP injections in accordance with the latest scientific evidence.

Who will provide the PRP injection?
Anthony Miniaci, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with our Sports Health team, assesses patients and will provide any appropriate PRP injections in accordance with the latest scientific evidence.

Recognized as an international leader in the fields of orthopaedics and sports medicine, Dr. Miniaci was recently ranked among the top 1% of orthopaedic surgeons in the United States by US News & World Report.

How do I schedule an appointment for a PRP injection?
To book an appointment with Dr. Miniaci, please call 416.507.6673. Please note: appointments with Dr. Miniaci require a referral by a physician.


What You Need to Know about Heart Attacks

February may be Heart Month, but at Cleveland Clinic Canada we believe knowing your body and being informed about the risks to your heart health is something that should be a priority all year long.

Heart attacks are often thought of as a sudden, pressure-like chest pain that takes a person completely by surprise. But heart attacks can have early warning signs, and often result from heart disease that builds up over time. A key to preventing a heart attack is knowing the risk factors that can lead to heart disease and knowing the early warning signs.

What Causes Heart Attacks?
The two main causes of heart attacks are:

  1. Coronary artery blockage
  2. Coronary artery disease

What Happens During a Heart Attack?
A network of blood vessels, known as coronary arteries, surrounds the heart muscle and supplies it with blood that is rich in oxygen. The heart muscle needs this oxygen to function.

A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery suddenly becomes blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle and damaging it. All or part of the heart muscle becomes cut off from its oxygen supply. Left without oxygen, the heart muscle is injured.

Tips to Prevent Heart Disease

  1. Do not smoke
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Maintain an ideal weight
  4. Know your risk factors for heart disease
  5. Address these risk factors
  6. Have regular evaluations
  7. Minimize stress

Test Your 10-Year Risk of Having a Heart Attack

This interactive tool uses information and findings from the Framingham Heart Study to assess your risk of suffering from a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or dying from coronary disease in the next 10 years.

Five Heart Symptoms You Should Not Ignore
How do you know whether the symptoms you are experiencing should be checked out by a doctor? Richard Krasuski, MD, staff cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, says there are five symptoms that you should not ignore when it comes to your heart health:

  1. Chest pain – Pain or pressure in the chest, especially when it comes on with exertion, could be a sign of coronary disease or even a heart attack.
  2. Heart palpitations – If your heart starts racing for no reason, it could be a sign of an arrhythmia, which can result in a stroke or even cardiac arrest.
  3. Getting winded easily – If you sudden ly get winded during normal activity, it could be a sign of heart failure or significant coronary disease.
  4. Leg pains – Pains that develop in your legs with walking or other exertion could be a sign of peripheral artery disease, which often occurs jointly with coronary artery disease.
  5. Syncope – Passing out or becoming lightheaded could be a sign of rhythm disturbances, low blood pressure, a narrowing heart valve or other cardiovascular problems.

Special Feature: Riding is supposed to be fun

By Julien Papon, Founder of Vitess Bicycle Corporation

February may be Heart Month, but at Cleveland Clinic Canada we believe knowing your body and being informed.

I am always amazed at how much pain and suffering people are willing to live with on the saddle. Numb hands or feet, aching back, tight hips, painful knees and the list goes on. Whether this upcoming bike ride is your first 10km, your fifth century or your third race of the season, remember - riding is supposed to be fun. Being in pain and experiencing discomfort on the bike is not fun. So why should all that be part of your ride?

Pain and discomfort do not have to be a part of your ride. They are most often outcomes of a poor bike set-up. Don’t get used to them: do something about it – first step: get your bike fitted.

Fitting is a concept that you’re likely familiar with. What you wear in the boardroom is most likely the outcome of some forms of fitting – whether that is a bespoke tailored suit or an off-the-rack piece that was later adjusted to fit your body. A nice suit or dress makes you feel good because it makes you look good. In the case of cycling, the “feel good” aspect of fitting is much more tangible - it’s about preventing injury, creating comfort and maximizing performance. So why not apply the same customization to your bike and reap the benefits this season?

And make no mistake: this is not necessarily about money spent. You already know that the most expensive Italian fabrics will not make the best looking suit... unless it is tailored properly. When it comes to bikes, it is the exact same thing – the most expensive bike money can buy will hurt as much as an entry level one, unless it is fitted properly. At Vitess, we know this full well and whether you’re saddling up on a demo bike, or a $25,000 piece of art on two wheels, the fitting process is identical.

A proper bicycle set-up is about creating a body position that fulfils your individual physiological needs. Standard body morphology data – height and leg length (usually called “inseam”) for instance, do not tell the whole story. Two twins with the exact same height and inseam would have very different physiological needs on the saddle should one be an avid yoga practitioner and the other fiercely opposed to any type of stretching and flexibility-enhancing activity. And although there are only 6 contact points between the bike and you (hands, feet, sit bones), there is an infinite number of ways to position one pair in relation to the others.

Let’s use an analogy to explore the process of achieving perfect fit on the bike. We are all used to the methodological approach to designing and building a house; to keep things simple, let’s call it a bungalow. Here is what the process would look like:

  1. Assess family needs and design/architect the ideal bungalow
  2. Lay down the foundation
  3. Frame the first floor
  4. Install the roof

There is no way around this process. If the needs are not properly assessed, disappointments and issues are surely part of the future. If the foundation is not solid, the house might collapse. If the first floor framing is not well made, the roof might fall apart. If the roof is not finished properly the house might leak.

This is no different for bicycle fitting – think of:

  1. The foundation as your feet
  2. The first floor as your sit bones
  3. The roof as your hands

If your feet are not positioned and supported properly, it does not matter how much power your legs might produce, you will run into issues transferring it to the rear wheel. If your sit bones are not positioned and supported properly (including the saddle height set-up for instance) your ability to generate power through a proper pattern of muscle activations will be sub-par, worse you might be at risk of injury. If your hands are not set properly, your overall upper body position and posture will lead to certain issues of pain, discomfort and possibly injury. And of course trying to create a proper upper-body position on the bike will achieve nothing unless your lower-body position is set properly – a beautiful roof set on a shaky first floor won’t work. And ultimately, if the whole thing (as good looking as it might be) is sitting on a poorly laid-down foundation, it might very well collapse. You get my point.

Where this analogy falls short is when it comes to the breakdown of time spent for each of the activities. While the vast majority of the time is spent on construction for the house, most of the time spent for a proper bicycle fitting is related to assessing needs and gathering off-bike physiological data. After all, building a house from scratch is a time-consuming process and involves many trades; whereas adjusting seat-post, saddle, stem and handlebar is pretty straight forward. So in the end, the key to success is to gather enough relevant information to decide on an ideal body position – setting up the bike to achieve it, is not difficult.

To give you a sense: when a rider spends 3 hours with us going through a Fit & Learn session (with his/her own bicycle, or a Vitess), about 70% of that time is spent off the saddle – and a good chunk of the data gathering is not even directly tied to the cycling practice. It’s about understanding body posture, morphology, symmetry, flexibility, riding style and aspirations as well as a number of other physiological facets. When combined these elements are instrumental in achieving perfect fit.

Don’t wear an ill-fitted suit. Don’t swing a poorly-balanced golf club. Don’t spend hours in ski boots that hurt. Don’t try to achieve your best lap time at your next Track Day with steering wheel and pedals out of proper reach. Don’t ride a bike that is not fitted properly.

As cycling season kicks off this Spring, make the effort to become one with your bike. You cannot enjoy cycling to the fullest without a bike that is fitted properly. It’s that simple.

To register for one of our mini-clinics on fitting, book a Fit & Learn session with your existing bike or book your initial consultation to start crafting your very own Vitess, call us at 416.503.8987 or email us at concierge@vitess.com

Learn more about Vitess at www.vitess.com


Training for a Marathon?

Fact: Strength training helps decrease your risk of injury and make your running more effective. Learn how to train for a stronger marathon performance.


Should you Eat Before you Exercise?

Fasting and fitness, Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Jennifer Sygo says eating before exercising depends on your workout goals.


How to Manage Diabetes Through your Diet

Managing diabetes with diet calls for protein-based, low-carb approach, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The goal with a diabetes-specific diet is to improve the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar which in turn can reduce any damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves that comes with the disease.