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    It's Not Too Early for Immunizations

    The staff of LaSalle Medical Associates are ready to schedule  appointments for children who will need back-to-school immunizations before starting a new grade. Beat the rush, call (909) 890-0407 to schedule an appointment before summer even begins. Photo by Chris Sloan
    (San Bernardino, Calif.) –With many schools starting in August, it’s not too early to make an appointment now for back-to-school immunizations.

    In fact, some children will need to see the doctor for mandatory immunizations before they can start a new year at school.

    “It is important not to wait until the last minute,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president of LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. “In the fall and late summer, we get very busy with these required immunizations. Why not beat the rush, and schedule your family’s immunizations now?”

    Four booster immunizations are needed for all kindergarteners before entering school for the first time, said Dr. Cheryl Emoto, director of medical services. And, as they grow older, children need additional immunizations.

    “Children entering kindergarten should receive boosters for DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Varicella (chicken pox),” Dr. Emoto said. “Fortunately, there is a combination vaccine that is available that allows for only three injections instead of four.”

    If parents have kept up with their child’s immunizations from birth, only the above booster immunizations are needed. However, if the child is behind on their other required immunizations, they may need several doses of immunizations to get “caught up.”

    New this year, says Dr. Emoto, is an updated pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar 13).  This vaccine includes added protection as compared to the older version (Prevnar 7) and all children between 15 months and 5 years of age should have one additional dose of the newer Prevnar, “even if your doctor previously told you that your child was up-to-date.”

    When children turn 11, they should receive the meningitis vaccine for the first time, and a tetanus booster (Tdap), Dr. Emoto said.  The Tdap vaccine is particularly important because not only does it help prevent tetanus, but it also includes additional protection for pertussis (the “p” part in Tdap).

    “Pertussis causes whooping cough and there has been an increase in the number of cases of whooping cough just in the early part of this year,” Dr. Emoto said.

    Parents should schedule these vaccines shortly after the child’s 11th birthday, but they also can be part of a back-to-school immunization routine for any student, even those over 18.

    “Children older than 11 who have not received these vaccines should also come in to get them,” she said. “And if you have a teenager who is enrolling in college, planning to live in a dormitory, and hasn’t been vaccinated for meningitis, they should be vaccinated now.”

    In addition to the meningitis vaccine and Tdap, young people (boys and girls) ages 9-26 should receive a vaccine against the human papiloma virus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease that infects the genitals, and can cause cancer in either sex, but is especially likely to cause cervical cancer in women. 2010 is the first year it has been available to males.

    While giving this vaccine to children in elementary school is not without controversy, many doctors, including those at LaSalle Medical Associates, are highly in favor.

    “The HPV virus is the main cause of cervical cancer in women,” Emoto explained. “It is important that a person receive three doses, which are given over a six-month period, before their first sexual encounter in order for the vaccine to be fully effective. Both young men and women can benefit from this vaccination, especially if they receive it before becoming sexually active.”

    The key, Emoto said, is to have the vaccine before any sexual activity, and while parents might think their children will wait till they are older, statistics show that almost half of teenagers report at least one sexual encounter during high school. “Prevention, prior to exposure, with the HPV vaccine will prevent disease and save lives.”

    The LaSalle Medical Associates clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.

    For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407.


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    No Such Thing As A Healthy Tan

    People of all ages and ethnicities should take precautions when enjoying fun in the sun,  especially swimming.

