Arlington, VA

Capital Women’s Care Division 67 is excited to welcome its newest OBGYN, Dr. Sali Jordan.

Dr. Sali Jordan has been involved in women’s health for as long as she can remember. Growing up with three sisters allowed her to develop her ability to counsel and educate women. Spending time at work with her mother who worked on International Women’s Health at the United Nations helped fuel that drive.

Dr. Jordan graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters degree in Health Care Policy and Public Management. She went on to receive her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.

While there Dr. Jordan received multiple awards in outstanding research and resident education with multiple publications in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Green Journal. Her interests include high-risk obstetrics and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, preconception counseling and gynecologic care.

Dr. Jordan is a patient advocate with a passion for all aspects of women’s health from adolescents through post menopause. She believes in shared decision making and individualizing care.

She is a first time mom, and has said “Being a new mom has definitely affected the way I practice in a positive way and I hope to help my patients on their unique journeys.”

Dr. Jordan and her team promise comprehensive, quality and patient centered care.

Please visit us at capitalwomenscareobgyn67.com or call 571-650-9070 to book an appointment with a Dr. Jordan today.

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There are 234 students in Arlington Public Schools who have been granted an exemption from the state’s vaccine requirements for schools, according to APS officials.

The number of unvaccinated students is less than one percent (0.85%) of the total 27,521 students enrolled as of June of 2019. However, these numbers have proportionally doubled since 2015.

“We would need more time to investigate this thoroughly, however I believe it’s best attributed to the increase in student enrollment and how we’re capturing the data,” said Catherine Ashby, the Director of Communications for APS, in an email to ARLnow.

According to Virginia law, a family can request their child skip mandated vaccinations for valid medical or religious reasons.

“We are constantly communicating with APS so they can communicate with families,” said School Health Bureau (SHB) Chief Sarah N. Bell in a press release for the new school year. “What we don’t want is for any child to be excluded on the first day of school.”

The bureau collaborated with APS officials to check whether students are up to date on their vaccinations by the start of the school year.

This school year, Ashby said APS had 100% compliance for TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccines by the first day of school among the families who did not request an exemption. This is an improvement from the group of around 30 students who did not have their TDAP vaccinations up to date by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Debates around childhood vaccination exemptions came into the spotlight this year due to the onslaught of measles outbreaks. From January to September 5 the CDC confirmed 1,241 individual cases of measles, a disease once considered eradicated, across 31 states.

A July investigation from ABC 7 revealed 8,000 students who live and go to school in D.C. — whether public, private, charter, or parochial — do not meet proper vaccination requirements.

In Maryland, the rate of unvaccinated kindergarteners has nearly doubled over the last decade.

Currently there are four states which do not permit religious exemptions for vaccinations: New York, California, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Maine will remove the exemption in 2021.

File photo

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Excella, a Courthouse-based technology firm, has been selected as the lead partner in an effort to put together an app to detect alcohol misuse and risk of relapse.

The app, called Beacon, is designed to help medical professionals assess whether a patient is suffering from alcohol use disorder through a “combination of behavioral economics and advanced technology,” according to a press release. The product is still in development, but the goal is to be more effective than traditional methods of detecting alcohol abuse.

The company will utilize the work of Virginia Tech software development students at its Extension Center in Blacksburg. The company will also partner with Roanoke-based BEAM Diagnostics, Inc. to develop the app.

“The nation’s substance use epidemic presents massive challenges to every facet of our society, and we are committed to helping BEAM make the world better through tech innovation,” said Margaret Archer, Excella’s Director of University Programs. “Beacon is exactly the type of solution that our mentor-and-student development teams love to build, and we are happy to be a part of the solution.”

This isn’t Excella’s first foray into apps for a public good: the company previously developed MySpot, which helps homeless youth find nearby shelters and assistance. The press release also notes that the company has worked with government agencies for years to combat opioid fraud and abuse.

Image via Excella/Facebook

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Get excited — there’s a new doc in town!

Elite Dental is proud to announce their latest addition to their already fantastic team of dental professionals.

About Dr. Megan Morrow

Dr. Morrow was born and raised in Centreville, Virginia. She attended Boston College for her undergraduate studies where she was captain of the women’s swim team. She moved to Seattle where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree at the University of Washington.

After ten years in Seattle, Dr. Morrow and her husband moved back to the D.C. metro area. She lives in D.C. and is having the best time getting reacquainted with the area.

Q&A:

What is your treatment plan philosophy?

