Skip to main content.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding for both Mother and Baby

Posted December 23, 2019


For mothers everywhere, making the decision whether to breastfeed or not is a very personal matter. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistsstrongly recommend breastfeeding for 6 months. There are many health benefits to breastfeeding for both mother and baby, which we’ve outlined below to give you the latest research and information. Of course, every family is unique, and the decision is ultimately up to…

Read more

MRI Fusion Biopsy for Prostate Cancer - What is it and Why is it Better?

Posted December 16, 2019 by Joseph S Dankoff, MD

As one of the most common cancers among men, prostate cancer will affect about 1 in 9 men during their lifetime. In fact, more than 60% of cases are diagnosed in men over 65. The cancer has been difficult to detect in early stages using the most common, and somewhat outdated, tests and screenings. These tests and screenings have been used for three decades with adequate results. Yet, more tests are then needed to try to determine the type of cancer and the best treatment plan.

Read more

Warning Signs of Glaucoma and How it is Treated

Posted December 10, 2019 by Jennifer Bohl, MD

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve of the eye, which can lead to progressive vision loss. There are different types of glaucoma, each of which is related to pressure inside the eye and mostly occurring later in life, though possibly can develop at any age. Vision loss related to glaucoma is permanent and if untreated, can result in complete blindness.  In fact, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.…

Read more

SummaCare Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Posted December 02, 2019 by Anne Armao


October 15 marked the beginning of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, sometimes referred to as the Annual Election Period or AEP. Most Medicare beneficiaries have only 10 weeks, from October 15 to December 7, to make changes to their existing plan. With more than 60 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from in such a short time, it’s no wonder selecting the right plan for some Medicare beneficiaries can be confusing and overwhelming. Anne Armao, Vice President of Medicare…

Read more

Take a Vacation to Boost Your Mental Health

Posted December 02, 2019 by Renee Fierro, LPCCs, Director, Outpatient Behavioral Health Services


Americans are often overstressed and overworked, and it’s no wonder – not all Americans have the luxury of paid time off, and even those who do generally don’t take all of it. According to research, more than one in 10 Americans say they plan to take a quarter or less of their vacation days in 2019.

There are many studies that suggest taking time off is beneficial to your mental, physical and overall health and that people who take vacations have lower stress…

Read more

7 Serious Health Concerns Affecting African Americans

Posted November 25, 2019 by Edward A Pankey, MD


According to the CDC, the death rate for African Americans has declined more than 25 percent over the past 17 years, especially for those 65-years and older. However, new research shows younger African Americans are living with or dying from diseases most often found in Caucasians much later in life.

The African American community should be aware of a few serious health concerns that statistically affect them at higher rates. If you think you may be at risk, talk to your…

Read more

How to Successfully Manage Your Diabetes During the Holidays

Posted November 19, 2019 by James K Salem, MD


The holidays can be tough for anyone on a diet with all the celebrating, snacking and treats. Those with diabetes have to be especially careful around the holidays because gaining weight or rising blood sugar could be dangerous to your health.

If you slip into bad eating habits and they extend well into the New Year, you can do long-term damage to your body. Just a little preparation can go a long way towards keeping your weight and blood sugar down – check out these…

Read more

Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Posted November 13, 2019 by Rachel N Hart, DO


As our loved ones get older, it’s normal for them to lose a little bit of their mental sharpness, and it’s easy to rationalize and gloss over strange behavior. After all – we all forget things once in a while. When memory and mental issues start affecting daily life, it could be a sign of something more serious. While a qualified physician is needed to diagnose someone with Alzheimer’s disease, there are some signs and symptoms that can suggest a…

Read more

Should I get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) Test?

Posted November 03, 2019 by Joshua B Nething, MD


It can be difficult to face the idea of getting screened for prostate cancer, and many people opt out due to fear, inconvenience, or lack of knowledge of the symptoms. There is clear scientific evidence that screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can help identify cancer early on which makes treatment more effective and reduces the number of deaths associated with prostate cancer. 

