What Immunizations Does Your Family Need?

Written by Misty Cox, FNP-C, WHNP-BC, Family Nurse Practitioner, DMG Papago Family Practice

Arizona family

Do you know anyone who has recently had Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)? Do you know what Hib is?  Probably not in both cases.  Affecting mostly children under five years-old, Hib is a disease that can seriously damage a child’s immune system and cause brain damage, hearing loss, or even death.  According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the four dose vaccine was available, approximately 20,000 children were affected by Hibs annually.

Hib is just one of many diseases we rarely encounter any longer thanks to vaccines.  More than 16 diseases can be prevented or decreased in severity if vaccines are proactively administered.  The most current example is COVID-19 and associated variants, including delta.

August is Immunization Awareness Month, so let’s review vaccines recommended throughout our lifetimes.

Please consult your primary care provider (PCP) for more information on recommended vaccines, timing, number of doses and when to receive based on medical history, risks, and other factors.

Childhood Vaccinations

The CDC has easy to review children’s vaccines schedules by age group on their website.

Early Childhood: Birth to Age 6

  • Chickenpox/varicella
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough/pertussis (DTaP)
  • Hib
  • Influenza (flu): recommended annually from age six months and on
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate disease (PCV13)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Rotavirus (RV)

Children: Ages 7-18

In addition to any vaccines missed that were recommended during early childhood, the CDC recommends the following vaccines for kids ages 7-18:

  • Flu (annually)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY)
  • Tdap (the DTaP booster)

If your child has certain health conditions that put them at an increased risk for serious diseases, your PCP may also recommend the following vaccinations be administered:

  • Pneumococcal
  • Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB)

Adult Vaccinations

The CDC also provides information to adults to help adults understand what vaccinations are recommended based on age, lifestyle, medical conditions, and more.

Young Adults: Ages 19-26

  • Flu: recommended annually
  • HPV, if not previously received
  • Tdap, if not previously received

Adults: Age 50+

  • Flu: recommended annually
  • PCV13: recommended for all adults with a condition that weakens the immune system, cerebrospinal fluid leak, or cochlear implant
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23): protects against serious pneumococcal disease, including meningitis and bloodstream infections and is recommended for all adults age 65 and older

If you have one of the following medical conditions, talk with your PCP about additional vaccinations that may be recommended to decrease your risk of serious illness and complications.

  • Asplenia
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes Type 1 and/or Type 2
  • Heart disease, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease
  • HIV
  • Kidney/renal disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Weakened immune system

Adults: Special Groups

If you fall into one of the following categories, additional vaccinations may be recommended.  Consult the CDC website for more information or speak with your PCP.

COVID-19 Vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccine is highly recommended to fight against the coronavirus and variants, like delta.  This vaccine is now available for everyone age 12 and older.  For the most current information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the CDC website.

If you have questions about what vaccinations you and your family need, please contact the DMG primary care location near you.  We’re here to support the health of you, your family, and the entire community.

How Telehealth Can Help You Help Your Child

By Troy Nelson, MD, pediatrician and medical director, DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

telehealth family

A March 2021 survey found that 61% of respondents had used telehealth vs. less than 20% in March 2020.  The COVID-19 pandemic created a need for a safe way to visit with a medical provider to get non-emergent medical care, and telehealth was the answer.  At District Medical Group (DMG), including DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS), we offer telehealth appointments and have encouraged patients to use this technology to continue care for themselves and their families.

While many of our DMG CRS patients have complex conditions, telehealth can still be used to support ongoing treatment and ensure our young patients remain healthy and on course with prescribed treatment plans during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Here’s some ways telehealth is being used at DMG CRS to support the health of our pediatric patients and support their families:

Intake Appointments for New Patients

While we love to meet new patients and their families in-person, their health and safety is our number one priority.  Fortunately, through a telehealth meeting, we can gather all needed information about our new patient, understand the family’s health and wellness goals for their child, and begin development of a multi-specialty treatment plan. We can also get to know your child and you through these telephone visits.

Consultations with Specialty Providers

Like intake appointments, when a new pediatric specialist is being engaged to support your child’s health, a consultation between you and the DMG CRS medical specialist can usually be completed through a telehealth appointment.  As all clinics within DMG CRS use the same electronic medical records (EMR) system, the new DMG CRS medical specialist can easily view your child’s medical history and discuss next steps with you.

As well, if you have a regular follow-up scheduled with a DMG CRS specialty physician who has been treating your child, it may be able to be completed through a telehealth appointment. Through a telehealth appointment, your child’s DMG CRS physician and you can determine if an in-person visit is needed based on how your child is doing on his/her treatment plan.

