National Emergency Nurses Week

We extend our gratitude to the Emergency Nurses at Washington Regional Medical Center as we celebrate Emergency Nurses Week. The Emergency Nurses Association recognizes the extraordinary contributions of our ER nurses during this recognition week from October 10-16.

Always committed to their patients, our ER nurses have gone above and beyond during the pandemic showing grit, persistence, patience and compassion. Thank you for helping a patient on their hardest day; for getting your hands, and scrubs, dirty without hesitation; and for always getting back up and pushing forward.

To learn more about Emergency Nurses Week, visit

WRMC Emergency Nurses Angie & Chuck

WRMC Emergency Nurses Whitney & Jenna

3D Versus 2D Mammograms

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is 13 percent, which is one in every eight women according to the American Cancer Society. Screenings and early detection are key.

Washington Regional Medical Center is proud to be one of the few facilities in eastern North Carolina to offer 3D mammography services at our Norma Lorraine Avignone Women’s Health Center. A 3D mammogram is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. Research has shown 3D mammograms outperform the traditional 2D mammograms by finding more breast cancers and offering fewer false positives.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends women who are 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other health care professional about when to start and how often to get a mammogram.

The schedule a mammogram, call 252-793-7706 or visit 

Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This recipe makes the perfect cozy, fall dish. It’s comfort food with a healthy twist. Plus, it’s dairy free and easy to make. Did we mention the kids will also love it? This homemade Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is sure to be a family favorite:

Cajun Chicken Recipe

Recipe: Cajun Chicken

Cajun Chicken Recipe

This flavorful recipe is a great one to keep in your back pocket for a weekly go-to meal. It pairs perfectly with any vegetable side, and is sure to please the whole family. The best part? There are a variety of ways to prepare it. This Cajun Chicken can be pan-fried, baked, grilled or made in the air fryer! Check out the full recipe here:

Washington Regional Medical Center Environmental Services Team

Thank You to Our Environmental Services Team!

Washington Regional Medical Center Environmental Services Team

The Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE)’s Environmental Services Week is September 12-18, and we are thrilled to recognize and share our appreciation for our outstanding Environmental Services team here at Washington Regional Medical Center.

These individuals show up every day dedicated to keeping our facilities clean, so that our community can safely receive high-quality health care and medical services. Especially as we continue the fight against COVID-19, when sanitation and custodial standards are higher than ever, we are incredibly grateful for the work our EVS team does. Environmental services save lives, and we couldn’t be more proud to honor the great work our team does day in and day out. Thank you!

To learn more about EVS Week, visit

National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week

September brings two annual recognitions of suicide awareness and prevention – National Suicide Prevention Week is September 6-10 and World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. At Washington Regional Medical Center, we’d like to take this opportunity to share some of the warning signs of suicide and what you can do to work towards suicide prevention, as well as mental health tips and self-care strategies for yourself and your loved ones.

What to Look For: Warning Signs of Suicide

There is no single cause for suicide – but, there are risk factors we can keep an eye out for that may indicate the likelihood of a suicide attempt. Learning about these risk factors (and how to address them) can save lives.

Generally, suicide happens when health issues and general stressors impact an individual’s mental health and wellbeing, to the point of creating an experience of hopelessness and despair. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed or untreated. This, combined with anxiety, substance problems, environmental challenges and historical patterns, can increase risk for suicide.

Change in behavior or entirely new behaviors could also be warning signs that someone may be suicidal – especially in connection to a painful event, loss or other major life change. Speaking about suicide or feelings of hopelessness, being trapped, having no reason to live, etc. could indicate suicidal thoughts, as well as behavior changes such as isolation and mood changes like loss of interest.

How to Help: Protective Factors to Prevent Suicide

Providing access to mental health care is a powerful weapon in the fight against suicide. Connection to family and other support networks, learning problem-solving and coping skills, and limiting access to lethal means are powerful protective factors as well. Try your best to connect with those around you, especially anyone experiencing the warning signs outlined above, and check in with family and friends regularly. Connection and consistent positive social interaction is a wonderful tool that benefits everyone’s mental health.

Prioritizing activities that bring you happiness, designating time to take care of yourself and setting boundaries for anything that causes undue distress or anxiety are great ways to ensure your mental health is taken care of. Check out this article on self-care strategies to learn more about how you can dig deeper than common stressors to address and improve your mental health on a daily basis:

To learn more about National Suicide Prevention Week and the fight against suicide, visit

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you’re not alone. Call the suicide prevention hotline at 800-273-8255, available as a resource 24 hours a day.


National Immunization Awareness Month

As summer winds down and schools prepare to open for the fall, we recognize August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NAIM). Vaccination is important for people of all ages, especially as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and are most recently challenged with the new variants developing. 

Washington Regional Medical Center encourages all patients to stay up to date on necessary and recommended vaccines. We provide immunizations by appointment. To inquire about availability, call 252-793-4135.

Plymouth Primary Care also provides school physicals. Call 252-793-4500 to make an appointment.

For more resources on National Immunization Awareness Month, visit

Recipe: Cherry Pie Crumble Bars

The perfect recipe for a hot summer day, these cherry pie crumble bars are a delicious combination of tart and sweet. They feature a classic cherry filling, shortbread-like crust and oatmeal crumble topping. Thanks to Wellness by Kay for creating this vegan, low-ingredient recipe:

Spotlight: Shalaila Ann Salazar, MSN, RN, ACNPC-AG

This month, we’re excited to feature one of our Plymouth Primary Care providers in a team member spotlight. Shalaila Ann Salazar, MSN, RN, ACNPC-AG is a Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner trained to work with critical care patients. She graduated with her BSN from Ryerson University in July 2005 and her MSN from Walden University in November 2020. Shalaila brings almost 15 years of nursing experience in hospital, critical and acute health care settings. In March 2021, she continued her professional journey at Washington Regional Medical Center’s Plymouth Primary Care Rural Health Clinic care team as the first hybrid hospitalist and family practice practitioner. Her diverse background allows her to provide high-quality care to our patients in a dynamic new role as Nurse Practitioner.

“Caring for patients in an inpatient setting allows me to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care across the spectrum. Working in the clinic allows me to forge real connections with our patients and their families, so we can provide whole-person care,” Salazar said. “I especially enjoy that every day is different. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience!”

We’re thrilled to have Shalaila on our team at WRMC. To learn more about Plymouth Primary Care services or request an appointment at the clinic, visit or call 252-793-4500 today.

ER Provider Encourages Fireworks Safety

July is National Fireworks Safety Month, and we are excited to feature our newest Emergency Services provider to share her tips on enjoying Independence Day safely when handling sparklers, fountains and more.

Sandra J. Layden, FNP-BC, ENP-C, joined Washington Regional Medical Center in April and brings a wealth of experience from emergency departments and urgent care, medical/surgical units, and family medicine at a variety of hospitals and health systems. Most recently, she served as an adjunct faculty member in the Physician Assistant Programs at Indiana State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School.

“Even if fireworks are legal in your area, I typically advise my patients to enjoy the public displays provided by professionals and avoid using fireworks at home,” Layden said. “Not only can they cause injuries, but fireworks are also known to start fires – and that can put a quick end to your Fourth of July festivities.”

If you choose to use fireworks, we encourage following these safety precautions from the National Safety Council:

  • Do not allow children to handle fireworks – always ensure there is close adult supervision if children are around fireworks
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks
  • Wear protective eyewear when standing nearby or using fireworks, and never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Do not use fireworks indoors – only light them away from people, houses and flammable material

Our caring staff in the WRMC Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the event of any urgent illness or injury. To learn more about our emergency services, visit We hope you have a safe and memorable Independence Day celebration with your loved ones!

For a full list of tips on fireworks safety from the National Safety Council, visit their website: