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National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to emphasize the importance of vaccination and raise awareness about the benefits of immunization across the United States. This month-long campaign, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners, seeks to highlight the crucial role vaccinations play in safeguarding individuals and communities from preventable diseases.

Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions in human history. Vaccines have significantly reduced the burden of numerous infectious diseases, saving countless lives and preventing severe complications. Throughout history, vaccines have successfully eradicated or substantially reduced the prevalence of devastating diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and more.

NIAM serves as an opportunity to remind people of all ages to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, promoting better health for individuals and fostering herd immunity for entire communities. It aims to combat vaccine misinformation and misconceptions by providing accurate information about vaccine safety and efficacy, debunking common myths that may deter some individuals from getting vaccinated.

 The campaign also stresses the importance of timely immunization for children and adolescents. Vaccination schedules recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are designed to ensure children are protected from infectious diseases during their most vulnerable years. By following these schedules, parents can provide their children with a strong foundation of immunity, enhancing their overall health and well-being.

 NIAM also emphasizes the significance of adult vaccinations. Vaccination is not solely a childhood endeavor; adults need to stay current with their immunizations as well. Vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, and others can help protect adults from potentially serious illnesses and complications, particularly those with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions.

 National Immunization Awareness Month plays a vital role in advocating for vaccination as a cornerstone of public health. By promoting vaccination across all age groups, it strengthens herd immunity and protects those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Through increased awareness and education, NIAM strives to create healthier communities, safeguarding lives and reducing the burden of preventable diseases. Let us all take part in this important campaign, raising awareness about the benefits of immunization and working together to build a safer, healthier future for everyone.

To speak with your doctor about your vaccinations, schedule an appointment at mymountnittanyhealth.com.

Join us in recognizing the importance of cord blood stem cells and their potential to save lives! Cord blood is blood found in the umbilical cord that contains valuable stem cells that can be used in treating various diseases and conditions. When babies are born parents have the option to store or donate this blood. From leukemia to genetic disorders, these powerful cells have the potential to make a significant impact on someone's life.

Cord blood stem cells have been successfully used in transplants for over 80 different conditions, including cancers, blood disorders, and immune system disorders. They offer hope for patients who may not find a suitable donor elsewhere.

As parents, you have the opportunity to make a life-saving decision by choosing to donate your baby's cord blood or storing it privately for your family's future needs. Mount Nittany Medical Center offers a cord blood donation program through the Dan Berger Cord Blood Program. Check out mountnittany.org/maternity for more information.

Let's spread awareness about cord blood stem cells. Help us educate others about the incredible potential and benefits they hold. Together, we can make a difference and give more people a chance at a healthier future.

As the school sports season quickly approaches, student-athletes are eagerly preparing to hit the field, court, or track. Before they lace up their sneakers though, it's crucial to prioritize their health by scheduling a sports physical. Sports physicals can help optimize student-athletes’ performance and keep them safe from potential injuries. They are also required for most sports and appointments fill up quickly.   

Students benefit from these exams in many ways. Here are just a few:

  • Assess Overall Health: Identify any underlying medical conditions that may affect performance on the field.
  • Prevent Injuries: Assess strength, flexibility, and joint stability. Detecting any weaknesses or imbalances early on can help prevent injuries and optimize performance.
  • Review Medical History: Discussing medical history with a healthcare professional helps identify any pre-existing conditions or risk factors that may require special attention.
  • Keep Up with Regulations: Many sports leagues and organizations require athletes to undergo a sports physical before participating.

 Schedule a sports physical with Mount Nittany Health pediatrics department today to be ready for the upcoming season and avoid last-minute delays: https://www.mountnittany.org/pediatrics

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and knowing the risk factors associated with it is crucial for maintaining good heart health. Understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to manage them can help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease, leading to a longer and healthier life.

