All posts by Wyoming Medical Center

Strength in Numbers: A resolution for those of us over 55

By Neil Short, certified strength and conditioning specialist and and creator of ‘Be Strong Be Free’

Neil short photo
Neil Short, a Casper attorney and strength-training proponent, will write about positive aging in his weekly column, “Strength in Numbers.” (Photo courtesy of Neil Short)

Here is a resolution for all of us over 55:  Commit to a life of Positive Aging.  This is our life-long resolution, not merely a New Year’s Resolution.

New Year’s Resolutions tend to focus on subjects like weight loss and learning a new language.  New Year’s Resolutions are all too often made only to be broken, and quit quickly at that.  When a resolution (weight loss) is broken, the negative activity (eating poorly) becomes much worse.  Everyone knows that New Year’s Resolutions usually fail.

Rather than making a doomed – to – fail resolution for the New Year, those of us 55 and older need to make a life plan to take responsibility for our lives and make the next years the best they can possibly be.

Does that sound just too grand and broad to be real and effective?  It is not.  A positive life plan starts with an attitude that puts you in charge of how you will age and flourish versus allowing yourself to wither.  Choose active aging rather than allow aging to be a form of disability.  Decide that you want to remain active to the fullest degree possible and then do what needs to be done.

In this column, which will appear monthly on The Pulse, I will explore topics that contribute to a healthy, happy and productive life at any age. The basic tenents are the same, no matter if you are 20 or 70. But I will devote this space to those of us who, in the words of Dylan Thomas, will “not go gentle into that good night.”

Certainly you must eat well to have any hope of being the best you can be.  Of course you must engage in exercise centered on strength training to give you the boost and ability to live a full life.  But there is one more dynamic of positive aging that you must buy into to make your senior years full and rewarding.

A key ingredient is committing to a purpose or a cause that forces you outside of your personal universe.  Find meaning in your life beyond your family and your home projects.  To be the best possible version of you, step out of your comfort zone and contribute to the broader community.  Opportunities abound. Work with a church group; volunteer in a meaningful way with one of the many fine non-profit organizations in our community.  Expend yourself and expand yourself.  The community will benefit, but even more important, you will be the better for it.

Here is your resolution then: commit to a life of positive aging that includes contributing your time, energy, and talents to a worthy cause.

Expand your personal universe by making aging a positive process.  Eat well, exercise enthusiastically, and become engaged in the community.  Everything else will fall into place.

Bicep Curls

Neil Short demonstrates this good starter exercise which can be done with weighted objects found around your house – like two filled water bottles. Find more exercises and strength-training tips at Never start any exercise program without first consulting your healthcare provider.


neil short mugNeil Short, 66, of Casper, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 certified coach. As he approached age 60, he sought to discover why some seniors recover from health problems, but others do not, and  why some people power into their senior years while others allow aging to become a form of disability.  The answer became very clear: strength training.

He is the creator of “Be Strong Be Free,” a home-based strength-training program to help you stay active into your 80s and 90s. Learn more at His “Strength in Numbers” column appears monthly on The Pulse.



One of us: Wyoming Medical Center employee becomes a U.S. citizen

Written by Cornell Colbert,  Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Wyoming Medical Center 

Wyoming Medical Center room service associate Teresita “Ching” De Guzman holds her citizenship certificate on Monday. She is pictured with her husband, Domingo, at left, and post author Cornell Colbert, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Wyoming Medical Center.
Teresita “Ching” De Guzman raises her hand for her citizenship oath on Monday.

Monday, I witnessed something truly special.

One of our room service associates, Teresita “Ching”  De Guzman, became an American citizen. She was among 21 others from 11 different countries who pledged their allegiance to the American way of life.

Most of us reading this message were lucky enough to be born here. We didn’t have to travel great distances, take tests, or pass background tests to enjoy the benefits and privileges of being an American.

At the ceremony, I thought of the challenges before us and compared them to the challenges of those who worked so hard to join this community. What I realized was that, despite whatever hardships we may think we are enduring, those whom I witnessed Monday happily accepted the hardships just for the opportunity of being a part of what we are.

Let’s be thankful today and moving forward, because there are so many wishing that they had both our blessings and our difficulties.

Cornell Colbert has been Wyoming Medical Center’s director of Food and Nutrition Services since December 2012. He has a passion for seeing employees reach their fullest potential at work and in life. He has served on the Sodexo Cross Market Diversity Competency Council, as a leadership mentor and coach, on the board of the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum, and as an urban missionary to the Asian community in Philadelphia.

Scroll through for more photos from Teresita “Ching”  De Guzman’s citizen ceremony.

Teresita “Ching” De Guzman is seen with family and friends at her ceremony on Monday. Her daughter, Acel Carlin, is waiving the flag. Associate pastor Angela Hekgler is in the foreground.
Teresita “Ching” De Guzman holds up her certificate of citizenship at the ceremony on Monday. She told the crowd about how proud she was to be an American and what it means to those in her family and church and to those she knows in the Philippines.
Teresita “Ching” De Guzman poses with Magistrate Kelly Rankin.

Healthy Snack: Cranberry Compote

Cranberry CompoteRecipe submitted by Ann Davin,RN, BSN, Certified Diabetes Educator

Preparation tip: The compote can be made a week ahead with no loss of flavor or freshness and depending on how you choose to serve it, it’s a healthy option for the New Year.

Delicious warm, cold or at room temperature serve with meat, poultry, pancakes, cottage cheese or yogurt; as an appetizer, condiment, dessert or between-meal snack.

Servings: 20


2/3 cup            water
3/4 cup            sugar substitute (Truvia etc.)
3                      medium or large firm, ripe pears, peeled and cut into ½ -inch pieces
12                    dried apricots, each cut into 6 pieces
1                      cinnamon stick
2                      seedless oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into ½ -inch pieces
6 cups              (2-12-ounce bag) cranberries
¼ teaspoon      nutmeg


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring the mixture occasionally.
  2. Stir in the pears and apricots, reduce the heat, and simmer the fruit in the uncovered pan for 5 minutes. Add cinnamon stick.
  3. Stir in the oranges, and continue simmering the fruit in the uncovered pan for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cranberries, and cook them over medium heat in the uncovered pan for 5 minutes, stirring the compote occasionally.

Per serving:
Calories 74, Fat >1 g, Carbohydrate 18 g, Sodium 2 mg, Potassium 304 mg
Recipe adapted from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet cookbook

Does homework cause zits?

By Nancy Brown, nurse practitioner at Casper Dermatology Clinic

As a nurse practitioner, I am seeing acne at a much younger age.  People ask me why?  Is it how children are cleaning their skin, or not!  Is it the food they are consuming?  What is going on?

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States.  Each year 85 percent of U.S. teenagers will have acne.  There are two types of acne – comedogenic acne and acne vulgaris, with combinations of both.

The exact cause of acne remains a mystery.  Research has shown that there are four key players in the development of acne; excess oil, clogged pores, bacteria and inflammation.

Excessive washing and scrubbing will not prevent or cure acne.  That can actually irritate the skin and make the acne worse.  We suggest that skin is washed once or twice a day with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water.

Acne is not caused from foods, but certain foods can make acne worse.  Greasy foods do not make the skin oilier but can leave oils on the skin, which can plug pores and make it worse.

Research has shown the following that can trigger acne and/or aggravate it:

  1.  Hereditary /genetics
  2.  Hormones
  3.  Menstruation
  4.  Emotional stress

Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be stressful and frustrating.  It can lead to depression, low self -image and permanent scarring.

Treatment is not an overnight cure.  Acne treatment takes time up to four to eight weeks, and must be ongoing to be effective.

Picking, popping and squeezing zits tends to make acne worse and can cause scars.  So moms, leave your hands off.

Treatment may consist of topical and/or systemic treatments.  Systemic treatments include oral antibiotics, estrogen-containing birth control pills and isotretinoin for the deep cystic type of acne.

Today, there are many effective treatments for acne.  No one treatment is right for everyone.  Seeing your dermatologist helps to ensure that you are getting exceptional acne care.

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

Growing Pains

By Dr. Marjorie Wells, family practice at Sage Primary Care

Did you know the average child between kindergarten and sixth grade grows over 2 1/2 inches per year? Did you know that most of the growth occurs at night?

Growing Pains are typically described as an aching pain (like a toothache) in the long bones of the body like the thigh bones and the upper arm bones and the associated muscles. These pains are not really associated with growing but more often associated with increased levels of physical activity.

Read on for more about the possible causes of growing pains and how you might manage the symptoms.

1) Ouch!: Growing pains happen more often in the late afternoon and evening, but some children awaken from sleep with leg and arm pains.
2) Gender neutral:  Boys and girls both experience growing pains.
3) The Vitamin D effect:  The pains may be associated with a low vitamin D levels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU of vitamin D intake for children, but other sources, like the Institute of Medicine, recommend 600 IU for those aged 1-70.  There have been studies of children experiencing growing pains and they typically have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. (Believe it or not, these studies have been done in New Mexico and Pakistan, so if they do not have enough sunshine in their blood then we are in definite trouble in the winter time in Wyoming!)
4) Relaxation: Massaging and stretching the legs and placing a heating pad are often enough to relax the muscles and improve the pain
5) Pain management: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are also helpful if needed
6) Seek medical attention: Go to see your doctor if the pain doesn’t improve or if your child has any of the following warning signs — fever, weight loss, difficulty walking, localized pain or swelling.

