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A Special Letter of Thanks
August 27, 2015
Recently we received a letter from one of our patients, Jack D. who lives in Lady Lake and visits our Lady Lake Primary Care offices.  "Mr. Jack" included this letter in one of our patient surveys and was kind enough to allow us to share his thoughts about one of our SIMED Primary Care physicians, Alain Smolarski, MD.
"For the past 5 years, I had been going to a different medical clinic in Lady Lake...and a friend recommended Dr. Smolarski.  On my first visit I was very relaxed and felt like I had known him for many years.  The doctor ordered blood tests and the very next day called to say the test showed up something in my liver.  He immediately scheduled an ultrasound.  The test showed a mass so Dr. Smolarski scheduled an MRI. I had the MRI and the doc said it showed a mass in the liver but also a mass in the pancreas.  He immediately called a gastro doctor who the same day scheduled me to see a doctor at Florida Hospital who did an endoscopy and a biopsy.  The mass...is very treatable. If it wasn't for Dr. Smolarski's professionalism and promptness, I could have been terminal.  Dr. Smolarski has my utmost respect."
When we shared this touching letter with him, Dr. Smolarski said:

"I greatly appreciate Jack's comments. I have served this community for so many years. The practice of medicine is a passion of mine that I am honored to represent. Every day I strive to treat my patients in the way I would like to be treated."

We're so pleased that Mr. Jack is on the road to
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Are you prepared for Ragweed Season?
August 24, 2015
SIMED Allergy & Asthma | Ragweed AllergiesFall, the time of year where we get to enjoy our seasonal change is just around the corner. We trade in the sweltering hot, dog days of summer for the cool crisp days of autumn. The leaves change, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. The Fall season brings many changes to not only our weather but to the environment surroundings as well.

At SIMED Allergy & Asthma the Fall season means Ragweed Season for our patients and a significant increase in allergic reactions. Ragweed usually begins in the late part of summer around the Labor Day holiday and it peaks in mid September and last up to November. For some people, pollen is a nuisance, for other it really interferes with daily living such as having a constant runny nose. constant sneezing especially in the morning, itchy eyes wihich you cannot scratch enough. Some may also even develop asthma symptoms.

What could you do if you have Ragweed Allergy?
One possible way is to minimize outdoor activities early in the morning, stay indoors in air-conditioned environment, and wash off quickly when you come indoors. If avoidance is not possible, you may try over the counter antihistamines good for itchy eyes, itchy nose, & sneezing but you need to take them on regular, preventive basis during your individual pollen season which may vary from weeks to months. Steroid nose sprays are one of the best medications available for nasal congestion which used to require a prescription.

If medications do not work or you are not "a

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Back-to-School Means Back-To-School Physicals
August 17, 2015
First Care of Gainesville is offering “Back to School” physicals for sports programs, First Care Urgent Care | SIMEDschool entrance requirements and other school activities!  If you need to get your kids in for a physical, walk-in anytime or contact our office and schedule an appointment today!

Also remember Flu season is coming and flu shots will be available in the first week of September.  Although the flu season doesn't typically begin until October, flu cases were reported early last year.  Flu shots are recommended for anyone aged six months or older.

As always, we are here to take care of most other urgent healthcare needs you may have.  With three Board Certified Family Physicians, an experienced physician’s assistant, STAT labs, MRI, CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound, and quick referral access to multiple specialists right in our same building, we are the only place to go for Urgent Care in Gainesville and surrounding communities.

First Care is open Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm.  You can reach us at (352) 373-2340 or click here to request an appointment online.

       
Summer Hydration Tips 101
August 10, 2015
In these hot and humid Florida days, staying hydrated is more important that ever.  SIMED Primary Care physician Tenley Noone, MD breaks down how dehydration affect us and some useful tips on how to prevent dehydration.

Feeling fatigued, dizzy, nauseous and moody? Are you getting headaches? Does your brain feel slowed down?  It may be your Tenley Noone, MD | SIMED Primary Carebody telling you to hydrate. Your body uses water for everything it does. Water is important to help you breathe, to help metabolize food and burn fat, to help your brain think and even help you sleep.

Most people don't realize the first sign of dehydration is decreased urination. A good rule of thumb to monitor your hydration is typically to watch your pee color and frequency. You want a light yellow and should be urinating 3-4 times throughout the day. Unfortunately some blood pressure medications can make this method very inaccurate so those people need to be more careful with monitoring their dehydration warning signs. If you are only peeing once or twice a day you're already down 3-5% of your body's water volume.

