March has been designated as “National Save Your Vision Month”. The American Optometric Association aims to raise awareness concerning the need for comprehensive annual eye exams. More people are using electronic devices for both work and pleasure than ever before. Be aware of developing dry eyes, blurred vision, or eye strain from using electronics all the time; some good tips for good eye health include keeping the screen 20 inches from your eyes, taking a break from the screen, and eating leafy green vegetables. Regular eye exams can detect problems before they become serious; schedule an appointment today at John Bell Health Center or Pediatric & Adolescent Health Center, located at 1207 Chestnut St., 3rd and 5th Floors, respectively, to get a head start on your road to health vision.
Every year on March 10th, local, state, federal, and national organizations come together to celebrate National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Today, nearly 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with HIV, with 1 in 4 of them being women. We have made much progress against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but we must continue to support those living with HIV and communities at risk. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an event to emphasize the need for HIV testing and treatment for women. Visit a physician at Philadelphia FIGHT Lax Treatment Center or to schedule your test today.
Also, join the Community Health Training Alliance next week for ‘Dear Black Body’, a webinar that will explore the systemic oppression on the black body. Register today at www.fight.org/chta!
Drinking water can help keep your body healthy and functioning at its highest capacity. We are told from a young age to drink water, without asking the benefits of water. The fact of the matter is: water has numerous effects on the body and our overall health. It keeps our memory sharp, stabilizes and boosts our mood, and prevents headaches. Recommended water intake is based on sex, age, activity level, and other factors, such as if you’re pregnant. There are many warning signs that your body is lacking water (see infographic). Consult with a physician at our John Bell Health Center or Pediatric & Adolescent Health Center, located at 1207 Chestnut St., 3rd and 5th Floors, respectively, to learn more facts and tips about how to increase and better manage your water intake.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week is from February 25th-March 3rd 2019. This campaign combats the stigma, myths, and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders. Millions of Americans will struggle with a full-blown eating disorder and millions more will battle food and body image issues that have untold negative impacts on their lives. If you would like to join in on the conversation, raise awareness, promote screenings, and bust myths, visit the National Eating Disorders Association website at https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ to learn more and get involved.
Having all your health information in one place can help you be in control of your health. Keeping track of medical records can be difficult, especially if you see several doctors for care. Many apps, devices and online services exist to make the job of organizing and accessing this information easier. The Critical Path Learning Center here at FIGHT is offering six-week courses where participants can learn how to use patient portals, talk to your providers, track your health statistics, and find reliable health information online. Reserve your spot today by visiting The Commons at 1233 Locust St., 2nd Floor, or fill out a registration form at critpath.org/classes-and-programs. Complete the course and you’ll have a Fitbit Flex of your own!
February is recognized as American Heart Month. Heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age. High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. Half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking). You are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. The CDC suggests the four best ways to have a healthy heart: don’t smoke, stay active, make heart-healthy eating changes, and manage health conditions with a health care provider. Contact the John Bell Health Center at 1207 Chestnut St, 3rd Floor or call 267-725-0252 to make an appointment to discuss ways to make your heart healthy.
The American Dental Association recognizes February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. This national health observance brings together dedicated dental and health care providers to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers and teachers. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. The ADA also celebrates February 6th as Give Kids a Smile Day, a day that provides free oral health care to children. Keep in mind that FIGHT Family Dentistry offers an array of services year-round, and dental insurance is not required to receive care. Visit them at 1207 Chestnut St., 4th Floor, their website https://fight.org/programs/dental-services/, or call 215-525-3046 to schedule an appointment.
Cold weather can trigger asthma because cold the air causes airway muscles to become narrow. We also know that colds and the flu are common during colder months, which can make asthma symptoms worse. For kids, this can make breathing more difficult and make asthma attacks more likely, as children have sensitive lungs. Take extra precaution in making sure your child is safe during the winter months by visiting FIGHT’s Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center to consult with a pediatrician about your child’s asthma action plan, and learn more tips about how you can manage your child’s asthma during this time.
Some of us have New Year’s Resolutions to exercise more, but some doctors say that can lead to overtraining syndrome.Overtraining syndrome is essentially burnout, exercising too much with minimal rest, which may make you give up on your resolution. Pace yourself; start off slow and be realistic with yourself. Exercise is more than losing weight; it can help prevent heart disease and other chronic illnesses, improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and help you sleep better. Consult with a physician at Philadelphia FIGHT to discuss more benefits of exercising and ask questions about the best ways you can incorporate exercise in your life without overexerting
Each year, nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. January has been designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month, and health care providers are encouraging women across the country to get screened. Cervical cancer is highly preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (regular pap smears and HPV tests). It is important that you understand this cancer and how to prevent it; visit the Lax Women’s Health Program at 1233 Locust St., 5th Floor to consult with a physician and schedule an appointment for cervical cancer screening.
HESome of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are drink more water, join a gym, and eat better. However, it’s important for us to be specific about these goals, as most of us do not manage them well. What does eating better look like to you? How much water do you want to drink a day? Many doctors suggest starting small, because changing your daily routine can be difficult. Do not fall into social pressure from friends and family; this change is for you! Consult with a physician at John Bell Health Center (1207 Chestnut St. 3rd Floor) to get some professional input on New Year’s Resolutions and how they can help you manage them.
Hepatitis Cis an infection of the liver and is the most common blood borne viral infection in the United States. It can lead to serious liver problems if left untreated. The CDC recommends you get tested if you have shared or used non-sterile needles with an infected person, have unprotected sex with an infected person, have HIV, were born to a mother with hepatitis C, or have symptoms of a liver disease. The only way to know for certain if you have hepatitis C is to get a blood test; visit the John Bell Health Center at 1207 Chestnut St., 3rd Floor to schedule an appointment for testing.
Karam Mounzer, MD
Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.
Dr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.