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Tye Spady-Blair, Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner
Tye Spady-Blair, Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner
Keri Kilgore, Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner
Jaclyn Gleber, PHDH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like all good dental practices, we encourage our patients to begin bringing their children in as soon as they have their first tooth, and to make sure the whole family has a cleaning and check-up every six months.  Often, we think about this in terms of preventing dental pain and preserving healthy tooth function.  But it’s important to remember that dental hygiene is about much more than appearance or even the ability to chew comfortably. Good hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, keeps teeth and gums healthy.  A healthy mouth is essential to your overall health.  Infections in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause illness elsewhere.  They make it more difficult to keep diabetes under control.  Poor dental health increass the risk for poor birth outcomes. Sealants for children provide additional protection by preventing cavities.

As a community health center, ChesPenn’s focus is always on prevention wherever possible.  Our Public Health Dental Hygienists are avid educators.  They work with medical staff to ensure children have their first visit as soon as their teeth come in.  They go out into the community to teach and screen for dental disease.

Dental Hygiene Fun Facts:

Fact #1: Fones School of Dental Hygiene opened in 1913 as the first dental hygiene school in the country.

Fact #2: The first bristle toothbrush was introduced in 1948; before that, animal hair was widely used.

Fact #3: Tooth enamel is the hardest thing in the human body.

Fact #4: Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States.

Fact #5: Regular dental cleanings can prevent heart attacks.

Six Steps for Proper Brushing and Flossing:

  1. Get the right angle – ensure you tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle
  2. Gently move your toothbrush back and forth but be sure you are not too rough.
  3. Cover all surfaces of your mouth including inside, outside, top, and bottom.
  4. Spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.  Many electric toothbrushes will time this for you.
  5. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. A lot of bacteria lives on your tongue, so brushing that away will not only help get rid of the bacteria, but also give you fresher breath.  If that’s uncomfortable, you can try a tongue scraper.  They are less likely to trigger gag reflexes.
  6. Don’t forget to floss!

October is National Dental Hygiene month.  If you haven’t seen your hygienist, make an appointment.  And thank your hygienist for protecting your whole health.

For a fun introduction to brushing for your kids, watch “Teach Me How to Brushy,” put out by The Oregon Dental Hygiene Association.  It’s an oldie but goodie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ugQLL65BKc

 



Chelsea Spiegelhalder’s family has deep roots in Coatesville.  Her grandmother was a nurse at Coatesville Hospital long before it became Brandywine Hospital.  Her father was a pharmacist.  All of her family members have volunteered in local organizations and in their church. Chelsea herself has served on the Board of Directors of a local nonprofit.  Many of her patients know her or her family because of their work in the community.  That relationship often makes it easier for patients to trust Chelsea’s advice about managing their health.

Chelsea’s father was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 7.  In part because of her dad’s experience, her passion is providing care to patients with diabetes.  In her view, while it is a complicated disease, the treatment does not have to be.  Communication and education are key – and the whole family has to be involved.  Managing diabetes means lifestyle changes that work best when the patient’s family adopt them together.  Because Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, runs in families, these changes can benefit everyone in the family.  Chelsea shared that the ability to provide telehealth visits that began during the pandemic has been a real asset in caring for patients with diabetes.  Especially for new patients, getting the right medication dosages can take some trial and error and a short telehealth visit to discuss blood sugar levels and make adjustments can be just as effective as visiting in person.   Patients can often fit these visits into their day, even at work, without having to travel to ChesPenn.

October 6 – 10 is National Physician Assistant Week.  It’ to s a good time to reflect on the contributions made by physician assistants (Pas) to the health of the community.  PAs provide preventive health services, diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider PAs are highly trained, licensed professionals who work collaboratively with a physician as part of a team approach to healthcare.  As such, they are often patients’ primary health providers, consulting with the team physician as needed in complex care cases.  This model expands our ability to provide quality care while managing healthcare costs.

Since she joined ChesPenn in 2009, Chelsea’s family has grown.  She has three children under 6 and has adjusted her schedule to ensure a healthy work-life balance.  But her passion for community health is undiminished.  She shares her pride in her work with her children, instilling her love of community service in them even at their young ages.  Chelsea’s dedication to caring for others embodies ChesPenn’s spirit.

 

 

 

 



Every October, pink ribbons appear all around us – on social media, in the news, even on food items. Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be on many minds this month, so it’s a great time to answer some common questions about what may put you at risk and what may help protect you:

 

Does Smoking Cause Breast Cancer?
Smoking has been shown to increase the risk for many forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Not only that, but secondhand smoke also increases risk. ChesPenn offers smoking cessation support so this is a great time to speak to your provider if you smoke.

