Advances in Family Healthcare

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We, at Northern Connection magazine, are grateful to live and work in an area with so many devoted healthcare professionals and their amazing commitment to bringing the latest advances in healthcare to us and our families. In this issue, we are pleased to highlight the following fields of healthcare and their latest developments:

 Cataract Surgery – Traditionally, cataract surgery provided patients with a single vision implant lens that resulted only in good distance vision, with most patients needing to wear glasses for near vision after surgery.  It also left patients with uncorrected astigmatism.  However, the introduction of Cataract Laser technology and Multifocal Lens Implants has revolutionized how patients experience vision after cataract surgery. With Cataract Laser Surgery, many key steps of the procedure that were manually performed with a blade can be completed with a laser, guided by advanced imaging, leading to a precise, customized vision treatment and a more gentle procedure. Laser correction of astigmatism can be done at the same time.  Multifocal Lens Implant Technology offers patients a full range of vision, reducing the dependency on or even eliminating the need for eye glasses after surgery. Combining both technologies, the right surgeon can optimize patients’ vision results.  Not every surgeon has access to this technology and many are, therefore, unable to offer patients these options.  Call Scott & Christie Eyecare Associates at (724) 772-5420 to learn about your options.

Chiropractic Care – Activator Methods is an innovative technique that utilizes a spring-loaded, hand-held tool by the chiropractor to deliver the adjustment.  Analysis to locate subluxations requires the practice member to make certain motions with their arms or head that pinpoint the segment or joint that needs to be addressed.  Much like riding a bicycle, your body remembers which muscles are used to move or stabilize specific segments. This technique is extremely gentle on individuals, because there is no twisting or thrusting to make the adjustment.  Activator Methods has been studied for over 40 years, and has more researched clinical trials than any other instrument-focused technique performed. The Activator Methods along with several others innovative methods are available at Amorose Family Chiropractic. Amorose Family Chiropractic was founded by the husband and wife team of Drs. Kelly and Lucas Amorose who are dedicated to the health and well-being of the entire family. Drs. Kelly and Lucas are Advanced Proficiency certified in Activator Methods. Amorose Family Chiropractic is conveniently located at 8160 Perry Highway in McCandless. To learn more, feel free to drop by, call (412) 847-8946 or visit their website at http://www.amorosefamilychiro.com.

Concierge and Preventative Healthcare – Concierge and Preventative Healthcare helps you manage all aspects of healthcare for you and your family. For example, while some members may have illnesses or require prescription medications, other family members may want to improve overall fitness and work towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Concierge healthcare can provide you with everything from primary care to fitness. You can get in-office lab tests, health assessments, and a care strategy that combines nutrition, fitness, pharmacy and medical services for every family member in one convenient location. You can also get the convenience of same or next day office visits, round-the-clock access to your doctor, even house and office calls when medically necessary. They can also help you minimize out-of-pocket expenses – whether it’s avoiding unnecessary referrals to specialists, more efficient testing or counseling you on switching to lower-cost prescriptions. Your existing health insurance may cover certain services and types of visits, which also may apply to your annual deductible. To learn more about concierge medicine and preventative healthcare, visit the “ConnectedHealth For You” website at www.wegiveadarn.com or www.chforu.com. For more information or to schedule a tour to see what Connected Health has to offer, call us at (724) 933 – 4300 or send them an email at Michelle.Leibow@chforu.com.

