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December 2023 - Make your mental health a priority

The holiday season has arrived! While this can be a joyous and exciting time of the year, for many people it can be isolating and lonely. Taking care of your mental health during this month is so important for your overall state of wellness. Take walks, practice yoga and meditation, write in a journal or call a friend are just a few ways to center our state of peace during this hectic time of year. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor at DCPP if you feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. The longer nights and shorter days coupled with so many obligations can make anyone feel mentally exhausted. You don’t have to “push through.” There are a lot of ways we can help you have a healthy, content holiday season!

Updates from Our Docs

  • Dr. Rebecca Byard: Office will be closed Monday, Dec. 25, Tuesday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 1. 

  • Dr. Natalie Gentile: Out of office and only available for acute needs from Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 1.

  • Dr. Kirsten Lin: Click HERE to view her detailed holiday office hours.

  • Dr. Ashley Loughner: Virtual visits only from Monday, Dec. 18, through Tuesday, Jan. 2.  

  • Dr. Emily Scott: Office will be closed Monday, Dec. 25, Tuesday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 1.

ICYMI: DCPP welcomes new doc


DCPP’s newest doctor, Dr. Scott (she/her), is a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine with specialties in primary care, sports medicine and preventative medicine.

She is currently accepting meet-and-greet appointments. Her practice is located at 201 S Highland Ave. #101 in Pittsburgh’s East End.

 Give a warm welcome to Heather LaPaglia, administrative assistant

Heather LaPaglia is Dr. Loughner’s new administrative assistant at DCPP’s Wexford office. Heather comes to DCPP from UPMCScreenshot_2023-10-06_at_10.jpeg Mercy, where her most recent role was a senior care patient technician. She holds a B.A. in psychology and plans to obtain her BSN, RN. Heather is an Army wife to Major LaPaglia, who recently returned home from his second tour in Kuwait. Heather and her husband have two children: 3-year-old Everett and 8-year-old Scarlett. Heather enjoys running, thrifting, caring for her houseplants, gardening, Bible study and rescuing animals. Along with her love for animals, Heather enjoys working with people in nursing homes and doing advocacy work to end human trafficking of children. Heather is invested in the true crime space and seeking justice for victims – especially those who have endured domestic violence. 

In this new role, Heather looks forward to growing her knowledge about the practice and helping people feel better and live better lives. As Dr. Loughner’s administrative assistant, she will respond to new patient requests for medical marajuana certifications or re-certifications, osteopathic manipulative therapy and primary care requests for Dr. Loughner. She will also assist with all administrative needs, including prescription refill requests, insurance verifications, email follow-up and phone inquiries. Patients can interact with Heather via phone, email at or through DCPP’s secure messaging system.

Walk with a doc: Winter Indoors Edition

DCPP doctors are partnering with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh for an indoor edition of Walk with a Doc from December through March. Dr. Scott will lead the walks on 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 13 and March 12 at 5738 Forbes Ave., in Squirrel Hill. We’ll be joined by some of our PT colleagues from Drayer Physical Therapy Institute. All are welcome to join us!

New Year, Healthy Body Image coaching program with Dr. G

Ditch the “new year, new me” all-in mentality and learn more thoughtful ways to improve your health in 2024. This series includes 12 virtual group sessions spanning three months beginning on Jan. 8. Sessions meet on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. with rotating weekly sessions with DCPP’s Dr. G and Margaret Peacock, NBCHWC, of Terra Health Coaching. 

It’s $99 per month for DCPP and Rebel Wellness members and $179 per month for non-members. Schedule your breakthrough call to learn more:

DCPP in the News

Dr. Gentile has a regular segment on KDKA-TV’s talk show, “TALK Pittsburgh.” See her segment at 3 p.m. every other Wednesday to discuss the health issues that matter most to you! If you missed them, watch her latest segments on the CBS Pittsburgh website

The latest vaccine information

Updated COVID-19 vaccines: It’s a good time to get your updated COVID vaccines as the holiday season is upon us and many people will be gathering with family and friends. Dr. Gentile, Dr. Scott and Dr. Loughner have them available at their respective offices. Please schedule with your DCPP physician today. 

Does insurance cover the COVID-19 vaccine? Most insurances will cover the vaccine at DCPP, but it's important to check with your physician first for support with evaluating your insurance's coverage. Most pharmacies now have the vaccine, as well. We can’t predict which plans will cover the vaccine so it's always important to contact the pharmacy first to check about coverage. Visit this website to find the vaccine options near you.

What if I don’t have insurance? Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine? Because this COVID-19 vaccine is now part of routine use, it's not being covered or offered at a lower cost. Learn more here and talk with your DCPP doctor to discuss your options.

Have you gotten your flu shot? It’s not too late! 

RSV Vaccine: The FDA has approved two new RSV vaccines for older adults. They are currently available at several pharmacies. People can visit their local pharmacy’s website for more information. It can be given concurrently with a flu shot but not with a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your DCPP doctor to see if it's a good choice for you. 

MORE RESOURCES: A guide for navigating cold-and-flu season and guidelines for Paxlovid for COVID-19 are available on the DCPP website under “Patient Resources.”

Recipe of the month: Seitan Bourguignon


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (½-pound) packages of traditional-flavored seitan, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of dry red wine
  • 16 oz of cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup of homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 15 pearl onions, fresh or frozen, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine, melted
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seitan and cook, stirring until seitan is browned and caramelized on all sides. 
  • 2. Reduce heat and add shallots, carrots, mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • 3. Add wine and enough stock to just cover the seitan mixture. 
  • 4. Add parsley, bay leaves, thyme and pearl onions; cover and bring to a simmer until vegetables are tender – about 30 minutes.
  • 5. In a small bowl, mix together flour and margarine. 
  • 6. Add flour mixture to seitan stew, stirring until well combined. Let simmer uncovered until it reaches a gravy-like consistency. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
  • 7. Garnish with parsley. 
  • 8. Serve over mashed potatoes, greens, rice or on its own.

SOURCE: Adapted from

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Patient Spotlight: Pamela Stephens, BEMER Distributer

Christie Kliewer is co-founder of Nine O’Clock Wines(opens in a new tab), an independent bottle shop that offers a large natural wine selection, on-site wine tastings, a monthly wine club subscription and a private event space at 4112 Butler St., in Lawrenceville. Christie met her business partner, Celine Roberts, while working together at Bar Marco. Before entering the service industry, both founders worked in white-collar jobs and used their backgrounds in library science, marketing, food journalism and the service industry  to create their company. When Christie and Celine first started Nine O’Clock Wines, they were operating in partnership with and within Bar Marco, but quickly expanded to a pop-up style retail space before moving to their current location. They prioritize carrying wines made by groups that are often left out of conventional wine-making circles such as women, people of color, queer folks and people who are employing progressive labor practices. 


Natural wine is a broad term used to describe wines made with a minimal amount of human intervention during the growing, fermentation, vinification and bottling processes. Christie says that the emphasis on caring for the environment that is inherent to the natural wine-making process aligns with her and Celine’s ideals about environmental justice. One of Christie’s favorite parts of her job is educating customers about food pairings and tasting notes. 

Christie has been a patient at DCPP for almost three years and Dr. Gentile’s patient for almost one year. She appreciates Dr. Gentile’s contextual, holistic approach to healthcare. Christie describes Dr. Gentile as “a reliable cheerleader and an intelligent mind to address questions and concerns.” She says that her experience with DCPP put her on a “path of healing” that helped her pay more attention to herself and her well-being. 

Learn more about Nine O’Clock Wines on Instagram @nineoclock(opens in a new tab) wines or at 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.