UT Health Services Newsletter

May is National Women's Health Month

May is National Women’s Health month.  This serves as a great reminder to schedule your well woman annual health promotion exam. UT Health Services (UTHS) providers can perform annual physicals and provide primary care throughout the year; however, the importance of women's health exams are emphasized throughout the month of May at UTHS, UCT Building, 7000 Fannin St.

Our two full time nurse practitioners are Angela M. Rutherford, MSN, RN, ANP-C and Delorean Alexander, MSN, RN, FNP-C.

Ms. Rutherford is a certified adult nurse practitioner (ANP) and the Lead NP for UTHS. She received her Bachelors, Masters, and ANP from McNeese State University. Angela brings a strong background in acute care to add to her primary care skills and knowledge.  She works in the UTHS clinic full time and provides student health care to students from Texas Woman’s University and the University of St. Thomas.  Ms. Rutherford serves as a consultant to the University of Houston Downtown Student Health Clinic providers.  She builds an excellent rapport with patients and she consistently receives high patient satisfaction scores.  She is married with three children and serves as a Girl Scout Troop Leader.

Ms. Alexander is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and a member of Houston Area Nurse Practitioners. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Prairie View A&M University and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Texas Women's University.  Prior to joining UT Health Systems, Delorean worked as a registered nurse for Harris County Hospital District with an emphasis in medical, pre- and post-operative patients.  Ms. Alexander is focused on health promotion, disease prevention, and chronic disease management. As a family nurse practitioner she can treat patients of all ages - from birth to adult.  She provides primary care, occupational health, and travel medicine services.  Her patient feedback has also been very positive.  Delorean is married and in her free time, enjoys going to concerts, dancing and traveling.

Expanded UTHS Hours – Based on patient feedback, UTHS is now open during lunch from 12:00-1:00 pm. Hours of service are 7:00AM to 4PM Monday through Friday.

Please call:  713-500-3267 to schedule an appointment.  Same day appointments may be available. Your dependents can also be seen at UTHS.

Preventive check-ups can help to identify problems before they threaten your health status. By getting the right health services, screenings, and interventions, you are taking steps that improve your chances for living a longer, healthier, more productive life. As you know, your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (diet, activity level, sleep patterns, stress and coping, and tobacco use in any form) influence how often you need healthcare.

Listed below are guidelines recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force categorized by age. Check with your insurance plan to find out which tests are covered. Many preventive services for women may be covered at no out of pocket cost because of current national recommendations and the Affordable Care Act. 

Screening tests

Ages 18-39

Ages 40-49

Ages 50-64

Ages 65 and older

Blood pressure test

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80). Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80). Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80). Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80). Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Bone Mineral Density test (osteoporosis screening)

N/A

N/A

Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk for osteoporosis

Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.

Talk with your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Breast Cancer Screening

N/A

Discuss with your doctor or nurse

Starting at age 50, get screened every 1-2 years.

Get screened every 2 years through age 74. Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened.

Cervical Cancer screening (Pap test)

Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix.

If you are 30 or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years.

Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix.

Get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years if you have a cervix.

Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.

Cholesterol test

Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested

Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested

www.womenshealth.gov

Please take the pledge today at www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/pledge to join women from across the country in challenging themselves to be healthy at any age.

To Your Health,
Julie Novak, Associate Dean, Practice
Chief Wellness Officer, School of Nursing Director, UT Health Services


September 2015 - Ovarian Cancer Month

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death amongst gynecological cancers and the 5th overall cause of cancer related death in women. Ovarian cancer represents about 3% of all the various types of cancer found in women.

Risk Factors

  • Being middle aged or older
  • Have a close family member with ovarian cancer.
  • Have a genetic mutation called BRCA1 or BRCA2
  • Have a genetic mutation associated with Lynch Syndrome
  • Have had breast, uterine, colorectal, or cervical cancer or melanoma.
  • Have an Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish Background.
  • Have never given birth or have had trouble getting pregnant.
  • Have endometriosis.
  • Have taken estrogen without progesterone for 10 years or more.

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Most common symptoms - These symptoms are often caused by other problems. With ovarian cancer they are persistent and more severe than usual. If happening more than 12 x /month you should see your healthcare provider.

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency

Other symptoms - These symptoms are less specific, occurring in women with and without cancer at about the same rate.

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-signs-and-symptoms
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/ovarian/basic_info/symptoms.htm


August 2015 - National Vaccination Month

The nation’s health improved with the development of vaccinations. The sidebar on the right gives a brief overview of the history behind the smallpox vaccine. Smallpox once was a dreaded and deadly disease that vaccine has now eradicated.

Pneumococcal pneumonia (PP) is a good example of how immunizations have improved community health. PP has the greatest incidence at or over 65 years of age and the second greatest incidence under one year*. Routine vaccination of older adults began in 1983. Starting in 2000, babies are now routinely vaccinated against PP. As well as those inoculated, the incidence of the disease has decreased in both older children and adults who aren’t vaccinated*. By increasing the number of people immunized, those who aren’t vaccinated have less chance of being exposed. See your health care provider to stay current on your vaccinations and prevent unnecessary illness.

*http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt11-pneumo.html

Immunizations Recommended for Most Adults

  • Influenza yearly
  • Tetanus every 10 years
  • Zoster at age 60 or older
  • Pneumococcal 13 at age 65
  • Pneumococcal 23 at age 65
  • Varicella (if not vaccinated as a child)

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/adult.html

Special Considerations

May not have the following live viruses if pregnant or immunocompromised

  • Varicella
  • Zoster
  • MMR
  • HPV
  • FluMist

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/vac-admin/contraindications-adults.htm

Vaccination History

  • 1000 AD: Chinese inoculated against smallpox by blowing pulverized smallpox scabs into the nostril of a statesman’s son. The practice, called variolation, spread to Africa, Asia, and the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1706: Cotton Mather, a Boston resident, received a Libyan-born slave named Onesimus who claimed to be immune to smallpox. Mather promoted the practice of variolation in Massachusetts after reading about the practice in English medical journals.
  • 1721: A smallpox epidemic broke out in Boston killing 844 residents. Cotton Mather encouraged variolation. The case fatality for variolation was about 3% compared to 14% for those without variolation.
  • 1774: A farmer in England inoculated his two sons and wife with cowpox utilizing a lesion from one of his cows during a smallpox epidemic in their town. His family did not contract the disease. He was not interested in publishing his results.
  • 1796: Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year old James Phipps with cowpox to see if it would provide immunity to smallpox. Later, he inoculated him with smallpox and the young boy did not contract the disease.
  • 1836: The first legislation encouraging vaccination was passed. The National Vaccine Agency was established.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/smallpox/sp_variolation.html


Safety Awareness Month

Falls

Tips to prevent falls

First, exercise and stay fit. Exercise should target both strength and balance. Yoga or Tai Chi are excellent examples of programs that benefit both. Second, consider side effects of medications. Many medications increase the risk of falls after age 65. Discuss your risk of falls associated with any over-the-counter medications, supplements, and prescription medication you are taking with your health care provider. Third, have a thorough eye exam yearly to be sure your vision is sharp. Fourth, look around your home for possible trip hazards. Be sure there is good lighting and no clutter to trip over. Eliminate loose rugs and electrical cords in walking paths.

Emergency Preparedness

FEMA: Five Ps of Evacuation:

  • People
  • Prescriptions
  • Papers
  • Personal needs
  • Priceless items

Prepare a "Go Bag" ahead of time to grab with essential items in case of evaluation. For sheltering in place without electricity FEMA suggests having on hand the following: a flashlight, battery powered or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, 1-gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, nonperishable food for 3 days, food and water for pets, first aid kit, medications, & medical supplies. Go to www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information.

Distracted Driving

There are three types of distractions

  • Visual
  • Manuel
  • Cognitive

All three are involved when someone texts. Other distractions such as attending to your navigation system, eating, or adjusting the radio can equally distraction your attention from driving. According to www.distraction.gov 5 seconds with your eyes off the road at 55mph is like driving blindfolded the length of a football field.


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