Welcome to YRMC HealthConnect
Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is a private, not-for-profit healthcare system that includes two acute care hospitals, a network of primary and specialty care physician practices and comprehensive outpatient services.
At YRMC, we believe healthcare is a basic pillar for human dignity and our strategic vision is focused on healing our patients, serving our communities and engaging our families, friends and neighbors to promote health and wellness.
Please feel free to explore the resources available through YRMC HealthConnect and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions regarding ways to improve this resource for our community. For more information, please contact YRMC Community Outreach at (928) 771-5738.
High blood pressure is another name for “hypertension.” Informally, it’s also known as “the silent killer,” one of the most alarming descriptions given to a medical condition by the medical community.“Just because the symptoms of high blood pressure are not apparent doesn’t mean it is not a serious condition,” says Olufunso Odunukan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Interventional Cardiologist, Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Group (YRMG). “In fact, its lack of symptoms are exactly what can make hypertension so dangerous.”During this episode of Healthy Conversations, Dr. Odunukan highlights the causes, signs and dangers of high blood pressure. He also explains what your blood pressure numbers mean and discusses treatments for the condition, including an upcoming therapy for refractory hypertension—uncontrolled high blood pressure.Who is likely to have hypertension?While many factors – weight, family history, diet and more – can contribute to high blood pressure, age is the most common reason for high blood pressure. According to recent figures from the American Heart Association, 75 percent of women and 67 percent of men between the ages of 65 – 74 have high blood pressure. After age 75, approximately 84 percent of women and men suffer from the condition.What is high blood pressure?The formal definition of “blood pressure” can sound a bit like a math equation: Blood pressure is a measurement of the force exerted against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood to your body.When Dr. Odunukan explains high blood pressure to patients, he compares it to a water hose under pressure. He also explains that as people age their blood vessels become less elastic and the heart has to work harder to push blood through the vessels to the body’s organs.“The organs – the brain, heart and kidneys – where the blood flow stops, take a pounding when your blood pressure increases,” says Dr. Odunukan. “The result can be significant damage to those organs and outcomes like stroke, heart failure and kidney failure.”People with sustained, untreated high blood pressure may experience:Severe headachesNose bleedsFatigue or confusionVision problemsIrregular heartbeatDifficulty breathing or chest painBlood in the urine“When people have these symptoms, it’s an indication that their blood pressure is extremely high,” Dr. Odunukan says. “They need to seek immediate treatment to avoid a catastrophic medical event, like a stroke.”What do my blood pressure numbers mean?Blood pressure consists of two numbers:Systolic – The top number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when your heart beats.Diastolic – The bottom number measures the pressure against your artery walls while your heart is resting between beats.Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. You’re considered to have high blood pressure when the systolic number is at or above 140 or the diastolic number is above 90.Treating high blood pressure“People in the pre-hypertensive phase don’t necessarily need medications,” Dr. Odunukan explains. “That is the time that lifestyle modifications – weight loss, dietary changes and increased physical activity – will have the greatest impact.”Dr. Odunukan partners with his patients, encouraging them to adopt healthy habits proven to lower blood pressure, including:Exercising at least 30 minutes a dayGetting to a healthy weight if you’re overweight (even losing ten pounds can significantly lower your risk for stroke)Avoiding high-cholesterol foodsLowering your sodium intakeConsuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grainsKeeping alcohol consumption to a minimumGiving up smokingIf you are diagnosed with hypertension, it’s important to continue these healthy lifestyle strategies. Your physician may also prescribe medication to help lower your blood pressure. Today’s blood pressure medications are very targeted so your physician may recommend a combination of prescriptions to manage your condition.Between appointments with your cardiologist or other healthcare provider, Dr. Odunukan recommends checking your blood pressure at your local pharmacy. If your numbers are good, keep taking your medications and continue your healthy lifestyle measures.“It may take some time for you and your physician to find what works best for you,” Dr. Odunukan says. “Once you find it, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to remain on the medications.”Get in touchDr. Odunukan specializes in non-surgical – or minimally invasive – treatments for valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease and peripheral arterial disease. He is located at the recently opened Outpatient Services Building West on the campus of YRMC West in Prescott:YRMG Cardiology1001 Willow Creek RoadSuite 2200Prescott, Arizona 86301(928) 445-6025
8. Sep 2022
posted by Bridget O'Gara
Managing and balancing blood sugar is essential to living a healthy life with diabetes. In fact, research shows that even moderately good glucose control can reduce the risk of blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and possibly even dementia in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.Fortunately, we have tools to get glucose under control, including medications, movement, and meals, plus great technology that makes it easier to track glucose numbers, patterns and trends.In our latest episode of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, we take a look at the role food plays in staying healthy with diabetes, while making a delicious meal that includes the nutrients we need for good glucose control.Recipe: Quinoa with Ginger, Citrus, and Fresh HerbsScientific studies show that meals, medications, and motion are also effective tools for preventing type 2 diabetes. For example, the U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a clinical trial conducted at 27 sites across the U.S. from 1996 to 2001. Over 3,000 adults participated, and were randomly selected to be part of one of three study groups: a diet and exercise group, a group that took metformin (a common medication used to improve blood sugar control), or a placebo group.Interestingly, individuals who took metformin had good results, but not as significant as the group that improved their diet and increased exercise. Adults in the metformin group reduced their transition from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes by 31%, while the diet and exercise group reduced type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58%.Ten years after the study ended, participants in the DPP diet and exercise group continued to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 49%, compared to the metformin group at 18%. Surprisingly, fifteen years after the study ended, both groups continued to reduce onset of the disease.Diet, exercise and medications are essential for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. You can learn more about diabetes, pre-diabetes, and the latest technology for tracking glucose patterns and trends from the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Give them a call at 928-771-5794 for information on classes and individual consultations, as well as the Adult Fitness Program at YRMC’s Pendleton Centers in Prescott and Prescott Valley.Also,be sure to check out our diabetes-friendly recipes and videos at yrmchealthconnect.org.All of our recipes feature whole, nutrient-packed ingredients that are easy to find and affordable. Remember to follow me on Facebook as well, at YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, where I post photos, videos, and recipes of the meals I make at home, plus links to my favorite food and gardening destinations on the web.
29. Aug 2022
posted by Rita Carey-Rubin
It’s ironic that many people outside of healthcare don’t fully understand speech-language pathology—a profession devoted to helping improve communication.“When I found out in college that you could make a career out of helping people communicate, I jumped on it and never looked back,” says Niki Tomitz, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).Tomitz is one of three professionals who comprise YRMC’s Speech Therapy team. Tomitz, Sean Gabaldon, MS, CF-SLP, and Andrea Woolstenhulme, MS, CCC-SLP, work with hospitalized patients at both YRMC West in Prescott and YRMC East in Prescott Valley. Team members also work with patients at the Outpatient Services Building West, on the campus of YRMC West.During this episode of Healthy Conversations, Tomitz talks about the sometimes surprising and always important role of speech-language pathology in treating patients with myriad conditions.Re-learning life skills“One aspect of being a speech-language pathologist I’ve enjoyed is helping people re-learn life skills that they thought were lost forever,” Tomitz says.That means assisting older adults recovering from serious medical events, facing progressive conditions or dealing with age-related issues. Some of those include:ALSAlzheimer’s disease/dementiaBrain injuryCancerCOVID-19Multiple sclerosis (MS)Parkinson’s diseaseStrokeVoice disordersDysphagiaDysphagia is a swallowing disorder associated with many of these conditions. People with dysphagia find it difficult to chew and swallow, which can lead to dehydration, malnutrition or food and liquids going into the airway (aspiration) and causing pneumonia. How a YRMC speech-language pathologist treats dysphagia depends on the medical condition causing the swallowing disorder.Tomitz and other YRMC speech-language pathologists evaluate patients’ dysphagia and develop individual treatment plans, which may include:dietary changesswallowing exercises to strengthen musclesalternative swallowing strategiesposture changes to use when eating“The first thing I ask someone working to recover their ability to swallow is, ‘What do you want to be able to eat again?’” explains Tomitz.Her patients’ responses have varied from steak to popsicles to a roast beef sandwich. After her patients are cleared for that particular level of food or liquid, Tomitz personally delivers the food the person has been craving.“It’s my all-time favorite thing to do for a patient,” she says.AphasiaAphasia is a disorder that makes it difficult for people to speak, comprehend, read, write or use numbers. This condition is often the result of a stroke or brain injury. People with aphasia struggle to find the words they want to use and also find it difficult to understand what others are saying.There are nine types of aphasia that YRMC’s speech-language pathologists are experts at diagnosing. They create individualized treatment plans to address each patient’s aphasia.ApraxiaWhile aphasia relates to a person’s ability to understand or use words, apraxia is a motor-speech disorder that affects the lips, tongue and palate. People with apraxia may seem to be groping for their words. It also impacts the clarity and consistency of their speech.“I tell my patients with apraxia that they are predictably unpredictable,” Tomitz says with a smile.What else is in the SLP wheelhouse?YRMC’s speech-language pathologists are skilled at treating many other conditions, including:Voice disorders – Changes to how a person’s voice sounds, including their pitch, volume or quality.Dysarthria – Weakness or tightness of the speech muscles, which causes slurred, quiet or harsh-sounding speech.Cognitive communication disorders – These disorders are often related to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. YRMC’s speech-language pathologists work with both the patient and their family members.To learn more about how YRMC’s speech-language pathology team can help you or someone you care about, ask your primary care physician or contact YRMC’s Physical Rehabilitation Services at (928) 771-5131.
