Pacific Medical Centers | PacMed | Pac Med | Primary & Specialty Care Clinics

Mental Wellness
in the time of COVID-19


The age of COVID-19 introduces many challenges to mental health. Isolation and the loss of normal social contact have removed resources we use to stay balanced. Worrying about potential exposure, being on the front lines—or knowing people who are—can be new daily stressors. We also face the loss of routines, a predictable future, financial stability, personal health—or even those we love. All of these factors can be especially hard for those living with preexisting mental health conditions.

We’ve gathered insights and resources here, from PacMed providers and others, to help you navigate different factors that may be affecting your mental well-being right now.*


  • If you need more support, contact your primary care or behavioral health provider.
  • If you have a PacMed primary care doctor, you can ask them for a referral to our behavioral medicine department.
  • In a crisis, call 911 or utilize the “Crisis Resources” on this page to get immediate help.

Stay connected, consistent and caring
425 Magazine asked PacMed’s Alex Majcher about coping during COVID-19. Keeping a routine similar to before quarantine is important, she said, as well as contributing “to others’ well-being…. Reach out to people who may be lonely by phone, or teach someone who doesn’t know how to set up and use social media so they can connect with others as well.”


Read the full COVID-19 mental health overview in 425 Magazine.



“One More Question” for a deeper virtual connection
If you’re connecting via Zoom or other video platforms, computer or phone screens may feel like a barrier to the deeper connecting we’re used to. If so, PacMed’s “One More Question” strategy can help you reach a more meaningful connection during virtual social visits.


Learn about One More Question from PacMed’s Dr. Lisa Ivanjack.



Get active to stay fresh
Getting moving and spending a little bit of time outside each day can help “prevent feelings of being boxed in or restless” during COVID-19, says PacMed’s Alex Majcher. This was supported by a new study by Columbia University Medical School, covered in Health Psychology and the New York Times, showing that exercise can boost your mood. Curious how to exercise safely outside during COVID-19?


→ PacMed’s Dr. Chris Maeda’s Tips on Outdoor Exercise during COVID.



Mindfulness: peace through a battle
Many have compared our fight against COVID-19 to a wartime effort. PacMed’s Dr. Charles Falzon has taught mindfulness to veterans, and says even beginners can use its techniques to find peace without “looking for specific results,” but rather by “being ok with the path that we’re on.”


→ Read Dr. Falzon’s insights from Teaching Mindfulness to Veterans.


→ Watch Christy Goff's interview Tips to Reduce Stress During the Pandemic.


For those new to mindfulness, PacMed lead psychotherapist, Jack Shriner, recommends the following resources:


Intro to Mindfulness. Providence resource with a definition, basic exercises, good books and apps to get started.


Insight Timer. An app featuring guided meditations, classes and talks by meditation teachers on how to face the pandemic with equanimity.


Quarantine Tips & Tricks. Article on staying healthy inside for times you or loved ones are stuck at home, by Jennifer Stern, LICSW.



Grief and loss
According to Harvard, the discomfort of living during COVID-19 is an ongoing process of grief. This is true whether we face the loss of routines, financial stability, personal health or the passing of loved ones. Local author Jessica Mooney writes in Seattle Magazine that we are also mourning the future.


→ PacMed’s Rene Czerwinski writes on Coping with loss during COVID.



Strategies for families
Changes to our routines and social landscapes can be difficult for children and teens to understand. It can also exacerbate the normal stresses of family life, including behavior problems and sibling or parental conflict. You’re not the only family going through this. Taking some time to read up on expert advice strategies, or sharing your own, can help.


→ PacMed’s Chuck Potrykus on Talking to Teens during COVID.


→ PacMed’s Nawal Alkharouf on Family-Friendly Summer Fun During COVID-19.


→ ParentMap’s Expert Tips on Managing Family Conflict in Quarantine.


→ PacMed’s Jack Shriner talks with Warm 106.9: Life can be a challenge for youth. Learn how to support, and where to find professional help.


While not COVID-specific, these additional articles by PacMed staff may contain tips to help navigate family challenges that arise:


How to Help Kids (and You) Make Sense of School Lockdown Drills.


Great Ideas to Keep Your Kids Active.


Keeping Your Kids Healthy During Cold and Flu Season.



Dealing with Depression
The combination of stressors during COVID-19 may lead to symptoms of depression, or exacerbate the difficulty for those diagnosed with a mental condition. In addition to symptoms like hopelessness, lethargy and a loss of interest in activities you enjoy, heightened irritability can be a sign of depression, as well. It’s important you remain in touch with your health care provider if you notice changes to your mental well-being.


