Preventing Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” in the newborn.

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Pertussis, also called “Whooping Cough” is a bacterial infection that you or your baby can catch when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Infected droplets can travel through the air, and if you inhale the droplets you can become infected with pertussis.  Whooping cough begins like a cold, with a mild fever and runny nose.  Most adults do not have severe symptoms, but they can pass pertussis on to a newborn very easily without realizing it.

Whooping cough is especially dangerous for a newborn because their immune system is not fully mature and they cannot fight this infection.  Babies cannot get the vaccine for pertussis until they are two months old.  Even after they start the vaccinations, they are not fully protected by the vaccines until they are a year old and have had three vaccinations for pertussis.  Whooping cough in a newborn is a very serious illness, and it often requires that the baby be admitted to the hospital for breathing problems or pneumonia.  Some babies who get whooping cough do not cough at all – they just stop breathing.  Newborns can die from whooping cough.

The entire family can help protect your newborn from whooping cough.  All teenagers and adults who are around your baby should get a pertussis booster, called Tdap.  The Tdap shot is a tetanus vaccine that includes pertussis.  If you are pregnant, the best time to get the Tdap vaccine is between 27-36 weeks of pregnancy.  Your body will have time to make antibodies against pertussis.  These antibodies are passed through the placenta to protect your baby.  You can protect your baby with antibodies long before your baby is old enough to get the pertussis vaccine.  After the baby is born, the antibodies are passed through your breast milk.

For more information:  http://www.cdc.gov/features/pertussis

-Kirstin Johnson, Certified Nurse Midwife

Spokane Urgent Care just got ridiculously convenient…

We are excited to announce an all-new feature at our Spokane Urgent Care locations: online check-in! Not only can you save your place in line, but also view wait times, all at the push of a button. We know your time is precious, instead of sitting in the waiting room; you can wait at home, run errands, or just get a cup of coffee while you are waiting for your turn in the cue.  Does a time work better for you? You are in charge! Go to spokaneurgentcare.org, select which one of our convenient locations works best, and select the time you would like to come in!

 

 

 

 

Great care and convenience? Urgent care doesn’t get much better than this.

Who needs sleep?

What is the one thing we spend the most time doing?  Sleeping!  Sleeping is a very important part of our life and contributes to our health.  Getting a good amount of sleep gives our body time to rest, and our brain time to make new connections.  When we don’t get enough sleep we can see the effects in many areas of our lives:  difficulty concentrating, poor attention, poor judgment, decreased ability to learn, depressed mood, and even obesity, heart disease, and a depressed immune system.

Do you think your children are getting the sleep that they need to be successful in school and in relationships with friends and family?  A National Sleep Foundation study recently found that 85% of teens do not get adequate sleep!  Adequate sleep means 8-10 hours every night for a teenager and 9-11 hours a night for a school age child.

Poor sleep has become a larger problem over the last 20 years.  What can you do to help ensure your child gets enough sleep?  Here are a few sleep tips to try:

  1. Maintain a consistent bedtime.  It is important for your body to always get up and go to bed around the same time, trying to limit fluctuations to 1 hour or less.  This includes the weekends, holidays, and summer break.  For older kids, avoid naps.  Naps make it more difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
  2. Make sure the room is cool, dark, and quiet. Use your bed only for sleep, not for playing or punishment.
  3. Eliminate caffeine or nicotine from your diet, especially after noon. The effects of caffeine on sleep can last for 8 hours!
  4. Try to spend some time outside in the sun during the day. Spending time in a dark house confuses the brain into thinking it is nighttime.  Natural light during daytime is the best way to make sure your circadian rhythms are on track.
  5. Make up a relaxing bedtime routine. Try to always follow the same schedule so your kids know what to expect.  Some good ideas are a shower, story time, listening to calm music, or writing in a journal.
  6. Eliminate one of the biggest enemies of sleep from the bedroom: The Screen!  Looking at screens, especially screens from phones or tablets actually make your brain believe it is day and not night so your brain doesn’t release the sleep inducing hormone melatonin.  Studies have shown people who have tvs in their bedroom get less sleep on average each night.  It takes longer to fall asleep and you are less likely to stay sleep when there is a TV in your bedroom.  Remove technology from the bedroom!

Try the above tips and see if you and your children start getting better sleep.

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2015 in Review

We’re wrapping up 2015 here at CHAS health, and hope you and your family is as well! We have had a great year in 2015, a busy year, but leaps towards serving our community.

New neighbors.

We’ve opened 3 new locations, Perry Street, Cheney, and Spokane Urgent Care-Valley. These new locations have opened access to high-quality care for thousands of residents in the surrounding areas, and we couldn’t be more pleased by the warm welcome into these neighborhoods.