We’ve compiled some valuable information below so that you can…

Read more

Alzheimer's Research Showing Promise for Future

Posted October 29, 2019 by Audra E Krebs, MD


Billions of dollars have been spent on researching Alzheimer’s, but it stubbornly continues to affect 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65. While we are still waiting for a cure, there have been significant advances that have made an impact on the treatment of Alzheimer's and related diseases:

New treatments and positive trials on the horizon
Currently, the medications on the market for Alzheimer’s only relieve symptoms of the disease. None stop the progression.…

Read more

What is Arthritis? Common Questions Explained

Posted October 23, 2019 by Mark A Cipriani, Jr., MD


Arthritis is a broad term covering a group of diseases involving inflammation in your body’s joints. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body but most commonly involves the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, feet, neck, or back. Most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joints. Some types can also affect the immune system and even some internal organs of the body. Continue reading to learn more about arthritis.


Read more

TMS - A Hope for Treatment of Major Depression

Posted October 18, 2019 by Jaimie McKinnon, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Vice President, Behavioral Health Institute


While the exact cause of depression isn’t known, it is thought to be caused by an imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters – the chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells. While there are many effective treatments for depression, the typical approaches like therapy and antidepressants don’t necessarily work for everyone.

For decades, shock therapy, or ECT, has been used to treat major depression that was not treatable with medication and therapy. While there…

Read more

Understand Your Gut Health - A Helpful Guide to Probiotics

Posted October 11, 2019 by Julia G Thornton, MD


Your body is full of bacteria – in fact, the bacteria in your body outnumber your cells 10 to one. The majority of that bacteria lives in your gut, and most of it is not only harmless, but helpful to your body’s functions.

Balancing your gut bacteria correctly can have many health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, better immune function, better mood and memory function, healthier skin, and a reduced risk of many diseases.

To boost this friendly…

Read more

6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your PCP

Posted October 07, 2019 by Maria A Schiaffino, MD


Your primary care provider (PCP) should be your partner in ensuring you are your best and healthiest self, which is why it is so important to have a strong and communicative relationship with them. When you meet with your PCP for a checkup or an annual visit, the provider typically has a limited amount of time they can spend with you, so it’s important you go in prepared with a list of questions to get the most out of your appointment. Here are a few questions you…

Read more

When it Comes to Addiction, What is the Best Path to Recovery - Abstinence or Harm Reduction?

Posted September 24, 2019 by Renee Fierro, LPCCs, Director, Outpatient Behavioral Health Services


Addiction recovery is a deeply personal journey, and different strategies work for different people. The two most common, and very different, recovery philosophies are abstinence and harm reduction. The following is a brief description of each of these approaches.


Abstinence-based recovery dates back centuries, long before addiction was determined to be a medical disease. This recovery philosophy expects an individual to completely stop the use of alcohol and other…

Read more

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - What Is It And How Will It Affect My Body?

Posted September 16, 2019 by Diana C Mong, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology


Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common health problem that affects women of childbearing age and is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. Because of this imbalance, the ovaries sometimes develop numerous small collections of fluid and can fail to regularly release eggs.

Who is at Risk for PCOS?

It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of women between 15 and 44…

Read more

Trauma Center Levels - Explained

Posted September 13, 2019 by Richard L George, MD, Surgical Critical Care


While many hospitals have emergency departments, some hospitals are equipped to treat the most severely injured patients. Such hospitals are verified by the American College of Surgeons as Trauma Centers with highly trained doctors who specialize in treating traumatic injuries. These trauma centers are staffed 24/7 and are always prepared to treat patients with any injury.

