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Finding New Ways to Fight Diabetes

Clinical trials available for people with diabetes.

For Christa Wolfe, diabetes runs in her family. She seemed to be following in her parents’ footsteps when she developed diabetes in her mid 50s. Her mother and father had been diagnosed with diabetes at the same age.

Christa Wolfe, 71, participates in clinical trials for diabetes medications at Bradenton location of Meridien Research

Christa learned how to stay healthy with diabetes after joining studies at Meridien Research.

Christa is a native of Germany who moved to Pennsylvania with her American husband in the 1990s. The couple later retired to Florida, where Christa enjoys water aerobics and bicycling.

Now age 71, she praises Meridien Research for keeping her aware of how to stay healthy with diabetes.

Christa has Type 2 diabetes. It is the kind of diabetes that typically arises in adulthood but is also now occurring in teens and children. A healthy diet and exercise are an important part of managing Type 2 diabetes, and many with the disorder will need medication.

Christa has participated in two clinical trials for diabetes medication at the Bradenton facility of Meridien Research, an independent medical research clinic with six locations throughout central Florida.

She recently completed a trial that tested the injection-pen delivery of a medication for diabetes. An outcome for Christa was improved blood sugar levels.

“My blood sugar levels are fantastic for the first time in years,” she shares. “I’m totally thrilled about my numbers.”

However, Christa says, she receives a large benefit overall through participating in diabetes studies at Meridien Research. The facility’s medical staff has taught her how to better manage her diabetes, and she feels that her health has been carefully monitored with nothing overlooked.

At every visit, she sees Louis B. Chaykin, MD, a board-eligible endocrinologist and principal investigator who leads diabetes studies at Meridien Research.

“I like the whole group, and I really love Dr. Chaykin,” she says. “From day one, Dr. Chaykin and the staff have helped me learn about how diet affects diabetes, and exercise, too. Everything is checked through all kinds of tests, like for my heart, which I appreciate.”

Specialty Care Access

Meridien Research runs clinical trials on many conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, high cholesterol, gout and various gastrointestinal disorders, plus issues regarding migraine, eczema and more.

People who are interested in participating can learn more about qualifications and which trials are being offered currently by visiting

A number of studies for diabetes medications have taken place or are ongoing at the research company’s Bradenton location.

Finding new medications and methods for treatment is imperative to help people caught in the diabetes epidemic occurring all over the globe, says Dr. Chaykin. The disease can be debilitating when uncontrolled, leading to complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, poor wound healing that results in amputations, and more.

“We have an epidemic of diabetes not only in our country but in the world,” he notes. “For example, the number of Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes has doubled to over thirty million in the past fifteen years. Worldwide, the estimate is that three hundred seventy-five million people have diabetes. So it’s a huge problem.”

At Meridien Research, Dr. Chaykin has overseen between 40 and 50 clinical trials to research medications for diabetes or diabetes complications. They have included assessing how they control blood sugar levels, and various methods of medication delivery.

They have also included clinical trials for how diabetes medications affect the heart, which the Food and Drug Administration now requires for all new diabetes medications.

A clinical trial is a research study that investigates whether a medical approach, treatment or device is effective and safe for use with people. At Meridien Research, qualifications for enrollment vary with each study and include factors ranging from age to medical history. Medical insurance isn’t required, and eligible participants receive study-related care, monitoring and medication at no cost.

In diabetes studies, diet and lifestyle counseling are part of the care. In general, people who participate in the studies don’t usually have ideal control of their disease, says Dr. Chaykin, and education can help.

“People with diabetes can come to Meridien Research and be educated about their disease and its complications while taking part in the latest therapies or combination of therapies to improve their quality of life,” he notes. “Throughout the clinical trial, they are seen regularly not only by the coordinator but also by me at every visit.

“In some trials, I have the flexibility to add medications to improve their diabetes. A lot of patients in cardiovascular outcome trials, for example, have done extremely well in improving blood sugar control because they spent time with us getting laboratory studies, electrocardiograms, physical exams and adjustments in medications.”

Many diabetic patients at Meridien Research are under the care of an endocrinologist for the first time through Dr. Chaykin. An endocrinologist specializes in treating hormonal disorders like diabetes, but access is often limited.

“There are a small number of endocrinologists across the country, and only about three to four percent of people with diabetes are able to see a specialist,” he says. “People may not have insurance, or have limited insurance, which can keep them from seeing a specialist.”

An extensive physical examination is part of being in a diabetes clinical study at Meridien Research. It can provide peace of mind that any signs of diabetic complications will be detected. For instance, eyes are checked for diabetic-related visual complications, and patients receive neurological exams and a complete battery of laboratory tests.Christa Wolfe, 71, participates in clinical trials for diabetes medications at Bradenton location of Meridien Research

Staying Healthy

The quality of patient care at Meridien Research impressed Christa.

“The whole staff, in my opinion, is very good,” she attests. “They’re very efficient – I’ve never had to wait after I arrive for my appointment.

“Dr. Chaykin is calm and friendly. He always gets to the point about what is happening and is very clear.”

Christa experienced the benefits of joining a research study at Meridien Research: She was able to play an active role in her health care and obtained care from a specially trained medical staff.

She first started as a participant in a Meridien Research study ten years ago, when she enrolled in a clinical trial that involved medication for hot flashes. Christa later enrolled in a study that examined a diabetes complication. In a third clinical trial, she helped test how a medication is delivered.

Christa feels confident she will stay in good health with diabetes due to the education she received during the trial. She eats healthy and gets exercise by riding her bicycle every day. In addition, the medication she received through the trial helped bring her blood sugar down. She is elated that she found Meridien Research, Dr. Chaykin and its staff. The effect on her diabetes has been positive.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the care I’ve received,” she says.

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Graphic from

Strong Results in 20 Minutes a Week

At age 55, Jan Girard knows what motivates her. Eleven years ago, she started working out at 20 Minutes to Fitness, where clients get stronger through a unique approach to exercise.

Jan Girard stays healthy and fit through getting stronger in 20-minute training sessions at 20 Minutes to Fitness in Sarasota.

Jan enjoys her favorite activities like kayaking.

