Breast Cancer Prevention

While some risk factors for breast cancer cannot be controlled, such as family history and aging, there are some lifestyle modifications that you can make now to decrease your risk for breast cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases your risk of getting a disease. However, having a risk factor for cancer, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you’ll be diagnosed with cancer.

In today’s blog, we’ll be going over the modifications you can make now to live a healthy life, and in turn, lower your potential risk for breast cancer.

1. Limit your alcohol intake. Research has shown that the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk for breast cancer is. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to less than one drink a day.
2. Avoid smoking. If you’re a smoker, take the steps today to quit. There is a correlation between smokers and breast cancer that places them at a higher risk of developing this kind of cancer.
3. Manage your weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for breast cancer, especially if this weight gain has occurred after menopause.
4. Maintain a physically active lifestyle. Physical activity can help you manage your weight, which helps to lower your risk of breast cancer. How much exercise should you aim for each week? For healthy adults, 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity plus strength training a couple of times a week is recommended.
5. Breastfeeding. Research shows that breastfeeding may play a role in preventing breast cancer. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the protective and preventive effect.
6. Limiting dose and duration of hormone therapy. Being on hormone therapy for more than 3-5 years increases your risk for breast cancer. If you’re on hormone therapy due to menopause symptoms, discuss your other potential options with your provider.

What Else Can You Do?
It’s important that throughout your life, you’re vigilant about self-checks and mammograms. Adult women are encouraged to perform self-exams on their breasts at least once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical Center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” If you feel a lump, reach out to your provider for further examination and tests.

For women ages 40 and older, it is important to speak with your provider regarding your breast cancer risk and screening recommendations. Typically regular mammograms are encouraged annually starting between the age of 40 to 50. With our state-of-the-art 3-D mammography machine, you can trust that you’re receiving the best care possible, close to home. To schedule your mammogram screening, give Moab Regional Hospital a call at 435-719-3794.

Resiliency by Dr. Prest

Most of you don’t know me yet, I haven’t been in town very long. But, in the short time since I moved to Moab in August 2019 to become the Addiction Psychiatrist at Moab Regional I have been inspired by the warmth and proactivity of this community. As a psychiatrist I often care for people who have endured incredible hardships, but the strength required to seek and accept help remains one of the most awe inspiring things about my job. Moabites have certainly endured terrible hardships and the people who stay here demonstrate a special type of grit. But, as is true with all survivors, “the body can only take so many hits before the cracks start to show”. So even the most resilient among us are bound to feel a shift in their reserve in these frightening and uncertain times. But sometimes, the cracks can shape us in surprising ways.
For some, mental health feels like something apart from regular medicine, something not so serious or something shameful. But, long before we had traditional medicine, it could be argued that mental wellness is all we really had under our control. After all, our camp could be washed away by floods, or a famine or drought could destroy our food sources, or a disease could sweep through our communities. To cope with these uncertainties, we used rituals and ceremony to create connection and meaning, herbs and special foods to nourish our body and soul, and tests of physical endurance to challenge our spirits and fortitude. These days, we have changed our lifestyles such that most of us have lost our sense of routine self-care. We may rely so much on the comforts of modern society that we have lost track of the power of our own ability to guide our sense of wonder. So, what can we do, when the pressures of the world are stealing our security and dependability? This is when re-building resilience and finding connection and meaning in our lives matters most. And perhaps this is when we start to rebuild a renewed sense of self-empowerment about what lies ahead.
Resilience refers to a person’s ability to sustain health and adapt through periods of stress. Resilience, like all fundamental mental health needs, is unfortunately not found in a day. It takes routine effort, like strengthening a muscle. Things that improve resilience often feel like they should be simple, like going to bed on time, limiting screen time, eating vegetables, and getting a little exercise. But, these are usually the first things we put aside when things get tough. Why would this be? Why would we deprive ourselves of self-care when we need it most? The answer probably lies in our most basic survival mechanisms. Simply put: instant gratification, meaning our brains choose the most rewarding and soothing activity to get through the moment. Our stressed, tired brains want high calories, physical relaxation, and mental distraction. Choosing instant gratification can happen spontaneously and without thinking. Those who have never struggled with substance use may find a little empathy here for those with addiction when you consider your own struggles with self-care- if it were easy, wouldn’t you be doing it already?
When your spiritual, emotional and physical tank is low, the first step in rebuilding can feel like the most difficult, so start with the most manageable and realistic change. For example, change often starts with thinking alone. Consider the pros and cons of taking a walk in the evening, calling your sister, or playing with your kid, instead of watching TV for another hour. Make a list of these pros and cons, or talk them out with a friend. Consider whether you have real balance in your life between work and play- are you working too much and neglecting your family, pets, health? Or, perhaps you are avoiding the work for distractions?- it can go both ways. Regardless, prioritize one impactful change at a time and practice this daily.
Certainly some people will have more on their plate than they can think their way out of. When this is the case, reaching out for help is best. You may need to see a medical professional or a therapist. You may need help with housing, rent, food, health insurance. You may need a day off work to run errands or make phone calls. You may need help escaping an abusive relationship. Remember, those who have experienced the most chaos and trauma are sometimes those who come out the other side stronger, more thoughtful, more creative, and with more appreciation of life than ever, but it can take time and the creation of new, safer spaces in our lives. Sometimes a little self-exploration can lead to tremendous post traumatic growth.
All in all, building resilience is a basic way to honor your humanity and your most basic needs. Setting boundaries by increasing balance in your life may help you feel a greater sense of control in an out of control world. As Austrian psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”. I know times are difficult, but there may be space between the hardships where we can find new meaning, greater connection, or to finally take that step forward toward self-care.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call one of the numbers below. Or, check out some of these helpful websites for guidance on increasing your wellness and resilience.
Hotlines and treatment access:
National Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990 / 800-846-8517 (TTY)
Utah Crisis line: 800-273-8255
MRH Mental Health access: 719-5531
Addiction treatment: 719-5585

Helpful websites:

Should I go to the Urgent Care or my Primary Care Provider?

In the event of sickness or injury, have you ever wondered whether you should call the doctor or just “wait it out”? Sometimes, a cold can clear up on its own within a couple of days. But occasionally, what you thought was a cold lingers or turns into something more.

When you’ve decided it is time to call the doctor, which one do you call? Should your Primary Care Physician be on speed dial or should you skip the call and head into Urgent Care? We’re here to help with these questions today.

Here’s an important distinction to start with: Urgent vs. Emergent.

An injury or illness is urgent if you need to be treated soon. An injury or illness is considered an emergency when it is threatening your life and you need to be treated immediately.

Some examples of times when you should call 9-1-1 or head to the Emergency Department at Moab Regional Hospital include:
Broken bones where the skin is punctured
Head injury, including concussions and fainting
Severe allergic reaction
Severe asthma attack
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Vomiting or coughing up blood

Here are some examples of times when Urgent Care would be your best choice:
Animal or insect bites
Flu or cold symptoms
Ear pain
Minor broken bones
Mild burns or rashes
Minor cuts
Pink eye
Sore throat
Urinary tract infection
Vomiting or diarrhea

So, when do you call your Primary Care Provider? Primary Care is a great resource for preventative care (screenings, annual checkups, etc.) or concerns that don’t need urgent or emergent treatment. If you have a health concern that requires routine visits outside of your standard annual appointments, your Primary Care Physician will be a valuable resource to you.

There can be a lot of overlap in treatments that could be taken care of in our Urgent Care or your Primary Care Provider’s office. In these cases, one of the most important factors is how soon you need to be treated. Because of the nature of primary care, the availability of your physician may determine how soon you’ll be able to be seen in their office. If your health concern isn’t a part of an ongoing treatment or routine visits, you may consider visiting Urgent Care to receive treatment sooner than when your Primary Care Physician would be available for an appointment with you.

Moab Regional Urgent Care provides after-hours and weekend medical care for non-emergent minor illnesses and injuries. Urgent care appointments are walk-in only.

When to See Your Primary Care Provider

Staying Healthy
Regularly seeing the same Primary Care Provider throughout your life provides numerous benefits. Scheduling and attending your annual appointments can help to cultivate a healthy provider/patient relationship. When the relationship with your Primary Care Provider is strong, they’ll have access to your full health history and know how to advocate for you and your health. They’ll also have your family’s health history and understand the health risks unique to you.

Annual appointments are important throughout your entire life. When you schedule your annual appointment, there’s a physical exam involved as well as preventative services such as screenings for high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Young children are seen more frequently. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following schedule from birth to age three. Keep in mind that your Primary Care Provider may choose a slightly different approach, depending on your child’s specific health needs.

The first week visit (3 to 5 days old)
1 month old
2 months old
4 months old
6 months old
9 months old
12 months old
15 months old
18 months old
2 years old (24 months)
2 ½ years old (30 months)
3 years old

After 3 years of age, visits to a Primary Care Provider are recommended annually for the remainder of your years. The purpose of these visits is to track growth and development with a focus on prevention at each milestone.

Additional Benefits of Seeing Your Primary Care Provider
If you’re needing to see a specialist, your Primary Care Provider can often provide advice or treatment in the interim. Some specialists schedule a few months out, so it can be helpful to visit with your Primary Care Provider regularly during your scheduled appointments. They can also help answer any general health questions or concerns that you have.

