Patient Story - Doctors Provide Coordinated Care
At PAMF, You Don't Just Get a Doctor - You Get a TeamIn January 2003, Mike Fox began to notice disturbing changes in his eyesight, including double vision. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, consulted with Mike's primary care physician, who found that Mike had an overactive thyroid and referred him to Todd Kaye, an endocrinologist at the PAMF Mountain View Center.
After conducting nuclear imaging tests that revealed no abnormalities, Dr. Kaye sent Mike to Yichieh Shiuey, an ophthalmologist at PAMF's Vision Care Center in Sunnyvale, who did several exams to rule out Grave's Disease – an autoimmune disease initially suspected by the couple. That same day, Dr. Shiuey sent Mike down the hall to see his fellow ophthalmologist Carol Winton for further testing. Still, a diagnosis remained elusive. Then, an unexpected breakthrough happened.
"The next morning, Dr. Winton was set to drive up to Lake Tahoe for a vacation with her family," recalls Mike. "While driving home from the office that evening, she suddenly realized that I could be suffering from myasthenia gravis." Myasthenia gravis is a rare neuromuscular disease that affects the autoimmune system, and one of the first noticeable symptoms is weakness of the eye muscles.
Dr. Winton immediately ordered blood tests for Mike, and the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis was confirmed. She then referred Mike to neurologist Leland Greenwald, who also suspected that Mike might have Parkinson's disease – a suspicion that was soon confirmed. Since then, Mike has continued to see Dr. Greenwald, and his symptoms from Parkinson's and myasthenia gravis are alleviated by medication.
Mike’s experience with the integrated approach to his care at PAMF inspired him to become deeply involved in helping the organization flourish. "Good health care is defined by three things: access, availability and quality," he said. "This organization delivers excellence in all these areas."
In 2006, Mike became a founding member of the Philanthropy Leadership Council (now the Community Cancer Care Center Campaign Cabinet), a 23-member group established to advance long-term philanthropic support for capital projects and expanded programs at the Mountain View Center and other local PAMF facilities.
In 2008, Mike and Mary Ellen took on the role of co-chairs of the capital campaign for PAMF's new Community Cancer Care Center in Sunnyvale. The new building will house a Cancer Center and primary care services.
Mike is particularly grateful to Dr. Greenwald for his care and attention. "I remember when I couldn't get out of bed in the morning," he said. "Now I have strength and energy and am so much happier. It's like I ran into a miracle at the Mountain View Center, so I've chosen to express some of my gratitude financially."
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