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Climbing High, an online newsletter from Guides Network, puts it rather succinctly: “…there is no such thing as a healthy tan.”
    Most of us know skin cancer is growing at an alarming rate. “There is an epidemic of non-melanoma skin cancer in the United States,” reported Dr. Howard Rogers of Advanced Dermatology in Norwich, Connecticut.
    Years ago we “knew” that a tan was a sign of “good health.” After all, sun exposure is our primary source of vitamin D which, says kidshealth.org, “helps us absorb calcium for stronger and healthier bones.”
    But the organization also alerts us to the fact that, “Kids rack up between 50 percent and 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18.”
    The Inland Empire’s LaSalle Medical Associates, with four Inland Empire clinics, sees more than its share of sun damage victims.
    “It’s especially a concern in the High Desert,” points out LaSalle’s Audit and Education Coordinator Barbara Graber. “Kids play outside more hours and more days, which means more sun exposure, a potential for skin damage, heat exhaustion, sunstroke and heat illness. Young people involved in sports,” she continues, “are at real risk because they tend to lose track of outdoor time, and seldom have enough fluid intake.”
    But, it’s not just children we should be concerned about, Graber notes. “Older adults love to garden. They go outside early in the day when the temperature is cool. Then, as the desert summer temps slowly pick up, they may not even be aware how their body temperature has risen.”
    The sun may be hammering the back of the neck and hands, the ears and nose, especially if they began the day in a t-shirt and without a hat, and stayed that way through the mid afternoon; the strongest sun rays usually occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    Sunlight contains three types of dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and can contribute to skin cancers. UVB rays can cause sunburn, lead toward cloudy cataracts of the eyes, may damage the immune system and also contribute to skin cancer. And then there are the most highly dangerous UVC rays, fortunately blocked from reaching the earth by the ozone layer.
    How can you avoid the UVA and UVB rays? The obvious answers are to stay indoors or to cover up as completely as possible. Not always very practical. So, accept them we must, though not without a fight say numerous sources:

    • Avoid sun exposure during the sun’s peak hours, usually 10-2
    • Apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher a half hour before sun exposure and then reapply regularly, remembering the nose, ears, neck and hair partings
    • Wear sunglasses with 99-100% UV protection
    • Use a SPF-rated lip balm
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
    • Stay hydrated with plenty of water
    • Stay covered as best you can
    • If possible, stay under an umbrella

    All of these suggestions apply to the elderly as well. As we age our skin becomes thinner and more fragile, requiring even more attention and care than we might be used to.
    And older people may have difficulty with upper body movements, so sunscreens that are easy to apply, such as those in towlette form or as powders or gels, are valuable. Additionally, since skin of the elderly is often dry, doctors suggest chemical-free or water-based sunscreens.
    “The sun can be our friend,” says LaSalle’s founder Dr. Albert Arteaga, “but a friend we greet with care. Sunburns, especially in youth, can harm us all many years later.”
    About LaSalle Medical Associates
    LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. LaSalle Medical Associates clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.
    LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street.
    For more information or to make an appointment, call (909) 890-0407.

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    Swimming Pool Safety: More Than Fun In The Sun

     (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  Look at it this way: Swimming pools are 14 times more likely than motor vehicles to be the cause of deaths of children four and under, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. 

    The Center for Disease Control says three of 10 people who drown are younger than five years old.

    But drowning deaths are not just limited to small children.  According to the Center For Disease Control, there are about 411 senior drowning deaths every year nationwide. Eight out of 10 of the victims were between the ages of 65-84 and about two out of 10 were 85 or over.

    Seniors can over exercise and quickly become more tired than they think they are.  “If that happens in the deep end of the pool tragedy can happen,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president of LaSalle Medical Associates.

    The Consumer Products Agency says that approximately 260 children under the age of five years old drown in America’s pools every year.  On top of that, they estimate there to be nearly 3,000 Emergency Department-treated pool injuries to children under five years old annually.

    Yet, think of a home with a pool and what comes to mind but serenity, beauty and fun.

    “Swimming pools can be deceptive,” notes Barbara Graber, the Audit & Education Coordinator for LaSalle Medical Associates. “We can forget just how potentially dangerous they can be, especially to very young children and seniors.”

    As we enter spring and it gets warmer, then hotter into summer, it becomes Southern California’s “pool season”. Graber, who’s been with LaSalle for almost 10 years, knows what that means to families.

    “Our Clinic Safety Committee has each of our four clinics display posters listing tips for pool safety awareness.”

    Recommendations include:
           Designate a responsible adult to watch young children and seniors while swimming or playing in or around water.
           Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
           Never let older children be in charge of younger children in the pool area.

           Put a fence around your pool or spa with a gate that can be locked. Keep the gate closed and locked.

           Never swim alone no matter what your age.  Always have an adult buddy there to help in an emergency.

           Don’t keep furniture near the fence, because children can climb on them and get over the fence.

           Keep a cordless, water-resistant phone in the pool area so calls to 911 can be quickly made in the event of an emergency.

           Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming or using a hot tub. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.

    While most attention regarding swimming pool danger centers around drowning accidents, another danger, especially during the upcoming hot, sunny days, is the sun.

