John Dabrowski LICSW
Neponset Health Center
Geiger Gibson Community Health Center
We arrive once again at another holiday season, deep into the Digital Era, when the wealth of miraculous modern devices that inform and entertain is more impressive and plentiful than ever. Many of this year’s gifts will be the updated, more efficient and feature-laden versions of last year’s, bringing a commensurate rise, no doubt, in our collective standard of living. Perhaps. A lot of worrisome questions can be raised about all of this, but to raise here one of the original concerns: At what point is it all so distracting that it presents serious problems?
Some studies suggest that overdependence on digital reading and learning, with the tangential temptations endemic to digitalized texts, adversely affects the ability of the brain to follow an extended line of reasoning or material that demands more than ten minutes of concentration. Not to mention the brain’s normal predilection to distraction in the first place – we can’t resist it without effort, in the first place. Throw in texting and GPS and the current marketing of automobiles more as “interconnective devices” than transportation, and it may be time to reconsider the sanity of all this. A trend I have personally noticed in my practice is a disturbing uptick in trauma cases of people who have been violently rearended. Is the rise in documented ADHD, now 11% of 11-14 year olds in the US (according to the CDC) worth mentioning here?
This holiday season, consider leaving the devices behind occasionally and taking a walk, preferably on a sunny day, alone with your thoughts. Or go with a friend. Or your kids. Focus on the moment, see what you get. And please treat driving like the demanding, responsible activity that it is.
By: William Brandon, MD MPH MHA
Site Medical Director
Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis
Most of you probably heard on the news that the guidelines for treating high cholesterol were changing. The news highlighted that many more people would be asked to take statins, the common drug used to lower cholesterol, but some people taking the medication now wouldn’t have to take it anymore. The news also emphasized that there wouldn’t be such an emphasis on reaching a certain number for LDL what is considered your “bad” cholesterol.
After reviewing the actual guidelines put out by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology I came away with the following points:
1. We need to include people with strokes as having high risk for a heart attack and treat them aggressively.
2. We should focus on people with Diabetes who are over the age of 40
3. We need to work harder on lifestyle modification in other words don’t smoke, eat healthy foods, exercise at least 4 times a week and keep your weight down
Another new concept was that everyone should have their 10 year and lifetime risk of having a heart attack calculated and then those with risks over 7.5% should be treated with statins. This concept has come under attack by some researchers in Boston who feel the tool overestimates some people’s risk.
It is unclear whether these changes will make doctors or patients change the way they are treated. On a personal note I have taken statins for several years mainly because of a strong Family History of Coronary Artery Disease and a mildly elevated LDL. I ran myself through the calculator and found I only have a 2.5% 10 year chance of having a problem. By these new guidelines, since I don’t have Diabetes, I can probably stop my medication. I am hesitant given that that my Father, both grandfathers and some uncles had heart attacks in their 50s. For now I will probably continue to take the medication. Everyone on these meds should discuss it with their providers and you should probably ask to have your 10 year risk calculated. This is certainly not an issue that is clear and I am sure much debate to come.
By Chris Petteruti,
Case Manager | Client Services
Neponset Health Center
In this picture, Freda is behind NHC staff
By: Michael Buttimer, Communications Specialist
Harbor Health Services, Inc.
Considered the “Backbone of Neponset Health Center”, Freda Nolan has long provided support to NHC staff, patients and anyone looking to raid her candy dish. Freda shares her opinion on bosses, movies and beards:
How long have you worked at Neponset Health Center?
From 1974-1976, on the Board of Directors.
Employed at NHC from 1976-Present; 37 years.
What was your position when you started? What is your position now?
Greeting patients, booking appointments, and phones. Filing medical records and doing mail.
Now, I do the mail, fix bad addresses and phone numbers of patients and anything they give me.
How has Neponset Health Center changed over the years?
Too many people trying to be the big boss when there is really only one big boss-Dan Driscoll.
What’s your favorite part about working at NHC?
The employees and the patients.
What do you do in your free time?
Going to the plaza and seeing my grand children and their parents.
What were you for Halloween?
Didn’t need to change, witch enough.
What is your favorite movie?
Have not been to a movie in 20 or so years.
The Red Sox grew beards for the World Series. Who has the best beard at Harbor Health Services, Inc.?
Mike Buttimer. Very neat and not too long.
That just made my day.