Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Let's celebrate National Volunteer Week

Did you know that National Volunteer Week is April 6th through April 12th? In fact, President Obama delivered a proclamation about it a few days beforehand. stating the following:

Do you know a Care Star?
"By performing acts of service, we can shape a Nation big enough and bold enough to accommodate the hopes of all our people. Across our country, volunteers open doors of opportunity, pave avenues of success, fortify their communities, and lay the foundation for tomorrow's growth and prosperity. They are often equipped with few resources and gain little recognition, yet because of their service, our country is a better and a stronger force for good."

We, together with the President, honor volunteers this week. Please be sure to let us know about volunteers that you know by adding them as a Care Star. The very nature of them being a volunteer makes them a Care Star.

Here are some examples of already submitted Care Stars that are volunteers

Ann at Genesee County Free Medical Clinic
Dr. West at the Wyandotte Clinic for the Working Uninsured
Resident at the Venice Family Clinic
Dr. Lominitz at the Zarephath Health Center
A nurse at Northern Neck Free Health Clinic
A nurse practititioners at Faith Medical Clinic
Amy Wells at Downtown Orlando Shepherd's Hope Health Center
Dr. Benjamin and Office Staff at Longwood Shepherd's Hope Health Center
Dr. Joan at St. Luke's Lutheran Shepherd's Hope Health Center
Dr. Albani Jr. at Midlothian Free Health Clinic
Everyone who works at the The Community Clinic
Leonard at the Cleveland Clinic Outpatient Surgery Center
Dick at St Elizabeth Florence
Mrs. V at Henry Ford Hospital

Know a Care Star? Sure you do! They work in schools, businesses, nursing homes, the vet office, just about anywhere you can image. Tell us about them here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

2 new circumstances to exemption from Obamacare

Several months ago we shared the list of circumstances that a person could be exempted from shared responsibility according to  Since then two new circumstances to qualify for hardship exemption were added making it possible for almost anyone to be exemption.  To see the original set- see this blog:

The two new circumstances are:

13. You received a notice saying that your current health insurance plan is being cancelled, and you consider the other plans available unaffordable.

      Information to submit with your exemption application: Copy of notice of cancellation

14. You experienced another hardship in obtaining another health insurance.

      Information to submit with your exemption application: Please submit documentation if possible.

Here is the link to the application-

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Care Stars on Facebook

The new Care Stars Facebook page is here:
Come and join us as we celebrate heatlhcare's best in action each and every day.

Please share with your Facebook friends if you think those that go above and beyond are awesome!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Care Stars debut at the Dearborn Women's Expo #carestars

A few days ago, debuted at the Dearborn Women's Expo and the response was overwhelming. We heard story after story from women who were appreciative of someone in health care, some displaying very strong sentiments and feelings, and interested in thanking them.

The name "Care Stars" may be familiar to you. It was included in our reviews on where you could tell us if you encountered a Care Star (someone who exceeded your expectations) during your healthcare visit. We found that even patients who had a bad experience with a healthcare provider would submit a Care Star. We think that is a solid exclamation about the people who work in health care.

Over the years, we have had people tell us they want to skip the review and go right to telling us about the Care Stars.  We listened.  We have now separated the two- the review and the Care Star. Presenting - the online destination to show appreciation for health care workers who go above and beyond delivering health care.

We invite you to tell us about the Care Stars you have met. We will notify the health care provider that they have a Care Star. With your help we can help those people who haven't found a Care Star yet by sharing our stories.
Care Stars debut March 2, 2014.
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Do I have strep throat?

According to the CDC, sore throats can have a variety of causes. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke), chronic postnasal drip and fungi can all cause that unpleasant, scratchy and sometimes painful condition known as a sore throat. While many sore throats will heal without treatment, some throat infections—including strep throat—may need antibiotic treatment.

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called "group A strep"). Group A strep bacteria can live in a person's nose and throat. The bacteria are spread through contact with droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as the sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep throat from contact with sores from group A strep skin infections.

A strep test (a quick swab of the throat) can quickly show if group A strep bacteria are causing a sore throat. A test is needed to tell if you have strep throat; just looking at your throat is not enough to make a diagnosis. If the test is positive, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. If the strep test is negative, but your doctor still strongly suspects you have this infection, a culture of your throat (another sample) may be taken as another way to test for the bacteria.

To obtain a strep test, contact your doctor or locate an urgent care clinic near you.

Be sure to tell them you found them on

And if you see a Care Star (health care providers who exceed expectations), while getting checked out for strep, please tell us about them by completing a review

Source: CDC;

To find Urgent Care Centers with Care Stars - search here for provider type Urgent Care.

