WellHealth CareConnection: Volume 1 | Issue 4 | Summer 2014

Page 1

CareConnection Innovative Healthcare in Your Backyard

Volume 1 Keep Cool, Cook Smart! Staying Hydrated

My Story. My Life. I am a Little Person. Recognize the Signs Worth or Waste?

A WellHealth Quality Care Publication


Issue 4

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Life and Wellness Center Welcoming New Patients!

Now Seeing Patients Suffering From:

Get Well. Stay Well.

•Arthritis •Obesity •Asthma •Diabetes •Osteoporosis •Hypertension •Eating Disorders •Lack of Sex Drive •Low Testosterone •Decreased Energy •Hormone Imbalance

Call: (702)255-3547 Click: wellhealthlifeandwellness.com


Visit: 9260 W. Sunset Road, Suite 207 Las Vegas, Nevada 89148

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Healthier You Tips, stories, and guides for a

In this issue:


One million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States.


Josh has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, but he’s just like any other 12-year-old boy and he has a message for you.

10. THE ART OF MEDITATION De-stress and add some Zen into your life!


Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion can be life-threatening.

14. KEEP COOL, COOK SMART No-cook summer recipes that are truly delicious!


Vitamins and supplements are everywhere, but are they useful?


Three weeks, one goal: determine if drinking more water will actually make you feel better.



K. Warren Volker, MD, PhD


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Erich Acebedo, MD Chelsea Corarito Michelle Muscari


ART & DESIGN Chelsea Corarito


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Message from the CEO School is out and another summer is upon us! Years ago, that meant stress levels would drop and the “happy hormone” dopamine would take us straight into the holidays. These days, however, stress is becoming more and more prominent all year round, and that’s a concern for physicians everywhere. You see, stress doesn’t just lead to restless nights; it’s a cause of sleep deprivation and anxiety. Stress can lead to much worse than a headache; it leads to lower immune system functions. Stress is not always a bad thing, of course. Sometimes it can help you perform well under pressure. But when you are in a constant state of emergency, your mind and body pay the price. When your body is constantly stressed, you experience a flood of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Your heart pounds faster, blood pressure rises,


breathing accelerates, muscles tighten, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, quicken your reaction time, and enhance your focus. While they are necessary in some instances, being in this high-stress state for too long causes more harm than good. So I encourage and challenge you to take stress seriously. Find a way to de-stress yourself, whether that’s through yoga, walking, meditation, cooking, exercise, or even talking to someone. Whatever your outlet may be, make it your priority. Let’s live healthy and happy,

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

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Letter from the Editor

Do you remember when days used to last forever, and you never thought you would grow up? Of course, now that we’re adults, time doesn’t want to stand still. These past few months have been a whirlwind for me. I’ve had help creating a new healthier lifestyle, learning about no-cook meals, and I’ve been able to meet amazing people with inspiring stories.

genes, and how we approach everyday life is also a part of creating a healthier life.

CareConnection is a platform that is allowing all of us to learn real and usable health and wellness information. For example, are you aware of the most common misconception in health and wellness? It’s that living healthy only encompasses exercise and diet! The fact is, diet and exercise is only one component of a multitude of health and wellness aspects. Our behavioral health,

Meghan Bailey Managing Editor

Enjoy the facts and stories in this issue and soak in all of the amazing expert advice. You won’t only be healthier--you will be happier. Summer is calling! Don’t forget the SPF and H2O,


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The life of Josh Muscari, as told by his mother, Michelle.

My Story. My Life.

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Looking back now, my health providers probably suspected something was different as early as the first ultrasound, but at the time, there was only one genetic In 2002, I took a pregnancy test, doctor in Las Vegas who could and it came back positive. My have been able to diagnose him husband and I were ready to before birth. welcome our second child into our family. We couldn’t have been We knew Josh was exactly who he more excited, and we knew he needed to be and was perfect in would be the perfect addition to every way, but the diagnosis didn’t come without multiple struggles. our family. Josh plays soccer, he loves to ride his skateboard, he has good grades, and is twelve-years-old. Josh is also a little person.

