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Welcome to the New & Improved Newsletter!

We are excited to re-launch the UNC Family Medicine Patient Newsletter! We’ve been working with UNC Health Patient Services to better serve our patient population, and are excited to work to improve your experience. Here is the new format of each newsletter:

Topics
  • Let’s Talk Health with Dr. Dana Neutze
  • Clinic Update
  • UNC Family Medicine’s Impact: topics regarding our work in education, research, leadership, and community health
  • Meet Our Team

Feel free to email us at familymedicine@med.unc.edu with any suggestions or concerns!

 

Let’s Talk Health with Dr. Dana Neutze – Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure (otherwise known as hypertension) it is helpful to monitor it at home with an automatic arm cuff. This allows you to know if your readings are staying controlled. Measuring at home can sometimes be more accurate, as some people’s blood pressure goes up in the doctor’s office, known as “white coat syndrome.” Providers may ask you to measure your blood pressure at home and either write it down or enter it into MyUNCChart. Cuffs that go around your upper arm should be used, rather than the wrist, to get correct readings. Nowadays it is easy to get a cuff at your pharmacy or on Amazon for under $40. These automatic machines do not require the use of a stethoscope, which makes them very easy to use. Just follow the directions that come with the device and keep up with the readings!

 

Clinic Update – How to get the most out of My UNC Chart

My UNC Chart is a helpful, convenient way to access your records, communicate with your provider about non-urgent matters, and access non-urgent care. We receive over 6,000 messages per month, so we thought we’d offer tips to get the most out of the resource!

Please note: it may take up to 3 days for a My UNC Chart reply – for immediate attention make an appointment at go.unc.edu/FMC-UrgentCare or go to the nearest emergency room.

 

UNC Family Medicine’s Impact: Research

Halladay, Reddy Study Technology, Interprofessional Team Impact on Blood Pressure Measurement

Vinay Reddy, MD, MPH, and Jacquie Halladay, MD, MPH, led an interdisciplinary team of physicians, researchers, and technology developers on an innovative “FAStTraCS” project to support early-stage medical innovators. The team worked with stakeholders, including patients, to implement strategies to improve the efficacy of patients taking blood pressure at home. From the report by Trig, the “award-winning design firm that supports our clients through understanding their customer needs, designing successful products, and developing lasting brands” that worked with the team:

Experience Wellness

Remote care programs for patients with health conditions like high blood pressure show great promise but are still in the early phases of development, and not all key stakeholders are yet at the table. The development, implementation, and testing of remote care programs require people with diverse talents to build programs that enhance the care experience and result in improved outcomes.

Appetite and Next Steps

Each team has created multiple unique solutions and will pursue a lean prototyping process to test unknowns from each solution. Having gone through a self-assessment, some of the teams are seeking additional expertise to help carry their vision forward to the next stage. We’re happy to make connections to the teams if you have expertise to offer.

All of the teams will be applying for grant funding from various sources, but the funding takes time to process, which slows the pace of innovation.

Halladay stated that the project’s importance is to allow stakeholders an opportunity to come up with creative and innovative ideas for improvement in the midst of day-to-day clinic and research obligations. The group presented on “Share Day” (Reddy pictured, presenting), discussing where they were currently with the project and where to go next.

Halladay has been interested in using technology to improve hypertension and heart disease prevention since her work with the NC Division of Public Health in the mid-2000s. She co-leads a five-year, $5.6 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant to understand if a technology-enabled team-based approach results in greater blood pressure control compared to usual care in populations of people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Strategic partners include primary care physicians, pharmacists, nutritionists, researchers, and diverse community stakeholders throughout the state of North Carolina.

Reddy, Medical Director of the UNC Health Virtual Care Center, studied mobile blood pressure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, working with UNC Health to advance a mobile solution to hypertension. Halladay states, “His expertise & incredible generosity is helping to reduce stress in the workplace and give patients and providers the information they need to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare.”

FastTraCS is a North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS) program focused on research and development and research commercialization. It provides support to help quickly translate discoveries and inventions to market. Learn more about the program here.

 

Meet Our Team – Jordan Hyler, LCMHC, LCAS, CSI, Behavioral Health Consultant

Jordan Hyler, LCMHC, LCAS, CSI, began her role as a Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) this past year, helping to provide care to established patients at the UNC Family Medicine Center (FMC) at Chapel Hill. Jordan is an integral part of the care team and typically sees patients as a part of a visit with their primary care provider. She helps implement a holistic approach to health and wellness and works with a variety of concerns, including managing diabetes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and grief. As a BHC, I work with the patient to identify targeted interventions that can motivate and encourage health behavior change.

“I am really excited to help enhance and grow patient access to behavioral health services.” Jordan states, “I think it will be really helpful for patients to get same-day care and not have to wait for a referral or separate appointment to work with someone to address behavioral health concerns.”

The UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill has a full-time psychologist, Dr. Linda Myerholtz, and the site, along with FMCs Carraway Village, Durham, and South Durham, have care managers who also provide behavioral health services.

 

Want to keep up with all of the amazing things we’re doing at UNC Family Medicine? Follow us on social media!

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