Dr. Androssov Offers Five Tips to Help You Make Your Health a Priority

For many of us, the good intentions and resolutions that came with the New Year are a distant memory by now. Many of us have slowly moved away from making health conscious decisions and have fallen back into our old habits.

Old habits die hard, and it can be difficult to find ways to get back on track. Family medicine physician, Dr. Andrei Androssov, offers 5 tips to help you make your health a priority.

  1. Go the extra mile – A few extra steps here and there can have a big impact on your health. Try working them in throughout your day.
    • Go for a parking spot that is a little further away.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Walk to the mailbox instead of driving.
    • Take a sunset stroll along the beach.
    • Use a fitness device to monitor your progress and motivate you with a little friendly competition!
  2. Make time for what you love – When we are busy and stressed, it can be difficult to take time to slow down and enjoy the things you love. However, when stress levels are high, it is most important to find time to relax. Whether it is going to the beach, working in your garden, doing yoga, or making art, it is important to schedule a dedicated time for your favorite activity and stick to it–your physical and mental health will thank you!
  3. Cut the sugar – Today’s foods are packed with unnecessary sugars and it can be tricky to determine what is healthy and what is loaded with sugar. We all know that cookies and cakes are unhealthy, but products like oatmeal, snack bars and salad dressings can contain just as much sugar as grandma’s homemade pie. Read your labels and don’t be fooled by products that are disguised as healthy.
  4. Learn to say no – Saying no can be hard, but it empowers you to focus on your priorities—like your health. Say no to that piece of birthday cake. Say no to that second glass of wine. Say no to commitments that will over extend you or take away from the time designated to your health and wellness.
  5. Give yourself a break – If you make poor choices and fall behind on your health goals, don’t beat yourself up. Becoming disappointed will only increase your likelihood of falling further behind. Cut yourself some slack, and reprioritize what needs to change to make your health a priority again. Set small obtainable goals, and go from there!

As always, be sure to consult your primary care physician prior to starting a new exercise program or making changes in your nutrition. Your primary care physician can provide additional suggestions on getting and staying healthy.

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Recognize the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease: Insights from Neurologist, Dr. Raymond Capps

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating condition that affects up to 1 million people in the U.S.[i] The average onset age of the disease is 60 years old[ii], but it can affect people much younger, even those in their teens or 20s.White-Wilson neurologist, Dr. Raymond Capps, has been caring for patients with Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years. He understands the effects of this progressive, neurodegenerative disorder and works with patients to manage its symptoms.

“Parkinson’s disease can be frightening,” said Dr. Capps. “However, by recognizing the signs, understanding your risk factors and working with a neurologist to develop a treatment plan, you can change the course of the disease.”

Spotting signs of the disease early is key. Dr. Capps offers insights on how to recognize early symptoms:

  • Tremors or shaking in you finger, thumb, hand, chin or lip
  • A sudden change in handwriting, particularly small or cramped lettering
  • Partial or complete loss of smell
  • Masked face, a blank or expressionless stare
  • Trouble walking, less arm movement or trouble lifting feet

“Advancements in treatment options are astonishing,” said Dr. Capps. “Today, patients with Parkinson’s disease are able to manage the symptoms and maintain their quality of life.”

Parkinson’s disease is a slow progressing disease, and its symptoms can be managed for decades.

“Until there is a cure for Parkinson’s disease, my goal is to diagnose the disease early and work with patients to find treatment options that work for them,” said Dr. Capps. “This is how we can best manage the symptoms and ensure that patients continue to enjoy doing the things they love.”

Dr. Raymond Capps is a board-certified neurologist at White-Wilson Medical Center. He recently relocated from Tennessee to enjoy the beautiful Emerald Coast. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and has over 30 years of experience.

Dr. Capps is accepting new patients at the White-Wilson Neurology Clinic in Fort Walton Beach. To learn more about Dr. Capps or to schedule an appointment, call 850-863-8169.

