WellHealth CareConnection: Volume 1 | Issue 3 | Summer 2014

Page 1

CareConnection Innovative Healthcare in Your Backyard.

Volume 1

Be Heart Smart 28 Million People Suffer From...

Invisible Disease My Story. My Life.

The Change is Now. Ready, Set, Menopause...


Issue 3

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Healthier You Tips, stories, and guides for a

In this issue:



“More than 28 million people in the United States have asthma, including approximately 7 million children.”



“Within 24 hours, I heard the three words that would change my life forever. This is my story, my life.”



“Make 2015 the year you become healthy.”

A Unique Approach to High Risk Prenatal Care



“Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.”



(702) 255-3547

“Menopause is a marathon, not a sprint.”



Care Offered: Maternal disease management of diabetes, thyroid disease, hypertensive disorders, and other disorders Modified diabetes glycemic management based on fetal growth Fetal Conditions including intrauterine growth restriction, genetic disorders, or multiple babies Obstetric conditions including recurrent pregnancy loss, preterm labor, previous preterm birth, and premature rupture of membranes 2




Collins Kwarteng, MD Geetha Krishnan, RD Pat Carney, MSN, APRN, WHNP-BC, CDE Jennifer Florendo

K. Warren Volker, MD, PhD Meghan Bailey

Center for Perinatal Medicine


A WellHealth Clinical Center of Excellence


Nick Dawson Alyna Kakol


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Message from the CEO What do change and choice have in common? Commitment. Did you know 66 percent of American’s make fitness their New Year’s Resolution? And over a third quit just after the mid-point of January. It gets you thinking, when will you choose to change and commit to better health? Let’s break it down to 3 C’s… Choose, Change, Commitment. When you choose a new goal, whether it be for a New Year’s Resolution or a random Tuesday that you decide you need to change something, make it attainable. I encourage you to reach for a lofty goal, but I also challenge you to break it down. By putting little steps in place, you will reach your destination in one piece. Once you have chosen the change you want to make, it is time to plan ahead. Look at what obstacles you may have in store for your goal and write them down. Ask for help and know when to change your course to obtain what you are working toward.


When you choose your change, it is time to be committed to it. Think about what will motivate you. Is this a lifestyle change you need to make so you can be there for your family in the long term? Put a picture of them everywhere to help motivate you. Is this something you have always wanted to achieve but never thought you could? Write down your goal and post it on your wall so you can see it every day. If you make a commitment to someone other than yourself, you will more than likely succeed. What habit do you need to break before you can start living healthy? I challenge you to find what you need to change and make the choice to commit to it.

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Letter from the Editor Welcome to 2015! I cannot believe that this decade is half over. This just goes to show you that time waits for no one. I can still remember the New Year’s Resolution I made in 2010; live in the moment. I was getting married, and while the wedding (beautiful as it was) only lasted a few hours, my marriage is forever. Every year I make a New Year’s Resolution to improve my health, physically or mentally. So while I was putting together this issue I learned that my little health resolutions were making a big impact on my lifetime health journey. Were you aware that 1 in 4 people die from heart disease? Let that soak in for a minute; 1 out of every 4. Given the tools to lower your risk, you would take them, yes? It can be as simple as seeing a doctor while you are still healthy, lowering your sodium intake and increasing the amount of veggies, fruit, and water you have on a daily basis. That seems easy, right? You can totally do that. Did you know many people live with a disease and you’d never be able to tell? In this issue, Jennifer shares her story of living with Diabetes. It was not only courageous and brave, but it also reveals that while

Diabetes may be one of the fastest growing self-inflicted diseases it is also still a genetic disorder that a lot of health concious people deal with. So when I say it’s 2015 and the decade is half over, I challenge you, reflect on what you have done these past five years. Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Are you healthy? If not, there is no better time than the present to get started down your ideal path. Be brave this year. Managing Editor Meghan Bailey

Happy New Year!

K. Warren Volker, MD, PhD CEO of WellHealth Quality Care


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When you need us, we’ll be here.

