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Make a gift to the Anna Jaques Hospital Healthcare Heroes Fund

By Mary Williamson, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Executive Director of the Anna Jaques Hospital Community Health Foundation, Mary brings more than 25 years of well-rounded management and fundraising experience grounded in relationship and community building. Her multi-faceted expertise will advance the philanthropic activities that support the sustainability and strategic initiatives of Anna Jaques Hospital.
Anna Jaques Hospital
Healthcare Heroes Fund, COVID-19, Newburyport MA

A gift to the Anna Jaques Hospital Healthcare Heroes Fund provides immediate resources to our nurses, physicians and hospital leaders to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will give us the resources needed right now to be here for our community. We have reconfigured hospital spaces to accommodate more patients (and training staff to care for patients in a different setting), expanding ICU capacity, and procuring additional equipment and supplies. We have set up telehealth capabilities enabling patients to be cared for while maintaining social distancing, and have postponed non-urgent elective procedures, visits, appointments and surgeries. Your support will help to address these efforts and other emergency responses, and it is critically needed.

Please make a gift now to the Healthcare Heroes Fund by clicking here. If you make your gift in honor of a provider, we will let them know that they have inspired your giving!

If you wish to speak with the Anna Jaques Hospital Community Health Foundation, please contact Mary Williamson by email or at 978-463-1211.

As always, all gifts to Anna Jaques Hospital remain here, serving our community.

Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association Presents Annual Gift

By Mary Williamson, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Executive Director of the Anna Jaques Hospital Community Health Foundation, Mary brings more than 25 years of well-rounded management and fundraising experience grounded in relationship and community building. Her multi-faceted expertise will advance the philanthropic activities that support the sustainability and strategic initiatives of Anna Jaques Hospital.
Anna Jaques Hospital
Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association Annual Gift

On October 17th, 2019 at its 131st Annual Meeting, the Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association presented a check to AJH for $130,000. Mary Ann Abbott, President of the Aid Association presented a check to Mark Goldstein, President & CEO, David LaFlamme, chair of the Anna Jaques Board of Trustees and Matt Khatib, Chair of the Anna Jaques Community Health Foundation.

The funds were designated to the following areas: assist underinsured and uninsured low-to-moerate income patients in Seabrook

  • Assist underinsured and uninsured low-to-moderate income patients in Seabrook, NH
  • AJH Birth Center
  • Comprehensive Pain Center
  • Cardiac Cath/Interventional
  • Radiology Suite
  • Pediatric Psychiatric Unit

The Aid Association’s success is attributed to annual events like Great Chefs’ Night, the AJH Gift Shop, the beloved bake sales and plants sales, the art display and sales program, and the Holiday Arts & Craft Fair, to name a few. These events also reflect the important role that the Aid plays as they bring together local businesses, community leaders, hospital supporters, and philanthropic individuals in support of its community hospital. The Anna Jaques Aid Association works closely with the Anna Jaques Community Health Foundation which also helps raise funds for the hospital.

For more details, visit www.ajh.org/aid-association

 

Staying Healthy and Safe This Summer

By Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Anna Jaques Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital serving 17 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Southern New Hampshire.
Anna Jaques Hospital
ER, Greater Newburyport

Summertime in Newburyport brings beautiful weather, trips to the beach, outdoor activities, celebrations, and vacation fun. With that can also come accidents and injuries – big and small. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – the Anna Jaques Hospital Gerrish Family Foundation Emergency Department is here to provide advanced ER, emergency services right in the community.

 

ER Features:

  • Fast track services for minor injuries
  • Level III Trauma Center
  • Radiology
  • Laboratory
  • Consults/Referrals across 50 specialties
  • Tele-stroke service with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Diagnostic Imaging (CT Scan, MRI, etc.)
  • Access to more in-network providers
  • MedFlight helicopter service to Boston if needed

Entrance/access to the ER is located at 23 Rawson Ave., Newburyport, MA. To learn more, visit www.ajh.org/ER

Summer Safety Tips!

·        Sun Protection:  Wear light clothing and sunscreen, and reapply every few hours.

·        Bug Safety:  Avoid scented soaps, perfumes and hair sprays. Avoid stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where           flowers are in bloom. Use insect repellent and/or cover up with light clothing.

·        Bee Sting:  To remove a visible stinger from the skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or fingernail.

·        Heat Stress:  Drink plenty of water, and take a break every 20 minutes while active in the heat.

·        Car Safety:  Never leave children or pets alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes.

·        Pool Safety:  Closely supervise children in the pool and never leave them alone, even for a moment. Swim with “buddies”. Secure    gates and fences at all times.

·        Open Water Swimming:  Never swim alone. Teach children about rip currents – if you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.

·        Boating Safety: Wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.

 

Everything You Should Know About Peanut Butter and Your Dog

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
Peanut Butter and your dog, xylitol

I never met a dog that didn’t like peanut butter. Not only can peanut butter be a healthy protein option for your dog but it can be a good distraction as well. I’m sure most dog owners have played the “hide a pill” in the peanut butter trick. It works like a charm every time. Peanut butter’s “stick to your mouth” consistency also makes a good diversion when you have to do something that Fido is not cooperative about, like clipping nails, or pulling ticks. You also can’t talk about peanut butter without mentioning the Kong, my personal favorite dog toy that keeps your dog busy trying to get the peanut butter out of the unbeatable plastic toy. This ingenious toy invention has saved many table legs and couches from teething puppies and anxiety-riddled furry family members. It’s also because of this toy that I made an unpleasant discovery, but I’m so glad I did because I learned some interesting things about peanut butter and your dog.

I found that all peanut kinds of butter are not created equal, and I found out the hard way. My teething pup became extremely loose in the goose after a few days with his Kong and peanut butter. I tried an elimination diet to try to find the culprit to the loose goose. I immediately put him back on rice and chicken because I knew his body responded well to that base diet. Problem solved, but what was the cause? After some careful reintroduction of foods back into his diet I found that the Kong and peanut butter were the culprits. I was perplexed, to say the least, and started researching. What I found was well worth sharing. I learned some eye-opening information about peanut butter and your dog.

I started my research through family and friends. The first thing fellow dog owners shared with me was that there was an artificial sweetener in some peanut butter that was poisonous to dogs. That’s not entirely factual. There is a sweetener called xylitol. Xylitol is used in food products as a sweetener. But it’s not an artificial sweetener, it’s actually a derivative from fruit and vegetables, some extracts even come from birch trees. What is factual is that xylitol is toxic to your dog. This explanation from WebMD has an informative summary of xylitol. Some brands use xylitol as a sweetener making peanut butter and your dog a toxic combination. This can be highly toxic, in fact, more dogs have died from xylitol poisoning than chocolate intoxication. Below is a list of peanut butter to avoid.

Brands Containing Xylitol

  • Go Nuts, Co.
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • P28

This paragraph may be tough to get through, but this is important information to know about peanut butter and your dog. But please know that xylitol is not only found in peanut butter, but it’s also becoming mainstream in a lot of food products. The symptoms are not nice but need to be addressed, your dog’s life could depend on you having this knowledge. First, why does your dog not respond well to xylitol? Xylitol is quickly absorbed and triggers a huge release of insulin from your dog’s pancreas. This could cause a massive drop in Fido’s blood sugar level, medically termed hypoglycemia. Just 50 milligrams (mg) of xylitol per pound of body weight (100 mg per kg) can put your dog into a hypoglycemic state. Below is a list of symptoms as described by VCA Hospital. Should your dog show signs of hypoglycemia you should call the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately. Typically they treat the dog just like a human in a diabetic shock, introduce sugar to bring the dog’s blood sugar levels back up to normal. If your dog is responsive you could try frosting or a bowl of water with sugar diluted in it. The idea is to give them something high in sugar that will have an immediate uptake response.

