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February 2023 - Deep Winter

February is here, and that means we are in the throes of the cold winter months. While this can be a great time to watch your favorite movie and stay cozy beneath a pile of blankets, it is also a perfect time to prioritize our health. 

Have you made an appointment with your direct care physician for your yearly physical? Feeling SAD is real – and so is Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s OK to not be OK with little sunlight and long nights. But fear not! 

Here are a few ways to help if you feel SAD: 

  • Bright light therapy has been shown to help with SAD about 60% of the time. For a therapy with little downside, those are pretty good odds. If the bright lights don't help after a few weeks – or if you know you get more severe SAD – talk to your doctor to consider medication. 
  • Medicine for SAD does not have to be given year-round, just during the season that is the hardest for you. 
  • You can also consider psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help for people suffering with SAD, as well.
  • We are here to help through every season, every chapter of your life and every transition. 

Updates from Our Docs

  • #ICYMI: Dr. Ashley Loughner has a NEW Wexford location at 1000 Brooktree Road, Suite 211, Wexford, PA 15090.

  • Dr. Natalie Gentile has a NEW East End location at 201 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206. It’s also home to Rebel Wellness, her new community space for movement, learning and nutrition that had its grand opening in January.

COVID-19 Support:

Do you have questions about vaccines, boosters and staying healthy? We’re here to help you keep track of the latest health guidelines and what you can do to keep your family safe through the season. 

The DCPP doctors have created online resources where you can learn about the latest on COVID-19, the latest variants and more at

We are here to answer any questions or schedule visits as needed. We believe in healthcare without the hassle!   


  • Rebel with a Cause: Dr. Gentile was recently featured on the cover of The City Scene’s inaugural issue talking all-things direct care! Check out her interview HERE.

Recipe of the Month: Berry Margarita Mocktail


Berry Juice

  • 1 cup of mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
  • ½ cup sweetener like honey, agave or sugar
  • (Optional) Add an herb like mint or rosemary for extra flavor

The Margarita

  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 2 orange slices
  • 1 oz lemon juice 
  • Lime sparkling water
  • 1.5 oz Berry Juice (see ingredients above)


Berry Juice:

  • In a small bowl, mix berries, herbs (if using) and sweetener until a natural juice has formed. Strain into a storage container.

The Margarita

  • In a tall glass or shaker, add orange slices, lime juice and lemon juice.
  • Muddle.
  • Add Berry Juice and stir.
  • Add ice.
  • Add sparkling water to glass or shaker
  • If using a glass, stir. If using a shaker, shake.
  • Strain into a sugar or salt rimmed glass with ice. Garnish with lime and berries!

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Patient Spotlight: Meet Marjorie Stein, NDIQ

Marjorie Stein, NDIQ is an independent interior designer who’s worked in the field for 40-plus years and will celebrate her firm’s 18th anniversary this year. A certified designer by the Council for Interior Design Qualification, she specializes in higher education, healthcare and commercial interior design and is conscious of both ergonomics and sustainability in her projects. When selecting materials for the space, she considers a number of sustainability factors such as how long the item can remain in the site (and thus, how long it will stay out of the landfill), the item’s carbon footprint, how safe the item is etc. Marjorie emphasizes the importance of communication and collaboration in her position – there are many different disciplines that come together to create a space, all of which she coordinates.


Both Marjorie and her husband are patients of Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh practices, having discovered direct primary care while on a search for an independent doctor. She feels as though the doctors are very knowledgeable and is grateful they’re willing to do research on topics they may be less familiar with. She also appreciates how the doctors at DCPP prioritize patient care. “They’re a really good group of caring people,” Marjorie said.

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.