[i] Source: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

[ii] Source: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

Myth Busters: You Can Predict the Weather Based on Joint Pain

We have all heard a friend or family member say that there is going to be a change in weather, because they can “feel it in their bones.” Many claim to know that it is going to rain based on a feeling in their knee, elbow, ankle or shoulder; but is that just an old wives’ tale?

“Patients with arthritis often claim to experience increased swelling as the weather changes,” says Dr. Samuel Capra, an orthopaedic surgeon at White-Wilson Medical Center. “While we don’t have any hard and fast research to tell us why this is so common, the belief is that the changes in barometric pressure that come before a storm allows for additional swelling in problem areas.”

While we may not know the exact reason that these aches and pains occur, it may not be a bad idea to grab an umbrella the next time that you knee is feeling a little stiff.

This myth is plausible!

Immediate Care vs. Emergency Room

Many of us have been faced with deciding where to go for urgent care; Immediate Care or the Emergency Room. Immediate Care provides medical care for urgent but non-emergent needs.

The following list can help you decide where to go:

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Regular visits with your primary care provider can help detect potential issues before they surface.

If you’re still unsure of which facility is most appropriate, call ahead with any questions or concerns you may have.

Tips for a better night’s sleep!

nights-sleep_smWant Santa to make a stop at your house, but having trouble dosing off? Here are some suggestions that might help you get to sleep.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time you regularly do.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed – your discomfort may keep you up. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol can take hours to wear off and wreak havoc on quality sleep.

3. Stick to your bedtime ritual. Do the same things as you do each night to wind down before bed.

4. Get comfortable. Create a cool, dark and quiet room that is ideal for sleeping.

5. Limit daytime naps. Long daytime naps can interfere with your nighttime sleep.

6. Be active. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep.

7. Manage stress. When your mind is still going and thinking about your to do list, your sleep will likely suffer.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Prevention is Key: Dr. Vergil Brown Weighs in on the Importance of Annual Wellness Exams

shutterstock_187421882The old adage by Benjamin Franklin is still true today—“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans use preventive services at about half of the recommended rate. Much of the time, individuals forgo these important screenings due to financial concerns, or time constraints.

Health insurance benefits can be confusing, and many people are unclear about what exams and screenings their health plan(s) may cover. Fortunately, most major health insurance plans pay for annual wellness exams and screenings.

“Routine annual visits serve many purposes for overall health,” said American Board of Internal Medicine certified physician, Vergil Brown, MD, PhD. “They provide continuity of care with your provider, and they allow your provider an opportunity to review your records and provide the most up to date vaccinations and screenings. They also allow an opportunity to address some conditions at an early stage, before they become more difficult to treat.”

Taking full advantage of the screenings and exams that your insurance plan will cover plays a big part in maintaining your overall health. Here is a list of the screenings and exams covered by most major insurance companies.

“As people age, these exams generally become more and more important. Accordingly, Medicare provides for the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit,” said Dr. Brown. “These visits allow your health care team to address your overall health needs and obtain the necessary screenings and exams to improve or maintain your health.”

The Care Coordination team at White-Wilson Medical Center works with your primary care physician to manage your overall health and conduct your yearly Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. These exams are covered in full by Medicare.

During these exams, your Care Coordination provider will work with you to ensure you are taking advantage of your benefits and getting disease-specific management and screenings. They serve as your partners in health.

“By taking a proactive approach to your health, you have an opportunity to find or prevent diseases and illnesses before they are life threatening,” said Dr. Brown.

Patients may contact our Care Coordination team at (850) 863-8244 to schedule a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. Appointments are available at each White-Wilson Medical Center Clinic location.

Myth Busters: You Can Get the Flu from the Flu Shot.

BUSTED!

You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.

The annual flu shot is made with an inactive flu virus that is not
infectious making it impossible to get the flu from the flu shot.

