New Mercy Walk-In Clinic option

quick tip mercyMamas, we know that getting sick NEVER comes at a convenient time. So it’s good to have a few different options on where and when to get help from a doctor.

Mercy (one of our nwaMotherlode sponsors) has just added a new walk-in clinic service at the Mercy Clinic Primary Care location at 2900 Moberly Lane in Bentonville.

This clinic will have providers treating the following minor symptoms: Flu, sore throat, cough cold, congestion, sinus infection, pink eye, urinary tract infection, and rash.

If your symptoms match up to one of those listed, you can see a doctor or nurse practitioner at the Moberly Lane clinic Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

This is a walk-in clinic so there’s no need for an appointment, but we do advise calling the clinic on your way there just to see how long the wait might be. That phone number is 479-273-1550.

The Mercy Convenient Care Clinic — the one located on Highway 102 — will continue to operate as normal.

Health: The MyMercy App

smartphone woman600If you’re as co-dependent on your smartphone as we are, you already know that a well-designed app can be a mama’s best friend. It makes getting things done online faster, easier and doable no matter where you are.

my mercy app icon google playIf you’re not already communicating with your family doctor or your kid’s pediatrician via the MyMercy app, you should be. It’s so much easier to store all that important info (about appointments, test results, medications, etc.) on your app instead of trying to remember it all.

Here are 10 cool things the MyMercy app can do (so you won’t have to):

1. Store your child’s immunization history.

2. Review test results

3. Keep a list of all your medications.

4. Manage appointment times.

5. Message your doctor directly.

6. Read notes written by your doctor about recent appointments.

7. Upload health and fitness data. (You can even upload data from your Apple Health app if you’re using the tracking program.)

8. View and pay your medical bills.

9. See health information for every member of your family.

10. Request a copy of your medical records.

Below are a few screenshots of what the app looks like from the inside. To use the app, all you need to do is create your account through Once you’re all set up, just download the app from the App Store or Google Play and start using it.

mymercy app collage

Health: Out of joint

We all know our bodies are made to move, but when you have a problem with one of your joints, it can not only make your daily routine painful, it can also prevent you from doing the things you dr. scott cooperlove. We asked local joint expert Scott Cooper, MD of Mercy to weigh in on our top 5 questions about maintaining healthy joints (for ourselves and our kids).

If your kids are playing competitive sports, be sure to pay close attention to Dr. Cooper’s answer to the fourth question. He gave us some compelling information about the dangers of overspecialization in youth sports.

How can I be sure that my work-out isn’t damaging my joints or causing long-term problems?

I’d say the best way to avoid joint damage while working out is to listen to your body. Muscle soreness is different than joint pain. Some soreness is to be expected after healthy, vigorous exercise, but if you have a knee, for example, that hurts and swells after a workout, that’s NOT normal.

Some people find that they’re able to walk a certain distance every day and be fine, but if they exceed that distance much, they hurt. I tell those patients to find out what and how much they can do knee xraywithout such pain, and stick to those limits. Joints are made to move, and exercise is not inherently harmful to them. In fact, it’s good for them, but if it hurts, it’s telling you to slack off, and if it’s significantly limiting, it’s probably worth a visit to the doctor to see what’s wrong.

If I have a sore joint after a work-out or after an accident, what are the best at-home treatments?

Remember the acronym RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For the first 48 hours or so after an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, or even minor soreness after a workout, RICE is the thing, but remember that moderation is key. Don’t give yourself frostbite with an ice pack, and don’t put an ACE bandage on too tightly.

What are some of the most common ways people hurt their joints as they get older?

Older people most commonly hurt their joints through trauma from simple falls. Fractures involving the wrist and hip are most common, but injuries around the knee and shoulder are not rare.

What are the biggest risk factors for kids who develop joint problems?

The biggest problem in youth sports today is overspecialization — and it’s a HUGE problem, so huge, in fact, that one of the biggest names in orthopaedic sports medicine, Dr. James Andrews, has baseball pitchermade it his mission to put a stop to it. For example, there are people who think that the explosion in the incidence of ulnar collateral ligament injuries resulting in “Tommy John” surgery in pitchers is partly a result of these young people pitching too much from a very young age.

Parents need to realize that sports are for fun, that the odds of their kid being a professional athlete are minuscule, and even for those that are going to make it all the way to “the Bigs,” it is NOT helpful to focus exclusively on one sport (or even one part of one sport). It can actually be harmful.

Participating in other sports not only helps prevent overuse injuries and mental/emotional burnout, it can actually enhance overall athletic ability. Kobe Bryant was an accomplished soccer player. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer can show data that his football players usually played other sports growing up. There are countless examples.

What are the top 3 things moms could do to help their children prevent or avoid having joint problems?

1. Do NOT overspecialize, especially in youth sports. (See answer above for more info on this problem.)

2. Insist on good coaching of proper techniques.

3. Make sure the child gets enough rest from a particular activity (such as pitching).

Our thanks to Dr. Scott Cooper for his insight and helpful tips. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper, call 479- 271-9607 or click here for more info about him on the Mercy website.


Mercy expansion plans in Northwest Arkansas

Here they grow again! Mercy, which is one of the amazing sponsors here on nwaMotherlode, is experiencing huge growth. They recently announced a $247 million expansion plan here in Northwest Arkansas.

That means we’ll have even more medical care options available in our area as well as growth in health care jobs. Here are a few of the things we’ll be seeing soon as the expansion plans get underway.

  • MERCY2A new patient tower that will take Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas from 200 beds to 300-plus beds.
  • Addition of multiple primary care and specialty clinics in Benton County and north Washington County.
  • Creation and recruitment of new health care jobs, including physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses and other health care co-workers.
  • Enhancements to the hospital’s already robust areas of specialty care, including the heart and vascular center and women’s and children’s services.
  • Establishment of a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences community internal medicine residency program in partnership with the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. The program will provide training to eight doctors the first year, growing to 24 doctors in three years.

Some of the expansion plans are already in progress. For example, there’s an interim renovation of the Level IIIA Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which is great for babies born in Northwest Arkansas. There’s also a renovation going on for the 7th floor of the hospital, which will mean the addition of 24 inpatient beds.

NWA is also getting a new hybrid cardiac catheterization lab which provides technology for advanced heart procedures that weren’t currently being done in our area.

And good news for hospital visitors… the parking lot is getting bigger, too, by 500 spaces.

Stay tuned for more exciting additions coming soon.

Summer snacking and childhood obesity

quick tip mercyMost school-age kids are officially home for summer now, so you may find that your refrigerator and cabinet doors are opening a LOT more often these days as kids have all-day access to snacks. We asked Dr. Cassie Dyer, a pediatrician at Mercy, to give us some tips on how to help kids avoid an unhealthy weight gain that might be triggered by summertime grazing habits.

Do kids tend to gain more weight during summer break when they’re home for most of the day and able to “graze” on snacks and drinks instead of eating primarily at meal times?

bikeKids can certainly gain more weight during the summer months if they’re increasing intake through more snacks, sugary or fatty snacks, or if they’re decreasing activity. Grazing behaviors in kids can go both ways as far as weight change. Some kids may add on to their normal daily calorie intake (and gain weight) by grazing, while other kids may actually eat less during the day if they only graze rather than eat meals. Often the types and amounts of calories kids get through snacks aren’t as balanced as those we get at meal times. Try and maintain a normal meal and snack schedule during the summer months and encourage lots of activity!

What kinds of snacks should and should NOT be within reach during summer break? Should parents discourage snacking altogether?

Try and include fruit and vegetable snacks in addition to whole grains as much as possible when your child needs a snack. Processed snacks and sugary snacks can absolutely add unwanted calories to your child’s food chips-448746_960_720intake without adding much else! Chips, candy bars and ice cream should be given few and far between! Depending on the age of your child, they may still require a small morning or afternoon snack to keep them going during the day, so eliminating snacks all together isn’t always the right answer. The closer you stick to a routine involving set meals and snack times, the better!

Should we be teaching kids to focus on a snack’s caloric content or the sugar content? Does the sugar content pose a bigger risk of weight gain?

strawberryThe sugar content as a component of calories in a specific snack should definitely be something parents take into account when making good choices. Snacks that have a balanced mix of protein, fats and sugars are the best. Many snacks that are “low-fat” have a much higher sugar content to make up for that lost flavor. For example, flavored “low-fat” yogurts have large amounts of sugar in them to make them taste good. You can avoid this by buying unflavored/plain yogurt and add a little honey or cinnamon and fresh fruit to make it taste a little sweeter without adding as many calories. Making your own snacks from raw ingredients is a great way to avoid unhealthy additives in processed/packaged foods.

Elementary school-age children are at a great stage to learn about eating healthy. You can talk about the difference in snacks (healthy vs. unhealthy) without getting into too much detail as far as calories and sugar content and still make an impact in their future choices. As kids get older, to middle school or high school age, being more specific about calories and where we get our calories (i.e. from fats, sugars, proteins) can be good lessons.

cassie dyerIf you’d like to talk to a doctor with in-depth knowledge about childhood weight issues, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Cassie Dyer by calling the Mercy pediatric clinic in Bentonville at 479-636-9234 or click HERE for more clinic info.