Thursday, August 2, 2007


(San Bernardino, Calif.) Yearly mammograms save women lives. To help more low to moderate income women, LaSalle Medical Associates, will begin mammography at it’s Mt. Vernon Clinic in San Bernardino this August.

The Department of Health Services now requires mammograms for all women over 40. They are not only simple, quick and risk-free, but are known to lower the chance of fatal breast cancer by 25-35 percent. The tests normally take only five to 10 minutes.

Dr. Albert Arteaga, the founder and president of LaSalle Medical Associates, sees substantial light on the horizon regarding reducing occurrences of breast cancer in Black and Latino women.

“Fifteen years ago, there was a problem. Our friend’s wives and daughters were highly reluctant to see a doctor about mammograms, personal breast exams or anything else related to breast cancer. It was all too personal for them, sharing such intimate matters with a medical professional.”

All that has changed, he feels, with so much effort having gone into public awareness programs. “I don’t see that this reluctance is any more prevalent among minority women than whites. In fact, the figures are nearly identical. Public awareness is working. There’s no longer a need to convince women; it’s now a matter of getting them to come in.”

Sometimes the problem of getting women to come in is a financial one. Low-income Black and Latino women may believe they just can’t afford exams and tests. Women’s health insurance normally covers the expense, though for those without coverage there is that fear of high costs.

LaSalle can help women without insurance find a program to help pay for their mammography, Dr. Arteaga said. “There are many public assistance programs that the vast majority of low to moderate income women qualify for. We help them apply, and in many cases receive coverage. ”

LaSalle Medical Associates has two reasons for instituting its new mammography
program. “On the one hand,” Arteaga says, “there’s an altruistic purpose. We simply want to help the community by helping women remain healthy and catching any potential breast cancer early enough to prevent its growth.”

”On the other hand, it’s good business, and if our clinics are to continue helping patients from year to year, they simply must stay in business. So we help our patients get the care they need through state and or federal insurance programs created to help people stay healthy,” Arteaga said.

Occasionally politicians or special interest group opposes government programs that spend money to help the financially disadvantaged. “But, when we show them that programs like these are heavily utilized and help keep people healthy and we spend less overall on treating sicker people,” he says, “the opposition to them diminishes. The numbers can prove to the naysayers that the state and federal programs are being used, and public funds are actually helping save lives.”

“We believe that all women in the Inland Empire should have their annual mammogram and we are working hard to help them do so,” says Arteaga. “The more women we see, the more lives we can help save.”

LaSalle Medical Associates has five clinics in the Inland Empire. Their offices are located in five convenient locations; 17577 Arrow Boulevard in Fontana, 1505 17th Street in San Bernardino, 565 N. Mount Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino, 16455 Main Street in Hesperia and 31762 Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore.
For more information or to schedule an appointment call LaSalle’s Mount Vernon clinic at (909) 884-9091.


(San Bernardino, Calf.) Across the globe, regular immunizations against otherwise ravishing diseases are helping the world’s population live longer, healthier lives, says Dr. Albert Arteaga, founder of the Inland Empire’s LaSalle Medical Associates.

Back-to-school time is rapidly approaching, and just as school attendance is mandatory, Arteaga wishes immunizations were just as mandatory. But, as yet they aren’t. “Parents do realize how important the shots are to the welfare of their children, but still we will see 80% of our patients in the last two weeks before school starts,” he notes.

Immunizations, often combined in a single injection, help prevent such diseases as pneumonia, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis and meningitis.

“Children are usually afraid of their perceived pain of the immunizations,” Arteaga says, “but that brief, tiny pain is nothing compared to the alarming, often lifelong, impact of the diseases they prevent.”

Parents should plan ahead for their children’s immunizations, he adds. “They need to break the barrier of ‘no time’,” he says. “They simply need to think ahead, and say, ‘Today is a good one for the shots’.”

There’s an important phrase in the medical profession when it comes to immunizations: “herd immunity.” “That’s where we can all be human barriers to these common but serious diseases,” he explains. “When we’re around people who are immunized, they protect the rest of us. And we can all help each other by being protected ourselves.”

While immunizations are routinely up to date only 30% of the time, LaSalle patients, at Arteaga’s urging, are 70% up to date. “Our patients are really good about that,” he says, “but so much more can be done. The problem is that with immunizations nothing seems wrong with kids, and so the parents too often simply put them off until the time is more convenient. You ought to hear the creative excuses we get.”
Under nearly all circumstances, immunizations are free to families, being subsidized by the Federal government for children.

LaSalle welcomes childhood immunizations at all five of their Inland Empire clinics: 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana; 1505 Seventh Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino; 16455 Main St. in Hesperia; and 31762 Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore.

Appointments aren’t required, but are recommended by calling 909/890-0407. Usually the immunizations last only 30 minutes.

“A half hour,” Dr. Arteaga says, “can save potentially years of devastating illness.”