“If you get the flu following your flu shot, you were most likely already exposed to the flu virus and in the process of getting sick,” notes American Board of Family Medicine certified physician, Dr. Andrei Androssov.

The timing of the flu season is unpredictable and can vary from year to year; however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get your flu vaccine by late October, although you can still get it later. Flu season can begin as early as October and last until May in some cases, although the peak of flu season is from December to March.androssov_updated_useonly-copy

“The flu vaccine takes two weeks to form antibodies that protect you from the flu,” said Dr. Adrossov. “That is why it’s important to get vaccinated prior to the onset of flu season.”

The flu shot can cause mild side effects, such as soreness, that are sometimes mistaken for flu. Life-threatening side effects from an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine are extremely rare and will most likely occur within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. Be sure to let your physician know if you have any allergies, such as an egg allergy, or if you are allergic to any other ingredients found in the flu shot. If you experience an allergic reaction, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

“The flu vaccine is the single most effective way to protect yourself from the flu virus,” said Dr. Androssov. “Unless you have a severe allergy to the flu vaccine or its ingredients, everyone six months and older should receive the flu vaccine each year and people over the age of 65 should receive the Fluzone high-dose vaccine.”

Keep in mind you can still have flu symptoms after receiving the flu shot from other non-flu related viruses, additional strands of the virus that are not included in the vaccine, and exposure to the virus prior to the vaccine kicking in.

For more information on the flu vaccine, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. To schedule an appointment with Family Medicine physician, Dr. Androssov, call (850) 863-6600.

Five Ways to Avoid the Flu

Dr. Van Shares How You Can Skip the Flu This Year

womanblowingnose-background removed v2While the leaves may not exactly change color along the Emerald Coast, we can count on more than college football to make a debut each Fall. Every year, millions fall victim to the annual flu. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population will get the flu each year[1]—that results in about 200,000 hospitalizations[2] and thousands of deaths.

Although many recover after a few days or weeks, its important to note the flu can be life threatening—especially for the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with certain chronic health conditions. The best way to fight the flu is to avoid it altogether.

Dr. Vien Van, a physician at White-Wilson’s Immediate Care Clinic, shares 5 ways to avoid the flu this season.

  1. Get Vaccinated!The number one way to avoid the flu is by getting your flu shot—If you have not already been vaccinated, do so now. The flu hits as early as late fall and your body needs about two weeks to form protective antibodies. Make sure children (6 months or older) and the elderly receive their shots too, since they are at greatest risk.
  2. Close Contact = Flu Spreading.Its not rocket science, but avoiding contact with people that are sick can protect you from getting sick too. When you are sick, try to stay home from work, school and other errands to help prevent your illness from spreading to others. And don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to help keep germs from spreading.
  3. Keep Clean. Cleaning your hands often will help protect you from germs that can lead to flu. It is a good idea to keep hand sanitizer close by during flu season, although warm soap and water is always the best way to wash your hands. Be sure to also clean and disinfect surfaces frequently touched—especially when someone in your home or office environment is sick.
  4. Avoid Eyes, Nose & Mouth—Flu germs can make their way into your system when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after you’ve touched something contaminated with germs.
  5. Practice Good Health—By staying healthy, you can help your body fight off the flu. Maintain a well balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, be physically active, watch your stress levels and get plenty of rest.

Don’t “flu around” with your health this fall. Follow these 5 simple suggestions to help avoid the flu.

[1] Molinari NA, et al. Vaccine 25 (2007)

[2] Zhou NA, et al.Vaccine 25 (2007)

What’s Your Reason?

my-reasons-ribbon_pink

Everyone has a reason to get their mammogram… What’s yours? Chances of recovery from breast cancer have significantly increased due in part to earlier detection through mammograms. In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month and in honor of those who have lost their fight with the disease, women are encouraged to schedule their annual mammogram, and in turn, encourage others to get theirs.

