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SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE




Pride Health Care

SCV Community Pride • Health Care

Quality Health Care, and Love for the Community

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Santa Clarita Little Leaguers at the Facey Medical Group baseball clinic held on The Travel Village baseball fields.


Health Care

SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE

Facey prepares players for a great second year of Little League

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Dr. Emily Schwartz watches a pitcher’s form at the Valencia Travel Village baseball fields. By David Heitz


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ow in its second year supporting the Santa Clarita Little League, Facey Medical Group wants to make sure its ball players enjoy the game and don’t end up in the emergency room unless they have to. That is why Dr. Emily Schwartz, who specializes in primary care sports medicine at Facey Medical Group in Valencia, offered a clinic Jan. 22 at the Travel Village Baseball Fields in Castaic. About 25 to 30 kids and their families turned out to hear the advice of Dr. Schwartz. “The fact that the majority of injuries I see are from overuse and from not having enough rest, I asked a lot of them about how many teams they are playing on and are they playing every day and do they at least have one day off for complete rest,” Schwartz explained to a reporter after the clinic. She saw about what she expected. “When I asked how many kids are pitchers more than half raised their hands, and obviously there are not that many pitchers on a team, but many kids are trying to be a pitcher,” Schwartz explained. “The amount of velocity and torque on an

arm is different from just throwing a ball.” Her central message during the workshop was to follow little league guidelines regarding proper pitching and adequate rest days, which can be found here. Youngsters need to have at least one month off from playing one sport before beginning another sport. Dr. Schwartz said. There are more and more recommendations coming from youth sports experts against the idea of sub-specializing. Youngsters who play the same types of sports over and over and over again are the most likely to develop injuries, Schwartz said. “It’s important to stay on pitch counts and pay attention to that,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Players ages 10 to 12 who have more than 70 pitches in a day require four days of complete rest,’ Schwartz said. “When they may say it was just over 40 pitches, it is a lot more than people think, because be aware that pitch counts are not just during a game, but also during practice.” Schwartz also talked curveballs during the camp. “Don’t start practicing curveballs until they get into puberty,” she told parents, leaving a few boys disgruntled. “A lot of people came up

and thanked me,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t seem to get any dirty looks or anything. They seemed very receptive and were nodding in agreement with what I was saying. What people were surprised about was the amount of rest that is needed. I heard a few people say, ‘Oh yeah, on off days they are taking pitches less or batting lessons. That all counts. Rest days are for them to act like a normal kid. Everyone wants their kid to be the best and the pressure to do that is definitely there.” Dr. Schwartz said she saw the whole range of pitches during the clinic, from “quite good” to “horrible form.” “Not everybody’s bodies are made to throw pitches,” she said. Poor pitching techniques coupled with not enough rest between pitches leads to Little Leaguer Shoulder and Little Leaguer Elbow, Schwartz said. Those are conditions which cause a widening of the growth plates because of repetition. Rest and learning proper pitching from is the best way to get over those injures and to get back into the game. Spots are still available in the Santa Clarita Little League. For info. Call (661) 513-1544.

Partners Dan Watson/The Signal

Dr. Emily Schwartz answers questions from parents at a meeting at the Valencia Travel Village baseball fields.

SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE

Health Care


Summerhill Villa celebrates 15 years of focusing on ‘the good work’ for seniors By Kateri Wozny


he energy and compassion is alive at Summerhill Villa, an assisted living center for seniors that is part of the Japanese owned MBK Senior Living Group, a division of Mitsui & Company, LTD. The center is now in its 15th year and has many reasons to celebrate. “We continue to be a leading service provider in the assisted living industry because of our quality care and dedication to our seniors,” said Cyntia Drachenberg, executive director for Summerhill Villa. “We believe in Yoi Shigoto (Japanese for ‘the good work’) and focus on having our hearts in the right place.” Summerhill Villa not only focuses on the health and well-being of its residents, but making sure their life is fulfilled. On average, the center has between 125 to 130 residents ranging from homemakers, professionals and retired professionals, with the oldest resident being 102-years-old. “The term ‘assisted living’ is still new in this generation. Summerhill Villa is not a nursing home where the seniors can never return to their residence,” Drachenberg explained. “Residents come here to live, thrive and retire without having any life worries.” According to the Summerhill Villa website, before a resident can move in, they are assessed by the director of health services so that a customized care and service plan can be made to meet their needs. The communi-

ty team of 15 then dedicates themselves to providing support and assistance 24 hours a day as well as offers support and ongoing communication with the resident’s family members. “We have a hardworking staff that has a passion for working with seniors,” Drachenberg said. “Our longstanding associates and clients are our family. We invest a lot into them.” Assisted living services include housekeeping, laundry services, daily living activities, transportation, an emergency alert response system, MBKuisine dining that features three meals a day and the MBKonnection programs that includes social and cultural events, lectures and physical fitness classes. Summerhill Villa residents are also active through volunteer and community outreach opportunities, such as helping at the Santa Clarita Senior Center and hosting yearly fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Association. “We have many enriching programs that our seniors can participate in,” Drachenberg said. “A lot of our programs are designed around many types of music genres. These programs enhance the mind, body and spirit of our residents.” Summerhill Villa also offers the Connections for Living program, which helps residents and their families deal with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. “This is a very special program that helps residents with their physical wellness, provides a healthy environ-

ment, enrichment activities and family involvement through educational programs,” Drachenberg said. Apartment homes are available in a studio, one and two bedroom and private room settings, with prices ranging from $4,200 to $6,600. Amenities at Summerhill Villa include a library, craft and games rooms, a beauty salon and barber shop, pianos and a courtyard. “We have a variety of options where a senior can rent month-to-month or begin with a short term, respite stay,” Drachenberg said. “The environment is very warm and inviting with a homelike community. It’s very rich with culture.” One resident, Charlene Sweeney of Valencia, summed up her positive experience at Summerhill Villa in an online review. “For the last 15 years I have called Summerhill Villa home. Not home like the wonderful residents that live in the Summerhill community call it home, but my home away from home,” she wrote. “I can honestly say that my life would not have been as fulfilling if it wasn’t for my time at Summerhill. I have built relationships through the years with the staff and residents and I love them all.” Summerhill Villa 24431 Lyons Ave. Santa Clarita, CA 91321 661-388-0777 ca/santa-clarita/summerhill-villa

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Residents Thelma Ross, left, and Marie Wylan, right, and Wylan’s dog, Triva, sit near the fireplace as driver Margo Popiel and executive director Cyntia Drachenberg stand nearby at Summerhill Villa in Newhall.

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The entrance of Summerhill Villa is off of Lyons Avenue in Newhall.

Voted “Best Assisted Living Community” by the readers of The Signal Newspaper 6 years in a row. Assisted Living and Connections for Living by MBKSM Memory Care Neighborhood

“This is the best location. The staff is wonderful and very caring. Far and away the BEST assisted living community in this area.” ~Santa Clarita Family Come see us today! Stop by or call us at 661.388.5332 to schedule a visit. 24431 Lyons Ave. Santa Clarita, CA 91321 Lic#197608685


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SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE

Lyons Pharmacy customizes its service with Compounding Lab By Daphne O’Neal


yons Pharmacy & Compounding Lab represents the best of past and present: Traditional, mom- and-pop, personalized service combined with 21st-century, cutting-edge delivery capabilities. Add to that couture-like, made-toorder fulfillment practices, and you’ve got a prescription for extreme customer satisfaction. Founder Dr. Pete Farzadfar got his start as a pharmacist working in chain drugstores, but soon became disenchanted with the rote, cookie-cutter approach to serving customers. “Because of the love I have for my job, [I wanted to give] personal attention to my patients as my clients. That was missing… That was absent in a chain setting,” states Dr. Pete. Envisioning an establishment that offered “one-onone, family-based service,” he started Lyons in 2012. In just three short years, the business has gained an enthusiastic customer base. (The pharmacy’s Yelp reviews alone might be the envy of any business owner, large or small.)


Lyons offers a remarkable degree of flexibility and customer accommodation when it comes to prescription fulfillment and delivery. But if you think that means paying higher prices, you’re in for a surprise. “A lot of people [are afraid] independent pharmacies are more expensive

than [chain pharmacies].” says Dr. Pete. “They are wrong, and we can prove it to them. Consider us a chain pharmacy without the pain.” Dr. Pete and his team work directly with drug manufacturers to get the lowest prices for their clients. “We have [manufacturer] coupons that are sometimes not available to the public,” Dr. Pete reports. As an example, “Say your co-pay is $60. We [might] have a coupon that could bring your co-pay down to as little as $10 or even a free trial.” Moreover, he provides, “If your medication is not covered [by your insurance]… we work with your doctor to change to a medication that is covered, so you can pay less out of pocket.” The pharmacy accepts all insurances. Lyons will also match, within reason, prescription prices of area pharmacies.


Drug formulation is likewise tailored to the individual via compounding. “Compounding is the art of making a medication from scratch,” explains Dr. Pete. “Some patients [might] have allergies to an ingredient. Or [perhaps] they can’t swallow a tablet.” Dr. Pete and his team can accommodate such special needs by delivering the prescription in capsule, cream, gel, ointment, liquid, suppository — or even lollipop form.

Dosage is another area where Lyons will go the extra mile. “The medication might come in 5, 10 or 15 [mg tablets], and the right dose for you is 12.5. We have the capability to make you a 12.5 mg capsule.” The pharmacy’s extraordinary degree of customer accommodation extends to fussy children — and even pets. “We flavor the medication if your pet or your child doesn’t want to take [it],” enthuses Dr. Pete. “It’s a cool science.” Lyons further specializes in compounding bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.


Physical delivery of the final product is also adapted to customer need. Lyons pretty much promises walk-in customers a wait of no more than 10 minutes to process and pick up a prescription. Free home delivery provides another layer of convenience. Then, there’s medication synchronization. “In one delivery, you can [receive] your prescriptions for the entire month,” says Dr. Pete. Married with two kids, Dr. Pete declares, “I love Santa Clarita and hopefully will be serving the community for a good long time.” With so many satisfied customers to spread the word, it appears Lyons Pharmacy will continue to grow, providing optimal service with a personal touch to area clients.

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

From back to front: Lissette Arevalo, Corine Tejada, Melissa Corrales, Pete Farzadfar, Matt Lee, and Juan Orozco stand in the Lyons Pharmacy.

Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Melissa Corrales, a pharmacy technician, compounds a formula in the Lyons Pharmacy compounding lab.

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661.777.7770 23206 Lyons Ave #112 - Newhall, CA 91321


SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE

Health Care

Dr. David Wong of Kaiser Permanente By Anne Freedman


r. David Wong is proud of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to the Santa Clarita Valley community. “I really feel that I’m very fortunate to be in this community,” he said. “We should give back to the community where you live. I have a good reason for that.” It is a legacy from his parents, who escaped China in the 1950s as the Communists came to power. Although they were teachers there – a treacherous position since teachers were being killed by the new regime -- they had to work as farmworkers when they came to America. He did as well, starting as a 10-year-old, getting paid $3 for a box of apricots. “They said you’ve got to work hard to pursue what you want and give back to the people who helped you along the way. I truly believe that,” said Dr. Wong, physician-in-charge, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita Medical Offices. “I’m fortunate to work for a nonprofit organization that’s willing to give to the community.” Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers and not-forprofit health plans, awarded $62,626 in community benefit grants to 10 community nonprofit organizations that expand access to health for lower-income, uninsured

and vulnerable residents in the area. Dr. Wong serves on the board of one of those organizations, the Child and Family Center. For nearly 10 years, he has worked with the organization, which provides school-based mental health support and counseling for children showing early signs of behavioral health problems in elementary schools. Among the variety of community events he participates in was last year’s Santa Clarita Valley Habitat for Humanity effort to build 78 homes for low-income veterans and their families. Kaiser Permanente partnered with Habitat for Humanity in celebration of National Volunteer Week in April 2015. “I don’t swing a hammer very well,” he chuckled, but noted that “when people ask, I try to volunteer.” He also serves on the advisory board of the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, another grant recipient of Kaiser Permanente’s last year, in addition to supporting the Santa Clarita Marathon and the Final Mile Challenge, which the health organization sponsored. Along with other physicians and Kaiser Permanente staff, Dr. Wong also participated in the Special Olympics World Games last year, including participating in a welcome breakfast for athletes sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Involvement in the vari-

ous kinds of community organizations is so important, Dr. Wong said, because “physicians can only do so much.” These organizations and others help support the health and well-being of older adults, parents, teenagers, children and others with challenges they face. “I believe in yin and yang,” he said. “The mind affects the body. The body affects the mind.” That’s why he is so committed to Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive program, which endeavors to educate and support community residents in their efforts to eat healthy and stay active. Several Kaiser Permanente employees routinely volunteer in walks and runs, serve on the boards of community health organizations, and volunteer their time and expertise to nonprofits and schools to demonstrate what it means to truly Thrive. “It’s a way to encourage patients to take care of themselves,” Dr. Wong said. “You need to walk, dance, do marathons, whatever. Whatever we can do to stay active. That’s the Thrive campaign. Don’t just sit and take a pill. That’s not the answer.” Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Founded in 1945, its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the community it serves.


