Screening 101: What Health Screening Tests Do You Need and Why?

Primary Care PhysicianHealth screening tests can seem like a nuisance: You need to schedule an appointment, take time out of your day and wait to see a provider. But, they are so much more. Health screenings are a way for you to take control of your own health. An annual exam with a primary care provider gives you the opportunity to talk about your concerns, your family history and past or current medical conditions.

These annual tests and exams can equip you with the information and education you need to make healthy choices that last a lifetime, allowing you to enjoy life to its fullest. There are many screenings available. Your primary care provider will discuss which are best for you based on your family and medical history. Those screening tests may include:

  • Annual physical
  • Annual eye exam
  • Cancer screenings
  • Sexually transmitted infection screenings

Annual Physical Examination

The best place to start with annual screenings is with your annual physical exam. This appointment gives you the opportunity to talk with your primary care provider – sharing any concerns and getting answers to any questions you may have. It also allows your provider to check in on any other conditions you may have – from high blood pressure, depression, anxiety or diabetes. During your annual exam, you may also receive:

  • Blood tests to check blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Immunizations, such as the flu shot
  • Pelvic exam (women)
  • Weight, blood pressure and temperature check
  • Screening questions about depression, smoking, and alcohol use

Your provider will also recommend any additional screenings based on your family and medical history. Sharing an updated history with your physician is important as family history often indicates an increased risk for developing certain conditions, such as cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Annual Eye Exam

If you have diabetes, you should schedule an annual eye exam. Make going to the eye doctor a priority. Individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk for eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataract and glaucoma. Your eye doctor will conduct special tests to check the health of your eyes to keep you seeing well for as long as possible.

Cancer Screenings

Cancer screenings can vary across individuals, depending on their age, risk factors and family and medical history. Research has shown that some screening tests can reduce cancer deaths. According to the National Cancer Institute, those include:

• Colonoscopy – Screenings for colon cancer, including colonoscopy and other indirect colon cancer tests, can diagnose early stage colon cancer and precancerous cells, which can be removed to prevent cancer from developing.

• Low-dose CT scanIndividuals at risk for developing lung cancer should have a low-dose CT scan, which can detect and diagnose lung cancer. Early detection – before symptoms appear – can reduce lung cancer deaths.

• Mammogram – The American Cancer Society recommends the following screening guidelines for mammogram to detect early stage breast cancer in asymptomatic average-risk women:

  • Women ages 40-44 should have the choice to start annual mammograms after discussion with their provider.
  • Women ages 45-54 should have an annual mammogram.
  • Women ages 55 and older should have mammograms every two years.

• Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing – Cervical cancer death rates have dropped dramatically since regular Pap test screening was introduced. Today, most health professionals recommend that Pap testing begin at age 21 and occur every 5 years if done with HPV testing.

Your provider may also discuss screenings for skin cancer and prostate cancer, depending on your age and risk factors.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Screening

If you’re sexually active, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). An open and honest conversation can help you and your doctor identify your risk and get you the information and tests you need to stay healthy.

Some individuals with an STI, such as HPV or chlamydia, may show no symptoms but can still infect others. Left untreated, these infections can have serious complications on your physical, emotional and reproductive health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends STI screenings for the following individuals:

• Annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings for all sexually active women under age 25 and older women with risk factors

• Chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings for pregnant women at risk for infection

• HIV screenings at least once for everyone ages 13-64

  • HIV testing should be done more frequently for those at risk, including those who have more than one partner or use IV drugs.

• Syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for all sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

• Syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B screenings for all pregnant women

Emory Healthcare is committed to providing confidential and accessible STI testing at sites across metropolitan Atlanta. We partner with organizations around the community to deliver family planning, sexual education and sexually transmitted infection screenings and resources.

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need, when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to schedule your annual screenings and exams.


About Dr. Vohra-Khullar

Pamela Vohra-Khullar, MD, joined Emory in 2013 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is also distinguished as a Senior Physician in clinical medicine. She splits her time between primary care clinic at The Emory Clinic and resident education at Grady Memorial Hospital. She completed medical school at the University of Chicago in 2005 and residency at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2008. She serves as the site director for the Primary Care Resident Clinic at The Emory Clinic. Her educational interests include ambulatory teaching and patient-doctor communication. Her clinical interests include preventive medicine, women’s health, and comprehensive chronic disease management.