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning in Your Dog

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

As you can see from the list my dog being loose in the goose isn’t a typical symptom of xylitol poisoning so Levi’s symptoms we’re either a coincidence or perhaps it was just too oily for his body at this point. We haven’t reintroduced him to it yet but I feel very comfortable having investigated peanut butter as the culprit. Had I not I may have run the risk of accidentally poisoning him with xylitol. So please remember this new additive isn’t just being used by the peanut butter brands. Many good manufacturers are using it. It’s popping up a lot in healthy products because it does not have the same response in humans. Below is a list of other brands that also use xylitol. Keep in mind that these are not typical products you would introduce to your dog, like peanut butter, but if they are in your house you always run the risk of your furry family member accidentally getting a hold of them. Please check labels and keep your dog safe. Also note: some labels could list xylitol as an artificial sweetener. I’d advise avoiding it just to be safe. In the end, always check the labels because peanut butter and your dog should be a good thing.

Brand Containing Xylitol

  • Clemmy’s Rich and Creamy ice cream products
  • John’s products (hard and soft candies, chocolates, drink mixes, etc.)
  • Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks
  • Nature’s Hollow jams, syrup, ketchup, honey, etc.
  • SparX Candy
  • Zipfizz energy drink-mix powders
  • KAL Colostrum Chewable, Vanilla Cream
  • KAL Dinosaurs Children’s Vitamins and Minerals (chewable tablets)
  • Kidz Digest Chewable Berry from Transformation Enzyme
  • L’il Critters Fiber Gummy Bears
  • Mega D3 Dots with 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per “dot” (dissolvable tablet)
  • Suntheanine L-Theanine chewable tablets by Stress-Relax
  • Vitamin Code Kids by Garden of Live (chewable multivitamins)
  • Webber Natural Super Sleep Soft Melts (dissolvable tablets)

Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately.

 

Celebrating Survivors – Couture for a Cure Brunch & Fashion Show

By Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Anna Jaques Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital serving 17 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Southern New Hampshire.
Anna Jaques Hospital
Couture for a Cure, Cancer Survivors, Newburyport

Celebrating Survivors – Couture for a Cure 2019 Brunch & Fashion Show will honor people in our community who have been impacted by cancer. On Sunday, October 20th from 12 – 2 pm, cancer survivors, their families and friends, and cancer caregivers will walk the pink carpet for a fashion show to celebrate their courage, beauty, and strength. Cheer on survivors and gather with family, friends and co-workers at the Blue Ocean Event Center in Salisbury, to honor someone in your life who has been impacted by cancer for an inspirational and fun Sunday brunch.  Purchase tickets or sponsor a table soon, as this amazing event will sell out. If you are unable to attend donations are greatly appreciated.

Support Survivorship

Funds raised from Couture for a Cure will support survivorship programs available at the Gerrish Breast Care Center and Anna Jaques Cancer Center. Survivorship programs support patients as they manage life beyond cancer, including understanding the long-term effects of treatment, managing the risk of re-occurrence, and addressing the social, physical and psychological effects of survival.

Ways to get involved

History of the Event

For almost a decade, Anna Jaques Hospital and the Institution for Savings have partnered to raise awareness and promote the prevention of breast cancer in our community. The Institutions’ support has ranged from partnering on community events to raise awareness – to supporting the purchase of 3D Mammography at AJH for our community.

Over the years our efforts for the event have been aimed at educating and advocating for women to schedule their annual mammogram. We have celebrated the survival of coworkers, neighbors and friends and offered cancer patients support on their personal journeys. In 2018, we decided to kick it up a notch and showcased local breast cancer survivors as featured models in a fashion show luncheon event titled Couture for a Cure.

This year, we have changed the event from a mid-week luncheon to Sunday brunch so that families and friends can all gather in celebration of the strength, beauty and determination of survivorship.

Types of Service Dogs and How They Can Benefit You

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
Newburyport Service Dogs

More and more people are using service dogs, but with the popularity comes a bit of confusion and the regulations seem to vary state to state. The service animal amendments keep changing and so does the confusion. The Beach Dog thought it would be helpful to give some insights on the different categories and what criteria apply to each. There are a few terms used such as Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs. All of which are wonderful ways that canines can enrich our lives. So what is a service dog, and could any of these categories benefit you? Let’s Break down the categories and rules to help simplify the types of service dogs and how they can benefit you.

Service Dogs

A service dog typically assists a person with a disability to aid in functions that a person is unable to perform. Some service dogs can aid in emergency help such as alerting to situations in a crisis or by performing tasks when a person is incapable to do so for themselves. Service dogs are trained to provide services for their owner but certification is not required if someone questions your animal. A local establishment is allowed a set of questions pertaining to your service dog, (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? You do not need to answer questions pertaining to your specific disability or have your dog perform any tasks proving his or her legitimacy. A service dog must, however, be obedient at all times, and groomed for public hygiene purposes.

Because of the growing trend in service dogs, it is a good option to register and have a pet ID that states your animal is a service dog. Having a vest or visual is also a good idea; this eliminates any unwanted questioning that your dog provides a needed service. While a service dog cannot be denied access to public transportation, including domestic flights which are protected through the Air Carrier Access Act, pre-registering may require documentation of some sort. Preregistration is also a good idea to avoid delays at the airport.

Listed below are some examples in which a service dog is rendered important and beneficial.

  • Mobility issues
  • Visual Impairment (blindness)
  • Hearing Impairment (deafness)
  • Seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Diabetes
  • PTSD
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • Other physical/mental disabilities

The laws that offer protection of your rights regarding service dogs are covered through Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any breed dog can be deemed suitable for this level of service as long as they are capable of performing the duties through training. This law also protects you in any housing situation in all 50 states regardless of the landlord’s policies. The same law also allows your dog to fly for free on any domestic flight. The Department of Justice clearly defines any legal issues pertaining to service dogs in this easy to download PDF.

Emotional Support Dogs Verses Service Dogs

Emotional support dogs assist individuals with emotional or mental health issues. An emotional support dog acts as a comfort zone to his or her provider in situations that can peak strong emotional afflictions. Emotional support dogs do not require training to provide comfort. Emotional support dogs must be leashed, calm, obedient, and properly groomed for hygiene purposes in public places.

Emotional support dogs are protected through the same laws that cover a person with disabilities when the owner has a medical diagnosis. Emotional support dogs are a trickier category than a service dog because sometimes a mental health person may not appear disabled. Having a documented dog with a certification makes life easier but is not required by law.

Unfortunately, amendments to the laws are radically changing because some individuals fraudulently state the animal is for emotional support. This trending issue is blurring the lines for the true necessity of an emotional support dog. Having proper Id or certification paperwork lessons the conflict.

Below is a partial list of emotional issues that can qualify for a support dog of this type.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar/mood disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Other emotional/psychological conditions

Therapy Dogs are a Facility Type of Service Dogs

A  facility category of service dog typically means the dog is owned and cared for by a second or third party and is used by an organization to provide a service to a patient. Therapy dogs are often used in facilities for recovering individuals such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. Therapy dogs offer affection and comfort. Studies have shown that rehabilitating patients heal faster and with less psychological stress when therapy dogs are available to them. Below is a list of some of the therapeutic values associated with therapy dogs.

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Cause release of oxytocin, a hormone that eases stress levels
  • Reduce awareness of pain
  • Improve coordination and motor skills through petting
  • Aids in communication when verbal skills are limited
Lets Summarize Service Dogs  

So let’s sum it up the types of service dogs and how they can benefit you. A service dog is trained to aid an owner with disabilities. A service dog requires training to accommodate the person with disabilities. By law, an establishment can only ask if a person is disabled and what tasks the dog is trained to perform. Registration as a service dog is not a state requirement but Service Dog identification is helpful in public situations. An emotional support dog does not require training and also cannot be turned away for any reason. Both service dogs and emotional support dogs must be under control at all times and properly groomed for public hygiene. Having your dog registered or certified is not a legal requirement but will aid in authenticating and verifying your needs. Just as legal documentation is not required a ‘service dog vest’ is not a valid criterion for admittance to public access but may alleviate unwanted questioning. A therapy dog typically works in a facility to aid the healing and comfort level of a patient. 

If you are wondering if registering your dog is a good fit for you read,  Service Dog Registration isn’t Essential but can be Helpful. 

If you found this helpful, make sure to review other helpful blog posts from The Beach Dog Doggie Daycare.

Make your health a top priority this 2019

By Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Anna Jaques Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit community hospital serving 17 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Southern New Hampshire.
Anna Jaques Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In 2018, the top New Year’s resolutions in America were:

  1. Get healthy
  2. Get organized
  3. Live life to the fullest

The best way to kick-off 2019, and strive to achieve all of these resolutions, is to make your health a top priority. For women, your health has many factors at play: family history, age, physical activity, stress, and lifestyle choices to name a few. Life can be very busy and women often put their family and other responsibilities before their own health.

*Try taking a day for yourself to get an annual screening, like a mammogram, and treat yourself afterwards with something you enjoy for taking the time to get checked. View the head-to-toe checklist and talk with your doctor – don’t let signs and symptoms linger.

At Women’s Health Care, our team of providers are dedicated to caring for women throughout their lifetime and are here to help you achieve your health goals. Schedule an appointment at our locations in Newburyport, Haverhill & Middleton at 978-556-0100 and ask for the office of your choice. Visit www.WHCobgyn.org to learn more.

 

Tech Neck-Impacts of Electronics on Your Spine

By Karen Holmes, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Karen Holmes, DPT has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and later obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Simmons College. She worked many years specializing in the treatment of orthopedic/sports related injuries and now owns a successful private practice in Salisbury, MA.
Holmes Physical Therapy
tech neck, Newburyport MA

If you spend time daily on a smart phone, laptop or other electronic device, you could be at risk of a growing medical condition known as tech neck. While this term may not sound that serious, over time, poor posture, attributed to smart devices, can lead to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strain.

How many times a day do you pull out your phone for a quick glance or to check email? How many hours do you spend working on your laptop? Do you spend a few hours a week catching up on the news or reading a good book on your tablet? Often we don’t even realize we are using our smart devices as frequently as we are, so these numbers may alarm you. The average person spends 14 to 28 hours a week, a staggering 700 to 1400 hours per year on their electronic devices, never mind the hours spent at work. Many folks may spend an additional 35 to 45 hours per week on electronic devices, depending upon their profession. And as the use of these contemporary conveniences have become more common, so have the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pains related to tech neck. 

The good news is we don’t need to give up our handy little devices in order to protect our bodies from tech neck. What we have learned is that many electronic users look at their screen below eye level, causing their heads to flex forward. With each degree your head tilts, the strain on your spine increases. Simply being mindful of your head and neck posture when interacting with your devices will remedy much of your problem.

 If your symptoms persist or you feel like you spend quite a bit of time on smart devices, it’s a great idea to meet with a physical therapist trained to address tech neck. Located right in Salisbury, we at Holmes Physical Therapy, will not only address your current aches and pains with proper exercises focused on preserving the spine, but also help teach you the correct ways to use your devices to eliminate problems in the future. Many times, we find that changing our clients habits and environments, from proper work stations to simple posture tweaks, can be hugely beneficial.

Smart devices are incredibly useful and have made our day to day lives so much more convenient, but it is so important that we interact with them properly. So the next time you reach for your smart phone or pull up a chair to your laptop, do a quick check  of your head and neck posture.

Audible Books for your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
dog's separation anxiety, Newburyport MA

First, let’s define separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a label used when a dog is left alone and exhibits bad behaviors. This is actually instinctive behavior in canines. Dogs are pack animals and they are safe in the pack. There is strength in numbers. When a dog strays or is left behind its instincts kick in ‘fight or flight’ behavior, which triggers the bad behavior. So when you leave your dog it’s not necessarily the dog missing you, sorry, abandonment triggers the behavior and puts your dog into panic mode. This is an instinctual characteristic designed to keep the dog safe in its natural habitat. Audible books for your dog’s separation anxiety substitutes a human presence which significantly decreases bad behaviors.

What are Audible Books

Audible books are a narrated voice book that is listened to out loud using a device such as the Amazon echo. Audible books can be played in multiple ways. The trigger here is to teach your dog that the audible narrator mimics having a unit of the pack still around, which enables the dog to relax. Cesar Millan has an amazing audible book that gives the data from the studies coupled with the psychology behind the training, check it out.

How does it work?

The key is to get your dog to associate the audible book with quiet time. When you leave your dog alone it triggers energy almost in a panic mode. The first step is to deplete this energy load by exercising your dog before you leave the house. This means implementing a morning workout routine. Cesar has some valuable ideas for indoor exercise: How to Exercise Your Dog Indoors.  Exhausting the dog helps him concentrate. It’s the first step in using Audible books for your dog’s separation anxiety.

After depleting his energy put your dog in his quiet spot immediately upon entering the house. This could be any preferable spot where your dog typically naps, crate, dog bed, couch, under kitchen table etc. Then introduce him to the device that will play his audible book. He will start to associate this with quiet time and another member of the pack, or your family unit. When you leave the house do not shift your energy. Do not say goodbye, do not interrupt the Audible and your dog, simply leave the house. The concept is to make your dog believe that there is still a member of the pack in the house with him.

How to choose the right book

When choosing audible books for your dog’s separation anxiety there is a method.  Almost sounds silly, it’s not like your dog can literally follow along with the storyline. But this is actually a valid decision in getting optimal results. Data proves that audible books yielded better results than leaving a TV on or Playing music…why? The TV and the music will shift in voice, tone, and volume, all of which can easily trigger a dog’s anxiety. Audible books are mostly monotone. The narrator’s voices vary in tone, and volume slightly yielding fewer triggers for your dog. Now think books and genres, if your dog has lots of energy try a children’s book, the narrator is typically a tender tone. Don’t forget to pick a long book. You want the audible book to play as long as possible.

Audible books for other anxiety level triggers

  • While healing an injury typically accompanied by the all annoying cone
  • Company or children having a household visit or gathering
  • Fireworks and holidays
  • Thunder and storms

If you found this article helpful, click here to view other informative blog posts from the Beach Dog.

AJH Community Health Foundation Annual “Fore Your Health” Golf Tournament

By Mary Williamson, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Executive Director of the Anna Jaques Hospital Community Health Foundation, Mary brings more than 25 years of well-rounded management and fundraising experience grounded in relationship and community building. Her multi-faceted expertise will advance the philanthropic activities that support the sustainability and strategic initiatives of Anna Jaques Hospital.
Anna Jaques Hospital
AJH Community Health Foundation, Fore Your Health

The Anna Jaques Hospital, AJH Community Health Foundation held its 28th Annual Fore Your Health Golf Tournament on August 13th at Renaissance Golf Club and raised over $128,000. Proceeds of the tournament will support MAKO™ robotic arm technology at the hospital.

Under the leadership of Byron Matthews, Chairman of the Golf Committee, the annual Fore Your Health tournament has generated over $2 million to support programs and services at AJH. Thank you to Byron and the committee of volunteers for their hard work and dedication to this event: Steve DeGuglielmo, Rich Doolan, Luis Fernandez, Dr. Kevin Gasiorowski, Tom Howard, Rob Kotarba, John Matthews, Mac McKay and Donna Twombly.

Congratulations to St. John’s Prep’s Drew Semons and Robbie Forti, who won the 12th Annual Byron Bowl High School Challenge, sponsored by SPS New England Inc. Thank you also to Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Masconomet, Newburyport, and Triton high schools for participating in this year’s event.

About the AJH Community Health Foundation

Led by a volunteer Board of Trustees, the Anna Jaques Hospital Community Health Foundation works with the hospital and medical staff to provide the highest quality medical care to our patients and improve the health of our community. The Foundation supports these goals through community outreach and education, and seeks philanthropic support from grateful patients and community members, employees, foundations, and businesses through outright gifts, events, and planned giving, and works closely with the AJH Aid Association.

To find out ways to support Anna Jaques hospital visit www.ajh.org/become-a-donor

Why Body Sculpting and Lipolysis Versus Cool Sculpting for Fat Removal?

By Dr. Edgar Ballenas, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Dr. Ballenas graduated from New York Medical College, and completed his residency at Beth Israel Medical Center/ Mount Sinai in New York City. He became board certified in Emergency Medicine in 1994 and continues to practice at Jordan’s hospital in Plymouth, MA. Dr. Ballenas has been certified in medical esthetics since 2004. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic physicians. Call Suite Six Medical today for a consultation to personalize a treatment plan tailored to your goals, time frame and budget. You can view Before & After photos as you learn about the various treatments available, and all your questions will be answered.
Suite Six Medical Aesthetics
body sculpting, lipolysis, Newburyport

If you have stubborn fat and problem areas that dieting and exercise simply won’t fix, you’ll want to hear more about Suite Six’s Body Sculpting using lipolysis, a more effective alternative to Cool Sculpting for fat removal. This procedure not only targets fat, but is also effective in treating cellulite, stretch marks, excess sweating and gynostemia. As Suite Six’s body sculpting and lipolysis expert with over ten years of experience in the medical aesthetics field, I am confident I can transform your problem areas to reveal a better you.

Body Sculpting uses a treatment called lipolysis and smooths it over with smartlipo and vasorlipo. What does this mean? Unlike Cool Sculpting, Body Sculpting actually removes the fat and uses body contouring to tighten the area. With this mid invasive procedure we will have you fully recovered within 3 to 4 days. And the best part? You will see immediate results.

There are many candidates for Body Sculpting using lipolysis and is particularly popular with mothers wanting a little help from a fabulous “Mommy Makeover”. This procedure is an ideal way to get rid of the stubborn fat that mothers struggle to lose after being pregnant. Many times, despite dieting and exercise, a new mom’s body may not shed the extra fat in certain areas. Common problem areas that will benefit from this fat removal procedure include above and below the abdomen as well as under the arms.

It is also important to note key benefits to this procedure in comparison to other choices of fat removal treatments. Body Sculpting patients will not experience issues associated with Cool Sculpting such as Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) and Body Sculpting is a far more economical and less invasive alternative to liposuction. In addition, the entire procedure, conducted by myself, a board certified doctor, is done in the comfort of Suite Six’s relaxing spa atmosphere instead of a hospital.

Suite Six, a premier medical aesthetics spa located in downtown Newburyport, offers a multitude of other treatments, ranging from skin care to IV therapy. Our med spa has an extensive team of highly trained medical professionals, including myself, offering the most advanced medical treatments in the industry.

If you’re frustrated with certain areas of your body, dieting and exercise may not be enough. Contact Suite Six today at 978-358-8178 or online to inquire about our highly effective Body Sculpting procedure and take the first step to getting the body you deserve.

Choosing a Concierge Primary Care Doctor Can Save You Time, Money

By Dr. Kay Ficht, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Kay A. Ficht, M.D. is an Internal Medicine physician who has been practicing in the Merrimack Valley for 20 years. He launched Your Choice Medical, an independent concierge medicine, primary care practice in Newburyport, MA, April 2017, with nurse practitioners, Anja Comeau and Melissa Maloney. They are accepting a limited number of patients. Kay A. Ficht is recipient of the 2017 Top Doctor Award selected by his highly regarded peers.
Your Choice Medical Internal Medicine
Doctor

Signing up with a concierge primary care doctor can save you time and money each year! Usually a concierge medical practice charges patients a small fee in exchange for premium services, such as maintaining a lower population of patients, providing accessibility to the providers, availability to the doctor, convenient appointments, fitness programs and other additional services.

Kay A. Ficht, M.D. of Your Choice Medical, a new concierge practice in Newburyport, MA charges patients in his practice a low fee, which is payable quarterly or annually. Many patients have found the up-front low quarterly charge has added up to substantial savings down the line. For example, patients who are having medical issues during off business hours are often able to bypass rushing to an urgent clinic or emergency room by contacting their concierge doctor, instead of the on-call physician that might not know the patient. Dr. Ficht or the nurse practitioner can access the problem and determine a course of action, which is often as simple as calling in a prescription. The possibility of avoiding a trip to the emergency room can save concierge patient’s usually a minimum of $300.

A lower patient population means the physician and patient can have in depth discussions about health issues which can lead to a better understanding for both the patient and the doctor. This stronger patient doctor relationship can offset membership fee costs. For example, a concierge doctor usually has more time to investigate a patient’s health issues thereby offsetting expensive prescriptions, unnecessary tests and reducing expensive referrals to specialists.

The cost of your time is also an important factor to consider.  You could spend five minutes on the phone with a concierge doctor to have your problem addressed or drive to a walk in clinic or emergency room where you don’t know the provider and the provider doesn’t know you, which may consume a large portion of your day and not solve your problem.  Additional stress isn’t always something you can quantify with money, but for many who choose a concierge doctor, the piece of mind is priceless.

What are the differences between Internist vs General Practitioner?

By Dr. Kay Ficht, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Kay A. Ficht, M.D. is an Internal Medicine physician who has been practicing in the Merrimack Valley for 20 years. He launched Your Choice Medical, an independent concierge medicine, primary care practice in Newburyport, MA, April 2017, with nurse practitioners, Anja Comeau and Melissa Maloney. They are accepting a limited number of patients. Kay A. Ficht is recipient of the 2017 Top Doctor Award selected by his highly regarded peers.
Your Choice Medical Internal Medicine
Internist, Newburyport MA

Internal Medicine doctor, or Internist is a term that is frequently heard, but often misunderstood.  An internal medicine doctor, specializes in adult patients care, specifically focused on preventative care as well as non-surgical diagnosis, treatment and education of multi-system diseases of the internal organs.  Kay A. Ficht, M.D. who is an internist at Your Choice Medical in Newburyport, MA states some examples of multi-system diseases are diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and high blood pressure.  Finding a trusted internist can be extremely important for adult patients who have existing health issues as well as patients who are having new health issues and need a diagnosis.   According to the American College of Physicians “Historically, internal medicine and family medicine developed from very different backgrounds. Internal medicine grew out of the increasing application of scientific knowledge into the practice of medicine starting in the late 1800s.  This “scientific” approach to medicine was unique at the time and was progressively applied to the wide spectrum of diseases that commonly affect adults.  With the growth and development of pediatrics as a separate specialty devoted to the care of children in the early 1900s, internal medicine continued its primary focus on adult patients.

General practitioners, also known as family doctors, differ from internal medicine doctors because they treat infants to adults, focusing on preventative care, chronic illnesses and patient education.  This is a broader scope of treatment due to the vast age differences between patients.  A general practitioner can see someone from birth to death, which can enable a long lasting and trusted relationship.

Most people are familiar with the term primary care provider because most insurance plans require members to choose a primary care provider, or PCP to be listed as their doctor.  Both internist and general practitioners fall under the category of primary care provider.  Internal medicine doctors and general practitioners are the first line of defense in treating your health and before you may or may not need to see a specialist.  So whether you prefer to choose an Internist or a general practitioner as your PCP, it is important to find the right doctor who you can establish a trusting relationship with and who can treat, educate and communicate with you about your health care needs.

Transitioning Your Dog with the Seasonal Changes

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes

The seasons are changing and your dog will need to prepare for these changes as well. We have come up with three tips for transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes. Just like humans dogs can react to the changes of the season too. Keeping them happy and healthy through preparation can help make these changes easy and helpful.

The number one factor to these changes is stimulation in your dog’s allergies. If your dog has never had allergies lets hope it stays this way but if you notice any of these clinical issues you can have a wellness visit with your local veterinarian or try some of our helpful tips for transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes first.

Clinical Issues to Look For:

  • Nasal and eye discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Pruritis (itching/scratching, licking/chewing at body parts)
  • Fur loss or color change

Allergies can vary depending on your breed of dog. If you know your dog is susceptible be ready and try some of the following easy steps to ease allergy issues: Keep the house clean, dust and vacuum regularly, change sheets and dog beds, use eye drops and have your dog groomed once a week or once a month, clean or replace household filters, keep windows clean, implement a healthy diet by cutting out artificial colors, preservatives, sugars and unhealthy fats. Consult your veterinarian if issues worsen. If your dog has never had allergies keep in mind that any immune deficiencies can spur on allergies so if your dog has become compromised due to age or illness they may experience allergies due to seasonal changes.

A healthy diet of pumpkin and squash can help transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes. It’s squash season and what better way to boost your dog’s immune system than through the nutrients that these food staples have to offer.

Remember a healthy diet low in artificial ingredients, colors, sugars, and fats help to boost immune systems and lessen allergies. Some dog lovers use pumpkin and squash as a stool softener so start your dog out slowly to see how they react. Dr. Jean Dodds recommends using 1 tbsp. For small dogs and 2 tbsp. for larger dogs to start. Pumpkin is rich in potassium, fiber, water, antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin E, A, copper, and magnesium. Pumpkin and squash are food staples that are readily available this fall so when you are enjoying them share them with your dog. They make yummy dietary changes for transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes in a positive way.

Our last tip is to keep moving. Don’t slow down your outdoor activities just because it’s not as warm outside. The fall is the best time of year to get out, the scenery is beautiful and the air is fresh so get out and move before the cold days of winter are here. Over the summer we posted an article called Dog-friendly Hot Spots in Newburyport and Plum Island Massachusetts, skip down to the second to the last paragraph for a list of fun places to visit with your dog in the Newbury and Plum Island areas this fall. Most of the areas stay open but use the article to find links to these places that offer exciting fall based activities and get up and out, your dog will love it. Keeping your dog active is a great way to stay motivated while transitioning your dog with the seasonal changes this fall.

Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Provides Alternative to CPAP Machines

By Dr. Sam Merabi, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Dr. Merabi grew up in Massachusetts, attended college at Brandeis University, worked at Franciscan Childrens’ Hospital as a Mental Health Specialist, attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, for his D.M.D. where he obtained numerous community service and research awards. He further earned an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition to running his practice, Portside Family Dental in Newburyport, Dr. Merabi has worked for Cambridge Health Alliance as an Attending Dentist teaching Dental Residents in general practice and has been an Instructor for Harvard School of Dental Medicine for several years.
Portside Family Dental
Sleep Apnea Appliance, Portside Family Dental, Newburyport

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. There is a broad range in regards to impact on breathing. Pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur up to 30 times or more within an hour. If not treated it can interrupt sleep hundreds of times within a night meaning the brain and the rest of the body may not be receiving enough oxygen. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. If you think you might, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Treatment is necessary to avoid heart problems and other complications.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.
  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Many people impacted by sleep disorders use a CPAP, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine to regulate airflow and ensure continuous breathing. Although CPAP machines are effective at regulating breathing, many patients find it extremely difficult to sleep with a mask adhered to their face.

If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea there is a much better solution. We provide an oral appliance alternative to the CPAP machine, and medical insurances can be billed for the device. If you have already had a sleep study and either cannot tolerate, or do not want a CPAP machine, this is a very effective alternative. This oral appliance gives a patient a restful night and the ability to travel.

As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, I have extensive experience helping provide significantly improved quality of life for many patients. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea call my office, Portside Family Dental in Newburyport to schedule an appointment, 978-462-4590. A restful sleep awaits!

 

What is concierge medicine and Who are the Ideal Patients?

By Dr. Kay Ficht, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Kay A. Ficht, M.D. is an Internal Medicine physician who has been practicing in the Merrimack Valley for 20 years. He launched Your Choice Medical, an independent concierge medicine, primary care practice in Newburyport, MA, April 2017, with nurse practitioners, Anja Comeau and Melissa Maloney. They are accepting a limited number of patients. Kay A. Ficht is recipient of the 2017 Top Doctor Award selected by his highly regarded peers.
Your Choice Medical Internal Medicine
Concierge Medicine, Newburyport MA

Concierge medicine offers patients refreshing new options from traditional primary care.  According to Kay A. Ficht, M.D., owner of Your Choice Medical concierge medicine practice and a primary care, internal medicine physician in the Newburyport area for approximately 20 years, “concierge medicine varies from practice to practice, but typically in exchange for many convenient services, which may include additional time with the provider, real people answering the phone, availability for appointments, accessibility for the patients to communicate directly with the providers 24/7, as well as other services, concierge medicine physicians charge an annual fee.  In addition to the annual membership fee, concierge medicine patients are responsible for all fees associated with their insurance plans as well.”

Concierge Medicine has become a growing trend as patients and doctors seek a more personalized health care approach. People are surprised to learn Dr. Ficht’s patients are comprised of people from all walks of life from teachers, firefighters, seniors and other members of our communities. Concierge Medicine has developed out of a need.  People are so busy today with many different commitments that add day to day stress they are seeking solutions to simplify their lives. To the people who join a concierge practice the amount of time and frustration they save as well as the piece of mind they receive is worth the annual fee many times over.

As people age they become more concerned with health issues, aging well and having a reputable trusted local doctor who is available to them.  These are a few of the needs that concierge medicine addresses.  In addition, Your Choice Medical is an independent and unaffiliated concierge medical practice, which means that patients can see a specialist anywhere as long as their insurance plans will allow it.  Almost all traditional practices restrict patients to stay within a certain network.  Concierge Medical practices offer a change from the traditional style of primary care medical practices.

Relieve Computer Eye Strain with Tips from Local Eye Care Experts

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
relieve computer eye strain, Newburyport MA 01950

It is important to know what you can do to relieve computer eye strain. Many of us have jobs that require up to eight hours a day in front of a screen and we usually accrue more screen time when we get home! Such a significant portion of our day spent hunched over a keyboard can take a toll on our body and our vision. In fact, Computer Vision Syndrome can cause headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and shoulder or neck pain.

Computer ergonomics can relieve computer eye strain. Computer ergonomics is the science of designing a work environment to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries. Here are a few tips from Watts Eye Associates to reduce eye strain and other computer-associated issues.

  1. Sit with your head and neck upright and aligned with your torso.
  2. Always face your screen directly. Avoid having your back twisted or viewing your screen with your head turned.
  3. If you wear glasses, position yourself so you comfortably view your entire screen without tilting your head.
  4. Keep your mouse close to your keyboard so you aren’t constantly reaching for it.
  5. Try to get your computer screen so the top of the screen is at or below eye level. This will reduce the strain on your neck.
  6. Make sure your screen is the right distance from your face. It should be about an arms’s length away.

Give Your Eyes A Break

Tired eyes can lead to headaches, fatigue and decreased productivity. Remember:

  • The 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to rest and refocus.
  • Mini breaks. Take 15-minute breaks from your computer screen twice a day. Stand up, stretch, and walk around.
  • Simple eye exercises. A few times a day, stretch your extra ocular eye socket muscles by rolling your eyes in all directions.

Try these tips to keep your eyes happier at work and relieve computer eye strain. 

Old Dog New Itch: Does Your Dog Have Dry Itchy Dog Skin?

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
Old Dog New Itch: Does Your Dog Have Dry Itchy Dog Skin?, Newbury MA

I’m a new age hippie so if there is an herbal holistic remedy out there I’m going to find it. So when my old dog got a new itch I went on a mission. Her symptoms were mild, so I searched dry itchy dog skin.

I am the proud owner of two beautiful Labs, Madeline and Belladonna. Unfortunately Maddy is getting old, she’s in great spirits and she wags her tail all day long. She wags so hard her entire butt moves, we call it “the Mad Dog Shuffle.” Mad because we call her Mad Dog as a nickname, not because she’s mad…quite the opposite…she’s a very happy old lady.

At this stage in her life I noticed a difference in the gloss of her coat and the drying of her skin. I put a little olive oil on her dog food but she started loosing fur in spots and she was getting stinky as well. I thought the problem might be a little more than just old age so I started an Internet search. There are many educative websites that help you diagnose why your dog has dry itchy skin. WikiHow has a really good article on different skin irritants in dogs. After a few research articles I was happy to self diagnose Maddy’s itchy dog syndrome with a skin bacteria due to her old age and weakening immune system. She simply had dry itchy dog skin due to getting older.

So know what? I was on the right track with adding olive oil to her dog food.  Olive oil is a strong antioxidant and helps to boost her weakening immune system.  I also found that onion is an all natural anti-bacterial and antibiotic.  There are a few herbs listed and you might have what you need in your kitchen. I started using chopped dried onions instead of cutting them myself.  Maddy likes apples but I’m not sure she would like a fresh onion. I used my new regime once a day for about a week when I noticed a huge difference in her fur. I am happy to announce and share that her skin is vibrant, her dry itchy dog skin is cured, and she smells…well like a dog.

One final note to keep in mind, know your dog’s digestive tolerances and only use onion for a limited treatment. Onion and garlic are labeled as toxic to animals, this treatment is only for a temporary fix, just as humans would use an antibiotic for a prescribed amount of time. I believe the onion cured the bacterial growth load in my dog’s skin and now she does not need the treatment, my old dog has no more itchy dog skin and her fur is growing back and has a shine to it.

 

Prevent Blindness Caused By Diabetic Eye Disease

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
Prevent Blindness Caused by Diabetic Eye Disease, Newburyport MA

Did you know that diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults? Did you also know that often times there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced? High blood sugar is the major culprit of eye problems and the longer you live with the disease, the greater the risk. Three major eye problems to be concerned about are cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

A cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye that is normally clear and affects the clarity of your vision. Anyone can get a cataract, but people with diabetes tend to get them at an earlier age and with progression of the cataract occurring at a faster rate.

Glaucoma is a condition when the fluid inside the eye does not drain properly and leads to an excess of pressure inside the eye. That pressure can damage nerves and blood vessels in the eye causing vision impairment. In people with diabetes there is a higher risk of glaucoma due to high blood sugar.

Retinopathy is damage to small blood vessels or fluid leakage in the eye. Retinopathy is also the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Many studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between high blood sugar and retinopathy.

So what can be done? Is diabetic eye disease inevitable? Thankfully, there are two major things you can do.

The first is controlling your blood sugar which often times requires lifestyle adaptations- easier said than done. An integrated approach of working closely with your primary care physician and/or endocrinologist as well as other specialists is a great start. They can help you understand how diabetes affects your body and what you can do to prevent complications.

The second thing you can do is to make sure you have an eye exam every year. Your optometrist is a key player in your eye health. Diagnosing eye disease right away is crucial to getting early treatment. Your appointment with your optometrist will include taking a medical history and a full eye exam. Here at Watts Eye we pride ourselves on having the most up to date technology. We have the ability to take imaging of your eyes that is non-invasive and only takes seconds. By using our Opto Map machine and Ocular Tomography machine, retinal scans are done within moments, allowing our doctors to see the health of your retinas immediately. Often times our doctors are able to review the results with you as part of your exam.

The Story Behind Children’s Health Care

By Christine D. Riccardi, MD, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Pediatrician for Children's Health Care, Dr. Riccardi is an expert in field of Children's Health providing comprehensive pediatric and adolescent medical care. Dr. Riccardi has over nine years of experience with Children's Health Care and two years prior experience with a private practice in Syracuse NY.
Children's Health Care

It may seem like just a sign. But the Children’s Health Care logo – that red and blue circle with our name across it – has a story behind it.

In fact there are countless stories behind CHC. Each and every patient, family member, staff member, and CHC medical provider contributes a new chapter every day. We look forward to sharing some of these stories with you in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, consider it more than a sign: the CHC brand speaks to our full circle approach to your child’s healthcare.  For you and your family, that means:

  • A personalized care plan for each child
  • A team of board-certified physicians from which to choose
  • Exceptional nurse practitioners on your ‘team’
  • Specialists including CHC’s Special Care Coordinator and a Pediatric Board Certified Nutritionist
  • Walk-in sick visits 7 days per week
  • Evening hours 5 days per week
  • After hour and weekend calls which are covered entirely by CHC providers
  • Triage nurses available to answer questions by phone during office hours
  • Network of specialists for referral for complex medical and surgical issues

The CHC Team cares for the whole child by offering a full range of pediatric and adolescent services including:

  • Free prenatal “meet the provider” visits
  • Newborn to adolescent well child check ups
  • Acute illnesses
  • Minor emergencies
  • Management of chronic illnesses
  • Behavioral and school-related concerns
  • Nutritional consultation
  • Special care coordinator

CHC’s board-certified providers have been serving generations of families from the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, Southern New Hampshire, and the Seacoast region since 1972.  We provide a full range of preventive and urgent care services in our Newburyport and Haverhill offices.

