Pisgah Family Health News

September 2010

Office News

Medical News

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Office News

Welcome Neeti Doshi


Neeti Doshi is a 3rd year medical student at UNC Chapel Hill who will be working at Pisgah Family Health for the next 6 weeks. Neeti is a native of Raleigh, who graduated from Columbia University in 2007 with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She has volunteered with different non-profit health organizations that cultivated her interests in medicine and public health. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and is eager to explore the great outdoors during her time here in Asheville.

Welcome Melissa Godley


For the next several months, patients in our office are likely to meet a new provider-in-training, Melissa Godley. Melissa Godley, PA-C has been a Physician Assistant since 1999. She worked for 5 years in Florida, practicing in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics before moving to Asheville in 2006. As part of her licensing in the state of North Carolina, Melissa is completing her re-entry training at Pisgah Family Health. She will work in the office through the Fall and Winter months.

Outside Referrals

Pisgah Family Health frequently sends patients to outside specialists or to have testing done such as x-rays, mammograms, cardiac testing, ultrasounds, etc. Our goal is to have all tests and referrals completed the same week that you are seen or by the 1st part of the following week. We will fax orders to the outside facility, and they will contact you to schedule your appointment time. Tests needed on an emergency basis will be scheduled before you leave the office.

If you have not been contacted about your appointment within 7 days, please contact Pisgah Family Health. Sometimes delays occur due to insurance authorizations or circumstances with the other provider or with your insurance. If you notify us of the delay, we can usually solve the problem.

If you need to cancel or reschedule the appointment, please contact the facility that you are scheduled at. Pisgah Family Health cannot reschedule an appointment or test that you are having at an outside facility.

Office Hours

Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday.   When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission/Saint Joseph hospitals ER.  Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.   Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners.

  • October 15: The office will be open for a flu shot clinic
  • October 21-22: Closed for vacation
  • November 24-26: Closed for Thanksgiving holiday
  • December 23-24: Closed for Christmas holiday
  • December 31: Closed for New Year's holiday

Office Reminders

Remember to bring your insurance card to each visit and present it to the receptionist when you check in. This ensures we have the most current insurance information for you.

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

Bring your medications to each visit. Dr Curran likes to see your medication bottles.

Remember, when you have labs drawn in our office that it takes 7-10 days to get your results. We will mail a copy to you.

Remember, when you have any test outside our office, it takes 2-3 days to get your results. We will mail a copy to you.

HIPAA law states 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 family member(s).

We have a high demand for same day appointments. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment, please contact our office at least 24 hours in advance so we can make that time available to patients who need to be seen urgently.

Medical News

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)


North Carolina is experiencing an increase in the number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases this year. Whooping cough is a highly contagious and vaccine-preventable disease that can be passed easily from person to person. This increase is not unique to North Carolina. The number of whooping cough cases is rising across the country at an alarming rate.

Most children are protected against pertussis because of the DTP and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccines. However, immunity to whooping cough typically wanes 5 to 10 years after the last childhood vaccination. The initial DTaP vaccines are generally given at 2,4,6, and 12 months of age. Boosters are given at 5,12, and 18 years of age.

Whooping Cough is very serious for infants and can cause them to cough so much they require hospitalization. Whooping cough in adults is usually mild, but can cause severe and persistent coughing. However, adults can spread whooping cough to infants, who suffer more severe complications.

Tdap vaccine is recommended for:

  • Adolescents should get one booster dose of Tdap, preferably at age 12.
  • Adolescents who have already gotten a booster dose of Td (Tetanus without Pertussis) are encouraged to get a dose of Tdap as well, for protection against pertussis. Waiting at least 5 years between Td and Tdap is encouraged, but not required.
  • Adults ages 19 through 64 years of age should get one booster of Tdap. Td may be used for later booster doses.
  • Adults who expect to have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months of age should get a dose of Tdap. Waiting at least two years since the last dose of Td is suggested, but not required.
  • Healthcare workers who have direct patient contact in hospitals or clinics should get a dose of Tdap. A two-year interval since the last Td is suggested, but not required.
  • New mothers who have never received a dose of Tdap should get a dose as soon as possible after delivery.

Pisgah Family Health has Tdap available for children and adults. If your last tetanus vaccine was over 5 years ago, you should have a Tdap booster at this time.


Flu Shots

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The time for Flu Shots is here! This shot is best given in the Fall, to prevent illness which strikes mostly in the Fall and Winter. Pisgah Family Health has received our usual shipment of influenza vaccine and has begun giving out the shots.

Pisgah Family Health will hold it's annual Flu Shot clinic Friday October 15 from 8am to Noon. To expedite your visit, please print and complete THIS FORM prior to your appointment. Bring the completed form with you when you come for you vaccination. Call the office to schedule a time for your flu shot.

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 and 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. Older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

In 2009-2010, a new and very different flu virus (called 2009 H1N1) spread worldwide causing the first flu pandemic in more than 40 years. Experts expect the 2009 H1N1 virus to spread this upcoming season along with other seasonal flu viruses. The 2010 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1 and two other influenza viruses.

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.


North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR)

Pisgah Family Health is now a part of the North Carolina Immunization Registry.

The North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) is a secure, web-based clinical site which will become the official source for North Carolina immunization information. The NCIR will take the place of handwritten charting of immunizations administered in the state. Immunization providers may access all childhood immunizations administered and recorded in North Carolina, regardless of where the immunizations were given.

The primary purposes of the NCIR are:

  • To give patients, parents, health care providers, schools and child care facilities timely access to complete, accurate and relevant immunization data;
  • To assist in the evaluation of a child's immunization status and identify children who are due for immunizations;
  • To assist communities in assessing their immunization coverage and identifying areas of under-immunization; and
  • To fulfill federal and state immunization reporting needs.

How can I find my child's immunization records?

North Carolina is in the process of implementing a comprehensive central registry of all immunization records. Pisgah Family Health can now enter your child's vaccinations to this registry. Here are some tips for tracking down your child's previous shots.

  • Check with all your child's previous health care providers. Don't forget visits to your local public health department or neighborhood clinic.
  • Look through your old papers--sometimes immunization records are tucked away in a baby book, or included on school or camp medical history forms.
  • Check with any schools or child care program your child has attended to see if they have retained a record of immunizations required for school entrance.
  • Teens and adults, don't forget about any vaccines that might have been required for college entrance or a job.
  • For tips in finding immunization records from other states, please visit this website: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/contacts-state-iis.htm

It is important to save any information you discover in writing, including the vaccine name, date given, and provider or clinic name. Pisgah Family Health and any local health department can provide you with a lifetime immunization record card.

Similac Recall


Abbott Voluntarily Recalls Certain Similac® Brand Powder Infant Formulas

Abbott is recalling certain Similac-brand powder infant formula products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles, could experience gastrointestinal discomfort or refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

The recall of these powder infant formulas includes:

  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in plastic containers.
  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.

To immediately find out if the product in your possession is included in this recall, parents and caregivers should visit www.similac.com/recall/lookup, and type in their lot number to determine if their product is affected, or call (888) 376-2054. No Abbott liquid infant formulas are impacted. Products not involved in the recall include all Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas and all powder and liquid specialty formulas, such as Similac Expert Care™ Alimentum®, Elecare ®, Similac Expert Care™ Neosure ®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders.


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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