Do you or someone you know need a screening mammogram?White-Wilson Medical Center is giving away 10 free mammograms in the month of October! Simply share your reason for getting your mammogram on our Facebook post (click here)! See official contest rules below.

October is set aside as a time to celebrate those who are fighting, remember those who have been affected and raise awareness about breast cancer.  #MyReason #WWMCforLife

White-Wilson Mammogram Giveaway Official Contest Rules:

2016-10-bca-social-campaign_8No purchase necessary. Enter to win at facebook.com/WhiteWilsonMedicalCenter or by sending your name and contact information to info@white-wilson.com. Contest sponsored by White-Wilson Medical Center, 1005 Mar Walt Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Ten winners drawn at random will receive one screening mammogram from The White-Wilson Center for Women’s Imaging (valued at $189) valid until November 1, 2017. All winners will be solely responsible for any additional expenses that may or may not be incurred as a result of test results, including but not limited to additional exams, physician appointments, resulting medical or hospital fees. Odds will depend on the number of entries received.

Contest is open only to legal residents of Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties. Contest starts on Saturday, October 1, 2016 and ends on Monday, October 31, 2016 at midnight. Mammogram certificates will be awarded on November 2, 2016 and announced on the White-Wilson Medical Center Facebook mammogram contest post and the White-Wilson Medical Center Facebook page/timeline. Winners will be notified via a private Facebook message and must respond with a mailing address within 14 days to receive the mammogram certificate. Mammograms are valid only at the White-Wilson Center for Women’s Imaging at 1005 Mar Walt Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Tips to Keeping Kids Happy & Healthy this Summer

By now, kids have put their schoolbooks away and are taking full advantage of the lazy days of summer. However, White-Wilson Pediatrician, Dr. Kyle Simmers warns that the lack of routine can be detrimental to a child’s development and overall health.

“During the summer months, it is easy to fall out of routine,” says Dr. Simmers. “Some children become less and less active, spending hours indoors and in front of TVs, video games and cell phones.”

Dr. Simmers suggests setting boundaries for the amount of screen time children indulge in each day and sticking to them. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should be limited to only one to two hours of screen time per day. Instead, children should engage in activities such as reading, writing, making crafts, playing games or doing household activities.
Summer Heat
It is also important that children get outside and are active. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages two and older engage in a minimum 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily. While most know that physical activity is key in development and weight reduction, many don’t realize its important psychological effects. Regular physical activity is linked to increased self-esteem and to decreased anxiety and depression, helping keep children happy and healthy.

One way to ensure that children are receiving ample physical activity is to set aside time for family activities that get everyone moving. Evening walks, pick-up games of basketball or kickball, swimming and bike rides can be enjoyed by the whole family. They also make exercise a fun bonding experience. Parents will be happy to learn that activities like mowing the lawn, raking leaves and washing cars also qualify as physical activity.

“Families should make the most of their summers,” says Dr. Simmers. “Taking precautionary measures will ensure that children return to school happy and healthy.”

Dr. Kyle Simmers is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is currently accepting new patient at the White-Wilson Pediatric Clinic in Niceville.

Allergy Season Survival Guide

Allergy Season Survival Guide: Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Specialist, Dr. William Gross, explains allergies and how to cope this season.

Little cute girl blowing dandelion seeds on chalkboard - Hope an

Flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up and spring is here! We were fortunate to have a mild flu season this year, but if you’re one of the 50 million people in the United States who suffer from nasal allergies, you are not in the clear just yet.

According to White-Wilson Medical Center ENT Specialist, Dr. William Gross, “Seasonal allergies begin early on the Emerald Coast with tree pollens being the first allergens.”

Dr. Gross_Jan 2016_Cropped
Dr. William Gross, ENT Clinic

Dr. Gross adds that we can become sensitized or allergic to many things other than pollen, including foods, house dust, pet dander and mold spores. Mold spore allergy is a major cause of many sinus problems.