We all want to make healthy choices. Dan Watson/The Signal

Kaiser Permanente medical providers from left, Dr. David Wong, Debra Wallace, RNP, Dr. Elizabeth Hudson, and Dr. Mikael Brisinger.

At Kaiser Permanente, you’ll get a wide selection of doctors to choose from. So you can find the one with the experience and the personality that best fits you and your needs. And if you ever change your needs or your mind, you can change your doctor at any time. Call 1-888-778-5000 or visit today because together we thrive.

Dan Watson/The Signal

Kaiser Permanente medical providers from left, Dr. David Wong, Dr. Rafael Rosado-Cosme , Dr. Patrick DiMartini, Dr. David Lee, Dr. Tammy Yao-Hong, and Debra Wallace, RNP.


SCV Community Pride • HEALTH CARE

Health Care

Newhall Pharmacy is family owned old-time pharmacy By Alicia Doyle


n March 1, Newhall Pharmacy opened a new location at 24239 Main St. from its previous site at 23768 Newhall Ave. “We will be operating in downtown historical Newhall, and adding services like compounding,” said pharmacist Moazzem H. Chowdhury, a resident of Santa Clarita since 1994 who has been living in the United States for more than three decades. Chowdhury, who graduated from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, has 40 years practicing as a pharmacist and vast experience as the owner and manager of Desert Drug Pharmacy in Canyon Country and Desert Drugs in Lancaster. He also is a staff pharmacist at other pharmacies including Crown Valley Pharmacy in Acton. In 1999, he was one of the first pharmacists to give flu shots in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. At Newhall Pharmacy, Chowdhury is working with his dedicated team of pharmacists and pharmacy staff to grow the family pharmacy to the next level of success. “It is a difficult time for a small business to survive; we struggled so many years and we are still operating,” Chowdhury said. “Our goal is to continue to provide the much needed

healthcare services in this community. The new location surely will attract lots of new customers.” Newhall Pharmacy opened in the community in August of 2012 with the goal to provide personalized health services – especially for customers who were tired of non-individualized service found in chain pharmacies and mail order pharmacies. Chowdhury speaks from his managerial experience in numerous chain pharmacies such as Walmart, Rite Aid, K-Mart and Longs Drugs. From that, he realized that the best services are provided by small home town pharmacies like Newhall Pharmacy. “We are a family-owned, old-time retail pharmacy,” he explained. “We are committed to providing individualized service with care and compassion by a very knowledgeable pharmacist.” Newhall Pharmacy accepts most health insurance plans, and will match or beat other pharmacy prices, Chowdhury noted. “We offer the lowest price on over-the-counter medication and vitamins,” he said. “And we offer free delivery with some restrictions.” Some of Newhall Pharmacy’s most popular services include flu shots, free delivery services, health information and consultations. We are particularly sensitive to the wellness

needs of our seniors. Newhall Pharmacy also offers services that cannot be found elsewhere, including home service for the elderly who need a flu shot by a pharmacist, hospice pharmacy services, and a quarterly free blood pressure and other health related clinics. One of the biggest accomplishments at Newhall Pharmacy is establishing one-on-one relationships with each customer, Chowdhury said. “We know our customers by name,” he said. “Our customers are a big family.” Chowdhury addressed the importance of the pharmacist’s relationship with the patient when he was interviewed in 2014 on KHTS AM 1220. At the time, he was speaking about his role at Desert Drugs Pharmacy, but his sentiment applies to his current endeavors at Newhall Pharmacy. “Healthcare is so important to everyone’s life,” Chowdhury told KHTS. “When you are sick it is important to feel comfortable with your doctor and your pharmacist. “You know who to reach, who to contact, your Newhall pharmacist.” Newhall Pharmacy is located at 24239 Main Street, across from the Canyon Theatre Guild at 6th Street in Newhall. For more information call 661-799-7017 or e-mail at

Dan Watson/The Signal

Newhall Pharmacy owner Moazzem Chowdhury, wife, Jeenat.

Dan Watson/The Signal

From left, Newhall Pharmacy owner Moazzem Chowdhury, wife, Jeenat and Pharmacy Manager Bill Henderson.


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• Flu Shots • Accepting most insurances • Delivery services available • Wide variety of vitamins & healthcare products • Specialize on senior prescription needs


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