The CHC team is dedicated to providing comprehensive health and wellness care from birth through adolescence.  Child-centered and family-focused, we partner with parents to provide personalized and compassionate care for the whole child.

We invite you to visit us in Newburyport or Haverhill, by phone, or at www.chcmass.org.

Autism- and Sensory-Friendly Events in the Newburyport Area

By Emily Cowan, Newburyport.Com Correspondent

autisim and sensory-friendly, Newburyport MA

Looking for autism- and sensory-friendly options for family entertainment? From autism spectrum to sensory processing disorders, there are plenty of reasons why your child might need a little extra consideration when it comes to high-impact events or activities. Many large entertainment venues now make specific accommodations for these kids (think lower lights, decreased noise levels, and smaller crowds), so no one has to miss out on the fun.

Here are a few area events and activities specially designed to create a calmer environment for sensory-sensitive kids. (For a complete and continuously updated list, check out the Greater Massachusetts Special Needs Event Calendar.)

Movie Theaters

Cinemagic (Salisbury MA and Portsmouth NH) – Sensory- and family-friendly showings run once per month

AMC Theaters (Methuen and Burlington MA) – Sensory-friendly films run four times per month

Chunky’s (Haverhill MA and Pelham NH) – Lights up, sound down sensory-friendly showings run monthly

Museums

Boston Children’s Museum (Boston MA) – Morningstar Access for a less crowded experience once per month

The Discovery Museum (Acton MA) – Autism-Friendly Evenings, Sensory-Friendly Afternoons, Visually Impaired Family Evenings, Mornings and Evenings for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing & KODA Infant and Toddlers programs that offer increased accommodations and access to exhibits in an understanding environment

The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (Dover NH) – Exploring Our Way Program is open the first Sunday of the month for families to enjoy the museum in a less crowded, understanding environment

Museum of Fine Arts (Boston MA) – Beyond the Spectrum program one Saturday per month for children ages 8-12 to explore galleries and create art

Restaurants

Autism Eats (Various Locations) – Hosts dinner parties in restaurants and function facilities with accommodations for sensory sensitivities

Chuck E. Cheese (Burlington, Danvers, and Methuen MA, and Newington NH) – Sensory Sensitive Sundays held the first Sunday of the month

Playspaces

SkyZone (Danvers MA) – Sensory Hours held on the second Sunday of the month

Storytimes

Amesbury Public Library (Amesbury MA) – Sensory Storytimes offered once per month

 

For more events for kids and families in the Greater Newburyport area, visit www.newburyport.macaronikid.com. Subscribe to our FREE weekly e-newsletter to have our complete calendar delivered right to your inbox: http://newburyport.macaronikid.com/subscribe/

Holistically Protect Your Dog from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitos

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
Holistically Protect Your Dog from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitos

It has begun, estimated to be worse than it was last year: the disease that mosquitos, ticks and fleas are transferring to humans and dogs gets deadlier and deadlier every year.  The bug repellants don’t seem to be much better; as consumers, we have learned the importance of natural, chemical free products. Combating against deadly bug bites and spraying down with a bottle of poison isn’t my way of starting off my summer.  So what do we do to keep our dogs and ourselves safe from disease carrying bug bites? Armouring yourself and your dog with organic all natural, chemical free, healthy repellants is the best way to go.  You may be surprised at how simple this is. You can holistically protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

Bug repellants come naturally in nature. Plants have natural biological properties that repel bugs from attempting to eat and ultimately kill off the plant. Plants both attract and deflect bugs by using smells and poisons.  The essences of some plants have been genetically evolved to repel bugs. Have you heard of aromatherapy? Aromatherapy has become a household combatant against bacteria, viruses, ailments, and just uplifting and beautifying. But these same plants can naturally help us to ward off bugs before they bit. Let’s take a tip from our green leafy friends to protect our lovable furry friends

Essential oils are extracted from plants in different ways. No matter what way the extraction process is done they are extracted to keep the chemical properties preserved so that humans…and dog’s can have enhanced lifestyles in a healthy and natural way. Listed below are a few options that are specifically designed (by Nature) to repel bugs. These essential oil repellant can be added to a spray bottle of water or apple cider vinegar to holistically protect you and your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. You can make your repellant strong by adding more drops of essential oil. Start with a few drops and work your way up to establish the perfect spray for you and your dog. Essential oils protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

Mixing your spray with vinegar instead of water is an added benefit because bugs also hate the smell. There are a few other benefits to using vinegar. Its properties make the hair shiny for you and your dog.  Try adding some apple cider vinegar to Rovers bath water. You can also consume apple cider vinegar to internally repel bugs, vinegar consumed raises the acidic levels of your blood and bug’s don’t like acidic. When using apple cider vinegar internally mix a teaspoon to a tablespoon in water per every 50lbs. of your dog’s weight.  Consuming apple cider straight can be upsetting on the tummy for both you and your dog. Apple cider vinegar can be used to protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

Another fun way to protect your dog from killer bugs is to make a bug repellent dog collar. You can have fun with this and make it elaborate or you can do it simply, the important part is to do it every day. You can make a bandana collar and drop your essential oils right onto the bandana. Make it refreshing and beat the heat, soak the bandana in cold water, then drop essential oils or apple cider vinegar onto it. You can also simply tie a trusted brand insect repellent wipe around your dog’s collar. Don’t Waste the Crumbs also has some more in depth ways to make a bug repellent dog collar

We as consumers know that a lot of the bug repellants that are sold on the marked are harmful to our dogs and us but there are a few products out there that are safe.  Look for labels that say all natural, no chemicals or pesticides. Read the ingredients; if you can’t pronounce them don’t use them. Some of the products on the market can also protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. There are many ways to holistically protect you and your dog from bug bites this year. The Wellness Mama has a few other recipes you can try if you really want to get fancy with items you may have in your home.  The Beach Dog Daycare wishes you a happy and safe summer season, armour up and enjoy.

 

 

Protect Yourself from Injury While Gardening

By Karen Holmes, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Karen Holmes, DPT has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and later obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Simmons College. She worked many years specializing in the treatment of orthopedic/sports related injuries and now owns a successful private practice in Salisbury, MA.
Holmes Physical Therapy
Protect Yourself From Injury, Holmes Physical Therapy, Salisbury MA

Gardening is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the fresh air and beautifying your home.  It should be enjoyed and considered a “work in progress” not a task to be completed in one weekend.  If you do garden there are many things you can do to protect yourself from injury.  First apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it throughout the day.  Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.  Use an insect repellent with DEET, tuck your pant legs into your socks or wear high rubber boots.  Always check for ticks.  Wear a good pair of gloves and appropriate footwear-NO FLIP FLOPS.  Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty.  Some of the effects of dehydration are dry mouth, thirst, skin flushing, fatigue, chills and dark colored urine.

Use proper equipment by selecting tools that improve your grip and minimize bending and carrying.  Choose long handled rakes and hoes so you can stand upright.  Make the “OK” sign with your thumb and index finger; this is the ideal grip diameter of a hand tool.  Using knee pads when kneeling can protect your knees, some come with handles that can assist you getting up and down to reduce back strain.  Others come with long handles and can be flipped upside down so that the cushion becomes a seat.  I recently switched to a lighter weight hose and am amazed at the decreased strain to my neck, back and shoulders.  Using a 2 wheeled cart vs. a wheelbarrow also reduces muscle strain as it is more stable.   An ergonomic watering can is helpful for those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lift with your leg muscles not your back.  Face the object you intend to lift, squat down keeping your back straight and tighten your abdominal muscles, then lift.  Keep your feet shoulder width apart and distribute the weight of the load equally across your body to help protect yourself from injury.  Don’t twist; take small steps while turning your body.  Protect your neck and shoulders when reaching; keep your arms at or below shoulder level if possible.  Keep your shoulders away from your ears!  If you have to work above shoulder heights then take a break every 5 minutes to stretch your neck and back.