Friday, December 20, 2013

5 Christmas Morning Pancake Ideas

 Want to make Christmas morning extra special? Try out one of these breakfast ideas:

1. Santa Pancakes

This idea is posted on The Santa decoration is made out of bananas, whipped cream, canned cherry pie mix (but you can use strawberries for a healthier choice), and chocolate chips. For the directions-please see this link.

2. Gingerbread Boy Pancakes

This ideas is posted on The main pancake ingredients are Bisquick, apple butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The toppings are small candies and icing. To read more on how to make them, visit this link.

3. Rudolph Pancakes

This idea was posted on Decorating the pancakes is super easy-it's just bacon (turkey bacon for a healthier choice), whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate chips. To read more on how to make them, visit this link.

4. Teddy Bear Pancakes

This idea was posted on Pinterest and is by far the easiest to make. Just layer the pancakes in a teddy bear shape, then add melted chocolate (or icing).

5. Christmas Tree Pancakes

This ideas is posted on The main ingredients are Bisquick and green food coloring. You can top the pancakes with powered sugar, sprinkles, small candies, or icing. To read more on how to make them, visit this link.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How do I clean a #sickroom?

If you are like most people you will have a supply of cleaning materials on standby should the flu bug come into your home. Here are some tips from the CDC on how to clean your sick room by surface type.

Cleaning hard surfaces
  • Clean hard surfaces that may have flu germs on them. These may include doorknobs, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, phones, and toys.
  • Clean these hard surfaces by using water and dish soap. Or use common household cleaners that kill germs.
Cleaning bed linens and laundry
  • Wash bed sheets and towels with normal laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot dryer setting. Hold all dirty laundry away from your face and body. Wash your hands right after touching dirty laundry.
  • It’s OK to wash the sick person’s bedding or clothes with other people’s laundry.
Cleaning dishes
  • Wash the sick person’s dishes with normal dish soap or place in the dishwasher.
Be sure to clean as you go or at least on a daily basis.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How do I create a #sickroom in my house?

Keeping people with the flu away from others in your family is key in containing the flu from a family outbreak. The CDC recommends creating a sick room in your house. Try to give the sick person their own room. If there is more than one sick person, they can share the sick room if needed.
If there is not enough bedrooms to quarentine the flu victim, try creating one by using sheets or blankets to segment the room you have decided to use.

What things should I have in the sick room?
  • Tissues
  • Trash can with lid and lined with a plastic trash bags
  • Alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cooler or pitcher with ice and drinks
  • Cup with straw or squeeze bottle to help with drinking
  • Thermometer
  • Humidifier
  • Facemasks (for everyone- sick and well)
  • Lysol or other disinfectant spray or wipes
  • Papertowels
What rules should you have for a sick room? Here are 4 rules that the CDC is suggesting to help in managing your sick room. You may want to put up a sign on the door way to remind the people in your house of the rules.
  1. Avoid having other people enter the sick room.
    The sick person should not have visitors other than the caregiver. If visitors must enter, they should stay at least 6 feet away from the sick person.
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes.
    Ask the sick person to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough and sneeze. Ask them to throw used tissues in the trash. Best to use facemasks if available.
  3. Choose one caregiver.
    If you can, choose only one caregiver to take care of sick family members. If possible, ask someone else to be the caregiver if you are pregnant or have certain chronic health problems. If you get the flu, it could be much more serious for you.
  4. Keep the air clean.
    Open a window in the sick room, if possible, or use a fan to keep fresh air flowing.

5 steps to take if you get the #flu

Here are 5 steps the CDC recommends you should take in caring for yourself or loved ones.
  1. Stay at home and rest.
  2. Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
  3. Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
  4. Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
  5. If you get very sick, are pregnant, or have a medical condition that puts you at high risk of flu-related complications (like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), call your doctor. You might need antiviral drugs to treat flu.

Monday, December 16, 2013

5 Tips to Manage Stress During the Holidays

Is the holiday season starting to stress you out? Here are 5 tips to help you manage your stress:

  1. Take care of yourself-eat healthy and get sleep. Lack of sleep and eating poorly places physical stress on your body. If your body is already in a weaken state, it makes it more difficult to handle emotional stress.
  2. Prioritize your tasks and make a reasonable time table for yourself. Don't try to cram 4 weeks of work into 1 week. Ask yourself: what's really important? And then cut out or scale back other tasks. For example-in a perfect world, your house would be decorated top to bottom, inside and out for the holiday. But there's only 1 week to Christmas. Scale it back to the most important item-like decorating the Christmas tree.
  3. Take time to relax. Watch your favorite show/movie. Practice yoga or mediate. Don't have the time? Even taking short 5 minute breaks will do wonders. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, listen to music.
  4. Learn to say no. There are so many activities to do during the holidays. Do what you can. But-when  your body tells you to slow down or take a break-do it.
  5. Ask for help. Most people want to help once they know you need it. Don't think you are being a bother.