We’re so proud of our graduating seniors! 2020 graduation hasn’t been even close to normal, so we’re doing all we can to celebrate these young adults.
By Matthew Hornung, Director of Information Technology for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
During this unpredictable time, LSPG is making every effort it can to make your child’s healthcare as convenient and safe as possible. In order to reduce the chance of spreading disease, we have implemented a new telehealth system from Doxy.Me that allows our providers and staff to work with you and your child via video. This means you will be able to see the doctor or nurse without leaving the safety of your home, for common sickness and minor injuries. We have this service available in both our pediatric and adult medicine departments!
Our administrative staff consulted with several providers of telehealth and chose Doxy.Me based on its ease of use by both the provider and patient. We also selected Doxy.Me because it’s a secure system that ensures privacy during the telemedicine visit. Doxy.Me uses the latest technology to provide video and audio sharing between you and your provider, as well as the ability to transmit pictures of injuries or rashes during the call. This will allow our providers to see what’s wrong up close, but without being in direct contact with you or your child. This will also prevent you from having to be physically exposed to anyone in our office.
Using Doxy.me from a patient’s perspective is intuitive. It’s easy to use the system and you can immediately join a session with a provider when it’s time for your appointment. The application can run on either a smartphone or a laptop (windows or mac), making it convenient to use when you are on the go. We’ve found that our patients appreciate the ease of use and availability this service provides. While Doxy.Me is being used during the pandemic, we’re looking into implementing this as a regular service longer term.
Our office is taking extreme measures to keep our facilities clean throughout each day and at the end of business each night. We’re separating sick and well children in different areas of our buildings to further reduce any chance of spreading disease. That said, offering telehealth is just one more step we can take to ensure the comfort and safety of our patients and resume a somewhat normal routine for your children’s regular healthcare.
By Cindy Aldrige, F.N.P., Provider for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
Did you know that 5 in 10 people listen to their music or audio at volumes that are too loud? 4 in 10 young people are around dangerously loud noises during events like concerts and sports games. And 48 million people in the US have trouble hearing with one or both of their ears.
YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR EARS!!!!
When you have difficulty hearing, it can be classified as conductive (like earwax build up) or sensorineural (damage to tiny hair cells in the inner ear). Conductive can often be improved with treatment such as removing the earwax, repairing the eardrum, and reducing fluid on the ear. Sensorineural is more difficult… and often permanent hearing loss and is largely preventable.
How do you know if you’re causing hearing damage?
If you must talk louder to be heard over the sound, then it can be damaging your ears. Your ears don’t get used to noise, they get damaged from noise. Once hearing is damaged, it can’t be repaired, and you have hearing deficits for a LIFETIME.
How do you protect your hearing? I’m glad you asked!
- Turn the volume down
- Walk away from loud noise
- Take breaks from the noise
- Avoid loud, noisy activities and places
- Use hearing protection when in a loud environment you can’t avoid
There are different types of hearing protection.
Some are inserted into the ear like earplugs (premolded, formable, custom fitted) and canal caps. There are also over the ear types such as earmuffs or headphones that protect the ear and specialty made devices like noise cancelling headphones.
There are other things that can help improve hearing or prevent difficulties. I always recommend NOT using Q-Tips, at least not deep into the ear canal. Using these on the external/outer ear is okay. I also recommend you treat seasonal allergies if you’ve noticed that your hearing is muffled when you’re congested or feeling drainage down your throat.
Pain is never normal, so if you have ear pain, see your health care provider.
Protect your hearing, protect your health!
Resources used for this article:
I’ve always been overweight and have struggled with diabetes for 20 years. My mom died at age 58 from diabetes, so I never even considered living a healthier life because I had convinced myself I would die by the time I was 58. My mom and all of her siblings died before they were 60 years old.
In 2018 something pretty amazing happened!
I had a granddaughter! My son and daughter in law had a beautiful girl named Presley. And I made it to 58 and I’m still living!
