Experts Predict Sonoma County Allergy Sufferers Will Have a Lot to Sneeze About

Experts Predict Sonoma County Allergy Sufferers Will Have a Lot to Sneeze About

Linda Biggers SRHN Allergy Clinic Manager & Clinician talks about the impending allergy season and provides options for allergies sufferers.

We are able to test for more than 40 different inhalant allergens that are common to the area, such as trees, grass, weeds, molds, dust mites, animals, and others. From the results of these tests we are then able to advise patients on the best options for treating their individual allergy symptomsAn increase in wetter weather in the Northern California area naturally means a lot more green and growing foliage and plants, and along with that; a humdinger of an allergy season. A relief from drought conditions is most welcome, but for pollen sensitive allergy sufferers, it also means an increase in misery-causing grass and weed pollen.

“Our patients have been reporting the typical allergy season symptoms, such as itchy eyes and sneezing,” explains Linda Biggers NCMA’s SRHN Allergy Clinic Manager & Clinician. “This is not surprising since according to the experts we are already well into grass pollen season. Grass pollen is the most allergy causing pollen; and it’s one of the most prolific pollen producers in our area.” Grass pollen levels typically become most prevalent though the month of June. “This year the pollen intensity might go on a bit longer thanks to the current uptick in heat we’re experiencing,” she added.

Although allergies might be a challenge to deal with, it is a normal physiological reaction to airborne allergens. Typical reactions include a runny nose and a swelling of the sinus passages as the body tries to block the allergen from getting into the system. The immune system reacts defensively to the pollen and responds to attack by producing large amounts of antibody. This allergic reaction can cause symptoms including; itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, hives, fatigue, and irritability.

Understanding Pollen Season

Anyone who suffers from seasonal pollen allergies probably knows that it’s spread by the wind. Any warm afternoon breeze can be loaded with pollen from trees, grasses, flowering plants and a plethora of weeds. Although springtime may be the launch of allergy season, many plants pollinate year-round. And according to online pollen reporting sites, pollen counts vary from day to day and hour to hour depending on heat and precipitation.

According to researchers, nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the U.S. and it’s a problem that is on the increase. As many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children report allergy symptoms. Allergic disease including asthma, is the now the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. in people of all ages. It has been estimated that between 24-40 million of allergy patients suffer specifically from an airborne allergy resulting in hay fever or Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.

Allergy Independence with Immunotherapy

Over-the-counter remedies and staying indoors might not work for everyone and that’s when doctors might recommend immunotherapy. This type of allergy therapy follows a thorough allergy test to screen for which allergens are causing the problem, patients are then set up on a schedule of injections that are geared toward not only relieving allergy symptoms but eliminating them altogether.

“We are able to test for more than 40 different inhalant allergens that are common to the area, such as trees, grass, weeds, molds, dust mites, animals, and others. From the results of these tests we are then able to advise patients on the best options for treating their individual allergy symptoms,” said Biggers

“In order to get a person’s immune system to stop over-reacting to allergens, we may offer immunotherapy which uses a gradual desensitization process that involves injecting extracts of identified allergens. Normally these injections are given once a week over the course of several months,” she explained. “We then graduate treatments to bi-monthly and eventually to just once a month. The goal is to make you feel better while cutting back or eliminating your allergy medications.”

About SRHN Allergy Center

The Allergy Center at Santa Rosa Head and Neck (SRHN) provides patients with a clear solution to the treatment of allergies using a collaborative team of board-certified otolaryngologists and allergy specialists. SRHN physicians are members of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. For more information on the Allergy Center at Santa Rosa Head & Neck visit the NCMA website or call (707) 523-7025 to schedule an appointment.

 

Long wet winter leads to concerns over exploding mosquito populations in Northern California

By all indications, and due to months of wet weather, there is a booming mosquito season underway in Sonoma County. While officials call for diligence, asking homeowners to scout for any open water sources that can be emptied or eliminated, healthcare providers are looking at potential health concerns. Along with the annoying buzz of mosquitos is the buzz associated with potential infections stemming from their itchy bites, namely Zika and West Nile.

The Buzz on Mosquitoes

“One good thing is that we don’t need to be too concerned about Zika,” explains Dr. William A. Markoff NCMA Family Practice Physician. “This virus has been linked to birth defects in Central and South America but authorities tell us that the mosquitoes known to transmit this virus are not in our area. Concerns over mosquito transmitted viruses this year remains focused on West Nile Virus, which – while most people suffer few to no symptoms, can cause serious problems in others including neurological issues.”

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Last year there were 442 cases of West Nile reported in California, with 10 of those in the nine-county Bay Area. West Nile Virus generally results in mild flu-like symptoms in some people, while others have no symptoms and suffer no consequence at all. A small segment of the population seems to be vulnerable to the more serious symptoms that includes swelling of the brain and potentially; death. Although there is a vaccine to prevent it, West Nile Virus can also be fatal to horses, and particularly birds.

Of the 176 known mosquito species in the United States there are roughly 20 mosquito varieties common to Northern California, and most of those will be out in force this year. Early mosquito prevention is key to protecting public health. This means scouting property for pools of standing water that mosquitos might find inviting and keeping an eye out for other potential incubating sites including wet tarps, tires, plastic containers, tin cans, jars, buckets, etc. District managers have also begun ground and aerial spraying to control mosquito activity where necessary.

Don’t scratch that itch

The best – and most difficult advice to take following a mosquito bite is; don’t scratch. Scratching creates openings on the surface of the skin which allows bacteria in and can cause infection. To relieve the itch and lower chances of an infection there are some time-honored techniques which include:

  • Clean the bite area with soap and water (or dab with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol)
  • Apply an anti-itch cream
  • Use Aloe Vera to soothe and heal the itch
  • Make a thick paste of baking soda & water and apply to affected area
  • Take an over-the-counter antihistamine if itching persists

“Although extremely rare, if a mosquito bite does result in a fever or causes vomiting, or shortness of breath it would be advisable to seek medical attention immediately,” adds Dr. Markoff.

About NCMA Family Medicine

NCMA Family Medicine physicians provide services at offices in Lakeport, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma. NCMA philosophy is based on the fact that early screening and detection can result in less acute episodes of illness that can be devastating both physically and financially. Family medicine physicians provide primary health care for people at every stage of life. For more information about Dr. Markoff and all NCMA medical services visit the website at ncmahealth.com.

 

Dr. Ashwani Bedi on Heart Health for Life and the Results of Decades of Research

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Dr. Ashwani Bedi discusses the results of this month’s study on heart disease.

Earlier this month researchers from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project released results of a study focused on 25,800 people who had turned 65 by 2010. Pulling data from the same participants who also made up a study from 1967 to 1973, researchers looked at heart health during younger years and how that played out over time.

They found that people with favorable heart health at younger ages lived about four years longer altogether, survived about five years longer before developing a chronic illness such as cancer or heart failure and spent 22 percent less of their senior years with a chronic disease compared to people with two or more heart risk factors earlier in life. This group also saved almost $18,000 in Medicare costs.

“Cardiovascular health is a lifetime concern,” says Dr. Ashwani Bedi, NCMA Cardiologist. “The American Heart Association says that about 41 percent of the U.S. population will have cardiovascular disease by 2030. That is a shocking statistic. This study clearly demonstrates that life-long heart health can be achieved, if patients make it a priority early in life. It’s hard to imagine a simpler solution than that.”

Cardiovascular disease includes conditions that affect the structures or function of the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the U.S. causing more than 800,000 deaths per year and $300 billion in direct medical expenditures. “The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to learn about it early and to take steps to prevent it from occurring,” says Dr. Bedi.

As a practicing Cardiac Electrophysiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms, Dr. Bedi understands the importance of prevention and the need to make lifestyle changes early in life to help ensure a healthy heart for life. “It’s human nature to not focus on our cardiovascular health until later in life when it becomes a problem. This study shows the importance of making lifestyle changes to support heart health earlier in life.”

How to prevent heart disease

Heart failure is a major health problem for both men and women in the U.S., affecting nearly 5 million Americans. About 550,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. The hallmarks of prevention for heart disease include:

  • Eating healthy
  • Getting active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Manage cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Take steps to manage stress

“Ultimately, it’s never too early or too late to learn about heart disease. The earlier in life a person can take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease, the better the chances that person has for staying healthy for life,” Dr. Bedi said.

