Author Archive

New Hope to Patients with Metastatic Liver Tumors

Monday, January 15th, 2018

New Hope to Patients with Metastatic Liver Tumors

bottle of y90 SIR-Spheres® microspheresUp to 70 percent of the some 140,000 Americans diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year will see their cancer spread to the liver, and most liver tumors cannot be surgically removed. Metastatic liver cancer is often fatal, with up to 90 percent of patients dying from liver failure. Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) has emerged as a treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver.

SIR-Spheres® microspheres or SIRT therapy has proved to be an excellent option for multiple types of cancer patients whose disease has spread to the liver and who are not candidates for surgery. SIR-Spheres microspheres are microscopic radioactive spheres that can be delivered by the millions directly to the tumor site. The microspheres contain the radioactive isotope yttrium-90 (Y-90), which delivers beta radiation to the tumor. The microspheres selectively target liver tumors with a dose of internal radiation up to 40 times higher than conventional radiotherapy while sparing healthy tissue.

“This is a powerful weapon against a very common place for cancer to spread,” says Jared Bailey, MD “In the past, in patients who can’t get surgery, we were able to offer patients few, if any, targeted treatment options. In the correct patient, SIR-Spheres microspheres have been proven to extend patient survival and, just as importantly, the treatment allows patients to maintain a good quality of life.”

Ongoing research continues to showcase the effectiveness of SIR-Spheres microspheres in treating patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, neuroendrocrine cancer, and hepatocellular cancer. Clinical studies have confirmed that certain patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with SIR-Spheres microspheres have response rates higher than with other forms of treatment, resulting in increased life expectancy, greater periods without tumor activity and improved quality of life. SIRT has been found to shrink liver tumors more than chemotherapy alone.

Under the direction of Dr. Jared Bailey, we began offering SIRT using SIR-Spheres® microspheres at Portneuf Medical Center in late 2017.The treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure by specially trained Interventional Radiologists and requires the placement of a catheter into the hepatic artery. Using the liver’s unique blood supply, millions of radioactive microspheres are selectively implanted into the tumor where they become trapped, killing tumor cells and sparing the surrounding healthy liver tissue.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colorectal, neuroendocrine, or hepatocelluar cancer, you may want to speak to your provider about this treatment option.

Medically reviewed by: Jared Bailey, MD

Meal Prepping 101

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Meal Prepping 101

by Krista Diekemper, RD, LD               

Many New Year’s Resolutions include losing weight as well as becoming healthier. Of course, there are a number of people who have no idea how to go about accomplishing this goal. For some individuals who are trying to eat healthier to lose weight, it is not the food they mind, but rather, the perceived extra work of eating healthier that presents the barrier. Well I am here to tell you that with a little forethought and preparation, you can remove this barrier. Meal prepping does not have to be a daunting task, and below I will provide you with a technique that can help you become a food prepping pro.

Steps in Meal Prepping

1) Decide what meals you are going to prepare. Remember the fundamentals of a healthy meal include a lean protein (lean meats, nuts, beans, legumes, etc.) that equates to ¼ of your meal, non-starchy vegetables (most vegetables except corn, potatoes, starchy squash and peas) should comprise ½ of your meal, and then a complex carbohydrate (whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, etc.) should make up the remaining ¼ of your meal. When I’m deciding what meals to prepare, I first look in the fridge, freezer, and/or pantry to determine what I already have on hand and consider using it first to avoid waste. Once I know what I am working with, I grab a notebook and jot down a few meal ideas.

Commonly, I pick a protein first. Once I know my protein, I go through cookbooks or will look on Pinterest to find ideas on how to prepare the protein. When I find an idea in a cookbook, I will mark the page with a sticky note. If I find a recipe on Pinterest, I will save it to one of my boards and sometimes print it off to have it handy when it comes time to prepare the meal. After choosing a protein, I then try to decide what vegetables and starch would complement the chosen protein.

