Authors Articles bySun Life Family Health Center

Sun Life Family Health Center

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By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

A community comes alive when the residents share their love for their neighbors and friends enough to help improve it. Helping your community helps to build stronger bonds within which can make life better for your family, friends, co—workers and neighbors whom you share your life with. The more love you pour in, the better it will become.

Implementing positive small lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health and well—being. Even the smallest positive changes can help form healthy habits. We, the employees at Sun Life Family Health Center, want to offer a few suggested small tips and changes to help you on your journey toward a healthier you. We call them #OneSmallChange. Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be some extravagantly outrageous New Year’s resolution that makes or breaks you. Adding in just #OneSmallChange incrementally will add up and make a Big difference.

DANIELLE JENNINGS, WHNP-BC — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Touch it Once
After reading an article about the habits of tidy people I have adopted the “ touch it once” strategy. Rather than putting stuff on a chair or leaving things where they might have to be moved again. I put things where they belong the first time I pick it up. Dishes don’t go in the sink, they go straight into the dishwasher. Shoes are taken off where they belong. Trying to get my kids to adopt this has been more of a struggle.

 

PAULINE MILLER — RN Team Lead
#OneSmallChange:
Work Hard — Play Hard
Make sure to reward yourself for your hard work, drink lots of water and get enough rest!

 

BERONICA M. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
One Prayer
One prayer a day will make a huge difference.

 

SONIA O. — Front Desk
Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange: Do a Small Act of Kindness for Others
Pick a few small acts of kindness and do one a day for a stranger, or pick something small to make a loved one feel loved. It will have a big impact on others and get you out of the narrow self—centered perspective that most of us get stuck in.

 

MAISEY B. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Less focus
on electronics
Limit time usage of all electronics including tablets, gaming systems, cell phones and television for everyone in the household. There is so much focus on social media and gaming in todays world that we tend to forget about that good quality family time.

 

ELIZABETH A. — Site Manager
#OneSmallChange:
Be The
Change You Wish To See
Eye contact and a smile goes a long way for many having a bad day.

 

DANA RODRIGUEZ, CPNP, PhD — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Cut Down
on Sugar Intake
Look at the sugar in the food and drinks you consume. Start by reading food labels. Pay special attention to the sugar and carbohydrates. Start by eliminating sugary beverages like juice and soda.

 

BERNADETTE F. — Licensed Practical Nurse
#OneSmallChange:
Encourage Positivity
Encourage physical activity for all of the family, there is a website called MGR: MesaGilbertRocks. Basically it is like geocaching but instead you look for painted rocks which you can take home for your garden, house or wherever you wish to decorate or you can re-hide them for someone else to find. Libraries, Parks, trails are great places to look/hide. Get creative! Let your children paint the rocks.
Encourage hydration especially among the homeless, place 1—2 bottles of water and a protein bar in a Ziploc bag and hand out to those in need. You can include a happy thought!

 

BRITTANY K. — Registered Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Enjoy Life
Build a healthier and more enjoyable life by taking a walk to relax and enjoying what’s around you. Bring your kids or pets with you to make it more fun.

 

LUCY V. — Clinical Laboratory Assistant I
#OneSmallChange:
Good Mood
To Start Your Day
Make your alarm clock tone your favorite song, so it can help you to get up easier in the morning while bettering your mood to start your day. The best way to start a conversation with a person you don’t know is to start with giving them a complement. Not only will that break the ice but it also makes them more confident and you even more like-able.

 

SHAYLA S. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Time With Family Well Spent
Turn off all media 3 hours before bed and spend 1on1 time with family.

 

NICHELLE T. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Live—Love Well
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Live every day like it could be your last.

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By Andrew H. Jones

Oral hygiene is essential to a person’s overall health. “The simple acts of brushing and flossing are instilled in us so that we maintain our “pearly whites;” yet, oral health is much more than clean teeth; it involves the gums and their supporting tissues, the palate, the lining of the mouth and throat, the tongue, the lips, the salivary glands, the chewing muscles, the nerves, and the bones of the upper and lower jaws” (Benjamin, 2010). Good oral hygiene is important not only for social interactions with others, for a self-esteem aspect, but also imperative for heart health too. Let us explore how oral hygiene effects the body.

TIP of the Month

Oral Care
Oral health tips are easy to come by; but putting them into
practice is sometimes not. Don’t make oral health care a Morning
& Night only routine. Include it in your daily work schedule.
#OneSmallChange

Diseased, crooked or missing teeth can interfere with speech; compromise the ability to chew food properly without difficulty and pain. Bacteria from improper oral care of the mouth will lead to infection in other parts of the body.

  • Heart disease – Bacteria in the bloodstream can travel to the heart and lead to a heart attack.
  • Endocarditis – Bacteria may find its way to the inner linings of the heart and valves, which in turn, create growth pockets of bacteria. These pockets cause inflammation and infection of the inner linings of the heart.
  • Stroke – It is a belief that oral bacteria may be a contributing factor to the arteries narrowing as well as blood clots easily forming because of the body’s negative response to the bacteria in the bloodstream.
  • Inflammation – Inflamed gums and bleeding may cause systemic inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – It is a known fact that periodontal disease will worsen the pain already suffered by those inflicted with this autoimmune disorder.
  • Lung Condition – Those already suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia may have their condition worsened due to an increase of bacteria in their lungs from the lack of good oral hygiene” (Six health problems linked to bad oral hygiene, 2017).

For those who need a refresher, here is why oral health is so crucial: Every time you eat, food particles stick to your teeth. If you do not brush and floss daily, the particles attract bacteria and form a slimy coating on teeth called plaque. With less than a week of inattentiveness, plaque calcifies into hard tartar that does not come off without dental assistance, and begins to lodge into the gum line. Thus, the gums become inflamed (gingivitis) the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease; little pockets open up between the teeth and the gums. Over time, the pockets get bigger, driven by festering bacteria that eat away at the tooth and its supporting architecture, eventually consuming it.

