University of Pennsylvania Health System

Penn Health and Wellness

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Relieve Your Stress With Mindfulness Meditation

Get a fresh start this spring by finding new balance in your work and home life with the Penn Program for Mindfulness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Symposium

The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, a program for patients who prefer treatment or surgery without the use of blood or blood products such as red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma, will be holding a free symposium on Saturday, May 17.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What to Expect at Your Annual Physical, Part 2: Vaccinations

Lori M. Noble, MD, a primary care physician at Spruce Internal Medicine, located at the new Penn Medicine Washington Square building, discusses what to expect at your annual physical. This is a two-part series. Interested in part 1? Check it out now.

Lori M. Noble, MD
Lori M. Noble, MD
As adults, many of us cannot recall the last time we had to get a routine series of vaccines. Maybe we just have a vague recollection of needing shots before college or before accepting a new job.

That being said, vaccines are an extremely important part of routine care well into adulthood. Some vaccines continue to be recommended for all age groups, while others are offered only at certain age milestones or in those with certain health conditions.

It is important to know what vaccines you may be eligible for, and remember, it’s just a sting or a pinch today that can help prevent disease tomorrow.

HPV vaccination (aka Gardasil)

WHO: Males and females from age 9-26.
WHY: To protect you from four strains of the Human Papilloma Virus, two of which cause genital warts in men and women, and two of which can lead to cervical cancer in women.
NOTES: 1) The HPV vaccine is a series of three shots. The second is given two months after the first and the third is given four months after the second. 2) Not all insurance companies are consistently covering the vaccine for young men, so check with your insurance company before visiting your doctor.

TDaP vaccination (aka Adacel, Boostrix, Daptacel)

WHO: All adults age 19 and older should receive a single dose of Tdap to replace a single dose of the “every 10 year” Td booster.
WHY: To boost protection against Pertussis (which is the infection that causes whooping cough in children), in addition to boosting protection against Tetanus and Diphtheria. There has been an increase in whooping cough in children because as adults, our protection (i.e immunity) against the infection goes down. We can then transmit it to children who are not fully vaccinated.
NOTES: All pregnant women should receive the vaccine with each pregnancy, regardless of prior vaccination.

vaccinations Flu vaccination

WHO: All adults once per year (typically August-February).
WHY: To protect against the influenza virus and complications, such as pneumonia.
NOTES: There are multiple kinds of flu vaccines, and your doctor will recommend the best one for you based on your age and any other medical conditions you may have.

Pneumonia vaccination (aka Pneumovax)

WHO: One time in all adults age 65 and older AND in all adults under age 65 with any of the following: diabetes, COPD (i.e. emphysema), HIV, heart failure, asthma, chronic hepatitis, cancer or current smokers. WHY: To protect against potentially deadly pneumonia infection and its complications.
NOTES: 1) If the vaccine is given before the age of 65 for any of the above conditions, a second dose should be given as a booster at age 65. 2) In those adults whose immune systems are poor (i.e. cancer patients on chemotherapy), a booster should be given every five years, regardless of age.

Shingles vaccination (aka Zostavax)

WHO: One time in all adults, age 60 and older, who have ever had chickenpox (or whose chickenpox history is unknown).
WHY: To protect from the reactivation of the chicken pox virus, which can cause a painful, blistering rash, called shingles. The rash can leave behind permanent nerve damage at the site of the rash, leading to chronic pain.
NOTES: 1) Adults whose immune systems are very poor should not get the vaccine. 2) The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) currently recommends vaccinating all adults over the age of 50, but insurance companies are currently not approving the vaccine for those between the ages of 50-59. 3) If you have Medicare, you may need to get this shot administered at your local pharmacy, NOT in the doctor’s office, in order to be covered by insurance. Ask your doctor or your pharmacist if this applies to you.

The relationship you build with your primary care doctor is one of the most important you’ll ever have. Primary care providers are there to listen to your special concerns and help you make informed decisions about maintaining your health. If you have additional questions, please speak with your physician.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring into Good Health

 Spring is here - at last! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and people seem to have just a little extra hop in their step. But if you're still finding it difficult to get out of hibernation mode, Penn Medicine offers some spring wellness suggestions to help:

Get Up, Get Out and Get Active

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things, especially after the harsh winter many of us just endured. Your body, though, will thank you once you get out into the fresh air. Go for a jog, hike, walk the dog, do some yard work, anything that gets your body moving.