Optometry – There have been significant advancements in the past few years that include the infantSEE initiative, visual rehabilitation from concussions or head injuries and the development of new “computer glasses.” InfantSEE®, is a public health program, managed by Optometry Cares® – the AOA Foundation, and is designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an essential part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. The American Optometric Association recommends scheduling your baby’s first eye assessment at 6 months even if no eye or vision problems are apparent. Things that the Optometrist will test for include:

  • excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • eye movement ability
  • eye health problems

Many sufferers from concussions and head injuries often experience blurred vision, and difficulty focusing on school or office work. Now there are several advances to re-train the eyes, much like physical therapy and rehabilitation for the eyes, to overcome visual side effects from the injury. For those of us who spend significant time in front of computers and other devices, there are now “computer glasses” that switches the focal point to better see the distance to the screen and block the “blue-light” effects from computer and device screens that are responsible for accelerating cataracts and macular degeneration. To learn more about these and other incredible advances in optometry for you and your family, contact Dr. Maura Massucci of Massucci Vision Plus at (724) 719-2712 or visit www.massuccivisionplus.com.

 Menopause and Perimenopause – Perimenopause, also known as menopause transition, refers to the time when the reproductive system begins to slow down prior to entering menopause. During both of these stages of a woman’s life, her body goes through significant changes. However, unlike in our grandmother’s day, there have been significant advances in medical practices to assist women through this time. For symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, there are now a wide variety of treatments.  These include hormonal and non-hormonal treatments as well as lifestyle changes which can help reduce the menopause symptoms. Today, there are many innovative treatments and technology available to help women to treat or hopefully prevent medical problems as they age.  One such diagnostic tool is the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan which is a noninvasive procedure that measures bone density.  Based on the results, recommendations for treatment may help prevent further breakdown or help to build bone density with the goal to prevent a fracture. If you are experiencing difficulties as you enter midlife, there are exceptional new treatments and assistance available. Please contact the Midlife Health Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC at (412) 641-8889 with any questions, or to make an appointment at any of their convenient locations. In the North Hills, the Midlife Health Center is conveniently located in Wexford at 9000 Brooktree Road, Suite 400, (724) 934-1600 or visit their website at http://www.upmc.com/locations/hospitals/magee/services/midlife-health-center to learn more.

 Peripheral Neuropathy – Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages to the muscles, skin and other parts of the body. Peripheral nerves go from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet. When damage to the nerves takes place, numbness and pain in these areas may occur. Many patients are suffering from symptoms of painful cramping, burning and tingling, difficulty walking, numbness and even interruption of sleep. However there is now an innovative, specialized treatment protocol that includes 9 specific combination of treatments that are designed to heal rather than just deal with the symptoms. Locally, this innovative treatment protocol is offered at the Chiropractic Family Health Center. For a FREE Consultation contact Dr. Shawn Richey at (724) 940-9000 or through the website at www.backnline.com.

Primary Care Health Screenings – There are many advances in health screening for early detection and existing conditions that can indicate if you need a specialist. Advances in Genetic Testing can help determine if you are at risk for certain cancers or other health issues. For example, certain cancers such as breast, ovarian, colon, lung, skin, prostate among others have been linked to certain genes in your DNA and through Genetic Testing you can see if you or a loved one has these genes and start screening for the cancer or other health issue sooner. If you are a smoker or have quit in the last 15 years, there are new CAT scans that emit a low-radiation dose, so you can receive this CAT scan every year to help find any concerning areas that may indicate cancer. It is also highly recommended that both men and women born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for Hepatitis C since men and women born between these years are at a high risk, you can have it without symptoms for years however, there are several new effective treatments that enable you to live longer with Hepatitis C and early detection is preferred. Also, while it is recommended that women be screened for cervical cancer by 21 years of age, if not sooner, depending on risk factors, women may not have to be screened every year. These are just a few of the many advances and improvements in health screening for early detection and existing conditions.  To learn more about these and other available health screenings, contact Butler Health System Primary Care, conveniently located in Seven Fields at 300 Northpointe Circle Suite 104, at (724) 741-2580 or visit BHSPrimaryCare.org.

