General

Make the most of Medicare's free wellness visits

If you are insured through Medicare, you may not know that you qualify for free, annual wellness visits with your primary care provider. Seeing your provider regularly is essential to both your current and future health. If you have been enrolled in Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, you are eligible for one free wellness visit each year. If you just enrolled, don't worry—you also receive a free "welcome" visit. These appointments allow your provider to monitor your well-being and de...

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12/18/2018 10:01:00 AM Comments(0)

Manage your health in the New Year

A new year brings the promise of a new beginning. For many, this means a renewed sense of commitment to health-related goals. By far, the most popular of these goals involves weight loss. It may be tempting to try something exotic and short-term for fast weight loss—an all-kumquat diet, perhaps, or a one-weekend exercise marathon. It wouldn't be healthy, however, and any weight you lost would probably be back in a heartbeat. It's not new and it may not be the fad of the moment but if you w...

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11/20/2018 2:14:00 PM Comments(0)

Seniors: Reduce your risk of food poisoning

Food is one of those essentials of life. It's also essential to make sure that the food you eat is prepared, cooked and stored in such a way that it doesn't make you sick—especially as you get older. The reason? Adults 65 and older are more vulnerable to food poisoning than younger folk. A weakened immune system is one reason why. A reduced immune response makes your body less able to fight off germs and illness. Older adults also have less stomach acid to fight bacteria and other germs. F...

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9/27/2018 11:35:00 AM Comments(0)

5 tips for taking over the counter drugs safely

From pain relievers to cold remedies, you can easily buy over-the-counter OTC medicines at many stores—and without a prescription from a doctor, but that doesn't mean these medications are free of health risks. Like prescription drugs, OTC products can cause side effects or bad reactions—for instance, if you take them in the wrong way or mix them with certain other medicines. That's why you need to be careful when it comes to OTC medicines too. Here are five safety tips: 1. Read the ...

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8/29/2018 11:45:00 AM Comments(0)

Adult vaccines: 7 reasons to roll up your sleeve

Still think shots are just for kids? Check out this list of reasons why you shouldn't skimp on adult vaccinations. 1.Your age or situation could put you at risk for a preventable disease. For example, shingles and pneumonia shots are recommended for people in their 60s. You could be at risk for other diseases, too, because of your job or any chronic health conditions you may have, such as asthma or diabetes. 2.Vaccine protection fades over time. Just because you had a shot years ago doesn't nece...

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7/16/2018 5:06:00 PM Comments(0)

Learn the truth about cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made naturally by your body. You also can get cholesterol from the foods you eat. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, you maybe at risk for heart disease or stroke. Those are some key facts you should know about cholesterol. But you should also be aware of some common myths, along with the important truths: Myth: As long as you eat a healthy diet and exercise, your cholesterol levels will be fine. Truth: Diet and physical activity are big pla...

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7/16/2018 5:04:00 PM Comments(0)

How to choose an assisted living facility

The U.S. Administration on Aging offers the following advice to help you and your loved one find an appropriate assisted living facility: • Look around. Visit more than one facility. And visit each facility more than once. • Visit during meal times, and sample some food. • Talk to the residents. • Watch how the residents and staff interact. • Ask for a written statement of the facility's philosophy of care. • Find out what kinds of social, recreational an...

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6/27/2018 9:13:00 AM Comments(0)

Hands-Only CPR: When You Should Consider Doing It

You don't need to know how to perform mouth-to-mouth cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. You can use hands-only CPR. Hands-only CPR consists of just two steps: 1. Call 911 if you see a teen or an adult collapse and they're not responsive when you ask them if they're okay. 2. Push hard and fast in the center of the person's chest. Use the beat of the disco classic "Stayin' Alive" to guide your compressions. No mouth-to-mouth breathing is required. Acco...

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2/23/2018 3:42:00 PM Comments(0)

Steer Clear of Weight Loss Scams

Should you try a fad diet or a special supplement to help you reach your weight-loss goals faster? Get-slim-quick schemes can be tempting, but they're often ineffective, and they can sometimes even be dangerous. Pills, teas and herbal supplements that promise to help you lose lots of weight quickly or melt fat in certain parts of your body don't work, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Plus, they can contain unsafe or untested ingredients that could have harmful side effectsR...

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2/23/2018 3:40:00 PM Comments(0)

Healthy Aging is Possible

Does the text in a book look smaller than it once did? Do you find it harder to get down on your knees to look under the bed—and to get up again? There's no question that age brings changes to our lives and yes, some of them we'd prefer to avoid. Physically, for example, stiffening joints can make it harder to get around. And many people find that their short-term memory just isn't what it used to be. Often, difficult personal situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negat...