The most common allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy nose, watery eyes or wheezing.  Occasionally, rashes, food sensitivities, headaches or severe swelling can be allergy related. Allergy symptoms are often mistaken for the common cold.

“While the common cold may mimic allergy symptoms, the symptoms of a cold usually do not last more than 10 days,” said Dr. Gross. “Some people describe their allergy and sinus problems as the cold that never went away. You should seek medical attention when your symptoms are affecting everyday life.”

According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are one of the country’s most common, but overlooked, diseases. Although there is no cure for allergies, they can be managed with prevention and treatment.

“Allergies are treatable with allergy avoidance, medication and immunotherapy, such as allergy shots and drops,” said Dr. Gross. “You can also anticipate allergy season and begin treatment yourself with over the counter antihistamines and nasal sprays, such as Flonase or Nasacort, at the start of your allergy season

For many on the Emerald Coast, allergies are a fact of life. Dr. Gross encourages individuals not to prolong suffering from seasonal or perennial allergies. Today’s medical treatment options can be very helpful and effective.

“Surgery may be helpful for allergy and sinus problems, and endoscopic sinus surgery is available to help relieve chronic sinus problems,” said Dr. Gross. “There are now less invasive treatment options that can be done in a doctor’s office and require little or no downtime.”

You do not have to suffer with allergy and sinus problems. Pay attention to when your allergies flare up, and be proactive in seeking medical treatment when avoidance or over the counter medications are not effective. Once you get your allergies under control, be sure to stop and smell the roses this spring!

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To learn more about the White-Wilson ENT Clinic or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gross, call (850) 863-8275.

Don’t Flu-Get!

womanblowingnose-background removed v2

The peak of flu season is just around the corner and now is a great time to get your annual flu shot. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most effective way to fight against the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that you consult with your physician regarding which version of the vaccine is best for you and to determine if there is any reason you should not receive the vaccine. Catching the flu is easy, preventing it should be too!

There are several variations of the influenza vaccine. The nasal flu mist is the live but weakened flu vaccine that is given to healthy patients 2 to 49 years of age. The regular flu shot is for patients 6 months to 64 years old, and the high dose flu vaccine is for patients 65 years and older. All variations of the vaccine are now available at White-Wilson Medical Center.

Do you know all the important facts about the flu?  Test your Flu IQ and learn what’s true about flu: 

A Life-Changing Experience

On October 5, local families gathered at White-Wilson Medical Center for the I Can See Now vision clinic which provided six local children with life-changing vision equipment. Each child suffers from conditions that greatly diminish their vision. With the help of Electronic Video Magnifiers (EVM), these children can now see things they have never been able to see before.

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The high-tech equipment was made possible through a $10,000 grant from White-Wilson Community Foundation (WWCF) and partnership with Sight Savers America. The equipment, training and maintenance services were provided with no cost to the families.


“The strength of this unique collaboration lies in partnering with organizations with similar missions that allow all of us to fulfill our shared goal of helping children achieve the best vision services possible,” said Sight Savers America President and CEO, Jeff Haddox.  “For these kids, having the multi-view electronic magnifiers in their homes will level the playing field.  They will maximize the use of their remaining vision and be able to succeed in school and achieve their independence.”

IMG_4341Electronic Magnifiers enlarge an image up to 80 times its original size, allowing children to see things that were once impossible. The equipment can be used for school work, reading, drawing, hygiene and even identifying faces of their loved ones.

“Seeing the excitement on each child’s face was a true joy,” said WWCF President Dr. Jack Azzaretto. “The mission of the White-Wilson Community Foundation is to improve the health of our community members; and that is exactly what we were able to do for these families through this program.”

The White-Wilson Community Foundation serves health needs of community members in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. The non-profit organization works to build partnerships that increase access to care for community members in need.

Alan Gieseman
Alan Gieseman, CEO of White-Wilson Medical Center, welcomes recipients and community members to the “I Can See Now” clinic

Click here to view the full article about the event from the Northwest Florida Daily news.

What’s Your Reason?

My Reasons Ribbon_pink

Everyone has a reason to get their mammogram… What’s yours? Chances of recovery from breast cancer have significantly increased due in part to earlier detection through mammograms. In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month and in honor of those who have lost their fight with the disease, women are encouraged to schedule their annual mammogram and in turn encourage others to get theirs.

Blog PostDo you or someone you know need a screening mammogram? White-Wilson Medical Center is giving away 10 free mammograms in the month of October! Simply share your reason for getting your mammogram on our facebook post (click here)! See official contest rules below.

October is set aside as a time to celebrate those who are fighting, remember those who have been affected and raise awareness about breast cancer.  #MyReason #WWMCforLife

 

White-Wilson Mammogram Giveaway Official Contest Rules:

No purchase necessary. Enter to win at facebook.com/WhiteWilsonMedicalCenter or by sending your name and contact information to info@white-wilson.com. Contest sponsored by White-Wilson Medical Center, 1005 Mar Walt Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Ten winners drawn at random will receive one screening mammogram from The White-Wilson Center for Women’s Imaging (valued at $189) valid until November 1, 2016. All winners will be solely responsible for any additional expenses that may or may not be incurred as a result of test results, including but not limited to additional exams, physician appointments, resulting medical or hospital fees. Odds will depend on the number of entries received.

Contest is open only to legal residents of Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties. Contest starts on Thursday, October 1, 2015 and ends on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at midnight. Mammogram certificates will be awarded on November 2, 2015 and announced on the White-Wilson Medical Center Facebook mammogram contest post and the White-Wilson Medical Center Facebook page/timeline. Winners will be notified via a private Facebook message and must respond with a mailing address within 14 days to receive the mammogram certificate. Mammograms are valid only at the White-Wilson Center for Women’s Imaging at 1005 Mar Walt Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

November 2, 2015: Winner Update!

Thank you all for sharing your reasons for staying healthy and getting your mammogram! Ten winners have been chosen at random: Donna Braden, Patricia Seagraves Dixon, Katherine Tarbox, Tonia Parkerson-Turner, Marie Wartenbe, Hannah Kettle Mitchell, Marsha West Stokes, Candace Jean Spencer, Vikki Brand, and Mindy Jones!

If your name is listed, please check your Facebook messages (be sure to check the “other” tab) or email your contact information to: info@white-wilson.com. Please respond within 14 days to receive your mammogram certificate.

Spotting the Signs of Ovarian Cancer

transparent_ribbonAn estimated one in 70 women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime and more than 15,000 American women are expected to lose their lives this year as a result. To raise awareness about the risks and signs of ovarian cancer, The Ovarian Cancer Coalition has named September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Throughout the month, women are encouraged to learn the signs of ovarian cancer and take action should they experience them. Dr. David Stoneking is an OB/GYN at the White-Wilson Center for Women’s Health and warns of the risk to women in our community.

Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Post“Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in women and affects many in our community,” says Dr. Stoneking. “Its signs often go overlooked, so it is vital that women of all ages know what to look for and take action should they experience warning signs.”

Signs of ovarian cancer include:

  • Discomfort in the pelvis
  • Abormal bleeding
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unexplained indigestion, gas or bloating

“Staying attuned to changes in your body, talking with you doctor about your concerns and receiving annual exams are key in protecting yourself,” advises Dr. Stoneking. “If you are suspicious of any unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, it is important to discuss those symptoms with your physician right away. Early detection drastically increases your chances of winning the fight against this aggressive form of cancer.”

While ovarian cancer can happen at any age, it is most common in women ages 50 – 75 and may be detected through pelvic exams or ultrasound. Once detected, treatment plans may include surgical staging, removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus and chemotherapy.