I believe wholeheartedly that I’m treating people, not just their teeth. I like to get to know my patients and involve them in the entire treatment planning process. I practice conservative, comprehensive dentistry, and focus on educating my patients so that we can come up with a plan that works for both of us to best achieve their dental goals.

What are your favorite aspects of dentistry?

The technology is always changing in dentistry (as with the rest of the world), so staying on top of the education and research allows me to follow my passion for perpetual learning. I far exceed the licensing requirements for continuing education to make sure I’m up-to-date with the latest techniques. Dentistry is the perfect combination of technology, art and science, and all three keep me fascinated on a daily basis.

What are some tips for managing dental anxiety?

There are multiple studies that support more than half of the population has some form of dental anxiety which I do not take lightly! It’s natural to have some anxiety before a dental visit, but I’ve found it helps to at least vocalize your feelings and fears. From there, we can discuss ways to make your visit more comfortable.

We have everything from overhead TVs to help you watch your favorite shows while you’re in the chair, to sedation options for the very fearful. The number one tip I could give however, would be to maintain regular visits. The more you put off dental visits, the more issues and time intensive procedures in the future.

What is the best overall advice you would give your patients?

A healthy mouth is a healthy body. The link between oral health and heart disease is real; maintaining regular cleanings and check-ups can not only prevent expensive dental procedures and visits in the future, but can also prevent systemic conditions.

As much as I love seeing my patients, the less I see of them outside of regular cleanings means they’re taking excellent care of their teeth!

Elite Dental is conveniently located in Clarendon, about 2 blocks from the Clarendon Metro stop.

Call 703-991-5169 or email [email protected] to schedule a new patient appointment!

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Morning Notes

JBG Focusing on Arlington — “As JBG Smith continues to focus its portfolio on the area around Amazon HQ2, the REIT is unloading an asset in the heart of D.C.’s Central Business District… The developer is currently constructing its Central District Retail project and is renovating the 1770 Crystal Drive office building, which Amazon has leased. It is also moving through the planning process to add nearly 1,000 units to its RiverHouse Apartments property and build two new residential towers totaling 750 units at 1900 Crystal Drive.” [Bisnow]

Man Battles Abandoned Scooters — Washingtonian editor Andrew Beaujon is on a mission this summer to get e-scooter companies to pick up abandoned scooters along the Mt. Vernon Trail, near Gravelly Point. [Twitter]

Church Holding Vigil Following Mass Shootings — “Given the terrible events of last week our service this Sunday will be a prayer vigil w/ prayers & ritual to help us find some kind of sense of peace as well as determination to change the culture of our country.” [Twitter]

Vaccine Change for Va. Students — “Ordinarily around this time of year, Arlington school officials are bombarding parents of rising sixth-graders to remember the need for ‘Tdap’ vaccines. Any student turning up the first day of school without one would be sent home. This year, however… as the General Assembly has changed the requirements – now, it is rising seventh-graders who need the vaccines.” [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy @mashalette/Instagram

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Arlington County’s streetlights are still cooler than the newly approved statewide levels, but they could be warming up.

The county is in the process of switching to the warmer, low-intensity Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights favored by dark sky enthusiasts and recommended by the American Medical Association. But those new lights could be years away for most of the county-owned stock.

The Kelvin color scale measures the appearance of light from 1,000 to 10,000 Kelvin (K), with lower temperatures creating a “warmer” orange or yellow light — similar to the older, sodium-vapor streetlights — and higher temperatures creating a “cooler” light in the white or slightly blue range.

Currently, 85 percent of Arlington’s 7,350 county-owned streetlights are LED operate at a cooler 5500K, which is similar to the color of moonlight, officials say. Arlington County will soon be releasing a new Streetlight Management Plan that will recommend a color temperature of 3000K for residential areas and 4000K for mixed-use areas, according to Katie O’Brien, spokeswoman for Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services.

The remaining older lights will be replaced at the end of their life cycle or whenever repairs or street improvements take place.

“This is applicable for streetlight installations moving forward,” said O’Brien. “This includes both new construction and replacements/upgrades. Current County-owned LED streetlights will be updated to new standards during regular maintenance or repairs.”

LED lights have a projected life cycle of 15 years or more, so the brighter and cooler lights kept in good condition could persist long after the standards are changed.

Virginia’s Commonwealth Board of Transportation voted last Wednesday to swap thousands of streetlights with warmer-colored LEDs. According to the legislation:

VDOT has ensured that the proposed LED Project has been designed to minimize lighting impacts to the environment and adjacent residents and property owners, including use of luminaires with a Correlated Color Temperature of 3000K where appropriate, while still providing proper illumination of the road in a way that best benefits road user safety and incident response.

Arlington is not the first locality to tone down its streetlight temperature levels. Chicago and nearby Takoma Park both lowered their streetlight levels to 3000K.

Dominion, which also operates thousands of streetlights in Arlington, is in the midst of its own LED conversion.

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Arlington and Northern Virginia are experiencing a possible outbreak of cases from a particular foodborne illness.

Dozens people in the region are suspected of having contracted a gastrointestinal illness called Cyclosporiasis, according to a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Health. The outbreak involves “two large businesses” where more than 40 people were sickened, possibly with Cyclosporiasis, as well as 15 confirmed cases of the disease, officials say.

“A food or water source of this outbreak has not yet been identified, and the investigation is ongoing,” said the state health department.

“Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite,” the department noted in a press release today (Tuesday.) “People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces or stool that contains the parasite.”

The 15 confirmed cases of people infected with Cyclospora since mid-June compares to eight cases in Northern Virginia by this time last year.

The affected area includes Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County and Falls Church.

“Arlington County has… experienced an increase in cases of illness due to Cyclospora,” confirmed epidemiologist Colleen Ryan Smith of Arlington’s Department of Human Services.

“The increase in Arlington… has contributed to the increase in cases noted for Northern Virginia,” added Smith, who said that “specific counts of cases by locality [are] not possible due to patient privacy and confidentiality considerations.”

Officials said they could also not identify the “two large businesses” where dozens were sickened.

Symptoms can begin one week after exposure to the parasite, and typically include explosive diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, aching muscles, and a low-grade fever. Symptoms can last days or a month for some, but others can be a carrier of the parasite and experience no symptoms.

Those afflicted can only be diagnosed by a lab test ordered by a doctor.

Health officials have also reported 90 cases of Cyclospora in New York City since January, and over 100 cases in Massachusetts since May. In both areas, the number of cases is approximately three times the normal number officials usually see in a year, and the cause is not yet known.

Officials in all three locales say they are still investigating the cause of the outbreak. Previous outbreaks were linked to contaminated produce.

The full press release is below, after the jump.

Read More

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Midwives are known to have great patient outcomes.

Practices incorporating Certified Nurse-Midwives or CNMs can boast a lower overall cesarean section rate, lower episiotomy rates and higher breast-feeding rates. This type of practice, where physicians and CNMs work together to meet patient needs, is known as a collaborative care practice.

This November it was decided that our division would become a collaborative care practice. This was in response to patients stated desires to have readily available midwifery care and a desire to provide the highest quality of care for all patients.

Mary Di Masi practiced as a Registered Nurse and then went on to earn her graduate degree in Nursing with a focus on midwifery studies. This extended education and subsequent board certification allows her to work with low-risk pregnancies independently and can allow her to co-manage higher risk pregnancies alongside our physicians.

What most people don’t realize is that CNMs can also take care of many of your gynecological needs. From the onset of puberty through menopause, CNMs have the skills and education to take care of patients at every step of their journey.

Mary’s prior experience as a Forensic Nurse Examiner means she has great skills and sensitivity, including gentle pelvic exams. As a CNM her passion includes helping families grow as they want to, by helping them find the contraceptive method that works best for them.

Shared decision making with her patients is a key part of her practice, meaning she strives to find the unique care plan to meet your individual needs.

Another perk of being cared for in a collaborative practice means that with Mary as your care provider, should you develop a high-risk complication or need surgical expertise, your care remains seamlessly within our division as you will see one of our Board-Certified Physicians.

Mary even has early morning appointments to accommodate your busy life and work schedule.

Please visit us at capitalwomenscareobgyn67.com or call 571-650-9070 to book an appointment with a midwife today.

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Arlington County is ranked the fittest “city” in America, according to a new report by the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Arlington, VA’s balance of both healthy behaviors and community infrastructure earned them the #1 overall rank,” reads the 29-page American Fitness Index report released today (Tuesday)

The American Fitness Index scored the nearby District of Columbia at No. 6.

Arlington ranked as high as it did in part because 92.6 percent of adults reported exercising in the last 30 days. By comparison, 75.7 adults in D.C. reported exercising in the last 30 days.

Arlingtonians also ranked the highest in terms of health, with 71.4 percent of people recorded as being of “excellent” or very good health.

