healthly living

Pro Spotlight: Austin Emergency Center

In case you couldn't make our Healthy Living seminar last week (more on that later!), you missed out on some great information!  This month's Pro Spotlight is from Austin Emergency Center, and the fabulous Dr. Okem Okpara was a member of our expert panel last Friday.  Here is what Austin Emergency Center has to say about healthcare in Austin

How has healthcare access changed in Austin over the past few years?

It's no secret that Austin is growing and expanding. With the rise in the cost of living, many people are seeking homes in the suburbs which puts them further away from hospitals and emergency rooms. That has resulted in the expansion of medical facilities available to Austinites. Hospitals are opening up micro-hospitals in lesser populated areas to increase patient access to care and you'll also notice an increase in the number of urgent care facilities and free-standing emergency rooms in those areas as well. The rise in freestanding emergency rooms throughout Austin has led to faster access to medical care.  With our exploding population, the need was there for “no wait access to care”.

What resources are out there that women should be aware of?

Programs through the Texas Department ofState Health Services are aimed at helping women with family planning as well as provide breast and cervical cancer screenings. Since cancer is one of the top three causes of death among women, these services are made available to everyone at a low cost. Additionally, they provide mental health screenings that can help women who are struggling with depression, which is common. All of the services as DSHS are confidential and are a great resources. 

How is a freestanding ER center different than a traditional emergency room or an urgent care facility?

Austin Emergency Center differs from an urgent care center in that most urgent care centers are designed to handle non-life-threatening medical complaints. An urgent care facility is much like a doctor’s office with extended hours. Urgent care clinics are often staffed by physician extenders who are generally not trained in triaging critical trauma patients. If a patient goes to an urgent care clinic with a life threatening emergency, the patient will be redirected to EMS or 911. In contrast, Austin Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and staffed with trained emergency room doctors. Our emergency centers are equipped, similar to those of large hospitals, offering onsite imaging services like CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasound. We also have in-house laboratory services and are equipped and staffed to handle a full range of emergencies, 24/7.

What are some common precautions we can take to avoid visits?

For women under the age of 44, the most common cause for death according to the CDC after unintentional injuries, is suicide. It's important that women monitor their mental health and seek counseling and/or drug therapy if they feel depressed, prior to reaching a point of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. After age 45, there is a shift in the major causes of death. The top four are: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and pneumonia. Women should be diligent in checking frequently and controlling their blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, while avoiding tobacco. Additionally, women should make sure that they do self-breast exams frequently in the shower, do their yearly women's exams to check for cervical cancer, and do cancer checks on their colon yearly. Though not talked about frequently, it is okay to enjoy your wine nights with your friends, but make sure that you are not abusing alcohol because it can result in liver disease.

Can freestanding ER centers facilitate pediatric care/emergencies?

Absolutely! Freestanding emergency rooms are just like hospital emergency rooms and are equipped with pediatric supplies and capabilities. All of our facilities are staffed with emergency room trained doctors who did rotations in pediatric departments and are certified in pediatric emergency care. Each of our emergency centers has a pediatric care room designed especially for children and their family to reduce their fear and anxiety while being treated.  We love children!

Thank you to Austin Emergency Center for this fantastic information.  Check back in soon for a full recap of our Healthy Living seminar.

Meet our panelists!

If you somehow missed it, we are hosting a special health seminar next month to promote overall wellness for our members and guests!  In addition to our keynote speaker, Dr. Candace Ackerman with Flourish Counseling, we will have a panel on board to answer some of your questions!  Here is who you will meet on May 19th, at 10:00 at the Austin Country Club:

Dr. Tenesha Ward:  "Dr. Tenesha Wards (previously Tenesha Weine) is a graduate from Texas Chiropractic College and owner of Infinity Wellness Center, located in South West Austin, Texas. She has completed certifications in Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, Activator Technique, Webster Technique and Applied Clinical Nutrition.

Dr. Wards’ personal struggle with Lyme Disease fuels her passion of a holistic approach to wellness. Overcoming her debilitating health experiences gave her the empathy to relate to her patients. She believes in the importance of treating the whole person and not just the symptoms. Dr. Wards practices holistically, specializing in determining the underlying causes of conditions such as chronic pain, chronic fatigue and headaches. She also concentrates on women’s issues as well as prenatal and pediatric Chiropractic care.