    “More time in the pool,” says Graber, “means more time in the sun, and the sun can cause serious sunburns,” even possibly leading to various levels of skin cancer later in life.

    There are nearly nine million private pools in America, says Market Research.com.  So most of us, naturally, don’t know a family that has experienced a pool-related death.

    In the United States there are 1.6 drowning deaths of children per million population.
    According to the World Health Organization, America ranks as high as 4th in pool deaths per million, behind the Bahamas, Malta and Cuba, yet ahead of Australia, 9th, Canada, 19th, and Mexico, 31st.

    Many people feel a certain sense of safety in avoiding private swimming pools altogether in favor of taking their families to public facilities with lifeguards, yet, experts say, this can cause a certain relaxation in parental alertness and concern.

    After all, public pools have all the safeguards in place, and lifeguards are trained in spotting water problems, rescuing swimmers in trouble and immediately administering emergency aid.

    However, the Drowning Prevention Foundation has pointed out that fully one of every five drowning deaths of America’s children occur in public pools with lifeguards in attendance.

    “Public pools are more crowded than home pools, naturally,” notes a spokesman, “so the numbers of swimmers per lifeguard can become alarming on hot days, especially weekends and summer vacations.”

    “It’s for reasons like this,” says LaSalle’s founder Dr. Albert Arteaga, “we all must stay attuned and alert to swimming pool and spa safety issues, knowing how to prevent problems and what to do if something still goes wrong.”

    Pick us a free pool safety poster that included these important safety tips for children and seniors at any of LaSalle’s Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street.

    For more information or to make an appointment, call (909) 890-0407.

    About LaSalle Medical Associates
    LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. LaSalle Medical Associate clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.

    LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street.

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    LaSalle Clinics Helping Seniors Get Healthcare Coverage

     

    Medicare Advantage helps senior citizens like Carlos and Beatrice Cuellar obtain the specialized medical care they need. LaSalle Medical Associates can help anyone eligible for Medicare sign up for this program. Photo by Carl Dameron

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Seniors and other Medicare recipients who lost specialized benefits such as vision and dental last year can get that coverage back through Medicare Advantage.

     
    “Many of our patients are dually enrolled in both Medicare and Medi-Cal. Last July Medi-Cal dropped senior coverage for vision, dental, podiatry, psychological services and many other forms of health care” explains Susan De Frates a 13-year veteran with LaSalle Medical Associates, now as a patient relation specialist.

    “With Medicare Advantage, they get those the benefits back,” she said.

    LaSalle began this program in December of 2009 for both seniors and disabled patients, who are the two categories of people eligible for Medicare. Enrollment is growing rapidly.

    “Dr. Albert Arteaga,” De Frates says of LaSalle’s founder and President, “has spearheaded our move into greater assistance for the disabled and elderly. He’s always thinking of the patients above all else.”

     “We want to treat all our patients, regardless of age or condition, with courtesy and respect, and provide all the needed medical help if possible,” Dr. Albert Arteaga said.

    LaSalle Medical Associates offers this program to all eligible seniors and disabled.

    “We are an information center,” said De Frates. “If we don’t offer the services they need, we can find a clinic for them within our network. We can even call and make the appointment for them.”

    De Frates and four patient relation specialists serve LaSalle senior citizens at its Mt. Vernon and Hesperia clinics. De Frates heads up the senior program at the Mt. Vernon clinic and Wendy Dubon oversees the program in Hesperia.

    LaSalle Medical Associates is the only Independent Practice Association member (IPA) in the Inland Empire that has staff dedicated to helping patients enroll in Medicare Advantage, and one of only a few throughout southern California, according to Augusto Salas, an independent broker with whom LaSalle works to enroll patients in the program.

    “People are very happy with the service LaSalle provides,” he said.

    About LaSalle Medical Associates
    LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. La Salle Medical Associates clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.

    Founded in 1984, LaSalle has 110 employees, and is an Independent Practice Association member serving more than 100 doctors.

    LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street.

    For more information or to make an appointment in San Bernardino call (909) 510-5918 or (909) 510-5929 or in Hesperia call (760) 947-2161.
     

