Get our e-newsletter

Questions about vaccines? WellStar has answers.

So are vaccines safe? Which vaccine schedule should I use for my child? Will there be any side effects? These are all very common questions when it comes to starting the vaccine process for your child.

 

WellStar Pediatrics has full confidence that vaccinations are safe and recommends the schedule endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

“We realize that there are many fears and misconceptions about vaccines,” said Enid Colon, M.D., WellStar Medical Group, WellStar Pediatric Professionals. “But medical evidence indicates vaccinations are safe and protect our children from very dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases.”

 

According to the CDC, vaccines have reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases in the United States that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who have not been adequately protected.

 

“It is extremely important that we vaccinate our children,” said Dr. Colon. “The side effects are typically minimal and can include soreness or redness in the injection area and fever.”

 

Once your children’s vaccinations are complete, there are still booster vaccinations they should receive on a regular basis, such as a tetanus shot every 10 years and an annual flu shot.

 

“Flu season affects our community every year and can result in serious medical complications,” added Dr. Colon. “Furthermore, it can have detrimental effects on school attendance and loss of work days for parents taking care of affected children. Receiving a flu vaccination is an easy way of protecting you and your children from these risks. All of our WellStar pediatric offices provide the influenza vaccine, some even to the parents. We encourage our patients to ask our pediatricians for information regarding any of the vaccines currently in use.”

 

For more information on the recommended vaccine schedule, go tohttp://www.aap.org/immunization/izschedule.html. For more information on vaccines, go tohttp://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/why.htm​. For a physician referral, call 770-956-STAR.​​​​​​​​​

 

*Keep on top of what is going on in East Cobb County! Our weekly E-newsletter keeps you informed, for FREE! Sign up for the EAST COBBER E-newsletter by clicking here.

Suffer from Spring allergies? WellStar has answers.

 

The icky green stuff is back – it’s pollen season East Cobbers. To help you through this sniffly season, WellStar’s Grace Chiang, M.D, answers common questions about allergies.

 

1. What are the most common allergies and what causes them?
Many people have allergies triggered by substances inhaled from the air, such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen (trees, grasses, weeds).

Food allergies have also become more common over the years, with >90% of food allergies caused by 7 foods: milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts.

The underlying cause of allergies is likely due to a complex interaction between genetics and environmental factors. Many studies are underway to further elucidate the causes of allergies and why the incidence is rising in the U.S. and many other industrialized countries. In general, allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is usually not pathogenic or harmful. Risk factors for developing allergies include a positive family history or personal history of allergic conditions including asthma or eczema.

2. Many people think they have a cold when it is actually allergies and vice versa-How do you differentiate between these two conditions?
Symptoms that may occur in both conditions include runny nose, congestion, sneezing and cough. With a cold, these symptoms may be associated with fever and body aches, lasting for approximately 7-10 days. With allergies, itching of the eyes and/or nose is often present. Symptoms usually last for weeks to months at a time, as long as the allergic trigger is present.

3. People tend to think of allergies as causing itchy eyes, runny noses, but can they cause more serious health risks?
Allergies can result in more serious health consequences in individuals with asthma. At least 80% of people with asthma have allergies that trigger their asthma, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. This may lead to asthma attacks that can result in ER visits or hospitalizations. It is thus important for asthmatics to see an allergist and identify potential allergic triggers. Treating a patient’s allergies is an important part of optimizing asthma care.

4. If you do have allergies, how can you manage them?
A 3 pronged approach is most effective in managing allergies:

  • 1. Environmental control measures: strategies to minimize exposure to known allergic triggers, such as keeping a pet out of the bedroom, use of air filters, and dust mite proof encasings
  • 2. Medications: help to control symptoms but often need to be taken regularly in order to be effective
  • 3. Immunotherapy (“allergy shots”): the only treatment available that alters your body’s immune response to allergens and provides long lasting relief, reducing symptoms and the need for medications

5. How are allergies diagnosed?
Skin testing may be safely performed in children and adults to accurately diagnose allergies, under the supervision of a board certified allergist. Contrary to common belief, there is no age requirement for skin testing. For example, many infants are able to be skin tested for allergy to milk and/or soy, if there is a concern for allergy to their formula. We are able to test for environmental and food allergies as well as stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jacket, fire ant) and penicillin. If skin testing is positive, we expect to see a small, red, itchy bump develop within 15 minutes. I thus have the opportunity to interpret the skin test findings with the patient at the same visit and develop an individualized treatment plan.