Prevention is always the best form of health care.

  • Establish daily brushing and flossing routines
  • Dental check-ups every six months
  • Avoid tobacco, high-sugar content foods and beverages

“Oral health can be a gateway to your overall well-being. Oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce the risk of developing oral health issues and disease (Dr. Maryam Mahmood, DMD, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017). Sun Life Family Dentistry offers comprehensive services to prevent, diagnose and treat those who may be suffering from oral health discomfort to achieve dental health that we all desire. Our highly trained and skilled providers are advanced with cutting-edge technology in dentistry to provide the most current treatment options for our patients. Standing true to the Sun Life Family Health Center Vision: Excellence in: Health – Wellness – Education

REFERENCES

Dr. Maryam Mahmood, DMD – Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017

MD, MBA Benjamin, R. M. (Mar-Apr 2010). Oral Health: The Silent Epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821841/ 

Six health problems linked to bad oral hygiene. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/blogdetails/96

 

 

 

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By Andrew H. Jones

Is it a cold or allergies? This is a question that plagues many people this time of year. On one hand, you’ve been sneezing and sniffling, swallowing over-the-counter meds every few hours. On the other hand, it’s been going on for two and a half weeks now and it seems there is no end in sight. Let’s take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences to better understand what may be ailing you.

Similarities of Allergies & Colds:
• Sneezing
• Runny nose
• Congestion and stuffy nose
• Coughing
• Sore throat

Differences of Allergies & Colds:
• Itchy eyes are a less common symptom of a cold
• Severe colds can cause fevers and body aches and are not usually signs of allergies
• Sore throat in allergies is most often caused by postnasal drip
• Allergies can cause rashes

“People with allergies are sometimes more prone to catching colds. Recovery from a cold is usually quick – in fact, the average duration of a cold is 7 to 10 days.

If symptoms last more than a week or two, the cold may have progressed into a secondary bacterial infection such as bronchitis or sinusitis. Allergies are more difficult to predict and can be a little tricky, they can be seasonal, or come and go daily and reoccur often” (Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017).

As the season begins to warm, the plants begin to pollinate, spreading the ‘joy’ in the air to all of us who are susceptible to seasonal allergies. However, we are still in the middle of cold and flu season. So the sniffles may very well be one last ride on the Rhinovirus bandwagon..

TIP OF THE MONTH
Cut down on dust in your home
Concentrate on cleaning your bedroom where you sleep. Wash all of your bedding regularly. Wipe dust
off dressers, night-stands, appliances, ceiling fans, and wear a dust mask while doing so. Clean your
house regularly with a vacuum. #OneSmallChange

Allergies range from mild to seasonal allergies with more severe symptoms; which can cause life-threatening reactions. People can have an array of symptoms and allergic reactions to any number of things, including various airborne pollens, foods, medications, and allergy shots. Whether you have a mild or severe allergy, you should know the proper response to a reaction, address accordingly, and minimize your discomfort.

Keeping track of the local daily pollen percentages in your area can be very helpful and might make you Ah-Ah-Ah-choose to stay inside, wear a preventative mask, or limit your outdoor activities. Here is a helpful website that can help keep you informed of your local air pollen content. https://www.pollen.com

Scheduling an appointment with your Sun Life Family Health Center provider is the first step to treating your cold or allergies. He or she will be able to diagnose your symptoms and refer you to a local (specialist) allergist. The allergist can then test you to find out what triggered your allergic reaction and can prescribe medication or give you allergy shots to help manage your symptoms.

REFERENCES
Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director – Sun Life family
Health Center
Pollen.com

Sun Life Family Health Center encourages all Maricopa residents to a free educational and fun event at Maricopa Public Library.

Meet the Expert: Join pediatrician Dr. Stella Raposas and Dana Rodriguez, Ph.D., the first Wednesday and third Thursday of every month 9:15-10:15 a.m. at the Maricopa Public Library starting March 16. This event will provide story time for the children and an opportunity for parents and adult family members to meet with local health care providers.

Each child who attends will receive an early learner literacy bag filled with educational items and earn a chance to win an early learner basket.

Future event scheduled dates and agenda include: Wednesday, April 5, and Thursday, April 20.

Maricopa Public Library is at 41600 W. Smith Enke Road. Call for more information 520-568-2926.

Danielle Jennings

Sun Life Center for Women is starting a series of health events this month called “It’s That Time of the Month.”

Starting March 13, join Danielle Jennings, WHNP-BC, the second Monday of every month 6-7 p.m. at the center, 44765 W. Hathaway Ave. This event will provide free education: learn the facts, get health tips, anonymous Q&A session, and desperately-needed services to women and female teens, focusing on educating about health, wellness and prevention activities.

The sessions are open to the public.

The March 13 session is titled “Well Women 101.”

Scheduled for April 10 is “Teen Sex Chat” for all genders. Then on May 8, it’s “Women over 40.”

This series will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions about issues affecting the physical and emotional health of women and adolescents.  Educational series such as these help to provide accessible information in a comfortable and stress free setting.

Call for more information 520-788-6100.

 

By Andrew H. Jones

If your child attends daycare, he or she is probably sick more times than a loving parent might like. Whenever

TIP OF THE MONTH
Germ Free Drop Zone
Create a Germ Free Drop Zone near the entrance of your home to drop back-packs, sanitize hands, and change clothes. This will decrease significantly the spread of daycare germs throughout the house. #OneSmallChange

children are together in a shared common space, the germs will pass at an alarming speed, the most common is the common cold (Rhinovirus). According to the CDC, “Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work each year in the United States; there are millions of cases of the common cold with adults having an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more” (CDC, 2017). While the cold is transmitted through both contact and airborne, there are several steps parents can take to decrease the chance of the spread from daycare to home.

