What is Primary Care?

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rimary Care Medicine is another name for the type of care you receive when you first seek medical attention for a problem. This can occur in a hospital’s emergency room, or it can occur when you transport yourself to a doctor’s office in need of an examination, treatment and resolution of a medical issue.

In our case, we are the first physicians to see a patient and provide a primary examination, a primary diagnosis and, in many cases, primary treatment. We make a determination as to what the patient’s problem or issue is, and we then outline and orchestrate the next steps needed for the patient to see a specialist, go for testing, go straight to a hospital, or some combination thereof.

We are also in a unique position to provide a patient with information. In many cases, this is a crucial part of the process.

When you visit Union County Healthcase Associates, we can provide you with primary care that can serve as your springboard back to health..

What is Internal Medicine?

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nternal Medicine is the practice of medicine focused on adults and the diseases and conditions that affect them. Also known as internists, internal medicine physicians are often called upon to diagnose problems for review of general health conditions and investigate for one reason or another.

At Union County Healthcare Associates, our team of physicians give patients a well-rounded group of doctors who are experts at getting to the bottom of your particular medical issues and helping you resolve them in a positive way, if possible. This might include testing you for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or osteoarthritis. This might involve sending you for a CT scan, an MRI, blood work, an EKG, or other diagnostic testing. This might require more than one visit to get to the source of your pain or discomfort.

Listening to you, understanding your medical history, finding out what’s bothering you and getting to the bottom of your problem with the skill of a trained investigator, internal medicine physicians are expert at diagnosing and treating medical problems after using a combination of diagnostic testing, physical examination and, in some cases, other testing that may be more invasive, like a colonoscopy.

Dealing with the issues facing patients at different times of their adult lives, internal medicine physicians can encounter problems that are relatively simple, or others that can resemble an episode of the TV show “House.”

Since each patient’s body is the container for your individual existence, dealing with your pain, or a disease that is affecting you, is of extreme importance to you and an internal medicine physician’s mission to solve. Fixing what we can, teaching you to manage what we can’t and helping you endure what you may have to experience is all part of the outcomes our patients will face.

Teaching you how to deal with diabetes, or providing several types of infusion therapy, or helping you understand the effects your body is feeling from having multiple medical problems at the same time are all things we deal with on a daily basis.

Union County Healthcare Associates is happy to be able to provide you with access to a variety of physicians who can each handle both common problems and others that fall into specialties like gastroenterology, or gerontology. There are actually more than a dozen sub-specialties within the field known as internal medicine, and these can include the following:

Cardiology
Endocrinology
Gastroenterology
Hematology
Infectious Diseases
Medical Oncology
Nephrology
Pulmonology
Rheumatology
Adolescent Medicine
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Critical Care Medicine
Geriatric Medicine
Hospital Medicine
Sleep Medicine
Sports Medicine
Allergy
Immunology

Needless to say, if you have problems that fall into any of these areas, the chances are excellent that one of our internists can help you from diagnosis to treatment to a positive outcome. While there are some problems that may never improve, like COPD, we can help you cope with its chronic symptoms and achieve the best possible quality of life.

What is Family Medicine?

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amily medicine is a comprehensive field of medical specialization within which care is provided to individuals and their family members. It integrates biological, clinical and behavioral sciences and encompasses all age groups, and all systems of the body in both male and female patients.

Historically, physicians were all originally “generalists,” meaning they had to treat patients from all walks of life, with whatever their training, and medical science, could offer at the time. Illnesses were diagnosed and treated, surgeries were performed, and babies were delivered for centuries.

Then, over time, as the body of medical knowledge expanded and technology made new things possible, many doctors chose to limit their practices and become “specialists.” Interestingly, as specialists began to increase in number, generalists who provided initial, continuing and comprehensive care were ultimately declared medicine’s 20th medical specialty, or family medicine specialists.

While the fine distinctions may be lost on many, the patients who choose a family medicine physician for their care are making a wise choice in that they are entrusting their care to someone who is looking at their entire medical history through the progression of their life.

Family Medicine physicians use knowledge, skill and processes to help their patients.

At Union County Healthcare Associates, we have an entire team of physicians who are family medicine specialists. We have multiple offices in several towns so that we can provide comprehensive care to a wider range of patients in Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth and Roselle Park, and the towns and cities that surround them.

Husbands bring their wives, families bring their older children who are transitioning from seeing a pediatrician, and patients often bring in their parents or grandparents, because they know we care for patients through the various stages of their lives.

If you believe you need the services of a family medicine physician, call us at one of our offices, or use our appointment request form. We’re confident that once you entrust us with your care you will become another patient who is happy and satisfied with your family physician.

Remicade Infusion For Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

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re you suffering from the painful and debilitating effects of psoriatic arthritis (PsA)?  If so, you can find relief by way of Remicade infusion therapy, a great medication option for many patients looking for help with their psoriatic arthritis.

Remicade (also known as infliximab) is part of a class of drugs that reduce inflammation by supporting the body’s immune system in its effort to block the reaction of TNF-alpha molecules, and thus control inflammation.