About Dr. Bedi

Dr. Bedi is board certified in cardiac electrophysiology, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine. He brings specialty expertise in all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including SVT and VT ablations, atrial fibrillation ablations, pacing (including BiV pacing) and defibrillation as well as intracardiac echocardiography. Dr. Bedi was the recipient of the Health Care Hero Award and received multiple WOW designations at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He has a professional interest in cardiac ablations, prevention and awareness of sudden cardiac death in communities and has been actively involved in cardiac screening for college athletes.

For more information about the full range of services offered by Northern California Medical Associates, visit the NCMA Health website. To make an appointment with Dr. Bedi, call (707) 573-6199

NCMA Primary Care Spring Symposium educational videos now offered online

Northern California Medical Associates wrapped up their Regional Primary Care Symposium just this month and is offering these informative healthcare lectures for viewing in a library of videos on YouTube.

Northern California Medical Associates along with St. Joseph Health held the much anticipated Regional Primary Care Spring Symposium on April 1, 2017 in Santa Rosa. This well-attended annual conference plays a vital role in the local medical community, offering physicians and healthcare providers an opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments, to collaborate, share research and gain fresh perspectives.

At this year’s event, physicians from a variety of backgrounds and fields of practice gave hot-topic educational lectures to an audience of healthcare providers that included; internal medicine and primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, staff RNs, and medical assistants all from the northern California region. This event gives doctors the opportunity to earn Continuing Medical Education credits (CMEs) for their attendance.

Programs highlighted during the symposium gave in-depth overviews of the state of healthcare delivery, and included advanced treatments and technologies from the experts as they continue to improve patient outcomes and provide exceptional patient experience in the process.

NCMA’s Dr. Thomas Dunlap co-emcee’d along with Dr. Tucker Bierbaum of St. Joseph Health Northern California for this year’s Symposium. Additional NCMA physicians who spoke at the event included Dr. Patrick Coleman on TAVR, Structural Heart Disease: Innovation & Future Directions, Dr. Ashwani Bedi on New Developments in Atrial Fib, Dr. Kimberly Brayton on Novel Oral Anticoagulants and Brian Stater M.D. on Partial Intracapsular Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy in Pediatrics.

Further topics of these presentations include;

  • Jack Cox M.D., St. Joseph Health System CMO – Healthcare Update Through the Lens of a System CMO
  • Jarrod Holmes, M.D. – Update on Immunotherapy
  • Adam Kaplan, M.D. – Minimal Invasive Urological Surgery
  • Kurtis Birch, M.D. – Diagnosis & Management of Pituitary Tumors
  • Saleh Adi, M.D. – Type 1 Diabetes in Children

Complete episodes of these and other lectures is now available online via NCMA’s YouTube Channel where viewings are free and completely open to the public. The NCMA’s YouTube channel can be found at youtube.com/NCMAhealth. This educational program is provided by Northern California Medical Associates and St. Joseph Health –Santa Rosa.

About NCMA Healthcare

At Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA), innovative medicine and patient care is more than just a profession; it’s a calling. As one of the leading medical associations in the North Bay, NCMA takes pride in offering a highly diversified, professional staff and comprehensive health services to patients. No matter the level of medical care a patient may require, the professionals at NCMA will deliver expert care with respect and compassion. For more information visit the NCMA website.

NCMA Welcomes Dr. Jennifer (Surber) Stewart to Mendocino Internal & Family Medicine

Family medicine and urgent care specialist Jennifer (Surber) Stewart M.D. is joining Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) Mendocino Internal & Family Medicine to work alongside Dr. Jeffrey Berenson and Sharon Hunter, FNP beginning in August 2017. “We are thrilled to have someone as capable as Dr. (Surber) Stewart join our practice,” says Dr. Berenson. “She brings many needed skills to the Mendocino and Ft. Bragg area.”

About Dr. Jennifer (Surber) Stewart

Dr. (Surber) Stewart attended The School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center where she received her medical degree, followed by residency in family medicine at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Colorado. She then practiced emergency medicine in rural Colorado and California where she became certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support. Dr. (Surber) Stewart is currently board certified in family medicine and is studying integrative medicine in her spare time.