Information about the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month can be found at www.ovarian.org. For more information about Dr. David Stoneking and the White-Wilson Center for Women’s Health or to schedule an appointment, call 850-863-8264. Information on all White-Wilson health care providers is available at www.white-wilson.com

 

Tips for a Better School Year

S059QDGBOGAs families prepare for a new school year, keeping children in the classroom and out of the nurse’s office is a top priority. Dr. Evan Meeks, a pediatrician at White-Wilson Medical Center’s Niceville Clinic, offers 10 tips for a happy, healthy, and successful school year!

  1. Get back into a school routine. Set a bedtime and wake time schedule, and stick to it. Children need 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Plan for sick days. Discuss with your health care provider your concerns and plan for medical issues that may arise during the year.
  3. Schedule a checkup. An annual checkup helps monitor your school-aged child’s growth and development.
  4. Be sure eye glasses and contact lenses are up-to-date, before classes start. Consider having a spare pair to avoid missed school due to mishaps.
  5. Wash your hands. Discuss with children the importance of hand washing, and lead by example. Show them that washing hands before and after eating or visiting the bathroom is smart.
  6. Arm your entire family with a flu vaccine. Children should begin receiving the vaccine at 6 months of age.
  7. Learn to control asthma. Asthma causes much of the missed school and work in our community. Consider attending one of our Asthma Group Appointment Project (AGAP) sessions to learn to control flare ups.
  8. Take a vitamin. An age-appropriate multivitamin will provide you with all you the supplemental vitamins you need.
  9. Put it on your calendar. Being organized and prepared for a busy school year can help relieve stress. Families need to carve out time for what is important – work, play, sports, exercise, rest, holidays and fishing!
  10. Create a launchpad designated for homework, backpacks and sports equipment. Nothing is worse than doing your homework and forgetting it at home.

Dr. Meeks is an American Board of Pediatrics certified physician currently accepting new patients. He leads AGAP sessions in Niceville and Fort Walton Beach each month. Sessions are open to asthmatic adults, children and caregivers and you do not have to be a White-Wilson patient to enroll. Participants receive an Asthma Control Test™ and assessment, participate in group discussion and create an asthma action plan.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Meeks or other White-Wilson providers, call 850.863.8100. For a complete list of providers, visit www.white-wilson.com.

Beat the August Heat

As residents of the sunshine state, we bypass extreme temperatures all winter long; however, it is important to be aware that extreme summer temperatures are dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of more than 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year.

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As summer temperatures remain high through August, so does the risk for heat-related illness. Current forecasts predict temperatures remaining in the 80s and 90s, offering little relief for locals. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke so that you can respond quickly in an emergency.

“Extreme heat can pose very serious health risks,” said White-Wilson Medical Center Family Medicine Physician, Dr. Christopher Hansen. “Signs of heat exhaustion include muscle cramping, heavy sweating, vomiting or fainting, and heat stroke signs include a body temperature above 103°F, lack of sweat, dry skin, rapid pulse or unconsciousness.”

Dr. Hansen recommends that you move indoors to air-conditioning and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of heat-related illness.

These steps can help you beat the heat this summer:

  • Stay in an indoor air-conditioned location as much as possible. Air conditioning is the number one factor against heat-related illness and death, according to the CDC.
  • Drink more water than usual, and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
  • WaterAvoid heat exposure during the hottest hours of the day, usually 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Those who work outdoors should adjust their workday to limit over exposure during these hours.
  • Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Don’t forget your wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.
  • Pace your physical activity, starting slow.
  • Stay informed of local weather and extreme heat warnings.
  • Take a cool shower or bath to cool down.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and respond quickly in an emergency.

“Heat-related illnesses are serious, but something we can avoid by using caution. Young children, the elderly and people with chronic disease or mental illness are at the highest risk for heat-related illness,” said Dr. Hansen. “It is important to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness and closely monitor the people that are dependent on you for their care.”