Making the current locations shine

We strive to have the best facilities possible. It’s part of the CHAS experience is to not only have some of the best providers, but also have facilities to make you feel at home and comfortable as possible. We relocated the Spokane Valley Clinic to its new home on Indiana, and began remodeling our Denny Murphy Clinic.

Leadership

2015 also was a transition year for leadership, one of CHAS’ founders and CEO for 20+ years, Peg Hopkins, retired earlier this year, and handed the reigns over to Aaron Wilson, who has been at CHAS for 10+ years, a large chunk of that time as our COO, in that time truly helping lead the charge for healthcare for everyone in the communities we serve.

It’s been a busy year and an amazing year, looking toward a terrific 2016. Thank you for being part of it all.

The Force (for health) Awakens!

May the force be with you this winter, here are some great tips on staying healthy from our Jedi Knights on the dental team and our fun loving Darth Moorman. Be sure that these are not “a trap” and this is the advice “you’re looking for” this holiday season.

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-Written by Darth Moorman and team

Hello, Cheney!

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At CHAS, we are driven to serve our local communities and we’re continuing that tradition with the opening of our new medical clinic in Cheney, Washington. The Cheney Health Center, conveniently located to serve the West Plains population, will be a resource for primary care, and behavioral health in the area (with the addition of more services in the future). Starting December 8th, patients can use this location to schedule checkups and be seen for medical/behavioral health needs, as well as gain health education through various classes and workshops.

Regular checkups can help find problems before they start and are vital to helping you maintain a long, healthy life. Take charge of your health and schedule an appointment today! For more information on the services we provide or to make a new patient appointment, call us at 509.444.8200.

Hours

Monday – Friday  |  9am – 4pm
Medical – CHAS’ primary care provider team can help you meet all of your medical needs. From doctors, to certified nurse midwife services; we are here to care for you and your family.
Pharmacy (coming spring 2016) – With full pharmacy services, you can pick up your prescription at the Maple Clinic. Our expert pharmacy staff can also answer any of your questions.
Behavioral Health – Onsite social workers can also assist patients with short-term counseling and connections to community resources.

1720 2nd St. | Cheney, WA 99004

 

-Rachael Chambers, Communication Specialist

CHAS awarded donation from The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

Katrina Schneider, PA-C at CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic, and I recently had the honor of attending The Pink Shamrock Foundation gala to receive a donation that will enable CHAS to provide transportation assistance for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

The individuals and history behind The Pink Shamrock Foundation are near to our hearts at CHAS. The foundation was formed by the family of Denny Murphy. CHAS’s Denny Murphy Clinic honors her namesake. Denny Murphy played a significant role in founding CHAS and helping the organization to get up and running in the early years. She was an incredible advocate for Spokane’s most disenfranchised residents, promoting access to health care for all. Her legacy of helping others is continued through The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

At the gala, we had the opportunity to learn about a variety of organizations helping breast cancer patients and survivors throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. At our table, Katrina and I met volunteers from Casting For Recovery, who help rehabilitate breast cancer patients using the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. We also learned about the YMCA of the Inland Northwest’s LIVESTRONG program, where cancer survivors participate in a 12-week small-group workout program. The gala highlighted the incredible impact The Pink Shamrock Foundation has in supporting such a variety of local programs helping individuals and families impacted by breast cancer, and provided all of us with the opportunity to network and make valuable connections.

Katrina and I shared with attendees about CHAS’s services and how our organization will use grant funding from The Pink Shamrock Foundation. At CHAS, once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer she or he continues to receive primary care services while receiving oncology services provided by specialty providers. Continued access to primary care is critical while a patient is going through breast cancer treatment, and once treatment concludes. In addition to regular primary care visits, a patient going through cancer treatment is expending more of their budget on transportation costs to access specialty care appointments. Gas gift cards will be given to breast cancer patients to help them continue accessing primary care visits throughout the year, and will also be given to breast cancer patients in need of transportation assistance to access care at referred providers.

Thank you to The Pink Shamrock Foundation for this donation, and for your many years of service in the Inland Northwest! Your local efforts continue to significantly impact the lives of individuals in our community who are facing health challenges. Thank you for your amazing work!

–Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS Public Policy & Development Manager

BE A CHAMPION! PLEASE IMMUNIZE!

Community Health Association of Spokane Valley Clinic

It is National Vaccine Awareness Month and that means… it’s time to talk about immunizations.

I will keep this short and sweet as we want to stay focused. Please come in and talk to a provider at any time if you have any questions or concerns about vaccination so we can discuss why they are safe and so important for you, your family and your community.

