October 2019

CHAPALA MED’S Monthly Health Newsletter 
October 2019 Health Newsletter
Greetings and thank you for taking the time to read this health newsletter for the month of October 2019. October is one of the months with a high number of health observances which include the following: Healthy Lung month, National Physical Therapy month, Domestic Violence Awareness month, Mental Illness Awareness Week,  Bullying Prevention month, Latino AIDS Awareness Day, World Food day, National Latino AIDS Day among may others.
Of particular interest to me, professionally and personally speaking are
 because I recently lost my mother to breast cancer in July 2017 and  the later because I am a member the President of the 
Rotary Club of Ajijic A.C.
 So, this month’s newsletter may include some information that may be more focused to those two topics. 
 I am pleased  to once again announce  that our Chapala Med team continues to grow to provide you better service and to allow the other healthcare providers and myself to focus on patient care.  I am extremely proud to say that we have had a great deal of compliments with our new doctor  America Gonzalez as well as our hospital concierge Joe Guitron. Both help our patients during their hospitalizations.   Dr. Gonzales helps provide patient care and Mr. Guitron helps during the admission and discharge phases of their stays as well as to bridge cultural and communication gaps between the hospital staff and the patients. I am also very pleased to announce that we have a new behavioral counselor on our team, Sue Sugar. She is a licensed clinical counselor in the U.S. and brings a lifetime of training and experience to our team. The feedback has all been positive thus far.
Other than skin cancer,
breast cancer
is the most common cancer among American women. Getting
regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that
if you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years.
If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

Being a “SMALL TOWN DOCTOR” in the Lakeside community  many of my patients have come to know some aspects of my personal and family life. Some know that BREAST CANCER has become very important in my life in particular since Feb. 2015, since we diagnosed my mother with it and having lost her about 2 years later.  For those two years I have been living with all that it does to the family and the patient whom it has stricken. I know now, more than ever the importance of cancer screening. I hope that my mother’s story can give some insight and persuade at least one person to go through the recommended cancer screening. She did lead a very healthy life. She never smoked, rarely drank alcohol, ate a very healthy diet and worked out at the gym at least 5 days per week. So, she thought that she was exempt from getting cancer and she didn’t get her screening as it had been recommended to her. She often ignored that she had a first degree relative, her sister who had breast cancer 13 years ago. I’ve seen a very similar scenario repeated in my patients. Baby Boomers feel invincible in many respects. They are more physically active and healthcare conscience than prior generations and it is for that reason that some believe that they are not suitable candidates for cancer screenings. The statistics conclude the contrary.

This past weekend, Oct. 3-5, I attended a second International Symposium on Stem Cell therapies in Cancun, Qto.  It was hosted by Cryovida which is the lab where I order my stem cells from. We had doctors and researchers as speakers who are on the cutting edge of breakthroughs and treatments with these cells. What really excited me the most was the regenerative therapies for CNS(Central Nervous System) diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s and MS(Multiple Sclerosis). The doctors in a attendance were in large part from South America, Europe and from the U.S. Dr. Arnold Caplan, the pioneer in STEM CELL research and therapies was our guest speaker. I will be sharing more in the near future and one-on-one with my patients.

As a member or Rotary International, the eradication of Polio from the earth is of particular importance to me. It is quite evident that the campaigns to vaccinate the world’s population have beard fruit. Since 1988, we’ve seen a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. Last year we only saw wild polio cases in three countries.  As a side note, please remember that we will have the FLU vaccine available at Chapala Med the last week of October. Please come in and sign up.

Please spread the word, the ROTARY CLUB OF AJIJIC A.C. will be holding it’s second annual
CATRINA 5K in support of the fight against breast cancer on
Sunday October 27, 2018 at 8 a.m. at the Ajijic Plaza.  Please support this worthy cause by participating or spreading the word.  Tickets are now available at Chapala Med, Tepehua Treasures and Hospital Country 2000 in Guadalajara. You can also pledge your support thorough our GOFUNDME page.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter.
Santiago R. Hernandez M.D. 
Breast cancer
World Polio Day, Oct. 24, marks the 30th anniversary of launching the polio eradication effort.  After a travel representing a thousand miles, we are now down to the last inch. We have reduced the number of new cases annually from 350,000 to 18. Eighteen cases may sound good, but each case represents a child who will suffer a lifetime of crippling paralysis.

