Leave A Review Translate

Please choose a language

Choose
Navigation
Pay My Bill

We are a full-service, family-centered, primary care facility providing quality, affordable, accessible health care.

Make a difference Donate

Looking for a doctor? Click Here

Patient Portal Click Here

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

National Take Back Day is October 27, 2018. To find a collection site near you, visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/

 

Employee Spotlight – Dr. Jagdeep Kaur

The Keystone Health Employee Spotlight for October shines on Dr. Jagdeep Kaur, Psychiatrist at Keystone Behavioral Health!

Jagdeep, who is board certified in both general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, began working at Keystone in July of 2014. She had just graduated with her addiction psychiatry fellowship, and a friend recommended she apply at Keystone.

“Dr. Kawish Garg is a very close friend and he was working at Keystone at that time,” she said. “My daughter, Naaz was an infant and my husband was in Brooklyn, New York doing his pediatric residency training. I did not want to live in a busy city but did not want to be very far from family either. Chambersburg was the perfect location and I decided to join Keystone.”

More than four years later, she’s glad she did.

“My favorite part of my job is seeing my patients doing well and achieving their goals,” she said. “It is hard for me to see them suffering and anything we can do, to alleviate that suffering as a team, is done at Keystone. Seeing patients appreciating these efforts is very fulfilling, and saving lives and saving families makes me very proud.”

Jagdeep spends her work days providing psychiatric and substance abuse medical services to her patients, and then keeps just as busy at home with her family. She lives in Greencastle with her husband, 5-year-old daughter, and 3-year old son. While her days can be hectic, she makes family time a priority and also makes sure to take some time for herself each day.

“I wake up at 5 am every weekday,” she said. “For 20 minutes in the morning I do physical exercise and/or meditation. After dropping off my kids at daycare, I start work at 8 am. I work full time and get off at 5 pm. As you know evenings and mornings are always busy for working moms but I make sure to go to bed on time.”

When she does get some free time, Jagdeep’s hobbies include reading, writing, and time with her children. She also enjoys keeping a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, and doing meditation to help her stay healthy and active.

Thank you, Jagdeep, for all that you do for Keystone and our patients!

Emergency Department Or Urgent Care – Choosing The Option That’s Right For You

When some people feel sick or have a minor injury, their first thought is to visit the emergency department at their local hospital. However, there are other options. Urgent care offices are able to treat a variety of illnesses and minor injuries, often more quickly and with less cost to the patient than if the patient would visit an emergency department.

In today’s Take Care article Shannon Fegan, a Certified Physician Assistant at Keystone Urgent Care, explains the difference between urgent cares and emergency departments, and gives some tips about selecting the option that’s right for you.

What are the main differences between an urgent care office and the emergency department?

An urgent care office is designed to treat minor injuries and non-life threatening illnesses, particularly when you are unable to be seen by your PCP (Primary Care Provider) or when it is after your normal PCP’s hours. Emergency departments are for severe injuries and life-threatening illnesses. Typically, wait times are less in an urgent care due to less severe ailments being treated than those seen in an emergency department. Appointments are not needed at urgent cares, and often insurance copays are lower as well.

What types of ailments can be treated at an urgent care office?

Most urgent care centers treat things such as minor fractures (particularly of the wrist, arm, ankle and foot), sprains/strains, cold or flu-like symptoms, seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, rashes, minor lacerations, minor headaches, ear/sinus pain, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, eye irritation/swelling/pain and mild asthma symptoms. Chronic health problems should be managed by your PCP and not an urgent care. Urgent care centers typically do not do ongoing follow-up care or routine lab work. Some physical examinations, like school sports physicals, can be done in urgent cares; however, routine yearly physical examinations and routine childhood vaccinations must go through a PCP. Flu shots, however, are given at most urgent care centers.

How should you decide whether to go to the emergency department or an urgent care?

With true emergencies, time is of the essence. Do not delay your care by going to an urgent care first if you are experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, signs/symptoms of a stroke, head trauma, loss of consciousness, severe bleeding, fractures where the bone is protruding through the skin, severe abdominal pain (particularly in the lower abdomen), loss of vision or severe headache.

What are some benefits to choosing an urgent care facility for minor health problems?

