Dr. Caren and Dr. Urman's Heart Health e-Newsletter
This complimentary monthly educational service is for our patients and their families but please forward it to anyone who might find it of interest. It usually is sent out the first Friday morning of each month with occasional additional special editions as well or with adjustments to our delivery schedule during health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to enter our website and learn more about our practice. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make an appointment.
Right now, L.A. County is vaccinating healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, and people 65 and older. COVID-19 vaccinations in Los Angeles have been slow and chaotic due to the initially limited supply and the required logistics of such a Herculean endeavor. There are not always appointment slots available but hopefully the process will improve in the coming weeks. If you try to make an appointment and all the slots are booked, you have several options. None of these methods are foolproof and all of them are frustrating. Do not panic or lose sleep over not being able to book an appointment but you do need to persevere in the process and just keep trying to work on all of these options until something "sticks." Appointments are made available daily as new vaccine shipments arrive and as people cancel their appointments.
- Signing up for your first COVID vaccine dose:
Find out if you are eligible to be vaccinated - and be alerted when it's your turn by checking California's new "My Turn" tool (my turn.ca.gov) or by calling the California COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255 (Monday - Friday 8 am to 8 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm)
If you received your first COVID-19 vaccine but have not yet been scheduled for your second vaccine:
- As per the City of LA COVID-19 website (https://corona-virus.la/covid-19-vaccine):
If you receive your first vaccine dose at a City of Los Angeles Vaccine Site, Carbon Health will automatically schedule your second vaccine dose appointment. You will receive both a text and email from Carbon Health with your second appointment details.
It is recommended that you keep this scheduled second appointment. If you need to reschedule your second appointment, you may do so by following the instructions in the email and text messages. It is recommended you receive your second dose of Moderna 28 days after your first dose, however CDC guidance allows for a short grace period.
- If you received your first vaccine at an LA County vaccination site, click here for more information and "Remember to bring your white vaccine record card or electronic vaccine record AND a photo ID" (which holds true wherever and whenever you are going for your 2nd shot)
- While your 2nd COVID-19 should be from the same company (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) as the first dose, you do not necessarily need to have it administered at the same location if you are having trouble getting it at the same place.
- If you can't get your second dose on time (3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech or 4 weeks for Moderna after the respective first dose), just try to get the second dose administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. If necessary, the second dose may be scheduled for administration wtihin a grace period of 4 days earlier than the recommended date and up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose.
- If, due to circumstances beyond your control, the second dose were scheduled to be administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series.
If you are not already on My CS-Link, SIGN UP FOR MY CS-LINK™ to receive information about COVID vaccination appointments through Cedars-Sinai when ultimately available
But...like other hospitals across Southern California, Cedars-Sinai continues to receive very small amounts of vaccine. As county officials work to more accurately predict and plan vaccine shipments, Cedars' highest priority is to vaccinate its patients whose age and health status make them the most vulnerable to the virus. For that reason, Cedars has initiated vaccinations of patients 65 and older using a COVID-19 risk factor algorithm, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, that identifies its highest-risk, most vulnerable patients and then randomly generates invitations based on its weekly vaccine supply. Individual physicians have no influence over this random selection process. Once vaccine supply expands, Cedars is ready to administer as much vaccine as the county will provide to them. If you are a patient in our practice, you are automatically considered a patient of Cedars as well and are on the list of Cedars patients.
This is not an ideal scenario. But the vaccination process continues to be guided by the county and is dependent on one critical element: supply. Cedars relies on LACDPH to provide vaccine supply weekly. Shipments are limited, unpredictable and out of its control, but Cedars is in ongoing communication with its county colleagues. It has been assured to have enough vaccine to provide first and second doses to its Phase 1A employees and physicians. And Cedars remains staffed, prepared and ready to vaccinate all of its 65 and older patients over the next few months when they receive sufficient supply. As this process evolves, the vaccination process, too, will evolve. Cedars will keep patients registered via MyCSLink informed via email.