Our Primary Care Providers
We offer a diverse group of experienced and compassionate Primary Care Providers who are currently accepting new patients. When it comes to your family and your healthcare, we understand how important it is to find the right medical provider. We are committed to providing lifelong exceptional care to you and your family. It is our goal for you to live a healthy, vibrant, and well-balanced life. We know you’ll be well cared for by our excellent providers at Moab Regional Hospital.

General Surgery Services

At Moab Regional Hospital, we offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient surgical services to meet the needs of our patients. On surgery day, patients are cared for in one of our three state-of-the art surgical suites or six private same-day-surgery rooms. You will recover in one of our two designated recovery rooms. Our highly skilled operating room team works hard to ensure optimum safety and quality of care for each of our patients throughout the surgical process.

Here are some examples of common surgeries performed right here at Moab Regional Hospital and an overview of some of the warning signs for each of these conditions, information on screenings and procedures, etc.

  • Hernia repair
    • Possible signs and symptoms of a hernia include: 
    • Nausea, vomiting, fever, sudden pain that quickly worsens, a hernia bulge that appears red or bruised, lack of bowel movements, or inability to pass gas.
  • Gallbladder
    • Possible signs and symptoms of gallbladder issues include:
    • Pain in the mid or upper right part of your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, changes in urination or bowel movements, or jaundice.
  • Appendix
    • Possible signs and symptoms of appendix issues include:
    • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, pain in your lower right part of your abdomen or near your belly button, swollen belly, or inability to pass gas.
  • Bowel procedures
    • Possible signs and symptoms of bowel issues include:
    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, pain in your abdomen, or significant changes in bowel movements.
  • Colonoscopies/EGD
    • An annual colonoscopy is recommended beginning at age 50 until age 75. 
  • Pediatric surgery
    • This area of surgery focuses primarily on providing surgical care for any problems or conditions that affect children and require surgical intervention.
  • Vasectomy
    • A vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of birth control.
  • Tubal ligation
    • Tubal ligation is a form of permanent birth control.
  • Breast Procedures
    • Common surgical breast procedures include: 
    • Breast reduction, breast augmentation, mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast-conserving surgery, breast lift, surgery for breast abscess, and surgical breast biopsies.
  • Skin Cancer Removal
    • There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms of possible skin cancer dependent on the type of skin cancer.

If you are experiencing any of the above conditions or are in need of a surgical procedure our skilled surgical team at Moab Regional Hospital has the knowledge and expertise to take care of you. Schedule your appointment by calling 435-719-5550 between 8:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday.

When Should I See An Orthopedic Surgeon?

With hundreds of bones and joints in your body, it’s important to make sure they’re all functioning well, so you can function at your best! Here is a list of four situations when you should see an orthopedic surgeon:

  1. You have a hard time performing your daily activities. Bone and joint discomfort can be common, especially as we age. But the pain or discomfort shouldn’t stop you from doing your daily activities. If you’re experiencing stiffness, decreased range of motion, or you are unable to walk up the stairs, it’s time to give our orthopedic surgery team a call.
  2. You’re at-risk of falling. If you feel unstable while walking or standing or if you feel wobbly while performing your daily activities, this is a sign that something is wrong with your joints. Our team can help diagnose and treat the joint issues you are experiencing.
  3. You’ve experienced a soft-tissue, joint, or bone injury. Some minor injuries can be treated with ice and elevation, but if the injury hasn’t improved within two days, it’s time to give us a call so we can discover any deeper issues that may be prolonging the injury. If a bone is broken, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. The Urgent Care or Emergency Department physician can work with our orthopedic surgeons to get you the best care possible.
  4. Your joint pain is not improving. If your joint pain is chronic (lasting longer than three months), it’s time to seek professional help.

Our orthopedic team here at Moab Regional Hospital provides excellent musculoskeletal care to patients of all ages and activity levels. Our orthopedists are experienced in a wide variety of treatments ranging from acute injury to chronic joint problems. We work with patients to establish individualized care plans for their specific orthopedic needs.

Here in Moab, we’re lucky to have exclusive access to a wide range of outdoor activities and recreation. Whether you’re needing orthopedic surgery to recover from a sports injury or to help with chronic joint problems so you can regain your motion and get back out on those red rocks, Moab Regional Hospital has the treatment and care you need close to home. 

We care for the following conditions:

  • Pain/injury to shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, hips, ankles, feet, and knees
  • Orthopedic injury (broken bones)
  • Congenital disorders
  • Arthritis
  • We provide the following services:
  • Reconstructive Surgeries
  • Joint replacement for hips, knees and shoulders.
  • Hand & Foot Surgeries
  • Arthroscopic Surgeries
  • Common hand operations, including carpal tunnel surgery.
  • *We do NOT provide surgical services for the spine at this time.

