Winter 2012

‘Tis the season to look back and reflect upon another year as it comes to a close. And what a busy and wonderful year this has been! We would like to thank you all for your continued support and for entrusting us with your health in 2012. Everyone in our Cleveland Clinic family wishes you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2013!

Top Clinic News for 2012

We are happy to let you know that 2012 has been our best year yet! This year, we have had the opportunity to help more patients than ever before improve their health. And we have enjoyed the highest level of support to date, with more than 90% of our patients recommending our clinic.

As an organization committed to quality healthcare, we constantly gather feedback from our patients so that we can identify ways to improve the services we provide – and the ways we provide them. Over the course of this year, we made the following valuable and exciting enhancements to our clinic in response to our patients’ feedback.

More Specialists Available to Care for You.

We now have 24 specialists on-site at our clinic in the following specialties: Preventative Health-Medical, Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Colorectal Surgery, Orthopaedics, Urology, Neurology, Respirology, Internal Medicine, Radiology, Anesthesiology, Sports Medicine and Hematology (starting in 2013). This is exciting news, because now more than 80% of patient referral appointments at our clinic be can accommodated on-site.

Same-Day Lab Results for our Patients.

Earlier this year, we joined forces with Mount Sinai Hospital, a leading academic health sciences centre in Toronto, which is now providing all of the medical lab services for Cleveland Clinic Canada. This is a great development because it allows our patients to see their lab test results on the day of the test. We have received very positive feedback from our Executive Health patients, who appreciate the quick turnaround time and the convenience of meeting with their Executive Health physicians at the end of the day to summarize their assessments, review lab results and determine if any specialist referrals are required.

Warm Weather and Peace of Mind.

Our patients couldn’t be happier with the addition of this new program! Cleveland Clinic Canada patients can now travel to Florida with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to the same quality healthcare while they are away from home. Our global health system has two locations in Florida – Weston and Palm Beach. To learn more, please visit Cleveland Clinic Florida. If you are in Florida and require medical care, you can simply call this concierge line to make an appointment: 954.659.6175.

Free High-Quality Health Information for You and Your Family.

As an academic medical centre, it is our responsibility to stay on top of health news and bring you the best and most up-to-date health-related information available. Our patients now have access to two excellent new sections on our website: Health Essentials and The Prevention Library. Both feature useful and well-informed articles written by Cleveland Clinic experts. These are valuable resources, and we’re sure you will want to share them with everyone you know.

There is No Debate.

During one of the recent presidential debates in the United States, both President Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney cited Cleveland Clinic as an example of excellence. President Obama called Cleveland Clinic “one of the best healthcare systems in the world.” While former governor Romney said that Cleveland Clinic is “one of the American medical centres that is doing an excellent job” and “superbly well” controlling expenses.

Best Seats in the House.

Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher has once again been asked to be part of the Canadian medical team assisting the Buffalo Bills when they are in Toronto playing the Seattle Seahawks on December 16, 2012.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Shares His Incredible Vision For The Future Of Healthcare

Give the Gift of Health

This year, give the most valuable gift of all – the gift of health. Our 12-month Executive Health program is a great way to help someone you love improve all aspects of their health. The program starts with a five-hour comprehensive medical and wellness assessment that includes an hour with a staff physician and any necessary testing, as well as consultations with a Registered Dietitian, an exercise physiologist and a psychotherapist. To learn more, or to purchase a gift certificate, please contact Jessica at 416.507.6662.

Holiday Hours

Please note the holiday hours for our clinic. If we aren’t open and you need immediate medical care, please visit your local hospital emergency room.

Monday, December 24
Clinic closes at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, December 25
Clinic closed

Wednesday, December 26
Clinic closed

Thursday, December 27
Clinic open

Friday, December 28
Clinic open

Monday, December 31
Clinic closes at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, January 1
Clinic closed

Will an Injury Keep You off the Slopes this Winter?

Let our Sports Health team help you get back to the winter sports you enjoy most. An appointment with a Sports Medicine physician is covered by OHIP and doesn’t require a referral. Call 416.507.6673 today to book an appointment with Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher or one of our other Sports Health professionals.

A Special Message from the Heart and Stroke Foundation

Cleveland Clinic Canada is happy to support the wonderful work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Have you considered setting a fitness goal for yourself in 2013 and at the same time doing something big for all Canadians living with heart disease and stroke? You can do just that by participating with your friends and colleagues as a corporate team in this year’s Becel Heart and Stroke Ride for Heart. I would like to share with you a personal story that inspired one of our VIP riders Tom Heintzman – co-founder, CEO and a board member of Bullfrog Power. For Tom, the power of the ride is personal.

“I lost my amazing grandfather to heart disease 13 years ago. He had a real impact on me; mentioning him immediately takes me back to his bedside. After all these years, I still have a vivid memory of him in the hospital.

I’m a rider and a fundraiser, but I also donate to other riders and to my own fundraising campaign. My perspective is that if I’m going to ask other people for money, then I should be prepared to make a donation myself. I also know the calibre of the leadership at the Heart and Stroke Foundation – it’s an organization I want to support.

