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Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville awarded recognition by the NCQA

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Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville has been awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Program. The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement. Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville, headed by Dr. Aylin Ozdemir, is one of only two practices in the program to receive recognition in Jacksonville to receive this designation.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high- quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that Dr. Ozdemir and Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”

Said Dr. Ozdemir, “As one of only two practices in the entire market to receive this designation, we are naturally proud of what we have accomplished.” She continued, “More importantly, for our patients and their families, this designation serves as a reminder of the quality of care they can expect to receive at our practice. We take a team approach to medicine, and this designation recognizes all of our staff from the doctors to the RNs to the clinical staff. I am proud of all of them.”

To learn more about NCQA, please visit

Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville

Lessons Learned from Autistic Children Can Help All of Us

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By Dr. Aylin Ozdemir, president of Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville

Stress, gut and also the brain! As we are about to start a new year and trying to shed all the toxins, including negative thoughts of the last year, it is a growing knowledge NOW that our gut health is connected to our mental health. I believe we learned A LOT from children on the Autistic Spectrum how important is our own body ecology…gut bacteria ratio, and variety.

This two-way relationship in between gut and brain connection may be the key to solving one of medicine’s most pressing — and perplexing — mysteries: autism. Autism is a complex spectrum of disorders that share three classic features – impaired communication, poor social engagement and repetitive behaviors. On one end of the spectrum are people who are socially awkward but, in many cases, incredibly bright. At the other extreme are individuals with mental disabilities and behavioral problems.

Nearly 60 years after the disorder was first identified, the number of cases has surged, and the United Nations estimates that up to 70 million people worldwide fall on the autism spectrum. Yet there is no known cause or cure.

But scientists have found promising clues in the gut. Research has revealed striking differences in the trillions of bacteria – collectively known as the microbiome — in the intestines of autistic and healthy children.

Today autism is treated primarily through behavioral therapy. But new animal studies suggesting that treatment may one day come in the form of a probiotic — live, “friendly” bacteria like those found in yogurt. If you help heal the gastrointestinal problem, you can treat the behavioral symptoms.

We strongly recommend four times a year slow 30 days’ cleanse with a daily probiotic “friendly bacteria” supplementation for our patients.

About Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville

PAJ was originally opened in 1932 and now operates in two locations in Jacksonville (Julington Creek, and Hodges Blvd. near Glen Kernan Country Club), and in Ponte Vedra Beach (FL). We are committed to helping patients ranging from newborns to adults to age 21. Today, Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville is led by Dr. Aylin Ozdemir or known as ‘Dr. O’ to her patients. Dr. O was the winner of the 2011 and 2012 Patients’ Choice Award, which is a distinction received by less than five percent of America’s practicing physicians. Dr. O is a graduate of the Integrative Medicine fellowship led by Dr. Andrew Weil at The University of Arizona. The Integrative Practice of combining traditional and alternative medicine distinguishes her from every other General Practitioner in the State of Florida.

Visit them online at

Santa Worldwide

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St. Nicholas: Eastern Europe, Western Asia

Saint Nicholas was born in the villiage of Patara, in what is now modern-day Turkey, during the Roman Empire’s rule of the world. The Emperor Constantine came to power during his life. Saint Nicholas was made the Bishop of Myra at a very young age and was known as a man who gave all he had to the needy. He died on December 6th, 343. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated every year on December 6th in many countries in Europe and West Asia.

Ded Moroz or Grandfather Frost: Russia

Grandfather Frost resembles the appearance of Santa Claus, but instead of being secretive, Grandfather Frost shows up at New Year’s Eve parties and gives out gifts in person. He resembles Santa Claus, but also carries a large magical staff, like a wizard. He usually travels around with Snegurochka, or Snow Maiden, who is his granddaughter and helper. She is unique. No other gift-givers in other cultures have a female companion.

Father Christmas: England

The modern-day Santa Claus has his roots in the lore of Father Christmas. Father Christmas wears a longer coat and has a longer beard than the traditional Santa figure. The earliest mention of Father Christmas was in a Christmas carol attributed to Richard Smart from the mid-15th century. He is not described as giving gifts to children, rather he is announcing the celebration of Christ’s birth, calling all people to eat and drink.

Joulupukki or Christmas Goat: Finland

Rooted in pagan traditions, the Christmas Goat’s workshop is located in the mountains of Korvatunturi, Lapland. He doesn’t sneak around like his Western counterpart, but instead knocks on the door Christmas Eve and asks who has been good. Joulupukki does not have elves, but dwarves as helpers that ride goats.

Pere Noel: France

Pere Noel saved three children from a butcher who kidnapped them. Pere Noel leaves gifts if the children have been good, or, traditionally, the bad kids will be spanked by the butcher, Le Pere Fouettard.

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