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1/23/2018 3:12:00 PM Comments(0)

5 Tips for Happier Holidays

This year, give yourself the best holiday gift ever: more merry, magical moments and fewer frazzled ones. Here are five ways to make this year's celebrations high on joy and low on stress—and help you keep the happy in the holidays. 1. Ratchet down those expectations. Chasing after picture-perfect get-togethers can create the perfect storm of stress. It's OK really! if your guests arrive while you're still setting the table, if you burn the carrots or if the sweater you bought for your fav...

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12/19/2017 3:26:00 PM Comments(0)

Give Your Child the Gift of a Positive Body Image

If you're the parent of a young child, you might think you don't have to worry about body image messages until your child nears their teen years, but experts say even children as young as 3 years old can worry about their size and weight. So how can you help your child—girl or boy—feel good about their body at any age? Pay close attention to the messages you either intentionally—or unintentionally—share with your child. Check out these examples of do's and don'ts. DO DON'...

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11/27/2017 4:19:00 PM Comments(0)

Make Those New Year's Resolutions Stick

First you make 'em. Then you break 'em. Does that pretty much sum up your past history with New Year's resolutions? You're jazzed in January to get in shape, stop smoking, eat better—to achieve your goal, whatever it is. But by February, your resolution is kaput. As you've likely discovered, good intentions aren't enough to make resolutions stick. You've got to stack the odds in your favor. Here's how: 1. Be specific. Rather than a fuzzy resolution—for instance, "I'm finally going to...

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11/27/2017 4:17:00 PM Comments(0)

5 Ways to Avoid a Return Trip to the Hospital

Having to stay in the hospital is probably not your idea of a good time. And when you're discharged, chances are you don't want to return. It's nice to have skilled, compassionate care you can depend on when you need it. But staying healthy—and avoiding a return trip to the hospital—is everyone's preference, and it's what we want for you too. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of people discharged from hospitals nationwide are readmitted within 30 days. Reducing readmission rate...

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10/25/2017 10:03:00 AM Comments(0)

Why You Need a Will

Do you have a will? If not, then it's time to get serious about putting one in place. Experts say that virtually everyone with anything of value should have a will—a legal document in which you say how your money,property and other assets should be distributed after you die. Having a proper will in place can help you accomplish a lot of things that may be important to you. For instance, you can: • Say how much of your estate you'd like to leave to your family and your favorite charit...

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10/25/2017 10:02:00 AM Comments(0)

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Thomas McMicken

We are deeply saddened to announce that Watson Clinic Bartow family medicine physician Dr. Thomas McMicken passed away on Wednesday, October 11. Dr. Tom McMicken will be deeply missed here at Watson Clinic and in our greater community. Tom was one of our Clinic’s most beloved physicians. The McMicken family will receive friends Friday, October 20, 2017 in the afternoon,2-4 pm, and in the evening, 6-8 pm, at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 EastMain Street, Bartow, Florida. The fun...

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10/12/2017 2:36:00 PM Comments(0)

Be an Active Participant in Your Healthcare Decisions

When you make a big purchase or have an important decision to make, you're likely to seek others' opinions. You might ask, "What are the pros and cons of this choice or that?" Or you might read up on the topic so that you feel informed. The same process is important when it comes to your healthcare. When people are involved in their healthcare decisions and talk them through with their doctor, the benefits can be big. Research shows, for example, that people often feel less anxious when they are...

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9/26/2017 2:40:00 PM Comments(0)

Spread hope in your world

We can each make the world a kinder, brighter place with our everyday actions. Here are some ideas to inspire you to make a difference, even in the smallest ways. Share something hopeful. Tell someone about a charitable cause that's doing good work. Post or share an upbeat news story. Say "I believe in you." Encourage someone who's working toward a goal. Let them know that you see them succeeding. Reach out to someone who seems to be struggling. Ask, "What can I do now to help and support you?" ...

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9/26/2017 2:38:00 PM Comments(0)

The surprising benefits of volunteering

We lead such busy lives these days that even thinking about volunteering can make our stress levels rise, but volunteering actually might be just the right medicine for a hectic life. One of the many benefits of volunteering is that it can help ease stress. Connecting with other people in a meaningful way can provide a profound sense of pleasure that boosts our physical and psychological well-being. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, research shows that people who v...

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7/25/2017 4:32:00 PM Comments(0)

Parents: Talk to your college kids about drinking

You're the parent of a newly admitted college freshman—and it won't be long before you deposit your child in the dorm and drive away, but before you do, it's important to make sure your child is fully aware of the risks of college drinking. They can't be overstated. Every year in the U.S., college drinking contributes to: • 1,569 accidental deaths, including fatal car crashes. • 97,000 sexual assaults and date rapes. • 696,000 assaults by another student who has been drin...

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7/25/2017 4:28:00 PM Comments(0)

Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

Looking for a fun and inexpensive weekend activity to do with friends and family? Nothing says summer like an old-fashioned picnic. Whether you picnic in a park or in your own backyard, packing something tasty and healthful is easier than you might think. Start by following these five tips: 1.Bring what's in season. From berries to cherries, bell peppers to green beans, many fruits and veggies are freshest in summer. So make a colorful and healthful variety a part of your picnic. Enjoy them raw ...

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6/20/2017 9:43:00 AM Comments(0)

Register Now for Alert Polk

A category four hurricane is threatening the Florida peninsula. A tornado is headed for Mulberry. A lift station leak is spreading raw sewage onto South Florida Avenue. Armed criminals are loose in a Winter Haven neighborhood that includes an elementary school. Before, people were solely reliant on learning about emergencies like these through the media. Today, you can get immediate notification on your smartphone, tablet, home phone, email, text and social media thanks to a new system that Po...

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4/24/2017 3:33:00 PM Comments(0)

Cultivate Some Happiness

Ahhh, spring! It's the perfect time for planting. But gardens aren't the only thing to grow now. You can also sow the seeds of happiness—which is easier than you might suspect. Studies show that some fairly simple habits can help you be more upbeat and happier overall. Here are three key ones: 1.Practice being grateful. How to do it: Make it a point to regularly count your blessings—large and small, from a friend who helped you during a difficult time to the food on your table every ...

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3/28/2017 3:15:00 PM Comments(0)

Watson Clinic & The Tigers

In our ever changing world, there are traditions we can always count on. Baseball is one of them. Generations have enjoyed the excitement of the ballpark, and the thrill of the games played there by our great athletes. There is a strong sense of camaraderie shared between both players and fans. The Watson Clinic shares a special bond of our own with the Tigers organization. For many years, we’ve been proud to serve as the official medical provider for the Detroit Tigers Florida Operations ...

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2/27/2017 10:04:00 AM Comments(0)

Coping with the Emotional Effects of a Disaster

Probably one of the last feelings you can expect to have after a natural disaster is calm. Whether you're dealing with the aftermath of a tornado, flood, or hurricane, your emotions are more likely to be a mix of fear and anxiety than complacency. And that's normal, according to the American Psychological Association APA . We're rarely emotionally prepared for a sudden disaster. It can leave us feeling stunned and overwhelmed—at least initially. A first step toward regaining a sense of con...

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1/24/2017 10:29:00 AM Comments(0)

How We Defend Against Hospital Infections

Hospitals are places of healing—we go there to get well when we're injured or ill. And while hospitals are very safe, there is some risk of getting an infection while you're receiving medical treatment. We want you to know that we take hospital-acquired infections HAIs seriously—and we do everything possible to prevent them. Some common HAIs include: Central line infections. A central line is a catheter placed in a large vein. It's used to give medicines or fluids or to collect blood...

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1/24/2017 10:28:00 AM Comments(0)

Should You Be Pro Probiotics?

You've probably heard of probiotics, especially if you spend any time in the yogurt aisles of supermarkets, but what are they exactly? Are they good for your heath? And should you join the millions of Americans who already take them? To answer those questions, here's a primer. First, most probiotics are live cultures of microorganisms. These bacteria are similar or just like those that are naturally found in your gut and help your body function properly. You can find probiotics not only in yogur...

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1/24/2017 10:26:00 AM Comments(0)

Watson Clinic Expands in South Lakeland and Bartow

Watson Clinic has long cherished the opportunity to serve the medical needs of our patients who reside in Bartow and the surrounding communities, including south Lakeland and Fort Meade. Recently, we’ve taken steps to increase our presence in the area like never before. Watson Clinic Bartow : Located adjacent to Bartow Regional Medical Center – where an increasing number of our specialists treat in-patients – our Watson Clinic Bartow offices house an assortment of popular servi...

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1/12/2017 4:24:00 PM Comments(0)

Long-Time Staffer Recalls 47 Years of Clinic History

February of 1969 seems so long ago. The Beatles had begun recording Abbey Road. Vince Lombardi was named the head coach of the Washington Redskins. The Vietnam War was raging. Registered medical assistant Kathy Smoot recalls this period of time vividly; it was the month she was hired to work for Watson Clinic. The interview process was strenuous. There were three separate interviews, and a 500 question personality test, she recalls. Once hired, she started in the physical therapy department. Lit...

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12/20/2016 12:59:00 PM Comments(11)

Get Your Volunteerism On

Volunteering is a wonderful win-win opportunity. The people or organizations you decide to help may seem like the most obvious winners. After all, you're offering them your time, your skills, your hands and your mind. But it's hard to overestimate the good things you can get in return—like meeting new friends or learning a new computer program and then there are those special and satisfying little perks—like the happily wagging tail of a shelter dog who knows you're there to go for a...

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8/18/2016 5:03:00 PM Comments(0)

Stay Safe and Healthy at Work

You go to work to bring home a paycheck—not the flu, carpal tunnel syndrome or some other health problem. So how do you stay safe and healthy on the job? Here are five key safeguards. 1. Protect yourself from disease-causing germs. Get a flu vaccine every year—as soon as you're able. It's the best way to avoid getting a nasty case of the flu from a co-worker and missing work—or worse, getting sick enough to be hospitalized. Also: • Wash your hands often with soap and wate...

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8/18/2016 4:58:00 PM Comments(0)

Watson Clinic Celebrates 75 Years of Healthcare Excellence

Dr. Herman Watson was born on a farm near Metter, Georgia in 1889. He achieved his medical degree from the University of Georgia in 1912. Two years later, after completing his postgraduate medical studies, he arrived in Lakeland and opened his own practice. He proudly answered the call of duty in 1917 when he entered the Army during World War I. When he returned from the battlefield, he soon assembled a core group of medical specialists with which to practice alongside. These included his nephew...

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8/1/2016 9:20:00 AM Comments(0)

Keep Pets Cool in the Heat

Summer's heat can be dangerous for people and pets. Help keep your furry friends safe and cool with these five tips: 1. Supply water and shade. If pets must be outdoors, make sure they have protection from the heat and sun. Provide plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water. No trees for shade? A tarp can do the trick. It's better than a doghouse—which can become a sauna on a hot day. 2. Never leave a pet in a parked car—not even for a minute. A hot car can be deadl...

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7/19/2016 11:15:00 AM Comments(1)

Set the Stage for Your Produce to Shine

Let's give a hand to fruits and vegetables! They're the nutritional stars of your diet. But how can you make sure they are giving their best performance at every meal? Try these four tips for coaxing the most out of produce. Give them proper accommodations. Store perishable fresh produce in the refrigerator, and make sure the temperature in your fridge is set to 40 degrees or below. If a fruit or veggie wasn't sold refrigerated at the market, it probably doesn't need refrigeration at home. Think...

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3/22/2016 2:47:00 PM Comments(0)

Clinic Staffer Brings Joy to Children as Santa

By day, Dale Hastings is the store room supervisor at Watson Clinic, but on his off hours during the holiday season, he assumes an entirely different identity. It happened six years ago, Dale recalls. I was walking with my wife through a shopping mall and I was approached by a five year old girl who mistook my bearded face for Santa. That inspired a tradition in Dale’s life that continues to this day. Every holiday, he pulls an elaborately authentic red, white and black costume from h...

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12/17/2015 9:16:00 AM Comments(2)

Preventing Foodborne Illness

This holiday weekend, the Florida Department of Health in Polk County FDOH-Polk encourages residents to properly prepare and store food in order to prevent foodborne-illness. Preventing foodborne-illness is an important way to keep your family safe and healthy during the holidays, as well as year round, said Dr. Ulyee Choe, FDOH-Polk Director. Everyone should practice four simple steps to stay healthy while preparing food: clean, cook, chill, and separate. An easy way to prevent foodborne-illnes...

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7/2/2015 1:34:00 PM Comments(0)

Make the Most of Your Doctor's Appointment

In order to receive the best care possible, it’s crucial that both the patient and the physician be as informed as possible. Open communication is the key to achieving this for both parties. To get the most out of your patient care experience, be sure to keep the following three points in mind during your next appointment: 1. Don’t be afraid to confront potential embarrassment. Some symptoms and conditions can be embarrassing to discuss. But your doctor is there to help you, and they...

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6/24/2015 12:01:00 PM Comments(0)

Caring for Yourself While Raising a Grandchild

It's an Act 2 you didn't anticipate. After your last child left home, you thought your childrearing days were over. But now you're raising a grandchild—and are back on the job again. As much as your love your grandson or granddaughter, watching over a child late in life can be challenging—physically, emotionally and financially. Still, there are ways to lighten your load. First, ask for help. If you're hesitant, be aware that turning to others for support is a sign of strength, not w...

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6/24/2015 12:00:00 PM Comments(1)