Just 15 Seconds Can Help Prevent the Spread

Every year, here at Emory Healthcare, we celebrate Hand Washing Awareness week.

The goal of National Hand Washing Awareness Week is to decrease the spread of infectious diseases by empowering individuals through education on the importance of hand washing to help protect their loved ones and communities. By working together we can make a difference!

At each of our facilities, all of our team members practice hand hygiene and we are reminded at almost every turn via signage and educational information just how important hand hygiene is for the health and wellness of our staff, patients, families and visitors.

By definition, hand hygiene is the cleaning of the hands using either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Hand “washing” refers to hand cleaning using soap and water. Hands can become contaminated with bacteria during routine daily activities such as eating, coughing, changing diapers, caring for an ill loved one, or taking out the trash. Hand hygiene doesn’t get rid of all bacteria on the hands, but it can reduce the number of bacteria on the hands and prevent spread of bacteria from one person to another, or prevent the contamination of additional surfaces.

The 6 Rules of Hand Washing:

  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, cleaning up after your pets, or handling money.
  • Wash your hands when they’re dirty.
  • Always wash your hands before eating.
  • Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
  • Refrain from putting your fingers in your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid touching people and surfaces with unclean hands.

Proper Hand Washing Technique:

  1. Wet hands with warm water, then use soap (preferably anti-bacterial).
  2. Rub your hands together, making sure to scrub all areas.
    • Be sure to rub for a minimum of 15 seconds, or sing “Happy Birthday” to make hand washing most effective.
  3. Rinse thoroughly, then dry hands on a clean towel.
  4. Finally, be sure and turn faucet off with the towel, not your hands, to prevent re-contamination.

Do you have other tips that help you practice good hand hygiene? If so, share them with us and our readers using the comments field below!

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need, when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.



Are You Managing Your Stress? 5 Ways to Feel Better, Be Healthy

Stress is part of everyday life. In fact, the right amount of stress can help us in our jobs to make decisions and to meet a goal. But when stress is constant and lasts for days or weeks, it can have a serious impact on our health. And that’s the type of stress that concerns health care professionals.

How is Stress Bad for the Body?

A Gallup poll found that eight in 10 Americans are frequently or sometimes stressed in their daily lives.

Stress causes a physical and emotional reaction in our bodies: The nervous system releases hormones, including cortisol, that trigger the “flight or fight” response. Usually, this response is short-term. Your heartbeat increases, breathing gets faster, muscles tense and you may start to sweat.

But, when you stay stressed over a long period of time, the release of those hormones can impact your health. Prolonged stress can cause:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility problems
  • Frequent headaches
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss

What are Common Causes of Stress?

Everyone has different stress triggers (situations or events that cause stress). The American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2017 Stress in America poll found:

  • The future of our nation stresses 63 percent of Americans.
  • Money stresses 62 percent of Americans.
  • Work stresses 61 percent of Americans.
  • The current political climate stresses 57 percent of Americans.
  • Violence and crime stresses 51 percent of Americans.
  • Traffic is a major source of stress, especially around major metropolitan cities.

A follow-up report from the APA also found that 66 percent of Americans are stressed by the cost of healthcare and insurance.

One study found the longer a person’s commute to work, the higher their blood pressure and body mass index were.

How Can I Manage My Stress?

Stress management is an important way to improve your health and avoid serious implications of long-term stress. Just as everyone has different stress triggers, everyone also responds differently to different stress management techniques.

Five easy and effective ways to manage stress include:

1. Take care of yourself

Regular physical activity and healthy eating can help your body fight stress hormones and lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common side effect of stress and can cause long-term damage to your heart, as well as increase your risk of heart attack. Next time you’re feeling stressed or feel your blood pressure rise, take a break from what you’re doing to go for a quick walk, or grab a healthy snack, or take a longer relaxing walk.