“Though you can’t protect your child from every virus he or she encounters, these healthy habits can increase his or her resistance” (Moninger, 2017).

■ Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap. This will not inactivate the Rhinovirus, but will rid the hands of it.

■ Keep your home clean by regularly disinfecting light switches, door knobs, and other areas prone to a high volume of contact which increases the spread of germs.

■ Keep hand sanitizer in your car to use when leaving the daycare facility. This will help eliminate germs from getting into your car.

■ Teach children at a young age appropriate sneezing and coughing techniques.

■ Keeping children active will boost their immune system. “Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC), WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease” (Medline Plus, 2017).

■ Upon arriving home, immediately have children shower and brush teeth or have fresh play clothes ready and wash hands as soon as they enter the home. Since the Rhinovirus is transmitted through close contact, this measure will ensure that when another family member hugs the child who attends daycare, he or she will not come into contact with contaminated clothing.

■ Make sure your child gets enough sleep.

 

REFERENCES • CDC. (2017). Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm

CDC. (2017). Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/

Diagnose-Me.com. (2017). Weakened Immune System. Retrieved from www.diagnose-me.com/symptoms-of/weakened-immunesystem. php • Medline Plus. (2017). Exercise and immunity. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm

Moninger, J. (2017). All-Natural Cold & Cough Remedies. Retrieved from http://www.parents.com/health/cold-flu/cold/ natural-cold-cough-remedies/?slideId=51239

FAAP


Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Healthy eating for your child is one of the most important aspects of preventative care a parent can take. “Lowered immune function may result in an increase in acute illnesses such as colds and the flu (Diagnose-Me.com, 2017). With proper nutrition for your child, the immune system will build up. A child with a lowered immune system is more susceptible to infection. Thus, feeding children a healthy, balanced diet to include all of the food groups, in proportion of the child’s age, will result in a nurtured immune system.

Importance of Childhood Flu Shots

Staving off a cold is imperative, as often times the cold can turn into the flu or a super cold. A good preventative measure for children is the flu shot. Parents can have their child receive this vaccine at an early age. However, the vaccine should be given annually as the cold and flu virus mutates. According to the CDC, “Some children 6 months through 8 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine.

Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season” (CDC, 2017). The first dose should be given as soon as the vaccine becomes available at your pediatrician’s office. Sun Life Family Health Center welcomes you to learn more about our pediatric services. Sun Life offers continuous and comprehensive healthcare to individuals and the entire family. In addition to providing care when you are ill, we will also help you achieve a healthy lifestyle and work with you to help prevent illnesses.

Chocolate! Whether it’s the comfort of hot chocolate on a cold day, ooey gooey warm fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, or the decadence of chocolate dipped strawberries, what’s not to love? There seems to be a chocolate that fits every occasion, and, chocolate can be good for you.

Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds, and its use by the Aztec peoples pre-dates European colonization. Ever since then, chocolate has circled the globe.

Studies have shown chocolate or rather the cocoa from the cacao tree, to be a virtual “super food.” It’s high in fiber, and is a quality source of many vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a good source of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

But that’s not all. The many medically proven positive effects of cocoa powder include:

  • Lowers cholesterol (LDL) levels, and increases healthy (HDL) cholesterol levels
  • Improves blood flow to the brain, preventing memory decline (or possibly dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease) as we age, and lowers risk of stroke
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure
  • Increases cell ability to accept and use insulin
  • Can raise your energy level

Cocoa actually helps build capillaries and provides more energy at a cellular level in your muscles, including the most important one – the heart. A recent study in The British Medical Journal claimed that eating chocolate regularly could reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third, and 22 percent less likely to suffer a stroke.

One of the reasons that cocoa has so many amazing physical benefits is because of its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating. ORAC is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. These antioxidants include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among other amazing chemicals found in foods. Antioxidants are chemicals that provide protection against aging of cells in the body and premature death from exposure to “free radical” oxygen atoms. According to scientists, raw cocoa has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any food source measured in the world.

These antioxidants have been researched and found to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. The flavanols can even have protective properties against sun-induced damage. They do so by improving blood flow to the skin. That increases the skin’s density and hydration, and therefore puts up a wall against potential UV ray damage.

But not all chocolates are created equal. Benefits are not found in white chocolate or milk chocolate. Many chocolate products have high amounts of fats and sugars, so moderate intake of these foods is recommended. Many chocolate products are also highly processed, eliminating many beneficial vitamins and minerals so that its taste far outweighs the benefits of the cocoa.

One tip when buying chocolate is to look for the dark chocolate products, especially those that contain a higher percentage of cocoa (70 percent or more). The more raw cocoa in the product and less processed the better.

Or you can even purchase raw cacao, which is unaltered and cold-pressed from the cacao bean, which retains many living enzymes in the product. Cocoa is roasted, and destroys many of these enzymes in the process.

Some concerns have been brought up about the amount of caffeine in cocoa. But according to studies, the caffeine you would get in a small serving of chocolate is nothing to be concerned about, compared to a large steaming cup of coffee.

But wait, there’s more. If you enjoy chocolate and good family fun, join Sun Life Family Health Center for our 2nd Annual “For the Love of Chocolate” Fun Run and Walk. All participants receive a chocolate-filled goodie bag, dri-fit t-shirt, finishers medal, and enjoy chocolate sweet spots placed throughout the course! Consider your chocolate cravings warned!