“Doctors started to notice a couple of different features.” The pregnancy with Josh was to be expected. I experienced morning sickness during the first trimester, but it settled down after that. On December 9th, our sweet baby boy was born. Everything from his First day of Pre-K sweet cheeks to his tiny fingers and When he was one, he had ear toes were just perfect. surgery and still has to use hearing After his birth, doctors started aids to this day. He also had an to notice a couple of different additional six surgeries to put in features. We always had the idea ear tubes. A doctor told us that that Josh was different, but it he needed to have surgery to wasn’t until after multiple x-rays, straighten his legs. MRIs, sleep studies and every test in between, that we were given the Not lengthen them, straighten final diagnosis. Josh was officially them, so that he could run, walk, diagnosed with Achondroplasia and play without pain. when he was ten months old. On Josh’s 7th birthday, we flew to Baltimore to meet with Dr. Michael Ain, who is one of the world’s leading surgeons in this area. He understands more than most doctors because he is a little person as well.

Josh as a newborn 8

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Josh’s eyes lit up when he met Dr. Ain and At times, I have to remember that no matter Josh told us he would be in good hands. what surgery he has had, who is staring, who made fun of him, that he is just as normal as you and I, and I won’t treat him any differently. He gets up every morning and eats pancakes before brushing his teeth and heading off to school. When he turns 16, he will learn to drive. When he is 18, he will walk across the stage to receive his diploma, and he will start his own family one day. We all have choices in life. Josh could feel sorry for himself for being different but he doesn’t. He is who he is. He chooses joy every day, and you can as well. Choose joy, be accepting, and live every day the way you were meant Leg surgery in 2009 to live it, carefree and accepting, just like The surgery was successful and we began Josh. the road to recovery, involving full leg casts, screws and pins, and physical therapy sessions to help Josh learn how to walk again. A lot of people assume the hardest part about raising Josh has been the multiple surgeries, since he is a little person and has gone through so many of them, but that isn’t the case. It’s the silent whispers, the staring, the pointing, and the negative comments people make within earshot of Josh. He is strong and he knows who he is, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother him.

“It’s the silent whispers, the staring, the pointing, and the negative comments”

Playing in a soccer game

I’ve been noticing the numerous cycles of “different” becoming normal, but for some reason, people do not seem to accept medically different people. My son has a heartbeat, a soul, a laugh, and smiles just like anyone else.

Looking for more information about Dwarfism and local chapters of Little People of America? Check out www.lpaonline.com to read more about dwarfism and available programs across the country. The local chapter for Las Vegas is in District 12, Chapter 71, the “Las Vegas Tumbleweeds.” You can also follow the group on Facebook to keep up with their activities in the community.

It’s normal to have questions or look a little longer than normal because he is different but instead of making it a “thing,” take the time to ask questions. 9


The Art


Meditation is an ancient tradition that can help relax and focus the mind, calm your breathing, and even lower blood pressure! If you are a beginner, follow these steps to practice mindfulness:


Adjust your body into a comfortable pose, whether that is lying down on a mat or sitting with your legs crossed. You shouldn’t be in any pain of discomfort. Close your eyes lightly. Don’t hold any tension around your eyes.



Begin breathing naturally. Don’t focus on how long each breath is or try to hold your breath. Bring your attention to how your breathing affects your body. Feel your lungs expand and contract. Notice how your breath sounds as you inhale and exhale. If your thoughts begin to wander, bring your focus back to your breath.



Do this process for 2-3 minutes when you first begin. As you are able to focus for longer periods of time, increase the duration of your meditation time. Keep a journal of thoughts by your side and write how you feel each time you meditate. Follow your progress over time.



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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.

For more information, email wellhealthqc@par8o.com

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

Recognize the Signs!

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Heat Stroke


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Don’t feel like cooking? We’ve got you covered.


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Keep Cool, Cook Smart! No-cook meals that will have everyone asking for seconds!

We tested these no-cook recipes to make sure they are full of vibrant flavors and nutritional content, without using your stove, oven, or grill! Get creative with your food this summer, and you’ll see it’s easy to keep things healthy!

Tzatziki Cucumber Appetizer Ingredients: 2 cucumbers 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt 4 teaspoons of lemon juice Fresh dill (to taste) Garlic salt (to taste) Directions: Cut the cucumbers into 3-4 inch sections. Using a melonballer or spoon, hollow out the top half of the cucumber. Remove skin of cucumbers. In a separate bowl, mix the greek yogurt with lemon juice. When mixed thoroughly, add garlic salt and dill to taste. When desired flavor is reached, spoon the tzatziki sauce into the hollowed out cucumbers. Bon appétit! Makes eight servings.


