Complimentary Tele-consults with Registered Dietitian Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Complimentary Tele-Consults with Registered Dietitian Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Just because you are staying safe at home during the COVID-19 situation, does not mean you have to make unhealthy choices, over-eat or continue to feel less than optimal.  Now is the perfect time to take steps to improve your health!  In your private consultation, Leslie will review your health history, concerns, and goals.  She will explain the options available to you and help you get started on the path to success.

Schedule your free tele-consult now: leslie@couricenter.com.  You will receive a call or email generally within one business day, M-F 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.

 

 

Spring Has Sprung; How Will You Grow? By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

With the current state of our medical, personal, social, and economic environment, did you miss the first day of spring? Instead of searching for signs of spring like the start of tulips, green grass emerging, longer days, and warmer temperatures, have you been hyper-focused on social distancing, politics, daily press conferences, and all the stressors that come with our current environment? Once considered a difficult spelling word, quarantine is now a regular term, the subject of many memes, and may define the year 2020.

Integrative Health

The Couri Center was created and structured on the principles and pillars of integrative medicine. Our model of integrative medicine uses a total-body screening approach to our patients. Our providers also highlight and educate each patient on the importance of using tools to prevent disease. Many of us take our good or manageable health for granted. Do you?

Age, busy schedules, lack of interest, or an unhealthy reliance on medications collectively impact the effort we each put toward our health. The current COVID-19 environment is highlighting and proving the utmost importance of disease prevention. Hand washing, good hygiene, and social distancing are all measures to prevent, or reduce, the spread of this virus. We are all depending on and seeking healthy immune systems. 

Current statistics show those at highest risk for COVID-19 are aged older than 65 and have pre-existing chronic diseases. Unfortunately, the United States is finding a higher number of young, healthy children and adults suffering from the symptoms associated with COVID-19, than found in China and Europe. Many factors could be influencing this statistic; however, it would be irresponsible not to consider the negative impacts on health and the immune system created by an unhealthy diet, poor sleep, excessive stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Many of us have relocated our work office to a room in our house. We are not spending time commuting to work. Some are temporarily out of work. Children are home from school, sports, and social gatherings. Instead of letting stress and life’s complications (stress eating, lack of exercise, increased alcohol consumption, over-thinking and sleeping less) rule our current lifestyle, recreate and follow a daily schedule. Focus on improving your nutrient intake. Manage your grocery budget by limiting the amounts of processed foods, soda, or alcohol your purchase. Take a walk every day. Meditate. Cook! Stop cruising through life on auto-pilot. Stop buying overly processed, unhealthy foods because you have a “right” to eat them. Activate a change in attitude. We now have the time to take action and improve our health and well-being. 

Tele-Consults Available

Just as spring is the season of growth and new beginnings, it would benefit each of us not to waste this season, but to use the season of COVID-19 as a season of growth. The Couri Center is also transitioning and growing due to COVID-19. We are as focused as ever to the importance of staying connected to our patients and providing the BEST information regarding women’s health and integrative medicine. Telemedicine appointments are easy, effective, and now available by calling 309-692-6838 or via our patient portal to schedule.  Some insurances are even waiving co-pays on telemedicine video calls through April 30, 2020.

Email your topics/questions

We also understand and value the questions many of you may have regarding COVID-19, disease prevention, integrative medicine, and overall women’s health. Over the next few weeks, we will focus on answering these questions through articles, live videos, and interviews with many of our providers. We would love to discuss the topics and questions you have. Please email your questions to leslie@couricenter.com.  Stay connected to the Couri Center by following our Facebook page. You will see us providing the women of Central Illinois with the most comprehensive, prevention-based, cutting-edge tools and information during this transitional time of growth.

Wash your hands and stay healthy-

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Online Supplement Refills

Easy Online Supplement Refills

Stay home.  Stay healthy.  Stay  in control of your wellness with easy online supplement refills for all your favorite Xymogen products, including MedPax* (Bone, Bone Plus or customized).

To place your order: wholescripts.com.

Simply use Referral code: COURICENTER and Practitioners Last name: COURI

*If you are ordering a MedPax, or have questions regarding your Xymogen order, please first contact:  leslie@couricenter.com

Dr. Couri recommends the following important supplements:

  1. Multivitamin – a good quality multivitamin helps to fill in the “gaps” of what we may not be eating in our diet. Our favorite is ActivNutrients without Iron by Xymogen.
  2. Calcium – 600 mg daily
  3. Vitamin D – at least 2,000 units of D3 daily. The recommended dose is based on a blood test result of your Vitamin D levels.
  4. Fish oil – Omega 3 Fatty Acids – these healthy fats are so important for heart and brain health. Again, the quality of the fish oil does matter. One of my favorite brands is Nordic Naturals ProOmega. If you are using a different brand, make sure the dose is correct. Look at the label on the back of the bottle. The sum of EPA + DHA should equal at least 1,000mg.
  5. CoQ10 – this supplement is so critical to energy production in our cells. Anyone taking a “statin” for high cholesterol should take CoQ10 since statin drugs deplete our CoQ10. The standard dose is 100mg daily.
  6. Probiotic – the “good” bacteria that we need for the health of our gut, but also for vaginal health. Anyone with recurrent vaginal infections should be on a good quality probiotic daily. ProbioMax Daily DF by Xymogen is one of my favorite.

