Live Well Wednesday

The New Era of Pharmacy

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At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is The New Era of Pharmacy by Andy Pierron, Compass Community Health Care Center Pharmacist and Director of Pharmacy Services.

Healthcare is a hot topic in our current daily lives, and this definitely includes the world of pharmacy.  Legislators are working to take steps and make decisions that will affect each one of our futures.  Doing  some research and gaining knowledge on each piece of the healthcare puzzle can help you understand what all this means to YOU.

Historically, the profession of pharmacy is known to be one of the most accessible professions in healthcare. The tremendous consumption of pharmaceuticals nationally and the development of electronic medical records and prescription processing has completely changed the daily job of the pharmacist.

To the eye of the consumer, pharmacy business has never been better.  However, the tremendous amount of money involved has caused insurances to reduce reimbursement, to reduce accessibility to coverage, and to steer therapy in order to control costs.   The result is an overly complex process, poor compliance, and a very confused consumer.   And, the opioid epidemic and the amount of overdoses now makes (and with good reason) the consumer more weary than ever.

As we forget that basic medications such as aspirin, blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, and diabetic medications improve the quality of life and save lives, medical costs for open heart surgery, strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure soar.

Now Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances are taking a second look.  Recognizing that a covered member walking into a pharmacy doesn’t cost near as much as when the member is taken into an emergency room.  Capitalizing on the accessible profession of pharmacy, these insurances are now paying pharmacies to provide extensive consultation services including monitoring of compliance, drug interactions, and even paying pharmacist to provide more practical management of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

For you the consumer, patient, and customer, this is an opportunity to better educate yourself, to better inform yourself, and to better guide yourself to good health.  The World Wide Web can be a web of misinformation and information without perspective, don’t take what you read as the same expertise you would receive from your provider.  Asking your pharmacist questions and following your prescriber’s medical recommendations is good medicine!

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.
#LiveWellWednesday  #CompassCares

Live Well Wednesday

Enjoying the Summer Holiday

Tom M

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focuses on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we have been highlighting ways to help keep you on the path to good mental health, all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Today concludes our series on mental health information from Tom Marsh, Compass Community Health Care Center Behavioral Health Counselor.

Summer is upon us and most people experience enjoyment related to vacations, travel, outdoor activities of all sorts, sunny days and holidays.   Most folks notice an improvement in their mood and sense of well-being related to the longer days of summer.

However, summer can also be a season of hazards.  Over exposure to the sun, dehydration, and accidental drowning are all risks associated with summer activities.  The usual summer advice applies when related to making sure to be safe in outdoor activities- drinking plenty of water, using sunscreen, and wearing safety equipment, like life jackets on the water.  Always remember to be safe, while enjoying your favorite summer activities.

Here are some ways you can keep yourself and your family focused and able to get the most enjoyment out of your summer:

Choose quality over quantity.  Most of us have a long list of things we want to accomplish over the summer.  Choose to focus on tasks and activities that are achievable, then stay focused.   These things will lead to greater satisfaction, without disappointing ourselves by looking at what we did not get done.

Savor the little moments.  There are opportunities to enjoy little things like scenic views,  an outdoor concert or play, spending time with people we care about, watching a child play, making a phone call to someone we haven’t spoken to, talking to your neighbor-more than just saying hello while coming and going.

Take good care of ourselves.  Go to bed at the same time every night, if possible, take a walk or hike some place you are not familiar with, eat seasonal vegetables and fruits, and start planning your next vacation now.

Little things can make a big difference when we slow down, step out of our routines and take care of ourselves.  Remember to relax and enjoy each moment to provide the best possible healthy experience.

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office at 740-355-7102.
#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

Live Well Wednesday

Fish Oil Supplements and Depression

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focuses on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be highlighting ways to help keep you on the path to good mental health, all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in May for more information from Tom Marsh, Compass Community Health Care Center Behavioral Health Counselor.

There is a product out there called “Jogging in a Jug” which is a vinegar and fruit drink concoction which is meant to give a person all the metabolic benefits of aerobic exercise without doing the work. We all want an easier, softer way to improve well-being; this product is not that way.  In fact, there tends to be very little we can do in terms of quick fixes and short cuts that can help us to achieve better well-being.  Most of the common advice about proper diet, rest, exercise, drinking water, pursuing balance in your life is still the best advice to maintaining good mental and physical health.  However, a recent article in an online journal, Psychiatry Adviser, offers one thing we can all do that will assist in battling depression.

The use of dietary supplementation with fish oil has been found to improve outcomes in people being treated for depression.  Using 2-3 capsules per day has been found to bring hormonal balance between Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.  It is a bit complicated to explain, and you can visit the article here for a more detailed explanation, but what it comes down to is that our diets tend to be too high in Omega 6 fatty acids due to the consumption of meat and oils like soybean oil found in many salad dressings and other processed foods.   While we need some Omega 6 excessive consumption is associated with increased inflammation response and depression.  Consuming fish oil introduces additional Omega 3 fatty acids which balance out these two essential fats.  In addition, try to limit the amount of Omega 6 by eating less meat while using olive oil and canola oil for cooking.  (Olive and canola oils are low in Omega 6).