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    LaSalle Medical Associates Helps Stop H1N1 With 20,000 Flu Shots

    Isabell Gonez helps the mother of a pediatric patient check her son in at the LaSalle Medical Associates’ Hesperia clinic. Over the past six months, more than 10,000 LaSalle patients have checked in to receive H1N1 immunizations, and almost that many have received seasonal flu immunizations. (Photo by Chris Sloan)

     

     

    Fontana Clinic Staff: Right to left: Dr. Halima Shahabudin-MD Physician, Dr. Tara Agena-Pediatrics, Iris Iniquez- Front Office Receptionist, Araceli Chavez-Medical Biller, Yadira Seccombe-Medical Billing, Carmon Maya-CAA Healthy Families, Elisa Smith-Medical Biller, Denise Evans-Medical Biller, Jose Arroyo-Receptionist, Jessica Gozman-Front Office, Tina Hoyle-Office Manager, Dr. Cheryl Emoto-Medical Director (Photo by Chris Sloan)
     
    Hesperia Clinic Staff: Front Row Left to Right: Sixta Boladen-Referral Coordinator, April Rea-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dr Cheryl Emoto-Pediatrics Medical Director, Dr Flex Albano-Internal Medicine, Dr Joseph Selvara-International Medicine, Dr Rosa Loyola-Pediatrics, Patty Alcala-Receptionist, Elisabeth Garcia-Medical Assistant, Joanna Anbriz-Medical Assistant, Veronica Rocha-Medical Assistant 
    Back Row Left to Right: Delfina Ibarra-Maid, Leticia Regin-CAA Health Families, Kim Belle-Medical Biller, Linda Long-Corporate Administrator, Isabell Gonez-Receptionist, Angelica Lopez-Adult & Pediatrics Lab Tech, Denise Alarcon-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Barbar Garber-Employee Training & Education, Wendy DuBon-Patient Relations Coordinator (Photo by Chris Sloan)
     
    Seventeenth Street Staff:   Front Row Left to Right: Angela Lobo-Receptionist, Iris Reyes-Referrals Coordinator, Marja Bryant-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Leticia Hinojosa-Medical Assistant, Tawny Gomez-Medical Records, Alison Atkinson-Physician Assistant, Poleth Olaiz-Medical Assistant, Alicia Garcia-Back Office Supervisor

    Back Row Left to Right: Leticia Morfin-Medical Assistant, Aracelly Palma-Lab Medical Assistant, Dr Gurbani, Lorrena Ayala-Front Office, Edith Reyes-Phone Operator, Dr. Damon Greene (Photo by Matt Sloan)
    Mt. Vernon Office Staff: Front Row Left to Right: Brenda Marroquin-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dulce Hernandez-Operations Manager, Rocio Renteria-Receptionist, Monica Rodriguez-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Lynette Frausto-Family Practice Medical Assistant, Susette Galvan-Family Practice Medical Assistant, Dr. Romeo Rodriguez 


    Back Row Left to Right: Christina Gallegos-Medical Assistant, Christina Cotton-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dr Usanee Sanders, Fabiola Partida-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Susan DeFrates-Retention Department, Mercedes Corral-Adult Medical Assistant (Photo by Chris Sloan)
     
    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. gave nearly 20,000 flu immunizations this flu season – more than double what it has most years.
    “This is a celebration. It was a major effort on everyone’s part, and one that many of the staff believe has made a difference in curbing the spread of H1N1 and other types of flu,” said Medical ‍Director, Dr. Cheryl Emoto.
    “The H1N1 immunization worked,” said Dr. Halima Shahabuddin, a pediatrician at the Fontana clinic. “We gave this immunization in time to our patients. Had we not, we would have seen many more cases.”
    Dr. Emoto notes LaSalle Medical Associates saw most of its cases of H1N1 in the fall, before the vaccine became available to everyone.
    In the flu season of October 2009 through March 2010, La Salle Medical Associates provided 8,629 seasonal flu vaccinations and 10,633 H1N1 flu vaccinations. This meant more than twice as much work for the staff as a year earlier, when they provided 8,677 seasonal flu vaccinations.
    In years past, one vaccine protected recipients against all types of flu.
    But the H1N1 virus was different. It is a virus that had not been seen in humans prior to 2009, according to the Center for Disease Control. Thus, people exposed to it had little or no immunity, and the disease spread rapidly.
    Because of the widespread, sometimes deadly, cases of H1N1 the World Health Organization took the rare step of labeling it a pandemic in June 2009. But for many, the fear of H1N1 was greater than the reality.
    “This started a year ago, when the H1N1 virus first broke out in Mexico,” said Dr. Emoto. “Many people had just returned from spring break in Mexico when they first heard of what was then known as swine flu. Some of them panicked and said ‘I have been to Mexico recently. I must have it.’”
    LaSalle Medical Associates converted its four clinics to “flu screening and treatment centers” for four weeks in Spring 2009. During this time, it saw more than 300 people each day who at least thought they had flu symptoms.
    But, Dr. Emoto says that LaSalle Medical Associates didn’t see more than a few cases of H1N1 flu until the fall. Most cases of flu reported in the last six months were likely H1N1, according to the Center for Disease Control.
    A vaccine for H1N1 wasn’t available at the start of the new flu season in October 2009. When it first became available it was only in limited doses, so county health departments placed restrictions on who could receive the vaccine.
    On Dec. 21, 2009, as the vaccine had become widely available, San Bernardino County lifted its restrictions. The vaccine was then available to all who asked for it.
    “We actually had more vaccines than we needed for a time after our Mt. Vernon clinic accidentally received a double shipment,” Dr. Emoto said. “Throughout the flu season, we encouraged all our patients to receive this vaccination and most were happy to do so.”
    Next flu season, LaSalle Medical Associates employees won’t need to give more than double the usual number of shots.
    “There will be three strains covered by the flu vaccine for next season,” Dr. Emoto said. “One of these will be H1N1, so you will only need one vaccine.”
    About LaSalle Medical Associates
    LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. LaSalle Medical Associates clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.
    Founded in 1984, LaSalle has 110 employees, and is an Independent Physicians Association member serving more than 100 doctors.
    LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street. The Sean Park Law headquarters is near the Vernon Avenue so go and check that too.
    For more information or to make an appointment, call (909) 890-0407.
    -end-

    Flu expected in three waves

    You don’t want to sit in a doctor’s office while you are sick! Avoid seasonal flu by getting your flu shot. Children six months to 18 years old, and adults who either work in health care, infant care or essential community services such as police and fire protection can also receive a vaccine for H1N1 (a.k.a. “swine flu). Carl Dameron Photo

    (SAN BERNARDINO, CA) Flu season is attacking with a double punch this year.

    There is flu. And there is H1N1, also known as “swine flu.”

    Together, they’re making lots of people sick enough to warrant medical attention. A few are sick enough to need hospitalization, and because of the H1N1 flu, deaths have been reported in the Inland Empire this year.

    Flu outbreaks come in three waves, said Dr. Albert Arteaga, President of LaSalle Medical Associates. Fall and winter waves are usually more severe than spring, because virus strains (including H1N1) can become more aggressive.

    But there’s a way to put a stop to it, says Dr. Arteaga. If everyone received a flu shot, he points out, there would be no flu.

    “Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated,” Dr. Arteaga said. “But even if half of the population is immunized, there will be significant protection. That half of the population may prevent their neighbors from getting the flu as well. And if 75 percent of the population is immunized, we can stop the flu dead in its tracks.”

    Dr. Arteaga urges parents to have their children (and themselves, if they’re eligible) vaccinated against the H1N1 and seasonal flu viruses.

    “Children are especially at risk, because they have more opportunities to be exposed to the virus,” he said.

    Even though adults may be at somewhat less risk, almost everyone would benefit from a seasonal flu vaccine, Dr. Arteaga said. Those who imply flu vaccines are unnecessary and harmful, he said, are irresponsibly making light of the subject.

    “The benefit of flu vaccines has been proven over and over.”

    “The danger posed by the flu is real,” he continued. “Most strains of influenza, including H1N1 can cause body aches, coughs, sore throats, fevers above 100 degrees, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. We have sometimes seen more serious consequences, even death with H1N1, but other types of flu can be equally dangerous.”

    Seasonal flu vaccines became available mid-October in somewhat limited quantity, with few limitations on who can receive these. On the other hand, the newly developed H1N1 vaccine is currently in very limited quantity, because vaccine manufacturers have not yet been able to grow a large enough culture to provide immunizations to all

    Therefore, county public health departments have each made their own recommendations as to who can receive the vaccine.

    In San Bernardino County, healthy children 2 through 18 years of age can receive the H1N1 vaccine. Also eligible are those ages 2 through 49 who have a baby 6 months or younger in their household and no medical conditions.

