Riverside Community Hospital
Riverside Community Hospital is committed to the care and comfort of our patients and improving the overall health of our community.

Having a Heart Healthy Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of loved ones and reflect on the past year. Large holiday feasts and sweet treats often have a prominent role in the traditional celebrations of many families. If you have a heart condition or you’re working to reduce your risk of heart problems, you can still enjoy the holiday celebrations simply by taking a few precautions. From our family to yours, the heart care team at Riverside Community Hospital wishes you a joyous and healthy holiday season.

Indulge in Festive Dishes
If you’re already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider asking for a referral to a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you design a heart-healthy holiday menu that includes seasonal items like sweet potatoes, baked winter squash, and roasted carrots or Brussels sprouts. When you fill your plate, roughly half of your meal should consist of vegetables and fruit. Another quarter should be whole grains and the last quarter should be lean proteins.

Lighten Up Baked Goods
Baking holiday cookies is a holiday must for many families. You can lighten up your favorite recipes by substituting a blend of oat flour and whole wheat flour in place of white flour. Consider using zero-calorie Stevia instead of sugar and canola oil or applesauce instead of butter. Include more options than just cookies, such as baked apples and stewed plums.

Drink in Moderation
Your cardiologist may have already provided recommendations regarding your alcohol consumption. If you aren’t already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider sticking with the general guidelines for alcohol use. Men are advised to consume no more than two alcoholic beverages daily. The daily limit for women is one drink. Instead, try a glass of sparkling juice or seltzer. If your holiday traditions include a glass or two of eggnog, consider purchasing non-dairy eggnog products like soy eggnog.

Riverside Community Hospital is a renowned heart hospital with full accreditation from the Society for Chest Pain Centers. At The Heart Care Institute, patients from the Riverside area can access technologically advanced medical innovations, including diagnostic procedures, emergency heart care, and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. If you’re experiencing a possible cardiac event such as a heart attack, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, call our heart hospital at (951) 788-3463.

Essential Facts About Alzheimer's Disease

Many experts agree that Alzheimer’s disease has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. You might already know that Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, but there is much more involved with this disease than just problems with one’s memory. Alzheimer’s disease develops and progresses gradually, causes damage to the brain, and results in death. It is currently incurable, although intensive research initiatives are ongoing. If you or a loved one is thought to have Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll find the answers you’re looking for at Riverside Community Hospital.

Changes in the Brain
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it triggers complex changes that destroy brain cells and impair function. In the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s, known as the preclinical stage, patients are asymptomatic; however, their brains are already undergoing the changes that are characteristic of the disease. Amyloid plaques and tau tangles develop. The neurons, which are necessary for communication in the brain, cease to function properly and begin to die off. Eventually, the brain begins to shrink.

Onset of Symptoms
There are many possible indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and in the early stage of the disease it can be difficult to tell if the symptoms are “normal” or indicative of a medical problem. Generally, if a person experiences memory loss, cognition impairment, or other problems that interfere with daily life, it’s a good idea to consider getting an evaluation for Alzheimer’s.

Stages of the Disease
There are different ways to categorize the stages of Alzheimer’s, but perhaps the simplest is to refer to them as the mild, moderate, and severe stages. In the mild stage, Alzheimer’s patients have trouble with thinking clearly, remembering information, and executing simple tasks. In the moderate stage, damage in other areas of the brain cause impairments with language, sensory processing, and reasoning. Confusion tends to worsen and delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations may develop. Severe Alzheimer’s is characterized by total dependence on others for care. Eventually, essential functions of the body shut down.

Riverside Community Hospital is your partner in wellness. Our state-of-the-art medical facility in Riverside connects patients to neurology and neurosurgery care, along with heart health services, organ transplant procedures, and robotic surgery. For general information about our hospital services, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951) 788-3463.

Understanding Pap Smears and Other Vital Screenings for Women

Gynecological cancer is cancer that affects the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva. Cancer is a health risk for every woman, regardless of family history, and the risk of developing both gynecological cancer and breast cancer increases naturally with age. Fortunately, Pap smears and other important screenings can help to catch cancer in its earliest stages for more effective treatment; talking to your OBGYN about your personal health risks and the screenings you should schedule will help you take proactive steps toward lifelong health.

Pap Smears

The Pap test examines a small cell sample taken from the cervix to identify any abnormal cells that may be present. Not only can a Pap smear identify existing cancer cells, but it can also find cells that might become cancerous in the future, allowing for their removal before cancer ever develops. The current guidelines maintained by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and the American Society for Clinical Pathology recommend that women receive Pap smears every three years between the ages of 21-29 and a combination of Pap testing and HPV testing every five years from age 30 onward.


Mammography is the use of X-rays to image the breasts. A mammogram may be used as both a screening and a diagnostic tool to identify, pinpoint, or monitor cancerous masses. The American Cancer Society currently recommends that women consider receiving mammograms as early as age 40. All women age 45-54 should receive yearly mammograms, while women age 55 and above may continue yearly screenings or undergo imaging every two years, depending on their individual health risks.

September is both Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. At Riverside Community Hospital, our women’s services providers can help you learn more about your reproductive health and the factors that affect your cancer risk. You can reach us by phone at (951) 788-3463 for information about our women’s and OBGYN services in Riverside, or to obtain a physician referral for a healthcare provider at our hospital.

Parents' Role in Preventing Childhood Obesity

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for good general health at every age. However, the American Heart Association reports that one in every three American children are overweight, which can have profound effects on their current and future wellness. As a parent, you can help establish nutrition and fitness routines that will reduce the risk of obesity for your child and set the stage for better weight maintenance throughout his life.

Teach Healthy Eating Habits

Teaching healthy habits will create a foundation for healthy eating that your child will remember long into adulthood. Limiting the amount of junk food and processed treats in your home and making plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available will encourage healthier snacking habits. Including fruits and vegetables in daily meals and adjusting recipes for maximum health benefits will teach your child that getting the nutrients he or she needs is easy and delicious.

Promote Daily Physical Activity

Food is only one half of the weight management equation—children also need to learn the benefits of healthy physical activity to keep weight under control. Encourage your family to get active together by reducing the amount of TV you watch and instead spending time together taking walks, riding bikes, or going for hikes. Activities such as swimming and dancing are also great for children; these sports provide an opportunity for healthy teamwork and competition that will improve your child’s social skills and self-esteem while teaching him that movement is expressive and fun.

Riverside Community Hospital wants to help you and your children enjoy the benefits of healthy meals and healthy movement. Our KidsHealth and Health to You online resources provide more information about good nutrition and beneficial physical activity, while our women’s and children’s services provide personalized healthcare for your entire family. The Center for Surgical Weight Loss offers bariatric surgery solutions to help adults struggling with obesity and weight management as well. You can find out more about our hospital’s weight loss services in Riverside on the web, or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse hotline at (951) 788-3463.

Acting Fast in a Medical Emergency

Medical emergencies are injuries or illnesses that can cause lasting harm or even death if prompt emergency care in a hospital setting is not provided. A medical emergency can occur at any time and happen to anyone, regardless of their age or their current health. Knowing what to do during a medical emergency can help you stay calm and act quickly in these situations.

Know How to Reach the Hospital

Because every minute counts during a medical emergency, it’s a good idea to know how to reach the hospital from your home. Learning this route will ensure you won’t need to look up directions or risk getting lost when time matters most. However, if you are experiencing a medical emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, it’s always best to call 911, rather than try to drive to the hospital yourself.

Learn CPR

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a lifesaving procedure used when the heart or lungs stop functioning. Learning CPR is simple and classes are often available at hospitals and clinics to provide certification in this effective technique. Enrolling your family in a CPR class will ensure that everyone you love knows when CPR is appropriate and how to administer it in a serious emergency.

Create a First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit can provide the tools you need to take action during a medical emergency until professional help can be sought. A basic first aid kit should include sterile bandages, antiseptic, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, aspirin, and a first aid instruction booklet.

The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital is proud to provide fast, efficient, and cutting-edge emergency care services to our community. Our heart hospital in Riverside is an Accredited Chest Pain Center and a Certified Primary Stroke Center, as well as a paramedic base station and an emergency helistop. You can find out more about our emergency services or check the current average ER wait time on our website, or call (951) 788-3463 for answers to your healthcare questions.

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