The majority of patients who go to an urgent care are seen by a provider within 30 minutes of arrival. It is convenient for those who are unable to see their PCP for minor illnesses due to work/school schedules.

What should patients know about insurance and payments before selecting where to seek healthcare?

The copay at urgent care offices is often lower than that of emergency department copays. Most urgent care centers take insurance. If you aren’t certain if your insurance is accepted by the urgent care you are going to visit, call ahead and talk to the staff. They will be able to help you determine if your insurance is accepted. Recognize that because an urgent care office is not a PCP, medical advice is not given over the phone.

Will your wait at the hospital be shorter if you visit an urgent care first?

Unfortunately, I frequently hear from patients that they knew they needed to be in an emergency department but thought if they came to urgent care first, it would mean they wouldn’t have to wait as long in the emergency department. There are many factors that go into the length of time one waits in an emergency department, none of which are impacted by being sent to the emergency department from an urgent care. If you have a serious health issue, as discussed above, do not delay your care; go directly to the emergency department.

 

This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.

Know The Facts About Penicillin Allergies

September 28 was National Penicillin Allergy Day. Penicillin is the most commonly reported drug allergy. Reactions from penicillin can range from mild to severe. Dr. Raghavendra Tirupathi, Medical Director of Keystone Infectious Diseases, wants to educate the public about penicillin allergies, and shares important information for those who have had past allergic reactions to penicillin or a related drug.

What is penicillin?

Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Ninety years later, it is still one of the most important and commonly prescribed antibiotics. The penicillin family of antibiotics has more than 15 chemically related drugs, including penicillin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ampicillin, methicillin, and dicloxacillin that are given to treat many bacterial infections. A penicillin allergy is an abnormal reaction of your immune system to the antibiotic penicillin.

What causes a penicillin allergy?

A penicillin allergy occurs when your immune system mistakes the drug for a harmful substance. It happens when a body reacts to penicillin as if it were an infection instead of an antibiotic. Your immune system needs to be exposed to penicillin at least one time before it can develop sensitivity to it. If sensitivity does develop after your immune system mistakes it for a harmful substance, you will develop an antibody to the drug. Antibodies identify and counteract foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses that enter your body. The next time you take penicillin, these specific antibodies detect it and direct the immune system to attack the substance. There are chemicals that are released by this activity, and they cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Are penicillin allergies common?  

About 10% of the population reports that they are allergic to penicillin. However, most of these patients (90% or more) may not actually be allergic. The majority of people lose their allergy to penicillin over time. Even those who reported a strong reaction in the past, such as anaphylaxis (a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction) may lose their allergy.

Are penicillin allergies genetic?

There is no evidence of penicillin allergies being genetic. Just because a family member is allergic to penicillin or an antibiotic in the penicillin family, you do not need to be scared to take the medication.

What are some of the symptoms of a penicillin allergy?

There are several reactions that can occur immediately or shortly after (usually within one hour of) dosage. These include: hives (multiple raised pink/red areas of the skin that are intensely itchy), tongue, throat and face swelling, shortness of breath, wheezing, sensation of throat closure or choking, change in voice-quality, lightheadedness, racing of the heart, chest pain, a sense of impending doom, and/or loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

Reactions that occur later can include a whole body rash similar to measles which occurs five to seven days after starting the antibiotic

What do patients who have a penicillin allergy need to know?

They should be sure that their penicillin allergy or other antibiotic allergy is accurately identified in their medical records. Please make sure the type of reaction is also documented clearly. If the allergy is severe, you should wear a medical alert bracelet that identifies your drug allergy. This information can ensure proper treatment in an emergency.

Why is it very important to identify and document penicillin allergies accurately?

Penicillin is the most commonly reported drug allergy. Patients who report penicillin allergies tend to receive more expensive and stronger antibiotics, which can lead to significant adverse effects and antibiotic resistance. By identifying patients who are not actually penicillin allergic, we can improve antibiotic prescribing methods and combat the risk of super-bugs like MRSA and C-Diff. Penicillin allergy testing is available and may be beneficial to your future health. 98% of hospitalized patients with a history of penicillin allergies have a negative result when tested.

Know the facts and get tested. Talk to your doctor about penicillin allergy testing.

 

This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.

 

Inclusion: Accepting People Living With Disabilities

Joel Desotelle, licensed pediatric occupational therapist and program director of Keystone Pediatric Therapies in Chambersburg, wants the public understand that everyone has value in our community, even those who live with a disability.

Living Up To Standards

In our society, we tend to put individuals with tremendous talent and ability up on a pedestal. At the same time, we often compare ourselves, our children, and others to some unspoken standard. For individuals who live with a disability, such as cognitive or physical challenges, our attention is easily drawn to what these individuals cannot do or even some of the side effects like behaviors commonly seen in a child with autism. Whether gifted or challenged, we are all different and have a purpose in our community.

Ability vs. Disability

Living with a disability can be very challenging. The difficulties a disability presents each day often demand our attention and resources, and so it is easy to focus on an individual’s disability because they stand out. But each individual also has many abilities as well as untapped potential. I have witnessed children with profound cognitive deficits draw amazing pictures, sing like an angel, remember details that would challenge any of us, love their family unconditionally, and so much more. Yes there are challenges, but if our focus is on what these individuals cannot do, it is easy to miss out on what they can do. Furthermore, by seeing people as abled vs. disabled, we rightfully offer each person the dignity they deserve.

Alienation

I work with many families who struggle to go out into the community. They are fearful of what others may think or how to cope with an environment that is overly stimulating and/or not designed for individuals with disabilities. This can leave families staying at home and isolated. These aren’t just fears; I hear stories every day of people staring, criticizing, pointing, and even asking people to leave. Whether a business, an organization or just someone out in the community at a restaurant or shopping, everyone needs to do their part to embrace these challenges and accept those individuals whose lives are enriched by being able to participate in the community without judgment or criticism.

Seek Understanding

Many disabilities are hard to understand. For example, autism is complex and confusing, even for those of us who try to help these individuals. So it is easy to understand why one might misinterpret a child having a meltdown in a store, not realizing that these kids are easily overwhelmed, fixate on objects, misinterpret their surroundings, and process information differently. Our community benefits greatly by educating ourselves and better understanding the disabilities others may live with. Offering help and/or encouragement instead of judgement paves the way for these individuals to feel more accepted, opening up opportunities for each of them to learn and grow, simply by sending the message that “we want you here.”

Invitation To Our Community

Being proactive in developing a community that embraces individuals living with a disability will enrich not only our community, but our own lives as well. Businesses and organizations can be proactive by making doors and hallways wheelchair accessible, but also having a plan or space for our sensory-sensitive kids (sensory-sensitive tables in restaurants, quiet rooms to enable an individual space to decompress, etc). Businesses should also consider creating employment opportunities, while organizations can promote disability-friendly programs. And individuals, whether a relative or someone you see in the community, be patient, understanding, and accepting and together we can create a community where everyone feels welcome.

 

This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.

Employee Spotlight – Sue Driver

The Keystone Health Employee Spotlight for September shines on Sue Driver, Outreach Enrollment Navigator!

Sue began working for Keystone in March 2014, and has found fulfillment in working with Keystone’s patients and the public in general.

“What makes me proud of the work I do is that it helps people to have better lives in ways they determine for themselves,” she said. “Being able to help other people is the most personally fulfilling work that I could do. And I am also proud to work at an agency that employs some of the kindest, most caring people I have ever worked with.”

Sue’s job responsibilities make a difference in the community by helping people sign up for health insurance or Keystone’s reduced fee program which ensures they are able to get the healthcare they need. She also connects people to other local resources to meet their daily needs outside of healthcare.

“A typical day for me would include answering calls from patients and the public about getting health insurance and related issues,” she said. “Patients and the public can schedule appointments or walk in. I also get referrals from Keystone Health staff and the community and make referrals to community agencies as needed. On any given day I could help someone complete an application online for Medical Assistance and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), for example. My workday involves a lot of phone, computer, and paperwork all related to helping people get health insurance and related services and supports.”

Sue lives in southern Franklin County with her husband, George, their Labrador, Maya, and their four cats. Her favorite hobbies include shopping, reading, watching TV, and attending area events. To stay active and healthy she enjoys going to Zumba classes and taking Maya for walks.

While she’s not originally from Franklin County, she and her husband now call it home.

“We are Pittsburgh area natives but have lived in this area for about 25 years,” she said. “I enjoy the rural character of Franklin County and also that it is in close proximity to a number of urban areas which enables me to have the best of both worlds.”

Thank you, Sue, for all that you do for Keystone and our patients!

Q & A with Dr. Jagdeep Kaur – Drug Overdose Awareness

On the occasion of International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31st, I would like to educate my community about the ill-effects of drug use. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic. It is costing us lives, but recovery from drug use is possible.

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States

The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States is continuing to increase at an alarming rate. Drug poisoning (overdose) deaths include deaths resulting from an unintentional or intentional overdose of a drug, being given the wrong drug, taking a drug in error, or taking a drug inadvertently. Drugs involved in drug overdose deaths include methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, natural and semi-synthetic opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids other than methadone. According to the  National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) that covers provisional birth, death, marriage, and divorce statistics:

  • From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
  • Provisional data from 2017 presented 72,000 total drug overdose deaths.
  • Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was five times higher than in 1999.
  • On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In Franklin County Pennsylvania, the number of lives lost due to drug overdoses in 2017 was 35. In 2016 the overdose death count was 46.

Below, I have answered some commonly asked questions related to drugs and addiction.

Q: What are opioids?

A: Opioids is a comprehensive term that includes every single substance that stimulates opioid receptors in the human body. These include natural opiates, semisynthetic opioids from natural opiates (oxycodone, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone) and synthetic opioids manufactured from basic chemicals in the lab (methadone, fentanyl etc.).

Q: What is opium?

A: It is specific sticky residue that can be extracted from the opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferum).

Q: What are opiates? A: These are natural components of opium poppy including morphine and codeine.

Q: How do opioids affect the brain and body?

A: Opioid receptors are present in the brain, spinal cord, and gut. In the brain there are highly concentrated areas controlling pain perception, emotion regulation, memory control, breathing control and the pleasure center.

Q: What is addiction?

A: Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuits. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. Addiction is a brain disease and it presents itself as lack of control over the use of drugs, in spite of having social and relationship problems due to drugs.

Q: Why do people use drugs?

A: People might be using drugs due to many different reasons. They could be curious about drugs and start experimenting with them. There could be social or peer pressure to fit in. Drug use could result from brain disease, chemical coping, or lifestyle choice.   

People use drugs to feel better as these drugs affect the brain’s pleasure center. Feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious could be another reason some use drugs for coping with these emotions. Some people use drugs to improve their performance as they want to get more done in less time.

Q: If drugs are making people feel better, helping them cope with their emotions and improving performance then what is the problem?

A: The problem is the brain changes due to drug use. The good effects of drug use are not lasting as long and the person feels the urge to use high doses to feel the same effects. In the case they don’t use drugs, they start going through withdrawal which is an unpleasant feeling. Due to drug use, a person’s behavior starts changing. They are spending more time looking for the drug, intoxicated, or recovering from the effects of drugs. They are not spending much time with family or friends, may be stealing money to support their drug use, and their functioning is declining. They are often not able to keep a job as they lose control over the drug use, and keep using drugs although it is causing physical, social, legal, and relationship problems. It is not only the person using drugs that suffers from their addiction; their family members and friends are suffering from the consequences as well.

Q: What are the risk factors for overdose and addiction?

A: No one is immune to addiction but still there are associated factors that increase the risk of overdose and addiction, including:

  • Taking higher doses of opioids
  • Using opioids long-term
  • Taking opioids with other substances that affect the respiratory center in the brain e.g., benzodiazepine or alcohol
  • Adolescence
  • Age of 65 years or older
  • Sleep disordered breathing
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Psychiatric history
  • History of overdose and substance use disorder

Q: Are there any protective factors for addition?

A: Not everyone who experiments with drugs or takes prescribed medications gets addicted. We should not judge anybody based on their medical conditions or medications that they are taking. Factors that can protect people from developing addictions are:

  • Good self-control
  • Parental monitoring and support
  • Positive relationships
  • Good grades
  • School and drug policies
  • Neighborhood resources

Don’t leave drug use untreated as it could have a fatal outcome. Seek help and stay healthy.