By this time, I was taking 2000mg of Metformin and 5 insulin shots daily. I decided I didn’t want to take insulin anymore and now I had even more reasons to live a long, happy life.
While talking to my brother, he told me he lost weight and was able to get his diabetes under control while doing the Keto diet. I was sure that I could make a change in my life as well. On April 1, 2019, I started Keto. I truly believe that had I looked at this as a diet, I would never have been successful. I had to look at it as a lifestyle change.
That day I weighed 280 pounds.
I never really had a weight loss goal. I just wanted to get off insulin and be healthy and live longer. The weight loss was an added bonus. I changed the way I was eating and after the first week I was down 11 pounds. In the first month, I was down 30 pounds. I was off insulin and was feeling 100% better than I ever had. I was walking without becoming short of breath and had a ton of energy.
My family and friends were a big part of my success. My daughter in law prepared Keto meals for me and my son made me get out and walk. My husband, sister and brother encouraged me every step of the way. Presley was there to constantly remind me that I had a reason to keep going and to get healthy. I want to see her grow up!
I know that I will never be able to eat the way I used to, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the good. That’s why I thought the title, “Donuts or Health” would be appropriate.
It’s now been about a year since starting my journey and I feel WONDERFUL! I’ve exceeded all of my expectations. My hemoglobin A1C is within normal limits, my blood sugars are under 120 and I’m off insulin.
I’ve lost 98 pounds.
My starting, highest weight was 288 pounds… and I’m down to 190 pounds.
At LSPG, we often have lunches available and inevitably someone has had a party and brings in leftover cookies, cake or candy. The thing I miss the most are donuts! Dr. Gershon brings donuts in every now and then and little does he know that I would gladly give my right arm for one! In fact I secretly lift the lid and inhale… Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.
But when I think about how far I’ve come I just can’t sabotage all the hard work I’ve put in. Every day gets easier and seeing the transformation in my body and health keep me motivated to continue. It took me a long time to get to this point but now I’m never looking back!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I wanted to share that it’s possible to change no matter what your age. It takes discipline and it’s really helpful to have your friends and family behind you. Good luck!
By Angie Stott, C-P.N.P for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group
This time of year, many parents coming into our offices report that their children have been sick multiple times over the past few months. It can feel like an endless cycle of viruses, office visits, and days missed from school or daycare. It’s even more confusing with everything happening related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Parents often ask if this might be a sign that their child has an immune system problem.
The average child will have four to eight viral respiratory infections each year, and each one of these illnesses can last two to three weeks before resolving. Children in daycare, school, or who have older siblings in school may experience 10-12 episodes of viral respiratory infections per year. Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke may be sick even more often. If each one of these illnesses last several weeks, a normal healthy child may be sick for about 1/3 to 1/2 of the year with a runny nose and cough!
Some children may develop pneumonia once or twice during the cold and flu season or have several episodes of ear infections or strep throat that need appropriate antibiotic treatment. If these infections respond to standard therapy (typically oral antibiotics given at home) they are not a red flag sign of a weak immune system. If the child is also growing and developing normally, appears healthy between infections, and has no family history of immunodeficiency it is unlikely that they would have a more serious condition.
Children who have multiple severe infections during the year that require hospital stays for intravenous antibiotics, infections with an unusual bacterial pathogen, or have an unusual complication after a common illness may need additional evaluation.
Infection Control at Home
The best way to help reduce the number of illness days is to practice good infection control at home and in the community. This message is currently being talked about everywhere. But it really does improve the odds. Yearly flu shots and frequent hand washing with proper technique especially before eating/drinking, and after using the restroom are the best defense against illness. Avoiding secondhand smoke is also very important.
Spring allergies are going to make noses run again. Word to the wise… restart allergy medicines now if you or your child are an allergy sufferer!
By Laura Salitros, D.O. – Lee’s Summit Physicians Group
In our current society, we’ve set up our lives to never truly have to leave home. Now we are faced with a global pandemic.