Primary Care & Internal Medicine Arthritis Diabetes Heart Disease High Cholesterol Pre-Operative Surgical Exams Preventative Medicine Wellness Exams

Your Asthma Guide By: Pat Carney MSN, APRN, WHNP-BC, CDE

Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease of the respiratory system. It causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes, tubes that carry air to the lungs. When this happens, the airways of the lungs swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

“More than 28 million people in the United States have asthma.”

Who can get Asthma? Asthma is very common among both adults and children. More than 28 million people in the United States have asthma, including approximately 7 million children. No one knows why some people have asthma and others don’t. Asthma can occur at any age. It is more common in children than adults. Heredity plays a major factor in who develops asthma. In young children, boys are twice as likely to develop the disease. However, this sex difference tends to disappear in older aged children. Most recently, obesity has been identified as a risk factor for asthma.

“Asthma can occur at any age.”

Accepting New Patients

(702) 304-5897

WellHealthDiagnostics.com Two locations to serve you: 6850 N Durango Drive, Suite 214 Las Vegas, NV 89149 & 9280 West Sunset Road, Suite 210 Las Vegas, NV 89148 6

Additional triggers may include over the counter medications like Aspirin, fever reducers or anti-inflammatories. Discuss any over the counter or prescription medications with your health care provider, along with any alternative therapies or herbal remedies that may have an impact on your asthma. Products with Hidden Asthma Triggers Be on the look out for unsuspecting asthma triggers. Every person responds differently to certain products. Hidden triggers can be in the following forms: - Scents from perfumes, deodorants and cleaning supplies - Scented candles and incense - Hairspray - Air fresheners - Personal care products

“Asthma symptoms can differ for each person.”

Symptoms of Asthma Asthma symptoms can differ for each person. However, here are some of the most common: - Wheezing: You may notice a wheezing sound when you breathe. This may only happen when you exercise or have a cold. - Frequent Cough: This is more common at night. You may or may not cough up mucus. - Shortness of Breath: This is the feeling when you can’t get enough air into your lungs. You may experience this once in a while, or more often. - Chest Tightness: Your chest may feel tight, especially during cold weather or exercising. This symptom may be the first sign of a flare-up.

Your Asthma Guide

What causes Asthma? The “asthmatic condition” is always present. It is what triggers asthma that can create an asthma attack or an asthmatic episode. Common triggers include: - Pollen, dust mites, animal dander, mold, feathers and some foods - Respiratory infections, colds and flu - Exercise - Stress - Cold and windy weather and/or weather changes

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Living with an Invisible Disease

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The Life of Jennifer Florendo

To some, unexplained rapid weight loss may feel like a stroke of luck. That is how it started out for me in late fall 2007. I was going through a pretty bad break-up when these new symptoms crept up on me: rapid weight loss, who doesn’t want to lose five pounds; blurred vision, but I just chalked it up to old age; fatigue, I attributed that to the life changes I was going through.

“...the symptoms only worsened over the next few weeks.”

The greater part of the holiday weekend was spent on the couch, alone, pondering my new diagnosis: Can I still eat Doritos and red velvet cake? Am I broken? Will someone ever love me? What if I do want to have kids one day, can I?

“Am I broken?”

Spoiler alert: Yes, you can eat Doritos and cake (in moderation), someone will love me and, yes, I can have a healthy baby. At the time of diagnosis, I didn’t know anything about the disease that is now just a part of me. There are two types of diabetes: the auto-immune Type 1 that is controlled by insulin and Type 2, which is known as the genetic/ hereditary disease often brought on by lifestyle. Diabetes is known as an invisible disease because you can’t tell I have it by looking at me, unless I am wearing my insulin pump somewhere visible. You wouldn’t know I was checking my blood sugar under the table or counting carbohydrates in my head while you carry on a conversation with me.

Not being one to visit the doctor often, I caved in and made an appointment. When she prescribed some antianxiety pills and told me to meditate, it seemed like I was on the path to feeling better. Yet, the symptoms only worsened over the next few weeks. The weight loss continued and my fatigue never subsided.

My daily life has been altered: checking my blood sugar an hour before meals, taking insulin 15 minutes before eating, keeping sugar tablets within arm’s reach to treat low sugar readings, and ensuring that I eat enough before working out. I went from counting calories to counting carbohydrates and everything is now a numbers game: How many units of insulin will I need in order to eat this or that? Anything can throw off your perfect math, too: illness, menstrual cycle, stress, even the extreme desert heat can affect my sugar.

Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.

If you manage your diabetes properly, you can prevent or delay diabetes complications. However, diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Center For

Diabetic Care Myth:

A WellHealth Clinical Center of Excellence

If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

“You have diabetes.”


“You have diabetes,” said the doctor, who had been treating me for anxiety when all along it was diabetes. “Here is a prescription and read about the food pyramid.” All I knew about diabetes was that my mom lectured my grandmother for eating dessert on holidays and that Shelby died from it in Steel Magnolias.


Myth: Fact:

It was on my third visit to the doctor when I suggested blood work. Within 24 hours, I heard the three words that would change my life forever. There were urgent calls on my cell phone and work phone to call the office; they were about to close for the holiday and I needed to come in right away.

My blood sugar was 539. To put that in perspective, a normal, aka non-diabetic, person will typically never go over 140. That was my fasting number that day.

Diabetes Myths

Diabetes isn’t something that I have allowed to define me. Yes, my life has changed, but life with Type 1 diabetes

has just become my new normal.

Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.

To learn more, or to see if you may be at risk, call (702) 255-3547.


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Lifestyle change.



change is now.

Make 2015 the year you become healthy.


Try your best to never be caught hungry and empty handed. Portion healthy snacks and keep them with you.

When you and your doctor decide that seeing a specialist is necessary, par8o and WellHealth Quality Care will help you get the care you deserve—without the wait. Your health is our priority. We connect you to your preferred provider in your network, ensure you get an appointment scheduled in a timely manner, and then listen to your feedback about the doctor. That’s how par8o and WellHealth Quality Care are partnering to make healthcare better for everyone.

Control Portions:

Eating too many calories will cause fat storage, even if your food choices are healthy.

Watch What You Intake:

For more information, email wellhealthqc@par8o.com

Avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fat/ hydrogenated oils, processed foods, and energy dense foods.

Repeat After Me:

H.A.L.T – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Be aware of those feelings before reaching for comfort food or drink.


Studies show that people who sleep less at night are more likely to be overweight.


3-5 days per week, 30 minutes or more. Break it up if you need to, but do not cheat your health.

Slow Down:

Yes, life moves quickly, but make it mandatory to slow down. Enjoy the fresh air, create something new, be who you are.

Michelle, Natalie and Steven S. with CO-OP Care Crew Representative Lorie

Health Insurance is complicated. We’re the un-complicators. You have questions. We have answers. Let us guide you through your health insurance enrollment. Speak with a CO-OP Care Crew Representative today!

702-823-2667 or toll free 855-606-2667 | nevadahealthcoop.org 11


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is the leading cause of death for men & women in the US.

THE FACTS About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US every year.

THAT’S 1 IN 4!

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Of these,


Every year,

720,000 Americans have a

(If you experience these symptoms, call 911.)

The majority of heart attacks happen between the hours of 8 & 9 in the morning.

heart attack.

515,000 are a first heart attack, and


happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

(The majority of those on Mondays.)

Eat Heart Smart via cdc.gov

Eat Heart-Healthy fats

Eat 12 ounces of fish per week. Eat 2 1/2 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit per day.

Nuts Olive Oil Avocado

Reduce Sodium Intake. (Try to boost

flavor with natural herbs)

With you every step of the way toward a heart healthy life.

Ready, Set, Menopause... Not quite ladies. Menopause is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no clear start or ending point, and it is not the same for each woman.

Change in your period. You may start to notice they are coming closer together, you have heavier bleeding, you are spotting, or they last longer than a week.

The beginning of Menopause is also known as perimenopause. This can begin several years before your last menstrual cycle happens. The changing levels in estrogen and progesterone, may lead to many of the symptoms. Some of the common signs consist of irregular periods, inability to sleep through the night, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings.

Hot Flashes. A hot flash is one of the most common symptoms women have. They can be described as a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. You face can become flush and you may have red blotches.

