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:

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:


Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad

In the hot summer months, nothing sounds quite as refreshing as a cold bowl of pasta salad. This recipe serves as a great meal-prep side dish or a snack you can quickly pull out of the fridge in between meals. With a total prep + cooking time of 22 minutes, Love and Lemons’ Mediterranean Pasta Salad features fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula, cucumbers, mint and basil leaves. Try it yourself this summer:

Enjoy Summer with Sun Protection

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. With longer days, beautiful weather and plenty of activities to keep families busy, many find themselves out in the sun for much of the summer season. It’s important to remember to protect yourself and your loved ones from the harsh rays of the sun by regularly applying SPF and seeking out the shade whenever you can.

Everyone loves a summer glow, but extended exposure to direct sunlight can be damaging to your skin. July 3 is National Stay Out of the Sun Day, so we are sharing some easy tips on how to protect yourself from sun damage:

  • Applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or more to your face and body daily provides a barrier from the sun. However, it’s essential to reapply every 2 or 3 hours, and every time after getting out of the water – whether it be a pool, lake or ocean.
  • Wear a hat with a wide or long brim, relax under a tree or enjoy the warm weather under an umbrella when spending time outdoors, instead of in direct sunlight. It often feels 10-15 degrees cooler when you’re in the shade!
  • We encourage you to wear SPF daily, even in the winter and on cloudy days. While you may find yourself wearing more layers, long sleeves and pants during colder months, your face is always exposed to some form of sunlight.

Moderate sun exposure provides you and your family with a healthy, all-natural dose of Vitamin D – just don’t spend too much time basking in the sun this summer!