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Southwestern Taco Dip Ingredients: 1 can of black beans 1 can of garbanzo beans 1 can of corn 1 pint of cherry tomatoes 2 avocados 2 tablespoons of lime juice 1 packet of taco seasoning or chili powder Mexican cheese blend, Salsa, Taco shells or chips (optional) In a large bowl, mix garbanzo beans, black beans, and corn. Quarter or half cherry tomatoes and add to bowl. Cut up avocado into small bite sized chunks and add to large bowl. In a separate small bowl, juice the lime and add taco seasoning or chili powder to taste. Stir until wellblended. Add dressing from small bowl to mixture in large bowl. Toss until well distributed. Enjoy in taco shells or with chips! Makes eight servings.

Chicken Caprese Pita Ingredients: Pre-cooked, chilled chicken strips Quart of cherry tomatoes Small handful of almond shavings 8 leaves of fresh basil Fresh mozzarella (to taste) 2 pita pockets Olive oil, salt, pepper (to taste) Directions: In a small bowl, quarter or half cherry tomatoes. Cut chicken strips into smaller, bite-sized pieces and add to bowl. Chop basil. Drizzle mixture with olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil to taste. Add almond slices and mozzarella. Mix well to evenly coat with seasoning. Stuff pita pocket with mixture and enjoy! Makes two servings.


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Rainbow Parfait Ingredients: Fruit selection of your choice (strawberries, mango, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) 2 cups of vanilla greek yogurt Choice of toppings: almond shavings, granola, teddy grahams, honey Directions: First, cut larger fruit such as strawberries and mango into small bite-sized pieces. Then, in a small cup, fill the container a third of the way with yogurt. Layer the next third of the container with fruit. Top the fruit with another layer of yogurt. Finish your creation with more fruit and the toppings of your choice. Makes one serving.

Banana Boat Split Ingredients: 1 banana 3-4 strawberries Whipped cream 1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt Almond shavings (optional) Honey or agave (optional) Dark chocolate shavings (optional) Directions: Unpeel the banana and cut in half lengthwise; place in bowl. On either side of the banana, spoon greek yogurt. Add as much whipped cream as you’d like! Cut strawberries in quarters and add on top of greek yogurt and whipped cream. Toss on additional toppings and vòila! A delicious, healthy dessert! Makes one serving.


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Worth or Waste?

Erich Acebedo, MD

In a recent report by the New York State Attorney General’s office, four

major retailers have been accused of selling supplements that are mostly filler ingredients or are completely void of the herbal ingredients advertised.1 This raises an important question: Are supplements really worth the $28 billion in annual sales in 2010?2 And if some supplements are beneficial, which ones should you invest in taking regularly?

Fish oils are really

Omega-3 oils, which may prevent heart disease, anxiety, depression, and macular degeneration, though medical studies are not conclusive on all of those claims.

Garlic supplements

are advertised saying they lower cholesterol, fight cancer, hypertension, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, infections, and the common cold. None of these claims have been conclusively determined through scientific studies, however.

B-Vitamins convert food into energy and build new red blood cells, so they are a vital part of staying healthy. A large percentage of people with a varied diet consume B-Vitamins through different meat and dairy products, though they can also be found in leafy greens and legumes.

Vitamin C is usually mentioned when someone feels a cold coming on, though scientific studies have recently concluded that Vitamin C intake isn’t consistent in strengthening the immune system across the general population.3

Can one multi-vitamin really supply all the vitamins and minerals you need? Not exactly.4 Depending on your age, diet, and a large number of other factors, your body may need a different mixture of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy than what a general multi-vitamin can provide, even if it is targeted towards your demographic.

If you are looking for preventative measures through supplements, you may be better off eating fresh foods and exercising throughout the week. If your doctor has determined that you are vitamindeficient, taking a supplement may help alleviate that deficiency. Treat supplements the way you’d treat prescriptions. Consult and collaborate with your doctor and come up with a healthy plan.

Dr. Acebedo encourages his patients to take Fish Oil supplements and B-Vitamin supplements. He also says that taking the recommended doses of Vitamin C or garlic supplements won’t hurt.

1 http://nyti.ms/1z8YVbM | New York Times

3 http://bit.ly/1B6JILf | Cochrane

2 http://bit.ly/1MIRFrs | Annals of Internal Medicine

4 http://usat.ly/1ek3Myj | USA Today


HEART DISEASE is the leading cause of death for

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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. 20

(702) 383-0677 | WellHealthCardiology.com

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the arts


accountability opportunity


MATTERS great schools




community The Public Education Foundation

Visit us at thepef.org



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A Unique Approach to High Risk Prenatal Care

Call: (702) 255-3547 Click: wellhealthperinatal.com

(702) 255-3547

WellHealthPerinatal.com Providing comprehensive prenatal care 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 22 membranes

Center for Perinatal Medicine A WellHealth Clinical Center of Excellence

I Tried It!

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This is Chelsea. Chelsea thought that she was getting enough water daily. So we put her to the test using three different mobile apps.

Week 1: “WaterLogged”

Week 2: “Water Your Body Lite”

Week 3: “iDrated”

WaterLogged makes it easy to track your water habits by just pressing the outline of the water bottle and dragging down to choose how much water.

Water Your Body Lite makes it as easy as just tapping the screen to make note of how much water you’ve had that day and to add more water throughout the day.

iDrated uses your health information to suggest a daily water consumption goal and reminds you how often you should be drinking more water!

Key Features: simple interface that’s easy to use, along with a graphic interpretation of your drinking habits can help visualize your goal

Key Features: determines how much water you need based on your weight and choosing a default container for all day use

Key Features: all the information is easily visible on the home screen and a simple recording system logs all of your data

My Rating:

My Rating:

My Rating:

What I Loved: Using the app is simple and easy to log each finished glass during the day

What I Loved: One tap records a glass or water and makes it easy to remember to record each glass

What I Loved: Multiple cues to show how much water you have had that day

Not a Fan: Sometimes difficult to drag down far enough when you are only consuming 8 ounces at a time.

Not a Fan: Can’t record a drink larger than 12 ounces so larger bottles or containers may require simple math to log correctly

Not a Fan: This app is the only one that wasn’t free, but did only cost the reasonable price of $0.99 cents in the Apple App Store

Week One was tough but after just a few days, my body adjusted and enjoyed being more hydrated!

Week Two led to physical changes. Drinking lemon water all day sped up my metabolism!

Week Three was the easiest! I grew accustomed to tracking my water and my body craved being constantly hydrated!


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Jasmine Pedroso, MD Now accepting new patients.

Dr. Jasmine Pedroso has just completed her two-year AAGL-approved Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship with Las Vegas Minimally Invasive Surgery Women’s Pelvic Health Center, certifying her skills in robotic and laparoscopic surgery with a focus on female pelvic reconstruction. She joins the WellHealth team at the LVMIS location.

Call: (702) 304 - 5800 Click: LVMIS.com


Dedicated Doctors: ERICH ACEBEDO, MD is board certified in both internal and age management medicine. He received his medical degree from Cebu Doctors’ University, Philippines and completed his residency at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Acebedo has practiced as a hospitalist at several different hospitals since 2009. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and a member of the Age Management Group. He completed his training in Age Management Medicine through Cenegenics. In addition, he was a Patient Experience Champion with Sound Physicians at Spring Valley Hospital and was named Best Resident in Research for 2008-2009 during his residency. In his spare time, Dr. Acebedo maintains his health and wellness balance through martial arts, bodybuilding, sports nutrition and personal training.

JASMINE PEDROSO, MD is a first-generation Filipino-American who is especially passionate about increasing access to minimally invasive surgery for the underserved, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Pedroso received her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA. Her residency was completed at HarborUCLA Medical Center before coming to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship. She has worked internationally on HIV/ AIDS issues with Physicians for Human Rights in Uganda, and several Women’s Rights organizations in the Philippines. Dr. Pedroso will continue to teach and serve at the WellHealth’s Women’s Specialty Care Sunrise office location.

YARINI QUEZADA, MD is Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology with fellowship training in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery from The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. She completed her residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and received her medical degree from St. George’s University. She has completed a three-year Fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS), just finished her FPMRS boards, meaning she will possess a Double Board Certification in the near future. Dr. Quezada specializes in treating pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence, voiding difficulties, interstitial cystitis, pelvic pain, mesh erosions and fistula repairs. She has strong expertise in vaginal reconstruction surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments for these conditions. Dr. Quezada has developed extensive experience in the latest technologies, including Interstim and the MonaLisa Touch laser. She has been published nationally for her work and research in Urogynecology and has presented her work at national scientific meetings.

MICHAEL MCKENNA, MD has resided in Las Vegas since 1989. He was born in Texas and lived in Washington and Northern California during his youth. He graduated with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. McKenna graduated from the Harvard Medical School, completed a surgical internship at the University of Washington, and then returned to Harvard and Boston to complete his residency and fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. McKenna is board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in both Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and is board certified by the World Institute of Pain, resulting in the title of Fellow, Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP). He is the Interventional Pain Medicine representative to the Nevada Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee and is the president of the Nevada Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. He is the medical director of McKenna, Ruggeroli & Helmi Pain Specialists.

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Small acts,

when multiplied by millions of people,

can transform the world. -Howard Zinn-


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