Strength-training sessions are finished in just 20 minutes under the guidance of a personal fitness coach on specialized equipment. What’s more, the workouts are scheduled only once a week.

“I do not like going to a gym three days a week for an hour and sweating. I’ll come up with every excuse under the sun for I’m not going to go to the gym today, but I’ll go tomorrow,” admits Jan.

“At 20 Minutes to Fitness, I have a coach whom I’ve worked with for years. I have a set appointment each week, which helps keep me on task. I say to myself, Okay, it’s only for twenty minutes. I’ve got this. It’s been huge for me.”

Jan found it difficult to believe at first that results could be achieved through 20-minute, once-weekly strength-
training sessions. But she soon found that the results spoke for themselves.

“I would say it’s my muscle definition more than anything,” says Jan about benefits of 20 Minutes to Fitness training.

Many women in their mid 50s shun sleeveless tops and dresses because they want to hide upper arms that have started to sag. Jan, however, has enough confidence in her physique to favor ribbed tank tops and prefer fitted clothes.

“My husband is absolutely blown away. He’s constantly saying, Oh my gosh, look at the definition in your arms!” notes Jan.

“Being strong makes a difference. I play tennis and strength helps with that. It helps in just everyday lifting of things, too. I’m not this weak, little female. I’ll tell my husband, Oh, I can lift this. C’mon, we don’t need another guy. He loves it.”

Working out at 20 Minutes to Fitness also helped Jan when she went through a major health crisis nine years ago. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and maintained most of her weekly workouts while undergoing chemotherapy.

“I really think working out made a huge difference for me,” she relates. “It kept me strong. And the love and support I felt from everybody at 20 Minutes to Fitness when I was going through all that was just unbelievable.”

Science-Based Exercise

The type of training at 20 Minutes to Fitness is known as slow-cadence training. There are years of research and plenty of science behind its success.

In slow-cadence training, weights are lifted in a series of ultra-slow movements, with the targeted muscles doing all the work. Each repetition lasts a full 20 seconds. The workouts markedly improve strength, which helps with total body improvement and function.

“Participants get the maximum benefit with just one twenty-minute workout per week,” assures personal trainer Angela Begin, general manager and part owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness.

“By going so slowly, we get down deeper into the muscle fiber and force it to work at its peak performance,” she explains. “We work the entire body to keep the entire body strong.”

As muscle fatigue is achieved, the body recovers over a period of three to six days. During this recovery period, a series of physiological changes takes place that supercharges the body to burn fat and rebuild muscle.

The equipment at 20 Minutes to Fitness is highly specialized and originally designed for use in physical therapy. It features a patented double-stacking system and is calibrated to work specific muscle groups without putting stress on joints or ligaments.

Double stacking means that one of the system’s weight stacks is composed of weights that increase in increments of only two pounds instead of a traditional 10 or 20 pound increase.

The combination of slow movements and specialized equipment eliminates the benefits of gravity and momentum, so the muscles have to do all the work. As a result, in just a few minutes on each piece of equipment, the specific muscle group being worked reaches the point of peak performance.

In slow-cadence training, a small increase in weight goes a long way. Fitness coaches at 20 Minutes to Fitness explain it this way: A gallon of milk might not feel heavy at first. But it probably will after being held for several minutes or more.

Loss of strength can affect the body in ways that many of us may not even realize. As people age and become less active and more sedentary, they not only lose flexibility and strength, but also muscle mass.

In fact, after age 30, we lose an average of eight to ten percent of muscle mass per decade. This loss of muscle has a ripple effect that can impact almost all areas of the body, but strength training acts as a preventive.

“Keeping those muscles strong, either building them up or maintaining strength throughout your whole life, is going to help you keep your independence,” stresses Angela. “As you age, you start to lose that lean muscle, and you don’t notice it until you’ve lost enough where you can’t do the things you want to do.”

The slow-cadence system offered at 20 Minutes to Fitness also helps control arthritis, fight symptoms of diabetes, improve memory function, reduce back pain and much more.

“It also helps with your balance. By going as slow as we do in workouts, it forces all of the small stabilizer muscles to work and become stronger – and that is what will help with balance,” educates Angela.

It’s never too late to start: Training at 20 Minutes to Fitness is appropriate for all fitness levels and all ages. In fact, clients have ranged from young teens to people in their 90s.

Secret to Success

As Jan discovered, one of the secrets to success at 20 Minutes to Fitness is having an assigned fitness coach who monitors each session. Coaches at 20 Minutes to Fitness don’t leave their clients’ sides. They watch closely to ensure good form is being maintained and the equipment is calibrated correctly for the individual.

“The coaches are incredible. They truly get to know you as a person,” enthuses Jan.

Two years ago, she took a hiatus from exercising at 20 Minutes to Fitness and tried other gyms. It didn’t work for her.

“I even tried working out for twenty minutes by myself at other places, and I wasn’t successful,” she says.

Her husband encouraged her to return to 20 Minutes to Fitness, knowing how much she loved it. After she returned, she found that muscle memory kicked in.

“I’m only five feet four inches and weigh about one hundred and twenty pounds at the most,” she describes. “But I’m pushing and pulling a lot of weight because I’ve done it for so long.

“I can make a commitment of going once a week. Even if I don’t feel like it sometimes, when I go and work out, I’ll say, Oh, I’m so glad I did that. I’m glad that I pushed myself. Having an appointment with my coach definitely makes a big difference. Otherwise, I might have thrown in the towel and not gone.”

Jan is delighted with the benefits she receives from 20 Minutes to Fitness and is looking ahead for how her weekly workouts will continue to positively affect her life.

“This has given me confidence about where I am in life and how I look and feel,” she confides. “I don’t want to become an old person who is wobbly. I want to be ninety years old and still active.

“People should really give this a try. 20 Minutes to Fitness is the real deal. The results are amazing!”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Saving Hearts

Screening test detects hidden artery disease.

Six years ago, Stewart Moon was feeling increasingly fatigued. He sought medical help to find out why, but initial testing didn’t reveal the answer. An exercise stress test didn’t show any strain on his heart. His cholesterol and blood pressure levels looked fine, too.

Screening test at Manatee Diagnostic Center saved Stewart Moon’s life when it indicated advanced arterial blockages and alerted that he needed bypass surgery.

Stewart lives an active lifestyle, including taking care of his horses.

“I passed the exercise stress test and was patted on the shoulder and told that I was in great shape. Of course, I knew that I wasn’t – I couldn’t even carry a garbage can,” he shares.

He had symptoms like shortness of breath, but feeling constantly tired was the most pronounced.

“It went on for a long time, progressively for a year. I knew there was something wrong, but couldn’t figure out what. I was just absolutely drained,” recalls Stewart.

Stewart and his wife, Trudy, moved from Canada to Anna Maria Island more than 25 years ago. After they grew bored in retirement, the couple purchased Air & Energy, an air conditioning, electrical and plumbing business. They expanded the company over the years and became civic leaders through involvement in groups like the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart, who is 71, credits a medical test that he got through a gift certificate at a chamber of commerce retreat for saving his life.

The gift certificate was for a screening test at Manatee Diagnostic Center that measures calcium deposits in heart arteries through a computerized tomography (CT) scan. The amount of calcium deposits can indicate atherosclerosis, which is the plaque that builds up in coronary arteries and leads to heart attacks.

“My wife was the one who received the gift certificate. And the irony was that I was the one feeling so poorly that she said, Why don’t you go and do this? So I casually went in,” says Stewart. “It turned out I wasn’t in good shape at all. Within a matter of days, I was having open heart surgery.”

The scan showed Stewart was in danger. It revealed a high calcium buildup in the arteries of his heart, indicating a high probability that one or more was significantly blocked.

As Stewart later learned, he had a clogged coronary artery known as the widow maker. It is the main artery in front of the heart. A major blockage in this artery can lead to a fatal heart attack, or if the attack is survived, there is a strong likelihood of irreversible heart damage.

CT Heart Score

“The test that Stewart had is called a CT heart score or coronary artery calcium scoring,” notes Kobee Masiello, practice administrator for Manatee Diagnostic Center. “The test can assess the health of your heart and identify heart disease in its early stages, which can be very important.”

The CT heart score is just one of the center’s tools, which also include echocardiograms for detecting heart disease.

The heart score scan takes only about 15 minutes and is noninvasive. The individual who is being tested lies on a table attached to a CT scanner, which is specialized x-ray equipment. The scanner produces cross-sectional images of the heart. An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is performed simultaneously; several electrodes are attached to the chest to check electrical activity of the heart as the CT scans are created.

“There are no needles or dyes, and no liquids that you have to swallow,” describes Kobee. “Our CT technologist produces the images and a radiologist reads the images to assess the amount of calcium deposits.”

The radiologist assigns a score based on the amount of calcium deposits. The score indicates the risk of coronary artery disease. It can range from zero, which indicates zero evidence of coronary artery disease, to more than 300, an indication of significant plaque in the arteries and the need for follow-up tests for heart disease.

At Manatee Diagnostic Center, the CT heart score evaluation is recommended for men aged 35 to 70 and women aged 40 to 70 who have risk factors for coronary disease. These include a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“We recommend that patients have a referral from their primary physicians for this screening,” adds Kobee.

Uncovering signs of heart disease allows for the opportunity to make changes and prevent progression. Switching to healthier eating habits and getting more exercise can be protective, or medication may be needed to reduce risk factors such as high cholesterol.

In cases that indicate silent advanced heart disease, the need for open-heart surgery could save a life, as Stewart can attest.

Lifesaving Treatment

The results of Stewart’s CT heart score prompted an immediate phone call from his physician.

“My doctor read the results and said, Wow!” remembers Stewart. “He put me right in the hospital.”

Stewart needed double bypass surgery to restore severely restricted blood flow.

Today, he is long recovered, and symptoms like severe fatigue have vanished.

He enjoys taking care of his family’s horses and outdoor activities like kayaking. He is looking forward to full retirement, as his son, Stewart Moon, Jr., takes on a leadership role in the family business.

Stewart often recommends the CT heart score screening test to friends.

“I absolutely recommend it. Once you get to a certain age, it’s time for more than the usual checkup,” shares Stewart. “I’ve told lots of guys, You’ve got to go and get checked, and a couple of them have. One of them actually ended up having open heart surgery and had no idea that he had heart disease before having the scan.”

Stewart still marvels at his good fortune from having a test that checked for calcium deposits in coronary arteries.

“What’s amazing is that the test saved my life. Otherwise, I could have had a massive, drop-dead heart attack.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Graphics from

Seeing 20/20

Laser cataract surgery helps reduce need for glasses.

Linda Hardy noticed she was having trouble driving at night. Glare from oncoming headlights made it difficult for her to see.Linda Hardy treated for cataracts and astigmatism by Dr. Jeffrey Davis of Coastal Eye Institute.

“I would tell people, I can meet you for dinner, but we’re going to have to go early so I can get home before dark,” she shares.

She is 66, a grandmother and works in a quality assurance department. The self-imposed driving restriction felt a little strange.

“I felt like a young teen whose mom and dad are saying, You have to be home before dark!” says Linda.

An eye exam by Linda’s optometrist revealed she had cataracts, the natural clouding of the lens that gradually obstructs vision. Cataracts are common with age; in fact, nearly half of all Americans have cataracts by 75, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Difficulty driving at night is a common symptom, and Linda noticed other signs. Normally, she loved to read, but it was becoming a struggle. Working on the computer was more difficult, too.

“I would say my eyes got progressively worse over six months. But when I decided I couldn’t drive at night anymore, I said, I’ve got to get in to see the doctor,” she recalls.

Linda made an appointment with Jeffrey M. Davis, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon at Coastal Eye Institute.

The Best Option

It was her second visit with Dr. Davis, whom Linda’s sister had recommended. Her first visit had been six months earlier, after she learned from her optometrist that she had cataracts.

During her initial consultation, Linda immediately liked Dr. Davis’ approach.

“I felt very comfortable with him. He’s really smart and knows his stuff. He’s conservative. I didn’t feel like he’s the kind of doctor who is going to jump in and do surgery,” she explains. “I had complete trust in him.”