8 Things to Know About Heart Disease Risks

  1. Know your family history: If someone in your immediate family has heart disease, you may be at increased risk. Knowing your family history is an important step in understanding your own risk factors.
  2. Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Regular monitoring and management of your blood pressure can help lower your risk.
  3. Keep your cholesterol levels in check: High cholesterol levels can contribute to the development of heart disease. Monitoring your cholesterol levels and making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
  6. Manage stress: Stress can contribute to the development of heart disease. Learning stress management techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help you manage stress and reduce your risk.
  7. Get enough sleep: Poor sleep habits can increase your risk of heart disease. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to reduce your risk.
  8. Stay active: Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week to help keep your heart healthy.


Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to take care of their heart! Visit mountnittany.org for more health tips or to find a provider. 

A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Try the tips below to help you make healthier food choices.

Here are 7 healthy heart tips focused on promoting healthy eating:

  1. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet: Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and fiber that are beneficial for heart health. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  2. Choose whole grains: Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Look for products that list whole grains as the first ingredient.
  3. Limit saturated and trans fats: Saturated and trans fats can increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and healthy oils like olive oil.
  4. Increase omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eat fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel twice a week or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
  5. Reduce sodium intake: High sodium intake can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. Choose low-sodium options or reduce added salt when cooking.
  6. Avoid sugary drinks: Sugary drinks can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of heart disease. Choose water, tea, or unsweetened beverages instead.
  7. Choose low-fat dairy products: Low-fat dairy products can provide calcium and other nutrients without the added saturated fat found in full-fat dairy products.

Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to take care of their heart! Visit mountnittany.org for more health tips or to find a provider. 

Mount Nittany Health’s Security team is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, patients, and guests at our 19 locations across the community. Dane Danko, Security Manager at Mount Nittany Health, shares tips about how being aware of your surroundings can help keep you safe at home, work, or in the community.

With an increasing number of distractions in our everyday lives, it’s important to maintain situational awareness. This can increase your reaction time and improve the quality of the decisions you make should something unexpected happen.

Three steps of situational awareness are:

  1. Recognition – being alerted to something out of the ordinary that could pose a threat
  2. Assessment – analyzing the situation and your response options
  3. Response – taking direct action to increase the chance of better outcomes

How can you practice situational awareness every day?

  • Be focused and vigilant
  • Take time to look around periodically
  • Don’t use your cell phone when walking and walk with your eyes up
  • Make decisions based on your environment
  • Know your closest exits
  • Look for security or authorities that may be of help
  • Look for suspicious people in unauthorized areas
  • Look for hazards
  • Lock your car doors
  • Walk in well-lit areas at night
  • Walk in groups when walking through parking lots

As the saying goes, “Prevention is the best medicine” and the same can be said about practicing situational awareness. Taking steps to prevent and be prepared for the unexpected can go a long way in achieving better outcomes.

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining heart health. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine by walking, cycling, running, or engaging in other forms of physical activity.

 Here are 10 tips to get you moving!

  1. Start small: Begin with short periods of physical activity, such as 10-15 minutes of walking per day, and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.
  2. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week: This can include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
  3. Incorporate strength training into your routine: Strength training can help improve overall fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim to do strength training exercises at least twice a week.
  4. Take breaks from sitting: Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease. Try to get up and move around every 30 minutes, even if it's just for a quick stretch or walk.
  5. Find activities you enjoy: Physical activity doesn't have to be a chore. Find activities that you enjoy, such as dancing, hiking, or playing sports, and make them a regular part of your routine.
  6. Mix it up: Varying your physical activity routine can help keep you motivated and prevent boredom. Try different types of exercise or mix up the intensity or duration of your workouts.
  7. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity can help keep you hydrated and prevent fatigue.
  8. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during physical activity. If you experience pain or discomfort, take a break and seek medical advice if necessary.
  9. Set realistic goals: Set achievable goals for physical activity and heart health. For example, aim to walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week, instead of trying to run a marathon right away.
  10. Be consistent: Regular physical activity is key to maintaining heart health. Make physical activity a consistent part of your daily routine to see the best results.

 Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to take care of their heart! Visit mountnittany.org for more health tips or to find a provider. 


To our team, you're more than just a number. We see you. And we're committed to you. Our experienced providers are here and ready to get you the care you need.