Our New Resident at NFM, Dr. Britt Marie Deegan, was recently asked to share information about herself, her love of naturopathic medicine, and her favorite power foods with Inspired Living, a fabulous, health-promoting blog by Certified Holistic Life Coach and Natural Chef, Meredith Asplundh.

In this interview, Dr. Deegan shares her favorite beauty secrets, Fall recipe ideas, and inspirations. We hope you also find your inner inspiration in this Inspired Living’s great new column-series, DHP (Dynamic Healthy Person) by Meredith Asplundh.

Read the entire interview and more here! 

For healthy recipes, sassy insights, beauty tips, and for problem-solving dilemmas that are uniquely encountered by busy, health-aspiring Moms, sign-up to receive updates from Inspired Living— you will not be disappointed!

Special hug and thanks to my super-awesome and inspiring friend, Meredith Asplundh! 

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We no longer have parking spots next door in the Herfy’s parking lot. Please do not park in this lot, as the owner is threatening to tow cars. She has been chasing people down and writing nasty notes on cars, so please, do not park there.

You can park directly in front of our office, including in the yellow 30 minute loading zone, or use surrounding street parking. Please just do not block the residential driveways on either side of our building.

Thank you so much for your cooperation and understanding!!!

A new Washington state law goes into effect today, adding additional conditions to the vaccine exemption requirements.  To exempt their children from immunizations, parents must now get a health care provider’s signature on the Certificate of Exemption, verifying that the parent has received information on the benefits and risks of immunizations.  A signed letter from an MD, ND, ARNP, PA or DO stating the same information as the exemption certificate is valid as well.

An exemption form on file at a school or licensed child care turned in before July 22, 2011 is still valid for the exemptions indicated on that form. But, as kids progress through school, they may need different vaccinations to meet age-appropriate immunization requirements, and at that time a new form will need to be turned in.

Parent’s who claim membership in a church or other religious body whose beliefs exclude seeking medical treatment from health care providers will not need the additional provider signature.

As Naturopathic Physicians, we already provide comprehensive information about childhood immunizations, and the risks and benefits associated with them, at every well child visit.  So while there is now a new form for us to sign, this law doesn’t change how we currently practice or the choices parents are able to make.

More information about these changes can be found at  http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/immunize/schools/exemption-info.htm

-Dr. Carly Bridge

Are Cell Phones safe?!

June 23, 2011

Late last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement that it had classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, based on an increased risk of developing a glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer.    Research has also illustrated an association between mobile phone use and two other types of tumors: Salivary gland tumors, and Acoustic Neuromas.

A multinational team of 31 scientists convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer released this verdict after a week long meeting in Lyon, France.  Panel chair Jonathon Samet, M.D., chairman of the preventive medicine department at the University of Southern California and an international authority on environmental causes of disease, said “The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.”

“The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences,” said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.  “Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger” said Black.

Dr. Henry Lai, a research professor in bioengineering at the University of Washington agrees;When you look at cancer development — particularly brain cancer — it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer.”

Since children’s brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as those of adults, organizations such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends limiting cell phone use in children to emergency situations only.  You can download a full list of all of their recommendations by clicking here.

–Dr. Carly Bridge

As we wrote about in our blog last October, Aetna Healthcare made several changes that have been very unfavorable towards naturopathic physicians.  Aetna decreased our reimbursement rates beginning 12/1/10, and is now the worst payer towards ND’s.  Their reimbursement is at least half of many other companies.  Despite writing letters, Aetna has held firm to their belief that we as ND’s are being “more than adequately compensated for our services”.  We have been discussing what to do regarding our “in-network” status with Aetna since this time, and have finally decided that we will be terminating our contract with them, effective  06-07-2011.  This has been a very difficult decision for us as we so deeply value the established relationship we have with you and your family!  We are on your team, and yet we also need to keep our doors open so that we may continue to provide you with the level of care you deserve.

So, what does this mean for you?  We will be “out of network” providers for Aetna as of September 7, and will continue to be able to provide care for you utilizing your out of network benefits.  Although you will be required to pay in full at the time of service, we will provide all necessary paperwork for you in a postage paid, addressed envelope to send directly to Aetna.  Depending on your benefits, you will be reimbursed a portion of your out of pocket expense.  This is often 60%, although you will need to call the customer service number on the back of your card to clarify what your individual “out of network” benefits are.

For example, if your visit is for a chronic or complicated issue, and lasts 20-35 minutes; your visit will likely cost $152.00.   If your out of network reimbursement is 60%, Aetna will send you a check for $91.20.  Therefore, your total out of pocket expense is $60.80.

If you are coming in for an acute, uncomplicated issue (sore throat, earache, bladder infection, etc), and your visit lasts 10-20 minutes, your visit will likely cost $105.  If your out of network reimbursement is 60%, Aetna will send you a check for $63.00, and your total out of pocket expense is $42.

If you have the ability to change insurance companies, we will continue to be preferred providers for Regence, Premera, Uniform, First Choice, and Lifewise.

Please do not switch to Cigna, Greatwest, or United, as their reimbursement is almost as poor and we may be terminating our in network contracts with them in the near future.

As always, we are here for your questions and concerns.   We truly thank you for your support in this. We want to continue to provide you with the very best care possible and also feel like we can support the continuation of our business.

Sincerely,

Tamara Cullen, ND

Amy Hawkins, ND

Carly Bridge, ND

Our very own Dr. Bridge just won the “Provisional of the Year” award in the Junior League of Seattle!  This is a great honor for a new member of the Junior League and is another acknowledgement of the amount of heart and soul that Dr. Bridge pours into everything she does.  We are so honored to have her be a part of our clinic.

And speaking of Junior League, they are hosting a really cool event on Sunday, June 5th at Magnuson Park.  At 10:00 am they kick off their “Touch-A-Truck” day!  This event offers children a hands-on opportunity to explore heavy machinery and meet the people who build, protect and serve the Greater Seattle community. Vehicles on display may include construction trucks, utility vehicles, emergency responders, tractor trailers, buses, and monster trucks. Children of all ages are allowed to creatively explore the trucks of all sizes with guidance from the respective professionals who explain the equipment and discuss the work they accomplish with such machinery. The event also includes activities such as crafts, a Molly Moon Ice Cream truck, Dante’s Inferno Hot Dogs, and more.
This event is sponsored by Kenworth Truck Co.

The community-at-large is invited to attend.  The cost is Free, but donations to the Jr. League of Seattle are encouraged. If you are interested in being a part of Touch-A-Truck or interested in being a sponsor, please contact Minda Brusse at mindabrusse@gmail.com.

Tell me, what kid doesn’t love trucks!

Is Sugar Toxic?

April 28, 2011

As naturopathic physicians, we have known about the detriments of sugar and its connection with many illnesses and chronic diseases for quite some time.  We already teach our patients about the importance of whole food nutrition and the use of less refined grain products, as well as refined sugars.  Turns out that many people are now talking about this “news” primarily due to a viral You Tube video of Dr. Robert Lustig discussing this very topic.  The following comments are excerpted from The New York Times article by Gary Taubes, published April 13, 2011. 

“On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube  the following July. Since then, it has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.”

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country. He published his first paper on childhood obesity a dozen years ago, and he has been treating patients and doing research on the disorder ever since.

If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.”

If you’d like to see the video, click here or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM