Flying Doctors of America Mission to Jordan

Eileen Granahan in JordanOn June 13, 2014, my medical team with Flying Doctors of America flew from the comforts of our homes to meet in Amman, Jordan. There we began our medical mission to help Syrian refugees. The team included doctors, nurses, dentists, engineers, physical therapists, and other volunteers from all over the United States. We also had a social worker who specializes in post-traumatic stress, since the children had left a war zone. My son, who is an engineer, joined me again on this trip as he has in the past, volunteering his vacation time to this mission. Continue reading

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Flying in Pregnancy: What Every Woman Needs to Know!

pregnancy and airline travelNow that it’s summertime, it’s also vacation time! But what if you are pregnant?! Will that bun in the oven prevent you from jet-setting around the world?  The good news is that, for most women, occasional travel is okay if you are experiencing a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.  (However, if there is any question, please speak with your clinician.)

Here are some things you need to know to keep you and the baby safe: Continue reading

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Harvard Vanguard Pharmacy Over-the-Counter Product List

pill organizer.shutterstock_100441759Did you know that your Harvard Vanguard pharmacy carries a variety of commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) products at low prices?

The following is a list of OTCs that all Harvard Vanguard pharmacies carry. Each Harvard Vanguard pharmacy carries numerous additional products not listed here. Please contact any of our pharmacy locations directly to inquire about the availability of products not on this list.  And keep checking our web page for new updates to this list. Continue reading

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July 4th Holiday Hours Notice

July 4 fireworksOn Friday, July 4, 2014, Harvard Vanguard practices will be CLOSED except for Braintree, Kenmore, and Somerville, which are open for pre-scheduled urgent care visits during the times listed below.

If you feel you need medical advice or think you may need to be seen, call your doctor’s office at any time, day or night. Your call will be directed to our 24/7 medical staff and triaged as needed. Should you need an appointment, they can schedule one for you.

As always, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency access number. Continue reading

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The Oncology Department at Kenmore Gets a Modern, New Space

Waiting AreaThe Harvard Vanguard Oncology Department has always provided superb hematologic and oncologic care for patients faced with what is often the greatest health challenge of their lives. The department now has a new facility that matches the quality of care it has always provided.

Planning for the new space, located in our Kenmore practice, began in 2011 and involved a great deal of direct patient input.  Continue reading

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Ten Reasons to Take a Childbirth Class

childbirth classWith the many free ways to get information nowadays, spending money and devoting time to taking a childbirth class might seem unnecessary.  Here are 10 reasons that might change your mind. Continue reading

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Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fasciitisWhen the first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss). Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and is an overuse injury affecting the sole (plantar) of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) that connects your heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of your toes.

For most people, the pain you feel first thing in the morning will subside as the day goes on because the act of walking stretches the fascia. In severe cases, and for those who stand all day, the pain may become worse as the day goes on. Continue reading

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Five Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

prenatal yogaMany woman look for a way to relax and stay fit during pregnancy. The age-old practice of yoga can keep you limber, tone your muscles, and improve your balance and circulation with little, if any, impact on your joints.

A typical prenatal yoga class focuses on practicing different breathing techniques as well as gentle stretching of different areas of your body such as the neck and arms.

Below are five benefits that a woman can receive from taking prenatal yoga classes. Continue reading

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SMArt Kids Limit Screen Time

SMArt Kids Limit Screen TimeThe SMArt Kids at Burlington are SMART! They can answer the following questions correctly – can you?

Question #1: How many hours of screen time per day is recommended?
(Answer: Less than 1-2 hours per day and no screen time for children under age 2 years)

Question #2: What room should you make TV-free?
(Answer: The Bedroom! And also consider making the kitchen TV-free so you aren’t tempted to watch during meal time.)

The SMArt kids were not only correct but quick to answer these questions. Apparently, they have been listening well! Limiting screen time is key to being healthy and fit.  Studies have shown that, for some children, reducing screen time can have a more positive impact than increasing exercise in reducing BMI (body mass index). So, think about unplugging it, or at least following the recommended guidelines above. Continue reading

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Post-Hospital Syndrome

post-hospital syndromeA few years ago, my mother-in-law had a significant heart attack early one morning at home. She was transported to the emergency room near our town then helicoptered to a larger hospital for an emergency catheterization and treatment.  She ultimately made it out of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, graduated to a regular floor and was discharged to a rehabilitation hospital for a short stay.  Unfortunately, a week after being there, we got a middle-of-the-night call and were told she had experienced some bleeding and was being sent back to the hospital.  Fortunately, her stay was brief and she was again able to progress to the rehab hospital and eventually home.

She lived with us and was therefore under close supervision as she recuperated (closer than she wanted!)   My sons would walk loops around the neighborhood with her after school to make sure she did her “cardiac rehab.”  I managed her medications and follow-up appointments to make sure we lost nothing in translation.  My husband took her shopping to get her out of the house and to be more active.

She was doing well until about a month after her heart attack when she was become increasingly short of breath. Once again, she went back to the hospital.  This time she was experiencing heart failure, a common sequel after a large heart attack because the heart is not pumping at full capacity.

Nana Roshak was experiencing what we in healthcare call “complications” after her heart attack. She was also, I believe, experiencing “post-hospital syndrome.”  Continue reading

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