Editor’s note: Dr. William Miller, chief of staff at the Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital, is writing weekly reports concerning the COVID-19 situation on the Mendocino Coast. We are pleased to be running his health column, with details on the medical fight against the pandemic. The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of The Mendocino Voice or of Adventist Health.
Sometimes I feel that we talk too much about COVID and forget that there is so much else to life and health. As I ponder my own growing waist line, undoubtably due to ‘stress eating’ as well as getting less exercise both a result of COVID, I am reminded that February is heart health month. Like other pandemics, COVID will fade over time as the number of people vaccinated in the world increases and we develop better treatments. I predict that most of this will be behind us in another year or two, with the virus still hanging around, but not wreaking havoc. So, in the meantime, we should remember that heart disease is still the number one health concern in America even though COVID is getting much of the limelight.
The American Heart Association website has a nice article discussing the history of February as heart health awareness month that you might find interesting: https://www.heart.org/en/around-the-aha/february-is-american-heart-month.
On the Mendocino Coast, we have two cardiologists who havebeen coming here for many years. Dr. David Ploss, sees patients at Ft. Bragg Rural Health Clinic at 850 Sequoia in Ft. Bragg. Currently, he is here every fourth Thursday, but there are plans to expand that to twice a month. Dr. Ploss is part of a full-service cardiovascular group that operates out of both Adventist Health’s Ukiah Valley and St. Helena hospitals. Appointments can be made by calling 707-463-2400. Keep in mind that some insurances will require a referral from your primary care provider.
Dr. Masis Babajanian has also been coming to the Coast for many years. However, he is now closing his private practice and will be joining Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa on April 30th. He will continue to see his patients from the Coast, but will not be coming out here for clinics. His new number will be 707-573-5200 after April 30th.
Diet is an important part of preventing heart disease, especially if a person has diabetes. Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC), located at 205 South St, Fort Bragg, offers an integrated medical program which includes dietary counseling. MCC also has a successful behavioral health program that can help folks deal with stress, which in turn can lead to such other problems as over eating and high blood pressure.
Now is a great time to check-in with your primary care provider and get routine heart health screening which should include checking your cholesterol and blood pressure and screening for diabetes. As spring approaches, this is also a great time to get out of doors and enjoy the beauty all around us on the Coast. A walk along the Mendocino Headlands or in the Redwood forests will surely help reduce stress and the fresh air will do us good.