Behavioral Health Visits

Because a physical examination is not needed, behavioral health visits are among the easiest to facilitate through telehealth.  COVID-19 has been stressful for people of all ages, including children. That’s why maintaining scheduled visits for your child with his/her DMG CRS behavioral health specialist is important.

Primary Care for Minor Illnesses or Injuries

If your child has a minor scrape or bruise that is concerning you or woke up with a cough, mild fever, or other non-emergent symptoms, contact the primary care clinic at DMG CRS to see if a telehealth visit is appropriate.  In some cases, minor symptoms can be easily diagnosed and treatment prescribed without an in-person examination.

Reengaging with Your Child’s Providers

If you missed regular medical appointments for your child during the COVID-19 pandemic, a telehealth appointment is a good way to reengage your child’s medical provider(s).  Through a telehealth visit, you can provide medical updates so the DMG CRS physician can determine your child’s present health status and make appropriate referrals.

The health, wellbeing and safety of your family is our number one priority.  At DMG CRS, we’re here for you providing options to ensure your child’s treatment plan stays on-track and support you in helping your child live a happy and healthy life.

Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Developmental Disabilities

By Troy Nelson, MD, Medical Director, DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

child with development disabilities

March is Developmental Disabilities Month.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States has experienced an increase in children with developmental disabilities.  Developmental disabilities would include:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Moderate-to-profound hearing loss
  • Learning disability
  • Intellectual disability (ID)
  • Recurrent seizures in the past 12 months
  • Stuttering or stammering in the past 12 months
  • Visual impairment
  • Any other developmental delay

The same CDC study also revealed that some groups of children were more likely to have a developmental disability than others, such as:

  • Boys compared to girls
  • Non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black children compared to Hispanic children or non-Hispanic children of other races
  • Children living in rural areas compared to children living in urban areas
  • Children with public health insurance compared to uninsured children and children with private insurance

The CDC found that 17% of children 3–17 years-old had a developmental disability, and this percentage increased over the two time periods compared (2009–2011 and 2015–2017).  Specifically, diagnoses increased for ADHD, ASD and ID.

One of the potential reasons for the documented increase is improved awareness, screening, diagnosis, and service accessibility. Healthcare providers and parents/guardians are having more conversations about symptoms (called “developmental delays”) of developmental disabilities early, allowing for improved diagnosis and early intervention.

What is a “Developmental Delay?”

Parents or guardians are in the best position to detect a developmental delay in an infant or toddler.  Developmental delays fall into five categories:

  • Adaptive development: The ability level of a child related to age-appropriate life skills, such as self-care (feeding, dressing, etc.)
  • Cognitive development: How children think, explore and figure things out, including knowledge and understanding and problem solving
  • Communication development: The skills to understand and express thoughts, feelings, and information
  • Physical development: Motor skills defined as children’s abilities to use and control their bodies, including vision and hearing
  • Social or emotional development: how children start to understand who they are, what they are feeling and what to expect when interacting with others

If you sense a developmental delay in your child, surface your concerns to your child’s primary care provider (PCP) immediately.  Your child’s PCP will assess your child through a developmental screening and engage the right specialists and support, as needed, to optimize early intervention.

Benefits of Early Intervention

“Early intervention” describes services and support that help babies and toddlers (from birth to three years of age, in most cases) with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention may include speech therapy, physical therapy, behavioral health support and other types of medical services based on the needs of the child and family.

According to the CDC, intervention is likely to be more effective when it is provided earlier in life because:

  • Connections in a baby’s brain are most adaptable in the first three years of life.
  • Services can change a child’s developmental path and improve outcomes for children and their families.
  • Families are better able to meet their child’s needs at an early age and throughout their lives.

As the largest multi-specialty interdisciplinary clinic (MSIC) in Maricopa County, DMG CRS provides all needed medical and support services in one place so your child’s treatment plan is managed through a single medical record.  If you have questions about your child’s development at any age, please contact us to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or the appropriate pediatric specialist.

COVID-19 and Kids’ Mental Health

By Melissa Meyer, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Child Psychiatry Specialist at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

family in kitchen

2020 has been a year like no other, especially for children.  Kids have had to completely change their routines, including:

  • Attending school from home (“virtual learning”)
  • Limiting and/or eliminating in-person social activities
  • Limit extracurricular activities, such as team sports, clubs, etc.

All the above activities are critical to providing balance to a child’s life, and without these options, children, like many adults, may be feeling isolated.  And to top it off, we don’t know when things will change and return to “normal.”  As a result, children may feel increased stress, fear, anger, hopelessness, anxiety and may experience depression.

Depending on how old your child is, he or she may deal and/or reveal these emotions in different ways.  Adolescents and young adults may try to hide their struggles because of fear, shame, or a sense of responsibility to avoid burdening others. Younger children may not know how to talk about these feelings but may show changes in their behavior or development.