Many other supplements may be of benefit for certain medical problems. The Couri Center providers may suggest certain ones to fit your needs. If you have any questions, please ask.  Our #1 priority is to keep you healthy- mind, body, and spirit!

Learn more about Couri girl MedPax™ individualized daily supplement dosing packs

 

 

TELEMEDICINE VISITS -NOW AVAILABLE

Consult your provider right from your phone, computer, or iPad.  

New patients welcome!

Video visits allow you to stay in control of your health, from the comfort of your home.  It’s easy.  Just schedule via phone 309 692-6838 or from our 24/7 online patient portal.  When your appointment is set, you’ll receive an email link for easy access to your video appointment.  Visits are billable to private insurance and Medicare. Some insurances are waiving co-pays for telemedicine, now thru April 30, 2020.  Here are just a few examples of consultations:

  • General gynecologic issues
  • Hormone consultations
  • Integrative wellness consultations
  • Bone health consultations
  • Contraception/family planning
  • Food Sensitivity consultation
  • Weight loss
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Surgical consultations
  • Myriad cancer-risk results
  • Lab results
  • Many more!

Given the current novel Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has suspended normal HIPAA regulations to allow good faith use of video platforms for patient care.  Having said that, the healthcare providers at the Couri Center are available to provide telemedicine visits while the office is temporarily seeing only gynecologic patients with emergent issues. Whether you are a NEW or established patient, we welcome you to call (309) 692-6838 M-F 8:00 am to 4:00 pm or reach out to us through our patient portal.

We are here for you always and will do our very best to continue to provide compassionate and timely care. 

 

 

 

Couri Center COVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 and Your Well Woman Exam, May 19, 2020

COVID-19 has delayed routine health examinations and screening tests/labs for millions of patients worldwide. According to a report by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, more than 80,000 diagnoses of the following cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal, cervical, and lung) may be missed or delayed by early June due to the COVID-19 disruptions in healthcare practices. There are estimates that roughly 2,500 cases of cervical cancer and 36,000 cases of breast cancer may have been missed or had delayed diagnosis during the three month period from March to June due to medical offices having to either temporarily close or prioritize the patients that were seen to emergencies only.

At the Couri Center, we have followed and continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC as well as federal, state, and local government agencies. We are very excited to resume seeing patients for routine well-woman examinations and other non-emergent type visits. Our office continues to follow very strict infection control practices.  Therefore, you will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. These changes are meant to protect our patients and our staff.

The changes are as follows: 

1.  A few days before your well-woman examination:

a.  You will receive a reminder phone call about your appointment and to verify your current insurance, address, phone number, and email.

b.  You will then receive an email from our office that contains a form that we ask you to fill out and email back to us BEFORE your appointment. That form will ask you to update your medical and surgical history, medications, and allergies. Also, this is what you all have been waiting for — you will not have to get on the scale here at the office, but if you have a scale at home, we do ask you to weigh yourself and write your weight on the form. Now is the time to be “whatever weight you want.” Also, please fill in your height as well. If you have difficulty emailing that form back to us, please call the office for special assistance.

c.  This will replace the “check-in” process at the time of your appointment.

2.  All our chairs have been taken out of our waiting room as the waiting room has now become your car. We kindly ask you to wait in your vehicle until you receive a text message or phone call from our office to let you know that we are ready for your appointment. One of our nurses will unlock the door for you to enter. There is an intake station in the waiting room where you will have your temperature taken, and you will be asked a few COVID-19 related screening questions.  From there, your provider’s nurse will escort you to your exam room.

3.  If you have a fever, sore throat, cough, or any respiratory symptoms, we will reschedule your appointment out a few weeks.

4.  Please leave all your belongings except your car keys and cell phone in your car.

5.  Please wear a mask. They are mandatory for your appointment.

6.  Only patients are allowed in the building. If your spouse or significant other accompanies you to your appointment, they will be asked to wait in your car.

7.  Appointments will be scheduled in a manner that allows for adequate social distancing between patients. There will be fewer patients scheduled per day; therefore, your appointment may be rescheduled for a few weeks out. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.

8.  Each exam room will be completely disinfected and sanitized after each patient. Patients will enter the office through the main door, and after your exam is done, each patient will be escorted out through either the North or South exit doors to maintain optimal social distancing. There will be no need to have to go to the “Check Out” desk before leaving. When you return home safely, feel free to call our office at your convenience to schedule your next year’s well-woman exam.

9.  We have an entire team of providers that are committed to every one of our patients. Because there is a backlog of gynecologic and surgical procedures that had to be postponed due to COVID-19 but now need to be performed by Dr. Couri or Dr. Mathern, if your well-woman exam was scheduled with one of them, it may be rescheduled with one of our dedicated nurse practitioners or physician assistants. We greatly appreciated your understanding in this matter. Rest assured, if you needed a surgery or procedure, Dr. Couri and Dr. Mathern would be right there for you as well.

10.  If you prefer not to have your well-woman exam at this time but have an issue that needs attention or a prescription that needs refilling, we are gladly offering telemedicine appointments for your convenience.

 

We very much look forward to seeing you again, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 309-692-6838. We want to thank you for entrusting us with your healthcare, and please know that you and your safety are our number one priority. We are grateful to be able to see your smiling faces again, even if hidden behind a mask.

 

Dr. Michele Couri and the entire staff at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health

 

 

Yes, We are Open for Pre-screened, Urgent Care Gynecological Needs.

Office hours:  The Couri Center remains open 8-4:30 PM, M-F, for pre-screened, urgent care gynecological needs only, as determined by your provider.  If you have any concerns, please contact us via phone 309 692-6838 or from our 24/7 online patient portal and we will determine if you need a telemedicine call or require a in-office visit.

Please observe the following protocol:

    • Only the patient is allowed in the building.
    • Please leave your belongings in the car.
    • Please wear a mask or scarf to your appointment.
    • Please wait in your car once you arrive.
    • We will send you a text message when we are ready for you to proceed through the front door screening area.
    • We will obtain your temperature in the screening area.
    • After your appointment, you will exit the building through either the north or south entrances.
    • NO NEED TO CHECK OUT: please pay prior to your appointment and call to make any follow up appointments.

Telemedicine Visits:

Consult your provider right from your phone, computer, or iPad.  

New patients welcome!

Video visits allow you to stay in control of your health, from the comfort of your home.  It’s easy.  Just schedule via phone 309 692-6838 or from our 24/7 online patient portal.  When your appointment is set, you’ll receive an email link for easy access to your video appointment.  Visits are billable to private insurance and Medicare. Some insurances are even waiving co-pays on telemedicine video calls.  

Here are just a few examples of consultations:

  • General gynecologic issues
  • Hormone consultations
  • Integrative wellness consultations
  • Bone health consultations
  • Contraception/family planning
  • Food Sensitivity consultation
  • Weight loss
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Surgical consultations
  • Myriad cancer-risk results
  • Lab results
  • Many more!

How Can I Get Supplement Refills:

  1. Order Directly from the Xymogen Website: Order Xymogen products directly and ship to home–including MedPax* (Bone, Bone Plus or customized).  *If you are ordering a MedPax please first email Leslie.
  2. Call us and place your order / pay over the phone.  You may pick up your order in our front lobby or we can ship it to you.  Shipping is a flat rate of $8; or FREE on orders over $100.

How Can I Get my Favorite SkinCeuticals Skincare Products:

Call us and place your order / pay over the phone.  You may pick up your order in our front lobby or we can ship it to you.  Shipping is a flat rate of $8; or FREE on orders over $100.

 

 

 

How to Maintain Balance During Uncertainty By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Very few people within my professional environment are aware that I am a very anxious person. At work, I often speak confidently, try to maintain a positive and light-hearted attitude, work hard, and spend most of my days trying to provide health-improving dietary support to my patients. 

Let me tell you; the last couple of days have taken a toll on my mind. Added to all the stress of our current viral environment, I am currently at home caring for two sick children, school will be canceled for at least two weeks, the information and news on social media are coming from every angle and local businesses are being forced to temporarily close. My brain automatically puts itself in overactive mode, and all I can do is worry about how these changes are affecting everyone. (Welcome to my Type A, overactive kind.) I was so anxious last night that I found myself browsing the CDC website for information, and I am happy I did.  Click here for key tips to stress management that helped decrease my fear in certain areas. Please consult the CDC website for other great tools and resources.

So what can individuals do in times of uncertainty? One of the best uses of time over the next two weeks should include some form of stress management. Stress management looks different for everybody. 

Exercise:

I am an athlete at heart, and my husband knows to gently urge me to go exercise when he feels my anxiety rising. Exercise will help relieve tension, and a gentle release of positive endorphins will leave you feeling more in control of your emotions. Check out YouTube, where you can search for different free workouts you can complete at home. I often recommend Chair HIIT workouts for a fast “burn” at home!

Yoga, meditation, and or Tai Chi: Intense cardiovascular activity is not inviting to everyone. Slow, non-weight bearing movements, along with meditations, may help slow your thoughts and relieve stress. They tend to be easy on the body and joints. You do not need long periods of time, to start, try ten to fifteen minutes daily.  The Breathing Tree: Facebook is leading classes online for the next few weeks.

Devotionals:

Daily devotions or repeating positive phrases: A daily devotional, scripture reading, positive short stories or phrases may help start your day on a more positive note. 

Moderate News Intake:

Take a social media break. Researching, reading articles, political views, and others’ thoughts can negatively impact your fear, anxiety, and thoughts. Instead, check-in once daily. Only read credible articles. Don’t engage in unhealthy conversations. Stop automatically “scrolling” as part of your normal day. 

Diet & Nutrition:

Maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in nutrients will not only help your immune system, but it will also nourish your mind. Finances may become tight for some in the upcoming weeks. Think of cooking an extra helping for a neighbor or friend who is struggling. If possible, shop locally or tip your take-out employee a little more than normal. Make a game out of using up different pantry foods and trying new recipes. 

Outreach:

Seek help when needed. A quick text or phone call to a friend may help calm anxious feelings. In this time of social distancing, focus on maintaining positive relationships with friends, families, neighbors, elderly, churches, and other community organizations through text, phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. Don’t feel bad calling a known counselor or medical professional when needed.

Times may be challenging, and it is difficult not to get wrapped up in the chaos mentally. Step away and realize there is so much good in our community and the world. Help others. Wave at a neighbor. Post positively. Be the reason someone smiles today. 

Your anxious RD,

Leslie

COVID-19:  OUR COMMITMENT TO KEEPING PATIENTS AND EMPLOYEES SAFE 

The Couri Center recognizes COVID-19 as a serious and potentially life-threatening infectious illness.  We are committed to doing our very best to protect our patients and staff. Therefore, extra measures have been initiated at our facility to allow us to continue to provide compassionate and timely care.  

All of us at the Couri Center have been closely monitoring the news of COVID-19 and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.  This pandemic is rapidly evolving, and the situation changes volatilely. We will continue to communicate as information becomes available. The Couri Center is continuing to uphold our high standards of cleanliness and procedural sterility, however, we have increased our cleaning and disinfecting practices to adhere to the recommendation of the CDC. Our guidance is based on information coming out of the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health departments.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Central Illinois, we will be constantly adapting our scheduling practices.  All patients who have traveled within the last 30 days, especially to high-risk areas or any patients with flu-like symptoms (fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath) need to call 309-692-6838.  In addition, starting 3/16/2020, all patients will be called 2 days prior to their appointment for screening of the above-listed risks factors/symptoms.  If exposure and symptoms are identified, the Couri Center will work closely with each patient to discuss options such as telephone conferencing or appointment rescheduling.  

LIMIT ON VISITORS IN OUR OFFICE

In practice with social distancing, we will ONLY allow ONE visitor with each patient.  We are also rescheduling the upcoming Couri Center social events as well.  We may be rescheduling some non-emergent patients in the upcoming days as we take this COVID19 situation a day at a time. In addition, we are restricting all external vendors and pharmaceutical representatives from visiting the office until further notice to eliminate unnecessary risk and exposure to patients and staff.

It is imperative to remember that the most effective way to stay healthy is to practice strict social distancing and avoid large crowds.  Remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, avoid people who have the above-mentioned symptoms, and clean and disinfect your residence and workspace often.  For more information on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov and dph.illinois.gov.

 

Dr. Michele Couri, Medical Director

Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health

 

Expanded Coverage for Diagnostic Mammograms By Hope Placher, PA-C

You went for your annual screening mammogram. A few days later, you get a call from the breast center, and you’re told that the radiologist recommends that you come back for some additional testing. Is it cancer or just a reason for caution? It’s a call that can put fear in your heart, and potentially a dent in your savings account. Unfortunately, for many women, the cost of follow up breast imaging can be a huge deterrent to receiving the proper and timely diagnosis.

This additional breast imaging that follows a screening mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram or a diagnostic ultrasound. Traditionally, in Illinois, patients with private insurance could pay more than $500 to $600, out-of-pocket, for diagnostic imaging. Thankfully, a new state law that went into effect on January 1st, 2020, will require many insurers to fully cover the cost of diagnostic mammograms. Patients who are members of self-funded insurance plans will be excluded. I am hopeful that this will eliminate the burden of cost for many women who desperately need the vital information diagnostic breast imaging offers. If you have any questions if this new law has amended your current health insurance policy, I encourage you to contact them directly.

 

Hope Placher, PA-C