The fun run / walk event is planned for Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Copper Sky Recreation Complex (M.L.K. Jr. Blvd, Maricopa, AZ 85138). For more information, visit our event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunLifeFunRun/, or to register, sign up at www.sunliferun.com.

 

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

By Bianca Smith, DO

One of the most common questions I am asked by friends, strangers in line, and nurses I work with, is, “How often do I REALLY need to get a pap smear?”

Good question! Let me get out my flow sheet. It actually can be so complex a question, for gynecologists there IS an app for that. There are also charts and flow sheets. The short answer? Make sure you show up for your annual well woman exam, and we will worry about it for you. If you would like to know why you are yearly asked to take off everything other than your socks to sit in a cold room wearing only paper, the rest of this article is for you.

We live in an age of information at the tip of our fingertips, where knowledge about our bodies is accessible, and patients have become educated consumers of health care. We are now consumers of medicine. Like when we take our car to get the oil changed, and the mechanic recommends the filter be changed and new transmission fluid in addition to oil every time we show up. We want to know what is important, and what is unnecessary. Your pap smear is NOT a worthless test. Since
the pap smear was introduced in the United States, the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer has gone down by more than 50%. (1) That means that the number of women who are diagnosed with this difficult disease, have needed surgery, or radiation and chemotherapy, has been cut in half. Fifty percent fewer families are affected by cervical cancer. That is because this is not a test about diagnosing cancer, this is a test designed to catch the early abnormalities so that that
cancer doesn’t even have a chance to start. The number of deaths caused by cervical cancer are even lower still. The cost to the consumer for a pap smear is relatively small, and is covered by most insurance companies.

What causes abnormal pap smears?
Human Papilloma Virus, known as HPV, is a virus which infects the cells of the cervix and in some cases lead to uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix. If the infection lasts more than a few years, these changes can lead to pre-cancer
or cancer. HPV is easily spread by sexual skin to skin contact, and as many as 80% of sexually active women will have HPV in their lifetimes. Thankfully, the majority of these infections the body will cure. People younger than 21 are likely to cure themselves very quickly, people between 21-29 clear infections slightly less well, and after age 30 HPV infections are cleared by the body somewhat slower. It is almost always these infections that last 2-3 years which start causing changes in the cervix on a cellular level. This can lead to changes in the cytology (or the cells) of the cervix. (1)

HPV is divided into two types: 1. Oncogenic (types that are able to cause cancer) and 2. nononcogenic (types that aren’t able to cause cancer). The oncogenic (or high-risk) type of HPV are capable of causing cancer, but this is more likely in
certain situations, like smoking cigarettes, a lowered immune system which can happen with chronic steroid use or HIV.
The quicker a person’s body can fight off the high risk HPV virus, the less likely there will be any abnormal changes to
the cells of the cervix. The HPV virus damages parts of the cell in the cervix which controls how new cells grow, and corrects abnormal growth. Abnormal growth is how you can get changes that can lead to cancer. Only about 10-20% of HPV infections last 1-2 years, but this increases the risk of high grade (very abnormal) cervical cells. Typically it takes 3-7
years for HIGH GRADE changes to become cancer, but if untreated very abnormal cells have a high risk of turning into cancer. Low grade (or mildly abnormal) pap smears need to be tested more frequently to make sure cells go back to normal. Your doctor should help guide you through the diagnosis and plan for an abnormal pap smear. (2)

Cytology is the way the cells of the cervix are evaluated. During the speculum exam in your doctor’s office, a gentle scraping of the cervix collects cells that are loosely attached to the surface. Those cells are sent to the pathologist who looks at cells from the cervix under a microscope. At the same time, the cells collected can be tested for the high risk type of HPV.

How often is a pap smear needed?
Research has been done to find the best space of time between pap smears to catch a high number of abnormal cervical cells, but keep the number of people diagnosed as abnormal who really are normal (false positive tests) low. Research showed that for LOW RISK women:

1.The ideal age to start Pap smears is age 21

2. Between age 21-29 only cytology (cells from the surface of the cervix) will be collected for the Pap smear, but no HPV test
a) The number of young women between age 20-30 with HPV infection is so high, and it is so likely that their body will fight it off quickly, that HPV testing would cause more harm than good.

3. Between ages 30-65 you can either:
a) Test cytology only every 3 years, or
b) Test both cytology and HPV every 5 years
c) Both have been seen in research to have similar detection rate and survival

These screening criteria are only for women who have normal pap smears, who do not have a weak immune system or HIV. Call your doctor right away if you have irregular bleeding after sex, or periods that come twice a month, or last longer than they should.

As doctors we use research to guide what we do, but we also use our eyes, our hands, and our minds to treat. Often I want to test patients more often than the research recommends, because I am worried they are more at risk that the average woman, or their exam is slightly abnormal, or the fact that they might not have access to healthcare in the years to come. There was a research study that used a computer program to predict the risk of 40 year old women developing cervical cancer within the next 10 years. Women who were tested for HPV and cytology every 3 years had a risk of .39%, and those who were tested every 5 years had a .61% risk of developing cervical cancer within 10 years. (3)

Because the risk of cancer is slightly higher when screened every 5 years, I usually offer to do a pap smear every 3 years. It is the fact that it typically it takes 3-7 years for high grade abnormal pap smears to become cancer, that I prefer to screen every 3 years. Pap smears not only save lives, they save people from more extreme surgery and possibly radiation and chemotherapy.

Even if your doctor does pap smears every five years, I believe strongly that you should go to the gynecologist every year
for a well woman exam. You can make sure you are on track if you have had abnormal pap smears, and you can also be examined for breast lumps, as well as checked for pre-cancer of the vulva or vagina. Cervical cancer is not completely preventable, but with regular gynecology visits it is so much less likely. The screening is not meant to prevent every case of cervical cancer, and I want the women around me to make sure they are making their health a top priority. Hopefully you can see that cervical cancer screening isn’t just the new filter or change in transmission fluid, it is the oil change. Make sure you come in for maintenance so you can keep on trucking for years to come.