An avid healthcare volunteer, Dr. (Surber) Stewart has also spent time traveling with a relief and development organization called Heart to Heart International. “I enjoy being part of something bigger than myself,” she explains. “It’s very important for me to be able to participate in the care of those who struggle with adversity and lack of resources.” With Heart to Heart she also traveled to Haiti where she provided services and aid for disaster relief following the earthquakes in 2010. Prior to that Dr. (Surber) Stewart traveled to China to teach EMS students.

“I look forward to returning to the Mendocino area, after having lived and practiced there earlier,” Dr. (Surber) Stewart said. “Mendocino’s casual lifestyle surrounded by ocean and abundant outdoors appeals to me as an excellent place to work and to raise my family. I find that I am most happy when work keeps me busy and challenges me intellectually, and I believe working alongside Dr. Berenson and Sharon Hunter, FNP in Mendocino County will do just that.”

About NCMA

NCMA’s internal & family medicine physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a full spectrum of health conditions providing primary health care for people at every stage of life. The overarching NCMA healthcare philosophy is based on the fact that early screening and detection can result in less acute episodes of illness that are devastating both physically and financially. Family and internal medicine physicians provide primary health care for people at every stage of life.

Office-based prevention and screening programs include check-ups, health screenings, immunizations, laboratory tests, general and sports physical exams, well baby and well childcare, behavioral health care, women’s health, and many other primary medical care services. NCMA physicians also specialize in helping patients identify and manage chronic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis.

For more information about the full range of services offered by Northern California Medical Associates, visit the website. To make an appointment with Dr. (Surber) Stewart or Dr. Berenson call (707) 937-1055.

NCMA Announces Opening of the New Vein Center to Coincide with Launch of Website

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) opens the NCMA Vein Center and unveils a new website to provide patients with a full range of venous treatment options in Santa Rosa

NCMA Cardiologist and vein disease treatment specialist Dr. Vishal Patel along with Board Certified Cardiologist and Internal Medicine specialist Kimberly Brayton, MD are now offering state-of-the-art services for patients with venous disorders at The Vein Center. Located at 3536 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, this specialty clinic that is unique to Sonoma County provides advanced care for cardiovascular patients suffering from vein disorders such as varicose veins or venous reflux.

Along with a new clinic the Vein Center team has implemented a comprehensive website (ncmavein.com) that offers a full spectrum of resources and information at their fingertips. “To make our services easily accessible to the people of Santa Rosa, we wanted to create a website that offers an overview of the team and features comprehensive information about causes and symptoms,” explains Dr. Vishal Patel. “Along with articles that describe how cardiovascular health is related to vein disorders, website visitors can also read about available treatments and technology.”

The NCMA Vein Center is part of the expert cardiac and vascular care team utilizing current medical technology including the latest minimally invasive techniques and treatments for a full range of venous disorders. “NCMA is already the top local medical group in cardiac care, so it made sense to extend our leading-edge technologies along with our cardiac and vascular specialists into a specialty service line treating venous disorders,” explains Ruth Skidmore, NCMA’s CEO. “We developed our clinic to provide comprehensive diagnostics and treatments for all types of vein disorders without the need for lengthy hospital stays or extensive surgeries.”

Understanding Venus Reflux

Venous reflux occurs when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in the legs and leads to symptoms including edema, skin changes and leg ulcers. Venous reflux disease commonly produces varicose veins which are abnormally swollen and discolored superficial leg veins.

“Without proper treatment, venous reflux can become quite debilitating,” explains Dr. Patel. “With treatment and active monitoring by our team of specialists, many of our patients experience dramatic symptom relief which makes it possible for them to return to activities that they might not have had the opportunity to enjoy prior to treatment.”

About Dr. Patel

Dr. Vishal Patel’s background as Director of the Vein Clinic began with board certification in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, endovascular medicine and specialty certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Physicians’ Vascular Interpretation.  Vein disease treatment is Dr. Patel’s professional specialty and patient outcomes are extraordinary. Dr. Patel offers an informative video titled Evaluation and Management of Chronic Venous Diseases on the NCMA YouTube Channel available for free to view at any time.