“Menopause is a marathon, not a sprint.” Most women will experience natural menopause between the ages of 40 and 58, with the national average being 51. There are some types of surgical operations that can cause your period to stop such as a hysterectomy (removing your uterus). Although there are physical changes that begin years before the final menstrual cycle, menopause isn’t confirmed until you have had a confirmed 12 months of not having a menstrual cycle.

What Are Signs of Menopause? Depending on how estrogen is produced and used throughout your body you may experience some of the following:

Sleep. You may find that you can’t fall asleep easily, or you wake too early. Mood Changes. Being moody and irritable around the time of menopause is completely normal. Scientists do not know why this happens but it has been reported that stress, family changes (such as aging parents and grown children) could be the possible reason for mood changes. Vaginal Health. Most women experience vaginal dryness. This can make intercourse uncomfortable or give you other health problems such as vaginal infections. Your Body Changes. These changes are now visible on the outside. Your waist may get larger, you could lose muscle, and you skin could get thinner. During Menopause, make sure you convey to your family the changes you are going through so you can have a great support system. Your doctor is also a key member during this transition. They can guide you and make sure you stay healthy.

(702) 304-5700 | WellHealthCardiology.com 12



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COLLINS KWARTENG, MD is a native of Ghana, West Africa. He moved to the

United States in 1995 to pursue further education. He joined the U.S. Army as a combat medical support specialist. He served in that capacity with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea as well as with the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division in Campbell, KY. After an honorable discharge, he received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts in Biology. He then graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he accepted a residency in adult internal medicine at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. To continue his education he completed a Fellowship in Adult Cardiovascular Diseases at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. With a passion for Cardiology, Dr. Kwarteng then trained in Adult Cardiovascular Interventions at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital before moving to Las Vegas and accepting a position with WellHealth Cardiology.

PAT CARNEY, NP worked in the professional theatre and dance world in a variety of venues from Los Angeles to New York City prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Her choreography has won awards and has been highlighted on television, stage, and screen. After her 15 minutes of fame, she returned to Los Angeles, enrolled in nursing school and set forth to become a Nurse Practitioner. Upon graduating as an RN, she worked in the Med/Surg/ Telemetry unit. But, her love for OB/GYN was sparked when she took a job at a Beverly Hills Birthing Center. For over 13 years she has practiced in OB/GYN as a Nurse Practitioner. She earned her MSN in 2003 and has since been on multiple clinical nursing faculties. In addition, under the guidance of Dr. Siri Kjos, she has trained the Harbor-UCLA 1st and 2nd year OB residents in low-risk OB for 8 years. KATHLEEN MENASCHE, MD received her certification as a certified nurse-midwife

in 2000 after completing her education at Parkland School of Nurse-Midwifery. In 2005, she obtained her Master of Science degree in Nursing through Western University of Health Sciences and in August of 2013 successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Collaborative Practice Between Certified Nurse-Midwives/Certified Midwives and Obstetricians and The Factors Involved In Working Together To Normalize Childbirth� to complete the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice through Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. As a nurse-midwife working as faculty for the University of Nevada-Reno School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in full scope practice, she attended over nine hundred births. Caring for women and childbirth is her passion. She is interested in becoming involved in training our future midwifery professionals and the normalization of childbirth. Her interests outside of work include volunteering in the community, family events, cooking, movies, and travel. Professional Affiliations: American College of Nurse-Midwives, Doctor of Nursing Practice, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, Sigma Theta Tau International, Texas Nurses Association, and Nevada Nurses Association.

GEETHA KRISHNAN, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian

Educator. Ms. Krishnan brings exceptional leadership and strategic vision to the WellHealth Quality Care team. As a part of the medical team, she will be assisting patients with their dietary needs, educating patients and overseeing the WellHealth Diabetic Care Center. She attended University in Bangalore, India majoring in Nutrition. Once graduated, she enrolled at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey to further her education in nutrition. Geetha is an accomplished presenter working with prestigious nutritional trade shows, radio shows, and conferences. She enjoys yoga, listening to Public Radio, and preparing creative new culinary dishes using healthier food options.


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