Read more about depression from PacMed.


→ PacMed's Simon Katumu on Mental Health Awareness During Social Isolation.


Ask “One More Question” to check on friends who may be struggling.


If you or someone you know is experiencing a severe depression, please see the “Crisis Resources” on this page.



Keep up your physical health
With fears of COVID-19, it can be difficult to keep focus on the other health issues that may need attention. However, keeping up with routine exams and checking on any new health symptoms can not only help prevent trips to the emergency room, it can also reduce anxiety and give you peace of mind around your health.

PacMed has added telehealth visits so you can safely connect with doctors from your home, and we’ve made it safe to come in for any clinic visits you need, with added safety measures.


→ Read about PacMed’s Telehealth Virtual Visits.


→ See how our clinics are safe for you to visit.



More Resources
Throughout May and June, we’ll be searching out and sharing the best strategies for mental health during the time of COVID-19. Keep up with these additional tips by searching Facebook and Instagram for the hashtags #CopingDuringCOVID and #ConnectingDuringCOVID.

We also have a full team of behavioral medicine providers ready to schedule time with any patients who also have a PacMed primary care provider. Learn more about them at www.PacMed.org/mentalhealth.



*Please note, the information provided on this page and any links you click on are for educational purposes only. They are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult a health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation.

If any of the content on this page triggers you in any way, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1.800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK) or see the other “Crisis Resources” on this page.


ATTENTION PATIENTS WITH RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS:
If you are experiencing a fever >100F or acute respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath), or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, please call your health care provider as a first step, before coming into a clinic, doctor’s office or emergency department. We can help triage your case and direct you to the right care for you.

Appointments

Information on COVID-19 Testing at PacMed.


Primary Care Appointments

NEW & RETURNING PATIENTS
WITHOUT MYCHART


RETURNING PATIENTS
WITH MYCHART


If you do not have a MyChart account, you can create one here. You do not need an activation code to create an account.


Specialty Care Appointments
Call us at 1.888.472.2633
Online scheduling for specialty care is coming soon.


Saturday Appointments
Call us at 1.888.472.2633

Same-day Appointments
Call 1.877.722.6330

Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

We will make every effort to get you an appointment today, or as soon as possible.


Are you covered?
FIND YOUR INSURANCE


PacMed participates in Health Connect Partners, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).
To download a copy of Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO 2020 beneficiary notice, please click here.

This service is designed for non-emergency appointments. If you need immediate medical attention, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.


We value your privacy and will only use your personal information to schedule an appointment. Pacific Medical Centers will make every effort to schedule your appointment as requested.


Understanding Depression

Depression is a common and treatable condition. It is a brain condition that leaves a person sad. It is different from normal sadness.

Depression can make it hard to work, concentrate or do everyday tasks. Depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or health situation. It can affect people of any race or ethnic group. It is never a normal part of life.

Identifying and supporting those facing depression can start by asking #OneMoreQuestion. Read more.

Depression is very common

In 2016, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 6.7% of all US adults. This information can be found on the National Institute of Mental Health website.


Primary Symptoms Other Symptoms
  • Feeling "down" for at least 2 weeks
  • No longer enjoying or caring about doing the things they used to like to do
  • Feel sad, down, hopeless or cranky most of the day, every day
  • Lose or gain weight
  • Sleep too much or too little
  • Feel tired or have no energy
  • Feel guilty or worthless
  • Forget things or feel confused
  • Think about death or suicide
 

What causes depression?

Depression is a condition of the brain, but its exact causes are not always clear. Current understanding is that people inherit both vulnerability and resilience to depression through genetics.

Life’s stresses can create changes in the brain chemistry and structure. These changes can lead to many symptoms of depression.

Other contributing factors can include hormone changes, grief, sleep disturbance, medication, substance use or other medical conditions.

It is common to experience both anxiety and depression. About half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Most people with depression experience some anxiety symptoms.

Treatment options

Safe and effective treatments for depression are available. They include seeing a psychotherapist, taking medications or a combination of both.

Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy helps people learn skills and make lifestyle changes that can treat depression. Research shows that people often make big improvements in depression after just two or three therapy visits, though therapy sometimes continues longer than that.

Medications. Medications are useful for reducing symptoms of depression. The benefits of medications can be felt as early as the first or second week of treatment. Medications can cause side effects that most often go away over time. Successful treatment may require dosage adjustments and regular monitoring by a health care provider.