As I am writing down the meal ideas, I determine if I already have the ingredients on hand. If not, I make a grocery list. I then follow this same pattern to come up with several meals for the week. One thing to remember, if you can use a specific food for multiple meals it can save you both time and money. For example, if you plan to have BBQ chicken for a meal, consider cooking more chicken or another protein sources (i.e. pork chops) that you will be using later in the week. When you have your proteins cooked and prepared, you will save time when you put the meals together later in the week. I find that if I put my cooked protein in plastic or glass containers, it keeps very well.

For nights when you are short on time, avoid choosing meals that take a long time to prepare. This will leave you stressed and in turn, more likely to look more favorably on quick-prep unhealthy foods or heading to the closest drive thru instead. If your crazy busy schedule leaves you short on time, a crockpot can be your new best friend. When your schedule slows down in the evening, take time to prepare a crockpot meal. In the morning, all you need to do is place the ingredients in the crockpot and come home to a home cooked meal at the end of the day.

2) Gather all your Supplies. Once you have compiled your list of meal ideas and have your grocery list created, it is time to hit the grocery store and buy the items you need. This will insure you have everything on hand when the time comes to cook the meal. There is nothing more frustrating than being tired after work, coming home to make dinner, and find you are missing one critical ingredient.  Grocery shopping in advance prevents this frustration, and can also help you spend less. Statistically, every trip to the grocery store results in spending extra on unnecessary items, which is costly to your wallet and waistline.

3) Set aside time. After completing your grocery shopping, set aside time to do some meal prepping for the coming week. For example, Sunday afternoon’s work great for me. I typically have a little time where I can do some prep for the week without feeling rushed. I wash and chop up any vegetables or fruit. Depending on my upcoming schedule, I may cook up my protein for the week either on the BBQ or in the oven. I really try to get as much meal prep done before the week beings so I can avoid the end of day rush. If you pack a lunch for work, your spouse and/or kids, this is also a great time to get some of the lunch items ready. I portion out my lunch food into containers for the entire week.

While this process can seem a little overwhelming at the start, it gets much easier as you go along. I try to make notes of any recipes that I really like, and keep them available for future meal planning sessions. As your list of list of menu items increases, it decreases the amount of time it takes to find and select meals for the coming week.

4) Be patient. I encourage you to give this a try for at least a month and see if it helps with your goals of healthy eating while reducing stress, and saving money.



Think Plan Act to reach your goals

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Think Plan Act to reach your goals

Amy Kramer, MPH, RD, LD

Think Plan Act Puzzle for NutritionWelcome to 2018! Are you one of the millions that made a resolution for the New Year? Hopefully you are able to successfully implement and maintain these goals. If your goals include a healthy lifestyle such as physical activity and well balanced diet, try these tips:

  • Make the resolution/goal realistic by avoiding setting yourself up for failure. Allow yourself enough time to accomplish small changes and/or goals. Your habits likely did not evolve overnight so why expect that changes will?
  • Brace yourself for obstacles and ‘off’ days. Remember you can start over the next day so don’t throw in the towel or beat yourself up.
  • Set a schedule and stick with it. This will require self-discipline and accountability. If you do not have someone to share the journey with, a food or activity journal can help you document your progress.
  • Find a partner to join you. Friends, family, smart phone application communities, or even your pet (if you have a dog they will love joining you on a walk!) can be part of your team.
  • Do not skip activity. If you are sore, try something with less impact such as walking or swimming.
  • Do not skip meals. Skipping meals can often lead to overindulging at the next one or worse, if done too often, your body can be confused and alter its metabolism making weight loss even more difficult.
  • Avoid focusing on just a number for weight. How are your clothes fitting? How do you feel?
  • Be sure to stay hydrated! Thirst can be mistaken for hunger and it can help with muscle recovery.
  • Stay positive, while easier said than done, it is important to remember lasting results take time and if you are able to make this a lifestyle then you won’t have to make it a resolution for the next year!

A New Year; A New You

Friday, January 5th, 2018

A New Year; A New You

The ancient Babylonians are thought to have first started the resolution tradition; they made promises to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. For an estimated 4,000 years, people have been pledging to change their ways; it might be a promise to get fit, quit a bad habit, learn a new skill, eat right or lose weight.

