March 2020
Wellness Classes
Registration Opens March 9
In This Issue
NEW Brigham and Women’s Center for Pain at Milford

Can a Patient Choose a Nurse Practitioner to be Their Primary Care Provider (PCP)?

Americans Need More Potassium in Our Diet

Patient Story: Laparoscopic Surgery

Featured Video: Treatment for Colon Conditions

Milford Regional’s 2019 Annual Report is Online

The Flu Vaccine Protects Us From Flu But What About All Those Viruses?

Lecture: Bullying, Sexting, Dating Violence & Your Teen

Do You Need a Primary Care Provider (PCP)?

Get to Know our General Surgeons
News Brief
NEW Brigham and Women’s Center for Pain at Milford
Milford Regional is pleased to announce the opening of a new pain clinic located in the Hill Health Center. Brigham and Women’s Center for Pain Medicine at Milford offers a comprehensive, whole person approach to pain management that aims to alleviate symptoms, restore function and encourages emotional health.  

The team works collaboratively with primary care physicians, spine surgeons and other referring specialists to ensure patients are appropriately evaluated, treated in a timely manner and benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to care.
Victor Wang, MD, PhD is the Medical Director of Brigham and Women’s Center for Pain Medicine at Milford. He is a neurologist who specializes in pain medicine. He currently holds appointments in both the anesthesiology and neurology departments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in both neurology and pain medicine.

The pain medicine team offers therapy for a wide range of conditions that can cause pain such as back and neck pain, joint pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, headaches and much more. The clinic is located at Milford Regional, Hill Health Center, second floor. Appointments can be made by calling 857-307-7246.  Read more about the Center for Pain Medicine.
Question & Answer
Can a Patient Choose a Nurse Practitioner to Be Their Primary Care Provider?
Yes, some nurse practitioners serve as primary care providers (PCPs) while others choose to assist physicians in managing his/her patients. Those that are PCPs can accept new patients on their own just like a doctor. 

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who are prepared through advanced graduate school education and clinical training to provide a range of health services. This training includes practicing for 750 to 1,400 hours (depending on the specialty) alongside a physician. A nurse practitioner must also pass a national certification exam to obtain a license to practice medicine.
The main difference between a nurse practitioner and a physician is the amount of time spent training. While nurse practitioners do go through a rigorous education and training program, it is less extensive than that of a medical doctor.

Nurse practitioners can examine patients, order diagnostic tests, diagnose illnesses, provide treatment and prescribe medication, just like physicians do. Many of them have years of experience treating patients. You can select a nurse practitioner PCP when you enroll with your health plan, or if you choose to switch providers.

Milford Regional Physician Group has a number of nurse practitioners who are primary care providers, two of whom are currently accepting new patients: Jessica Carroll, C-FNP, and Lisa Abbondanza, C-FNP. They both see patients at Franklin Family Practice in the new Milford Regional in Franklin building. If you are in need of a primary care provider, call Franklin Family Practice to make an appointment at 508-541-2436. Read more about Jessica Carroll and Lisa Abbondanza.
Healthy Living Tip
More Potassium Needed in Our Diet
Americans consume too much sodium and not enough potassium. That combination can cause higher blood pressure which raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.  

The new Nutrition Facts label is appearing on more and more packages and includes mandatory labeling of potassium to help consumers make informed choices about food. Potassium is required on the updated label because it has been identified as a nutrient Americans are not getting enough of, and when lacking, is associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Low potassium intake is caused by not eating enough vegetables, fruit, seafood, and dairy.

Some foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes, spinach, beans, bananas, yogurt, salmon. Check out this list for more potassium-rich foods.
Patient Story: Laparoscopic Surgery
Alan lived in a constant struggle with abdominal pain for two years. He visited a few different physicians, but the tests always came back normal. 

Frustrated, Alan asked his PCP to refer him to a general surgeon. Alan saw Dr. Nora Fullington who performed a HIDA scan which can diagnose gall bladder problems. 

Then she suggested a diagnostic laparoscopic procedure to find out what was going on and what she expected to find.
Featured Video
Treatment for Colon Conditions 
Do you suffer from a chronic colon condition, such as diverticulitis, colitis or Crohn's disease, and are you tired of uncomfortable flare ups? Have you been diagnosed with colon cancer and are preparing for surgery? Watch this video with General Surgeon Patrick McEnaney, MD, who will talk about surgical treatments for colon conditions, such as polypectomy, colectomy and minimally invasive options, as well as what to expect during and after surgery.
Good Things to Know
Milford Regional’s 2019 Annual Report 
Milford Regional Medical Center’s Annual Report to the Community is now available to view online. Read about Milford Regional’s intense goal-driven focus on quality care throughout our institution, our investment in the latest technologies in order to deliver the highest quality of care, the new members of our medical staff, and much more. Read report here.
The Flu Vaccine Protects Us From Flu But What About All Those Viruses?
We all know that getting the flu vaccine every year is very important to protect us and our family from catching the flu. But what about all the other viruses that circulate and there is no vaccine to help protect us? Washing your hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) and if you are not near a sink, using hand sanitizer is the best way to avoid picking up a germ. In addition, cough or sneeze into your elbow and try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do feel sick, stay home from work or school and drink plenty of fluids.

We created a short video to remind people about the importance of hand washing and the unintentional ways we contract and spread germs. This video will, hopefully, encourage you (in a fun way) to add plenty of hand washing to your daily routine!
Bullying, Sexting, Dating Violence & Your Teen – Program – April 28th
Teenagers have complex relationships, but as a parent or caregiver, how do you know these relationships are healthy? Join Milford Regional and New Hope, Inc. for this program designed to help you better understand your teen and the choices they face in their relationships – including real and virtual friendships and the risks of teen dating violence.

The program will immerse participants in various real scenarios to help you gain insight about teen interactions with their dating partner, family, friends, teachers, counselors, police and others. This is a free program, but registration is required by calling 508-422-2206. This program will be held at Milford Regional’s Physician Conference Center.
About Our Doctors
Milford Regional's active medical staff, consisting of over 250 doctors, is highly qualified to treat you and your family through sickness and in health. Whether you need a primary care physician or a specialist, you can be assured of the best possible care.

Need a Primary Care Provider (PCP)?
If you need a physician, please call our Physician Referral Line at 1-888-DRS-HERE (1-888-377-4373). Our Referral Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a quick look, see our  list of primary care providers   who are accepting new patients. It is important to note that not all physicians accept all insurances. Please call the physician's office directly to find out if they accept your insurance plan.
Get to Know our General Surgeons
General surgery is a surgical specialty that focuses on the abdominal organs such as the stomach, colon, gall bladder, liver and appendix. With the technological advances made during the last several years, most general surgeries are performed with a minimally invasive approach; traditional laparoscopic surgery or using the da Vinci robotic surgical system. With either type of surgery, only tiny incisions are made in the abdomen rather than one large incision.  

Laparoscopic surgery shortens the hospital stay for the patient, and normal activity can usually be resumed after a few days at home. Because the abdominal muscles are not cut as in open surgery, patients have less pain and fewer complications. Depending on your condition, the surgeon will determine which surgery is best for you.  Read more about our general surgeons.
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