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, that 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!

 

 

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

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.  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. 

 

 

 

March 17, 2020: Couri Center COVID-19 UPDATE

At times like these, the safety of our patients, employees, and community are top priority for us.  Our hearts go out to those directly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and we look forward to the daily lives of everyone restoring to normalcy.  Until then, it is important that we all work together with patience and gratitude.

As we continue to closely monitor developments surrounding the COVID-19 with the focus on protecting the health and well-being of our patients and employees, we are initiating the following changes effective March 17, 2020: 

  1. Office hours:  The Couri Center will remain open 8-4:30, M-F, however, we will only be seeing pre-screened, urgent care gynecological needs, as determined by your provider.
  2. Patient screening: If you have an upcoming appointment, our team will call you 1-day before the appointment to screen you for all relevant symptoms.  You will be screened a second time, at check-in.
  3. Visitors:  No visitors may accompany patients.
  4. Limit time in our office:  We will do our best to minimize your wait in the waiting room. Alternatively, you can also wait in your car, and we can call or text you to let you know that the nurse is ready to room you.
  5. Patient rescheduling: All routine care (well-woman exams), routine pap smears, hormone pellet insertions, and lab monitoring, MonaLisa Touch, Emsella, TLC wellness programs, Integrative medicine, monitored weight loss programs, Bone Health programs, Aesthetics, and pessaries, will be rescheduled to after 5/1/2020.  As there are large volumes of rescheduling calls to be made, we appreciate your patience as we reach out to reschedule your visit.
  6. Patient triage/call-ins:  A provider will still be available for any emergent triage appointments, so please call with any on-going gynecological concerns.
  7. 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 through 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. 

  8. Scheduled surgeries at the hospital: Emergent surgeries will continue as scheduled, however, we are rescheduling all elective surgeries.
  9. In-office surgeries:  No in-office surgeries will be offered until after 5/1/2020.  Our office will phone you to reschedule.
  10. For our BHRT pellet hormone patients, we can prescribe a short course of an alternative hormone regimen to get you through until your next pellet insertion gets rescheduled.

 

SUPPLEMENT REFILLS: 

We offer easy supplement refills for all your favorite Xymogen products, including MedPax* (Bone, Bone Plus or customized) from wholescripts.com. Simply use Referral code: COURICENTER and Practitioners Last name: COURI
*If you are ordering a MedPax please first contact Leslie: leslie@couricenter.com

 

 We recognize that change can be frustrating during this time of required social distancing, but we know that by working together, we are more resilient and grateful.  

 

Dr. Michele Couri, Medical Director

Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health

 

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

March Sale: 30% OFF ThreeForMe Laser Treatments-Keep the Wisdom

 

ThreeForMe laser treatments: 30% OFF Package of three.  For details, schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Three Things I’ve learned:

  1. With age, comes wisdom.
  2. Age also brings wrinkles, sun damage, and unwanted veins.
  3. I can reduce all three skin problems in a single treatment, and still keep the wisdom.

ThreeForMe laser treatments tackle three common skin problems–all at the same time.  ThreeForMe treatments remove unwanted wrinkles, sun damage and facial veins.

Sale ends March 31, 2020.  Valid on package of three.

Schedule your complimentary consultation with our Licensed Esthetician

 

Infrared Sauna Therapy: Unpacking the Benefits

At the Couri Center, we can address your gynecological issues and also have a focus on integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. Disease prevention incorporates eating a balanced diet, exercise, and also stress reduction. An excellent way to de-stress is to try our infrared sauna. The radiant heat from an infrared sauna surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles, and tissues, increasing oxygen flow and circulation. This infrared energy can help your body relax and detox. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic radiation) to warm your body directly. This makes for a more tolerable environment. Our infrared sauna offers several sessions to choose from detox, cardio, pain relief, weight loss, relaxation, and skin health.

Many benefits come from a session in the infrared sauna. A recent study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that a sauna session was as equivalent to moderate physical activity by increasing heart rate and blood pressure with increased body temperature. These physiological effects help the body to detox by sweating. This detoxification can help with anti-aging. This will also increase circulation that helps with cell health (improve blood vessel functions), muscle recovery, wound healing, and also can reduce pain. The infrared sauna is a tool to help achieve relaxation. People underestimate what long term stress can cause, increased blood pressure, weight gain, lowered immune system, and depression.

Come enjoy a session in our infrared sauna as we all wait anxiously for the summer sunshine and warmth!

 

Be Well,

Renee Alwan Percell, PA-C