At that time, Linda’s cataracts weren’t affecting her night vision. Through talking with Dr. Davis, she decided the need for surgery wasn’t immediate.Linda Hardy treated for cataracts and astigmatism by Dr. Jeffrey Davis of Coastal Eye Institute.

“Linda and I had a pretty long discussion about cataracts,” notes Dr. Davis. “A lot of patients will come in and ask me, Do I need cataract surgery? A lot of times, my answer is, Do you? The timing for surgery will be a little bit different for everybody. It really depends on how cataracts are interfering with their vision and bothering them.”

Linda decided the time was right when her night vision grew worse. She then had to determine, with guidance from Dr. Davis, what she wanted cataract surgery to achieve.

During the surgery, the natural, clouded lens is removed and replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). One eye is done at a time, usually a few weeks apart. The minimally invasive procedure is typically completed in less than 15 minutes, and patients resume normal activities right away.

Because of advancements over the past decade, patients now have a wide choice of IOLs. They range from standard monofocal lenses to more advanced lenses that can eliminate or reduce the need for glasses.

“We have a lot of options, so that’s when I’ve got to really listen and find out what is going to make the person happiest,” observes Dr. Davis.

Linda had worn glasses since she was a teenager because of nearsightedness. She also had astigmatism, a common misshape of the cornea that impairs vision without glasses.

“Linda wanted to be glasses independent for distance vision. She didn’t care about needing reading glasses – she just wanted to have the best distance vision she could,” says Dr. Davis.

With Dr. Davis’ guidance, Linda chose to have an IOL that sharpened distance vision. During the cataract surgery, Dr. Davis also corrected her astigmatism through limbal relaxing incisions for optimal results. Tiny incisions are made in the cornea to help give it a rounder, more symmetrical shape and improve vision.

“It Was Awesome!”

Dr. Davis used an advanced femtosecond laser for Linda’s cataract surgery and the limbal relaxing incisions. In the past, the incisions were made manually, but the laser offers far more precision.

Linda Hardy treated for cataracts and astigmatism by Dr. Jeffrey Davis of Coastal Eye Institute.

After cataract surgery, Linda doesn’t need glasses to drive.

“The precision of the laser is far superior to the manual technique. We’re able to control it down to the micron level,” notes Dr. Davis.

The results were everything Linda wanted.

“The surgery was pain free. I wasn’t anxious or scared, and recovery was immediate,” she reports.

To her delight, she doesn’t need glasses when driving.

“It is so amazing to be able to look into the distance and read road signs without my glasses,” she raves. “Driving in the rain isn’t a problem, and it’s easy for me to drive at night. I even drove to Tampa in the dark and wasn’t fearful. It was awesome!

“I have 20/20 distance vision now. When I saw Dr. Davis for a follow-up visit, I told him, You rock! I was just so happy that I could have hugged him.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Graphic from

Same-Day Crowns Transform His Smile

For years, Phillip Cole believed that he didn’t need regular dental care. In fact, he went two decades without visiting a dentist.

Phillip Cole had same-day crowns, dental bridge created by Mohammad Shuayb, DMD, with CEREC® system.

Phillip praises Dr. Shuayb for giving him a natural-looking, healthy, new smile.

“I had a good smile and thought that was good enough,” explains Phillip, who is 46. “But I started having some issues.”

He made his first dental appointment in 20 years when he noticed an old crown was starting to fracture. It was on a molar toward the front of his mouth and could be seen whenever he grinned. Phillip was concerned that if he didn’t get it fixed, eventually there would be a visible gap when the crown broke entirely. In addition, Phillip had noticed bleeding and discomfort in his gums and thought he might have cavities, plus another broken molar.

Phillip chose to see Mohammad Shuayb, DMD, in Spring Hill. He had heard about how Dr. Shuayb creates permanent crowns in a single office visit through the use of
computer-assisted technology.

The opportunity to get a same-day crown would save time for Phillip. He is the program director of a nonprofit organization and has a busy schedule that involves meetings and travel.

Phillip liked the idea that he would see results right away. In the past, multiple office visits were required to obtain new dental crowns. People needed to wear temporary crowns while they waited for their permanent restorations to be fabricated in specialty laboratories.

As it turns out, however, his visit to Dr. Shuayb became more than a one-time crown replacement. It started a new journey toward good dental health, a transformation in how he looked and a renewed perspective. He once was apprehensive about dental visits, but no longer.

“Nobody really likes going to the dentist,” says Phillip. “However, that’s changed for me. I look forward to my dental appointments now.”

CEREC® Technology

In his 20s, Phillip had adopted a rapper-inspired look that was gaining in popularity at the time. He had six front teeth – four on the bottom and two on top – that had been filed down and capped in gold veneer crowns.

The crowns had been poorly fabricated. Food particles were easily trapped, affecting the health of his gums, which showed inflammation and bleeding.

At his first visit, Phillip appreciated Dr. Shuayb’s personable approach and how it was easy to talk with him.

“When I went in for an assessment with Dr. Shuayb,” he recalls, “I said, I’ve got a lot of things going on in my mouth. I know I’ve got some cavities back there, and I’m starting to have some discomfort in my gums. One thing that I was clear about was that I didn’t want anything that was removable or temporary.”

In learning about Phillip’s goals and after a thorough examination, Dr. Shuayb created a treatment plan for Phillip. It included a deep cleaning to help his gums heal, new crowns and a permanent dental bridge to replace the fractured molar.

“We prioritized all of my issues during that first visit and set up an appointment for a deep cleaning,” says Phillip.

He remembers feeling nervous about the prospect of dental treatment but soon learned he could relax under Dr. Shuayb’s care.

“Dr. Shuayb is very relatable. He makes you feel comfortable in the chair. His touch is unbelievably mild – even when you’re getting shots of an anesthetic, you don’t even feel it,” describes Phillip.

He chose to have one to two crowns replaced at a time and was happy that each crown didn’t require more than a single visit.

Shuayb Dental utilizes the CEREC system to create same-day crowns. CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.

It allows permanent crowns to be made right in the dental office: Digital impressions and fabrication of the permanent crown are completed in the same appointment. The process is so rapid, in fact, that at Shuayb Dental, permanent crowns are produced in an average of one hour and seven minutes, from start to finish.

