Pisgah Family Health News

October 2011

Office News

Medical News

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Office News

Welcome Melissa Martinez


We are pleased to announce that Melissa Martinez is now practicing at Pisgah Family Health. Melissa Martinez, PA-C has been a Physician Assistant since 1999. She previously worked in Florida, practicing in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics before moving to Asheville in 2006.

Melissa will be seeing patients will all types of problems, from colds to chronic care to physical exams. She is bilingual, and looks forward to getting to know our Spanish speaking patients. We also hope our female patients who prefer a woman provider will enjoy meeting Melissa.

Welcome Alisha Moore

AlishaMoore (36K)

Alisha Moore is a Certified Medical Assistant who began working at Pisgah Family Health in September. She will work part time, performing all the same duties as Tami.

Alisha grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Thompson Institute in 1998. Shortly after graduating, she married her high school sweetheart, Matt. They now have 3 children. She and her family and moved to Asheville in 2008.

Allie's family is her passion. She's also a runner, field hockey player and coach, and an fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions. She had the pleasure of running the NYC Marathon in 2010 and raised money for cancer research/treatment. She loves the medical field and is excited to be a part of Pisgah Family Health!

Office Hours

We are proud to announce our new expanded office hours!

Our office hours are now 8:30-5pm Monday through Friday.   When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers and Mission Hospital ER.  Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.   Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners.

  • Dr. Curran will be out of the office November 3-4 for a medical conference. Melissa Martinez will be available for patient care on these days.
  • We will be closed November 24-25 for Thanksgiving.

Office Reminders

Please notify our office if you have a new mailing address or phone number.

Please bring your medications to each visit. Dr Curran will review your medication bottles to keep our list up to date.

Health Privacy Law states that we can not release any of your information without your written consent. Please let us know if you would like to authorize us to release information to your spouse or a family member.

Effective 10/1/11, we will have a new billing company: Current Medical Services, 596 W Main St, Sylva, NC. You will notice a new billing statement as well as local contact information for billing questions.

Medical News

Flu ShotsFluShotBug

Now is the time to get your influenza vaccine! Pisgah Family Health will NOT hold a flu shot clinic this year. Instead, we will give flu shots to our patients on a walk-in basis, during our regular business hours (8:30 am to 4:30pm) Please visit any time during the month of October to get your shot. Vaccinations can also be given at your regularly scheduled visit, but not when you have a fever.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. Infants and the elderly are at highest risk of influenza complications. Also at high risk are adults with asthma, COPD, heart conditions, or pregnancy.

Flu shots are most useful when given in October or November, to prevent the seasonal flu which occurs each winter. This year's flu shot is similar to last year's, containing both H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccinations.

What is seasonal influenza?

Influenza, commonly called "The Flu," is caused by influenza viruses which infect the respiratory tract (i.e., the nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness or life-threatening complications in many people. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.

In the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually from seasonal flu-related complications, and about 36,000 people die from seasonal flu-related causes.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Influenza is a respiratory illness. People who have the flu often feel these symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children.


ribbons (5K) Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

One of the earliest signs of breast cancer can be an abnormality that shows up on a mammogram before it can be felt. The most common signs of breast cancer are a lump in the breast; abnormal thickening of the breast; or a change in the shape or color of the breast or nipple. Finding a lump or change in your breast does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer.

Early detection can save a woman's life because breast cancer is highly detectable through mammography screening. If breast cancer is detected early, before it spreads, 95 percent of women will be alive five years later.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and Pisgah Family Health recommend screening mammography every 1-2 years for women aged 50 to 74 years. Women under age 50 should consider screening mammograms if high risk factors exist. All women should have a physical exam annually, which will include a clinical breast exam.

The Washington University in St. Louis has developed a tool to estimate one's risk of developing breast cancer. Estimate your risk of breast cancer and learn tips to lower that risk at www.yourdiseaserisk.wustl.edu

The site www.nationalbreastcancer.org contains information on breast cancer, including exploring of some breast cancer myths and reviews of books on breast cancer.

You can send a free "mom-o-gram" to your mother, aunt, sister, grandmother, or anyone you care about, to remind them to get their annual mammogram by visiting www.momogram.org.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray screening of the breast. It is the most valuable tool in early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram allows your doctor to identify breast cancer before a lump or mass can even be felt. The earlier the detection, the more treatment options you may have available to you, and the better your chance to survive cancer.

How is a mammogram performed?

The procedure involves one x-ray from the side of the breast and one from the top. The breast is compressed for the duration of the x-ray to improve the image, but it only takes a few seconds. A female registered radiologic technologist performs the exam.

How are screening and diagnostic mammograms different?

Your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram if there is a particular area of concern. Diagnostic mammograms take longer than screening mammography because more images are recorded from several angles. The technician may magnify a suspicious area to produce a detailed picture that can help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

The following centers in Buncombe County perform mammograms:

To find out if you qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram and where to get screened, call:
National Cancer Information Phone: 1-800-422-6237
Buncombe County Department of Health, Wise Woman Phone: 828-250-5000 or 828-250-6006

school_crossing_sign Walk to School Day

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 is International Walk to School Day. Join children and adults around the world to celebrate the benefits of walking.

Walk to School Day promotes walking for several reasons:

  • Physical activity
  • Teaching children safe walking skills
  • Concern for the environment
  • Reducing traffic congestion and speed near schools
  • Taking back our neighborhoods for people on foot
  • Sharing time with parents, children, and community leaders
  • Advocating for a walkable community

Learn more at http://www.walktoschool.org/

Health Links

For local health events, check out these links:

A few of the most-trusted health information links:

  • WebMD.com A web service with health advice on hundreds of topics.
  • FamilyDoctor.org Patient-oriented information from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
  • CDC.gov The Center for Disease Control features credible information on almost every health topic.

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

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