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April 2022, In Full Bloom!

Since officially launching Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh in January 2022, we have been proud to expand the scope and reach of the individual doctors practicing direct primary care. We’ve done this all while still maintaining the individualized care that you have come to expect from your direct primary care physicians. 

There are even more exciting adventures coming your way as we approach the summer months. We will keep you updated as we expand our reach to more communities with more doctors – so that no matter where you live, you can have the care that you deserve when you need it. 

We are honored and humbled to support you in your health journey.


Exciting Updates from Our Doctors


No one should have to wait weeks or months to see a doctor. The direct primary care model connects the dots between you and your doctor so that you can see someone when you want and need to. 

Have a friend or family member looking to make the switch to direct primary care? Dr. Lela Dougherty, located in Allison Park, and Dr. Rebecca Byard, located in Mt. Lebanon, are accepting new patients. They welcome your referrals! 


COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

On March 29, following FDA's regulatory action, the CDC updated its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people aged 50 and over who had an initial booster dose at least four months ago the opportunity to receive a second mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe diseases caused by COVID-19.

Other updates include:

  • Added guidance that people ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • Added guidance that adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may choose to receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
  • Added guidance that people ages 18–49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first Janssen booster dose


For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, please visit DCPP's COVID Resources page(opens in a new tab)


Walk with our Docs

  • Dr. Dougherty will be leading her first Walk with a Doc walk event at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7.  Meet at the Pie Traynor field parking lot for a quick chat and then walk the loop of S. Ridge Road at a leisurely pace. Learn more about Walk With a Doc at walkwithadoc.org.
  • DID YOU KNOW: Walk with a Doc: Highland Park kicked off April 1. Join Dr. Natalie Gentile on the first Friday of every month from May through October at 10 a.m. Meet each time at the fountain at the Highland Park entrance. Follow Dr. Gentile on Instagram @nataliegentilemd for updates.


Blueberry Pharmacy and DCPP in the News

  • At DCPP, we all know how revolutionary and impactful the work that Blueberry Pharmacy does. Its low-cost medications without the need for insurance have helped so many of us around here. It looks like others are starting to follow in its footsteps. Earlier this year, Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban made headlines for launching his own directly competing, cost-plus online pharmacy – after someone on his team sought advice from Blueberry Pharmacy. Dr. Kyle McCormick, who owns Blueberry Pharmacy, weighed in on Medium(opens in a new tab) how imitation isn’t always the sincerest form of flattery, despite what Oscar Wilde said. WESA also recently highlighted Blueberry Pharmacy’s model on its show The Confluence(opens in a new tab).
  • Pittsburgh Business Times shared with its readers what makes direct primary care different from traditional “big box” medicine in a feature(opens in a new tab) about Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh and its vision for making healthcare more personalized and accessible for patients. 
  • KDKA-TV featured Dr. G. as a medical expert in its recent coverage of the Omicron “stealth” variant. Visit pittsburgh.cbslocal.com(opens in a new tab) to watch.


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Recipe of the Month​

Looking for a kid-proof meal on the go? Dr. Dougherty has her kids’ seal of approval with this smoothie.   

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen berries (mixed, strawberries or blueberries)
  • 1-2 bananas (Note: She prefers to let hers get over-ripe and then freeze them to maintain that thick, smoothie texture.)
  • 1 cup of greens, such as spinach or kale – frozen works well here, too
  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup of water or plant milk to get the desired consistency

Combine and enjoy!

Optional: For some extra added sweetness and creaminess, add 1/4-1/2 cup of prepared plant-based vanilla yogurt.


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Patient Spotlight


Elizabeth Sherman, MA, MOT, OTR/L, is a licensed occupational therapist practicing in Pittsburgh, whose work supports the autistic community at all stages of life. Elizabeth is Autistic and uses a neurodiversity-affirming perspective and her lived experiences to inform her practice. 

Elizabeth supports clients in their home, school and community so that she can make informed suggestions about changes that could make her clients’ lives easier and reduce their stress. She collaborates with local Autistic colleagues to increase her clients' access to Autistic community care and neurodiversity-affirming resources to support their quality of life.

You can learn more about Elizabeth’s practice on her website heartofgoldpgh.com(opens in a new tab) or connect with her on Instagram(opens in a new tab) or Facebook(opens in a new tab).

Would you like to be spotlighted? Do you know another DCPP patient who would make for a great profile? Let us know, and you could be featured in a future newsletter.