Ever think about trying a 5k or 10k run/walk? Now is the perfect time to sign up and give it a shot. Check out a few upcoming runs sponsored by Penn Medicine.


Set goals for yourself in terms of the amount of activities you want to do in a week and have fun reaching them.

Eat Healthier

We know, it's easier said than done. But here's really why: with the additional outdoor activities you’ll be enjoying in the nice weather, your body needs more vitamins and nutrients. Spring is when many different fruits and vegetables come into season, which means your grocery store will be stocked with all kinds of produce. Take advantage of these fresh foods by integrating them into your diet. Not only are they good for you, but they will give you extra energy.

Be Prepared for Allergy Season

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”. For those that are prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms, now is the time to prepare a plan of defense.

Although the thought is to open windows and allow some fresh air to come in, this can have consequences to those suffering from allergies. By keeping windows closed during this time of year, you can reduce the amount of pollen entering the house. It is also recommended that you change filters in air conditioning units and vents frequently throughout springtime.

When venturing outside, wear sunglasses and a hat to block pollen from landing on your head or entering your eyes. After being outside for an extended period of time, be sure to shower to remove any pollen from your hair and skin.

Finally, talk to your doctor about a seasonal allergy drug that may be appropriate for your symptoms. Or, just schedule an appointment before the season really kicks in.

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning

Did you know there are health benefits to spring cleaning? Not only can spring cleaning help reduce sneezing and sniffling by removing dust buildup, it can also help your mental health. By living in a clutter-free environment, you can reduce stress and anxiety. Remember that spring cleaning needs to be an ongoing activity because of the additional foot traffic, pollen, etc.

A few tips to guide your cleaning:
  • In an attempt to control pollen, wash bedding every week in hot water.
  • Wash throw rugs every couple weeks to reduce mold.
  • Change filters in air conditioning units and vents every 30-60 days.

Work Out With Your Dog

Work out with your dog
Taking long walks or runs with your dog can help both of you stay in shape! The recommended time per day for walking your dog is 30 minutes. Just think, you can burn calories and enjoy time with your pup. In fact, a 140-pound woman walking at a leisurely pace for a half an hour can burn up to 100 calories! Of course your pet benefits as well.

Benefits of getting fit with your dog include:
  • Motivation to exercise – there's nothing like an workout partner who's waiting by the door with a wagging tail to keep you motivated!
  • Helps digestive system – a brisk walk can help aid digestion after a big meal.
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness – steady movement can get your heart rate up and can help lower blood pressure.
  •  Improve balance and coordination.
All the above benefits go for your dog as well. In addition, this time together strengthens the bond between you and your pet, and leads to a strong, trusting relationship.

Spring brings many opportunities, so say goodbye to snow shovels and warmer jackets and say hello to extended days and new outdoor adventures. Like all good things, this time of year is fleeting. So be sure to make the best of it!

For more helpful tips and information, check out Patient Resources section.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Penn Medicine in the Community: Upcoming Spring Events

This spring, Penn Medicine will take part in numerous events throughout the tri-state area. These events provide our physicians and staff an opportunity to be closer to the people we serve and allow us to be more than simply a health care provider; it allows us to be part of the community.
Penn Medicine in the Community
Click on the image for a printable calendar

Saturday, March 15: Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee’s Annual Block Captain Rally
Saturday, April 5: Zumbathon in Support of the American Lung Association
Saturday, April 26: Lower Bucks Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day
Saturday, April 26: Cherry Hill Earth Festival
Saturday, May 3: Million Dollar Bike Ride
Saturday, May 3: Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
Saturday, May 17: Kennett Run

2014 Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee’s Block Captain Rally

The return of warm weather means another season of keeping Philadelphia neighborhoods clean is underway. Don’t miss The Philadelphia Streets Department kickoff event with the annual Block Captain Rally. This year's event will feature all Block Captains and will be comprised of multiple workshops, including ones hosted by Penn Presbyterian Internal Medicine, as well as discussing plans for a cleaner Philadelphia.

About Penn Presbyterian Internal Medicine:
This practice provides comprehensive care to adults, including primary care and prevention of illness. Physicians treat patients with a wide array of conditions including hypertension, diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Should the need arise, the faculty also cares for patients admitted to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Date: Saturday, March 15
Time: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1st Floor– 12th and Arch Street Entrance (Northeast corner
Penn Presbyterian workshop details:
  • Workshop Room: 102AB
  • Workshop Timing:
    • Session 1: 10:00-10:45 am
    • Session 2: 11:00-11:45 am

Zumbathon with Penn Medicine in Support of the American Lung Association

Penn Medicine supports the American Lung Association and will join them at a Zumbathon in Wayne, PA. Zumba is a dance-based fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves designed to provide a fun, aerobic workout. Get fit while dancing with the area's hottest Zumba instructors and also get a taste of the new craze, Bokwa.

During one of your water breaks, stop by and say hi to the Penn Medicine table. Space is limited. Register today

Date: Saturday, April 5
Time: 3:00 pm-6:00 pm
Location: Radnor Activity Center at Sulpizio Gym, Wayne, PA

Penn Medicine Bucks County at Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day

Don't miss this great family event right in your community. In an effort to encourage kids and parents to commit to keeping the body and mind active, this event will feature, among other things, family Zumba, family kickball and family fun. For more information, visit Lower Bucks Family YMCA.

While enjoying the festivities, visit the Penn Internal Medicine & Family Medicine Bucks County table to learn about Penn Primary Care and other specialty care services offered at one convenient site, in Yardley, PA. Patients and their families can see their primary care physician, consult with a specialist, get lab work and radiology services all in one place.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Fairless Hills YMCA, Yardley, PA

Penn Medicine Cherry Hill at 5th Annual Cherry Hill Earth Festival

Held at historic Croft Farm, the Cherry Hill Earth Festival promises to be an engaging, healthful, entertaining day for children of all ages. A two and nine-mile Family Fun bike ride, displays and an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ are just a few of the festivities planned! For more information, visit Sustainable Cherry Hill.

Stop by the Penn Family Medicine Cherry Hill table to meet physicians and staff and to learn about the multiple health care services offered at this location. Penn Medicine Cherry Hill is home to both primary and specialty care physicians. Patients are able to see their primary care physician, plus consult with a specialist.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Croft Farm
               Cherry Hill, NJ

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is set to take over Rittenhouse Square for a day, showcasing fantastic food, fashion, arts and entertainment. Last year’s event featured more than 40 restaurants, a terrific range of entertainment and endless shopping opportunities.

Don’t forget to visit one of the several participating Penn Medicine practices. Meet Penn physicians and staff and learn how each practice can help you and your family members stay healthy. Penn Medicine will also be partnering with Be Well Philly and feature games and other fun activities. Come check us out on the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets and enter to win a variety of raffle prizes and giveaways!


Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 12:00-6:00 pm
Location: Broad Street and Walnut Street


Million Dollar Bike Ride

Mark your calendars for the first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride to raise money for rare disease research, organized by the Penn Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy and Rare Disease Cycling. The event is the only cycling fundraiser to start and end in the city of Philadelphia.

Refreshments and entertainment at the start/finish line and fun for the entire family. All participants will receive free gear, including a Million Dollar Bike Ride jersey. Individual cyclists can register and raise money for their specific orphan/rare disease foundation.


Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Highline Park (31st and Chestnut) on Penn’s campus

Kennett Run

Promoting the general well-being and civic betterment of Kennett area residents, the Kennett Run is an event for all ages and abilities. Ranging from a 1 mile fun walk to a 10k Power Run, there is something for everyone. Following the race, a party will be held for all participants and families.

Be sure to set a few minutes aside to say hi to the physicians and staff from Penn Family Medicine Kennett. With an emphasis on disease prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles, this practice provides care for the whole family, from childhood on.

Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 7:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Anson B Nixon Park
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