References
1. www.uptodate.com/contents/cervical-cancerscreening-beyond-the-basics, http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Cervical-Cancer-Screening
2. www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Cervical-Cancer-Screening
3. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, GarshellJ, Miller D, Altekruse SF, et al, editors. SEER cancer statistics review, 1975-2012. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute; 2015. Available at: seer.cancer.gov/ csr/1975_2012. Retrieved September 2, 2015. www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Cervical-Cancer- Screening

Did you know?
Arizona tax law provides a credit for taxpayers who contribute to qualifying charitable organizations like Sun Life Family Health Center!
You can get a tax credit up to $400 if you file “single” and “head of household” or “married filing separate.”
You can get a tax credit up to $800 if you are “married filing joint.”

What is the difference between a tax deduction and tax credit?
Both tax credits and tax deductions can help reduce the amount of taxes you pay, but in different ways. Tax deductions lower your taxable income and are equal to the percentage of your marginal tax bracket. For instance, if you are in the 25% tax bracket, an $800 deduction saves you $200 in taxes (25% x $800 = $200). On the other hand, tax credits reduce your tax liability dollar-for-dollar, down to zero. This means an $800 tax credit saves you $800 in taxes.

Which charities can I contribute to and get a tax credit?
A Qualifying Charitable Organization is a charity that that meets ALL of the following provisions:
Is exempt from federal income taxes under Section a 501(c)(3) or is a designated community action agency
that receives community services block grant program monies pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 9901.
Provide services that meet immediate basic needs.
Serves Arizona residents who receive temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits, are low income residents whose household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level, or are chronically ill or physically disabled children.
Spends at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to qualified Arizona residents.
Affirm that it will continue spending at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to qualified Arizona residents.

Find approved charities at AZDOR.gov.

How does this help others?
At non-profit organizations like Sun Life Family Health Center, every dollar counts. Health centers face the same financial pressures private health care practices experience. Health centers often offer preventative programs for their patients that are not fully reimbursed by insurance, such as diabetes education, integrated oral health, integrated behavioral health and integrated clinical pharmacy services.
When you donate to Sun Life, you are helping care for your neighbors and improve the health of your community. Healthy communities are prosperous communities. By donating to a charitable organization like Sun Life, you are choosing where your tax dollars go and impacting your community.

How can I donate?
You can conveniently donate online at SunLifeFamilyHealth.org or send a check to:
Sun Life Family Health Center, Inc.
Attn: Community Outreach
P.O. Box 10097
Casa Grande, AZ 85155

To get a better idea of how tax credits work and whether you qualify, you need to know what is available to taxpayers in your situation, such as your filing status, age, employment and education. It is important to remember that just because you qualify for one type of tax credit does not mean that you qualify for the rest. Talk to your tax preparer to see if you qualify to take advantage of the tax credit for charitable organizations.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service, Arizona Department of Revenue

 

Did you know?
• Arizona tax law provides a credit for taxpayers who contribute to qualifying charitable organizations like Sun Life
Family Health Center!
• You can get a tax credit up to $400 if you file “single” and “head of household” or “married filing separate.”
• You can get a tax credit up to $800 if you are “married filing joint.”

What is the difference between a tax deduction and tax credit?
Both tax credits and tax deductions can help reduce the amount of taxes you pay, but in different ways. Tax deductions lower your taxable income and are equal to the percentage of your marginal tax bracket. For instance, if you are in the 25% tax bracket, an $800 deduction saves you $200 in taxes (25% x $800 = $200). On the other hand, tax credits reduce your tax liability dollar-for-dollar, down to zero. This means an $800 tax credit saves you $800 in taxes.

Which charities can I contribute to and get a tax credit?
A Qualifying Charitable Organization is a charity that that meets ALL of the following provisions:

• Is exempt from federal income taxes under Section a 501(c)(3) or is a designated community action agency that receives community services block grant program monies pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 9901.
• Provide services that meet immediate basic needs.
• Serves Arizona residents who receive temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits, are low income residents whose household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level, or are chronically ill or physically disabled children.
• Spends at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to qualified Arizona residents.
• Affirm that it will continue spending at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to qualified Arizona residents.

Find approved charities at AZDOR.gov.

How does this help others?
At non-profit organizations like Sun Life Family Health Center, every dollar counts. Health centers face the same financial pressures private health care practices experience. Health centers often offer preventative programs for their patients that are not fully reimbursed by insurance, such as diabetes education, integrated oral health, integrated behavioral health and integrated clinical pharmacy services.

When you donate to Sun Life, you are helping care for your neighbors and improve the health of your community. Healthy communities are prosperous communities. By donating to a charitable organization like Sun Life, you are choosing where your tax dollars go and impacting your community.

How can I donate?
You can conveniently donate online at SunLifeFamilyHealth.org or send a check to:

Sun Life Family Health Center, Inc.
Attn: Community Outreach
P.O. Box 10097
Casa Grande, AZ 85155

To get a better idea of how tax credits work and whether you qualify, you need to know what is available to taxpayers in your situation, such as your filing status, age, employment and education. It is important to remember that just because you qualify for one type of tax credit does not mean that you qualify for the rest. Talk to your tax preparer to see if you qualify to take advantage of the tax credit for charitable organizations.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service, Arizona Department of Revenue
Dana Rodriguez, PHD,
APNP-BC

www.SunLifeFamilyHealth.org

By DANA RODRIGUEZ, PHD, APNP-BC

You may have heard about childhood obesity on the news or seen it in the newspapers. You may question, “Why is it such a concern and what can I do to prevent my child from becoming obese?” First I will address why it is a concern. Healthcare workers are concerned about childhood obesity because obesity can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, joint pain among other conditions.

