Posts made in September, 2010

Prostate Cancer Buddy Program Puts Men in Touch – with Info and Each Other

Would you want to talk with another man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer? Speak with a guy who had a  particular type of prostate cancer treatment?

The Prostate Cancer Buddy Program at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation enables interested men to get in touch with other men who have also been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have completed a wide range of prostate cancer treatments.

“The buddies know what the guys are going through, because they’ve been there – and survived,”  says  Frank delaRama, R.N., MSN, AOCNS, clinical nurse specialist and prostate cancer navigator at PAMF’s Cancer Care Clinic.  “They are available to share their own personal experiences, and provide understanding, support and practical information.

“Getting another patient’s perspective in the process is helpful because there are so many emotions and questions following a prostate cancer diagnosis. They can get information from their doctors and specialists, but when a patient hears what other prostate cancer survivors – and even their wives – went through to get to where they are today, it helps them feel more comfortable about the decision they’ve made for their treatment. ”

Prostate Cancer Patients at  PAMF’s Cancer Care Clinic are invited to request a buddy at any point along their journey. Read More

Youth Nutrition Program Teaches Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Youth Nutrition Program coordinator Jeremy Loader teaches children how to make healthy smoothies with a bike blender.

With childhood obesity an epidemic and children’s inactivity an ongoing concern, how can we make sure our children develop healthy eating habits, and enjoy healthy and active lives? In California’s San Francisco Bay Area, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) is helping to address this serious health crisis by providing a Youth Nutrition Program that reaches out to young people through schools and youth organizations to help children develop life-long healthy eating habits and exercise patterns.

“Our Youth Nutrition Program uses a wealth of hands-on activities, interactive models and touchable displays to teach children about food, exercise and how our bodies work,” explains Jeremy Loader, who coordinates the program. “Our program is completely tailored to its audience, engaging children in a very positive and exciting way while providing them with important nutrition and physical activity information.”

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Shared Medical Appointments Allow Patients to Maximize Their Time, Learn from Others

Want more time to ask questions of your doctor and an opportunity to meet other patients who share your medical concerns? Then a shared medical appointments (SMA) might be for you.

During SMAs, patients have much more time to discuss their issues with their physicians than they would during a typical 20-minute office visit,” explains Bruce Eisendorf, M.D., a family medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), who offers SMAs on managing pain and reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke at the PAMF clinic in Santa Cruz, California. “Patients also learn an incredible amount from listening to each other’s questions and are empowered by the positive feedback from other group members.”

Just as in a regular office visit, patients in a SMA can change or renew prescriptions, receive test results, learn to use prescribed medical equipment, and discuss medications, treatment and surgery options. The difference is that discussions take place in a group instead of one-on-one with the doctor, which makes for a more relaxed atmosphere.

“There is a less intimidating environment than in the physician’s office,” says Steven Bartis, DPM, a podiatrist who offers SMAs on plantar fasciitis (heel pain) at PAMF’s Fremont Center. “Patients feel more at ease when they realize they are not alone in their diagnosis.”

In addition, some SMAs allow patients to see two or more doctors at one time instead of having to come in for multiple separate office visits on different days. Dr. Bartis, for example, has teamed with ophthalmologist Timothy Scott, M.D., and Fremont Center nutritionists to offer a single three-hour SMA for patients newly diagnosed with diabetes.

“Combining foot and eye exams with nutritional education is a concept that not only enhances patient understanding of diabetes, it also limits the time the patient loses in scheduling and visits, taking less time away from work, family or fun,” Dr. Scott says.

PAMF currently offers SMAs for many health needs. Learn more about SMAs at PAMF Fremont, Los Altos and Palo Alto centers or call 650-853-2283. For SMAs at PAMF Santa Cruz area clinic locations, call 831-459-6418. View a listing of Shared Medical Appointment (SMA) Groups at PAMF.