Celebrating Cooper Clinic’s Incredible Laboratory Team

April 23-29 was Medical Laboratory Professionals Week and here at Cooper Clinic, we showcased the incredible work that goes on behind-the-scenes, as well as our super-hero medical laboratory staff.

An open house was held inside the Cooper Clinic Laboratory on Thursday, April 27. Patients, teammates and outside guests toured seven stations inside the lab. At each stop, medical laboratory scientists were on hand to explain the instrumentation and processes, such as phlebotomy, chemistry, hematology and urinalysis.

“We wanted to demonstrate the importance of the lab, as 70 percent of all diagnoses are made from lab testing,” said Peggy Blalock, Cooper Clinic Laboratory Manager. “Medical Laboratory Professionals Week was the perfect time to invite people into the lab to see all that we do.”

What sets the Cooper Clinic lab apart from others?

“While we have high-powered, state-of-the-art equipment unlike other labs of our size, what really sets us apart is our high-quality, same-day results and our experienced staff,” says Blalock.

The Cooper Clinic Laboratory processes nearly 300,000 tests a year and provides same-day test results. Because the lab handles samples for only 35-40 patients a day, the lab professionals are able to ensure the results are of the highest quality.

Cooper Clinic’s lab professionals are the heroes behind-the-scenesLabWeek_6636. The open house theme was inspired by Disney’s animated movie, “The Incredibles,”─highlighting all of the incredible work done in the lab. Only 4 percent of all labs in the U.S. receive the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation, Laboratory Excellence Award. Cooper Clinic has received this award for six years.

“Our highly qualified medical laboratory scientists are committed to quality,” says Blalock. “They take ownership and responsibility for every detail in the lab. We manage phone calls and vaccines, monitor temperature, run quality control material, perform maintenance on instruments, test specimens, conduct inter-laboratory proficiency testing and to ensure quality results are produced. All of these things they do, because they are committed to Cooper Clinic.”

Watch this entertaining video of our incredible laboratory team and discover what goes on behind-the-scenes in the Cooper Clinic lab.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Becoming a Boxing Legend

He’s attracted attention from major TV networks like Showtime and Sky Sports for the boxers he trains and has been praised by top sporting website Bleacher Report, that named him one of the top boxing coaches. Cooper Fitness Center Boxing Pro Derrick James began boxing at the age of 5 and is just as passionate about the sport today. James discusses what it’s like to train professional fighters and what it takes to become a successful boxer at any age.

 What made you so interested in boxing?

I had an older brother who started boxing and just like all siblings, I admired him. I think it’s the one-on-one competition and the fact that it’s an individual sport. Everything relies upon your hard work and effort or what you did or didn’t do. That’s the great part about it.

 Tell us about your boxing career

I started at the Oak Cliff Boys and Girls Club in Dallas at the age of 5. I had a pretty good amateur career. I won the U.S. Title, the National Junior Olympics and the Under 19 Title Championships in America, which I won twice back-to-back (1989 and 1990). I lost in the Olympic Trials in 1992 and after that, I turned professional. As a pro, I compiled a record of 21 wins, 7 losses. The last 15 years, I have been the Boxing Pro at Cooper Fitness Center, and that’s where I train my fighters now.

                                                                            Who are some of the boxers you train?

    ProZoneBLOGPICI train Errol Spence Jr., who competed in the 2012 Olympics and is currently the number one rated contender in the world. He’ll be challenging for the Welterweight World Title on May 27, in Sheffield, England. I also train Jermell Charlo, the World Boxing Council Super Welterweight World Champion. He won the title for the first time back on April 22, in New York City. I also coach Robert Brant from Minnesota, who’s also fighting for the World Title.


What does it mean to you to train these championship fighters?

I really can’t explain it because I never set out to do this. I’m dedicated to each one of the guys. I train them six days a week and I give them everything they give me. I don’t look at the accolades of it, I just keep working until there’s no more work.

What’s your favorite part about coaching?

My favorite part of coaching is teaching a new technique that the fighter understands and is able to implement the new technique into his game plan. That’s one of the greatest parts about coaching.

 Bleacher Report named you one of the Top 10 boxing coaches of today. How did it feel to receive that honor?

 I think it’s good but you know, I don’t do it for that. I enjoy boxing and it’s my way of life. I come to work seven days a week, that’s my normal routine. So, it makes me feel great, but that’s not why I coach.

 What advice would you give someone who’s interested in boxing?

You just have to be focused, work hard and find someone who can actually help you and get you to the level you want to obtain.

 In your opinion, what sort of skills or mindset makes a championship fighter?

It’s a lot about the mindset. You have to be a very intelligent individual, to be hard-working and have a lot of fortitude, a lot of resilience and the ability to not give up. I think you have to feel that desire to be the best and all of your actions go with the words that you say.

 What do you hope for in your future?

Honestly, I’m already living this dream. My only goal is to be the best I can be, and that means the best trainer, the best friend for the fighters, the best husband, the best father. I’m not worried about the accolades. As long as I’m the best I can be, everything else will fall into place.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Before you make a splash, follow these water safety tips

Marni Kerner 

Swimming isn’t just fun, it’s also a great way to stay fit. The non-impact activity can not only lower blood pressure, but can help arthritis. Did we mention it’s also listed as one of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s five best aerobic exercises? But before you put on your swim gear and hop into the pool, it may be time revisit some key pool safety tips. Cooper Fitness Center Swim Pro Marni Kerner offers some advice for keeping you and your kids safe both in and around the pool.

In the pool:

  1. Swimming lessons: Learning how to swim before entering the water may sound like a no-brainer, but drownings continue to happen every year. The best way to prevent drowning, Kerner says, is not by sticking floaties on your kids, but by properly teaching them to swim. Bobbing, treading and floating are some of the first skills Kerner teaches kids during their swimming lessons. Those basic skills, along with a basic freestyle stroke and learning to safely climb in and out of the pool, can help kids survive should they get in a tough situation in the water.


  1. Goofing off: What may seem like a fun game for some kids can really scare others. Chicken fights, pulling each other under water or jumping on top of each other in the pool are all “games” Kerner says you want to teach your kids to avoid. Kerner has seen many adults who are fearful of the water, all because of a similar traumatic experience when they were kids. Bottom line─keep your hands to yourself while in the pool.
  1. Know your limitations: Swimming can be fun and often, a time to show off what you’ve learned. That being said, Kerner reminds both adults and kids to never swim above their ability. While it’s important for kids to practice their skills in the pool, Kerner reminds them to do so only with an instructor or adult supervision. Never swim alone.

Around the pool:


  1. Spot your safety equipment: Before you jump in the pool, make sure you locate the safety equipment around the pool, in case of an emergency. Life rings, rescue poles and first aid kits should be readily available around every pool. If you’re swimming at a home pool, Kerner reminds homeowners to always have a fenced-in pool area and always double-check the fence is securely locked.


  1. Stay weather aware: The weather is ever-changing, and that means a day that starts out warm and sunny can quickly turn stormy. Kerner says it’s important to check your local forecast before heading to the pool for the day. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors. Don’t wait for the storm to get close. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, lightning can strike from several miles away, so don’t take a chance.


  1. Stay hydrated: With water all around your body, it can be easy to forget about the water needed inside your body. Swimming is one of the top aerobic activities and despite being in the water, Kerner reminds swimmers that you can become dehydrated! Make sure to keep bottles of water near the edge of the pool and make sure to take frequent water breaks.

Now that you’ve completed your safety checklist, don’t forget to have fun! Kerner says swimming can be a great family activity and as she says, if you’re going to be by the pool this summer, you should enjoy it.

Looking to refresh your skills before swim season? Check out our April swim clinic schedule for both kids and adults. Kerner also teaches swimming lessons at Cooper Fitness Center year-round. Visit cooperswimacademy.com for details. Swimming programs are open to the public.

Categories: Cooper Updates

How to Avoid a Busted Bracket During March Madness

March Madness is a basketball fan’s favorite time of year. Flair for the dramatic paired with passionate fans and determined underdogs creates an exciting sports atmosphere that is hard to match. Cooper Fitness Center Basketball Pro Coleman Crawford has experienced the ups and downs of March Madness as a coach and offers advice for putting together a winning bracket for the conclusion of college basketball season.

Building a bracket is always more fun when friendly competition is involved. Invite family, friends and coworkers to join a bracket pool and decide on a prize for the eventual winner. Set aside some time to make picks together once the tournament teams are announced.

When it’s time to make your picks, do your research first. Try to learn a little bit about each team in the tournament and recognize their strengths and weaknesses. When observing and evaluating each team, keep an eye on the players’ fundamentals. Ball control, passing and shooting skills, which we begin teaching at a young age in Cooper Fitness Center basketball programs, are just as important at the college level as they are for beginners. No matter each player’s athleticism or advanced skills, success within the game of basketball always goes back to the fundamentals.

Next, take your favorite teams into account. Who do you want to cheer for, and why? If your alma mater or family’s favorite team is in the tournament, don’t be afraid to add them to your bracket and see how far they can make it. You want to make sure to have fun and embrace your favorite team!

Although it’s tempting to pick all of the top seeded teams, Coleman recommends picking one or two teams with a seed of 10 or higher. Everyone loves a Cinderella story during March Madness, so take a risk on an underdog that could cause an upset and bust other brackets.

If you use a website or app to make your bracket, it’s important to understand the scoring system. You earn points for each game won by the teams you pick, and you lose points for each game lost by the teams you pick. Using a website or app to track your bracket makes it easy – the program will add and subtract points automatically at the end of each game. The number of points you have at the end of the tournament determines how well you do within your bracket pool.

Finally, don’t overthink it! Creating a bracket for March Madness is a fun way to follow college basketball, even if you haven’t been keeping up with the entire season. The talent on display is exciting to watch and is a great reminder that college athletes were once kids who worked hard to learn and hone their game, much like the children and teenagers who come to basketball camp at Cooper Fitness Center.

Enjoy the madness this spring, and best of luck to your bracket. Follow along with Coleman’s picks here and don’t forget to let us know how your picks performed.


For more information about Cooper Fitness Center Basketball Programs for both youth and adults, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com/ProZone.

Smoother Skin for Spring with Cooper Spa Dallas

Is your skin looking a bit tired and dull? If so, a body treatment may be the solution. Cooper Spa Assistant Manager Erika Bazan shares tips for selecting the best body treatment for your body’s needs.

Body treatments are a great way to revitalize your skin and give you a healthy glow. The treatment dates back to Roman times. The focus of a body treatment is buffing away dryness on particularly rough parts of your body, such as elbows, knees, ankles and heels.  However, along with soothing the skin, body treatments have many added benefits.

Body scrubs are made up of salt, sugar, and yes, even dried fruit. So, how do you know which scrub is best for your needs?


Salt based scrubs: Salt based scrubs are known for their healing properties and can be beneficial for those suffering from arthritis or sore muscles. The chemicals in salt are absorbed by the skin to help reduce inflammation. Those same chemicals also re-mineralize the skin and give it a healthy glow. If healing properties are what you’re looking for, try Cooper Spa’s Detoxification Body Wrap or Fit Body Scrub  to stimulate your body and leave you with a more youthful appearance. The detoxification wrap is also great for those who are jet-lagged, starting a weight loss or smoking cessation program, or who are looking for an overall body cleanse.


Sugar based scrubs: Sugar is a natural antiseptic, which is why sugar based scrubs are another great choice for healing. Sugar is also a humectant, which means it draws in moisture from the environment, locking it into your skin for added hydration. The scrub contains glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps exfoliate dead skin. The enticing aroma of Cooper Spa’s Harmonic Lavender treatment is 80 minutes of pure bliss, and will leave your skin looking and feeling refreshed.

Dried fruit based scrub: Using dried fruit for a body treatment may seem a bit odd, but a dried fruit based scrub can actually help refine the texture of your skin. The natural occurring enzymes and antioxidants not only buff away dead skin, but have brightening and anti-aging benefits. A client favorite, Cooper Spa’s Ultimate Hydration Ritual,  is an orange peel based scrub that sloughs away dead skin, while the honey in the blend seals in the moisture. This body treatment will leave your skin noticeably smoother and hydrated.

  • Looking to amp up your skin before pool season? Every Cooper Spa exfoliating Body Treatment begins with an all over body scrub focusing on elbows, knees, ankles and shoulders. The exfoliation treatment is followed by a 50-minute massage to re-moisturize and revitalize your skin. These soothing treatments not only enhance the look and feel of your skin, they also leave you feeling relaxed and renewed.

Cooper Spa’s highly trained massage therapists recommend a body scrub once a month or at the start of a new season. With spring right around the corner, we say, your time is now!

Visit Cooper Spa Dallas to learn more about the body treatments offered or to book your appointment.

How to Prepare for a Tennis Tournament

February 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Tennis is one of the few sports you can start at any age and play competitively. Training with a goal in mind, such as competing in match play or a tournament, can be a great motivating factor to improve your skills on the court and overall fitness.

Tournaments and leagues are separated by age division and/or skill level, which allows people to meet others on their same level of experience. If you’re planning on adding a dose of competition to your tennis routine, signing up to play in a tournament can be an exciting opportunity. Cooper Fitness Center Tennis Pro Corey Noel offers his top 10 tips for preparing to compete in a tennis tournament:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. Follow your regular bedtime routine, and make sure to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep to be well-rested and at the top of your game.
  2. Eat and hydrate properly 24-48 hours before the tournament. Stick to your healthy diet and use food as fuel for your body. Follow the recommended hydration guidelines and make sure to bring your water bottle to the tournament.
  3. Focus on conditioning and match practice in the week leading up to a tournament. There’s less of a need to focus on technique.
  4. Identify your goals and strategies before the tournament begins.
  5. Have all your necessary equipment in top shape (rackets freshly strung, court shoes broken in, etc.). Make sure to bring the proper clothing and accessories – layers if it’s chilly and a hat and sunglasses if it’s sunny. An extra pair of socks can come in handy, too. Pack sunscreen, water and healthy snacks for fuel.
  6. Stretch before and after each match to keep yourself loose and to help your muscles recover.
  7. Know your limitations. A tournament can test your physical and mental acuity; recognize where your breaking point is and don’t go past it.
  8. Pick the right division for your skill level. If you’re playing with a partner, make sure you work well together and have practiced together before the tournament.
  9. It’s just tennis! Don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that you’re playing in a tournament. Concentrate on using the skills you’ve developed and try to play your best.
  10. Have fun!

Tennis programs at Cooper Fitness Center are open to the public. Visit cooperfitnesscenter.com to learn more.

Get Chummy with Cheese

January 20, 2017 1 comment

By Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD

Despite a reputation for clogging arteries, cheese is still a beloved food. These days, you don’t have to shy away from cheese to keep healthful eating habits. Cheese can fit into a delicious eating plan and transform simple meals and dishes into culinary delights. The key is portion control and cheese selection.

Cheese contains saturated fat. Cooper Clinic recommends limiting saturated fat to less than six percent of total calories. For example, individuals needing 1,400 calories would aim to consume less than 9 grams of saturated fat per day. An individual needing 1,800 calories would aim to keep saturated fat less than 12 grams each day. Take a look at the cheese infographic below to compare some of your favorites and see how they fit into a balanced eating plan.

Babybel light cheese is a nutrition all-star. One piece is only 50 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat. It also has 6 grams of protein and 150 mg of calcium, which makes it an excellent cheese choice. Now take a look at Parmesan cheese. One ounce

(4 tablespoons) is 110 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat. Generally only 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese is plenty, since it has such robust flavor. One tablespoon of Parmesan Reggiano is approximately 27 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat. Try sprinkling roasted vegetables with Parmesan and experience the flavors magnify. This is especially true when roasting vegetables such as Brussels sprouts.

Feta, goat and sharp cheddar are also examples of modestly-flavored cheese. When you’re cooking and you want to maximize the cheese flavor while maintaining a healthy portion, these are the cheeses to use. Big flavor is achieved with small amounts.

These vegetable enchiladas are an example of how to maximize cheese flavor:

  • Spread fat-free refried black beans, sautéed spinach and mushrooms on to a corn tortilla
  • Roll tortilla and place seam side down in small pan
  • Top with green salsa and bake until hot
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle a small amount of feta cheese on top before serving

Moderation is the key to enjoying cheese healthfully. For more information about how Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services can help you build a healthy eating plan, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.