Here’s some tips for supporting your child through these uncertain times and helping them deal with these confusing emotions.

  1. Check in with your child often. Ask him or her how he or she is feeling and be (age appropriately) open in sharing how the changes brought on by the pandemic are impacting you.  The goal is for your child to know that his or her feelings are not “strange,” and people of all ages are having these emotions.  At the same time, you want to share empathy and confidence with your child.
  2. Watch and listen for signs that your child is struggling.
    1. Younger children: Bedwetting; fussiness, tantrums or hitting; difficulty sleeping; taking steps backward in development; stomach issues such as nausea or loose stool; and/or separation anxiety
    2. Adolescents: Challenges sleeping; changes in mood or increased moodiness; decreased appetite and/or weight loss; less interest in activities previously enjoyed, including texting and video chatting; issues remembering things; less interest and/or apathy for academics and schoolwork; use of alcohol or drugs or new risky behavior; talk or interest in suicide; and/or lack of personal hygiene
  3. Stay in touch with your child’s primary care provider (PCP) or pediatrician through telephone, patient portals, and/or in-person or telehealth visits. He/she can do basic depression evaluations and help you determine if additional support is needed, be it counseling/therapy, medication, or other tools or activities to help your child.

DMG Desert Horizon Integrative Services and DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services also have behavioral health providers to support children of all ages.  As a parent, you re not alone; healthcare providers are here to support the health of you, your child and your entire family.

Healthy Weight, Diabetes and Your Child

By Troy Nelson, MD, Medical Director at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

children outdoors

Did you know November was American Diabetes Month?  According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and more than seven million of those people are undiagnosed. About 210,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes: Diagnosed at Younger Ages

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-10% of diabetes cases in the United States.  Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults.

Type 2 Diabetes: Increasing Pediatric Cases

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is generally diagnosed in middle age or older.  However, the incidence is on the rise in children because more children are becoming obese.  Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, regardless of age.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Your child may develop type 2 diabetes so gradually that there are no noticeable symptoms. Sometimes, the disorder is diagnosed during a routine check-up, which is why regular well-child exams are important.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes in your child may include:

• Blurry vision
• Darkened areas of skin, especially around the neck and armpits
• Fatigue
• Frequent urination
• Increased thirst

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors in Children

• Age and sex: Many children develop type 2 diabetes in their early teens. Adolescent girls are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than are adolescent boys.
• Family history
• Inactivity
• Overweight, especially in the abdomen
• Pre-term birth (before 39-42 weeks)
• Race or ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes

Preventing and Managing Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes

You can help decrease the risk of your child getting type 2 diabetes as well as help manage it if your child has been diagnosed.

• Get an annual well-child exam with your child’s pediatrician or family medicine provider.
• Eat healthy foods as a family; encourage your child to participate in meal planning and preparation.
• Ensure your child gets plenty of physical activity; identify activities you can do as a family, like hiking or walking the dog.
• Help your child maintain a healthy weight.

DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services includes pediatric and young adult providers,  endocrinologists and nutritionists to support your child and your family.  We are committed to educating you and your child and developing treatment plans to optimize your child’s health and long-term wellness.

 

Supporting Your Kids through Holiday Stress

By Melissa Meyer, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Child Psychiatry Specialist at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

family at Christmas

The holidays are a time of peace, love, joy, and family, but it’s also a time where schedules are irregular, routines are disrupted, meals are heavier, and sugar abounds.  For children of all ages, these changes can be difficult; if the child has depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADHD) or other emotional or behavioral health challenges, the holidays can compound the issue.

Did you know?

  • Depression and anxiety: According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, about 1.9 million children ages 3 to 17 years have been diagnosed with depression, and 4.4 million have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • ADHD: Nearly 6.1 million kids ages 2 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

If your child suffers with emotional or mental health issues, here’s some tips to help you child and your family decrease the stress and impact of the holidays:

  • Communicate plans: With each activity or outing, let the child know what will be happening ahead of time- who will be there, how long you will be staying, what food to expect, etc.  Knowing what will be happening will help decrease anxiety.
  • Share feelings: If you are feeling stressed, tired, or anxious, share your feelings with the child.  He or she will take comfort in knowing that even adults get nervous and stressed during the holidays.
  • Maintain a sleep schedule: Everyone in the family will benefit from a good night’s rest, especially children. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, kids with mental health issues need adequate sleep; for teens, 8 to 10 hours per night is recommended.
  • Manage screen and device time: When adults are busy, it’s easy for children of all ages to occupy themselves with television, video games, and social media. However, too much “technology time” has proven to negatively impact sleep as well as contribute to depression.
  • Keep medication schedules: If a child takes medication, ensure he or she continues to take it at the same time each day.
  • Watch sugar intake: Help keep the child’s diet balanced with regular nutritious meals and limit sweets and sugar-filled drinks, especially before bedtime.

