Ways to stay warm and safe while working in the cold

ORWIGSBURG, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As temperatures dip into the low 20s and teens, you know its time to bundle up.  Most of us are just outside going to and from, but what about those people who spend all day outside working?

When it’s this cold we need to take it seriously.  There are many dangers that come along with being outside when the temperature drops, especially when there’s a windchill.

“It’s a cold day,” said Thomas Rogal, Schuylkill County Maintenance Manager.

Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean there aren’t roads to fix. PennDOT workers layer up before they clock in at 7 a.m. for another 8-hour day in the cold.

“The hard, windy days are by far the worst, it sucks the heat right out of you,” said Rogal.

They wear helmet liners, thick gloves and socks, boots, and of course layer up their coats.

“The key to stay warm in these conditions is to stay active,” said Rogals.

To prevent serious problems, they have safety talks twice a day.

“This is very deadly when its this cold,” said Dr. James Greenfield, local physician and ER doctor.

Doctors say the big things to watch out for:  frostbite — when your skin appears white, waxy and hard to the touch… Which can result in amputation.

“Frost bite can even happen faster than 20 minutes depending how cold it is,” said Greenfield.

Hypothermia  — when your body temperature drops into the low 90s or the 80s… Which can alter organ function.

“When you start to become hypothermic sometimes you don’t even notice it at times,” said Greenfield.

Signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, and confused behavior.  If you realize you are indeed too cold, experts say it’s best to warm up gradually.

Also, if you have asthma, doctors recommend keeping an inhaler with you during the winter months.  The cold air is dryer, and could affect your lungs. Another thing to keep in mind, your energy levels.

“You can get dehydrated quite easily if you’re not paying attention because you actually use a lot of energy to keep your body warm,” said Greenfield.

Experts recommend drinking warm, sweet beverages and eating high-calorie foods such as hot pastas to produce more energy that your body can use to keep you warm.

Experts also say it’s important to remember to wear a hat! The majority of heat leaves from your head and other extremities like your nose and ears, so it’s a good idea to cover those up, too.

Workers who take certain medications, or suffer from diseases like diabetes or hypertension, are at an increased risk when out in the cold.  If anyone experiences signs of frostbite or hypothermia, they should call for help.

Originally Published at PAHomepage here
By: Haley Bianco
Date: Dec 27, 2017 06:16 PM EST


Doctor from Cornerstone RHC returns from Everest to help kids

FRACKVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local doctor returns home after climbing the tallest mountain in the world — for a cause. Dr. James Greenfield put down the stethoscope and picked up his hiking gear to take on Mount Everest.

“We can do a lot more than we think if we put our mind to it,” said Greenfield.

He mastered the 10-day hike, but he says it wasn’t easy! Saying, if he was doing it for himself, he wouldn’t have signed up! But he was doing it for others, specifically for 150 kids in Kenya.

Greenfield is a volunteer with the nonprofit Care Highway International. As a doctor, he’ll visit the facility in Africa for health checks. But he’ll also go on expeditions like this to raise money for the organization.

“We’re only here for so long, and if we can do things that help someone else in this world, it’s worth it,” said Greenfield.

Because of the time of year, the group could not hike to the peak of the mountain — which is only open for a short period in the spring. Instead, they hiked to base camp — which is still very high up! Everest base camp is about 18-thousand feet above sea level.

Greenfield spent months preparing for the trek, and took his time on the mountain, adjusting to the high altitudes, and taking it all in.

“Knowing that we’re helping these kids out. That’s what really made it worth it,” he said.

Now that he’s back home, it’s time to get back to work as a doctor in Schuylkill and Carbon counties, but he says as he does, he’ll keep spreading awareness about the organization.

And he’s already planning his next adventure! He plans to visit the kids in Kenya in the spring of 2019.

“There’s always something we can do,” said Greenfield.

For more information on the nonprofit group click here.

Originally Published at PAHomepage here
By: Haley Bianco
Date: Dec 02, 2017 07:00 PM EST


Doctor from Cornerstone RHC climbs Everest to help kids in need

FRACKVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local doctor is climbing the world’s tallest mountain, For a cause. We first showed you Dr. James Greenfield packing his bags for the big trip, but now he’s hiking!

When he’s in the U.S., you’ll find Dr. Greenfield spending his time in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties. But today, he’s nowhere near there.

“There are periods of time that are very tough on this type of a journey,’ said Greenfield.

11-thousand feet up Mount Everest, Dr. James Greenfield and his team of travelers are climbing at least seven hours a day. And while it seems like this trek would be a bucket list item, these hikers are doing it for another reason.

They’re volunteers with Care Highway International, a charity that brings health care and education opportunities to kids in Kenya.

I Skyped with Greenfield and Chris Morrison, the organization’s founder. They’re mid-climb in what’s expected to be a ten day hike, but they were able to find internet access at a teepee camp in Namche Bazar.

“Some of these hills, getting a little oxygen — it’s not an easy thing. But we’re a team. We’re all there for each other and we’re not going to stop. We’re all helping each other,” said Greenfield.

They do big expeditions like this to raise awareness.

The group is keeping the public updated on their journey through an interactive GPS program and social media.