Depression in special populations

Teenagers, older adults and postpartum women might be at a higher risk for depression. Whether symptoms are mild, moderate or severe, recovery is possible with proper treatment.

Tips to help yourself

  • Exercise. It’s a great way to lift your mood and take care of your body. Brisk walking, running, cycling or doing upper or lower body weight lifting three to five times per week for 45-60 minutes helps fight depression.
  • Eat right. A balanced and healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats will help keep your body healthy.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may worsen symptoms of depression. They may also interfere with your treatment.
  • Be with others. The support of family and friends is important for recovery. Talking openly with people you trust helps.

Talk to your health care provider about possible treatment options.

If you are thinking about suicide, help is available.

  • Call your health care provider and tell them it is urgent
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Go to the emergency room at your local hospital
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call the 24-hour Crisis Line 866-427-4747

Warning signs of suicide

Seek help if you or someone you know is:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to hurt oneself such as seeking firearms
  • Having feelings of hopelessness or uncontrolled anger
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky behavior
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends or family
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason to stay alive

For more details, visit the American Psychiatric Association at Psychiatry.org/depression

Our behavioral medicine physicians meet with patients at eight of our conveniently located clinics. To get a full picture of your physical health and rule out contributing factors, and see if a behavioral medicine appointment is right for you, schedule an initial visit with one of our relationship-based primary care physicians.

*Always check with your insurance provider to find out if you need pre-authorization or to determine the level of coverage your carrier provides for behavioral health.

Click here for clinic locations.


Health can offer peace of mind in changing times

We’re living through a lot of change. To find stability, mental health experts encourage us to find and stick to routines. This advice is even more important when it comes to basic health routines—because it can keep your health stable, and ready for any additional changes the future may bring.

For kids, summer physicals and immunizations do more than satisfy school requirements. They also provide peace of mind to families, knowing normal development and preventive measures are on track. Now is the time to take care of these basic health needs, before cold and flu season is upon us.

The following resources can help you see what your children might be due for:

For adults, screenings are important as well. Many serious conditions are easily preventable and treatable if caught early. Health screenings can tell you if treatment is needed. Routine screenings are recommended for most people throughout your adult life. Additional screenings begin for most adults in your 40s, or earlier if you have a family history or other risk factors.

  • See our Men’s Health and Women’s Health booklets for details—or consult with a primary care doctor for personalized recommendations specific to your health situation.

Get back to basics with the checkups, screenings and immunizations right for you and your family—either in person with our added safety measures, or at home with new virtual visits.

Schedule a time to see us.


Cost of care

Basic screenings and annual check-ups are often covered at no cost by insurance plans, but keep in mind that the free visit does not cover any problems you may be experiencing. If you have a health concern for the doctor, or if your screening uncovers something, your visit will either be upgraded to cover the consultation while you are there, or you may need to schedule separate follow-up visits for the care you need.

Some youth patients may be eligible to have the cost of vaccines covered by the federal Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. Even if your vaccine is covered, there may be additional charges, for the office visit or testing, which are not covered by VFC.

It is always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see which services may be covered for you or your family. You can message your care team on MyChart or call your clinic if you have questions. We can tell you what we expect you and your family will need, so you can ask your insurance about coverage in advance of your visit.

Experts’ Corner

Back to Basics Toolkit

Hear what PacMed providers are talking about for getting back to basics in 2020.
Back to School button

Recommended Immunization button

Adolescent Health button

Healthy lunch planner button

Healthy lunch plates button

Nutrition 101 button

Coloring Pages button Women's Health button

Men's Health button

True or false? Eating carrots can help improve your eyesight.

False: While carrots are a good source of vitamin A (which is important for healthy eyesight, skin, growth, and resisting infection), eating them won't improve vision

PacMed Eye Care—To Keep You Looking Good

We are here to help you keep your vision at its best. Our eye care team offers a full spectrum of services—from eye exams and eyeglasses to treatment of glaucoma and macular degeneration. Additionally our surgeons perform cornea, cataract, retina and glaucoma surgery. We care about you and your eye health.

The first step to good eye care? Make an appointment. Many eye conditions can develop slowly as we age. The signs and symptoms of many eye issues are so mild that you may not notice them. The best solution? Getting routine eye exams.

We accept most major insurance.

Tips for Healthy Eyes


  • Take a “20-20-20” break: Do you get eye strain from computer work or doing close work? Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look up every 20 minutes and focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Still fatigued? Come in for an evaluation.