    An injectible form of the vaccine is available for health care and essential service providers such as police and firefighters who are ages 49 and younger and healthy. 

    The seasonal flu vaccine is available in two forms. The most common is the flu shot, an injected vaccine. A nasal spray, similar to that now offered for H1N1, is available as an alternative for most people ages 49 and younger.

    To limit the spread of flu, Dr. Arteaga urges anyone with symptoms to stay home from school and work until they are well, and limit contact with others. They also should contact a health care provider, especially if worried about the symptoms.

    Everyone should cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth, he said. Also, healthy people should to the extent possible, avoid contact with those who have flu symptoms.

    “Every time we wash our hands, and take precautions when we cough, there is less flu to go around,” Dr. Arteaga said.

    For more information about all types of flu, contact the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov. or by calling 1-800-236-4636, or the California Department of Public Health at www.cdph.ca.gov or 1-888-865-0564.

    The San Bernardino County Public Health Department also can provide information on its toll-free number, 1-800-782-4264, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    According to founder Dr. Arteaga, the primary mission of LaSalle’s clinics is “to offer high quality medical care to the whole family with courtesy and respect.”
    The LaSalle medical clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia
    For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407 or go on line to www.lasallemedical.com.

    -end-

    Missing Son Diego Arteaga Found

    (Pahrump, Nevada) Diego Arteaga 19, has been found. He was reunited with his parents Dr. Albert and Maria Arteaga tonight at about 10:45 p.m. at a McDonald’s restaurant in Pahrump, Nevada.

    Diego, son of prominent San Bernardino physician Albert and Maria Arteaga, had been missing since Monday August 10th when he was last seen leaving Amargosa Valley on foot about 60 miles north of Pahrump, Nevada.

    “We are so happy to have found our son safe after two days of worry,” said Maria Arteaga.

    “We are so grateful for the many people who called in tips to us and to the wonderful people of Pahrump who listed to our story and helped us find our lost son,” said Albert.

    The Arteagas offer special thanks to Deputy Robert with the Nye County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who did so much to help find their son.

    For more information call:

    Carl Dameron

    at (909) 534-9500 – Cell

    (909) 888-0017 – office

    carl@DameronCommunications.com

    -end-

    Time for Back-To-School Immunizations


    Shaila Dameron, eight-years-old from Rialto, has her immunizations up-to-date and is ready for the third grade. Keep your children happy and healthy by making sure they’re current with their childhood immunizations. With many Inland Empire schools beginning a new year in August, it’s not too soon to make an appointment. LaSalle Medical Associates offers low-cost immunizations and also accepts most insurance. Photo by Carl Dameron.


    Keep your children happy and healthy by making sure they’re up-to-date on their childhood immunizations. With many Inland Empire schools beginning a new year in August, it’s not too soon to make an appointment. LaSalle Medical Associates offers low-cost immunizations and also accepts most insurance. Photo courtsey of Carl Dameron.

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – Whether your child is starting kindergarten or a senior in high school, visiting the pediatrician for immunizations should, for many students, be an important part of the back-to-school preparations.

    And with many schools starting in August, it’s not too soon to make that appointment.

    “It is important not to wait until the last minute,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, President of LaSalle Medical Associates. “As we get closer to September, more schools will be opening for a new year, and we will become even busier.”

    There are four vaccinations all kindergarteners must have before entering school for the first time, said Dr. Cheryl Emoto, Medical Director for LaSalle Medical Associates. And, as they grow older, children need additional immunizations.

    “Children entering kindergarten should receive boosters for DTap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Varicella (chicken pox), she said.

    If parents have kept up with their child’s immunizations from birth, only booster immunizations for the above diseases are needed. However, they should have also received vaccinations for these and several other diseases prior to age 2, and as kindergarteners may need several doses of immunizations if not “caught up.”

    When children turn 11, they can and should receive the meningitis vaccine for the first time, Dr. Emoto said. The Center for Disease Control also recommends children this age receive a tetanus (Tdap) booster, she noted.

    Parents can schedule these vaccines shortly after the child’s 11th birthday, but they can also can be part of a back-to-school immunization routine for any student, even those over 18.

    “Children older than 11 who have not received these vaccines should also come in to get them,” she said. “And if you have a teenager who is enrolling in college, planning to live in a dormitory, and hasn’t been vaccinated for meningitis, they should be vaccinated now.”