 
Does alcohol consumption raise my cancer risk?

One drink per day has been shown to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. Having more than one drink per day has shown to be a more significant risk factor, and the alcohol content doesn’t matter: wine, beer or a mixed drink. Alcohol also increases estrogen in your bloodstream. One glass of red wine a day may have heart health benefits. Most important – discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider.

 
Is there a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer?

There is an increased risk for women using oral contraceptives for more than 5 years. However, because of the low concentration of hormones in today’s contraceptives the risk is minimal, unless you have a family history of breast cancer. As always, communication with your healthcare provider is key.

 
Is there a link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer?

Yes. HRT is not recommended for most menopausal women. Your provider can discuss alternative approaches to managing symptoms.

 
Does my diet affect my risk of breast cancer?

A healthy, low-fat diet (less than 30 grams/day) can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Fat triggers estrogen production, which can raise the risk for breast cancer.

 
Can exercise reduce my breast cancer risk?
Healthy activity strengthens the immune system. Just 30 minutes/day can lower the risk of contracting breast cancer.
 
 
Should I perform regular breast self-exams?
According to the American Cancer Society, Most often when breast cancer is detected because of symptoms (such as a lump in the breast), a woman discovers the symptom during usual activities such as bathing or dressing. Women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to a health care provider right away.
 
When should I get a mammogram?
 Women at high risk for breast cancer should follow their care provider’s recommendations regarding the timing of mammograms.
Women between 40 and 44 at average risk for breast cancer have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.
Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.
 
If you put off getting your mammogram during the pandemic, NOW is the time to catch up!
 
 
For more information, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation (https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/)



We don’t like to talk about it.  And that’s the problem.  Conversations about mental health are uncomfortable and we can always find a reason to wait, or tell ourselves that we are ok, or that our loved one is ok.  But what if they are not?  What if we are not?  What if this is our one opportunity to prevent a tragedy?  A few moments of discomfort are trivial compared to a lifetime of grief for those left behind.  National Suicide Prevention Month is the perfect time to learn how to respond to a mental health crisis.

We are living through a time of extraordinary stress.  The pandemic and the economic and social upheaval that have occurred in its wake have taken a toll on our collective mental health.  According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there were 1.2 million suicide attempts in 2020 in the U.S.  Mental health professionals report disturbing spikes in patient reports of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.  At the same time, we face a shortage of behavioral health resources.  The closure of Brandywine Hospital and cutbacks at Crozer Health have made locating mental health services more difficult than ever for people living in the communities we serve.

Fortunately, help is as close as your phone.
Anyone needing help can call 988 or text HELLO to Call 988/Text Hello to 741741

 

 

 

 

 

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To learn more, or locate training resources check out these sites:

https://www.chesco.org/4191/TrainingsWorkshops

https://www.preventsuicidepa.org/task-force-county-init/delaware/



ChesPenn celebrated National Health Center Week from August 7 – 13.  We were honored to host federal, state and local elected officials and their representatives, including Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Pennsylvania Senators John Kane and Tim Kearney, Pennsylvania Representative Gina Curry,  staff from Senator Kearney and Representative Scanlon’s offices, and Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer’s office.  The officials and their teams toured our health centers and shared in dialogue about our community impact and hopes for the future.  We were grateful for their enthusiastic support for our work and look forward to partnering with them in the future.  We were also joined by the League of Women Voters of Chester and Delaware Counties and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, who assisted patients with voter registration.

National Health Center Week (August 7 – 13) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.  This National Health Center Week honors those front-line providers, staff, and beloved patients who lost their lives during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. From the very beginning of the crisis, Community Health Centers began finding innovative ways to provide preventative and primary care to their patients.

Over the course of the week ChesPenn provided lunch for our staff and cupcakes from Dia Doce Cupcakes in West Chester.  Each employee received a gift bag with goodies as a small thank you for the extraordinary work they do each day to care for residents of the communities we serve.

 

Shy’Quan Davis, CEO Sue Harris McGovern, State Senator John Kane, U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Board Treasurer Karen Vesely, and Board Secretary Rea Roeder at Eastside
League of Women Voters of Delaware County registered Upper Darby patients to vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board Secretary Rea Roeder, CEO Sue Harris McGovern, State Senator Tim Kearney, State Representative Gina Curry and Upper Darby Deputy CAO Rita LaRue
Chair massages were provided by Gentle Force Mobile Massage


When Lashira Council was growing up, her father was convinced that she would grow up to be an attorney.  She would advocate for other people, always seeking justice. She was voted “most outspoken” in middle school because she stood up for what was right. But Lashira had other ideas.  As she explains it, “I’ve always been interested in the connection between thought and behavior.”  And that gave her the direction for her passion to help others – behavioral health.

