Don’t Ignore These Symptoms of STDs – Einstein Perspectives

• On any given day, about one out of five Americans has a sexually transmitted disease, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papillomavirus and HIV, among others. As we observe Sexual Health Awareness Month, it’s good to keep those two things in mind, and not form judgments about the people who acquire sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Still, there are important reasons to raise awareness now. Cases of many STDs are on the rise – sharply. For example, 2.5 million cases of chlam

Improving the Patient Experience in Einstein Philadelphia Emergency Department – Einstein Perspectives

The emergency department at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia is one of the busiest in the city, treating about 95,000 patients a year. The ED accounts for roughly 70 percent of admissions to Einstein Philadelphia annually. Not surprisingly, it is a hive of activity, key to the hospital’s mission, and regarded as one of the best at what it does—treating patients often under the most difficult of circumstances, from trauma to diabetic emergencies to heart attacks, and more. That said, everyth

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Joins HealthyWoman Network – Einstein Perspectives

For underinsured or uninsured patients of certain income levels, breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostics are out of reach. Or so many of them might think. But assuming they meet eligibility requirements, those patients can get breast and cervical screenings and diagnostic tests for free, thanks to the HealthyWoman program. Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia is part of the HealthyWoman network in southeast Pennsylvania, and now so is Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in East No

Fresh For All: Einstein Hosts Free Food Distribution Program –

Imagine a place where people can go to pick up farm-fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables—for free. And not just any people, but those who might not otherwise be able to purchase them. One such place? The Fresh for All free food program on West Tabor Road at Park Avenue in North Philadelphia, directly across from the Tabor Road entrance to Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. The program is operated by Einstein Philadelphia in conjunction with local hunger relief organization Philabundance.

Meet Christian F. Witzke, MD – Einstein Perspectives

Dr. Witzke is director of the Structural Heart Disease Program and director of the Latin-American Cardiovascular Program at Einstein Healthcare Network. Dr. Witzke has a special interest in the field of structural heart disease. He focuses on percutaneous closure of heart defects, paravalvular leaks and management of various valvular heart diseases, including aortic stenosis and mitral valve disease. Dr. Witzke is a leading implanter of percutaneous aortic valve prosthesis—also known as TAVR—in

There’s a Dramatic Increase in Liver Cancer Death Rates Nationwide. Why? – Einstein Perspectives

The liver cancer death rate in the United States is up dramatically, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Roughly 22,000 men and 9,000 women in the nation develop liver cancer annually, the CDC says. How can we account for this increase? Who is most affected? What can be done to lower your risk? For answers, we interviewed Einstein Healthcare Network hepatologist Richard Kalman, MD, who specializes in liver disease and transplantation, with a spe

Meet Alexandra Tuluca, MD, FACS – Einstein Perspectives

Alexandra Tuluca, MD, the Associate Chief of Cardiac Surgery, is a busy attending cardiothoracic surgeon for the Einstein Healthcare Network. She is one of only a handful of female heart surgeons in the country and is a recent recipient of a “40 under 40” award by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Her interests include minimally invasive cardiac surgery, the treatment of aortic disease, and endovascular surgery. We sat down with her recently to talk about her career, discovering some of the ste

How Parents Can Practice Good Sun Safety – Einstein Perspectives

For Einstein pediatrician Denise E. Wynne-Baker, MD, the treatment of children is, of course, her most immediate priority. But along with treatment comes another pressing priority: prevention. Around this time of year, and heading into summer, one concern is sun exposure, and preventing the long-term damage that can result. “My goal is to treat,” Dr. Wynne-Baker says, “but also to educate my patients, and to prevent diseases—and having sun protection is exactly what’s going to prevent skin canc

Thanks to MossRehab Therapist, She Ran and Finished the Broad Street Run – Einstein Perspectives

A couple of weeks before the 2018 Blue Cross Broad Street Run, MossRehab occupational therapist Dina Mastrogiovanni doubted she would be able to lace up and take off down Broad Street at her usual pace—if at all. It would have been her 16th run down Broad Street. Not to run would have been sorely disappointing. She recently turned 50, and felt like she had something to prove. A veteran of marathons and half marathons, Mastrogiovanni believed she was in a position to do just that. “I wanted to

Volunteer Cuddlers Bring a Special Touch to the NICU – Einstein Perspectives

When Meryl Silver retired from her job as a college counselor, she knew she was not the kind of retiree who pictured herself spending a lot of time sitting in a rocking chair. One day in Fall 2017, she read a newspaper story about a program geared at recruiting volunteers for the neonatal intensive care unit at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. Their job: to cuddle often medically fragile babies. Perhaps not surprisingly, the job entails a good deal of time sitting in a rocking chair. And i

