TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT

Creating a Safer, Happier Halloween for All!

The Western Montana Clinic is proud to participate in the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT this Halloween.   Non-food treats will be available at the reception desks of both Now Care locations,  our Family Medicine Departments, Pediatric Department, and our Allergy/Immunology Department.

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What’s the Teal Pumpkin Project®? 
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  If you would like to participate:

  • Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters such as inexpensive toys or glow sticks.
  • Place a teal pumpkin – the color of food allergy awareness –in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available.
  • Display a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.

Why is this important?
Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

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I don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal, what do I do? 
Simple – you can print out a free sign from the fare.org website to post on your door. You can also look for teal pumpkins to purchase at local retail shops.

Why teal? 
Teal is the color of food allergy awareness. It has been used to raise awareness about this serious medical condition for nearly 20 years.

Can I still pass out candy? 
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

How do I know which houses in my area are participating? 
FARE is providing a Teal Pumpkin Project Participation Map that allows people participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project to add their home address, street or neighborhood. Adding your household to the map shows your support and allows you to connect with other families in your area who are participating.

How did the project start?
The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET). FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips from SafeKids.org

Walk Safely

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  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  2. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  3. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  4. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  5. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  1. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

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  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  4. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  5. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Download Tips

National PA Week October 6-12!

It’s National Physician Assistance Week, October 6 – 13!  This week is an opportunity to raise awareness of physician assistants (PAs) and the valuable contribution they make to the Western Montana Clinic and health of Montana residents.   PAs are nationally certified and state licensed medical providers trained to diagnose and treat patients as well as prescribe medication.  The PAs at Western Montana Clinic often provide comprehensive, full-scope care to patients in several different specialties. This year, the profession is 50 years strong!

A BIG thank you to the Western Montana Clinic’s outstanding PAs:

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to providing extraordinary care to your patients!

Welcome Dr. Lauren Kiely Willis

Dr. Lauren Kiely Willis has joined the Western Montana Clinic in Missoula, Montana.  Dr. Lauren Kiely Willis is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist.  She comes to Montana from Virginia, where she spent 18 years treating all manner of pediatric gastrointestinal disorders.  

Dr. Willis earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, completed her residency in pediatrics at the St. Louis, Children's Hospital, and finished her fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

She is also a professional member of the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. 

Dr. Willis is accepting new patients at the Western Montana Clinic.  Call 406-721-5600.

For more information on the Western Montana Clinic Pediatric Gastroenterology Department, click here.

It's National Physical Therapy Month!

October is National Physical Therapy month and we would like to take this time to acknowledge our Western Montana Clinic Physical Therapy Department!

 Our physical therapists strive to provide personalized care to their patients and work with a variety of injuries and conditions.  Catherine Gilbert, PT, Jeff Brooks, PT, and Lynn Jenko, PT, have been treating patients for WMC for more than 50 years and have over 75 years of combined experience in their field. WOW!

Through extensive continuing education and training throughout the year, they stay current and up-to-date on the latest treatments and corrective therapies. 

Stop by and say "Hi." to Debbie and Patty at the front desk.  They make sure to keep the department running smoothly, efficiently and always service with a smile!

Nov 9 - 10 Pediatrics Flu Shot Clinics

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Western Montana Clinic Pediatric Department offers flu vaccine to all of our patients.  ALL children 6 months and older should be vaccinated.  Flu strains are different each year, so even if your children got a flu shot last year, they still need to get this year's vaccine to be protected.

Walk-in Flu Shot Clinics

No appointment is necessary to receive the flu vaccine at our walk-in flu shot clinics. Our pediatric flu shot clinics will be held at our Pediatric Department offices.  Click here for more information or directions.
We will bill insurance for you.  Most insurance plans pay full cost of the flu vaccine.

  • Thursday - November 9th - 9 am to 4 pm
  • Friday - November 10th - 9 am to 4 pm

If a child does not receive their immunization during one of these flu clinics, they may do so during a regular scheduled appointment with their Western Montana Clinic pediatric provider or by calling their provider's medical assistant to arrange an alternate time.

If this is the first time a child between the ages of 6 months and 9 years is receiving a flu vaccine, they will need two doses, one month apart.  

For more information click here or call your providers office at 406-721-5600.