Immediately after graduation from college, Lashira began her career in behavioral health as a residential worker at Devereaux, a behavioral health organization with multiple residential facilities in Pennsylvania and around the country. Later, she became a mental health case manager at Crozer Health.  Here, she found her true vocation.  She obtained a master’s degree and completed an internship in drug and alcohol counseling.  In 2017 Lashira became Service Coordinator and Youth Prevention Supervisor, for Crozer-Keystone Recovery Center, developing policies and procedures for the center and supervising staff while continuing to counsel patients directly.  She has also served as a group facilitator for Healing and Strength, a program offered by the Chester Community Coalition that provides trauma-informed group settings where children, youth, and adults can process trauma and grief and learn skills to move toward healing.  Lashira joined ChesPenn in August as our Behavioral Health Manager.  She will supervise ChesPenn’s other Behavioral Health Consultants and also provide direct care to patients at our Eastside location.

Lashira continues to have an interest in working with patients with substance use disorder (SUD) and has been certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  This is an approach developed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.  She hopes to be able to offer this treatment to patients at ChesPenn.  Lashira shared that she is learning the Behavioral Health Consultant model and is excited about building mental health services at ChesPenn.

Lashira shared the story of a patient with SUD who had been mandated by the court to receive therapy and was very resistant to working with her.  They worked through the patient’s trauma history and the patient learned new, healthier ways to process his trauma and communicate with others.  During their time together she was able to witness the transition from an external requirement for her patient to seek change to a true internal motivation to change his life.    At the end of their time together, the patient gave her a plaque that reads “With God all things are possible.  Thank you, Lashira for being an inspiration in my life.”

Lashira’s prescription for responding to the stress of our times:  “Practice empathy and grace for yourself and others.  Acknowledge progress and change.  Ask for help.  Stay hopeful.”



Every year when August comes around, parents begin preparing their children for the coming school year.  September and school are just around the corner and it’s time to stock up on school supplies, think about new shoes and clothes, and most important, make sure kids are ready for a healthy start to the school year.  Families are scheduling dental and medical check-ups and making sure children are up to date on their vaccines.  Most schools will require documentation that students are current on essential vaccines before they can return to the classroom.

Over the past few years, some parents have been reluctant to vaccinate their children as a result of now-discredited reports that circulated at one time linking vaccines to negative health outcomes.  There is no valid evidence that vaccines are harmful to children.  More important, we need to remember that vaccines have saved millions of lives.  Vaccines for diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles have been around for so long it’s hard for most of us to remember how terrible epidemics of these diseases were. As an example, polio was once one of America’s most feared diseases, killing and paralyzing children and adults at an alarming rate.

Today, polio has essentially been eradicated. Here’s another example – the DTaP and Tdap vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough are a standard part of the immunization schedule for children (adults should also get regular boosters).  DTaP is administered to infants and young children while Tdap is for older children and adults.  Few of us have witnessed outbreaks of diphtheria or whooping cough, but our grandparents can tell us how frightening these outbreaks were or about losing friends and family members to these diseases, which are beginning to break out once again in regions around the world where vaccines aren’t readily available.  A great article in National Geographic describes the history of disease before vaccines:  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/cannot-forget-world-before-vaccines .

This is the perfect time of year to focus on updating children’s vaccines.   Your child’s pediatrician will recommend the vaccines appropriate for their age.
You can also check this table available from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html.  Make your appointment now to ensure your children are protected and ready for school or day care.  And you may also want to check with your own primary care provider to be sure you are up to date on vaccines as well!



ChesPenn’s Upper Darby site is tucked into a tiny building on State Road ust south of West Chester Pike.  It’s easy to miss unless you’re looking for it, but extraordinary things happen there every day.  Upper Darby is unique among ChesPenn’s locations.  Its medical providers are all Family Medicine Residents and Preceptors in Crozer Health’s Family Medicine Residency Program.  ChesPenn and Crozer have partnered since 2005 to provide training in family medicine while simultaneously caring for residents of the diverse community in Southeast Pennsylvania.  Today, over 70 Family Medicine Residents have graduated from the program and almost 4,000 adults and children call ChesPenn’s Upper Darby office their healthcare home.

The small, tight-knit team of four Medical Assistants, two Patient Service Representatives, Social Services Coordinator Fariha Trisha, and Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) Michelle Quigley are led by Yvonda Romeo, Upper Darby’s Office Manager.  Nurses from Eastside serve the site on a rotating basis and ChesPenn’s Community Health Educator, Tina Beahm, is there two days a week to coach patients on smoking cessation, nutrition, and other healthy lifestyle choices.  On a given day, three residents and a preceptor are on hand to see patients.

Sue Ramberg is one of two registered nurses who work at Upper Darby shared that “The reason this office works is that we work as a team.  I’ve had days that should have been really hard, but the MAs, the front desk staff, Michelle, and Tina all pitched in to help. The MAs are incredible and there is such an atmosphere of gratitude.  Yvonda is an amazing Office Manager.  She is so compassionate.  She enforces the rules but in a loving, caring way.”

Yvonda herself has had an inspiring journey with ChesPenn.  She began in 2017 as a temporary worker at the front desk.  She loved the spirit she encountered and in turn impressed her supervisor and was hired full time.  In 2021 she was appointed Office Manager.  Yvonda said about the Upper Darby team, “In spite everyone’s differences, we come together for our patients.  We call them our neighbors; we see their kids grow up.  We’re really involved in the community here.”

Craig Parker, a long-time patient at Upper Darby, has experienced the benefits of this outlook firsthand.  Several years ago, Craig was in a motorcycle accident.  He still experiences hand tremors and the effects of damage to his knee.  Over the years, he has used alcohol and nicotine to help manage the lingering effects of his accident.  At Upper Darby, he sees a physician regularly and has worked both with Michelle and with Tina and has dramatically decreased his alcohol and nicotine consumption.  He shared that he’s grateful for the care he’s received and has a great relationship with the staff.

Dr. Thomas Yuen has been a preceptor with the program since 2012.  He distilled the Upper Darby experience to his essence with his reflection:  “I have been working at UD since I joined Crozer in 2012.  There have been many ups and downs- including staff changes, the constant search for a new location, and a little thing called COVID-19.  But despite these challenges- what keeps me working here is everyone’s complete dedication to serving the most vulnerable and disenfranchised among our community. The work here is hard and often our rewards from our patients are limited to a sincere thanks, a plate of home cooked food, or a card at Christmas.  But despite the difficulties and occasional frustrations, I cannot see myself working anywhere else.  In a single day, I will see a Spanish-speaking family who has just arrived from Ecuador.  A young Liberian woman struggling with PTSD from childhood trauma.  A patient of mine that I’ve known for 10 years, who was born and plans to die in her family home in West Philadelphia.    We still have many challenges ahead of us, but I have no doubt that the staff, residents, and physicians here will continue to persevere to provide the best care possible to our patients.”



In 2005 Dr. Erica Turner was looking for a new part-time position as a pediatrician.  A friend told her that ChesPenn Health Services had just opened a new health center in Coatesville.  Soon after, she accepted a position that divided her time between Coatesville and ChesPenn’s Chester locations.  One of her earliest experiences was of testing ChesPenn’s first electronic medical record before its use was expanded to the larger organization.   This was in the days before the Pennsylvania Statewide Immunization Information System was created and she remembers having to enter each child’s entire vaccination record into the system.

After 17 years caring for families in the same community, Dr. Turner enjoys seeing children grow and change.  She also likes a puzzle –  doing the detective work to solve a mystery when a patient’s illness is difficult to diagnose.  Her love of puzzles made studying science in college seem like a good choice.  She jokes that the decision to become a pediatrician after she started medical school came because she saw that pediatrics was the only specialty where she could sit on the floor with her patients.

One of her biggest sources of satisfaction comes from helping children feel safe during their visits.  Often children bring a doll or stuffed toy with them, so she first “examines” the toy with the child’s help, which makes the exam less scary when it’s the child’s turn.  One child had no toy with him but had a bear on his shirt.  Dr. Turner and the child took turns listening to the bear’s heart and checking his ears, and then she did the same for the child.
This approach gets children excited about being active participants in their visits, making them more fun and less scary.

Having also worked in a private practice, Dr. Turner appreciates the opportunity to help parents who often struggle with so many life challenges that focusing on their children’s health needs can seem overwhelming.  She shared that “It feels like a win when I can convince parents to take the next step to improve their child’s health.  Sometimes people need an extra minute of listening and compassion.”

 


Locations

Center for Family Health at Eastside
125 E. 9th Street
Chester PA, 19013
Medical Phone: 610-872-6131
Dental Phone: 610-874-6231

Center for Family Health at Coatesville
744 East Lincoln Highway
Suite 110
Coatesville, PA 19320
Phone: 610-380-4660

Center for Family Health at Upper Darby
5 South State Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082
Phone: 610-352-6585

Administration

1510 Chester Pike,
Suite 200
Eddystone, PA 19022

Phone: 610-485-3800
Fax: 610-485-4221

Copyright by ChesPenn 2022. All rights reserved.