26. Aug 2022
posted by Bridget O'Gara
Viviene Brown, MSN, APRN, has joined Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Group (YRMG), Primary Care in Prescott Valley. Brown is an accomplished advanced practice registered nurse who diagnoses and treats adult patients of all ages. She’s also experienced at caring for patients with chronic illnesses.Brown earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Before that, she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and an Associate of Science in Nursing, both at St. Petersburg College in Pinellas Park, Florida.Schedule an AppointmentBrown is currently taking new patients. To schedule an appointment, please contact:YRMG, Primary Care7700 East Florentine RoadBuilding B, Suite 101Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314(928) 442-8710
19. Aug 2022
posted by Bridget O'Gara
The beginning of a new school year means a fresh start in a new grade, seeing one’s friends again after summer break, and hopefully, getting that homeroom teacher your child always wanted. It can also mean kicking off the year with a visit to the doctor for well-child or sports exams, updates on vaccinations, or just the reassurance that healthcare is available for any illnesses your child may develop throughout the school year.Unfortunately, there are many families in the Quad Cities who can’t afford to take their child to the doctor. Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has been offering a solution for many families for more than 20 years. Partners for Healthy Students (PHS) helps bridge the gap for uninsured or underinsured families, and those with AHCCCS or KidsCare, by bringing them no-cost healthcare.“These are working-class families,” says Amy Negovan, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Program Director for Partners for Healthy Students. “They have good jobs, but don’t have that extra $400 to $500 per month for healthcare. Unfortunately, some families end up needing to choose between food and healthcare at the end of month.”You may have seen the 38-foot Partners for Healthy Students Mobile Kids Health Clinic around town, which allows the medical team to offer healthcare at schools in rural areas like Mayer, Kirkland, and Paulden. But that’s just a small part of the services offered by PHS. The program also has two on-site, school-based health clinics. The school-based clinics and mobile clinic combined serve more than 50 schools in the Quad City area, including public, private and charter schools.“Healthy kids make better learners,” says Negovan. “We treat the whole patient, not just a symptom. At any given visit, we may ask if the student needs a physical or eye exam, or whether they’re up to date on their vaccines. We can even make referrals for mental health issues.”“Scheduling and transportation are often difficult for these families. With Partners for Healthy Students, the child is right there at school and can go right back to their classroom,” Negovan explains. “Best of all, it’s high-quality, comprehensive healthcare that’s free of charge.”Partners for Healthy Students’ Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners offer the following to those who qualify, as well as their siblings, aged 2 months to 18 years old:Free wellness and prevention visitsFree exams, diagnoses, and treatment of illnessFree medication for acute illnessesFree sports physicalsReferrals to additional low-cost or no-cost community services such as vision care, dermatology, neurology and cardiologyNo-cost mental health care referrals, in partnership with the YRMC FoundationSusi Brouillette, RN works as the nurse on the Partners for Healthy Students Mobile Kids Health Clinic. She recently transferred to PHS after working 17 years in the Emergency Department and is enjoying her new responsibilities.“I can see that a lot of our families come into the clinic pretty burdened, and having a sick kiddo always makes those burdens heavier,” says Brouillette. “Most of our parents don’t know that our services are free, so when they learn there is no co-pay, there is always a sigh of relief!”“We want to be that place that brings preventative care to kids who have nowhere else to go,” Negovan says. “What’s better than this kind of outreach? Where else can you do this? It’s the best job in the world.”Overview of Eligibility:No health insuranceHealth insurance with both: a deductible over $2,500, AND no co-pays before your health insurance will cover medical expensesAttend a brick-and-mortar school or has a sibling who doesChildren with AHCCCS and KidsCare are eligibleVaccine eligibility is only for those who are uninsured, have AHCCCS or KidsCare, or are Native American or Native AlaskanFor more information about PHS School-Based Health Clinics, including locations and eligibility requirements, click here or call (928) 771-5662.For more information about the PHS Mobile Kids Health Clinic, including locations it visits and eligibility requirements, click here or call (928) 771-5123.