  • Choose good sunglasses: UV-blocking sunglasses delay the development of cataracts, help prevent eye damage and help prevent wrinkles and cancer. Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.

  • Get to know your family tree: Know your family’s history of eye disease. You may be at increased risk for those diseases and may need close monitoring.

  • Ouch! Use protective eyewear: The US has 2.5 million eye injuries each year. But many could be prevented! For home projects, choose ANSI-approved eyewear. Wear protective eyewear designed specifically for your sport.

  • Stub out that cigarette: Smokers are at increased risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, as well as disorders of the blood vessels of the eyes.

  • Don’t abuse contact lenses: Follow the instructions about the care and use of contact lenses. Misusing them can result in serious eye conditions that can cause severe pain and vision loss.

  • Meet Our Team of Optometrists

    Optometry providers treat adults and children, and are responsible for eye examinations; diagnosis and management of eye disease; refractions for glasses and contact lenses; and the evaluation, treatment, and triage of eye-related emergencies. Our optometrists work closely with our ophthalmologists in the management of eye disease and in the preoperative and postoperative care of patients.

    Routine eye exams for adults and children | Prescribe eyeglasses, corrective contact lenses | Test for glaucoma | Diagnose and manage chronic eye problems | Treat eye-related emergencies | And more

    Kimberly Farea, OD
    Kimberly Farea, OD

    Michael Giese, OD, FAAO
    Michael Giese, OD, FAAO

    Marie Kernie, OD
    Marie Kernie, OD

    Oscar Lillo, OD
    Oscar Lillo, OD

    David Riggs, OD
    David Riggs, OD

    Meet Our Team of Ophthalmologists

    Ophthalmology providers help patients maintain good eye health. They care for and manage patients’ eye conditions with both medical and surgical treatments. Our ophthalmologists provide a wide range of services.

    Glaucoma management and surgery | dry eyes | age-related macular degeneration | diabetic retinopathy | Cataract, retina and cornea surgery | And more

    All of our ophthalmologists are board certified.

    Elizabeth M. Grace, MD
    Elizabeth M. Grace, MD
    Fellowship trained in cornea and refractive surgery

    Meng Lu, MD
    Meng Lu, MD
    Board certified.
    Fellowship trained in glaucoma and cataract surgery

    To make an appointment, call 206.505.1100 or click here.


    If you’re new to the Puget Sound area, you’ve found a beautiful place to live, work, study and play. Mt. Rainier, Pike Place Market, the San Juan Islands … there’s so much to see and do. But there are also a lot of everyday things to take care of: finding a new grocery store, mapping out the ideal route to a new job or school, and just getting used to the weather.

    With so much to do, finding a new doctor can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. PacMed makes taking care of yourself and your family in a new place simple:

    • Great doctors: board-certified physicians, many recognized as Seattle’s Top Doctors and all who care about you, your health and your family. Click here to find a doctor.
    • 9 convenient locations, (map at right), all with on-site parking and many with on-site pharmacy, lab and X-ray.
    • Most major insurance plans accepted; see a list of accepted plans.
    • Same-day appointments and online appointments.
    • One-stop shopping: from school and work physicals to over 50 specialties, PacMed takes care of you.
    • Your Medical Home: PacMed is one of the few sites in Washington designated by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a patient-centered medical home. This means we work to develop a long-term personal relationship with you, coordinating all your care. Read more here about the Medical Home recognition and what it means for your healthcare at PacMed.
    • NCQA recognized care for chronic conditions, like diabetes and heart disease and stroke. We have over 40 physicians recognized by the NCQA.
    • A consistent regional leader in quality health care delivery, as recognized by the Washington Health Alliance

    Click here to make an online appointment or call us at 1-888-4PACMED (1-888-472-2633).

    Our appointment line hours are:
    Monday - Thursday: 7:00am to 6:00pm
    Friday: 7:00am to 5:00pm
    Saturday: 8:00am to 4:00pm
    Sunday: 8:30am to 1:00pm.

    We are happy to answer your questions!

    Welcome home!


    Please register for the LGBT health forum by filling out the information below.


    The American Cancer Society estimates that the lifetime risk for developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22. Colorectal cancer is expected to cause about 50,630 deaths during 2018 in the United States alone.

    Symptoms button What You Can Do button
    • Change in bowel habits
    • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
    • Persistent abdominal discomfort
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Get screened at age 50, or sooner if you are at higher risk
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Adopt a physically active lifestyle
    • Eat a fiber-rich diet that includes whole-grains, beans/legumes, fruits and vegetables
    • Stop smoking
    • Limit alcohol intake
     

    When found early, colorectal cancer is easier to treat and highly curable. So why do thousands of cases in the United States go undiagnosed each year, often resulting in premature death?