Shuayb Dental has become widely known for using CEREC technology to produce crowns and other dental restorations that look like natural teeth.

“Sometimes, I send patients to colleagues for other work they may need, such as a root canal, and the dentists always tell me they have never seen crowns that look so lifelike,” comments Dr. Shuayb.

The key to success, however, is not simply having the high-tech equipment. It’s knowing how to use it with a high level of skill.

“For the past four or five years, I’ve taken my staff all over to get them extensive CEREC training. That’s my requirement. They are above and beyond any staff around because they are very knowledgeable,” explains Dr. Shuayb.Phillip Cole had same-day crowns, dental bridge created by Mohammad Shuayb, DMD, with CEREC® system.

Crowns are created in an on-site milling machine after Dr. Shuayb designs a three-dimensional virtual model through CEREC software. The shape and size is fine-tuned for the most natural result.

“The accuracy of the technology is phenomenal, within twenty microns, which is a third of the width of a human hair,” observes Dr. Shuayb.

“And we have potentially forty shades of crown material in our stock. We usually have two or three people help pick out the shade so that it matches the patient’s other teeth as closely as possible. We don’t just match the color under fluorescent lighting, but sometimes take the patient outside to compare what it looks like in natural light for the optimal look.”

The material used at Shuayb Dental also contributes to making dental restorations look indistinguishable from surrounding natural teeth. The practice uses an all-ceramic material called e.max® that is strong with a translucent quality, like natural teeth, and zirconia, a durable, white metal known for its high quality and natural appearance.

Like Natural Teeth

Phillip praises Dr. Shuayb for being a perfectionist. The skilled dentist uses the same type of high-power microscope that ophthalmologists use for eye surgery. The microscope allows for close-up work that is the equivalent of microsurgery to create dental restorations with a precise fit and finish. He also utilizes laser dentistry to integrate how the crown fits into the gumline for a natural look.

“Dr. Shuayb takes a lot of pride in his work,” emphasizes Phillip. “Unlike any crowns I’ve had in the past, you don’t even know they aren’t your original teeth.”

Phillip also appreciates the staff at Shuayb Dental.

“The staff is friendly and they’re courteous. They’re flexible and responsive, too. With my position in my job, I’m very busy and travel frequently, but they’re always very responsive in getting me in,” says Phillip.

“Everything’s perfect now with my teeth and gums,” he continues. “I have no problems whatsoever, and Dr. Shuayb and his staff have educated me about how to take care of my teeth. My gums are amazingly healthy now.”

Finding Shuayb Dental was transformative for Phillip. Not only did he lose his apprehension about dental care, his life changed for the better.

“Dr. Shuayb really helped me capture who I am,” he explains. “The look I have now is better for me at age forty-six in my profession. I’m a different man and have a healthy mouth again.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photos by Jordan Pysz. Before image courtesy of Shuayb Dental.

GENIUS 2.0™ Solution

Hear what people are saying.

Stephanie Olin noticed she was having trouble hearing. Along with turning up the television volume and frequently asking “What?” in conversations, Stephanie recognized other more subtle clues.Stephanie Olin treated for hearing loss by Melanee Bryans, HAS, with Genius 2.0® hearing aids at Miracle-Ear.

Stephanie encountered more difficulty hearing in challenging environments like noisy restaurants.

“I just wasn’t catching all that people were saying,” she says. “Sometimes socially, you’re not always getting the gist of the conversation. And you don’t even realize it until you look around and see how everybody else seems to be following along. That’s when you realize you’ve missed something.”

She also works as a sign language interpreter for the deaf, a profession in which staying aware of her environment and being able to hear is crucial. It is a second career for Stephanie that evolved after she took sign language classes.

“I decided I wanted to learn sign language and didn’t realize it would become my profession. One thing just led to another,” explains Stephanie, who is 62.

She assists the deaf in places like classrooms, doctors’ offices and churches. For example, she signs what a doctor is saying in order for the deaf person to understand.

“When signing, especially in a situation like a classroom where you are interpreting for a student, you have to be able to hear everyone. You want to be able to interpret what’s happening all around the deaf person,” she notes.

After realizing her hearing might need an evaluation, Stephanie decided to research hearing aids and providers. She checked several places before going to Miracle-Ear in Ormond Beach and meeting Melanee Bryans, LHAS.

“I liked Melanee from the beginning, and we hit it off. I felt very comfortable with her and she seemed very knowledgeable. She did my hearing test, and I decided that was where I wanted to get hearing aids,” notes Stephanie.

Small and Powerful

Melanee performed a thorough evaluation of Stephanie’s hearing, including a hearing test that revealed Stephanie had a high-frequency loss in both ears.

“High-frequency hearing loss is common and makes clearly understanding speech more difficult. Communication is harder because you’re missing parts of words or misinterpreting what is being said,” explains Melanee.

In assessing Stephanie’s lifestyle and hearing needs, Melanee noted her level of activity and the places she frequents. Stephanie needed to be able to hear clearly in places like churches, where reverberating sound can be challenging for anyone with a hearing loss. “Melanee explained to me where I was experiencing a hearing loss and asked me what I did and where it would be most helpful for me to have better hearing,” recalls Stephanie.

Melanee recommended a top-of-the-line digital model called GENIUS 2.0 for Stephanie. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology developed specifically for the hearing aid industry, GENIUS 2.0 offers superior sound quality, personalization and audibility.

“Stephanie’s ear canals are small, so in order to get something that’s very comfortable and very light within the ear, we went with the receiver-in-the-canal model,” notes Melanee. “They are a style in which the part that fits within her ear canal is very small and comfortable.

“GENIUS 2.0 hearing aids are able to provide a much clearer understanding of speech, especially in a noisy situation. They can determine what is background noise and what is conversation,” explains Melanee. “They are programmed to recognize incoming sound characteristics and automatically adapt. Background noise is recognized as more of a mechanical sound that can be filtered out so speech patterns come through more clearly.”

Further, GENIUS 2.0 hearing aids allow sound to be processed much like the brain does naturally. When worn in both ears, the devices communicate with each other as they pick up audio signals. The ability to clearly understand speech expands through a virtual network of digital sound. For instance, when someone is speaking on the listener’s right side, both hearing aids will pick up the sound.