Trauma Centers across the United States go through a verification process to receive their designation…

Read more

Take the First Step to Treat Opiate Addiction

Posted August 20, 2019 by Jaimie McKinnon, Vice President, Summa Health Behavioral Health Institute


With the opiate crisis in the United States growing annually, it has become essential for community organizations and those on the front lines to make resources for recovery easily accessible. Too often, those affected end up in an emergency room where providers administer a quick fix, hand over an informational pamphlet and send them on their way.

When you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Online resources can be…

Read more

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Posted August 12, 2019 by Joseph F Pietrolungo, DO, Peripheral Vascular Disease Cardiology


Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, but many are not aware of it. High blood pressure is dangerous and can be a silent killer if gone untreated. That’s why it’s so important to understand what causes it and how to keep it controlled.

First – what is high blood pressure?

In order to survive, your tissues and organs need oxygenated blood to circulate throughout the body. When your heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes…

Read more

A Guide to Your Health in the Heat - UV Index and Air Quality Index Explained

Posted August 04, 2019

We’re in the depths of summer heat, and as the heat rises, so does the threat of air pollution and the dangers of UV rays. Globally, extreme temperature events are increasing in frequency, duration and magnitude, which means it will become even more important to protect yourself and your family’s health from rising temperatures and extreme heat. 

While there are many factors to keep an eye on as temperatures rise, there are two numbers right within your local…

Read more

Here's the scoop on intermittent fasting

Posted July 29, 2019 by Alyssa Diamant, RD, LD


This recent weight loss trend places more of an emphasis on WHEN you eat than WHAT you eat (but keep in mind that both are important for success). Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

Depending on the type of intermittent fasting pattern you choose, your fasting time may be a few hours or a whole day a few times per week. During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.

Here are some of the…

Read more

Common Summertime Hazards to Avoid

Posted July 22, 2019 by Lynn M Hamrich, MD Family Medicine


Summer’s finally here and we’re all about having fun in the sun – but with the heat, summer often brings along some bumps and bruises. Here are a few tips on how to avoid common summer hazards so you can keep the good times rolling.

Mosquito Bites:

Those itchy little bites can be more than just annoying – mosquitos can carry diseases like West Nile virus. Travel is common in the summer and mosquito bites in other areas of North America can also put you…

Read more

8 Technologies That Have Impacted Healthcare

Posted July 15, 2019 by Tanya Arthur, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer


The healthcare industry has had an explosion of innovation over the past few decades. These innovations continue to improve quality of life for millions of people. Let’s take a look at some of the latest and greatest in technological innovation and what impact and importance they have on the field of healthcare.

Electronic Health Records at Your Doctor’s Fingertips

Before medical records became electronic, your medical information from visits to various doctors,…

Read more

7 Everyday Items that Increase Sun Sensitivity

Posted July 08, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD Family Medicine


Skin cancer is by far the most common cancer in the US and with summer sun on the horizon, proper protection should be priority number one. While you should practice sun safety year round, you should monitor your sun exposure closer during these longer, hotter days.

Sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat are the easiest ways to protect your skin, but did you know there are common everyday items that could increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun?

Read more

What Happens During A Vascular Screening?

Posted June 24, 2019 by Drazen Petrinec, M.D. Summa Health Vascular Surgeon


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the US. Over 600,000 people - roughly 1 in 4 individuals - die each year. Heart disease can place you at a much higher risk for stroke and other vascular diseases.

Carotid arteries are blood vessels in the neck that supply blood flow to the head and brain. If vascular disease develops in carotid arteries, that can lead to a higher risk of stroke. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are dilations or swellings of the main blood vessel in the abdomen. As AAAs enlarge, the wall becomes thinner and is at risk for bursting which can be a life threatening emergency. 

Read more

5 Common Types of Arthritis

Posted June 17, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD


Commonly associated with older age, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including more than 300,000 children each year. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Depending on the type, it can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities or go relatively unnoticed and be easily managed for years.

Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Most individuals experience common symptoms like joint pain, swelling, stiffness and/or…

Read more

Stroke Care: What is a thrombectomy?

