PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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TAKING SAFETY SERIOUSLY - FPA OFFICE IMPLEMENTS PRECAUTIONS IN LIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 pandemic has required Family Practice Associates to make some changes to safeguard the health of both our patients and our staff. During this time, certain services may not be offered and our evening hours may not be available. COVID-19 testing can be done at our office, but we have a limited supply of testing kits, so providers will determine if you qualify.


In accordance with the governor’s and the health department’s guidelines, FPA providers are now seeing patients in the office for most conditions as well as via telehealth. You can schedule a face-to-face or telehealth visit with one of our providers by calling (859) 278-5007 or sending a message via your patient portal.


Most acute illnesses should be seen in the office along with follow-ups for serious and chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, including performing labs and making refills, as well as doing annual physicals. We want to be sure patients with serious and chronic conditions receive proper evaluations, lab work, etc., so their conditions do not deteriorate. Telehealth options are also available.


We are using mobile check-in and other protocols, such as waiting in your car after check-in, to minimize risks. According to published

guidelines, all patients coming into the office should wear their own masks and limit to having one accompanying family member only if necessary. FPA is taking extra precautions, including social distancing within our office, cleaning and disinfecting frequently and between patients as well as taking the temperatures of everyone who comes into the office. Our staff will wear masks.


Pre-visit emails from Phreesia allow patients to complete all registrations from home. These include screens for COVID-19, including fever, cough, etc. Patients will also receive instructions for next steps.


We have implemented online scheduling to make it easier for you to reschedule appointments that were canceled during the pandemic. Simply go to our Web site at www.fpalex.com and click the Online Scheduling button.


Our office at 615 East Brannon Road, Suite 100, reopened May 11 with our usual provider schedule. Counseling services with Raleigh Kincaid, LMFT, and our newest mental health provider, Dr. Latoya Lee, DNP, APRN, are available at our Brannon office and via telehealth. Our physical therapist, Theresa Hobson, PT, is also seeing patients at our Brannon office on the second floor and via telehealth.



Our goals are to protect our staff and patients but also to keep patients healthy and out of hospitals and emergency rooms. We are urging all our patients to follow the standard recommendations: practice social distancing, cover your cough, wash your hands frequently, use sanitizer, wear your masks and be kind to others.


Please be patient with us as things begin to return to normal. We want everyone to feel comfortable and know they are not at risk when they come to our office. We are doing our best to care for our patients in the safest way possible during this unprecedented crisis. Please call our office at (859) 278-5007 or send a patient portal message if you have any questions or if you need to make an appointment.


We also wanted to say thank you to all who have been praying for one of our founding physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Foxx, during his battle with COVID-19. Thankfully, he is feeling better and is recovering at home. If you had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Foxx, please feel free to reschedule with one of our other providers until he returns.


Your Family, Your Health, Our Passion.

JOSEPH E. GERHARDSTEIN



Dr. Gerhardstein is a native of Fort Thomas, Ky. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 2003. His specialty is family practice. Dr. Gerhardstein shares Nietzsche’s philosophy: “That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.”