The field of mental health treatment usually focuses on the use of medications and secondary prevention.   Fish oil is commonly available over the counter and by prescription.  Using fish oil is one of the few simple shortcuts available that will improve well-being.

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office at 740-355-7102.
#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

Live Well Wednesday

Understanding Bi-polar Disorder

Tom M

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be highlighting ways to help keep you on the path to good mental health, all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in May for more information from Tom Marsh, Compass Community Health Care Center Behavioral Health Counselor .

Everybody goes through periods of time where they feel moody or depressed and it is easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed with the demands of life. Think about how people talk about having to go to work on Monday mornings then how people look forward to TGIF.  Many people use the term bi-polar to describe someone who is irritable, moody or just hard for them to get along with.  This does not mean they are truly mentally ill.  Just because a person is irritable or has mood swings does not make them necessarily bi-polar.

Bi-polar disorder is a serious disturbance of mood and conduct characterized by alternating periods of elevated, irritable or expansive mood that must be present most of the day every day and last for at least one week followed by periods of low mood or depression that must last at least two weeks.  Both of these changes must be significant changes from the individual’s previous functioning level.  Sometimes you hear people use the expression manic depression to describe what the experts now call bi-polar.

The main features of bi-polar center in the elevated or manic phase of disturbance where the individual experiences elevated self esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, being more talkative than usual, racing thoughts, easily distracted, increase in goal directed activity (having many perhaps unrealistic projects going on at the same time), excessive involvement in risky behavior like spending sprees or inappropriate relationships.  In severe cases patients will experience psychotic symptoms (hallucinations and delusions).   Of course this needs to happen without the use of any substance of abuse especially stimulant drugs like methamphetamine.

In my clinical experience most people who are in a manic phase tend to feel good about themselves and relish the excessive amounts of energy they have, they cannot be persuaded there is anything wrong with them at the time.  In fact, if they are completing many tasks and succeeding in completing their goals they not only do not want any intervention they may be reinforced by others like bosses at work who appreciate their long hours or their families who like the house being cleaned from top to bottom including vacuuming the ceilings!  Carrie Fisher who recently passed away revealed she suffered from bi-polar as have other celebrities.  It has recently come to light that Winston Churchill who wrote about struggling with his bouts of depression he called his “black dog” was also highly productive during his manic phases.

It is only after they experience some type of consequences or when  they become severely depressed do bi-polar individuals land in services.  It seems that manic phases develop in people who have a family history of depression or a psychotic disorder after prolonged periods of anxiety and stress.  Again, for many people the manic phase is productive so people with bi-polar disorder just accept that “this is the way I am” or “those are the times when I get things done.”  Many people with bi-polar use substances to cope or to deal with feelings of guilt after excessive behaviors or interpersonal relationship conflict.  Because they often struggle to get along with people at work due to bi-polar related relationship issues many people with this disorder will create job situations where they work for themselves or work excessively during their manic phases.  While this is an adaptive coping strategy it also insulates these people from stressors that might bring their issues to light.

Bi-polar disorder can be difficult to identify because people present to services in a depressed state and will receive treatment for depression that does not include treatment for mania.  The other challenge, as mentioned above, is that even when a person is correctly diagnosed with bi-polar they will often cease taking medications or attending counseling sessions because of the success they experience when they are manic.  People with bi-polar benefit from a full assessment,  if available they  need to be referred to a psychiatrist who can best decide on medications to treat the disorder.  In addition they will benefit from follow up support including counseling to insure continued compliance with treatment recommendations.

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office at 740-355-7102.
#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

#CompassAdvocates

Policy Update

AHCA News

We wanted to share with you, earlier today the US House of Representatives voted to move the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to the US Senate for further consideration. While the bill has passed its first step, there is still a process it must undergo before becoming law. At present, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still in place. Compass will continue to provide our patients with quality affordable care and assist the community with Medicaid and Marketplace applications. We will also continue to advocate to ensure all of our patients have access to comprehensive affordable health coverage. We welcome and appreciate as many advocates as are willing to help us in our efforts. You can sign up here.

 

Live Well Wednesday

Take a Mental Health Break

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be highlighting ways to help keep you on the path to good mental health, all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in May for more information from Compass Community Health Care Center.

Spring and beautiful weather have arrived and what better way to enjoy than to open your mind to some tips to work on your own wellness.  We often get bogged down and stressed with our day-to-day busy lives, caring for our loved ones, and just living life.  Remembering to stop and take some time for yourself can be very beneficial and refreshing for your mental health.  Here are a few suggestions to help you take a mental health break.Mental Health Awareness, May 3, 2017

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office at 740-355-7102.
#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares