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Rehab has police captain back on the job after neuro scare

Hope. That’s all Mark McCaslin was looking for.

When Mark came to Ascension Via Christi Rehabilitation Hospital in Wichita in May 2016, he had been in another hospital for a month, unable to stand because of a rare neurological condition. He wanted a sign that he might walk again — or even return to his job as a police captain in Arkansas City.

One meeting with his therapy team was all he needed.

“The enthusiasm and knowledge they showed me gave me the confidence to know I was going to be all right,” Mark says.

Despite few barriers, not many smokers or former smokers getting lung cancer screening

Low-dose CT scan

Despite few barriers, not many smokers and former smokers are taking advantage of a screening that can detect lung cancer in its early stages.

Lyn Pitman, lung cancer navigator at Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program, says that should change.

“The earlier we find lung cancer, the better the outcomes are,” Pitman says. “If you wait too long – to the point you have symptoms – you’re in the late stages and the prognosis is not good at all.”

Four healthier dips to eat while watching the big game

Healthy dip

While the teams are racking up points this Sunday, many people will be racking up the calories.

One common culprit: Chips and dip.

Helen Ramsey, dietitian at Ascension Via Christi Weight Management, says with chips and dip, it’s easy for us to fall into what she calls “mindless eating.”

“We are focused on the game and aren’t aware of what we’re eating or even if we enjoyed it,” Ramsey says. “Most of us have had the experience of eating out of a package in front of the TV and wondered where all the food went.”

Driven by concern for his future, engineer rallies back with 175-pound weight loss

Marty Magby weight loss

Marty Magby was always a big kid, and later a big adult. But he was still able to play sports and was in good health, so it didn’t bother him much.

Then, in late 2015, he hit 365 pounds, the most he’d ever weighed. A few months later, his doctor prescribed blood pressure medicine for the first time.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to do something now before I get diabetes,’” the 47-year-old Wichitan says. “I saw it coming — I had to lose weight before I had health issues.”

ICYMI: Via Christi's most popular blog posts of 2016

top 20 blog posts of 2016

We've enjoyed spending 2016 giving you health information to improve your lives, and sharing the amazing stories of our patients who have overcome challenging situations with help from our caregivers.

In case you missed these, here are the top 20 most popular stories on the Via Christi Life blog for the year. If you have ideas for healthcare topics or stories about our patients, we'd love to hear them. Please send me a note at terry.rombeck@viachristi.org.

Surgeon offers family a local option for correcting son's fused fingers

Asa Patton

To watch Asa Patton play today, it’s hard to believe he had limited use of his hands just a few months ago.

When Asa was born, his middle and ring fingers on his left hand were fused together with extra bones at the connection. His right hand had an entire extra finger between the middle and ring fingers, and all three were fused together.

It’s called polysyndactyly, a rare condition caused by a genetic mutation.

Study: High school student-athletes not healthier than overall teen population

Student-athlete obesity

A new study finds that high school student-athletes are just as likely as non-athletes to be overweight and have high blood pressure.

While the results might be counter-intuitive — you might assume those who go out for sports are more likely to be healthy — the study is a reminder that a healthy lifestyle involves a lot of factors, says Andrew Porter, DO, with Via Christi Sports Medicine.

66 pounds lighter and happier, Dave Lewis, 67, a big fan of Via Christi's weight loss program

Dave Lewis weight loss

Dave Lewis remembers the exact moment when he knew he do something about his weight.

Dave, who works for a property management company, was on-site with a contractor at a property. The contractor’s 8-year-old son who was there later asked his dad why Dave’s tummy was so big.

“I signed up for Ascension Via Christi Weight Management that day,” he says, after hearing the story.

Is running or walking better for you?

Running or walking?

Thinking about starting an inexpensive workout routine but aren’t sure whether walking or running is right for you?

Andrew Porter, DO, with Via Christi Sports Medicine says you can’t go wrong either way — but one is probably better than the other.

“I think the bottom line is it’s important that people are active,” Dr. Porter says. “If they want to walk, great. If they run, it’s great and probably even better.”

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