The leaves are changing...
...And so are we! In addition to Dr. Dowd's hair getting a little more gray (;P), we've got a lot of new changes we're excited to share with you. First though, on a sad note, we were sorry to
say goodbye to Angie Hawkins, our wonderful LPN, but we have made room for our new nurse, Teresa Portlock, LPN. Teresa has a broad range of experience as a nurse and currently lives in Smithfield with her son and husband of thirty years. She “LOVES dragonflies!” and enjoys making people smile. She’s been a wonderful addition to the Cornerstone staff. In addition to Teresa, we welcome Jennifer Mikell! Married to a Naval Officer, she is originally from Florida, and is a proud mother of an adorable 10-month-old. Jennifer will be handling much of the implementation for our new Corporate Wellness Program! (See below)
Left: Teresa Portlock, LPN; Right: Jennifer Mikell
Branching out... Introducing the Corporate Wellness Program
A new facet to Cornerstone is our Corporate Wellness Program
. Business owners and executives now have the opportunity to experience the advanced testing and personalized care we provide at Cornerstone at an affordable cost
based on packages reflecting the desired program and number of employees participating. What better holiday gift than the gift of advanced medical care and attention that not only demonstrates gratitude for all the employees’ hard work, but does so in a timely manner where everyone feels appreciated? Good health is something Cornerstone strives to build and maintain in all their patients, and often translates in to happier, and more productive, individuals
. Dr. Dowd is more than willing to hold a business presentation for interested parties as well as to talk one-on-one to create customized plans. Contact Jennifer at 757-337-4018 to learn more.
The Cornerstone Difference:
Having Time to Diagnose You Properly - and Avoid Unnecessary Medication
In this edition I thought I'd write about something that comes up repeatedly in our practice, but is an often-overlooked benefit of being a part of a practice like Cornerstone. I'm talking about the value of having a physician who can really take the time to get to know you and your health. As always, identifying characteristics have been changed, but this is based on a real patient.
Stridin' their way to Health!
(Permission to use - Andrea McHugh)
When George joined our practice, he said he'd had high blood pressure for many years, and that it was controlled on the multiple medications he was taking. George was in his 40's, was not overweight, didn't smoke and didn't drink much alcohol. As a part of our initial evaluation, we obtained a detailed laboratory evaluation which showed that his potassium was low, among other things.
Although high blood pressure usually doesn't have a specific cause, there are some uncommon causes which, if discovered, respond better to specific treatments. After a thorough history, exam and review of his labs and old records, I became concerned that George had one of these conditions--a condition called Conn's syndrome. In order to look for this, we had to change some of George's medications and then do more specialized testing. It's a process that can take several weeks or even months to do, but I knew that if George had it, we could probably cure his high blood pressure and low potassium. After explaining my concerns to him, we guided George through a multiple-step evaluation, and determined that he did indeed have Conn's Syndrome. We've now connected him to the right specialists and hopefully his high blood pressure and low potassium problems will soon be a thing of the past.
Conn's Syndrome is an under-diagnosed cause of hypertension, but is actually thought to be somewhat common of a cause. There are a few reasons for this, but in my opinion, a big one is time – or more specifically, the lack of time most physicians today have to spend with any one patient. In this case, my patient had been treated for high blood pressure for many years before joining our practice. My discovery of the real problem was not just a matter of luck, it was a matter of time. I had the time to talk and really get to know my patient, to review his history and records, to perform an in-depth initial exam and testing, and then even more in-depth subsequent testing.
This kind of evaluation requires a lot of physician time and, unfortunately, that is something which is often in short supply in traditional medical practices. Sadly, in most practices the amount of time spent waiting to see the doctor is far greater than the amount of time with the doctor. At Cornerstone, we believe that taking the time to really get to know our patients makes an important difference in building and maintaining good health for our patients.
-- Christopher Dowd, DO
The Cornerstone Striders recently put a team together comprised of 6 people to run a 77.1 mile relay from Hanover to Williamsburg called the Colonial 70. The team celebrated the 1 year anniversary of running for two of the relay runners who after a year of running, have each lost a significant amount of weight. The team took 3rd Place out of 18 teams with a time of 10:44:20, and they can't wait to do it again next year -- maybe you could join 'em too!
Dr. Dowd’s wife Cynthia and Patient Services Coordinator Jessica have been also actively running! Back in September, Jessica ran the Heart of Ghent 10K in just over an hour. Cynthia also recently ran the Suffolk Peanut Fest 5K put on by the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community (SPHC). If you have ever wanted to attempt a race with Jessica and Cynthia, now is certainly the time to do it! Anthem Richmond 8K and Half-Marathon might be a good way to jump right in, or come join Cynthia at their weekly Wednesday-night runs! The Cornerstone Striders have beginners to experts, and are always look to help others start something new! And with the cooler weather – there couldn’t be a better time to start!
Dr Dowd is now on the SPHC's Physican Advisor Workgroup. SPHC has decided to target obesity & diabetes in Suffolk and Western Tidewater. Dr. Dowd is excited to help out with that cause and ALL are welcome in helping Suffolk get fit!