Dr. Christopher Hansen is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is currently accepting new patients at the White-Wilson Family Medicine Clinic in Fort Walton Beach. White-Wilson offers Family Medicine Clinics in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre and Niceville. For more information on White-Wilson Family Medicine providers or to schedule an appointment, call 850.863.6600 or visit www.white-wilson.com.

West Nile Virus Hits Close to Home

Floridians love to make the most of summer and its warm nights; however, so do mosquitos. Unfortunately, they can carry the West Nile Virus.  The Florida Health Department reported a confirmation of the mosquito-borne illness in Walton county on Friday.

While rare, West Nile Virus is no stranger to the Emerald Coast. The virus was first found in the United States in 1999 and infection rates vary each year. According to the Florida Department of Health, 69 cases of human infection were reported in Florida in 2012. That year, Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties each confirmed one case of the virus.

Approximately 70-80% of people who contract the virus experience no symptoms at all; for others, symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting, body aches and fatigue can be mild. However, for one percent of those who become infected, the virus can lead to irreversible neurological damage, paralysis, coma or in extreme cases, death.

We recommend these preventive steps to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wear clothing that covers arms, legs, feet and neck.
  • Use insect repellent when outdoors and spray both exposed skin and clothing.
  • Close or cover doors and windows to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.
  • Drain any standing water around your home, including garbage cans, flower pots and toys.
  • Use extra caution between dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms.

Immediate Care Clinics are available for any urgent care needs and open seven days a week in Fort Walton Beach.

For more information on White-Wilson Immediate Care providers, call 850.863.8100 or visit www.white-wilson.com.

The Greatest Show on the Emerald Coast!

2015LBD Big Top Logo white back

The White-Wilson Community Foundation (WWCF) hosted the 6th annual Little Black Dress Party on Saturday, May 16 and it was a circus!

Over 350 guests (including clowns, sword swallowers and stilt-walkers) filled the Sandestin Linkside Exhibition Hall for “A Night Under the Big Top,” raising an impressive $75,000 for local women’s health programs.

Set-up LBDP 2015-3

Guests enjoyed dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. They were mesmerized by circus performances from Aerial Events and Cirque Lil Dixie all while the ring leader juggled sharp swords and rings of fire. A band of carnies was on hand to challenge guests at an array of carnival games.

(Note: No lions, tigers, or bearded-ladies were harmed in the making of the event.)

All clowning aside, the event proceeds benefit the White-Wilson Community Foundation’s women’s health initiative. Through the success of last year’s event, WWCF was able to help double the number of under-served women receiving breast cancer screenings and treatment in Okaloosa County, as well as award $25,000 in local health grants.

Set-up LBDP 2015-1

The White-Wilson Community Foundation is non-profit organization serving Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties. Through its grant program, WWCF works to create community partnerships that impact community health and support its mission of making the community the healthiest on Earth. For more information on WWCF or to apply for a community grant, visit www.whitewilsoncommunityfoundation.org.

Plans are already in the works for the 2016 Little Black Dress Party. For more information on the event, visit www.FWBLittleBlackDressParty.com.

2015 LBD

Keeping Blood Pressure in Check

Have you checked your blood pressure lately?

Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, the nation’s #1 cause of death.

Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is one of the most common medical conditions Americans experience and a major contributor to heart attacks and stroke.

So, what exactly is blood pressure? Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and how blood flows through your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

People with hypertension commonly have no symptoms, so screening is essential. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get screened for hypertension at least once every two years.

Hypertension risk factors are usually external and include obesity, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and stress. This means most adults can easily prevent and control high blood pressure on their own. The Mayo Clinic recommends these simple steps to prevent hypertension:

Blog - Blood PressureVisit your family doctor once a year to discuss your risk of hypertension, and manage your overall health and wellness. White-Wilson offers primary care doctors in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Navarre and Niceville. To find a primary care doctor or cardiologist, click here.