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News from Coachella Valley's Integrated Health Community

March/April 2013

Clinton Health Matters Initiative

The Coachella Valley is coming together in the name of good health and longevity. We accepted the challenge from the Clinton Foundation to serve as the first model city for the national Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) and action steps are underway. The mission of the CHMI is to improve Read more…

Health Is A Choice

Throughout the decades, the concept of ‘healthy habits’ has evolved. One longstanding premise seldom challenged is that physical fitness–to maintain muscle and cardiovascular health–serves you well in the present, and in future years. This concept was challenged in the 1960’s by those who thought muscle mass would infringe on a Read more…

March/April 2013: Creating a Healthier Community

In one of our earlier issues, I wrote a piece on Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, the Valley’s only free medical clinic. VIM is a national organization and our local chapter opened in 2010. I interviewed founding members Ron Hare, MD, and Roy Pitkin, MD, both retired physicians who after Read more…

the thoracic cavity with dr presser

What Is Hyperhidrosis?

What Is Hyperhidrosis? Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder which can produce a lot of unhappiness. An estimated 2-3% of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Underarm problems tend to start in late Read more…

The Not-So-Sudden Heart Attack

When we envision the classic heart attack, images of TV’s Fred Sanford grabbing his chest and calling for Elizabeth may come to mind. But if you have spoken with men or women who have survived a heart attack, you realize that the true picture is often very different. Because symptoms Read more…

The General Surgeon

An Age Old Surgery

What’s the most common surgery procedure performed in the United States? The inguinal hernia repair. In 2003, an estimated 770,000 repairs were performed. It was first described in the Egyptian medical writings around 1550 B.C., yet effective treatment was not discovered until the 19th century. Until then, treatment of hernias Read more…

Ear Wax…A Sticky Situation

Why do we have ear wax? Earwax is a normal product of our ears. It is a mixture of cerumen (wax), oil, sweat, and dead skin cells that is produced in the outer 1/3 of the ear canal. Although many consider ear wax to be a nuisance, it serves two Read more…

Students Develop Skills and Compassion at We Care Dental Center

When 24-year-old Western University dental student Angela Hastings started volunteering at the We Care Dental Center in Rancho Mirage, she thought the experience would help increase her clinical knowledge and dental skills. What she didn’t expect was that it would also help her develop an intense feeling of compassion for Read more…

Physicians, Dentist, Nurses: Volunteer… Just 4 Hours a Month!

Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM), the Valley’s only free medical clinic, just opened a $2.8 million state-of-the-art facility in Indio. They are projected to see over 7,000 patient visits this year, and that number could be 14,000 – the need is here, but they are lacking volunteer medical professionals. Read more…

Fighting Free Radicals with Anti-oxidants

We all want to look and feel our best. More and more, people are striving to eat a balanced healthy diet, exercise and avoid environmental exposures. And every day our bodies are subjected to a variety of insults–UV radiation and exposure to a variety of toxins which contribute to the Read more…

Acupuncture Proven Effective for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are common, costly and painful. These injuries are responsible for the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), one of the most well-known types, accounts for over two million visits to physicians’ offices each year and is the most Read more…

How is Reflexology Different from Massage?

Don’t you love reflexology? You leave feeling so revitalized, light and happy. It’s different from massage where you leave feeling relaxed, loose and yes, also happy. But why is that? What are the differences between reflexology and massage? Some people think reflexology is simply a foot massage, but this is Read more…

Achieving Healthy Cholesterol Naturally

Today many are concerned about high cholesterol numbers. However, cholesterol is necessary for brain function, hormone production, mineral assimilation, bone function, metabolism, energy production and a healthy immune system. It is the building block of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Every cell membrane is made up of Read more…

Living Wellness with Jennifer DiFrancesco

Connecting As a Couple

How was your Valentine’s Day? Did you and your partner make it a special day? Why is it that we need a designated day to celebrate our love for one another? The tradition is not a new one although much of the meaning has changed. In early Roman times, the Read more…

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a complementary health practice that uses universal energy to enhance the body’s own ability to heal itself. The use of universal life energy as a healing force has been practiced throughout the world for centuries and is referred to as Qi in China, Prana in India and Ki Read more…

Desert Healthcare District Grant Funds Address Food Insecurities

The Directors of the Desert Healthcare District approved grant awards of up to $629,471 to FIND (Food in Need of Distribution) Food Bank and up to $211,676 to Hidden Harvest for a collaborative effort to support increasing consumption of fresh produce to target populations, and thereby supporting improved health outcomes. Read more…

From A Small Seed: Finding Your Inner Voice

Something happens…you lose your job, you’re forced to move, someone dear to you is ill. All of the plans you’ve made in the past suddenly seem pointless and you feel as if you’ve lost your direction. Five years ago, feeling stuck and missing a certain passion in my life, I Read more…

Mourning Star Offers Comfort to Grieving Kids

Where do our children go to cope with the loss of a loved one? Nationwide there are less than 400 centers for grieving children and one of  the top, Mourning Star Center, is located here in Palm Desert.  Mourning Star specializes in helping children (ages 3 to 18) and their Read more…

New Science Opens Window to Our Minds

A current buzzword for mind is ‘consciousness.’ Did you know you can now go to college and major in Consciousness Studies? You are in good company in the Department of Consciousness Studies where you will find spiritual healers, psychologists, linguists, cognitive scientists and quantum physicists – all working together to Read more…

Is the IRS Visiting you?