Overuse of repetitive motions such as digging, weeding and constant gripping can cause tendonitis of the wrist and elbow.  To minimize the chance of injury take breaks every hour, change your activity when possible.  Stretch throughout the day.  Break heavier tasks into shorter sessions.  Never work through pain or you may cause a serious injury if you push yourself beyond your limits. Stretches that counter the forward bend position are helpful at the end of the day.

Don’t be a weekend warrior.  Take the necessary steps to protect yourself from injury.  It may be discouraging not to complete a task or make your garden look as good as you had hoped.  But it will be more frustrating if you end up in so much pain that you can’t do anything.  However should you develop pain that lasts more than a few days,  Holmes Physical Therapy can help.  We specialize in the treatment of orthopedic and sports related injuries and will be happy to assist you in your return to safe gardening.

The Dangers of Chocolate and Your Dog

By Kim Casey, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Kim is a huge animal lover and proud owner of two labs. Kim is also an Internet marketer and works closely with The Beach Dog Daycare in Newburyport. She enjoys writing and researching combined with blogging. She is an independent marketer and is self-employed but being an animal lover The Beach Dog Daycare is one of her favorite clients.
The Beach Dog Doggie Day Care
the dangers of chocolate and your dog, newbury ma

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Beach Dog Daycare! Considering Valentine’s day is a widely celebrated holiday when giving chocolate is a must have The Beach Dog thought it would be a good opportunity to address the issues of the dangers of chocolate and your dog.

How can such a joyful treat for us humans have such dangerous consequences to your dog? There are a few factors. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called methylxanthine Theobromine. This chemical compound is a caffeine like substance that has a diuretic effect. When humans ingest it we have the ability to break it down without feeling the side affects. When a dog ingests theobromine the stimulants are substantially more active and can cause heart palpitations, and it can dilate the blood vessels. More concerning is the fact that most dogs don’t have the ability to eat just a few of the chocolates and will typically eat them until the chocolate is gone, potentially overdosing on the theobromine; there by making the dangers of chocolate and your dog quite serious.

If you think your dog has ingested chocolate contact your vet immediately. Each veterinarian may proceed differently. Some will advise an office visit as soon as possible, some my have you induce vomiting at home. This is usually instructed by giving your dog 1tbs. of hydrogen peroxide per every 20lbs. of your dog’s weight.  Some vets recommend just observing your dog and watching for symptoms. Luckily nature has given your dog a built in safety rejection for poisoning and he or she may vomit on their own. Here are some symptoms to watch for.

Symptoms of a chocolate overdose and your dog:

The dangers of chocolate and your Dog depend on the quality of the chocolate, Better brands of chocolate dictate how much theobromine are in the sweets. Basically the better brands have more chocolate in them. Cheaper chocolates have less coco bean and may not affect your dog at all. The darker the chocolate the more potent the theobromine will be in the treat.

The VCA Animal Hospitals breaks down the amount of theobromine as compared with the symptoms as follows:

  • 20mg/kg: excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea,
  • 40mg/kg: racing heart, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias,
  • 60mg/kg: neurologic signs, tremors, twitching and seizures
  • fatalities are usually seen with ingestion of 200mg/kg or pound of chocolate.

A safe alternative is carob and this is what is typically used in dog treats that you can purchase so your dog thinks he’s getting the tasty treats.

So enjoy your Valentine’s Day but be sure to keep chocolate at a safe distance from your dog.  The dangers of chocolate and your dog can have horrible affects should he or she try your tasty holiday sweets.

 

 

PT Treatment Based on Evidence Based Medicine

By Karen Holmes, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Karen Holmes, DPT has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and later obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Simmons College. She worked many years specializing in the treatment of orthopedic/sports related injuries and now owns a successful private practice in Salisbury, MA.
Holmes Physical Therapy
Karen Holmes Physical Therapy, Salisbury MA

Today’s  physical therapists are highly educated professionals,  most have graduate degrees and many have clinical doctorates.  Physical therapists base their treatment plan on evidence based medicine to restore mobility, reduce pain and optimize function.  The vision statement for the physical therapy profession is   “transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”

Physical therapy can help reduce pain without medication and can help prevent  the need for surgery.  There are many studies today that show physical therapy  is as effective as surgery for knee osteoarthritis and meniscus tears.  Receiving treatment from a physical therapist for low back pain is often successful and less expensive than other options.  In many cases expensive imaging costs (MRI’s) are avoided.

Many physical therapists provide “hands- on” treatment in addition to other modalities.  There is an art to physical therapy that is developed with practice and experience.  Also there is scientific evidence supporting the application of manual skills to enhance patient outcomes .

At Holmes Physical Therapy we specialize in the treatment of orthopedic and sports injuries.  Combined, our four physical therapists have over 100 years of experience.   We regularly attend courses and seminars to keep relevant with today’s medical evidence and current  treatment  concepts.  We customize our treatment plans based on individual goals, challenges and needs.

For more information regarding physical therapy please visit the American Physical Therapy Association website MoveForwardPT.com.  You can also find out more information about Holmes Physical Therapy at  KarenHolmesPT.com.

Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Glasses or Contacts

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
Help your child adjust to glasses or contacts, Newburyport MA

Looking for some advice on helping your child adjust to glasses or contacts? While corrective lenses have vastly improved in terms of technology and style over the past few decades, it’s not always easy for kids feel comfortable with their new eyewear. Here are few ideas to help your child make the transition.

Get in the right “frame” of mind. Glasses shouldn’t just look good – they should feel good, too. Make sure that the pair your child falls in love with is also comfortable to wear and fitted properly. When Watts Eye Associates notifies you that your glasses are ready for pickup, bring your child to the office and we’ll make sure they fit just right helping your child adjust to glasses more easily.

Update your morning routine. Up, dressed, glasses, breakfast! By incorporating new glasses into your family’s morning routine, you’ll help your child remember to put them on without making a big deal about it.

Celebrate new glasses as an important milestone. Seeing better makes everything better – why not celebrate these positive changes with your child? Turn office visits into treats with a special activity or reward at the end. Remind your child of all the benefits of improved vision and glasses will seem more like a gift instead of a chore.

Don’t forget the coolness factor! There are plenty of celebrities whose look wouldn’t be complete without their signature pair of glasses or shades. Find out who among your child’s heroes wears glasses (there’s bound to be one), and pull up some pics on your phone or computer.  This and other positive associations are sure to help your child adjust to glasses.

Consider contact lenses. There are plenty of reasons why contacts should be considered, even for younger kids. For example, contacts are important for kids who play sports, or for those who have difficulty keeping track of glasses. Many kids find that a combination of glasses and contacts.

Vision care products are making constant advancements, and Watts Eye Associates offers the most current options.  Bausch & Lomb BioTrue contact lenses, for example, use the latest technology to help eyes breathe and stay moisturized.

Watts Eye Associates works hard to ensure that all of our customers enjoy a better quality of life thanks to top-quality, comfortable eyewear. For kids, this often means giving them an important tool to excel in school or sports. Make an appointment today to help your child see and feel better thanks to our committed, expert staff of optometrists and clinicians.

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