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Local doctor is finalist for 'Hero' award

A local family practice physician known for the caring and attentive way he tends to his patients, who are mostly the elderly, was recently named a 2015 Senior Care Hero Award finalist.

Dr. Jose De Souza Jr., of Centers for Family in Los Alamitos, was among the final nominees for the award program that honors the unsung heroes in the local senior industry. The program is sponsored by SeniorServ, the county's largest Meals on Wheels and nonprofit senior nutrition provider. The award winners were announced on Oct. 17 during the awards Gala at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

De Souza, who has practiced in the area for 25 years, was nominated because of the high regard and compassion he has shown for his senior patients and their extended families. In particular, he was credited for his caring bedside manner, attentive listening and overall professional integrity. He was also cited for his constant willingness to give up his personal time to handle priority or urgent cases.

"His patients really trust him and they know that he won't over-diagnose or prescribe medication they don't really need or send them all over the place for testing," is how he was described in award nomination testimony. "Seniors just really love him. Dr. De Souza is the right physician for the job."

In the testimony, it was noted that nearly all of De Souza's staff members and their parents choose him as their primary care physician. "He diagnosed my husband with cancer in August 2005 and took wonderful care of him until he passed away," wrote one employee. "Dr. De Souza would come to my house to see my husband and take care of him when he was no longer able to walk.

De Souza's spirit and concern for the health needs of the community also extends beyond his practice, according to testimony. He and his wife work at a free clinic in Los Alamitos.

He co-founded the facility with a colleague several years ago as a way to service those in need who don't have access to professional health services.

"This caring, highly compassionate physician is very deserving," the testimony declared.

For more information about the awards, go to


•    Press Enterprise 10/28/15

Dr. Wainwright interviewed on KIIS-FM

In an interview that aired live on July 17, Dr. Wainwright, FP spoke to KIIS-FM about how to stay safe while enjoying the hot summer weather, as well as other heat related medical conditions.

Click here to listen to the audio segment

Techie helps OC seniors go digital

Jose Juarez helps OC seniors go digital

They jokingly know him simply as “doctor” and he’s respected for the old-fashioned way he stops in to see the elderly and do what he can to make their lives a little better.

But he is not a physician and he doesn’t provide health care advice. 

What Jose Juarez does is serve as a good listener who applies his knowledge to help seniors solve their problems -- problems, that is, with how to use digital devices like smartphones and tablets.

Juarez is a smiling, energetic and busy father of three who has become the digital resource for many local seniors. As a community ambassador for Monarch HealthCare, he regularly visits with seniors and as part of that service he has been helping them learn the new ways of communication, including how to use email and social media. 

Juarez doesn’t subscribe to the notion that new technology is for young people only. “Two months ago, I helped this lady connect with her daughter. She had never met her grandson,” Juarez recalled during a recent trip to the San Juan Capistrano Senior Center.  “The grandson was three and I helped them do Facetime.  And I mean there were just tears at how thankful she was. It was unbelievable.”

Juarez performs his monthly “house calls,” which usually involve small classes or “clinics,” all around Orange County at community venues and senior centers. The work is part of a comprehensive outreach strategy deployed by Monarch, one of the largest physician groups in Orange County and Long Beach. 

Monarch believes that helping seniors adapt to and use technology helps them avoid isolation and stay better connected to social support structures. Those structures can allow opportunities for family and friends to be aware of their elderly loved one’s living conditions or other issues.  Being able to use technology is also the beginning of how healthcare will be delivered.  Having the knowledge to use technology helps the patients manage their own health. The overall result is that seniors are able to maintain happier, healthier lives. 

In keeping with this belief in connectivity, Monarch has generously allowed Juarez to make the most of his position by encouraging his use of digital, social and teaching skills.  He has shown a professional passion that has been appreciated by all concerned.

During a recent visit, Juarez puts a smartphone on the table in front of him, along with an iPad and a laptop computer. And then he starts getting questions ― a lady in her 70s wants to know what’s the difference between Wi-Fi and data, a gentleman wants to learn how to upload photos on a Facebook page so he can share some memories with his grandkids.