Welcome The Newest Addition to Our Orthopedic Team

We’re excited to welcome a new Orthopedic Surgeon to our team! Dr. Kimberly Franke specializes in shoulder replacements, shoulder instability, rotator cuff repair, and fractures but also performs general orthopedic surgery, including knee reconstructions and hip replacements. 

Dr. Franke studied with Dr. Mark Frankle during her fellowship, who designed a reverse shoulder arthroplasty and was instrumental in bringing reverse shoulder replacement procedures to the United States. She also studied with Dr. Mark Mighell, who is a nationally recognized shoulder surgeon.

Dr. Franke enjoys outdoor recreational activities, especially mountain biking, canyoneering, and climbing. Her love of these activities translates to her excellence as an orthopedic surgeon and her desire to help those who have been injured get back to doing what they love.

Imaging & Radiology at Moab Regional Hospital

At Moab Regional Hospital, our Imaging and Radiology Department provides you with a complete range of diagnostic and treatment services. Using state-of-the-art equipment, our skilled team provides you with caring, safe, and accurate imaging services that are fully coordinated with your medical care.

These services can help your medical team to:

  • Diagnose the cause of your symptoms
  • Diagnose a broken bone
  • Monitor the health of a baby before birth
  • Observe a treatment you are receiving for a disease or condition and monitor the progress your body is making to this treatment
  • Screen for illnesses like breast cancer, colon cancer, or heart disease

Each of the imaging technologies we work with has a team of trained professionals running your diagnostic tests and screenings. We take pride in the skills of our team members and their ability to use this advanced equipment to offer our patients the highest level of care in an efficient matter of time. All of our imaging is read by a Board Certified Radiologist via teleradiology services provide through Utah Imaging Associates to ensure the highest level of accuracy.

Here is an overview of the imaging technologies available at MRH:

X-Rays and Fluoroscopy

X-Rays are an important part of our imaging department and are commonly used to non-invasively view broken bones and other medical conditions. Fluoroscopy is used to take streaming real-time images by x-ray and combines those images to create a kind of “x-ray movie”.


Computed Tomography or Computed Axial Tomography is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. In just seconds, this advanced technology can make a complete scan of your entire body – or produce detailed views of a targeted area.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a painless and safe diagnostic procedure that uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body’s organs and structures, without the use of x-rays or other radiation.

3D Digital Mammography

Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts and is the primary means of the early detection of breast cancer. Computer-aided detection (CAD) systems use an image obtained from a digitally acquired mammogram. We also offer 3D digital mammography, which improves the quality of the images, improves breast cancer detection, and reduces the need for follow-up imaging. 


Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images inside of the body that can be viewed on a monitor. It is a safe and painless way to view internal organs without radiation and is often used to monitor the health and development of a baby before birth.

Bone Densitometry

Bone Density testing is a tool for classifying bone mass as normal, osteopenia or osteoporosis. This procedure is non-invasive and may be ordered by your doctor to determine if you have osteoporosis or low bone mass.

Moab Regional Hospital’s Financial Assistance Program

Medical bills can seem intimidating and overwhelming, even if you have health insurance. Moab Regional Hospital is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 hospital and is committed to helping you afford the health care you deserve. We have a generous financial aid program that you could be eligible for!

The Statistics

Information was recently gathered from a survey and focus groups of randomly selected residents of Moab and surrounding areas. Those who responded to our survey and participated in our focus groups listed the “ability to pay the high cost of health care” as one of their top concerns from a list of community health concerns. Then when they were asked about our financial aid program, a total of 67% of respondents said that they didn’t apply for financial assistance because they either didn’t think they would qualify or they weren’t aware of the program. We are dedicated to helping our community afford their health care. Our financial assistance program is set up so that we can assist as many patients as possible, with generous amounts paid out to aid in this goal. Before assuming you may not qualify, get in touch with one of our Financial Navigators who can give you a better idea of what you may qualify for at 435-719-3540

How Is Financial Aid Determined?

Our financial aid program is determined on a sliding scale based on income and family size. For example, if you have a family of four, and you make $44,000 a year, Moab Regional Hospital would cover 50% of your hospital bill. Keep in mind that our financial assistance program is available to everyone, those with health insurance and without. We understand that meeting your deductible and out-of-pocket costs can be overwhelming, we’re here to help. The deadline to apply for financial assistance through our program is 120 days after the date of your first billing statement. These applications are reviewed by a committee and are usually decided within 30 days. 

A Healthier Community We are focused on promoting the health of our community. Our dedicated team is patient-centered in all aspects, including aiding those in need of financial assistance. There is financial help available to those who need it. Click  here  to find the documents you’ll need to apply for financial assistance. If you have any questions, please get in touch with a Financial Navigator at 435-719-3536.