Friday, March 24, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: New Co-Pay Policy at PHA: 

Many of our patients have a co-payment connected with their insurance agreements. Our contractual obligation with your insurance carrier requires us to collect your co-payment at the time of service. Effective April 15, 2017 any unpaid co-pays will be charged a service fee of $15. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

From the desk of Jihad Shoshara, M.D.
Dr. Shoshara helping refugees in Jordan last year.

I hope that this finds you well.  I’m writing because I am once again leading a mission to provide needed medical care to Syrian refugees in Jordan through the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).  On April 8, I and a team of 50 medical providers, nurses, and translators will spend a week treating thousands of refugees in need.  As you know, the Syrian civil war is in its seventh year, with no end in sight.  The refugees for whom we will care have lost their homes and most of their possessions; almost all of them have lost loved ones and suffer the physical and psychological scars of the conflict.  Most have no access to regular health care the way you and I imagine it. Our volunteers - all of whom pay their own way to serve - may be the only doctors that many will see.

Our mission will bring:

  • Pediatricians, Internists, and Family Practitioners for primary care
  • Dentists to perform needed dental procedures and care
  • A Pediatric Neurologist to treat children with neurological disorders
  • A team of Orthopedic and Plastic Surgeons to perform reconstructive surgeries
  • A Neurosurgery team to treat spinal and nerve injuries

Last year, I asked my friends and colleagues to consider supporting this effort.  That money, along with other donations, was essential in providing life-saving cardiac stents to refugees at severe risk of heart attack.  This year, our fundraising will again be critical to our ability to provide these desperately needed services.  For this mission, we are using MobileCause to raise funds, with a goal of $75,000 between all the members of our group.  Using MobileCause means that:

  • No administrative fees are taken, so 100% of your donation goes to the mission
  • The funds go directly to SAMS, so all donations are tax deductible

In just three weeks, we've been fortunate to raise $35,000 towards our goal! Please consider donating at the our mission fundraiser link below:

Just like last year, I plan to send updates, photos, and stories before and during the mission, both through social media and email.  (If you do not want to receive these, please let me know and I will be happy to ensure your email is not added.  However, it’s my hope that you’ll want to follow what good your support and funds will provide to a community that the world has largely forgotten.)

Please feel free to share this link with your family and friends.  Finally, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AS WE PROVIDE CARE FOR REFUGEES IN NEED!

In Peace,

Jihad Shoshara, MD
SAMS Jordan Mission Leader, April 2017

(PS - one note about the donation link: if you choose to donate anonymously, SAMS will not receive your information and you won't receive a receipt, so please give your name if you would like one.)  

Sometimes life gets so busy that we forget about other regions of the world where people are suffering.   In Kenya, the worst famine since 1945 is happening now.  Massive drought has created not only a water shortage but the inability to maintain crops.  In the next few months thousands of people are at risk of starvation.

Imagine if you were in this situation...please consider donating to World Relief and help save lives.   Whatever you can give is most appreciated.

Friday, March 10, 2017

School Resources for Children with Chronic Disabilities: Section 504

            From the desks of Nurse Practitioners 
                  Katie Faragher and Josie Dawe:

Parents are required to request the 504 evaluation....your pediatrician or nurse practitioner cannot request it from the school. 

Katie Faragher, CPNP
Section 504 is a federal law that protects students with disabilities from being discriminated against at school. The law requires the school to provide children with disabilities the same opportunities as students without disabilities. This is done by providing reasonable accommodations and modifications. Disabilities covered under Section 504 include physical and/or mental impairments that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, learning, hearing, seeing, concentrating, thinking, etc. 

Not all children with disabilities qualify for a 504 plan. The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn or access school programs. Some examples of disabilities that may qualify include ADHD and other learning disabilities, diabetes, anxiety, or physical impairments.

Each school district has a 504 plan policy  that explains how Section 504 works for their school district. In general, a parent makes a referral in writing to the 504 contact person. You can contact the school administration to find out who the 504 contact person is.  Next an evaluation is completed and a 504 meeting takes place to determine eligibility. If the student is found to be qualified a 504 plan will be developed.  The plan will outline specific accommodations, supports or services, along with names of school professionals who will provide each service.

Josie Dawe, CPNP
How Can Section 504 Help Your Child?

Examples of Section 504 accommodations might include:

  • Extended time on state and local assessments for students with anxiety
  • Preferential classroom seating away from distraction for students with ADHD
  • Stop the clock testing for students with diabetes to check their blood sugar as needed during state and local assessments

For further information on 504 plans visit websites listed below:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Please consider contacting Congress about health care access

Dear Parents,
As you are aware the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may soon be dismantled.   President Trump has said that this will be replaced by something better but he indicated it may or may not happen simultaneously potentially leaving millions of people without health insurance in the meantime.    Should this happen, anyone who has a health crisis during that time will find themselves facing considerable hospital bills that they personally will be responsible for. 

The ACA expansion has allowed access to healthcare to many children through the Medicaid program so they will no longer be eligible to receive benefits.   These children may lose access to school entry if they cannot be vaccinated or participate in sports because they cannot afford a sports physical.

While children can receive vaccines at the local health department, there is a nominal fee for each vaccine.  For many, even a nominal cost is more than they can afford.   Although we tend to think this happens in more rural areas of the country, we can attest that we see many families right here in our area that are struggling to make ends meet.

Please join us in calling our representatives in Congress and asking them to continue providing health access for all children.  This doesn’t affect just a few people, it affects 20  million!

You may find your member of Congress through the following link:

We have also attached a link to the letter the American Academy of Pediatrics has sent to President Trump: