• healthevisits

Strep throat now treatable via HealtheVisits


We are excited to announce that you can now use HealtheVisits to treat strep throat! All you have to do is head over to healthevisits.org and submit an online interview request. An Affinity Medical Group or Ministry Medical Group clinician will review the request within one hour. To confirm a positive strep throat diagnosis, a clinician will order a lab test, called a ZipTicket, which will be sent to you electronically via email.

A ZipTicket allows you to bypass waiting and go directly to one of our labs for a rapid strep test to confirm the diagnosis. When you receive your ZipTicket, you can either print a hard copy of it or bring it up electronically on your phone at one of three available lab locations. When the results of the strep test are available you will receive a final diagnosis that, if necessary, will include a prescription to treat your strep throat.

ZipTickets are accepted at select urgent care locations in the Fox Valley, and we are working to increase the number of labs that will accept them. Below are the urgent care locations where you can currently use your ZipTicket:

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Foods that help you stay hydrated


Some people find it difficult to reach for water during the day. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’ll secretly be satisfying your thirst and hunger at the same time!

Here’s a list of quintessential fruits and vegetables to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.

  • Cucumber
    • Sailing in with 96.7 percent water content, cucumbers are at the top of everyone’s food list to stay hydrated. Because it has the highest water content of any solid food, its crunchiness is perfect in salads, sandwiches or served with dip. To make cucumber infused water, simply add cucumber slices to a pitcher of water for a refreshing treat.
  • Radishes
    • This refreshing root veggie has a spicy, yet sweet flavor. Radishes have a water content of 95.3 percent, and are filled with antioxidants that help you get the nutrients your body needs. Toss it into your regular coleslaw recipe or add it to your dinner salad to stay hydrated. You can also use thin slices of radishes as a garnish or in soups!
  • Watermelon
    • The king of summer fruit has water right in its name, and 91.5 percent of this delicious fruit is water. Along with a sweet, delectable taste, it contains high amounts of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Not only is watermelon terrific on its own, try adding it to a salad topped with feta cheese this fall. Be adventurous and try grilling it too!
  • Spinach
    • Although iceberg lettuce has higher water content, spinach contains more nutrients for your body. With 91.4 percent water content, spinach is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber and folate. Try substituting iceberg lettuce for spinach. As a rule of thumb– the greener the lettuce, the better it is for you.
  • Strawberries
    • Strawberries go great with just about anything and come in with 91 percent water content. Juicy, red strawberries contain more water than other berries. Toss together with spinach, walnuts and poppy seed dressing for a nutrient-packed dish.

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8 tips for childhood stuttering


Stuttering is a communication disorder of which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.

About five percent of all children will go through a stage of developmental stuttering. This period of stuttering consists of easy repetitions without tension or signs of struggling. Most dysfluencies are only two or three repetitions in length and most of the time the child will appear unaware of the stuttering and will continue talking without signs of distress.

75 percent of these children will begin to spontaneously recover from normal dysfluencies after approximately six months. At the six-month mark you will want to note if your child’s speech is improving, staying the same or getting more difficult for them.

If you are worried about your child’s dysfluency consider these factors when deciding if it is time to talk with your child’s doctor or a speech language pathologist:

  1. Is your child a boy? 4x more boys stutter than girls.
  2. Is there a family history of stuttering? If yes, it is more likely your child may need skilled intervention.
  3. Has the dysfluent speech lasted longer than six months? If your child’s speech has not improved or has become more dysfluent, your child may need skilled intervention.
  4. Is your child aware of the stuttering? A child who stops talking, avoids words, abandons a message or verbalizes talking being difficult is more likely to need skilled intervention.
  5. Do you see increased facial or body movements when your child is stuttering? If you are noticing increased eye blinking, head nodding, facial tension, hand or foot tapping it is more likely your child may need skilled intervention.

Answering “yes” to two or more of these questions indicates it is time to talk to your child’s pediatrician about next steps. Continue Reading »

Seasonal allergies vs. chronic sinusitis


Cooler temperatures, football and turning leaves signals fall is upon us. Other indicators of the season are sneezing, itchy or watery eyes and a runny nose. Winter is coming, so while we enjoy the last of the nice weather it’s important to know whether you’re experiencing seasonal allergies or chronic sinusitis, better known as a sinus infection.

Many things can trigger seasonal allergies, whether it is pollen in the air, especially ragweed pollen in the fall, or your favorite pet. What really causes an allergic reaction to happen is your own immune system, which mistakes allergens for a more serious threat and attacks them. One of the differences in symptoms between regular allergies and chronic sinusitis is sneezing; allergies will cause sneezing, while those suffering from sinusitis will not. Other symptoms of seasonal allergies can include:

  • Coughing
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Runny and itchy nose

Sinusitis is swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. As the nose becomes blocked with fluid or germs it can lead to an infection. This usually happens right after a cold or can be caused by a deviated septum. Chronic sinusitis is characterized as inflammation in the sinuses lasting around eight weeks or longer. Those who suffer from chronic sinus infections may have some of the following symptoms: Continue Reading »

15 speech and language milestones for 18- and 24-month-old toddlers


At 18 months of age your toddler is exploring his/her world and learning so many new things. Here are some of the typical speech and language milestones that indicate your child is progressing in language development.

Your child….

  1. Uses 10-15 different words
  2. Uses words to have needs met (“more, up, eat”)
  3. Understands and uses the names of five different familiar objects
  4. Imitates sounds and words spontaneously
  5. Starts to combine two words (“all done, up mama”)
  6. Uses real words intermixed with babbling
  7. Hums along with familiar children’s songs
  8. Imitates words and word combinations with a model
  9. Recognizes pictures of family members and familiar objects
  10. Points or uses gestures to get your attention or make requests for objects/actions
  11. Retrieves a known object from another room upon request (“go get your blanket”)
  12. Follows simple commands
  13. Points to body parts when asked
  14. Develops a play routine (baby doll, kitchen play, car play)
  15. Enjoys looking at books and will turn pages a few at a time

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The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.