Most importantly, be aware of the child’s mood and listen to him or her.  The child or teen make need some downtime in between the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  Allow time in the family’s schedule for everyone to decompress, so each member of your family can enjoy the spirit of the holidays.

What Is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

By Linda Thunn, PT, DPT, physical therapist at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services

young child receiving physical therapy

Did you know October is National Physical Therapy Month?  Each year during October, the physical therapy team at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS) supports the Spina Bifida Association of Arizona through their annual Walk-N-Roll® fundraiser.  The team is passionate about serving patients I and outside of the clinic.

What do pediatric physical therapists do?

Pediatric physical therapists provide services for children with developmental disabilities from birth to 21 years-old; in addition, the team provides support and education to the patient’s family.  At DMG CRS, our goal is to develop, restore and/or improve mobility to enhance quality of life for the child and his/her family.

Pediatric physical therapy benefits children and their families and/or caregivers by promoting activity and participation in everyday routines, increasing functional independence, improving strength and endurance, facilitating motor development and mobility, and easing the challenges of daily caregiving.

The team has also begun serving adults with disabilities who may benefit from the services specifically available through DMG CRS.

DMG CRS physical therapists treat patients one-on-one in the physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic at DMG CRS as well as serve patients being treated at other DMG CRS clinics such as:

DMG CRS physical therapists also perform equipment evaluations, trialing each child in specialized equipment before ordering it to determine what works best. Types of equipment evaluations provided include:

  • Adaptive seating
  • Adaptive car seats
  • Forearm crutches
  • Gait trainers
  • Standers
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchairs

Additional Content

For more information on DMG CRS equipment evaluation services, watch this video.

For additional information on  the services offered by DMG CRS physical therapists, view this video.

 

Newborn Screenings: What You Need to Know

By Troy Nelson, MD – Medical Director, District Medical Group – Children’s Rehabilitative Services

 

Troy Nelson, MDDid you know September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month?  Newborn screening allows identification and treatment of a disease before symptoms even emerge.  A newborn may appear healthy, but still have a serious condition that cannot be seen.  If left untreated, these conditions can lead to slow growth, blindness and/or intellectual disability, and may be life threatening. Early detection and treatment can help prevent these serious problems, which is why newborn screening is critical.

Based on published research by Dr. Robert Guthrie in 1963, newborn screenings have evolved with newborns now being screened for more than 25 conditions within days of birth; screenings involve just a few drops of blood.  According to the National Institute of Health, newborn screening detects a treatable condition in about 1 in 300 babies born each year, a total of about 12,500 cases each year. In Arizona, approximately 100 babies annually are found to have a serious condition identified through newborn screening.

Providers in Arizona are required by law to order newborn screening tests for all newborns.  Arizona requires newborns to be screened twice to help ensure accuracy, as some conditions are easier to detect on a subsequent screen.  In addition, approximately 98% of all infants born in Arizona are screened for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge.  The first screening sample will be taken before the newborn leaves the hospital and the second will be taken between 5-10 days after birth, or at the first well-baby visit, whichever comes first. For those newborns born at home, the healthcare provider present at the birth will collect the first screen.

At DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS), we provide specialized treatment for newborns for which a condition was detected during screening.  Our goal is to provide most medical specialties and services in one location by physicians and staff that work exclusively with children.  With early detection, intervention, and treatment, we can partner with you and your family to enable your baby to thrive to the maximum of his or her abilities.

We’re Here for You…Safely

doctor with gloves and face mask

Valued DMG Patient:

As part of the District Medical Group (DMG) family, we want to ensure you know we are here for you. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DMG locations across the Valley have remained open to support the health of our patients.

We understand you may have concerns about leaving your home right now, especially if you or a family member is not feeling well and needs medical care. We are employing safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect you and your family as well as our staff, including:

  • Safe screening practices for all patients and families prior to an in-person office visit
  • Availability of telehealth appointments, as appropriate, so you can meet with your DMG provider safely and securely from home
  • Enhanced office cleaning and personal protection procedures, with hand sanitizer readily available in our locations
  • Social distancing measures at check-in, checkout and in our waiting rooms, including rapidly moving patients that are sick to a private room
  • Use of masks and face shields by all providers and staff while caring for our patients
  • Providing cloth facial coverings to patients and any required family member entering the clinics without a cloth masks

Whether you or a family member needs to visit a DMG primary care location for preventive care (i.e. annual exams, screenings or vaccines), treatment of seasonal allergies or illness, behavioral health support, or management of a chronic or complex condition, we are here for you, providing a safe, clean environment. Our DMG primary care and behavioral health locations are open and available for in-person and telehealth appointments.

Contact the desired location to get the care you need when you need it:

 

Behavioral Health


DMG Desert Horizon Integrative Medicine
840 E. McKellips Rd., Ste. 110
Mesa, AZ 85203
(602) 470-5520

 

Internal Medicine


District Medical Group- East Mesa
(formerly Arizona Center for Internal Medicine)
6315 E. Main St., Ste. 4
Mesa, AZ 85205
(480) 830-4164

 

Family Practice


District Medical Group- Anthem*
(formerly Choice Medical Walk-in)
3624 W. Anthem Wy.
Anthem, AZ 85086
(623) 434-5748

District Medical Group- Lake Pleasant*
(formerly Choice Medical Walk-in)
10144 W. Lake Pleasant Pkwy., Ste. 1110
Peoria, AZ 85382
(623) 434-5748

*Walk-in care available at these locations

District Medical Group- Arrowhead
(formerly M&M Medical)
15182 N. 75th Ave.
Peoria AZ 85381
(623) 487-3334

 

For more information on each location’s hours of operations, services, and providers, visit DMGAZ.org. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to call us. You are part of the DMG family, and we are here for you.

Sincerely,
David Wisinger, MD
Chief Medical Officer
District Medical Group

Three Tips for Parents of Children with Differences

By Nicholas Tanner, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist at DMG CRS
PHOENIXNovember 30, 2018 /AZLatinos.com/

Dr. Nick Tanner

As a parent of a child with health, developmental and/or behavioral differences, you become more than a parent- you are an advocate, a champion and your child’s loudest voice. Here’s three tips to help you and your child’s health and quality of life. And, never forget that your child’s care team at DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services is here to support you every step of the way.

(1)  Advocate relentlessly.  Sometimes, your life may feel a little like it is “us against the world.” When parents have a kid with extra needs or differences, contentious situations and relationships can arise between parents and your child’s school, healthcare providers, and/or government agencies; never stop advocating as you know your child best.

As a pediatric psychologist, part of my job is encouraging parents to engage with these complex systems of care, help them navigate the procedural challenges inherent in these systems, and facilitate collaboration to help patients and families thrive. Although it’s important to have realistic expectations, the old saying is true- “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Families and parents who are persistent tend to be more successful in getting enhanced individualized and intensive attention. Though conflict can be uncomfortable, it’s important to be your child’s biggest champion; advocate relentlessly.

(2)   Focus on the big picture. Parents can understandably get caught up in what their children’s
limitations are- right now-in the present. They may lose sight of the long-term goals and potential of their child- what’s really important. Part of my job at DMG CRS is helping parents and families identify and connect with their values. Most parents want their children to live vital and meaningful lives, and sometimes an extra need or illness can make it hard to see what’s important in the long run.

Identifying values is one way to help figure out the big picture. Values can act as a compass, providing direction and assisting parents to move from a place of “My child can’t do this,” “What if they fail?” or “My child will never….” to a more productive vision of possibilities. My goal is to help parents begin to ask, “What can my kid do now?” “What do I hope they’ll be able to do in the future?” and “How can we help them get there?” Think about the long-term vision for your child’s life and his/her possibilities; dare to dream and focus on what’s important.

(3)  Take care of yourself. For good reason, many parents do not consider themselves or their well=being a priority or critical to their child’s outcome. On top of the already hectic demands of parenting, families of children with extra needs have additional financial and time requirements and/or strains. Many families I work with manage busy schedules that include juggling therapy appointments, doctor visits, school, parenting other children, and work.

Remember, there’s a reason the flight attendant tells parents to “put on your air masks before putting on your child’s air mask in the event of an emergency;” it’s impossible to help other people if you do not take care of yourself. Research shows that socially-isolated parents struggle to build fulfilling relationships with their children and are more likely to develop mental illnesses, including depression. It’s not “selfish” to take care of yourself; it is essential and necessary.  So, go ahead and make that therapy appointment for yourself, get a pedicure, or meet up with some supportive friends. It might be one of the  best things you can do for yourself and  your child.

SOURCE AZLatinos.com

 

District Medical Group Children’s Rehabilitative Services Adds Providers to Serve More Children with Complex Medical Needs

PHOENIX (October 2, 2018) – District Medical Group Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS) announced the addition of two pediatric specialty physicians serving patients at its multi-specialty interdisciplinary clinic (MSIC) located in Central Phoenix at 3141 N. 3rd Avenue in Park Central Mall. A first-of-its-kind MSIC in Maricopa County, DMG CRS has been the exclusive medical home for AHCCCS Complete Care patients since 2012.

ashley-tian

Ashley Tian, MD

kelvin-panesar

Kelvin S. Panesar, MD

The following pediatric specialists are serving patients at DMG CRS effective October 1, 2018, bringing the total number of pediatric medical providers at the Valley of the Sun’s only MSIC to 88 across more than 25 medical specialties.