6. How are allergies related to other medical conditions, such as asthma and eczema?
Asthma and eczema are other forms of allergic disease. It is thus common for allergies, asthma and eczema to all occur in the same patient or family. Having one of these conditions increases your risk for having the other two, something referred to as the “atopic march,” in which young children may initially have eczema and food allergies, later also developing allergies (hayfever) and asthma.

7. There is a lot of concern about giving children medicine-what is safe and what do you need to avoid?
It can be difficult navigating the many allergy treatments that are now available OTC. It is worthwhile to see an allergist to establish the diagnosis of allergies first. Your allergist can then recommend specific treatments at doses that are safe for children.

8. Is there any truth to the practice of exposing young children to more allergens and germs in order to build up their immune systems?
Some studies have shown that the risk of allergies is reduced for children who are around more bacteria or “germs,” as a result of growing up on a farm or with multiple pets or siblings in the home. The exposure needs to occur very early in life, however, so making these changes later in childhood will not have a protective effect. This is likely an overly simplistic viewpoint however, as the underlying cause of allergies is likely a complex interaction between many variables, both genetic and environmental.

9. What about pet allergies? A lot of people out there really want pets, but their allergies won’t allow them. Are there treatments people can take to help with this?
Allergy shots are the most effective treatment to allow people to live or interact with pets they are allergic to. The allergy shots gradually introduce cat or dog dander to the body’s immune system, helping that individual to develop greater tolerance, or “immunity.” It thus takes time for the allergy shots to result in improvement, but they are the most effective treatment available in providing long term relief.

10. What is an allergist and why should I see one?
An allergist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of allergic conditions in children and adults, including allergic rhinitis (hayfever), sinus disease, asthma, food allergies, eczema, stinging insect allergy, drug allergy, hives, anaphylaxis, and immune deficiencies. An allergist receives an additional 2-3 years of specialized training after completing their residency. They must also complete a rigorous examination to become board certified in Allergy. All individuals with symptoms or concern for an allergic condition can certainly benefit from seeing an allergist.
Grace Chiang, M.D., has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergic conditions in both children and adults and is in practice with WellStar Medical Group, Allergy and Asthma. She is board certified in allergy/immunology and pediatrics.

 

*Keep on top of what is going on in East Cobb County! Our weekly E-newsletter keeps you informed, for FREE! Sign up for the EAST COBBER E-newsletter by clicking here.

 


Advance Care Planning Workshops at WellStar

Copy of Wellstar

Need information about Living Wills and other advance directives? At this workshop you will learn how to talk with your loved ones abut final health care decisions. Each participant will receive a free planning guide which outlines questions you and your family should discuss along with forms you can use to record your wishes.

WellStar East Cobb Health Park
3747 Roswell Rd., Marietta, GA
Wednesday, March 18
10-11:30 a.m.

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!

Learn about Super Foods at FREE Event

Strawberry

The ECCC PTA Health & Wellness Committee, together with WellStar, will present a Lunch & Learn on Super Foods at the WellStar East Cobb Health Park on Thursday, March 26 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Health and wellness experts will discuss which “Super Foods” are incorporated into school lunch menus, the new “Smart Snacks” regulations, and the contrasting impacts of super foods and “too much sugar” on the brain. All are invited!  Bring your lunch.  Click here to register for this FREE event.

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!

VolunTEEN this summer at WellStar

Copy of Wellstar

Make a difference in your community while having fun and exploring the healthcare environment at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Their summer program is designed to provide students interested in healthcare careers access to the operations of a world-class medical center. VolunTEENS provide hundreds of hours of valuable service to patients, families and team members, while gaining valuable experience that may lead to a future career in healthcare.

Kennestone offers volunteer opportunities in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, customer service, clinical and non-clinical areas, patient transport and wayfinding.

For more information, visit http://www.wellstar.org/about-us/volunteers/pages/wellstar-kennestone-hospital-volunteens.aspx.