“It just makes me happy to help seniors citizens learn all about modern technology. It starts with how to turn a phone on, how to create an account, email, Facebook, contacts – it’s pure joy to see how I can help them contact their family through smartphone technology,” says Juarez.  “I am surprised at how many are interested in using new technology.”

There is a teaching style that Juarez has developed while working with his “students.”  For example, he has to overcome fears some have about breaking a phone or accidentally deleting data from a tablet. But once those basic skills are worked out, including swiping and tapping techniques, there are usually lots of details that can be provided on topics such as network security, data settings and photo sharing.

He has learned, unfortunately, that some seniors haven’t learned about the digital age because their relatives don’t work enough with them. “It’s kind of sad, but the biggest setback they have is their families don’t have the patience for it,” he said. “Their kids don’t have patience or they get upset because they keep asking the same question.”

He is grateful about all the compliments and kudos he receives. It can be, at times, a little overwhelming to know that he is helping people stay connected and closer to their families and friends. He knows that these types of connections can be important positives in the health and well-being of seniors.
“It changes their lives,” he explained about helping seniors learn about simple techniques such as sending a text to a family member.  “The other day I met with this lady in Rancho Santa Margarita. She was, like, 92-years-old.  And she walked out of there so happy knowing that she can answer a (wireless) phone call!”

Juarez is well aware there is a great need to help seniors come fully in the cyber world. He has noticed how the same people sometimes show up for his visits at different sites.

 “I have people following me on my tours through San Clemente, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita and Lake Forest and San Juan Capistrano. I feel like a rock star!” jokes Juarez.

“Of course, there is a serious lesson to be learned here as well,” he adds. “My teaching them about modern technology changes lives for the better. They feel more involved, more valuable again. And connected with others.  As people age, it can be hard to get out.  But it’s important to our mental health to stay in touch with family and friends.  It keeps our minds sharp.  It’s a win-win situation.”

Seniors can look forward to attending the next digital technology classes at Lake Forest Senior Center on Tuesday, November 17th from 12:00pm - 1:30pm. The Lake Forest Senior Center is located at 25550 Commerce Centre Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92630.

Seniors can also attend digital technology classes at Bell Tower Senior Center on Tuesday, October 27th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Tuesday, November 10th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Tuesday, November 24th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. The Bell Tower Senior Center is located at 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


Watch out for the Sun

Skin cancers are one of the most common cancers in the US.  Luckily, most types are also very curable but be sure you know the signs and risk factors of skin cancers so you can catch it early.  Unusual changes such as a mole that bleeds, itches or is fast growing, a scaly or crusted growth on your skin or a sore that won’t heal, are common signs of skin cancer.  When you notice a mole that has changed or if you have a new mole that doesn’t look like your other moles, see your doctor right away. 

Long Beach Expo event answers health questions for seniors

Seniors need information to make decisions

They are simple health questions for most people but they can be critically important for older folks like those who attended the recent Successful Aging Expo 2015 at the Westin hotel in Long Beach. One of the Expo's featured presentations, a fun question-and-answer session titled "Who Wants to be a Healthy Monarch Millionaire?" challenged participants to think twice about their beliefs and understanding of various health and lifestyle issues.

On hand to provide the definitive answers were Dr. Rozalie V. Jackson, M.D. and a team of other professionals representing Monarch HealthCare, an association of physicians in private practice. The team put the questions together and organized the game show-style session, which offered participants prizes for those who guessed right.

"Seniors have longer life expectancies nowadays, and so – together with their families – their medical matters need to be coordinated and lifestyle habits oriented toward prevention," said Dr. Jackson, a Long Beach physician who specializes in internal medicine and care for the elderly.

"I do my best to keep them out of the hospital," she said about her patients, many of whom have multiple medical problems and chronic conditions. "It's a blessing. I enjoy my experience and rapport with my patients and their families."

Yes, generics are certainly OK because they are high-quality, safe and affordable. No, it's better to stick with one pharmacy that can keep better track of all your prescriptions. And all the holiday treats are best but only if they are taken in moderation.

Source: Sun newspapers 10/15/15


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