Wells-Marjorie-MDDr. Marjorie Wells is a board-certified family practice doctor at Sage Primary Care, 1020 S. Conwell St., in Casper. Email Sage at or make an appointment by calling (307) 265-8300.

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

Your children and their dental hygiene

dr. Johnson picture
Steve Johnston, D.D.S.

 By: Steve Johnston, D.D.S.

This is a very exciting age for dentistry and oral hygiene.  Between the ages of 6 and 8, the upper and lower permanent front teeth come in along with the permanent first molars.  With all the change, tooth sensitivity, puffy gums and possible overlapping of teeth may occur.  Using a soft toothbrush with warm water to soften the bristles can be helpful.  This can also help decrease sensitivity and abrasiveness.

Getting and losing primary teeth can vary from child to child, and girls usually lose their teeth earlier than boys.

Many children do not like mint-flavored toothpaste, so bubble-gum-flavored toothpaste is more palatable to most children.

Primary herpetic lesions (cold sores) occur in a large percentage of children at this age and can be uncomfortable.  Milk of Magnesia or Pepto Bismal can coat the mouth to decrease pain, and like most viruses, will last about two weeks.  For children who do not like brushing, parental involvement needs to occur to help start this essential habit. Provide positive reinforcement by saying that children should be proud of themselves by doing a good job brushing the back and front teeth, along with brushing the cheek and tongue.  Children should brush for three minutes or the duration of a song on the radio.  Having a paper cup to rinse the debris from the mouth is necessary so plaque doesn’t reattach to a tooth.

Primary Teeth Development Chart

The following chart shows when your child’s primary teeth should emerge and when the tooth generally falls out (times vary from child to child).

tooth chart picture

Steve Johnston, DDS provides dental services for the entire family at Teeth R Us in Casper Wyo.

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.


Vickie Diamond named a Hospital Leader to Know

Vickie Diamond

Congratulations to WMC President and CEO, Vickie Diamond who is included on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2013 list, “300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.” The list recognizes healthcare leaders from hospitals and health systems across the country.

Leaders featured on this list have shown dedication to healthcare delivery at local, regional and national levels. Some have held their positions for a few months, while others have been at the helm for more than 20 years — but each has demonstrated great commitment to improving healthcare in America.

The Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team included hospital and health system leaders on this list based on a number of factors, including recognition they have received and their organization’s recent performance.

The full list can be read here:

Becker’s Hospital Review is a monthly publication offering up-to-date business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems.

Casper Children Join Safe Kids of Central Wyoming and FedEx on International Walk to School Day

3x7 WMC SKids Walk to school
Click to enlarge

Safe Kids of Central Wyoming will join Casper area school children and FedEx volunteers on Wednesday, October 9 to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. More than 250,000 children across the United States will participate in the annual event to learn safe walking skills and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.

“On International Walk to School Day, parents and caregivers teach and model safe pedestrian behavior,” said Pam Evert, Safe Communities/Safe Kids of Central Wyoming.  “Our children learn by mimicking what they see.  By walking with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show children how to walk safely.
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.  Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year, such as International Walk to School Day.
Safe Kids volunteers, Fed Ex employees, Casper Fire/EMS & local law enforcement will be at Willard Elementary, 129 N. Elk, Casper and Evansville Elementary, 452 Texas Street, Evansville from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. and then again from 3:15 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9th. The volunteers will teach school children and their parents how to walk safely and recognized pedestrian dangers.
International Walk to School Day is a great opportunity for students to learn how to remain injury-free as they walk to and from school,” adds Pam Evert, Safe Communities/Safe Kids of Central Wyoming“Walking to school is also an excellent way for children to be outside and get exercise.”
Motorists are encouraged to be extra vigilant in and around school zones especially during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.
For more information about International Safe Walk to School Day, contact Pam Evert, Safe Communities/Safe Kids of Central Wyoming, 307-577-7904.

Safety tips for winter storm Atlas

Winter Storm Atlas is approaching…

Wyoming MedicalWinter Storm2 Center wants to ensure that you are prepared for Winter! Let us help take the burden off your mind by asking you these simple questions to prepare:
✴ Do you have 4-wheel drive?
✴ Can you assist a co-worker who doesn’t have 4-wheel drive?
✴ Does your vehicle have a kit in case you are stranded?
✴ If you are needed at WMC do you have your family taken care of?
✴ Do you have enough food and water to shelter in place at home?