    Girls age 9 and older, and young women up to age 26 can receive the vaccine against the human papiolloma (HPV) virus. While giving this vaccine to girls in elementary school is not without controversy, many doctors, including those at LaSalle Medical Associates, are highly in favor.

    “The HPV virus is the main cause of cervical cancer,” Emoto explained. “It is important that a girl receive three doses, which are given over a six-month period, before her first sexual encounter in order for the vaccine to be fully effective.”

    One vaccination not available during the back-to-school season is the flu shot. These are given in fall, when the vaccine is available from manufacturers.

    “We depend on when the vaccine is shipped,” Emoto said. “We may have flu vaccines in September this year, but in past years it wasn’t until October that we received the vaccine. Once we receive it, we encourage all children six months to 18 years to receive an annual flu vaccine.”

    Children younger than 8 who are being immunized against flu for the first time receive a two-part vaccine, she said. The second dose is given four to six weeks after the first.

    “Healthy children 2 years of age and older also have the option of receiving the vaccination as a nasal spray instead of as an injection,” Emoto said. “The nasal spray is just as effective.”

    As it stands now, the flu vaccines that will be given in 2009 won’t protect against the H1N1 virus, also known as Swine Flu. But that could change by the time traditional flu season arrives.

    Emoto noted that several manufacturers are working to develop an H1N1 vaccine, When vaccines are available, she said, LaSalle Medical Associates will rely on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control as to who should receive that immunization and when.

    The LaSalle Medical Associates clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.
    For more information or to make an appointment call LaSalle Medical Associates at (909) 890-0407.
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    LaSalle Celebrates 25 Years In Practice

    Dr. Albert Arteaga circa 1995, when La Salle Medical Associates had been open for a little more than a decade.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga recently. He is the founder and president of LaSalle Medical Associates, which recently celebrated 25 years in practice.

    LaSalle Medical Associates is one of the top enrollers in the state in the Healthy Families program, which makes health care affordable for children in low and moderate income families. One of the ways LaSalle made people aware of this program is by having employees stand in front of the clinics in costume, as these two women are doing in front of the Mt. Vernon clinic in San Bernardino.

    The San Bernardino County Medical Society recognized Dr. Albert Arteaga for outstanding contributions to the community.

    Dr. Albert Arteaga, and his wife Maria, with an award he received from the San Bernardino County Medical Society for outstanding contributions to the community.

    La Salle Medical Associates held a health fair at its Fontana office, which opened in 1984 as the first in the LaSalle Medical Associates clinics.

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) On the first day, owner Dr. Albert Arteaga and his wife Maria, then employed as his nurse and still his chief assistant, saw two patients at their clinic in Fontana. Today, La Salle Medical Associates has grown to four clinics and 120 employees, and an Independent Practice Association (IPA) serving more than 100 doctors.

    La Salle Medical Associates celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, having seen its first two patients on June 13, 1984.

    “I think 25 years shows we have been doing a good thing, and we have been doing it for a long time,” Dr. Arteaga said. “It proves two things. Number One, we are honest. Number two we are reliable. We aren’t here today and gone tomorrow. In the medical field, being solid means being reputable and reliable.”

    Dr. Arteaga has built his practice with a philosophy that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. La Salle Medical Associate clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.

    As founder and CEO of LaSalle’s four Inland Empire clinics, Dr. Arteaga set out to not just aid those in need, but to change patients’ perception of “going to the doctor.” He explains, “I want everyone to feel that going to the doctor is no more intimidating than going to the grocery store.”
    The Applied Surveys of nearly 300 LaSalle patients showed that fully 100 percent of those surveyed believed their doctor and other staff had listened carefully, explained things and treated them with respect.

    In his 25 years in business, Dr. Arteaga has strived not only to be a great physician, but also a good businessman. Treating patients (customers) with respect helped him build a solid customer base, who in turn has recommended LaSalle Medical Associates to their friends and family, and some of who now have chosen LaSalle for their health care needs for three generations.

    Dr. Arteaga has also focused on keeping expenses low. And he has helped many patients who might otherwise struggle to pay for even basic medical care to find insurance that will foot the bill.

    Since Dr. Arteaga’s practice was pediatrics, La Salle Medical Associates initially focused on serving children of the lower income and disabled. Dr Arteaga quickly realized there were even greater community needs.