Other specific data helped improve Arlington’s ranking, including the low number of smokers (6.5 percent), and a low pedestrian fatality rate of less than one fatality per 100,000 people.

Pedestrian fatalities is a new variable for the study, which this year also added criteria to the ranking based on bicycling, air quality, and street infrastructure.

The study was funded by a grant from the Anthem Foundation.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

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(Updated 17/04/18) Arlington County officials are calling for action on health disparities among residents in two new reports released this week.

Officials outlined a plan for an “oversight entity to provide governance” on health equity policies as part of a report released yesterday (Thursday). The 27-page document includes the plan in a bid to reduce a 10-year life expectancy gap that exists based on where in Arlington you live, as first reported in 2016 by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation.

The “Destination 2027 Steering Committee” was formed last year to close that gap, stating that, “the presence of health inequities in Arlington is inconsistent with who we are and what we value as a community.” The committee is made up of 40 local organizations including the Virginia Hospital Center, police and first responders, and most county departments.

Details for how the group plans to achieve that are starting to come to light, including an open data project around health in the county.

“We are working to share a dashboard with data about health outcomes and community conditions,” Kurt Larrick, Assistant Director of the Department of Human Services, told ARLnow. “So stay tuned with that.”

“The public policies that have led to how our neighborhoods operate, how schools operate, how transportation occurs, often have some population’s benefit and others that are burdened,” said Reuben Varghese, the county’s Public Health Director, in a video yesterday. “And so that can lead to these groups having different life expectancy or other health outcomes.”

Yesterday the county also released the 2019 Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (APCYF) Community Report which noted “striking disparities” in kid’s health that were “based on factors such as income, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and level of English proficiency.”

Some of the report’s findings include:

  • Hispanic youth were four times as likely to be obese as their white peers.
  • Ten percent of high school students reported going hungry at home.
  • Students with individual education plans (IEPs) were less likely to feel like they belonged in their school community compared to students without IEPS.
  • Forty-two percent of LGBT youth said they had been sexually harassed and were more likely to be depressed than other youth.
  • The total number of kids who said they received the necessary help for their depression “was so low for Black and Asian youth that a percentage could not be reported.”

The 56-page report compiled data from local, state, and federal sources, including the new APS “Your Voice Matters” survey and the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

“Nothing in particular was surprising, we noticed that the data confirmed many assumptions that we have heard,” Kimberly Durand, the coordinator for the partnership, told ARLnow.

“For example, Child Care and Mental Health continue to be of concern, and the data that we have compiled confirmed that,” she said.

The Steering Committee’s action report also shared some research from previous years that indicated:

  • Black residents in Arlington are hospitalized for asthma-related medical issues eight times more often than white residents.
  • Hispanic youth are 11 times more likely to become teen parents than their white classmates.
  • Arlington residents report poor mental health when earning less than $50,000 a year.

Durand’s youth report did found some improvements often associated with better health outcomes. Last year, 75 percent of Hispanic youth and students learning English graduated on time, compared to 61 percent graduating on time in the 2012-2013 year.

Arlington may have been nominated Virginia’s second healthiest county last month, but researchers have long noted residents’ health varies greatly across geographic, economic, and racial lines.

“While we may not be responsible for creating these conditions, each of us owns solving them,” said Destination 2027 co-chair Tricia Rodgers.

Photo via YouTube

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Arlington is ranked as Virginia’s second healthiest county, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin.

The county ranked right behind Loudoun County when it came to overall health of residents, and scored third best (behind Fairfax and Falls Church) for lacking environmental and behavioral issues that affect residents’ health.

Arlington’s rate of premature deaths is about half the state average and part of a downwards trend of premature deaths — a trend the county has followed since 1997.

The project’s report on Virginia noted that statewide, the healthiest counties experienced an average of 3,400 premature deaths per 100,000 residents, versus 18,600 premature deaths in the counties ranked least healthy. The report also noted that seven percent of babies born in healthiest counties were low-weight, compared to 12 percent in the least healthy counties.

The study is part of a project mapping the health of residents in all U.S. counties, called the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, which ranked counties using the following data:

  • Lifespan (measured against life expectancy of 75 years)
  • Quality of life (measured by people self-reporting)
  • Percentage of babies born with a low birth weight

The study’s health factors measured variables known to affect people’s wellbeing, like air and water quality, length of commutes, prevalence of addictions, and access to housing, healthcare and employment.

The study was done by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Photo via County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

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