Remember, knowing that your home is prepared (family, pets, meds, food/water) will make any situation less of an emergency.

How do I prepare?

Before storm hits:
✴ Have a snow shovel ready
✴ Have sufficient heating fuel
✴ Have adequate clothing and blankets
✴ Calculate a longer drive time to arrive at work

During the storm:
✴ Avoid overexertion while shoveling snow
✴ Keep dry
✴ Watch for signs of frostbite
✴ Monitor local emergency alerts
✴ Conserve fuel if necessary

Things to carry in your vehicle:
✴ Blankets
✴ Water
✴ Food
✴ Batteries
✴ Flashlight
✴ First Aid Kit
✴ Cell Phone
✴ If you are stranded or stuck, stay WITH your car!

Information courtesy of Google Public Alerts, provided by Wyoming Medical Center disaster preparedness department.

My experience as a junior volunteer

By Stan DeVore, WMC volunteer and University of Wyoming premed student

Stan DeVore, junior volunteer
Stan DeVore, junior volunteer

It is widely known in the premed world that you don’t have a chance in getting into medical school without some degree of volunteer experience in a medical environment. As an aspiring physician entering my third year of undergrad at the University of Wyoming and only a few more years away from applying to medical schools, I am no exception to this rule.

Before my experience at the Wyoming Medical Center (WMC), I had often wondered: Why do medical schools see medical volunteer work as so important? After over 100 volunteer hours at WMC, I discovered the secret: it’s not about observing the medical staff; it’s about being a part of it.

At WMC, I volunteered 8 hours a week on the medical floor and 12 in the emergency room. During the first few days, I will admit that I felt pretty uncomfortable. I had never been around patients on a consistent basis, never been surrounded by busy physicians and nurses, nor did I feel like I had an important role as a volunteer. If I had only volunteered a few hours per week, I probably would have felt uncomfortable volunteering forever. But with constant interaction with the staff, this discomfort quickly disappeared as I learned that I was playing an actual role in the hospital — I was not just someone extra floating along in the periphery. I was being integrated into the medical staff.

In the ER, for example, I started to build trust and friendships with many of the nurses, who in turn began to depend upon me to complete certain tasks. One of my major responsibilities was restocking rooms with supplies and linens — a time-consuming yet important job. Before I began to volunteer, the nurses and technicians had this responsibility in addition to the other work they needed to do. However, on the days I volunteered, they simply left the job to me, trusting that it was something I would immediately take care of when I punched in. Instead of a volunteer doing random meaningless tasks, I was doing something important. Rather than the random college kid in a blue volunteer vest, I felt like a coworker.

Everybody at WMC treated me remarkably well, made me part of their team, and truly gave me the experience that I needed to get out of my volunteering: knowing what it is like to have a responsibility in a medical environment. That made all the difference between feeling like I was there just to look good on a med-school application and feeling like it was an experience that was necessary to have. It’s because of my 20 hours per week at WMC that I understand why med schools see volunteering in a medical environment as such a vital aspect of an applicant.

That’s the secret. That is how WMC has made an impact on my life. And I can almost guarantee that if someone consistently devotes time as a volunteer, WMC will make an impact on their life as well.


Become a junior volunteer

Wyoming Medical Center’s new  junior volunteer program offers young people many ways to make a difference in the lives of patients. This summer’s crop of volunteers helped  on the medical floor, delivered books and magazines to patients, worked in surgical staging and performed other needed duties.

“The junior volunteers program is designed to give students experiences that will help them determine if they want a career in health care. It helps participants see the value in the work they are aspiring to do, and the kind of nurse or doctor they want to be,” said Jillian Riddle, volunteer coordinator.

Junior volunteers can help throughout the year. Wyoming Medical Center is also always looking for adult volunteers to help in the Cottage Gift Shop, greeting visitors and patients, deliver flowers  and more. For more information, visit the volunteers’ page on our website.

* Junior volunteers: Junior volunteers must be at least 16 years or older, advance through the application and interview process and pass a background check. Find the application here.

* Adult volunteers:  Fill out the adult application here.


Stan DeVore is a third-year student at the University of Wyoming and is majoring in Physiology with a Spanish minor. He is an active member of the Honors Program, the president of the Wyoming Honors Organization (WHO) and works at a botany lab on campus. He intends to use his degree and his outgoing personality to become a successful  Wyoming physician—a career goal he has been passionate about since high school, when he first decided his combined love for people, puzzles and science could someday improve the lives of people in the Wyoming community.