Another advantage of the Miracle-Ear GENIUS 2.0 technology is VoiceTarget 360, which allows users to hear conversations to the front, side or even behind them with precision. It can detect where sound is coming from and adjust. In a car, for example, when the listener is riding in front and someone is speaking from the back seat, the device will change directional focus to the rear and pick up the conversation.

There is also a wireless windscreen feature that can make all the difference for active people who enjoy outdoor activities but don’t like to hear wind noise. Conversations come through clearly in windy environments, like when walking outside, riding a bike or playing golf.

Even More Features

Stephanie’s new hearing aids are designed to make listening easier with less effort.

“My hearing aids are comfortable, and so far they’re great,” notes Stephanie. “I chose to have all the features work through my smartphone. It’s really amazing.”

She is able to access programs that allow her to hear voices in the back of a room or tune out background noise. In addition to being able to change the volume, Stephanie also has the option of allowing the hearing aid to be fully automatic.

Stephanie can also use the GENIUSlink audio streamer that connects her hearing aids to Bluetooth®-enabled devices. At home, for instance, she can stream audio from her television directly into her hearing aids, for an experience that is like wearing a headset.

Choosing Melanee and Miracle-Ear was a good decision, she concludes.

“Melanee is excellent, and I recommend her to anybody. I like her service, and I like her knowledge. And I like the product, plus the pricing,” assures Stephanie.

“If I didn’t have hearing aids, I’d really miss them. They are a definite help all around.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Stock photo from ShutterStock. Hearing aid photo courtesy of Miracle Ear.

Back on Course with Physical Therapy

Anthony Scaggs’ passion is golf. At age 68, he is retired from a finance career, with plenty of time for golf and tournaments.

Anthony Scaggs treated for ankle pain through physical therapy by Jacob Barr, PT. (Should be DPT from now on.)

Anthony’s ankle became stronger with increased stability.

Last fall, he was on the driving range hitting balls when his left ankle popped.

“It was real obvious – not only could I feel what happened to my ankle, I heard it pop. I wasn’t sure that I could even walk, but I got back to my cart, loaded up my stuff and went home,” he recalls.

Once at home, Anthony rested and iced his ankle. When it didn’t improve, he saw a physician to learn if bones were broken. X-rays showed his ankle joint was intact. The doctor diagnosed Anthony with peroneal tendonitis, an inflammation of tendons near his ankle.

The physician suggested physical therapy and recommended Jacob Barr, DPT.

Anthony already knew Dr. Barr. “I wouldn’t have thought of going to anyone else,” he says.

Earlier, Dr. Barr had saved Anthony from needing to cancel “a golf trip of a lifetime” to Scotland. Anthony had sprained his ankle a few weeks before the trip. The dream vacation went on as planned, however, thanks to intensive therapy from Dr. Barr.

“Dr. Barr has a very good reputation and it’s well deserved,” stresses Anthony.

Pinpointing Cause

In examining Anthony, Dr. Barr noted he was experiencing pain when moving his ankle from side to side. The discomfort was worse along the outside of the ankle.

“You certainly need those side-to-side movements in golf,” observes Dr. Barr. “We also saw that he had some general muscle weakness in his left leg compared to his right. This likely contributed to his ankle problems.”

Physical therapy could address Anthony’s ankle discomfort and help prevent new injuries.

“Anthony could have stopped playing golf for a bit and just waited till things calmed down,” explains Dr. Barr. “But he’d probably have another ankle injury once he started playing again. And every time that happened, his ankle could get worse.”

Dr. Barr created a plan that included therapeutic ultrasound, laser and electrical stimulation of soft tissue, manual therapy techniques and massage. He also prescribed strengthening exercises.

“I had exercises to do at home, which included raising up on my toes and walking back on my heels,” notes Anthony. “It’s actually harder than you’d think because you need to focus on making sure your foot doesn’t roll.”

Dr. Barr also instructed Anthony to wear Kinesio® tape around his ankle. Popular among athletes, the lightweight tape gently lifts the skin and underlying tissues for decreased swelling and better circulation.

Within two weeks, the inflammation in Anthony’s ankle was down. He was able to enter a golf tournament after another two weeks of therapy.

He praises Dr. Barr for helping him strengthen his ankle and increase stability.

“Those are very important for golf, and I don’t think I would have known that without Dr. Barr, or picked up on some of the techniques he taught me,” explains Anthony.

“Dr. Barr is very knowledgeable. He keeps abreast of advancements in physical therapy and how they can help his patients,” says Anthony. “He’s very dedicated and you can see that in his staff, too. Everyone is focused on making sure you get back to the best you can be. It’s quite amazing.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz.

The Look She Always Wanted

Long-ago accident stole her smile, but her teeth are beautiful now.

Nancy* was only 14 when she lost her upper front tooth. Half of the tooth chipped off after her horse knocked into her. Her dentist at the time believed the only remedy was to remove the tooth entirely.

Nancy* gets dental implants, new fixed bridge and crowns from Dr. Rajiv Patel for smile makeover.

For the first time in
decades, Nancy has a healthy, new smile.

She was given a removable, lightweight partial denture to replace the missing tooth. Nancy, who is now 72, wore a series of the devices known as “flippers” over the next five decades. She can describe some embarrassing incidents when one or two fell out.

“Wearing them all that time was terrible,” Nancy describes. “They were floppy and I would put in adhesive, but still had trouble.”

As the years went by, Nancy’s dental issues continued. The partial denture damaged the abutting natural teeth. She developed gum disease and eventually lost four molars, which made it hard to chew.

After a lifetime of dental challenges, Nancy began to think about making a change. A friend recommended seeing Rajiv Patel, BDS, a board-certified dentist at DeLand Implant Dentistry.

Choosing Dental Implants

During Nancy’s first consultation, Dr. Patel performed an in-depth evaluation to determine her overall oral health.

“With every patient, we recommend a comprehensive evaluation so we know all the issues surrounding the oral condition,” he explains.

“Then, we give several treatment options and discuss the pros and cons of each. We find out what the patient desires and how much they want to invest in getting back their oral health. Next, we devise a specific plan where we can give them the best value for their investment.”