Psychiatry – While high expectations surrounding the holiday season are nothing new, there have been exceptional advancements made in the treatment and availability of psychiatric care to help cope with them. Many of our holiday stresses,” explains Dr. Haranath Parepally, M.D., of Ohio Valley Outpatient Psychiatry, “are due to our exceedingly high expectations of providing the perfect holiday. Coping with demands, developing relaxation strategies, pacing oneself, dealing with empty nests or other feelings of isolation, and especially recognizing the need for help, are all ways psychiatry can provide the necessary skills to both manage and enjoy the holidays including focus on wellness and resilience. Often, people need to simplify life and determine what they need to get done, versus what they want to get done, and strike a balance. They may also need to reduce the financial demands of the season; instead of fulfilling an expensive shopping list, learn to give the gift of time.” Dealing with high expectations and too much pressure can lead to states of anxiety and depression. Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Frequent mood swings, including agitation, crying, anxiety, and anger
    • Loss of interest in regular activities
    • Changes in appetite
    • Disregard for personal appearance
    • Sad or blank look on face
    • Thoughts of suicide
    • Forgetfulness, disorientation, or confusion
    • Social isolation
    • Reliance on alcohol or medications

If you, your family or loved one, is having trouble coping this holiday season, contact Dr. Haranath Parepally M.D. and the other staff members of Ohio Valley Outpatient Psychiatry located at the OVH Kennedy Township Outpatient Center at (412) 458-1331. To learn more about Willow Brook Geropsychiatric Unit and Ohio Valley Outpatient Psychiatry, visit http://ohiovalleyhospital.org/services/willow-brook-geropsychiatric-unit.

 Urgent Care Centers – The doctors at Genesis Medical Associates are taking a new hard look at Urgent Care Centers and their initial experience has been a huge success. Dr. Dan Grob and his colleagues Dr. Tad Scheri, Dr. Mark Woodburn and Dr. Eric Griffin along with Genesis executive director Mark Kissinger had been studying the issue for over a year when they were offered space for an Urgent Care Center in the Allegheny Health Network’s new Wexford Health Pavilion.  “In just the first 8 months of operation,” said Dr. Grob, “we’ve seen a steady growth of new patients at our new Urgent Care Center in addition to continued growth at our existing Perry Highway office.  Some of our established patients are also using the Urgent Care Center because they like the idea of not waiting to schedule an appointment and just to walk in.” He added, “So many of the patient visitors to our Urgent Care Center have become established patients.”  There’s a cost factor as well.  Genesis charges the usual $10 or $15 co-pay while the typical Urgent Care Centers may charge as much as $75 per visit.  “Genesis,” said Dr. Grob, “accepts most insurances.” Drs. Grob, Scheri, Griffin and Woodburn also continue to see their established patients at their Perry Highway office in Ross Township. With 11 offices, Genesis Medical Associates is the largest independent primary care practice serving the Greater North Hills with offices extending from the city of Pittsburgh north to Cranberry Township. To learn more, visit http://www.genesismedical.org.

Varicose Veins – If your Mother or Father, Grandmother or Grandfather had issues with their veins, the chances that you will are increased greatly. Venous disease is very commonly inherited from one generation in a family to the next.  Fortunately technology has advanced through these generations and the traditional stripping that your parents may have had done in the past is nowadays considered outdated.  Advancements in this very focused field of medicine have enabled treatment options that can be performed in the office while patients are awake and comfortable. Most patients are able to resume their normal routines after treatment and are encouraged to be active. Symptoms such as pain, aching, swelling and restless legs can be alleviated with treatment, allowing patients to return to an overall more active and healthy lifestyle. Evaluation and treatments are commonly covered by insurance. Living with the discomfort and unsightliness of varicose veins is a thing of the past. Contact the Vein Institute of Pittsburgh at 724-934-8346 for more information or visit their website at www.veininstituteofpittsburgh.com.

Be sure and look for More Advances in Family Healthcare in our upcoming December issue! If you know of advances in healthcare treatments and procedures, be sure and let us know so that we can create awareness for the community by emailing NorthCon@consolidated.net or calling (724) 940-2444.