Author Archive

Seminar on hand and wrist pain

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

The hand, one of the most flexible parts of the human skeleton, is an intricate instrument that is both tough and delicate. Our hands help us to experience and control the world around us and hence, enable us to work and care for others and ourselves. However, when our hands, wrists or upper extremities do not function properly, daily activities such as driving a car, typing or cooking can be difficult and painful. It is estimated that over 30-40 million adults in the United States have some pain in the upper extremities.

When we talk about hand and wrist pain, most of the time, patients are able to get temporary relief from symptoms by altering activities, using prescribed medications, splinting and therapy. However, if conservative techniques are not successful in relieving a patient’s problem, surgery may be required. An experienced hand surgeon can discuss the best options with you.

If you or a loved one is experiencing pain in your upper extremities, then this is one seminar you don’t want to miss. Ryan Miller, DO will talk in general about pain in the upper extremities, nerve compression, osteoarthrosis, thumb pain, and different conditions or issues that cause pain. He too will touch on ways to help manage conditions and share advancement in treatment options.

The Seminar will be held on Thurs, October 18, 2018 in the Portneuf Medical Center Pebble Creek Conference Room. The seminar is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6pm; presentation will begin at 6:30p and light refreshments will be served. Registration is preferred; please call 208-239-2033 to reserve a seat or register for this community seminar at

Medically Reviewed by: Ryan Miller, DO

Couple Weds at Portneuf Medical Center

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Pocatello, ID – Looking to remove some stress from their already stressful lives, a Portneuf Medical Center patient and his fiancée decided to elope and tie the knot in the hospital’s chapel Sunday. 

Bradly Orr is currently being treated for cellulitis in his arm. Orr and his fiancée, Amber Walters, were ready to take their vows last Wednesday but postponed their nuptials due to circumstances beyond their control. On the day they were to wed, Walters brought her soon to be husband into the hospital because of the infection. Shortly after arriving at Portneuf, the couple talked about getting married in their hospital room.

When the couple suggested it a member of the nursing staff, the Portneuf team kicked into gear with the goal of making their day extra special. Destini Alvarado, CNA, used her lunch break to run home and grab wedding dress and makeup. Jess Kaminski, RN and Kimbriel Alvardo, RN served as the couple’s witnesses. Don Atwood, RN secured flowers that were donated by the Portneuf Auxiliary to make a bouquet and boutonniere. Finally, Dan Ordyna, CEO, came to the hospital in his best suit to perform the wedding in the hospital’s chapel.

“The staff made a horrible time in our life into a precious, memorable moment that I will always remember,” said Amber Walters.

After first meeting in Shelley, ID, Orr and Walters have been friends for 22 years. They both now live in Pocatello and are looking forward to starting their lives together.


Note: Portneuf Medical Center is a regional referral hospital for southern and eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. From our Cancer Center and Level II NICU to our cardiology care and Level II Trauma Center, our dedicated doctors, nurses and staff stand ready to help families in the region.

3D Mammography

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

3D mammograms improve cancer detection and reduce recall rates for women of all ages and breast types, including the nearly 50 percent of women of breast cancer screening age who have dense breast tissue.

When making the decision about breast health, it is good to know that technology is evolving. 3D mammograms, also known as tomosynthesis, are available at Portneuf Medical Imaging.

“3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging technology that takes multiple thin images of breast tissue to allow us to see a clearer picture of the breast tissue and any breast masses,” said Dr. Steve Larsen, radiologist. “These multiple thin images are an advancement in our ability to detect breast cancer.”

At Portneuf, we are happy to provide and promote the benefits of 3D mammography; we will work with you and your care team to create a screening plan that is best for you. This new technology can help us identify a lump and catch breast cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. Because the 3D technology is more accurate, it detects 41 percent more invasive cancers while reducing callbacks by up to 40 percent.

For women, they will notice little differences between traditional 2D mammograms and the newer 3D screenings. It takes a few seconds longer than a previous digital mammogram to capture the images. Also, it takes a little longer for the radiologist to read the images.

Portneuf Medical Center is fortunate to have the most highly advanced mammographic equipment. Our highly trained and professional radiologists are skilled diagnosticians and when findings indicate further evaluation due to abnormal clinical findings, we are committed to completing the additional studies in a timely manner and communicating the results to the patient as quickly as possible. Additionally, we follow the American College of Radiology/Society of Breast Imaging guidelines which recommend annual mammogram screenings starting at age 40.

While we still recommend routine screenings beginning at age 40, women at high risk due to family history or genetics are urged to start routine screenings before 40. If there is a personal history of breast cancer or if there are additional questions about screening mammograms, talk to your doctor and learn what is right for you based on individual risks and concerns. Please note, at this time, 3D Mammograms may not be covered by all insurance providers and may not be available at all Healthcare sites, please check your benefits and the location when scheduling.

Talk to your primary care provider and schedule your mammogram today by calling 208-239-1500.

Reviewed by: Steve Larsen, MD and Scott Parker, MD

Thousands Attended Brake for Breakfast

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, Portneuf Cancer Center treated about 100 women with breast cancer in 2017. To kick off the month of October, Portneuf Medical Center proudly sponsored the 19th annual Brake for Breakfast.

While locally over 2,800 people attended the event, it is worthy to note, Brake for Breakfast events are held throughout southern Idaho and western Wyoming. Combined, participating co-op hospitals successfully reached over 12,000 people.

“We are sharing useful and important information in a high energy, fun community event,” said Jill Adams, Event Coordinator. “We are looking forward to celebrating our 20th year in 2019.”

While the event is fun and free, the event organizers want to stress that the goal is to remind women to perform monthly self-exams, to schedule routine clinical exams and to get a yearly mammogram after you pass into the fabulous forties or earlier if you are in a high-risk category.

Mammograms are a very effective, highly accurate diagnostic tool for locating and diagnosing abnormal breast tissue. Timely detection can aid in diagnosis and treatment. Statistically, early detection decreases breast cancer mortality in women by 30 percent. Finding cancer early increases a woman’s chance of survival. Peace of mind and early detection are just a phone call away. The best prevention is early detection! Call and schedule your mammogram today 208-239-1500.

Mark your calendar now for the 20th Annual Brake for Breakfast, October 2, 2019


When it becomes CHILI out, don’t STEW about it because fall is SOUPER

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Fall is here and it’s the perfect time of year for soups, stews, and chili. These dishes can also be an excellent way to include more vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. Soups, stews, and chili are easy to prepare, and can be frozen and consumed later when batch cooking. Making our own soups, stews, and chili also gives us the opportunity to add a variety of herbs and spices to lower the amount of sodium for heart-health. When preparing these at home choose a low-sodium broth and add flavor with a variety of herbs and spices instead of salt, and don’t forget those vegetables! Here are a couple recipes to savor this fall:

Tuscan Vegetable Soup from Food Network

Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew from Eating Well

Meal Boxes: The Pros and Cons

Friday, September 21st, 2018


New companies are popping up every day for one of the newest trends, boxed meals!  Several companies now allow you to order a box full of pre-measured ingredients for you to cook your own meal and it is delivered right to your door.  These services allow you to sign up for a plan and choose the frequency and meals you want based on your preferences and number of family members. The only things you need are oil, salt, pepper and kitchen tools and most meals only take about 30 minutes to prepare.  This may sound like a dream come true for your busy schedule, but there are several pros and cons to these types of services.


Eliminates shopping because the boxes include everything you need

Try new cuisines by choosing from a variety of menus

Spend more time with family and less time shopping and planning

Great for special diets with hard to find ingredients like vegan or allergies like gluten

Healthy options available that include proteins and veggies

Hold or pause your food plan at any time


Cost of each meal is more than most people spend shopping and cooking themselves

High salt content in some of the menu options

Quantity of meals/recipes are exact so you will not have any leftovers

A lot of packaging waste because each ingredient is separately packaged

Not a cooking class although each menu includes cooking instructions, individuals will need to know how to navigate the kitchen and use cooking tools

If you are looking into trying one of the many boxed meal options available, weigh these pros and cons before you sign up!

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Friday, September 14th, 2018

According to a report produced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Americans of all ages do not       consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables each day. The report states that only 1 out of 10 American adults consume the recommended amount of vegetables each day, while only 2% of high school students meet the guidelines.1 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults consume 1.5-2 cups of fruits each day and 2-3 cups of vegetables.2 Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential to growth and development in children, and with increased consumption, have been shown to protect us from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even some cancers.1 Listed below are some simple tips to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to live a healthier lifestyle.

Start Early:

  • Adding peppers, onions, mushrooms, or spinach to your eggs in the morning is a good way to add flavor to your morning routine and extra vitamins and minerals.
  • Combining berries with your plain yogurt will give you an extra serving of fruit along with the benefit of antioxidants.
  • Try sweetening you oatmeal or cereal with a banana, berries, or apples instead of adding syrup or sugar.

Consume Often and in a Variety:

  • Try to have at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at each meal. Have a side salad with lunch instead of French fries, or a piece of fruit at breakfast instead of toast.
  • When making sandwiches for lunch, stuff in some extra spinach and tomatoes or cucumbers and sprouts.
  • Instead of eating the same fruits and vegetables each day, become adventurous and try one new fruit or vegetable a week. To make it a family event, find your local Farmer’s Market and allow one person a week to pick out a new item for the family to try. While you are there, ask the vendors how they like to cook and eat different produce to find new ways to enjoy your fruits and vegetables.

Replace Snacks:

  • When feeling hungry between meals reach for a fruit or vegetable and pair it with a protein source for a healthy and filling snack. Instead of eating a candy bar during the afternoon, go for some grapes with cheese or celery sticks with peanut butter.
  • Keep fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter so you can see what you have available.
  • Pack fresh carrot sticks or crunchy bell peppers for a quick snack at work.
  • Dried fruits are an excellent option for those busy days, just be mindful of the portion size and look at the nutrition facts label.

Get Creative:

  • Replace the oil in baked goods with applesauce or pureed bananas to reduce fat intake.
  • Add shredded zucchini or pureed pumpkin to increase moisture content and add nutrients.
  • Add frozen vegetables to soups or casseroles for a quick and easy way to increase vegetable consumption.
  • Making homemade pizza is a great opportunity to add extra veggies, such as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms or spinach
  • For picky eaters, puree red peppers, carrots, or winter squashes and add them to sauces for a bigger flavor.


Portneuf Cancer Center Receives Recognition for High-Quality Cancer Care

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Portneuf Cancer Center has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The QOPI® Certification Program certifies oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for cancer care. This certification reaffirms our commitment to providing patients with high-quality cancer care.

“We’re extremely proud to receive this certification from the QOPI® Certification Program, which underscores our commitment to excellence for our patients,” said Dan Ordyna, CEO, Portneuf Medical Center. 

In applying for certification, the Portneuf Cancer Center participated in a voluntary comprehensive site assessment against clearly specified standards that are consistent with national guidelines and was successful in meeting the standards and objectives of the QOPI® Certification Program.

“ASCO’s QOPI® Certification demonstrates an oncology practice’s dedication to providing high-quality care to patients with cancer,” said ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO. “The certification process is rigorous and by successfully completing it, providers put into practice their commitment to quality and safety excellence and continuous optimization of their processes.”

As mentioned, this certification is a voluntary self-assessment and improvement program to help hematology-oncology and medical oncology practices assess the quality of the care they provide to patients.

QOPI® and the QOPI® Certification Program are projects dedicated to innovative quality improvement programs. For more information, please visit:

To learn more about Portneuf Cancer Center, visit Portneuf. Org. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, we invite you to visit our facility and meet our dedicated team of professionals. We can be reached at 208-239-1720.

Red Hot Mamas & Osteoarthritis

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage in the joint wear down over time, is the most common joint disorder in the US. It affects around 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women aged 60 years or better. With this disease, there can be a host of contributing factors including increased age, joint injury, hereditary causes, being overweight, and/or repetitive exercise.

While symptoms may vary depending on the joint affected, in general, the most common symptoms are stiffness and pain, particularly in the morning; pain or swelling during or after movement, limited range of movement, tenderness or a clicking or cracking sound when bending a joint.

A combination of treatments can be tailored for each person. Seeking treatment is important not only for relief of pain but for the very fact that postmenopausal women with knee arthritis are at greater risk for falls. According to, “people with osteoarthritis (OA) experience as much as 30 percent more falls and have a 20 percent greater risk of fracture than those without OA.”

If you or a loved one would like more information about osteoarthritis, join us for a special seminar in the Red Hot Mamas® lecture series titled “Women and Osteoarthritis: Restoring the Joy of Movement.”

The Red Hot Mamas® organization is a leading provider of information and support programs to women to help optimize their health at menopause and beyond.

This seminar will be held in the Pebble Creek Conference Room at the Portneuf Medical Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Doors open at 6:00 pm; the presentation begins at 6:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. To reserve a seat, visit or call 208-239-2033. To learn more about Portneuf’s upcoming seminars, including Red Hot Mamas®, be sure to like Portneuf Medical Center on Facebook.

Medically reviewed by: Tony Joseph, MD

Why Choose Micro-invasive Carpal Tunnel Surgery Instead of Traditional

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

For over 20 years, Julie Malloy dealt with carpal tunnel pain so severe that it would keep her awake 2-3 hours each night. She was no longer able to ride her bike for lengthy periods of time or enjoy the simple tasks of gardening. Daily living was a struggle and her quality and enjoyment of life was deeply impacted because the pain was so intense.

Malloy, like many others who suffer from chronic carpal tunnel disease, hesitated to schedule surgery because she feared the invasiveness of the procedure and was worried about the recovery time. As she was dealing with her own pain, one of her friends underwent micro-invasive carpal tunnel surgery. Malloy watched her friend recover in just over a week. The recovery time lead Malloy to seek more information about the procedure.

Her friend had driven from Idaho Falls to have the surgery in Pocatello, and Malloy opted to do the same after scheduling a consult with Anthony Joseph, MD. Dr. Joseph performs micro-invasive CTR (carpal tunnel release) surgery at Portneuf Medical Center.

A limited number of doctors and hospital in our region offer micro-invasive CTR surgery. Portneuf is proud to have Dr. Anthony Joseph offering this service in Pocatello.  Rather than traditional CTR surgery, the micro-invasive approach uses ultrasound technology, which offers a much higher level of safety and comfort, provides pain relief which is five times faster, helps patients return to work five times faster, and yields much higher patient satisfaction results.

Dr. Anthony Joseph has already performed 45 micro-invasive CTR surgeries this summer.  His patient satisfaction for all 45 surgeries is 4.66 out of 5.  Additionally, he said that most patients’ pain scores have dropped 40% during the first 3 months.

“The staff at Portneuf Medical Center was very helpful, and Dr. Joseph is so patient and thorough,” said Malloy. “I’m grateful he helped me.  Now I can sleep at night, and even enjoy mountain biking again.”