It may be hard to believe, but 2021 is coming to a close. While we are taking some time to reflect on this challenging year, we can’t help but also be grateful for 2021: the year that Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh was born!

We appreciate all of you and are grateful for putting your trust in us to serve your healthcare needs. 

Meet the New Staff

Deedra Dineff
joined the Allison Park staff as an executive assistant. She’s worked as a medical assistant and in office administration for many years. Previously, she worked for a cardiology practice but had to leave the position when the pandemic started. She believes everything happens for a reason, though, because now she’s thrilled to be part of the DCPP family! Deedra and her husband reside in Gibsonia with their niece.

Denise Roberts is Dr. Gentile's executive assistant at our Highland Park location. She has 14 years of experience in health and wellness, which is a personal passion of hers. Prior to living in Pittsburgh, she was based in West Philadelphia, where she worked with an integrative and functional medicine practice on the Main Line. In her spare time, she enjoys weightlifting and concocting plant-based meals.

And don’t forget at Highland Park we also have Diane Dean, a registered nurse, licensed professional counselor, and professionally trained coach. For more than 20 years, she has enjoyed supporting others to move toward health and healing in various ways. 

Exciting Updates from our Doctors

Dr. Rebecca Byardjoins the other DCPP doctors in accepting patients over 65 years of age starting in January 2022.   

“It is important to me to be able to see my patients from all walks of life, at any stage of life,” Dr. Byard says. “I look forward to expanding my practice under DCPP and welcoming new faces.”

Connect with her at our Mt. Lebanon location at 750 Washington Road, Unit 15. Or contact her office by phone at 724-288-6964 and via email at

Dr. Byard is also teaching Little Medical School and Little Veterinarian School for children ages 6-10 in the Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair communities. Slots are filling up fast for the winter 2022 session. For more details, click HERE.

Dr. Natalie Gentile(opens in a new tab) continues her work with WALK AT HOME, the No. 1 indoor walk fitness program. In November’s newsletter, we invited patients to give the program a try by streaming the videos on YouTube(opens in a new tab).

Let us know if you walked at home this month! Tag @directcarepgh in a photo or video of you on social media walking at home or send your doctor a quick note saying you did the workout. You will be entered to win a special giveaway. 

COVID-19: What You Need to Know 

Get tested: Unfortunately, we are now at the same positivity levels as we were last December for COVID cases. If you are having symptoms of COVID, including fevers, cough, and congestion, it’s important to talk to your DCPP doctor. We are seeing the rise of all of the other typical winter colds cropping up as well this year, which we didn’t see as much last year. This includes the flu, especially Influenza A. The only way to distinguish between flu and COVID-19 is by getting tested, as the symptoms are virtually the same. 

Get boosted: The CDC recommends boosters for people 18 and older. In particular, it’s highly encouraged for these groups: those who are immunocompromised (meaning their immune system is not as strong), those over 65, pregnant patients, healthcare workers, and people with underlying conditions (including high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease).

Remember, it’s OK to “mix and match” vaccines for your booster. Use this quick guide to figure out which booster is best for you!

Stay safe: Many of you have likely heard by now about the Omicron variant(opens in a new tab), and there is still so much that is unknown. You can find the latest updates about it on the CDC website. This holiday season,  try to stay calm, trust the incredible scientific strides that have been made over the course of this pandemic, and head out to get boosted!

Not sure whether or not you need a COVID-19 test? Check out the CDC's Viral Testing Tool.(opens in a new tab) And if you do need to get tested, you can find a testing site here.(opens in a new tab)

Recipe of the Month

Cozy up this winter with Dr. Lela Dougherty’s favorite soup recipe by the Gracious Vegan(opens in a new tab). It’s a corn chowder that ditches dairy for cashew cream. Find the full recipe on our social media platforms. 

Be sure to follow @directcarepgh on Instagram(opens in a new tab) and Facebook(opens in a new tab) for more recipes from our doctors! You can tag us, too, in the ones you want them to try at home.

Holiday Office Hours

Dr. Gentile in Highland Park:

Office closed: 12/17, 12/20, 12/24, and 12/27-12/31 (urgent appointments only)

Dr. Dougherty in Allison Park:

Office closed 12/24 and 12/31 (urgent appointments only).  Limited hours by request only 12/20-12/30.

Dr. Lin in Allison Park:

Office closed 12/24 and 12/31 (urgent appointments only)

Dr. Byard in Mt.Lebanon:

Office closed 12/24 - 12/27 and 12/29. Will be taking urgent appointments only on 12/28 and 12/31.

From all of us at Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh, we wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season–and a prosperous New Year!