What’s that Red Bump? 6 Things You Should Know about Rashes

child rashes.shutterstock_123958123Chances are that your child will develop at least one mysterious bump, welt or break-out in his or her childhood. While common, rashes may not be always benign. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s pediatrician to look at a rash and determine whether treatment (or just observation) is necessary.

Usually, nothing is better than seeing the rash up close and in person; however, I can get clues over the phone to help me determine the possible cause and significance of a rash. Below, I’ve listed 6 questions I ask about a rash, which I hope can help you be better prepared when you call the doctor’s office. Continue reading

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Want to keep that New Year’s resolution? We may have a way…

health coaching class“Beginning January 1st, I will exercise every day and eliminate fast food from my diet.” Does that sound familiar?   With the start of 2015 around the corner and all of its promises for a new beginning, this is the time of year when many people start to think about their New Year’s resolutions. Whether your plan is to be more active, eat healthy foods, stop smoking, de-stress or get more sleep, they all can have positive effects on your health. And a healthier you means a decrease in the likelihood of acquiring a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or cancer.

Most people will admit that they know what to do – the problem is doing it. Making healthy changes is never easy. Even when we’re highly motivated, we all struggle to break an old, bad habit and replace it with a new, healthy one. Continue reading

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Harvard Vanguard Doctors Named to the 2014 Top Doctors List

Once again, several Harvard Vanguard physicians have been named to Boston Magazine’s Boston’s Top Doctors list for 2014. The list, compiled by healthcare researcher Castle Connolly Medical, is comprised of physicians in more than 50 medical specialties. The Harvard Vanguard physicians named to the 2014 list include: Continue reading

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The Many Advantages for Mom When Breastfeeding Baby

breastfeeding benefitsThere’s lots of talk about breast being best for baby, but what about for mom? The good news is yes, there are several health benefits for moms who breastfeed – we’ve shared some of them here. Continue reading

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Making it Easier for You: Schedule Primary Care Appointments Online Directly Through MyHealth Online – And More!

MH Direct Schedule Main PageHarvard Vanguard is excited to announce a convenient new way for patients with a MyHealth Online account to schedule an appointment with their primary care provider  using the MyHealth secure web site (myhealth.atriushealth.org) or the MyChart mobile app for iPhone/iPad/iTouch and Android.

This new capability allows you real-time access to directly book an available appointment in your primary care provider’s schedule that works best for you and your family.   Continue reading

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Better Care for a Better Life: Paul

With Heidi 3Paul has encountered quite a few bumps in the road on his journey toward getting healthy.

Paul led an active life. He traveled the world; he ran marathons. Although he’ll be the first to admit he wasn’t the fastest, he can boast completing 16 of them, including the Berlin Marathon the year the Wall came down and the hometown favorite, the Boston Marathon. He also participated in triathlons and charity bike rides like the Pan Mass Challenge and the Tour de Cure for diabetes.

Paul was confident in his activity level and enjoyed his lifestyle overall—until his hips began to hurt every time he exercised. About a decade ago, he stopped his physical regimen “cold turkey,” and the number on the scale increased. Continue reading

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TantrumThrowing a tantrum is a very normal part of childhood development if it occurs when it’s supposed to. Not all kids will tantrum, but if they do, it typically occurs between 15 months to 3 years of age.  A tantrum is defined as a child reacting emotionally to something he wants and cannot have – it’s associated with screaming, crying, throwing things, biting, and/or hitting. More “exuberant” behavior is when a child throws himself on the floor, bangs his head on the floor or wall, and sometimes holds his breath until he turns blue, which can be pretty scary indeed!

Again, parents need to remember that this is normal behavior, to a point. What’s most important is how a parent or caregiver responds to the tantrum which will ultimately dictate how long the tantrum will last or how frequently a child does tantrum. Especially when a child throws a tantrum in a very public place like the mall, during a church service, or at a family reunion, a parent’s first reaction – to get the child to stop as quickly as possible – is not the best one. Obviously, it is the ultimate goal to prevent tantrums in the first place, but if you try to stop a tantrum too quickly, you are ensuring that there will be more.

If you’re raising a child in that tantrum-age “sweet-spot”, it’s very important to remember P.T. Barnum’s adage, “There is no such thing as bad publicity” or Oscar Wilde’s, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Here’s why. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Day Holiday Notice

thanksgiving 2014.shutterstock_158314841On Thursday, November 27th, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates will be closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday except for those practices listed below, which are open for pre-scheduled urgent care appointments. If you feel you need medical advice or think that 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. If it is determined that you need an urgent care appointment, the medical staff can schedule you for an appointment.

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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Atrius Health demonstrates highest quality scores in New England for Medicare beneficiaries

AtriusSig1Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and the other medical groups in Atrius Health demonstrated the achievement of the highest scores for quality in New England among Pioneer ACOs and second highest scores for quality nationally among Pioneer ACOs when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released scores for quality among the 237 organizations participating in a new model of caring for Medicare beneficiaries. Atrius Health is one of 23 organizations nationally participating in the highly selective Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. Continue reading

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Anxiety in Overdrive

Anxiety buttonIf a world existed where we all happily chilled on a beach day in and day out, we would probably never feel anxious, but we would also never get anything done. The reality is that many of us have a lot to do each day, and a little anxiety can sometimes motivate us to get it done.

However, there is a fine line between anxiety pushing you to meet or exceed the demands on your plate and being so anxious about them that you cannot work efficiently, have fun with friends, spend quality time with family, or fall asleep.

When anxiety impacts your life in negative ways, we refer to this as an anxiety disorder. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. Continue reading

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