Check out any website for women, pick up a brochure on women’s health, thumb through a women’s magazine….and chances are you’ll find growing checklists of recommended health screenings.
Among the suggested tests at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Office on Women’s Health, for example: a PAP test every 1-3 years starting at age 18, a blood pressure test at least every two years and a baseline cholesterol test at age 20, a yearly fecal occult blood test for those 50 and over, a yearly skin check by a doctor for suspicious moles or lesions, a mammogram every 1 or 2 years beginning at age 40, a blood sugar test at age 45 and then every three years. These tests may be even more frequent, based on family history or if you smoke or have chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
For USC faculty and staff who prefer the convenience of a setting that offers many of these tests at one location and the expertise to oversee them �the USC Faculty Staff Health Center at the USC Executive Health and Imaging Center in downtown Los Angeles now offers a Women’s Health Program with an increasing staff of experts who have focused their training on health issues specific to women.
“Women appreciate being able to get both general and targeted evaluations that cover a range of health issues,” acknowledged Jennifer Dizon, assistant professor of clinical medicine and obstetrician/gynecologist at the USC Executive Health and Imaging Center. Her practice at the Center includes pelvic ultrasounds, PAP smear screenings, management of abnormal pap results and evaluations of urinary problems or bladder dysfunction.
“In addition to routine health screenings in gynecology and internal medicine, we also have multidisciplinary services like dermatology, which can offer some cosmetic services, plus laboratories and imaging,” she said.
Sharon Orrange, assistant professor of clinical medicine, is a general internist at the USC Executive Health and Imaging Center who focuses on issues specific to women’s health needs, including osteoporosis screening and prevention, breast cancer screening, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer screening treatment of bacterial/candida vaginitis. “Most importantly, since heart disease and stroke are still the leading
cause of death in women, we as internists assess cardiac risk in women and handle all of their modifiable cardiac risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.”
This focus on women’s health involves physicians who have specific training. For example, in order to be certified in women’s radiology, physicians must complete a year-long fellowship, said Edward Grant, chair of the department of radiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. All mammograms at the USC Executive Health and Imaging Center are viewed by Grant and other physicians with this specialty. “Many would say the more experience, the more training and the higher volume of mammograms, the better you’re going to be at catching any problems. That’s all we do.”
Many of the women’s health physicians at the USC Executive Health and Imaging Center have the most up-to-date information on treatments because they are the ones conducting the research on women’s health.
The downtown Faculty Staff Health Center is open to all USC Network Plan enrollees and their dependents. The downtown office also houses the clinical practices of USC faculty specializing in general internal medicine, urology, gynecology, dermatology and endocrinology.
USC Transportation Services provides shuttle service to the Faculty Staff Health Center in downtown Los Angeles from the University Park, Health Sciences and Alhambra Campuses.
The complete schedule of routes can be accessed at transnet.usc.edu/. For questions, call Transportation Services at 213-740-3575. To schedule an appointment, call 213-437-1000.