When you start feeling tired, becoming easily fatigued, feeling thirsty, having muscle cramps especially in the small muscles groups like feet and calves, feeling your body take deep breaths and getting dizziness when you move, your body is already down 6-9% of your body's total water.

More severe fluid loss can lead to abdominal pain, chest pain, a fast heartbeat, worsening lethargy, confusion, stroke and death.

The debate

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Beat the Heat!
August 3, 2015
Living in Florida means we are no strangers to hot and muggy days especially in the summer months, but as the temperature climbs so does our risk of heat illness. SIMED Primary Care's Eric Svestka, M.D. looks into what ways we can manage "Exertional Heat Illness" and reduce our risk during the growling dog days of summer. SIMED Primary Care | Eric Svestka, MD

Exertional Heat Illness is a continuum, from irritating muscles cramps to life-threatening heat stroke.  The American College of Sports Medicine has guidelines to help recognize who is at the greatest risk and what we can do to prevent falling victim to the heat.
Some factors that increase your odds of being affected include:
  • Being active outdoors on warm, humid days
  • Poor physical fitness
  • Dehydration
  • Being over weight
  • Certain medications
The way to stay out of trouble with the heat is to plan ahead and follow these simple rules:
  • Gradually increase the duration of time spent in the heat and the intensity of the work you are doing.  It takes about two weeks for your body to adapt.
  • Hydrate before going out into the heat and keep hydrating through out your activity.
  • When possible try to plan your outdoor activities when temperatures are at their coolest, early mornings are best.
  • Wear clothes that are designed to help keep your body cool.
  • If you are beginning to feel exhausted or lightheaded while you are outside STOP what you are doing.  Go inside, or get to a shaded area, and cool off with a cold water or sports drink. 
When beginning a new workout program, or just increasing your activity level, be sure to include a chat with your Primary Care Physician in your preparations.  Not only can they help you come up with a personalized plan, but they can help you recognize potential risks in your medical history and with any medications you may be taking.

Whether we are out having fun in the sun, exercising, or our jobs have us working in it, let's come up with a plan to beat the heat!

For locations and contact info please visit us at SIMED Primary Care or to request an appointment online with Dr. Svestka please click on link appointment online.

       
Urgent Care or Emergency Room? Which Choice is the Right Choice?
July 27, 2015
Urgent Care | First Care | SIMEDWhen an acute injury or illness strikes, as a patient, you have some important decisions to make.  Sometimes the injury or illness isn't serious enough to warrant going to an Emergency Room, but it certainly needs medical attention. Often it's difficult for you to be seen at your Primary Care doctor's office so what are your choices?

With the increase in the number of Urgent Care clinics which have opened many patients see this as a unique alternative to their healthcare.  They are able to be seen without an appointment (although the payoff is that there might be an extended wait depending on how many other patients had the same idea), and many Urgent Care centers offer a variety of services.

Employers also look to Urgent Care centers to help employees who have been injured on the job.  Employers are able to have their employees examined, treated and are able to have more direct lines of communication with the provider so they can work together to make sure the employee is recovering and back to work as quickly as possible.

Urgent Care centers are a great alternative to busy Emergency Rooms.  They're outpatient medical clinics (in most cases) and are able to charge non-ER rates.  Urgent Care centers can also offer basic preventative treatments such as some vaccinations and medications for travel, flu shots, sports or employment physicals and more. At First Care (SIMED's Urgent Care Center) we have the added benefit that if you are unable to be seen at your Primary Care doc


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SIMED Patient Portal
June 2, 2014
The SIMED Patient Portal is a unique way for you to view your health information, request appointments, request prescription refills or search for billing information on your patient account all at the click of a button.  The Patient Portal is secure and contains your health information from all of your SIMED doctors. You can even download and print out your health information from the comfort of your own home.

To begin using the Patient Portal you will need to visit your SIMED physician's office and request your PIN#.  PIN numbers are unique and may only be used once to setup your personal portal account.  For security reasons, and to ensure that only you have access to your portal account, PIN numbers may not be given over the phone or via email.

Once you have your PIN# you can click on the
PATIENT PORTAL link here or on the button found on the right hand side of this website to register.

We've put together this brief video to show you some of the things you can do with your new patient portal account.


       

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