Nancy knew what she didn’t want: anything that had to be removed or could become dislodged.

“I thought about dentures, but I just didn’t want to go that route. It would be the same as what I’d had for my front tooth, only worse,” she explains.

Nancy opted for dental implants to replace the missing molars. Her missing front tooth would be replaced with a fixed dental bridge with crowns for the adjoining teeth. She also needed treatment for gum disease to improve her oral health.

Unlike many dentists, Dr. Patel and Dr. Darshan Patel are able to complete all required procedures, from initial diagnostic to final restoration. The father-and-son team provides full service within a friendly, small practice.

“It’s a one-stop shop. We really do everything in-house. My son, Darshan, and I are both very well trained in all aspects of dentistry, including implant dentistry, and we have a very well-trained and compassionate staff,” notes Dr. Patel.

“We do it all, from diagnostics to surgical intervention, surgical reconstruction to implant placement, and the final prosthetics.”

“It’s Just Awesome!”

Nancy’s jawbone had atrophied where her molars were missing. That’s a typical outcome. The body resorbs bone no longer needed to support the structure of a tooth.

Dr. Patel provided a remedy by preparing Nancy’s jaw through a bone expansion technique that is minimally invasive.

“The procedure is what we call a ridge expansion, and it heals very predictably. It’s much simpler, less expensive and safer than a standard bone graft,” he assures.

Dr. Patel inserted her dental implants and created the implants’ attached crowns. Full services at DeLand Implant Dentistry include the CEREC® (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) dental system that allows Dr. Patel to create dental prostheses in his office.

He also created the crowns and bridge for Nancy’s front teeth.

“I was really nervous about what everything was going to look like,” admits Nancy. “You hear horror stories about teeth that don’t look right. But Dr. Patel gave me a natural smile.”

Dr. Patel uses aesthetic techniques to create dental work that correlates to the individual’s natural features. He considered Nancy’s complexion and details like her eyes and facial structure for a perfect match.

For Nancy, the result was a home run. She has a natural smile she doesn’t want to hide – and fully functional teeth – for the first time in more than 50 years.

“It’s just awesome! I couldn’t be happier,” she enthuses. “My new smile takes ten years off my face. It makes me look so much younger, and I get a lot of compliments.

“Dr. Patel is wonderful. He’s very kind and very
gentle – and he gave me a really beautiful smile.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz.
*Patient’s last name withheld by her request.

From Chronic Hoarseness to Fresh, New Voice

Anthony LaRocco enjoyed singing as a member of his church choir. But his voice would become strained.

Anthony LaRocco treated through voice therapy for chronic hoarseness.

Voice therapy taught Anthony how to use his
vocal cords without strain.

“I was kind of hoarse all the time and developed problems like losing my speaking voice,” shares Anthony, who is 74 and retired. “I thought maybe I was developing nodules on my vocal cords.”

It wasn’t the first time Anthony experienced voice strain. In his work before retirement, he sometimes talked on the phone all day.

“I would push my voice because I’d think people couldn’t hear me. At the end of the day, I’d be hoarse,” he recalls.

Anthony was concerned that his recent hoarseness from choral singing might be a sign he needed medical attention. He looked for a physician to consult and was impressed by Devang Shah, MD, at Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat. The practice offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing of the larynx, or voice box, and voice therapy.

Testing Vocal Cords

“Anthony came to see me with hoarseness, and my first concern is the possibility of a growth or cancer,” notes Dr. Shah. “The first thing we do in that situation is a scope in the office to look for any large lesions in the larynx and vocal cords.

“I didn’t see any growths,” he adds, “so the obvious question was, Why is Anthony hoarse?”

Dr. Shah ordered a videostroboscopy for Anthony. The in-office test utilizes a strobe light and high-definition camera for diagnostic testing of the larynx and vocal cords.

“With the naked eye, you can’t really see the vocal cords in action because they are moving too fast. The strobe light slows it down so you can actually see the vocal cords vibrating and the vibratory edge,” explains Dr. Shah.

The test revealed abnormal movements in Anthony’s vocal cords that created nodules, which are tiny calluses along the edge of the vocal cords.

Dr. Shah recommended voice therapy by Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat speech pathologist Carinda Stout.

“Voice therapy changes how people use their vocal cords, much like physical therapy changes the way they use muscles and joints,” says Dr. Shah.

The therapy can also help correct changes in the voice that occur with age. Such changes can make people sound older, sometimes prematurely.

“The way people use the larynx changes over time. Those who develop problems like hoarseness can sound older than they actually are,” explains Dr. Shah. “Voice therapy is a way to improve the quality of sound and how you communicate.”

Stronger, Fuller Voice

“Anthony was overusing his larynx muscles and getting a lower vocal quality,” comments Carinda. “Patients with this problem will come to us with sore throats and tightness. Their voice tends to fade away or the hoarseness gets worse. They have shortness of breath while speaking or a chronic cough. These can all be improved with a course of therapy.”

Carinda taught Anthony how to speak with adequate breath support and control functions such as volume, pitch and resonance. He is a native of Brooklyn with a rapid-fire speaking pace; she encouraged him to slow down.

“Generally, six to eight weekly voice therapy sessions of a half-hour each is typical,” notes Carinda. “People sometimes start to see improvements within the first session, but really turn the corner by about the fourth session.”

Anthony’s voice grew stronger, and he now sings solos in his church choir. “I don’t get hoarse and my voice is fuller,” he reports.

“I thought it was the greatest thing,” he says about treatment from Dr. Shah and Carinda. “It definitely helped me.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Police Officer Finds Weight Loss Program That Works

Concerned about his weight, Orlando police officer Ben Stanaland tried commercial diet programs in an attempt to shed pounds. Despite any initial success, numbers on the scale seemed to inevitably return to one direction: upward.

Police officer Ben Stanaland loses weight through Ideal Protein®; Bob Urban treated for chronic back pain through DRX9000 spinal decompression.

Ben’s before and after photos show his results from following the Ideal Protein plan.

A large man, Ben stands 6-foot-4, and was a football player in high school. His athletic build, assisted by weightlifting, helped hide extra pounds. But as his weight climbed, Ben continued to look for ways to slim down. His annual health screenings showed markers like cholesterol levels were in the high-normal range.

