• President’s Message
     In this issue of Healthy Living, we focus on the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, exploring conditions of the spine, neck and brain in depth. Aches and pains are nothing new to most adults,... click for more
  • Barbara Sinatra and Ma...
    In April, the Junior League Sustainers of the Coachella Valley and the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower will partner to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month. On April 2,... click for more
  • Eisenhower Physician P...
    Over the past several years, Svetlana Rubakovic, MD, FACP has been invited to present new research data about melanoma genetics to the international melanoma community — namely, the 7th International... click for more
  • The Memory Assessment ...
    Since 2007, residents of the Coachella Valley who are struggling with memory changes — and the people who love them —have been offered close-to-home access to the Memory Assessment Center (MAC). The Center offers a newly revised, first-of-its-kind program for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or a related memory disorder, as well as a wealth of care and support resources tailored to their individual needs.

    The Memory Assessment Center, under the operation of Eisenhower Medical Center and located in the Uihlein Building on the Eisenhower campus, is a collaboration between Eisenhower, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the Alzheimer’s Association®, California Southland Chapter, that provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to evaluation, care and support. click for more
  • Eisenhower Desert Orth...
    In keeping with its longstanding tradition of community service, Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center (EDOC) is involved in numerous activities and programs that “pay it forward” to local residents.... click for more
  • A Primer On Choosing A...
    The importance of having a primary care physician cannot be overstated. A primary care physician is a doctor who helps patients maintain their overall health and well-being, as well as coordinating a patient’s care when specialists or other medical professionals are needed. Seeing patients at regular intervals and not just during times of illness, a primary care physician can also help a patient to establish and maintain healthy lifestyle goals. Family physicians, geriatricians and internists are all primary care physicians.

    Getting to know a patient over time can have a profound effect on the health of that patient — understanding a person’s family history, workplace situations and stress, age-related concerns and more. Establishing a long-term care relationship with a patient can help a primary care physician treat an acute problem or focus on a larger issue. Regular visits to one’s primary care physician may also help expedite the diagnoses and treatment of high risk factors like high cholesterol or hypertension before a serious illness has had time to develop. In short, the primary care doctor is a patient’s first line of defense for getting well and staying well. click for more
  • Breast-Imaging — Seein...
    In the world of breast imaging, dense breasts present the most difficult problems in detecting cancer. Standard mammography equipment often cannot detect cancer lesions in women with dense breast tissue. According to Eisenhower Radiologist John Cutrone, MD, Board Certified in Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology, “It’s like looking for a small cloud behind a big cloud. Some small cancers, which are typically white on a mammogram, are easily obscured by breast tissue, which is also white.” 

    Thanks to a generous donation from BIGHORN Behind a Miracle (BAM), Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center was able to purchase the most advanced, state-of-the-art dense breast imaging diagnostic tool available, and is only the second facility in California to offer this exciting new technology. The SenoBright® Contrast-Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) from GE Healthcare is a powerful diagnostic modality — able to detect minute cancers, as well as reduce the waiting time between detection and diagnosis. click for more

  • Relief From A Lifetime...
    Engineer and private pilot Neil Whelchel was just nine years old when he first experienced the rapid palpitations. “I would change my position or hold my breath and it would happen. As I got older the episodes got longer.”

    Whelchel went to doctors who ran electrocardiograms (EKG) and ultrasounds but nothing ever turned up and he was often dismissed. Rapid heart rate — supraventricular tachycardia — was something the young man learned to adapt to. He even taught himself to “reset” his heart by doing vagal maneuvers (methods used to reset or slow the heart rate). “At the time, I didn’t know that I was doing vagal maneuvers. I just was curious and aware of my body and was able to figure it out.” Whelchel would hold his breath and bear down, or press on his carotid artery to reset himself. He would sometimes use ice on his face, chest or back to put his heart back into rhythm. click for more

Cover Story

  • Ocean Antics

    It happens every year — desert temperatures rise until most of us retreat indoors to exercise. We escape to the gym or the mall or to a pool that’s still cool. Or… we head west to find the great Pacific.

    There is really nothing like the beach. With a backdrop of blue sky, sunshine, crashing waves and long stretches of sand, it’s hard to come up with a more natural place for fresh air and good, clean fun.

    Whether you enjoy diving into the water or walking for miles on a firm, sloping beach, ocean activities abound. Swimming, surfing, body surfing and body boarding are some of the more popular choices. There is also kayaking, wind surfing and standup paddle boarding. Non-water activities include walking, running, Frisbee, and football. click for more


  • Brain Trust

    In late 2009, then 66-year-old William Lopez did what he characterizes as a back flip on the ice in front of his Athol, Idaho home, hitting his head when he landed.

    “I was out for maybe half a minute,” Lopez recalls. “I made it through Christmas, but then I started having headaches.”

    Fearing that Lopez had suffered a concussion, his wife convinced him to see his doctor. Upon hearing about the fall and subsequent headaches, the doctor ordered a CT scan. click for more

  • Back On His Feet

    The pain in his back and leg had gotten so severe that 74-year-old Jay Kepner could barely walk.

    “Even with a walker, I couldn’t go any distance,” recalls the Bermuda Dunes resident, a former long-distance runner who, after a hip replacement in 2008, began to walk for exercise, customarily clocking five kilometers. “I was in excruciating pain. It hurt to sit or to stand for any length of time. I couldn’t trim my roses or pull weeds.”

    Nor could he fulfill his service as a lay minister to give communion to Catholic patients hospitalized at Eisenhower Medical Center. click for more

  • New Gastroenterology Specialty Clinic

    In January, Eisenhower Medical Center opened a new Gastroenterology Specialty Clinic with Board Certified Gastroenterologists Noel Curry, MD and James Conti, MD. Gastroenterologists specialize in the digestive system and related disorders affecting the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract. Consultations occur in the clinic and procedures are conducted in Rancho Mirage at two convenient locations. Procedures performed by Dr. Curry and Dr. Conti include colonoscopies, endoscopies, capsule endoscopies and esophageal manometry.

    The Clinic is located in Rancho Mirage on the Eisenhower campus in the Bob Hope Classic Medical Building, Suite 101. click for more

  • Changing Lives

    Don’t wait — exercise your right to great health at the Eisenhower Renker Wellness Center, which features dynamic cardiac and pulmonary wellness programs.

    Offering exercise, education and support services, the Center provides the perfect balance of everything patients need to jump-start their health and move toward a goal of total wellness.

    “We literally see people change their lives here,” says Julia Dugan, RN, RCP, Coordinator, Renker Wellness Center. “They come in not able to move 10 feet without getting breathless. Then, before long, they’re walking on a treadmill.” click for more

  • Physician Roundtable - Neuroscience

    The anatomy of the cervical spine generally permits a good range of flexibility and motion under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, it is also vulnerable to unforeseen physical forces. Whether sitting, driving or using a phone or computer, our... click for more
  • 5 Things you can do right now as part of your wellness routine

    1. Browse Your Photo Albums
    Spend some time flipping through some old photo albums or an electronic tablet and take a trip down memory lane. You may find yourself smiling often.

    2. Plan and Plant an Herb Garden
    Liven up your morning omelette or evening soup with fresh, home-grown herbs. Plant newly discovered herbs as well as old favorites. click for more

  • The Blink Of An Eye

    Eyelids are vital structures many of us take for granted, yet we often forget about them when it comes to sun protection. Eyelid cancer accounts for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers. “The skin of the eyelid is very fragile and easily injured by the sun,” says Jennifer Hui, MD, FACS, Board Certified in Ophthalmology. “Most people forget about their eyelids when applying sunscreen and many go out without hats or sunglasses."

    Symptoms and Types of Cancer
    Sun exposure is cumulative — the older we get, the more likely we are to develop eyelid cancer. People with fair skin, and blonde or red hair and light eyes are particularly at risk. click for more
  • Michael’s Pizzeria

    Italy has arrived in Rancho Mirage, fresh from the belly of an 850 degree oven — picture a hand-thrown, bubbled crust pizza dressed in tomato, mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil. The classic taste of fresh ingredients, housemade sausage and gnocchi is behind the doors of a new restaurant called Michael’s Pizzeria.

    The restaurant opened in July 2012 at The River in Rancho Mirage, a “sibling” of Michael’s on Naples Ristorante, and of the first Michael’s Pizzeria, both of which are based in Long Beach. Angelenos and Long Beach patrons can’t get enough of these Italian treasures — Michael’s on Naples and Michael’s Pizzeria were named Zagat® Guide 2013 best Italian restaurant and best pizza in Los Angeles, respectively.

    Michael’s desert location has already garnered a loyal following. General Manager Pietro Luca Bordignon, born and raised in Italy, is delighted to share his knowledge of all things Italian. “My passion for food comes from family,” explains Bordignon. “My grandmother was a chef and everything she made was absolutely fresh and delicious.” click for more

  • Portion Control

    The issues surrounding weight gain can be complex, but there are strategies for losing weight slowly and sensibly, with a long-term goal of ongoing weight management and maintenance.

    One strategy for weight loss/maintenance is portion control — examining one’s dinner plate size is a good place to begin. During the past 50 years, dinner plates have grown from what we now view as “salad plate” size to “serving platter” size. A 12- or 13- inch dinner plate is common and much larger than the 9-inch plates of the past. However, eating from a full 9-inch plate may feel more satisfying than eating the same amount of food from a larger plate.

    According to Mallory Benavides, Dietitian, Eisenhower Medical Center Nutritional Services, portion control is one of the best ways to lose — and maintain — weight. For Benavides’ patients, portion control begins with education. click for more

  • Whitewater Preserve

    Formerly home to the Whitewater Trout Farm, the Whitewater Preserve was purchased by the Wildlands Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that buys and restores landscapes throughout California. Through this effort, the Whitewater Preserve has become... click for more
  • Bubbles of Fun

    Abigail Sanford enjoys a weekend in Catalina, scuba diving with her brother Daniel and her father, Eisenhower Urologist Michael Sanford, MD.