    With proper screening, colorectal cancer can be detected early. Screening can also help eliminate pre-cancerous polyps that could become cancerous if left to grow.

    The American Cancer Society recommends that people age 50 or older be screened for colon cancer. One important screening test is a colonoscopy. This 15- to 30-minute test enables a doctor to look inside the entire large intestine and into the rectum through a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny lens on the end. The physician can see things such as abnormal growths and inflamed tissue. While the test is most often used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer, it is also used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and weight loss.

    At Pacific Medical Centers, patients can call 1-844.66COLON (1.844.662.6566) and schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists to discuss colonoscopy and other methods of screening for colon cancer.*

    Our physicians meet with patients at five of our conveniently located clinics. Procedures are performed at the Pacific Medical Center Endoscopic Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at our offices on First Hill in Seattle and in Bellevue.

    *Always check with your insurance provider to find out if you need pre-authorization or to determine the level of coverage your carrier provides for colonoscopy.

    Source for statistics: American Cancer Society

    Clinic locations

    Canyon Park
    1909 214th Street SE
    Suite 300
    Bothell, WA 98021

    First Hill
    1101 Madison St
    Suite 301
    Seattle, WA 98104

    Northgate
    10416 - 5th Avenue NE
    Seattle, WA 98125

    Renton
    601 South Carr Rd
    Suite 100
    Renton, WA 98055

    Totem Lake
    12910 Totem Lake Blvd NE
    Suite 101
    Kirkland, WA 98034

    Gastroenterology locations map

    Watermelon

    Which food will raise your blood glucose most quickly?

    Watermelon!

    Surprisingly, eating watermelon will cause the greatest spike in blood sugar compared to a baked potato or cookie. Turkey is a protein and has almost no effect on blood sugar.

    Carbohydrate foods such as starches and fruit break down to become sugar during digestion. The sugar is released into the bloodstream. Foods that break down quickly will raise the blood sugar quickly. Processed starches and sugars (like white bread and cornflakes) break down more quickly. Unprocessed starches (such as whole grain bread or rolled oats), vegetables, fruits and legumes (beans) are digested more slowly. A meal that includes whole grains, beans and vegetables will release blood sugar more gradually, providing longer-acting energy and preventing blood sugar “spikes.”


    More resources

    Healthy tips and recipes
      • A selection of healthy recipes recommended by our dietitians
      • Better nutrition for a healthier you

    More articles by PacMed providers
      • Diabetic Foot Care, by May Chang, ARNP
      • Changing Your Weight by Changing Your Life, by Aileen Monponbanua, MD
      • Prevention: Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, by Jody Rhoades, MD

    Sign up for more Health Tips
      • Sign up to receive our Healthy Today newsletter

    More links
      • Links to other diabetes and nutrition sites reviewed by our doctors


    At Pacific Medical Centers, we know how busy you are, so we’re here for you – on your schedule. That’s why we offer same-day primary care appointments, online appointments and acceptance of most major insurances at all of our neighborhood clinic locations throughout the Puget Sound.




    What you know could save a life

    Most people who commit suicide are in a great deal of emotional pain—but they don’t want to die. They just want to stop hurting. To prevent a suicide, know the warning signs and take them seriously. If you think someone you know is considering suicide, talk openly about it. You could save a life.

    Major warning signs for suicide include:

    • Talking about killing or harming oneself
    • Frequently talking or writing about death or dying
    • Having or seeking weapons, drugs or other items that could be used for suicide

    These signals are even more dangerous if the person has depression or another mood disorder or is alcohol dependent. A previous suicide attempt or a family history of suicide also adds to the seriousness of the warning signs.


    More subtle warning signs of suicide include:

    • A feeling of hopelessness
    • Dramatic mood swings or sudden changes in personality
    • Loss of interest in day-to-day activities
    • Neglecting one’s appearance
    • Big changes in eating or sleeping habits

    Take any suicidal talk or behaviors seriously. It’s not just a warning sign. It’s a cry for help. Don’t hesitate to take action and respond.

    Behavioral Medicine is available at PacMed. Our psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists understand that even people with good mental health occasionally need help to cope with problems.

    Please call 1.888.4PACMED, (1.888.472.2633) or make an appointment.