Healing the Smallest Victims of the Opioid Epidemic – Einstein Perspectives

Some of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia were just born early. Some have medical issues, like respiratory problems. But recently, as more and more mothers have become addicted to opioids, many of their children are born with the same harrowing addiction. Opioid dependence among newborns, says NICU nurse manager Maryann Malloy, has become a significant problem throughout Philadelphia. “Even one baby is too many,” she says, “but at any

Fighting Back from a Traumatic Brain Injury – Einstein Perspectives

Jack Cavanaugh was in his senior year at Bloomsburg University, taking summer classes and staying at his parents’ vacation home in the Poconos. It was August 12, 2013. Cavanaugh’s best friend and another friend were coming to visit. After spending a few hours catching up, they decided to go to bed around 12:30. After going upstairs, Cavanaugh and his friend started talking. Cavanaugh sat on the balcony rail as they talked. He leaned out as they spoke and lost his balance. He fell 12 feet onto

New Direct-to-Consumer Breast Cancer Genetic Tests: A Good Idea? –

The direct-to-consumer genetic testing service 23andMe has the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tell its customers whether they test positive for three mutations in two genes commonly associated with breast cancer. On the contrary, says Einstein Healthcare Network geneticist Adele Schneider, MD: “It’s a dangerous thing to be doing for the general population.” For a fee, consumers can provide a sample of their saliva in a tube to 23andMe for analysis. After six to eight we

Is Vaping Harmful to Teens? – Einstein Perspectives

The good news is, the number of Americans smoking cigarettes has taken a nosedive in the past 50 years, from 42 percent to 15 percent. The possibly more ambiguous news is that sales of e-cigarettes—devices that heat liquid, often containing nicotine, to provide a vapor that can be inhaled—are on the rise. Sales of e-cigarettes rose 14.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. A recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Eng

Is this Flu Season Cause for Worry? – Einstein Perspectives

The flu is widespread throughout Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationwide, flu prevalence is also widespread—said to be the worst season in 15 years, when the CDC started keeping records. Up to 37 child deaths have been reported since the outbreak began, and about 12,000 people have wound up in the hospital, according to The Washington Post. What makes this flu season different? Is it something to worry about? What can you do t

Caring for Patients with HIV/AIDS – Einstein Perspectives

As medical director of the Immunodeficiency Center at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Jody Borgman, MD, has witnessed many positive developments in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. “It’s been extremely rewarding,” says Dr. Borgman. “I’ve seen tremendous breakthroughs and changes in medication. For many years, we couldn’t get patients to take their medications because the regimen was so difficult. There were so many pills, and there were lots of side effects from the pills. Now, most patients ca

An A.C. Cop's Fight to Survive and Inspire – Einstein Perspectives

For many of us, a new year means resolutions. For Josh Vadell, it means a series of small resolutions that together add up to one huge accomplishment. He’s resolved to continue his dramatic recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound in September 2016. And few are so doggedly determined. Vadell, at the time an Atlantic City police officer, suffered a severe head wound while attempting to break up a robbery. It was the beginning of a long and tough road. Vadell, who retired from the police force fo

Young Stroke Survivor Rides Again – Einstein Perspectives

On a brisk late fall afternoon, with the low sun shining through the trees, Sarah Tegtmeier is riding atop a chestnut gelding, trotting back and forth and around one of the rings at a Warrington, Pa., stable. She and the horse, Steven, are carving out patterns in the loose sand, traipsing delicately over log barriers in the arena. Her instructor calls out instructions, and offers words of encouragement. “Get him to go where you want him to go,” she says. “Nice job … awesome!” Tegtmeier’s right

Physical Therapy: Part of the Long Road for Transplant Patients –

If you have a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or some other debilitating physical disability, it’s a pretty good bet that you will need some form of some physical therapy. What might be less well known is that transplant patients need therapy, too. They can also benefit from the continuity of care that can occur when the transplant unit and the rehab team work together. Before their transplant, many patients already have difficulty with daily activities like getting in and out of the bathtub,

Here’s Why You Just Might Get That Flu Shot Now – Einstein Perspectives

Surely, flu season hasn’t started yet. So why all the signs advertising flu shots at your local supermarket or drug store? Why are physicians offering them? It’s true that flu season doesn’t start in earnest until around December, lasting through April or May, says Eric Sachinwalla, MD, medical director, Infection Prevention & Control, at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. But there’s at least one good reason to take your doctor up on that offer. “The answer I usually give people is that if
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