Stable and Strong Bone Health Seminar

WellFamily Medicine, in collaboration with Mary Burruss, M.Ed., is offering a free one-hour seminar on strategies for building stronger bones and improving balance to minimize the likelihood of injury from falling. The date of this session is Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Discussion topics include bone development, causes of decreases in bone density from Eastern and Western medical viewpoints, fall prevention strategies (increasing balance, flexibility and strength), and information on increasing bone density through exercise, stress management and eating habits.

Please call our office at (434) 962-6234 to reserve your spot for this very informative educational session.

Advance Directive and End of Life Planning Seminar Last Night

Our education session last night on advance directives and end of life planning was very interesting and informative. Many thanks to Legacy Hospice for leading this discussion and to our patients and family members that attended. Stay tuned for information on our next educational session that will be announced in the very near future.

Delayed Opening for Monday, January 14, 2019

Due to expected icy conditions overnight, we will open one hour later at 9:00 a.m. for phone calls and 9:30 a.m. for our first appointment.

End of Life Planning Educational Session

WellFamily Medicine, in collaboration with Legacy Hospice, is offering a free seminar to our patients, family members, and friends on end of life planning and options for January 29, 2019, at 6 p.m. at our office located at 1885 Seminole Trail, Suite 105, Charlottesville, VA 22901. The goal of this session is to provide the tools, guidance, and resources to begin talking with loved ones about their final wishes including advance directives. Space is limited so please call our office at (434)962-6234 and reserve your place.

Patient Satisfaction Results

Our patient satisfaction results are out for September. We rated very high again scoring 4.9 on a scale of 5 compared to the national average of 3.9. Many thanks to our patients for helping us achieve this level of performance.

Tips for Handling Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety:

Somehow it seems appropriate to talk about anxiety as a hurricane potentially barrels toward us…
The world we live in is a stressful place. Watching TV or signing onto social media brings an immediate barrage of information, most of it negative. (unfortunately “fear sells”–but that is a whole other blog in itself). It is easy to be overwhelmed, especially for those of us with families. The following is focused on lessening parental anxiety as kids return to school, however the techniques discussed can be applied to many different situations.

As parents we worry about keeping our children safe. We have fertile imaginations and can get lost in “what-ifs.” Media accounts of school incidents have fed this fear in some families. It is not unusual to fear the start of school, when our kids spend most of the day in the care of others. Our own separation anxiety and fears can get in the way of letting our kids grow. It is of course important to protect our families but going overboard can increase stress and anxiety in our kids.
One way to lower everyone’s anxiety is through empowerment. Reminding your children (and yourself) that they are in control- not of other children or teachers–but of their own actions and reactions. They (we) may not be in control of what happens during the course of a day, but they are in control of their responses to it. We can help our kids develop inner resiliency through coaching–“I believe in you! I know you can handle the good and the bad.” Help make plans on how to deal with specific situations that might prove to be stressful.

Another tactic is to focus on building confidence and talking about successes. Don’t get caught up in over-generalizations (“school sucks”). Instead ask questions about specific parts of the day and find the positive moments. Acknowledge that while there can stressful and negative parts of the day, those moments do not have to overshadow the good times.
The step method is another excellent skill for both adults and children to master in dealing with anxiety. If there is a situation that inspires fear develop a series of steps that address the situation. Start with steps that cause minimal anxiety and build until the anxiety provoking activity is conquered.

Unfortunately, parental anxiety can limit a child’s opportunities to explore the world, interact with peers, and to learn from their mistakes. There are some things we can do however:
• Accept that you are anxious and fearful
• Identify the risks most likely to actually endanger your child. Empower your child with tools to respond to these risks and help protect themselves through awareness.
• Teach your child healthy, effective ways to cope with anxiety.
• Confront fears with reasonable action. Doing something reasonable and practical is better than compulsively worrying.