    Prevention tip #1: If you’re concerned, speak up

    • Let the person know you care and that he or she is not alone.
    • Listen.
    • Be sympathetic and nonjudgmental. Be patient, calm and accepting.
    • Offer hope by saying that help is available and that the feelings are temporary. Let the person know that his or her life is important to you.
    • Ask, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”

    Prevention tip #2: If it’s a crisis, respond quickly

    Usually, a person at high risk for committing suicide has a specific plan, the means to carry it out (gun, razors, pills, etc.), a time set for doing it and the intention to do it. If you think a suicide attempt seems imminent, immediately call 911, call a crisis center like the National Suicide Center Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or take the person to an emergency room. Do not leave the person alone.

    Prevention tip #3: Offer help to the person

    • Get the person professional help.
    • Be proactive. Suicidal people often don’t think they can be helped.
    • If a doctor prescribes medication, make sure it’s taken as directed. Watch for side effects.
    • Together, create a safety plan with steps that the person promises to follow in a crisis.
    • Include phone numbers for a doctor, therapist and friends and family members who will help in an emergency.
    • Remove possible means of suicide.
    • Encourage positive changes in lifestyle—such as sleep, a good diet and exercise.
    • Continue your support over the long haul.

    If you or someone you know has displayed signs of suicide, don’t wait—get help.


    At Pacific Medical Centers, we know how busy you are. We want to be here for you—on your schedule. That’s why we’ve extended our hours at our centrally-located Northgate clinic. With over 20 specialties, onsite pharmacy, lab, X-Ray and some of Seattle’s top doctors, PacMed Northgate makes getting great care for yourself and your family easy!

    Make an appointment online today, or call 206.517.6700.

    Northgate’s hours are:
    Monday - Thursday, 7am - 7pm
    Friday, 7am - 5pm

    Learn more:
    The clinic is located across from Northgate Mall. To see our Northgate doctors and specialties click here.

    Read what our patients say about PacMed Northgate.

    PacMed has nine locations throughout Puget Sound and offers:

    • Top doctors--for the eleventh consecutive year!
    • Over 150 physicians in over 40 specialties
    • Same-day primary care appointments
    • Online appointment scheduling and access to MyChart
    • Weekend hours at our Canyon Park and Renton locations
    • We accept most major insurance plans including Health Insurance Exchange options
    • Free parking! (Except at our First Hill location)
    • A consistent regional leader in quality health care delivery, as recognized by the Washington Health Alliance


    Everyone needs a primary care provider – the one who conducts your physicals, and the one you call when you twist a knee or have a lingering cough or cold. But you may ask, “Where do I begin?” How do you determine which type of primary care provider might be the best fit for you? There are many factors to consider, including your age, medical history and a wide range of family, social and spiritual issues you may have. Here’s insight on how to make the right choice.

     

    Family Medicine (also known as Family Practice)
    Care for all individuals
    At the heart of this specialty is the patient-provider relationship. Family medicine practitioners cover all areas of general healthcare, including pediatric and adolescent health, women’s health and gynecology, men’s health and aging issues.

     

    Pediatrics
    Care for children
    Pediatrics is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Because young patients are rapidly growing and changing, pediatricians must communicate with caregivers to ensure they understand as much as possible about their children’s growth, development and overall picture of health.

     

    Internal Medicine
    Care for adults
    Internal Medicine practitioners are trained to deal with any medical issue an adult patient may have, from preventive care and common disorders to chronic disease.

     

    Geriatric Medicine
    Care for adults of advanced age
    Geriatric Medicine is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders that occur in older people. Geriatricians recognize that aging is not an illness; rather, it is a time when quality of life and functional ability can be maintained with proper care. Several PacMed internists practice geriatric medicine, exclusively.

    For an appointment, call 1.888.4PACMED (1.888.472.2633) or make a convenient online appointment.

    We offer extended weekend hours at our Canyon Park and Renton clinics!

    For an appointment, call 1.888.4PACMED (1.888.472.2633) or make a convenient online appointment now.


    We know that getting sick doesn’t happen just Monday through Friday, so we are pleased to offer extended weekend hours to better serve you! We see adults and kids for regular checkups and urgent needs.

    CANYON PARK WEEKEND CLINIC - Saturday

    Saturday 9:00am - 4:00pm

    Services Hours
    Primary Care 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Imaging Services 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Lab 9:00am - 4:00pm



    RENTON WEEKEND CLINIC - Saturday

    Saturday 9:00am - 4:00pm

    Services Hours
    Primary Care 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Imaging Services 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Lab 8:30am - 4:00pm


    After-Hours Medical Advice

    We are here for you: Our on-call provider can give you medical advice over the phone. Just call your clinic and press 1 (or simply stay on the line). Our telephone receptionist can page the on-call provider.

    We can provide advice over the phone, but we cannot evaluate you as we would in the office. Therefore, we might ask you to go to an emergency room or urgent care center for medical testing and treatment.

    If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. Do not call the clinic.



    You have a lot riding on you. From the responsibilities you carry, to those you care for—who love and depend on you each day.

    You can relax, though—because PacMed cardiologists are here to care for your heart.

    Surprisingly, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

    That’s why PacMed doctors monitor the trends and listen to you, in order to provide the care you need to keep showing up to everything else in your life.

    Visit us to see our cardiology Top Doctors, our state-of-the-art nuclear cardiology lab, noninvasive diagnostics and more.

    We want you at the top of your game—whether it’s family, job, fun or other health concerns you’re juggling—you need your heart functioning well at the center of things.

    Read below for some trends and tips our cardiology team recommends:


    Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women. African American and Hispanic women have heightened risks.

    • High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
    • More than 600,000 Americans die of heart disease each year. That’s one in every four deaths in this country.
    • Heart disease can happen at any age, but the risk goes up as you age.
    • Some risk factors for heart disease cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
    • Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these,
      1. 605,000 are a first heart attack
      2. 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack
      3. About 1 in 5 heart attacks is silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.

    For more information, visit www.cdc.gov.


    Tips for getting the best cardiology care:

    Download our printable Heart Health wallet card and record your numbers.

    PacMed offers cardiology appointments in neighborhoods around Puget Sound—including Canyon Park, First Hill, Renton, Northgate, Beacon Hill, Totem Lake, Federal Way and via telemedicine in Puyallup.


    UROLOGY AT PACMED

    Urology involves the diagnosis and treatment of problems of the bladder, prostate, kidneys and urinary tract. Doctors in this specialty are surgeons called urologists.

    Urinary and sexual problems can cause emotional as well as physical distress. Fortunately, many medical and surgical treatments are available that can help relieve and manage these health conditions. At Pacific Medical Centers, our urologists diagnose and treat a wide variety of male and female urological conditions, including kidney stones, cancer, erectile dysfunction, prostate problems and urinary incontinence.

    Your urologist will do a comprehensive review of your symptoms and medical history. Then, when appropriate, your doctor may order other tests such as a urinalysis or a blood test. These can tell the doctor if infection is present or whether sugar or proteins are present, which may indicate diabetes or other problems involving the kidneys. More sophisticated tests such as a CT scan or MRI may also be ordered. These tests are noninvasive and not painful. Treatment depends upon the condition and may involve medication, surgery, behavior modification or observation. Whatever the condition, urologists at Pacific Medical Centers provide caring and comprehensive treatment.

    If surgery is necessary, PacMed offers robotic-assisted urological surgeries using the da Vinci® system. These include:

    • Kidney, prostate and bladder cancers
    • Cystectomy (removal of all or some of the bladder)
    • Nephrectomy (removal of the kidney)
    • Pyeloplasty (repair of kidney obstruction)
    • Prostatectomy

    Read more about da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgery here.

    Are you considering a vasectomy? Please watch the video below and download the vasectomy facts sheet here. Your PacMed primary care doctor or urologist will be happy to answer your questions as you explore your options.



    Healthy apple Eat an apple in the morning rather than your typical mocha and be ready to take on the day! The benefits of apples far outweigh the benefits of sugary coffee drinks and can even help you feel more energized in the morning. Here's why:

    Fructose, which is the natural sugar found in apples, is broken down and enters the blood stream within about 15 minutes after you eat it. This gives you an immediate energy boost to get you through your morning commute. Even better, the fiber found in the apple works to prolong that energy boost and helps you avoid that post-caffeine, mid-morning crash. At about 100 calories and $1.00 each, apples—compared to that sugar-laden mocha—are a smarter choice both in calories and on your wallet. To top it all off, apples are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including vitamin C, which can be especially helpful in staying healthy during the cold season. The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” might just be exactly what the doctor ordered.

    Do I have to give up my coffee altogether?
    No! Coffee is actually a good source of antioxidants and has some documented health benefits without many risks, if consumed in moderation. The “unhealthy” label is stamped on coffee primarily because of what gets added to it—such as cream and sugar.

    Some recent research has shown health benefits related to several diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart rhythm problems, pulmonary function, stroke, gastrointestinal flora and multiple types of cancer.

    To learn more about how to include coffee in your diet in a healthy way, make an appointment with one of our dietitians today!