Children who are obese are also at risk for social discrimination which often leads to low self-esteem. As parents we want what is best for our kids both physically and mentally. The real question is then “What can I do as a parent to prevent my child from becoming obese?”

Here I will provide you with a few tips to help your children to develop a healthy lifestyle:

• Limit juice and Gatorade intake to 4 ounces or less daily. (Choose water instead!). No soda.
• Limit screen time to 2 hours daily. (Less on school days)
• Limit portion sizes. Parents should become familiar with what is a normal portion size and stick to that amount.
• Avoid fried foods. (Example: choose to make regular tacos rather than fried tacos)
• Children should be active for at least 60 minutes daily. Be active with your children if possible.
• Do not bring junk food into the house. If it’s not in the house the kids won’t eat it.
• Know that it is okay to say NO when kids ask for a treat.

HELPFUL HINTS
• Kids are more likely to eats fruits and vegetables that are pre-cut. Take the time to buy watermelon, red peppers, cucumbers or whatever your family likes and cut it and store it in a container in the refrigerator. Buy the baby carrots and small tomatoes that make great bitesized snacks. When they ask for a snack, there is your answer!
• If you know your child has already had a sugary treat today like birthday cake then the rest of the food for the
days should be healthy choices. Say NO to their extra requests like potato chips, candy or soda.

The key is to balance what we put in our bodies and what we burn off each day.

School is back in session, you’ve spent the morning making breakfast, packing lunches, and helping your children get ready for school. You watch the clock ticking as you get yourself and everyone else out the door. Maybe, just maybe, you won’t be late to work — again. And, now, you’re stuck behind the bus. Sigh.

Sigh? Better yet — breathe.

Breathing can help prolong your life.

Well, especially when you combine it with meditation. In an age where we are constantly multi-tasking, plugged in, inundated with images, facts and emails and enduring constant overstimulation, it’s no wonder we’re exhausted and a little frayed at the edges each day.

And when you have added stress, it can affect your body in many ways, both physically and mentally. So whether you are going through a difficult time in your life or are struggling with an ongoing mental health issue, adopting mindfulness could be just what the doctor ordered.

According to Davis Plunkett, behavioral health services manager at Sun Life Family Health Center, he says that daily meditation (whether it’s for five minutes a day or an hour a day) can help with regulation of one’s emotions, weight loss, diabetes, and can even improve the quantity and/or quality of sleep you get at night.

“I recommend meditation to a lot of my patients as a way of dealing with anxiety or anything that is causing added stress in their daily lives,” Plunkett said.

According to the Project Mediation Organization, people who mediate not only have increased health benefits such as lowering heart rate and blood pressure, but have also decreased anxiety and have become more independent and self-confident. Some research studies have even indicated that meditation “may physically change the brain and body,” writes the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine on its website.

A study done by the Centre For Mindfulness Research And Practice at Bangor University in 2011 showed that 75 percent of people in the study suffering from insomnia were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed after starting a meditation practice. Sixty percent of people with anxiety were able to lower their anxiety levels after about six months.

Plunkett, himself, has seen his own patients benefit greatly from taking up meditation.

“I’ve had patients that have been able to get restful sleep now,” he said, “and others who have been able to handle their anger or their stress in a more efficient manner, because they took a few deep breaths.”

The good thing about meditation is that it’s not something you need to invest a lot of energy or money in, either, Plunkett added.

“You’re basically investing in your health by taking a few minutes of silence. So many think it’s tied to religion or that they have to commit to becoming a Buddhist monk, and have visions of sitting lotus position on a mat. But I tell my patients, it’s much simpler than that:
It’s about doing what works for you.”

Plunkett recommends starting by carving out five or 10 minutes in your day to sit in a quiet place without any distractions. Wear something comfortable that isn’t constricting or distracting. You may sit or lay down. Close your eyes and breathe in slowly and deeply through the nose filling up your stomach area, and then slowly back out through the mouth. Do this for the time allotted.

And it can be harder than it sounds for those who aren’t used to sitting by themselves with their thoughts.

“The one problem I think that we have in our country is that we are so programmed by our cell phones and by the computers, that our senses are always stimulated,” Plunkett said. “We rarely have the opportunity to shut out the outside world and just sit in silence and be in the moment.”

Want to learn more? Visit www.howto-meditate.org, or explore YouTube for free guided meditations.

So take a moment: Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.

NEW PROVIDERS

Chinwe Chukwurah, MD

Dr. Chinwe Chukwurah is a Family Practitioner whose true passion in life is providing Primary Care to patients. She particularly loves working in smaller communities where she feels that you truly get to know the patients you work with and become a part of their life.

Dr. Chukwurah has been practicing Medicine since 1989 and recalls as a child going into the doctor’s office and grabbing their stethoscope once they left the room. Her initial medical training was at the University of Jos in Nigeria followed by a fellowship training in Family Medicine. She completed 5 out of the 6 years training leaving to join her then fiancé in the United States. She resumed her Medical career, completing her Residency in Family Medicine in Chicago, then returning to North Carolina to work in a Rural clinic doing what she loved best; the full spectrum of Primary Care. In 2012 Dr. Chukwurah joined the VA serving those who borne the battle. She quickly rose to the position of Clinic Director within 2 years but Family ties and the fundamental love for the full spectrum of Primary care prompted her move to Sun Life in Maricopa.