Posted June 10, 2019 by Alexander P Venizelos, MD Neurology


According to the CDC, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. Those patients who receive emergency care greatly increase their rate of survival and shorten recovery time. A stroke occurs when blood supply is reduced or cut off from the brain, and that root cause is sometimes due to a blood clot.

When a patient comes in and is diagnosed with a stroke, medications can be administered intravenously to break up and restore blood flow back to the brain. However, this…

Read more

Founder's Day: The Birthplace of AA

Posted June 07, 2019 by Alan H Shein, MD, Addiction Psychiatry


Akron is fortunate to be the birthplace of AA, which has saved and continues to save the lives of millions of people struggling with their addictions. To this day, the 12 step program is by far the most effective support system to help stabilize one’s recovery.

This is where it all began! A struggling salesman named Bill W, and a physician, Dr. Bob, came together to establish a lifeline for the struggling alcoholic. Furthermore, St. Thomas Hospital is the…

Read more

Hepatitis: What you need to know

Posted June 03, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD Family Medicine


Did you know the liver is the second largest organ of the entire body, after the skin? It’s also incredibly important: essential for food digestion, stores a large amount of your body’s energy and is a cleaning machine, eliminating toxins in the body. Hepatitis, usually caused by a type of virus, is an inflammation of the liver.

There are 5 types of Hepatitis, but Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common. Each type has different symptoms and treatment options.…

Read more

Social Media and Depression: What's the Connection?

Posted May 20, 2019 by S. Renee Fierro, LPCCs Director, Outpatient Behavioral Health Services


Have you ever wondered about the impact of social media on mental health? Social media has drastically changed the ways we communicate and socialize with others. In many ways, social media has had a positive impact; but the experiences can also be extremely negative, cyberbullying for example. Concerns regarding the impact of social media have resulted in a number of studies that look at the connection between social media and depression or anxiety. Not surprisingly, the…

Read more

What Does A Fast Food Meal Do To Your Body?

Posted May 12, 2019 by Alyssa Diamant, RD, LD Clinical Dietitian Weight Management


It’s quick, fast, and cheap; it also tastes really good! Americans spend roughly $50 billion on fast food each year. With the availability of food “on-demand” more and more people are opting for prepared foods, whether through a drive thru or delivered to your door.

But have you ever felt not-so-great after eating fast food--maybe a little tired or bloated? Did you notice you became hungry again pretty soon after eating? That’s because although most…

Read more

Battle it Out: Artificial Sweetener v. Sugar

Posted May 07, 2019 by Rose Ann Chiurazzi, MA, RDN, LD, CDE


The sweeter things in life are present at most celebrations...weddings, birthdays, work promotions, new baby, office get the idea. But if you are like many Americans trying to cut back on your refined sugar intake for health reasons and/or weight management, you may think opting for sugar replacements might be a healthier choice.

When it comes to real sugar (sucrose) versus artificial sweeteners, like the ones found in diet sodas and ‘zero-calorie”…

Read more

Myths vs. Facts: Binge Eating

Posted April 29, 2019 by Kristen A. Knepp, PhD Summa Health Clinical Psychologist


According to the American Psychiatric Association, eating disorders affect millions of Americans, mostly women between 12 and 35 years old. There are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder (BED). The focus of this blog post will be on BED.

BED is the most common eating disorder in the US. It can be characterized by recurring episodes in which large quantities of food are consumed (more food than most people would consume over the same…

Read more

Plantar Fasciitis – It’s Not Just For Runners

Posted April 22, 2019 by Jeffrey T Junko, MD, Summa Health Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery


If you are a runner, chances are you’ve heard of plantar fasciitis. It’s one of the most common causes of heel pain. However, any job or activity where you are on your feet for long periods of time can put you at risk as well.

