Since the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) restarted its walk-in flu vaccine clinics for patients at selected PAMF locations, on January 14, 2014, PAMF medical staff has administered more than 10,000 vaccines. This is in addition to the 104,400 vaccines that had already been administered to PAMF patients at walk-in flu clinics between September and December 2013. (These figures do not include the vaccines given during patients’ regular doctor’s appointments.)
The community’s increased demand for the vaccine in recent weeks is likely caused by news reports of deaths in the Bay Area due to the H1N1 flu virus, commonly known as the swine flu.
Charles Weiss, M.D., MPH, head of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Flu and Infectious Diseases Committees, reports that PAMF medical centers have seen a steady, moderately elevated level of flu incidence for the last month.
“State indicators are mixed. In some areas, cases are still trending up, and in others cases are leveling off. Even if there is a leveling off, flu epidemics last an average of eight weeks so we can expect continued H1N1 activity and may see an increase in cases of other flu strains,” Dr. Weiss said.
PAMF’s Urgent Care Centers saw increases in cases in late December and cases have remained elevated thus far in January.
“Now and in the future, the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza is to get vaccinated each year,” Dr. Weiss recommends.
The walk-in flu vaccine clinics for PAMF patients will continue at selected PAMF locations as demand for vaccinations or vaccine supply lasts. The primary strain circulating (H1N1) is covered by the vaccine. PAMF’s flu vaccine clinic hours and locations are online at www.pamf.org/flu.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Flu prevention and treatment information.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation flu website.
$20,000 Donation to AMGA’s Campaign Will Help Efforts to Reduce Toll of High Blood Pressure
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced today that the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) donated $20,000 to support Measure Up Pressure Down, a national campaign to improve high blood pressure prevention, detection and control, spearheaded by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), AMGA’s nonprofit education and research arm. PAMF is one of more than 140 medical groups and health systems that have signed on to participate in the campaign. Although there is no cost for participation, PAMF has demonstrated its commitment to meeting this public health challenge with the contribution.
“AMGF greatly appreciates PAMF’s support and dedication to curbing the burden of high blood pressure,” says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA and secretary of the AMGF Board. “PAMF continues to be on the leading edge of health care transformation and we commend them for signing on as a group participant to meet the challenge of reducing high blood pressure, and for providing financial support to help ensure the campaign’s success.”
The Organizational Cultural Competency Committee (OCC) of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), co-chaired by Drs. Barry Eisenberg, M.D., and Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., is pleased to announce its recent pledge to join the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). The NPA was established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in the United States.
As the country and PAMF patients continue to become more diverse, it is important to acknowledge and address health inequities and differences in order to provide the highest quality of care and meet the unique needs of each patient. By pledging to join the NPA’s efforts, PAMF reaffirms its commitment and mission to enhance the well-being of the people in our communities through compassion, excellence and innovation in health care, research and education. Joining the NPA is one step the OCC has taken this year to work towards increasing awareness and address health disparities. The OCC has led multiple initiatives geared toward educating and raising awareness about specific patient populations. “At PAMF, we are developing innovative programs to address the needs of each of our unique populations,” said Dr. Eisenberg. Read More about PAMF Joins National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities
For South Asian taxi drivers, it isn’t traffic that threatens their safety, it is the sedentary lifestyle – sitting all day, every day.
Studies have found that taxi drivers are highly susceptible to a number of health problems because of their sedentary lives spent sitting behind the wheel. Drivers are must often eat on the go, making fast food their easiest option. Few of them get any exercise whatsoever, and many often suffer from back, hip and leg pain from sitting in a car all day.
“This lack of exercise combined with an unhealthy diet leads to disproportionately high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure among taxi drivers,” says Latha Palaniappan, M.D., Internal Medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
As part of PAMF’s cultural competency initiatives, Dr. Palaniappan and PAMF’s Cultural Competency Coordinator Edith Gamboa collaborated with Stanford’s student-led Screen Team on outreach to one of Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable communities—Mineta San Jose Airport taxi drivers. They were joined by other PAMF employees who volunteered on Saturday, May 18, to provide health screenings and wellness advice. Read More about PAMF & Stanford Project Offers Health Screenings, Wellness Advice to South Asian Taxi Drivers
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which is part of the Sutter Health network of care, and Marvell Technology Group, an international semi-conductor company, have launched a unique on-site wellness program at Marvell’s Santa Clara, California location to help make it easier for employees at the company to take care of their health at work.
“At Marvell, it’s a priority to help our employees achieve the best possible work/life balance,” says Alycia Osborne, senior benefits analyst at Marvell. “We know that healthy employees are happier and more productive at work.”
PAMF’s employer services team has been providing regular monthly lunchtime lectures to Marvell’s staff and has participated in the company’s health fairs as a vendor for the past three years. Developing a more structured wellness program – tailored to employees’ unique health needs – was the next, and most recent, step. To further develop this wellness program, PAMF collaborated with Sutter Health, which has established on-site wellness programs at employer sites throughout the Bay Area and Northern California.
“When we surveyed Marvell’s staff about their health history and habits, we found out that more than half the employees did not have a primary care doctor,” says Ronesh Sinha, M.D., medical director for PAMF’s Employer Services Program. “Many of the employees also have East or South Asian ethnicity, with a higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This was an excellent opportunity to help employees see the value of an ongoing relationship with a primary care doctor and provide them with the benefit of our expertise in caring for an ethnically and culturally diverse group of patients.”
12-Week Wellness Evaluation Pilot Program
In September 2011, PAMF and Sutter Health collaborated to launch a 12-week Wellness Evaluation Pilot Program for Marvell. The program comprised three key components, all held on Marvell’s campus, making it easy for employees to participate at work:
Biometric screening: Nurses from an outside company visited Marvell and screened participating employees’ weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
PAMF’s online personal Health Risk Assessment (HRA): Employees recorded their biometric screening results, completed the HRA and printed a copy to take to their wellness evaluation for review.
40-minute appointment with a PAMF primary care doctor: Doctors reviewed each employee’s personal HRA, discussed the employee’s health goals, formulated a wellness plan and provided resources for long-term follow-up care. Read More about PAMF Launches Unique, On-Site Employee Wellness Program at Marvell
When it comes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, South Asians are one of the highest risk groups, and they also die from heart disease at a much younger age. To ensure that South Asian patients can live longer, healthier lives, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has created a South Asian Health Program that provides services and resources tailored to South Asian patients’ specific health needs.