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Posts made in May, 2012

Bonding with Patients, Easing Minds – Jean Wong, M.D.

PAMF primary care doctor Jean Wong, M.D., treasures the connection she feels with her patients and likes to find out as much as she can about them. One of her favorite things about being a primary care doctor is easing her patients’ health worries.

“Most of the people who walk through my office are sick, they’re in pain, they’re so fearful something might be going wrong with their body,” says Dr. Wong. “When you can help somebody in that vulnerable state, that’s a very rewarding thing.”

Dr. Wong sees patients at PAMF’s Mountain View Center. You can learn more about her in this philosophy of care video, which is part of a series highlighting the diverse voices of PAMF physicians.

Unique Youth Nutrition Program Engages Local School Kids for Better Health

Childhood obesity – it’s in the news and the facts are startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • 13.8 percent of students ate vegetables three or more times per day during the seven days before the survey
  • 18.4 percent of students were physically active at least 60 minutes per day during the seven days before the survey
  • 19 hours, 40 minutes is the average time per week that the American child ages two and 17 spends watching television
  • Due to obesity-related illness, today’s children may be the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than that of their parents.

Jeremy Loader of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Youth Nutrition Program, is determined to reverse these distressing statistics with a unique program for local schools called “5-2-1-0.”

“School-age children spend the bulk of their waking hours at school,” says Loader. “Our 5210 school curriculum is designed to give parents and educators tools to combat childhood obesity in a simple, clear and positive way.”

In the 5210 program each number represents a goal:

5:   Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Limit juice to small amounts of 100 percent fruit juice.

2:   No more that two hours of screen time a day. Less is better!

1:   Participate in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

0:   Aim to drink zero servings of soda and sugar-sweetened sports and fruit drinks. Instead, drink water and three to four servings/day of fat-free/skim or 1 percent milk.

The 5210 program includes:

  • Lesson plans
  • Activity ideas
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Newsletter samples
  • Goal-tracking campaigns

Each month, the students concentrate on a different number in the 5210 program. Each number is color-coded, students get a wristband color-coded with that month’s number. There are also tips on how to fit these goals into real life, one at a time. Among other resources is a list of free healthy rewards for the kids – choose a favorite game, get a homework pass, have class outside – and learning what constitutes a portion size.

Engaging activities are tailored to elementary school children’s interests, and some of their favorites are the poster contest, cooking classes and a jump rope contest.

“The kids were so excited about the jump rope contest that they spent the whole week before practicing,” says Loader. “One third grade student did 96 jumps in one minute.”

According to Loader, schools that implemented the program have seen marked results, with schools that actively participated in all the activities seeing the best results. For example, one Sunnyvale elementary school that participated in all the activities in the program reported that:

  • 79 percent of the students spend one or more hours being active on the weekend.
  • 78 percent have zero or one sweetened drinks per day.
  • Only 22 percent spend more than two hours a day in front of screens during the week.

For more information on the 5210 Program and to access the 5210 Program educational materials, visit the 5210 section of PAMF’s Youth Nutrition Program website. Under the “Schools” section you’ll find handouts, templates, presentations, and other resources that schools can download and use to implement their own 5210 program.

Bye Bye Diapers – Potty Training Q & A

Iris Kaddis Hanna, M.D., PAMF Pediatrics

The economic crisis, strife around the world, natural disasters and the latest celebrity scandal may feature big in the daily news but eavesdrop on any group of parents of preschoolers and one of the top topics under discussion will probably be – potty training! Questions abound from when you should start training to the best way to go about it. The most important thing for parents to know is that much like crawling or walking, potty training readiness is a developmental milestone. According to Iris Kaddis Hanna, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, every child will reach this step at a different age, when they are physically and emotionally ready to ditch the diapers and take the trip to the toilet. In this blog post, Dr. Hanna answers some commonly asked questions.

Read More

Radiosurgery: What is It?

Radiosurgery is a noninvasive treatment, where doctors use advanced technology to deliver a precise dose of radiation to a cancerous tumor – without having to cut into the body. Radiosurgery destroys the targeted area without harming the surrounding healthy tissue.

“The technology allows us to track the patient’s position in real time – so we can be sure we’re hitting the target every single time,” said Pauling Chang, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Another benefit for patients, Dr. Chang says, is the convenience of one-day treatment. “I had a patient who had radiosurgery in the morning, and was able to attend a dinner party that same night.”

PAMF is an early adopter of innovative technology – and was the first health care organization in the world to offer this new, precise, radiosurgery technology as part of its comprehensive Cancer Care Program. Learn more about radiosurgery and take a virtual tour with Dr. Chang in this video.

Watch Dr. Chang’s philosophy of care video.

Learn More About Radiosurgery:

What is Radiosurgery?

How is Radiosurgery performed?

Benefits of Radiosurgery Treatment

Overview of Radiosurgery on the International Radiosurgery Association Website

I Get to Be Involved in People’s Lives – Melissa Braveman, M.D.

“I get to be in people’s lives,” says Pediatrician Melissa Braveman, M.D. “Whether it’s in trying to continue in good health, or in illness trying to provide support and make sure that kids get the treatment they need. I also get to interact with parents and help parents find their way – no matter how little or much experience they have in parenting – or in life.”

Dr. Braveman looks forward to Halloween, where she occasionally shows up at the hospital as a ladybug. She creates stickers for the children, tells jokes and enjoys role playing. “It gets me up in the morning – I get excited to come and to learn about kids and be a part of their lives as they grow. I actually imagine myself here until the very end. If this is the last job as a primary care pediatrician, I’ll be thrilled.”

Dr. Braveman sees patients at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Santa Cruz. Learn more about her philosophy of care below, in this video which is part of a series highlighting the diverse voices of PAMF physicians.