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Resources to Quit Smoking

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Behavioral Health, Memorial Medical Center, Physician Services, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 08-02-2017

Smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For many, the “why” to quit is clear, but the “how” is more challenging. If you live in central Illinois, Memorial Health System offers a variety of programs to help you kick the habit. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Child Scared of Santa? Four Tips to Help Calm Their Fears

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 18-11-2016

santa-mom-and-childAll you want for Christmas is a picture-perfect photo of your child sitting on Santa’s lap to share with the world on social media, holiday cards and texts to grandparents.

Unfortunately, your child won’t set foot near the bearded bearer of gifts.

Jennifer Snyder, MD, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services, is a mom of a 3-year-old and a 16-month-old. She understands parents’ enthusiasm for holiday pictures, but as a physician, she also recognizes how some children experience anxiety over the much heralded meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Ways to Raise Healthy Children

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Center for Healthy Families, Memorial Medical Center, Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 01-11-2016

woman-reading-to-childWe all want our kids to grow into healthy adults. Virginia Dolan, MD, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill and Memorial Center for Healthy Families, spoke recently on radio station WTAX about four areas to target for optimal health for your kids.

Sleep: Most young people need nine to 11 hours of sleep by the time they’re in kindergarten, but it’s also important to ensure that your children get restful sleep. Sleep has a significant effect on health. Children who lack sleep are sick more often, their school grades are often affected, and they’re more likely to be impulsive. Establish a five- to 10-minute bedtime routine for your kids that helps them be calm and ready for sleep. And avoid screen time—TV, iPads and so on—for about 90 minutes prior to bedtime. Read the rest of this entry »

SmartVisit Helps Busy Woman Save Time

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services | Posted on 19-10-2016

memorialmd-smartvisitLynne Gray keeps busy with two jobs. She serves as a paralegal for a Virden, Illinois, attorney and sells skin care and makeup products.

When sinus problems started to slow her down, taking up to three hours out of her day to visit her family doctor wasn’t an option. Instead, she fired up her computer and logged into MemorialMDSmartVisit, a secure, internet-based service to treat non-emergency illnesses offered by Memorial Physician Services. Read the rest of this entry »

Family Summer Safety: Four Lesser-Known Dangers to Avoid

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Pediatrics, Physician Services, Safety, Summer | Posted on 05-07-2016

Active family going on a bikeride.

Many families have been schooled on the “big” summer safety issues that threaten the well-being of children including water safety around the pool, fireworks precautions and the importance of using sunscreen and sunglasses on your little ones.

But what about the lesser-known dangers that range from annoying to downright dangerous, not just for children but for all of us? Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services—Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System, during a recent interview on WTAX’s Ask the Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show, shares her expertise. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Bad Kid Habits and What You Can Do

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Center for Healthy Families, Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 23-06-2016

Angry-BoyEven the best behaved kids have bad habits.

“There’s no such thing as a bad kid,” says Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System. “There might be bad choices, but every kid is a good kid.”

Dr. Florence spoke to Ray Lytle recently on radio station WTAX’s Ask The Expert program about some of the bad habits that even your little angel can get into–and how parents should handle them. Read the rest of this entry »

Accidental Poisoning on the Rise

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Pediatrics, Physician Services, Safety | Posted on 24-03-2016

Cabinet with pill bottles next to hanging keysYour spouse just had surgery and no longer needs their pain meds. You don’t want extra pills in the cabinet, so you toss them in the trash. Later, your curious three-year-old spots them as he goes to throw away his squeezable applesauce. And because many pills are bright and look just like a sweet tart, he swallows one whole. As simple as the oversight may seem, it could carry deadly consequences.

Wrongly-ingested medications are the leading cause of accidental poisoning in children and adolescents. According to Safe Kids World Wide, two age groups are most at risk: one- and two-year-old toddlers as well as teens ages 15 to 19. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways You Can Be a Good Patient

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Physician Services | Posted on 22-12-2015

Male Patient And Doctor Have Consultation In Hospital RoomWe always want the best doctors that we can find. Well, that’s a two-way street. Doctors want good patients.