• Pediatric Neurosurgery: Ashley Tian, MD
• Pediatric Pulmonology: Kelvin S. Panesar, MD

Three to five more pediatric specialists are anticipated to be added by the end of 2018, and DMG CRS will continue to add specialists in 2019.

“Helping children with complex medical conditions have the highest possible quality of life is the reason I became a physician,“ said Ashley Tian, MD, a Banner Children’s pediatric neurosurgeon who treats patients at DMG CRS. “I chose to work at DMG CRS to be part of a team that coordinates care and supports, not just the patient, but the whole family, as part of the treatment plan.”


complete-careIn its commitment to providing coordinated care, DMG CRS also has primary care, dental, social workers, patient advocates, CRS enrollment specialists, child life and care coordinators and other services on-site to support patients and their families.

“Serving pediatric patients with complex medical conditions is what DMG CRS was specifically designed for; we are the only clinic in metropolitan Phoenix that provides coordinated care across medical specialties all in a one-story, easy-to-access clinic, “said Wendy Burkholder Chief Clinical Operating Officer for DMG. “Our patients rely on us to make care for complex conditions as easy and accessible as possible, and we are thrilled to have providers join our team that share our vision.”

Effective October 1, 2018, changes to AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) expanded services, enabling families with CRS patients to bring other children in the family to DMG CRS. For more information on ACC changes, visit DMGCRS.org/ACC.

Pediatric providers interested in serving patients at DMG CRS can call the director of operations at (602) 914- 1522 or email CRSProvider@DMGAZ.org.

About District Medical Group and DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS)

District Medical Group (DMG) is a nonprofit entity consisting of more than 650 providers representing all major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. DMG providers serve acute care and psychiatric hospitals, diagnostic centers, family health centers, an internationally-recognized burn center, and numerous outreach programs. DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (DMG CRS) is a first-of-its-kind clinic in the Phoenix area, serving AHCCCS Complete Care (ACC) pediatric patients with complex conditions and other children within the family. For more information visit DMGAZ.org.

Media Contact
Toni J. Eberhardt
President, Prescriptive Communications
C: (602) 418-7767
Email Toni

 

Article as originally posted at https://www.dmgcrs.org/dmgcrs-providers-complex-needs/

Ask a Doc: Do your kids need sunscreen if they’re in the shade?

You should put sunscreen on your kids even if they’re playing outside in the shade. – Paul Bradbury, Getty Images


Mansi Sarihan, MD  |  Contributor
As originally published USAToday.com 9:20 p.m. June 18, 2018


Question: Do you need to wear sunscreen if you’re outside in the shade?

Answer: I receive this question often and every time I answer:

Definitely yes!

You may think you’ve got it made in the shade, but you can still be hit by harmful UV rays that bounce off the sand, sidewalk, pool or ocean. They can even bounce off grass!

Even under an umbrella or a shade structure, UV rays can slink through the fabric and cause skin damage.

Yes, shade is a blessing. But if you’re relying on it to protect your skin from sunburn, you may be very disappointed. That’s why you’ll want to apply sunscreen before you step outside, even if you’ll stay in the shade.

Here’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from direct and indirect UV rays:

  1. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 50 or higher, with full UV spectrum. Find a brand that you like – you’ll be more likely to use it. Reapply sunscreen every two hours you’re outside.
  2. Wear wide-brimmed hats (at least 3 inches of brim all around the head) and UV protective clothing.
  3. Avoiding the sun during peak hours is essential. From around 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., try not to go outside. Or, stick to shaded areas such as swimming at times when the pool is out of the direct sun.
  4. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen. Daily application of sunscreen in the morning, regardless of your activities during the day (even just driving in the car), can yield healthier and happier skin.

Follow these rules and your skin will thank you.

Mansi Sarihan, MD, is chief of dermatology at Maricopa Integrated Health System and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, College of Medicine-Phoenix.

As originally published USAToday.com 9:20 p.m. June 18, 2018

Engaging Children with Spina Bifida for Increased Mobility

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – Linda Thunn

CRS partners with SBAAZ to encourage best mobility in young patients

SCOOOT provides an early experience of independence for kids with mobility challenges. It frees them to explore their home, play, chase and race friends and siblings without any help. Expert clinicians, designers and engineers worked hard to create a device that will help kids discover new skills as well as new pals. The potential for physical and cognitive development was a key factor in every element of the design.