“We’re equipping our children for life’s challenges,” said a team member.

One U.S. dollar equals about 100 dollars in Kenya. There are 150 kids at Care Highway Interational’s Africa center. 300 U.S. dollars help feed all of them for three months. That’s what keeps these volunteers hiking up the freezing, dangerous terrain.

“I think it shows the commitment of the everyday people,” said Chris Morrison.

Because of the time of year, the group will not hike to the peak of the mountain. Their final destination will be base camp — where they’ll get a good view of the snow-covered mountain top, and have some time to acclimate. They expect to be there in five days.

Once they reach their destination, it will take them another four days to hike back down the mountain, and then come back to the U.S.

Originally published at PAHomepage here
By: Haley Bianco
Date: Nov 11, 2017 06:39 PM EST


Doctor prepares to climb Everest to raise money for kids

FRACKVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local doctor is preparing for the biggest personal challenge of his life, but that challenge isn’t just about him.

Dr. James Greenfield is packing his bags; he’s got boots, band-aids, and lots of layers, to keep him going as he climbs the tallest mountain in the world.

Before he flies to Asia, he’s preparing his lungs for the high altitudes.

But he won’t be making the journey alone. Six volunteers will trek up Mount Everest — with a common goal — raising money for disadvantaged children in Africa.

“We don’t realize how much we really do have in our country until you see places that really don’t have anything,” said Greenfield. Greenfield volunteers with Care Highway International– a charity that brings health care and education opportunities to kids in Kenya.

Last year, he joined the group and had his first experiences in Africa. As a physician, he offered free clinics, gave immunizations and physicals to children in need.

“They’re so grateful for anything you do. You go ahead and buy a girl a jump rope. She’s ecstatic,” said Greenfield.

He won’t be seeing the kids on this trip, but the money raised from sponsors of his trek and donations will go directly to the children.

“You don’t realize how far a little bit goes in a country like that,” said Greenfield.

One U.S. dollar equals about 100 dollars in Kenya.There are 150 kids at the CHI facility. 300 U.S. dollars feeds all those kids for three months.That’s what’s motivating Greenfield to make the 10-day trip up a freezing, dangerous mountain.

“It’s worth it,” said Greenfield.

For more information click here.

Article originally published at PAHomepage here
By: Haley Bianco
Date: Oct 18, 2017 06:00 PM EDT


Climbing for Hope 2017

Dr. James Greenfield is joining a team of trekkers in Nepal to raise funds for Care Highway International, a children’s health & education charity in Kenya.

The expedition takes place from November 6th – 22nd when trekkers starting from Kathmandu ascend over 5,380 meters or 17,600 feet to reach Base Camp Everest.

Dr. Greenfield became committed to CHI during a 2016 medical expedition when treating a starving, young boy. CHI provided food and medicine to the boy and his family, who returned with a big smile on his face the next day.

Care Highway is a registered charity in the U.S., UK, Spain & Kenya & through the work of committed volunteers applies 99% of all donations directly to its projects. Founded in 1997, Care Highway  works with the most vulnerable & impoverished children –those that are orphaned or abandoned.  CHI provides school & health programs in the Kiberan slums &  maintains a Children’s Home in the Kenyan highlands where they also work with local communities to provide clean water and small scale farming operations to build independence and resilience.


CMS chief: ‘MACRA will promote coordinated, patient-focused care’

In remarks to the AOA House of Delegates, Andy Slavitt thanked DOs for the care they provide to rural and underserved patients.


What’s wrong with health care today? Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, who has sought feedback from consumers and clinicians across the country on Medicare’s new MACRA physician payment system, has several ideas.

In remarks to the AOA’s House of Delegates, Slavitt cited a confusing, fragmented medical system; hard-to-use electronic medical record (EMR) systems; and burdensome reporting requirements as issues CMS hopes to address with the new payment system. CMS will issue its final rule on MACRA by Nov. 1, 2016, with physician reporting set to begin Jan. 1, 2017, though Slavitt indicated CMS is considering the possibility of delaying that start date.

Osteopathic example

To illustrate MACRA’s goals, Slavitt cited the practice model of James Greenfield, DO, whose Cornerstone Coordinated Health Care provides a one-stop shop for primary care, mental health and social services in a rural, underserved Pennsylvania town. “Our goal with MACRA is to promote coordinated, patient-focused care at a reasonable cost,” Slavitt explained. “Medicare will pay for the same services as always, but physicians will be paid more for better care, like having staff follow up with patients at home.”

How MACRA will work

MACRA will streamline existing reporting programs into one framework, Slavitt said, and will push EMR vendors to make their products interoperable. Small and rural practices will benefit from the chance to join medical home models, and advanced alternative payment models will offer physicians the chance to earn extra bonuses and be exempted from quality reporting requirements.

For DOs, Slavitt said, MACRA’s goals won’t be a huge departure. CMS’ policies aim to fall more in line with the patient-centered care DOs provide, he noted. “You’re focused on treating people, not symptoms, so people can live their lives and heal,” he said. “With all that’s happening in health care, it’s reassuring to see a profession heading in the right direction.”

To read Slavitt’s remarks in full, visit the CMS blog.