He turned to intensive exercise, only to later realize that even the most rigorous workouts won’t ensure weight loss as a single strategy. First and foremost, it takes dietary changes.

“I started CrossFit®, and I was getting stronger and I was getting faster, with more agility,” notes Ben, who is 34. “But I wasn’t getting any smaller. After a while, I figured out that losing weight was going to have to start in the kitchen rather than the gym.”

He noticed that a friend at work had lost a large amount of weight.

“My friend was in our motor unit, and by chance one day, we rode together. He told me about the Ideal Protein® program,” relates Ben.

Ideal Protein is a comprehensive weight loss program at DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression. The customized plan enables quick weight loss without sacrificing muscle mass, for improved energy and appetite control, improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure.

It also focuses on the long term: The goal is not only to achieve a healthy weight, but also to learn how to maintain that weight in a way that becomes second nature.

Ben enrolled in the program and found it was easy to follow. So far, he’s lost more than 120 pounds. Through one-on-one coaching, he’s also discovering how to put yo-yo dieting behind him.

Long-Term Solution

Unlike many weight loss systems, Ideal Protein is part of a comprehensive, personalized plan. It is based on more than 25 years of experience in helping more than five million people lose weight in Europe and Canada, and now a large group of people in the United States.

“Ideal Protein is incorporated into a customized program for patients. On average, our patients lose twelve to fifteen pounds a month,” says Jeremy M. Gordon, DC, a chiropractic physician and clinic director at DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression.

Dr. Gordon and his staff have helped hundreds of people achieve healthy weights and lifestyles through Ideal Protein. Most had already tried other weight loss programs, such as Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig® and Nutrisystem®, without long-term success.

“There are a lot of things that can help people lose weight for a short amount of time,” notes Dr. Gordon, “but very few things that people can actually follow through long term like Ben needed to be able to do.”

Ideal Protein helps limit the amount of sugars and dietary fats while providing high-quality protein that is easily absorbed. There are four supplements that go along with actual food: a multivitamin, potassium supplement, fish oil supplement and calcium supplement.

“We have to supplement because we’re removing most of the dairy, grains and fruits from people’s regular diets while they’re on the program,” explains Dr. Gordon. “Those food groups have a lot of mineral content, so we need to make sure patients still get an adequate, balanced amount of minerals. Consequently, muscle cramps or spasms or things of that nature are avoided.

“None of the supplements are what you see with the different fad diets. There are no diet pills or stimulants in Ideal Protein,” he adds. “The Ideal Protein plan is focused on the body’s biochemistry and burning stored fat through eating properly and through proper nutrition. Ideal Protein teaches people to eat healthy.”

A key to the program is that Ideal Protein is designed to help people burn fat while preserving lean muscle, an advantage for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

“Some plans merely restrict caloric intake so the body will burn fat, and that will also burn some muscle. So people lose muscle mass while they’re on a lot of these diets,” notes Dr. Gordon. “That doesn’t happen on the Ideal Protein program. It focuses on helping people lose weight by burning stored fat, but preserves lean muscle.”

Another advantage is that Ideal Protein doesn’t require exercise. Any exercise people do will only improve their outcomes and results, but isn’t necessary to produce weight loss. This is good news for people who need to lose weight but aren’t able to easily exercise because of physical limitations.

“There are some patients for whom exercise isn’t an option. They may have severe back issues or joint issues, for instance, and Ideal Protein allows them to still lose weight,” explains Dr. Gordon.

“Ideal Protein allows the patient to reach a physical state called ketosis, which is when the body is burning stored fat for energy,” he educates. “It’s a much more efficient way of losing weight and burning fat than exercise. You would have to do a tremendous amount of exercise to burn the significant amounts of calories and fat that result in weight loss.”

One-on-One Coaching

Dr. Gordon observes that what really sets Ideal Protein apart is the one-on-one coaching and support. The clinic’s Ideal Protein Coach, Tracee Gmitro, meets individually with Ideal Protein clients to guide them on their journey to better health and wellness.

Police officer Ben Stanaland loses weight through Ideal Protein®; Bob Urban treated for chronic back pain through DRX9000 spinal decompression.

Ben and Tracee celebrated when Ben achieved a weight loss of 100 pounds through Ideal Protein.

“The meetings with Tracee are weekly, and they help to hold people accountable and monitor their weight loss as they go through the program,” notes Dr. Gordon. “If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, either myself or my associate, Dr. Munson, can come in and speak to them as well. We can also monitor things like blood work as far as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure and common issues that people may be dealing with as well as being overweight.”

The support, nutrition classes and the Ideal Protein plan’s overall convenience have all helped Ben stick with his weight loss plans and achieve success.

“For somebody in my line of work with the schedule that I have, it has worked out well. I’m able to pre-plan and take what I need to have in the car because I’m not sitting in an office all day,” says Ben. “It was a challenge at first because I like sweets. Most people do. But there are some snacks they have that help with that, and it definitely gets easier after a few days.”

He meets with Tracee every week. He also attends nutrition classes as part of the program and delves into an Ideal Protein cookbook when preparing food at home.

“Tracee is great,” enthuses Ben. “She talks to you about more than just the diet, and more about life challenges overall. It helps to have somebody who can empathize about what you might be going through.”

He likes the wide variety of foods that are permissible for the Ideal Protein plan and what he’s learned about nutrition in classes and cooking demonstrations at DeLand Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression.

“There are all kinds of recipes, and Ideal Protein has a chef who created a cookbook, which I purchased. It has hundreds of recipes and different techniques you can try. They’re pretty decent, and I’ve tried a bunch of them,” notes Ben.

In his work as a police officer, he adds, it helps to be in good physical condition. Being at a healthy weight is definitely part of that. He is still in the Ideal Protein program and plans to lose more weight to reach an ideal goal.

The bottom line, he explains, is that he found a program that actually works for him.

“Now that I’ve found that Ideal Protein works for me, the sky’s the limit,” Ben emphasizes. “Yeah, it’s been great. The program works when you follow it.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photos courtesy of Deland Chiropractic.
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