Are you tired of getting reports saying that you have cholesterol and blood pressure issues? Do you feel especially tired after meals, or have you been trying to get a handle on your weight with little success? You may have Syndrome X. Syndrome X is a common nutritional disease caused Read more…

Naturopathic Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is defined as a condition with a criteria of symptoms that includes lethargy, poor concentration and/or memory, sore throat, headaches, tender lymph nodes, and muscle pain that persists for 6 months or longer. CFS symptoms may vary among patients — solely as fatigue and lethargy, or Read more…

Stress: The Silent Killer

Everyone is familiar with stress in some shape or form. Most Americans indicate they have experienced moderate to high levels of chronic stress but didn’t know what to do about it.  Let’s explore what our bodies do in the face of stress and how we can minimize the harmful effects. Read more…

Health Care Portfolio

Help Your Doctor Help You

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all came with an instruction manual? Then, if your doctor had a question about your health, the manual would provide answers. Today we call that manual a health care portfolio–a collection of data that lets your health care team know where you are, what Read more…

Indio High Teaching Physiology of Digestion

According to the latest information from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 17% of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. This is a three-fold increase from just one generation ago. Recognizing the need to produce registered dietitians and nutrition professionals to deal with this issue, Indio High Read more…

Making Your Dream a Reality

After watching Super-size Me and researching the link between sugary drinks, obesity and type 2 diabetes, 14 year old Carter Kostler had an idea – create a healthy, tasty and portable “fast drink” alternative that is good for the environment. “My mother is a huge fan of fruit infused water Read more…

Financial Basics for Your Kids & Grandkids

A very common reason for investors to focus on their portfolios is for the benefit of the next generation. They want to ensure that their children are well taken care of so that they, the investors, don’t have to worry later in life. Taking it another step is teaching your Read more…

2013 FICA Tax Increase Surprises Some Taxpayers

With all the end-of-year hype surrounding the fiscal cliff and the relief that came with New Year’s legislation permanently extending most income tax rates, one change seems to have been veiled by the settling dust: the 2 percent increase in FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax. That increase, the result Read more…

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge II Starts April 1st

Get on your helmets and bike shorts and get ready to a race around the rolling hills of France! The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative kicks off its second 2013 Healthy Lifestyle Challenge April 1 – July 31 with the “Tour de France” Challenge. This virtual interactive challenge follows the 2011 Read more…

rotator cuff

Getting Out Of the Rough With Your Rotator Cuff

There aren’t too many golfers in the world that can say they haven’t experienced some sort of soft tissue injury as a result of playing golf. It comes with the territory, and even the pros routinely go out with soreness, sprains and tears. The number one golf-related injury is the Read more…

Find Your Balance with Vino & Vinyasa

Finding balance in our lives can be extraordinarily difficult.  When looking at the quality of life of the few who stay committed to achieving a balanced, harmonious state, the benefits appear to outweigh the necessary effort.  It sounds easy, but most of us realize the challenge in maintaining the nirvana Read more…

Hip, Cool & Healthy at the Workshop Kitchen + Bar

A visit to the Workshop is an experience for the senses. Chef/Owner Michael Beckman, his architecturally saavy partner Joseph Mourani, and sommelier Lonny Abugow have combined their worldly experiences to create a myriad of complementing and contrasting elements brought together in one tantalizing package. The restaurant’s stunningly modern interiors are Read more…

Sisters Launch Valley’s First Red Cross Club at LQ High School

La Quinta students Ashley-Anne and Savie Hobbins come from a family with deep roots tied to the American Red Cross (ARC) – six generations and over one hundred years – starting with their great, great, great grandmother who established the first ARC chapter in the Midwest in 1909. So it Read more…

A Supreme Evening of the Heart

The fight to reduce death and disability caused by heart disease and stroke is a daily battle. The American Heart Association (AHA) recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its Go Red For Women campaign with the 2013 Go Red For Women Luncheon here in the Coachella Valley. That campaign has Read more…

Mayor’s Race & Wellness Festival

Mayor Steve Pougnet and the City of Palm Springs invite you and your families to register for the second annual “Mayor’s Healthy Planet, Healthy You,” 1K, 5K, 7 Mile Race and Wellness Festival, slated for Saturday, April 20. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. in Ruth Hardy Wellness Park with Read more…

Mr Bingo

Mr. Bingo Gives Back

Two and a half years ago, Kate Porter of the Critter Coalition picked up an abandoned puppy, filthy and starving, wandering the streets of Joshua Tree. It was a miracle that the pup was still alive, or that some automobile or wild predator hadn’t polished him off. As he lay Read more…

The Challenge of Dealing with Aging Parents

Growing older is difficult and can be especially challenging for adult children of aging parents. These are the people who cared for you your entire life, and now you are caring for them. It’s no easy task. People are living longer and the age to which people live has increased Read more…

Relieving Stress Important for Caregivers

We’ve all experienced it – heart racing, muscle tension, irritability. Perhaps stomach pain or clenched jaw. Anxiety can cause sleepless nights and feeling tired all the time. It can lead to forgetting things, and feeling as if life is spiraling out of your control. These are just a few of Read more…

Enhancing Hospitality with Healthier Employees

At the Clinton Health Matters conference in January, Ryan Sistare of HEI Hotels & Resorts presented his company’s employee health and wellness program. Desert Health is pleased to share his story to serve as an inspiration for the Coachella Valley’s large hospitality industry. HEI Hotels & Resorts is a privately Read more…