Dr. Wards’ work is based on a fundamental principle that promoting health and wellness has no boundary. From earthquake relief work in Haiti to Cancer survivors in Guadalajara, Dr. Wards is committed to not just practicing locally, but globally. In addition to promoting health and wellness of the body, Dr. Wards also supports her community through leadership roles with the Texas Women in Business, Westlake Chamber of Commerce and philanthropic service with the Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Dr. Wards also keeps up on the latest post graduate training classes to ensure her patients receive the most advanced care.

Dr. Wards has traveled all over the nation learning from the top doctors in the country and mastering the leading applied kinesiology techniques to utilize the most advanced methods of drug-free healthcare. She has studied under Dr. Evan Mladdenoff, team physician for the Kansas City Chiefs, Drs. George and Jeannette Birnbach, pioneers in clinical nutrition and advanced clinical therapy, Dr. John Bandy, Lance Armstrong’s Kinesiologist, Dr. Stuart White, one of the leading clinical nutritionists, and Dr. Kendal Stewart, neurotologist and neuroimmune specialist focusing on genetic defects."

Ron Banuelos, LAC: "Before I discovered the world of Acupuncture and herbs, I was on my way to become a Western doctor. I suffered from horrible allergies(year around) and I always hosted a few infections every winter.  I was referred to an acupuncturist, and began to receive treatments.  Within a few visits, my allergies began to lessen and my infections days of antibiotics were over!

I began to read everything I could get my hands on concerning Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, and what I call "Energy Medicine".  This led me to becoming a Reiki practitioner and entering Chinese Medical School at AOMA in Austin.

After 4 years Chinese Medical School, I became a Texas Licensed and National Board certified Acupuncturist, my education was just beginning.  Two years after opening my practice, 8 out 10 patient's health goals were met with success.  I wondered why I couldn't get those last two patients healed with Chinese medicine.  I began seeking knowledge from practitioners from around the world.  I began learning:  NAET (Allergy Elimination Technique), Functional Blood Analysis, Hormone and Adrenal testing, Dr.Yan Xin Life Sciences Technology (Internal Qi Gong), Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing), Nutritional Response Therapy (ULAN), NET (Neuro-Emotional Technique), Esoteric (chakra) acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture, Master Tung (Miracle points) acupuncture, Acutonics (Tuning Fork therapy), advanced cupping techniques, Heel Homeopathy, personalized detox programs, and Weston A. Price Nutrition (Nutrient Dense Eating).

My vision is to hold a space where patients can have an understanding of their bodies, hearts and discover their ultimate destiny in life.   I strive for powerful, impactful, life changing sessions with my patients where we both discover their root cause of disease or imbalance and treat the whole person including physical, emotional and spiritual realms.  I want to remind people that our natural state is HEALTH; we should thrive, feel happy and energetic in our being.

There is a Chinese saying that goes something like this: “ A good doctor helps to heal the physical body, A great doctor helps someone to heal themselves, the Best doctor helps you to discover your ultimate destiny in life."

Dr. Elena Villanueva:  "...practices Holistic Medicine based on the principles of Functional Medicine.  She obtained her doctorate of Chiropractic medicine in 2003 and founded her first practice in Lakeway that same year focusing primarily around athletes, with an emphasis on performance enhancement and specialized rehabilitation of sports specific injuries.  NFL players, PGA golfers, Olympic, and other elite athletes were the focus of her practice.  She worked with medical teams traveling the world treating at Olympic qualifier events and international sporting events.  Dr V. was honored as the Official University of Texas sports injury commentator for the UT sports radio station in 2009.

It was her own personal journey where Dr. V. developed her passion for functional medicine.  She took interest of the wisdom found not only in ancestral, biological, and ecological science but also from the metaphysical nature of healing the body, mind and the spirit by providing a nurturing environment of self empowerment along the way.

Dr. Villanueva is seasoned, both scientifically and experientially in a wide variety of complementary approaches including holistic medicine, natural organic herbs, chiropractic, mind/body medicine, and whole foods-based nutrition. In her practice, she uses these combined with the principles of functional medicine to find the root causes of disorders.

Dr. V. is a native Texan and has great enthusiasm for almost anything outdoors from wake surfing, rappelling, and equestrian sports, to skiing, hunting, paddle boarding and Harley riding…if it’s outdoors chances are she loves it.   In her free time she enjoys world travel adventures with her 23 year old son, William, who is completing his degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics.

Dr. Villanueva has always had a passion and a gift as a healer, and is thrilled be a resource of support for her patients in their search for healthier alternatives in healing their chronic conditions.  Dr. Villanueva is experienced in helping patients who suffer from the many effects of the MTHFR mutation as her personal journey led her to discover that both of her MTHFR genes are mutated and she also suffered many of the effects of not being able to methylate properly.