The power of the Ride for Heart is that there is strength in numbers – thousands of people are coming together to advance the same goal. There’s momentum and a sense of progress. It’s a community in action, where involvement becomes a movement.

Beyond my connection to this cause, I feel strongly that supporting other people is the right thing to do. It’s too easy to get busy, to stay home, to not get involved. If we don’t make the effort, as our society gets larger, we become more and more anonymous and the bonds of society weaken. Engaging in the community builds the fibres that hold us all together.

I have great hopes inspired by the progress being made in heart disease and stroke research. We’re seeing not only advances in diagnosis and treatment, but also more tangible outcomes, like AEDs (“Automated External Defibrillators”) in public spaces. Our fundraising efforts can help everyone in our community.

I know that fundraising is making a difference. As I cycle the DVP with my fellow riders, it’s undeniable that collectively we’re having an impact. We’re proving that individuals can effect massive change when we work together for a common goal.”

If you would like to fundraise as an individual, please visit, or to start a corporate team and enjoy the ultimate team-building experience, please e-mail: or call 416.489.7111, ext 305.

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Fit for the Holidays: Easy Ways to Exercise

By Cleveland Clinic Wellness Team

The holidays leave us over-scheduled and under-rested, jolting us out of our normal eating and exercise routines just when we need them the most. “Don’t chuck all efforts until after January 1,” says trainer Cathy Moxley, MA, author of The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Fitness Guide. Instead, just modify what you normally do, creating a variation of it that works. There are opportunities to sneak in exercise around every corner. And here’s a little gift for you: Exercise is cumulative, so three 10-minute bouts are as good as 30 minutes at one time!

The Circuit Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Short on time? No room in your suitcase for fitness equipment? No problem! You can create a quick, effective five-move circuit workout wherever you are, Moxley says. Tailor the circuit to your fitness level: Beginners, go through once, doing each move for 30 seconds; intermediate and advanced can do each move for 60 seconds and perform the circuit multiple times. What makes a circuit workout effective is that you stay active the entire time, and you switch muscle groups back and forth — so you get a total-body workout.

Move #1: Tabletop Push-Up
Stand about four feet away from either a countertop, bar top or dining table. Place your hands flat on the surface and lean forward so your shoulders are aligned over your wrists and your body is in a straight line (you don’t want your rear end sticking up or your belly arched and sagging). Keeping your body in this straight line (and your abs pulled in), bend then straighten your elbows.

Move #2: Staircase Step-Up
Do continuous step-ups on the first step of a staircase with an up-up, down-down rhythm; move at a moderate to fast pace (enough to get your heart rate up). Ideally, you’ll have a banister or wall for support; if not, move slowly until you get the rhythm.

Move #3: Chair Dip
Sit on the edge of a kitchen chair (or on the side of a firm bed) with your hands on either side of you, palms flat and fingertips facing forward. Lift your weight onto your hands as you take a few steps out, keeping your knees bent and your rear end a few inches off the floor. Using the strength of your arms (you’ll feel it in your triceps), lift yourself up and down (like backward push-ups).

Move #4: Walking Lunge
Stand with feet together. Step right foot in front (about two to three feet) into a lunge position — your right knee should be aligned over your right ankle and your left knee should be bent behind you, just a few inches away from the floor. From this position, push off your back (left) leg and bring it to meet your front leg as you straighten both. Repeat, this time starting with the left foot. As you “walk” with each lunge, you’ll travel forward. If you don’t have space to travel forward, just alternate your right and left leg, and instead of pushing off to move forward, push to come back to stand in your original spot.

Move #5: Plank Hold
Lie facedown on the floor with your toes turned up and your elbows bent under your shoulders, hands either flat to the floor or curled into fists. Press your forearms and toes into the floor as you lift into a plank (push-up) position on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to feet — don’t let your rear end lift up or your belly sag — and hold (making sure to breathe).

Smart Ways to Sneak in Your Exercise

You may not have 30 minutes to set aside for working out, but you have lots of little opportunities throughout the day to work in some fitness. Turn leisure activities or household chores into exercise, says Heather Nettle, MA, coordinator of exercise physiology services for the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Center. “Whatever you are doing, do it purposefully,” Nettle says. Here are a few ways to blend exercise with holiday chores:

  • Do a 30-second plank hold after every third present you wrap.
  • Do kitchen counter push-ups while waiting for water to boil or cookies to cool.
  • Retrieving holiday decorations from the basement? Run up and down the stairs an extra time in between each trip.
  • While shopping, take indirect routes through the mall; if you keep it at a power walk pace, it shouldn’t take you any longer.
  • When dusting top shelves or mantels, do a set of calf raises.
  • To help get tension out of your neck and shoulders while working on holiday projects (like writing greeting cards), yoga teacher Kate Hanley, author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide: 77 Simple Strategies for Serenity, recommends the following: Stand up with feet hip distance apart and lift your arms out and up over your head, reaching your fingers and the top of your head as high as you can as you let your shoulder blades fall down your back (not up near your ears, which only intensifies tension in the neck and shoulders). “Stay for five breaths, concentrating on making your torso as tall possible,” she says. This pose, which Hanley calls Stand Up, Arms Up, creates more space for your lungs to inflate fully. It deepens your breathing (which promotes relaxation), lets you take in more oxygen (which is energizing) and subtly strengthens the muscles of your core.
Start Healthy Holiday Traditions

Holidays are all about tradition, so why not begin a few healthy holiday traditions, Nettle suggests. Getting kids involved is always a great idea — not only does it set a good example for them, but also kids naturally have more energy, so spending time with them (and letting them set the pace) can really energize us.

Here are five traditions to start at your house this holiday season.

1. Start a Snow Olympics

Create your own Winter Olympic Games. After all, if the white stuff is piling up outside, you might as well make the best of it! Building a snowman or a snow fort, shoveling snow, having a snowball fight or playing tag in the snow are all good calorie burners.

2. Take an After-Dinner (or Morning) Walk

Instead of retiring to the living room after dinner, get everyone together for a group walk to look at holiday lights. Too cold and dark after dinner? Then make it a morning tradition (it’s an especially perfect day-after-Thanksgiving tradition). A long family walk before breakfast can be a great way to start the day and bring everyone together.

3. Partake in a Good Old-Fashioned Team Challenge

With new games like Wii Fit, it’s easier than ever to make exercise fun! But even if you don’t have a fancy gaming system, you can create a lower-tech version, Nettle says. Family dance time, a game of follow the leader or a game of Twister (yes, it’s still around) can all be giggle-inducing workouts.

4. Go on an Outing

Kids never get sick of classics like ice-skating, which is a pretty darn good workout for adults too, Nettle says. Ice skates are inexpensive to rent, and even if it’s seriously frosty outside, there are plenty of indoor rinks. Sledding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are all good cardio workouts, with plenty of fun.

5. Take a Class

The holidays are a nice time to pamper ourselves, but you can expand your definition of pampering to include healing physical activity, like yoga or Pilates. Gather your female relatives (mom, mother-in-law, sisters) and instead of heading to the spa, head to the gym and take a yoga class together.

Don’t Let the Holidays Hurt Your Health

By Cleveland Clinic Wellness Team

The last two months of the year can be a stressful time, and it’s easy to turn to food to relieve anxiety. But food isn’t the answer, says Lillian Craggs-Dino, MS, RD, LD/N, the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute Support Group Coordinator at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

“Food is necessary to keep us healthy,” she says. “The best philosophy is to enjoy your foods, but don’t connect eating to emotional well-being. If you feel stressed, try not to use food as the solution.”

Ways to avoid stress eating

To help rein in holiday overeating, Ms. Craggs-Dino offers these five tips:

  1. Get moving. “To release some of that stress, you’ll feel better if you get physical instead of eating,” says Ms. Craggs-Dino, who suggests going for a long walk or bike ride or challenging a friend to a game of basketball. Visiting a spa for a massage or manicure/pedicure also may help reduce stress. At home, try yoga, meditation and deep breathing to relax.
  2. Refocus your thoughts. If you’d rather not work up a sweat, she recommends refocusing your thoughts by reading, doing a word puzzle or watching a movie. Also consider talking with a close friend or family member because emotional support helps reduce stress.
  3. Nourish your body to help curb cravings. Don’t skip meals, warns Ms. Craggs-Dino. “Have breakfast, lunch and dinner and healthful snacks in-between,” she says. “High-fiber alternatives such as whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies can keep cravings at bay. Eat sweet treats in moderation and never when you’re hungry — that just leads to overeating.”
  4. Enjoy comfort foods in moderation. When we feel stressed, it’s easy to turn to food. “Comfort” foods often link us to happy memories while others, like dark chocolate, may affect neurotransmitters and hormones, giving us a temporary sense of euphoria. Ms. Craggs-Dino cautions that these feelings are short-lived and that we end up feeling more stressed afterward, especially if emotional eating affects our health or weight.
    “I believe that almost all foods can play a healthy role in our diets in moderation — if we keep the emotional attachment away from the food,” she says. “You can even make a comfort food like mac and cheese healthier by using lower fat ingredients and watching portion size.”
  5. It’s never too late to get back on track. If you do indulge in some stress eating, don’t panic, says Ms. Craggs-Dino. The best thing to do is to get back on schedule. Go to bed at the usual time, get up at the usual time, eat breakfast, go exercise and don’t overindulge the rest of the week. Make a healthier lifestyle a goal, she suggests, and begin by keeping track of your food intake and exercise.

Battle over Bread: Are Wheat and Other Grains Really Anathema to Healthy Eating?

By Jennifer Sygo, RD

Healthy Winter Recipes

By Cleveland Clinic Wellness Team