    More resources

    Healthy recipes
      • A selection of healthy recipes recommended by our dietitians

    Nutrition articles by PacMed dietitians and doctors
      • Good Nutrition and Your Child, by Carrie Rose MD, MPH
      • Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Family, by Aileen Monponbanua, MD
      • Changing Your Weight by Changing Your Life, by Aileen Monponbanua, MD
      • Prevention: Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, by Jody Rhoades, MD
      • Closing the Door on Childhood Obesity, by Brian Kim, MD
      • Countering Childhood Obesity with Healthy Habits, by Rick Bowles, DO

    Sign up for more Health Tips
      • Sign up to receive our Healthy Today newsletter

    More links
      • Links to other diet and nutrition sites reviewed by our doctors



    Mother, sisters, wife, daughter, every woman is at risk for cervical cancer.

    As part of our ongoing commitment to health awareness, we are honoring September as National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Human papillomavirus, better known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. There are several types of HPV, some of which can lead to cervical cancer. This disease is preventable with regular screening and vaccination to help prevent human papillomavirus.

    Did you know: If the HPV vaccine series is started before the age of 15, then only 2 doses are required instead of 3!

    How you can help:

    • Get Screened! When detected early, this type of cancer is highly curable. All women aged 21 to 65 should get screened regularly.
    • Get Vaccinated! HPV vaccination is recommended for all preteens (both boys and girls) aged 11 to 12 years but can be given as early as age 9 and until age 26.

    Again, cervical cancer can be prevented if detected early by regular screenings with the Pap test. If it is detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treated cancers. So please talk to your doctor and stay current with your screenings.


    Your Heart Health is Our Primary Concern

    Every heart has a story to tell. Our cardiologists at Pacific Medical Centers will work with you every step of the way to prevent heart disease as well as develop a treatment plan to manage your ongoing healthcare needs.

    Meet our cardiovascular laboratory team:

    Dr. Keiko Aikawa
    Keiko Aikawa, MD, FACC
    Dr. Philip Massey
    Philip Massey, MD
    Dr. Bobbie Paramsothy
    Pathmaja (Bobbie) Paramsothy, MD, MS
    Dr. Ameet Parikh
    Ameet Parikh, MD
    Dr. Joy (Juwono) Sutedjo
    Joy (Juwono) Sutedjo, MD, FACC

    PacMed is pleased to announce the expansion of our Cardiovascular Laboratory services, now available at our Canyon Park, Federal Way, First Hill and Renton clinics. We offer patients noninvasive diagnostic ultrasound procedures that help diagnose various forms of heart and blood vessel, or vascular, disease.

    First Hill
    1101 Madison St
    Suite 301
    Seattle, WA 98104

    Canyon Park
    1909 214th Street SE
    Suite 300
    Bothell, WA 98021

    Federal Way
    31833 B Gateway Center Blvd S
    Federal Way, WA 98003

    Northgate
    10416 5th Avenue NE
    Seattle, WA 98125

    Renton
    601 South Carr Rd
    Suite 100
    Renton, WA 98055

    Cardiovascular lab locations map

    So that patients may live their best lives, the PacMed Cardiovascular Laboratory is committed to excellence in screening, diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac and vascular disease. Our laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Echocardiography and Vascular Studies, and all of our sonographers are active registrants of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). By pursuing excellence, we ensure the highest standards of quality and commitment to superior clinical care for our communities.


    If you've decided that a vasectomy is the right family-planning option for you, our weekend clinics offer the consultation and procedure in one convenient appointment.

    Meet our vasectomy specialists, and learn more about their practice philosophies and special interests:

    Dr. Michael Han
    Michael Y. Han, MD
    Dr. Donald Pick
    Donald Pick, MD

    "From my perspective, a vasectomy is the best solution for permanent birth control," says PacMed urologist Dr. Michael Han. "It’s much less invasive and much less dangerous than sterilization techniques for women."

    Our urologists use a no-scalpel technique, which decreases the size of the incision and takes just 20 minutes. "Most patients are pleasantly surprised by how little pain was involved," adds Dr. Han.

    In time, based on patient demand, we plan to expand this weekend vasectomy service to other clinics, such as Renton and Northgate.

    If you are considering a vasectomy, please watch the videos below and download the vasectomy fact sheet. Then, speak with your primary care doctor or urologist, who will be happy to answer your questions as you explore your options. To schedule an appointment, please call 206.505.1300.

    What happens when I come in for a vasectomy?



    Watch more vasectomy videos