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Meritus Health expands expert services to include allergy, asthma

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Meritus Health is excited to announce that Paul M. Mauriello, M.D., and associates will join the health system as Meritus Allergy & Asthma Specialists, as of Thursday, September 15.

The change comes as Meritus Health expands its mission of Expert Care, Close to Home.

“We talk about Expert Care, Close to Home, and this move expands our network of providers to include more specialties,” said Dave Lehr, chief strategy officer. “Coordinating care across specialties is the best kind of care because it’s designed with the patient’s individual needs in mind. The addition of expert-level allergy and asthma care will greatly benefit patients both new and existing.”

Dr. Mauriello has been caring for the community for decades. His welcoming manner and expert medical care are as synonymous with his name as the word “allergies,” and that’s because for nearly as long as the Tristate area has been sneezing, Dr. Mauriello has been telling them why.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s been nearly 40 years.

Looking back to 1983, so many changes in technology, medicine, and life, in general, have drastically evolved. One thing that hasn’t is the need for an accurate and efficient way to determine the local pollen count.

Enter Dr. Mauriello.

What makes you sneeze (and how many times you do it) has a lot to do with the pollen. Every day, Dr. Mauriello provides a measurement from a sampler that sits outside his office.

“That sampler collects and measures the amount of air pollen found in a specific volume of air,” Dr. Mauriello explained.

Each morning, Dr. Mauriello collects the air sample and then examines it under a microscope. What he finds translates into the pollen count for the day, something that impacts almost everyone in some way.

To be precise, he arrives at his office at 7 a.m., and the pollen count is read on the local radio every morning at 7:30 a.m. Fast and efficient, after all, he’s been doing it for more than three decades.

In addition to the radio station, WJEJ, The Weather Channel also relies on Dr. Mauriello’s daily count.

“If I’m ever away on vacation, and the pollen count isn’t updated, you can be sure that my office will get a phone call from The Weather Channel looking for it,” Dr. Mauriello said.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. and impact more than 50 million Americans each year.

It’s more than just about sneezing. While that’s part of the importance of the pollen count, and keeping detailed records, knowing the data can help with a diagnosis.

“If a patient comes in with an illness that coincides with consistently high pollen count days, you know your culprit,” Mauriello said. “However, if they aren’t feeling well on days with continuously low pollen readings, then we are looking for a different cause of that illness,” he said.

Dr. Mauriello said that it is key to know the difference between environmentally provoked or other causes of symptoms.

“They can present with very similar symptoms, but there are specific differences that can have you determine one from the other,” he said.

■ Allergies do not cause a fever or body aches, unlike a cold or flu

■ Colds usually produce nasal discharge that is greenish and thick, whereas discharge from an allergy is clear and thin

■ Colds usually last 7 to 10 days, while allergy symptoms last until an allergen is removed

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Dr. Mauriello, along with Justina C. Workman, DNP, FNP-C, will join the Meritus Health family as Meritus Allergy & Asthma Specialists.

“This partnership will allow for more cohesiveness between allergy and asthma care for our patients, and any other care you receive from Meritus Health,” said Dave Lehr, chief strategy officer.

And Dr. Mauriello and his staff will continue to watch the pollen count and provide a full range of allergy services for noses all over the Tristate. Community members can now find the daily pollen count on the home page of MeritusHealth.com.

For more information on allergy and asthma care at Meritus Health, or to schedule an appointment, visit MeritusHealth.com/allergy.

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