16. Aug 2022
posted by Joanne Robertson
Prescott’s 44th Annual Whiskey Row Marathon is fast approaching, and Damon Olsen, the Director of the James Family Prescott YMCA, is happier than ever about the outlook at the Y.“The Prescott YMCA has a long standing tradition of 50 years of service in our community,” says Olsen. “An organization like ours never wants to be considered a best kept secret. And we are definitely not. Either you were, you are, or you’re going to be a member at the Prescott YMCA.”“It’s so good to see people back at the Y,” he continues. “Attendance at our youth programs in particular has been overwhelming. There are actually more kids in flag football than before COVID. We’re starting a new 3-on-3 basketball program as well. We have a multitude of sports-specific camps through our partnerships with Yavapai College and Prescott Unified School District. And membership keeps climbing too. We are now at about 90% of our pre-COVID numbers.”Additional ongoing programming includes swim classes, drowning prevention classes, after school care, sports, and summer day care. Hence, the proceeds from this year’s marathon are more important than ever.“The Whiskey Row Marathon is our largest event fundraiser each year. Thanks to the marathon and our other fundraising efforts, we don’t turn anyone away for inability to pay,” Olsen explains. “We can meet people halfway or even more. Inability to pay is not a barrier for people who want to come to the YMCA.”Olsen is particularly excited about some changes at this year’s October 8th event.“Last year was the first year we held the race at a different time of year – October instead of May. We sent a survey out afterward, and the response was overwhelming to keep it in October, so that’s what we’ve done,” he says. “Summer is over, people have settled into school mode, and they seem to really like it in the Fall.”The race also introduced another option for runners in 2021 that was so successful, it’s been included in the 2022 lineup.“We introduced a 5K last year, and it was very well received,” explains Olsen. “We were hoping it would be a nice introduction to running in Prescott for those who weren’t ready to run a 10K, and we were right. We heard several people say that they’re ready to do the 10K this year after running the 5K last year.”Regardless of your running ability, getting out there and enjoying the day is highly encouraged.“Last year when I was helping out at registration, some people were hesitant to sign up because they don’t consider themselves runners,” says Lexi Mullins, Assistant Race Director. “I want people to know that we have the .3 Mile High Fun Run, or you can just walk the 5K or 10K. You will be so glad you did!”The Whiskey Row Marathon holds the distinction of being the longest continuously running marathon in Arizona. Olsen says that the event’s popularity is not only a result of the challenging course.“Our altitude and terrain make the Whiskey Row Marathon one of the most difficult races in the U.S., and runners love a challenge,” Olsen says. “But I think another reason people keep coming back is that they just love coming to Prescott. They make a weekend out of it. They come for the race, but also to take in our beautiful weather, do a little sightseeing and enjoy some great meals while they’re here.”Prescott YMCA Sports Director and Whiskey Row Marathon Race Director Jaime DeJoseph is a very busy person this time of year, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.“Our focus is youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Bottom line is, we’re here for the community,” says DeJoseph. “The Y is about fitness but it’s also about mental health. That ‘healthy living’ component means mental health as well. The Y is a place to come and be with others, a place to belong. That’s my favorite part of being here – promoting health. Seeing our members, including the kids, happy and successful while participating in our community is so rewarding.”DeJoseph describes a variety of ways that even non-runners can get involved in this signature Prescott event.“We love our volunteers and couldn’t do any of this without them. There are so many ways you can get involved,” she says. “We have volunteer opportunities at our water stations, the refreshment garden or directing traffic. The day before the race, we need people to help distribute packets, T shirts and bags at the YMCA. Then of course, there’s set up at 4 AM on Saturday and the tear down when it’s all finished.”“Support also comes in the form of sponsorships,” says DeJoseph. “Our sponsors, including Dignity Health, YRMC are amazing. Some of our sponsors have been with us for years now, and we have quite a few new ones as well. It’s truly a team effort.”“Dignity Health YRMC is once again our Presenting Sponsor,” adds Olsen. “They have shown us so much support over the years. We’re so fortunate to have them as neighbors, right across the street. We’re thankful they’re there.”For more information about the Whiskey Row Marathon, including the schedule, the race route, online race registration, a list of volunteer opportunities, and online volunteer registration, visit whiskeyrowmarathon.com.
Veins, vessels and valves are all part of the body’s vascular system, which is why cardiothoracic surgeon Saina Attaran, MD, is at home in her new role at the Vein Center at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).“The venous system is critical to our overall health,” explains Dr. Attaran, Vein Specialist, the Vein Center at YRMC. “We depend on our network of veins to deliver deoxygenated blood back to our hearts. It’s familiar territory for me.”The Quad Cities community is also familiar to Dr. Attaran. She moved to the area in 2019 to join the surgical team at YRMC’s James Family Heart Center.“I love everything about this community: the people, spirit and scenery,” she says. “Helping the people of my community stay healthy is a privilege.”Patient-Centered CareWith Dr. Attaran’s exceptional skills and experience, the fully staffed Vein Center will continue to provide top diagnostic and advanced therapies for people with lower-extremity vein issues. The strong partnership with Advanced Wound Care at Dignity Health, YRMC, will also continue.“Our Advanced Wound Care and Vein Center teams often collaborate to care for patients,” notes Cheryl Sofonia, Director, Advanced Wound and Vein Center. “It’s a benefit to patients that our clinics are together in one location. It’s an even bigger benefit that our Advanced Wound and Vein Center teams draw on the expertise of the multidisciplinary medical team to ensure patients receive the best care possible.”Dr. Attaran echoes this and also emphasizes the patient’s significant role in the Vein Center’s care model.“Teamwork is a very important to the Vein Center,” Dr. Attaran says. “And our patients are at the center of our team. We work with every patient to improve their mobility with individualized care plans that may include lifestyle changes, compression stockings and possibly a venous procedure.”A Global Medical EducationDr. Attaran’s medical education has taken her to top medical centers in the United States and worldwide. She pursued a valve reconstruction fellowship in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Prior to that, she studied valve/aortic surgery during a fellowship at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong and cardiothoracic surgery during a junior clinical fellowship at the London Chest Hospital.Dr. Attaran’s cardiothoracic residency took place in the United Kingdom at hospitals throughout London and Liverpool. She earned her medical degree from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran.How to Reach the Vein CenterThe Vein Center is located on the campus of YRMC East at:Del E. Webb Outpatient Center3262 North Windsong DrivePrescott Valley, Arizona 86314To schedule an appointment or for more information – (928) 759-5890
2. Aug 2022
posted by Bridget O'Gara
Prescott Medical Imaging (PMI) and Prescott Valley Medical Imaging (PVMI) are introducing new names as part of Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s (YRMC) affiliation with Dignity Health. The outpatient imaging facilities are now:Dignity Health Imaging Center, PrescottDignity Health Imaging Center, Prescott Valley“This change is part of the rebranding rollout plan launched in conjunction with the YRMC–Dignity Health affiliation,” says Ken Boush, Director of Marketing and Communications at Dignity Health, YRMC. “Patients and community members will begin to see new signage at both imaging centers. We want them to be aware that the name change is related to YRMC’s network-wide rebrand. It will not affect the care or services at our Imaging Centers in Prescott and Prescott Valley.”Local Radiologists Provide Exceptional ServiceFor example, experienced, local radiologists will continue to interpret imaging studies and procedures performed at both locations, according to Mary Sterling, Imaging Services Director at Dignity Health, YRMC.“Our locally based radiology team has always differentiated us from other imaging centers, many of which use radiologists based in markets outside of Yavapai County to interpret imaging studies,” says Sterling. “At our Imaging Centers in Prescott and Prescott Valley, an imaging study performed in our community is interpreted by radiologists who live and work in our community.”Sterling adds that Dignity Health Imaging Center radiologists have long-established, working relationships with physicians throughout the area. This collaboration, she says, is a benefit to both individual patients and overall quality of care. Dignity Health Imaging Center radiologists and radiologic imaging technologists also are:Certified by the American College of Radiologists (ACR) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)Experts in advanced radiology modalitiesGraduates of leading medical schools and radiologic technology programsAccredited & Comprehensive Imaging ServicesMichael Locke, Operations Manager, Dignity Health Imaging Center, notes that the Imaging Centers have also earned ACR accreditation.“This means our Prescott and Prescott Valley facilities have undergone rigorous, objective evaluations by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists,” Locke explains.He also emphasizes that both facilities – along with the Breast Care Center at Dignity Health, YRMC – will continue to offer an all-inclusive menu of computer-enhanced, digital imaging services.YRMC’s Imaging Center facilities – both of which may be reached at (928) 771-7577 – are located in:Prescott – 810 Whipple StreetPrescott Valley – 7700 East Florentine Road, Building B, Suite 105Learn more about YRMC’s Imaging Centers and all YRMC services at DignityHealth.org/YRMC.
28. Jul 2022
posted by Bridget O'Gara