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WELCOME TO
THE SECOND ISSUE OF THE PULSE

(from left to right: Stacey Halvorsen, M.Ed; Samantha Dreher, PA; Robin Smith, DO; R.Scott Hammond, MD; Ebony Villareal, PA; Katie Ballard, NP; Maria Archie Villavert, MD; Cyndi Dumont, PharmD (not pictured: Bryan Petti, DO))

The PULSE is a health newsletter provided by Westminster Medical Clinic and the Patient Advisory Council for the patients of WMC. In here you will find information on current health topics, get to know our staff and providers,  learn about programs and services, and stay up to date on WMC news and happenings. This newsletter is written for patients by patients and staff, and your feedback is valuable to us. If you would like the Pulse to cover a topic important to you, please email us at PAC@westminstermedicalclinic.com.
What's the Deal with COVID-19 Testing?
R. Scott Hammond, MD
 
Testing for COVID-19 has its place but it is not the answer to defeating this virus. There are 2 types of tests – RNA and antibody.
RNA testing tells us if you are currently or recently infected. Unfortunately, there is a high rate of falsely negative and falsely positive tests depending on the test manufacturer and when it is taken.
 
Antibody testing tells us if you had a past infection but it is not necessarily specific to COVID-19 as it may react to other coronaviruses. More importantly, current tests do not tell us if you are immune.
 
So, when do we recommend testing?
 
We do RNA testing if you have symptoms of COVID-19 to determine if you have the virus. These tests should be done within 7 days of symptoms to be most accurate. The Health Department will do these tests on people without symptoms to determine how many in the population have the virus and to find pockets of high infection.
 
Antibody testing is not recommended as it generally does not help us with clinical decisions. A negative test does tell us you are susceptible to COVID-19 but also could mean that you have not yet produced enough antibody to be detected. A positive test tells us you have been exposed to a coronavirus but not which one. It also does not tell us if you are immune. This can be harmful since it can give people a false sense of security to let their guard down. Antibody testing is best used as a Public Health tool to help monitor the pandemic and guide policy decisions. If you have additional questions about testing, talk to your WMC provider. You can also find out more information about COVID-19 testing on our website.
Making the Most of your Virtual Televisit with WMC
Kellen Brewer, MBA

Virtual video and phone televisits have been available to WMC for years. Why have we never offered these services to you before?
The primary reason is that health insurance plans never considered these visits as a “covered benefit”, which means that patients had to pay out of pocket for these visits. What changed? COVID-19 happened. Health insurance plans finally, even if reluctantly, conceded that covering virtual visits was necessary for public health and safety during the pandemic. While it is still uncertain whether health insurance plans will continue to cover virtual visits in the long-term future, we are hopeful that virtual care is here to stay.

Virtual care is convenient and relatively simple. We have compiled some recommendations and tips to help you prepare for your virtual televisit and have a smooth, successful experience.Visit our virtual televisit webpage on our website for more information.

We hope that your virtual televisit is a positive experience and we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you virtually and wish you good health during the COVID-19 pandemic!
WMC Direct: Direct Primary Care Option for Patients and Employers
Stacey Halvorsen, M.Ed.
Attention Patients!
  • Is your health insurance plan too expensive?
  • Does your employer no longer offer insurance or pay your premium?
  • Are you and your family relatively healthy and don’t need to see a doctor very often?
Attention Employers!
  • Are you looking for ways to keep your employees safe and well during COVID-19?
  • Are you interested in maintaining or increasing your business productivity?
  • Are you concerned about your employee absenteeism?
  • Are your health insurance plans and options too expensive?
We at Westminster Medical Clinic believe all people should have access to healthcare and the opportunity for health, wellness, and healing. Direct Primary Care is an alternative way to pay for your primary care. WMC Direct is WMC’s Direct Primary Care option.
 
With WMC Direct, you receive all-inclusive services at WMC at an affordable monthly fee with discounts on other products and services.
 
Learn more about WMC Direct HERE! We want to hear from you so that we make sure our WMC Direct program meets the needs of our WMC patients. Please take a moment to fill out this survey and share your feedback.
Staff Feature: Meet Samantha Dreher, PA!
Jack Gibbs, WMC PAC Member

I sat down with Samantha to learn about growing up in Indiana, life with twins and her interest in cardiovascular health.

Jack: Where were you born and raised?
Samantha: I am from a small town in Indiana called Evansville. Indiana is in the shape of a boot and Evansville is in the toe of the boot very close to Kentucky, some call it Kentuckiana.
Jack: What would you like us to know about your family?
Samantha: My husband and I have an active pair of twins (one girl and one boy) who were born in October of 2018. Interestingly they were born 55 minutes apart which fell on different days, so they are twins with different birthdays! Our Rhodesian Ridgeback named Bosco is really our first baby.

Click Here for the Full Interview
WMC News and Updates: Introducing WMC's Weekly Education Webinars!
Stacey Halvorsen, M.Ed.

WMC is hosting FREE educational webinars every Friday at 10am. From question and answer sessions with Dr. Hammond to health goal setting with Stacey, join us on Fridays to learn and connect with us! For a list of upcoming webinars or to watch a webinar you may have missed, visit: https://www.westminstermedicalclinic.com/health-education.html
 
PAC Update: Medical ID Cards and the Patient Outreach Call Project
Larry Glassburn, WMC PAC Member

WMC and your Patient Advisory Council (PAC) are excited to announce the make your own Medical Identification Card (Medical ID card) feature on your Patient Portal. In the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has become evident that each person should have your medical histories and medications written down—if you enter the hospital for any reason, a family member will likely not be able to go in to assist in communicating with medical staff. We would strongly recommend that all WMC patients take advantage of this valuable resource. 
You can make your own at home and then print it out and carry it with you in your purse or wallet in case of any emergency. Here is how...
  1. Go to the Patient Portal either through the WMC website or Healow app and log into your account.
  2. On the Dashboard page, on the left hand side, scroll down to the "Questionnaires" tab, hover there and then click on "Medical History."
  3. Find the "Medical ID" window in the second row, and click on that folder.
  4. Read the directions carefully and then click on the link. You do not need to fill in the date, nor click submit.
  5. When the Medical ID form opens, fill out all of the various information sections with your personal data. When you have carefully reviewed and are satisfied with the contents, click on the submit box.
  6. A new screen will come up and you can then download the .pdf form. Check for accuracy and if it is all correct, you can print the card. If there are any errors, you can go back to the entry form, but you will have to re-enter all of the data. You can then cut out the card on the lines shown--it will be approximately the size of a credit card. Fold in half where shown. Carry the card in your purse or wallet.
We hope that you find this card to be helpful.
We are also happy to announce the start of a new patient outreach project. PAC wants to help our fellow patients through these difficult times.

We will be making telephone calls to some patients to check-in to see how patients are doing and if they need any support.

These calls are not medical related, however we want to know how you are doing and will try to connect you with the right resources.
One resource, which maybe helpful to you is the WMC website, where we recently updated it to include various links to the many community resources available including mental health resources, financial assistance and more.

If you have not received a phone call from a PAC member already and would like to receive one, please contact us at our email address: PAC@westminstermedicalclinic.com or call the WMC office at 303-428-7449.

We are all in this together and we as the PAC want you to know we are here for you!
Lastly, the WMC PAC is seeking additional patient members to join us. If you are interested in joining PAC, please email us at PAC@westminstermedicalclinic.com
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Copyright © 2020. Westminster Medical Clinic. All rights reserved. Issue 2, The Pulse.

Contact Us:
Westminster Medical Clinic
8601 Turnpike Drive, Suite 200
Westminster, CO 80031
303.428.7449
www.westminstermedicalclinic.com

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