Trident Health

Trident Health is a 407-bed HCA hospital system comprised of two acute care hospitals- Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center- as well as two free standing emergency departments- Centre Pointe Emergency and Moncks Corner Medical Center. The Joint Commission recently named Trident Health to their list of the nation’s top hospitals for quality and safety for the fourth year in a row.

Ask a Parent!- Communication is Key - Brought to you by H2U

Parents are thrust into a whole new world after having children. The Ask a Parent! series will share tips from our Women’s and Children’s Service Director and mother, Dee Bien.

Q: How can I help the family continue to communicate and work together?

A: You will find good communication is critical when managing new appointments and responsibilities in your life. It’s easy to assume your partner or family just knows what you need. Poor communication can also strain relationships in an already challenging time. Use the suggestions below to keep your family engaged and informed:

  • Talk with each other about your schedules for the day, and upcoming week, in advance.
  • Arrange time to just “be together” as a family or to be with individual family members. Breakfast or dinner are good times to share stories.
  • Decide together what you are going to do during that time. Remember that the time together is more important than the activity.
  • Save plenty of energy for family time.
  • Take the time to notice the exciting things your baby is learning. Talk about your observations with your children.
  • Spend quality time with your older children. Let them select activities that are special to them.
  • Teach your older children how to “gently” play with the new baby.
  • Talk to your baby early and often; this is your newest family member.

The Scoop on Superfoods - Brought to you by H2U

Next Tuesday, H2U is hosting a cooking class featuring a popular “superfood”: kale! You’ve probably seen this green leafy vegetable worked into slaws and smoothies, or baked into chips over the last few years. After all, we need to eat superfoods in abundance, right?

Which begs the question: what is a superfood? Interestingly, if you do an internet search, you won’t find a scientific definition from a medical authority. The Oxford Dictionary defines a superfood as, “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” As the definition mentions, superfoods are nutrient dense. That means there are a lot of healthy compounds present in the food. For example, kale has beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and sulfur compounds that may help with cell repair. A new superfood seems to take the stage every couple of months. Recently promoted superfoods include:

  • Fruits: blueberries, pomegranates
  • Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, tomatoes
  • Grains: quinoa, oats, brown rice
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, cinnamon, garlic
  • Nuts and seeds: flaxseed, walnuts, chia
  • Beverages: green tea, red wine

Another interesting fact: when reviewing websites for this article, each site reviewed featured a slightly different list of superfoods. That’s because all foods, specifically plant based foods, have a place in our diet. While some think that their diet should consist only of an abundance of the latest superfood, it’s important to keep a balance.

Listed below are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck:

1)Most superfoods are plant based. In addition to the latest superfood, aim to eat 5 other vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit per day. Then you know you’re getting a variety of vitamins and minerals.

2)Punch up your food with herbs and spices. Turmeric, cinnamon, and parsley don’t only smell good! Many herbs and spices add flavor to food without the sodium. More research is needed, but early studies suggest that many herbs and spices offer health boosting benefits.

Sometimes superfoods are items we don’t know how to prepare. Next Tuesday at 3:00 PM at Trident Family Health we are showcasing kale in a salad and a smoothie. Call 843-847-5068 for more information and to register.

Employees reflect on four decades with Trident Health



Barbara Righter is part of a small group of employees who have worked continuously for Trident Health since the organization began 40 years ago.

From the top floor of Trident Medical Center (TMC), Barbara Righter considers the past 40 years since the hospital opened.

“We evolved from a very small, little hospital to a major medical center,” says Righter, who recalls when they added the hospital’s sixth and seventh floors.

Righter’s career also evolved from the early days, when she worked evenings and nights as a medical and surgical “float nurse” at the new hospital, to her long-held position as hospital coordinator for Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) services.

She is one of a small group of employees who have worked continuously for Trident Health since 1975, when the organization was born with the July launch of what was then called North Trident Regional Hospital.

In addition to Righter, veterans include Bonnie Johnson, Melody Patrick Pinckney, Linda Stone and Julia Wilson. All were recognized for reaching the 40-year milestone at Trident Health’s annual service awards banquet this spring, though the organization truly celebrates its birthday this month.

Reaching out
A lifelong resident of St. George, Pinckney recalls joining Trident that first summer as a respiratory therapist at the new hospital. “Everybody was impressed with it,” she says. But when Trident opened a small diagnostic center in St. George a few years later, she welcomed the opportunity to split her shifts between the hospital and the diagnostic center, where she handled registration and lab services until it closed in the 2000s.

Now she works full time in registration at Moncks Corner Medical Center, though she plans to retire in September. “I have a whole Trident scrapbook that I’ve been working on for all those years.”

Trident Health has expanded into Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties in a variety of ways with some efforts taking stronger hold than others. At the forefront now are TMC, Summerville Medical Center, Moncks Corner Medical Center and Centre Pointe Emergency by the North Charleston Coliseum.

Changing times
Righter’s base remained at the original hospital’s campus, where she saw the expansion of technology and services as the nature of health care became increasingly complex. During that time, she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing as well as WOCS certification at Emory University. “Trident Health has been very good to me. They sent me back to school and paid for my education.”

While she is now based on TMC’s seventh floor, her specialty, sometimes referred to simply as wound care though it involves more, takes her throughout the hospital as she consults on a variety of patient cases. As a result, she knows most of the nurses, who are “truly experts at what they do,” and she is encouraged to see their growing empowerment through shared governance. “Of all the things that have changed, that's probably one of the biggest.”

Ask a Parent!- Getting Ready for Baby - Brought to you by H2U

Parents are thrust into a whole new world after the birth of their first child. The Ask a Parent! series will share tips from our Women’s and Children’s Service Director and mother, Dee Bien.

Q: How can a new parent help their partner most after the birth of a new baby?

A: Preparing yourself for parenting is critical when knowing what to expect. Knowledge is power! Be sure to:

  • Talk to your parents about what it was like when he first became a parent
  • Buy and read a book on child development.
  • Consider the assistance of a postpartum doula
  • Sign up for an infant CPR class; educate yourself on how to detect illness and how to handle medical emergencies
  • Help your wife/partner develop a postpartum plan

Supporting each other, before and after the birth, is another very important factor when getting ready to become parents. This is especially true if there are other children in the home, as their lives are about to change, too! To help with the adjustment:

  • Accompany mom and baby to all postpartum doctor visits
  • Make decisions together
  • Get involved with the shopping, cooking and meal planning. Brother or sister might want to help, too!
  • Help the siblings at home adjust to the baby and their changing roles
  • Make sure mom and baby are taken care of
  • Support your wife/partner if she is breastfeeding, and encourage her while she and baby learn to breastfeeding
  • Schedule an outpatient appointment with the breastfeeding support program
  • Talk with your wife/partner about her expectations of you.
  • Identify a sitter that both you and mom trust then plan regular “date nights” together.
  • Take time to play with your child every day.
  • Regularly talk to your wife/partner about your child’s intellectual, physical and emotional development

Finally, remember you cannot do it all! It will take some time to adjust to your role as a parent. Ask for help.

There's a Benefit to Waiting for Your Baby - Brought to you by H2U

Adapted from a piece by guest blogger Susan Hill Smith

There are lots of reasons why expectant parents might want to schedule their baby’s birth earlier than 39 weeks into the pregnancy. Often, those reasons are rooted in a desire for predictability at a time when it's tricky to make plans.

Yet births scheduled before the 39-week mark for non-medical reasons put the immediate health of the child at risk and could pose long-term problems as well. While sometimes medically necessary, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists lists the following as risks of early delivery to your baby:

  • Underdeveloped lungs, and increased risk for pneumonia
  • Low blood sugar
  • Need for neonatal ICU visit
  • Low Apgar score, which looks at breathing effort, heart rate, muscle tone, facial response to stimulation, and skin color to determine the health of the baby after delivery.

In the spring of 2007, Trident Health joined a related pilot project through its parent company, HCA Healthcare. As a result, neither SMC nor Trident Medical Center (TMC) allows deliveries to be scheduled before 39 weeks, unless there is a medical reason. Many other hospitals in the area have also implemented such practices. As a result, the number of births earlier than 39 weeks has decreased from 8.8 percent in 2011 to 4.4 percent in 2013. That’s a great statistic!

Since a pregnancy is technically considered “full-term” by 37 weeks, the effort has involved educating eager parents about the benefits of being patient.

THS neonatologist Arthur Shepard, MD, treats newborns requiring special care, and he explains that not all babies are ready to leave the womb at the same time, regardless of size. The fetus continues to develop and mature through the last trimester and ideally goes through several important last steps before entering the real world, with the most critical involving the lungs.

Babies who arrive unprepared might require longer hospital stays with specialty nursery care and breathing assistance through mechanical ventilation, which is expensive and can cause obstacles to early breastfeeding and bonding. Babies born before 39 weeks also are prone to other issues including hearing and vision problems, cardiovascular problems and developmental disabilities.

“If you spring labor on the baby, the baby may not be ready, even if you think the calendar says so,” Shepard says.

Our Childbirth Awareness Classes address this issue, along with many other parenting questions. For more information or to register, call 843-797-3463.

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