Aggressive BP control may increase risks in older patients
A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests aggressive treatment to reduce blood pressure to targets closer to newer levels may increase the risk of falls and fainting in older patients.

Falls in the Elderly: Deadly But Preventable
CHAPALA MED & Health Insurance 


Chapala Med’s Doctors work with MOST national insurance companies.
Aug. 15,2018
It has come to my attention and the attention of other doctors in my network recently that the insurance agent in the video below states that
CHAPALA MED does not work with  or are not in the network of national insurance companies. I’d like to clear up any misinformation and state how we work with insurance companies.


  • Our specialists ARE IN THE NETWORKS  of ALL NATIONAL insurance companies, especially the policies that are sold locally
  • PRIMARY CARE OFFICE VISITS (that means Dr. Hernandez’s visits) are NOT covered by ANY NATIONAL or INTERNATIONAL insurance policy, like they are in the U.S.
  • In the rare case that one of our specialists may NOT be in a network, they will tend to adhere to most pay scales that are reasonable like those of METLIFE, GNP, AXXA and BUPPA.
  • The only specialist who in our network who set’s his fees (which are accepted by MOST insurance companies) is Dr. Jose Ernesto Ledesma, our NEUROSURGEON.
  • We DO fill out required medical reports for the hospital records and those required by the insurance companies, often leaving the original copies at the hospital.
  • Most major national insurance companies have offices in the private hospitals. This is to facilitate acquisition of documentation and payment of claims. The personnel at those offices can obtain copies of any documentation you may need, especially for reimbursement of your claim.
  • It is INSURANCE COMPANIES’ responsibility to acquire copies of any hospital records and reports needed to file claims. It is NOT the patient’s nor CHAPALA MED’s responsibility to contact other physicians and hospitals to do the work that the insurance companies have personnel trained and in positions to do so.
  • In the event of an emergency,
    it is your doctor’s responsibility
    to evaluate your medical situation, decide if you need an ambulance(triage) and have informed and capable doctors waiting to provide care to the patient when he/she arrives to the hospital, and 
  • I understand that  some services offered by the agent in  the video below may seem like great customer service but they are also services that are riddled with conflicts of interest. Remember that insurance companies make a profit by not paying approx. 30% of their claims. Do you want to have people whom are working for the insurance companies having access to personal and medical information that can be used against you. Please be mindful of who pays the insurance agent(s).
  • It is not true that if you chose to work with our doctors that it will cost you more money for your treatments vs. the doctors whom an insurance  agent chooses for you. What is their criteria for selection of these doctors?
  • I firmly believe that one should choose a physician on his/her level of expertise, ethical standards and bedside manner rather than on whether or not that doctor has signed a contract to see an insurance company’s clients for a set fee.
  • CHAPALA MED will have BILINGUAL MEDICAL CONCIERGE service at HOSPITAL COUNTRY  2000 to help in the CHECK IN PROCESS and will tend to our ENGLISH-SPEAKING patients.  We have a formal affiliation with this hospital. This hospital is in network of ALL national insurance companies, so you will have all the help you need during the CHECK-IN  and CHECK-OUT process of your hospitalization. This was one of the stipulations we asked for in order to formalize our affiliation with this hospital.
  • It is not my intent, nor that of any person who works at CHAPALA MED to discredit what insurance agents in the area do. We simply want to clarify misinformation verbally given to some of our patients whom are also clients of this agent. We are grateful to our patients whom brought these issues to our attention.
  • Below is an email of just how efficiently things can work if you CALL YOUR DOCTOR and not your insurance agent first, in the event of an emergency.


  • REMEMBER we work with MOST FOREIGN/TRAVELER’S insurance policies (subject to prior verification of coverage)

Below is the link to a video that was taken from our first 5K.


Tickets for the 5K are already on sale at CHAPALA MED, Diane Pearl’s Boutique, Tepehua Treasures and Hospital Country 2000.  Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm.
The Healthcare providers & Staff at Chapala Med pledge
“We pledge to preserve our humility, integrity, and all the values which brought us to the practice of medicine. We will engage in ho
nest self-reflection, striving for excellence but acknowledging our limitations, and caring for ourselves as we care for others. We will seek to heal the whole person, rather than merely treat disease, committing to a partnership with our patients that empowers them and demonstrates empathy and respect. We will cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always” 


Chapala Med |  | (331)950-9414


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