If your anxiety seems more than other parents:
• Search for memories of your own experiences–recognizing anxiety triggers from your past may allow you to respond with less panic.
• Talk with other parents, friends, and family to process your feelings. This may help you be less emotional and more objective and constructive in reacting to your child.
• Notice whether you are so caught up in your kid’s lives that you have little time, energy, or attention to deal with your own needs.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety about yourself or your family WellFamily Medicine can help! Please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment if you would like to discuss strategies to help you and your family live your best lives.

Kaitlyn Levin, MD

Free Yoga Class

Join us for a free Yoga class this Saturday, September 1st, starting at 11:30 a.m.. Call our office today to reserve your spot. Invite your family and friends.

Back to School

Where did the summer go? How can it be time for school!?!

Heading back to school can be a stressful time for children and parents alike. While most of us look forward to our children returning to school, it is still a time of transition and each year brings new challenges. Family life is again organized around school–getting everyone up and out of the house on time, helping with homework, getting kids to afterschool activities… These responsibilities large and small can feel overwhelming at times. It doesn’t quite seem fair that it isn’t enough to remember where each member of the family is supposed to be at a given moment (or at least have a good guess)–we also have to learn new math?!? Our kids often don’t make life easier–they are worried about what the new year will bring and this can cause some challenging behaviors at home.

Long story short, returning to school can cause stress. Fortunately/unfortunately endless summer is not a viable option, so how do we deal with it?

It may sound obvious, but the most important thing is to acknowledge our stress and talk about it with our kids. Witnessing us “stress out” can be confusing to our children as they look to us for information on how to interpret and deal with school situations. The “parenting experts” tell us we should remain calm with neutral facial expressions/word choices at all times. I don’t know about you, but my word choices tend to be anything but calm and well thought out when we are running 15minutes late and there is not a matching pair of shoes to be found in the house. Luckily, it is healthy for children to see us trying to cope with stress, but it is good to (later on, when things are clamer) offer an explanation on why you reacted the way you did.

As parents, we should give the message that stress is manageable. “If we feel like we have to constantly protect our children from seeing us sad, or angry, or anxious we are subtly giving our children the message that they don’t have permission to feel those feelings, or express them, or manage them.” Soo… the bright side is that getting ready for school gives us lots of opportunities to work with our kids to develop strategies to manage stressful situations!

While experts suggest, “the morning preparations should not be one big frantic hassle…” this sounds like an impossible dream for many of us. However, there are some things we can do to make our reality a little closer to this dream. The first week is an opportunity to set the standard for the year- clothes set out the night before, lunches packed, and your alarm set to allow for extra time for a calm, unhurried breakfast.

Here is some helpful advice:

Try to establish a routine immediately, this will help the entire family feel more in control.

Transition gently- don’t suddenly end morning reading/playtime, or suddenly demand lots more attention to dressing and grooming.

If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed try to take a quick break and choose your battles- its OK if your child has to buy lunch at school, if his socks are mismatched, or if he/she chooses to wear the most worn pants in the closet (remember the rule is safe, not necessarily adorable).

Expect that everyone will need a little extra patience and a few extra hugs.

Try to find a support system of friends, relatives, or neighbors. They can be a good sounding board and can sometimes be back-up assistance when the needs do become impossible.

Remember–when you talk to a friend or relative whose children are grown,and they say they don’t remember ever having a stressful transition to school – years of severe sleep deprivation has obviously clouded their memory!

Message for New Patients

When coming to WellFamily Medicine as a new patient, it is extremely helpful to your nurse to bring all of your medications, including over the counter medications and vitamins and supplements. These can potentially create interactions with new medications that may be prescribed for you and impact your health.

Welcome Dr. Michael Sty

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Sty has joined our practice on a part-time basis. Dr. Sty is board certified in Family Medicine and has an interest in urgent care. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in biology, completed medical school at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and completed his residency at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

We Are Members of Privia Medical Group

As of April, 24th 2018, we are proud members of Privia Medical Group!