Spina Bifida Association of Arizona Inc. (SBAAZ), an organization committed to enhancing the lives of those affected by spina bifida in Arizona, was awarded a grant from the PayPal Gives Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The grant was recommended by PayPal’s employee-volunteer led Chandler, AZ GIVE Team.

The SCOOOT program idea was presented to the SBAAZ by CRS’s Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic Lead Physician Pamela S. Murphy, MD, FAAP. The program was coordinated by Sharri Runnels, executive director of the SBAAZ, along with SBAAZ board member Linda Thunn, PT, DPT who is also the Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic physical therapist at CRS.

The CRS Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic occurs every Friday, and they see approximately seven patients for all day clinic, visiting up to 13 different providers, having blood work drawn, and if necessary they will get casted for their orthotics and/or have x-rays. SBAAZ provides lunch and signs people up for their medical alert bracelets. Free Arts of AZ is there for the kids to create projects at lunch time.

The SCOOOT program involves readiness assessments, equipment placement, activities and progress checks that will empower ‘toddlers’ to keep pace with their siblings and peers as they establish a sense of mastery over their world. The mobility device, resembling a toy more than a piece of medical equipment, allows children to reach items from the floor, ambulate, and enter/exit the seat safely at will.

“CRS is a great partnership for SBAAZ as we are able to share resources with clients and assess needs over lunch with families that are served by the fantastic care team brought together by District Medical Group,” stated Runnels, “SBAAZ is very grateful for the relationship with DMG and wanted to share the first SCOOOT placement with their staff as they pour so much into the kiddos!”

Spina bifida (Myelomeningocele) is a birth defect in which the spinal canal and the backbone don’t close before the baby is born. This type of birth defect is also called a neural tube defect.

The SCOOOT Earliest Mobility Program kicked off was on Friday, November 10, 2017 with placements being made at the CRS Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic.

Make-A-Wish Arizona and District Medical Group to increase wishes for kids

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – Hollie Costello & Toni Eberhardt

Make-A-Wish® Arizona, the local chapter of the international wish granting organization, and District Medical Group (DMG), a Phoenix-based non-profit medical group comprised of more than 650 providers across medical specialties, are piloting a unique referral process to increase life-changing wish opportunities for eligible children receiving care at Arizona’s Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS), Phoenix.

The “Medical Champions” program was created by DMG using their electronic medical records (EMR) system to better identify and track children with critical illnesses who would qualify for a wish experience. Ensuring patient privacy, the team contacts the parents of its patients and assists them through the referral process so their child might benefit from a wish experience. With more than 16 staff members on board for the pilot, DMG has referred more than 22 wish kids since June 2017. Before the program, the team had referred 40 kids total over three years.

”We believe healthcare is more than administering clinical care; it is helping patients attain the life experiences they wish for by using the resources we have available,” said Troy Nelson, MD, DMG Medical Director at CRS. “We are thrilled to partner with Make-A-Wish Arizona and expand the use of our EMR to help young patients start the wish process.”

This innovative approach to referring new children for wishes has built a stronger relationship with medical professionals for Make-A-Wish Arizona. The chapter is excited to see if the program can be templated for other physician offices, hospitals and clinics.

“Medical professionals are an important referral source for our wish kids because they understand the value a wish can have on a patient’s medical journey,” said Jennifer Fleming, Intake and Medical Outreach Manager. “With this new system in place, DMG medical professionals can reach out to Make- A-Wish when their patients are most in need of the happiness and strength a wish can create.”

For wish mom Maria Beteta, the wish experience created for her son, Marcos, went above and beyond what she ever considered possible. Marcos, 14, lives with critical idiopathic epilepsy. His wish was to “meet” his favorite Disney characters.

“Marcos’ wish was a great, unique experience not only for Marcos, but for my entire family,” said Beteta. “To see my children so excited, so surprised by many things. My greatest happiness was looking at my son, Marcos, so surprised. His eyes shined with such emotion. He loved all the services that they gave my family. We all did not want the day to end.”


About Make-A-Wish® Arizona

Make-A-Wish® Arizona is the founding chapter of Make-A-Wish®, the world’s largest wish granting organization which grants life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses. With the help of generous donors, Make-A-Wish Arizona has a goal to grant more than 400 wishes this year. For more information, visit Arizona.Wish.org.

About District Medical Group

District Medical Group is a nonprofit entity consisting of more than 650 providers representing all major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. DMG providers serve acute care and psychiatric hospitals, diagnostic centers, family health centers, an internationally-recognized burn center, and numerous outreach programs. DMG administers Arizona’s Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) multi-specialty clinic in collaboration with United Health Care, a first-of-its-kind clinic in the Phoenix area. For more information visit, DMGAZ.org.


Media Contacts

Make-A-Wish Arizona
Hollie Costello
Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing
O: (602) 343-9474
Email Hollie

District Medical Group
Toni J. Eberhardt
President, Prescriptive Communications
C: (602) 418-7767
Email Toni

Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) Physical Therapy Department Spotlight

Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Linda Thunn

The Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) Pediatric physical therapists provide support and services for children (birth to 21 years) with developmental disabilities, and their families. They aim to develop, restore and improve mobility to improve quality of life.

Pediatric physical therapy benefits children and their families/caregivers by promoting activity and participation in everyday routines, increasing functional independence, improving strength and endurance, facilitating motor development and mobility, and easing the challenges of daily caregiving. Because patient’s are allowed to ”opt in” for services past the age of 21, there are several physical therapists qualified to treat individuals over the age of 21 as well.

Besides treating children one-on-one in the rehab clinic our providers also work in CRS’s Multidisciplinary clinics such as:

• Amputee Clinic
• Cerebral Palsy Orthopedic Clinic
• Cystic Fibrosis Care Center
• Myelomeningocele Planning Clinic
• Spasticity Planning and Follow-up Clinic

Our providers also perform equipment evaluations. They trial each child to determine what works best for them. Those evaluations are done on:

• Adaptive Seating
• Adaptive Car Seats (onsite at NuMotion)
• Forearm Crutches
• Gait Trainers
• Standers
• Walkers
• Wheelchairs (onsite at NuMotion)

A Spotlight on DMG Pediatrics

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – Prabodh Hemmady, MD | Eileen Maddix | Jeanine Pittman

Pediatrics Overview

DMG Pediatrics is multifaceted, responsible for patient care in many locations. At Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), there is a robust ambulatory clinic at the Comprehensive Health Center (CHC) where both general pediatric and subspecialty patients are seen.

In partnership with the Ambulatory Care division of DMG, Pediatrics staffs primary care physicians at some of the MIHS Family Health Centers (Maryvale, South Central and Mesa). With the implementation of Proposition 480 (“Care Reimagined”), we are hoping to grow pediatric ambulatory care at MIHS. The Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient care units at Maricopa Medical Center are also great resources for Phoenix and the surrounding communities.

The Pediatric ED is open 24/7/365 and is staffed by Pediatric ED trained physicians. The inpatient units consist of a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and acute care unit. We also care for non-ICU newborns who stay with their mothers on the post-partum unit until discharged home.

In addition, DMG Pediatrics supports the DMG Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) clinic located near 3rd Ave and Thomas Road by providing genetics, neurology and gastroenterology subspecialty care on site.

Pediatric Subspecialties

Subspecialties at the MIHS CHC include the following fields:

Adolescent Medicine
Neurology
Endocrinology
Gastroenterology
Cardiology
Infectious Disease
Nephrology
Genetics
Pulmonology

Pediatric Residency Program and Medical School Affiliations

DMG Pediatrics is a strong partner with Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) and MIHS in training resident physicians, and for many years it has been known as the PCH/MMC Pediatric Residency Program.

There are 32 categorical pediatric positions per year and well over 100 pediatric residents who rotate through MIHS when the medicine-pediatric residents and the pediatric/pediatric neurology residents are added. The pediatric residency program receives well over 1000 applications and interviews over 275 people for the 32 pediatric spots each year. The residents come from all over the country and bring with them a variety of backgrounds.

The department is also very active in educating medical students from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Midwestern College of Osteopathic Medicine. We also teach medical students from the Mayo School of Medicine and are excited about the relationship developing with Creighton Medical School.

Learn More About DMG Pediatrics

Would you like to know more about DMG’s Department of Pediatrics? The website is available in Spanish as well as English to better serve our patient population, giving them full access to the great information about us!

In Pediatrics: DMG’s Children’s Rehabilitative Services Leads the Way

Children with special needs require care from a wide range of specialties: Physical and Occupational Therapy, Orthopedics, Speech, Audiology, Plastic Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology and Psychology.

District Medical Group’s Childrens Rehabilitative Services Clinic houses these specialties and more under the same roof, as the largest multi-specialty, interdisciplinary clinic in the State of Arizona. We provide a full spectrum of pediatric specialty care from birth to the age of 21.

AHCCCS Behavioral Health Services for Children in Foster Care  

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is committed to ensuring the availability of timely, quality health care for foster children, including behavioral health services through our three contracted regional behavioral health authorities (RBHAs) and the Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) program.

If you experience any difficulty accessing needed behavioral health services or have any concerns regarding the quality of those services, we encourage you to contact the RBHA or CRS in your area.