In order to try to protect our most vulnerable populations and to prevent overwhelming our medical system, we have been asked to STAY HOME. This leaves a lot of us wondering how to navigate the weeks to come.
Take a deep breath.
The first step is to take a deep breath, give yourself some GRACE, and come up with a plan. Have your kids had unlimited screen time and crazy bedtimes for the past week or two? If so, it’s okay. But it’s time for us to find a new normal.
Tips for finding your new normal:
- Maintain a schedule. Have your kids wake up at the same time each day, take a shower, and get dressed. Keep a regular bedtime routine. Quality sleep is important for our physical and mental health.
- Continue to monitor screen time. Recommended screen time is none for kids less than 2 years of age, less than 1 hour for kids 2-5 years of age, and less than 2 hours for older kids and teens. Depending on resources you’re using for school, this may look a little bit different for now. Just remember that we still don’t want unlimited screen time even if a lot of it is educational material.
- Many parents have suddenly been thrust into the role of homeschool teacher while also trying to work from home. This can be overwhelming! The good news is that there are a lot of people out there to help.
- Check your emails from the school as well as the school website to find out whether your school has specific online resources or assignments for your child.
- Ask for help from seasoned homeschoolers! Many parents who homeschool have been graciously sharing resources online.
- Research education companies who have free or reduced-rate subscriptions while schools are shut down. There are also many authors who are doing live read-aloud events and artists who are doing live drawing lessons.
- Have a designated place for learning. Try to make sure that your kids are avoiding their bed to study. We want them to associate their bed with sleep.
- For kids and teens who will have online classes, make sure they pay attention to deadlines. They may also have online hour requirements to meet.
- Limit distractions. Turn off your phone or adjust notifications during designated study times.
- Get some exercise. Whether you try an online yoga class or get outside (appropriately distanced from other people) to play, run, ride bikes, or walk, we all need to make sure we get our bodies moving.
- Get some sunshine! When the rain stops, get outside to play and learn. Have a picnic, plant a garden, look for bugs, draw a picture on the driveway, or help an elderly neighbor take care of their lawn.
- Enjoy your time as a family! Play board games, make cookies, read books, do art projects, or pick up a new hobby.
- Get organized. You’re stuck at home, anyway. Go ahead and get your kids helping with spring cleaning – it’s a great time to organize all those closets!
- Stay connected. FaceTime your friends and family even when you can’t physically be with them.
- Look for increasing signs of depression and anxiety. Isolation, lack of physical activity, and increasing electronic use can be triggers. Call for help if you are seeing this.
This is an opportunity to learn.
While this global pandemic will present many challenges for individuals and families, it also presents us with an opportunity to learn. We can learn to slow down, to realize what is really important in our lives, to be creative, to grow together as families, and to come together as a community (while keeping our appropriate social distance from one another). Significant challenges can teach us what it means to be resilient.
I am optimistic that we can all come out on the other side of this as better people as long as we remember to be kind.
Finally, keep in mind that you are your child’s North Star. They look to you for comfort. They mirror your behavior. Stay calm and be positive as much as you can, and remember that we are all in this together.
March 21, 2020 is Absolutely Incredible Kid day. We would like to recognize just a few of our incredible kids at Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
Each day we are evaluating the current situation, assessing the COVID‐19 risk and adapting our procedures to be prepared to support our patient families. While we understand the growing concern, we also know the importance of continued care for all our patients. Please review the following information to understand how we are caring for our patients during the pandemic.
Our facilities are set up in a way that will allow us to control the flow of patients in and out of the building. Because of this, we will be able to continue seeing patients while also practicing recommended social distancing to help “flatten the curve” of illness.
We will have specific, well child check providers isolated from other providers and staff. We will also be reducing our hours. Beginning March 19th, our office hours will change. New hours will be Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm at all locations, and 8am to 11am on the weekend at our Blue Parkway location.
For up-to-date information on when we are open, please visit our contact page.
If you think you or your child has been exposed to COVID-19:
If you have a cough, with or without fever, and have a known exposure to COVID‐19, please CALL AHEAD at 816‐524‐5600 prior to coming in so our phone triage nurses can direct you in the appropriate procedures. We are working on staffing our phone lines with more nurses to accommodate the increase in phone calls that we expect to see. Please be patient and kind with them as they are working hard and fast to deliver the best care to all our patients and families.
All patients arriving at our offices will be assessed:
All patients arriving at the office will be assessed for the COVID‐19 risk via current recommended screening protocols. COVID‐19 testing is not available at any of our locations. However, to ensure utmost safety for all our patients, there will be a few additional questions asked as part of your check-in process.
Patients deemed to be at risk will not be allowed into clinical areas. However, they will be supplied with an appropriate action plan. Patients deemed to NOT BE at risk will be assigned to an appropriate exam room.
Designated area for well children:
Well children will now have a designated area to enter our facilities. We will be checking in well patients through our back doors. Once checked in, well children will be assigned to well child rooms. We have a designated hallway at each office for these visits. This will help us completely separate well children from sick care areas. If well child rooms are full, you may be asked to wait in your car until an exam room is available. Please be patient. We will call, text or hold a sign up to let you know you are next.
Please be on the lookout for your check-in email from our Phreesia application. This is the best way to check in ahead of time and save you valuable time!
Sick children with illness unrelated to COVID-19:
We understand you may have sick children with illness and symptoms unrelated to COVID‐19. We are also setting up NON‐COVID‐19 sick child areas. Once your child has been assessed as low‐risk for COVID‐ 19 they will be assigned to an appropriate exam room and seen by our outstanding providers.
We are asking you to limit each visit to only the scheduled patient and one care provider. We understand the burden this can cause, but limiting the number of people in the office will help decrease the risk to you while also allowing us focus on your child’s care.
We are clean freaks!
Our policy has always been to wipe down exam rooms after each patient visit so our exam areas remain clean and disinfected the entire day. We are also going to be wearing masks at the front desk. An additional measure we are adopting is to take our temperature regularly and keeping a record of the results.
REMINDER: If your child is one of our patients and you are concerned about COVID‐19 exposure, call our office before bringing your child into any of our locations. DO NOT BRING THE PATIENT IN WITHOUT CALLING FIRST. If your child is NOT one of our patients, please call your child’s pediatrician or local health care department. Symptoms are usually mild cold symptoms and MAY include: Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath. Fortunately, children do not seem to get as ill as adults.
Treatment: While no medications are currently available for this viral infection, rest, fluids and fever reducers may be used. Again, we do not have any COVID-19 testing at our facilities. PLEASE STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.
Thank you for trusting us with your care!
By Dena Pepple, R.N. for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
“YOU CAN FIND MAGIC WHEREVER YOU LOOK. SIT BACK AND RELAX, ALL YOU NEED IS A BOOK.” – DR. SEUSS
Did you know that Read Across America is celebrated on March 2nd? Who better to remind us of the importance of reading than Dr. Seuss? And Dr. Seuss’ birthday is also March 2nd!
Dr. Seuss published over 60 children’s books, many of which are in my home library. His books are indeed magical with fun rhymes (Hop on Pop), made up names (The Lorax), faraway places (Whoville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas), and lessons learned (Horton Hears a Who).
What is also magical and bears repeating is how important early literacy (children reading and being read to) is for our children’s learning, development and success.
“I LIKE NONSENSE. IT WAKES UP THE BRAIN.” – DR. SEUSS
Literacy practice and success starts well before we can actually read. Communication is at the heart of literacy and it starts with our first words, stories, and songs to our newborns. Dr. Seuss may have been joking when he mentioned waking up the brain, but he was spot on. The developing brain of a baby triples in the first year of life. At age three, their brain is twice as active as an adult brain and stays that way for the first ten years of life.
That baby talk or “nonsense” conversation we have with our newborns does indeed help “wake up” our brain cells. As we continue that communication with books and reading, our child’s early literacy is given a boost or jump start. Numerous studies agree that the early introduction of books and reading increases language skills, vocabularies, and future educational success.
“BE AWESOME. BE A BOOK NUT.” – DR. SEUSS
Here’s my list about why books are awesome:
- Books broaden your horizons. Your children can travel backward or forward in time, all over the world or out of this world, into make-believe or true stories, and not leave your home.
- Books teach values, kindness and empathy. As your children get to know the characters in the book, they learn how to treat others and who the good and bad guys are.
- Reading books improves test scores and language comprehension. Children who are read to regularly have higher cognitive skills and are twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading than their peers who haven’t been read to.
- Reading teaches focus. Being able to focus or stay on task is an important part of our children’s growth. With books, our children have to think about the characters, setting and action as well as previous and present story line.
- Reading is great for family time. In my previous blog I wrote about the importance of family time. Reading with and to our children promotes both quality and quantity family time.
- Reading teaches confidence and inspires imagination. A favorite activity with my grandkids is to make up stories. We start with “Once upon a time…” and take turns adding lines to tell the story. Of course, with preschool boys, almost every story has monsters and poop in it, but we have a blast and I can see their little minds at work.
“YOU’R NEVER TOO OLD, TOO WACKY OR WILD, TO PICK UP A BOOK AND READ TO A CHILD.” – DR. SEUSS
We know how important reading is for our children’s development. As adults though, we’re “never to old” to benefit from reading as well. A recent study found adults who read are 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimers. Reading enhances our memory and decreases stress. Just 6 minutes of reading a day has shown up to a 68% decrease in stress levels.
I love to read and often get caught up in a good book. Now I have some good excuses to keep on reading!
“I CAN READ IN RED. I CAN READ IN BLUE. I CAN READ IN PICKLE COLOR TOO.” – DR. SEUSS
One huge thing Dr. Seuss did was make reading FUN! As parents, we should follow his lead.
Encourage a variety of books to read. Take your children to the library or bookstore often and let them pick out their books. Follow their interests without forcing only what you think is best. I’ve read Tae Kwon Go, (a very silly book with monsters but no poop!) to my grandsons too many times. It’s not my favorite, but it is theirs, and so I read it to them.
Even after your children can read for themselves, I encourage you to continue reading together and taking turns. Discuss the books before, during and after reading with your children. And this might be the most important tip for parents… MODEL reading for your children. If it’s not important to you, it probably won’t be important to them.
“FILL YOUR HOUSE WITH BOOKS, IN ALL THE CRANNIES AND ALL THE NOOKS.” – DR. SEUSS
Reading and books should be part of your routine. A good friend has always given a book, tool and toy to her children for Christmas. She continues this with her adult children and grandchildren. I’ve heard many parents say their bedtime routine is the three Bs: Brush (teeth), Book and Bed.
Libraries offer story time weekly. I give books for Christmas to my siblings and their families. There are 60 of us, so I pick a theme, and start shopping early. Most of them actually do like it! Choose from these ideas or create your own reading routine.
“READ. TRAVEL. READ. ASK. READ. LEARN. READ. CONNECT. READ.” – DR. SEUSS
Lee’s Summit Physicians Group, Raintree Pediatrics, and Blue Springs Pediatrics wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Seuss about the importance of reading. Our providers discuss this at well visits, especially with our younger population. We have children’s books in our patient rooms to peruse while waiting. We’re going to pilot our own mini library in each of our offices starting March 1, 2020. With this library, we want your child to keep the book. It doesn’t need to come back.
We give out brand new books at select office well visits to encourage reading at home.
One study I came across showed that children in homes with 20 or more books have on average 3 more years of schooling than homes without books. With children, one can never have too many books!
“THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE THINGS YOU WILL KNOW. THE MORE THAT YOU LEARN, THE MORE PLACES YOU’LL GO.” – DR. SEUSS
Here in the United States, less than half of children age 0-5 years are read to on a regular basis by a parent or family member. While this is a sad statistic to me, it’s fixable. Lee’s Summit Physicians Group, Raintree Pediatrics, and Blue Springs Pediatrics are working on improving this… and you can also. For your child, one book at a time will increase the things they will know, and the places they will go! Happy reading!
By Jody C. Brown, Director for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.
Our youngest son enlisted in the delayed entry program for the Marines before his senior year of high school even began. He doesn’t come from a long line of military family members, so while he had always talked about joining the Marines, this journey was new (and very emotional) for us!
Because he had been enlisted for so long, over a year by the time he shipped out, the day of his departure was less emotional and almost more a sense of “we’ve been talking about this for so long, it’s time to just get going.” Don’t get me wrong, tears were most definitely shed that day!
The reality of Marine Boot Camp is harsh.
As much as a young man, or woman, thinks they are ready for what awaits them in their 13 weeks of boot camp, from our experience with Jake, and the many young men around him, nothing really prepares you. YouTube videos are great for giving you some idea of what you will experience, and stories from Marines back for their 10 days of leave following boot camp also give you a small glimpse of what you will experience.
I received more than a couple letters that left me in tears over what was being told to me in those letters. he Marines have a job to do, and their job is to get these young men and women ready to enter a combat situation and be able to do their job without hesitation and without distraction. I may be appalled at the tactics that are used, but I’m a mom, not a drill instructor tasked with the job of taking a recruit and making him a Marine. I did apologize to Jake at one point for not screaming at him continuously as a child, had I done that he may have felt a little more at home in boot camp.
However, after 13 weeks of no contact other than good old handwritten letters, and one phone call that came on Thanksgiving Day for 3 minutes and 45 seconds (which would be followed by 24 hours of quarantine for him and his platoon as the majority of them got food poisoning from their Thanksgiving meal) Family Day and Graduation Day finally arrived!
What an incredibly emotional and powerful ceremony to be a part of for those two days.
When we laid eyes on Jake for the first time in 13 weeks, he came so close to us that I could have reached out and touched him, but because they were performing a training exercise, he could not acknowledge us at all. Not with the slightest of smiles or even a side eye glance. I asked him later if he saw us there because I really could not tell if he had or not, but he had. After a morning of motivational runs, formations and some meetings for the parents, he was finally ours and we got to spend a whole 5 hours on base with him that day.
So many questions, so many stories and not nearly enough time after so many weeks apart, but it was a great day!
Not every recruit makes it through.
Not every recruit makes it in boot camp. (You are referred to as a recruit until you complete the Crucible which occurs in week 10.) I didn’t know until he was there, but recruits can actually quit boot camp, and they can also get sent home by the Marine Corp. Many in Jake’s platoon did not make it. Knowing this and knowing what he had endured the previous 13 weeks including upper respiratory infection, pink eye, foot issues, food poisoning and of course all the mental aspects of boot camp… such pride filled his dad and I in that moment when we first saw him. But we could only watch him.
What was the most important thing for Jake during boot camp?
Letters from home. Letters from family especially, but also from friends in our circle who Jake may not have known well, but they took the time to write him anyway. Those letters kept him going. The encouragement held within every single letter he received pushed him to succeed in his goal.
My heart was broken one evening when I found out that a young recruit in his platoon, who happened to be from the Kansas City area, had not received a single letter halfway through boot camp. I did not know this young man, but I sent him a letter that same day. He wrote the nicest letter back and I was thankful to be able to meet him on Family Day. He was so thankful for that letter from “Brown’s mom” and it got me thinking, how many other young men don’t have the family support that Jake had to encourage them and tell them how proud they are of them? My guess is that there are more than a few.
I will continue to write letters to recruits in Golf Company whenever a new group is starting. A little bit of encouragement from a proud stranger can’t hurt!