More Advances in Family Healthcare

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We, at Northern Connection magazine, are delighted to continue highlighting the amazing advances family healthcare brought about by our area’s many devoted healthcare professionals and their amazing commitment to bringing the latest advances in healthcare to us and our families. Previous Advances in Healthcare columns are still available on our website at www.northernconnectionmag.com. In this issue, we are pleased to highlight the following latest developments:

Appointment App – This new technological advance provides easy access to make patient appointments.  A long time grumbling point for patients has always been getting a doctor’s appointment scheduled,” noted Mark Kissinger, executive director of Genesis Medical Associates, Inc., the largest, still independent, primary care physician practice serving the Greater North Hills. “We have taken the necessary steps through technology to make same day appointments easy. Genesis patients,” said Kissinger, “can simply go on the new Genesis app and schedule their appointments.  No muss, no fuss. They also have the option of just walking in at our new Wexford office located at the Allegheny Health Network Medical Pavilion on Perry Highway.  Now, only in its second month of operation, we have been delighted with the initial patient response.” He added, “All Genesis physician offices also have same day appointment hours. Any time you can make things easier for the patient, especially something as simple as scheduling an appointment, you take a lot of stress out of the equation,” according to Kissinger. With 11 offices stretching north from the city of Pittsburgh to Cranberry Township, Genesis Medical Associates, Inc. has also been recognized as a Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) as a result of its joint venture with Keystone Clinical Partners. “That ACO contract with Medicare,” he noted, “along with the recognition of Genesis as a Patient Centered Medical Home demonstrates the high quality of care with all our physician offices.” To learn more about this convenient new appointment application, visit http://www.genesismedical.org.

Cardiology – Atrial Fibrillation is a conduction disorder which causes the heart to beat irregularly. People with atrial fibrillation can be at an increased risk of stroke. There are many new drug options utilized to protect patients from having a stroke. For an evaluation of your atrial fibrillation and /or discussion of new drugs for protecting stroke, contact Wexford Cardiology (724) 940-6000.

Childhood Nutrition– In a recent review done for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the following five apps were identified as fun, useful, kid-friendly tools for learning about the value of food as fuel for the body.

  • Healthy Heroes 1 & 2: Nutrition for Kids – This game helps kids recognize healthy foods, and the value of healthy eating habits. Kids play the part of Healthy Heroes and attempt to save the city of Yogopolis from Hungry Monsters. By fending off the Hungry Monsters with fruits and vegetables, children can learn what foods fit into these nutrition-packed food groups.
  • Eat and Move-O-Matic – This app helps kids understand that food provides energy through calories, and compares the number of calories eaten with the activity required to use that energy. Examples of activities include dancing and running, and sedentary pursuits such as reading and doing homework. This app also provides healthy alternatives for high-calorie snacks and meals.
  • Perfect Picnic – A component of food preparation that isn’t often introduced to young people is the importance of food safety. This app does it very well by teaching food safety within the context of creating a safe picnic. Kids learn the importance of washing their hands before handling food, using a thermometer to monitor food temperatures, maintaining clean preparation surfaces, and keeping perishable foods at safe temperatures.
  • Smash Your Food – If you’re interested in your child learning about the sugar, salt, and fat content of certain foods, look no further than this fun app that invites kids to “smash” various foods and beverages such as pizza and soda. Kids also learn about the recommended daily limits for these items.
  • Veggie Circus Farm -An app for children as young as two years old, Veggie Circus Farm helps children recognize all different types of vegetables and their nutrition benefits, and increases literacy skills at the same time.

For more information on healthy nutrition for children, visit Kids+ Pediatricts at http://kidspluspgh.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.

Dentistry – The world of dentistry continues to advance to include implants, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry and more. Pawlowicz Dentistry offers comprehensive dental care for the entire family. Whether you are looking for general dentistry, or a specialized treatment such as implants, orthodontics, sleep appliances and TMJ treatment, they can take care of it all! They also specialize in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain crowns, veneers, teeth whitening and invisible braces. You can trust them to restore your smile to beautiful form and function.  For those with heightened dental anxiety, they offer sedation dentistry under a certified, licensed anesthesiologist, so you are under the best care possible. For more information about any of their services, please contact Pawlowicz Dentisty today at (724) 287.4000 or visit our website www.wowsmilenow.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.

Telemedicine – Research shows that 70% of doctor visits can be handled over the phone or via video consultation.  Telemedicine enables physicians to see and speak to patients without having to be physically in the same room together. For a low monthly fee, the service provides members unlimited, anytime access to on-call physicians without ever setting foot in the doctor’s office avoiding office visit co-pays, the waiting room and unnecessary travel.  The on-call physician is board certified, licensed/credentialed and currently practicing medicine in the member’s state.  This allows the on-call physician to prescribe medicine, if necessary, to the member’s local pharmacy. Also, employers can become involved as there are designed programs for employers to partner with the service to help make it available for their employees or customers.  For more information, contact Humane Health, LLC at (724) 705-4307 or visit www.1enrollment.com/128274, scroll down and click on more information for the 1800MD telemedicine plan.

Weight Loss – There is a new weight loss program that has consistent, predictable weight loss results where people also see a dramatic improvement in their overall health in about a month’s time. This new healthy system is made up of all-natural ingredients, no processed food or shakes and contains no stimulants. The system is designed to increase your metabolism by naturally invigorating your hypothalamus (responsible for your metabolism), without stimulants, while decreasing your hunger response. This way, your own fat-burning engine works at its optimum performance while re-acclimating your metabolism to first lose the weight and then adjust to your new body to keep the weight off. Also, exercise is NOT required. Alternatively, the focus, is getting the weight off first, so that exercise programs will help tone and strengthen rather than contribute to the risk of over-exertion from carrying too much weight. This program has proven results in individuals from adolescents of 12-13 years of age all the way through to people in their 80’s. Many people suffering from Diabetes Type 2 have also benefited with a significant loss in weight and with lower blood sugars. This program is also recommended for people seeking a non-invasive alternative before choosing to have bariatric surgery. To learn more about this innovative new weight-loss program, call Dr. Michael Vactor at (724) 742-2700 for a FREE, in-office review or visit http://www.drvactor.com.

Be sure and look for Advances in Children’s Healthcare in our upcoming January 2016 issue! If you have experience with 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.