Care Coordination Gives from the Heart

thumbnailLife can change in an instant. April Cullen knows that all too well.

It started with the loss of her eyesight. “I was driving down the road and I couldn’t see the signs and I couldn’t see the cars in front of me.” April, whose husband Tim works at Warrior Coal, learned she had a condition called retinopathy, which is irreversible.

Not long after, while waiting on her front porch for her sister to pick her up for work, April suddenly felt an intense pain. She thought she had been accidentally shot by a hunter, but realized it was something just as deadly: heart attack. “All of a sudden, my shoulder felt like somebody was inside just twisting my shoulder, and it ran down my right arm,” April recalled. Her sister rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors put stents in her heart. (more…)

Don’t Ignore High Blood Sugar!

SUm2013_Don't1Blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar, is vital to your health! It’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and other tissues, and it’s also the main source of fuel for your brain.

But beware too much of a good thing! Too much glucose means you have diabetes, which can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. (more…)

Back Pain Basics with Dr. Wells

Sum2013_Back1With 34 million Americans suffering from low back pain, it should come as no surprise that it ranks second only to the common cold in reasons for visiting the doctor. In fact, up to 85 percent of all people will experience back pain at some point in their life.

Back pain is a pretty common problem among Alliance Coal employees and their family members. According to Dr. Raymond Wells, the good news is that most cases of low back pain tend to get better on their own within two weeks to three months. “I understand that it can be terribly uncomfortable and inconvenient, but patience and a little common sense are all that’s typically needed for a full recovery,” advises Dr. Wells.

Initial treatment should include taking a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) like aspirin or ibuprofen. (more…)

Down with High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is bad news. It’s called the silent killer because it can kill without warning. Heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure are all linked to high blood pressure.artery

Here at the Health Centers, we regularly check blood pressure so we can help miners do something before it’s too late.

For some people, changing diet, increasing activity, and shedding extra weight are all it takes. But for others, medication is needed. (more…)

Ask a Health Coach

Q: Why should I risk ruining my sex life just to keep my blood pressure under control?

RandaBrumfield_2035 clipYou don’t have to choose. We can find a solution that works for you.

We just need to be able to talk about it. It’s a topic we’re comfortable with, because we’re nurses. But I know sometimes it’s hard for a guy to talk about. Just call it “ED” That’s shorthand for Erectile Dysfunction.

And here’s the issue: High blood pressure causes ED in almost 50% of men. So, if you’re concerned about ED, you need to do something about high blood pressure.


Making a Difference: Gary Nally

Picture 2Gary Nally has seen a lot of innovation in his 26 years with Gibson County Coal. “There’s been a tremendous amount of change in the way we mine coal and in our technology. We’re just so much more advanced than we were 25 or 30 years ago.”

He also values the improvements in the way health care is provided. “We never used to have nurse stations or Health Centers, and so we’ve come a long way in that way, too. I know it’s helped me tremendously.”

Gary’s story begins with a sore throat. “So I came to the nurse and they prescribed an antibiotic. But my throat still hurt. So I went to my family doctor and he gave me some other things. Still hurt,” he recalls.