Mills-Peninsula Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Healthy Holiday Eating


The holiday season – it’s the most delicious time of the year! But all those tasty treats and traditional holiday foods can also mean lots of extra sugar, fat and calories.

According to the National Institutes of Health, American adults gain about one pound between Thanksgiving and the New Year. And people who are already overweight may gain up to five pounds. Although a single pound might not sound like much, most of us don’t lose the added weight. Over the years, the continuous weight gain can lead to serious health consequences including diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

“It’s definitely worth having strategies in place before the start of the holiday season to curb any potential weight gain,” says Carolyn McCune, R.D.,  a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mills-Peninsula. “It’s not so much what you eat on a single holiday – it’s the accumulation of treats we consume between Halloween and the New Year that really adds up.”

McCune offers the following tips to help you enjoy your favorite holiday foods without sacrificing your waistline and good health.

Read More

Preventing Diabetes Without a Pill

HealthyFood“Lifestyle management is more powerful than taking a pill for preventing diabetes,” says Pauline Chau, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in Mills-Peninsula’s Diabetes and Nutrition Department.

Research shows that people with prediabetes who lose a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased activity can sharply reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Read More

A Team Effort Helps Breast Cancer Patient Celebrate a Night at the Opera

Caroline Hurtado, radiation therapist; Annie Noonan; Al Taira, M.D., radiation oncologist

Caroline Hurtado, radiation therapist; Annie Noonan; Al Taira, M.D., radiation oncologist

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing one patient’s story of celebration during her fight against breast cancer.

Long before her breast cancer diagnosis, Annie Noonan and her husband had been invited to attend the opening night of the San Francisco Opera. She had never been to opening night and had been looking forward to it before the diagnosis.

Annie’s treatment at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo included a type of targeted radiation therapy called intracavitary brachytherapy, in which a device to deliver a high dose of radiation is inserted into the breast and left in place for the duration of the treatment. The device is attached to one end of a tube, and the other end of the tube sticks out of the skin with several protruding wires.

Annie chose this type of radiation for its short duration — twice a day for five days — so she could quickly return to her family and her busy professional life as president and co-founder of The Avalon Academy, a local school for children with cerebral palsy. Read More

3D Mammography Gives a Closer Look


It had been about 18 months since Susan Gray, a busy attorney in San Francisco, had her last mammogram. She knew the recommendation; starting at age 40, women should be screened annually for breast cancer. As it turned out, Gray’s visit to the Mills-Peninsula Women’s Center in May 2014 came at just the right time.

Susan Gray

Susan Gray

Using the newly installed digital breast tomosynthesis technology, also known as 3D mammography, Harriet Borofsky, M.D., medical director of the Mills-Peninsula Women’s Center, found an aggressive breast tumor that would likely have gone undetected with traditional mammography. Read More

Flu Season: Time to Get Vaccinated



The flu (influenza) is serious business. Worse than a cold, the flu is highly contagious and can result in a severe illness with a high fever, cough, achiness, fatigue and sore throat. Every year the flu results in many hospitalizations and deaths. It is especially dangerous for the elderly, people with weakened immune systems or chronic health issues, pregnant women and babies. Read More

Mills Helps SF Giants Strike Out Stroke

Mills-Peninsula volunteers helped make last month’s Strike Out Stroke event at San Francisco’s AT&T Park a great success, says Jenny Im, a Mills-Peninsula stroke coordinator.

Before the San Francisco Giants took the field for a game on August 15 2015, more than 30 volunteers gathered at the park to distribute giveaways with the FAST stroke warning signs: Read More

Get Fit Outdoors in San Mateo County

Staying fit is an essential part of staying healthy. Physical activity strengthens your bones and muscles, helps control body weight and reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It also contributes to your mental health and is a proven mood-booster. But what if the gym is inconvenient, expensive, or just plain uninspiring? Try taking your workout outdoors, with free, fun, fitness opportunities right around the corner in local parks and open spaces.

“Physical fitness is part of what creates a healthy community,” says Carole Groom, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. San Mateo County offers numerous programs that combine fresh air and exercise in its parks and open spaces, several of which are described in this blog post. Check out the list, then check in with your local county to see what community fitness opportunities are available near you. Read More