This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.

Ask The Pharmacist: What’s The Right Way To Store and Dispose Of Medications?

Whether taking medications is part of your daily routine or only happens when you’re sick, it’s important for everyone to be educated about medication safety. Do you know the right ways to store and dispose of your medications?

In today’s Take Care article Charles Hill, a Registered Pharmacist and Director of Keystone Pharmacy, shares some medication safety tips that everyone can benefit from.

What is the right way to store medications?

Most people don’t realize that heat, air, light and moisture can damage their medication. Proper storage of your medication is very important to its effectiveness. Most medications can be stored at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) unless otherwise indicated. In addition to temperature, a relative humidity less than 60% will prevent moisture damage.

Some tips for proper medication storage include:

  1. Store your medication in a cool dry place (a dresser drawer, storage closet, on an open shelf or a kitchen cabinet as long as it’s located away from heat sources)
  2. Avoid storing medications in the “medicine cabinet” typically located in your bathroom. The heat and moisture from the shower, bath or sink may damage your medication
  3. Keep medications in their original dispensing containers. Prescription vials used by pharmacies are designed to keep moisture and harmful UV light away from your medication
  4. Ask your pharmacist about any specific storage instructions for your medication

For those that have children or grandchildren in their homes, proper storage should also take into account the child’s protection. Place your medicine where it will be out of reach and out of sight. You might also consider a child latch or lock

What is the proper way to dispose of unused medications?

Keeping unneeded prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet is no longer safe or responsible. If you have outdated or unwanted medications in your house, please dispose of them properly. Disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals is becoming readily available and environmentally safe through drug take-back programs.

Chambersburg has a permanent disposal site located at the Chambersburg Police Department at 116 S Second Street, Chambersburg. It’s available Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm. If you don’t live in Chambersburg, you can find the take-back location closest to you by visiting The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) website.

Additionally, many pharmacies have available for purchase drug deactivation systems, which render drugs ineffective and safe for disposal in your regular trash.

Please do not dispose of your medication down the sink or toilet. Public water treatment plants were never designed to remove pharmaceuticals from the water. Never dispose of your medication directly into your trash without first deactivating. Medications placed in trash bins end up in landfills and can leach into the ground water.

 

This article contains general information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or care by a qualified health care provider.

Employee Spotlight – Buffy Jones

The Keystone Health Employee Spotlight for August shines on Buffy Jones, Licensed Practical Nurse at Keystone Infectious Diseases!

Buffy began her career at Keystone in September 2009. She had 15 years of experience as a Medical Assistant, and had recently earned her LPN license when she applied at Keystone.

“I wanted to make a difference and use my nursing skills with people and patients I felt I could relate to,” she said. “I am proud to work at Keystone because I can let patients know what programs we have to offer people who can’t get help, medical care, or prescriptions otherwise, and people with no insurance or drug addictions, etc.”

Buffy’s job responsibilities keep her quite busy.

“I work with (Registered Nurse) Amy Heckman in the Infectious Diseases office in the mornings, and then I go to the hospital and work in the wound clinic with the Infectious Diseases doctors for the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon,” she said. “I then go back to the office and finish up the day by answering phones and messages and doing medication changes.”

When asked what she most likes about her job, you can tell that Buffy truly cares about the people she works with.

“I’m proud when patients can remember my name and they make me feel like I made a difference in their life,” she said. “I enjoy working with the patients and my ID doctors, and the challenge of learning new infections and treatment plans.”

A fact that people may be surprised to learn about Buffy is that she was born in another country.

“I was born in Germany and came home to the United States at 3 months old,” she said.

She now lives in Chambersburg with her husband Rodney, and their two dogs, Minnie Pearl and Pepper. She and Rodney enjoy spending time with their four children and 11 grandchildren, and Buffy also keeps busy with her favorite hobbies: crafts, reading, and gardening.

Thank you, Buffy, for all that you do for Keystone and our patients!

Free Pap Test and Other Health Services! August 13-August 17, 2018

FREE health care services at Keystone Community Outreach!