If you have not done so already, be prepared by registering for My CS-Link™. A My CS-Link™ account is the fastest, most reliable way for patients to get up-to-date information about the vaccination process, and will help streamline appointments when scheduling becomes available. Patients can register for an account at mycslink.org or by downloading the Cedars-Sinai mobile app. If you need help registering, call 1-855-427-5465 for help.
Our office cannot sign you up for MyCSLink for you, and please do not call our office for technical issues or help with MyCSLink, but rather call 1-855-427-5465 for help.
While awaiting an invitation from Cedars, we encourage you to take any opportunity to get the vaccine wherever and whenever you can as outlined above.
Please Note (once again): We do not have any ability to get you an invitation to be vaccinated at Cedars as they are currently inviting a small number of clinically high-risk patients to be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the order of invitations is determined by an algorithm that factors active medical issues, treatments, as well as socioeconomic disparities that affect vulnerability and then are randomized given the still inadequate supply of vaccines. In addition, vaccines with NOT be administered at Cedars to anyone who presents there without a scheduled appointment by invitation at this time.
Other information from Cedars to patients in the community:
"As we move through this difficult time together, we have three essential requests. We make them in a spirit of partnership and respect, and we are grateful for your support.
Our first request
Please do not visit our vaccination center unless you have an appointment. We cannot accommodate walk-ins. When people come to be vaccinated without an appointment, it puts the safety of our caregivers and patients at risk. You will be contacted through My CS-LinkTM when it is time for you to make your appointment.
Our second request
Please do not call or email your doctor's office asking to be put on a list to be vaccinated. We know your intentions are only positive, but our physicians and their staff are not maintaining a vaccination list and cannot influence the vaccination process on your behalf. They are 100% focused on caring for patients during this difficult time.
Our third request
When you do receive an invitation from us and schedule a vaccination appointment, please follow our procedures throughout your visit. Patients who decline to do so, or who insist that we vaccinate others who do not have an appointment, could forfeit their place in line to receive the vaccine.
We truly appreciate your cooperation as we work to address the needs of our community with an initial focus on those most vulnerable. We are committed to continuing this vaccination process until all of our patients 65 and older have been vaccinated."
If you have received your first and second COVID-19 vaccines:
Congratulations and if you are a regular patient of ours and have not told your doctor that you have been vaccinated (or emailed us) already, please send an email to email@example.com to allow us to document both the date and type of your first and second vaccine as well as where you received the vaccines.
* Make sure you are subscribed to our COR Medical Group Heart Health e-Newsletter and make sure the email address HealthNews@HealthBanks.com is in your contact list so that it does not go to your junk mail or spam folder. This is one avenue for you to keep your eyes and ears open and alert to what is the latest with regard to having access to the vaccine and how to stay heart healthy during this challenging time.
Here in the link to sign up for our newsletter. Click here to learn more about our Heart Health e-newsletter which normally comes out the first Friday of each month but additional editions (such as this one) will be e-mailed out if there is new information about COVID or the vaccination process.
Click here for our last newsletter, click here to see our 2020 newsletters.
We have attempted to get vaccine for our office for our patients but, just like the majority of other (if not all other) medical offices, we have been unsuccessful thus far. While we have received preliminary approval from the State of California to administer the vaccine, we will need approval from LA County and then actually receive the vaccine. Thus, we do not know exactly when we will be able to offer vaccines to our patients. When we are authorized to proceed and are set up to vaccinate our patients, we will notify patients via this email newsletter immediately. However, getting your vaccine through LA County or via the options above, including your My CS-Link™ account, are likely the fastest, most reliable way to receive up-to-date information about the vaccination process and will help you expedite scheduling appointments when available.
* Some pharmacies have already been vaccinating people (and they are clearly receiving vaccines prior to doctors’ offices). Thus, if you have not yet been vaccinated, it would be a good idea to check with your local pharmacy. Click here for the link for Mickey Fine pharmacy for you to register in case they get the vaccine before us. Mickey Fine Pharmacy has been approved as a vaccination site but still has not received any vaccine doses to our knowledge.
Click here for a link to make an appointment at Ralphs
* While we normally never discourage you from calling our office, essentially, if you cannot find more information online, it is very unlikely that we know anything more than you do. This newsletter will remain the primary way for us to communicate new information as we receive it and will continue to send out special updates as indicated in addition to our usual monthly newsletters (today's newsletter for February 2021 has come out earlier than the usual first Friday of the month in order to get the latest, updated information out to our patients).
Learn more about the COVID vaccine:
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Information about the Pfizer-BioNTech CVID-19 Vaccine (CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Factsheet for Patients and Caregivers for Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine (FDA - Food and Drug Administration Emeegency Use Authorization)
Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine (New England Journal of Medicine, subscription required)
Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (New England Journal of Medicine, subscription required)
COVID-19 Information (LA County Department of Public Health)
Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
I'VE HEARD ABOUT ADVERSE REACTIONS TO THE VACCINES, ARE THE VACCINES SAFE?
Yes, these vaccines are safe.
For Pfizer-BioNTech, there were a total of 50 life-threatening (i.e. anaphylactic) events out of a total of 9,943,247 doses given. That is 5 cases for every 1 million doses administered.
For Moderna, there were a total of 21 life-threatening (i.e. anaphylactic) events out of a total of 7,581,429 doses given. That is 2.8 cases for every 1 million doses administered.
There have been reports of people dying after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, but after further investigation, these patients were already ill or frail, with an already high mortality risk, and while coincidental, the vaccine was not determined to be the cause of death.
WHAT IF I HAVE A HISTORY OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS?
Reports of severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine appear to involve patients with a prior history of severe allergic reactions.
Otherwise, people with a history of anaphylaxis to anything else (i.e. food/nuts, shellfish/contrast, antibiotics) or milder reactions to vaccines (no anaphylaxis) may still get vaccinated.
WHAT IF I HAVE A WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM, AN AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION OR A HISTORY OF GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME OR BELL’S PALSY?
WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT, BREASTFEEDING, OR TRYING TO CONCEIVE?
While there are no apparent contraindications to receiving these vaccines while pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive, making this decision should include factoring your risk of COVID-19 exposure/infection and your ability to protect yourself.
CAN I RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE CONCURRENTLY WITH ANY OTHER VACCINES?
WHAT IF I HAD/HAVE COVID-19, SHOULD I STILL GET VACCINATED?
SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR COVID-19 PRIOR TO BEING VACCINATED?
WHAT IF I’M EXPOSED TO COVID-19 BEFORE BEING VACCINATED?
IF I HAVE RECEIVED MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY OR CONVALESCENT PLASMA TREATMENT FOR COVID-19, SHOULD I STILL GET VACCINATED?
SHOULD COVID-19 ANTIBODIES BE CHECKED BEFORE OR AFTER VACCINATION?
WILL THE VACCINES PROTECT ME FROM THE NEW VARIANTS?
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are already planning to update their vaccines or to give boosters to account for the new variants, if needed.
SHOULD I WAIT FOR THE JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE TO BE AVAILABLE PRIOR TO BEING VACCINATED?
WILL I BE ABLE TO HUG MY GRANDCHILD/GRANDPARENT AFTER BEING VACCINATED?
It is still not yet known whether vaccinated persons can still carry and transmit the virus, but the data to answer this question is forthcoming.
Every action/activity carries inherent risk.
Universal masking, physical distancing and handwashing can mitigate those risks.
Vaccines have the potential to substantially lower risk further.
But COVID-19 vaccine protection is not 100%, and the quoted efficacy may change as the pandemic evolves and more real world data becomes available.