2. Practice mindfulness

Simply speaking, mindfulness is when you’re fully present. When stressed, that means calmly acknowledging how you feel and working to identify what’s causing your feelings of stress or anxiety. Once you identify the source of your stress, you can accept your feelings and work toward a solution that will help you feel better. This may include taking a break from what you’re doing, meditating or speaking with a family member or friend.

3. Get enough sleep

The APA’s 2013 stress report found that adults who had less than 8 hours of sleep felt more stressed than those who had at least 8 hours of shut-eye. Make a consistent bedtime routine, including getting to bed at the same time every night and plan for at least 8 hours of sleep to help you feel better and more rested. Avoid screen time (television, computer or telephone screens) at least 1 hour prior to bedtime to help get to sleep faster.

4. Tracking spending

Money and finances are a common cause of stress. Empower yourself by understanding where your money is going. Make a budget and track your spending to take control of finances and reduce your stress.

5. Stretch

Simple stretches throughout the day are a great way to take a break from stressors of work or daily life and re-center your mind and body. Stretch your legs, arms, back or neck at least once an hour and see what a difference it can make.

Feeling Stressed? Talk to Someone

If you’re experiencing chronic stress, talk to a trusted friend or family member. It can often help to share your worries and concerns with a loved one who can offer perspective and provide insight on how you can better manage your stress, workload or concerns.

Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss any physical or emotional concerns you may have. Your provider can complete a comprehensive physical that monitors your blood pressure, along with other screenings, to learn how stress has impacted your health. Your provider may also refer you to a therapist or psychologist to help you better manage stress. Find a provider near you by visiting Emory Healthcare online.

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need, when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.

About Dr. Collins

Caroline Jones Collins, MD, joined Emory at Peachtree Hills in January 2018. Dr. Collins grew up in Snellville, GA, and gained her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia. She attended Emory University for both medical school and her internal medicine residency. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children. Dr. Collins is passionate about preventive health and helping patients live healthy, happy lives.



Stay Healthy at Work: 5 Ways to Stay Active and Focused

A long day at work can be bad for your physical and mental health. Your body gets stiff, your heart rate slows down and your mind can quickly wander – which makes it hard to focus on your job.

To make matters worse, if your work happens mostly behind a desk, you may have a higher risk of obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels. In fact, one study found that individuals who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have the same risk of dying as obese individuals or smokers.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to help combat the negative health impact of sitting all day: Get up and move. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults, age 18-64, get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, running, swimming or bicycling every week, as well as muscle strength training at least twice a week. While this may seem like a big commitment, it becomes more achievable when you spread your activities throughout the week and break them down into 10-minutes increments — the perfect amount of time to get up and move around at work.

Discover five time-sensitive ways to be active at work, so you can stay healthy and focused all day long.

1. Make Your Conference Room On the Go

Meetings are inevitable in most workplaces. If you find yourself scheduled in back-to-back meetings, make one of those a walking meeting. Ask your colleagues to do a lap around the building or head outdoors instead of sitting in a conference room. Not only does it get you out of the office, it can recharge your creativity, improve your focus and boost your problem-solving ability.

2. Take the Stairs

Next time you’re going up or down, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Duke University found many benefits of taking the stairs, including:

    • Boosting bone density in post-menopausal women
    • Building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles and joints
    • Improving good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood
    • Increasing leg power and muscles

3. Bring Lunch to Work

Bringing your lunch to work has three major benefits. It helps you:

  • Eat healthy
  • Have more energy
  • Save money
  • Save time during your lunch break

If the thought of packing a lunch during a hectic morning seems overwhelming, try a little pre-planning. Make a list over the weekend of what you want to eat for lunch and pick up what you need at the grocery store. Some swear by making all their lunches for the week on a Sunday. But if that seems too time consuming, just plan to make lunches the night before (or at least gather up ingredients you need so they’re on-hand during the morning rush). Or you can pack up the leftovers from dinner to eat the next day. Be sure to plan healthy lunches that include fruits, vegetables, protein or complex carbohydrates to stay focused throughout the day.