About Dr. Brayton

Dr. Brayton is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. She received her medical degree and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco and completed her clinical cardiology fellowship at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, before transferring to Stanford University to complete her cardiology fellowship as well as receiving post-doctoral training including a master’s degree in health services research. Dr. Brayton continued on to complete a second post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center.

The NCMA Vein Center is geared toward putting patients on the path to long-term recovery. To request more information about venous reflux and to learn about the Vein Center team of providers visit the website or call (707) 573-6166.

NCMA News: Physician Receives SCMA’s Outstanding Contribution Award

NCMA physician Lela Emad, M.D., Director of the NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Department, was honored for her outstanding contributions to the SCMA’s Medical Review Advisory Committee (MRAC). For over 25 years the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has offered a  ull range of premier obstetrics and gynecology services and expertise to women in the  North Bay Area. Their provider team of experts includes OB/ GYN physicians, certified  nurse midwives, family nurse practitioners, and medical assistants who provide  unmatched care to patients in our region.

As women caring for women, they understand their patients’ needs and expectations. NCMA is proud of their honored physicians receiving prestigious community awards for exceptional contributions to Sonoma County  Medicine. For 40 years, NCMA has responded to the healthcare needs of the community  by developing a multispecialty, integrated physician group to deliver the highest quality  medical care available. NCMA physicians serve community leadership roles in all areas of  medical and surgical delivery and are affiliated with hospitals in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties.

NCMA News: Cardiovascular Services Expands in Mendocino and Lake County

To meet the growing clinical needs in Mendocino County, two new cardiac specialists have joined Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA). Dr. Richard Rattin and Dr.  Christine Rattin practice in NCMA’s Ukiah and Willits offices. These local care centers offer general cardiology services as well as electrocardiograms, holter monitoring and  event recording, cardiac stress testing, adult echocardiography and stress  echocardiography, vascular and peripheral carotid imaging and nuclear cardiac imaging.

“The addition of two highly specialized cardiologists means that residents will have expanded access to state-of-the-art cardiac diagnostics – without having to leave the area,” explains NCMA CEO, Ruth Skidmore. “We’re proud to partner with these wonderful physicians.”

Christine Rattin, D.O.

Christine Rattin, D.O.

Christine Rattin, DO, is a board certified cardiologist. She graduated from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City, MO and completed her residency in internal medicine at Michigan State University. Dr. Rattin completed her cardiology fellowship at McLaren Macomb Medical Center in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Dr. Rattin’s specialties focus on cardiac imaging in the realms of CCT, CMR, Echo, TEE,  cardiac catheterizations and nuclear cardiology. She worked as an invasive cardiologist at UPHS Marquette in Michigan and more recently at Weatherby Healthcare in Cary, North Carolina.

Richard Rattin, D.O.

Richard Rattin, DO, is board certified in cardiology and internal medicine and specializes in interventional and endovascular cardiology. He received his medical degree from  Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He worked as an interventional and endovascular cardiologist at Marquette General Health System in Marquette, Michigan and until recently held a position at Mercy Medical Center in Mason City, Iowa.

Dr. Rattin completed his cardiovascular disease fellowship in 2014 and completed an  interventional cardiology fellowship in 2015, both from Mercy Medical Center in Mason City Iowa.

The NCMA cardiovascular team provides comprehensive cardiac services in Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.

NCMA News: New Vein Center

This year, under the direction of cardiologist Dr. Vishal Patel, Northern California Medical associates opened the NCMA Vein Center for patients with venous disorders. The NCMA Vein Center, a local center of excellence,  was formed to address the needs of those suffering from venous reflux, which causes varicose veins and other severe venous diseases  such as leg ulcers.

“NCMA is the top local medical group in cardiac care, so it made sense to extend our leading-edge technologies along with our cardiac and vascular specialists into a specialty  service line treating venous disorders,” explains Ruth Skidmore, NCMA’s CEO. “We  developed our clinic to provide comprehensive diagnostics and treatments for all types of vein disorders without lengthy hospital stays or extensive surgeries.”

Causes and Symptoms

25 million people suffer from venous reflux. Our legs are made up of a network of veins. Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to  the heart. Venous reflux develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in your  legs and lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, swollen limbs, leg heaviness and fatigue, skin changes and skin ulcers, and varicose veins.