We strongly recommend continuing to take all precautions, even after being vaccinated, until more people have been vaccinated and the pandemic is better-controlled.
I’M YOUNGER THAN 65 YEARS OLD, WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO RECEIVE A VACCINE?
Per California Governor Gavin Newsom on 1/25/21, the state may be moving to change vaccine prioritization to an age-based eligibility structure.
The details of this plan have not been released yet, but we anticipate that people ages 50-64 will be included in this next tier.
Enhanced Access Membership Program (EAMP) 2021
During these challenging times, more than ever -
The Patient-Physician Relationship is The True Core of Optimal Medical Care
"It is far more important to know what person has the disease than what disease the person has." - attributed to Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine.
- Personalized concierge services not covered by private insurance or Medicare
- Three annual membership options to choose from. Patients choose what works best for them
- Monthly payment options for current EAMP members renewing prior to the end of the year are available. Discounted fees for current EAMP members renewing at the same or higher level when pain in full by the end of the year.
- Increasing levels of priority and enhanced access for routine appointments and testing and to speak with you cardiologist on routine matters.
- New for 2021: Significant discounts offered on Sollis Heath Annual Membership Plans (24/7 unlimited, immediate access to world-class concierge facilities in Beverly Hills and Manhattan equipped with laboratory and diagnostic imaging including MRI, CT, ultrasound and x-ray, no wait time)
- Priority completion of administrative paper-work and fees waived.
- Global CARE coverage (for concierge level members). Critical care air rescue and evacuation anywhere in the world with the coordination of your cardiologist and the Cleveland Clinic.
- Validated parking (Premier and Concierge members)
- Convenient VIP parking for Concierge members for office visits
Current EAMP members should have received renewal information in the mail recently but if not, please call us or speak to our staff when visiting our office before the end of the year.
If you are not a current EAMP member, and wish to maximize your experience with our office and your top-tier cardiologist, click here for more information or call our practice manager, Lilly Garzona or EAMP representative Kahlia Bundle at 310.659.0715.
|Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute cardiologist Dr. Mark Urman is named as a Super Doctor for the thirteenth straight year|
We remain committed and available for your cardiac health needs.
As health care providers, there is nothing more important to us than the well-being of our patients.
It is important to keep yourself heart healthy while trying to remain safe.
If you would like to see our prior COVID-19 Heart Health e-Newsletters and all prior editions from 2020, click here
[Author’s note: This e-newsletter was written on Sunday, January 31, 2021. The subject matter is rapidly changing, and the recommendations below may be out of date within a short period of time. Find the latest general recommendations from the LA County Dept of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control by clicking on the links.]. In addition, this link is quite thorough and complete in giving you the latest statistics not only for LA county but also how we compare to the rest of the country: https://corona-virus.la/data
- We Remain Open to Serve You
- We Are Caring For You in a Safe and Secure Environment
- Do Not Delay Your Potentially Life-Saving Cardiac Care
No doubt, even under the best of circumstances, life for us will not be entirely back to normal anytime soon although there are promising signs that vaccines will become available soon However, no matter what, we are here for you. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and take advantage of technology to stay medically connected with us to keep you healthy.
Learn about Virtual Visits (Telemedicine) with us
Share Your Experience
Please help get the word out about our doctors and our practice. It will only take a minute and we will be so grateful! Share your experience in our office by clicking on your cardiologist:
If you Yelp review your healthcare encounter with Dr. Urman by clicking here.
On Google, look Dr Caren or Dr Urman up in Google, on the right of the screen you will see a picture of the office, a map, hours and other reviews, if you look just above the review section toward the bottom and to the right you can click on the button ‘Write a review’
On Vitals, here is the link for Dr Caren: https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Jeffrey_Caren.html
On Vitals, here is the link for Dr. Urman: https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Mark_Urman.html
| ||Following a Heart-Healthy Diet and Lifestyle|
Cedars Heart Program Remains Top 3 in US and Best in the West