 

  1. Starting in September CHAS will have flu shots available for anyone who comes to any of our clinics. We will be here and ready to go to help keep you healthy thus If you have an appointment prior to the start of September you can come back in at anytime for a nurse visit to get your annual flu vaccination. If you are wondering “Do I need a flu shot” this post from a nurse who questioned her need for the vaccine while pregnant  may be just for you. http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/nurses-vaccinate-to-protect-families-and-patients/

 

  1. Please ask our medical staff at every visit if you need any vaccines. We should check every time you come in so we take every opportunity to keep you protected and healthy. If you don’t ask, who will? One question and 30 seconds of your time could save your life or the life of someone you love.

 

  1. For Teens- In 2014, nationally, 4 out of 10 teen girls and 6 out of 10 teen boys had not even started the HPV vaccine (Gardisil) series making them vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV. Your teenager also needs to shots to protect them from meningitis and a TDaP to protect them from tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough). Please start asking about HPV and if your teen starts this vaccine series, please remind them to finish it.

 

  1. Be a Champion! This month, I encourage everyone to be a champion for vaccine Please look up just one vaccine, any one of your choice and become passionate about it for your community. Be familiar with the results of getting such an infection and how not getting immunized can impact your community. Please go to http://www.immunize.org/vaccines/ this site will give you discussion points about each illness, pictures of what the illness looks like, and tons of resources to access so you can learn everything you need to know about vaccination. Let’s work together to make our community as safe as it can be. Please look at this resource  http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/ too as it helps you see each illness through the eyes of families and individuals affected by each preventable illness.

Wildfires and Children’s Lungs

With recent wildfires in the area you may be wondering what this means for your children. The smoke from wildfires contains a mixture of gasses as well as fine particles of burnt material. These can irritate your eyes, nasal passage, as well as your lungs.

Children’s airways are still developing and are much smaller than adults, and therefore are at a higher risk to be affected by poor air quality. Children breathe in more air per pound of body weight and they also tend to be more active which also leads them to breath in more air.

via Krem

via Krem

When the air quality is poor it is important to avoid going outside. If this is not possible, limit the amount of activity that is done outside. Anytime your child runs and plays, they begin to breathe faster, leading to more exposure of the dirty air to their sensitive developing airways.

Keep windows and doors shut. Make sure to run the air conditioner on the recirculate setting to prevent the dirty air from coming inside. A simple mask is not helpful. The small particulates that are present in the smoke are small enough to be allowed through a paper mask. It is also important to keep track of the air quality index where you live. You can check this out at www.spokanecleanair.org to find out the current air quality.

Symptoms of exposure to wildfire smoke can include runny nose, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, and nausea. If your child has asthma make sure to have their rescue inhaler available at all times since the smoke can trigger an asthma exacerbation. If any of these symptoms persist or don’t improve after going inside and resting, please seek medical care.

by Ashlee Mickelson, Physician

The Itch of a biting insect: How do I protect my child from them?

With the hot wet days and nights of summer come the biting insects, especially in those early evening hours when eating outdoors and enjoying the gentle weather of a summer evening.

Children are at risk for multiple types of insect bites; biting flies,  mosquitoes, and ticks to name a few. The best way to protect your child from these pesky critters is to apply a repellent containing DEET.

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) DEET remains themost effective in repelling these biting insects. It can safely be applied by an adult to the children’s clothing and exposed skin.

Application of the product is best done in an open area. DO NOT spray this directly onto the child’s head and face, instead spray into the adult’s hand and rub onto the face/ears/neck avoiding contact with the eyes.  Follow directions on timing for re-application typically anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on the concentration of DEET in the repellant being used.

A common question heard can be: Is it safe for my young child?

The answer is simply:  Yes.  A repellent containing DEET of no more than 30% is safe for application to an infant older than 2 months of age when safely applied by a responsible adult.  Remember to always wash the child’s skin at the end of the day to remove the product to avoid irritation and wash their clothing.

Avoid use of scented lotions/fabric softeners/detergents as these can attract those pests more.  Dressing a child in floral prints and bright colors also can attract the pests.  It’s a good idea to protect the child’s head/ears by having them wear a hat with a wide brim.  Using mosquito netting around strollers and those portable cribs also can help protect the child from those pesky flying insects.   Avoiding stagnant water is a good idea as these are frequently breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

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Despite your best efforts your child ends up with an itchy bite, what next?

There are many over the counter products designed for this. Some good options to use are: a topical cream such as Calamine Lotion, Hydrocortisone Cream, or Benadryl Cream.  Another simple product is to mix baking soda and water into a paste and apply to the bite.

Remember if ever there is a question your Pediatrician is just a phone call away.  🙂

Enjoy your summer stay safe and protected!!

Daniel Moorman, MD