    With his guidance, LaSalle expanded its service to include family and internal medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology. All stemming from Arteaga’s “obligation to “help whenever I can.”

    Public and professional recognition has not escaped LaSalle Medical Associates and Dr. Arteaga. Earlier this year the California Medical Association awarded him the “Ethnic Physician’s Leadership Award for 2008,” recognizing his contributions to medical care in the Latino community. He also was named one of the top 15 Latino-owned businesses in the Inland Empire by Hispanic Lifestyle magazine.

    For his efforts to provide healthcare services to the Inland Empire’s children, Arteaga was awarded the San Bernardino County Medical Society’s Merlin Hendrickson M.D. Award for his outstanding contribution to the community.

    Inland Empire Health Plan selected the clinics as Riverside and San Bernardino counties’ best healthcare provider, while the African American Health Initiative selected LaSalle as a “model provider” of Black healthcare in San Bernardino County.

    The Sa
    n Bernardino Board of Supervisors has presented Dr. Arteaga the Resolution Award for his outstanding community efforts, and the Inland Empire Health Plan awarded LaSalle Medical Associates a Proclamation Award in appreciation of outstanding community work and for being the state’s number one enroller of the Healthy Families program, an insurance plan for children of low- to middle-income families.

    The LaSalle Medical Associates clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia

    For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407 or go on line to lasallemedical.com.

    Swine Flu Panic Wanes, But Virus Is Here To Stay

    For just over a month, the LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. clinics were only flu treatment centers to cope with the public’s concern about swine flu. Now, business is back to normal at LaSalle clinics. La Salle President Dr. Alebert Arteaga and his associates focus on providing quality affordable health care, as in this photo where he is overseeing signups for low-cost prescription programs. Photo by Carl Dameron

    (SAN BERNARDINO, CA) A month ago, many were panicking as a newly-discovered, sometimes deadly strain of influenza, known as “swine flu,” made its way from Mexico to the United States.

    To deal with the concerns of its patients, LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. temporarily converted its medical clinics to “Flu Treatment and Prevention Centers” and saw more than 300 people a day with flu symptoms. Less than four weeks later, as the spread of this flu strain waned, LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. returned to business as normal.

    Still, swine flu, officially known as “novel H1N1 influenza A” hasn’t gone away. In May, San Bernardino County recorded its first death from swine flu, also the first death in the state, although the patient had other serious health issues as well.

    Medical experts warn there could be many new cases when the flu season returns this fall.

    “Because this is a new virus, most people will not have immunity to it, so the illness may become more widespread and severe as a result,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, San Bernardino County Health Officer.

    It’s possible to contract swine flu and other types of influenza at any time of year, even in summer. So, LaSalle Medical Associates and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health work together to educate people about preventing spread of this virus.

    “Swine flu is a Type A strain of influenza that can cause body aches, coughs, sore throats, fevers above 100 degrees, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea,” Dr. Arteaga explained. “As with all strains of influenza, there are other potential more serious complications, possibly even death.”

    To limit the spread of swine flu, Dr. Arteaga urges anyone with the above symptoms to stay home from school and work until they are well, and limit contact with others. They also should contact a health care provider, especially if worried about the symptoms.

    Everyone should cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, wash hands frequently with soap and water or a hand sanitizer, and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Also, healthy people should to the extent possible, avoid contact with those who have flu symptoms and avoid large gatherings.

    According to founder Dr. Arteaga, the primary mission of LaSalle’s clinics is “to offer high quality medical care to the whole family with courtesy and respect.” LaSalle accepts most insurance, and is also an affordable option for many without health care coverage.

    As of early June, there were 114 cases of swine flu in San Bernardino County.

    This strain of flu is resistant to flu vaccines that have been developed so far. However, flu vaccines are modified every year to include new strains.

    For more information about swine flu, contact the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or by calling 1-800-236-4636, or the California Department of Public Health at www.cdph.ca.gov or 1-888-865-0564. The state health department also maintains www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov with additional information.

    The San Bernardino County Public Health Department also can provide information on its toll-free number, 1-800-782-4264, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Its website is www.sbcounty.gov/dph.

    The LaSalle medical clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, and 16455 Main St. in Hesperia.
    For additional information about LaSalle Medical Associates, call (909) 890-0407 or go on line to www.lasallemedical.com.

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