Notebook page with 2018 Goals written on top

While breaking a New Year’s resolution is a fate that befalls many, it doesn’t have to be that way this year. If you have tried to achieve significant weight loss and been unsuccessful, do not give up, your health is too important. Remember that weight loss is more than a diet; it is a process, a life changing process that encompasses more than simply cutting calories or a one-time silver bullet plan.

Sustainable weight loss is extremely difficult to achieve and it can be especially challenging if one is going at it alone or test driving one of the latest fads or weight loss options. What typically happens with hit and miss attempts is that they fail to address the individual’s physical, nutritional and psychological aspects and subsequently fall short.

Successful weight loss requires a prescription of exercise, dietary adjustments, behavioral treatments that motivate therapeutic lifestyle changes, professional education and, in some cases, surgery. With a medically supervised, multidisciplinary approach that adheres to established evidence based guidelines, significant and sustainable weight loss can be part of your 2018 accomplishments. Find a team that has all the professional and educational tools and is invested, first and foremost, in your success.

If you or a loved one is struggling with significant weight and its associated medical problems, we are here to help. In fact, we would like to partner with you to help find a solution to your weight loss goals.

Mindful Eating for the Holidays

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Mindful Eating for the Holidays

By: Jessy Griffel, RD, LD

a buffet of holiday foods sitting next to a warm fireplaceWe are fully engrossed in the holiday season and that guy in the red jacket is quickly approaching! Our holidays should be about enjoying friends, family and most importantly (well from a dietitian’s perspective) the FOOD!  However, I am sure you have found yourself in a mental battle over all of the temptations of the holiday season goodies and not wanting to overdo it.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season. This may not seem like a large amount, but this weight gain tends to stick with us over the years and accumulates quickly. However, these pounds from tempting holiday treats can be avoided through mindful eating and moderation.

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track this holiday season:

  1. Do not skip meals! In preparation for our big holiday meals people often decide to skip meals to make room for their big feast. This often results in overeating and the dreaded ‘food baby.’ Start your day off with a breakfast full of fiber rich food such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains to keep you satisfied until your big holiday meal. It is also great to snack on a few of these nutrient dense food while preparing your holiday meal.
  2. Portion size. Being mindful about your portion sizes this holiday season will also help you keep those extra pounds off. When going through the buffet-style line, choose a smaller plate, take smaller portions and be sure to add nutrient-rich foods to your plate first (i.e. fruits, vegetables and whole grains) before indulging in grandmas famous holiday cookies.
  3. Everything in moderation. This tip ties in well with the portion size. It is perfectly ok to have that cookie or piece of pumpkin pie, but probably not the entire pie! If you are too full from dinner it is ok to save your desserts for a few hours later.
  4. Slow down. We often eat too fast and we bypass our satiety signals and end up overeating at holiday meals. When you sit down for you meal, savor every single bite! Stay in tune with the flavor, aroma and the experience of this meal, because it is important to take it all in. After you finish and before you run up for a second or third helping, take a 10 minutes to listen to your body and see if you are still actually hungry for more.
  5. Get moving. Take those kiddos for a short walk or even a snowball fight after your big feast. Any type of physical activity will help you digest and prevent feeling sluggish.

Most importantly, enjoy this time with your loved ones. Never feel guilty about over indulging at your holiday meals, because we are not always perfect! Of course, taking some of these tips to heart can very well prevent you from overeating this holiday season.


Article referenced:

Welcome Baby New Year

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Welcome Baby New Year

As far as the first day of the years goes, it is a day for fresh starts and new beginnings. Of course, baby new year has become quite emblematic of New Year’s celebrations and history reveals that the original Baby New Year was born in Ancient Greece. As was customary of the time, the infant was displayed in a simple basket. However, by the late 19th century, the ever popular and beloved chubby, top hat, sash and diaper clad version of baby New Year as shared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1906 now is the symbol marking time’s passage.

While the world celebrates the first baby born in the New Year, we are fortunate to celebrate birthdays throughout the year. Each day, we are witness to the joy, anticipation and new beginnings for families in our community. In fact, Portneuf Medical Center celebrated the birth of 1,213 babies in 2016.

When you choose to deliver at Portneuf, mothers and babies are cared for by some of the most highly-trained labor and delivery nurses in the region. We have nurses who have over 20 years of experience and together they work with OB/Gyn, primary care physicians, mid-wives, and pediatric specialists to offer the most compassionate birthing experience for our neighbors and friends.

When you are expecting, you should expect a team who is ready to meet the unique challenges that occasionally occur during childbirth. Our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is specifically designed to care for the tiniest of babies. Staffed with board-certified neonatologists, who are pediatricians who have completed additional years of training, as well as neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers and physical and speech therapists, you will rest easy knowing your baby is in caring, capable hands.

We, at Portneuf Women and Children Center, invite expecting parents to celebrate the birth of your child with us. Hospital Tours, Childbirth Classes and full-service care await expecting parents. In honor of the thousands of magical moments we shared in 2017, we are once again hosting our baby photo contest. Please visit or our Facebook page for more information.


SMART New Year’s Resolutions

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

SMART New Year’s Resolutions

by: Krista Diekemper, RD, LD

The New Year just around the corner! For many of us, the New Year offers a chance to get a do-over on those elusive New Year’s Resolutions we set last year, but quickly lost sight of by the third week of January. It is not necessarily a matter of not being committed to our resolutions, but more likely that we went about achieving them all wrong. Most people will make resolutions that are too grandiose or unachievable and then lose hope when they are not seeing the progress they expected.

Below are some tips to making New Year’s Resolutions that are attainable. The first step in reaching your goals, is to identify your end goal. Note, I said end goal, not end of January goal.  Once you have your end goal identified, you want to decide what changes you need to make to reach that goal. It is these small changes that you want to start setting as your resolutions.  A building does not just happen after the plans are developed; it is built on the layers of brick built upon each other. So just like the building, your goals will be achieved by making one small change at a time and continuing to build on each change.

The next step in achieving your end goal is to set smaller goals. You can do this by using the SMART approach. SMART goals provide a template to ensure that all necessary components are present to increase success.

The components of a SMART goal are as follows:

S: Specific – Be as specific as possible when identifying what you are wanting to achieve.

M: Measureable – If you do not set a goal that is measureable, you will never be able to gauge your progress in achieving it.

A: Achievable – If your goals are not something within your control, the likelihood you can meet them is going to be based on luck . . . which none of us can control.

R: Realistic– You want to make sure that your goal is realistic. If you set a goal that is too grandiose, you will become discouraged before you are able to achieve it.

T: Timely – You want to set a timeline as to when you are going to have achieved that goal, so it can hold you accountable.

For example:

The End Goal is to lose 10 pounds. If I just set this as my goal, without giving myself any direction on achieving it, the likelihood of meeting my goal would be small. However, if I made smarter goals that helped me achieve the goal over time, the likelihood of success is greatly increased.

Here is a SMART goal that supports my end goal:

By the end of January, I will be eating two (1 cup) servings of non-starchy vegetables a day.

With this goal, it specifies what needs to be done (eating two 1 cup servings of non-starchy vegetables a day), its measureable (two 1 cups servings by the end of January), its achievable (I have access to vegetables), its realistic (I didn’t say eat a pound of broccoli a day), and its timely (I know I need to be doing this by the end of January). Try this technique out with your own goal and see if it helps you achieve those elusive New Year’s Resolutions.

5 reasons people go to the emergency room during the holidays

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Graphic on why people visit the ED during the holidays

Seasons Greetings from our family to yours

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Seasons Greetings from our family to yours

From all of the doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, support staff, and administrators at Portneuf Health Partners, we wish you all the joy and blessing of this holiday season. Each of us at Portneuf dedicate our lives to caring for family, friends and neighbors. While this work is our profession, it’s impossible not to be personally moved by the daily miracles and the daily heartaches that happen inside this facility each day.

Today, we carry in our hearts the story of a young lady involved in a car crash. As the mom and dad wait in the emergency room, they watch their child fight for life and worry about what impact the accident may have on her brain and her future. Our trauma team gives all they have to stabilize the child. Our team administers care, compassion and guidance to her loving mom and dad. At that time, the family doesn’t care that over 89.3 percent of our ER patients see a doctor within 30 minutes, but we know and we are comforted in knowing she is in good, capable and well-trained hands. We are blessed that the family can see the effects of the commitment to patient care as their child is comfortable and starts to recover.

We recall the mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is faced with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. While we know that we follow national guidelines for cancer diagnoses and therapies and offer care that is on par with major cancer institutes across the county, we also know that the single word – cancer – is scary, overwhelming and life changing. We know she needs a hand, hope and a team dedicated to fight with her each step of the way. She may not care that a team of surgeons and oncologists are working together to plot a course of treatment that adheres to national standards, but she’ll take some comfort in knowing that she gets to sleep in her own bed and doesn’t have to travel for hours after a draining round of chemotherapy. We are comforted in knowing that we care for our neighbors, our family members and our friends.

We see the expectant mom and dad who are planning their new life with a first child, but then have a complication that requires a little longer stay for mom as she recovers from a C-section and their new born child to stay in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for twenty-one days. While our team in the NICU cares for our tiniest patients every day, we know this is the first time in the NICU for the parents. Mom and dad don’t know that our neo-natal intensive care unit cares for babies born as early as 26 weeks of gestation, but they’ll appreciate that expertise as the mom recovers from an emergency C-section done by a skilled doctor and their newborn baby rests peacefully in the NICU nursery.

Our hearts are with the son who watches his mom fight the advancements of age. We offer attentive and gentle care. He may not be aware that our patient satisfaction scores are among the best in the nation, but he’ll feel the effect as nurses and doctors pay attention to detail and make his mom’s stay comfortable.

Our employees carry all of these people in their hearts this season. These scenarios do not directly reflect one patient or family story, but they do represent what we prepare for as we walk into work every day. We prepare this way because our friends, neighbors and families deserve the best care possible, close to home.

As your friend and neighbor, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Prepare for Winter Sport Season

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Prepare for Winter Sport Season

Falling temperatures and falling snow are a clear indication that the winter sports season is upon us. During the holidays, many families look forward to swishing down slopes on skis, tackling the bumpy terrain on a snowboard, sliding down the hill on a sleigh or perhaps twirling on an ice rink. However, when you put your coat and gloves on this season, bear in mind that outdoor activities cause thousands of injuries each year. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the most common winter sports injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures.

While we are all susceptible to injury, there are ways to help prevent spending your holiday season watching people enjoy the snow from a seat in the lodge. To help you stay on the slopes and out of the emergency rooms this season, we encourage everyone to warm up for winter activities. Some people like to say – condition before participation. Injuries are far more likely to happen when muscles, tendons and ligaments are cold or when they are fatigued; a number of significant injuries occur at the end of a long day. Start slow and pay careful attention to muscle fatigue and slower responsiveness at day’s end.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons urge children and adults to follow these tips for preventing winter sports injuries:
• Keep in shape and condition muscles prior to participating in winter activities.
• Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, wrist guards, gloves and padding.
• Check that your equipment is in good working condition and properly fitted.
• Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor. Learning how to fall properly can reduce the risk of injury.
• Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or overly tired.

Be thoughtful when selecting an activity; choose a sport that is consistent with your abilities and skill level. Weekend after weekend, our emergency department sees skiers with twisted knees and sprained ankles, snowboarders with wrist fractures and shoulder damage, and sledders with bruises and fractures. The truth is, during the winter season, injury and accident are common. Additionally, winter weather in general with the ice and snow cause a number of unforeseen accidents each year. Please remember to watch where you step and pay attention when you walk because you never know when there might be ice or water that could cause you to slip and fall.

While we would rather see you on the slopes making memories with friends and family, in the unfortunate case of an injury, it is wise to be seen by a physician. From all of us at Portneuf, we wish you an injury free slope season.

Medically reviewed by Gregory Ford, MD, MS, Orthopedic Surgeon