4. Sit Up Straight

Posture may not seem like it has much to do with your health, but sitting (or standing) up straight can help improve your range of motion and boost your balance. It can also help improve your focus, making it easier to get through your to-do list at work.

Do a few posture checks throughout the day to make sure you’re sitting correctly. Your:

  • Chin should be parallel to the floor.
  • Knees and feet should be pointing straight ahead.
  • Shoulders, hips and knees should be even.

5. Do Some Desk or Chair Exercises

There’s no need to break out the wristbands or legwarmers with these simple desk and chair exercises:

  • Leg lifts: Lift one leg up straight and hold for two seconds; lower your foot and stop just above the floor and hold for 5 seconds. Switch legs, doing 15 reps on each leg.
  • Neck rolls: Slowly drop your head so your right ear nearly touches your right shoulder. Gently press your head a little lower using the opposite hand. Hold for 10 seconds. Straighten head and repeat on other side.
  • Sit tall: Stretch both arms above the head and hold for 10 seconds. Then, extend the right hand higher, and then the left.

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need, when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.

About Dr. Collins

Caroline Jones Collins, MD, joined Emory at Peachtree Hills in January 2018. Dr. Collins grew up in Snellville, GA, and gained her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia. She attended Emory University for both medical school and her internal medicine residency. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children. Dr. Collins is passionate about preventive health and helping patients live healthy, happy lives.



Get the Facts on Nutrition: Eat Healthy and Feel Good

Fruit Vegetable FactsThe facts on eating healthy are clear: Good nutrition helps your body run the way it should. Research proves the many benefits to our health time and time again, including:

  • Boosting your mood and appearance
  • Giving you more energy
  • Lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing your risk of cancer
  • Reducing your risk of diabetes

Why, then, do we struggle to make healthy eating a priority? Often, it’s because there is an overwhelming amount of information about nutrition to navigate and lack of time. That’s why, with this blog, we’re taking it back to the basics by offering simple nutrition facts to help you maximize your healthy eating habits.

Nutrition Fact No. 1: 5-9 Fruits and Veggies a Day Keep the Doctor Away

If you’re committed to eating healthier, the best place to start is by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet every day. Not only are you filling up on good-for-you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other powerful nutrients, but you’re cutting empty calories and sugar out of your diet.

Five to nine fruits and vegetables may sound like a lot, but start slowly and consider some of these simple substitutions throughout the day:

  • Grab a banana for a convenient on-the-go snack.
  • Dedicate at least two-thirds of your plate to fruits and veggies at dinnertime.
  • Dip raw veggies in Greek yogurt or hummus to power through your mid-day slump.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth in the evening with a bowl of fresh fruit.
  • Swap your regular sandwich at lunch with a salad packed with dark, leafy greens, tomatoes, shredded carrots, dried fruit and a hard-boiled egg.
  • Top cereal or yogurt with one cup of blueberries or strawberries at breakfast.
  • Keep dates and unsalted nuts available for a healthy snack.

Plan meals with your favorite fruits and vegetables to keep it enjoyable. Challenge yourself to try at least one new fruit or vegetable a week to mix it up and expand your taste buds. Try different methods of preparing your vegetables, such as sautéeing, roasting, or grilling. You never know what you may discover!

Nutrition Fact No. 2: Maximize Freshness

It’s happened to all of us: We load up our carts with fresh and nutritious food, only to let them spoil in the refrigerator. Not only is food waste a drain on our budget, it’s also bad for the environment. The National Resource Defense Council estimates that up to 40 percent of the food in the U.S. is never eaten. That’s food that’s going straight from our homes to the landfill, untouched.

Another downside of food hanging out in the fridge is that fresh fruits and veggies can lose their nutritional punch after being harvested. Add in transportation time to local grocery stores, and it can be anywhere from 3 days to several weeks before consumers even have a chance to buy fresh produce.

Try eating frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are packaged soon after they are picked, so they are more likely to retain their nutrients rather than fresh vegetables that hang out in the refrigerator. Be sure to check the nutrition label for added sugar or sodium.

A recent article in Healthline found that fresh fruits and vegetables lose nutrients over time — some as soon as they’re picked, including:

  • Soft fruits, such as berries, can lose nutrients after three days of refrigeration.
  • Vitamin C in fresh vegetables declines as soon as it’s picked from farms.

Maximize freshness and nutrients in produce:

  • Buy produce you plan to eat in the next 3-5 days.
  • Freeze fruit that’s nearing its shelf life or make a smoothie to use up fruit on hand.
  • Rinse and cut fruits and veggies to have on hand for snacking. Be sure to store them in airtight containers in the fridge.
  • Store produce appropriately to maximize its freshness. Some fruits and vegetables do best at room temperature while others should be stored in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Fact No. 3: Read Food Labels

The food labels on the back of packaged foods can help you find healthy options to add to your diet. Look past the claims on the front or sides of packaging and zero in on the food label and ingredient list.

Here are a few tips to help you choose healthful foods:

Look for Wholesome Ingredients in the Ingredients List

Manufacturers are required to list ingredients based on how much is used in the product. If sugar is the first, second, or third ingredient, that means there is more sugar in the food than whole grains. Another good rule of thumb is to look for ingredients you can pronounce. While most packaged foods contain preservatives that can be a mouthful, most ingredients should be easy to read, easy to say and recognizable.

Check the Serving Size

Manufacturers can sometimes make food look healthier than it is based on the serving size. Double-check how much is considered a serving and then consider how much you typically eat to be sure you are keeping “healthy” foods healthy.

Cut Back on Sugar

These days sugar is added to almost every packaged food. Keep your sugar consumption in line with the recommended daily intake: 3-6 teaspoons (12-16 grams) for women and 6-9 teaspoons (16-36 grams) for men. Sugar can increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and add pounds and inches to your waistline.

Focus on Healthy Fats

Avoid saturated and trans fat in food to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Instead, find foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like fish, nuts and vegetable oils. Be sure to limit fat to 25-30 percent of your calories. Fat from plant-based sources like avocados, nuts, and olives pack a lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which help reduce heart disease.

Cut Back on Salt

Manufacturers add sodium to most packaged foods. Look for foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium to help combat heart disease and manage high blood pressure. Avoiding canned vegetables high in sodium is preferred. But if you do eat canned vegetables, rinsing them off can reduce some of the sodium you consume.

Nutrition Fact No. 4: Drink More Water

Drinking water throughout the day offers many health benefits. Research has shown that drinking water can help you:

  • Feel energized
  • Improve kidney function
  • Keep skin looking hydrated, smooth and glowing
  • Lose weight
  • Stay hydrated and help your body run properly
  • Avoid constipation

The most common advice is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Reach for water when you’re thirsty and be sure to drink more on hot, sunny days or when you’re working up a sweat.

Nutrition Fact No. 5: Refrigerate Leftovers

Skipping takeout and making homemade food is another great way to boost your nutrition. Leftovers also make a great, healthy lunch the next day or can do double-duty for dinner two nights in a row. Be sure to refrigerate your leftovers safely to reduce the risk of bacteria or other contamination.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several tips on leftovers and food safety:

  • Divide food into shallow containers to cool it more quickly and safely.
  • Reheat food safely, in the microwave, stovetop or oven. Food should reach 165 degrees, and sauces, soups and gravies should be brought to a rolling boil.
  • Refrigerate leftovers two hours after food was cooked or removed from a warm appliance.
  • Store food in airtight storage containers or wrap it in airtight packaging.
  • Store leftovers safely in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Emory Healthcare

At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need, when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. If you have questions about how you can boost your nutrition, find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.

About Dr. Collins

Caroline Jones Collins, MD, joined Emory at Peachtree Hills in January 2018. Dr. Collins grew up in Snellville, GA, and gained her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia. She attended Emory University for both medical school and her internal medicine residency. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children. Dr. Collins is passionate about preventive health and helping patients live healthy, happy lives.




Allergies: Know Where to Go to Get Relief This Season

For allergy and asthma sufferers in Atlanta, there are effectively three seasons: summer, winter and pollen.

With a warmer than average winter, high pollen counts have already been reported across the U.S. In Atlanta, this warmer than usual weather triggered an early release of tree pollen. As a result, pollen counts started rising in mid-February. This means allergy season is already here — which may seem unfair, considering we are still at the tail end of flu season.

Click here to learn more about pollen counts and what the numbers mean.

Respiratory allergies, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever), flare up because of a heightened immune system response to pollen particles. Allergic rhinitis produces the typical sneezing and runny nose associated with pollen season, as well as itchy watery eyes. You can also experience itching in your ears, nose and throat.

For some people, this is mildly irritating but can be handled by staying indoors when pollen counts are high. Symptoms are also treatable with over-the-counter or prescription medications. A primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant can help. Older adults, children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their health care provider before taking over-the-counter medications.

However, allergic rhinitis can set the stage for viral or bacterial infections to take hold in your sinuses, ears, throat and chest. If left untreated, these infections can develop into more serious conditions.

Tip: Not sure whether you have allergies or a sinus infection? If it’s allergies, your mucus will often be clear. Mucus that’s cloudy, white, yellow or greenish can indicate a sinus infection.

Pollen sensitivity can also trigger asthma or bronchitis, both of which are conditions that affect airways in our lungs and can cause shortness of breath and wheezing. Asthma is caused by muscles tightening around the airways, causing them to narrow and restrict the amount of air that gets in your lungs. Meanwhile, bronchitis occurs when the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and is usually caused by an infection. It’s possible to suffer from both at the same time, which is called asthmatic bronchitis.

Where to Get Relief for Your Allergies

Start with your primary care physician. Because your PCP knows your complete health history and how you respond to medication, he or she can develop the best course of treatment. If you have ongoing or severe allergy or asthma issues, your primary care physician can also refer you to a specialist.

MinuteClinics and Urgent Care Centers are good alternatives if you need to see a health care provider sooner than you can see your PCP, or if you need care outside of your PCPs normal office hours.

Emergency rooms are best for life threatening health concerns, and a severe asthma attack can certainly require emergency care. Respiratory infections with high fevers that don’t respond to medicine are another example of good time to visit the ER.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your PCP or the Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777 and speak to an Emory nurse for assistance.

About Dr. Colovos

Nick Colovos, MD, received his degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1993, and completed his residency in emergency medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Toledo Ohio in 1996. His work experiences in the academic, public and private sectors of medical care have allowed him to develop a very unique perspective on the business of healthcare and its delivery to patients. He currently serves as Medical Director for the Emory Healthcare Urgent Care and CVS MinuteClinic Strategy. Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta Georgia

Related Links

Aging Parents and Multiple Health Problems – What Adult Children Can Do to Help

aging-parents-emailAs we age, the likelihood of developing multiple ongoing conditions increases. These problems can include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, to name a few.

Multiple medical conditions also means multiple prescriptions, therapies and physicians, all of which can become confusing. Sometimes, they might seem at cross purposes as well.

Join us July 27, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m. to chat online with Anthony Nguyen, MD, Emory Healthcare Regional Medical Officer for the Emory Coordinated Care Centers, part of the Emory Healthcare Network Advantage program. Dr. Nguyen works with Emory primary care physicians and Coordinated Care Center staff to deliver continuous coordinated care to older patients.

He will discuss how caregivers – and patients themselves- can communicate with their doctors to help manage health conditions like

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Anticoagulation Therapy Program
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • COPD

He will also explain the therapies, services and treatments offered at the Coordinated Care Centers that can help with this more intensive health management, including:

  • HealthStart assessments
  • Fall prevention
  • Medication management
  • Nutrition advice
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Behavioral health support

During this chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from Dr. Nguyen. Register now for our July 27 chat at


Create a Personal Fundraising Page

Personal Giving Page ImageYour support is vital to everything that we do here at Emory. That’s why Emory Healthcare is excited to announce the inception of Personal Giving Pages. Personal Giving Pages are a fun and easy way to support Emory’s groundbreaking research, patient care, and professional education.

With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to create your own Personal Giving Page. After you’ve created your page, you’ll be able to invite family and friends to join you in supporting Emory Healthcare. We’ve already created special fundraising messages for birthdays, in honor or memorial of someone special, holidays, or any day that may be important to you.

Personal Giving Pages are a great way to both promote good health and help others get involved in the effort to put an end to serious diseases. These pages are a fun and easy way to do just that. With your support and the support of others like you, there’s no telling what we’ll be able to accomplish. We’re so proud to have the opportunity to serve you and our community.

If you’d like to know more about how to create your own Personal Giving Page, please click here.


Managing Your Stress Live Chat on December 22nd

stress-chatThe holiday season is in full swing, and there’s no better time to think about stress management. In short spurts, stress is actually helpful and can propel us through a tough situation or help us react quickly to avoid one. However, prolonged or severe stress may trigger physical, psychological and emotional reactions that can lead to health problems or worsen existing ones.

On Tuesday, December 22, 2015 from noon to 1pm EST join Emory Healthcare Network’s Sharon Horesh Bergquist, MD for an interactive web chat on Stress Management. Sign up, send questions and learn about

  • Symptoms of stress
  • Long-term effects of stress on your health and body and
  • Techniques for reducing stress


About Dr. Bergquist

avatar-horesh-bergquist-sharonDr. Bergquist is an Emory Clinic Primary Care Physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Her expertise includes healthy aging, heart disease prevention and management, women’s health, diabetes, nutrition and obesity counseling and treatment of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. She has appeared in over a hundred health segments, including Good Morning America, Fox New Network, CNN and Fox 5, has served as an editorial consultant for WebMD and wrote the TED Ed Lesson, “How Stress Affects Your Body.”

Infertility Statistics and Infertility in Men

couple-walking-autumnInfertility is a common problem that affects one out of every ten couples trying to conceive. Perhaps because of social stigma, infertility is rarely publicized or discussed, despite common occurrence. Recently, several celebrities have opened up on social media about their personal struggles in trying to conceive. Hopefully, these discussions will promote greater awareness of the both the causes of infertility, and the treatments for infertility.

Historically, any discussion about infertility has focused on infertility in women. People are often surprised to learn that 50% of all cases of infertility involve infertility in men. Causes of infertility in men range from abnormalities in sperm count, to hormone imbalances, and problems with ejaculation. In many cases, these male fertility issues can be treated either medically or surgically.

As a urologist who specializes in Men’s Reproductive Health, I can say that a diagnosis of infertility affects all aspects of a man’s life. Medically, a diagnosis of infertility can be worrisome because it may be an indicator of a potentially serious underlying medical condition. Psychologically, a diagnosis of infertility can lead profound feelings of guilt, anger, and low self-esteem.

Infertility statistics clearly show that infertility is a couple’s problem, and must be faced as a team. If you have concerns about your or your partner’s fertility potential, or need more information about fertility treatment options available at the Emory Reproductive Center, call 404-778-4898 to schedule or visit Emory’s Reproductive Center.

About Dr. Mehta

mehtaDr. Akanksha Mehta is an Assistant Professor of Urology at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Mehta graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, with double Bachelor degrees; Science (Biology) and International Relations. Dr. Mehta attended Alpert Medical School at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, where she also did her General Surgery internship and Urology residency. She then completed a fellowship in Male Infertility and Microsurgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY, before joining Emory Urology in 2013, as the inaugural Health Services Scholar. Dr. Mehta is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology (2015).

Dr. Mehta’s clinical interests lie in the area of male reproductive and sexual medicine, and microsurgery. She currently serves at the Director of Male Reproductive Health at Emory Urology, and is a Guest Researcher in the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Mehta’s research interests lie in studying the impact of male factor infertility on clinical outcomes following the use of assisted reproductive technologies, as well as the recovery of sexual function among prostate cancer survivors. She is the recent recipient of a Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar award for her work.

Dr. Mehta currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education, and is closely involved in teaching and mentoring medical students and urology residents. She has authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed publications in Urology, and has presented at both regional and national meetings.

Outside of Urology, Dr. Mehta maintains a keen interest in International Health; she has been involved in providing clinical care in Cambodia, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

Male Infertility Information