The Prognosis

While venous reflux itself is not serious, its symptoms often increase the risks of a wide variety of other diseases. Many of these diseases, such as thrombophlebitis, can be serious. Without proper treatment, venous reflux can become debilitating. With diligent treatment  and monitoring, however, many patients experience dramatic symptom relief.

Treatments

The NCMA Vein Center offers several treatment options depending on severity. One popular treatment is radiofrequency ablation (also known as Venefit or VNUS Closure) which is a minimally invasive means of curing varicose veins and venous insufficiency. It involves the use of radiofrequency energy, delivered through a catheter in a vein, to close the vein from the inside. This treatment requires only a tiny incision in the leg to be performed. It is often done in the office using only local anesthesia, and does not require a hospital stay. Most patients find that the procedure is nearly painless, and the vast  majority of patients are back to their usual routine by the next day.

About Dr. Patel

Dr. Vishal Patel’s background as Director of the NCMA Vein Center began with board certification in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, endovascular medicine and specialty certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography  Physicians’ Vascular Interpretation. Vein disease treatment is Dr. Patel’s professional  specialty and patient outcomes are extraordinary. To request more information about  venous reflux today call (707) 573-6166. Read more www.ncmavein.com

NCMA News: Doctors Make a Difference 2016

Dr. Harendra Punatar and the NBIAA

Northern California Medical Associates’ (NCMA) cardiologist Harendra Punatar, MD, FACC, gives back to the community through his volunteer work with the North Bay Indo- American Association (NBIAA). In the late 90s,   doctors began to notice a significantly higher propensity for heart disease and diabetes in Indian community members in the North Bay. Disease is almost twice as common than other groups. Due to the disturbingly high prevalence of these diseases, Dr. Punatar began  organizing free annual NBIAA Health Fairs 15 years ago to spread awareness about disease prevention and treatment.

“The data on diabetes and heart disease made for a startling discovery. Members of the  Indian community are on average more affluent than other groups in the area, and what  we realized was that with that affluence came an increase of poor eating and exercise habits—both of which can be major health risks,” says Dr. Punatar. “Originally, diabetes  and heart disease have been the main topics of focus at the health fairs, but over the last  five years we’ve really broadened the discussion to cover other prevalent health related  subjects. The fairs have been extremely successful. We’ve come to expect about 100-200  attendees every year!” NBIAA Health Fairs are run entirely by volunteers, with substantial  support from NCMA and Medtronic. Dr. Punatar obtained his medical doctorate at Miraj   Medical College in Miraj Indiaand completed his residency and fellowship training in cardiovascular disease from Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. He has been  a valued member of NCMA’s team of expert cardiologists for over 23 years.

Dr. Adelina Stateva andGAP Community

Northern California Medical Associates’ (NCMA) podiatrist Adelina Stateva, DPM, demonstrates the spirit of volunteerism in her involvement with GAP Community, a  non-profit philanthropic organization with global outreach. Dr. Stateva first traveled with  GAP to Kayamandi, South Africa in 2007. The area is tragically known to be one of the  rape capitals of the world, and its communities are deeply affected by violence, poverty,  and HIV. Dr. Stateva taught leadership training classes and worked closely with fellow GAP  volunteers to fund a housing project renovation for HIV sufferers in  Kayamandi.

Dr. Stateva explains, “There really are few experiences in my life that have  been more inspiring than the work I have done in South Africa with GAP Community. The  active learning style we use is designed to give children the confidence and insight necessary to overcome limiting beliefs and difficult circumstances that prevent them from achieving their goals and dreams.

“For the South Africa trip in 2007 we collectively raised  a healthy surplus that we wanted to share with the local community in Kayamandi. We  found a home for people living with HIV that lacked ample space and facilities. The  occupants had to share tiny rooms, and the single bathroom was outdoors a ways away  from the main housing building. Using the restroom at night meant risking being attacked  or raped. “The residents are now living in a much safer environment while they recover  from illnesses, and the facility we built can accommodate many more people than it could  before.”

Dr. Stateva was born and raised in Bulgaria, and in 2002 she graduated from  Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Shortly thereafter she began residency at Palo Alto, VA where she also taught at Stanford University and continued residency  at    Hahnemann University Hospital in  Philadelphia. She joined NCMA in March
2014.