“We want you to understand that this is a relationship,” said Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System, during a recent interview on WTAX’s Ask The Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show. “There are certain things we expect of you as our patients.”

Here are a few things that good patients do:

Take Your Medications
A surprising number of patients don’t understand why they’re on medications and why they need to take those meds at the designated times. It’s vital to take your medication as instructed. Many patients don’t ask questions.

If you have to take one or two medications, that can be easy to manage. Some patients with chronic conditions may take 10 or 12 medications and maintaining their schedule can be a challenge. Setting an alarm on your smartphone can help. Using a pill organizer in which you store a week’s worth of pills in separate compartments based on the days of the week you take them can also help.

Keep a Health Journal
You can record your numbers for blood pressure or blood sugar levels in a journal and take that with you to each doctor’s appointment. Many times, patients come in and the only numbers the doctor has are the measurements taken during their visits. That may be one or two blood pressures a year to decide how well your blood pressure medication is working, Dr. Florence said.

You can download free apps to your smartphone to help you record those numbers. “Having those numbers when you go to your doctor can be really helpful in managing your health issues better,” Dr. Florence said.

Don’t Withhold Information
Some people are embarrassed to share some details with their doctor. It may not seem significant to you, but it may be very significant to your doctor. “The better communication you have and the more trusting relationship you have with your physician will help you to receive the best level of care,” Dr. Florence said.

Know When to Call the Office
If you’re not sure if you should call your doctor or go to ExpressCare, Dr. Florence advises that if it’s during office hours, give your doctor a call. “We know your history. We know your other medicines. It’s that relationship that will give you a better level of care,” Dr. Florence said.

However, if it’s after hours or you’re not in a place where you can get into your doctor’s office, it’s appropriate to call ExpressCare rather than wait until your doctor can see you, she said.

Prepare for Your Visits
The first step to preparing for your visit is to arrive on time. “If your appointment’s at 1 o’clock, that’s not when I want you to show up. That’s when I want you to be in the room waiting for me,” Dr. Florence said. Arrive for your doctor’s visit about 15 minutes early so you can be checked in and your vital signs can be taken. It takes only two or three patients to arrive a little late to jam up the schedule for everyone else.

When you make an appointment, make sure you tell the doctor’s staff everything you want to discuss. This allows the doctor’s office to allot the correct amount of time for your visit. “It’s really important for us to give you the time you need,” Dr. Florence said.

Nicole Florence, MD, is an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Florence is board certified in internal medicine, pediatrics and obesity medicine.

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Play Key Role in Primary Care

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services | Posted on 08-12-2015

Shot of a smiling doctor conversing with a senior patient

It can be frustrating to call your physician’s office only to hear it will be several weeks until you can see the doctor, especially during cold and flu season. This scenario is popping up more frequently in today’s primary care setting. The aging patient population, rise in chronic diseases, more newly-insured individuals seeking  primary care, all coupled with the shortage of physicians, leaves a gap in the healthcare market place.

The good news is you can often make same-day appointments with a board certified family nurse practitioner or physician assistant, depending on staffing at your primary care physician’s office. No, they’re not your physician, but you might be surprised what you don’t know about their role in your health. Read the rest of this entry »

Fight the Flu. It’s the Right Thing to Do.

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Flu, Physician Services | Posted on 02-12-2015

Flu-vaccinationThe flu vaccine can be an emotionally charged topic. While medical experts say it’s the single best way to prevent the flu, others question its effectiveness and worry about potential side effects.

So what’s the bottom line?

Influenza kills thousands of people each season—140 children just last year—according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s invisible, highly contagious and often is widespread during the winter months. Yes, the vaccine missed the mark last year after the predicted strains mutated. However, getting vaccinated is still the most effective way to keep your family safe, according to trusted medical experts. Read the rest of this entry »