WellStar offers Car Seat Classes

42-15641167

SAFE KIDS Cobb County is offering a car seat education class to expectant parents and parents of young children. This program is designed to teach proper installation of your car seat in your vehicle and how to ensure your child is properly fitted to the seat. Four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly.

Find out what you can do to make sure your child rides safely every time. Nationally certified instructors will discuss best practice for safe transport of children and trouble shoot specific situations in this interactive class.

Topics covered include:

  • Georgia law pertaining to child passenger safety
  • Seat belt vs. L.A.T.C.H. installation
  • Proper positioning in the car (AAP recommendation)
  • Proper positioning within the car seat
  • Choosing the right car seat for your child
  • Projectiles, airbags and next steps
  • New recommendations
  • Cost: FREE

 

Locations & Times:


WellStar Acworth Health Park
4550 Cobb Parkway NW Acworth, GA
Saturday, Feb. 28
10-11:30 a.m.

WellStar East Cobb Health Park
3747 Roswell Road NE Marietta, GA
Saturday, Feb. 28
10-11:30 a.m.

To register, please call 770-956-STAR (7827).

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!

WellStar offers CPR Classes

 

WellStar offers a variety of American Heart Association CPR and first aid courses in both community and corporate settings. Heartsaver CPR with automated external defibrillator (AED) and first aid classes can be scheduled at your company, church, school or other organization.

BLS for Healthcare Providers- $60
For medical personnel. Offers two-year CPR certification, training in automated external defibrillator (AED) and choking relief.

WellStar East Cobb Health Park
3747 Roswell Rd, Marietta, GA
Saturday, Jan. 31
9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Heartsaver® First Aid CPR – $60
This course offers skills for community members in First Aid, CPR, automated external defibrillator (AED) and relief of choking. This combination CPR with basic first aid training meets Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) requirements. A two-year certification is given upon completion.
(Heartsaver portion only- $35 OR First Aid portion only $25)

WellStar East Cobb Health Park
3747 Roswell Rd, Marietta, GA
Saturday, Feb. 7
9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Flu Season is Here

Flu season is on its way. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Sign up to receive your flu shot today! Call 770-956-STAR (7827).

Who should be vaccinated against the flu?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone older than six months for flu vaccination with rare exception. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions regarding which flu vaccine options are best for your family.

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and possibly death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.

When should I get a flu vaccination?
The CDC recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine becomes available in their community. Vaccination before December is best to ensure protective antibodies are established before flu activity is at its highest in January or February.

Will the flu shot give me the flu?
The flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. The viruses in the vaccine are dead, which means they cannot cause infection. However, those allergic to eggs, latex or who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine in the past should consult their primary care physician for vaccination.

WellStar Community Education & Outreach will be hosting convenient flu vaccination clinics for adults age 18 and above at Wellstar East Cobb Health Park, 3747 Roswell Rd., Marietta, GA, on Thursday, January 29, 7:30-10am.

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!

Teens learn safe sitting at weekend class

Young Boy

Safe Sitter Class, a nationally recognized babysitter education program, will be held December 6. This high-quality training program teaches adolescents skills needed to be a safe, nurturing babysitter. Course designed for ages 11-13. Cost is $50.Class hours are 9am-3pm at WellStar East Cobb Health Park, 3747 Roswell Road NE, Marietta. More info: 770-956-7827.

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!

Ninth Annual Lite the Night Tree Lighting is Dec. 7

CB056118

The community is invited to Lite the Night on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, from 4:30-6 pm as WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center hosts its annual tree lighting event and ushers in the holiday season.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photos and there will be festive children’s activities, holiday musical performances and delicious cookies and hot chocolate. Members of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus are special musical guests.

Jordan Graye, from B98.5 FM, will emcee the program and count down the minutes to once again light the great 60-foot Christmas tree atop WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Lite the Night takes place on the rooftop level* of the WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center’s Blue Parking Deck. Free admission and parking.

Event is held rain or shine. In the case of inclement weather, Lite the Night will be held within a covered level of the parking deck.

 

LIKE THIS BLOG? Then you’ll love our newsletter! Click HERE to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and be a neighbor in the know!