Knowledge is Power

April 03, 2018

This April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), the goal of which is to create conversations and understanding about sexual violence, as well as to educate communities on how to prevent it.

This year’s theme, Embrace Your Voice, is especially focused on encouraging people to use their words to promote safety, respect and equality, and to stop sexual violence before it happens. Sexual violence is a broad term and can include rape, intimate partner violence, child sexual abuse, human trafficking, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual contact, and more. Unfortunately, one in two women and one in five men have experienced sexual violence other than rape at some point in their lifetime.

SAAM asks you to raise your voice to support survivors, take a stand against victim blaming, correct harmful misconceptions and, most importantly, practice healthy communication with children. You can start the conversation with your kids by talking about what consent is, and making it clear that their body belongs to them. Let them know that consent means giving someone a choice about touch or action and respecting the answer the other person gives.

It’s important for all of us to remember that everyone has different boundaries, from a hug to a handshake, and that it’s even important to get someone’s permission to post a photo of them on social media. Our words and behaviors shape the world around us, so we want to be sure to support victims of sexual violence because understanding and belief helps victims feel safe.

Creating a cultural environment that is sensitive to victims is essential. Sexual assault often goes unreported because people are ashamed, or are scared of not being believed, ashamed or fear retaliation. Understanding goes a long way. Never forget that it doesn’t matter what someone was wearing, how they were acting, or their relationship to the offender.

For more information, please visit the Sexual Assault Awareness Month website at

The National Sexual Assault Hotline is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (800) 656-HOPE.

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Don't Sweat the Prep of a Colorectal Exam

March 06, 2018

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to get screened. With only one in three adults ages 50 to 75 getting screened for colorectal cancer, we want you to stay on top of your health! Your colon and rectum are important parts of your digestive system, as they help absorb water and nutrients from the foods you put in your body.

Early colorectal cancer may not show any initial symptoms, but finding and removing precancerous cells can stop colorectal cancer in its tracks before it starts.

The two most common ways to get screened for colorectal cancer are through a FIT kit (stool test) or a colonoscopy:

  • FIT kit (stool test): An annual test that can easily be done at home to test your stool for blood. You can either drop off the test at AltaMed or mail it to the lab for free. This test is simple and requires no preparation such as drinking fluids or taking medication. Ask your provider for an at-home test today!
  • Colonoscopy: An exam that looks at your colon and rectum with a small camera to check for early signs of cancer. This must be done at a hospital or specialist’s office and should be done every 10 years, starting at the age of 50.

Why is it important to get proactive about your health?

  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
  • 90 percent of new cases of colorectal cancer occur in adults age 50 or older.
  • It’s estimated that 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
  • Screening tests can often help identify colorectal cancer at an early and curable stage. When found early (stage I), 92 percent of people with colorectal cancer survive with the right treatment.
  • Screening tests are often covered by insurance. No insurance? You may be able to get screened at a low cost.

Put your health first and call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment with your provider today! If you’ve recently had an exam, schedule some time with us to discuss your results and individual risk factors.

Celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week This March

March 06, 2018

You are just as responsible for your well-being as your health care practitioners and providers.

March 11-17 is Patient Safety Awareness Week and for 2018, the focus is on the creation of a safety-centric culture and patient engagement.

There are simple ways to be an active member of your personal care team, and while some of these tips may seem obvious, stop for a minute and think about whether you’re actually in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health.

  • Speak up and ask questions: If your doctor uses words or phrasing you don’t understand, ask them to explain using simpler language. Don’t hesitate to ask questions until you fully understand.
  • Discuss: Even if you feel like you’ve got a good grasp of what took place during your appointment, feel free to repeat back to your provider what your understanding of the situation is, and give voice to your thoughts, preferences and concerns.
  • Know your medications: Not only the name and dosage, but also any associated benefits and risks.
  • Be clear, concise and accurate: Don’t leave out any part of your medical history, because your doctor is the best judge of how important even the smallest bit of information is to your care.
  • Learn everything: Ask your doctor for trustworthy online sources or books so you can learn more about your condition. Be informed about symptoms, which you can expect, what tests are worthwhile, and other potential causes.
  • Keep good records: Your medical history is also your responsibility. Know which tests you’ve had and understand your results. Keep track of when you had specific appointments and be aware of what’s to come.

It’s important for us to be a strong partner in your health care and to help you make the most informed decisions for a healthy future. We’re here to set goals with you and, above all, listen to and answer your questions.

Feel free to call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment to speak with your primary care provider (PCP) or visit our website for more information.