She is married to Edwin, a Tennis Coach who will be running a Tennis program in Maricopa. They have 3 children and the whole family is really excited to be here in Maricopa — in their words — “this finally feels like home”. Dr Chukwurah looks forward to providing high quality evidence based Primary care in a family friendly environment.

Stella Raposas, MD, FAAP

Dr. Raposas earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines. In 1984, she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines, College of Medicine, Manila, Philippines. In 1997, Dr. Raposas completed her residency training in Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine — Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.

Dr. Raposas is Board Certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Dr. Raposas moved to Arizona in 2015. She is married with one child; and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, swimming and playing the piano.

Dana Rodriguez, PhD, APNP-BC

Ms. Rodriguez earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Spanish and Communications from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 2006, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Additionally, Ms. Rodriguez completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pediatric and Adolescent Health from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Ms. Rodriguez is Board Certified in pediatric nursing practice.

Born in West Bend, Wisconsin, Ms. Rodriguez moved to Arizona in 2016. She is married with two children; and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and cooking.

You’ve got your bags packed, and your plane ticket, a hotel room, and a car are all booked for your trip. You’re completely ready, right? Actually, you might have forgotten something.
Did you see your doctor before heading out on your vacation?
Whether traveling domestically or overseas, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends seeing a physician at least four to six weeks prior to takeoff. There are so many factors that can affect the outcome of a trip, from the diseases common in your intended destination, the length of your trip, to even your planned activities and your own personal medical history (both past and present).

A general physical is a good idea, especially if you might be planning to participate in physical activity that you do not perform regularly. These factors also greatly depend on your age and any chronic health issues. And if you happen to get sick at the time of your intended trip, it is advisable to consult your doctor about your options — and if you are fit for travel. Seeing your doctor before a trip will also ensure that you prescriptions are up-to-date and filled. And if traveling by plane, it’s always advisable to keep medications and health-related items in your carry-on instead of your luggage. That way in case of a luggage mix-up, you are not separated from your medications for long. And if you have one, it’s always a good idea to keep a medical alert bracelet or necklace on you while you are away from home.

But your physical condition isn’t the only thing you should consider when going on vacation.

“So much depends on where you’re going,” says Sun Life’s Director of Nursing Marion Levett. “And it’s so important to do your research and be prepared.”

If traveling overseas, vaccines are a major part of planning your trip, Levett explains. “And each country is different.”

For an extensive list, visit the traveler’s health website: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list. There, you can choose any country in the world, and then pick which kind of traveling you are doing (whether it’s with children, on a cruise ship, or just visiting friends and family), as well as what kind of traveler you are (if you are pregnant, have immune-compromised health issue, or have a chronic disease). The site will give you all of the information you could want, from suggested and required vaccines and medicines, tips on how to stay healthy, a travel packing list, travel health notices, and ideas on what to do after your trip if you’ve contracted an illness.

There are also other day-to-day factors to consider, such as whether the water is safe to drink, Levett added, or even what latitude the location is in. If you have respiratory problems, traveling to locations at higher latitudes should be an issue to talk about with your doctor.

She also indicated that travel health insurance can be helpful, to be on the safe side. And putting together a basic first-aid kit is never a bad idea. Items Levett suggests should be in every traveler’s kit are:

• Spare pair of glasses/contact lenses
• Needles or syringes, insulin, or blood sugar testing supplies (for diabetics)
• Extra inhaler
• Anti-diarrhea medicine
• Tweezers
• Antihistamine
• Antacid
• Motion sickness medicine
• Cough drops/suppression or expectorant
• Decongestant
• Mild laxative
• Mild sedative or sleep aid
• Aspirin or other pain reliever
• Topical antibiotic cream
• Hydrocortisone cream
• Benadryl
• Bug repellent/insect bite treatment
• Altitude sickness medicine
• Antifungal/antibacterial ointments
• Bandages (several sizes), gauze and tape
• Antiseptic
• Aloe gel (for sunburns)
• Moleskin or mole foam for blisters
• Oral rehydration salts
• Disposable gloves
• Cotton swabs/Q-tips
• Eye drops
• Elastic or compression bandage wraps for sprains
• Scissors/safety pins
• Digital thermometer

While these items can help with basic health concerns, every location has its unique landscape and wildlife that can adversely affect us if we are not prepared. “So plan ahead, and don’t wait until the last minute,” Levett advises.

To schedule your pre-travel checkup, visit www.sunlifefamilyhealth.org, or call (520) 568-2245.

Have you ever changed your pharmacy because of a sale or special or just because of convenience? Have you ever stopped to think if it was wise to have some of your medications in one pharmacy and the rest elsewhere? Many people end up in this situation out of convenience, but don’t consider all of the ramifications. Pharmacy shopping, just like doctor shopping, can always pose a risk of harm to the patient. The end result is medications in different pharmacies verified by different pharmacists who don’t have access to all their patients’ information. Even databases between chain pharmacies, for example, won’t always alert to drug interactions between sites.

It is difficult for a pharmacist to address drug interactions and potential adverse reactions if they don’t have access to all the patient’s information. It is also important to let your pharmacist know which medical conditions and allergies to medications you have, and which non-prescription medications you may be taking so they can alert you if there are any potential problems.

The pharmacy that has the most access to this type of setup is a community pharmacy, where the pharmacist has access to patient records as they are being seen by providers within that same clinic, which is actually now an option at the Sun Life Family Health Center in Maricopa. Pharmacists here can provide better care as they have access to medical and prescription records, and can more thoroughly check for interactions, even see your lab results to help determine appropriate therapy.

PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT
Desiree Tilbury
You might already know the pharmacist in charge, Desiree’ Tilbury, a native that has been working at other retail locations here in Maricopa for several years now and is excited to be part of the team at Sun Life. “Seeing a provider and then being able to have a pharmacist review not only your prescription history but also your medical history here at Sun Life provides a more thorough continuity of care that you just can’t get anywhere else,” she has said. “ I want our customers to know that we have their health and well-being as our top priority here at Sun Life, and I’m excited to take my customer care experience to our local community.”

Education: Doctorate of Pharmacy (University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, 2005)desiree-tillbury
Hometown: Tucson
Reside in: Maricopa
Family: Husband of 16 years, three children ages 12, 10 and 6
Hobbies: Playing guitar and piano, singing, painting, drawing portraits
Pet peeve: Lack of humility!
Pets: 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 birds, 2 fish
Dream vacation: Hawaii and Paris
Like most about Maricopa: Friendliness of people in small town
Like least about Maricopa: Limited activities/ Restaurants

FAVORITE…
Charity: Child Fund International
Book: Jurassic Park
Movie: Hook
Actor: Cillian Murphy
Musician: Keith Urban
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Food: Pulled pork and fried pickles
Drink: Long-Island Iced Tea
Restaurant: Cheddars
Getaway: Sedona
Usually spend time … with friends, at church and sports activities with my kids.
Goals: Adopting another child
Quote: “Our horizon is never quite at our elbows.” — Henry David Thoreau (Things are always much more than they appear to be!)

See your Sun Life provider today and ask about our pharmacy options.

Sun Life Dental Director Gregory Waite (far left) and Sun Life Dental Office Manager Dr. Alex Cota (middle) accepted a $15,000 grant check from Delta Dental last month.

Sponsored – With an unwavering commitment to ensuring access to oral health education and preventive dental care, especially for children, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation proudly announced its 2016 annual grant awards last month.

Nearly $600,000 was distributed to 34 Arizona community groups, including Sun Life Family Health Center, focusing on helping high-risk children and families, pregnant mothers, safety net clinics, community health centers, oral health education, dental health awareness programs and oral health coalitions.

“The Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation is focusing its efforts this year on improving the oral health of expectant mothers and their families, which is key as we know that lack of dental care can lead to dire health and financial consequences,” said Sandi Perez, executive director of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. “These 34 organizations across our state are making a huge impact and we are extremely proud to be able to support them in their efforts to keep Arizona families healthy.”

Grants range from $2,000 to $50,000 and support a broad array of preventive services. Sun Life Family Health Center received a $15,000 grant over the next three years to implement school-based oral health screening services in Pinal County, Arizona. The organization will target school children, aged six and older, for these services. Sun Life is proposing to serve 600 children per year in school districts of Casa Grande, Eloy, Florence, Stanfield and Arizona City. Oral health screening services will be provided on-site at elementary schools in the designated districts, as well as health fairs and community events throughout the county.

Three additional groups also received supply grants to help distribute toothbrushes, dental floss and other needed oral health items for at-risk populations. For a complete list of 2016 grant recipients, please visit http://www.deltadentalaz.com/foundation/community-grants/grant-recipients.asp.

Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation grants are offered annually, with applications due each fall and awarded early the next year. An annual awards luncheon celebrating the growing numbers of organizations supporting the oral health needs of the community was held on January 29, at the Tempe Center for the Arts where awardees received their funds from the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation.

ABOUT SUN LIFE FAMILY HEALTH CENTER

Sun Life Family Health Center is Pinal County’s largest primary care provider, and was one of the first community health centers in the state to have received accreditation from the Joint Commission (the gold standard of quality in healthcare). Sun Life serves both insured and uninsured Pinal County patients, and provides health services in family practice, dentistry, women’s health, pediatrics, diabetes education, and much more.

Sun Life has several area family practice offices, located in Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Coolidge, Eloy, Maricopa, Oracle, San Manuel. The Casa Grande general health facility (located on N. Arizola Road) houses management operations, as well as family dentistry, and provides in-house radiology, pharmacy and laboratory services. The Center for Women & the Center for Children on Florence Boulevard in Casa Grande offer women’s wellness/maternity care and pediatric care (respectively). Our San Manuel family practice also offers radiology, diabetes education, and pharmacy services. Our Eloy, San Manuel, and Apache Junction locations offer family practice and a public pharmacy. Apache Junction also houses pediatrics and ob/gyn services. Coolidge, Maricopa, and Oracle are all family practice locations, with Maricopa adding pediatrics in September 2015.

To learn more about office locations and hours, visit www.sunlifefamilyhealth.org. Sun Life…excellence in health care.

Maricopa seniors answer questions from students at Butterfield Elementary School. Submitted photo

For the second year in a row, second grade students at Butterfield Elementary interviewed senior volunteers (age 50 and up) from the community.

The interviews were conducted by teams of three to four students and the questions revolved around “what life was like when they were 7 & 8 years old.”  Subjects like technology, games played and what chores they had to do were discussed.

The first of two meeting dates took place on April 8 with over 40 volunteers attending, and a second meeting is being planned for May 6.  At the May meeting, students will present written reports to their volunteers and then complete a craft together.

Second grade teacher Kathleen Kelley said the event was “a HUGE success … both the volunteers and students enjoyed the experience.”

Sun Life Family Health Center CEO, Travis J. Robinette, was recently selected as the board president for the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers.

AACHC is the Primary Care Association for the state of Arizona. All states have one designated Primary Care Association to advance the expansion of Federally Qualified Health Centers and advocate for the health-care interests of the medically underserved and uninsured.

“It is a great honor to be among the leaders of the organization that serves as a unified voice for Arizona’s largest primary care network,” Robinette said.

Sun Life Family Health Center is Pinal County’s largest primary care provider, with family practice offices in Maricopa, Casa Grande, Eloy, Coolidge, Oracle and San Manuel.