An introduction to plantar fasciitis

A thick band of tissue - plantar fascia - connects your heel bone to your toes. This tissue acts as a shock-absorber on the feet. If tension and stress start to cause small tears, this ribbon-like tissue…

Read more

Osteoporosis: Don't Be Broken

Posted April 14, 2019


6 Proactive Simple Steps You Can Take

Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis is a disease in which there is an increased risk of fracturing a bone from a non-traumatic fall or even simple actions such as sneezing.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass. Studies also show that 50% of women and 25% of men around age 50 are at risk for breaking a bone secondary to…

Read more

Healthy Spring Break Staycations

Posted March 25, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD, Summa Health Medical Group - Family Medicine


While the idea of slipping away for a tropical island vacation sounds dreamy right about now, a staycation can actually be a healthier alternative to a big trip. We’re not talking about a week on the sofa, movie-binge-style spring break. This staycation keeps you local but is also packed with outdoor activities and the arts. These types of activities can prevent:

  • Processed food binge, especially on longer road trips. Kitchens and fresh produce aren’t usually close…

Read more

Are you high-risk? Lung health and lower respiratory disease

Posted March 18, 2019 by Sandy Kohut, RRT, BSAS Lead Lung Navigator


Chronic lower respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death, behind cancer and heart disease in Ohio. Chronic lower respiratory disease is a broad term that includes a variety of diseases that affect the lungs, like: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema (a type of COPD), chronic bronchitis and non-reversible asthma.

Roughly one in six Americans will suffer from some pulmonary disease in their lifetime. Most of those affected usually associate…

Read more

An arthritis survival guide for cold weather

Posted March 11, 2019 by Robert S. Crawford, MD, CAQSM, Summa Center for Sports Health, Summa Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine


The calendar says Spring is coming – but the weather in Northeast Ohio still feels like winter.  For those who suffer from arthritis, the chilly temperatures can cause serious discomfort. For some, the cold can even trigger severe body pain; we’ve all heard stories of ‘feeling’ the weather change.

How does the weather affect individuals with arthritis?

While more research is needed, there are a few theories as to why some individuals experience more severe joint pain in colder weather. 

Read more

Colon Cancer Screening: What Are Your Options?

Posted March 05, 2019 by Cindy Jones, BSN, RN, OCN, CTTS Patient Care Navigator, Oncology Services


Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable, treatable and beatable cancers; however, early detection is key.

Risks increase with age and according to the CDC, more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur in those over the age of 50. Unfortunately, most precancerous polyps don’t cause any symptoms. Once the cancer has reached a more progressive stage, symptoms may appear. Those symptoms can include blood in or on the stool, stomach aches, pain or cramping that doesn’t go away, unexplained weight loss and change in bowel habits. These symptoms do occur in many other diseases and infections, you should consult with your doctor immediately.

Read more

Should my teen get the HPV vaccination?

Posted February 04, 2019 by Robin Laskey, M.D. Summa Health Gynecologic Oncology


The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Each HPV virus is identified by a number, known as its “type or strain.” Some of these viruses do nothing at all, some strains lead to genital warts while others can lead to serious types of cancer.

HPV is very common. In fact, at least 14 million people become infected each year. Some estimate at least 40 percent of Americans have at least one strain. The virus is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the virus, during vaginal, anal or oral sex. HPV is so common that nearly all men and women come in contact with an HPV virus at some point in their lives.

Read more

Sugar: It may be an Addiction

Posted January 06, 2019 by Suman Vellanki, M.D. Summa Health Addiction Medicine


Most of us know that too much sugar is not good for our overall health. But what you may not know is that growing research is showing what’s bad for the body may also be bad for the brain.

A recent study published in Scientific Reports found that a group of men between 35 and 55 who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar daily from sweetened foods and beverages were more likely to develop anxietydepression, and other common mental disorders after 5 years, compared with men with a lower daily sugar intake. In no way does this imply that excess sugar causes mental disorders in the general population; rather this was a select study which also found no similar correlation for the women who participated in the research.

Read more


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.