What is psoriatic arthritis?
For those who suffer from it, psoriatic arthritis is a combination of arthritic pain coupled with the pain and  discomfort of psoriasis on the adjacent skin.  It hurts both inside and outside, an unfortunate double-whammy for those who contract PsA.

Your joints may swell, and become stiff and painful.  It can strike your fingers or toes, or both, but it can also  affect you elsewhere, like your lower back, your knees, or elsewhere.  Damage can increase to the point where you have loss of normal function, or loss of movement.

Your skin may develop lesions that are itchy and sore, and can spread to large areas of your skin.

In-between the joints of your fingers or toes you may experience swelling that can affect ligaments or tendons, causing conditions known as dactylitis or enthesitis.

How does it affect patients?
If you have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis you may find that it interferes with your activities of daily living.  It may limit or hamper your ability to do the things you used to do, or like to do, and you may find that it is making you depressed, or changes the places you go, the things you do, or the way you dress.  It may prevent you from doing certain things.

In fact, stress may make your psoriatic skin symptoms worse.

Over time, psoriatic arthritis can become progressively worse, spread and become more and more painful.

How can we help?
Remicade infusion therapy may help counteract the pain and swelling associated with Psoriatic Arthritis.  Dr. Tasharofi can help you if you need Remicade infusion therapy.  He counsels and treats patients in our Clark and Roselle Park offices daily if they need two-hour Remicade IV infusion therapy.  Patients who have tried other treatment methodologies, from DMARDs and Topical Creams to Steroids or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) now can consider Remicade as a new option that may provide rapid and sustained relief of both their joint and skin symptoms, or dactylitis and/or enthesitis.

Patients are coming from far outside our service area to receive Remicade infusions.  Whether you’re a patient in or near one of our offices in Roselle Park, Clark, Elizabeth or Colonia, Garwood, or outside Union County, you can be sure that we stand ready to help you if Remicade is an option that can work for you.

Reclast Infusion

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eclast Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis Treatment
Reclast is a drug from Novartis that can be administered in an intravenous dose (“an IV”) for women who need treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis. This treatment, which can be done once a year in our office, is a wonderful solution for many women who are fighting the effects of osteoporosis after menopause.

After the intravenous treatment, women are prescribed both calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen their bones and protect from fracture. The medicine in Reclast, bisphosphonate, works to increase bone density.

Since many of our patients are older, Reclast is a popular option for many women. This 15-minute treatment will last you all year and help you to focus on other things, since you won’t have to undergo monthly or weekly treatments.

Is Reclast right for you? Make an appointment, see one of our physicians and we will help you determine if Reclast is a viable option for you.

Questions you may be asked include the following:

Do you take your present osteoporosis medication in the afternoon or evening?

Do you take oral osteoporosis medication with food?

Do you drink anything other than water with your osteoporosis medication?

Do you have trouble sitting upright or standing for 30 minutes or more after you take your osteoporosis medication?

Do you take any other medication or vitamins with your oral osteoporosis medication?

Do you drink coffee with your oral osteoporosis medication?

Your answers will help us determine if Reclast is, in fact, right for you.

Immigration Physicals

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mmigration Physicals
Did you know that Union County Healthcare Associates is one of the few medical practices in New Jersey where you can get a complete immigration physical to help you continue your quest for citizenship? Two of our physicians, Dr. Kamran Tasharofi and Dr. Neil Estrella, are Civil Surgeons who are legally and medically qualified to conduct immigration physical medical examinations according to their designation by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What do I need to bring?
You have to bring your passport photo and any other identification you have before we can do any examination, administer vaccines or initiate testing. Please provide the documentation of previous vaccinations at the time your visit.

What kinds of tests are needed?
Department of Homeland Security reviews and updates the requirements from time to time and notifies the Civil Surgeons of the changes. Currently the only blood testing required for naturalization process is RPR (Syphilis).

What kinds of immunizations are needed?
We provide a full list below, with their associated costs.

What does it cost to get the physical and everything else I need?That depends on what previous vaccinations you may have received, when they were administered, and if you can produce documentation to prove they are current under US immigration guidelines. The cost for the medical examination is $185, and we require cash payment on the day of service for all immigration services rendered.

Here is a list of other vaccinations that may be required, what each costs, and the age range necessary for each one:

Test/Vaccination Cost Additional Criteria
Mantoux/PPD $20
Lab (RPR) $30
MMR $90 From 1-65 years of age
Gardasil $200 For women 10-26 years of age
Hepatitis $90 From birth through 19 years of age
Adacel (Pertusis) +TD $60 From 7 years through adult life
Varicella $140 From 1 year through adulthood
Pneumococcal $70 From 2-23 months of age; from 65+ for ppv
Influenza $40 From 50 years through adulthood, annually
Enhanced influenza $50 From 65 years and older
DPT/DTap (may include DT) $85 From 2 months through 6 years old
Hib $45 From 2 months through 4 years old

 

Conclusion
Your total cost can range anywhere from $185-$600, depending on what you may have already received compared to what you need to complete your physical and all related vaccines and testing.

Effective 10/18/10